Senator Grassley, you enabled this

President Donald Trump has added to the list of officials he has sidelined for their role in exposing or investigating him. In what Aaron Blake called a “Friday night news dump for the ages,” Trump informed leaders of the U.S. House and Senate Intelligence Committees on April 3 that he is removing Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

Trump put Atkinson on administrative leave to stop him from doing his job before his dismissal takes effect next month (the president was required to give Congress 30 days notice of such action).

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Should it stay or should it go?

Ira Lacher considers ten cultural shifts occurring because of novel coronavirus, and whether each should and will outlast the pandemic. -promoted by Laura Belin

The world during COVID-19 is vastly different from the world before. But what about the world after?

What changes that we see now are likely to survive the transition when things settle down?

A select few know who will win the Academy Awards, but in this case, no one knows. But that doesn’t stop us from predicting who will win and, more important, whether they or someone else should.

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April 2, 2020. Guam.

James C. Larew: “Be it remembered as the date and place when the gap between the nation’s leadership and its citizens became too wide to close.” -promoted by Laura Belin

On April 2, 2020, the effective command of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly, and the administration for which he had cowardly acted, died.

Only a day earlier, already informed of the dire straits faced by the crew of the novel coronavirus-infested USS Theodore Roosevelt, Modly had defended Captain Brett E. Crozier’s efforts to secure more effective action by a tone-deaf Defense Department, slow-to-move in the rapidly-changing pandemic environment.

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Trump valiant in fight against virus — April Fool!

Herb Strentz: Are there really two sides to every story, when the issues may be far more complex than that or one side is a flat-out lie? -promoted by Laura Belin

On April Fool’s day, a USA TODAY editorial-page package offered this appraisal to millions of readers, including those of the Des Moines Register: “From the outset, President Donald Trump pledged to put the full weight of the federal government behind combating this crisis and protecting the health and safety of our fellow citizens.”

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COVID-19 already depleting Iowa journalism ranks

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has drawn massive public attention in recent weeks, with Americans visiting more news sites, clicking more on stories about the virus, and spending more time taking in those articles.

But as new unemployment claims hit record levels and huge numbers of businesses are temporarily shut or attracting far fewer customers, advertising revenue has plummeted. Large national media organizations are taking a hit in revenue, Marc Tracy reported for the New York Times on March 20, and “The outlook is worse for local news websites, daily newspapers in midsize cities and weekly papers across the country, which typically rely on now-struggling neighborhood businesses for the bulk of their advertising.”

That group includes Iowa newspapers. The cutbacks are already affecting coverage at our state’s most influential media outlet.

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Matthew McDermott to continue Iowa Supreme Court's rightward march

Governor Kim Reynolds on April 3 named Des Moines attorney Matthew McDermott to succeed retiring Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins. During seventeen years in private practice, McDermott has worked on a wide variety of cases. Bleeding Heartland posted lengthy excerpts from his application and interview with the State Judicial Nominating Commission last month.

This appointment will continue the Iowa Supreme Court’s sharp turn to the right since 2018. As Bleeding Heartland discussed when McDermott was a finalist for the previous vacancy, he has worked closely with influential Republicans and handled some politically charged cases. He defended the 2017 collective bargaining law on behalf of the state and represented an Iowa House Republican seeking not to count 29 absentee ballots his constituents had cast on time.

On the other hand, McDermott has done a substantial amount of criminal defense work, and his application highlighted an unsuccessful appeal raising Fourth Amendment issues as one of his significant cases. Wiggins was a consistent voice for individual rights on the Supreme Court, including in many search and seizure cases.

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