Bombs to balms

Paul W. Johnson is a preacher’s kid, returned Peace Corps volunteer, former state legislator, former chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service (now called the Natural Resources Conservation Service), a former director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and a retired farmer. -promoted by Laura Belin

I have reached a point in my life journey when I often wake at night and mull over the life this world and my country have given me. 

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How will the Democratic candidates reduce the risk of nuclear war?

Greg Thielmann grew up in Newton and worked for more than 30 years on nuclear weapons issues in the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Foreign Service, and the Senate Intelligence Committee. He currently serves as a board member of the Arms Control Association. -promoted by Laura Belin

When I was growing up in central Iowa during the Cold War, I sometimes found myself headed west on Interstate 80, imagining the way nuclear war would be likely to arrive in Iowa – a series of Soviet nuclear ground bursts in Omaha to destroy Strategic Air Command Headquarters, bathing Iowa in a heavy dose of radioactive fallout.

Now the Cold War is over, but not the nuclear threat. The Trump administration has abandoned the anti-nuclear deal with Iran and six other states. President Trump’s efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament on the Korean peninsula have fizzled. The U.S. has pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia and is dithering over Moscow’s offer to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the only remaining limit on the world’s largest nuclear arsenals. 

Meanwhile, the Trump administration proposes spending trillions of dollars to build new strategic weapons.

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Steve King's against tying a president's hands on war--unless it's Obama

The U.S. House voted on January 9 to block further military action against Iran without express authorization from Congress.

In a written statement, Representative Steve King (IA-04) thundered against what he called “bad legislation that seeks to tie the President’s hands,” adding,

I stand with letting President Trump, our Commander-in-Chief, make the tough calls and take the swift and certain actions that he determines are necessary to protect our nation, our citizens, and our interests from Iranian acts of hostility.

King was singing a different tune when House members of both parties passed a similar resolution in 2011 to limit President Barack Obama’s military engagement in Libya.

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Steve King won't demand that Russia stop attacking Ukraine, other democracies

The U.S. House on December 3 passed a resolution disapproving of “Russia’s inclusion in future Group of Seven summits” until that country ends “its occupation of all of Ukraine’s sovereign territory, including Crimea, and halts its attacks on democracies worldwide.”

The measure easily surpassed the two-thirds vote needed under a suspension of usual House rules, with all 222 Democrats present and 116 Republicans supporting it (roll call). Iowa’s three Democratic members–Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), and Cindy Axne (IA-03)–all supported the measure. But U.S. Representative Steve King (IA-04) was among 71 House Republicans who voted no.

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Britain’s would-be Trump-alike

Ira Lacher reports from London. -promoted by Laura Belin

The egotism of an obsessed man has been on public display for nearly three years now, and no, it is not whom you think.

Saturday, October 19, an estimated 1.5 million people marched throughout central London, demanding a second people’s vote on whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union. Exuberant and cheerful, many occupying Parliament Square and the streets beyond were draped in EU flags and attire sporting its logo.

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Joni Ernst tweets about aliens, silent on Trump pushing Ukraine for political gain

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst is among Ukraine’s most vocal supporters in Congress. While in college, she visited the Ukrainian Republic of the USSR as part of an agricultural exchange. Now a member of the bipartisan Senate Ukraine Caucus, she has met with high-level Ukrainian officials in Washington and Kyiv, advocating for the U.S. to “make it clear to Russia that we will stand by Ukraine in the face of unjustified aggression.”

Yet Iowa’s junior senator has been silent this week as multiple news organizations reported that President Donald Trump abused his power to seek political assistance from his Ukrainian counterpart.

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