Prairie Dog’s Summer Reading List 2018

Reprinted with permission from the Summer 2018 issue of The Prairie Progressive, Iowa’s oldest progressive newsletter. The Prairie Progressive is funded entirely by reader subscription, available only in hard copy for $12/yr. Send check to PP, Box 1945, Iowa City 52244.

by Prairie Dog

Difficult Women by Roxane Gray
The most versatile and prolific writer alive today. These short stories are as funny, brutal, wise, and challenging as her essays, memoirs, New York Times columns, novels, and tweets.

The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K9 Cops by Rachel Rose
Picture a short, soft-spoken Canadian poet accustomed to living with little white dogs named Fluffy. Now see her allowing herself to be attacked by a large, snarling German shepherd learning to be a police dog. Rose turns what could have been a piece of superficial journalism about heroic cops and their canine companions into adventurous, insightful, and deeply personal exploration of fear, regrets, loss, America’s gun culture, women in a predominantly male profession, and law enforcement in other countries including France, where the dogs are always muzzled (the French haven’t forgotten that Nazis used dogs to round up Jews). Her account of job-shadowing an Iowa City police officer and his dog is particularly compelling and surprising.

Have Dog, Will Travel by Stephen Kuusisto
Poet and former University of Iowa creative writing teacher Kuusisto, nearly blind since birth and taught by his parents that it was somehow shameful and kept hidden, at age 38 decides to get a guide dog. As lyrical as his first book, Planet of the Blind, this account of the opening of an entirely new world thanks to a yellow lab also deals with societal attitudes toward blindness, the terminology associated with disabilities, and the history of guide dogs (dating back to soldiers blinded by gas during World War II).

The Negro Motorist Green Book by Victor Hugo Green
This travel guide for black Americans became popular during the years of the Great Migration, when millions of Black Americans took to the highways, venturing mostly from the rural South to the North and Midwest in search of jobs and a respite from racial terrorism. Its annual editions were widely used even in the late ’60s, helping to pass the word about motels, restaurants, stores, and gas stations not hostile to people traveling to find work or to visit families who had already made the move, a move that didn’t always result in the safety and security they sought. Reprints of the originals are now available, offering a small but vivid glimpse into the hatred so many citizens endured and coped with, in our lifetimes, in the Land of the Free.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
Like John Green, Thomas stretches the boundaries of Young Adult fiction, giving us a poignant portrayal of teenagers in crisis. Here the crisis is especially relevant and powerful: teen-aged Starr Carter’s best friend is shot and killed by police. Readers of all ages and colors will be touched, and perhaps moved to action, by racial injustices experienced by high school students and how they respond. Equally intense is the juggling act Starr performs every day, balancing her life in a poor neighborhood with her life in an upscale, mostly white prep school.

The Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern by Thomas Knock
32 years before Karl Rove swift-boated John Kerry, Richard Nixon successfully painted World War II bomber pilot George McGovern as an amnesty-loving peacenik, sending him to one of the worst presidential defeats in history and leaving him with the reputation of being too liberal and too far left to be taken seriously.The truth is that McGovern was a principled progressive and a skilled politician whose life may hold lessons for today’s Democratic Party.From predicting that President Truman’s red-baiting of Henry Wallace in 1948 would ultimately backfire on Democrats, to rebuilding the state party in South Dakota in the ’50s, to running the International Food for Peace program under President Kennedy, to his immediate diagnosis of the conflict in Vietnam as a civil war, not a Communist plot, McGovern was always practical, competent, and right. His lifelong vision could inspire alternative strategies badly needed by today’s Democrats.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It’s a long way from Nigeria to New Jersey, especially for a young woman determined to finish college. A timely tale of an immigrant experiencing racism for the first time, complicated by her relationship with a man who loses his visa after 9/11. only to become a wealthy developer back home.

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
A Texas thriller packed with bizarre characters, family secrets, small-town back-stabbing, and country blues on the jukebox. “There were things you just didn’t do in Lark, Texas.”

Double Bind; Women on Ambition edited by Robin Romm
Men are ambitious, women are aggressive — hence the title of this lively collection of essays assembled by Romm, a former Iowa City resident and author of The Mercy Papers. From Alaskan dog-musher Blair Braverman to actress Molly Ringwald to Iowa Writer’s Workshop director Samantha Chang, each tells a complex story, sometimes angry and ambivalent but always honest and engaging.

The Power to Heal: Civil Rights, Medicare, and the Struggle to Transform America’s Health Care System by David Barton Smith
Smith documents how Medicare transformed American and became the most successful desegregation program in our history, all in 200 pages that read like a novel.Thanks you Lyndon Johnson, no thank you Richard Daley.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jessica Ward
If a book as beautiful and affecting as Ward’s second novel can still be written, there is hope for our country.

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Corn, Crops And Climate Change

Drought Stressed Corn – 2012

Summer in a Climate Changing Iowa
By Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | Iowa Environmental Focus

Iowa summers have always been hot and humid, but the summer of 2018 in particular has had unusual temperature spikes early in the season. Brutal waves of heat and humidity have left many to wonder exactly how Iowa got to this point.

On average, between 1901 and 2016, Iowa’s average temperatures rose about one degree. Only one degree–but the temperature increase has profound effects regardless.

Crops are affected by even incremental temperature increases, especially corn, which has long been a staple crop of the Midwest. All it takes, according to Des Moines researcher Michelle Tigchalaar, is an average temperature increase of 2 to 4 degrees Celsius–or between 3.6 and 7.2 Fahrenheit–for overall crop yields across the United States to decrease by a staggering 18%.

Iowa, with its 1 degree increase, is a quarter of the way there already.

Potential solutions include working on adapting corn and other crops to become more resistant to climate and temperature changes and implementing architecture and infrastructure designed to keep ground-level areas cooler and deflect heat, but the climate may change quicker than we can combat it.

~ Re-blogged from Iowa Environmental Focus which can be found here.

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EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulation At Risk

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s historic Car/SUV standards prevent six billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

President Trump’s EPA has not weakened the standards but clearly intends to do so.

If citizens don’t defend Car/SUV greenhouse gas emissions standards, our government will not.

Here’s a backgrounder from our friends at the Climate Reality Project:

History

In 2010 and 2012, the Obama EPA set the first-ever national vehicle GHG emissions standards for new cars, SUVs, pickups and minivans sold in the U.S. through 2025 with the following features:

  • “Continuous improvement” for all sizes of vehicles in every year from 2012-2025
  • By 2025, would reduce new vehicle GHG by about 45% relative to 2011 (and raise average real world fuel economy from about 21 mpg in 2011 to about 36 mpg in 2025)
  • Would save about 6 billion metric tons of CO2 over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold in the 14 years from 2012-2025
  • The standards are a critical first step, and must be strengthened, not weakened, over time in order to protect the planet for future generations
  • The standards resulted from an unprecedented consensus-building process — EPA coordinated the GHG standards with the State of California as well as with new fuel economy standards set by the Department of Transportation, and the standards were supported by nearly every major automaker and supplier, the United Auto Workers, environmental and consumer groups — and no major lawsuits were filed
  • Considered by many experts to be the single most effective action taken by any country to directly address climate change
  • Click here for the detailed rule making documents

In January 2017, the Obama EPA reaffirmed the standards through 2025

  • EPA carried out the most comprehensive federal automotive technology assessment ever over the last decade, and with DOT, has published over 10,000 pages of analysis
  • The January 2017 “Final Determination” reaffirmed that there is even more technology available, and at a lower cost, than originally projected when the standards were set, and that societal benefits far exceed costs

The standards have an incredibly successful track record over the first six years (2012-2017)

  • Sparked important technology innovation, both with gasoline and electric vehicles
  • “Free lunch” as consumer fuel savings exceed higher technology costs. If you buy with a loan, you save money each and every month
  • Sales are booming, with sales in 2015-2017 being 3 of the 4 highest sales years ever in the U.S.
  • Automaker profits and jobs are higher

At www.epa.gov/greenvehicles, EPA estimates that the standards have already saved 250 million metric tons of GHG emissions and $52 billion of gasoline expenditures for consumers (the savings will accelerate as the standards continue to strengthen and the fleet turns over)

Trump’s EPA has not yet weakened the standards, but it is now very clear that they intend to do so

  • Automakers kick-started the attack on the standards when they contacted the Trump transition team shortly after the November 2016 election and asked for a new review of the standards
  • This opened a “Pandora’s box” for the anti-government ideologues within the Administration, and several automakers (Ford and Honda have issued public statements) now regret that they opened up a process that they can no longer control
  • On April 2, 2018, the Pruitt EPA released a “revised” Final Determination that concluded that “the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised”
  • In late May, the Department of Transportation submitted a package to the Office of Management and Budget that includes a formal proposal to both weaken the DOT Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards as well as the EPA GHG emissions standards.
    • The draft package has not been released to the public, but according to press reports, as drafted, it proposes to “freeze” both the fuel economy and GHG standards at 2020 levels for 6 years, through 2026
    • It appears that DOT prepared this package with little or no input from EPA career staff, and that Pruitt intends to simply “rubber stamp” DOT’s proposal
  • Any proposal must ultimately go through a public rule making process involving publication of a formal proposal in the Federal Register, public hearings and an opportunity for written public comments, and then publication of a final rule in the Federal Register

Now, and over the next few months, is the time for the public to demand that EPA protect people who live on our planet by maintaining the critically important and successful car/SUV GHG standards.

While Scott Pruitt is gone, Trump policy will continue. To get involved in the Climate Reality Project, and help end the climate crisis, click here.

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Building A Blue Wave

What color do you see? Photo Credit – Wikimedia Commons

People are excited by the prospect of flipping the Iowa House and governorship in November. I share the excitement, and note such voters are engaged in politics more than most who will show up at the polls.

I’ll be convinced a blue wave is coming when I hear people other than candidates, those hired to work in politics, or activists tell me about it. Right now it seems a big blue bubble, especially when I talk to people I’ve known for years.

Time will tell and many of us will be working it because, as Fred Hubbell suggested, “blue waves must be created.” Democrats are not there yet.

Ocean waves look pretty green to me.

“The ocean looks blue because red, orange and yellow (long wavelength light) are absorbed more strongly by water than is blue (short wavelength light),” according to Scientific American. “So when white light from the sun enters the ocean, it is mostly the blue that gets returned. Same reason the sky is blue.”

Are we Democrats seeing blue because of what we can’t see?

Media outlets glom onto the obvious. A replacement to fill Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy’s U.S. Supreme Court seat when he retires; activities of “the resistance;” the perennial non-debate over immigration reform; active discussion about overturning Roe v. Wade; and yes, new developments about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

What’s going on in the ocean of voters?

Democrats are choosing more female candidates for the U.S. Congress and down ticket.

“In many respects, the Democratic tilt toward female candidates is the logical culmination of the political dynamics since Trump’s election,” Ronald Brownstein wrote at CNN. “Coming after he bragged about sexually assaulting women in the 2005 ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, Trump’s election provoked its greatest backlash among Democratic-leaning women. That intensity was immediately apparent in the unprecedented women-led protest marches the weekend of Trump’s inauguration. The emergence of the #metoo movement and the proliferation of sexual harassment allegations against powerful men in other arenas has only added fuel to that fire.”

Democrats, men and women, are fired up about this. Will it win over non-college educated white women who favored Trump in 2016? Probably not. Will it fire up the Democratic base? It already has. The base is far from enough to win in November.

This talk has a secondary impact on voters. More influential are statements like the one made at a recent gathering of men in our neighborhood.

Regardless of the ocean of pixels spilled about a Democratic blue wave, the election will reduce itself to small gatherings of voters doing work that must be done in the community. The community water main was leaking in that hole in the ground. We had gathered, not to talk politics, but to fix the leak. So it is with many non-politically active voters, men and women.

The grunt work of winning elections is not fun. Knocking on doors, making phone calls, and networking with friends, family and neighbors to promote candidates, are part of activating voters. Cecile Richards was in Des Moines last week and captured the challenge of midterm elections.

“Millions of women who even voted in the presidential election won’t go vote this November,” Richards said. “Thousands of them here in Iowa will stay home. Thousands would be enough to determine the governor’s race or a congressional seat or taking back state house and state senate seats. But we can change that… the single most important reason people said they didn’t go out to vote is that no one asked them.”

The campaigns for which I work plan to ask men and women to make a plan to vote.

The notion of a Democratic blue wave can be a place holder for people to do nothing to influence an election outcome, even in the time of Trump. Rather than get involved in politics, people hear there’s a blue wave coming and kick back into already challenging lives, intending to ride the wave.

There is no blue wave. There will only be one if we make it between now and election day.

Posted in 2018 Election Campaign, Progressive Community | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Break In At A Nuclear Weapons Storage Facility

Photo Credit – Pressenza International Press Agency

Yesterday, a group of peace activists gained access to a site on a German Air Force Base where 20 U.S. nuclear weapons are stored.

“The peace activists cut through razor wire and some other fences and several made it to the runway; three activists walked to a nuclear weapons bunker, and climbed up to the top where they were undetected for an hour,” according to the International Press Agency. “All 18 were eventually found by soldiers, handed over to the civil police, ID checked, and released from the base after 4-½ hours.”

This was personal.

One of the many jobs I had while serving in the Cold War Army was to standby in the event a nearby nuclear weapons storage facility suffered a break in or terrorist attack.

I was there when the Baader-Meinhof Gang, later known as the Red Army Faction, rose to prominence. I was stationed at a kaserne on the Rhine River during the “German Autumn” when Baader Meinhof and others committed murder, kidnapping, hijacking and more. Here’s a taste of what it was like where I lived from Wikipedia:

The German Autumn (German: Deutscher Herbst) was a set of events in late 1977, associated with the kidnapping and murder of industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, president of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), by the Red Army Faction (RAF) insurgent group, and the hijacking of the Lufthansa airplane Landshut by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They demanded the release of ten RAF members detained at the Stammheim Prison plus two Palestinian compatriots held in Turkey and $15 million in exchange for the hostages. The assassination of Siegfried Buback, the attorney-general of West Germany on April 7, 1977, and the failed kidnapping and murder of the banker Jürgen Ponto on July 30, 1977, marked the beginning of the German Autumn. It ended on Oct. 18, with the liberation of the Landshut, the death of the leading figures of the first generation of the RAF in their prison cells, and the death of Schleyer.

Those were tense times. I remember German police cars on every corner and at every Autobahn exit during key moments in the drama that fall. Our unit was often on alert for potential response to an incident.

We were never called to secure a terrorist attack site. However, yesterday’s incident raises some questions about our deployment of nuclear weapons in Germany.

Why isn’t the United States working toward fulfilling our agreement in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) to eliminate nuclear weapons? Not only do we have a legal obligation, there is a moral imperative to do so.

Is Germany permitted to deliver U.S. nuclear weapons with their aircraft as part of NATO? Quoting from the article, “On this air force base, German pilots stand ready to fly Tornado fighter jets with U.S. B-61 nuclear bombs and could even drop them, on orders from U.S. President Donald Trump on targets in or near Europe.” Since Germany is not a nuclear state recognized in the NPT, it may be illegal for them to do so.

The incident at Air Force Base Büchel is not getting much press in the wake of today’s Donald Trump – Vladimir Putin meeting in Helsinki. Maybe it should.

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The Great American Give-Away

Coyote Natural Bridge, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. Photo Credit – Wikimedia Commons

The Trump administration is giving away access to our public lands for discovery and exploitation of minerals and fossil fuel reserves. Conservatives and mining interests are setting a place at the table to get their share.

“Trump signed a pair of proclamations late last year reducing the size of the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and the 1.87-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by roughly 50 percent,” according to Huffington Post. “It was the largest reduction of national monuments in history, with more than 2 million acres losing protections. Prohibitions on new hard-rock mining claims in those now-unprotected areas were lifted in early February.”

The administration’s assault on national monuments is upsetting on a number of levels. It is the culmination of an effort by conservatives to divest government control over national parks and monuments, something most of us thought was long settled.

It’s not settled at all.

A Canadian mining firm, Glacier Lake Resources, Inc., has staked a claim on land that was, until recently, part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. The Vancouver-based company said in a press release it plans to mine copper, cobalt, zinc, and other minerals from the Colt Mesa deposit about 35 miles southeast of Boulder, Utah.

On Feb. 2, four members of the Lamoreaux family, which owns a small mineral company called Alpine Gems LLC, staked an 80-acre claim near Butler Valley, southeast of Cannonville. On May 9, Alpine Gems staked three 20-acre claims in that same area.

Last week, Utah Senator Mike Lee introduced the Protecting Utah’s Rural Economy Act in the Congress. He explained in an opinion piece he wrote for the Deseret News. Here are two excerpts that provide the gist of it:

The looming danger for Utah’s rural communities comes from the Antiquities Act of 1906, which was originally intended to protect objects of historic and cultural interest, such as artifacts and religious sites.

Unfortunately, what was once a narrowly targeted tool for preventing looting on federal lands has become a weapon of faraway elites to use against hardworking rural Americans.

That is why I am introducing the Protect Utah’s Rural Economy, or PURE, Act. This bill would protect Utah from future abuses under the Antiquities Act by prohibiting the president from establishing or expanding a national monument in Utah unless the proposed monument has been authorized by an act of Congress and the state Legislature.

Rural Americans want what all Americans want: a dignified, decent-paying job, a family to love and support and a healthy community whose future is determined by local residents — not their self-styled betters thousands of miles away.

Lee’s argument is a genome away from political theorist and the seventh vice president of the United States John C. Calhoun’s arguments in support of slavery and state’s rights. Calhoun is remembered for defending slavery and for advancing the concept of minority rights in politics, which he did in the context of defending white Southern interests from perceived Northern threats, according to Wikipedia.

The Wilderness Society is challenging Trump’s proclamations in court and monitoring the progress of the companies seeking to extract minerals. It may not be enough.

Read more about The Wilderness Society’s efforts to protect our wild areas and fight back against the anti-conservationist movement at wilderness.org. If you are in a position to help financially, here is a link to donate to the Wilderness Society.

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Thomas Frank To Read At Prairie Lights

What’s the Matter With Kansas and Listen, Liberal author and journalist Thomas Frank will read from his new book of essays, Rendezvous With Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society on July 18 at 7 p.m. at Prairie Lights Bookstore Iowa City.

What does a middle-class democracy look like when it comes apart? When, after forty years of economic triumph, America’s winners persuade themselves that they owe nothing to the rest of the country.  For those who despair of the future of our country and of reason itself, Rendezvous with Oblivion is a booster shot of energy, reality, and moral outrage.

Thomas Frank is a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper’s, the founding editor of The Baffler and writes regularly for The Guardian. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

“A decade of fraud, exploitation, and hypocrisy gets mercilessly dissected in these caustic essays.  . . . In several trenchant pieces probing Donald Trump’s rise, Frank avoids simplistic claims of voter bigotry and instead emphasizes issues of trade, economic decline, and the Democrats’ abandonment of the working class for a politics of centrist neoliberalism. Frank’s combination of insightful analysis, moral passion, and keen satirical wit make these essays both entertaining and an important commentary on the times.” — PW starred review

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Hubbell Promises To Restore Medicaid. Thank You!

Hubbell Hart

Rita Hart and Fred Hubbell

 

As many have read we have been navigating the health care system with an elderly relative for the past couple of months. What we have found has been very problematic. You can find my most recent post on this just down the page.

Our health care system grew into a disjointed sprawl over many decades. Obamacare was a good first step in reigning in some of the problems. Unfortunately Republicans wasted little time in taking sledge hammers and ball peen hammers to the program.

One of the sledge hammers here in Iowa was the Branstad / Reynolds administration turning Medicaid administration over to fumbling, bumbling private companies whose focus is profits, not patient outcomes.

This not only affect the direct medicaid patients, but the cutback in payments to doctors and hospitals have forced them to make cuts to their services which has hurt all patients.

So we were very happy to see Candidate Fred Hubbell come out with a forceful statement that he will work from day 1 to bring Medicaid back under state control

That gets at least 6 votes in my family right there. Nearly every family in the state has been affected by the Reynolds / Branstad Medicaid policy and I haven’t read of any that have been affected in a positive way.

So thanks to the Hubbell – Hart team. This is the change real Iowans are looking for

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, Branstad, Kim Reynolds | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sunday Funday: And It’s Fair Season Edition

Image (1) countyfair01-big.jpg for post 26323

The middle of July and it is time for county fairs. These slice of Americana are often one of the core events in a county every year. In agricultural states they are the high water mark of the calendar year. This is the time when animals, crops and handmade goods are judged for their worthiness to go on to the state fair competition. Often a full year of work gets is on the line when the judges make their choices.

When fairs began and prospered in this state there was no electricity, cars or trucks or other modern conveniences. As the world has progressed especially in recent years, the pull of the county fair for most citizens has waned. Where the fair was once one of the few places where a person could view new gadgets we can now do that instantly on our phones any time of any day.

Yet a day at the local fair is always a day that will be memorable. A place to eat foods you would never eat elsewhere, see old friends, catch some free entertainment under a shady tree and maybe score a prize for one of the kids. You can also view the prize winning work of your friends and neighbors that exhibit everything from calves to pies and flowers.

A day at the fair will also be magical for the kids and they gaze at the food wagons, take in the bright lights and ride the big rides. Have Fun at your local fair in the next few weeks!

Yet another WTH week.

  1. One of the most beloved Iowans, what former governor died last Sunday at age 89?
  1. In a mockery of a congressional hearing what FBI agent was grilled by hostile Republican congress members?
  1. Hey, another presidential pardon! What fine upstanding citizens were pardoned this week?
  1. Kim Jung Un made a fool our Secretary of State last week. North Korea released a photo of Kim visiting where instead of negotiating with Pompeo?
  1. In a public statement at the NATO summit our Dear Leader publicly claimed what country was “a captive of Russia?”
  1. Due to public demonstrations against him, Dear Leader had to forego a trip to what international capitol?
  1. In a real surprise what small Balkan country finds its soccer team in the championship World Cup game today?
  1. No matter what, what will be significant about the new Justice that will be appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court this fall?
  1. Iowa Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell promised last week to restore what program to state control?
  1. Indictments were handed down for what group on Friday as announce by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein?
  1. The US not only opposed what UN resolution but threatened trade sanctions on some countries that support the resolution?
  1. Among the most inspiring news of the week and maybe for years was the story of the rescue of the Thailand soccer team from a flooded what?
  1. In Britain, what former London Mayor and Foreign minister left the Theresa May cabinet as her government got shakier and shakier?
  1. Speaking of Britain, a group of protesters flew a huge balloon of who as a baby in a diaper as that world leader visited Britain?
  1. In an interview with the Sun newspaper in Britain, Dear Leader claimed he had better poll numbers than what earlier Republican president?
  1. Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by Dear Leader for SCOTUS Monday. Kavanaugh is probably the only judge in America who believes that a sitting what should not be bothered by legal matters?
  1. What pizza magnate resigned as board chair following another racial slur incident?
  1. What inmate in the Russian probe lost his VIP jail accommodations when he complained that the location interfered with his ability to prepare for his trial?
  1. Dawn Sturgess died in Britain after exposure to a nerve agent known to be used by what country?
  1. What high administration official came to Iowa last week and gave little but lip service to Iowa farmers beset by administration trade policies?

Heard on the radio:

“Vote Republican for your boss’s boss. Vote Democratic for your children’s children.”

Answers:

  1. Robert D. Ray
  1. Peter Strzok
  1. In Oregon, Dwight and Steven Hammond who set fires on public lands were pardoned.
  1. A potato farm
  1. Germany
  1. London
  1. Croatia
  1. The new justice will be a woman as all candidates are women. The current Iowa SC is all male
  1. Medicaid – thank you Fred!
  1. 12 Russian intelligence officers
  1. A resolution to promote breastfeeding
  1. Cave
  1. Boris Johnson
  1. Dear Leader
  1. Abraham Lincoln
  1. President – lucky for Dear Leader that Kavanaugh believes that
  1. Papa John Schnatter
  1. Paul Manafort
  1. Russia –  it was the same agent that nearly killed the Skripals
  1. VP Mike Pence
Trump in Europe

once again a tip of the hat to democraticunderground.com

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, Humor | Leave a comment

Dan Rather Facebook Post 7/13/2018

Dan_Rather

pic from wikipedia

From Dan Rather’s facebook page:

From the farce of yesterday’s hearing on Capitol Hill (“oversight” by mendacity) to the spectacle in Great Britain (a President’s destabilizing, unstable, and racist interview) to the trailing exhaust of American leadership left in Brussels (with a friend like the U.S. who needs… Russia?) to what awaits in Helsinki (a bromance with a wily KGB agent), what we are witnessing is far beyond the realm of this reporter to put into full context. 

I doubt Dante could imagine the circles in which we find ourselves. P.T. Barnum couldn’t figure out a way to sell it. And Rod Serling would shake his head in disbelief. All metaphors are rendered largely impotent – be they circus, swamp, or dumpster fire – because they seem to understate the sheer dangerous absurdity of it all. There can be no individual accounting of all damage. 

I surmise this is what in some ways passes for the strategy of the President and his accomplices. See how many reactionary judges they can install, how many loopholes for the rich and connected they can construct, how many protections to health, water and air they can shred before the inevitable backlash. 

I list all of this not to sow the seeds of hopelessness. Quite the contrary. That is what the forces of authoritarianism wish – that they can launch a reclamation of the Gilded Age on the backs of a demoralized majority. But I have seen these types of actors before. I have seen these odds. They cannot understand that the forces of goodness can channel a fury of righteousness and action. The time for slumber is over. No one can ever argue that elections do not have consequences. Even with the hurdles they are erecting to democracy no President and no political party, no matter how cynical they may be, is bigger than the country at large. 

Editor’s comment:

The goal of Trumppublicans was to disrupt. This was not stated by Dear Leader. His job was to lie and keep resistance tamped down.

Steve Bannon and others expressed the real goal of disruption. So far they have tremendously disrupted our country and our individual lives.

Could you have imagined two years ago that we would have a president under investigation for treason? That our allies would be seen as our enemies and our enemies as our allies. Who could have thought that NATO would be a punching bag for a US president? That we would be breaking trading partnerships with our closest and most trusted allies? 

We all knew that Obamacare would be a major target as would Roe v. Wade. But who could have imagined that soybean farmers and pork producers would also be targets. It is little surprise for a Trumppublican administration to open the treasury and hand it off to their rich donors, but who thought they would kick the teeth of their base in?

Racism is making a huge and very open comeback. Everyday we see a new video of attacks on people of color with racist language and often using police to act as a quasi military against people of color. 

Every cabinet official was chosen not because of their expertise in a given area but specifically for their animosity to the area they were charged with. Betsy DeVos at Education and Scott Pruitt at the EPA may be the worst, but others are not far behind.

But who, two years ago, could ever have imagined that our government would be jailing babies? That out government would be ripping families apart never to be united again. The specter of babies being hauled into court at age 1 to defend themselves is beyond absurd – yet it is reality in America today.

So we have an election on November 6th. You can accept today’s reality and vote for Trumppublicans or not vote. Not voting is a vote for what is happening. Or you can get off your butts today and get to work to end this madness. There are candidates in nearly every race from the county courthouse to the statehouse and congress that are standing up to say “ENOUGH!”

They need workers, they need money and they need your vote and that of your friends. 

If you don’t just try to imagine what else could be coming. Maybe your children in jail? You may laugh, but did you ever imagine what is going on at the border in your name?

If you think this could never happen to US citizens, let me tell you about the citizens of Puerto Rico who have been abandoned by their government in a time of greatest need.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa | Tagged , | 1 Comment