Hardline House immigration bill fails: How the Iowans voted

U.S. House members rejected by 231 votes to 193 one of two immigration bills leaders had planned to bring to the floor on June 21. Judiciary Committee Chair Robert Goodlatte’s legislation “had not been expected to pass, but conservatives had sought a vote on it anyway,” Thomas Kaplan and Nicholas Fandos reported for the New York Times.

The Goodlatte bill would have sharply reduced legal immigration while beefing up border security, cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities and requiring employers to use a system called E-Verify to confirm that they are hiring legal workers. It would have offered a three-year renewable legal status to DACA recipients.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Lanceleaf coreopsis (Sand coreopsis)

Although I was in a hurry to get to the farmers market two Saturdays ago, I had to pull off the bike trail to get a closer look at the bright yellow flowers near the bank of Walnut Creek. They turned out to be Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), a new find for me. Sometimes known as sand coreopsis or lanceleaf tickseed, this species is native to most of the U.S. and Canada. UPDATE: Bleeding Heartland user Prairie Fan notes in the comments that The Vascular Plants of Iowa, a classic text by Lawrence Eilers and Dean Roosa, identifies lanceleaf coreopsis as a native of the U.S. but not Iowa.

Like other members of the aster family, what looks like one flower is a group of ray flowers (which resemble petals) surrounding a center disc containing many tiny flowers. The ragged tips of the ray flowers set lanceleaf coreopsis apart from most other related species, except for large-flowered coreopsis. I’m grateful to ecological consultant and photographer Leland Searles, who looked at my pictures and confirmed the ID as lanceolata plants, based on the leaves.

Wendie Schneider took the picture at the top of this post in Story County, along with a few other photographs below. The rest of the images are my shots of the colony near the Walnut Creek trail, close to the border between Des Moines and Windsor Heights.

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Iowa political reaction to Trump's family separation policy

Editor’s note: Des Moines Democratic activist Robert Niederklopfer drew the cartoon posted above.

The crisis of some 2,300 children separated from their parents after crossing the southern border of the U.S. reached a tipping point this week. The “zero-tolerance policy” is two months old, but new images of kids locked in cages and heartbreaking sounds of children crying for their parents outraged millions of Americans.

A new national poll suggests voters oppose taking children away from their parents by a two to one margin. Thousands have called their members of Congress to demand action. Former acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Obama administration John Sandweg has warned that many of the separations will end up becoming permanent. Several “tender age” shelters are housing very young children, some unable to talk or remember their parents’ names.

I enclose below comments from leading Iowa politicians on the issue. Most predate the executive order Trump signed today, which will do nothing for families already separated and may not help new arrivals either.

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GOP nominates Mike Naig for ag secretary, Jeremy Davis for treasurer

Despite support from his predecessor Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig needed four ballots to secure his party’s nomination at the June 16 Republican Party of Iowa state convention. Governor Kim Reynolds appointed Northey’s longtime deputy to serve out his term in March. Naig finished far ahead of the other four Republicans running for secretary of agriculture on June 5 but fell 0.3 percent short of the 35 percent threshold needed to win the primary outright.

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