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Branstad’s Legacy

party before country

Looks like Governor-For-Life Terry Branstad will soon be leaving us on that slow boat to China. Who cares how he gets there as long as he leaves. As he begins to leave we can look back briefly on what shape he is leaving the state in.

We can begin by noting that his successor, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds seems to come from the far right of the Republican Party. She appears to support the ALEC driven legislative agenda this year that has been a disaster for working men and women in Iowa. It would be hard to rate Reynolds as a plus for Iowa as Branstad leaves. At best she gets a neutral rating going in, although there is fear that she may be even further to the right than Branstad.

Looking at how Branstad leaves the state for the future it doesn’t look good. Once more this year education in Iowa took it in the shorts with a only a slight increase in funding. During Branstad’s second round in office, it certainly looks like Iowa schools are getting set up for a big fail. Throughout the Branstad years schools have suffered cuts or only received slight increases. As the legislature and administration starve the perceived public education beast, expect Republicans to start trumpeting the call to privatize our education system.

Funny, it wasn’t that long ago that Iowa had the education system that was the envy of the nation and the world.

The legislature performed a huge coup by throwing out nearly 50 years of a public labor bargaining system that worked extremely well for Iowa. Branstad showed how proud he was by skulking behind closed doors and signing the bill in front of one onlooker. That onlooker had a huge amount invested in getting the unions busted in Iowa. That onlooker was Drew Klein from the Americans For Prosperity a Koch brothers backed lobbying group. Many Iowans felt that had a real stench about it that was once reserved to the hog lots.

On the economic front, it is beginning to look like all those tax cuts that were going to magically grow the economy are not having that effect. Now budget shortfalls seem to be the norm due it seems to ill-advised tax cuts. Couple that with decreasing spending by Iowa consumers that will be happening as the effects of such policies as union-busting and rolling back local minimum wage increases take effect. When Iowans aren’t buying, sales tax takes a dive.

Then there is of course one of Branstad’s signature achievements, Medicaid privatization. Taking from the sick, elderly, invalid and poor and giving to wealthy insurance company. He did so unilaterally while his buddies in the legislature blocked any attempts by Democrats to stop this move. Moving something like 10% of money that used to be used for patient care to go to “administrative companies” was a stroke of Republican genius. The Des Moines Register had a featured story about how necessary medical help is only a secondary concern to these administrative companies

And then there is Orascom. The development of the fertilizer plant near Wever, Iowa. When the whole program was announced it came with an astounding cost for Iowa tax payers. Maybe we could use some of that money now for our schools. From Peter Fisher at the Iowa Policy Project back in the fall of 2012:

The latest: Today the board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is scheduled to consider sweetening its already generous offer to Orascom — $35 million to build a $1.3 billion fertilizer plant in Lee County — to about $110 million with a slew of new tax credits. As The Des Moines Register points out today, that’s $110 million for 165 “permanent” jobs paying on average $48,000 a year, plus construction jobs that will be gone when the project is finished.

The state tax credits are in addition to the enormous benefit the state is providing by allocating federal tax-exempt flood recovery bonds to this project. If the interest rate difference — between taxable and tax-exempt bonds — were 1 percentage point, the company would save $320 million in interest payments over the life of the $1.2 billion bond. That would bring the firm’s total benefits to $2.7 million per permanent job, a truly astounding number. Even without considering the federal interest subsidy, the state tax credits would total $687,500 per job, many times the typical level of subsidy in deals such as this.

Funny we don’t see much about Orascom anymore. Yesterday’s news, I guess.

So you have it, the Branstad legacy. Starving schools – almost forgot to mention the number the regents have done on Iowa’s state universities, especially the U of Iowa; voter suppression; unions busted and earnings suppressed; a state budget that seems set up to spell doom for safety net programs; a medicaid system set up to benefit not the consumer, but those who run it and some deals made in the past that will continue to cost Iowans into the future.

Let me add the highways continue to get rougher and rougher and cities like Des Moines face severe water problems that the state will not let be addressed.

The unemployment figures he touts as his success has more to do with the economy as a whole in the country and little to do with tax policies or giveaways to business. Iowa’s unemployment is low since the country is low thanks in great measure to policies of the Obama Administration. However, policies that cut customers for businesses coupled with current administration policies that will hurt agriculture may really hurt Iowa.

Colin Gordon: What’s The Matter With Iowa?

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

U of Iowa Professor Colin Gordon wrote a story in Dissent Magazine that many of us have been wondering about out loud. That is simply “What’s The Matter With Iowa?”

Following perhaps the strangest election ever in Iowa, Republicans took control of both branches of the legislature thus giving them total control of Iowa’s government.

Despite not running on issues such as busting unions and voter suppression, those are the issues that the legislature immediately went to work on. As bills passed, Governor Branstad quickly signed them.

From Gordon’s article:

“Consider Iowa. In November, the Republicans gained two seats in the statehouse (increasing their majority to 59-41) and six seats in the state senate—flipping control from 25-23 Democratic to 29-20 Republican. In recent years, Republican aspirations and priorities in the state—the usual medley of tax cuts, privatization, and starvation of the public sector—have been clear enough, as has the role of the senate in blocking passage of the nastiest and craziest legislative proposals. But no one fully anticipated how quickly and dramatically the new trifecta would act. The battle in Wisconsin unfolded over months after Walker took office in 2011. In Iowa it was more like a bomb was dropped; three weeks into the legislative session, the damage was done.

The first blow was House File 291, a gutting of public-sector collective bargaining that was unveiled February 7 and signed by the governor ten days later. As in most states, Iowa’s public-sector bargaining law was a bipartisan bargain struck in the early 1970s, which raised pay and labor standards for public workers (especially teachers) in exchange for an effective no-strike pledge. The new public-employee relations code outdoes even Wisconsin in dismantling this bargain. Bargaining is now limited to “base wages,” with annual increases limited to 3 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. All other contract details—health care, pensions, working conditions—are off the table. Public-sector unions must win a recertification vote before each new contract (every two to three years). To twist that knife, the law requires the union to win a majority of workers in the bargaining unit (not just those voting) and it requires for the union to pay for the election. And unions are now barred from collecting dues through payroll deduction, a practice that was already voluntary.

If the pace and scope of this legislative putsch is jaw-dropping, so too is the absence of any plausible connection between the challenges faced by the state and the solutions offered. Low commodity prices have trimmed state revenues over the last year, but the fiscal pressures animating attacks on the public sector, labor standards, and public education are almost entirely manufactured. A sweeping cut to commercial property taxes in 2013 slashed over $300 million from this year’s revenues. Business tax credits cost the state another $275 million—a large chunk of which are refundable credits paid out to the state’s largest corporations (the state paid defense contractor Rockwell Collins over $12 million for doing business in Iowa last year)”.

Gordon then notes that the laws that Republicans are enacting have nearly nothing to do with needs in Iowa. Instead almost all of the new laws are driven from outside by groups associated with the Koch brothers, especially ALEC. Gordon then concludes:

The ALEC/AFP fingerprints are not hard to discern. None of Iowa’s GOP legislators campaigned on this agenda. The ink was dry on the forty-two-page collective bargaining bill—a mash-up of longstanding ALEC language—before freshman legislators were given their codes to the copy machine. Public support for this and other measures (save a bit of astroturfing by AFP) was glaringly absent in charade of hearings that preceded their passage. And, tellingly, Governor Branstad put his pen to the collective bargaining bill not at a public event, but in a private ceremony for the benefit of the State’s AFP lobbyist.

This is a must read article for all serious scholars of just what is causing the phenomena of harsh anti-union, anti-women, anti-consumer legislation that is popping up across the country in state legislature after state legislature. Gordon notes that what happened in Kansas and what is happening here in Iowa is simply the old “bait-and-switch.” Campaign on issues that have popular support and then when power is achieved simply enact the legislation of those who paid to put your group in power.

Surprise!

Progress Iowa Calls on Rep. Taylor to Recuse Himself from AFP Complaint

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

 

Progress Iowa Calls On Rep. Rob Taylor To Recuse Himself From AFP Ethics Complaint

Taylor Co-Hosted Event With Koch-Backed Americans for Prosperity Iowa This Week

DES MOINES – Progress Iowa today called on Representative Rob Taylor to recuse himself from any involvement in the ongoing complaint against the state director of Americans for Prosperity Iowa (AFP). The formal complaint against AFP was filed several weeks ago by the Iowa Federation of Labor, alleging that their state director failed to properly to register as a lobbyist until over a month into the legislative session. The AFP state director was very clearly lobbying legislators on behalf of the Koch Brothers-funded AFP, most notably on the collective bargaining bill, even attending the closed-door bill signing and posing for a photo with Governor Terry Branstad.

Representative Rob Taylor will oversee the complaint as the chair of the House Ethics Committee. Earlier this week, Taylor co-hosted a breakfast and policy discussion event with AFP.

“Rob Taylor cannot possibly be trusted to give fair and impartial consideration to this ethics complaint against Americans for Prosperity,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Taylor cannot co-host an event with AFP one day and then deliberate on AFP’s ethics complaint the next. He should recuse himself from any involvement, and if he refuses to do so, Speaker Upmeyer should remove him from the ethics committee. Time and again this legislative session, we have seen outside special interest groups with big money influencing legislation. The Koch Brothers and others shouldn’t be allowed to unduly influence the ethics process in the Iowa House.”

Progress Iowa is a nonpartisan multi-issue progressive advocacy organization with a network of nearly 70,000 progressives. Year-round, Progress Iowa advocates for a stronger middle class, first-class public education, and fairness for all Iowans under the law. For more information, visit progressiowa.org.

Editor’s comment
The collusion between Republicans in the Iowa legislature and Koch brother organizations ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and Americans For Prosperity (AFP) leaves little to the imagination as to just who Iowa’s Republican legislators are working for.

From the union busting bill to the shoot your neighbor bill (Stand Your Ground as it is euphemistically known) to voter suppression bills Iowa Republicans have served up one ALEC inspired bill after another. None of these are needed in Iowa but are needed for the national march of Republican laws that work to put state and national governments in Republican hands for the foreseeable future.

Just to show the closeness of this relationship, American For Prosperity leader in Iowa Drew Klein was conspicuously on hand as Terry Branstad, a founding member of ALEC, signed the union busting bill. This triggered an ethics complaint.

However, the chances of an impartial hearing on this issue really go out the window when the chair of the committee to hear the complaint is also an officer in the sister organization of AFP or ALEC. That is what is called a rigged game and is odious to Iowans of all stripes!

Taylor’s name is listed as a host for a breakfast thrown by ALEC

Gun Lobby in Des Moines Creating Fake Fear To Push ALEC Gun Laws

Listen to the craziness from this gun lobbyist who is hard at work in the Iowa legislature.  He is attacking Matt Windschitl, Republican and gun store owner for alleged “watering down” of ALEC gun laws they are attempting to force on Iowa.  The gun lobby is creating fake fear and anger to incite Iowans  to  be for ALEC gun proliferation bills.  We need to contact our legislators to fight the insanity attempting to be imposed on Iowa by ALEC, the NRA, and the gun lobby.

IPP Sponsors Two Events Exposing ALEC

A Legislator for Every Corp.

With all the damage ALEC is wreaking in Iowa these days it may be a very good time to make sure that everybody understands just what ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).

As so often happens in Iowa during a time of great stress and change our friends at the Iowa Policy Project (IPP) are ahead of the curve. On March 6th and 7th IPP will be sponsoring an event discussing ALEC and their brother organizations on the evening of March 6th and March 7th.

The March 6th event is in Des Moines:
Time:      6:30 to 8PM
Place:     Public Library 1000 Grand Ave., Des Moines.
https://www.facebook.com/events/173083723192845/

The March 7th event is in Iowa City:
Time:      7 to 8:30PM
Place:     Shambaugh Auditorium on the Pentacrest at the U of Iowa
https://www.facebook.com/events/124744924714627/

Find out what is behind the union busting, the cutting of education, the “shoot your neighbor” laws and the voter suppression laws.

It will be well worth your time.

The Money, The Money, The Money

Alec

Last week brought the not too stunning revelation that the Iowa legislature seems to be under the direction of Americans For Prosperity, a Koch brothers front group.

Following the money, one of the most valuable lessons ever to learn in following politics, leads us to the Koch brothers and from them to a couple of their many, many front groups in this case Americans for Prosperity and ALEC.

ALEC provides the legislation – recently the union busting bill – and Americans For Prosperity provides the grease.

Bet you didn’t know when you cast a vote for a Republican for the state house or state senate you were in effect voting for Charles and David Koch.

Joe Bolkcom probably said it best:
“I think what it says is that the Koch brothers have taken over this state with the millions of dollars that they have poured into this state,” said Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City. “Obviously, this bill was a big priority of theirs, and it shows that big money has taken over state government. Iowans should be very concerned about this.”

Does anyone remember your Republican legislator campaigning on taking away the collective bargaining for public employees? How about taking our tax money to pay for privatized education? Did they stand up and say “I will vote for a bill that may take away your ability to vote!”

Of course they didn’t. Who would vote for them if they did? So they spent last year’s campaign speaking in platitudes about freedoms and liberties and low taxes to us while speaking entirely differently behind closed doors to the folks with the money.

The money, the money, the money. Politics has always been tied to the corruption that money brings. Those with money are always around with baskets of money ready to put into the outstretched hands of politicians on the take.

When we see the gross miscarriage of power that we witnessed last week where Republicans acted as if they were one and refused to engage in serious debate, it almost looked as if the Republican party was acting as if they were employed to do a specific job by someone. I don’t think that impression is too far off.

Expect to see a very similar scene as the Republicans go after Iowa’s once world-class public school system in order to privatize it and make some more donors even wealthier. Drew Klein of Americans For Prosperity has announced this as his next objective. Wouldn’t be very surprised if it suddenly became the Republicans next objective. As if by luck you can bet that ALEC already has a bill already written and ready to go. What luck!

While the national administration is not the well oiled machine Mr. Popular Vote Loser claims, it sure seems like our state government surely is. From Charles and David to the front groups through a very friendly {wink, wink} legislature then landing softly on the governor’s desk who then signs it as a representative from the Koch brothers makes sure the deed is done.

Right now our legislature is doing something that would have seem unconscionable in Iowa just a few years back. The legislature is about to pass a “Stand Your Ground” law which has been shown to give those with guns a reason to shoot those they don’t like for whatever reason. Treyvon Martin’s death in Florida after being stalked and beaten by an unknown (to Martin) assailant stands as a very cautionary tale on this law. Let’s be honest, certain groups will become targets if this law passes. I am old enough to remember when lawmakers didn’t want citizens shooting each other. However, the object here is to increase gun sales.

Many years ago I stated the any and every action between a legislator and any lobbyist or outside interest group should be recorded and reviewed. That still seems reasonable to me.

You have to wonder which will happen first – the end of the democracy that was once the hope of the world under the weight of corruption or getting money out of politics. Right now – especially after the Citizen’s United ruling – it looks like the end of our democracy is leading the race by a large margin.

Iowa Legislative Forums Feb. 24-25


February 2017

02/24/2017 07:00 AM – 08:00 AM Legislative Forum – Lenox
02/24/2017 08:00 AM – 09:00 AM Town Meeting – Parkersburg
02/24/2017 09:30 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Forum – Davenport
02/24/2017 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Forum – Logan
02/24/2017 12:00 AM – 1:00 PM Legislative Forum – Cherokee
02/24/2017 12:00 AM – 1:30 PM Legislative Forum – Keokuk
02/24/2017 12:00 AM – 1:00 PM Economic Development Forum – Anamosa
02/24/2017 12:00 AM – 1:30 PM Economic Development Forum – Monticello
02/24/2017 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Legislative Forum – Boone
02/24/2017 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Education Forum – Iowa City
02/24/2017 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM Legislative Forum – Cedar Falls
02/24/2017 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Legislative Forum – Marion
02/24/2017 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Legislative Forum – Hiawatha
02/25/2017 08:00 AM – 10:00 AM Eggs & Issues – Rock Rapids
02/25/2017 08:00 AM – 09:00 AM Legislative Forum – Shenandoah
02/25/2017 08:30 AM – 10:00 AM Legislative Wake Up – Ames
02/25/2017 08:30 AM – 10:00 AM Eggs & Issues – Fort Dodge
02/25/2017 08:30 AM – 10:30 AM Legislative Forum – Mount Pleasant
02/25/2017 08:30 AM – 09:30 AM Eggs & Issues – Oskaloosa
02/25/2017 09:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Forum – Maquoketa
02/25/2017 09:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Forum – Keosauqua
02/25/2017 09:00 AM – 10:00 AM Legislative Forum – Winterset
02/25/2017 09:00 AM – 10:30 AM Legislative Forum – Lamont
02/25/2017 09:00 AM – 10:30 AM Legislative Coffee – Council Bluffs
02/25/2017 09:30 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Forum – Coralville
02/25/2017 09:30 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Coffee – Clive
02/25/2017 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Forum – Sioux City
02/25/2017 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM Legislative Forum – Davenport
02/25/2017 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Forum – Clarinda
02/25/2017 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Legislative Forum – Logan
02/25/2017 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Forum – Marion
02/25/2017 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Legislative Coffee – Colfax
02/25/2017 10:30 AM – 12:00 AM Legislative Coffee – Urbandale
02/25/2017 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Eggs & Issues – Sibley
02/25/2017 12:00 AM – 2:00 PM Legislative Forum – Bloomfield
02/25/2017 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Legislative Forum – Mount Ayr
02/27/2017 08:00 AM – 10:30 AM Marti’s Monday Morning Coffee – Des Moines
02/28/2017 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Legislative Panel – Des Moines

SCREWED

Republicans That Voted Against Iowa Workers

I write this just after learning that the Iowa legislature has set the state back about a century as they strip public unions of almost all rights they have in the workplace.

Republicans have their usual BS reasons why it was such a great bill – efficiency, blah, blah, saves money, blah, blah. All of these reasons have been refuted by economists. Iowans called en masse to oppose this bill. But all that means little to nothing to Republicans. They don’t have the 2 million or so Iowa voters to answer to. Nope, they answer to Charles and David Koch and the other members of ALEC.

In what had to be one of the oddest scenes in a whole strange week. Republican legislators went behind closed doors to get a pep talk from Wisconsin’s big union buster and puppet of the Koch Brothers, Scott Walker. This is time that could have been used listening to constituents. I jest of course. They don’t care about constituents. They care about Koch Brother’s money.

Rick Smith at the Iowa Daily Democrat has a great story that lists some of the major donors to Iowa Republicans through a Koch operation. For Republicans these are the people they work for.

Nor do they worry about being re-elected. The next order of business will be to restrict voting. I suspect they will really clamp down on student voting and make it much harder to vote absentee.

Busting the unions will most likely have a very deleterious effect on Iowa’s economy as pointed out in this study by Peter Fisher of the Iowa Policy Project.

Will businesses worry about the loss of business due to the cuts Iowa’s public sector workers will suffer? Well, then it is time for more tax cuts! Sadly these tax cuts may not do a lot of good for small businesses in small town Iowa but then someone has to take one for the team and I guess you were chosen.

And for an extra kick in the teeth, expect congressional Republicans to repeal and not replace the ACA. They have a promise of huge tax cuts for the wealthy and that is one promise they will most likely keep. Without the ACA the cost of health insurance will go up across the board to cover the cost of care for those who are no longer able to get insurance after the ACA is repealed.

So the state workers will get increasingly lousier insurance to “save money.” (remember those tax cuts? That was money.) Therefore the burden of higher copays and deductibles will fall back on union workers who will have no power to bargain.

Since this affects about 15% of Iowa workers, expect it to make a noticeable dent in our economy., especially in the small towns Iowa Republicans claim to love so much.

I frequently heard this fall how union members in Iowa were turning out for Republicans because they were going to shake things up. Well they did, didn’t they? Republicans never really told you what they were going to do.

However, if you are a working person and a union member you should have learned by now to always ask yourself when a Republican says he or she is going to help you out – Just exactly when has a Republican ever helped a working person out? I can’t remember a time, but then I have only been around about seven decades.

Iowa Republicans will probably get a special mention at the summer ALEC meeting in Denver next July 19th – 21st.

Perhaps the worst part of all this is that reversing insanity like this is not as simple as just voting for Democrats. Besides a massive turn in the legislature we also need a new progressive governor. Those have been a rarity in Iowa. Remember, voting will soon be different also. In power grabs like this, one of the most important things to do is to stack the deck in favor of your side.

So sad to see this happen to what was once a wonderful state full of wonderful and thoughtful people.

Iowa Republicans Don’t Know What Is In Their Union Busting Bill

…because they didn’t write it… and apparently,  haven’t read it.

From Iowa House Dems Facebook page

Need more proof #ALEC #KochBros #AFP wrote the bill to gut collective bargaining behind closed doors without input from Iowans? Watch this. The Republican Chair of the Labor Committee can’t answer basic questions and doesn’t even have a copy of the bill. #ialegis #saveIAworkers

 

Where To Turn For Real News

corporate media made this happen

With the coming of an administration hell bent on controlling news and especially analysis of said administration’s doings we need to make sure that we become informed and stay informed on a daily basis.

As noted in a blogforiowa posting last week Iowa does not have much of a spread across the spectrum of thought when it comes to radio. As noted in the article by Trish Nelson:

“This massive amount of false information being pumped into our communities, solely for profit, divides us and makes democracy unsustainable. Climate change, health care, social justice issues, and the economy cannot be even talked about when citizens hold two opposite versions of reality. The unions going away and the onslaught of right-wing radio are two things that have done devastating harm to our political discourse.

Unless we take time to more fully understand the enormity of the loss for rural Iowans caused by the destruction of unions, coupled with the daily tsunami of right-wing radio delivering a fictional version of reality, we are not going to be able to re-connect with rural voters in Iowa or throughout America.”

We are headed into 2017 and the beginning of the most radical administration ever elected. Unless the public is well informed, the next administration is well poised to get away with theft of our wages, our retirements, our health care, our schools and nearly everything else that isn’t nailed down. Just looking at the cabinet it is easy to see that it is loaded with a group of vulture billionaires ready to swoop down at the very first sign of weakness. We better be ready.

That is on the national level. At the state level we have a legislature well versed in ALEC’s methods of handing our state treasuries, our schools and the retirements of state employees over to the likes of the Koch brothers and their minions.

Many of us are getting tired. We are either getting older or we are working two or possibly even more jobs and trying to survive on many hours less sleep a night than a human really needs. We work multiple jobs because government policies have created inequities where those who do the work get little for it and the investors get a large chunk of the rewards for the work of others.

We have spent nearly 20 years fighting the policies that Republicans are poised to impose on this country. While the vast majority of America voted against Trump (46% for, 54% against and he lost to Clinton by 3 million votes) the country is about to make an almost 180 degree turn backwards.

Every American that voted against Trump should be outraged right now, but obviously they are not. Don’t you wonder why? Perhaps one of the main reasons is that the corporate media, including NPR, is doing such a good job of covering for what many mainstream politicos and the average guy on the street believes will be a wholesale looting of the poor and middle class.

Radio, TV, newspapers and magazines pretend that nothing unusual is happening. Guess who owns 90+% of those media? Well, you can safely guess it ain’t us. Nor do we own the internet, but so far neither do the corporations that own the other media. When it comes to the one media that has been on top of letting the state, country and world know what Republicans have in store for us, it has been the internet.

If you are looking for good sources of reality based news, the internet is right now, hands down, the best source. A few of the sources I use on at least a weekly basis include dailykos, democraticunderground, talkingpointsmemo. That is a good start for national news.

At the state level, I usually check the Iowa Daily Democrat and bleeding heartland. Both of these are excellent for behind the scenes looks at politics in the state. Radio Iowa News gives good synopsis stories on what is happening in the state.

In our attempt to find programming based in reality we purchased an internet radio. Having breakfast while listening to the likes of Tucker Carlson on something that identified itself as NPR but was nothing like the NPR I grew up with was getting impossible. Stories missing the main point, stories about irrelevant stuff while really important stories were ignored and flat out untruths repeated from campaigns without comment. Enough is enough.

So we have spent many a morning searching for radio that is not kowtowing to the powers that be. We have set KTNF out of Minneapolis on one button, a CBC station from Winnipeg on another, a private Canadian station from Toronto on another. This morning we stumbled across a Pacifica radio station from Houston that warned of “the coming Trumpification of America” within a few seconds after we turned it on.

This weekend we need to set KHOI, community radio for Story county, on a button. Can’t forget KICI, real community radio for Iowa City when they get on the air.

Until the Republicans end internet neutrality, and I suspect they will do so soon, we intend to get some great, great mileage out of our new toy.