Watch Mike Franken’s Big Blue Wave Bash 2022

In case you couldn’t be there, here is the live stream from the Franken for Iowa Facebook page.  We have only 37 days until election day. Please support Mike Franken to defeat Grassley.  Donate  Volunteer  Facebook  Twitter  

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Sunday Funday: October Fest Edition

 A puppy, a pile, playtime! (3:15)

The temperature is cooling, the days are growing shorter, the corn and soybeans are being harvested and football is on the TV. We cover ourselves against the evening chill still not quite ready to turn the heat on yet – maybe cranking up a portable heater for a while. 

Soon the tree leaves will turn colors, then dry up and drop. The annual turn to fall with all its beauty and attendant work to prepare for winter. Oktoberfests will be celebrated around the world where people of all stripes enjoy music and beer and food. It is a good time to be alive.

But we still have wars, inflation and political shenanigans to attend to

A) Where to start this week? What country is having a presidential election today that features a far right wing incumbent and a previous president?

B) Speaking of elections, Giorgia Meloni’s election in what country rekindled memories of that  country’s WWII leadership?

C) Hurricane Ian was the center of much coverage this week. What level was Hurricane Ian when is slammed into Florida Wednesday night?

D) Tomorrow is the first Monday of October. What US government body begins a new term on the first Monday of October each year?

E) In yet another “election,” four territories within what country held sham elections that Russia claimed legitimized their status as Russian territories?

F) What congressional committee postponed their much anticipated public meeting due to Hurricane Ian Wednesday?

G) Pipelines carrying natural gas from from what country to what other country were ruptured by suspected sabotage Tuesday?

H) What TV propagandist claimed the above sabotage was the work of the Biden Administration?

I) What wife of a Supreme Court Justice was questioned last week by the January 6th committee on her involvement in the attempted coup?

J) Hispanic History Month: What two ancient empires covered much of current Mexico and Central America before the Spanish conquest?

K) 55 years ago today who was sworn in as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice?

L) McDonald’s new marketing campaign will be nostalgic trip featuring a what for adults?

M) Octoberfest: What German city is the home of the official Oktoberfest?

N) VP Kamala Harris spent time in what area of the world on official visits last week?

O) Happy Birthday, Mr. President. What former president turned 98 yesterday?

P) What notorious American was granted Russian citizenship last week?

Q) What NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback is involved in a welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi?

R) In a test the US sent a missile to change the orbit of what outer space object?

S) Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds entered into a lawsuit to stop what executive order by President Biden from taking place?

T) What Hispanic is a sitting Justice on the Supreme Court?

Still waiting for the media to cover Donald J. Trump’s stolen documents in any way close to how they covered Hillary Clinton’s emails. – ethanpersists tweet

Answers:

A) Brazil

B) Italy

C) 4 just short of a 5

D) the Supreme Court

E) Ukraine

F) the January 6th Committee

G) from Russia to Germany. The flow had been stopped earlier but there was gas in the pipeline.

H) Tucker Carlson on Fox

I) Ginni Thomas

J) Aztec and Maya

K) Thurgood Marshall

L) Happy Meal

M) Munich

N) Japan and South Korea

O) Jimmy Carter 

P) Edward Snowden

Q) Brett Favre

R) an asteroid.

S) the student loan forgiveness

T)Sonia Sotomayer

All I can say is thank God Biden is POTUS, because if it was a Blue State fighting material disaster and there was a Republican POTUS, there would be no funds. – Woman In The Moon tweet

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Radical Right Budgetary Shenanigans

As headlines of a monster of a storm bearing down on Florida early in the week and expectations of major revelations coming from another January 6th committee hearing captured most of the news consuming public this week, stories of another averted government shutdown barely got a mention.

Since the days of Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House, Republicans have made headlines with their continuing threats to hold the national government hostage to their demands of their perception of fiscal sanity. That usually includes their “starve the beast” ideas of stopping any programs for the needy up to and including any food aid, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Republicans only do this when there is a Democratic President, as there is today, and they have the numbers in one or both houses of the legislature to stop what is known as continuing legislation. What Republicans have learned over the years is that their threats to stop the government is really unpopular since payments to many businesses for goods and services would stop despite contracts that guarantee payments.

A government stoppage in the US and subsequent non-payment of contracts entered into by the government (through legislation passed by congress) would cause severe financial disaster that could easily have been avoided. In short Republicans continually threat to cause a disaster if the rest of the country doesn’t bow to their hostage demands.

The senate passed resolution Thursday before the Friday midnight deadline. As I write this we are still waiting on the House to pass the continuing resolution. Even if they do,  that resolution is only good until December 16th when the country will once again be subject to Republicans using the debt ceiling as hostage. Merry Christmas!

I bring this up to illustrate the chicanery that the radical right Republicans practice in the most basic of government functions, budgeting. As the country watched, hurricanes laid waste to first Puerto Rico (yes, it is a part of the US) and then Florida. As a country we have always stepped up through our national government to help repair disasters. Iowa got a big helping hand after the derecho in August of 2020 for instance.

But even here members of the radical right has closed their fists and tried to stop aid after disasters such as Hurricane Sandy hit New York only to put their hands out to ask for aid when their states are hit by a disaster. In this little budgetary game Iowa’s Chuck Grassley is a major player, continually voting ‘Nay’ for thee, but ‘Yea’ for me. Iowans must replace this kind of poor judgement.

Tip of the hat to EarlG on democraticunderground.com

So for Chuck Grassley the application of ‘starve the beast’ only applies to others and especially those in so-called “Blue” states. Members of Congress who play games with disaster relief need to go. Enough of that kind of chicanery. Disasters are disasters and shouldn’t be used as political opportunities to punch down on political opponents.

Another type of disaster that has led to political chicanery has been the ongoing pandemic and Kim Reynolds use of disaster funds from the federal government to balance her budget and give big tax cuts to corporations. 

Iowans were treated to a headline this Thursday that Iowa’s governor for corporations, Kim Reynolds, will be cutting income taxes for corporations based on a budget surplus. What the article in the Des Moines Register did not explore is how the budget surplus came to be.

However in a similar situation about a years ago Laura Belin took a deep dive into how Iowa’s budget came about at bleedingheartland.com. To simplify Belin’s analysis, disaster money for pandemic relief stimulated the economy that created higher tax revenue that became a surplus:

OTHER PANDEMIC-RELATED POLICIES INCREASED STATE REVENUES

While the direct federal support to states has been extraordinary, the literally trillions of dollars that have been pumped into the economy in 2020 and 2021 have also bolstered state economies. Direct assistance to individuals and businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program, enhanced and extended unemployment benefits, three rounds of economic impact (stimulus) payments to individuals, and advance child tax credit payments, helped the U.S. economy rebound from its induced hibernation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those funds helped keep people employed and active participants in the economy – which translates into taxable consumption and income.

Given that the vast majority of Iowa’s revenue comes from state sales and income taxes, that federal support was critical to its FY2021 surplus.

Iowa is hardly different from other states in its current experience. According to the NASBO spring 2021 survey, estimated total balances (states’ rainy day fund balances combined with general fund ending balances) for all 50 states reached $126.4 billion in FY2021, a new all-time high in nominal dollars, and 13.8 percent as a share of general fund spending. 

Tomorrow Iowans will probably see yet another story about teacher shortages and other pressing needs in Iowa. Addressing those problems would seem a better use for revenues than giving more money to the class that already has plenty. The claim that giving tax cuts to the rich stimulates an economy has been disproven countless times since Reagan. Yet Iowa has leader who is out of touch with reality but quite in touch with her corporate masters. It is as if Reynolds was the middle man in turning federal money into corporate tax cuts.

And as a fitting end to this story let’s look at how new British PM Liz Truss threw financial markets into real tizzy by reinstalling the trickle down economics that everyone knows doesn’t work. It was already going to be a bad winter in England, Truss just made it incredibly worse.

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Franken Hits Grassley’s Lack Of Respect For Service Members

Three star Admiral Michael Franken

From a Franken fund raising email:

Grassley must apologize to every veteran

The attacks from Chuck Grassley keep coming.

“The most liberal nominee in Iowa Senate history”
“Radical”
“Socialist”

Gotta love it!

Chuck Grassley doesn’t know what to say about me. He’s never faced an opponent like me before. I’m his political nightmare, so he’s just throwing cow pies at the wall and hoping something sticks.

Calling me “radical” is laughable when Chuck Grassley supports a complete ban on abortion and letting literally anyone buy an AR-15 without even a background check. But there’s one attack that I absolutely won’t take lying down, and that’s Chuck Grassley’s attacking me for serving our country for 36 years in the U.S. Navy.

Grassley is now trying to say that because I enlisted in the military at age 19, because my deployments meant that my family had to move from state-to-state and country-to-country… that I’m not an Iowan anymore.

Chuck Grassley wants to pretend that I wasn’t raised in rural, northwest Iowa. He ignores the enormous sacrifices that my family – my wife and my kids – made to allow me to serve in the Navy.

Grassley’s attacks denigrate every servicemember and every military family that has to pack up, change schools, say goodbye to friends, spend holidays away from each other, and be absent from life’s big events like weddings and the birth of a child.

And if Chuck Grassley thinks that I will stand silent while he says that every Iowan who puts on our country’s uniform stops being an Iowan… he’s delusional.

These are the kinds of attacks I’m up against. Nasty stuff from Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, and the Fox ‘Entertainment’ News propaganda network.

There’s one reason why: The GOP is scared. They’ve seen the polls, and they know that if we defeat Grassley and turn Iowa blue this November, Democrats are guaranteed to maintain our Senate majority.

In order to fight back, we need to raise $2,500,000 before our FINAL end-of-quarter FEC fundraising deadline of the campaign, but the only way we’ll hit this huge goal and send Grassley packing is if grassroots donors like you give again right now:

https://frankenforiowa.com

Comment:

Grassley can see the writing on the wall. His desperation is almost palpable. Grassley just can’t get past Franken’s sterling record as a naval officer coupled with his own (Grassley’s) failed record as a US senator. That is a one-two punch that Grassley can’t just “Aw-Shucks” his way out of.

Grassley has always been party first. His main concern has been doing whatever will keep his party in power and get him re-elected. The country and Iowans have always been secondary thoughts. In recent years we have seen this illustrated in his maneuvers to to make the Supreme Court into a far right wing institution whose decisions have weakened democracy and taken rights from the poor and middle class.

As Republicans plot their next moves to further their war on the poor and middle-class we can expect Grassley will either go along or lead the charge:

  • Abortion – Grassley led the way by reshaping the Court into a radical right wing institution.
  • Social Security – As Republicans tout their renewing all legislation every 5 years proposal, expect Grassley’s and his compadres to end Social Security. 
  • Medicare – expect the same fate for Medicare and 
  • Medicaid –  Republicans have been trying to kill SS, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare from day 1. Re-elect Grassley and they may get their wish. Grassley will be on the bandwagon to end those programs.

Iowa needs Mike Franken for his proven leadership, for his razor sharp mind and for his keen judgement. Early voting starts in a couple of weeks. 

Mike Franken will save Iowa’s heritage, freedom, and respect for our veterans.

Posted in 2022 Election campaign, Affordable Care Act, Charles Grassley, Medicare, Republican Policy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why Do People Believe Republican Lies?

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Franken’s Experience In DC Government Will Serve Iowa Well

ICYMI: Nicholas Johnson makes a strong case for why Mike Franken’s exceptional qualifications and experience would serve Iowa well as our senator. Posted with permission.

Franken Experienced in D.C. Government
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, May 29, 2022, p. C2

I’ve often supported losing candidates whose utopian hopes aligned with mine. Everything being equal, I’ve chosen women candidates.

Today things aren’t equal.

Not this primary. Not among Iowa Democrats’ U.S. Senate choices. All Iowans will benefit from having a Democrat join our Republican. Plus, there’s much each senator can do for Iowa – whichever party controls the Senate.

For winning, the strongest candidate is former Admiral Mike Franken, hands down. He already knows Washington, with personal experience in the Senate, White House and Pentagon. His leadership skills have been recognized and rewarded. He will immediately have the respect of the other senators. [Photo credit: “Franken for Iowa” Facebook page.]

Most important in winning, Franken was raised and shaped by Western Iowa.

Republican majorities carry 93 of our 99 counties. Democrats need a goal of a more statewide political party.

Based on my time in Ida County, and in north central Iowa during my 1974 congressional primary, Mike Franken’s demeanor, record, common sense, and ties to the people in small town western Iowa will help Iowa’s Democrats reach that goal.

Nicholas Johnson
Iowa City

SOURCES

Franken’s “experience in the Senate, White House and Pentagon. His leadership skills have been recognized and rewarded.”

“In Washington, D.C., he served a fellowship in congressional affairs for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy; as the political-military chair in the Chief of Naval Operations’ Executive Panel, in Navy’s Plans and Strategy Deep Blue staff; in the Assessments Division in support of Navy’s representation in the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and in the Joint Staff’s Joint Operations Division overseeing U.S. Pacific Command operations. He presented the worldwide orders book to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 2003 to 2005 and was the first military officer to serve as a legislative fellow for Senator Ted Kennedy.[4]” “Michael T. Franken,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_T._Franken

“Franken earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, a master’s degree from the College of Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School and professional studies at MIT, UVA’s Darden School of Business, and the Brookings Institute.[1] Franken was a member of the U.S. Navy. He retired from military service as a three-star admiral in 2017.[1] Franken worked in a variety of positions in Washington, D.C. He was the first military officer on Senator Ted Kennedy’s staff. He also worked in the U.S. Department of Defense.” “Michael Franken,” BallotPedia, https://ballotpedia.org/Michael_Franken

“He saw sea duty in four navy destroyers, a destroyer squadron, and an aircraft carrier. He deployed frequently to the world’s hotspots and was the first commanding officer of the USS WINSTON S CHURCHILL. He has significant Pentagon experience beginning with a legislative tour with Senator Edward Kennedy, and then in multiple strategy, policy, and planning positions involving the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. In these uncertain times with our democracy under attack, Iowans need Admiral Mike Franken in the US Senate. Through his work in the US Navy and at the Pentagon, Mike knows the global challenge of Russian aggression, and the propaganda and disinformation tactics used by Vladmir Putin. . . . Michael Franken has dedicated his life to serving our country and doing what’s right. Franken was the only voice on a team of military advisers to oppose George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Franken served under President Barack Obama and oversaw numerous successful missions to protect our country including leading U.S. forces in Africa to fight terrorists and pirates.” Franken for Iowa, https://frankenforiowa.com/about/

“raised and shaped by Western Iowa.” “Franken was born the youngest of nine children in rural Sioux County, Iowa. His father was a machinist and blacksmith. His mother was a school teacher. He joined the navy at age 22 at the urging of an older brother.[9] In 1989, Franken married his wife Jordan. Together, they have two children.[10] Franken lives in downtown Sioux City, Iowa.” “Michael T. Franken,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_T._Franken

“Franken was born in Sioux County, Iowa. He was one of nine children. During his youth, Franken worked alongside his father at the Lebanon Farm Shop, working with farm equipment and trucks. When he was 17 years old, Franken began working at Sioux Preme Packing Company to pay for college. He also worked as bar manager, math tutor, bouncer, and as a law firm’s civil engineer.” “Michael Franken,” BallotPedia, https://ballotpedia.org/Michael_Franken

“Mike grew up working in his father’s small machine shop where he ran a lathe, did welding, and helped with general implement repair. He was a hired hand for neighboring farms until, at the age of 17, he began a three-year-stint working at a slaughterhouse in Sioux Center, Iowa. He obtained a Navy scholarship in 1978 and graduated in engineering from the University of Nebraska. . . . His life in Lebanon, Iowa has taught him the values of community, family, faith, and rural life, which guides his efforts to invest and build in rural Iowa. . . . As the father of a child with disabilities, he has seen how inconsistent care can be in years where he was transferred 17 different times. She would have great support in one community and the next there would be no support. For his daughter and for veterans who were injured, he seeks to pick up the banner of former Senator Tom Harkin as a disability advocate.” “Franken for Iowa,” https://frankenforiowa.com/about/

“Republican majorities carry 93 of our 99 counties.” Trump carried 93 of 99 Iowa counties in 2020. “Donald Trump Won in Iowa,” Politico, Jan. 6, 2021, https://www.politico.com/2020-election/results/iowa/

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Ag-Gag Decision Huge Win For Workers And Free Speech

From our inbox:

We have exciting news – a U.S. district judge struck down Iowa’s unconstitutional ag-gag law yesterday! This is a huge win for food workers, advocates, and free speech itself.

This was the third time big ag and their bought-and-paid-for elected officials like Kim Reynolds tried to silence free speech on industrial ag facilities by criminalizing trespassing and recording of abuse by employers breaking the law.

Iowa CCI members helped lead the charge, with four members making declarations in the case that the judge upheld as us having “standing” – that we had sufficient cause to sue the state.

With this ruling, workers exposed to unsafe working conditions and whistleblowers will not be held liable for investigating and documenting evidence of facility conditions. It sends a clear message to employers that they will be held accountable for upholding abusive working conditions and putting profit over people.

The ability to investigate and document how our food is made is critical in ensuring a just and transparent food system that holds companies and government institutions accountable. We’re committed to fighting for a food and farm system that’s good for family farmers, workers, eaters and our environment.

We won’t back down from corporate ag bullies. We will always speak up and speak out for what’s right. Onward!

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Bohannan v Miller-Meeks

Democrat Christina Bohannan and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks debated Monday night on Iowa PBS. 

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Ryan Melton Kills It On Iowa Press – Feenstra Couldn’t Be Bothered


Iowa 04, you need to ditch MAGATrump Republican Feenstra who refused an Iowa Press invitation to debate, and vote for this guy. As stated by Liz Cheney, Republicans need to vote for the Democrat if the only other choice is a Trump loyalist Republican. Vote for democracy. Vote for the good of Iowa. Watch this and see what Ryan Melton has to say. You will be surprised. No talking points. No politi-speak.  Just what he thinks.

Melton: Yeah, let me make clear again I’m talking about how I’m opposed to expanding corn ethanol because there’s bills in Congress right now that are wanting to expand ethanol blend up to 20%, 30%. I think there are a lot of deleterious impacts that would come from that. But as far as breaking through on messaging, I don’t have a paid Washington D.C. consultant that tells me what to say, I don’t have any paid consultants that tell me what to say. My words are my own. I have a master’s degree, I’m a smart guy. I can look at the data in front of me without bias, without corporate influence and make conclusions that I think are sound and reasonable. And so in this space as far as political messaging, I don’t say anything that I have first put through the ElectionTron 5000 to make sure that it appeases enough voters. I say the truth. I try to do the right things regardless. But in this case, go talk to a corn grower on the ground. Don’t talk to a processor, don’t talk to a fertilizer company, talk to a farmer on the ground. And ask them, okay, give me both a short, mid and long-term assessment of whether what you’re doing right now is ecologically and economically sound and they’ll tell you no, I’m really concerned, but I don’t have enough politicians that are talking about the nuance there and I don’t have enough politicians that are caring about funding trade development programs and market development programs beyond corn ethanol, so I’m really on shaky ground here. I need more brave people to stand up for me. And that is what I hear over and over again from democrats, republicans, independents and libertarians on the ground. And so I just speak the truth and that is what I’m going to keep on doing.

To donate or volunteer, visit Ryan’s campaign website.
Follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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Grassley Votes Against Open Democracy Yet Again

A leader we can trust

From The Hill:  

Senate Republicans voted Thursday to block the consideration of a bill to promptly require organizations that spend money on elections to promptly disclose the identities of donors who give $10,000 or more during an election cycle.

The body failed to invoke cloture on the measure, in a 49-49 vote. Every Republican present voted against the measure, while every Democrat voted for it.

<< snip >>

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), has been a top Democratic priority since the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United in 2010 that enabled corporations and other outside special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on federal elections.

Schumer on Thursday morning said the court’s decision more than a decade ago “has disfigured our democracy almost beyond recognition.”

The Democratic leader cast Thursday’s vote as a defining issue ahead of the election, when voters are bombarded by televised political ads funded by tens of millions of dollars in anonymous donations. 

If you are in favor of selling your vote, you sure do not want meddlesome citizens finding out who you are selling it to. This is reason enough to vote Grassley out. 

Join me in voting for Mike Franken this fall. Iowa could use some integrity in their senators.  

Posted in 2022 Election campaign, Charles Grassley, Republican hypocrisy, Republican Obstruction, Republican Policy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment