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  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Remembering Elbert B. Smith

    Senator Tom Harkin

    E.B. Smith in the 1960s.Madam President, with the recent death of Dr. Elbert B. Smith -- known to his friends simply as "E.B."-- I lost a much beloved mentor, advisor, and friend.Obituaries in the Washington Post and elsewhere have captured the essential facts of his life. Since 1990, he was professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. He served in the Navy in World War II, earned his master's degree and PhD at the University of Chicago, and taught at Iowa State University, among other colleges, before joining the faculty at Maryland in 1968. Over the years, he also served as a Fulbright professor at the University of Tokyo and at Moscow State University, and elsewhere. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in Iowa in 1962 and again in 1966.What those factual obituaries fail to capture is the spirit of this remarkable man -- his personal warmth, his talent for friendship, his great love of history and scholarship, and his passion for progressive causes.

  • Originally published 04/15/2017

    What’s Wrong With Iowa?

    Steve Hochstadt

    Why do the people of northwestern Iowa keep electing Steve King to Congress? It’s not because he does anything useful there. Since he was elected to Congress in 2003, he has sponsored over 100 bills and not one of them even got out of committee, even though Republicans controlled the House for most of those years. He was named the least effective member of Congress in 2015 by non-partisan InsideGov.