Democrats Talk About The Climate

Tuesday’s Democratic debate had a good segment on what should be one of the two overriding issues of 2020 – the other being the corruption of the president and the whole Republican Party.

It has been rare that climate change has gotten such exposure, so to see climate change front and center Tuesday was a welcome change.

The Green News Report is a weekly feature on The Brad Blog. Desi Doyen is the host of the GNR with able assistance from bradblog.com owner Brad Friedman.

In Wednesday evening’s segment of the GNR, Doyen discusses the prominence that climate issues were given by the Democrats in Des Moines.

To see climate issues finally get at least an airing is very good news. Feels like network TV and the cable newsers have been trying to bury climate issues from sight.

Here is a short clip of candidates Steyer and Buttigieg pushing each other on who is best on climate:

For those who think the climate is not changing or that climate change will not lead to the problems that have been predicted, we only need to look at Australia which continues to be the cutting edge of what is coming with climate change:

australian climate chande answers

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Sunday Funday: Dishwasher Edition

Would you buy a dishwasher from the guy on the end of this clip?

BTW, remember that when the Chosen One is trashing some one who dishes dirt on him as a scum bag or a lowlife, the reason that scum bag or lowlife has dirt is because at one time the Chosen One or one of his chosen companions selected that lowlife or scumbag to be part of the inner circle. We have pictures to prove it. Ask Michael Cohen or Lev Parnas. 

Someone reminded me the other day that organized crime (aka the Mafia) runs on total loyalty to their leader, their Don if you will, along with total silence about the inner workings of the Organization . If this reminds you of any certain American political Party, it is only coincidence. As Malcolm Nance always says, coincidence takes a lot of planning.

Nothing interesting happened last week.

  1. At the NCAA football championship Monday, attended by the Chosen One, teacher of the year Kelly Holstine performed what act of protest?
  1. True or false: Friday’s winter storm proved climate change is a hoax?
  1. A major potential violent rally is scheduled in Virginia’s capitol Monday as the Virginia legislature considers legislation on what issue?
  1. Rachel Maddow’s interview with Giuliani associate Lev Parnas was a bombshell this week. What other cable newsperson interviewed Parnas this week?
  1. Among the bombs dropped by Parnas was the scheme employed by the administration to oust what ambassador?
  1. Another bomb included a no-show by what US official at the Ukrainian presidents inauguration if Ukraine did not announce an investigation into Joe Biden?
  1. Republicans think they have a big scandal involving Speaker Pelosi. What horrible act did the Speaker commit as she signed the impeachment charges on the Chosen One?
  1. Robert Hyde, deeply involved in the Ukraine skullduggery, is running for Congress as a Republican in what state?
  1. Duncan Hunter – remember him – did what notable act Monday?
  1. What California congress member suddenly remembered that he had talked to a Lev Parnas after Parnas outed him as being in the inner circle of the Ukraine scandal?
  1. Among those included in the Ukraine scheme included what two top cabinet members?
  1. The Chosen One tried to shore up his support with what group of voters by rolling out what he called “the right to pray”?
  1. An extensive collection of memorabilia of what President went on an online auction Friday as one lot with bids starting at $1.7 million?
  1. Data in what section of the earth showed the highest temperatures ever with the rate of heating accelerating?
  1. A subcommittee in the Iowa senate passed the first proposal on an amendment on what issue mentioned by Gov. Reynolds in her State of the State message Tuesday?
  1. What huge investment firm is changing its investment strategy to move away from investments that are not moving to sustainability on climate change?
  1. The entire government of what country, except for the president, resigned as the president announce constitutional changes that would consolidate his power after his term ends in 2024?
  1. How many managers did Speaker Pelosi name to conduct the House’s role in the impeachment?
  1. Which state became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment last week?
  1. Which sport’s league and player’s union agreed to a contract that would nearly double player’s salaries and provide maternity leave?

Perhaps one of the oddest moments this week happened on Jeopardy’s Greatest of All Time contest. All time great Ken Jennings, James Holshauer and Brad Rutter were shown a picture of Congress Member Adam Schiff and none of the three could identify who it was. 

Answers:

  1. Kneeling during the national anthem
  1. Democrats say false, Republicans say true (sarcasm for the humor impaired)
  1. Gun control
  1. Anderson Cooper
  1. Ukraine ambassador Yovanovitch
  1. VP Mike Pence
  1. Pelosi used many peans to sign the papers and passed them out to the House Impeachment managers as souvenirs
  1. Connecticut
  1. Resigned from congress
  1. Devin Nunes
  1. AG Bill Barr and SoS Mike Pompeo
  1. Evangelicals
  1. JFK
  1. The oceans
  1. Abortion
  1. Black Rock
  1. Russia
  1. 7
  1. Virginia
  1. The WNBA

Perhaps one of the funniest lines from Lev Parnas last week came when Parnas was asked about Trump denying that he (Trump) did not know Parnas:

“I welcome him to say that even more,” Parnas said Thursday. “Every time he says it, I’ll show them another picture.”

trump hires the best

tip of the hat to allhatnocattle.com

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Remember In November: The Election Is A Referendum On Trump

keep trump out of jail 2020

As we head into the caucuses, try to remember that the little issues and squabbles that the media are trying to stir into a big fight are really nothing. Among the candidates still standing I have no problem with any of them except Tulsi Gabbard. I can’t believe Ms. Gabbard will be in much longer than Feb. 4th.

So when you go to your caucus Monday February 3rd, remember that your enemy is not those across the aisle supporting a rival candidate. At some point in the near future we will, we must come together behind whoever the party decides is our candidate is, no mayor who.

Nothing less than the survival of OUR country and probably our planet is at stake. If our candidate is male or female, super progressive of somewhat conservative it makes no difference. That person will be THE person that has been designated as the proverbial dragon slayer.  Once the decision is made we must unite behind the new party leader.

In some degree the election will not really be between Trump and a Democrat. The real election is actually a recall of Trump and picking a replacement. Trump’s record of four years of mismanagement, lies, lies, lies, alienating allies, immigration atrocities, fomenting violence, raping our environment, – and the list goes on seemingly forever – is up for review. I can’t imagine there are more than just a few people in this country who see this as a record of achievement.

This election will also be a referendum on the cowardly members of congress who have spent the past four years ignoring, making excuses and generally enabling the criminal actions of of an administration that came in hell bent on making a mockery of our form of government. That includes Chuck Grassley and one of the greatest enablers of all in the senate, Joni Ernst. Of course it includes Steve King who saw his form of racism come into vogue with Trump only to have it backfire on him.

The non-enablers in the Republican Party of this criminal enterprise is a much shorter list than the enablers. In fact, here is the list: Justin Amash of Michigan. All other Republican members of congress have to some degree or another aided and abetted Trump in his push to undermine our form of government. They deserve to be voted against in their own form of a rrferendum.

Thus on caucus night all the contenders have as a base line that getting rid of Donald Trump is job #1. They all also believe that climate change must finally addressed and addressed boldly. They also agree that health care for all is the ultimate goal, the question is how we get there.

One issue that doesn’t get the coverage it deserves are all the issues around elections themselves. Getting money out of politics, gerrymandering, hackable voting machines with no paper back up, voter purges that are targeted at potential Democratic voters – all problems that hurt our status as a real democracy.

So remember on caucus night, the guy across the aisle is not the enemy. The person with an (R) behind their name has been aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise in the White House. They are who we need to get out of office.

And it should go without saying. You and I will play a major role this summer and fall in making sure we drive up the votes for Democratic candidates. When we volunteer our time this fall we must get people to the polls because every vote has never meant more. Remember, every vote will never have meant more than it will this fall.

Posted in #nevertrump, #trumpresistance, 2020 election campaign, Blog for Iowa, Republican hypocrisy, Republican Obstruction, Republican Policy | Leave a comment

Iowa Policy Project On The State Of The State

Image (1) ipp-logo-w.jpg for post 8986

It is hard to squeeze out time to listen to things like the State of the State address given by the governor last Tuesday. However, when a person can’t listen it is nice to know that someone with deep knowledge of how government is supposed to run is listening and is willing to share their thoughts with us all.

When it comes to happenings in the state government, especially where finances are concerned I usually go to the Iowa Policy Project for analysis. This year I accessed IPP a little quicker than normal after hearing in one of the headlines from the speech on IPR that the Governor proposed “raising state sales tax while reducing state income tax.”

When discussing types of taxes and their effects on the various constituents of a society sales tax is generally regarded as the most regressive – that is the tax that comes down hardest on those least able to pay. In contrast income tax when structured properly can be the least regressive – that is that those who have the best ability to pay will pay the most.

On hearing that headline I decided it was time to check in with IPP and see what their opinion was. My first question was – did I hear that right? Is that what the policy proposal advanced by the Governor really was. Well, sad to say, yes it was. From the IPP analysis of the Condition of the State:    

Tax policy — an imbalanced mix of a sales-tax increase and income-tax cuts

The Governor’s tax proposals appear to follow an all too familiar formula: Raise taxes on low and moderate income Iowans in order to provide tax cuts that would benefit mostly those at the top. The sales tax, known as a “regressive” tax because it takes a much larger share of the incomes of the poor than of the rich, would rise by 17 percent — boosting the state sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents on the dollar, raising about $540 million. This would finance further income tax cuts, including a large cut in the top rate, benefiting upper income Iowans disproportionately. An already regressive tax system would become even more regressive. It should be noted that the Governor’s proposals come on top of 2018 tax cuts that — when passed — were shown to benefit the wealthiest the most. 

The Governor is following the discredited idea that tax cuts lead to prosperity. The failed experiment with drastic tax cutting in Kansas should have put an end to such wishful thinking {my bolding – ed.}. Piling more tax cuts on top of the massive cuts already in place will force reductions in the kinds of investments in education, infrastructure, health, and work supports that are actually the drivers of economic prosperity.

Well, there it is, the Republican wet dream – the state version of trickle down that never trickles down and eventually breaks the economy by putting too much money in too few hands rather than having it circulating and creating decent paying jobs.

 Will the Republican-led legislature follow the Governor’s lead? To answer such questions I pull out my brand spanking new Magic 8 Ball and give it a shake. “All signs point to ‘YES’” it says. 

Iowa Policy Project executive director Mike Owen gave this synopsis of the Governor’s speech:

“The Governor’s proposal was long on tax-cut rhetoric, short on substance to achieve clean water and educational goals, and desperately lacking in the theme of investment that she attempted to promote. Iowa will never cut its way to prosperity, but the Governor persists in this contradiction of reality,” said Mike Owen, executive director of the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project in Iowa City. 

“She did offer a hopeful nod to an issue critical to the prosperity of Iowans — child care assistance — but left more to imagination than to a defined vision.”

No one can see the future, but the past is always prologue. The prologues indicate another good year for the rich in Iowa, another bad year for the poor, elderly and sick and more promises on education left wanting.

Posted in Blog for Iowa, economic inequality, Economy, Iowa Policy Project, Republican Policy, tax cuts for the wealthy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Join Women’s March 2020 In Red Oak, Dubuque, Iowa City

#Womenrising2020

2020 is set to be a landmark year for the Women’s March. We are writing our fourth year into existence and you play the biggest role. In 2020 we are engaging in targeted direct action aimed at those who have attempted to impede on our rights and we are building with those who have always stood by our side. Women have seen serious attacks under our current administration but we have also seen just what we are capable of when we fight together. In 2020 we need you to rise with us. In 2020 we need you to march with us.

Women’s March Iowa City 2020
Saturday, January 18, 2020 • 10:00 AM
Downtown Pedestrian Mall
210 S. Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

SW Iowa Women’s March Red Oak
Sunday, March 08, 2020 • 2:00 PM
Legion Park
1904 N Broadway
Red Oak, IA 51566  (Joni Ernst’s home town)

4 th Annual Women’s March Dubuque
Saturday, January 18, 2020 • 10:30 AM
Steeple Square 101 E 15th St
Dubuque, IA 52001

Women March Iowa – 4th Annual Anniversary 2020 @ Online Forum
January 25 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

The Women’s March intersectional feminist policy agenda is the first of its kind. Read the full agenda and join us in taking action in the halls of power.

Women’s March agenda is 71 pages. Here’s page 1:

Building upon the Unity Principles established in 2017, Women’s March expanded the process to include dozens of additional organizations representing women in marginalized communities, who have collaborated in committees to identify one to two urgent policy priorities under each of the following areas:

•Ending Violence Against Women & Femmes
•Ending State Violence•Reproductive Rights & Justice
•Racial Justice
•LGBTQIA+ Rights
•Immigrant Rights
•Economic Justice & Worker’s Rights
•Civil Rights & Liberties
•Disability Rights
•Environmental Justice

The policies identified under each area are specific, tangible, and able to be acted upon and supported in 2019 and 2020, potentially even passed with the support of activists nationwide. In addition, Women’s March calls for three policy priorities that intersect with all committees and affect the rights of all women:

•Universal Health Care / Medicare for All
•Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution
•Ending War

The Women’s Agenda is a tangible declaration of how we will protect and defend our rights, safety, health and communities. Our Agenda will serve as a work plan to Congress and will create the roadmap we will use to mobilize our constituents into 2020 and beyond.

This document was published on January 19, 2019.

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The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival

A Rodger Routh video. Protesters from the Poor People’s Campaign demand a national debate on poverty.

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Joni Ernst: Democrats Obviously Don’t Like Trump

Who knew? Ernst appears to be just stringing words together on this Fox segment.   Joni: “It is a scare tactic that is being used by the Democrats… they just want to jump to that conclusion obviously because they don’t like the president..”  Fox News:  “In all fairness when we took out Saddam Hussein war did ensue…”  Joni:  “Things are different now.”  Okay!

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Book Review: The Hidden History Of The War On Voting

The Hidden History of the War on Voting: Who Stole Your Vote — and How to Get it Back by Thom Hartmann is a quick but important read for people who want or need to review the history and origins of today’s concerted, well-organized campaign to make it more difficult to vote for some while making it increasingly convenient for others.

It answers the question what can we do to ensure everyone has a voice in our democracy? It’s a page turner intended to teach us things we didn’t know about voter suppression.

Hartmann takes readers through the founders’ reasons for curbing the right to vote for Native Americans, women and slaves, the growing influence of moneyed interests beginning with the U.S. Supreme Court case Buckley vs. Valeo, the impact of Brown vs. Board of Education on voting, and more. The final section of the book offers solutions in the form of points of action to protect our fundamental right to vote.

“But isn’t Hartmann preaching to the choir?” engaged readers might ask.

What’s important about this book is it retells the story of voting in America from an actionable perspective. It is easy to read and understand with a focus on how to increase voter participation, eliminate political gerrymandering, end “voter caging,” and more.

Many of us are familiar with Ari Berman’s 2015 book Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. It is a history of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which people interested in politics should read if they haven’t. What Hartmann adds to the discussion of voting rights is the history of voter disenfranchisement that is baked into our constitution, along with what readers can do to protect and restore voting rights going forward.

Thom Hartmann

In the final section of the book, Hartmann puts potential solutions to voter suppression efforts in high relief. Many people may understand aspects of his narrative already. The benefit of reading the book is its long-form and coherent narrative.

So often our ideas about voter suppression are formed by snippets of information in various media about specific aspects of the overall effort. Increasingly social media is a key driver for informing our opinions, yet it presents an incomplete picture. It is not enough. What has been lacking is a more comprehensive look at voter suppression efforts and how to combat them in easy to understand language. Hartmann delivers that and more.

I found the book empowering. Last week I met a woman advocating for D.C. statehood for a group called Iowans for D.C. Statehood. I signed up as an endorser yet told her D.C. was not enough and explained the logic Hartmann put forward in his book about adding additional states. The Hidden History of the War on Voting: Who Stole Your Vote — and How to Get it Back well prepared me for the conversation.

Below is a clip of Thom Hartmann reading from his book. It will be available on Feb. 11, 2020. Click here to order your copy.

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What We Are Up Against

Fox News, conservative talk radio, and the vast right wing propaganda machine all exist to throw mud at everything good.  Watch the segment on Fox News below with a critical eye. Hopefully, more people will realize we have to do something directly to fight the Murdoch propaganda industry before it ruins our country like it did Australia.  If it hasn’t already.

Make no mistake about it, good, smart people watch this stuff.  They think it makes sense because it mixes lies with truth, as all good liars know how to do. It’s not just right wing idiots and zealots that are brainwashed by Fox News and talk radio as many progressives believe. It is friends and neighbors, people you grew up with, teachers, regular people.  They are influenced in their thinking by what they see on Fox News and what their friends say about Fox News even if they don’t watch.  Fox News is everywhere.  It pollutes the political dialogue and makes it extremely difficult for reality to break through, which is the point of it.

Watch this segment and realize this is purposeful, sophisticated rhetoric, not harmless or stupid blather.  It is ugly and it is hard to watch. It influences people. And it is being replicated on talk radio all throughout Iowa.

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Sunday Funday: 3 Weeks To Launch Edition

Another Trump lie debunked

Remember that dart board your spouse got for you this Christmas so you could scientifically pick your choice for the Democratic nominee for president? Time to get it out and start practicing, the time is nigh upon us. In case you missed it, the caucuses are 3 weeks from tomorrow. Party time!

This will be followed by Get Out of Iowa Tuesday when Iowans will feel the effects of jet blasts as airplanes by the score move candidates, staffers and journalists east. Effects should be done by noon on Tuesday.

Also remember that the never-ending war the Trump starts today will be waiting for your unborn children when they come of age.

  1. The governor of what state is proposing that the state manufacture their own generic drugs if drug companies refuse to negotiate prices with the state?
  1. The Chosen One claimed that what served as a notification to congress of a possible attack on Iran?
  1. What Caribbean island was rocked by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake Monday morning?
  1. Iowa’s Attorney General, Tom Miller, achieved what milestone Saturday?
  1. ActBlue, the online political contribution portal for progressive candidates, passed what milestone in online donations in 2019?
  1. What California congress member will leave his seat tomorrow – more than a month after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations?
  1. Most of the passengers on the Ukrainian plane shot down in Iran Wednesday were believed to be headed to what country?
  1. As the fires rage on in Australia, do you know the name of their climate change denying Prime Minister?
  1. Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand decried the bad data he found in an audit of what division of Medicaid Services?
  1. Federal prosecutors recommended up to 6 months in prison for what former National Security Advisor?
  1. Iowa State law enforcement officials once again issued a warning that marijuana is not legal in Iowa even though it is legal in which of our neighboring states?
  1. What national chain seller of import goods announced Monday that it will close half of its stores as it heads to bankruptcy?
  1. An investigation of what former SoS, pushed hard by the current president, ended Thursday as investigators found nothing?
  1. Which royals in Britain have announced they are “stepping back” from their duties?
  1. A mystery illness – an unidentified form of viral pneumonia – has broken out in what large Chinese city?
  1. What former administration official said he would testify in an impeachment trial if subpoenaed?
  1. Former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro endorsed which of his former opponents Tuesday?
  1. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is trying to hide the cost of what governmental cost? (Hint: presidential travels)
  1. Since 1991, the mortality rate due to cancer has dropped by what percentage?
  1. The Chosen One proposed a rule change that would limit public input and environmental reviews for what?

Reminder that as this crisis escalates, we have no Director of National Intelligence, no Dep Dir, no Homeland Security Secretary, no Dep Sec, no head of CBP or ICE, no State Dept Under Sec of Arms Control, no Asst Sec for Europe, and no Navy Sec. – Garrett M. Graff

Answers:

  1. California
  1. His tweets
  1. Puerto Rico
  1. He became the longest serving state AG in the country’s history
  1. Over $1B in donation for 2019
  1. Duncan Hunter
  1. Canada
  1. Scott Morrison
  1. Home health care
  1. Michael Flynn
  1. Illinois
  1. Pier 1 Imports
  1. Hillary Clinton
  1. Prance Harry and Meghan Markle
  1. Hong Kong
  1. John Bolton
  1. Elizabeth Warren
  1. The cost of Secret Service to cover the president and his family on their travels. Since their travel often happens at Trump properties the president is getting a cut of what the SS spends.
  1. 29%
  1. Some major infrastructure projects including pipelines and highways.

Republicans start unnecessary war without a plan for success, explode deficit, eventually destroy economy and exacerbate economic injustice with larcenous deregulation. Rinse. Repeat. – Bradley Whitford

Posted in #trumpresistance, 2020 election campaign, Blog for Iowa, Humor | Leave a comment