A liberal-leaning Jewish organization on Sunday called on Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to apologize for linking U.S. foreign policy to the rise of Adolf Hitler. “Senator Grassley’s Hitler comparison is absolutely inappropriate,” Aaron Keyak of the National Jewish Democratic Council said. “Grassley…
When we look behind the curtain of bad policies that remain stuck in place by Republican obstruction you will see that companies are gearing up for the future despite what policies are in place. For them, to be behind the curve may mean the difference between being competitive or losing lots of business. In that vein you see many insurance companies shying away from insuring buildings near the oceans due to climate change.
Over the years most companies have done what they can to stretch their energy dollars. Things like the air deflectors on semi cabs have meant millions. So now we have some of the major fleets making noise of going to natural gas over oil. I would like to say this is good, but the damage that mining natural gas does, I can only say one thing: FRACK! And I don’t mean that in a nice way.
Branstad Wants A Raise?
Or so states a mailer from the Democratic Party. This is not actually true. Branstad proposes a raise for the next governor. I for one am not ready to concede the next election to Branstad without at least a fight. I think that Branstad’s lies, a stagnant Iowa economy and a general tiring of Republicans working only for the 1% can spell doom for the governor for life.
Thank You Senator Courtney
I see that Senator Tom Courtney reprised his allegations from last fall on Secretary of State in training Matt Schultz on misuse of federal funds.
Let me say Thank You, Senator Courtney! This Branstad administration needs close watch and Matt Schultz in particular. The people of Iowa say thank you!
Whatever Will The Impeachment Charges Be?
“High Crimes and Misdemeanors” are the reasons stated in the Constitution for impeachment of a president. No doubt this clause is quite vague so that pretty much any malfeasance in office can give the House of Representatives reason to act. I fully expect that with the current House, its gutless leader and the ideologically driven tea party goofballs, impeachment will be on the table about a year from now. Right at a time it can affect the 2014 election, because everything they do is geared to being elected.
So what will be the “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” Obama will be charged with?
- Golfing too much and golfing left handed?
- Having too nice of a family to really hate?
- being president while black?
- some silly Frank Luntz concoction of words that sounds ugly?
- born in a foreign country – Hawaii?
Property Tax Compromise: Christmas For Wamart
Boosts EITC, brings challenges to local services
Just got an email from Iowa Fiscal Project. These guys are great at analyzing the real effect of fiscal policies. And it looks like they see a real stinkeroo in the property tax compromise that is being floated. Looks like big business gets most of the Christmas meal, poor folks get a few crumbs and cities and local services get the boot in the butt:
It’s Christmas for Walmart and McDonald’s, which will happily receive property-tax breaks that they don’t need, while their low-wage employees receive a better Earned Income Tax Credit.
This Christmas tree will grow bigger with each passing year, leaving less room in local budgets to respond to needs. The EITC expansion is important to working families — including 37 percent of all Iowa kids — but in the balance of who benefits from this package, it is a very small ornament.
If there is any question as to who benefits, Iowans should note that the EITC boost will be $35 million when fully phased in, compared to about 10 times that for property owners.
The Iowa Fiscal Partnership is a joint public policy analysis initiative of two nonpartisan, nonprofit Iowa-based organizations, IPP in Iowa City and the Child & Family Policy Center in Des Moines. Reports are at www.iowafiscal.org.
Yesterday was our anniversary – number 39 I am told. We had a great day – went out for dinner and did some spring cleaning and began the annual process of killing some tomato plants. I love nature. And I really need to write that date down. Seems to happen every year about this time.
Well were you paying attention this week?
1) Angelina Jolie had a preventative double mastectomy because of her proclivity to breast cancer. This was because she was found to have what gene that greatly increased her chances to develop the cancer?
2) This week the IRS was accused of unfairly targetting political organizations. Most of the organizations in question came into being due to what SCOTUS decision?
3) As Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton signed the bill for marriage equality in Minnesota Tuesday. What major American business did Dayton’s family start?
4) In Aurora, Colorado a High School security officer shot a student. What was the security officer doing when his gun went off?
5) Last week information was released showing that 40 of the 50 states had a coach as their highest paid state employee. Who is Iowa’s highest paid state employee? Any idea how much?
6) Fifty-one years ago this Texan was engaged in a Texas sized scandal involving agriculture and the US Ag department. His life then went from one corruption scandal to another. Although he was often coupled with LBJ the only real connection they had was being Texans. Who died Tuesday in Texas ending a life of corruption and greed?
7) Pablo Pantoja decided to change his registration from Republican to Democrat. Why is this significant?
8) The summer of 1973 people would be transfixed by TV images of major historical significance. What started on May 17, 1973 – forty years ago?
9) Over in Governor Walker’s fiefdom of Wisconsin, a university of Wisconsin geologist was convicted of what crime which happened during the protests 2 years ago?
10) 50 years ago on May 16th, 1963 Gordon Cooper took his only space flight and ended what phase of the space program?
11) Three times in the past 10 days an Army officer in charge of sexual assault prevention has been arrested for what?
12) Someone in the Republican Party apparently changed wording on White House emails in a press release. This became apparent when the raw emails were released. Will Darrel Issa’s committee pursue this?
13) Just a little over a year ago, May 9th, President Obama had his hand forced by VP Biden and his kids and agreed that this should be legal. What did President Obama endorse that day?
14) Shades of the Cold War. What happened in Moscow this week?
15) We don’t do this anymore, thank goodness. But 60 years ago, America conducted a test and many ‘downwinders’ lost livestock and eventually contracted cancer from this test. What was our government testing?
Well, The weather is getting pretty nice. My kids in Minnesota report that it hasn’t snowed in two weeks. They also reported a breakout of rainbows Tuesday night, despite no rain. Pretty odd.
Also, thanks to Rep. Alan Grayson’s email I am advised that today is the 50th anniversary of the first publication of MLK’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” We would sure be remiss if we did not mention that incredible piece of Civil Rights history. Thank you Rep. Grayson for reminding us of this.
Let’s have some answers:
1) the BRCA1 gene.
2) Citizens United vs. the FEC that allowed unlimited money to flow to issue organizations.
3) Target Stores. I believe the family has been out of it for a long time. Started as Dayton Department Stores.
4) He was locking his gun in his glove compartment when it went off hitting a student walking nearby. Handled safely, guns are no threat.
5) Kirk Ferentz. He is paid just short of $4 million/year
6) Billy Sol Estes died Tuesday.
7) Pablo Pantoja was the Hispanic outreach for Republicans in Florida. But he got tired of Republicans attitude toward Hispanics.
8) The Senate Watergate hearings.
9) He drew a message on the capitol grounds sidewalk in chalk. The jury fined him $50 and court costs.
10) Gordo (as us kids of the period called him) ended the Mercury program with a 22 orbit spin around the globe.
11) Sexual assault. It is estimated that our services have as many as 26,000 sexual assaults a year.
12) okay this is an opinion question. But seriously, Issa pursue a Republican?
13) Marriage equality. Sheesh, look what has happened since then.
14) A CIA operative was arrested as a spy.
15) Sixty years ago we held an above ground nuclear test. Fallout had some very long term effects. Story and video here
Just reading a great Paul Krugman column where he notes that when traditional economics theory is ignored, disaster will follow. And as an addendum he notes that once the disaster happened, continuing to ignore traditional economic theory has led to a really lousy recovery. Where traditional theory would call for stimulus and government jobs, the shiny new theories call for austerity. This is the economic theory that George H. W. Bush called “voodoo” economics. I would prefer to call it “comic economics” because it is such a joke.
These comic economics have led Europe into a double-dip recession with little thought of changing direction. So the Europeans dig themselves deeper and deeper into a bad hole led by the likes of David Cameron and Angela Merkl. Yet on the other side of the globe Japan seems to be creating an economic miracle using old fashioned methods.
Another small economic miracle is beginning in California where huge Democratic majorities have thrown off the shackles of tax restraints and the government is out of the hole and the the economy is growing. Yet the national government is still divided and we are now beginning to impose the hard parts of austerity (called Sequester) here. The poor in the US are really getting hit hard and are hurting. Democrats know this is certainly the wrong way to go, but nothing will change until Republicans are voted out. Republicans have made it quite clear that is the only thing that could cause change.
I bring all this up because the economy and jobs are the very basic things that our country is built around. In the case of the US, Republican obstruction should be the major part of the story. But it is barely covered. The reason is simple – Republicans own most of the media and essentially dictate what media will cover. So at a time when when a good, free media should be giving tons of ink to the economy we are getting fabricated stories of Presidential incompetence, thus diverting coverage of the real story.
This week we have had story after story of what might have happened in Benghazi, even though we have heard from most parties and the story is what the Administration said. The story has been corroborated, and then reverified by raw emails. Nearly he same is true in the so called IRS scandal and in the so-called AP scandal. The story in those cases is that of some over zealous lower level bureaucrat forced to lead an organization because Republicans refuse to let Obama’s nominees go forward.
Thus the two real scandals are first that Republicans have decimated the executive branch of the government by refusing to accept Obama’s nominees thus making it extremely tough to run a government. They have also done the same with the judicial branch.
And there lies the second real scandal. Republicans have decimated the government, they have obstructed every administration move to create jobs, they have cut funding for the poorest among us and will do so next year when Obamacare kicks in, and have generally done all they can to subvert the duly elected government of the United States. Sounds like treason doesn’t it?
This was the reason that the press was given total freedom in the bill of rights. The press was supposed to be the fourth estate of government - a nettlesome group ready to point out government failure. Yet today our press stands as little more than a highly paid secretarial pool running away from the real stories and acting as unquestioning stenographers for their bosses. They have abdicated the most precious status in the world of the press. They and their corporate owners have done a great deal of harm to America.
So while the very fabric of the country is being torn apart, our media chases silly rumors of falsified emails trying to create a scandal. They shine their lights in directions away from the real stories that need to be told.
Howard Dean: “Whether you’re trying to create a bike path in your community or take action on national legislation, YouPower gives you access to the online tools and the offline resources of a one million member national progressive organization to help you create change from the bottom up. “
From our inbox: A note from PIRG:
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen – a lawyer to trucking company CRST International – is axing all funding for both passenger rail and freight rail in Iowa. We can’t let that happen.
New passenger rail along I-80 from Chicago through Quad Cities, Iowa City, Des Moines and Council Bluffs would provide travelers in Iowa with a more convenient way to travel – while creating jobs, building our economy, and keeping us competitive regionally.
We need you to help us make sure our legislators refuse to vote in support of any budget that doesn’t include funds for passenger and frieght rail.
This year, even Governor Branstad included a recommendation to fund passenger rail in his budget – funds that would allow us to leverage $86 mill in federal funding.
Click here to send this message to your legislator:
If we let this opportunity to leverage $86 million in federal funds to move forward with new passenger rail across Iowa along I-80 – Iowa will loose out on generations worth of infrastructure development necessary to keep our state economically competitive regionally.
Also, as an agricultural state, we rely on freight rail to get our goods to market. To eliminate the revolving funds for freight rail would create an easily avoidable hardship. Including funds for both the freight rail and multi-modal would allow us to make updates to our tracks and crossing intersections while introducing passenger rail – necessary updates that will allow freight to operate more efficiently, improve safety, and get more bang for our buck.
Please, take a stand to protect this important investment in our future. Don’t vote in support of any budget that does not include funding for multi-modal and freight rail.
Iowa PIRG Advocate
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Join our neighbors across the Missouri in asking Warren Buffett to lead on climate change. Enjoy this short video first.
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
3555 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68131
Healthiest Iowa Initiative to Hold “Clock is Ticking” Rally in Waterloo on Wednesday
Community members, local leaders will call on State Rep. Walt Rogers to support Medicaid expansion because “The Clock is Ticking” for Iowans who need health care security
DES MOINES — Members of the Healthiest Iowa Initiative will rally in support of Medicaid expansion on Wednesday evening in Waterloo, to send State Representative Walt Rogers and all legislators a message: the clock is ticking for Iowans who need Medicaid for their health care security — now is the time to support accepting expansion.
Rogers is a member of the conference committee considering whether Iowa should expand Medicaid, which would cover 60,000 more Iowans and cost the state up to $163 million less per year than the Governor’s plan. The current health care plan for Iowans living in poverty is IowaCare, which is scheduled to expire beginning this fall.
“The clock is ticking for Iowans who live on the edge of poverty — they’re at risk of losing their health care,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Representative Rogers and the legislators playing political games instead of doing their job need to hear from their constituents. We encourage all Iowans to contact their elected officials and tell them to expand Medicaid before the clock runs out.”
WHEN: Wednesday, May 15th, 6:30 PM
WHERE: Outside the Waterloo Public Library; 415 Commercial St, Waterloo, Iowa
WHAT: “Clock is Ticking” Rally calling on State Rep. Walt Rogers to Expand Medicaid
WHO: State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic; Chris Schwartz, Organizer, Americans for Democratic Action Iowa; Members of the Healthiest Iowa Initiative
Medicaid expansion would cover an additional 150,000 Iowans at limited cost to the taxpayers, in comparison to Governor Branstad’s Healthy Iowa Plan, which will cover 60,000 fewer Iowans and cost the state an estimated $163 million more every year. Uninsured young adults, veterans, the working poor, and the mentally ill would all benefit from full Medicaid expansion. In addition, expansion would create more than 2,000 jobs, according to a report released by the Iowa Hospital Association.
Throughout the legislative session, the Healthiest Iowa Initiative has worked to educate Iowans and call them to action in support of Medicaid expansion. The 28 organizations participating in the Healthiest Iowa Initiative include:
AFSCME Iowa Council 61
Americans for Democratic Action
Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa
Coalition for a Better Iowa
Disability Rights Iowa
Hawkeye Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
Iowa Citizen Action Network
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Iowa Human Needs Advocates
Iowa Main Street Alliance
Iowa Mental Health Planning Council
Iowa Olmstead Consumer Task Force
Iowa State Education Association
Iowa Statewide Independent Living Council
NAMI Greater Des Moines
National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upper Midwest Chapter
Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa
Progressive Action for the Common Good
SEIU Local 199
South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Working Families Win.
In addition to learning about Medicaid expansion at Medicaid Madness events, Iowans are encouraged to sign the following petition at www.healthiestiowa.com:
Iowa has the opportunity to approve a Medicaid expansion as part of Obamacare. We call on Governor Branstad to take this opportunity to help thousands of Iowans rather than pursue a plan that costs more, covers fewer and has no guarantee of federal funding. There are no real reasons – only political rhetoric – for failing to support Medicaid expansion in Iowa.
After you call Rep. Heaton at (515) 281-7327, visit http://healthiestiowa.com to send him an email. Tell him to support full Medicaid expansion!