September Is Puppy Mill Awareness Month

Shame on Iowa.

Action alert from Iowa Voters for Companion Animals

“Iowa is leading the race for the worst state in which to be a dog or puppy.”

The month of September is Puppy Mill Awareness Month. While we are grateful for the awareness such designations bring to the plight of adult dogs held captive within puppy mills and the millions of puppies born in such squalid conditions, we look forward to the day when such “holidays” are no longer necessary. 

The conditions within puppy mills often include dogs living in filthy, wire cages without proper vet care, socialization, or protection from the elements. Adult dogs are robbed of their very “dog-ness” as their entire lives are dedicated only to producing puppies, and those puppies are too often shipped off to other states with illnesses, genetic defects, or life-long behavioral issues. 

Disappointingly, a large number of puppy mills are currently federally licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Dog breeders acting in such an irresponsible manner so as to earn their facilities the title of “puppy mills” are legal business owners with licenses that continue to be renewed, despite not meeting Animal Welfare Act regulations. 

Iowa is currently home to so many puppy mills that we are ranked third in the nation.

Iowa is leading the race for the worst state in which to be a dog or puppy.

Currently, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship only oversees dog breeding facilities with a state license, not those with a federal license. As the USDA has failed to protect dogs and puppies within facilities they are responsible for overseeing, and continue to redact inspection reports and roll back enforcement policies, it is time for Iowa to take a stand.

It’s time for Iowa to stand up against systematic neglect and cruelty that the USDA has allowed to continue within our state. 

It’s time for Iowa to enact laws to protect dogs and puppies in all dog breeding facilities.

It’s time for state oversight as federal oversight has failed. 

We will continue advocating for Iowa’s dogs and puppies until puppy mills are a thing of the past.

Please help us continue to lobby for better laws by donating today.

Sincerely,


Haley Anderson
Executive Director
Iowa Voters for Companion Animals

Posted in Puppy Mills | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

One Unspoken Reason To Vote This Fall

And a Good Reason To Vote For Democrats This Fall

Once Neil Gorsuch was in place filling the SCOTUS chair that was stolen from Merrick Garland in 2016,  Radical Republicans were now fully in charge of all branches of the federal government. Now was the time for radical policies to be put in place that would be upheld by a court system that has been radicalized threw appointment manipulation over the past two decades.

Of the many things on the Republican agenda one of the most pressing is to suppress the vote. As seen in this clip from 1980, Paul Weyrich loudly and proudly states what has become the rallying cry for Republicans at every level:

They don’t want everybody to vote. In fact the fewer that vote, the higher the percentage of Republicans within the pool of those that did vote will be. Since Weyrich issued that clarion call, voter suppression has been one of the focuses of Republicans. Republicans in every branch at every level have been working hard to keep the turnout down.

Last June the Supreme Court with new Justice Neil Gorsuch upheld an Ohio law aimed at suppressing the vote on a 5-4 partisan vote. From Vox:  

“Ohio uses a multi-step approach to do this: First, it waits for someone to not vote for two years. Then it mails them a prepaid return card to make sure the would-be voter still lives at the same address. If the state does not get the card back and the person does not vote in any election for four more years, the state assumes the person has moved and removes the person’s voter registration from the rolls, citing a change of residence.

Opponents of the system argue that it violates the federal National Voter Registration Act and Help America Vote Act, which restrict a state from removing someone from the rolls just because the person failed to vote. Opponents also claim that the system is unreasonable, in part because many people who received the return cards simply threw them away without responding — not because they no longer live at the residences, but because they may not have known what the cards were for.

The Supreme Court’s Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute ruling concluded, however, that Ohio’s voter purge system did not violate federal laws. The Court found that Ohio’s system uses a lack of voting as just one piece of evidence, along with the lack of response to the prepaid return card, to trigger a person’s removal from the rolls. Since a person not voting is not the sole basis for removal from the rolls, the Court said, it’s legal under federal law.”

The reasoning behind all of the various Republican voter suppression laws is “voter fraud.” Voter fraud is in reality nearly non-existent problem. You may remember that a woman in the Des Moines area was caught trying to vote twice in 2016. Despite Republicans’ fervid imagination of hordes of non-citizens making our elections jokes, voter fraud almost never happens.

Again from Vox:

“There have been multiple investigations — by academics, journalists, and nonpartisan think tanks — into voter fraud. None have found evidence of widespread fraud or anything close to it.

Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt studied voter impersonation, the major type of fraud that strict voter ID laws and voter purges in part aim to curtail. Levitt found 35 total credible accusations between 2000 and 2014, constituting a few hundred ballots at most. During this 15-year period, more than 800 million ballots were cast in national general elections and hundreds of millions more were cast in primary, municipal, special, and other elections. “

That calculates to .000004375%. 

Fortunately, since the Supreme Court made this decision after many state legislatures had already disbanded for the year installing and implementing them in other states will have to be delayed until the legislatures reconvene. You can bet that implementing some type of system that emulates Ohio’s voter purging system will be high on many Republican agendas next winter.

Which brings us to this fall’s election in Iowa. Considering the kind of laws the Iowa legislature has passed the past two years it is certainly very reasonable to expect that a majority Republican legislature in both houses of the Iowa legislature would pass some form Ohio’s law. 

If a Republican legislature passes a bill similar to Ohio’s and the governor’s seat is held by a Republican (Reynolds) you can almost bet that the Republican governor will sign that bill into law in a New York second. 

Also consider that the Ohio law is only a guide. Iowa, for instance, could tighten up those rules to include anyone who misses one election no matter what level. 

So think when you vote this fall that by voting for Republicans especially for legislature or governor you may be making it much harder for yourself to vote in the future.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, Iowa Voters, SCOTUS, Vote Fraud, voter suppression | Leave a comment

Sunday Funday: Waiting For The Manafort To Sing Edition

It will be such a lovely song. Full of words that will afflict the comfortable. Sing mighty Manafort sing. This may be the song of freedom that we have heard about. Sing loud and sing proud. There is no pardon in your future, mighty Manafort so sing loudly for all to hear!   I am sort of getting that Fitzmas feeling all over again. Let us hope this is more fruitful. 

I am feeling like a cute dog video (minute and a half)  is in order today. It has seemed so dark since 11/09/16:

Wow I can’t even keep up at all anymore:

  1. During the middle of last week there was a high number of concurrent active storms of tropical depression status or higher in the world. How many were active at one time last week?
  1. Dear Leader canceled a trip to what European country this coming November?
  1. Who gave himself an A+ for the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico?
  1. What musician received some backlash for staging a concert for senate candidate Beto O’Rourke in Texas?
  1. Les Moonves left his position as CEO of what corporation due to allegations of sexual misconduct?
  1. An online group raised $1.3 million for a yet to be named candidate to oppose what senator should that senator vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh?
  1. Iowa gubernatorial candidates Fred Hubbell and Kim Reynolds agreed to how many debates this fall?
  1. September 17th, 1683 Dutch scientist Antoine van Leeuwenhoek reports the existence of what previously unknown life form?
  1. According to the FDA, what bad health practice has reached “epidemic proportions” among US teens?
  1. Here’s a relic from the past. What “club” opened yesterday in NYC, over 3 decades after the last of its kind closed in NYC?
  1. What book was published this week to record sales?
  1. “Just Do It!” How much did Nike online sales increase in the wake of the Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.
  1. Speaking of Kaepernick, what story about reaction to Kaepernick that went viral across the internet was revealed to be false?
  1. Who was announced as the main speaker for the Iowa Democratic Party’s Fall Gala next month?
  1. What multi-billionaire announced he would donate $2 billion to help the homeless and create preschools?
  1. Hurricane Florence may dump up to 40” of rain in the Carolinas. Hugo dumped 58” on Houston last year. How much rain did Hawaii receive three weeks ago from Hurricane Lane?
  1. Thousands of Medicaid recipients were dropped in what state for failing to meet work requirements?
  1. A female police officer in what city has been charged with manslaughter after killing a man in his own apartment?
  1. What senior administration official threatened the International Criminal Court with sanctions if the ICC continued to investigate US war crimes in Afghanistan?
  1. What European Union member was punished by the EU for breaches of EU core values?

Andy Borowitz (shortly following news that Manafort would cooperate with Mueller):

Before bringing his conversation with reporters to an abrupt close, Trump offered a theory of who Manafort might be. “You’re telling me he ran a campaign,” Trump said. “If he ran anybody’s campaign, it was Hillary’s.”

Answers:

  1. 8 according to weatherunderground (5 Atlantic, 3 Pacific)
  1. Ireland (looks like he is still looking for something to do on Veteran’s day weekend since his parade was also cancelled – anybody want to invite him over for dinner?)
  1. Dear Leader!
  1. Willie Nelson
  1. CBS
  1. Maine’s Susan Collins
  1. 3
  1. Bacteria
  1. Vaping using nicotine laced vaping liquid
  1. A new Playboy Club
  1. “Fear” by Bob Woodward
  1. 31%
  1. That a mad fan burned his house down trying to burn his Nike products
  1. Corey Booker
  1. Jeff Bezos of Amazon (hey, Jeff, raise the wages and benefits for your workers and contrast workers. That would really help)
  1. 52” – see a trend here?
  1. Arkansas (vote for Republicans and Iowa could be next)
  1. Dallas
  1. John Bolton
  1. Hungary

One more for fun:

Kirk the border collie watches herself win agility contest on TV (35 seconds)

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

Help me call Steve King out to debate!

(email from JD Scholten – IA-04)

JD Scholten For Congress
It’s been one week since I issued a debate challenge to Steve King. He responded by saying he wouldn’t debate me because, as he put it, “there’s not a clear division on issues.” If Steve King truly thinks there isn’t a clear division on where he and I stand on the issues, he’s even more out of touch than we thought. Here’s just a few of the places where we differ:

* Steve King calls the recently passed tax bill his “best vote.” I think it was a scam perpetuated on the working class. It’s going to add $1.9 trillion to our deficit and nearly all of the tax cuts go to those at the top. I stand for tax reform that benefits the working class.


* Rep. King has voted to take away health care from thousands of Iowans with pre-existing conditions. I want to ensure access to affordable health care for all Iowans.

* Farm incomes are collapsing to 2002 levels and Steve King has done nothing about it. I’ll actually challenge the corporate consolidation of our markets that is squeezing our farmers, and I oppose the disastrous trade wars that Iowa is bearing the brunt of.

* Steve King doesn’t show up. He’s missed 39% of House Agriculture Committee hearings and 80% of Small Business Committee hearings. He doesn’t do Town Halls or events with the general public and now, he won’t even participate in a debate! I’ve done two 39 county tours in the last year and am launching a third 39 county Town Hall tour in the next few days. (You can’t fake showing up.)

* Steve King practices politics of division and fear. I want to work for ALL of the people here to build our district’s future together.

There are significant differences on the issues between myself and Steve King, and the voters deserve to hear loud and clear the differences between the incumbent and the candidate running to replace them. Please sign this petition today, asking that Steve King do his democratic duty and participate in three debates. Our goal is to collect as many signatures as possible to pressure him into doing what is right and honor the great American tradition of political debates. Our voters deserve nothing less.

You can access the petition demanding a debate HERE.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, Steve King | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Forget: Progress Iowa’s Annual Corn Feed Tomorrow

Markos_Moulitsas

Markos Moulitsas photo from dailykos.com

 

www.ProgressIowa.org

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2018

Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0133

SUNDAY: 4th Annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed at 12:30 PM

Bondurant, IowaThe 4th annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed will take place this Sunday, September 16th at the Clover Barn at Irishman Acres in Bondurant, and will feature speakers Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), DailyKos.com founder Markos Moulitsas, and Iowa’s own Congressman Dave Loebsack. 

In addition to the keynote from Schatz, addresses from Loebsack and Moulitsas, the Progress Iowa Corn Feed will feature remarks from Congressional candidate J.D. Scholten, candidates for statewide office Deidre DeJear, Rob Sand, and Tim Gannon, Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen, Iowa House Democratic Leader Mark Smith, and Charlotte Hubbell, wife of gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell. The Progress Iowa Corn Feed will also feature local progressive organizations during an activist fair, for a fun-filled afternoon. 

General admission tickets are $30, and available online at www.ProgressIowa.org or by emailing info@progressiowa.org.

Attendees will participate in an Activist Fair and receive lunch starting at 12:30 p.m., followed by the speaking program, scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. 

***A mult box will be available to pre-credentialed media. Media wishing to attend must RSVP to matt@progressiowa.org ***

WHAT: 4th Annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed

WHEN: Sunday, September 16; Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Speaking program begins at 2:00 p.m. (all times central)

WHERE: Clover Barn at Irishman Acres; 700 NE 88th St, Bondurant, Iowa 

Progress Iowa is a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization with a network of nearly 70,000 progressives. Year-round, Progress Iowa advocates for a stronger middle class, first-class public education, and fairness for all Iowans under the law.

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, David Loebsack, Progress Iowa | Tagged | Leave a comment

Poor Kim! Why Does Everybody Pick On Her?

Hubbell Hart

These guys will take responsibility for their own  actions

When you finally reached that magic age to vote did anybody pull you aside and give you some advice on voting that sounded like this:

“When you look the candidates over, be sure to pick the one who never takes any responsibility for their own actions. Make sure that whatever happened in their life or while they were in government they always had someone to blame their problems on. Being able to blame someone else for their problems is a good sign that these people are reliable.”

I doubt any one has ever gotten that kind of advice. In fact just the opposite is almost always true. Yet from the White House through the congress and down to the state houses we have one party whose sole campaign theme seems to bee “I didn’t do it! My opponent did it” 

That is generally the thrust of every tweet that emanates from the current federal administration. Trump has done nothing wrong. All that is wrong can be blamed on Obama or Hillary Clinton. The only thing that Trump has done is take an economy that was near collapse and turn it into a raging machine. If you believe that then I have a series of bridges for sale that span the Mississippi. A great investment!

Of course I am talking about the Republican Party. Their craven behavior of blaming everything on their opponents is cowardly, laughable and infuriating.

One of the great practitioners of “I didn’t do it!” Here in Iowa is our current governor Kim Reynolds. For someone who has been part of the administration in charge of Iowa for nearly a decade, Reynolds often times seems very surprised when she is asked how the state got into the messes it is in. Her answers are often laughable.

Take Thursday when she was asked about our public universities dropping in rankings by rating organizations:

“The University of Iowa dropped seven slots and Iowa State University dropped three slots in new national rankings of public schools by U.S. News & World Report. School administrators are pointing to funding cuts by state leaders. In a written statement, UI President Bruce Harreld characterized lawmakers’ actions as a “generational disinvestment in public higher education.”

Those additional resources include student tuition, which has paid for a greater percentage of university budgets as state funding has gone down. While taxpayer dollars used to fund the majority of operations at UI and Iowa State, now students and their families are picking up more of the tab.

Reynolds pointed to past administrations that made deeper cuts to public education, citing Democratic Gov. Chet Culver’s decision to cut state funding by 10 percent across the board during the Great Recession. Speaking at an event in Tiffin Wednesday, Reynolds said her priority is to boost the economy by cutting taxes.”

See – Culver did it too! And it is more important to cut taxes for the rich!

I was laughing so hard at Reynolds response when I heard it on the radio as I drove home from a meeting that I almost drove off the road. See it is not her fiscal mismanagement or the huge tax cuts for the rich that are hindering Iowa universities. Tax cuts are great and Culver did it too. Did anybody tell her that Culver’s cuts were due to the Great Republican Recession that nearly took the world economy down?

When I got home I read that Reynolds is claiming a free trip to last year’s Liberty Bowl was a campaign trip. Who couldn’t believe that? Well most of Iowa. If it looks like a bribe and it smells like a bribe, then it must be a campaign contribution, right Kim?     

‘The AP’s Ryan Foley reported this afternoon that Reynolds had once again taken a questionable plane ride paid for by a donor that has business with the state of Iowa. Dave North, the CEO of Sedgwick, a company that is contracted by the state to handle workers compensation claims, reimbursed his company for the use of the corporate jet to fly Reynolds and her family to an ISU bowl game. It happened on December 30, 2017 for the Liberty Bowl.

There’s quite a few problems with this latest news.

For one, it came on the heels of Republicans’ passage last year of a workers compensation bill that made it harder for workers injured on the job to get benefits. That legislation was one of the most direct attacks on working Iowans’ rights to fair treatment when they get hurt and can’t work because of their injury. Companies like Sedgwick stand to gain from those changes.

It’s also a rather shady practice to accept fancy private jet flights from people and companies that receive government contracts or decisions that financially benefit them. That can give the appearance of pay-to-play, even if it wouldn’t have really changed the governor’s stance on the issue.”

Great analysis at the link from Pat Rynard.   

Poor Kim! What next? Maybe being caught distorting Fred Hubbell’s work on the Iowa Power Fund that you once praised him for. A small word of advice Kim: In the computer age information stays around forever.

What else could go wrong? Maybe getting caught violating Iowa’s constitution on judicial appointments? Maybe Reynolds had better things to do? 

Maybe it is just me, but I think will vote for the guy who pays attention to what is going on and is able to accept responsibility for his actions. That would be Fred Hubbell. 

Right now I wouldn’t even vote Reynolds as the runner up. She is just not responsible or reliable and seems to be removed from reality as witnessed by her defense of Iowa’s indefensible privatized Medicaid system.

Posted in 2018 Election Campaign, Blog for Iowa, Kim Reynolds | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Climate Change Making Extreme Weather Worse

Btw, when and why did we stop calling it global warming?

Posted in Blog for Iowa, Climate Change | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Packed Town Hall Confronts Grassley On His Support of Kavanaugh and Trump

Posted in #trumpresistance, Blog for Iowa | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Kavanaugh: Net Neutrality Unconstitutional

https://www.fightforthefuture.org/

“Fight for the Future works to protect your rights in the digital age.”

Last week, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh doubled down on his stance that net neutrality is illegal and unconstitutional.1

If the Senate votes Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court, telecom giants like AT&T could challenge net neutrality laws all the way to the nation’s highest court. It would be a disaster for the free and open Internet.2

Regardless of how you feel about Judge Kavanaugh’s other views, our basic Internet freedom is too important to let the Senate install an anti-Internet justice on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings just ended and senators are deciding RIGHT NOW how they’re going to vote. Click here to tell your senators to defend net neutrality and vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

A vote could come in the next few weeks, so we urgently need you to pressure your senator.3

The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality is a temporary setback. We’re fighting in Congress, in the states, and in the courts to restore it. But if big ISPs have a friend sitting on the Supreme Court, he can essentially overrule anything we do to bring back net neutrality.

We only have have a few days left to stop this, and we need your help.

Tell your senator: no enemy of net neutrality on the Supreme court. Vote NO on Kavanaugh.

We’re counting on you,

–Josh, on behalf of FFTF


Footnotes:

1. Broadcasting & Cable News: https://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/kavanaugh-defends-dissent-in-net-neutrality-decision

2. NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/brett-kavanaugh-s-net-neutrality-views-could-have-broad-impact-ncna906086

3. The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/whitehouse/the-latest-kavanaugh-says-hes-pro-law-judge/2018/09/04/031546b2-b031-11e8-8b53-50116768e499_story.html

 

Posted in #trumpresistance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dave Loebsack Questions Twitter CEO About Online Harassment

Twitter CEO to Loebsack: “We agree with all your points.”

At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, Dave questioned him about the actions his company is taking to keep teens who use the platform safe and free from harassment. While online communities may allow young people to find friendship and community, Twitter may also be creating new unimaginable crisis for many kids. Social media has been used frequently for abusive purposes like harassment and cyberbullying. And Twitter has too often been too slow to respond when victims report abuse and harassment. Dave called on Twitter to publish a review by an outside organization evaluating what steps Twitter can take to protect our kids while they are online. It must be a goal for all of us to stop this kind of bullying.

Posted in Blog for Iowa | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment