The New Medicare For All Bill

The Thom Hartmann Program

Medicare for All has been modernized to include dental and vision but the new Bill is a little different from the famous John Conyers bill introduced nearly twenty years ago. Congressman Mark Pocan explains how the new modern Medicare for All is an improvement to the bill from 2003.

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Senator Mathis: “Let’s Stop The Charade”

In case you missed it.  Watch Senator Mathis expose Republicans for the ALEC lackeys they are and some don’t even know they’re doing it.

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Andrew Yang Calls For Human-Centered Capitalism

NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the first 2020 presidential primary debate in June of 2019. This is the second in a series of BFIA’s coverage and commentary of the announcement speeches by the declared Democratic candidates for president for 2020.

Andrew Yang introduced himself to the country in Clear Lake, Iowa, August 10, 2018 at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding.  He has an important message. He is also likable, funny and smart, and a self-proclaimed “numbers guy.”

His message is this: Jobs and the need for human labor are going away in the not so distant future due to technology and automation. Because of this, we need a universal basic income.

On his website you see front and center a video entitled, “We Have to Start Facing Facts” and the words “Humanity First.”

He drove home his message to Iowans about what the future brings this way:

“This may be the most important question of our time: Why did Donald Trump win Iowa by nearly 10 points in 2016? Why did he win Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Wisconsin? .. The answer is in the numbers.. the most direct correlation that I found was that the more manufacturing jobs that were lost in a voting district, due to automation the more blue turned to red in that district. The reason Donald Trump is our president today is that we’ve automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennyslvania, Missouri, Wisconsin and nearly 40,000 right here in Iowa…when jobs disappear that’s when despair takes its place and that’s when blue turns to red.”

“The engineers and scientists of Silicon valley… are going to make human labor, your labor, our labor, less and less central to the economy and more and more obsolete. Iowa has lost 12,000 retail jobs since 2001. How many of you have noticed stores closing in your neighborhood? There are 30,000 Iowans who drive a truck for a living, the most common job in 29 states… they are working on trucks that can drive themselves. These trucks will hit the highways in 5-10 years. Call center workers will be replaced by automation. This is the greatest economic and technological transition in the history of mankind. Donald Trump is the manifestation of this transition.

Here is Yang’s 3-part plan to prepare for the future.

1 – Freedom dividend
2 – Get health care costs off the backs of American families and businesses
3 – Change the way we measure progress in our economy.

Visit his campaign website to find out more.  Yang2020.com

Andrew Yang – Apr 25, 2019, 5-8:30 p.m.Country Lane Lodge, 29300 Prospect Cir, Adel, IA, Dallas County Democrats Spring Fundraiser. Tickets $35 each; $10 students. Sponsored by Dallas County Democrats.

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Celebrate Earth Day – Help Get Rid Of Glyphosate In Our Food

Action alert from Iowa Public Interest Research Group:

Monsanto’s Roundup is turning up everywhere.

And that’s a big problem, since the evidence linking its ingredients to serious health problems, including cancer, is piling up.

The commonly-used herbicide’s main active ingredient, glyphosate, has been found in breakfast cereals, snack bars, ice cream — and now a new study has found it in beer and wine.1,2

Even worse — we’re still not sure how serious the long-term health effects are from exposure.3

Iowa PIRG is working to ban Roundup in Iowa unless and until it’s proven safe. Will you make your Earth Day gift before our drive ends at midnight tomorrow?

Our goal is to raise $15,000 to help pass more local and state bans this year, and keep all of our other campaigns going strong, from standing up for consumers to protecting public health.

It’s bad enough you can still find Monsanto’s Roundup on store shelves. But researchers keep finding traces of glyphosate — the key toxic ingredient in Roundup — everywhere it shouldn’t be.

Our research partners at U.S. PIRG Education Fund tested 20 samples of beer and wine, including Budweiser, Coors, Samuel Adams and New Belgium, and discovered detectable levels of glyphosate in nearly all of them — even in organic varieties.4

Fifty-seven years after Rachel Carson warned us of a Silent Spring, and 49 years after millions of Americans called for action on the first Earth Day, we’re still spreading poisons throughout our natural environment. We’re stuck in a “spray first, ask questions later” mindset.

I don’t want a silent spring for the next generation. I want to celebrate an Earth Day when the mindless overuse of toxic chemicals is a thing of the past. Will you help make this dream a reality?

Donate today to ban Roundup unless and until it can be proven safe, and to support our other work to protect consumers’ rights and the public interest. The deadline is Earth Day — tomorrow — to raise $15,000 to keep the momentum going.

Your support will give our Ban Roundup campaign the resources we need to put our reliance on this toxic pesticide behind us and win local and statewide bans to protect public health. With your support, Iowa PIRG and our national network will:

  • Call for bans on Roundup in states across the country, while also supporting active legislation to ban glyphosate-based pesticides in states like Massachusetts.
  • Work at the municipal level to pass bans on Roundup in communities across our state. Our national network has already helped restrict Roundup in Miami, Florida, and Austin, Texas.
  • Defend existing bans by filing amicus briefs in the courts, such as the one our national network filed in Maryland. Monsanto is fighting a Roundup ban in Montgomery County there. Our network is defending it right now.
  • Partner with Iowa PIRG Education Fund to do the research and release hard-hitting reports that expose the risks of Roundup, while also shining a spotlight on the issue in the media.
  • Put boots on the ground in more than 16 states across the country to go door to door, educating the public and building the support we’ll need to win.

It’s absurd that we’re allowing a weed killer with potential health risks to be used on our food and near homes and playgrounds. That’s why we’re working to ban Roundup unless and until it can be proven safe — but we can’t do it without your support.

Donate by the Earth Day deadline to support this and other vital campaigns in the public interest.

Sincerely,

David Rossini
Acting Director

1. Kara Cook, “Glyphosate pesticide in beer and wine,” U.S. PIRG Education Fund, February 2019.
2. Oliver Milman, “Weedkiller found in wide range of breakfast foods aimed at children,” The Guardian, August 16, 2018.
3. “Glyphosate Listed Effective July 7, 2017, as Known to the State of California to Cause Cancer,” OEHHA, June 26, 2017.
4. Kara Cook, “Glyphosate pesticide in beer and wine,” U.S. PIRG Education Fund, February 2019.

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Pork Industry Gains More Power Over Inspections

usda pork inspection

Beginning in early May, the Trump Administration will be shifting the bulk of inspections in the pork industry from USDA inspectors to plant employees. Understand that is shifting inspections from an outside agency that has the good of the public in mind to in-house employees whose employment depends on keeping the plant running and the boss happy.

Does anybody see any potential problems with that arrangement?

From Kimberly Kindy of the Washington Post in the Los Angeles Times of April 3rd:   

“The Trump administration plans to shift much of the power and responsibility for food safety inspections in hog plants to the pork industry as early as May, cutting the number of federal inspectors by about 40% and replacing them with plant employees.

Under the proposed new inspection system, the responsibility for identifying diseased and contaminated pork would be shared with plant employees, whose training would be at the discretion of plant owners. There would be no limits on slaughter-line speeds.”

Can in-house inspections lead to problems that may have been stopped by outside inspectors? Here is a recent example:

“These proposals, part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to reduce regulations, come as the federal government is under fire for delegating some of its aircraft safety oversight responsibilities to Boeing, which developed the 737 Max jets involved in two fatal crashes over the last six months. Federal Aviation Administration certification of the two aircraft involved in the crashes took place under the Trump administration, but the major shift toward delegating key aspects of aviation oversight began during the George W. Bush administration.”

The parallels are drawn by Pat Basu, chief veterinarian with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service from 2016 to 2018:

Pat Basu, the chief veterinarian with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service from 2016 to 2018, refused to sign off on the new pork system because of concerns about safety for both consumers and livestock. The USDA sent the proposed regulations to the Federal Register about a week after Basu left, and they were published less than a month later, according to records and interviews.

“Look at the FAA. It took a year or so before the crashes happened,” Basu said. “This could pass and everything could be OK for a while, until some disease is missed and we have an outbreak all over the country. It would be an economic disaster that would be very hard to recover from.” 

Some folks may remember the book “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair that was written 115 years ago. “The Jungle” exposed unsanitary conditions in the meat packing industry of the time and led to laws on sanitation and inspection that have made our food systems among the safest in the world.

An old claim of those who believe in the market as the final decider claim that if a company is marketing below standard product, the market will correct that company with smaller market share. By below standard my guess is that may include pathogens that could make a person violently sick or kill them. 

Unwittingly, Americans have become pawns in the Trump administration’s game of cutting government back. While the rich garner the rewards of these cutbacks, some of us pawns may be paying with our very lives. 

Enjoy that Easter Ham.

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Sunday Funday: Easter Earth Day Edition

sad to believe

Earth Day comes right after Easter this year. Maybe some in the media can help Americans make the jump from believing in unprovable mystic mumbo-jumbo into believing in scientific facts and analysis. 

We have had warning after warning after warning, with each subsequent warning more dire than the previous one. We are seeing predicted effects of climate change coming true in increased flooding, forest fires and extreme weather. Yet people still refuse to believe reality. For the sake of their children and grandchildren we must awaken and engage in the humongous task of turning the change back.

Today is a good time to start.

We will also need visionary leadership, not Dear Leader.

  1. It was a big news week. The first huge news story concerned the fire at what world architectural and cultural site?
  1. Speaking in his capacity as Fire-Chief-In-Chief, Dear Leader recommended what fire fighting strategy that would have destroyed the target?
  1. While all sorts of conspiracy theories flying, investigators attributed the fire’s start to what rather common source?
  1. What common snack food got its unique design baked as a Passover treat resembling a person with their arms folded in prayer?
  1. A bill advancing in the Illinois legislature would ban a presidential candidate from the ballot if they do not reveal what information about themselves?
  1. The second huge story of the week involved the release of the Mueller report. In order to slow the release of the Mueller Report, the Justice Department released the report in what format?
  1. Friday morning, what House committee chairman issued a subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller Report?
  1. When was the first Earth Day celebrated?
  1. What top administration official(s) will be paying homage to the NRA at the NRA’s convention next Friday?
  1. Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee complained Monday about the Committee’s plan to investigate what common state election laws?
  1. What American river caught fire in 1969 and became an impetus to start Earth Day?
  1. The Iowa House voted for an annual registration fee for what class of vehicles?
  1. What top sports star was announced as a recipient of the Medal of Freedom by dear Leader on Monday?
  1. Dear Leader got a primary challenger this week. What former Republican governor announced a run for president Monday?
  1. Who wrote the book Silent Spring about the effects of pesticides on nature that is considered the first environmental book?
  1. What Democratic presidential candidate released 10 years of tax returns on tax day, April 15th?
  1. Which presidential candidate announced a proposal to ban drilling or mining on federal lands?
  1. Dear Leader sent out a tweet that interspersed what Democratic congress member with shots of 9/11 attacks?
  1. Madagascar has seen 115,000 infected with 1,200 having died due to an outbreak of what disease?
  2. In an odd “art imitates reality” environmental tragedy, what movie about a nuclear power plant meltdown came out about two weeks before an actual near-meltdown at Three Mile Island?

 

Jeff Tiedrich 

Presidential quotes:

Lincoln: “four score and seven years ago”

FDR: “nothing to fear but fear itself”

Truman: “the buck stops here”

Eisenhower: “beware the military-industrial complex”

JFK: “ask not what your country can do for you”

Reagan: “tear down this wall”

Trump: “I’m fucked”

Answers:

  1. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
  1. Water tanks (air dropping water from planes).  This would have destroyed everything.
  1. Electric sparks catching combustible materials on fire in a work area.
  1. Pretzels
  1. Their last 5 years of tax returns
  1. CD-Rom
  1. Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York
  1. April 22, 1970 (this is #49) 
  1. Both Dear Leader and under-Dear Leader
  1. Voter suppression laws. Kansas, Georgia and Texas have been contacted for information so far.
  1. The Cuyahoga River in Ohio
  1. Electric
  1. Tiger Woods
  1. William Weld of Massachusetts
  1. Rachel Carson
  1. Bernie Sanders
  1. Elizabeth Warren
  1. Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar
  1. Measles. 
  1. “The China Syndrome”

Remember folks, there is no “Planet B.” Treat your Earth like your life depends on it, no matter what Republicans tell you!

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“Green New Deal In The Future” With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Monday is the 49th Earth Day. Let’s make this a day of commitment to your only home.

(About 7 minutes)

This short video seems to be going viral. If you have seen it, sit back and watch again. This is an extremely powerful video that encapsulates a vision of what could be. 

Through its history, America vacillates between being a country of fear – fear of others, fear of the future, fear of loss of what little one has to being a country that is ready to conquer the future in eras such as the civil war, World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, the 1960s and the Republican recession of 2008.

Narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez we see a vision of what may very well happen once America faces up to the challenge of climate change.

No one really disputes that climate change is happening any more except for a few troglodytes. For that matter few even dispute it is a man made crisis any more. Americans want to take action on climate change for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What we need is a clear direction and plan to get behind.

We have seen some somewhat similar situations in the past. Many of the New Deal projects were supported whole-heartedly by Americans. Not supporting such projects could extend the depression, so supporting New Deal projects was the only logical choice. Not supporting the Green New Deal (or something similar) could have severe outcomes also. If we don’t do something, we open heirs to the ravages of climate change.

Americans have faced catastrophic challenges before, beat them back and become stronger. We must face up to climate change, beat it and become stronger. The alternative is disaster. Literally.

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Legislative Forums As The Session Wanes

Muscatine legislative forum April 6th, 2019.  (85 minutes):

As we come up on the end of April, we are also coming up on the end of the legislative session and thus the forums. The target date for ending the session is April 30th.

In recent years we have seen Republicans pull some unexpected moves on legislation at the end of the session. Bills have at times been revived from nowhere to become law.

From infonetiowa.org we get this week’s list of forums. As always click on the city where you wish to attend the forum for the specific location:    

04/20/2019 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM Legislative Forum – Fairfield

04/20/2019 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Legislative Forum – Burlington

04/20/2019 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Coffee – Harlan

04/22/2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Coffee with Marti-Des Moines

04/23/2019 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Town Hall – Independence

04/24/2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Town Meeting – Newton

04/25/2019 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Legislative Forum – Johnston

04/26/2019 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Office Hours – Ankeny

04/26/2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Legislative Forum – Keokuk

04/26/2019 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM Education Forum – Iowa City

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Plastic Pollution: How You Can Help

Earth Day action alert from Iowa Public Interest Research Group

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now 11 times the size of Iowa — and it isn’t going away on its own.

The plastic we’re producing isn’t just polluting our oceans — it’s ending up in our communities, landfills, rivers and, ultimately, our drinking water and our bodies.

It’s clear that our plastic waste problem is bigger than your recycling bin — no matter how good your recycling habits are, this mass of plastic is going to continue to grow if we don’t fundamentally rethink our throwaway culture.

That’s why Iowa PIRG launched our Beyond Plastic campaign to stop the endless cycle of production and consumption that threatens to choke our entire planet with trash.

Donate today and help us raise $15,000 by Earth Day to support our Beyond Plastic campaign and other vital work in the public interest.

Even though Iowa is just a fraction of the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, we can make a world of difference by banning the worst single-use plastics in our state.

This Earth Day, will you help make our state and our world a cleaner, safer, healthier place for future generations?

Make your Earth Day gift now.

Our national network helped to introduce bills in 14 states to ban the worst single-use consumer plastics — from plastic bags to polystyrene. Earlier this month, our sister group Maryland PIRG helped get what could be the country’s first statewide polystyrene ban through the Maryland state legislature with overwhelming support.

From investigative research to put forth the best solutions to organizing outreach to state legislators to discuss why these bans are necessary, we’re working on multiple fronts to get these laws passed.

Since the 1970s, our network has won more than 54 pro-recycling laws, single-use plastic bag bans, and other policies to tackle our country’s plastic problem in 16 states.

Iowa PIRG and our national network are taking on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch one ban at a time. Our staff is working on the ground in 25 states to help coordinate action.

Help us a leader in banning the worst single-use plastics. We’ve set a goal to raise $15,000 by Earth Day to keep our campaigns going strong.

Donate today.

Our plastic problem is big — bigger than 11 Iowas — but we know that state-by-state, city-by-city, these bans will be the key to addressing plastic pollution.

Plastic is endangering our world, our wildlife and our health. Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our planet and threaten our future for hundreds of years.

Help Iowa PIRG pave the way for a better future for our children and grandchildren. Donate before Earth Day to support our Beyond Plastic campaign and other vital work in the public interest.

Thank you,

David Rossini
Acting Director

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Iowa Public Interest Research Group, 2643 Beaver Ave., #120, Des Moines, IA 50310, (515) 236-3257
Member questions or requests call 1-800-838-6554.

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Barr Helped Cover Up Iran-Contra

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