What can we say? It is sure pretty out. Beautiful weather too. Wish we could bottle it. Be sure to enjoy it during its brief time.
Take some time this week to get that absentee ballot or to take a trip to your local auditor’s office to vote. Then enjoy the fact that on election day you have already done your duty. Or maybe you could help get the vote out for our great Democratic candidates.
Were you paying attention?
1) The fear of ebola spreading in the US were heightened when a nurse who tested positive for ebola said she had done what?
2) In the Florida gubernatorial debate Republican Rick Scott at first refused to debate because his opponent had what?
3) According to one tweet, Republicans that fear the ebola virus may mutate into a virus that could be caught via the air admitted to what?
4) In Fort Dodge Thursday morning an Iowa couple was stopped for speeding and held at gunpoint by police. Why were they speeding?
5) In a real surprise in baseball the Kansas City Royals swept to the world series by winning how many straight games?
6) Republicans called for an “ebola czar” while at the same time blocking the nomination for what post?
7) Joni Ernst had a major hitter come in to campaign for her last weekend. Can you name the former presidential candidate who campaigned for Ernst?
8) September 2014 ranked as what in the recorded history of world temperatures for September?
9) In Orange City, a baby sitter was given what sentence in the death of a toddler she was watching?
10) Is the harvest in Iowa ahead of or behind schedule this year?
11) Which state in West Africa has been declared free from ebola, according to the WHO?
12) A candidate for US senate from Iowa died in a small airplane crash this week. Can you name him?
13) In Bakersfield, California there have been 20 incidents of people being terrorized by what in recent weeks?
14) With the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize last week, 5 of the last 12 winners have what in common?
15) Tired of online shopping? What cyber giant will open a brick and mortar store in downtown Manhattan before Christmas?
The early evenings and the cool temps really set the stage for a warming fire and a good movie. Oh and another Hawkeye win!
1) Taken a flight to Cleveland or taken a cruise
2) a fan placed under his podium
3) evolution – that the virus would have evolved from it contact form of spreading
4) They were on the way to the hospital for a birth. However, the police were not notified
6) Surgeon General – Republicans have blocked the nomination of Vivek Murthy because of guns. The NRA(via Republicans) are blocking it.
7) Mitt Romney (who? many may ask)
8) #1 – following a string of hottest months this summer.
9) 100 years in prison
11) Senegal – no new cases for 42 days as of Friday.
12) Doug Bustier, Libertarian
15) Amazon. Yes Amazon
RELEASE: Joni Ernst’s Role in Sexual Harassment Suit Raises Questions About Her Leadership, Priorities
Des Moines, Iowa — A lawsuit filed today by a former Iowa Republican Senate caucus employee alleges she was fired last year after she repeatedly complained of sexual harassment by her male colleagues against female Senate staff members.
The suit includes an allegation that Republican state Sens. Joni Ernst of Red Oak and Sandra Greiner of Keota witnessed sexual innuendo and inappropriate behavior exhibited by their male colleagues, but said nothing while female staffers stood by unable object.
Bonnie Campbell, former Iowa Attorney General, issued the following statement questioning Ernst’s judgment and criticizing her failure to act:
“Joni Ernst and her campaign should stop trying to impugn the motives of the victim and come forward with the details of what she saw, and why she didn’t stop it if she saw something. The facts are clear — either Joni Ernst is accusing the victim of lying, or Joni Ernst is refusing to tell us the truth about the facts of this case. If true, this is an outrageous and troubling fact we have just learned about Ernst.”
“The more we know about Joni Ernst, the more it raises serious questions about who she is, and who she will stand up for in the U.S. Senate. This puts into question her judgment, her background, and who she would actually fight for in the Senate — because if it is anything like we have learned today, it won’t be the everyday Iowans who sometimes need a voice to speak up for them.”
“The suit includes an allegation that Republican state Sens. Joni Ernst of Red Oak and Sandra Greiner of Keota witnessed sexual innuendo and inappropriate behavior exhibited by their male colleagues but said nothing while female staffers stood by unable object.”
It is easy to write a screed against Terry Branstad. He has been around a long time. As governor he has hardly been stellar and his current term has seen him move from right wing to tea party extremist. During this term he has done many things that most Iowans would be shocked by. Branstad has gone against true Iowa values by doing things like using his line item veto to cut off food for the poor. His administration tried its hardest to deny health care for the poor under the ACA. Thus he was in the forefront of the Republican obstruction of the expansion of health care. And what can we say about the scandals that rock this administration with revelations every week? Remember one thing – it is your money that is being wasted with his shenanigans.
But why should we elect Jack Hatch? How will he be better? Well to start with we will be treated to a more open and transparent government under Jack Hatch. Government secrecy can’t get much worse than it currently is. Hatch believes and practices open government. The founders of this country expected the affairs of state to be conducted in the open. That alone would be a refreshing change for Iowa.
This is a great start, but on what specific issues would we be better off with Jack Hatch? Let’s start with Iowa’s once heralded education system. Under Branstad our standards have fallen and the best teachers are being moved out of the classroom. Hatch has plans to reinvigorate our education system. This at a time when we are facing some of the biggest challenges ever. Hatch and Vernon are also looking for solutions to the massive debt that is now incurred by Iowa’s college students. In their own words:
“My goal is to make Iowa’s colleges affordable again. Let’s cut college debt significantly with flexible, affordable options including an accelerated BA degree. Let’s keep the doors open so students who want to work for a college degree can still afford it.”
Jack Hatch has been a leader in the area of health care in Iowa. Rather than trying to screw Iowans out of health care, Hatch and Vernon will be looking for ways to include all Iowans in the health care system. Don’t forget that when some of us can’t access the health care system, that puts us all at risk:
“Perhaps the most important step we can take is the creation of a new, integrated, patient-centered health care delivery system that combines Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance into an integrated provider payment system within the current private market. This will include integrating mental health into our current primary health system; ensuring rural Iowa participates fully in access to health care (which is currently not happening), and that consumers have full access to their medical records while maintaining full and complete choice in how their health care is received and managed.”
Possibly the biggest failure of the Branstad is jobs. Branstad brags about jobs he has created, but a quick look at any independent chart shows that Iowa has fallen short of not only the lofty goals Branstad promised, but the country as a whole and what Iowa needs to keep up with growth. Once more Hatch and Vernon will address jobs not with the ideological bent of Branstad, but with some practical real world ideas.
“My goal is reversing our state’s slide towards an economy with more low wage jobs and fewer middle class jobs. We can start by increasing the minimum wage. Let’s develop our economy from the community level up in our city neighborhoods and our small towns instead of the top-down, whether its for business, culture, tourism or infrastructure.
My goal is growing more thriving small businesses in Iowa and many fewer, much smaller tax handouts to corporate giants outside of Iowa. My goal is to invest in our Iowa entrepreneurs and grow the next generation of high-tech businesses right here.”
These are just a few of the areas where we will see dramatic positive change from the Branstad administration. Please go to to the Hatch – Vernon website to learn much more.
There is one other very major difference between the two candidates. That is in their choice of running mates. Monica Vernon could step in and do a bang up job as governor today. She has experience at a lower level and in business leading. Vernon is competent and savvy. Choosing Monica Vernon as a running mate immediately showed that Jack Hatch has concern about making sure that leadership doesn’t fail in his absence.
We can’t say that about Terry Branstad’s choice of Kim Reynolds. She was a political choice from the get-go. Her purpose was to assuage the tea party element that has grown so strong in Iowa’s Republican Party. Her experience is meager and her on-the-job training has been scant. With Branstad’s apparently failing health and rumors that he plans to resign and turn the state over to Reynolds in his next term should scare most Iowans. Iowans do not need to be part of a right wing experiment on ideological government. One need only look at Kansas to see how well that works.
Last weekend in an interview with Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institute of Health, said that a vaccine for ebola would have probably already have been found had it not been for budget cuts.
“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”
This is a national disgrace. It is more than a disgrace, cutting funds to the NIH when we are facing challenges unlike ever before is tantamount to a crime. Anybody want to guess who was behind those cuts?
While Republicans slash budgets for any social program, they always have money for war. Their budget cutting starve children of the poor, condemns college students to a life of debt for merely getting an education, turns proud men and women into beggars, puts all into jeopardy with failing infrastructure and sets the stage for the United States future failure as our education system deteriorates. All this while trying to keep this country in perpetual war that wastes our resources for no return.
As Laura Twing noted in her post here on Wednesday budgets are moral statements. Cutting the budget of the agency that looks forward to stop major diseases is a moral statement. That statement is that we do not care about our citizens.
Cutting the budget of the NIH and its companion CDC is but one of many cuts that threaten our populace. But this is the one that is making headlines because the threat is immediate and could be scary. The cuts to education, the cuts to the poor, the cuts to the infrastructure, the cuts to the elderly, the cuts to veterans, the cuts to environmental programs, the cuts to renewable energy and others are not immediate threats. They will slowly turn this country backward but not so fast that it is immediately noticeable. With their allies in the main stream media future problems can be ignored. The threat of ebola can’t be ignored.
But those who run the Republican party – the Kochs, the DeVoses and all those others whose mission in life is to pile up money while making life miserable for the rest of us – have convinced at least nearly half the country that voting to screw other citizens because of their skin color or religion or sex or economic status or sexual orientation is a good thing. Screwing over the “others” in this country is the mission of the Republican Party.
Please think before you vote. This is a most important election, maybe one of the most important ever. Is your moral compass set for making the country cater to a few wealthy? Then vote Republican. But you had better understand that there is no trickle down. If you believe that you will be rewarded, you won’t. You will merely get screwed along with the rest of us.
But if you believe that the clause in the Constitution that states one of the purposes of the government is to “promote the general Welfare” then it is imperative that you vote for Democrats who will work to attain a general welfare for all, not just the rich.
When Joni Ernst campaigns on how she will “cut the pork” – in that cute little video about castrating pigs – there are consequences. When any Republican says they will cut the budget – be it Miller-Meeks, David Young, Rod Blum or the King himself, remember there are consequences. Also remember that each of these will always be willing to send us into war without raising taxes.
We need to elect Jack Hatch as Iowa’s governor! There are a lot of blemishes on the record of our current governor. Here are twenty reasons not to re-elect Terry Branstad-
#20- Branstad’s campaign pulled a dirty trick by creating a fake Jack Hatch website.
#19- Branstad actually hosted the Family Research Council’s “hate fest” in Ames earlier this year.
#18- At a Texas fundraiser Branstad admitted support for “tort reform”.
#17- In an insult to the principle of the separation of church and state, Branstad was an active participant and signed a state declaration for Bob Vander Plaats’s “Day of Prayer and Fasting”.
#16- The renovations at the Iowa Veterans Home are mired in controversy.
#15- Branstad’s Administration gave up a $1 million solar grant.
#14- His corporate tax cut will leave cities and counties short of funds.
#13- The Orascom boondoggle.
#12- With our roads and bridges falling apart, Branstad has shown zero leadership on raising the gas tax.
#11- Branstad has cost the taxpayers over $500,000 in legal fees in trying to unfairly get rid of Christopher Godfrey.
#10- Branstad illegally closed the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.
#9- Branstad illegally closed 36 unemployment offices at the height of the Great Recession.
#8- Iowa’s water pollution and soil erosion are still a huge problem.
#7- Branstad’s Administration took the Chief Administative Law Judge’s position and made it susceptible to political pressure from the Governor’s office.
#6- Branstad still has close ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council.
#5- Branstad has failed to cut the cost of state government. According to a study reported in the 8/31/14 Des Moines Register, state spending has gone up 17.5%.
#4- Another one of Branstad’s big goals was to create 200,000 jobs. So far the net number of jobs created since 2011 is around 74,000.
#3- Another big Branstad goal was to increase Iowa family incomes by 25%. Here was another miserable failure. According to the same Register study incomes have gone up just 0.17%.
#2- Branstad packed the Iowa Board of Medicine with people that did away with Planned Parenthood’s telemedicine arrangement.
#1- Instead of expanding Medicare, Branstad tried to push through a vastly inferior health insurance plan called the “Healthy Iowa Plan”.
#0- A state auditor report has found there have been 42 settlement agreements by this Administration totaling $2.4 million dollars.
These reasons should give everyone pause about re-electing Terry Branstad. Another reason may be his health.
At the first debate, Branstad’s shaking hands and erratic behavior was plainly evident. Does he have Parkinson’s disease or something like that? The rumors persist that if re-elected Branstad will step down after a time and allow the incredibly average Kim Reynolds to become governor without having to go through an election.
Little can match the fun and pageantry of homecoming. From high schools to the big colleges homecoming is always a festive occasion. The color, the crisp weather and with any luck a good game and a victory just makes for an almost magical weekend. It only comes once a year.
All that to say I am back after a short absence and am ready to drop some questions on you!. Sorry to say I need to take another hiatus in
a couple of weeks but only for a short stint.
Were you paying attention?
1) Monday Americans take a holiday for Columbus day. Our friends in Canada also have a holiday Monday. Do you know what they celebrate Monday in Canada?
2) The Supreme Court is back in session every first Monday of October. This year it shocked everyone by not doing what?
3) The symphony orchestra of what city was interrupted by a “Requiem for Michael Brown” by an audience flash mob.
4) The city council in Clear Lake, Iowa rejected a request by a citizen to turn what old municipal property into a home?
5) Western Europe got a touch of Ebola in what country last week?
6) It is Nobel Prize time. American and Japanese scientists shared the prize for perfecting what environmentally friendly technology?
7) Another Nobel Prize, this one for Peace, was won by a Pakistani teenager. No more hints – can you name her?
8) 72 Iowa judges are up for retention vote this election. What year did Iowans remove 3 Supreme Court justices for their votes on marriage equality?
9) 522 years ago Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas. Where did he believe he had landed?
10) In yet another surprise in their opening week the Supreme Court issued a decision stopping what in Wisconsin?
11) In order to fatten their owners pocketbooks, Walmart cut what benefit from their part-time workers?
12) Democrats charged this week that contracts awarded in Montgomery County were a conflict of interest when who was a county official there?
13) What well known financial guru was unable to finance a mortgage last week due to stringent rules put in after the financial collapse?
14) What leader of the world’s most secretive country missed a major event Friday increasing speculation that he may have been deposed?
15) The Iowa Insurance Commission approved an increase of what percent for those Iowans with Wellmark policies?
I see that our illustrious governor, who did all he could to stop the ACA and the expansion of Medicaid in Iowa is all over the health thing these days. “Take a walk” he says. No doubt a much better idea than being able to see a doctor. Oh, please, we so need universal single payer health care. Iowa had a walking Wednesday for its ‘healthiest state initiative.’ Time to tell Branstad to take a walk. But I digress
1) it is Thanksgiving Day in Canada Monday
2) not hearing any cases pertaining to gay marriage, thus letting gay marriage go forward where it has been declared legal.
3) St. Louis
4) The old water tower
6) LED bulbs. Note the term is ‘perfecting’ not discovering. They invented the blue LED to add to the red and green to combine to make white light.
7) Mulala Yousafzai
9) The Indies. Most scholars take this to mean the Spice Islands or what we call Indonesia and Indochina.
10) the need for photo ID to vote.
11) health insurance
12) Joni Ernst. The contracts were won by her father.
13) Ben Bernanke.
14) Kim Jong Un
The other day I was reading Dailykos when my eyes caught what looked to be an interesting story on the side list. So I clicked on it and found a very interesting rant by Charles Pierce on reasons why the Democrats need to come out loud and strong for what voting for Republicans actually leads to. The poster also faults Democrats for not attacking Republicans for their policies. Rather Democrats seem to take a “don’t rock the boat” stance.
We are old enough that we remember the proud liberals of old – Hubert Humphrey, Birch Bayh, Lyndon Johnson to name just a few, who campaigned, fought for and secured legislation for Medicare, legislation that ended Jim Crow laws and opened up voting for all Americans among other accomplishments. At the state levels we had liberals like Harold Hughes who fought for community colleges and loosening liquor laws.
At the very end of this article, the poster gives concrete examples of how Americans vote against themselves when they vote Republican:
Why Democrats don’t make these points is crazy. There is no good reason to vote for a Republican these days. If you live under a Republican government…
1) You’re more likely to have a shorter and unhealthier life. It’s not just about fighting Obamacare – it’s about having dirtier air, dirtier water as polluters run wild because of deregulation. It’s about going to work and risking your life because nobody is making sure your employer is running a safe operation.
2) Your employment chances are worse – because odds are those ‘job-creating’ tax breaks mean your state has lousy schools, crumbling roads, failing infrastructure, and employers who pay as little as possible while shipping money out of the local economy back to corporate HQ. Who wants to locate a business in a third-world style economy – aside from looters that is?
3) Tax breaks aimed at the rich and corporations mean everyone else has to pick up their share of the tab; higher license and permit fees, higher sales taxes – and everything takes longer if it involves government agencies with the workforce cut to the bone.
4) You get government of, by, and for the dollar: legislators and judges who put private gain over public interest, who measure virtue by how much money you have. When trouble strikes, you’re on your own.
I could go on and on – so why don’t Democrats campaign on the plain truth? If you live in a Red State, you’re in a race to the bottom.
Iowa has candidates who want to deliver the state into corporate hands, including our current governor.
Americans need to be re-educated that the Reagan line that “Government is the problem” is, like so much Republican rhetoric, a lie. For many problems that affect the population as a whole Government is the solution. Government is the way we, as a country, come together to solve our common problems whether they be at a local, state or national level. There is a great example going on right now with Ebola making its appearance in America.
Without true universal health care America is definitely at major risk for an epidemic. Those without access to medical care will not go immediately to a medical facility when sick. They can’t pay the bill. Government is the mechanism which can solve such a problem. Those who vote for Republicans leave this country at risk.
Vote Republican and you vote against yourself, your family including your parents (who may lose social security and medicare), your children (school, opportunity going out of the country), your grandchildren and their progeny. Voting Republican today has long range consequences.
Think about this before you vote.
The ACLU put out a video starring Lewis Black talking about voter suppression in the US. Remember, if Republican ideas were so popular they would be doing everything they could to increase voter turn out. The fact that they feel they must suppress votes tells you that their ideas are quite unpopular.
Iowa’s current Secretary of State, Matt Schultz has been all about voter suppression. The best way to stop voter suppression in Iowa is to vote for Brad Anderson for Secretary of State.
Electing Paul Pate as Iowa Secretary of State replaces one member of the voter suppression party with another. We need Brad Anderson to guarantee that eligible Iowans will not lose their voting rights.
When I hear political ads or political pundits say things like Joni Ernst is a merely a front for the Kochs or that she is being bankrolled by the Kochs I know what is meant. But I just got to wondering if that whole concept has become so trite that most folks hear stories like that and they just ignore them. Heaven knows that the corporate media has done all they can to blunt the sting of such comments.
So let me take different approach to the situation of the filthy rich giving large sums of money to campaigns like Ernst’s or to supporting so called educational groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads. People like the Kochs, Sheldon Adelson, the De Vos family in Michigan, Art Pope in North Carolina and many, many others do not so much contribute to a campaign so much as they invest in a candidate. Like any anyone who invests whether it be in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, equipment or personnel they expect some return.
Now when folks like you and I invest we hope for maybe a steady 10% return and we would be tickled pink. But when the Kochs and their rich ilk invest in a candidate they expect much larger returns much more quickly. And their returns do not come simply in say money back from the government in the form of contracts although that can often be a method. Their returns also come in the form of lower taxes for instance. Or perhaps they will be exempted from some regulation that could cost money, or perhaps a highway might be routed such that land they own is right near an exit.
Maybe the candidate they invest in will forestall a raise in minimum wages or a mandated health care coverage. If taxes aren’t lowered maybe they can get a special loophole built just for them. Maybe a defense bill can be drawn in such a manner that the only vendor for a product the Pentagon needs is one of your firms – let’s say in the Kochs case a contract is drawn such that only their brand of toilet paper can be bought by the Pentagon. Once more let us mention regulations either being rolled back or simply not enforced at the request of a senator.
Now you can bet that there is no place on record that such an agreement is written down. That would be illegal, don’t you know? But with the money and the support from the outside groups comes an unwritten set of expectations. If those expectations are not fulfilled, a non-compliant senator could be looking at the prospect of a tea party challenge from a more compliant candidate being run by the incumbent’s former funders. So technically there is not exactly a quid pro quo.
Thus the right wing candidate is simply an investment for folks like the Kochs and their various super-PACS and committees and other front groups. They can expect returns of billions on the millions they invest. All their investments were legalized by two of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, Citizen’s United and McCutcheon. Their millions make our few dollars totally insignificant. No doubt if Joni Ernst gets elected you can bet she will be working for the people that put her there – The Kochs and their compadres.
And all those folks that voted for her expecting – what? – will have been fooled into voting for a candidate whose true agenda is more government goodies for the rich and possibly, just possibly a wee bit of trickle down for them. Remember, government by the likes of Joni Ernst has resulted in exponential growth in income for the Kochs and a net loss for you and me since Ronald Reagan.
Ernst – A commodity just like gold or corn. It is what the wealthy are investing in this year.