Kim Reynolds And Big Ag

CCI continues the fight for Iowans and against factory farms

Iowans across the state want good-paying jobs, clean air and water, and vibrant communities.

But Governor Kim Reynolds only cares about one thing: big checks from factory farm corporations like Iowa Select, the fourth-largest pork producer in the country.

If Reynolds and factory farm corporations like Iowa Select think they can rig the rules to increase their profits without Iowans fighting back – they have another thing coming. [BFIA note: Iowa governor auctioned off access for pork barons’ charity. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds auctioned off an afternoon of her time to the highest bidder to raise money for her top campaign donors’ charity]

In the last couple weeks alone hundreds of Iowans have taken action for a moratorium on factory farms:

  • With over 100 Iowans participating in a virtual rally led by farmers and rural Iowans;
  • Participating in trainings on how we tell our stories and lobby legislators even in a pandemic; and
  • Driving over 150 Iowans called Speaker of House Pat Grassley, who claimed Iowans don’t want a factory farm moratorium.

This fight back is being led by Iowans from across the state.

Rural Iowans – like Michele – who built her dream home in rural Scott county, is now surrounded by thousands of corporate owned hogs;

Urban Iowans – like Shari – who depends on expensive nitrate removal systems in the Des Moines metro area for clean, safe water; and

Iowa farmers – like Joss – whose loved one’s health have been exploited by factory farm expansion in her corner of the state.

Our power doesn’t come from special interest donations. Our power comes from everyday people.

Will you join our movement of clean water protectors and factory farm fights with a gift of $25, $50 or $100?

Together we are building a better food & farm system, one that works for farmers, workers, eaters and the environment.

For a people and planet first Iowa.

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Iowa Republicans To Impose Anti-Democratic Burdensome Regulations On Voting

While Iowa Republicans are busy embarrassing themselves in the legislature, a dark shadow may be looming over their anti-democratic plans.

brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-laws-roundup-january-2021

“other state lawmakers are seizing on an energized electorate and persistent interest in democracy reform (which is likewise reflected in Congress). To date, thirty-five states have introduced, pre-filed, or carried over 406 bills to expand voting access (dwarfing the 188 expansive bills that were filed in twenty-nine states as of February 3, 2020).”

brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/brennan-center-comment-senates-designation-people-act-s-1

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Sen. Jeff Merkley announced that the For the People Act, a historic democracy reform bill, will be the first piece of legislation introduced this session in the Senate. The announcement comes after the House reintroduced its version of the bill earlier this month. The Brennan Center helped develop many of the core policies in the For the People Act, including – automatic voter registration, restoring voting rights for people with past criminal convictions, redistricting reform, and small donor public financing.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had this comment on the For the People Act:

“It is unprecedented and encouraging that Senate leaders have said they will introduce the For the People Act as the first bill in the session. This responds to two twin crises facing our country: the attack on democracy reflected in the assault on the Capitol, and the demand for racial justice. Throughout the country’s history, the best way to defend democracy is to strengthen democracy. S. 1 would be the most significant democracy reform in more than half a century.

“It incorporates the key measures that are urgently needed. Automatic voter registration to modernize our elections. A national guarantee of free and fair elections without voter suppression. Small donor public financing to curb the corrupting role of big money. An end to partisan gerrymandering. A restoration of ethics throughout government. A commitment to restore the strength of the Voting Rights Act. 

“This election showed the passionate commitment to our democracy reflected in the highest voter turnout in over a century, despite the pandemic, voter suppression, and presidential lies. We’ve known for a long time that the democracy we cherish needs renewal and reform. This measure would be sweeping historic legislation. It is especially significant that this proposal now is the first piece of legislation in both chambers of Congress. We urge lawmakers to act swiftly.”

Related resources

 

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Why We Need HF 402 Expanded Direct Care Worker Registry

HF402, the expansion of the Direct Care Worker Registry bill, is on the House Human Resource Committee meeting agenda for TODAY, Tuesday Feb 23 at 1:00 p.m. Please submit your comments on how the care registry would be beneficial and that you are in support of the bill moving forward HERE

 

 

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Book Review: Our Time Is Now

If one needs a palate cleansing after the bitter taste of the Trump years, Stacey Abrams’ Our Time is Now is just the book to read.

I didn’t know what to expect going in. I knew of her close Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018. I followed the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff elections last month and knew she played a role in voter turnout after declining to be a candidate herself. If anything surprised me about the book, it was how timely is Abrams’ message as the Biden-Harris administration gets to work.

There are some key takeaways:

She emphasizes the importance of counting everyone during the U.S. Census. Undercounting the poor, persons of color, and other disenfranchised U.S. residents serves to further disenfranchise them. President Trump attempted to politicize the U.S. Census. President Biden reversed Trump’s executive actions and seeks to give the Census Bureau needed time to make the best count possible. That means a delay in states receiving information required for their decennial re-districting process. Biden knows what Abrams suggested: the U.S. Census is important to restoring political power to people.

Abrams emphasizes that people should vote. She also criticized the voter targeting methods use in the 2016 and 2018 Democratic campaigns. Voter registration continues to play a key role in citizens gaining political power. It goes without saying voting does as well. The conclusion I drew from the book was that no voter should be ignored during campaigns.

The book refreshes our collective memory about voter suppression efforts by Republican lawmakers. Abrams’ story was she overcame systemic voter suppression during her Georgia gubernatorial campaign by the sheer number of new voters they activated. The permanent solution is for voters to take control of the electoral process by electing more Democrats at every level. With Democratic control of state legislatures, it is less likely voters will be suppressed.

As a child I learned the importance of civic engagement. Unlike most Americans today, I study the issues and candidates, and vote in every election. I don’t know what happened yet we need to return to that basic tenant of governance. If we seek to retain government by the people, participation is required. That is Abrams’ message.

I read a lot of political books and Abrams’ book is well-written and relatable. If we seek to move our country forward, elect more Democrats, then Stacey Abrams has provided a roadmap in Our Time is Now.

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Just A Reminder:

bzpBSga.jpg

If we have learned nothing in the past year, in order to have a functioning economy it surely doesn’t hurt to have a public health care system that works, with competent leadership that will act in the interest of all. 

If 2020 can serve as anything for this country and the world, it should be as a negative lesson on what NOT to do.

Hopefully we will commissions and private investigators digging out things done wrong generally and very specific things done wrong. There is plenty of material to investigate. Among the things that must be ferreted out is the extent to which public servants used their offices to profit from the Covid pandemic and other disasters of the yea, such as the USPS attempted dismantling.

Also, hopefully some butts will be parked in a jail cell when the dust clears. Certainly had norms, laws and regulations been followed it is doubtful things would ever have descended Inyo the hell that it became. Someone was responsible.

Unless there is some accountability, we will set the stage for it to happen again.

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Sunday Funday: White History Month Edition

Amber Ruffin with her unique perspective: (6 minutes)

Out of fear that an election may break out at any minute, the Republican led Iowa legislature put on their Speedos to rush some major voter suppression laws through the legislative process in what may be record speed for legislation. If there were a huge natural disaster, I doubt they would move with such alacrity. Stopping Democrats from voting is much more important.

What is strange is that they have bothered to create time tables and other regulations when to be honest the bill they want to pass could come down to a simple sentence – “If you are a Democrat, we don’t want you to vote in Iowa.”

  1. Snow, SNOW! fell in such odd places as what Greek city that is best known as one of the cradles of civilization?
  1. In another chapter of the “Worst Governor in the US” contest, Kim Reynolds entry was to fire what company just as they were about to be hired to create a central system for Covid vaccinations?
  1. In Florida, their contestant in the “Worst Governor in the US” – Ron DeSantis – ordered flags to be flown at half staff following the death of what radio personality?
  1. Trouble in Texas caused by weather and lack of state government to be prepared. Senator Ted Cruz met this challenge by doing what?
  1. It was a busy week for President Biden. He ended the week by taking a tour of what crucial manufacturing plant in Michigan Friday?
  1. Also Friday, the US  rejoined what multi national effort on climate?
  1. Hiram Revels of Mississippi was the first black member of what group?
  1. The bane of the far right wing Republican Party, what NYC representative to congress has raised over $2 million for relief for victims of the Texas disaster?
  1. How long did it take for the Mars lander Perseverance to fly from the earth to Mars?
  1. February 21, 1965, what black leader was assassinated while giving a speech in NYC?
  1. You never forget your first. Tomorrow is the birthday of what major American historical figure?
  1. Snow was also seen on the peaks of the camels as it fell heavily in what country best known for oil?
  1. In 1939, soprano Marian Anderson was blocked from performing at Constitution Hall because of her race. What openly racist group owned the Hall and stopped Anderson’s performance?
  1. Canada is in the process of passing legislation to impose heavy restrictions on what deadly items?
  1. Despite political differences who authorized disaster declarations for Texas and Oklahoma and immediately sent FEMA into Texas?
  1. February 14th, 2018 – 17 lives are lost at a school shooting where?
  1. NY AG Letitia James sued what major company over its “handling of worker safety issues around Covid-19”?
  1. When Ted Cruz and family left frigid Texas, they left their poodle behind in the cold. The poodle’s ironic name is what?
  1. Trouble in the love nest. Who did the previous president describe as “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack” last week?
  1. Jacqueline Von Ovost and Laura Richard had their promotions to what held up so as not to upset the previous administration?

“If you elect people who hate and fear government to run government, you get bad government

Bad government has consequences. Bad government can’t handle a crisis, won’t help its citizens, and can only blame others for its failure. Quod erat demonstrandum

Remember this. “- Stonekettle tweet

Answers:

  1. Athens, Greece at the Acropolis
  1. Microsoft
  1. Limbaugh
  1. Taking his family to Cancun
  1. Pfizer where the covid-19 vaccines are being made
  1. The Paris Climate Accords
  1. The US Senate
  1. AOC
  1. Liftoff was last July 30th, so @ 6 months and 20 days
  1. Malcolm X
  1. George Washington
  1. Saudi Arabia
  1. The DAR or Daughters of the American Revolution
  1. Guns – not a national ban but still imposes major fines and penalties for carrying certain weapons.
  1. President Biden
  1. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida
  1. Amazon
  1. Snowflake
  1. Moscow Mitch McConnell
  1. They were to be named top-tier Generals  Then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, advised against a recommendation to nominate Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, currently head of Air Mobility Command, to take over U.S. Transportation Command; and another for Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, of U.S. Army North, to lead U.S. Southern Command, for fear the Trump White House would replace them with other candidates, the Times said.     

I bet if Texas renamed their power grid to uterus, the state would be regulating the sh*t out of it. – Irishrygirl tweet

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“Let America Be America Again”

(America never was America to me.)

It is Black History Month. I can only say this is one one my favorites. Read it multiple times.

Let America Be America Again

Langston Hughes – 1902-1967

from poets.org

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

 

(America never was America to me.)

 

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

 

(It never was America to me.)

 

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

 

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

 

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

 

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

 

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

 

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

 

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home—

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”

 

The free?

 

Who said the free? Not me?

Surely not me? The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay—

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

 

O, let America be America again—

The land that never has been yet—

And yet must be—the land where every man is free.

The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

 

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!

 

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—

America will be!

 

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain—

All, all the stretch of these great green states—

And make America again! 

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A Lesson Learned Once Again

The Republican Party is now over 40 years into their little experiment trying to prove night and day that government doesn’t work. Pretty much the first thing out of Republican politician’s mouth is that “government doesn’t work.” When that is company motto, the employees go all out to make sure it is true.

Somehow voters buy this message that government doesn’t work. Then is some sort of a fit of truly questionable logic, elect the politicians that claim government doesn’t work thinking in some strange backward way these folks will make government work. What voters don’t seem to realize is like so many things said during a campaign, this is not a statement of fact but a promise of what is to come.

Republicans seem to believe that private business somehow works much better. What they don’t consider is that private business may be better able to deliver a product, but only in a very narrowly focused selected area. Outside of that narrowly focused slice they are incompetent. Thinking that business by its nature will be better in any area than government is a huge leap.

The previous administration left is many examples of this kind of illogical thinking that will take a long time to dig out of. The first that leaps to mind is the USPS. While the Post Office has been hampered by previous Republican administrations the last one actively took dynamite to the Post Office in order to purposely put it out of business so its business could be sold off to private interests. At its best the USPS was the premiere mail service in the world.

The next example we have is Iowa’s legislature trying to give our tax money to private schools that claim they are better at education than the public school system. There is no comprehensive study showing that. Before Republican legislatures got into the yearly exercise of shorting Iowa’s public school funding, Iowa’s public schools were the best in the world. Now that the legislature has slowly dismantled the public school system in Iowa, they have an answer.

As you could expect, that answer involves private schools. In the case of schools, the schools are often not only private but also religious. Therefore the money that will be taken from public schools will possible go to a religious entity which should violate the first amendment of the constitution.

Use the money that will now be used to dismantle the public schools to fix the public schools. This would help the general public much more than a lucky few. If folks want to send their kids to a private school they can find a way to raise private money for scholarships.

Finally the mess in Texas shows just how bad the public can be hurt by the distrust of using public ownership of utilities and putting those utilities into private hands. Instead of having profits plowed back into the utilities to prepare for future, doing maintenance and adding improvements. Instead profits went into dividends giving the few owners big rewards. Now the public is suffering.

There are good sound reasons why we have common ownership of certain necessary utilities and services. In some areas, such as medicine there are both public and private sectors and in the endeavors less necessary for the functioning of society private ownership is common. In this area I think of things like entertainment.

When Republicans praise the glories of business the stories we get are often incomplete and the data enhanced by favorable conditions. Do private schools serve a full spectrum of students from the genius to the very slow? Are classes way over the recommended size? Have students in any way been selected in or selected out? 

The mission of schools is to raise full citizens. The mission of the public mail system is to provide service to all corners of the country come hell or high water. The mission of utilities is to have said utilities functional at the times when they are needed most. In all the cases mentioned above privatized versions of these necessary services have failed.

This is not the 330 million individual people of the US. This is the United States where we set up systems to work for all, not the privileged few. It is time for voters to look for politicians who promise what works best for the whole, not for a few individuals. This is the underlying philosophy of this country.

The days of electing people who say “government doesn’t work” and then proceed to break the government to prove themselves right should be relegated to a century back in the 1920s when we first learned it was a bad philosophy that didn’t make sense for society. 

Posted in 2022 Election campaign, Republican hypocrisy, Republican Policy | Tagged | 1 Comment

Voters Tell Their Stories – 22 Votes Still Uncounted In IA-02

From our inbox:  Urgent re-count update from Rita Hart for Iowa.

22 voters still have not had their legally-cast ballots counted in this race, and it’s not right. Those voters are speaking out about why they want their votes to count in this race. Here’s what they had to say:

These voters are fighting for their right to participate in our democracy, and we need your help to make sure they’re being heard.Can you do your part to help by sharing this video on Facebook or Twitter today?

We’re proud to be standing with these voters and doing everything we can to help them get their votes counted. Even just liking our posts will help more people see them and make a difference in this race, so please, like and share today!

Thank you for your help! We are so grateful.

-All of us at Rita Hart for Congress

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Iowa Republicans De-fund Public Schools Again

Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames responds to Republican claims that they have not repeatedly CUT state support for Iowa K12 schools. The truth? State support under Republican leadership has repeatedly failed to keep up with inflation, hurting both students and local property taxpayers. 

If you are not able to see the video below, here is the original post on Facebook. View link

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