Only one way for Ernst, Grassley to show respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Jewish new year began in the worst way possible on September 18, with the passing of one of the most influential Jewish Americans. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s work as an attorney and over decades of service as a judge, culminating in 27 years on the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley praised Ginsburg’s legacy in written statements, and Ernst offered prayers and an apology of sorts after her campaign sent out a gross fundraising appeal soon after the justice’s death was announced.

But words in a press release have no lasting value. Iowa’s senators have one chance to honor “the notorious RBG”: by letting the voters decide who should appoint her successor.

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Five unanswered questions about Iowa governor's staff salary payments

Governor Kim Reynolds has defended her decision to use nearly $450,000 in federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to pay salaries and benefits for her permanent staffers.

But her comments at a September 16 news conference, along with information her staff provided to some reporters afterwards, left several salient questions unanswered.

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Lawsuit challenges Paul Pate's limits on ballot drop boxes

Two groups charge in a lawsuit filed this week that Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate exceeded his authority and violated the Iowa Constitution by restricting the placement of drop boxes for absentee ballots in guidance issued this month.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC) and Majority Forward argued that Pate infringed on the “home rule” authority of Iowa counties as well as on individuals’ fundamental constitutional right to vote.

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Transforming Trauma: Meeting the challenges facing youth

Nate Monson is executive director of Iowa Safe Schools. -promoted by Laura Belin

Collective trauma refers to the impact of a terrible experience that affects a group of people. Collective trauma is what we all are experiencing this year.

Our country has experienced collective trauma in the past but at no time have we had a pandemic, racial injustice, the derecho, a very divisive election, and an economic crisis larger than the Great Recession all at the same time.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Rough blazing star

Katie Byerly features an eye-catching sight on the late summer prairie. -promoted by Laura Belin

As other wildflowers are beginning to fade, Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera) is just getting started. Also called tall blazing star, this unbranched, upright plant grows to be between 2 and 5 feet tall, according to Illinois Wildflowers

Rough blazing star blossoms in a spike-like arrangement of pink to purple flowerheads up and down the stem. This spike adds wonderful electric rosy purple color to the natural scenescape.

Rough blazing star flowers start blooming at the upper tip of the plant in July. This first photo shows a monarch butterfly getting nutrients from a rough blazing star just starting to bloom.

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Joni Ernst turned her back on Iowans

Kay Pence is Vice President of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans. -promoted by Laura Belin

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst is no longer working for Iowans. She is working at the behest of President Donald Trump, no matter what he says or does. She has become a puppet to Trump no matter how low he sinks, voting with the president more than 91 percent of the time and following his lead to attack our healthcare and defund Social Security.

The Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans recently invited Ernst and her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield to virtual forums celebrating the anniversaries of Medicare and Social Security. I was not surprised when Ernst failed to show up for either forum, because she has such a dismal record on both issues.  

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