IA-02: Christopher Peters set to run against Dave Loebsack again

Dr. Christopher Peters announced today that he will visit all 24 counties in Iowa’s second Congressional district next week “to speak with Iowans about his plans for the 2018 election.” Since I’ve never heard of someone holding more than two dozen events to publicize a decision not to run for office, it’s a safe bet the Coralville surgeon will be launching his second attempt to defeat Democratic Representative Dave Loebsack.

Continue Reading...

Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Prairie phlox

July is a fantastic month for wildflower-spotting in Iowa. In addition to the many plants I mentioned in last week’s post, within the past few days I have seen the first blossoms of 2017 on common evening primrose, blue vervain, and cutleaf coneflower. Near the Windsor Heights trail, I also found two species I don’t recall seeing in past years: monkey flower and catnip. I hope to feature them on an upcoming Wednesday, along with Culver’s root and Joe Pye weed, which are also blooming now in many natural areas.

I took most of the pictures enclosed below in late May at Tipton Prairie in Greene County. Prairie phlox (Phlox pilosa) typically blooms in the late spring or early summer in Iowa. If you see flowers resembling it during July or August, you are probably looking at a cultivar adapted from this species.

Native to much of the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains, this plant is also known as downy phlox or fragrant phlox. Its favored habitats “include moist to mesic black soil prairies, rocky open forests, Bur Oak savannas, sandy Black Oak savannas, limestone glades, thickets, abandoned fields, and prairie remnants along railroads.”

According to the Minnesota Wildflowers website, prairie phlox “does well in a garden, in sunny, sandy soil.” The flowers attract a wide variety of pollinators and sometimes ruby-throated hummingbirds. In Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie, Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa wrote, “The Meskwaki made a tea of the leaves and used it as a wash for treating eczema. The same sort of tea was drunk to cure eczema and to purify the blood at the same time. Also, the root was used with several other unspecified plants as part of a love potion.”

Continue Reading...

IA-01: Jeff Danielson on "raging incrementalism" and Iowa Democrats' culture problem

Iowa Democrats “need to have a good family fight about what the future of our party’s going to be” and ditch the “canned messages” used in too many losing campaigns, according to State Senator Jeff Danielson. Re-elected to a fourth term in the Iowa Senate last year, Danielson is the highest-profile Democrat still thinking about running in the first Congressional district, where four candidates are already challenging Representative Rod Blum and two others recently ruled out the race. He spoke to Bleeding Heartland this week about his plans and how Democrats can regain the trust of voters who increasingly see our party as out of touch.

Danielson’s critique of the Democratic establishment has much in common with points often raised by Iowans who supported Bernie Sanders for president. But his call for “raging incrementalism” and reaching across the aisle is quite different from the ambitious policy agenda typically viewed on the Sanders wing as the solution to the same problem.

Continue Reading...

Iowa GOP leaders failed us on health care bill

TJ Foley, a recent graduate of Valley High School in West Des Moines, on how top Iowa Republicans failed to speak out against an “attack on the most basic principles of equality, freedom, and rural fairness.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

It’s been a rough week for Senate Republicans. Two conservative senators announced that they would oppose the reckless GOP plan to overhaul America’s health care system and drop millions from the health insurance rolls. This legislation emerged from secret negotiations and violated some of the most basic Iowa values we all hold dear.

Continue Reading...
View More...