Herb Strentz

There will be no presidential libraries for Obama, Trump

Herb Strentz examines the impact of digitization on institutions valued by historians and archivists. -promoted by Laura Belin

Whatever the outcome of our presidential election, there will not be a traditional Donald Trump Library to inspire jokes about his presidency or to morph millions of scattershot tweets into scholarly insights.

Nor, for that matter, will there be a Barack Obama Library, once lawsuits over a proposed Obama Presidential Center in Chicago’s Jackson Park are settled. Scheduled for groundbreaking in 2018, the proposed $500 million community center is mired in litigation over its location and other issues.

Regardless, we likely have seen the last of public presidential libraries under the aegis of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as fixed places where citizens, visitors and scholars can read through millions of books and billions of pages to better understand the challenges and promises of democracy. That is what President Franklin D. Roosevelt dreamed when he set the library idea in motion in 1939.

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Politicians rearrange deck chairs as the S.S. Iowa hits COVID-19

Herb Strentz reviews recent comments from Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Governor Kim Reynolds. -promoted by Laura Belin

Sea-going metaphors and idioms hardly reflect life in Iowa, but may be useful in considering the double whammy that’s hit us with COVID-19 and Trump.

At least that drives this take on our U.S. senators and governor during past few weeks.  As one idiom would have it, they are rearranging the deck chairs aboard Iowa’s political and virus-ridden “Titanic.”

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The Joni Ernst/Chuck Grassley combo in Iowa's U.S. Senate races

Herb Strentz explores rhetoric from Iowa’s 2014 and 2020 U.S. Senate campaigns and finds parallels between our two Republican senators. -promoted by Laura Belin

Labor Day in even-numbered years usually brings more public interest in politics and the final stage of hopeful campaigns for Congress or the presidency.

This time around, many are driven by dread — dread of elections past, and, oh yeah, fears for the one coming on November 3.

Small wonder, given what “We the people” have inflicted upon ourselves.

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We deserve a break today. Two folks well worth "hooray"!

Herb Strentz profiles the most trusted figure of the COVID-19 pandemic and a Sister of Charity whose service to the targets of the Postville raid was legendary. -promoted by Laura Belin

Pardon the trifling with the McDonald’s jingle, but it catches the refreshing touch intended to recognize a couple of wonderful people — one you’re familiar with and one you’ll be delighted to meet.

They are Dr. Anthony Fauci, 79, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and Mary McCauley, 81, a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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A study in contrasts: Donald Trump and communities

Herb Strentz was inspired by emails from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and recent writing by progressive rural organizer Matthew Hildreth. -promoted by Laura Belin

This post is for PATRIOTS ONLY and is not intended to be shared.

Pardon that opening; please go ahead and read and share, if you want. But the “for PATRIOTS ONLY” line occurs often in the six to ten emails I receive daily from the President Donald Trump, his relatives, and his re-election campaign.

Don’t know how I got on the mailing list — maybe a joke from a friend. But I thought I’d save the notes for a while to see if I could fashion something to share with Bleeding Heartland patriots.

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Being objective about "objectivity"

Herb Strentz was dean of the Drake School of Journalism from 1975 to 1988 and professor there until retirement in 2004. -promoted by Laura Belin

After almost 60 years of coping with the concept of “objectivity” in journalism, it finally dawned on me that a key problem is a lot of folks are not objective in discussing “objectivity.”

Consider: The New Yorker magazine offered a 2,026-word essay on why the concept of “moral clarity” might replace “objectivity” in assessing press coverage. The Economist magazine followed a week or so afterward with a 1,530 word essay on today’s status of “objectivity.”

But in those 3,500 words — get this — “Fox” or “Fox News” is nowhere to be found.

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