Grassley Votes Against Open Democracy Yet Again

A leader we can trust

From The Hill:  

Senate Republicans voted Thursday to block the consideration of a bill to promptly require organizations that spend money on elections to promptly disclose the identities of donors who give $10,000 or more during an election cycle.

The body failed to invoke cloture on the measure, in a 49-49 vote. Every Republican present voted against the measure, while every Democrat voted for it.

<< snip >>

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), has been a top Democratic priority since the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United in 2010 that enabled corporations and other outside special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on federal elections.

Schumer on Thursday morning said the court’s decision more than a decade ago “has disfigured our democracy almost beyond recognition.”

The Democratic leader cast Thursday’s vote as a defining issue ahead of the election, when voters are bombarded by televised political ads funded by tens of millions of dollars in anonymous donations. 

If you are in favor of selling your vote, you sure do not want meddlesome citizens finding out who you are selling it to. This is reason enough to vote Grassley out. 

Join me in voting for Mike Franken this fall. Iowa could use some integrity in their senators.  

Posted in 2022 Election campaign, Charles Grassley, Republican hypocrisy, Republican Obstruction, Republican Policy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Funday: Fall In! Edition

Talk about a sudden change from summer to fall! One day it is 100 degrees, two days later it is fall with temperatures barely able to make 60 degrees. For people like me, my body and mind are all ready for the change. There just isn’t anything like the cool, crisp autumnal days.

Meanwhile over in Russia, Putin wants young men to fall in to the army so they can be the cannon fodder for his war of choice in Ukraine. It is not going over well – “how to break your arm at home” is the top search in Russia suddenly. Apparently a broken arm = a deferment.

Hey! It looks like the wheels of justice are turning! 

A) Five years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, what hurricane once more devastated the island?

B) Meanwhile, Japan was belted by a major what Sunday with winds of over 100 mph and 2 feet of rain?

C) It’s still Hispanic history month: What country has the most native Spanish speakers?

D) Uh, wut? The former president claimed during a TV interview that he could declassify documents by doing what?

E) What is the name of the NY AG who sued the former president for $250 million in back taxes etc.?

F) Besides suing the former president, the NY AG also referred criminal charges to what two federal agencies? 

G) The wife of what SCOTUS justice will give testimony to the January 6th Committee?

H) Last Friday was the first day for early what in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming?

I) The benchmark price for oil fell below what price level Friday?

J) Medical leaders in the US are warning that the US may face a “twindemic” that will involve what two diseases hitting at once?

K) “It’s closing.” “No it’s not.” Iowa’s governor says what facility is NOT closing despite an email sent to employees titled “facility closure”?

L) Name two states that once were part of Mexico?

M) Every Republican in the senate voted to block a bill Thursday that would have forced the disclosure of what in campaigns?

N) September 24, 1957 – President Eisenhower order the National Guard to keep order as what city’s high school is integrated?

O) Now what? What essential ingredient in making beer bubbly is experiencing a shortage this fall?

P) The FDA had to issue a warning, thanks to a TikTok challenge, to not cook what combination together?

Q) What WNBA team won its first franchise championship last week?

R) What Broadway show is scheduled to close next February after 35 years (1987)?

S) Perhaps the funeral of the century. Who was buried Monday in front of worldwide TV coverage and attendance by many national leaders?

T) The DOJ Monday charged 47 people with defrauding a federal program of $250 million that was meant for what purpose?

Teach a man to hate and he’ll vote Republican for a lifetime. – Middle Age Riot

Answers:

A) Hurricane Fiona

B) typhoon

C) Mexico

D) declassifying them in his mind

E) Letitia James

F) the FBI and the IRS

G) Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni. No date set yet.

H) early voting

I) $80/barrel – yet the price of gas remains high

J) Covid and the flu.

K) the Iowa Veteran’s Home in Marshalltown

L) California, Nevada, Utah, Texas and New Mexico, along with most of Arizona and Colorado, and some of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming.

M) dark money contributions to super-PACs

N) Little Rock, Arkansas

O) carbon dioxide.

P) chicken and Ny-Quil (seriously)

Q) the Las Vegas Aces

R) The Phantom of the Opera

S) Queen Elizabeth II

T) feeding poor children during the pandemic. 

Bad news, morons: Joe Biden just reclassified everything with his mind. – Jeff Tiedrich

Posted in #trumpresistance, Humor | Leave a comment

The First Monday In October Is Nigh

Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.

As many of you know the First Monday of October is the traditional start of the Supreme Court term that will run until June of next year. This year may be one of the most momentous SCOTUS sessions ever.

To begin with, they already have on their docket the case of Moore v. Harper. In case you have not heard of this case, strap yourself in and learn about what may be the most radical case the Supreme Court has ever heard.

Moore v. Harper is a case from North Carolina that seeks to legitimize a once far right fringe theory called the “independent state legislature.” Here is what the theory means via dailykos.com: 

The U.S. Supreme Court dropped a bomb in late June when it agreed to hear a North Carolina gerrymandering case that legal scholars and advocates say could have dire consequences for America’s already imperiled election system.

The case in question, Moore v. Harper, could give increasingly extremist state legislatures almost unchecked power over setting the rules for federal elections. That power could be harnessed by legislatures to pass voter ID laws and other voter suppression legislation. It could be used to outlaw voter-approved independent redistricting commissions, advocates warn. And in a worst-case scenario, it could be used to subvert the will of the voters and declare the loser of the 2024 presidential election the winner, some of them argue.  ( my bolding- ed.) (The court is expected to issue its ruling before July 2023.)(The court is expected to issue its ruling before July 2023.) 

<< snip >>

“The capstone implication of this fringe legal theory is that state legislatures could choose their own presidential electors, effectively nullifying the popular vote” in those states, warned Lala Wu, a San Francisco attorney who is executive director of Sister District, a grassroots organization that also supports state legislative candidates.

But even a less radical endorsement of the theory could enable state legislatures to use “whatever made-up standards they want” to throw out disputed ballots in violation of state constitutions, said Carolyn Shapiro, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and the founder and co-director of Chicago-Kent’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States. “We’re in a situation where you have people who are making completely unfounded claims of fraud and where the belief that there was cheating going on has become such a strong article of faith among members of one party. There’s a real risk that [legislatures] will not count perfectly legally cast ballots,” she said.

Said simply, if the Supreme Court agrees to the “independent state legislature” our votes don’t mean anything. This would be an end to our democracy. Take a gerrymandered legislature that decides they disagree with the popular vote and decides that instead of choosing electors for the popular vote winner in that state, the electors are given to the loser in that state.

Ending the electoral college forever would be the best, but that is nearly impossible.  

In order for the Court to hear a case, the Court must grant what is called certiorari. That takes a vote of 4 Justices. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all four Justices agree with the cases position, but in this case that seems to be likely. 

So, the 2024 presidential election may be decided by state legislatures that we vote for this November. Think about that when you cast your vote this year.

Posted in 2022 Election campaign, SCOTUS | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Major Storm Coming?

Tip of the hat to EarlG on democraticunderground.com

This is a kind of stream of consciousness that has been floating in my mind all morning. Feels like the only way I can get rid of it is to put it down on paper.

It is finally looking like Donald Trump may actually suffer some consequences for his decades of fraud and corruption. Last week after Judge Cannon tried to give Trump yet one more escape route, this week it looks like that escape route has shuttered. Even judges of the 11th circuit that he appointed could not stomach the orders Judge Cannon set up, so they set some aside.

As has been predicted continually by talking heads on radio and TV, Trump is about to run out of escape routes. Stealing Top Secret documents looks like it has been one step too far. Like so many even the super criminal Trump went too far.

Meanwhile on the business Trump front, NY AG Letitia James seems to have closed off escape routes for Trump’s fraudulent tax claims coupled with his fraudulent real estate claims for loans with banks in New York. As you have no doubt read she seems to have a nearly air tight case for the lawsuit she brought against Trump, his children and his New York businesses. James also added a little dessert by referring Trump for criminal prosecution by the FBI and the IRS.

Meanwhile down in Atlanta, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis let it be known that her investigation into election tampering could lead to jail time for many involved in the tampering. Trump responded by threatening the country with violence should anything happen to him. That seemed like a weak threat as people see January 6th participants receiving some stiff jail time.

And an extra straw on the camel’s back:  E. Jean Carroll sued Trump for sexual battery and emotional distress over Trump’s alleged rape of her decades ago. Deposition in this lawsuit out be done by the middle of next month. 

All this Trump news is making screaming headlines right before the midterms that feature an almost total cast of Trumps supporting, Big Lie affirming far right republican candidates who must try to figure how they can avoid getting caught in the swirl as the Trump turds start heading down the toilet. Just to remind folks of Trump’s major claim to fame, the January 5th Committee will make an appearance next Wednesday to discuss Trump leading an insurrection against our country.

Overseas, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to flounder as Ukraine launched major counter offensives. More bad news for dictators and wannabe dictators around the world: Moscow is facing a crisis as Putin has ordered recalling troops back to service to be cannon fodder for his war. Oddly, young men don’t want to be sent to fight Putin’s war where there is a good chance they may be killed.

Weather continues to cause massive problems around the world. Pakistan is still flooded, Japan got rocked by a massive typhoon and even Alaska was assaulted by a tropical typhoon while Puerto Rico once more endures a massive late season hurricane. We are beginning to see just how massive climate change is making our weather. It will only get worse.

And finally for this list, we see the Federal Reserve steering our economy toward a major recession because it seems they only have one hammer and no other tools in their tool box. Therefore, they will use that hammer to break the economy and put large amounts of people out of work. Seems really strange they would have no other process or tools.

The US is not the only country using the interest hammer to stop inflation, so it almost looks like a coordinated campaign to bring on a recession. 

Meanwhile over in Great Britain, Liz Truss announced she will do all she can to repeat Margaret Thatcher’s mistakes and claims she will get different outcomes. What was that definition of insanity again?

Anyway it is starting to feel like the wall cloud part of the storm is approaching. Expect to see the funnel clouds dropping down soon. Hopefully once this front passes (and it may take as much as a year) calm will follow.  

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2022 Election campaign, Climate Change, Economy | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Reynolds TV Ad “Cheap, Dangerous, Racist Stunt”

Governor Kim Reynolds’ transparently racist campaign ad drew sharp criticism from Democrats. Will the Iowa press give her a pass?

Statement from Iowa House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst on new Reynolds TV Ad:

“Iowans are tired and exhausted with politics today and Kim Reynolds’ new tv ad is exactly why.

Instead of being honest with Iowans about her wildly unpopular plans to ban all abortion and use vouchers to strip away money from public schools, Reynolds is using lies and race to divide us for her own political gain. It’s a disgrace.
Iowans deserve more from Reynolds and their elected officials. It’s time to put people over politics.”

 IDP Chair Ross Wilburn had this to say about it. Follow more of Wilburn’s remarks on his Twitter feed here

Read  the Twitter thread here

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Upcoming Senate And Congressional Debates Schedule


Here is the current schedule of upcoming live debates from the IPBS website.  All begin at 7:00 pm.

1st Congressional District Debate
Sep 26, 2022
Candidates State Representative Christina Bohannan (D – Iowa City) and U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R – Ottumwa) will answer questions from reporters and discuss their platforms, concerns and future plans.

U.S. Senate Debate
Oct 6, 2022
Candidates retired Navy admiral Mike Franken (D – Sioux City) and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R – New Hartford) will answer questions from reporters and discuss their platforms, concerns and future plans.

Iowa Press Debates: Governor
Oct 17, 2022
Challenger Deidre DeJear (D – Des Moines) and incumbent Governor Kim Reynolds (R – Des Moines) will answer questions from reporters and discuss their platforms, concerns and plans for Iowa’s future.

Iowa Press Debates: 2nd Congressional District
Oct 18, 2022
Candidates U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson (R – Marion) and State Senator Liz Mathis (D – Hiawatha) will answer questions from reporters and discuss their platforms, concerns and future plans.

Photo: National Museum of American History

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Help Sarah Trone Garriott Defeat Extremist Jake Chapman

Click on the map to visit sarahforiowa.com

Please support Sarah Trone Garriott to defeat right wing extremist/Kim Reynolds crony, Jake Chapman in Iowa Senate District 14.  SD 14 covers the southeast portion of Dallas County.   Check out Sarah’s website here.  

From our inbox yesterday –

They say you are known by the company you keep. For Jake Chapman, this speaks volumes. Tonight, Chapman is attending a fundraiser with Governor Kim Reynolds at the home of the lobbyist for out-of-state venture capitalists who are buying up Iowa trailer parks,  jacking up the rents, and forcing residents out of their homes.

Jake Chapman and Kim Reynolds have a lot in common. They are both fighting tooth and nail to completely ban abortions without exceptions, support a private school voucher scam that will siphon money from public schools, and are relying on GOP megadonors to buy the election for them in November.

 Sarah is a pro-public school mom and ELCA minister running for re-election to fully fund public education and support our students, parents, and educators.

 This evening while Jake Chapman is rubbing shoulders with Kim Reynolds and her megadonors, Sarah will be picking up her kids from school and then heading home to call voters about the issues most important to them.

It’s going to take all of us to win in November. If you’re with us, will you donate $10 or $20 now to help re-elect Sarah?

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Paul Krugman With Al Franken

Krugman does the best job I’ve heard of succinctly explaining the student debt crisis and why student loan forgiveness is the right thing to do. That and more in this well worth your time podcast.

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Sheldon Whitehouse Exposes Right Wing Court Capture In Series Of Speeches

Lewis Powell

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Courts Subcommittee, explains to America how dark right wing money packed the court in a series of floor speeches titled “The Scheme,” exposing the machinations by right-wing donor interests to capture the U.S. Supreme Court and achieve through the Court what they cannot through the elected branches of government.

Beginning in May 2021, so far he is up to eighteen speeches, the most recent delivered last week. You may also have noticed he has been making more media appearances lately. Watch the speeches on his YouTube channel. For your convenience and ease of sharing I have included links and topics below. He begins where it begins:  The Lewis Powell Memo of 1971, officially titled, Powell’s Confidential Memorandum: Attack of American Free Enterprise System.

The Scheme Speech 1: The Powell Report
The Scheme Speech 2: Powell Groundwork
The Scheme Speech 3: The Latent Virus
The Scheme Speech 4: A New Constitutional Right for Dark Money
The Scheme Speech 5: The Federalist Society
The Scheme Speech 6: The Judicial Crisis Network
The Scheme Speech 7: The Kavanaugh Operation
The Scheme Speech 8: Tu Quoque (You Too)
The Scheme 9: Amicus Flotillas
The Scheme 10: Climate Obstruction and The Scheme
The Scheme 11: Faculty Lounge Report
The Scheme 12: JCN’s Opening Salvo
The Scheme 13: “Auditioning” for the Supreme Court
The Scheme 14: Attacking Roe
The Scheme 15: The Hothouse and WV v. EPA
The Scheme 16: West Virginia v EPA pt. 2
The Scheme 17: The Captive Court
The Scheme 18: Leonard Leo’s $1.6 Billion Payday

Here is The Scheme #1 The Powell Report

Posted in Blog for Iowa | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Odd Accident Illustrates Need For Universal Health Care

An odd accident happened in Council Bluffs last week. As Jeremy Clingenpeel and his son were practicing with their bow and arrows for the upcoming bow hunting season an unfortunate accident happened that left the father, Jeremy, with an arrow stuck in his chest, but alive. You can read about it here.

What caught my eye as I read this story is that here is yet another example of a family that is being put into financial crisis because of this country’s backward policy of health insurance and health care. If we had universal health care coverage like most first world nations I would not have read these following paragraphs: (from the same article)

Now, the family is worried about a long road to recovery, especially since Tracy, a former nurse, was diagnosed just last year with a debilitating neurological illness. Finances and care are now a concern for the family.

Jeremy worked full-time in waste management. He also took his wife to her weekly doctor appointments. She told 6 News that he even helped with daily tasks, such as bathing and showering.

“There’s a big question of, ‘Am I able to get my medicine? Am I able to get the care that I need? Is he going to be able to get the care he needs?’ ” she said.

Tracy Clingenpeel said that they spend thousands of dollars on her medicine, and will now be adding her husband’s medical bills.

The article does not say if the family has health insurance.  It does mention that Jeremy’s wife has a debilitating neurological condition. As if his accident and her illness weren’t enough to worry about, now, thanks to our insane health care system, finances and care become one more brick in an overwhelming load.

And it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to elect men and women to office that will put an end to this insanity. It is long past time that America join the civilized world and set up a health care system where families in health care crises do not have to watch their world dissolve due to finances.

Let me remind you that America pays almost twice per capita for its crappy health care system that leaves a huge swath of people uncovered. It is an insane system. No one can defend the current system, yet the radical right wing keeps it in place through lies and parliamentary procedures.

Don’t forget that one of the parts of our disjointed healthcare system that almost works – real Medicare – is under attack by the radical right that wants to make Medicare subject to reapproval by congress at some periodic juncture. Rick Scott – head of the Republican Senate election committee – says every five years. With today’s setup in congress, Medicare would never be reapproved even once.

While our lousy health care system is not one of the top issues in this year’s campaign, it should be in the back of everyone’s mind. 

Think of how devastated your family might be by an accident or unexpected illness. Then vote for those who will set up a system to fix the system.

The radical right will never institute universal health care. Vote for Democrats. 

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