Congress May Reinstate Net Neutrality

Action alert from Fight for the Future

For months, lawmakers have been promising to fully overturn Ajit Pai’s net neutrality repeal.1

Now news just broke that Wednesday morning they plan to announce the “Save the Internet Act” to reinstate strong net neutrality rules.2

This is huge. But with the news is in the headlines, the telecom lobbyists are gearing up to swarm Capitol Hill. Now we need to push lawmakers extra hard to support the new legislation before the lobbyists get to them.

Click here to call your lawmakers and demand they support new legislation that fully restores net neutrality before Big Telecom’s lobbyists swarm Capitol Hill.


For weeks, corrupt members of Congress have been circulating bad net neutrality bills in hopes they can trick telecom-beholden members of Congress into adding their name to legislation that would permanently undermine the free and open Internet.3

With the bad bills in circulation, it’s super important that we get ahead of the telecom lobbyists and build support for REAL net neutrality legislation before tomorrow’s launch.

Click here to call your lawmakers and tell them to add their name to the new legislation before it goes live.

–Josh, on behalf of FFTF


1. CNET:

2. Reuters:

3. Electronic Frontier Foundation:

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

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The United States and its Enduring Legacy of Liberty

by Ralph Scharnau

How people in the United States view themselves individually and as a nation often comes down to one idea, liberty.

Liberty, the central term in our politics, is embedded in our history and in our language. The Declaration of Independence lists liberty among humanity’s inalienable rights; the Constitution announces as its purpose to secure liberty’s blessings.

Liberty and freedom are frequently used interchangeably. Expanding freedoms to more and more people remains a central part of the nation’s history. The first ten Amendments to the Constitution guarantee civil liberties. Subsequent amendments abolished slavery, defined citizenship, and extended the franchise to blacks, women, and 18-year-olds.

Women, racial and ethnic minorities, workers, and others have struggled to deepen and transform the definition of freedom. Over the past generations, some real strides have been made in reducing disparities based on race and sex. Women and minorities have gained greater access in the areas of employment, politics, education, and athletics. In 1998, an amendment to the Iowa Constitution added women to a provision guaranteeing equal rights under the law.

The United States Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide came in 2015. The states can no longer deny gay men and lesbians the same marriage rights enjoyed by opposite-sex couples. This victory reflected growing public support for marriage equality. In 2009, Iowa became only the third state in the union to extend same-sex couples the right to marriage in a unanimous ruling of the state’s Supreme Court.

Belief in freedom as a right of all humanity has coexisted with persistent efforts to limit freedom by race, gender, class, and in other ways.

Limiting freedom has a long history in our country. Slaves, immigrants, the poor, and others have been deprived of liberty. The meaning of freedom has been constructed at various levels, in congressional debates, in political essays, and on picket lines. The concept of freedom/liberty has always been contested terrain subject to multiple and competing interpretations. Its meanings are constantly created and recreated.

Paying patriotic tribute to liberty has been represented by liberty poles, caps, tee shirts, and statutes. Liberty has also been acted upon by burning stamps and draft cards, running away from slavery and abusive employers, and joining marches to protest abuse and support voting rights.

Liberty and freedom are not unitary. Defining the meanings of these interlocking words have intellectual, social, economic, and political dimensions. They often are morally charged, conveying and claiming legitimacy for all kinds of grievances and hopes, fears about the present and visions of the future. Freedom has been applied to individuals, communities, families, and to the nation itself. Individual and collective struggles mark the context for the liberty/freedom pursuit.

The history of the quest for liberty and freedom perhaps most clearly connects with political and economic equality. Federal, state, and local constitutional changes as well as enactments and modifications of statutes, bylaws, and ordinances bring a legal dimension to the whole question of equality.

The story of liberty/freedom is not a mythic saga of accomplishment since it includes failures as well. People constantly contend about the crucial ideas of their political culture. The meanings of freedom then are multifaceted, contentious, and ever-changing.

Some see freedom as a matter of unrestrained individualism, not social citizenship. Freedom’s meanings remain vigorously contested. The debates will continue and new definitions will emerge. Freedom for all remains an ongoing struggle.

Conflict intermittently occupies the foreground in the American political tradition. We need politicians who respect the common good rather than worship money.

Ralph Scharnau
February 28, 2019

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SF 360 Another Bad Republican Idea

Not sure why anyone would think this is a good idea or be invested in pushing it forward.  Republicans just don’t like burdensome regulations?  Apparently, they want to change Iowa’s safe haven law to bypass DHS and court oversight. Republican Mark Costello is listed as the sponsor of this bill.  Read the text of the bill here.

SF 360 would change current law to provide:

– No oversight by courts or DHS

– No restriction on who the “agent” can be in the bill.

– Parents would be exempt from liability from abandonment, abuse or neglect

– Bill says agent can pay the parents

– No limit where the child can be taken – out of the state out of the country

Democratic Senator Quirmbach and representatives from other organizations including DHS, Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking, spoke to express concerns or oppose the bill.

Video by Rodger Routh

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Ernst’s Laughable “Make “Em Squeal” Award


Got another one of Ernst’s monthly comedy attempts known as her “Make ‘Em Squeal Award.” 

Once again Ernst (or more likely some advisor) makes fun of some project that they claim is wasting taxpayers money in a major way while doing something she (or her staff) deems as unworthy. This month her target is high speed rail in California.

Not too surprising she would pick that as her target since the deeply embattled leader of her party is waging a war with California. Trump and his party cohorts are looking for a way to politically punish California because they voted nearly every Republican member of congress from that state out of office. 

Now if Ms. Ernst were truly serious about her crusade to rid our government of stupid expenditures target  #1 would be building a wall between Mexico and the United States. However, instead of standing up to the man whose insane idea this truly is, we can expect Senator Ernst instead to proudly vote for her president to be allowed to take money from what it was budgeted for by congress in order to build this insult to humanity.

We fully expect to vote to give away congress’s most important power – that of controlling the budget – to a man who would love to be able to use the budget as he wishes. Ernst will proudly vote another power for a would be strong man. She will spout party talking points to justify her vote.

There is also an almost exactly similar project to the California high speed railway about to begin construction in Republican dominated Texas. Now oddly enough, Senator Squeal said nothing about the Texas project. 

Joni Ernst, doing the bidding of rich oligarchs for five years and counting. Hey, Joni, Iowans are losing their asses on that insane trade war Trump started. When are you going to do something besides help divert attention?


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Sunday Funday: Dear Leader Goes To Viet Nam Edition

It appears that Dear Leader’s feelings were deeply hurt by his new love, Kim Jung Un while he was there. With any luck, maybe one of those band-aid Purple Hearts that Republicans used at their 2004 convention to mock a real war hero and great American John Kerry, are still around and Dear Leader can award himself one of those Purple Hearts for his hurt feelings.

Trump:Kim summit

a big tip of the hat to EarlG at

With any luck, the justice system will be giving Dear Leader a large chunk of uninterrupted “executive time” to consider his feelings for Kim. 

BTW, why didn’t we hear Republicans screaming at Michael Cohen when he was obviously lying when they were in charge of the House Oversight Committee?

We are at the juncture of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, so this week we will have some questions on women of color in history. We will lean on Texas Tech’s Women’s Studies program for some questions.

It was a bad day at Black Rock for our reality TV president last week.

  1. Dear Leader asked Kim about whose death and Kim said he knew nothing about it?
  1. Basketball players at what university knelt during the national anthem to protest Confederate statues on their campus?
  1. What indicted individual broke his gag order to denounce Michael Cohen’s testimony before congress?
  1. Brilliant idea! What American leader decided that July 4th would be a great day for a “Salute To America” with fireworks and speeches?
  1. What Russian operative was mysteriously in Hanoi at the same time as both of the Dear Leaders?
  1. Who was the first black woman to win tennis championships at both Wimbledon and the US Open? (Hint: 1950s)
  1. What movie won the Oscar for ‘Best Picture’ last Sunday night?
  1. What major entertainment figure did Dear Leader choose to attack on twitter the day after the Oscars?
  1. What former major figure in Iowa state politics has ruled out a run against Ernst in 2020?
  1. What foreign leader has been indicted by his government on bribery and fraud charges just weeks ahead of an election?
  1. Who was the first black woman in space on the shuttle Endeavor in 1992?
  1. In Australia, what Catholic cardinal was convicted of child sexual abuse?
  1. What senior administration official only got security clearance through an order from Dear Leader?
  1. A bill proposed by Iowa Republican senators would end the requirements that schools have what 2 positions on staff?
  1. That retirement job you planned on may be going away as what company is phasing out their “greeters”?
  1. Speaking of sexual abuse, what well known musician has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse?
  1. The debt ceiling will be or was hit on what date?
  1. What Democratic presidential candidate announce that he or she would no longer hold private meetings with large donors and fund raisers?
  1. What two black women have been elected to the US Senate?
  1. What cable TV political commentator will probably be called to testify about his involvement with Dear Leader due to comments he made on his show Thursday?

Apparently after their antics for the TV cameras Wednesday, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee couldn’t find time to show up for Cohen’s Thursday closed door meeting. No cameras, no Republicans. Governing can be tiring. Maybe Steve King would show up because he wants to be on any committee right now.


  1. Otto Warmbier. His parents don’t believe Kim.
  1. Mississippi
  1. Roger Stone
  1. Dear Leader. He thought of it all on his own
  1. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
  1. Althea Gibson
  1. Green Book
  1. Spike Lee
  1. Tom Vilsack
  1. Bibi Netanyahu
  1. Dr. Mae Jamison
  1. Cardinal George Pell
  1. Jared Kushner
  1. Nurse and Teacher-Librarian
  1. Walmart
  1. R. Kelly
  1. March 2, 2019 or yesterday
  1. Elizabeth Warren
  1. Carol Mosely Braun and Kamala Harris
  1. Sean Hannity

BTW the High Holy Days of Basketball are upon us. We shall be watching!

John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) · Twitter

“Cohen’s lies to Congress were about Trump being innocent. Also, said crimes were committed for, with and at the behest of Donald Trump, which is why Rep Jordan chose to, er, look the other way.”

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The Gold Standard: The Medicare For All Act Of 2019

Image (2) medicare-for-all-150x150.jpg for post 20634Got to thank Iowa Citizens for Community Involvement (ICCI) for this bit of good news I found in my inbox Wednesday evening:

ICCI logo

I’m excited to be in Washington D.C. today celebrating Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s announcement of The Medicare for All Act of 2019.
As a registered nurse from Adair County, I can tell you first hand that rural America is facing a health care emergency. And this Medicare for All Act is the answer.

I’m writing today because there are 107 co-sponsors of this bill. But none of Iowa’s legislators have signed on yet. Pressure from everyday people got us to this point. And we need it to continue so this bill can be signed into law.

Call your Representative NOW and ask them to co-sponsor Rep. Jayapal’s Medicare for All Act of 2019.

Of all the healthcare bills floating around Congress, Rep. Jayapal’s bill is the gold standard we need. Here’s why:

• This bill creates a single, mandatory risk pool. At the core of single-payer is the promise to cover all care, for everyone. This means everybody is included – and nobody can take their ball and go play somewhere else. This is what’s known as a “universal risk pool.”

• Comprehensive coverage. “Everybody in, nobody out” must also mean “everything is covered.” Medical, dental, mental, vision, reproductive, long-term, elder care, and home and community-based services are covered.

• Federal standards, payment, and oversight. The federal government must set minimum standards for care and guarantee price payment. When states can pick and choose what they offer, their smaller budgets give them a financial incentive to cut costs and save money, and people die.

• Local implementation and flexibility. Healthcare needs in Des Moines, Denison, Denver, and Detroit, are all different from each other. Keeping the delivery of single-payer funding as close to the ground as possible lets it be more responsive to both the needs of the people and democratic pressure.

It’s only been a day since this bill was introduced, but already the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations are scared. They’re pushing major newspapers to attack our movement. Their biggest weapon is their checkbook: they will try to twist the arms of our elected leaders. The only thing more powerful than industry lobbyists is a movement of millions, holding their leaders accountable to promises to put people over profits.

I’m here to tell you that your call DOES make a difference! Plugging up Congressional phone lines, stuffing email inboxes and mailboxes – these are the things that actually get through to our Representatives. There is no time to waste: call your Representative NOW and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor of Rep. Jayapal’s Medicare for All Act of 2019.

Thanks for all you do,

Barb Kalbach

Nurse, 4th-generation family farmer, and proud CCI member

There was a little note at the end to check the Intercept to see what kind of special interests were behind this bill. As most of us do I see “special interests” and I think corporations and money. So glad to see how wrong I was:

“The key outside groups involved in the drafting included nurses, doctors, disability rights activists, and advocates for the elderly, as well as public interest organizations such as Public Citizen and the Center for Popular Democracy.

The result is legislation that, within one year of its passage, would provide improved Medicare coverage for everyone 19 and under, as well as everyone 55 and over. Within two years, it would cover everyone between the ages of 19 and 55, as well.


The effort includes related legislation that would change the way long-term care is covered. Under the current system, Medicaid is the last resort, which effectively means that the sick and dying must impoverish themselves in order to qualify. The new bill would end that practice and allow people to die with dignity at home.

That measure was written with the help of disability rights activists, led by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. “She wrote it with our community holding the pen. Over months, disability rights activists went back and forth on the language. We are included. Not just as a sidebar or footnote,” said Ady Barkan, an activist dying of ALS, who collaborated with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and others on the bill.”

This is looking like what the American public has been hoping for for decades. 

Prepare yourselves for the usual avalanche of lies from the right about government run health care. While they are lying to you ask yourselves have you ever heard of someone on Medicare say they would love to go back to their old insurance program? I never have. Have you ever heard of any country that has some form of universal health care have a populist groundswell calling for a for profit insurance run health care system? I never had.

In fact, the only group of people in the whole WORLD that wants anything like our current for profit, insurance run health care system is the Republican Party in the US. That is it. And they will stop at nothing to keep things the way they are.

It is way past time for a change that will put people in charge of their own health care instead of a for profit, insurance company run system.

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Another Week, More Forums

Image (2) capitol_280x222-150x150.jpg for post 28518

The legislative session is starting on the downhill slide. One of the best ways to let your legislator know where you stand is to go to a forum and speak out.

As per the last several weeks, forums and listening posts are listed in date and time order. To find the specific location click on the highlighted link. Thanks once again to the folks at Following the schedule is a list of bills coming before the legislature. The list is from the Iowa State Progressive Network sent out last Monday.

03/02/2019 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Legislative Forum – Guthrie Center

03/02/2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Legislative Forum – Prairie City

03/02/2019 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Eggs & Issues – Emmetsburg

03/02/2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Legislative Forum – Jesup

03/02/2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Legislative Coffee – Grinnell

03/02/2019 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Legislative Forum – Muscatine

03/02/2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Listening Post – West Branch

03/02/2019 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Town Hall – Janesville

03/02/2019 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Listening Post – Ely

03/02/2019 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Cracker Barrel – Dubuque

03/02/2019 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Forum – Ottumwa

03/02/2019 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Forum – Onawa

03/02/2019 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Forum – Mason City

03/02/2019 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Forum – Newton

03/02/2019 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Legislative Forum – Grimes

03/02/2019 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Listening Post – Stanwood

03/02/2019 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Town Hall – Tripoli

03/02/2019 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Legislative Forum – Maynard

03/02/2019 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Listening Post – Lowden

03/02/2019 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Legislative Forum – Clarence

03/02/2019 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Listening Post – Bennett

03/03/2019 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Community Forum – Des Moines

03/04/2019 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Coffee with Marti-Des Moines

03/04/2019 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Your Voice, My Voice – Des Moines

03/04/2019 9:45 AM – 11:15 AM Office Hours – Ankeny

03/08/2019 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Legislative Forum – Garner

03/08/2019 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Legislative Forum – Corydon

03/08/2019 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Forum – Chariton

03/08/2019 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Legislative Forum – Corwith

03/08/2019 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Legislative Lunch – Ankeny

03/08/2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Forum – Monticello

03/08/2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Listening Post, Hiawatha

03/08/2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Legislative Forum – Osceola

03/08/2019 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Legislative Forum – Britt


keep iowa courts fair

Keep Iowa Courts Fair & Impartial 

Republicans at the State Capitol are pushing through a bill that would inject politics into our court system and put politicans in charge of selecting judges. 

It’s a terrible idea and it might come up for a vote this week!

The way we pick judges today is a model for the nation and our judicial system consistently ranks as one of the best in the nation. It’s fair, impartial, and non-partisan.  Our merit based selection process is designed to limit the influence of special interest groups and political parties on the selection of Iowa judges.

The GOP plan injects politics into the court system by letting politicians and their campaign donors select Iowa judges.

Even independent observers have seen right through their court packing scheme. We all know the real reason Republicans are throwing out the current system is because they are upset about court rulings in favor of marriage equality, extending civil rights protections to Iowans, and safeguarding our civil liberties. 

We already know the Governor is abusing the judicial nomination process we have today by appointing 70 Republicans, 4 no parties, and just three Democrats to the judicial nomination commissions. But that’s not enough for the Governor and GOP lawmakers.

Their plan to pack the courts is a power grab. They already control two branches of state government and now they want to control Iowa’s independent judiciary as well. 

Please take time TODAY to contact Republican legislators and tell them to keep our courts fair, impartial, and unbiased.

Bill Watch 

Below is a list of bills we’re tracking this session that may be of interest to you.  As session continues, we’ll be updating this list for you to keep you up to speed on the legislative process and take action.

Democratic Bills: Improving Life for Everyday Iowans
Bill # Bill Description Current Status Take Action
HF 135/SF 156 Fixing Medicaid Privatization House/Senate Human Resources
HF 383 Investing in public schools beyond rate of inflation House Education Committee (GOP passed another record low investment in public schools)
HF 147/SF 176 Restoring the rights of Iowa workers House/Senate Labor
SF 107 Protect the wages earned by employees Senate Labor
HF 109/SF 117 Reasonable accomodations for prenancy/child birth House/Senate Labor
SF 72 Affordable housing/revitalizing old homes Senate State Government
HF 91/SF 247 Raise Minimum Wage House/Senate Labor
SF 104/HF 221 Expand Medical cannabis use House Public Safety
HF 501 Help working families with high cost of child care House Human Resources
Bad Ideas from GOP Lamakers
Bill # Bill Description Current Status Take Action
SJR 9/HJR 5 Constitutional Amendment banning abortion in all cases Senate State Government/House Judiciary Contact your lawmaker
SF 237/HF 503 Politicize judicial branch by allowing GOP to appoint all judges Senate Floor/House Floor Contact your lawmaker
HJR 3 Eliminates Background Checks; allows guns on college campuses, state fairgrounds, school buses House Floor
HF 257 Eliminate education funding to Planned Parenthood House Human Resources Committee
SF 27 Prohibits tenure at state universities/community colleges Senate Education
SF 240 Religious exemptions, license to discriminate (similar to North Carolina) Senate Local Government
SF 28 Vouchers + eliminate Iowa Dept. of Education & Iowa Public TV Senate Education
HF 259 Allows concealed weapons in weapon free zones, courthouses, and public/private workplaces House Public Safety
HF 51 Allows concealed weapons in places of worship House Public Safety
SF 259 Personhood; bans abortion in all cases Senate Judiciary Comittee
HF 160 Expands & reduces requirements for Charter Schools House Education
HF 448 Loosens requirements on immunizations House Human Resources
HF 249 Legalize the date rape druge and other hallucinogenic drugs like LSD House Public Safety
HF 248 Legalize mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs House Public Safety
HF 118 Eliminates permits to carry concealed guns; allows guns on school grounds House Public Safety
HF 62 Reinstates the death penalty House Judiciary Committee
HF 194 Requires Iowa kids to read a Russian book before graduating high school House Education Committee
HF 187 Prohibits fluoride in drinking water House Environmental Protection
HF 172 Repeal the state inheritance tax House Ways & Means
SSB 1149 One week waiting period for unemployment Senate Commerce
HF 306/SF 172 Low funding for public schools Passed House and Senate
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Iowa Needs CAFO Moratorium

Protesters call for CAFO moratorium at Iowa state capitol this week.  Roger Routh video. 

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Iowa Farm Bureau Official: “Most Rural Communities Will Soon Disappear”

This article, To Revive Rural America We Must Fix Our Broken Food System,  by Iowa’s own Austin Frerick in the American Conservative, is a must read.  Here are some highlights. Click here to read the entire article.  While the outook seems grim, Austin also offers hope.

“A senior official at the Iowa Farm Bureau, the nation’s largest agricultural organization, recently told me that most rural communities will soon disappear. Even though the organization’s nominal mission is to help “farm families prosper and improve their quality of life,” the official seemed accepting of this fate, even a bit happy about it. Either way, he told me that nothing could be done.

The recovery from the Great Recession was an urban phenomenon. But according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, rural areas still have not even recovered the jobs they lost in the recession—and many never will.

Economic power is more concentrated today than at any other point in American history, and nowhere is this power more apparent than in agriculture. The American food supply chain—from the seeds we plant to the peanut butter in our neighborhood grocery stores—is concentrated in the hands of a few multinational corporations.

The nation’s meatpacking industry is now more concentrated than when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle more than a century ago.

Suicide rates are higher in rural America than in urban America—and the gap is growing. The overall violent crime rate in Iowa rose by only 3 percent between 2006 and 2016, but grew by 50 percent in communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. The opioid epidemic thrives from the desperation created by these economic circumstances. Thus, it is little surprise that rural communities simmer with a resentment that contributed to the election of Donald Trump.

Read more and visit

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Iowa Republicans: Eliminate School Nurses, Librarians, Dental And Vision Screenings

Action alert from Iowa Senate Democrats

Iowa’s Republican legislators want to ELIMINATE school nurses, librarians, dental and vision screenings, wellness checks and more from Iowa’s schools. Contact your legislator and tell them all children, especially kids at rural schools, deserve a high quality, healthy childhood.

Iowa Senate Switchboard: (515) 281.3371
Iowa House Switchboard: (515) 281.3221

Find Your Iowa State Legislator:

This video is from the Feb 26th, 2019, Senate subcommittee meeting on SF 1190.

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