Monday, February 8, 2016


Posted November 18, 2015in Political Mercury

Mrs. Clinton, can’t we cry for New York and shout at Wall Street?

Wall Street judges us every day. Minute to minute, in fact. No tears. No mercy. But if we are to believe Hillary Clinton, the denizens of the New York financial district — and their U.S. senator at the time — earned immunity against our judgment 14 years ago. To challenge Wall

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Posted November 11, 2015in Political Mercury

Jindal: America’s a melting pot, not salad bowl

The youngest major-party candidate seeking the presidency passed something of a campaign endurance test Saturday in speaking for 90 minutes — much of it a question-and-answer session — with about three dozen people in the Guthrie Center public library. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, 44, weaved through a raft of socially fiscally conservative

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Posted November 04, 2015in Political Mercury

Rubio ‘callous’ on immigration

Marco Rubio wants to change the very immigration system that allowed his family to migrate to the United States from Cuba. And the Republican presidential candidate’s call in the CNBC debate last week for a move from immigration based on family ties to a merit evaluation won’t sit well with the Latino

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Posted October 28, 2015in Political Mercury

Senate hopeful Hogg looks to challenge man he calls ‘living legend’

One of Rob Hogg’s campaign pitches could be called a reverse Bruce Braley. Hogg, a veteran Iowa legislator seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, speaks of his would-be general-election opponent, Republican Charles Grassley, in the way a grade-schooler might talk of the Washington Monument itself on a field trip.

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Posted October 21, 2015in Political Mercury

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Posted October 14, 2015in Political Mercury

A white boy from rural Iowa finds out he’s hated — and that’s good

The comedian Louis C.K. has this insightful bit about time machines. They’d be great for white men, because pretty much any number we hit on the dial — 1855 or 1950 — works OK for us. But for African Americans and women, slide that time-travel lever too far back, and you

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Posted October 07, 2015in Political Mercury

ISU president: I ‘underestimated’ racism on campus

“You’re Mexican!” “Go back to Univision!” “You probably don’t pay taxes!” A 27-year-old Latina Iowa State University graduate student said these were just some of the taunts that greeted her and other political protesters outside the Cy-Hawk football game last month in Ames. Maria Alcivar, the student and a representative of the

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Posted September 30, 2015in Featured Story, Political Mercury

Rubio is viable, in double digits, and not peaking early

Anyone who follows politics with even a challenged attention span can quickly summon from memory banks the basics of the 1960 presidential debates: Nixon sweating; Kennedy charming. Nixon, as the popular and conventional history goes, did better on the radio. In the last Republican presidential debate, the one with the candidates

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Posted September 23, 2015in Featured Story, Political Mercury

The scourged and the sought

Tyson Fresh Meats’ decision to permanently cease beef-packing operations at its Denison plant in August jettisoned some 400 workers, many of them Latino immigrants with varying degrees of language proficiency and connections to Iowa. Within hours, Evan Blakley, executive director of the Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County, started fielding phone calls.

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Posted September 16, 2015in Featured Story, Political Mercury

Forcing fat jokes on starvation diet no laughing matter

It’s one of those moments that cements a friendship, reveals character in a longtime pal, makes you happy to be riding shotgun in his car. My friend Matt, a Cedar Rapids native now living in Texas, pulled up to a stop sign in Florida. We looked to our left and saw an overweight woman who was slowly,

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