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Archive for May 2017

“Summer of Citizenship” Begins Saturday, June 3rd

Action alert from Rob Hogg:

The “Summer of Citizenship” Begins Saturday, June 3, at the “Picnic for the People” in Boone

Welcome to the “Summer of Citizenship,” a campaign to encourage and empower Iowans to reach out and listen to each other, get involved, and renew the spirit of citizenship our state and country so urgently need. You can join in, reach out, and speak up with us.

“Summer of Citizenship” begins this Saturday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the “Picnic for the People” at McHose Park Shelter in Boone, Iowa. This picnic is sponsored by the Boone County Democrats. Suggested contribution for food tickets is $10 per person. Please RSVP at this Facebook event page

At the “Picnic for the People,” I will provide more details on ways you can participate. Some ideas:

– Join your local County Democratic Party or advocacy organization
– Register people to vote
– Get to know our Democratic candidates
– Organize a study group, educational program, or service project in your community
Invite people to contribute financially to the party, candidates, or community groups
Speak up with elected officials and staff in person, by phone call, by mail, and in public

Here’s the bottom line: The answer to our problems – with the President and Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Governor and the Iowa Legislature in Des Moines – is a renewed spirit of citizenship.

You can follow “Summer of Citizenship” on Twitter at: @CitizenSummer.

You can like “Summer of Citizenship” on Facebook

Please watch this video of my presentation at the Scott County Democrats’ Red, White and Blue Dinner on March 25, 2017, calling on Iowans to participate in the “Summer of Citizenship.”

See below for upcoming events in Moravia (June 3), Ames (June 10), and Ottumwa (June 17). If you would like me to appear at events this summer, or if you would like my help promoting events this summer, please email me at

Together, we can take back our state and our country.


Senator Rob Hogg
Cedar Rapids


Seven-County Democratic Rally, Moravia, Saturday, June 3, 5:00 p.m. – The Appanoose County Democrats and other neighboring county parties are hosting this event at Grace United Methodist Church, 101 E. North Street, in Moravia. For more details or invite your friends, visit:

Working Families Summit, Ames, Saturday, June 10, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Many groups are coming together for this “Working Families Summit” at the Scheman Building at Iowa State University in Ames to learn about issues, advocacy, and organizing. For more details or to invite your friends, visit:

Second District Democrats Workshop, Ottumwa, Saturday, June 17, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – The Iowa 2nd District Democrats are hosting a workshop at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church St., along the riverfront in Ottumwa. Suggested contribution is $15. For more details or to invite friends, visit:

Waiting For Trump On Climate Action

While in Europe, Pope Francis and the G7 leaders bent President Trump’s ears about climate change.

The Pope presented a copy of Laudato Sí, On Care For Our Common Home, his encyclical on consumerism, irresponsible development, environmental degradation and global warming to the U.S. president. The president told Pope Francis he would read it.

Reports indicate the six other G7 leaders presented arguments for the United States to stay in the 2015 Paris Agreement on mitigating the effects of climate change. Trump would not commit to doing so by the time he boarded Air Force One for the trip home.

“The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not.”

That Trump failed to be part of the G7 consensus on climate may or may not be a sign of his intent. One never can tell with this president.

“I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!” Trump tweeted.

That Trump was willing to listen to his European peers and the Pope indicates he may have an open mind about the accord. However, late Saturday, Jonathan Swan and Amy Harder of Axios reported, “President Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change.”

Despite the advocacy workshop for exiting the agreement EPA has become, the result of the president’s decision-making process may be more complicated than making a simple announcement.

Exiting the Paris Agreement would take at least four years. The agreement does not permit states to exit until three years after entry into force (Nov. 4, 2019). It would then take at least a year to finish the process. In that time, Trump could change his mind.

If Trump decides to exit, he would be “willfully, nonchalantly vacating leadership of the world,” former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said. Another country will step in to fill the leadership vacuum, presumably China with the world’s second largest economy.

A bone of contention with Pruitt and advocates in the hydrocarbon business is the existence of the Clean Power Plan first published by the EPA in the Federal Register Oct. 23, 2015. On March 28, President Trump signed an executive order mandating EPA review the plan. Unraveling the Clean Power Plan is not as simple as signing an executive order. Whether or not the U.S. exits the Paris Agreement, the regulation may stand.

It is significant the first nation Trump visited in his presidency was Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has almost one-fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves and ranks as the largest producer and exporter of oil in the world. Despite concerns about human rights and the treatment of women in the kingdom, Trump seemed elated about the arms deal he made during his visit. His rhetoric isolating Iran may be no more complicated than wanting to take their oil. Iran ranks fourth in proven oil reserves behind Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

That 195 states could enter the Paris Agreement was remarkable. Whether it will hold if the U.S. exits is uncertain. Regardless of politics the science on global warming has been identified since the 19th century.

After the 45th President’s first foreign trip the direction of his administration on climate change is obvious. Government climate change web sites and regulations are officially “under review” in multiple agencies. At the same time the hydrocarbon business is moving to roll back regulations that seek to reduce carbon emissions. The idea of leaving fossil fuels in the ground is not embraced in this White House.

“I think there is a better than 50/50 chance that the Trump administration will stay in the Paris agreement,” Nobel Prize winner Al Gore said. “I think odds are they will stay in.”

Time will tell.

Recess Town Halls In Iowa May 30 – June 3

“I’ve heard this from two additional sources. Make this recess count, folks. You have from now till June 5.”

“INTEL: Several GOP Senators have privately said this recess is the test – if they get blowback at home, they’ll tell McConnell it’s over.”    Topher Spiro

Town Halls Over The Memorial Day Recess

Charles Grassley

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Guthrie County Town Meeting
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Guthrie County Courthouse
200 North 5th Street, Guthrie Center

 *Grassley will be available for 15 minutes after the meeting to answer questions from local reporters.

 Friday, June 2, 2017

Adair County Town Meeting
8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Adair County Courthouse
400 Public Square, Greenfield

*Grassley will be available for 15 minutes after the meeting to answer questions from local reporters.

Joni Ernst:  None scheduled on her website that we can find.

Rod Blum:  There are currently no posted events.

David Young:

“Congressman David Young began offering a new resource in 2017 for Iowans in the Third Congressional District to make sure their voices are heard or are getting help in solving problems they may be having with a federal agency. Open Office Hours provides Third District Iowans the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Congressman Young and discuss opinions, concerns, and ideas about the issues being discussed in Congress or to seek assistance, or discuss problems they are having, with a federal agency.

During each Open Office Hours event Congressman Young sits down for individual, ten minute meetings with constituents in attendance to discuss personal concerns, opinions and possible casework needs on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants must be residents of one of the 16 counties of Iowa’s Third Congressional District.”

Scheduled Open Office Hours:

May 31, 2017:

Open Office Hours – Creston – 12:00 PM – 3 PM in the Multipurpose Room of SWCC Performing Arts Center – 1501 W Townline St., Creston, IA 50801

June 1, 2017:

Open Office Hours – Shenandoah – 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM at the Public Service Building – 410 Sheridan Ave. Shenandoah, IA 51601

June 2, 2017:

Open Office Hours – Winterset – 1:00 PM – 4:00 AM at the Madison County Court House – 112 N 1st St, Winterset, IA 50273

June 3, 2017:

Open Office Hours – Guthrie Center – 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the Guthrie County Court House – 200 N 5th St, Guthrie Center, IA 50115

Steve King:  As far as I know, King never holds open events.

Dave Loebsack:

“Congressman Dave Loebsack is pleased to invite you to join him for a cup of coffee and an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, share ideas, and discuss issues of importance.

Dave hosts Coffee with your Congressman events in both Washington, D.C. when the House is in session, as well as throughout Iowa’s Second Congressional District. All Iowans visiting Washington, D.C. are invited to join him each week the House is in session. Any Iowan is also welcome to attend a Coffee with your Congressman event near you. A list of locations and times are below.

There is no need to RSVP for events in Iowa. If you plan on being in Washington, please RSVP by filling out the form below or contact our office at 202-225-6576.”

Saturday, June 3

Hy-Vee Deli
301 Hwy 34 West

Hy-Vee Market Grille at Hotel Chariton
831 Braden Ave

From the Ground Coffee
200 N. Main St.

Hy-Vee Deli, 510 West McLane Street

100th Anniversary Of JFK’s Birth

Kennedy Inaugural speech

There simply couldn’t be a greater contrast between presidents than the contrast between the man born 100 years ago tomorrow and the current president.

President Kennedy was a man of intelligence, wit, charm and grace. He had an elegance about him. While he was born into a family of wealth, Kennedy understood the plight of the poor, the marginalized, the elderly and those who at that time did not fit in the narrow confines of acceptable humans in this country. Kennedy and his successor, President Johnson worked hard to break barriers and open society for those who were not then able to enjoy the blessings of this country.

President Kennedy’s push in the areas of civil rights was met with a brick wall. He was not dissuaded from what he knew was right and just. After his death at the hands of an assassin, some of his dreams such as civil rights legislation and Medicare did in fact become law and part of his legacy. America and Americans were much better because of John F. Kennedy.

Often Kennedy would disarm an opponent with a witty quip. Yet he was a man with a steel trap mind who was as mentally tough as any opponent during the cold war.

We have learned over the years that severe pain was his constant companion. Yet the public heard nary a word of it while he suffered in silence. Kennedy was also a war hero who. as many of the WWII era, seldom spoke of his deeds. When asked about his heroism when his PT boat was sunk by the enemy, Kennedy remarked

“It was involuntary. They sank my boat.”

JFK was our nation’s 35th president. Dial forward now ten presidents to the current occupant of the White House.

Most of our readers know the litany of what a boorish and pathetic human Donald Trump is. Everything that happens must in some way be related to him. He seems to care not one whit about anyone but himself. JFK called for Americans to sacrifice for the good of the country. Trump refuses to even step away from his business ventures as called for in the constitution for the good of the country.

While Kennedy worked and fought for the rights of all citizens, Trump uses his office and power to divide the country and marginalize those considered “others.” Whereas Kennedy worked in the open and treated the press with the respect and dignity they deserve, Trump uses his power to denigrate the press. Trump works hard daily to undermine the press and to undermine the first amendment of the constitution.

Kennedy worked hard to build and maintain our alliances, especially those against the Russia. Donald Trump invites Russia into the very inner circles of our government and gives them state secrets. At the same time he undermines relationships that have taken half a century or more to build.

Rather than asking his fellow countrymen to sacrifice for their country the current president sees the government as yet one more way to cash in big time on the suckers that put him in charge of the country, just like he cashed in on the suckers that signed up for his fraudulent university.

We could list contrasts for hours. How did a country that once elected a person of ideals and dreams yet grounded in reality in less than 60 years become a country that elected a person who sees the country as just another mark and its citizens as just a larger group of rubes to be fleeced?

America greatly longs for a person of Kennedy’s vision, intelligence, wit and grace once more. We have them within our midst. They are named Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, Jay Inslee, Al Franken, Amy Klobachar, even Robert Reich.

Donald Trump is like a cancer that is infecting the American body. His removal is essential to restoring this country to its potential. There may not be another John F. Kennedy, but there are some that may come close. When given the chance they will like President Kennedy put the good of the country first.

JFK – we choose to go to the moon

Sunday Funday: Memorial Day Solemnity

Flags over Iowa

Sadly, our current president has turned the war making over to the generals to handle with little interference from the administration. Anybody want to guess what will happen? Anyone think our generals will be looking for peaceful ways to solve problems?

When a soldier dies for his country his or her death should have been for a reason that is transcendent. Keeping pipelines open or access to oil is not a good enough reason to ask a man to die. The current president does not seem to understand the solemn responsibility of a commander-in-chief. This was seen in his first month as he ordered a poorly planned raid in Yemen.

On this Memorial Day consider not just the loss of the soldier, but the affect of his or her loss on their parents, their spouse and children, their siblings and other relatives and their friends.

Once again what a week. Were you paying attention?

1) Being a Person of Interest isn’t always a good thing. Who was named this week as a person of Interest by the FBI in the unfolding Russia interference scandal?

2) Not quite arm wrestling. What two western leaders engaged in a white knuckle, iron grip handshake at theNATO summit in Brussels?

3) The Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus had its last show last week. When did this circus have its first show?

4) What unexpected incident happened on the eve of the special election for congress in Montana Wednesday night?

5) On May 24th, 1844 Samuel Morse moved communications by light years when he sent the first what?

6) What former Iowa state senator and lieutenant governor died last weekend?

7) In a call to Philippine President Duterte, the current president once more publicly released military secrets concerning the location of what?

8) Prior to that screw up, the president incurred the wrath of the British government when he revealed what to the US press before the Brits wanted the information released?

9) In a karmic occurrence, big game hunter Theunis Botha died when what happened?

10) In Mississippi, Rep. Karl Oliver called for what punishment for those who remove confederate monuments?

11) It is not a bribe, but Ivanka Trump got a pledge for how much from the Saudis and UAE for a charity that has not been established yet?

12) So who is the governor of Iowa these days?

13) The CEO of what major American automaker was ousted last week after huge stock declines under his leadership?

14) House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi promised what legislation if Dems win the House in 2018?

15) While Trump’s tour of Europe was a disaster, what former politician was greeted by huge crowds?

16) Suave and debonair, what actor who died last week was best known for his portrayal of British spy James Bond?

17) Pope Paul gave Trump some reading material for the trip home. The Pope gave his encyclical on what subject to Trump?

18) Once more Fox News had some unexpected vacation in its midst when what evening mainstay suddenly had vacation?

19) What Indiana company where Trump claimed to have saved 1100 jobs (actually 800) announce layoffs of 600 for this year?

20) Tax receipts are coming in slowly, so administration officials are calling on congress to do what earlier than anticipated?

John Fugelsang described the meeting between the Pope and the current president as “His Holiness meets his assholiness.”


1) Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner

2) Trump and newly elected French leader Emmanuel Macron

3) most trace it to 1871 when PT Barnum created his “Great Traveling Museum”

4) Republican candidate Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter from the Guardian when the reporter asked him a question.

5) telegraph message from Baltimore to Washington, DC. The message was “what nth God wrought?”

6) Joy Corning

7) our nuclear submarines

8) The name of the Manchester bomber.

9) The elephant his companions killed fell on Botha and killed him

10) Lynching

11) $100 million of non-bribe

12) Kim Reynolds

13) Ford

14) a $15/ hour minimum wage

15) Barack Obama

16) Roger Moore

17) climate change

18) Sean Hannity. Hannity refused to quit hammering on the fake story of the death of Seth Rich

19) Carrier – oopsie

20) raise the debt ceiling

Keep Memorial Day solemnly.

Trump Budget: Immorality In Black And White

Here are a couple of analyses of the Trump agenda. One of the best attributes of the internet is that a citizen can find in depth reviews of issues of the day. This is why we need an open and neutral internet.

These videos go in depth of just how badly the Trump budget will harm average Americans while greatly benefiting America’s version of royalty.

Both videos are @ 18 minutes. First Democratic leadership responds to the budget:

Next Economist Joseph Stiglitz comments on the budget with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:

Here are contact numbers for Iowa’s senators. Let them know what you think of this immoral budget:

Numbers to contact the Ernst Offices:
Washington, DC (202) 224-3254
Cedar Rapids, IA (319) 365-4504
Council Bluffs, IA (712) 352-1167
Davenport, IA (563) 322-0677
Des Moines, IA (515) 284-4574
Sioux City, IA (712) 252-1550

Numbers to contact Grassley Offices:

Washington, D.C. (202) 224-3744
Cedar Rapids, IA (319) 363-6832
Council Bluffs, IA (712) 322-7103
Davenport, IA (563) 322-4331
Des Moines, IA (515) 288-1145
Sioux City, IA (712) 233-1860
Waterloo, IA (319) 232-6657

New Governor, Same As The Old Governor

From Progress Iowa:

Meet the new Governor, same as the old Governor.

Kim Reynolds was just sworn in as Governor, taking over for Terry Branstad.

What will be the difference between the two? Not much. Reynolds has been there every step of the way, creating her own disastrous record attacking working families, public schools, the environment, equality, access to health care, and much more.

The Reynolds record is already filled with failed priorities, and every Iowan deserves to know the truth. We just launched a new website >> >> will you help us share her record?

Reynolds voted against women receiving equal pay for equal work. She promised fiscal responsibility, but instead passed one corporate tax break after another, creating a state budget mess and cuts to schools and public services. And by privatizing Medicaid and defunding Planned Parenthood, Reynolds has made it much harder for Iowans to access health care.

Lower wages. Stripping away health coverage. And giving away our tax dollars to out of state corporate interests.

This is already Kim Reynolds’ record, and we need your help to fight back. Click here to get all the facts at, and share them with your friends and family. You can also download the facts and tweet them below my signature.

Our new Governor really is the same as the old Governor. Now we have to work together so Iowa won’t get fooled again.

Thanks for all you do,
Matt Sinovic
Progress Iowa

P.S. After you share, sign up to get the latest facts about Governor Reynolds’ disastrous record. Together we will hold her accountable!

Editor’s comment:

Mr. Sinovic is right on the button. Actually, a Reynolds administration may be even further to the right than the Branstad administration was. That is saying something since Branstad has been a near poster boy for the Koch brothers the last several years, especially this year. Who can forget the infamous picture of Branstad signing the union-busting bill in the presence of only one lone person – a representative of the Koch brothers.

Gov. Branstad shakes hands with Drew Klein after Branstad signs union busting bill

With Reynolds Iowans can expect the move to the extreme right to continue. As a state Iowa is following the paths of Kansas and Wisconsin in areas such as voter suppression, huge tax cuts for the wealthy, busting unions, ending workers rights and privatizing medicare. Iowa which was once a very friendly state for all people now is unwelcoming to those who are poor or working class. Expect that to get even worse.

Another aspect of the Reynolds era will be the states continued hostility toward women in both the health care and employment areas. Reynolds like most Republicans does not feel women should be in control of their own health care. Nor should there be any state assistance in helping workers get a living wage. This policy is especially hard on working women with children.

Below is State Senator and democratic gubernatorial candidate Nate Boulton’s response to the Reynolds swearing in:

Republican Death Bill

Frankly, there are times that a person gets so mad that it is hard to think or write straight. Bear with me.

Death Bill

Don’t know what else to call it. What Republicans moved through the House earlier this month and are now trying to push through the Senate has little to do with health care and everything to do with cutting taxes for the rich.

The rich are the only ones who win with the Republican bill. America loses. If you don’t lose today you will be losing soon enough.

As a person age, he or she picks up conditions that insurance companies will exempt. Age itself is a condition that calls for dramatically higher, possibly even prohibitive premiums.

But that makes little difference to Republicans. Your health or mine is of little concern to them. Their concern is two-fold. First is huge tax cuts for their donors. The second is a form of punishment for those who do not fit their idealized and very fantasized version of humanity. If you have a human flaw you must pay the consequences for not being perfect. Too heavy, had cancer, have an injury, parents have health issues? Then you must pay!

This joke of a health care bill is only a portion of the punishment that Republicans want to dole out to Americans that don’t fit their ideal. The Republican budget proposal wants to end Social Security Disability Insurance to start with. Can you imagine that? If an American citizen has a tragedy in their life that leaves them unable to work Republicans want to say “too bad” and take away any financial help.

Very often such people are also dependent on a very skimpy allocation of food stamps to eat on. Republicans want to take that away, also. Anything that appears to help anyone who is not one of the chosen is on the chopping block.

While the yellow haired doofus who claims to be president runs around the world making outlandish speeches about terrorism, he himself delivers a health care bill that puts his own citizens in fear for their lives and a budget bill that will strip daily sustenance from another several million other citizens. While a terror attack may kill hundreds, this legislation could end up killing millions slowly.

As most of you know, Republicans King, Young and Blum voted to take health care away from (by the CBO scoring) 23 million by 2026 in addition to the 28 million that would not be covered by then. That is a total of 51 million without health insurance in 10 years.

Neither of our gutless senators will say how they stand. Based on previous votes we can easily assume both will vote for huge tax cuts for the rich while feeling very bad about cutting health care for millions and millions.


We all know the arguments. Americans can get health care for all citizens for about 40% less than we pay now. Every other nation in the industrial world can do it and none are anywhere near as wealthy as America.

The resources that most countries value most are the intelligence of its citizens to create ideas and the health of its citizens to be able to execute those ideas. America values neither based on its policies of making good education and health care expensive and hard to access. In so doing it puts our citizens in fear and at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.

Now is the time for Democrats of all stripes to push for universal health care while the stench of the Republican death bill and their proposed budget fills the air.

New York and California are at the forefront of moving to universal health care. While those two states are often cited as liberal, states such as Maine and Vermont have grass roots efforts pushing for universal health care. From

The Healthy California Act and the New York Health Act would establish improved Medicare-for-all-style systems in each state, eliminating out-of-pocket costs and guaranteeing comprehensive care to all residents. The California bill won approval from the Senate Health Committee in late April, and the Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on Thursday. Meanwhile, the New York Health Act has sailed through the Assembly and now awaits action in the Senate.

According to Ursula Rozum, upstate campaign coordinator for the Campaign for New York Health, the list of endorsing state senators has jumped from 20 to 31 since the start of the legislative session, bringing it just one vote shy of a majority. Rozum told In these Times that the bill’s success this session is at least partly a response to Trump’s regressive policies, explaining that “in this time of attacks on federal level, I think it helps to say look, we have something viable that could protect New Yorkers from the harms of the federal cuts to health care funding.”

These victories constitute a positive sign that state-based campaigns for universal health care ramping up across the country—and not just in states with progressive legislatures. In Maine, where Republicans maintain control of the Senate and voters have twice elected the far-right, proto-Trump governor Paul LePage, organizers are demonstrating non-partisan, grassroots political unity on the issue of health care.

And what about Iowa? We are larger than Maine with I believe a similar demographic. If Maine can start a movement for state universal health care why not Iowa? At least why not create a state public option to at least improve competitiveness.

Why MSNBC Is Moving To The Right

There are reports that Lawrence O’Donnell will soon go the way of Keith Olbermann, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Ed Schultz.

All Hands On Deck – Trump Coming To Eastern Iowa

click on image to view full video of Trump bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy.”

Please share far and wide. Find your Indivisible Iowa group here and start making plans to show up for the Iowa #TrumpResistance.

Donald Trump will be in Cedar Rapids next week.

Donald Trump will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex on Thursday, June 1st at 7:00 p.m.

ore information:

DoubleTree By Hilton
Cedar Rapids Convention Complex
350 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

President Trump to hold rally in Iowa

Donald Trump will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex on Thursday, June 1st at 7:00 p.m.

Lest we forget: