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Did you get a tape-recorded message on the phone from Rep. Steve King last week?
  • In last week’s March Madness column I made the rather obvious observation that anything can happen in a single-elimination format. It’s what makes the NCAA Tournament the most exciting postseason in sports. It’s also what often times prevents the best team in the regular season from winning the national title. To take it a step further, it’s also what coaches’ reputations — fairly or unfairly — are hinged upon. 
  • Tippecanoe and Randy Feenstra, too
    As it turns out, in all this nonsense about a rural-urban Iowa civil war, “them” is actually “us.” 
  • Another great day to be an Iowan
    The first-ever Iowa Ag Summit was held Saturday in the Elwell Family Food Center on the Iowa State Fair Grounds in Des Moines. 
  • With a casino comes concerts
    A year from now, we’ll look back and remember when the only “green room” in Jefferson was either Fudge’s Flowers or Krieger’s Flower Shop. 
  • 15 takeaways from the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit
    1. Best one-liner ever on immigration reform: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina: “Strom Thurmond had four kids after age 67. If you’re not willing to do that, we need immigration.” 
  • Old Ike wouldn’t be lovin’ Branstad’s kid-cocooning
    The difference between an 18-year-old fresh-faced freshman and a 21-year-old senior in college is the most profound I’ve experienced in a work, social or living arrangement. 
  • Curious but cautious about Harper Lee’s book
    “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the advice Atticus Finch gave to Jem during a signature moment in Harper Lee’s book, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” That may still be good advice, only this time it should be directed to the book. 
  • The way we care for  disabled citizens affects us all
    Kate was just 9 months old when her parents heard her diagnosis: “cerebral palsy.” She would spend her life in a wheelchair. She would need surgery to place metal rods in her back to correct the spinal curvature. The physical and intellectual impairments would be permanent. 
  • At gut-check time with abortion politics, is Ernst a Clinton in conservative clothing?
    It’s a line of a questioning most pro-life candidates don’t like. Count our new U.S. senator among them. 
  • President Hillary Clinton: King’s Divine Right of Kings?
    From Steve King’s lips to God’s ears. You can’t retract a prayer. But our congressman may be wishing he provided more direction and guidance to our maker should one Hillary Rodham Clinton take the presidential oath of office in 2017. 
  • King’s national  political event shows deep GOP bench
    In a single word, I would call the Iowa Freedom Summit, energizing. 
  • 20 takeaways from Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit
    1. Scott Walker is the real political deal. The Wisconsin governor — who went to grade school in Plainfield, Iowa — showed connectivity, policy bona fides and earnest seriousness. Walker focused effectively on education, which is where Iowans spend the majority of their state taxes. 
  • Who, now, will do a lot of things?
    “We are the guardians of justice in this state. We have an obligation to support justice and make sure that the system works for everyone.” 
  • If Art were around, I can hear him whisper, “Make it brief, Judge — not too much about me.” 
  • The considerable substance of Art Neu’s voice
    I’ll just come right out with it. Art Neu and I were in prison together. I’ll let that hang there for you to absorb. We were in prison. And not just one prison or some easy federal hideaway. Nine of them. All of the prisons in Iowa, in fact. 
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