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“A Clear And Present Danger”

Those are the words used by The Arizona Republic in discussing their reason for endorsing Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump last week. “A clear and present danger.” Let those words sink in for a moment. The Arizona Republic did not just say Trump was unqualified. They went way beyond that. In their first ever endorsement of a Democrat the paper called the Republican candidate for president a “danger.”

“Trump is a clear and present danger to our country,” the paper wrote. “He has no history of governance that should engender any confidence from voters. Trump has no foreign policy experience, and the fact that he doesn’t recognize it – instead insisting that, ‘I know more about ISIS than the generals do’ – is even more troubling.”

That is frightening. Frightening.

Wednesday in Council Bluffs, Donald Trump asked for a show of hands from those who were not Christian conservatives a couple of hands went up. Trump said “Should we keep them in the room? Yes, I think so.” When I heard this a cold shiver went down my spine. I can imagine what blacks, Hispanics, women and all others have been feeling since this man launched his campaign. His very presence signals that “others” are not welcome and he has the power to do something to those people.

Monday night Donald Trump loudly and proudly declared that he doesn’t pay taxes and that makes him smart. So the rest of us who are willing to invest in our country are stupid schmucks? Maybe if Trump were more invested in this country and a little less in Russia or he was not doing illegal deals in Cuba, he would learn something about this country.

Dangerous and frightening and disdainful of the average American. If you’re a woman he has little regard for you at all. Only as a sex object.

There are no newspapers in this country currently endorsing Trump. I can’t imagine any newspaper that attempts to serve the whole community will. There may be a couple of very right wing papers like the Washington Times may endorse him, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Even the Cincinnati Enquirer, one of the most conservative in the country from the Taft home base couldn’t do it.

Given all this who out there could endorse Trump? Well how about our own Chuck Grassley, Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King.

party before country, Chuck?

party before country, Chuck?

While all these are bad let’s focus on Grassley who claims to represent Iowa. Mr. Grassley, Iowans don’t endorse a presidential candidate labeled by a sympathetic newspaper as a “clear and present danger.” Is the Supreme Court so important to the right wing that you are willing to recommend that the US elect a man who is so unqualified that no real follower of politics wants him anywhere near the White House.

So you Mr. Grassley are willing to risk war, a ruined economy – this is almost inevitable based on Trump’s pronouncements – greater divisions among our citizens and many other potential tragedies to endorse this man. Whatever respect I ever had for you is long gone. Selling your soul and our country for your party is not worthy of any respect. Nor should it be worthy of anyone’s vote.

Your newest ad focuses on your attendance record in the Senate. We expect you to do something while you are there. Defying the dictates of the constitution is not doing something unless you count holding the American people in contempt is doing something.

Iowans have a choice of a real person who will actually work for Iowans in the senate in Patty Judge. It is time for Iowa to be represented by one of us, not a party first obstructionist.

What To Write? What To Write?

about 30 seconds:

This blog is a labor of love. A chance many folks don’t get to give a perspective on things that others may not have thought about. But trying to decide what stories to comment on is very hard. Ideas pass through my mind all week before I finally sit down to gather my thoughts into something coherent and worthy of your time.

This week has been especially tough. The coming election and the outsized candidacy of Trump and his constant hate machine spewing vileness all over the place is hard to ignore. I think most on the left given the chance could go for hours on Trump and how he has divided America and rekindled hate that seemed to be slowly, very slowly dying. No doubt folks would tire of anti-Trump rants as much as they have tired of Trump himself.

The Clinton campaign has offered some uplifting messages of inclusion, some great ideas of solutions to real problems that real Americans face daily and a candidate who has been tested in trying role after trying role. Sadly our media only follows the train wrecks and car chases. Inspirational messages and inspiring leadership is not a car chase. So once again Democrats across the country can barely even get covered by their local radio stations.

————————————

I should be talking more about Iowa legislative races. They are extremely important this year simply because Terry Branstad and his one man assumption of power needs to be squelched. His takeover of the Medicaid administration, the line item vetoes on educational spending, his unilateral closing of the mental health facilities, his squandering of state dollars on Orascom and many lesser manifestations of his disdain for our form of government must be stopped in his last couple of years.

We need to put the legislature in the hands of Democrats. At a minimum we need to keep at least the senate in Democratic hands. If control is shifted to Republicans in both houses with Branstad as governor, we can expect a headlong rush into becoming the next Kansas or Wisconsin. Both of those states have seen budgets drained to give huge tax cuts to the rich causing schools to close and jobs to go elsewhere. Both are considered to be Republican success stories because the rich are getting richer and everyone else is getting screwed.

———————————————————

How about the environment? As I write it is a Friday morning in late September and the overnight low temperature is warmer than the average daily high should be. The temperature is much more like late July or early August. The earth has just come off the two hottest months ever. The year will be, unless a sudden ice age breaks out, the hottest ever by far. Yet our congress sits hogtied thanks to bribes, yes bribes, from the fossil fuel industries. Congress critters like Grassley, King, Blum and Young are more than happy to sell off our lives for a few silver shekels.

Even as torrential rains flood northern Iowa and make it difficult to get crops in, Republicans deny, deny, deny climate change handhold their hands out.

——————————————————————————

Republicans claim to be the party of foreign policy. Mike Pence says Dick Cheney is his role model. Hey, Pence, two words about Cheney: “Valerie Plame.” Maybe Pence just admires the way Cheney made hundreds of millions as his (Cheney’s) company (Haliburton) scored major government contracts due to the war (Iraq) that Cheney helped start. For a Republican that must be admirable.

——————————————————————

Another morning that I turn on WSUI as we breakfast. Two minutes in and I am wondering if I am listening to FOX and shut it off. NPR anymore sounds like a stenographer for Republicans. Nothing else in my range is worth listening to. So the demise of NPR makes all the radios I own worthless. We already have one internet radio. Looks like we will need another soon. Hopefully low power FM KICI will be starting up soon, but we may be too far out to get them over the air.

——————————————————————

The chances of being killed by the dreaded refugee terrorist? 1 in 3.64 billion. The chances of getting killed by almost any other means is far greater. I am not telling you to not be scared of getting killed by a refugee terrorist. What I am telling you is that if you are scared of the refugee terrorist then you should hide yourself in a closet, roll into a ball and shiver from fear because so many things in daily life are more likely to kill you. And demand your Republican candidate protect you from the dangers of guns, water, electricity and all the other killers out there.

———————————————————

And once more, working people have been snookered out of real discussions on income inequality. From the early days of this campaign when an old guy from Vermont caught fire talking about real life economic issues to today when the corporate owned and controlled media have all but disappeared the issue. Clinton adopted many of Bernie Sanders positions on economic issues but even when she makes a major economic address our media ignores it and concentrates on her health, bogus email story or bogus charity story.

Our media also pretends that Trump has economic policies that will help workers when in truth his policies make current conditions much worse for workers. Lesson? People are easily fooled.

————————————————————

Lastly, once more we are seeing the effects of money, money, money. Money = power = bad policies. It is a never ending cycle. It is depressing. I have never heard of a solution for this that won’t be reject by those in power and who have the money to buy power. Very depressing.

—————————————————————

Early voting starts Thursday. We plan our biennial trip to the county courthouse to vote that day. I do not want to take any chance that one of us will be sick or get called out of town or any one of a number things that may cause us to miss voting on November 8th. This one is too important.

And…. Progress Iowa puts up a website to help voters find out how to vote early.

video – 30 seconds:

Sunday Funday: The Day Before The Debate Edition

Love Olbermann’s comments. This one is about 6 minutes

Are you watching? Are you not watching? Will you be blogging it? Or will you hide out on Netflix?

The day is here tomorrow – 2016 presidential Debate #1. While the debate itself is extremely important, what is maybe just as important is the post debate spin. Republicans will be putting a lot of effort into making sure that on corporate run network after corporate run network their boy Donald will be declared winner of the debate despite his ties to Russia, his illegal use of his charity’s money and his fraudulent university. The corporate run networks will tell us that America wants a tough talker even when he has no idea what he is saying.

They will also point out that Donald is the only man in the race, in case you missed that.

I can only hope Lester Holt refrains from asking Trump for his autograph.

Were you paying attention?

1) Going into the post season fans of what long suffering baseball team are hopeful of their first championship in over 100 years?

2) A Canadian man was accused Tuesday of smuggling C$180,000 out of the Royal National Mint where he worked by doing what?

3) A second bomb in New York last Saturday night was accidentally defused when what happened?

4) In Minnesota, a man dressed in a mall security outfit attacked mall shoppers with a what?

5) The NYC bomber was captured when a New Jersey bar owner found him doing what?

6) Republican VP candidate Mike Pence said his role model as vice president is who?

7) An Iowa graduate student was shot by her brother as she was driving and her brother was doing what?

8) Gas prices are rising quickly in the southeastern US following what?

9) Almost totally unreported by the corporate press, what group of Americans have been staging off again, on again strikes for the past couple of weeks?

10) Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault appealed to what organization to help in stopping construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline?

11) Twenty one states including Iowa sued the Obama Administration Tuesday to stop the implementation of what on Dec. 1st?

12) At the trial concerning the bridge lane closures in New Jersey in Sept. of 2013 what high level unindicted official was claimed by defendants to have known of the closures as they happened?

13) What elder of the Republican Party created headlines when he said he will be voting for Hillary Clinton?

14) What celebrity couple announced their split?

15) Mahoning County, Ohio campaign chair Kathy Miller resigned after she was recorded claiming (among other things) that racism began with what prominent American?

16) Black men died from police bullets in controversial shootings in what two major American cities last week?

17) What formerly major tech player announced its data had been breached several months ago affecting hundreds of millions of users?

18) Despite having been declared unconstitutional, Trump called for the reinstitution and nationalization of what police policy?

19) Two Ron Paul campaign aides were sentenced for their part in the bribery scheme in the 2012 presidential campaign. What former Iowa state senator has not as yet been sentenced for receiving those bribes?

20) Donald Trump was outed for illegal self-dealing. This means that he used money from where to pay his own bills?

I am a late September baby. I know what my parents were doing over the holidays the year before I was born.

Answers:

1) The Chicago Cubs. Now owned by the very Republican Ricketts family

2) carrying pucks (unstamped gold) out of the mint in his ass

3) Two thieves removed the pressure cooker inside so they could steal the luggage it was in.

4) knife

5) sleeping in the doorway of the bar

6) Dick Cheney

7) cleaning his supposedly unloaded gun in the moving car

8) a gas pipeline rupture in Alabama

9) prisoners

10) UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

11) the new overtime rules for management personnel (will be paid overtime if pay is below ~ $48,000)

12) Governor Chris Christie

13) former President George H. W. Bush

14) Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

15) Barack Obama. Before that she said, everything was fine

16) Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, NC

17) Yahoo. This may well squelch their sale to Verizon.

18) Stop and Frisk.

19) Kent Sorenson

20) his charity – the Trump Foundation. He paid a couple of fines and bought himself a couple of nice gifts

“Elect the First, Not the Worst” That is: Elect the first woman ever, not the worst man ever.

Pockets Of Real Journalism In The Media

Lawrence O’Donnell and David Farenthold (5 minutes)

Since the days of Ronald Reagan, corporations have had a goal of owning and controlling the disseminators of the news media in this country. To this end, they have purchased TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. They have used lobbying and huge campaign donations to elect congresses that were sympathetic to their cause which the sold under the guise of market economy.

There is only one job that is enshrined in the constitution and that is journalism. It was so important to the founders that the right for observers to be able to speak and disseminate their opinions unfettered by government that both speech and and press were enshrined in the very first amendment.

Unfortunately having the right to speak or write opinions without interference and exercising those rights are two different things. The lure of power and riches has always led folks to cash in their rights for an easier life. What we have seen in America over the past few decades and especially since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is an almost complete capitulation to the monied interests in this country.

The range of news coverage and analysis in this country these days are about as broad as it was in the old USSR with Tass and Izvestia.

Television is America’s main source of news. With six companies owning most of the television media in this country divergence of news coverage and analysis is almost nil. In the middle of a presidential campaign, few news outlets are doing stories on the real issues such as climate change, social security, rights of citizens or the true character of the candidates.

There have been three bright lights in this year where our own media has done all it can to shut off any light. Thanks to these men, their editors and the fact that we still have one media that is not under control of corporations and that is of course the internet.

The first is David Farenthold of the Washington Post. While much of the media has acted as stenographers for the Trump campaign, Farenthold and the Post have dug deeply into the dealings of Trump and his charity and reported the truth. For Trump and his various organizations, the truth ain’t pretty. But reporting like this is what the first amendment is all about. Here is a site that has many of Farenthold’s stories of this election. If you are not familiar with Farenthold’s work this year, be prepared to be astounded.

A side story to the Washington Post reporting of David Farenthold is that the editor of the Post these days is the highly regarded Martin Baron. You may not recognize the name, but if you saw the movie “Spotlight” you will remember Baron as the editor who identified the Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandal as a story to pursue. Here is a profile of Baron in Esquire that gives us an idea of why the Post pursues stories that others don’t.

The other two bright lights of this campaign work for online publications. Internet companies are not as stodgy as brick and mortar media companies, which no doubt contributes to many online sites investigating Trump the difference with Farenthold, and the next two reporters are that their stories actually broke through the corporate barriers to get at least some time on corporate television.

Many of you are already familiar with Kurt Eichenwald’s work at Newsweek. His story “How The Trump Organization’s Business Ties Could Upend US National Security” was a breakthrough story that explored the consequences of what we have not been told may have on our national security.

The last stellar member of this reporting group is a man whose name is familiar and who has been reporting for decades on the screwing that our political class has been giving the citizen while giving the store away to the wealthy and well connected. David Cay Johnston needs little introduction. His new book “The Making Of Donald Trump” helps to lay bare the real Donald Trump. The real Donald Trump is not fit to be president plain and simple and Johnston gives plenty of reasons why.

Johnston’s book and subsequent articles just continue what he has done all his life. Yet in this day and age reporting like this is being suppressed. Note that the media blitz for this Johnston book was mostly on what left wing media that exists on the fringes that the corporates haven’t gobbled up or run out of business. Stops included shows like the Thom Hartmann Show, and Democracy Now!

Here is an 8 minute or so clip from Democracy Now! that discusses Donald Trump’s taxes:

Perception Beating Reality Hands Down

coverage-media-trump-v-hillary

Controlling the media really helps.

“He who controls the past controls the future.
He who controls the present controls the past.”
George Orwell, 1984.

Back in 1970 Lewis Powell wrote the infamous Powell Memo. In that memo the future Supreme Court justice asserted that the business community must flex its muscle, especially in their media image. Over the years the interpretation of what that meant shifted from better media relations to simply owning the media.

So media news evolved or maybe actually revolted from a model of being a third party observer and reporter of news to an active participant and shaper of propaganda. As corporate media has moved from one side of the spectrum to the other, they have taken on various projects both short term and long. In the short term category are ridiculous crap like changing the name of french fries to freedom fries. In the long term category is the canonization of Ronald Reagan as the saint of free marketry with a strange removal of all sins such as steep tax raises and major blunders in the Middle East.

Few of their projects have been as long term as the demonization and dehumanizing of one person – Hillary Clinton. Now after some 25 or more years in the making we are about to see if corporate media’s relentless and concentrated vilification of that one person can bear them fruit for their effort. That fruit would be the election of the worst prepared and worst suited candidate for any office anywhere at any time in this country.

A simple side by side comparison of the two candidates on preparedness and personal traits shows Hillary Clinton both very well prepared and very well suited to the rigors and decision making of the off of the leader of the most powerful office on earth. In such a comparison, Donald Trump comes up woefully short on both measures.

Whereas Clinton’s life has been quite public and easily examined, Donald Trump’s actual dealings is mostly cloaked in mystery with little to examine. Nor is he at all forthcoming with any documents that may help fill in the holes in his biography. He and his team have made many bogus claims of why he will not release documents that would give us a picture of his story. The corporate media with a few exceptions have done nothing to even pursue this issue. What few glimpses we have gotten show a selfish. petulant, rich man child prone to outbursts of rage.

Yet the corporate media has given us a perception of Donald Trump as a mover and shaker of a business person. This despite the hundreds of lawsuits, his history of screwing employees and small businesses on payments and current fraud cases against several of his businesses.

Hillary Clinton on the other hand has been accused of everything from murder to fraud to pretty much whatever you can make up. Republicans in Congress have spent over $200 million investigating her on various charges. So far they have only served to clear her of any charges.

As long as the corporate media continues to fan the flames of false accusations against Clinton while suppressing the truth about Trump the corporate media can create and manipulate the presidential horse race they so desire.

Perception is that both candidates are extremely flawed. Reality is that one candidate is well prepared and suited to the job while the other would not be suited to be dog catcher. Perception is kicking the hell out of reality.

Recent investigations into charities associated with the candidates have shown Clinton’s charity to be clean and well run while Trump’s appears to be a money laundering operation. Yet the corporate media still spins the Clinton Foundation with an innuendo of graft which has been proven false. Once again perception kicks reality’s butt.

In one of the most egregious acts by the corporate media, recent history is being rewritten to make it seem as if the recent Republican recession was caused by Barack Obama (with an assist from Hillary Clinton) with little mention of the worst president in history.

Just to remind folks, the most recent Republican administration drove the country deeply in debt with huge tax cuts for the wealthy; started two wars of choice overseas with no exit plans nor funding to pay for them; created a huge drug program for seniors without negotiating lower drug prices and once again without funding; stood by and did nothing as the country was plunged into a panic as the subprime mortgage scandal exploded; oversaw the loss of millions of jobs while assuring the country that all was well. In short it was a horror show of an administration. Much more here.

In this head to head matchup of perception as driven by the corporate media versus the reality that is suppressed by corporate media, perception is winning by a wide margin. Corporate media’s quarter century or more of creating a cartoonish caricature of Hillary Clinton may result in the election of the worst president ever. That would be quite an accomplishment considering what the George W. Bush administration did to this country.

Want to see perception in action? Check out this video from the Daily Show from the other night:

Yet all is not quite so bleak. Next post is a hats off to some heroes of the media.

“It’s Big Tobacco All Over Again”


Doctors used to sell tobacco @ 1 minute

We often have the computer playing some form of left wing radio while we do our daily tasks around the house. In the US, there are few outlets for left wing radio, so for a person in Iowa has to go to the internet to get left wing radio. For those interested – KTNF in the Twin Cities (http://www.am950radio.com/listen-live), WCPT in Chicago (http://www.wcpt820.com/listen-live/) and free speech TV online (https://www.freespeech.org/) is where we get our “radio” these days.

We had the Stephanie Miller Show on. They were talking about the Trump (sorry to talk about him again, he is hard to avoid) campaign. Her guest said “It’s Bug Tobacco all over again.” He went on to flesh it out a little – how for those all those years that Big Tobacco was staving off both lawsuits and government action for selling a product whose product when used as directed gives people a terrible disease they developed some strategies that are still used successfully by various friends of Big Tobacco.

If you don’t think the Republican Party is a close friend of Big Tobacco, remember that when Nixon deployed the Southern strategy Republicans not only sold their souls to hop on board on the wrong side of the racial issue they also became the party of Big Tobacco ready to stall any meaningful action as long as they could. One only need to see one of their current standard bearers, Mike Pence, bowing down to kiss their butts (pun intended) throughout his political career:

Over his political career Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) has consistently carried the tobacco industry’s water, denying the dangers of cigarettes, opposing government regulation, and slashing smoking cessation efforts. In return, they rewarded him with more than $100,000 in campaign donations.

In 2000, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), then running for an open U.S. House seat, came out against a proposed settlement between government and the tobacco industry, calling it “big government.” In a shocking editorial, he wrote: “Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” Pence acknowledged that smoking is not “good for you,” but claimed that two-thirds of smokers do not die from smoking related illness and “9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer.” He warned of a slippery-slope in which government would soon seek to discourage fatty foods, caffeine, and SUVs.

As Stephanie Miller’s guest explained they “deny, deny, deny” any and all charges – think lying about their real policies. Then they create their own “facts” or assertions and alternate realities in which those facts can exist. Note Pence’s assertion that “9 of 10 smokers do not die of lung cancer” in the excerpt above. If they don’t die of lung cancer they often die of painful, smoking related diseases with some form of cancer in the mix if it is not the final killer.

The guest went on to say they also misdirect or redirect the conversation. For instance we start out talking about the effects of smoking and end up talking about natural carcinogens in the environment. We have had a classic misdirection this week. As a blockbuster story on how Trump’s financial entanglements in foreign countries and with foreign – sometimes not friendly to the US – was about to come out in Newsweek this week Republicans with an assist from corporate media – were able to redirect the conversation to Clinton’s health.

Other strategies include dressing folks as experts such as doctors to claim that their product, tobacco, is no more harmful than breathing. Today’s campaign version of this is the think tank “expert” or the paid “expert.” Donning the guise of a person with some amount expertise and sometimes having some impressive initials behind their name, the faux expert is more than willing to explain to us how cutting taxes for the rich or giving them tax abatements or even building their places of business for them will create jobs and prosperity. This despite 35 years of proof that it doesn’t.

Here are a few other things right wing “experts” have told us over the years: Making health care to all citizens will ruin our health care system; increasing minimum wages results in unemployment despite tons of evidence to the contrary; climate change isn’t actually happening; Donald Trump will be the healthiest person ever elected to be president.

Of course the Big Tobacco strategies would be of no value were it not for a corporate media whose mission is to create controversies that create the climate that makes people want to turn into their “news” shows. In other countries there was no controversies over Big Tobacco. Once the science was in and verified other countries moved to make tobacco hard to get. In the US we treated scientific truth only as an equal to unfounded speculation and uninformed opinion. Media has had a vested interest in giving unfounded speculation and uninformed opinion an equal billing with verified science because then everyone can be involved even without any previous knowledge of a subject.

The use of the Big Tobacco strategies are used by Republican campaigns up and down the ticket. We have been to a couple of Grassley events where he was grilled mercilessly by attendees about his obstruction of court appointments. Throughout the campaign we have read of many others where Grassley was questioned hard on his obstruction. It got to the point where his campaign made few appearances often on very short notice and only in very friendly circumstances. We documented on these pages his paucity of appearances during the exceptionally long summer break.

Despite what my eyes saw and read, the Grassley campaign the other day claimed that that Iowans back his decision to obstruct. Deny, deny, deny and create a new reality with unsubstantiated “facts” – the Big Tobacco playbook. None of which is true according to the Burlington Hawkeye.

Grassley, with a straight face, has said repeatedly he wouldn’t play politics on this while at the same time he’s playing politics with this by declaring he won’t hold a hearing on Garland’s fitness for the job. He’s doing the bidding for his boss, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will do whatever it takes to block any initiative of President Barack Obama.

Grassley went on to say he’s been told repeatedly by his constituents the decision should be up to the next president. Said Grassley: “At meeting after meeting this summer, Iowans told me that they appreciate the Senate’s decision that the next President should nominate Justice Scalia’s replacement.”

Odd. We’ve reported on Grassley’s meetings — including the one with his hand-picked constituents at Great River Medial Center — and his declaration of overwhelming support for his obstruction on this important matter didn’t surface at that meeting.

More than anything else this election we need elected officials who will deal with reality, not create false reality. We must turn back Trump and send Grassley home.

Sunday Funday: The Birther Question Is Back Edition?

Just can't admit Obama was born in the US

Just can’t admit Obama was born in the US

Glad to see that someone asked Don the Con about his final analysis of whether or not President Obama was born in the US. Trump needs to be held accountable for his wild statements and lies. Let us hope this is finally the beginning.

While contemplating this it occurred to me that if there was a group that was planning some 50+ years ago to take a child born in a foreign country, raised and groomed to take over the US and destroy it from within, that they would have been foolish to put all their effort into only one child – that being Barack Obama. No, this effort would require multiple efforts to get the very one that could attain the presidency. Let’s face it, getting elected president isn’t something that just anyone can do. If Obama had failed, their brilliant plan would have been smashed.

Therefore there must be many more children like Obama, chosen and groomed to take over the US like Obama was. Hundreds? Thousands? Mr. Trump, I hope you had your investigators dig into this. We may have swarms of Obama like citizens in this country right now. Intelligent, level headed, charming, even-tempered. They should stick out like sore thumbs in America today.

And look at what Obama has done to this country – jobs, health care, trending to peace. He has ruined it for people of your persuasion, Mr. Trump. Hope you can ferret out those behind this horror and stop them from doing it again. (I hope you know this is satire, folks)

Were you paying attention?

1) “And now pinch hitting for Hillary Clinton…” Who stood in for Clinton to make a speech in Philadelphia last week?

2) The Trump camp rolled out a child care policy. Their version of maternity time off would be paid for by cuts in what other program?

3) Greta Friedman died last week. Few knew her name, but most every American knew her from what picture taken on August 14, 1945?

4) In California, Gov. Brown signed historic legislation extending overtime pay to what group of workers?

5) At the U of Oregon officials renamed a dormitory because the professor it was named for was also a leader of what hate group in his off hours?

6) After allowing the Brexit vote in the UK, what politician ended his political career by resigning his seat in Parliament last week?

7) Donald Trump, jr. had a bad week last week. Sunday he tweeted a picture of his Dad and other Republicans with what white nationalist symbol among them?

8) Trump, jr. also invoked memories of Nazi Germany when he attacked the media claiming if Republicans did what Democrats did the press would be doing what?

9) What popular liberal commentator has come back to do a series of twice-weekly commentaries for GQ magazine?

10) A new probe by the Attorney General in New York is targeting what Trump entity for improprieties?

11) In Iowa, Branstad says everything is working well, whereas hospitals and providers are having huge problems with what new program?

12) What additional Iowa county voted to raise the minimum wage in their county last week?

13) What starts at 00:37 next Friday?

14) September 24, 1957. Troops were sent by President Eisenhower to enforce school integration in what city?

15) Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill allowing families of victims of 9/11 to sue what country?

16) Mike Pence said what man was bad but not “deplorable”?

17) Due to the anti-gay HB2 law in North Carolina, what organization announced it would move several major events out of that state?

18) At the Values Voter Summit, Kentucky Governor Matt Begins called for what if Hillary Clinton is elected?

19) In New Hampshire, the Manchester Union Leader newspaper broke a century long streak of endorsing Republicans when they endorsed who?

20) Once more getting free TV during the campaign Donald Trump was a guest of what TV doctor?

Hillary Clinton may have had walking pneumonia but she did not have the boogie woogie blues!

1) President Obama – not a bad choice off the bench

2) reducing unemployment insurance programs

3) it was dubbed “the Kiss” where a sailor grabbed Ms. Friedman in Times Square to celebrate the announcement of Japan’s defeat.

4) Farm workers

5) the KKK – although probably not deplorable according to Trump

6) David Cameron – he had resign as PM earlier, now he is out of Parliament.

7) Pepe the Frog

8) “warming up the gas chamber” – a really deplorable reference

9) Keith Olbermann

10) The Trump Foundation

11) corporate managed medicaid put in place by Branstad only

12) Wapello County (Ottumwa)

13) Autumn

14) Little Rock

15) Saudi Arabia

16) David Duke

17) NCAA moved many tournament events from North Carolina

18) a bloody rebellion

19) Gary Johnson, Libertarian

20) Doctor Oz

See you next week!

Progress Iowa Asks Legislators: Do You Support Trump?


(Keith Olbermann returns with twice weekly commentary on GQ until the election – 17 minutes)

Progress Iowa asked Iowa legislators whether or not supported Republican nominee Donald Trump in this election. Why should this be an issue in state races?

They explain the reasoning in this news release:

Which Iowa Republican Legislators Stand With Trump?

Progress Iowa Calls On Republicans To Clarify Their Position On Their Party’s Nominee, Launches New Website: dotheystandwithtrump.com

Des Moines, Iowa – With the Republican Party nominating one of the most divisive, bigoted candidates for president of all time, Progress Iowa believes it is important to know whether Iowa Republicans stand with Donald Trump this year. While Republican leaders like Terry Branstad, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have embraced Trump, many state legislators have been notably quiet on the topic.

So we asked them. In late August Progress Iowa emailed every Iowa legislator, asking them whether they stand with Donald Trump’s candidacy. We compiled their responses on our new website, www.dotheystandwithtrump.com.

“Many Iowa Republicans were apparently too afraid to respond to our very simple question of whether they support their presidential nominee,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “We believe Iowans deserve to know if their legislator supports Donald Trump, a man who has repeatedly made racist, xenophobic and misogynistic statements.”

All Democratic state senators and representatives were confirmed as opposing Trump’s candidacy, as provided by a statement by their caucus. Only one Republican representative, Ralph Watts of Adel, responded, but did not clearly state whether he supported Trump or not. David Johnson was marked as opposing Trump due to his past statements.

Concerned voters can use Progress Iowa’s new website to further ask their local legislator whether or not they support Trump for President:
www.dotheystandwithtrump.com.

Pretty well lays it out. What is amazing is that nearly 100% of Republican legislators refused to respond. Makes you wonder why you should vote for them for state leadership positions when they are too scared to answer whether or not they support a person whose personal qualities are such that most folks would not hire him as counter help in their business.

So Republican Iowa legislators fear to respond because if they do they will alienate one of two groups. Should they respond and say they don’t support Trump, they could easily alienate the racist, misogynist and xenophobic voters that are the core of Trump’s support.

Should they respond and say they do support Trump they admit they support his divisive rhetoric and the constant lies. Supporting Trump should alienate those who believe that the character of the leader is their most important asset. Trump comes up woefully short in this aspect.

By not answering they should alienate both camps. Donald Trump’s character is one of the very central issues of this campaign. Do you believe we should have a person who is a bully, a racist, a misogynist , a xenophobe, who facts are often based on internet rumors and who makes decisions not based on reality but on gut feelings? If you can’t answer that question, it tells most people that you yourself are unwilling to make decisions that may be tough.

The Republican party selected Trump to lead their party. Why are Iowa Republican legislators afraid to say whether they support him?

Remember that David Johnson of Ocheydon faced reality and put his country first when he stated back in June that he would not support Trump. Why is it so difficult for other Republican legislators to stand up and repudiate such behavior? Would they not correct such behavior in their children or would they encourage it?

Are You Registered To Vote?

Now's the time to make sure your registered!

Now’s the time to make sure you are registered!

While making calls for Hillary the other day from a list of what was supposed to be registered voters I was surprised that I ran across an unregistered voter. He was purposely unregistered and was not planning to vote. Hopefully, I was able to convey the importance of voting this year. The choice is between normalcy and some sort of crazy experiment in what a megalomaniac can do to the US.

That call made me wonder if people across the country are assuming that they are registered when they are not. Iowa should not have as much trouble as some, but no one anyplace should assume they are registered. Some states had voter restriction laws passed and in other states there have been voter roll purges done by the state secretary of states based on faulty data from Kansas SOS Kris Kobach.


The data is processed through a system called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which is being promoted by a powerful Republican operative, and its lists of potential duplicate voters are kept confidential. But Rolling Stone obtained a portion of the list and the names of 1 million targeted voters. According to our analysis, the Crosscheck list disproportionately threatens solid Democratic constituencies: young, black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters – with some of the biggest possible purges underway in Ohio and North Carolina, two crucial swing states with tight Senate races.


Like all weapons of vote suppression, Crosscheck is a response to the imaginary menace of mass voter fraud. In the mid-2000s, after the Florida-recount debacle, the Bush administration launched a five-year investigation into the allegedly rampant crime but found scant evidence of wrongdoing. Still, the GOP has perpetuated the myth in every national election since. Recently, North Carolina Board of Elections chief Kim Strach testified to her legislature that 35,750 voters are “registered in North Carolina and another state and voted in both in the 2012 general election.” [Editor’s note: This quote was taken from the power point that accompanied Strach’s testimony. In a subsequent letter, she informed us that during her presentation she “stressed that we were not suggesting that 35,750 voters had committed any type of fraud. My testimony was that the data we received from the Crosscheck Program showed that in the 2012 general election, there were 35,750 people who voted in North Carolina whose first and last names and dates of birth matched persons who voted in the same election in another state.”] Yet despite hiring an ex-FBI agent to lead the hunt, the state has charged exactly zero double voters from the Crosscheck list. Nevertheless, tens of thousands face the loss of their ability to vote – all for the sake of preventing a crime that rarely happens. So far, Crosscheck has tagged an astonishing 7.2 million suspects, yet we found no more than four perpetrators who have been charged with double voting or deliberate double registration.

So don’t assume you are registered. Anyone from any state can check their registration by using this handy website: http://www.canivote.org/

Simply enter your state and you will be connected to your state’s SOS database of registered voters. I did it the other day and it only took about 2 minutes total. It is also a chance to check and make sure the data is correct. In my case I am registered as “David” whereas I do most things under the name “Dave.” That may come in handy when we vote.

While we are talking voting, why not vote early? What if you are sick or suddenly called out of town on November 8th? Early voting starts in Iowa September 29th this year. If you are in Iowa it is fairly easy.

The rules for voting absentee in Iowa are here. You can download an absentee ballot request form here. Then take it or have someone take it or mail it to your local county auditor. Information to do all this is on Iowa’s Secretary of State’s office.

If you don’t want to vote by mail, but still want to vote early you can go to your county auditor’s office during normal business hours and vote. In some counties there may be satellite voting stations prior to the election. Check with your county auditors on to find out if any are scheduled in your county.

Elections have consequences. This year the consequences could be catastrophic. We have never needed everyone to vote more than this year. Straight ticket voting is available in Iowa. We humbly suggest a straight Democratic ticket this year.

9/11: Result Of America’s Worst Leadership Ever

Not a clue. We can't afford to do this again.

Not a clue. We can’t afford to do this again.

Sorry I won’t play along with this as being a day of super patriotism. We were attacked on September 11th, 2001 by group of mostly Saudi Arabian radicals. Rather than be a day for beating our breasts in public to show who is the most patriotic, I personally feel that this is a day we should use for education.

One lesson America must learn is that voting for a person to be president because you’d like to drink a beer with them or because of the way they insult their opponent is totally irresponsible. It is time for American voters to grow up and understand that elections have consequences. In the case of the 2000 election, George W. Bush did not win, but came sufficiently close so that the Supreme Court made it their prerogative to step in and select a president. This was essentially a coupe by the Supreme Court, but that has been discussed many times before.

The second lesson is that we pick a person who has prepared themselves for the job and has shown a willingness to work. Bush did little to prepare for the job and then spent much time at the golf course or at his ranch. Despite being well warned by his predecessor, Bill Clinton, that Al Quieda needed to be watched closely. That warning was ignored as was the early August memo stating that “Al Quieda determined to strike in US.”

George Bush was ill prepared and intellectually lazy. His lack of concern hampered our ability to prepare or respond. Despite presiding over the only attack on American soil ever, Republicans nominated a similarly ill prepared and intellectually lazy man as their nominee for this election. On top of that Donald Trump is a narcissist who listens to almost no one. The similarities are chilling.

Finally, be wary of extremists no matter what the motivation for their extremism is. Extremist groups and individuals often cloak themselves in religion and the flag to make their positions acceptable. Some American politicians knock themselves out lumping all Muslims as extremists which we all know is not true. At the same time they all but ignore and some even encourage extremist groups like the white supremacist groups such as White Aryan Resistance or the KKK to name a couple.

When Barry Goldwater uttered the line “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” he could not have been more wrong.

It has already been fifteen years and based on the Republican nominee for president it looks like America has not even begun to learn its lessons. That is not too surprising when the medium that most Americans depend on to guide them, television, cares not one whit about its obligation to inform and enlighten. TV’s only concern is to make as big of a profit as is possible. To do that it needs as many eyeballs glued to it as possible. To get the eyeballs it needs out of reality characters that people will stare at like they do an ongoing train wreck. Thus we get candidates like Donald Trump.

Maybe next year television journalism will turn a new leaf that will actually help us make sense of what is happening …….. maybe?