Do the folks in politics think we are asleep? Do they really believe no one is paying attention to what politicians are up to? It’s not surprising if you have acid indigestion these days. A few examples illustrate why I might need a tanker truck of Maalox. SENATE RACE.
Too often these days, Americans and our government seem to be incapable of agreeing on what the best course of action is, regardless of the issue. This is especially true when we are talking about immigration and immigrants. Case in point: Zalmay Niazy of Iowa Falls. Before you jump to the conclusion that Niazy sneaked into the United States without authorization, scaled a wall at our southern border, or tried to hide from immigration officials, you should know about him. Then, I think you will agree it would be a miscarriage of justice to kick Niazy out of the U.S. and send him back to his native land, where death likely would await. The U.S. government has bungled his case — first during President Barack Obama’s administration, then during Donald Trump’s, and now during Joe Biden’s.
Plenty of stray thoughts have been swirling through my noggin lately. Thoughts like: What would Americans and members of Congress think today if the federal government decided against creating the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John Kennedy? What would we think today if the House and Senate two decades ago rejected an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the aborted airliner attack on either the White House or Capitol? What would Americans and members of Congress think if the government refused to convene a special commission after World War II to investigate the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?
I was a kid from small-town Iowa when I first laid eyes on the United States Capitol. It was 1962. My family squeezed into our Dodge and drove to our nation’s capital for the vacation of a lifetime. It was all about history. We walked through the White House.
The boss told Gus Malzahn on Sunday that he was no longer needed. His employment was ending immediately. With that blunt conversation, Malzahn became another statistic of 2020. He took his place next to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs this year — a year when unemployment, at times, rivaled those dreadfully dark days of the Great Depression. But Malzahn is not in the same boat as most of the others.
He won’t have to be up before dawn to get into a food line.
Tone-deaf. That’s the dismal state of the political discourse in our nation these days. Regrettably, Iowa has an all-too-prominent role in this bumbling lack of awareness of how our democracy is being eaten away by the people who want to be our leaders. Pour yourself a glass of Maalox. You will need it, because your acid indigestion will flare up before we get far in today’s discussion.
UPDATED: The appropriations bill Congress sent to President Donald Trump Sept. 30 to keep the federal government open through Dec. 11 includes a section giving hospitals one year, instead of the current three months, to start paying back all of the accelerated Medicare payments they received in the spring.
The death of Congressman John Lewis last Friday night accomplished what police officers with their billy clubs and white mobs with their fists and pipes never were able to achieve: Silencing his voice. For 60 years, Lewis expressed his opinions – on segregation, on voting rights, on economic inequality – during sit-ins, picketing and speeches. Not everyone was interested in his views. More than once he was beaten nearly to death, and his head bore scars of a skull fracture and those beatings. Last year, Lewis arose at the Capitol to make his point once again: “Voting access is the key to equality in our democracy.
It’s quiz time. What arm of the federal government has the most contact with ordinary Americans, people like you and me? Is it the Internal Revenue Service? Social Security Administration? The Food and Drug Administration?
Schools across Iowa have been dark for more than a week because of winter vacation. But a Des Moines teacher still managed to teach a very important lesson during that time – but this lesson wasn’t aimed at the kids she normally works with. It was intended for adults. Laura’s lesson is one more people should learn from, because the discussions in Washington, D.C., and at the Capitol in Des Moines would benefit from a wider appreciation and understanding of what she was telling us. Randy Evans
Randy Evans is the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.