Good Gawd, Ernst

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From KMA radio in Shenandoah:

“Iowa Senator Joni Ernst accuses Democrats of trying to throw President Trump “under the bus” with the Ukrainian phone call scandal.

Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans for a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump following a whistleblower’s allegations he contacted the president of the Ukraine, threatening to withhold military aid unless that country conducted an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Speaking on KMA’s “Morning Line” program Thursday morning, Ernst chastised House Democrats for pushing impeachment proceedings, and not letting the Senate Intelligence Committee handle the matter first. The Red Oak Republican called the impeachment inquiry “an effort to undermine the president.”

“The Senate Intelligence Committee is being really thoughtful about this, and working in a bipartisan manner,” said Ernst. “They’re doing their job in looking into the claims. They’ll also be going through that transcript, and taking a look. This is an effort that I support, and can get behind. It’s working together to get to the bottom of it, actually finding out the facts before trying to throw this president under the bus.”

Supporters of the inquiry believe it’s necessary because the phone call constitutes a national security issue. But, Ernst questions whether there was any “quid pro quo”–a favor or advantage granted in return for something–regarding Trump’s conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.”

Senator, you should know that in this case there doesn’t need to be a “quid pro quo” (this for that) arrangement. In this case the president is directly asking for something of value (dirt on an opponent) from a foreign national, in this case the President of Ukraine. This is illegal. The president does not get excused simply because he is president.

From Mother Jones:  

“There’s very clear evidence, as reflected in the memo of the call, that President Trump specifically asked the president of Ukraine to help in the process of digging up dirt on Joe Biden,” says Elliot Mincberg, a former chief counsel for oversight and investigations of the House Judiciary Committee, who is now a senior fellow at a liberal advocacy group People for the American Way. “That is clearly asking a foreign national to provide something of value to his campaign and that’s illegal under federal law.”

Perhaps after nearly 5 years in the senate she could take some time and learn the laws herself rather than relying on the likes of Mitch Mcconnell or Chuck Grassley to misinform her. Should the House impeach the president, let us hope she does her duty and reads the laws before she votes. Impeachment is one vote that should be taken seriously.

Ernst has left little doubt in her 5 years that she is a hyperpartisan who marches to beat of the Koch brothers and the current president. Iowans need leadership that can put partisanship behind them and work for the good of Iowans. That is not Ernst.

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GM Strike Proves The Need For National Health Care

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As many of you know workers at General Motors have been on strike for two weeks. As many of you also know, one of the first moves from the management side in this strike was to cut the company’s payment for health insurance and put that back on the strikers. That cost will be picked up from the union’s strike fund thus depleting that fund rapidly.

By cutting off the health insurance payments management let the strikers know that the company owned their health. That is one way that companies have to control their workers. Once again, as many of you know, many workers are tethered to their jobs by health insurance. Businesses know that controlling a workers access to health care keeps employees from leaving.

It has long seemed a contradiction that companies in the US would not fight having the additional costs of health care premiums to add to products made in this country. But then, rather than attack that cost directly, companies have simply in many cases moved manufacturing offshore to countries where they do not incur health insurance costs.

For those companies in the US there has been a shifting of health care costs to the individual through higher co-pays and deductibles along with workers simply picking up more of the costs.   

In the case of the GM strike, dropping health insurance premiums was a move to put striking workers in an untenable position rather quickly.

While this may have seemed a stroke of genius by forces of management, the messages that discontinuing health care premiums sent to the strikers and to the general public were twofold:

  1. When companies say their most important asset is their people they certainly do not mean it. Why would you take such an action to damage your most important asset. 
  2. Leaving your personal access to health care in a 3rd party’s hands is a very bad set up. A much better system is to have access to health care held in common through a set up that includes all Americans and does not depend on employment status, age, gender, color, religion or any other variable.

Another side lesson from this is that our fractured health system is basically dysfunctional. In a country with the highest health care is available, we have pockets of ancient diseases trying to make a come back through populations that are unable to participate in our system. We leave our whole country at risk of some new, highly contagious diseases that may evolve by excluding portions of our population.

Along with that, our highly fractured system is far and away the most expensive on earth. We spend twice as much as any other country on earth and get about half the results. That surely doesn’t speak very highly of “good old American know how.”

Some reading this may have the visceral right wing reaction that if you don’t work, you don’t deserve the benefits o that workers get. They need to remember they are but one upper management decision from being without health care themselves. Look at the GM strikers. Even if your health care isn’t dropped it may become very expensive quickly – to the point where you must make a decision of whether or not you can afford it.

On Thursday, GM management reversed their decision to stop their health insurance premium payments for strikers. Someone must have figured out that the message they were sending to the public in general was much more damaging than the leverage they got over strikers by showing the strikers who owned them.

The message that GM sent to the public is pretty simple – do you want health care that is a right as a citizen, that you are in charge of, that is good everywhere in the country at little to no cost, that can’t be taken away by an employer or because of age or pre-existing conditions? 

Republicans will claim that is what they will give you, but in reality if you vote for them, they will work hard to totally kill Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid.

All Democrats have vowed to work toward some for universal health care. This is what all Americans need. There should be no obstacles between you and your health care providers no matter who you are. Health care should be part of the benefits of being a citizen. 

Are the cost too high? You and I already pay some $3T per year and for that we get millions who aren’t covered, no dental coverage, no hearing coverage, no vision coverage, no old age coverage, high co-pays, huge deductibles and many exceptions on coverage. I am betting if other countries can get all those coverages without co-pays or deductibles for much less than we pay, we can figure it out also. Given the chance, Americans are great problem solvers. We put men on the moon, didn’t we?

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Fox News Readies Itself For Post-Trump Era

Check out Blog for Iowa’s YouTube channel here

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Listen To Audio Of The Whistleblower Complaint

You can download or listen to an audio of the whistleblower complaint at the Rachel Maddow Blog.  Scroll down when you get there.

Or go here:

Nicolle Wallace calls the whistleblower complaint “stunning in detail and devastating in substance.”

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The Full Story

The Full Story is a new segment on The Daily Show.  This is Trevor Noah’s hilarious take on Trump and the whistleblower scandal. May as well get a laugh out of  it even though nothing about Donald Trump is funny.

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Court Decides Against Trump FCC

In 2018, Free Press sued the Trump FCC for gutting longstanding rules designed to limit how much local media a given company can own. And this morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit sided with us and our allies — and delivered a stinging rebuke to the Trump FCC.

The FCC’s big-media giveaway was a huge gift to corporations and the white men who own nearly all of our media — and a rejection of the agency’s job to boost ownership among women and people of color. So we joined forces with a number of public-interest allies (like Communications Workers of America and Media Mobilizing Project) to challenge the Trump FCC’s ruling in court.

Today, our hard work has paid off: The court has ruled in our favor and rejected the FCC’s decision to scrap rules that promote localism, diversity, and competition in broadcasting.

Today’s ruling admonishes the Trump FCC for its complete failure to consider the impact of its ownership policies on women and people of color. And it means that Trump’s FCC will no longer be able to gut critical protections without showing how media consolidation would impact local communities.

But it’s our job to make sure that the FCC takes action. We must pressure the agency to promote real ownership diversity. We can’t let giant companies like Nexstar, Fox and Sinclair devour even more local stations.

Chip in $10 — or whatever you can give — to fuel our fight to get the FCC to reject consolidation and promote diverse local media.

Thanks for all that you do,

Lucia, Dana, Jessica and the rest of the Free Press Action team

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Loebsack: “Impeachment Inquiry Is Justified”

Loebsack Statement on Recent Developments in the Whistle Blower Case Against President Trump

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after recent developments in the whistle blower case regarding President Trump.

“I have felt the need to proceed judiciously given the high constitutional requirements of impeachment, but President Trump’s actions and obstruction require this step of establishing an impeachment inquiry. It is unfortunate that we have ended up at this point. The American people deserve the full truth and it has reached the point where there is no other way to get the necessary information and an impeachment inquiry is justified.”


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Help Cory Booker Stay In The Race

Last selfie of the day for Senator Cory Booker at the Polk County Steak Fry Saturday

In my opinion, Cory Booker gave the most passionate, energizing speech of all the candidates at the Polk County Steak Fry Saturday.

“We’re not the party of me; we’re the party of we.
We’re the party of inclusion not the party of exclusion.
We’re not the party of the wealthy few, we’re the party of everyone everywhere.
We’re the party of women’s rights, civil rights, worker rights, of LGBTQ rights.
Heck we’re the party that believes in science.

We cannot define ourselves by who we’re against and what we’re against.
We must define ourselves by what we are for.”

He stayed until the last selfie was taken.  He needs to raise $1.7 million by September 30 to stay in.  The campaign reportedly raised $330,000 in the first day.  We need his voice. He deserves to stay in.  Please donate if you agree.  Go to

Watch the amazing gathering of 12,000 Democrats from start to finish at

Check out more Steak Fry videos on Blog for Iowa’s YouTube channel.

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Loebsack: Whistle Blower Allegations “Game Changing”

Loebsack Statement on the Whistle Blower Complaint Regarding President Trump and Ukraine

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today in response to the recently revealed whistle blower complaint that was made against President Trump after his apparent attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigating the son of former Vice President Biden by threatening to withhold military support.

“The allegations surrounding President Trump’s call with Ukrainian officials, if proven correct, are game changing regarding the President’s abuse of power. Making a call to pressure a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a potential political rival, while threatening to withhold military assistance, is unacceptable. If the President, as he has said, has nothing to hide, then he should immediately release the transcript of the call and the whistle blower’s full complaint should be immediately conveyed to Congress as laid out in statute. It is imperative that Congress and the American people have all of the facts surrounding the President’s call. The rule of law requires no less.

“The President and his administration continue to stonewall any investigations, including refusing to release the full Mueller report on Russia’s interference in our elections. I look forward to hearing from the Director of National Intelligence later this week. I remain hopeful he will provide all relevant information in order for Congress to make an informed decision.”


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Scenes From A Steak Fry

What an amazing day it was at the Polk County Steak Fry Saturday.  Twelve thousand plus Democrats all in one place.  Candidates and tee-shirt clad campaign volunteers everywhere.  So much positive energy.  The rain held off for the most part.  The event was well organized and everything seemed to go off without a hitch.  Democrats in Iowa have reason to celebrate.

Watch the whole thing on C-SPAN

See more and subscribe to Blog for Iowa’s YouTube channel

The applause line of the day:

Huge crowd of both young and old.

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