Republicans Doing Their Best To Ruin Everything Good About Iowa

More craziness from the Iowa GOP…  “This bill will make flooding worse in Iowa.”

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Ernst Town Hall Meetings In Williamsburg, Burlington Friday and Saturday

photo/Bloomberg

There should be major protests at every one of her town hall meetings in Iowa for her pathetic support of Trump, the NRA, and her complete abandonment of regular Iowans.  She is a huge part of the problem.  These events are nothing more than positive,  free media to promote herself. Of course, few of the stops in her “99 county tour” are actually open to the public. Many are closed meetings with local Republicans or big ag representatives, etc.  If you can, attend one of her public meetings. Ask follow-up questions. Get video.

Friday, March 22, 2019
Iowa County Town Hall Meeting 
2:15 pm
Williamsburg High School Auditorium
810 West Walnut Street
Williamsburg

Saturday, March 23, 2019
Public forum
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Capitol Theatre
211 N. 3rd St.
Burlington

Another way you can help defeat Joni Ernst. Donate to the Midwest Victory PAC

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Steve King Promotes Civil War in U.S.

Happy first day of spring!  Let’s get rid of Steve King!

“Steve King should be expelled from congress for promoting a civil war in the U.S.”

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Mid American Trying To Squash Iowa’s Solar Industry

Stop SF 583 Mid American Energy Bill

State Senator Joe Bolkcom:

“As solar systems have been deployed the state of Iowa has had progressive policy in this area. This legislation that is being brought by Mid American Energy is an attempt to squash this industry so that they can be in charge and own all the power generation in Iowa.

It’s really important for people who want to see more solar development in Iowa contact their state representatives and senators and tell them to oppose this unnecessary effort by Mid American Energy and these large utilities to take over the solar business in Iowa and essentially kill jobs and kill businesses.

Looks like this bill passed the senate today. Watch this video then contact your state rep.  While you are at it, send a copy of your letter to your local newspaper.

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Fox News Finally Getting Exposed

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Meanwhile In Des Moines Citizens Get Screwed

Image (1) STUDENT_DEBT.jpg for post 18623

And please vote elsewhere, too!

Republicans tell university students: Come live in Iowa’s university cities, but you don’t get to vote there.

Who can be surprised that Republicans in the Iowa legislature passed a bill out of committee that would restrict university students from voting in elections? Students have been a bane to Republicans in Iowa for decades – probably since the Nixon days. As any good Republican knows, cheating is the best way to win elections.

Most of us were waiting for laws suppressing student votes to be coming soon after voter suppression laws were passed. So with no surprise, here they are.

From iowapublicradio.org 

“Republican senators advanced a wide-ranging elections bill Thursday ahead of a key statehouse deadline for legislation to remain eligible in this session.

It would block students at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa from voting early on campus. That’s one result of a proposed overall ban on hosting satellite voting stations in state-owned buildings, which would also include the Iowa Veterans Home.

“It’s not only discriminatory, but it’s also a violation of voting rights,” said Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque. She noted students at private colleges in Iowa could still have the opportunity to vote early on campus.

<< snip >>

The bill would also require public university students to indicate on a new form if they will stay in Iowa after graduation. If they say they are leaving, the state would cancel their voter registration.

“This seems to be a way of removing them from the voter rolls,” said Keenan Crow of One Iowa Action. “And they may change their plans and have to re-register. We’re not doing that to any other group, so I’m not sure why we’re doing that to students.”

If you are 18 and working in a crappy job, the state of Iowa is not going to ask you if you will be living in Iowa in 4 or 5 years. But they will if you are going to the public (note: not the private) schools in Iowa. While you are a student at those schools, you pay rent, buy lots of stuff and pay gobs of taxes either directly or indirectly. Despite that you can’t vote here. Looks pretty clear Republicans don’t want you to vote here because they don’t like the way you might vote.

There is also another provision that will block using state buildings for early voting. That seems to be aimed directly at the U of Iowa Hospital. Having early voting in the U of Iowa Hospital is a great convenience to doctors and nurses whose schedules are often so hectic that who knows what they will be doing on Election Day. So it is a slap in the face to those professionals.

This one stinks to high heaven. The only way to get it approved by the courts would be to change the way judges are picked now and make it extremely partisan. And thank goodness that won’t happen in Iowa! – What? You mean Republicans are changing THAT TOO?

Image (1) progress-iowa.jpg for post 17381Email From Progress Iowa:

Reynolds Meets With Conservative Lobbyists, DeVos Behind Closed Doors

Late on a Friday afternoon.

Related to the previous post in that this also deal with education in Iowa, Progress Iowa observed a closed door meeting taking place at the capitol with Gov. Reynolds, the named conservative lobbyist below and Secretary {Against} Education Betsy DeVos. I think we can rest assured that the people of Iowa were getting screwed even though we weren’t there. 

From Matt Sinovic at Progress Iowa:

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2019

Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0133

VIDEO: Conservative Lobbyists Attend Meeting With DeVos, Reynolds While Public Shut Out

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos held a private meeting with conservative lobbyists today, and excluded the public. Video recorded by Progress Iowa shows a number of prominent lobbyists in attendance at the Governor’s private capitol office.

“Kim Reynolds reminded us today who she really represents, and it’s not Iowans,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “It’s disturbing that she would host a meeting with the Secretary of Education about how to divert funds from public schools, and cut the public out of the process. These are our tax dollars and our neighborhood schools, and the public should have a seat at the table, not the Koch Brother’s lobbyist. Today’s meeting and their voucher proposal is a slap in the face to every student, parent, and educator in Iowa.”

Those identified as attending the meeting include:

Drew Klein, Americans for Prosperity Iowa

Eric Goranson, Iowa Association of Christian Schools

Tom Chapman, Iowa Catholic Conference

Ryan Wise, Director, Iowa Department of Education

Georgia Van Gundy, Executive Director, Iowa Business Council

Amy Sinclair, Republican State Senator 

Brad Zaun, Republican State Senator

Dan Ryan, President, Dowling Catholic High School

Click here to watch the video of participants entering and exiting the meeting with Governor Reynolds and Secretary DeVos: 

Progress Iowa is a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization with a network of more than 75,000 progressives. Year-round, Progress Iowa advocates for a stronger middle class, first-class public education, and fairness for all Iowans under the law.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Republicans are not even trying to hide what they are doing anymore.

I once proposed that ANY meeting between a state official and a lobbyist be recorded and retained as a public record. I propose that once again.

 

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Education, Iowa legislature 2019, Kim Reynolds | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Really Bad Idea: Changing Iowa’s Judicial Nominating System

keep iowa courts fair

If you ever get in a situation where you are headed to court or there is an issue that affects you greatly being heard in court, the only thing most of us hope for is impartiality on the part of the judges in the case. Impartiality is one of the ideals of our society. Judges who rule on the merits of the case versus the law or constitution, not judges who rule based on their own prejudices.

That’s what most of us want. That’s what our ideals are. But right now there are a group of radicals in charge of our state government. Because of Iowa’s tradition of trying to bake impartiality into our court system, some cases were decided in ways that this radical group didn’t like. So they are now set on changing the whole system to get more favorable rulings from Iowa’s courts. Tilting the playing field in their favor or rigging the system is what these tactics are usually called.

We like to think such tactics are hallmarks of a bygone age that we have long since left in the past. However nothing ever really goes away unless we guard against it. We have let our guard down and some of the worst of bygone eras are returning to haunt us. This includes the racism and huge inequality that wreacked so much havoc previously. 

The radical group is a group that our media works tirelessly to normalize, but most people are finally catching on. They are the Republican Party. When they do not get their way, they will lie and cheat to rig the system in their favor. We have seen it in voter suppression laws, labor repression laws and many other ways. 

Now here in Iowa, because of some court decisions they didn’t like Republicans have decided to redo our court selection process to rig to in their favor so that decisions like Varnum v. Brien will not happen again in Iowa.

It is an insane approach to a problem that doesn’t exist. As I stated earlier, if YOU get into court YOU truly want an impartial judge as our ideals promise. 

Let’s hear from a person – state Senator Zach Wahls – whose life was greatly affected by a court decision and just how important impartiality is:

Now let’s look at some words that Senator Wahls wrote concerning this subject when the radical Republicans sprung judicial “reform” on Iowa without any warning:

Following a discussion of our current system and the proposed changes, Senator Wahls writes:

“Changing our judicial nominating process was not a campaign issue in 2018. Neither candidate for governor campaigned on this issue, I did not campaign on this issue, and I am not aware of any other state legislative candidate who campaigned on this issue.

Republicans are proposing these changes simply because they are unhappy with past court decisions and they are hoping to control future decisions. This is the equivalent of saying “Because our team won, we are going to change the rules of the game.”

The final critical point to understand is that this change will open Pandora’s box and it will be nearly impossible to close. If Republicans ram these changes through on a party-line vote and begin to pack the court with their political preferences, when Democrats are back in the majority, we will almost certainly appoint our own judges in order to off-set changes made by Republicans.

The tit-for-tat will escalate, and just like that, we’ll have the presence of overt partisan politics in our courts.

This is why I am so concerned about these changes, it’s why I’m worried that they are being rushed through without meaningful citizen input, and I don’t think we’ve given this nearly enough thought. Any changes to our court system should be deliberate, carefully considered, and bipartisan. The proposed changes are none of those things.”

Senator Wahls warning is right on the money.

Changes to a well functioning system are being done to rig the system in the favor of current radical Republican thinking. These changes may well come back to haunt them.  Much better to stick with a system that has worked for nearly 6 decades under Democrats and Republicans as well.

You can let you legislator know by phone:

Senate Swichboard:  515.281.3371

House Swichboard:   515.281.3221

You can identify your legislator by entering your address on this page. https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find  Then send them an email to let them know this is a bad idea.

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Iowa legislature 2019, Republican hypocrisy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Funday: Top O’ The Mornin’ Edition

A Happy St. Paddy’s Day to the lot of ye. May ye all be half an hour in heaven afore the devil knows you’re dead. Being Irish and a Democrat I am proud to say we have had some great Irish Democratic politicians. Maybe one of the greatest was this recent young man whose ancestry goes back to Moneygall. Here he samples a Guinness during his visit to his ancestral homeland:

We could all use a bit of the luck of the Irish these days.

  1. Speaking of the Irish, Ireland’s PM Leo Varadkar met with US VP Mike Pence. What added a bit of tension to this meeting?
  1. Allowing Dear Leader to declare a national emergency at the southern border was defeated by what margin in the senate Thursday?
  1. How did Iowa’s senators vote on this bill?
  1. At the Iditarod dog sled race, the leader lost his lead when his dog team did what Monday?
  1. Sounding like a threat of civil war, what American leader claimed that if Democrats played tough he had “the police, the military and bikers”?
  1. The Democratic National Committee picked what city to host its 2020 convention?
  1. School children around the planet walked out of classes Friday to protest what problem that confronts the globe?
  1. Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old student in Sweden, was nominated for a Nobel Prize last week in what area?
  1. What former congress member jumped into the Democratic primary with a big splash on Thursday?
  1. In a really bad proposal, Iowa’s Senator Ernst unveiled a plan that would allow new parents to take time off and make up their pay by doing what?
  1. Following several crashes and other problems airplanes from what company were grounded around the world.
  1. What country was the last to join in the grounding of these airplanes?
  1. Immediately following his sentencing in another federal court, Paul Manafort was notified about charges being filed by what state?
  1. Brexit crashed and burned in Parliament in votes last week. Who is the current Prime Minister of the UK dealing with this near impossible situation?
  1. Another mass shooting, this time not in the US. Where did a white supremacist inspired massacre take place Friday morning?
  1. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on what state function this week?
  1. Another batch of awful Tucker Carlson audios surfaced this week. Most of the audios were of Carlson calling in to what radio show?
  1. Indictments were handed down for elite personalities who were paying huge bribes to ensure their children could do what?
  1. What Democratic presidential contender had their ads calling for the break up of tech giants removed and then replaced by tech giant Facebook?
  1. What Fox anchor was rebuked by the company for claiming that Rep. Ilhan Omar supported Sharia in defiance of the constitution because Omar wore a hijab?

Jill Sobule asks the musical question “Who is a democratic socialist?”

Answers:

  1. Varakdar is an out homosexual and had his partner with him. Pence as most know is a virulent homophobe
  1. 59 to 41
  1. Both voted with for Trump to declare the emergency
  1. Stopped after the musher yelled at one of the dogs in the team. He lost a 5 hour lead due to this.
  1. Dear Leader himself! 
  1. Milwaukee
  1. Climate change
  1. Peace, for her climate activism. Thunberg was behind Friday’s protest as well as many other climate related activities.
  1. Beto O’Rourke
  1. Drawing on their Social Security very early and thus delaying their retirement. Or work until you die.
  1. Boeing
  1. The US. We are no longer #1 in air safety, folks.
  1. New York
  1. Theresa May
  1. Christchurch, New Zealand
  1. The death penalty
  1. The Bubba The Love Sponge Show.
  1. Be accepted into elite schools
  1. Elizabeth Warren
  1. Jeanine Pirro 

My cat is still a bit groggy from the time change. Losing an hour of sleep makes him pretty hard to get along with for about 8 months or so.

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

Sloppy Work, Senator Ernst

Image (2) joni-ernst-the-perfect-Koch-investment-150x150.jpg for post 30888

She’s not working for Iowans, folks

Last week like many I got Senator Ernst’s latest joke of a newsletter called “Make ‘Em Squeal.” I wrote about Ernst’s latest “Squeal” here last week. Then I wrote her office and asked the obvious question – where did you come up with the cost of implementing the Green New Deal at $93 Trillion?

I am naive. I really thought I would get back some statement with someone actually taking some ballpark cost estimates and fudge it around and come up with a number.  You know, something that shows someone somewhere made some half assed effort to pretend to try to make it look legitimate.

I was so wrong. Instead I received a several paragraph email with the “$93 Trillion” tucked in about halfway down with the addition of “one estimate” I guess to legitimize those numbers.

Very, very sloppy. My first thought was that if Joni was in my daughter’s climate class I would guess she would have earned a giant “F.” Ernst’s response also screamed without saying anything that she really doesn’t care about the climate.

So here is the Ernst response to my original question which I did not save. I will follow that with my response to her and her staff.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about climate change and the Green New Deal. It is important for me to hear from folks in Iowa on policy matters such as this.

On February 7, 2019, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), introduced S.Res.59, a resolution expressing support for a policy proposal called the “Green New Deal.”  This resolution has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for further consideration.

As a member of this Committee, I am committed to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle on an all-the-above approach to energy security. As Iowans, we are fortunate that our state is a leader in the use of renewable energy. In fact, wind generates approximately 40 percent of Iowa’s electricity, more than any other state. It is also important to make note that Iowa’s diverse energy mix is largely a result of state policies and community engagement.

Conversely, the Green New Deal sets unworkable and unrealistic goals, such as transitioning the United States to 100 percent renewable energy in 10 years, while currently only 8 percent of our electricity is generated from wind and solar. This proposal would dramatically drive up costs for every American, and would eliminate thousands of jobs in the energy sector. One estimate puts the total cost of the Green New Deal at $93 trillion. In order to cover the costs of this plan, families would have to pay as much as $65,000 annually, which is more than most Iowa households make in a year.

Like all Americans, I care about leaving this earth beautiful for future generations. We all care about clean water and air. I believe that government can take reasonable and concrete steps to protect and improve the environment. This includes encouraging the utilization of a diverse mix of energy resources and improving energy efficiency.  Feel free to contact my office with any further information and please know that I will continue to keep your views in mind as the Senate works on this issue.

Sincerely,

Joni K. Ernst
United States Senator

My response:

Senator,

I recently wrote to ask where you came up with the ridiculous cost for the Green New Deal of $93 Trillion. Your response simply stated that “One estimate puts the total cost of the Green New Deal at $93 trillion.”

Let me ask my question again. Maybe you (actually your staff, but at your direction) didn’t understand the question.

You are a United States senator, one of only a hundred. As such when you speak or write, your words carry a lot of weight. Thus when you just state a number of “$93 Trillion” we expect that you will put some effort behind verifying those numbers. 

Just saying “one estimate” without stating where that estimate came from or how it was derived is simply very lazy, sloppy work and unbecoming of one of only one hundred US senators.

The public wants to be able evaluate the reliability of such statements. Such out of the norm statements are often made only for shock value. When they are made they should be accompanied by some data justifying such an estimate.

Once again, this is sloppy, lazy work unbecoming a senator. Certainly such a response was meant to shut me up. It won’t. Why? Because climate change is simply the single most serious over riding problem humanity has. We have one planet and we are making it uninhabitable. We can’t simply move to a different neighborhood.

Your flippant response tells me you really do not care. We need people in office for whom climate change is top priority. Or perhaps you have a plan to deal with what happens when the earth becomes uninhabitable?

So, once again, what is the source of your cost for the Green New Deal and how was that cost arrived at?

And while we are at it this statement “This proposal (renewable energy) would dramatically drive up costs for every American, and would eliminate thousands of jobs in the energy sector.” This looks like another fully unsubstantiated statement. From my understanding renewables is and will create jobs.

Could you please send some substantiation for this statement also?

Thank you

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Climate Change, Joni Ernst | 2 Comments

What Iowans Need To Know About Trump’s Latest Health Care Sabotage

Truman on health care

From Matt Sinovic at Progress Iowa:

This week, the Trump administration released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, which revives a call to repeal the Affordable Care Act and lays out massive cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The administration’s budget reveals just how steadfast it remains in trying to take away Americans’ health care. 

Here are five things you need to know about Trump’s Health Care Sabotage Budget: 

  1.  President Trump’s Budget Revives The Failed Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill That Would Repeal Medicaid Expansion And ACA Subsidies Only To Replace Them With Inadequate Block Grants, Ultimately Cutting Medicaid By More Than $1 Trillion.  

By shifting to a block grant program and eliminating funding for Medicaid expansion, the administration would cut Medicaid by more than $1 trillion over 10 years.

   2.  The Budget Would Impose Onerous Work Requirements On Medicaid Enrollees Nationwide, Which Is Estimated To Cause Up To 4 Million People To Lose Coverage.

This unprecedented move would completely alter Medicaid as we know it, requiring people nationwide to meet onerous work and reporting requirements in order to maintain their Medicaid coverage. The Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that a national Medicaid work requirement would cause up to 4 million people to lose coverage, most of them losing coverage due to paperwork and red tape.

   3.  The President’s Budget Could Impose Premiums On Up To 4.2 Million Low-Income Uninsured People Who Are Currently Eligible For A Plan That Requires $0 In Premiums.

As CQ’s Mary Ellen McIntire reports:

“The budget proposes all exchange enrollees who are eligible for subsidies “contribute something” to their coverage, meaning people who currently pay $0 in premiums would have to make some sort of payment. Kaiser found that could apply to 4.2M uninsured.”

   4.  The President’s Slashes HHS’s Operating Costs By 12 Percent. 

Trump’s budget would slash funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, the department responsible for administering the Affordable Care Act by 12 percent. As Politico reports, the budget request  “assumes that Congress will succeed in repealing and replacing Obamacare.”

    5.  The Budget Proposes Cutting More Than $800 Billion From Medicare Over A Decade. Despite repeatedly promising not to cut Medicare, President Trump’s budget would cut roughly 10 percent of Medicare’s funding over the next ten years to help pay for tax cuts to insurance and big drug companies.

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Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa, Guest Posts, Health Care & Medicare, Progress Iowa | Leave a comment