Thumbs Up …. to the Democratic presidential candidates who are offering detailed plans to combat climate change. This week, there was significant movement on that front.
Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled his plan, and it doesn’t look like the "middle of the road" proposal that some had expected. Sen. Elizabeth Warren also proposed a robust and thoughtful approach to this worldwide problem.
Others, too, have outlined their ideas, some in greater detail than others.
Activists have demanded action on this front. Earlier this year, we, too, called on all of the candidates to elevate this issue by releasing plans and beginning a robust discussion; we're happy to see this is happening.
While we're at it, we also appreciate the efforts of Iowa Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids for initiating a series of "climate conversations" with the candidates. The first will take place today in Cedar Rapids, featuring Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made fighting climate change the centerpiece of his campaign and has offered his own aggressive blueprint. Author Marianne Williamson will take part in the second of these events on Monday at Kirkwood College.
We don’t know how many Quad-Citians will make the drive to attend, but Hogg, a Democrat who has long been a leader on this issue, is doing a service to his party and the state with this series of conversations.
Thumbs Down …. to the cancellation of Tony Bennett’s concert at the Adler Theatre this week. At first, the tour announced the show was off because of "sudden and unavoidable scheduling conflicts." On social media, many took this to mean lagging ticket sales. But the Argus-Dispatch’s Jonathan Turner reported this week the tour said it was due to flooding. Or, at least, perceived flooding.
"A tour spokeswoman said Tuesday that last week, its booking agency was advised by the promoter that 'due to flooding and a bad weather forecast for this week that it was best to consider a postponement and based on that advisement we concurred,'" Turner wrote.
On Monday, the tour was informed there was no weather-related issue, Turner reported, but the spokesperson said it was too late.
That left a lot of people disappointed. The 92-year-old Bennett is a national treasurer, and the Adler said it had been trying for years to book him. A spokesperson said they’d like to get him back.
We hope they're successful. It also would be nice if misleading words like "sudden and unavoidable scheduling conflicts" weren’t used to substitute for poor communication.
Thumbs Up …. to the City of Davenport for pledging to strictly enforce the fireworks laws. Under the city’s ordinance, fireworks use is permitted July 3rd and 4th from 2-11 p.m. The Times’ Bill Lukitsch reported this week the city’s fire department and communications team will work to educate the public on the rules over social media.
Davenport Fire Marshal Jim Morris told the council they were "inundated" with reports about fireworks last year.
We’re not surprised. This has been controversial since the state legislature approved their use.
We know fireworks are a big part of celebrating Independence Day, but we also know some people take it too far. We’re glad to see the city put the word out early that it will enforce the law.
Thumbs Down … to politicians in Washington, D.C., for their inability to move promptly to approve new funding in order to deal with the record number of families and children seeking to enter the U.S. at the southern border.
This week, the Trump administration took the harsh step of cancelling recreation programs and legal aid for the thousands of unaccompanied minors staying in shelters across the country, citing budget concerns.
As if these children don't have it tough enough already. "What are you going to do all day," a shelter employee asked, according to the Washington Post.
Good question, but perhaps there wouldn't be such budget pressures if there was action on the administration's nearly $3 billion request to expand shelters and care. So far, Congress hasn't been able to come to a deal.
News reports say disagreements over when and how to share information about potential sponsors with the Department of Homeland Security has been a roadblock. In the meantime, NBC News reported, kids are sleeping on concrete slabs.
Much of the White House's approach to the border is wrong-headed, but it's clear this funding is needed.
For the sake of these thousands of children, alone and away from home, we hope this can be resolved soon.