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Womens March Iowa City – Large Crowd, Great Signs

Peaceful protest in Iowa City.

Great March In Iowa City!

Iowa City Women’s march 01-21-2017

My guess was at least 2,000, maybe as high as 3,000. Just couldn’t believe the waves of people that just kept coming as noon approached. It was wonderful.

Lots of women of all ages of course, but also lots of men, many girls also. Some of the girls looked to be junior high age and seemed to be on their own. Way to go girls! Also a good number of boys. It was a well behaved crowd.

The local organizer said she was overwhelmed. She said she thought it would be her and a couple of her friends.

image from #sistermarchic

Yesterday was a giant step backward for the country and the world. Today was an inspiring first step in reverse, but only a tiny step. This was not a one and done rally, but no doubt the first of what will have to be constant actions on many fronts.

Leaving the march and listening to reports from around the world, I was heartened. Believe me a huge dose of hope has been much needed after what has transpired since Nov. 8th.

On a personal level, I was given a pussy hat which I will cherish until the end.

pussy hat

Will Republicans Hide Because Of Healthcare?

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers drowned out by chants of “Save Our Healthcare” at MLK Day Rally

Remember last year shortly after Antonin Scalia died and Chuck Grassley reinterpreted the constitution to read that he, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, had the right to decide whether or not a new Supreme Court justice would be nominated and approved? Then he took his newly imagined powers out around Iowa to see how they would play.

It didn’t play well. Not well at all. It especially didn’t play well in towns of any size.

So in the middle of an election year Grassley created a new version of hi 99 county tour where he avoided people except in carefully selected venues that were very friendly. My recollection was that he seldom met an audience in a town over 2000 east of Des Moines.

Even though this year is not an election year Republican politicians around the country are getting hounded by constituents scared of losing their healthcare. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was booed off the stage in Spokane Monday because of the ACA.

In Denver, Rep. Mike Coffman was also booed off the stage also on Monday as he called for the repeal of the ACA.

Closer to home constituents picketed the Cedar Rapids office of Rod Blum, Iowa’s 1st district radical Republican.

“Get used to it, Republicans. The angry crowds you’re going to be facing from now on are people whose lives you are jeopardizing, and they’re going to let you know about it. Like they did with Rep. Rob Blum, in Cedar Rapids.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — Sara Kissling owns The Sausage Foundry in Cedar Rapids with her husband. She has stage five kidney failure. The Affordable Care Act lets her get coverage with her pre-existing condition. It also helps her afford dialysis treatment and medical equipment.

People protest outside 1st District Rep. Rod Blum’s (R-Iowa) office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. The protesters do not want Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Phil Reed/KCRG-TV9)

She says, “Without it I would have met my cap within maybe six months. I’d be dead right now anyway, because who can afford $30,000 per month in expenses.”

Blum failed to materialize to address his constituents, but he probably saw this local news broadcast which you can see below the fold. As did most of his constituents. And let me tell you, Sara Kissling is a very sympathetic—and effective—spokesperson.

Keep it up, folks!”

Voters are awakening to the fact that they did not vote to take away their access to healthcare. They are becoming more aware that Republicans lied through their teeth about replacing the ACA with something better. They are now aware that Republicans are only interested in repealing the ACA so they can give the top .1% a huge tax cut.

Voters are also really pissed off that the radical Republicans are setting their sights on privatizing Medicare that will effectively end healthcare for the elderly. This is not what they voted for. In fact thanks to a docile media that only featured one story and that was about emails, this was not talked about at all.

Voters are really mad that medicaid – the only health care for many of the most vulnerable in our society – will be drastically cut.

Voters are really, really pissed that the Children’s health program (CHiP) is being used as a bargaining chip by the radical Republicans. None of this was discussed during a campaign that was almost devoid of any discussion of issues.

What is really galling is that the very basic reason that OUR healthcare is being cut is so that the richest in our country can be given a huge tax cut! If that doesn’t make your stomach turn you must be one of those getting a huge tax cut.

So what do Republicans do when they stomp on their constituents? They hide. Refuse to make appearances or not announce them in advance the way Grassley didn’t last year. They also refuse to take questions on certain subjects or refuse to talk to the press.

We see that last strategy – refusing to talk to the press – as what will probably be one of the Trump approaches. The other approach for the Trumps will be to simply invent a new (and friendlier) “press” out of whole cloth.

So keep an eye on Iowa’s senators and representatives to see when their public appearances are. Be sure to confront them in public arenas about healthcare. Repeal of the ACA and privatizing Medicare and slashing medicaid and CHiP will affect every household in this country.

protest at Rep. David Young’s office – coutesy

Grassley, Integrity And Tom Price

Franken crushes Price on tobacco and corruption (8 minutes)

As one of the worst nominees in the worst cabinet ever proposed, Rep. Tom Price stands out. Not only because he opposes most of the programs his department is supposed to administer, but also because he may well have committed a criminal act for the purpose of making a big score in the stock market.

For lay people, what Price did was tantamount to insider trading. He bought a large amount of stock in a company that would be very positively affected by legislation before congress. Price then fought hard, one could almost say lobbied for this legislation to pass. When it did, Price saw his investment increase immensely.

Price’s actions are the very epitome of the kind of corruption that the average American finds so disgusting.

In 2012 a bill was passed in Congress known as the STOCK act to stop this very type of action. Congressmember Dave Loebsack of Iowa was one of the early sponsors in the House.

In the senate, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley was also an early supporter of a much stronger STOCK act. In the end, Grassley voted against it because the bill did not go far enough. Sounds good. Sounds like real integrity.

Senator Grassley now sits on the committee that is conducting the hearings on Rep. Price’s confirmation as the Secretary of Health and Human Service. This is where the rubber meets the road for Grassley.

Price may technically have not violated the STOCK act, but as the new saying goes, it doesn’t pass the smell test. In fact this one stinks to high heaven.

In the past couple of decades, Senator Grassley has been a nearly automatic vote for the Republican Party. However in this case, Grassley seems to be caught in a true Republican dilemma. Will he follow his previous course of action and vote not to advance Rep. Price? Or will Grassley once more talk integrity and act as a go-along vote for the Republicans?

Listen to a Bradcast segment on Grassley and the Price nomination. (start at ~ 27:00 Grassley mentioned at 32:30 ends at 35:00)

When we talk about Grassley and integrity we are talking about a tenuous link at best. Integrity has always been a malleable commodity for Grassley – one only need to look at his invention of the reasoning behind stopping Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court as an example. Or one could think back to the lies he told about the ACA as he worked to defeat it.

We will know shortly which side of Grassley we will see. In my mind I have no doubt we will see Grassley, the Republican go-along.

Elizabeth Warren Rips Tom Price (10 minutes)

Best Wishes For Iowa Marchers Today!

Getting Back To True American Roots

Our best wishes go out to all the women and the men who will be joining them in opposition to the takeover of our government by what appears to be a cabal that enters office under dark clouds of suspicion of an election that was interfered with by a foreign power among other things.

Yet this cabal will be taking the reigns of government with the most radical agenda ever.

The agenda includes ignoring climate change and allowing our air and water to become unbreathable and undrinkable.

Also included in the radical agenda is the reversal of all New Deal programs such as Social Security. Expect programs such as unemployment insurance and food programs for the needy to be on the chopping block.

Other safety net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA are major targets also.

Now people should be outraged as they find out what this cabal will be doing, so another of the major projects is to control the means of communication in this country. Sympathizers to this extreme right wing cabal already own most of the media outlets in this country. What real information that does filter out to the public will be delegitimized by the cabal using the media they already own.

The one news source they currently do not control is the internet. Expect net neutrality to be an early victim in the radical right’s quest to control news and public information.

Every home, every person in America will be affected and affected to a great degree by the changes which the radical right is seeking. For .1% of Americans it will be a grand and glorious change. For the other 99.9% of us the changes will most likely drastically change our lives for the worse.

It is a bleak picture that awaits us. However, we do know that rule by a small group is extremely fearful of popular uprisings. Beginning today, Americans of all persuasions, religions, backgrounds and philosophies need to join together to stall off the changes that the radical right and the top .1% want to force on us.

We thank you for standing up today and hope you plan on standing up as often as needed during the next four years.

Sister Marches Today:

January 21, 2017•10:00 AM
Mary Christopher Park• East Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101

Des Moines:
Sat, January 21, 2017
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM CST
Iowa State Capitol Building & Rotunda
1007 East Grand Avenue

January 21, 2017• 1:00 PM
Town Clock Plaza• W 7th Street, Dubuque, IA 52001

Iowa City:
January 21, 2017•11:45 AM
English Philosophy Building lot• 251 West Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52242

Omaha / Council Bluffs:
Start: January 21, 2017• 5:00 PM
End: January 21, 2017•11:45 PM
CenturyLink Center• 455 N. 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68102

Rain Remains


Rain is the best natural resource left in Iowa, helping us grow crops without irrigation because of its abundance.

If other parts of North America can more deserving be called America’s breadbasket — Central Valley, Imperial Valley and Salinas Valley in California particularly — Iowa is due for resurgence because of abundant precipitation combined with California droughts.

Water shortages in California have reached crisis level and despite government actions may not be resolved. If Iowa farmers were to diversify we could overtake California as America’s breadbasket. Now I’m dreaming.

Rain has been a blessing to Iowa and is expected to be our future.

Beginning in 1832, after the Black Hawk War, the landscape of Iowa was transformed from a natural place to a grid of farm fields, cities and towns. Enhanced by global warming, and changes in the polar vortex and prevailing winds, it rains in Iowa — sometimes too much. Rain is all that’s left of what was once a natural world. I’d go so far as to say there is no nature, only sentient beings struggling to survive in this built environment.

No one begrudges Anthony Sells’ saw mill for processing the trees that gave a name to Big Grove Township where I live. There’s plenty of blame for the built environment to go around. It matters little how we got here. What matters more is answering the question what will we do next?

For me that means collecting rain in our yard and preventing erosion. Some rain will be stored in plant life, some in vegetables and fruit. Some will make it to the ditch and the nearby lake. Take what rain we need and release the rest into the Mississippi basin and beyond. Have faith in rain.

What’s here is rain. Rain remains, it’s covalently bonded electrons exemplary of our being. Let it rain.

Best Democracy Money Can Buy Live Facebook Event

The Massive Difference Between The Parties

“Come back in a year and see if you still hold the idea that both parties are the same.”

Actions For Democrats, Independents, And Republicans Of Conscience

The Weekly Action Checklist is an excellent resource because it will help you focus on a weekly action,  but also, you will get important information about how to help yourself feel better in these trying times. If you choose to subscribe, you will only get one email a week on Monday.

What to Do This Week of Jan 15, 2017

Actions for Democrats, Independents, & Republicans of Conscience

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear suggestions for action backed with well-considered research. Although these actions are intended to be helpful, they are still subject to human error. Please do your own research!

If you’d like to subscribe to this weekly action list, please go here:

Hi there!

Every Sunday for the last eight weeks, I’ve sent out a weekly message that includes activism ideas for people of conscience to oppose the president-elect and the incoming leadership.

The 7,100 subscribers to this list have worked your tail off signing things, boycotting, donating, making calls, and probably have been doing a fair amount of fretting on top of it all. This week’s list is deliberately lighter than usual. We all need a reprieve eventually (more on that in a moment).

This week!

  1. Use your feet

In case you haven’t heard, there are rallies, protests, and marches happening all over the country on and around Inauguration Day. Joining others who care about the integrity and goodness of our country could be an incredible experience.

  • Go here for a list of women’s marches.
  • Or Google your closest city and “protest” or “rally” or “march” to find out what‘s happening near you.
  1. Change tack

When the wind changes direction, a sailboat must take a different tack to keep moving forward. Same thing for us this week. The man who has been our POETUS will soon be our POTUS. It’s time to change strategy for the journey ahead.

During the inauguration, I propose doing the following:

  1. Leave your TV on a station NOT airing the inauguration as a ratings protest.
  2. Spend that time reading the Indivisible Guide. Everyone says, “Oh yeah, I downloaded that!” But it’s time to actually read it. With your thinking cap on. It’ll take you 20-30 minutes.
  3. Choose one action based on what you read in this document. Seriously.

The Indivisible Guide is the single best resource I’ve seen for making a difference using proven, time-tested strategies.

  1. Consider this important issue

We need you here for the next four (or–God forbid–eight) years. We need you sane and resourceful. We need you focused, not swallowed by anxiety and despair. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will burn out.

As important as it is to take action right now, it is also vitally important to do things not even remotely related to politics. That’s why this week’s list is short.

You need sleep, fresh air, heart connections, and good chocolate. Maybe your thing is walking in the woods or playing with your pets. Whatever it is, make time for it in spite of everything. One, this will nourish you from the inside. Two, it will help you remember that not everything is craptastic. Babies are still laughing. The moon is still glowing. Ben and Jerry’s still tastes amazing.

On a brief personal note, I just returned from a week at a mountain retreat center with no wifi or cell phone reception (the other reason this week’s message is short). I meditated, journaled, and even colored just for fun. When it snowed, I marvelled at how snowflakes sparkle and how the ice-covered trees glinted at dawn. In short, I felt like a human again for the first time in almost three months.

I needed that. And you do too (or you may eventually). Self care is a profoundly radical act. Be courageous this week, and do something that nourishes you. We need you in this for the long haul.

If you’re not sure what nourishes you, read this wonderful list of ideas by a faith leader I really admire.

Next week

Next week, my regular What To Do This Week checklist will be back, full of well-researched actions, good news, and the best reading I’ve found this week. In the meantime, take good care of yourself.


  • If you’d like to subscribe for this weekly message, please visit this link.
  • To see archives of past What To Do checklists, click here (and scroll to the bottom)
  • If you’d like to contribute, click here.

We’re stronger together!

Rep. Loebsack: MLK Day A Day Of Service And Remembrance

A message about service from Iowa’s only Democrat in congress, Rep. Dave Loebsack on MLK day:

Dear Friend,

Today, we commemorate the great life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by doing our part to make a positive contribution in our communities through service and civic engagement. Dr. King created a legacy of empowering folks to unite and work toward a better, brighter tomorrow. In order to honor Dr. King, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Day of Service in 1994 as the first and only federal holiday that is observed as a national day of service.

I have always believed that Iowans are some of the most civic minded individuals I have met. That is why I have been proud to expand and strengthen volunteer programs across the State of Iowa and nationwide through my Volunteer Generation Fund, which passed into law over seven years ago.

Today, as we honor Dr. King’s legacy, Iowans unite to volunteer and continue the valued tradition of serving others and their communities on this day. If you are interested in participating in a service opportunity near you, click here.

I hope to see you out serving your community today!


Dave Loebsack