Talk about lousy timing. The biggest religion story in Iowa last week was a jaw-dropper. Attorney General Tom Miller announced he has concluded a three-year investigation of sexual abuse allegations against priests in the four Roman Catholic dioceses in our state.
Miller’s staff examined church records, some dating to the 1930s, that involved about 100 priests. His office also received and looked into 50 allegations against 36 priests, many of whom were the subject of earlier complaints. Most of the cases involved priests who are now deceased or retired.
Gov. Kim Reynolds talked last week about the importance of government leaders keeping other government officials looped in as decisions are made and events unfold. The governor was more correct than she probably intended. I will get to that shortly. But first, here is some important background on the governor’s statement — because she and I see eye to eye on this, at least as it relates to the issue that provoked her displeasure with federal officials. Reynolds was talking about the federal government’s secret chartered flight with migrant children from California that landed in Des Moines in the middle of the night on April 22.
Too often these days, Americans and our government seem to be incapable of agreeing on what the best course of action is, regardless of the issue. This is especially true when we are talking about immigration and immigrants. Case in point: Zalmay Niazy of Iowa Falls. Before you jump to the conclusion that Niazy sneaked into the United States without authorization, scaled a wall at our southern border, or tried to hide from immigration officials, you should know about him. Then, I think you will agree it would be a miscarriage of justice to kick Niazy out of the U.S. and send him back to his native land, where death likely would await. The U.S. government has bungled his case — first during President Barack Obama’s administration, then during Donald Trump’s, and now during Joe Biden’s.
I’m sure we all have been inspired at one time or another by a gifted speaker. Maybe it was a pastor or teacher. Maybe it was a leader who is a skilled orator. Or it might have been someone else who connected with us and delivered a memorable message. In the past few weeks, a couple of speakers have done that for me.
Every one of us probably has a moment of dread from our grade school days squirreled away in the dusty recesses of our memories. Or many such moments. For me, it was in elementary school when it was my turn to sing a solo in music class. I would have given anything to be spared from having the spotlight on me that day. In the grand scheme of things, however, my agony quickly passed.
Former Vice President Joe Biden drew more people but Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a presumptive long-shot in a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, still was able to rouse Democrats and generally curious Iowans who heard both men speak at the Iowa State Fair Thursday. Such is the landscape in Iowa, the state with the nation’s first precinct caucuses that start gauging real delegate support for selecting a party’s 2020 presidential nominee: first-time national candidates, in this case seeing an opportunity to defeat a controversial Republican president in Donald Trump, vie with national figures more familiar to voters to gain support for higher office. Iowa gets them all before the winnowing process begins. Bullock told fairgoers the election must be about more than defeating Trump. “Look, I’m a pro-choice, pro-union, populist Democrat that won three eletions in a red state, not by compromising our values but by getting stuff done,” he said.
Distant Dome is co-published by InDepthNH.org, which made this story available to IowaWatch, and Manchester Ink Link
The New Hampshire Presidential Primary may be two years away, but in the current political climate it is never too early to begin the groundwork for a run. March was a good example. During the month, President Donald Trump returned to New Hampshire for the first time since his election. He made two stops, one at Manchester Community College to unveil his program to fight the growing opioid addiction epidemic, and Manchester Central Fire Station where the “safe station” program began. Three days later Vice President Mike Pence was in the Granite State as the featured speaker at a program to tout the GOP tax reform/cut package passed last year.