Iowa’s Mental Health Care Discussed on Iowa Press


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ICE Raid In Mount Pleasant

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Thanks, Iowa Republicans

Iowa Senate Democrats:  “The 2018 Iowa Republican tax bill (Senate File 2417) will make Iowa’s budget mess permanent in order to give hundreds of millions to wealthy Iowans and out-of-state corporations and individuals.”   Here is a link to the Final 2018 GOP Tax Plan Summary by Senate Democrats on  SF 2417.  More here:…

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Nate Boulton Attempts To Get Answers From Obtuse Republican About Nation’s Most Restrictive Abortion Bill

 Senator Nate Boulton frames the issue as an attack on the constitutionally protected right to privacy and an attack on women.

“We are walking into a world where this legislation attaches criminal liability to doctors and nurses… you are creating criminal prosecution with this amendment. You are creating criminal liability in our medical system and shrugging and saying I don’t know isn’t good enough…These are negative consequences by design. “


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A Catholic Nun Explains Real Pro-Life


From July 30,2015:

In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy of many in the ‘pro-life’ movement:

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

This quote applies well to many Republican lawmakers who continue to introduce/pass restrictive misogynist laws against woman’s reproductive rights. At the same time, the GOP works to shut down women’s health clinics, with a special vengeance towards Planned Parenthood (#StandWithPP). You don’t see these Right Wing anti-choice extremists adopting children from unplanned pregnancies or putting funds into sex education.

But you do see Republican lawmakers cut access to birth control, which prevents abortions. You do see the GOP’s 54 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and their $24 billion Government Shutdown, both to destroy universal health reform which protects the needs of millions of American children. And you do see Republican lawmakers cut government programs like school lunches for children and block government financial aid to families who are homeless and/or in need.

The goals of these so-called anti-choice/’pro-life’ hypocrites are not about fetuses or children once born, their agenda is about controlling women’s bodies and women’s futures. How great to hear Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, define the pro-life/anti-choice GOP double talk so well. An outspoken advocate for women, Sister Joan Chittister is a lecturer and author of 50 books. Holding a Ph.D. from Penn State University, she is also a research associate in a division of Cambridge University. Other subjects of her writing include women in the church and society, human rights, peace and justice, religious life and spirituality. She has appeared in the media on numerous shows including Meet the Press, 60 Minutes, Bill Moyers, BBC, NPR, and Oprah Winfrey. You can visit Joan Chittister’s website at Joan

Not much I can add to this well written article. Too bad it is now so timely in Iowa.

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Sunday Funday: Why Food Stamps Started Edition

Image (1) MothersDay.jpg for post 1168

This is sort of on the the theme of Mother’s Day. Once we have children the next huge task is keeping them fed so they can grow and prosper. That is what is on a Mother’s mind and the baby from the time the cord is cut.

American farms have always been incredible productive. Unfortunately our economic system has not always been conducive to distributing all this food to those who really need it. They are possibly some here who may remember (or heard their parents talk about)  farmers dumping milk or killing hogs and burying them to keep prices up while people were literally starving in the streets during the Great Depression.

During the Roosevelt administration a short term attempt was made to solve these two problems with what seemed to be an obvious solution – funnel the excess to the poor through some program. This program was short-lived as WWII put nearly all Americans in jobs and the food was used to feed the world. 

Once the war was over, the dual problems came back and the rudiments of the modern food stamp program began. You can read a short version of the history here.   

Now we have a very mean spirited farm bill wending through congress that seems to want to set some form of stigma and involuntary servitude on the poor. Seems to me a better answer would be mandatory living wages. 

OMG another week of stepping to the line of oblivion:

  1. Sen. John McCain took some major hits from supposed friends last week. What network aired a comment who claimed McCain succumbed to torture and was known as “Songbird John?”
  1. The FCC said in a notice that net neutrality would end on what date?
  1. What major name in the news got fired by his own firm this week?
  1. May 14, 1804 what historic exploration of the American west kicked off from St. Louis?
  1. Mick Mulvaney said “bribe us” a couple of weeks ago. What sitting congress member went to Shelly Adelson to pick up a $30 million “contribution” for the Republican Party?
  1. Speaker Ryan has set a what date as the date that the renegotiated NAFTA agreement must be presented to congress?
  1. As the Iowa legislature gaveled out, Republicans passed how much in tax cuts?
  1. Dear Leader berated what cabinet head in front of the other cabinet heads Wednesday in a lengthy confrontation?
  1. A much feared candidacy by what Republican was avoided in the West Virginia primary Tuesday?
  1. Because the Obama Admin did it better, that’s why! What member of Dear Leaders family released a pamphlet done by the Obama Admin as her own work Monday?
  1. In a stunner Monday that took only a few hours, what New York official resigned after sexual assault allegations against him were revealed?
  1. CO2 levels surpassed what milestone in late April according to measurements taken on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa mountain?
  1. Trying to deftly sidestep questions on torture, what nominee to be CIA head was grilled by the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday?
  1. Iowa’s senators Grassley and Ernst and Representative Young praised Dear Leader for what decision this week?
  1. A year ago this coming Thursday who began his new job investigating influences on the 2016 election?
  1. AT&T and Novartis were among companies that spent millions to try to influence Dear Leader through what person in Dear Leader’s entourage?
  1. May 17th, 1954 what monumental decision was handed down by a unanimous Supreme Court?
  1. “The highest ratings ever for TV at 2AM” crowed who as cable TV covered the return of American prisoners held in North Korea?
  1. How many Americans held by North Korea were released during the Obama administration?
  1. Once found not guilty of treason on a technicality who became head of the NRA last week – a group accused of laundering money for Russian oligarchs into US elections?

John Fugelsang:  “Suddenly, Trump likes guys who get captured. 


  1. Fox News
  1. June 11th or in about a month
  1. Rudy Giuliani 
  1. The Lewis and Clark expedition
  1. Speaker Paul Ryan – technically Ryan made a presentation and former senator Norm Coleman made the ask.
  1. May 17th or this coming Thursday
  1. $2 billion – amazing after having so many shortfalls in the past year
  1. Kirstjen Nielsen of Homeland Security
  1. Don Blankenship
  1. Melania Trump
  1. New York AG Eric Schneiderman
  1. 410 PPM
  1. Gina Haspel
  1. Unilaterally withdrawing the US from the 7 party Iran nuclear agreement
  1. Robert Mueller
  1. Michael Cohen – influence peddling they used to call this
  1. Brown v. Board. 
  1. Dear Leader. There is almost nothing he won’t praise himself for
  1. Eleven. The returns were done quietly away from the media.
  1. Oliver North

An Iowa man says his dog inadvertently shot him while they were roughhousing Wednesday. 

This wouldn’t have happened if a good dog with a gun had also been there.


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Ready For $4 Gas?

Image (1) stock-photo-gasoline-prices-gas-price-sign-with-a-humorous-slant-1719803.jpg for post 10192

One way to tell Republicans are in office is that the price of gas skyrockets. 

Remember Operation Desert Storm? Zoom! Remember invading Iraq? Zoom! 

It takes a little while to cook up a destabilizing scenario in some world hot spot – usually the Middle East. The current administration started banging the drums of war against Iran the minute it walked in the door. Two National Security Advisors and one tepid Secretary of State later they are getting their war cabinet in place.

One of the first effects of destabilizing the Middle East is that the price of oil jumps over fears of interruptions in the supply. What a lucky break for all those oil companies who have lots and lots of “campaign contributions” into Republican politicians.

Let us not forget that it is also an incredibly lucky break for a certain Russian despot who may or may not {wink, wink} have been instrumental in our Dear Leader’s election. Just the kind of reward he was hoping for.

As wages continue to stagnate for workers and who knows what is going to happen with farm prices now that the administration continues to step forward, then backward on trade wars, it does look like one winner in this destabilized world will be oil. Who could have guessed that would happen with the election of a Republican?

Inauguration Day saw the price of oil at $26 a barrel. That has tripled since. Everyone who buys gas has noticed the jump in gas prices in the past couple of weeks. The rise is somewhat masked by the annual “gas is more expensive in the summer” cover. 

When the current administration announced its desire to break from the 7 party joint agreement with Iran last Tuesday there was little surprise. It was also clear as a bell on a crisp night who the big winner would be thanks to this move. Russia got a huge boost in income:

“A report on Russian state media shows that Donald Trump has already delivered not just a gift to Vladimir Putin, but possibly the gift that Putin has wanted all along. In a conversation on RT, the two hosts note that to implement all the domestic programs Putin has promised for Russia, the cost will be 8 trillion rubles ($127 billion). But, where, the host questions, is Russia to get such a huge amount when the government has long been strapped for cash?

Female host says: “Looks like we found it. Trump is withdrawing US from the Iran nuclear deal. Oil prices should go up, which is good for us.”

Crude oil futures have leapt from $26 at the time of Trump’s election to $77 today. Back in January, Trump actually certified that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear agreement. However, Trump threatened to end the agreement if it wasn’t expanded to include items unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program and “strengthened” in unspecified ways.

<<snip >>

Russian oil production hovers around 10 million barrels a day. That means the increase that has already happened in oil prices is providing Putin with an extra $520 million a day. If the prices were to continue at the level generated by Trump’s actions for a year, Putin could meet all his promises to Russia—and have $60 billion to spare—just out of the net increase.”

Along with an injection to the Russian economy, Russia also got another chip out of the alliance that has frustrated them for years – NATO. Yet another point of contention among the nations that joined together after WWII to mutually defend each other in the face of Russian (Soviet at the time) aggression.

What a lucky day for Russia Tuesday was. Our leader withdrew form an agreement that even he had certified as working despite warnings from leaders in the US and around the world of what an incredibly stupid move this would be. 

It would almost make you think that our Dear Leader was more worried about the good it did for Russia than the bad it did for the US.

Just a couple of things to ruminate on this summer as the drums of war start pounding.

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Step One In Retiring Reynolds Is In Process


voting republican

In case you hadn’t heard early voting is going on prior to the June 5th primary. This is step one in repealing and replacing the Reynolds regime that continued and even accelerated the Branstad policy of turning Iowa into Mississippi part 2. Most Iowans know that Iowa cannot sustain another four years of marching backwards.

State revenue shortfalls were only the leading edge of the effects of the Republican policies. Further effects will start to hammer us over the next 3 to 4 years much as they did in Kansas. Unlike Kansas I hope Iowa voters are smarter than to keep voting for more of the same or worse and expecting that stupid policies will somehow be corrected.

Policies don’t correct themselves. We need real, thinking, logical people to enact good policy and then to enforce it. There is nothing in their past performance or in their promises that would give anyone any reason to think Republicans would change their positions on any of the number of policies they have enacted that have purposely hurt Iowa’s citizens. Reynolds and Branstad were at the forefront of shaping this bad policy.

From the insane privatization of medicaid to the attempts to choke our children’s education to the union busting bills to the voter repression bills targeted at Democratic voters to the unbelievably harsh “fetal heartbeat” bill, Iowa’s legislature and governor have become little more than puppets in the transformation of the US to a radical right wing utopia.

While remaking Iowa into a Koch Brothers dream, they have also bankrupted the state and put the health of thousands of citizens at stake. 

So we are already in the process of picking the opponents for Iowa’s governor and legislators. Your vote in this process is really important. We want the very best candidate we can get because the next four years will determine whether Iowa thrives as a state or crashes and burns in the mold of Kansas and Wisconsin.

This is also a good opportunity for Iowans to check that their registration is valid and up to date. This will save problems in November when your vote will be so critical.

I was almost stopped from voting during municipal elections last fall because my signature name (Dave) did not match the registration (David). This despite know most of the poll workers for decades.

We also just registered my wife’s mother who moved across counties during the past year. We tried to work with the auditor’s office to make sure we had the proper identification when we went to have her registered, but the auditor’s office was not to sure what they needed. Apparently those in charge of the system are not sure how it works.

So get out now and check that registration. Then cast a vote for our next governor and your own next representative or legislator and for your next congress member. We need every Democrat to stand up and help the team!

And if you can – send some dollars to you favorite candidates. Together we can take on Republicans and where ever they get their money.

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May 14 Deadline – First Iowa State Legislative Campaign Finance Deadline in 2018

Email from Sen. Robb Hogg:


HD 73 candidate Jodi Clemens and Senator Robb Hogg

Support one or more of our Democratic candidates for state legislature, so we have the resources we need to compete and win

Join State Rep. Art Staed and me at the Sag Wagon, 827 Shaver Road NE, in Cedar Rapids, on Monday, May 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Dear Friends:

I got out door-to-door with state representative candidate Jodi Clemens in Iowa House District 73 near Solon earlier this week (see picture above), and I hope all our candidates are hitting the doors.

You can help by contributing financially to our candidates. Don’t wait to be asked. We need thousands of contributors, giving more than previous elections, so we can have the resources we need to compete and win.

With the many bad things Republicans are doing at both the state and national level, this election has never been more important. We must win so we can stop and reverse the damage being done to our state and our country.

Below are a list of upcoming events and a list of candidates who need your support. If you or people you know want to visit with me about how citizens can make a bigger difference – on issues, my re-election campaign, or with other campaigns – please let me know.

It is urgent for citizens to get engaged and stay engaged on issues and campaigns at both the state and national level. If we work together, we can choose a more responsible direction, and build a safe, healthy, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future for all.


Senator Rob Hogg

Cedar Rapids




Monday, May 14 – Post-Session Fundraiser for State Rep. Art Staed’s campaign and my campaign from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Sag Wagon, 827 Shaver Road NE, in Cedar Rapids (next to Cedar Lake). For more details, visit:

Saturday, May 19 – Voter registration and engagement drive from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., starting from the Higley Building, 118 3rd Ave. SE, in downtown Cedar Rapids (across from the Paramount). For more details, visit:

Saturday, May 19 – Linn Phoenix Club fundraiser featuring all four Democratic Congressional candidates (Abby Finkenauer, Thomas Heckroth, George Ramsey, and Courtney Rowe) from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Raygun, 1028 3rd St. SE, in Cedar Rapids. For more details, visit:

I hope to see you at one or more of these events.


Here is an updated list of Democratic candidates across Iowa running for seats currently held by Republicans (by district number and by one or more population centers in the district). Don’t wait to be asked – these candidates need our help financially and with volunteer time.

Senate Candidates:

SD3 – Dave Dawson (Sioux City / LeMars)

SD5 – John O’Brien (Fort Dodge)

SD7 – Jackie Smith (Sioux City)

SD11 – Sara Ramsey (Corning)

SD13 – Vicky Brenner (Indianola)

SD19 – Amber Gustafson (Ankeny)

SD25 – Tracy Freese (Iowa Falls)

SD41 – Mary Stewart, Ed Malloy (Ottumwa / Fairfield)

SD47 – Marie Gleason (Bettendorf)

House Candidates:

HD1 – Karen Larson (Larchwood / Spirit Lake)

HD2 – Ryan Odor (Spencer)

HD5 – Andrew Emanuel (Le Mars)

HD6 – Rita DeJong (Sioux City)

HD7 – Debra Jensen (Estherville / Forest City)

HD8 – Connie Price (Britt / Clarion)

HD10 – Jake Thompson (Rockwell City)

HD12 – Peter Leo (Audubon / Carroll)

HD16 – Steve Gorman (Council Bluffs)

HD17 – Jan Creasman (Onawa / Ida Grove)

HD19 – Gregg Gustafson (Adel)

HD20 – Warren Varley (Guthrie Center / Greenfield)

HD21 – Denise O’Brien (Atlantic / Creston)

HD22 – Ray Stevens (Avoca)

HD23 – Chuck Larson (Glenwood / Red Oak)

HD24 – James Uhlenkamp (Mount Ayr)

HD25 – Ryan Marquardt (Winterset)

HD27 – Richard Foster (Osceola)

HD28 – Ann Fields and Zachary Pendroy (Knoxville)

HD30 – Dan Nieland and Kent Balduchi (Altoona)

HD37 – Andrew Rasmussen (Ankeny)

HD38 – Heather Matson and Reyma McCoy McDeid (Ankeny)

HD39 – Karin Derry (Johnston)

HD42 – Kristin Sunde (West Des Moines)

HD43 – Jennifer Konfrst (Clive)

HD44 – Kenan Judge (Waukee)

HD47 – David Weaver (Boone)

HD48 – Tim Winter (Webster City)

HD49 – Brenda Brink (Nevada / Eldora)

HD50 – Dennis Evans (Iowa Falls / Grundy Center)

HD51 – Tim Knutson (Osage)

HD55 – Kayla Koether (Decorah)

HD56 – Lori Egan and Andy Kelleher (Waukon)

HD57 – Nancy Fett and Leo Gansen (Dyersville)

HD58 – Joe Oclon (Bellevue / Anamosa / Maquoketa)

HD60 – David Williams (Cedar Falls)

HD63 – Eric Stromberg (Waverly)

HD67 – Eric Gjerde (Hiawatha)

HD68 – Molly Donahue and Scott Foens (Marion)

HD72 – Dave Degner, Jocelyn George, John Anderson and Mindy Benson (Tama/Toledo)

HD73 – Jodi Clemens (Tipton)

HD75 – Paula Denison, Doris Guildford and Dennis Mathahs (Vinton)

HD76 – Ann Egley (Williamsburg / Grinnell)

HD78 – Kimberly Davis (Washington / Sigourney)

HD79 – Samantha Keith (Oskaloosa / Pella)

HD80 – Susan McDanel (Albia / Centerville)

HD84 – Jason Moats (Mt. Pleasant)

HD88 – Lanny Hillyard (Mediapolis / Columbus Junction)

HD91 – Laura Liegois (Muscatine)

HD92 – Jean Simpson (Eldridge)

HD94 – Joan Marttila (Bettendorf)

HD95 – Christian Andrews (Central City / Mt. Vernon)

HD96 – Reenie Montgomery (Manchester/Monticello)

HD97 – Tim McClimon (DeWitt)

I will update this list after the June 5 primary. Please adopt one or more of these candidates to help, so together we can take back the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate, un-do the damage Republicans are doing to our state, and get Iowa going forward in a progressive direction.

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Why The Country Is In Dire Straits

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