Herb Strentz

Time to bid goodbye to Terry Branstad, Chuck Grassley

Herb Strentz: After a combined nine decades in elected offices, Iowa’s longtime senator and former governor are increasingly a liability to democracy. -promoted by Laura Belin

U.S. Senator Charles Grassley and former Governor Terry Branstad have served in elected offices for a combined 94 years. It really is time for Iowans to bid goodbye to them. The two have more than paid their public-service dues, but sadly are increasingly a drain on public confidence and a liability to democracy. The evidence of the latter includes their unconscionable silence when it comes to holding former President Donald Trump accountable and their implicit support of him.

Both Grassley, 87, and Branstad, 74, were around when the Iowa legislature merited praise. Now they insist on sticking around when the Republican Party needs new people to lead it back to being concerned about the fate of our state and nation instead of soothing Trump’s ego, downplaying his temper tantrums and thousands of lies, and catering to a lunatic fringe to help assure re-election.

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As GOP lawmakers threaten free inquiry, governor emphasizes "bottom line"

Herb Strentz: Republican bills to ban tenure at Iowa’s state universities have moved forward in both chambers. Governor Kim Reynolds isn’t concerned. -promoted by Laura Belin

When one surveys the efforts of the Iowa legislature and Governor Kim Reynolds this legislative session, the words “striving for equality” may not come to mind — what with efforts to undercut public education, sabotage access to abortion, punish the LGBTQ community and enact other vindictive measures, as noted by Kathie Obradovich in Iowa Capital Dispatch.

“Equality” does come to mind, however, albeit in an oddball way — the efforts of some legislators to bring Iowans down to their level of what Iowa should be about.

That may be a harsh way to look at Iowa law-making, but it is merited by House File 49 and Senate File 41, proposals to make Iowa the first state in the nation to outlaw tenure at its public universities, in our case Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.

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Iowa caucuses again undergo scrutiny

Herb Strentz reviews some of the demographic and political issues that threaten Iowa’s future role in the presidential nominating process. -promoted by Laura Belin

No doubt about it. Iowans benefit from the every-four-years caucuses on our preferences for candidates for the Office of President of the United States. (If you visit the Oval Office replica at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, President Harry S Truman will tell you the presidency is “the most important governmental office in the history of the world.”)

Iowa likely leads the nation on a per capita basis in terms of how many of us get a good look at those seeking that “most important office….”

But there have long been questions about whether the nation benefits from Iowa being a crucial step for those seeking to be president.

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Trump leaves Biden an odd "welcome mat"

Herb Strentz reflects on the transfer of power and the reaction from leading Iowa Republican politicians. -promoted by Laura Belin

While President Donald Trump engaged in no traditional “welcome” protocols to greet his successor at the White House, he left something even more important for President Joe Biden and for the sake of the nation. What Trump left us is a bestowal of relief, of trust, of hope and of opportunity that could serve us all well for years to come.

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Former war correspondent on Trump pardoning Blackwater mercenaries

Herb Strentz reached out to longtime television reporter Fabrice Moussus for perspective on some of President Donald Trump’s most heinous pardons. -promoted by Laura Belin

“You wake up one morning and the tanks are at every corner.”

That’s the closing line in an email I received from a retired television newsman you don’t know. However, it’s almost a certainty you have seen his video coverage of terrorism, warfare, and other aspects of life and death on television over the past 30 or 40 years.

Fabrice Moussus — in this post, he is Bleeding Heartland’s foreign correspondent in Paris —  is a delightful, self-effacing Frenchman. He’s retired now but he had put his life on the line to help tell people around the world what was going on in Iraq, Iran, Egypt and lots of other places.

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