Iowa Citizens for Responsible Agriculture

Follow this FB group: Iowa Citizens for Responsible Agriculture

FYI, Iowa. Here’s an article posted in

When Dermot Hayes [Iowa State University professor and Pioneer Chair in Agribusiness] traveled to China last fall, he saw something eye-opening. Pork with the Smithfield Foods label was selling for twice what the local Chinese product was bringing.

Smithfield, which is owned by the Chinese company WH Group, is raising and killing pigs in the U.S. and shipping carcasses to China for processing and packaging in that country.

“He expects that once Prestage Foods of Iowa builds its new pork packing plant near Eagle Grove in 2018, a Chinese company will swoop in. They are looking for large private pork producers that have integrated into packing. It is more economical for China to import pork rather than corn or soybeans. It’s best to import the final product because of transportation costs. When they buy from Smithfield they buy at cost of production.”

It’s also best to import “the final product” because then China doesn’t get the air and water pollution and health problems that factory farms cause, we do.

Article link:

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Video: Rep. Bobby Kaufmann “Incredibly Insulted” That Women Want The Right To Choose

Republicans have no problem portraying themselves as the victims even when a policy has no particular effect on them.  Here’s an example of their twisted logic, specifically Bobby Kaufmann expressing indignation that women want to be the ones to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy in case of a catastrophic birth defect.  He feels  that he and the Republicans should be the ones who choose what women can and cannot do in every case.

At the March Muscatine legislative forum, a female constituent asked this question:

“The heartbeat bill passed the upper chamber with a vote of 30-20 Republican favor. A doctor performing an abortion after a hearbeat is detected faces felony charges unless the mother’s s life is threatened. This intrusion on womens’ rights removes the choice in the face of knowing there are catastrophic defects that remove all quality of life for the child. This in the face of increasing lack of support for medical care supports a class war. This in the face of supporting 2nd amendment rights indicates our representation is pro-birth not pro life. I’m ashamed of the hypocrisy that I continue to see. What will you do to protect the lives of the already born in the face of gun control?”

According to Kaufmann’s logic, it is not women who should be insulted by male legislators such as himself, thinking they have the right to “pick and choose.” Rather it is Bobby who gets to feel “incredibly insulted” by the argument that the woman should be the one who decides.

Bobby explains, “I’m arguing on behalf of the pro-life crowd when I say that if you want to give the courts an easy way to toss it then criminalize or de-license someone for doing something that is currently legal,” clarifying that he is only opposed to making doctors felons because it would be bad political strategy.

He closes on the gun control portion of the question by throwing in the most handy, patronizing talking point he apparently had available, “cautioning everyone” on how “easy” it is to think that “gun control will make us all safe.”

And how easy it seems to be for you, Representative Kaufmann,  to defend your policies over real people with condescending, insulting talking points.

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Will Youth Decide The 2018 Election In Iowa’s First District?

Here’s a bit of cheery news.   Young people could help Iowa prevent a trending downward slide to becoming a third world country/state.  (If they can overcome our spiffy new voter ID law that makes it harder for just about everyone to vote).  Nevertheless, this is hopeful information from
CIRCLE ( (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)


In many communities, young people make up a substantial proportion of the population, yet are sometimes not included in campaign outreach. More local elections can help to connect issues youth care about in their communities to elections. The Youth Electoral Significance Index (YESI) utilizes indicators of demographics, historical voting patterns, and projected competitiveness to produce a ranking of the states and districts where young people (ages 18-29) have the highest potential for impact on the 2018 elections.

Today, CIRCLE is releasing the top 10 congressional districts where young people might have an especially high electoral influence. Later this month will release the top ten Senate and Governor races.

Here’s why these ten districts ranked so highly:

Iowa 1st (Cedar Rapids) – Iowa’s 1st district has 20 colleges and universities and a high proportion of 18 to 29-year-olds enrolled in college (over 40%). The district population is predominantly white and young people had one of the 20 best turnout rates in the nation in the 2014 midterms: 22%. There are several so-called pivot counties in this district, meaning that voters supported President Obama in 2012 and President Trump in 2016; so competitiveness will be a factor.

(click here to read the entire article at

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Bobby Kaufmann Uses Name Calling And Insults To Defend Republicans At Local Forum

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann seems to think if he is belligerent enough, no one will notice that he has no idea what he’s doing.  In response to a constituent mentioning an item he had read in the QCTimes, and asking why the Republicans were trying to pass such extreme bills and apparently trying to “drown government in the bathtub,” paraphrasing Grover Norquist, Bobby responded by calling the QC Times a bunch of political hacks.  

Then one of his constituents asked this question drawing a reasoned response by Sen. Dvorsky validating the constituent’s perceptions.

When it was Bobby’s turn to speak, rather than show respect and civility toward his constituents who were there on their own dime, not getting paid by the taxpayers to be there, and who Bobby is getting paid to represent, Bobby chose instead to insult his constituent, calling him by name, and saying, in a sarcastic tone, “Well, Don, I can always count on you to be to the left of the far left, so I appreciate the consistency” and went on to whine, cry and complain about how sick and tired he is of Republicans being held responsible for corporate giveaways. 

So sad! Maybe you and your party should quit doing it then.   Or, if you are “so sick and tired of it” and can’t manage an appropriate response to a constituent’s question, maybe you should get a different job.  Not everyone has the temperament for public office.

Everyone who lives in House District 73, there is a Democratic challenger, Jodi Clemens.  Not only is she not a Republican, she will no doubt treat her constituents’ concerns with more civility and respect than what was on display by Bobby at this forum.  Check out her campaign websiteFacebook  page and find her on Twitter.

Watch the entire Muscatine legislative forum here. 

Map of HD 73

Iowa HD 73 – click on image to see larger view

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Anti-Trump/Reynolds Billboard Censored

Billboard “too controversial.”  This is the way of media. Conservative voices get all the exposure they want unquestioned.  Other voices get censored and banned, stifled.  Like there aren’t plenty of controversial billboards out there. As someone commented on a FB post, “you can’t swing a dead cat in Iowa without hitting an anti-abortion billboard.” But the simple and TRUE message, of Trump and Reynolds being “anti-worker, sabotaging schools, wrong for Iowa” is too controversial.

So exactly what part of this billboard is so “controversial”  you may ask. The photos of Reynolds and Trump seem fair, not particularly flattering but not an obvious intention to make them look bad by choosing the worst possible photo.  The message?  It’s an opinion, sure.  Perfectly valid opinion and based on fact that the Iowa Republicans and Trump have been sabotaging public education through budget slashing and appointing cronies to be in charge at the highest level.  What’s so terrible with saying they are “anti-worker?” They have done their best to cut teachers’ wages and bust unions.  “Wrong for Iowa?”  Yeah, that is a valid opinion shared by many Iowans, and not particularly controversial in any way.  The real reasons this billboard was deemed too controversial is because (1) it was true; and (2) the Republican crowd in charge wouldn’t like it.  Pure and simple. 

Here’s the email from Progress Iowa. Support them if you can; they work hard and do a great job.

“On Friday, we [Progress Iowa] placed our order for the billboard copied below. On Saturday, the Lamar Advertising banned it from running, saying it was too ‘controversial’ even though they’ve run similar ads in the past.

Their censorship of our message is completely unacceptable, but they won’t stop us from getting our message out. After we emailed Friday asking for your help to hold Ivanka Trump and Kim Reynolds accountable, you responded with nearly $1,000 raised in just two days. We will still put that money to good use — running our banned billboard message in online ads all over the state to educate Iowans.

And if you can chip in once again, we will keep the ads going and make sure every Iowan knows the truth about the anti-worker, anti-education Trump/Reynolds agenda.

Thanks for all you do,

Matt Sinovic
Progress Iowa

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Video: Scott County Legislative Forum

Thanks to Molly Regan, 1st Vice Chair, Scott County Democrats, for sending these videos along for posting.  Parts 2-4 are available at Scott County Democrats YouTube channel. Everyone should be getting video at your forums whenever possible.  

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Lobbyists: Time To Shine A Light On Them

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Branstad signs Iowa’s union busting bill for an audience of one – lobbyist Drew Klein.

Many years ago I made a proposal that any and all meetings between lobbyists and members of government at any level be held in the open and if possible recorded. If governmental people must wear a recorder 24X7 so be it. We have found with police wearing cameras that what is reported is often at odds with what is recorded.

In light of the Bill Dix incident this week I will renew my call. In Washington DC we have something in the neighborhood of 20+ lobbyists per congress member. Most do not have the best interest of the average American in mind. That is sarcasm if you missed it.

The Dix incident and the Branstad signing pic with Drew Klein are just tiny examples of what goes on behind closed doors and we are only aware of these because they accidentally leaked out. 

This mixing of lobbyists and lawmakers is toxic. Open government demands that all meetings between them be in the open and available to the public.

I have little pretensions that I am a lonely voice on this, but it just feels like it is way beyond time that we open the government up to scrutiny in every dark corner that still exists out there.

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Sunday Funday: Karmic Edition


At the outset let me explain that this week’s quiz will be less devoted to current events than normal. Your humble quiz master’s universe has been disturbed by a force that occurs once a year and he must attend to it. If you must know it is a force that goes by NCAA. It will be visiting at the same crucial time as is the normal quiz compilation time. I must fight the invasion with diligence, potato chips and diet sodies.

There is something karmic about Iowa senate Republican Majority Leader Bill Dix resigning due to a sex related scandal. Considering how he handled the sexual harassment charges and then lawsuit against his caucus it almost seems as if some force set up his downfall. Wish such karmic events were more common.

It was also almost karmic that Prof. Stephen Hawking died on a day devoted to one of the most fundamental scientific concepts, that of pi, 3.14. Professor Hawking had a very subtle sense of humor. One could almost imagine that he would pick that day as a final whimsical joke on himself.

Finally Republicans gerrymandered Pennsylvania’s 18th district as a district that would be forever a Republican district. As we often find out, forever is a foreign concept to karma. As a party if you keep kicking the electorate at some point they will turn around and bite. What is surprising is that more of the electorate did not bite.

Here goes with some current events, Irish questions and questions on women’s history.

  1. Gina Haspel is the first female nominee to head the CIA. However her history of heading CIA torture site in what country may hinder her confirmation?
  1. Who was the first woman to challenge for the nomination of a modern major American political party?
  1. What Republican congress member publicly dissented from the House Intelligence Committees findings that the Russians did nothing in the 2016 election?
  1. VP Joe Biden was reported in the new book “Russian Roulette” by Corn and Isikoff to have called Trump’s involvement with Russia what?
  1. Dear Leader’s lawyers are trying to stop an airing of 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels. This would be an example of what form of censorship?
  1. Steel tariffs were put in last week just before a special election in what once major steel producing area?
  1. Dear Leader bragged at a fundraiser Wednesday night of lying to the face of what other world leader?
  1. Who was the first black woman elected to congress? (Hint: 1960s)
  1. The NRA responded to the national walkout for safety on Wednesday by tweeting what?
  1. SoS designate Mike Pompeo is a former congress member from what state?
  1. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the US was held in what city in 1762?
  1. In an administration with lots of turnover, John McEntee’s exit was sudden and spectacular. What position did Mr. McEntee hold?
  1. What town in northern Iowa was founded as an “Irish colony” in the late 1800s?
  1. When was the Equal Rights Amendment first introduced in congress?
  1. Iowa Senate majority leader Bill Dix resigned his seat after being caught kissing a lobbyist in a bar. What group was the lobbyist representing?
  1. Katherine Graham was the publisher of what newspaper and what magazine beginning in the 1960s?
  1. What member of Dear Leader’s family is rumored to be in divorce proceedings?
  1. Dear Leader took a trip to California Tuesday to do what?
  1. What little Irish town does former President Obama trace his Irish roots back to?
  1. What woman who was denied permission to sing to the Daughters of the American Revolution was given a venue at the Lincoln Memorial?


  1. Thailand
  1. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine in 1964 in the Republican Party
  1. Trey Gowdy (yeah, not running again changes perspective)
  1. “If true, this is treason”
  1. Prior restraint
  1. Pennsylvania’s 18th district near Pittsburgh
  1. Justin Trudeau of Canada
  1. Shirley Chisholm
  1. A picture of an AR 15 with the caption “I’ll control my own guns, thank you”
  1. Kansas
  1. New York City
  1. Personal assistant to the president. McEntee was not even allowed to get his coat.
  1. Emmetsburg
  1. 1923
  1. Municipalities
  1. The Washington Post and Newsweek
  1. Donny, Jr.
  1. Look at proposed border wall types
  1. Moneygall in County Offaly
  1. Marian Anderson. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in arranging the outdoor concert.

Andy Borowitz:  Nation Marvels at Trump’s Ability to Turn ExxonMobil Multimillionaire Into Sympathetic Figure

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Reminder: March For Our Lives Next Saturday!

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Make your position known! We will not stand for the wholesale slaughter of our children or fellow citizens as gun makers profit from their deaths.

It is time to let politicians who are in the pocket of the gun lobby that Enough is Enough!

The number of marches has grown astronomically in a week. Even the city of Muscatine is joining in.

Go Here  to find a march in your area. Stand up for your kids, grandkids, neighbor kids and all your friends and family!

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The Quiet Room 

A story of a child’s gun death in America

“At the end of an inconspicuous hallway and strategically placed far from the controlled chaos of the trauma room lies a dimly lit waiting area that we in the medical field call “the quiet room.” It is a bland spot; a few soft chairs surround a table that holds a box of crisp institutional tissues. There may be a picture or two on the wall, but generally it is an unassuming room where we physicians tell mothers about the deaths of their children, far too often because of firearm violence.

As we make our way to this room, we recite a careful script; we use words intended to ease this painful first-and-only meeting. The reality is that over the years, we have found that there is no good way to tell a mother that her child has died, especially when the unexpected death might have been avoidable.

We introduce ourselves as the doctor who took care of their child. We take a deep breath, look into their eyes, and quickly break the devastating news — there is no reason to delay. What follows is the visceral, piercing shriek of a mother’s wailing, “Please God, not my baby!” We often weep with these mothers, we sometimes quietly blame ourselves for not being able to do more to save their baby’s life — and when they are alone, as is often the case, we hold them up while they cry.

We walk away from the encounter, our stomachs churning from the stale, metallic scent of a child’s blood barely dried on our clogs, our faces streaked with tears, and our hearts gripped in a vise as we tell ourselves that this senseless dying must end. But it doesn’t end. Another child is shot, and another mother is heartbroken.”

This is the beginning of a story from the New England Journal of Medicine from December 21st, 2017. The story of what happens AFTER the big headlines. How doctors fight to save the lives of the victims and then have to deal with the mothers and fathers.

Yet for very explainable reasons, research into the reasons behind these scenes is illegal in this country. That is right – forbidden by law. Remember doctors live in a world of science where scientific methods are used to research and isolate causes of diseases and accidents. Strangely it is ILLEGAL to do research on the hows and whys of gun deaths in America.

Why? Without much research I think we can arrive at a consensus – it might cut into gun sales and profits of the gun industry. So what you ask? Well the gun industry has an iron grip on at least those in the Republican Party often dictating their stand on gun issues. 

If you value freedom in this country be sure to free some legislators, congress critters and other various officials from the grip of the gun industry this fall. Apparently they are too weak to do so on their own.

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