Civic Skinny keeps readers updated on the “progress” of Gov. Terry Branstad’s promise to create an environment in Iowa that will spawn 200,000 new jobs by 2016. Currently he is almost halfway there with a mere six months remaining. Now, I must admit that, in most cases, if any politician does even one-half of what he or she promises, I am surprised. However, the ability to obtain and successfully perform a living wage job is fundamental, and perhaps second only to one’s health, to achieve the American dream. Therefore, a 50 percent goal attainment in this area is not acceptable. Of course, if ex-Governor Chet Culver had run up only half of the deficits or only added half of the state employees that he did during his tenure, he might still be Iowa’s governor. I suppose it depends on if we poll those benefiting from the 100,000 new jobs, or if we poll those still suffering as they wait for the promised 100,000 jobs that have as yet failed to materialize. Or perhaps if we used the government employee (who is that, by the way?) who counts the attendance at the non-existent University of Iowa Museum of Art, we might be way over goal and all feel great about the “progress.”
A mere mention?
I sincerely think As Phate Woodhaveit’s pieces deserved much more coverage, rather than a mere mention within the Court Avenue section (Murals of Des Moines, July 9). I realize people’s opinions differ, however I personally believe As Phate’s are much more iconic than some of the other choices. What about his gigantic environment he helped create at the Social Club? Or even the recent project he did within the courtyard at Harding Middle School. If you haven’t seen these, take the time to check them out.
Trump is off the leash
Brian Duffy’s cartoon last week (July 9) correctly characterizes Donald Trump as a tantrum-throwing, hate-spewing egomaniac. For years the Republican Party has refused to condemn the outrageous behavior of Trump and the far right conspiracy theorists. They encouraged Trump and his tin foil hat allies in their ridiculous conspiracy theories as long as it was directed at Democrats. However, now their attack dog Trump has turned on them with his crazed accusations about immigrants. The Republican Party is deeply divided over immigration, and Trump’s outrageous comments have ripped the scab off that deep wound in the party. The Tea Party elements rabidly oppose any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants misrepresenting it as amnesty. The moderate elements of the Republican Party recognize that they desperately need immigrant voters to win in 2016 and want to be seen as sympathetic to immigrants. All the Republican candidates have been dancing around this issue, too timid to take a stand, fearing they would offend one of the two competing factions of the party. Trump’s harsh anti-immigrant comments have forced those candidates to finally take a position of either siding with him or criticizing him. The Republicans are reaping just what they sowed.
Not that Mary Nelson
I just wanted to second Michael Gartner’s column. I, too, think Mary Nelson is a great person, and so is her husband. I met Mary through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa. She also was devoted to children’s welfare through her work at DHS, not the then-Dowling High School, but Department of Human Services, Bureau of Children and Family Services, if I remember correctly. As for food production, she always gardened, and still does. She introduced her Little Sister to red leaf lettuce, both adjectives being new for someone who didn’t know iceberg wasn’t all that could be lettuce. As you’ve surely guessed by now, and as I had to tell an interviewer for one of my first jobs when she read my references, my Mary Nelson isn’t that Mary Nelson, but she’s still a great Mary Nelson. As an aside, my DHS Latin teacher, Mrs. Vicky (Victoria) Campbell, used to tell us about going out to dine with her husband and finding out that another couple had reservations under the same name, once even having to be reseated. Would Mr. Gartner, who seems a living Who’s Who, know who that couple was?