Ran across this story Thursday. A portion is reprinted here. The whole story plus other links are at the link.This story has a lot of twists and looks to me like one that may well wend its way to the Supreme Court. With the makeup of the current Court, that is a real concern.
An Iowa newspaper editor who was fired after posting an anti-LGBT blog post is irate over the firing and claims that his religious freedom was violated.
Media critic Jim Romenesko reported on his blog Wednesday that Bob Eschliman, former editor of Newton Daily News, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that he was fired for being a Christian.
Eschliman — who refers to himself on his Facebook page as an “Evil Conservative” — is being represented by an attorney from the Liberty Institute, a Christian law practice dedicated to injecting faith into public policy and to fighting efforts by the courts to separate matters of church and state.
The former editor was fired in May after publishing an anti-LGBT rant on his personal blog, in which he railed against “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo,” claiming that LGBT people of faith are attempting to rewrite the Bible to “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’”
Eschliman expressed an opinion publicly although not while he was working. Can he not express his personal opinions, especially religious ones, publicly without fearing loss of job and benefits? On the other hand, people in management positions can be fired without cause. Does the owner of the business not have the right(?) to pick employees at the highest levels.
Just a few weeks ago the SCOTUS told us that corporations had a right to impose their religious beliefs as part of the employment contract. Does it not also have a right to remove employees whose religious beliefs come in conflict with business practices? The guarantee of religious freedom is that the government will not interfere with a person’s freedom or create a state religion. It says nothing about private businesses. During my working days our company decided we would be a 7 day a week, 24 hour a day operation. When one man objected saying Sunday was a sacred day for him, the boss told him “Well., I guess you have a decision to make then.”
One issue that must loom large in the background is the effect of Mr. Eschliman’s now known religious conservatism may have on the business. Were I a subscriber, I would most likely drop the paper because I would think that the editor would be putting his slant into news stories. Beyond that there may be an effect on advertiser orders. Advertisers simply quit advertising in that paper fearing that they may be considered guilty by association for supporting this paper with its business.
Once upon a time in America (settle back, it’s story time) printing presses were in great supply. If a person had an opinion, they could buy a printing press and publish and distribute it. Nowadays our comparable technology would be the internet. As of today the internet remains open and neutral. If Mr. Eschliman has an opinion that he feels he must share with others, he can pay a small fee and grab a chunk of internet real estate to sound off.
If net neutrality is squashed by the FCC (and that is what I expect) then outlets for dissenting voices may well be choked by “the market.”
While I may disagree with Mr. Eschliman’s views – and I certainly do – to me it is much more important that he and any others who feel they need to express themselves in public have an outlet on the internet.
One of my favorite events of the year is on once more. The giant garage sale known as “Rummage in the Ramp” started Friday and continues until next Sunday, August 3rd. If you are unfamiliar with this event, it is something unique to Iowa City. Apartment leases in Iowa City go from August one year through July of the next year. As students and others move out, they often leave behind some pretty decent furniture.
A few years back someone had the brilliant idea to sell the stuff rather than bury it in a landfill. Over the years the City has expanded to taking donations of usable items from anyone. And thus you have the makings of a giant garage sale. New stuff is added daily, so if you have an item in mind you may want to chck back daily. Under the Chauncey Swan parking ramp by the City rec center. More info here:
Were you paying attention?
1) They can’t do anything, but Texas Governor Rick Perry is sending who to the border?
2) A Florida jury last week leveled tobacco company RJ Reynolds with a judgment worth how much in damages for a tobacco related death?
3) Deaths last week included this usually unflappable hero of TV series and movies. Who was this solid lifelong liberal, best known as Maverick?
4) The FDA issued a warning that the powdered form of what common substance – even a teaspoon – could be fatal following the death of an Ohio teenager?
5) Two big annual events in Iowa had their culmination yesterday, one in Davenport and one in Guttenburg. What are these two events?
6) In the crazy middle East, Israel shelled what thought to be safe building, killing 4 and wounding 16?
7) This June joined May as a record setter for what?
8) Once more acting because Republicans in Congress refuse to do their jobs, President Obama signed an executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors against what group?
9) Jack Hatch blasted Governor Brandstad last week for turning down what?
10) According to LULAC spokesman Joe Henry, how many Central American refugee kids have come to Iowa (+-25)?
11) In northeast China the largest microraptor dinosaur fossil, Changyuraptor, was found. It had what unusual feature?
12) Tuesday two federal courts issued conflicting rulings about an hour apart on the legality of what?
13) The Johnson County, Iowa Board of Supervisors passed resolution Thursday to encourage the testing of what concept car in Johnson County?
14) History you never hear in school department. In 1919, the worst of the “Red Summer” race riots begins in what midwest city on July 27, 1919?
15) Republicans came unglued when the FAA banned American airline companies from landing in what airport due to danger from war?
And these are just a few of the happenings this week. Sixty-one years ago, the Korean War ended, but just 11 years later President Johnson sent 5,000 more “advisors” into Viet Nam signalling the involvement buildup yet to come. Oy Vey!
1) National Guard troops.
2) $23.6 billion
3) James Garner
5) In Davenport, the annual Bix Biederbeck celebration. In Guttenburg RAGBRAI ended.
6) a hospital
7) global temperature.
The average temperature over global surfaces for June 2014 was 1.3 degrees above the 20th-century average of 59.9 degrees. In May, the Earth’s temperature was 1.33 degrees above the average of 58.6 degrees.
9) $1 million grant to study solar applications in Iowa
10) 139 (114 – 154 range)
11) Four wings (and feathers)
12) ACA exchanges
13) driverless cars
14) Chicago – much of our labor and race history is seldom taught
15) Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
August next week which means (here it comes) back to school time!
The Iowa Policy Project today (July 18) released the following statement by Executive Director Mike Owen about the latest numbers:
“Stability in Iowa’s job market received a boost in June from public-sector jobs. Despite a 4,300-job increase in government jobs, a mixed performance in other sectors combined for a slight decline, leaving Iowa up 3,100 for the month.
“Iowa’s overall modest growth of 1,800 jobs per month during the past year is about the same pace of the previous 12 months. At this rate it would take about three years or more for Iowa to completely recover for the losses from the recession, according to calculations by the Economic Policy Institute.”
Job Growth Perspective
Governor Branstad set a goal of 200,000 new jobs over five years. Iowa’s economy has produced 73,400 net new jobs through the first 41 months of his term. To add the remaining 126,600 jobs, Iowa would need to add 6,700 new jobs per month over the next 19 months, compared to a pace of 1,800 for the first 41 months.
An approach more relevant to evaluating economic progress is to look at the job numbers in the context of recovery from the last national recession. Iowa is now above pre-recession job levels — but those jobs serve a 4.8 percent larger population, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The net job gain since the December 2007 start of the recession is 24,700 — but 72,800 were needed by now to keep up with population growth. Therefore, the state shows a job deficit of 48,100 jobs.
Graph reflects Economic Policy Institute Analysis
Hmmmm……. This sounds nothing like the Branstad commercials I have seen. Is he still fabricating his numbers?
I 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.
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:
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.
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
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
15) $500 for frivolous use of water.
RAGBRAI??? Never heard of it!
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
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.
Paula Poundstone tweets:
“CNN headline said Sarah Palin calls for “impeachment,” but it did not say of whom, and there is no evidence that she knows.”
Joni Ernst also favors impeachment and will be willing to waste your time and your money to seek the ideological dream of impeaching the black guy. Someone please ask her specifically what the charges are?
BTW here is a short video that gives a little history of the reactionaries now called conservatives:
Proven in Murietta, Cal.:
Republicans believe a fertilized egg is a child but a refugee child is not. In fact once a baby is born, they no longer care.
Per NPR Report Wednesday:
“Republicans chose Cleveland for its 2016 convention. They hope they can demonstrate their “minority outreach” in Cleveland.” No that was not from the Onion. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Just To Drive Home A Point
The Justices(?) who decided the Hobby Lobby case (corporate religious belief) were doing just what their party wanted. Any veneer they ever had of impartiality was smashed by that. Appointed for life, they are driven to represent the Republican party – the Tea Party on the highest Court in the land. Justice is not a consideration.
Can I Have A Refund?
I see that Darryl Issa wants some big bucks for another snipe hunt on Benghazi. This follows his previous waste of money and such other Republican money wasting schemes such as suing the president, voting against the ACA every weekend of course their three major money wasters Iraq, Afghanistan and a deeply flawed Medicare drug bill they forks money over to big Pharma.
Can I have a refund? Or at least relief from taxes until the amount wasted per person on these boondoggles equals what I should have paid. I figure the people who benefited from this crap should be the ones paying – the uber-wealthy who seek to destroy our government from the inside with their puppets and their corrupt money.
Gohmert Calls For Invasion Of Mexico
Just remember that Republicans think Louie is a clear thinking human. To them his views are not extreme.
Once More- Why Elect Republicans?
The Republican Party of today is a party that has been calling to make government useless and impotent. As humans we need government. In the US our forefathers set up a system where all citizens (eventually) have some say in how that government is run. Since Ronald Reagan the Republican Party has made no bones that they want to greatly alter our government and had it over to the oligarchs.
Remember when you vote for a Republican you are voting for someone who wants to take your voice out of government, someone who wants to hand your government over to the rich and well-born. Is that what you really want?
Ever wonder who’s advising the Republican on just what the public wants to see them do? Last year it was shutting down the government. Very popular move among about 10% of eligible voters. Then there is their constant war on women. They claim they love women, yet they do all they can to cut their pay, cut any public assistance and of course their old stand by cutting off birth control. Just to top it off Todd Akin – famous for his “legitimate rape” comment two years ago – has a book out where he says he should not have apologized, that his first statement was true.
Apparently the very rule to be a Republican is never, ever admit a mistake. If something went wrong, it was someone else’s fault. Bet they couldn’t make it through today’s quiz without making a mistake. They would blame it on me, no doubt.
Here we go:
1) The World Cup has been full of drama and heroes. Except for Tuesday when what team absorbed the worst defeat in World Cup semifinals history?
2) This man led the 3rd district Republican convention up to the last ballot. Now he is exploring a run for congress as an independent. Who is this man?
3) The Republicans in Congress are suing President Obama. Where did one tweeter suggest the Republicans get the offset to pay for the cost of the suit?
4) President Obama asked congress for $3.7 billion to address what bubbling up crisis?
5) There is a predicted shortage of what product that went on sale in Washington this week?
6) Former mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years for corruption during his stint as mayor of what major American city?
7) The Supreme Court may have to reconvene to ban a potential new type of birth control that is administered how?
8) “She’s looking for a new job to quit” quipped John Fugelsang about what political persona who expressed interest in hosting “the View?”
9) Iowa Republican Party’s leaders are having a hard time picking up where the former leaders left off. What do the old leaders know that the new leaders don’t?
10) Three weeks or so after losing a Republican senate primary bid in Mississippi, who is threatening to sue claiming “irregularities?”
11) Despite his claims to the contrary the state workforce in Iowa under Branstad has actually grown or decreased?
12) This major American city is having a good week. First what city was picked to be the site of the 2016 Republican convention, then had its native all-star NBA player announced he was returning to play there this fall?
13) Caught with her mouth moving and words coming out. A tape of Joni Ernst from last January shows her calling for what?
14) California is looking to come down hard on people who waste what natural resource?
15) A study from Stanford points to dramatically less time spent in what activity as a major reason for the obesity epidemic in America?
Rosie O’Donnell is coming back to the View. Pugnacious is all I can think of. Put on the gloves here come Rosie. It will be fun.
1) Brazil got a butt-kicking.
2) Brad Zaun
3) don’t pay Republican lawmakers.
4) the immigrant children at the borders.
6) New Orleans
7) by remote control – well in 2018 anyway
8) Sarah Palin
9) the user names and passwords to get into the computers.
10) Chris McDaniel
13) Obama’s impeachment. She also called him a dictator
15) exercise time per American is way down.