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Obamacare On The Shoals?

ForwardThe ship has sailed on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the treacherous waters of partisan legal cases haven’t sunk it yet. Tuesday the law weathered another storm.

On July 22, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released a decision on Halbig v. Burwell, vacating a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that provides government subsidies to help pay the premiums for health insurance. Foes of Obamacare rejoiced.

A few hours later, in Richmond, Virginia, the Fourth Circuit released a decision in King v. Burwell, unanimously upholding the ACA subsidies.

“That was a short party, wasn’t it?” wrote Greg Sargent in the Washington Post.

The White House Press Secretary was quick to respond:

“Another partisan attempt to harm the Affordable Care Act failed today. This latest attempt (Halbig v. Burwell) was undermined by a unanimous judicial panel in the 4th Circuit (King v. Burwell). The law was designed to make health care affordable through tax credits– and it is working.”

The case is not Supreme Court bound according to an AP story. “Since (Halbig v. Burwell) was decided by a three-judge panel, the administration will ask the full 11-member appeals court to hear the case. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has seven judges appointed by Democratic presidents, including four by Obama.” Read the story here.

Iowa, along with six other states, established a State Partnership Marketplace, which provides insurance premium subsidies to some 24,485 eligible Iowans. Governor Branstad, an opponent of the ACA, is in no hurry to make the transition to the marketplace, which is required to be completed by 2015, after the midterms. The Des Moines Register explained the impact of the court rulings on Iowans in a July 22 article by Tony Leys.

Is Obamacare on the shoals? Not really. The administration is navigating the legal challenges to the unpopular law, and in the meanwhile, people who could not afford health care insurance without government subsidies can buy coverage. That’s part of what the law intended.

For those who bought policies through the exchange, there was a turbulent start, but it is clear sailing for now.

Iowa Supports Middle East Peace

Peace Now, Please

Peace Now, Please

Among the groups gearing up for Iowa’s first in the nation presidential caucus is Iowans Supporting Israel (ISI). According to their web site,

“Iowa has an important role in the quadrennial selection of our President, we also have the responsibility to share what is important to us as candidates and surrogates seek our support. Establishing an effective, statewide organization in place will be important as the next election grows closer. Yet, as we understand the ongoing importance of Israel, we view this organization to be one that will be sustaining through all electoral and caucus cycles.”

Just what we need— another group raising money to impact elections.

ISI apparently sent form letters to every Democrat who signed up as a delegate to the state convention. While I don’t agree Iowa needs another political action committee (or whatever this group purports to be), it is possible to agree with ISI in a couple of respects.

They sent a signed statement by President Harry Truman which reads,

“This Government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional Government thereof.

The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.

     ~ signed Harry Truman, May 14, 1948.

Hard to disagree here. It is also true, as the group wrote, that the existence of Israel has been threatened ever since they were recognized by the United Nations.

What was not written about in the personally addressed letter was the many accounts of the poor treatment of Palestinians heard from friends and acquaintances who have been to the region. The author didn’t write about the two state solution. There was a lot missing as he asked for a financial donation.

During a time when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) placed a 24-hour ban on U.S. flights to Israel after missile attacks near the airport, it can serve no useful purpose to support one party over the other in this multiparty conflict, any more than we have.

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution supporting Israel  the same night Israel launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip. That, combined with the financial aid given Israel every year, seems like enough support.

What the Middle East needs is less congressional lobbying and resolutions, and a willingness from all parties in the conflict to negotiate a settlement.

On those terms, Iowa could support peace in the Middle East.

Climate Change Is Really Political

2012 Drought Conference

2012 Drought Conference

If one didn’t think the U.S. discussion of climate change was political, think again. U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-West Virginia), added an amendment to a House appropriations bill to fund the Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would prohibit the two agencies from using funds that would “design, implement, administer or carry out specified assessments regarding climate change.”

Another way to put it, from McKinley’s perspective, is if you don’t like science, ban it.

House Republicans took exception to the Department of Defense addressing the recommendations of the National Climate Assessment, and have added two agencies whose work is directly related to mitigating the effects of extreme weather to their list.

The floor debate captured the essence of the politics of climate change:

“Spending precious resources to pursue a dubious climate change agenda compromises our clean-energy research and America’s infrastructure,” McKinley said on the House floor. “Congress should not be spending money pursuing ideologically driven experiments.”

Speaking against the amendment, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) said it disregards the research of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists.

“The Republicans, in general, don’t seem to trust the scientists,” Kaptur said. “This amendment requires the Department of Energy to assume that carbon pollution isn’t harmful and that climate change won’t cost a thing. That’s nothing but a fantasy.”

What next? Click here to read the rest of David Gutman’s coverage of this story in the Charleston, West Virginia Gazette.

And consider that June 2014 was the hottest month on record since records have been collected. Politicians like McKinley would deny the reality of human contributions toward global warming at the same time climate data released from the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that the worldwide average temperature over land and sea in June 2014 was 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the 20th century average of 59.9 degrees. That is reality.

People seeking scientific proof of anthropogenic global climate change are barking up the wrong tree. The goal of science, if unlike McKinley, we accept science, is not to prove, but to explain aspects of the natural world.

Around 1850, physicist John Tyndall discovered that carbon dioxide traps heat in our atmosphere, producing the greenhouse effect, which enables all of creation as we know it to live on Earth.

Carbon dioxide increased as a percentage of our atmosphere since Tyndall’s time at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. As a result, Earth’s average temperature increased by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The disturbance of the global carbon cycle and related increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere is identifiably anthropogenic because of the isotope signature of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

We can also observe the effects of global warming in worldwide glacier retreat, declining Arctic ice sheets, sea level rise, warming oceans, ocean acidification, and increased intensity of weather events.

It is no wonder almost all of climate scientists and all of the national academies of science in the world agree climate change is real, it is happening now, it’s caused by humans, and is cause for immediate action before it is too late.

Politicians like McKinley don’t get it, and advocate against reality. That’s nothing new for some members of the Republican Party.

Iowa’s Summer Campaign Has Begun

Photo Credit BruceBraley.com

Photo Credit BruceBraley.com

A small group of local, long-time political activists met last week with one of the 80 or so paid organizers for the Coordinated Campaign of the Iowa Democratic Party. Electing Bruce Braley as Iowa’s next U.S. Senator was at the top of our to-do list.

We don’t see each other often, but share the experience of working on election campaigns over many cycles. We know what it would mean if power in the U.S. Senate switched from Democratic to Republican leadership. If it’s up to us, that won’t happen, and each person at the meeting was willing to invest resources of time, money and thoughtful participation toward electing Braley to the U.S. Senate.

What does that mean in 2014?

It means participating in canvasses organized by paid staff, attending candidate and party-sponsored events when our schedule permits, and writing checks to campaigns when we have resources. That’s only part of the picture. Increasingly, it’s a small part.

More than anything, modern political campaigns require each of us be engaged in a community, without regard for political affiliation, and do things that make sense to advance our views. In rural communities especially, the human landscape of society doesn’t change enough from one election cycle to the next to pretend neighbors and friends don’t remember what was said in a letter to the editor, or at an event the last cycle. This persistence of memory can be a blessing and a curse in political campaigns.

Campaigns send a lot of requests for political donations, almost none of which get acted upon. The rationale is a variation on a theme that the numbers justify them. That is, if a request is sent to 10,000 people, there will be a financial return. This cycle, I am hearing more about Charles and David Koch, The Heritage Foundation and political action committees than ever. Campaigns keep sending the messages reinforcing a negativity that is hard to ignore.

At the grassroots, people understand the difference between a political action committee and a candidate, and at the end of the day, when there is an extra $25 in the checking account, a donation will go to a candidate, not a third party. Plenty of folks feel that way.

The summer’s string of parades, picnics, car races, music concerts, annual gatherings and county fairs is only just beginning, and political candidates are attending. We don’t put a lot of stock in what a particular candidate may say at an event, but there is an unspoken expectation they will show up in person from time to time, and that through these and other presences in person and in media, we will get to know them.

The weather has been exceptionally good for outdoors gatherings, and 2014 will be a summer to remember if for no other reason than that. Politics affects our lives, but we go on living.

Summer is the time to get involved with a political campaign, so start by checking out the Iowa Democratic Party. In case you missed it, Bruce Braley could use your help as well.

Hodge-Podge: Branstad For Bishop!

branstad jobs numbersI understand Terry Branstad is a Roman Catholic. I never knew this because I never cared before. As one who truly believes that the separation of Church and State must as wide as a galaxy it really irked me to see him leading the phony-baloney “day of prayer” last Monday. Terry, if you want to be bishop go for it. I think you would make a lousy one after cutting food aid for the poor 2 years in a row and doing all you could to stop Medicaid in Iowa before making the poor pay for it. You may be religious, but you sure as hell are not moral.

Sending The Refugees Home
Would be like telling fire fighters to take the people they just rescued back into the burning house. Really, Branstad? Really Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman? You both claim to be Christian, yet in a true test of your Christianity you turn your backs on those in need.

I do believe in the separation of Church and State. This is not a religious question, it is a question of morality. Here are two governors who proudly fail that test and want your vote. Morality and government should not be separated.

How To Pay For The Lawsuit Against Obama
The whole concept of the House suing President Obama is so ludicrous it is beyond laughter. Boehner and his sycophants think they have outsmarted both Dems and the far right with this one. But one thing Tea Baggers insist on is that the cost be offset. I have a humble suggestion and shall send it to Mr. Boehner.

Mr. Boehner, I recommend that this epitome of frivolous lawsuits be paid for by taking the salary, travel costs, staff salaries and any other perks from any member voting for this suit. If they truly believe this is a legitimate and necessary suit, they will gladly give up a few years of pay and perks. You may also need to ask them for donations. I see no reason why I or any other taxpayer should pay so much as a nickel for this tomfoolery!

Science On The March
Holy Moley is science ever marching forward at breakneck speed. Couple of really interesting developments these past couple of weeks. Too bad the Tea Party hates science, because they are truly missing some fantastic advances. When they come back to earth they will have a lot of catching up to do. Here are a couple that really caught my eye:

1) Researchers may have found a way to stop type 2 diabetes. Very preliminary, but very promising.

2) Future farming in a high-rise? Taking place now in Japan. Takes up less surface space while making it much easier to recycle, control pollution and farm darn near anywhere. My son-in-law and I have been talking of this for years.

Christie Running!
At least as well as he can run for president while carrying around tons of corruption. Hobbled by many major corruption stories in his administration in New Jersey, Chris Christie has time to take a trip to Iowa and New Hampshire. At least in Iowa he will be able to compare corruption notes with another scandal plagued governor, our own Terry Branstad.

Putin, Plane Shot Down and Republicans
When My wife and I heard of the tragedy in the Ukraine with the speculation that Vladimir Putin may be responsible either directly or indirectly we could not help but remember that only a few weeks ago Republicans from the US Senate to the Us House down to the state house were expressing such admiration for Putin. They used Putin as an example of a “man of action” and someone who gets things done. Wonder how they feel about their hero now. My teachers used to tell to be careful when you pick heroes. Most are not anything like what they appear to be.

I also recall how our last President Bush implied he was a good guy:
“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.”

Raise your hand if you are really glad Obama is President and not Bush or any other war hungry Republican.

Branstad Admin Nixes Solar Power Grant
Like a good corporate Tea Party governor the Branstad administration rejected a $1 million grant based on corporate lobbyists objections.

They wanted changes to the grant that the energy office were unwilling to make, since they were making them for no one else and they would gut the purpose of the project.

Terry, you can’t stop progress forever. If Iowa’s voters have a lick of sense it will only be for another few months. Jack Hatch will move Iowa forward!

Keep it up and Iowa Republicans will be irrelephant:

irrelephant

Sunday Funday: County Fair Edition

countyfair01-big
Come one, come all to the great Muscatine County Fair in historic West Liberty, Iowa. We have exhibits of plants and foods; we have show animals of all varieties and we have a midway with thrilling rides and scrumptious one of a kind fair food – including elephant ears and half-pound tenderloins and delicious fried onions! Mmmmm, Mmmmmm, once a year that is some fine eating.

See your friends, see your neighbors. Enjoy a show in the grove while you eat a delicacy. Stay for the races and cheer on the local favorites! See YOU at the fair.

Got to wonder how much longer the whole Fair circuit will survive. I am sure it is one tradition that will not go away easily. Many, many kids remember the fair with love all their lives – the rides, the animals, the friends. But most fairs are just scraping by these days. We wish them another hundred years of success.

I got some questions for you

1) The two big stories of the week happened within the same hour on Thursday. One was the downing of the plane in Ukraine. What was the other?

2) The Branstad administration nixed a million dollar deal from the feds this week which would have studied what in Iowa?

3) Surprisingly, an overwhelming number (74%) of Republicans who have this like it very much. What is it?

4) Steve King is seeking to end this wage scale on projects paid for with federal funds. What is this wage scale called?

5) A proposed pipeline that would cut across Iowa would move oil from where?

6) Reaching back to a historic events, 25 years ago yesterday was a tragic day in Sioux City. What happened?

7) Another week, another judge declares laws against marriage equality invalid. What state joined the ranks of equality this week?

8) Netroots Nation met in Detroit this week. Along with all its other troubles, Detroit is now cutting what utility from households in arrears in payments?

9) 73 in real years, but still looking all of 17, what character died taking a bullet aimed at his gay friend?

10) You would think after this long this guy could run on his record. Who spent $1M on his re-election in 7 weeks?

11) After becoming a right wing whipping dog, what soldier is out of therapy and assigned to a low pressure desk job?

12) In Arizona, a Congressional candidate staged a big show of stopping a bus of immigrant kids only to be informed the bus was actually what?

13) In California, a measure to split the state up has enough signatures for the 2016 ballot. This measure will split California into how many states?

14) What major tech company announced it would be laying off 18,000 over the next year?

15) If you lived in Los Angeles and wanted to wash your car, how much might it cost you?

Where were you 45 years ago when Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon? I was working at a gas station on the interstate. I had a small B&W TV that barely got a picture. Customers came and went, most stopping for a few moments to watch events unfold. It was a magic day.

Answers:

1) The invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israel

2) Solar Energy

3) Obamacare or the ACA. Please keep fighting it, Republicans.

4) the prevailing wage scale

5) North Dakota (the Bakken Field)

6) United Airline Flight 232 crash landed after losing all flight controls

7) Florida

8) Water. Citizens of Detroit have appealed to the UN.

9) Archie Andrews. Killed off after a long run

10) Branstad. And no, he can’t run on his record

11) Bowe Bergdahl

12) a group of YMCA kids going to camp. He said they looked really scared

13) 6

14) Microsoft

15) $500 for frivolous use of water.

RAGBRAI??? Never heard of it!

Independent Poll Shows Iowans Oppose Gov. Branstad’s Orascom Deal

progress iowa
For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Contact: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0530

55% oppose granting Orascom another $25 million in tax credits

Des Moines, Iowa — An independent poll released today by Progress Iowa and Citizens for a Healthy Iowa shows strong opposition to the continuation of tax credits for Orascom, an Egyptian fertilizer company. The Public Policy Polling survey found that 55% oppose continuing the $25 million tax break as planned. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is expected to discuss giving Orascom another $25 million in tax breaks at their board meeting tomorrow morning.

“Governor Branstad has been too eager to give away our hard earned tax dollars at the expense of middle class Iowa families,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “The state has already promised Orascom $82 million, and they are set to receive hundreds of millions in tax breaks for a plant they were going to build anyway. We call on the IEDA to stop this economic madness and restore fiscal sanity to the state of Iowa at their board meeting tomorrow.”

“After Governor Branstad’s vetoes of REAP and other conservation funding passed with bipartisan support in the legislature, his priorities are very clear: no to programs that will preserve and protect the health of Iowa’s natural resources, and yes to expensive and wasteful tax giveaways for foreign corporations,” said Mark Langgin, spokesperson for Citizens for a Healthy Iowa.

From the survey conducted by Public Policy Polling:

Egyptian fertilizer company Orascom has received $82 million in tax breaks from the state, and is scheduled to receive another $25 million from the Iowa Economic Development Authority next week. Supporters say the company will create jobs, while critics say the company would have built in Iowa without the tax breaks. Do you think the Iowa Economic Development Authority should continue the $25 million tax break as planned, or not?

Think it should continue ……………………………. 22%

Think it should not……………………………………. 55%

Not sure …………………………………………………. 22%

A petition opposing the additional $25 million circulated by Progress Iowa has received nearly 2,000 signatures in less than 48 hours, and will be delivered at the IEDA board meeting tomorrow morning.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 860 Iowa voters between July 11-13. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.4%. PPP surveys are conducted using automated telephone interviews.

###
Public Policy Polling Survey: Strong Opposition to Orascom Deal in Iowa

Dems: Middle Class Jumpstart!

Brighter days ahead when we vote for democrats

Brighter days ahead when we vote for democrats


Led by Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, US House Democrats unveiled a plan this week for a 100 day Jumpstart for the Middle Class. Speaking to WFPL radio in Louisville, Yarmuth spelled out parts of the plan:

“This Congress has the reputation justifiably as being a ‘do-nothing’ Congress. We’ve accomplished very little,” he said. “We know the American people want action, and this is our action plan to help boost the middle-class and restore economic growth for the majority of Americans.”

Once again Democrats are responding to the needs of the common American while Republicans continue to do all they can to impoverish more and more Americans while giving the wealthy everything they want.

Specifics of the plan are posted on the website http://www.democraticleader.gov/middle-class-jumpstart/

Here is a list of the plan:

HOUSE REPUBLICANS ARE STACKING THE DECK FOR THE WEALTHY AND THEIR SPECIAL INTEREST FRIENDS AT THE EXPENSE OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES. IN THE FIRST 100 DAYS OF 2015, A DEMOCRATIC HOUSE MAJORITY WILL ACT TO PUT THE MIDDLE CLASS FIRST.

‘MAKE IT IN AMERICA’ – BETTER JOBS AT HOME
Republicans voted to give tax breaks to companies that ship American jobs overseas.

Democrats will introduce the “21st Century Make It In America Act” to provide tax incentives for creating good-paying jobs here at home.

Republicans blocked legislation to make long-term investments in our nation’s aging highway system and opposed creating clean energy jobs of the future.

House Democrats will pass the “Build America Bonds Act” to boost job growth and modernize America’s infrastructure by building roads, bridges, broadband technology and investing in clean energy initiatives – paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

Republicans refused to raise the minimum wage but gave massive tax giveaways to corporate special interests and the ultra-wealthy.

House Democrats will pass the “Fair Minimum Wage Act” and the “CEO/Employee Pay Fairness Act” to deny CEOs the ability to claim tax deductions for pay over $1 million unless they give their employees a raise.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

WHEN WOMEN SUCCEED, AMERICA SUCCEEDS
House Republicans refused to ensure equal pay for equal work, and voted to reduce access to child care and against paid sick leave.

House Democrats will pass the “Paycheck Fairness Act” to guarantee both women and men get equal pay for equal work, pass the “Healthy Families Act” to ensure paid sick leave for men and women, and increase access to affordable child care.

House Republicans voted to weaken domestic violence laws that protect women and voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

House Democrats will strengthen the “Violence Against Women Act” and will expand women’s access to comprehensive health care and family planning.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

AFFORDABLE EDUCATION TO KEEP AMERICA #1
House Republicans voted to pile more debt on the backs of students and families by preventing Americans from refinancing their student loans and by voting to cut Pell Grants.

House Democrats will pass the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” to help Americans refinance their college loans to new, lower rates, and will increase access to Pell Grants for higher education.

House Republicans voted to limit access to quality early childhood education.

House Democrats will pass the “Strong Start for America’s Children Act” to increase access to effective early childhood learning.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Democrats are embracing their role as the party of the middle class and poor. They are the party of the worker and the small business person. A vote for Iowa candidates Dave Loebsack, Pat Murphy, Staci Appel and Jim Mowrer is a vote for true American values.

A vote for any Republican is a vote for a bad economy that favors the wealthy and corporations, not small businesses. Democrats will give us all a chance, Republicans will try to take away Social Security, voucherize Medicare and end the ACA.

Think before you vote.

Friday In Iowa: More Summer Reading

(Editor’s Note: BFIA returns to The Prairie Progressive: A Newsletter for Iowa’s Progressive Left for Prairie Dog’s summer reading list. More engaging books to read during this exceptionally pleasant summer weather).

Five Books You Must Read This Summer
By Prairie Dog

“Whither goes thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”
~ Jack Kerouac, 1959

1959: The Year Everything Changed by Fred Kaplan

Pick a year, any year. A case could be made for almost any of them– 1914, 1963, 2001– as the year everything changed, but born-on-the 4th-of-July journalist Kaplan is very convincing about the impact of the year preceding the vaunted Sixties. Readers old enough to remember their first transistor radio might agree; at $49.95, just in time for Christmas, it became the biggest-selling consumer product in history. Earlier in the year, the first two US soldiers were killed in South Vietnam. Khrushchev toured the Garst farm in Coon Rapids, scene of the first media scrum of the modern age. Fidel Castro also visited the U.S., three months after ending 60 years of US dominion over Cuba, while Ike and the CIA plotted his assassination. The IBM 1401, the first practical business computer, went on sale. NASA coined the word “astronauts,” much catchier than “spacemen.” The cultural ground shifted, too: Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, Miles Davis, Jackson Pollock, and films by Truffaut and Godard set the stage for the explosiveness of the next decade. Buddy Holly died in Iowa as the Silver Beetles were being born in England. The Prairie Progressive welcomes its readers’ opinions. What is your choice for the year everything changed?

The Lost Clerihews of Paul Ingram by Paul Ingram

As every customer at Prairie Lights knows, Ingram’s enthusiasm for books and writers and words is contagious. We now know that clerihews are contagious, too: Paul Ingram Has now gone big time. But at the Prairie Progressive, he’s one Prairie Mouse we’ll never think less of with the publication of his own book after decades of selling others (much like an ornithologist becoming a bird). We congratulate Paul and thank him for his many contributions over the years to Prairie Dog’s Summer Reading List.

Good King Bad King by Susan Nussbaum

Can a novel about life in a residential facility for teenagers with disabilities be funny, furious, and hard to put down, without being sentimental or despairing? Yes, as proven by Nussbaum’s sharply-drawn, vividly alive characters, each giving their perspective in authentic voices usually ignored. Perhaps most compelling is the young sales rep for a nursing home franchise who, as she comes to know residents as humans rather than widgets to fill beds, gradually evolves from corporate cheerleader to clear-eyed whistle-blower.

The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead

One of the keenest observers of American life– commercial branding, the zombification of our society, racism overt and subtle– has hit the jackpot again, this time in Las Vegas. Who cannot love a book that begins, “I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside.” Whitehead’s cast of poker players include Helen, whose sweet housewife face hid a kung fu heart: “she was bluffing the minute she walked into a room.”

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Loss, desire, and terror abound as the worst flood in American history inexorably bears down on the dirt-poor town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi. Sensitive readers might want to skip the dogfighting scenes, but Alabama-born Ward distills much tenderness and beauty as a motherless family struggles to hold together in the ten days before Katrina strikes.

~ Prairie Dog

Check out Prairie Dog’s 2013 summer reading list here.

Reprinted with permission from the Summer 2014 issue of The Prairie Progressive, Iowa’s oldest progressive newsletter, available only in hard copy for $12/yr.!! Send check to PP, Box 1945, Iowa City 52244.

The Koch Dealers

John Shumaker

John Shumaker

the Koch Dealers

rivers of white powder are flooding
streets of America
north to south
east to west
in the form of rivers of white power
funded by Koch Brothers
they are the Koch Dealers of white powder in fascist white power
they are the Koch Dealers
DEA looks the other way
says they didn’t seem em comin down the street
no prosecution of the Koch Dealers
not yet
DEA says they went the other way
down MEAN Streets
covered over with Supreme Court ooze of Citizen United
the Koch Dealers
are involved in every way in every state in every political race
without a trace
just look at Iowa
and Joni Ernst
ah, the Koch Dealers at work
never leavin a trace
just a hooded wrinkled wink
and a smile
more than Hyvee has in every aisle
Ah, the Koch Dealers
already Dealing on your Block
an your neighborhood
it’ll be too late for you to say you never understood
they’ll have you strung up for good
fair warnin Dear Friend
BeWare of
The Koch Dealers
AHO!