Nereida Castro is among hundreds of Iowans who have lost their hard-earned money due to wage theft. She talked with Sen. Mike Gronstal and me about what she has been through. Iowa workers and honest Iowa employers suffer when bad actors short paychecks, confiscate tips, misclassify workers, take unauthorized deductions and fail to pay overtime. Ultimately, Iowa workers are cheated out of more than $600 million a year.
ENSURING IOWANS GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK
Iowa workers and honest employers are hurt when some businesses short paychecks, confiscate tips, misclassify workers, take unauthorized deductions and fail to pay overtime. These bad actors cheat legal workers out of their hard-earned money, drive down wages for all Iowans and are unfair to businesses that play by the rules.
An epidemic of wage theft is taking Iowa workers for $600 million annually. For fiscal year 2013, more than 600 cases of wage theft were reported to the state.
Until the Legislature took action, Iowa Workforce Development had just one wage investigator to work on the concerns of our state’s 1.3 million private sector employees. That’s why we approved enough money last year to add a second wage investigator.
Iowans should always get paid for the work they have done. Senate File 2328 will help by setting minimum standards to ensure Iowans get paid and allow wage investigators to more easily go after businesses that fail to pay what they owe.
You can learn more about the problem of wage theft in Iowa in this report from the Iowa Policy Project: www.iowapolicyproject.org/2012docs/120827-wagetheft.pdf.
LOCAL SCHOOLS SELECTED FOR TEACHER LEADERSHIP EFFORT
Burlington and Muscatine are among the first Iowa school districts selected to launch the state’s teacher leadership effort starting next school year.
Top teachers taking on leadership roles to improve classroom instruction and raise student achievement was a key piece of our 2013 Education Reform.
This new effort will allow teachers to work in collaboration with colleagues and learn from each other instead of operating in isolation in their classrooms.
Teacher leadership systems will be phased in over three years, with the goal of all Iowa school districts participating on a voluntary basis by 2016-17. For the first year of the program, $50 million will be divided among selected schools. The second year will see a $100 million investment and the third year, $150 million. The funding will become part of the school aid formula that determines how much state money schools receive each year.
A Teacher Leadership Commission selected 39 school districts for the first year of funding from a pool of 146 applicants. Districts selected will receive about $309 per pupil next school year to implement their teacher leadership systems. The next step for school districts is selecting their teacher leaders.
Teacher leadership systems promise to help students learn more by better meeting their individual needs. They also will help Iowa classrooms attract and retain the most effective teachers by enhancing career opportunities and paying stipends for taking on extra responsibilities.
With higher expectations for students, it’s no longer realistic for one principal to provide all the instructional leadership in a school. Teacher and principal leadership teams are the key to supporting more complex efforts to prepare students to complete in a global, knowledge-based economy.
COLUMBUS CITY STUDENT AWARDED KEEP IOWA BEAUTIFUL SCHOLARSHIP
Congratulations to Elijah Sents of Columbus City, recipient of a 2014 Keep Iowa Beautiful Environmental Scholarship. Elijah will receive $1,000 toward college expenses in environmental studies at Iowa State University. He was selected for the scholarship based upon academic achievement and community service.
Keep Iowa Beautiful works with citizens, neighborhoods, communities and regions in improving the quality, beauty and cleanliness of our state. For additional information, visit www.keepiowabeautiful.com.
LOCAL BUSINESSES SUCCEED WITH HELP FROM DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
Iowa’s small businesses are the heart of our state’s economy. According to the Small Business Administration:
• Small businesses represent more than 97 percent of all firms in Iowa.
• There are more than 260,000 small businesses in our state.
• More than half of all Iowans work for small business.
We need to maintain and expand our efforts to support Iowa small businesses as they rebound from the national recession. With policies that
encourage their start-up and growth, we can create local jobs and help our communities thrive. Iowa’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are a great example of wise investment in jobs and economic growth. In 2013, local SBDCs helped 69 clients in Des Moines County, 7 in Louisa and 9 in Muscatine.
Since 1981, SBDCs have conducted research, provided counseling and trained Iowa business people in management, financing and operating small businesses. Today, there are 16 Small Business Development Centers throughout the state. They have stayed busy helping clients in good and sluggish
Statewide in 2013, Iowa SBDCs:
• Counselled 2,552 clients
• Saved 1,545 jobs
• Started 209 new business
• Raised $48.9 million in new capital
SBDCs receive federal and state funding. For every $1 invested in the program in 2013, Iowa saw a return of $2.33 in new sales and income taxes because of SBDC assistance to clients. This is a good return on investment, and we can expect even better returns as the economy continues to improve.
Are you interested in starting or expanding a small business? Be sure to work with your local Small Business Development Center. SBDCs provide practical business expertise, free one-on-one counseling and affordable workshops on financing opportunities, market research, cash flow projections, accounting, writing a business plan and much more. Go to www.iowasbdc.org to see what SBDCs can do for Iowa small businesses.
BUDGET SHOULD FOCUS ON GROWING MIDDLE CLASS
Iowa must continue to be a place of opportunity where those willing to work hard and play by the rules can succeed. That means making smart investments in the economy, education and health care, while defending the right of Iowa workers to earn a decent living. It also means a fiscally responsible budget that is balanced, does not raise taxes and keeps our “rainy day” and reserve accounts full.
Democrats and Republicans agreed this week on the framework for a fiscally responsible budget. Now we must work together on the details to address the top priorities of Iowans. For Senate Democrats, that includes a 4 percent increase in state support for local schools, paying for property tax cuts and working family tax cuts approved last year, increasing community college funding and freezing tuition at our state universities for the second year in a row.
I’ll keep you updated as we work out the specifics in the coming weeks.
PROTECTING SENIORS FROM ABUSE & EXPLOITATION
Many Iowa seniors are at risk for abuse, neglect and financial exploitation every day, particularly those who depend on others to help them with the most basic activities of daily living.
Iowa has a lot of senior citizens. In fact, our state is among the top five in the country when it comes to the percentage of our population age 65 and older. However, we have little on the books to ensure they get the help they need when faced with abuse and exploitation.
The Senate is addressing that concern with passage of SF 2239, a comprehensive approach to combat incidents of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of Iowa’s seniors. The bill follows two years of work by a task force that looked at the challenges state and local agencies face in collaborating to address elder abuse issues. SF 2239 takes statewide a successful pilot program implemented in 22 Iowa counties by establishing an Elder Abuse Resource & Referral Program within the Area Agencies on Aging. The goal is to empower all older Iowans to maximize their autonomy, increase awareness of the risks and signs of elder abuse, and serve as a single point of contact for seniors seeking help. The bill also establishes criminal penalties for elder abuse and financial exploitation, allowing law enforcement to better protect of Iowa seniors and punish those who take advantage of them.
Iowa seniors deserve respect and dignity. This is one step toward protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens. SF 2239 is now under consideration in the Iowa House.
A MODEL OF CIVIC & VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT
One of the best parts of being a state legislator is encouraging more Iowans to get involved, whether it is though civic engagement or volunteer work in their communities. This week, we saw those two things come together in a bill that passed the Iowa Senate.
Senate File 2129, introduced by Senator Steve Sodders, would allow schools to create a philanthropy account within their student activity fund. The money raised could be used for educational, charitable, humane, scientific, public health or welfare, environmental or disaster relief purposes. This includes charitable causes related to the school district or to local students.
The idea behind this bill is extra special because it came from a group of government students at West Marshall High School. They wanted to raise money for a family that had gone through an especially hard time. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a way for the money to be kept separate from other student activity funds, and the state Department of Education did not permit setting up a separate account.
Rather than giving up, the West Marshall students researched the problem, came up with a solution, proposed legislation, advocated for it and saw it pass the Senate this week.
I enjoy going “back to school” by visiting with students and educators in classrooms across my senate district. I always encourage students to think of things they’d like to improve and then to get involved to make those changes a reality.
While the conflict we see in Washington, D.C., can be disheartening, there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of our fellow citizens. Senate File 2129 and the students who proposed it are proof that in Iowa, civic action makes a difference.
PREVENTING DANGERS OF UNDERAGE DRINKING
Because we want to keep Iowa children safe, we sometimes have to set limits on them for their own protection.
In a unanimous vote, the Senate approved “social host” legislation. SF 2310 sends a message that it is not OK for adults to host underage drinking parties. Those who do will pay a $200 penalty for the first offense and a $500 penalty for a second or subsequent offense.
It is currently illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under 21, but it is not against the law to host a party for underage drinkers on your property if you don’t provide the alcohol. Many cities and counties have ordinances that prohibit hosting parties for underage drinkers, but state law does not prohibit it.
Underage drinking is a serious health and safety problem. In 2012, more than 200 Iowans under the age of 18 were convicted of Operating While Intoxicated when they drove after drinking. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. About a quarter of those accidents involve an underage drinking driver.
Teens that drink are more likely to:
• Die in a car crash
• Get pregnant
• Flunk out of school
• Be sexually assaulted
• Become an alcoholic later in life
• Commit suicide
For parents who think teen drinking is inevitable, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has advice and resources that will help you talk to your kids about the dangers of drinking. Learn more at www.madd.org/underage-drinking.
REDUCING HEALTH RISKS WITH RADON TESTING IN SCHOOLS
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that can cause cancer. Even though you can’t see, smell or taste it, it is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Radon is an especially big problem in Iowa. Our state leads the nation in the amount of radon in our soil. The average indoor radon concentration in
Iowa is more than six times the national average. Radon-induced cancer causes an estimated 400 deaths per year in Iowa. That’s about the same number of deaths caused by Iowa traffic fatalities.
I supported a bill this week requiring school districts to test for the presence of this silent killer and report radon levels to the Iowa
Department of Public Health (SF 2262). The results will be posted on the Department of Public Health website so that parents and teachers are aware of the radon levels in their local school buildings.
Currently, there is no requirement for public or private K-12 schools to test or mitigate radon levels if they are too high. However, childcare centers in Iowa must test for radon within one year of licensing or renewal and every two years following the initial test.
A recent public opinion poll shows that 71 percent of Iowans favor requiring schools to test for radon and to take steps to reduce levels if necessary. It’s time we know what the radon levels are in our local schools.
Cost for radon testing in a typical school building ranges from $500 to $1,500. It is a price worth paying for the health and safety of our kids.
MODERNIZING CRIMINAL LAW ON INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Iowa’s criminal law relating to transmission of HIV is outdated and severely punishes people who have no criminal intent to transmit the disease.
The law stigmatizes everyone who suffers from HIV and ends up discouraging people from seeking treatment. No other disease is dealt with in such a punitive way under Iowa law.
Over the years, advances in health care have resulted in big successes in controlling HIV with medication and other treatments. With the knowledge and understanding research has provided us in recent decades, it’s time to update Iowa’s law on infectious diseases. This week, the Iowa Senate unanimously approved Senate File 2297 to do just that.
Under the bill, it is a crime to intentionally transmit or try to transmit various infectious or contagious diseases, including HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis and meningococcal disease. However, a person who has one of these diseases who does not behave in a way that would transmit the disease would not be guilty of a crime.
The bill promotes public health by encouraging those who may be carrying a disease to seek treatment rather than live fear of being charged with a crime if they have intimate relations with another person.
For more information about HIV and other infectious diseases, go to www.cdc.gov/hiv.
GOOD POLICIES CAN HELP TROUBLED YOUTH
We need to take action as a state to ensure that Iowa’s female juvenile delinquents get the rehabilitation they need to become self-sufficient, upstanding members of their communities.
The Iowa Senate recently approved SF 2322, a bill that seeks to address the lack of services available to our state’s most troubled girls after the abrupt closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo. Without the home, Iowa judges do not have an appropriate place to send many young women that need extensive treatment and education to get them on the right track. Iowa’s private mental health providers also do not have the necessary facilities and staff to care for these young women.
Legislators held numerous hearings and listened to advocates and experts to come up with the best possible solution. SF 2322 would establish a state training school for girls, which is accredited to provide high-quality treatment and educational programs. The bill emphasizes the importance of evidence-based, gender-responsive services for girls and training for staff.
The bill also ensures:
• Children are safe and getting their needs met.
• Education and training services meet state and federal requirements and prepare children for long-term success.
• The training schools develop plans that recognize individual treatment and needs to help youth transition into adulthood, including access to
educational and vocational opportunities.
• Guardians for “children in need of assistance” and attorneys representing juvenile delinquents visit the children under their watch.
SF 2322 is now under consideration in the Iowa House.
Des Moines, IA 50319
2609 Clearview Drive
Burlington, IA 52601
I now have a card and have actually been to a health care provider a couple of times. Like many I have some blood pressure problems. Nothing too dire, but needs attention. Since I will soon be eligible for Medicare, so other tests and treatments can be delayed for a bit.
While the ACA has been a tremendous positive for America, based on my recent experience it is still a bit early to trust insurance companies to fully comply with the ACA. I have an option that others don’t have which is to wait for Medicare.
The ACA is definitely a step in the right direction. I remember full well the nights I would lay in bed trying to decide if that pain or this sensation was worth a trip to the doctor. Since my “insurance” at the time had a high deductible plus the old “pre-existing condition” clause, I
could pretty much figure that every visit would be on my nickel. Since doctors post no fee schedules, I may as well as just given them my checkbook. It is not as if I could make a guess as to what the fees and other services might cost.
For five years or more I had to endure what may be warning signs of a heart attack, sprained ankles, a shoulder that was so painful that I would cry and many various ailments just hoping and hoping it was nothing really serious. I am out of that hell now. Now thanks to President Obama, I do not have to lie in bed wondering if I am dying – wondering if I take a chance at bankruptcy to get treatment. I know I am far from alone with what I went through.
Of course I blame the Republican congress and Charles Grassley for the hell I went through unnecessarily. I saw the hearings and I read the stories.
Republicans and in particular Grassley were resolute in stopping bringing our health care system into the modern age. Not just during Obama’s presidency but since the presidency of FDR. For that reason alone I would never vote for any republican.
What is really sad is that the power behind the Republican party is still fighting hard to return us to those dark days. And they are fighting hard to end Medicare and Medicaid. Why would I ever want someone who hates America’s citizens so much that they would bring back this form of personalized terror to our country.
I truly thank President Obama and Congressmen Loebsack and Braley and Senator Harkin for standing up for us. You can not imagine how much relief I feel every day knowing that if I have a medical problem I do not have to sit in fear and try to decide between dying or going bankrupt. It wasn’t funny folks, it was reality in my life and many, many others for a long time.
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Congressman Loebsack. Thank You, Congressman Braley. Thank you, Senator Harkin. Believe me, it almost makes me cry to be covered for medical finally.
BUT – now we need to improve the ACA. Really, we need single payer. And we need the citizens to call for it. Loudly
I will admit from the outset that I have not read Tom Brokaw’s book on “The Greatest Generation.” However, I have heard many discussions of those years and indeed did grow up in the home with parents from that generation. Of course our neighborhood and school were filled with parents who were the core of that group. Living in Iowa City we were right in the midst of some of the thousands who came to the University of Iowa on the GI Bill. Some of my best friends parents were in Iowa City on the GI Bill.
From what I understand, the “Greatest Generation” had three life experiences in common. The first was coming of age during the Great Depression. The hard times when food was hard to come by for many. Having some faith in leadership and democracy were essential for digging out of the Depression eventually.
The second life experience that this generation shared was the horrors of World War Two. No matter whether you were in the war itself or back in the US, nearly every American was involved in the war effort and most had kin doing the fighting. This was an experience that was fully shared among the population.
The last shared experience was remaking society and rebuilding after the war. Once again, this was a task that each and every American was involved in. The aforementioned GI Bill was one of the cornerstones of gearing up for a peacetime economy and staving off future wars. Americans of that generation once more took up this task almost as though it was another war. They started businesses, joined groups, sat on school boards and city councils and state governments – one way or another they worked together to make America into the the greatest country that ever existed on earth.
There was an equality among the working folks and those who ran the businesses and shops. There were common purposes and there were little to no barriers between classes. (I must make a point here that this was in white America. The barriers between races were fraying and ready to blow). Go into a restaurant or a bar on a Saturday night in the Midwest and there would be a good mix of folks from all walks of society.
The difference in wages and salaries was not so great that one group could exclude itself from society. Besides, those folks in the bar or restaurant were probably their customers or neighbors. There also seemed to be a shared general vision for the country – building highways and great buildings, homes and good schools. One major focus was that the kids would get what they didn’t have – good education and medical care and no fear of starving in the land of plenty. What helped make the Greatest Generation great was their ability to prepare for the future and their willingness to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. They also created jobs in America for Americans.
So now we dial forward fifty to sixty years. As often happens the generation below that first generation doesn’t share that vision and the second generation removed has almost no clue as to why anyone would have had such a vision in the first place. The things that drove that first group has never even been experienced by them, so they have no way to relate to the hunger, the fear, the threats that drove their grandparents. Any connection between that existed between business owners and their workers has long been stripped away so that the only commonality they have is a paycheck.
And that common vision for society is long gone. The “we are all in it together” atmosphere has long since been replaced by the attitude of “I am getting mine and screw everyone else.” The only vision many have, especially in the wealthy classes is that next $ sign. Any vision that includes giving back to society is quickly blown away. For the past 35 years these folks have been in charge of government and have turned a government that once responded to people into one that is beholden to those with dollars. Those with the dollars are well aware of that and extract favors for the dollars they grant.
We continue to be mired in a recession that is exacerbated by Republicans in Congress who want to punish America for electing Obama. As I think back on those of the Greatest Generation who served from town councils on up to the White House and who laid out a vision of a future America, I am sure that they did not want to build a great country only to give it away piece by piece to the rich and damn all others. We should be in outrage about what has happened to our parents and grandparents dreams.
There is plenty of work that needs to be done in this country to get back in line with the essence of the dreams the Greatest Generation had. We are no longer #1 in anything but war. There is work to be done to bring our health care system up to where it should be with access for all. There is work to be done in replacing aging water lines and sewer pipes and replacing them with environmentally sound systems. The pipes and sewer lines should be made in the United States. There is work to be done to run fiber optic line to make the internet accessible to all for as a common carrier. Their is work to be done in upgrading rail as the most efficient means of transport for materials and possibly people.
One of the most important places where there is work to be done is get off our dependence on fossil fuels and create the next generation of power sources. This alone would create a huge amount of jobs. If we couple that with a policy that buys American made first, we would have a true “win-win” for the USA.
America faced up to the challenges after World War 2 and they were not afraid to be bold. They also were not afraid to tax equitably for the good of society. We have been at a cross roads for awhile. So far we have let the wealthy choke the rest of us so they can keep their wealth while polluting the environment and starving their employees. It is now time to act as the Greatest Generation once did. It is time to elect leaders who will lead the planning and execution of our next resurgence for America.
USA Today looked at eight states in the U.S. that rank the highest for student debt. Ranking from #8 to #1 are: Vermont, Ohio, Iowa, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire.
“Staying in the Midwest, we move on to Iowa, home of the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones. Getting closer to your Big 10 or Big 12 favorites for a few years is going to cost you: Graduates from the state who have borrowed come out with an average of $28,753 in debt. The percentage of students who are in debt has gone up, too, with 72% of those who attend college in the corn belt state turning to the bank for help pay for their tuition.” LINK
Research has shown that the impact of student debt on an individual’s purchasing power and lifetime wealth can be devastating:
An average student debt burden for a dual-headed household with bachelors’ degrees from 4-year universities ($53,000) leads to a lifetime wealth loss of nearly $208,000.
The more than $1 trillion in student loan debt will lead to a total lifetime wealth loss of $4 trillion for indebted households.
The average debt for graduates of the University of Iowa ($28,554 average debt), Iowa State University ($30,374 average debt), and the University of Northern Iowa ($23,575 average debt) is extremely high.
Student loan debt may reduce new vehicle spending by $6.4 billion annually, and home ownership is 36% higher among those who no longer have student loan debt.
Iowa spends more than 31% less now on higher education per full time enrolled student than was spent in the 2007-2008 school year, decreasing by more than $2,500 in real dollars.
As part of the launch of ‘Higher Ed Not Debt’ today, Progress Iowa will ask supporters of affordable higher education to tell their stories about how student debt has impacted their lives. Those stories will be shared with elected officials and other decision makers as part of the ongoing campaign.
To learn more about Progress Iowa’s ongoing efforts as part of ‘Higher Ed Not Debt’ visit http://www.progressiowa.org.
 USA Today: 8 states where student loan debt is out of control
 At What Cost? How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth
 Project on Student Debt: Iowa Institutions
 Impact of Student Loan Debt on Homeownership Trends and Vehicle Purchasing
 The Great Cost Shift Continues (New Report)
“Dollarocracy is the most important political book of the year, maybe of our times. This is exactly the book every concerned American needs to read, because the process of understanding what exactly is going on and taking America back from the corporations starts here.” —Thom Hartmann
“America has two problems: money and media.” – Randi Rhodes
Media activist Robert McChesney, co-founder of Free Press and co-author with John Nichols of Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, will give a lecture March 10 on the University of Iowa campus. McChesney has most recently authored Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. Click here for more information about Robert McChesney.
IOWA CITY- Prominent media activist Robert McChesney, Gutgsell Endowned professor at the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will deliver the 2014 Li Chen lecture for the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) on Monday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. in W128 Chemistry Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.
McChesney’s talk is titled “The Crisis of Democracy is a Crisis of Journalism: They Had a Past, But Do They Have a Future?”
He will discuss the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies and examine the relationship between the closure of newsrooms and the dearth of media coverage of public life. “We have to look to our past for an independent, uncensored newsroom,”McChesney said. “That’s the biggest challenge of our times in media and communication. We need good journalism.”
UI journalism associate professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Berry said McChesney makes longtime journalists like himself think self-critically about journalistic conventions that journalists tend to accept by rote.
Until Berry read McChesney’s and John Nichols’s book, The Death and Life of American Journalism, he said he would have dismissed the notion of government lending a hand to ailing news organizations. “The authors make a strong and thought-provoking case, as they do for many other ideas they introduce,” Berry said. “That’s precisely why students, journalists and citizens will want to hear McChesney- he will make them think, question cherished notions, and consider new ideas.”
McChesney has written or edited 27 books, more than 100 journal articles, 150 book chapters, and another 350 newspaper pieces, magazine articles, and book reviews. From 2002 through 2012, he hosted the “Media Matters” weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on WILL-AM radio.
The Li Chen Distinguished Lecture series is made possible by a gift to the UI Foundation. Li Chen lecturers must be working journalists or media scholars and must, in addition to presenting a public lecture at the UI, visit SJMC classes and meet with graduate students and faculty in the department.
For more about Robert McChesney, visit this website
We need a Secretary of State who believes in Democracy. Check out Brad Anderson, Democrat. AndersonforIowa.com
“There is nothing more sacred than the right to vote.”
Recently I saw an interview with former Florida Governor, Charlie Christ. Years ago I would have called Mr. Christ a flip-flop or pancake, referring to his changing of parties so many times. But I believe that interview enlightened me in two ways:
#1 Mr. Christ is an unapologetic jerk. I believe he should have informed Mr. Romney of his change of endorsement in 2008 or at the very least displayed some form of regret for not doing so.
#2 It is tough to go Independent because of a lack of infrastructure like there is for the Democrats and the GOP. And that is the part of the interview I would like to touch on. The fact that in this country we have to choose between one party that is in bed with Corporate America and the other that is constantly climbing out of bed just long enough to convince the rest of America that they are here to help us. We need more political parties in America.
When the Republicans do something we don’t like we vote in the Democrats, then the Democrats proceed to do the same thing the Republicans were going to do. The reason is that both parties realize more than ever that we only have two choices (for the most part), and that if they lose this time they will always have a 50% percent chance of winning the next time.
Mr. Christ did go Independent for a short period of time. However, one of his biggest complaints was that there was no infrastructure for Independents, and that made it difficult to run as one. But there is one group that does have the infrastructure, the money, and the people to start a third party in this country: UNIONS. Most unions have political delegates at each local. They also have people who are experienced in campaigning. They also know how politics work on a local level and in Washington.
Now the problem. It is both sad and hard for me to face this fact, but unions are drawn to Democrats like a moth to a flame. They know they are going to get burnt, but they don’t care because their line of crap sounds oh so good. But if the Democrats had been defending Labor with the same vigor that the GOP has been destroying it, we would not be at less than 7% membership in the private sector.
It seems to me Organized Labor wants the Democrats to fight their fight. But one thing I have learned is no one is going to argue your points the way you are. It’s like Organized Labor has been sitting around and waiting for a Superman to come out of the Democratic Party when they really should have been creating their own Superman or Superwoman.
I do want to make one point as I do believe there have been pockets of real help from the Democrats. However the two-party system only works for the two parties, and workers will never get properly represented by a system that only focuses on perpetuating itself. This is not only a call for just a Labor party, we need closer to four or five different parties, but organized labor is the only group that I know of that could potentially start their own party and succeed. I think it is time for Organized Labor to stop depending on those who are there to serve the interests of others.
Finally, I will leave you with this. UAW President Bob King said at a conference the UAW has no future without the South. I respectfully disagree with Mr. King. I don’t think organized labor has a future with its continued dependence on the Democratic Party and without creating a political party of its own.
Hey, hey, – it is Academy Awards Sunday. Glitz, glitter, speeches that go nowhere. But who cares. Every woman that walks up the red carpet will be asked over and over “Who are you wearing?” I wish once someone would say “Kohl’s” or “Dollar Store” just to see the reaction.
And for the nth year in a row it will be a movie we haven’t seen. Movies got too pricey for us a while back. We figured we could afford to get a movie channel for the price of a movie. Now the price of a movie channel is too pricey. Seeing a show on commercial TV breaks it up so much I lose interest. So we are back to reading about them with fascination. No doubt with the new internets and the lack of net neutrality, that may even become too expensive. I guess if God wanted us to use the internets, we would have been born with USB ports.
The best news is that Ellen DeGeneris is the host. She.Is.Funny!
Were you paying attention?
1) After coming under fire for remarks she made about sexual assaults on campus, which university president revealed that she had been assaulted as a student?
2) Following an explosion at a local fracking well in Pennsylvania, Chevron tried to make amends with the locals by doing what?
3) Maybe all the noise was keeping Iowans awake? The Iowa House passed a bill to legalize what for guns?
4) What digital trading exchange unit had its value drop to near zero after one exchange went dark?
5) The nation waited in anticipation to see if which Arizona governor would sign the bill to legalize discrimination against gays and others in her state?
6) Two investigations in Wisconsin call this guy “John Doe.” What does the public know “John Doe” as?
7) When he left this life, this man left behind a million laughs. Who joined the ghosts he once busted this week?
8) While not in “the Sound of Music” this person who died last week was part of the family that inspired it. Who was the last of this family to die?
9) Can you remember how many Oscars “The Sound Of Music” received?
10) The Iowa Policy Project put out a new report on the cost of living in Iowa. It shows that what is in no way keeping up with rising costs?
11) In Florida, a judge sent shock waves across the nation when he returned the weapon used in a “stand your ground” killing to the defendant after he was found not guilty. Why was everyone so shocked?
12) Governor Branstad declared what to be a “dying industry” in Iowa?
13) Many reasons have been floated as to why this happened, but one thing was really surprising last week. What dropped 43% among children over the past year?
14) In science, it was announced this week that in 88% of adults, which deadly disease has been thwarted by a patient’s own genetically altered immune system cells?
15) The first gay professional NBA player became a reality when who was signed by the Brooklyn Nets this week?
Xtra Credit) what did a California couple find in their backyard while walking their dog?
Well, now to pop up that pop corn, get a cold one and nestle in to a good spot on the couch. Is 8:30 too early to get ready to watch the Oscars?
Here are some answers. I trust you will accept them.
1) Sally Mason of the U of Iowa
2) certificates for free pizza
3) silencers. Boy that sure sounds like a crazy ALEC bill.
5) Jan Brewer
6) Governor Walker
7) Harold Ramis
8) Maria von Trapp (age 99)
10) the median wage in Iowa
11) because the defendant is blind
12) dog racing
14) adult leukemia
15) Jason Collins. remember he came out last year after the season.
XC) Gold coins buried in old cans in mint condition worth multi millions.