Jeff Biggers

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds turns Hawkeye State into Trump's petri dish

On the same day that Iowa marked its highest number of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, after three weeks of rapid increase, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds defended her refusal to pass a statewide mask requirement and issued a proclamation mandating that all public schools provide in-person classes within weeks.

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The real lesson out of Iowa has nothing to do with an app — but it still spells trouble for Democrats

We arrived at 6:25 p.m. on Monday night at our caucus location in Iowa City, assuming there would be an overflow crowd. Sure, there was a line, and the crowd was packed. But within 20 minutes, I was sitting snugly in my seat in the high school auditorium.

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Donald Trump is Taking America Back to 1798 - When John Adams Colluded With an Enemy Power

While President Donald Trump's dalliance with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Monday in Helsinki may suggest a historic shift in U.S.-Russian relations, his actions actually recall another trying moment in history when an American president's collusion with a former enemy led to one of our nation's darkest times.

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Thomas Paine’s Truth-to-Power Message in 1776

At age 37, Thomas Paine carried more baggage than most travelers who had immigrated from England. Even before our nation came into being, he embodied the words of novelist Alfredo Véa: “America is best seen through the eyes of an immigrant.” A trail of debts and bankruptcy nagged him, the legacy of dismissals from government appointments as a tax collector, a failed career as a stay-maker and shopkeeper, and two childless marriages that had unraveled. His first wife died tragically in labor with her first child; his second marriage dissolved into a loveless business arrangement that collapsed, as well. The couple separated, Paine sold off his possessions to avoid debtor’s prison, and then he disappeared into London, haunting the taverns, attending lectures on science and philosophy, and plotting his departure to the New World. There was a genius about Paine, who had been esteemed by fellow excise men and welcomed into the political parlors, that could not find a door of opportunity in England.

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Donald Trump’s Disastrous Immigration Policy: An Insult to George Washington and Thomas Paine

When lawmakers meet with President Trump on Tuesday to discuss immigration policy, the trauma of thousands of incarcerated immigrant children separated at the border from their asylum-seeking parents should pinpoint the failure of the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy.

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Illinois Keeps Discredited Coal Education in Schools

While coal mining families in West Virginia and across the country mourned the fourth anniversary of the tragic Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster last week, hailed by US Attorney R. Booth Goodwin II as "a conspiracy to violate mine safety and health laws," the Illinois state legislature rolled out the red carpet for Big Coal and voted to keep a notorious "coal education program" for schools that has been widely denounced by former coal miners and educators as inaccurate industry propaganda.

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Blocking Peabody's Dead End Road: "Judy's Rock" Film Chronicles Strip Mine Showdown in Southern Illinois

This blog piece is the latest in a series written by author and activist Jeff Biggers concerning Peabody Energy's intent to expand a coal strip mine in Rocky Branch, Illinois and the EPA's failure to protect the community from the impacts of the company's mining operations. Rocky Branch residents have presented ample evidence of what has already happened to nearby Cottage Grove township, which is adjacent to the strip mine Peabody is seeking to expand: blasting described to be like “small earthquakes”toxic coal dust that permeates homes, and polluted waterways. Some residents fear will that the area will soon be uninhabitable. Also, in violation of the law, Peabody recently began clearcutting the area intended for the mine expansion, but federal regulators have recently ordered the company to stop logging.

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If We Don't Put People Before Profits, Spills Like West Virginia Are Our Future

The dirty secret in President Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy policy was quietly overlooked in his State of the Union address.

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Game Over? Obama Gifts Big Coal $1 Billion

In the same days an entrepreneur went on federal trial for fraud over an unproven "clean coal" scheme, President Obama's Department of Energy gave a game-changing approval for a $1 billion gift to continue the unproven FutureGen "clean coal" boondoggle in Illinois.

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Pro-Coal Kids' Pages Pulled from Government Site as Public Pressure Increases

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has removed coal-related educational sections from its website, less than two weeks after the launch of a grassroots campaign demanding that the pages be taken down.

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