Stupid to shun Fox News

Ira Lacher argues that Democratic candidates for president should accept invitations to hold town halls on Fox News. -promoted by Laura Belin

Our dog sitter is a wonderful young man with an engaging smile, modest persona and, above all, a tremendous caring spirit. He also watches Fox News.

An estimated 2.5 million Americans get at least part of their prime-time news and information from Fox News. Which makes it a dynamic “D-oh!” why most Democratic Party presidential nominees refuse to accept the network’s invitation to appear in a town hall format, hosted by one of their news anchors, not one of their right-wing talking heads.

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Why I will caucus for Cory Booker

Kay Marcel is a Polk County activist and advocate for reforming gun laws. -promoted by Laura Belin

Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. As startling as these numbers are, somehow we have still not managed to summon the collective will to address this horrific violence.

We can no longer afford to stand idly by waiting for the next tragedy. We need a leader who will step up with bold solutions. I am supporting Senator Cory Booker for president because I believe he will put an end to the gun violence epidemic that is tearing communities and families apart across America.

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Learning from baseball

Bruce Lear: “Swinging for the bleacher seats every time will often leave a player sitting in the dugout with a sore back. The same is true for candidates.” -promoted by Laura Belin

I love baseball. It’s a game of chess with four bases on a field instead of knights and rooks on a board. The object is to defend against runs and advance your runners around the bases. An easy game? No!

It has no clock, so the game isn’t lost until the final out at the plate or in the field. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s a game of statistics. The season is 162 games, so there are times of utter despair and utter joy.

James Earl Jones sums it up best in the now 30-year-old Iowa epic Field of Dreams:

“The one constant throughout the years, Ray has been baseball. America has rolled like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.”

For me, baseball is a lot like politics. Winning is based on a strategy about finding that sweet spot in a very long season. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s based on statistics we call polls.

This year’s crop of Democratic candidates could perhaps learn from baseball hitters through the ages. Remember, Babe Ruth led the league in home runs but also in strike outs. In politics when there is a binary choice between candidates, too many times waving or watching a fast ball or curve might get you a gig on CNN or Fox instead of the Presidency.

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Penguins pin down Joe Biden on climate

Ed Fallon reports on the latest efforts by Bold Iowa’s “Climate Bird Dogs.” -promoted by Laura Belin

As further evidence of the efficacy of bird-dogging — or penguin-popping, as my daughter Fionna suggests we call it — look no further than Joe Biden’s just-finished campaign blitz through Iowa.

At his first three stops — Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Iowa City — Biden barely mentioned climate change. “He made some basic statement about climate, but it wasn’t anything like we’d want to hear,” said Christine Lehman-Engledow, who attended Biden’s rally in Cedar Rapids.

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If a teacher were president...

Tyler Higgs is a school psychologist who lives in Clive. -promoted by Laura Belin

If a teacher were president…

She would rebuild the middle class because she knows that students who come from a lower socioeconomic background are at a disadvantage when it comes to their education, physical health, and career readiness. This affects our society as a whole.

She would fight for high quality universal child care and early childhood education, which have a high return on investment for her students and for America.

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Faith and opportunity

Ira Lacher argues that Democratic presidential contenders should accept an invitation from a leading social conservative in Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

From the moment the first Pilgrim set foot in the New World, the American cloth has been sewn by those motivated by religion. Our uniqueness results largely in part from those who brought their religious traditions with them, and by their descendants, who tailored those traditions to acclimate to their inherited country.

The Southern black church gave birth to the civil rights movement; marchers at Selma included Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Jesuit priests Daniel and Philip Berrigan helped define the Vietnam peace movement. Muslims Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali rose to the top of their sports. Thousands of others have used their faith traditions to make significant impacts on every aspect of American life. As President Barack Obama told PBS in its 2010 series God in America, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers.”

But that ecumenism has been sundered. Since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 declared abortion to be a right, evangelical Christians, anointing themselves guardians of faith, have been determined to make the word of the Lord, as they interpret it, the law of the land.

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