I remember the debate about where President Obama was born. The Tea Party was taking advantage of the ignorance of the general population about citizenship. Their premise that he could not be president because he was born in Kenya was bogus. If one parent is born in the United States — Obama’s mother was born in Kansas — then the child is a natural born citizen regardless of the country of his birth. Obama’s opponent in 2008, John McCain, was born in the Canal Zone. The U.S. never annexed the Canal Zone. It was rented. But since McCain’s parents were born in the U.S., McCain is a natural born citizen. The Tea Party was taking advantage of the unfortunate fact that people were (are) willing to believe anything they read on the Internet. Now, the darling of the Tea Party is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. He was born in Canada. His mother was born in Delaware. You don’t hear any Tea Party members saying that he can’t be president because he was born in Canada. What a bunch of hypocrites. And then there’s Donald Trump. He wants to be president. I remember when he was calling for Obama to release his college grades. Why? About the same time, I was touring the Reagan Boyhood Home in Dixon, Illinois. On the wall of the museum was a quote from Reagan saying that the first thing he did as president was to declare his school grades top secret. I’ll never vote for that Trump guy.
-West Des Moines
Republicans’ letter was irresponsible
The 47 Republican Senators, including our own Iowa senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley, have been called traitors for signing the letter to Iran. They both claim their letter wasn’t disloyal, even though they must understand that it undermines the president’s ability to negotiate. Grassley called it “educational” and asked “what harm is it going to cause?” He might want to ask that question of our partners attempting to negotiate a deal with Iran. The president hasn’t been negotiating this deal alone. He and Secretary of State Kerry have been working closely with China, Russia, France, UK and Germany in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to Iran’s nuclear program. The obvious harm from the Republicans’ letter is in jeopardizing the time and effort those nations have spent in this delicate negotiation with Iran. The letter actually assists the hardliners in Iran who don’t want to give up the nuclear weapons program. If the senators’ irresponsible actions destroy the chance for a negotiated peaceful resolution, it may set in motion an inevitable path to war with Iran.
The differences between women and men
Last week’s Locker Room column (“Fight for Air Climb”) contained a photo of heroes (firefighters) ascending the stairs in full uniform. I thought of other uniformed superheroes after reading, “The overall times to beat from last year (three buildings) are 6:58 minutes (men) and 9:36 minutes (women).” While Superman and Batman had counterparts Super Girl and Batwoman, perhaps this explains why there has never been a Flash Lady. Or perhaps women just aren’t in as big a hurry to reach the peak.