Watch President Biden Climate Summit

Program starts at about 15:00.

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The GOP’s Plan To Steal The 2024 Election

With all of the chatter about the Georgia vote suppression law passed by the Republican legislature making it a crime to give someone water who is standing in line to vote, a very scary and far more dangerous provision hasn’t gotten much notice. 

The Democratic Strategist included a warning for Democrats in the newsletter this week:

Dozens of voter suppression bills with hundreds of specific provisions that have been introduced in states across the country make it difficult for defenders of democracy and voting rights to decide which issues they need to prioritize. Learning from the experience in Georgia, the GOP will increasingly remove some of the most blatantly racist provisions in these new bills and add a few others that will allow them to falsely claim that they actually enhance voter access.

There is one particular initiative, however, that is particularly crucial.  All of the GOP measures are designed to make voting harder and reduce the turnout of minorities and other pro-Democratic groups but one key strategy is quite literally designed to turn American elections into meaningless, completely empty rituals like they are in police state dictatorships like Russia.

The Bulwark author Jonathan Last defines the danger clearly:

… [The GOP can] Get fewer votes and fewer Electoral Votes and still win if they can prevent the official counting and certification of the Electoral Votes—and then win a majority of state delegations when the contest is shifted to Congress.

You can win the presidency even while getting blown out in both the popular vote and the Electoral College, provided your party (1) Controls the House and Senate. (2) Constitutes a congressional majority in 26 states AND (3) Has sufficient raw political will.

Five years ago this scenario would have sounded like a nightmare designed to scare children; democracy’s version of the Baba Yaga.

Today it’s just an alternative path to power.

…Just go by the numbers: It is likely Republicans will have majorities in the congressional delegations of at least 26 states for the foreseeable future. They have a greater than 50 percent chance of winning the House in 2022 and a pretty good shot at flipping the Senate.

So the first two preconditions for winning the presidency while losing the election are very much on the table. Which leaves just one project: Mustering the political will to move past both the popular vote and the Electoral College.

Last argues that this is the reason why the GOP is ruthlessly and systematically purging every state election official who objected to Trumps attempt to steal the 2020 election and why GOP legislators are introducing bills like Arizona’s HB 2720.

Here’s the relevant section of the bill:

The Legislature retains its legislative authority regarding the office of presidential elector and by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration may revoke the Secretary of State’s issuance or certification of a presidential elector’s certificate of election.

In short, under this legislation GOP state legislators would be able to simply throw the millions of votes that were cast in their state into the nearest garbage can and choose whichever candidate they prefer.

Subscribe to The Democratic Strategist newsletter.

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Private Company To Kick Iowans Off Of Food Assistance

Action alert from Senator Rob Hogg:

Help stop the Iowa Republican attack on food assistance

Please contact Iowa’s state legislators today to urge them to oppose Division XIII of Senate Study Bill 1267

Dear Friends:

This is a special action alert to ask you to speak up with Iowa state legislators to oppose Division XIII of Senate Study Bill 1276, the health and human service budget bill, that would take away food assistance from thousands of otherwise eligible Iowans.

The Iowa Senate may be voting on this bill as early as Wednesday.

Division XIII (which was previously passed by Republicans in the Senate as Senate File 389) would create new procedural barriers to food assistance and impose a new asset limitation ($2,250 for most households) for eligibility.

The Legislative Services Agency says that 1,466 Iowans would lose food assistance due to the new procedural barriers, and representatives of the private third-party company that wants to implement this proposal said it would take food assistance away from over 50,000 currently eligible Iowans.

Division XIII of SSB1267 would spend STATE dollars for a PRIVATE company to kick currently eligible IOWANS off of FEDERAL food assistance.

That’s bad for Iowa families who need food assistance. It’s bad for Iowa grocery stores who need customers. It’s bad for Iowa farmers who need markets. And it’s bad for our economy. Over 80% of Iowa households who receive food assistance have at least one person working.

We should be expanding food assistance, not taking it away.

Please contact all 50 state senators in Iowa to urge them to save food assistance for Iowans by dropping Division XIII of Senate Study Bill 1267:

tony.bisignano@legis.iowa.gov
joe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov
nate.boulton@legis.iowa.gov
waylon.brown@legis.iowa.gov
jim.carlin@legis.iowa.gov
claire.celsi@legis.iowa.gov
jake.chapman@legis.iowa.gov
mark.costello@legis.iowa.gov
chris.cournoyer@legis.iowa.gov
dan.dawsom@legis.iowa.gov
adrian.dickey@legis.iowa.gov
bill.dotzler@legis.iowa.gov
dawn.driscoll@legis.iowa.gov
jeff.edler@legis.iowa.gov
julian.garrett@legis.iowa.gov
eric.giddens@legis.iowa.gov
tim.goodwin@legis.iowa.gov
jesse.green@legis.iowa.gov
dennis.guth@legis.iowa.gov
rob.hogg@legis.iowa.gov
pam.jochum@legis.iowa.gov
craig.johnson@legis.iowa.gov
kevin.kinney@legis.iowa.gov
mike.klimesh@legis.iowa.gov
carrie.koelker@legis.iowa.gov
tim.kraayenbrink@legis.iowa.gov
mark.lofgren@legis.iowa.gov
jim.lykam@legis.iowa.gov
liz.mathis@legis.iowa.gov
zach.nunn@legis.iowa.gov
janet.petersen@legis.iowa.gov
herman.quirmbach@legis.iowa.gov
amanda.ragan@legis.iowa.gov
jeff.reichman@legis.iowa.gov
ken.rozenboom@legis.iowa.gov
jason.schultz@legis.iowa.gov
tom.shipley@legis.iowa.gov
amy.sinclair@legis.iowa.gov
jackie.smith@legis.iowa.gov
roby.smith@legis.iowa.gov
annette.sweeney@legis.iowa.gov
jeff.taylor@legis.iowa.gov
todd.taylor@legis.iowa.gov
sarah.trone.garriott@legis.iowa.gov
zach.wahls@legis.iowa.gov
zach.whiting@legis.iowa.gov
jack.whitver@legis.iowa.gov
craig.williams@legis.iowa.gov
brad.zaun@legis.iowa.gov
dan.zumbach@legis.iowa.gov

Also, please contact your state representatives to oppose Division XIII. The Iowa House Human Resources Committee did not approve Senate File 389, and you can urge them not to allow the Senate to run it through a budget bill instead.

Thanks for speaking up. Let me know if you have any questions.

Rob

Senator Rob Hogg
Cedar Rapids
Telephone: (319) 247-0223
Email: SenatorRobHogg@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SenatorRobHogg
Twitter: @SenatorRobHogg

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Is Iowa A Sacrifice Zone?

I saw this comment below on the Raccoon River Watershed public Facebook group and it rang true to me, too. It would explain Reynolds’ and the Iowa Republicans’ extreme cynicism and cold-blooded policies.  Do they know that corporate ag has already taken Iowa past the point of no return so there is no point in caring or trying to save it?  It sure seems so.

Commenter on the RRW FB page:  “Do international agribusiness and those they elect consider Iowa a sacrifice zone? I’m beginning to think so.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrifice_zone

“A sacrifice zone or sacrifice area (often termed a national sacrifice zone or national sacrifice area) is a geographic area that has been permanently impaired by heavy environmental alterations or economic disinvestment, often through locally unwanted land use (LULU). These zones most commonly happen to exist in low-income and minority communities.[1] Commentators including Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco, and Stephen Lerner have argued that corporate business practices contribute to producing sacrifice zones.[2][3][4]

The concept of sacrifice zones was first discussed during the Cold War, as a likely result of nuclear fallout, and the term coined in the Soviet Union.[1][dubious ]

In Iowa’s case, corporate agriculture has ruined our once fair state with an unsustainable number of CAFOs, manure dumping, and other inhumane, environmentally harmful farming practices.

Raccoon River Watershed Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/107052089361843

We need your help! The North Raccoon looked like hog shit at my place today. It turned my stomach. My lab was in it, of course. RRWA president, Chris Henning got a report that the river turned shit brown at Squirrel Hollow on Wednesday. This is Friday. I was at my farm from 2:30 till 8:00. The river ran brown the whole time. It was pretty clear on Wednesday. I did not see any dead fish. My guess is that the Des Moines Water Works will get slammed this weekend with high bacteria levels. We would appreciate any relevant observations. Take a look at the North Raccoon. I suspect the Middle/South will dilute it some above Van Meter. If you know any officials who are supposed to care, let them know. Earth day is coming up on the 22nd. Do something!

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How We Win Back Net Neutrality

Sign the petition for a full functional FCC now by appointing and confirming a 5th commissioner ASAP.

Fight For The Future:  This week, we are going over best questions people asked in our net neutrality AMA on Reddit, and discussing the path forward on winning back net neutrality. Past episodes on YouTube: http://fftf.link/eps Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: http://fftf.link/apple Subscribe on Spotify: http://fftf.link/spot RSS: https://podcast.fightforthefuture.org… Twitter: https://twitter.com/fightfortheftr Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fightforthe… Medium: https://fightfortheftr.medium.com/ Tumblr: https://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/

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Samantha Bee Takes On Anti-Asian Hate

Hopefully loading 3 short YouTube videos won’t bog the system down too much.

With that we present Samatha Bee’s Full Frontal from last Wednesday in 3 parts. 4 minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes respectively:

 

Thanks to the attraction of humans to humans, our little family has grown incredible diverse. When the hate is spewed to any sector of humanity it is probably hitting some branch of our family. If you were to do an in depth search of your own family, I would bet you would find a lot more diversity in your own family than you would have ever thought could exist. So that person you hate so much could be your cousin.

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Sunday Funday: Earth Day Next Thursday Edition

About the cutest smile I have ever seen:

You can’t see the forest for the trees and you can’t see the climate for the weather. It is cool in Iowa for April, so I guess we can bury our heads in the sand once more and pretend there is no climate problems.

Unfortunately there are plenty of climate problems. To underscore that, some news reporting has slowly started to favor the term “climate emergency” over the more well known “climate change” or “climate crisis.” Will the word emergency do anything to get some people, especially a certain American political party, to change their behaviors and do even a little to stop the looming crisis?

If the word “pandemic” can’t get through their thick skulls, I doubt “emergency” will mean anything to them. Just another libtard scare to take way their “freedumbs.” 

Well at least for a while we will have President Biden who does understand what a climate emergency is and will actually do something about it.

  1. He has a heart? What former major government official had a pacemaker implanted Wednesday?
  1. President Biden took his first plunge into foreign diplomacy Friday as he hosted the Prime Minister of what ally?
  1. In a very distressing video from Chicago, a boy who was how old was shot by a policeman as he (the boy) stopped running and turned to the police man with his empty hands up?
  1. Friday was the 106th day of the year. As of Friday how many mass shootings had been recorded in the US? 
  1. The most recent mass shooting took place Friday at a Fed-Ex facility in what major midwestern city?
  1. Evidence released Thursday by the Treasury Department verified that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was colluding with what Russian agent to affect the 2016 presidential campaign?
  1. A bill to expand the number of what group was taken off the table by Speaker Pelosi last week?
  1. Ignoring the constitution, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley slammed what businesses for “violating free speech”?
  1. What region of the earth produces 20% of the planets oxygen?
  1. They take their basketball seriously in Indiana. Last week a brawl broke out involving a game referee and what other group of players?
  1. In Canada, an MP in a virtual meeting was caught in what state when he didn’t realize his camera was turned on?
  1. 246 years ago today came the legendary ride of what American patriot?
  1. Two historic face-offs occurred on April 19th, 28 and 26 years ago. In 1993, the Branch Davidian were driven from their compound near what Texas city?
  1. Two years later, a nine story federal building in what major southwest city was destroyed in seeming retaliation?
  1. Economic sanctions were imposed by the US against what country for their interference in the 2016 election?
  1. Legislation calling for the study of what controversial issue concerning long term back payments passed out of a House committee and will be discussed on the House floor?
  1. What Wall Street financier died in prison this week? His crime was a long running Ponzi scheme that bilked rich people of millions.
  1. President Biden announced what date as the target to withdraw troops from Afghanistan?
  1. Iowa had two rivers on the American Rivers endangered list. Can you name one?
  1. In Atlanta, a high school currently named for Confederate general and KKK leader leader Nathan Bedford Forrest will be renamed for what legendary Atlanta athlete?

Matt Gaetz never took COVID-19 seriously because she was a little too old for him. – Stephen Colbert

if guns made us safer

Answers:

  1. Former VP Mike Pence
  1. PM Suga of Japan
  1. 13
  1. 147
  1. Indianapolis
  1. Konstantin Kilimnick
  1. The Supreme Court
  1. The tech giants
  1. The Amazon rainforest
  1. One of the girls basketball teams involved in the game
  1. He was naked as he changed clothes during the meeting.
  1. Paul Revere
  1. Waco
  1. Oklahoma City
  1. Russia
  1. Reparations
  1. Bernie Madoff
  1. Sept. 11
  1. The Lower Missouri River and the Raccoon River
  1. Athlete AND civil rights leader Henry Aaron!

Bernie Madoff died in prison because he stole from the rich. If he stole from the poor he would be a Republican member of Congress. – Deacon Blues

corporate whining DU

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We Must Expand The Supreme Court

from freespeechforpeople.org

freespeechforpeople.org

The Supreme Court is facing a crisis of confidence.

Contrary to the founding principles of our democracy, the Supreme Court has greenlighted partisan gerrymandering, gutted the Voting Rights Act, and allowed unlimited sums of money from corporations and wealthy donors to flood our elections. The Federalist Society and other corporate-backed organizations have spent decades packing the courts with right-wing legal minds, creating a corporatist majority that votes with their corporate backers at every opportunity and will influence policy for generations to come.

To return to a balanced, nonpartisan Supreme Court and restore our democracy, there is one solution: we must expand the Supreme Court.

It is not constitutionally mandated that the Supreme Court consist of nine justices. Congress has changed the number of justices on the Court before and it can do so again. Congress set the number of justices at nine in the Judiciary Act of 1869 in order to match the number of federal circuit courts. Today, however, there are thirteen circuit courts, resulting in a growing caseload that only nine justices cannot manage. The justices have taken fewer and fewer cases over with time, as the caseload exceeds their capacity.

Meanwhile, former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have breached the norms of Supreme Court appointments three times in the last five years. From February 2016 until April 2017, the Court had just eight justices after McConnell refused to hold a confirmation vote for Merrick Garland and held the seat hostage through the 2016 election. McConnell and Senate Republicans later rammed through the confirmations of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, despite credible allegations of sexual assault and perjury, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020, just eight days before Election Day.

Remedying these growing disparities means expanding the Supreme Court. In our increasingly legally complex society, stalled cases and increased partisanship serve only to squander the trust we place in the nation’s highest court.

Sign if you agree: Congress must restore legitimacy and balance to the federal judiciary and secure the rights of the American people by expanding the Supreme Court.

In solidarity,

Ben Clements

Board Chair and Senior Legal Advisor, Free Speech For People

As noted in the email above, the number of justices on the Supreme Court was set at nine over 150 years ago. That was an entirely different country than today’s country. Also as noted above the SCOTUS was set to match the number of federal circuit courts at that time.

Today we have 13 circuit courts, yet we still have 9 SCOTUS justices. Events of the past decade have highlighted just how much SCOTUS needs to be brought up to date.

In 1869, the US population was about equal to that of just California today – a little over 38 million. There were 37 states and 243 members of the House of Representatives. The senate of course had 74 members.

As the country has expanded everything else has had to accommodate changes except SCOTUS. It is way beyond time for the Supreme cCourt to be brought up to date. Plus a reminder of the check and balance system may be in order.

Image (2) supreme-court-150x150.jpg for post 18049

Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.

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Data Shows Vaccines Extremely Effective

Data released Thursday showed that people who were vaccinated against Covid-19 have shown very high rates of protection against the virus.

So far, of the 77 million (77,000,000) Americans to be fully vaccinated 5,800 (.0075%) have been infected with the corona virus after vaccination. These are referred to as “breakthrough” cases. Of those 5,800 some 396 have been hospitalized (that is 7% of the 5,800) with 74 dying (1.3% of those infected). These numbers are all tremendously lower than those of the unvaccinated.

From MSN:

About 5,800 people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus have become infected anyway, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells CNN.

Some became seriously ill and 74 people died, the CDC said. It said 396 — 7% — of those who got infected after they were vaccinated required hospitalization.

This is the CDC’s first public accounting of breakthrough cases, and the agency is searching for patterns based on patient age and gender, location, type of vaccine, variants and other factors.

“So far, about 5,800 breakthrough cases have been reported to CDC. To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics,” the CDC told CNN via email.

About 77 million people in the US are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, according to a CNN analysis of CDC data. The CDC’s reports on breakthrough cases will lag day-to-day reports of vaccines given, so may not reflect the most current events.

Breakthrough cases are expected. The vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infections and as 10s of millions of people are vaccinated, more and more such cases will be reported.

That is an effectivity rate of 99.9925% – about as close to a sure thing as you will ever see in this life.

If you are one of the ones who have been hesitating so far, I can think of no better argument for getting vaccinated than what you see here. – These vaccines work!

If you don’t get vaccinated, you are risking a horrible sickness and a possible horrible death that has been described as slowly drowning – gasping for every breath. Not only will you suffer, but you ay easily be the source of suffering for loved ones.

If that is not enough to persuade you, then also remember that as an unvaccinated host, you also become a place where the corona virus can mutate to possibly become resistant to the vaccine. That would make you essentially a traitor in the war against this horrible virus.

Those who continue to fill you with the total BS to persuade you to not get vaccinated co not care about you, your family, any freedom or liberty or the good of the country. All they want to do is use your body is some kind of sick political game. It makes no difference to them if you die. Plus your family will probably be left with a large bill for the hospital and funeral.

For your country, for your community, for your family and for your own mental health get vaccinated as soon as you can. Call your physicians office, call 211 or go to the Iowa Covid-19 webpage to get started on getting vaccinated!

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Anamosa Prison Killings Direct Result Of Under-Staffing

Inmates know when prisons are critically short staffed

Highlights of testimony from Danny Homan, President of Iowa AFSCME Council 61, at a Senate committee meeting on April 14. Holman urges the Legislature to end years of under-funding that puts Iowa corrections workers in danger.

The Senators in the video are senator Kraayenbrink of Fort Dodge (R) and Senate President Jake Chapman of Adel (R).

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