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Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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*FAIR is a national media watch group that offers well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship


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Calls to Action

Taking The Supreme Court Back

DFA-dean-mccutcheon-calloutWe already know that holding the Senate this November matters. But the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Wednesday underscores just how crucial holding our majority in the Senate is — and how the fate of our democracy could depend on who wins just a handful of seats in November.

The extreme right-wing justices on our current Supreme Court have made it clear that they want to eliminate every barrier restricting corporate shills like the Koch Brothers from controlling our political process. First, there was Citizens United. Now, the McCutcheon decision, which eliminated all aggregate caps on campaign donations. And in his opinion this week, Chief Justice Roberts set the stage for successful challenges of every single remaining element of campaign finance reform.

Fortunately, we have a stronghold that we can use to turn the Supreme Court around for good: the U.S. Senate, which single-handedly decides the fate of nominees to our nation’s highest court.

Turnover in the Supreme Court can happen without warning. Republicans have used these openings over the past several decades to build a court that tows the line for special interests and makes decisions based on ideology, not legal precedent. Now, we need to take the court back. But we can’t do it if we lose our majority in the Senate now.

The Supreme Court couldn’t have made the stakes more clear: If we are ever going to get our democracy back, we need to hold the Senate NOW. Pitch in $3 now so DFA can double our efforts in tight Senate races.

The debate over big business money in politics couldn’t be more personal to me. In 2004, my campaign was able to beat the odds and gain national prominence by ditching the special interests and focusing on the grassroots. Small-dollar donations and on-the-ground volunteers — not piles of corporate cash — made our organization as formidable as it was.

But that was before Citizens United. It was before McCutcheon. This new flood of special interest money makes it harder than ever to run people-powered campaigns that give working Americans a say the way mine did. And with every bad ruling, it will become more and more difficult for progressives to avoid turning to corporate cash to get their point across.

We deserve an America where every single person’s voice is heard — not one where the 1% get all the “speech” their billions can buy them. Together, we can turn these precedents around and give our government back to the people. The fight for our democracy starts now, with DFA’s support for progressive champions in the Senate up for reelection like Jeff Merkley and rising stars like Rick Weiland — who is running an inspiring Senate campaign in South Dakota driven by his opposition to Citizens United.

If we can help people like Jeff Merkley and Rick Weiland win in November, they will help us get the Supreme Court — and our democracy — back on track.

We know the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson won’t be sitting on the sidelines this year. We can hold the Senate — but only if we go all in right now. Donate $3 today to help our endorsed candidates keep the Senate securely in Democratic hands.

Thank you for fighting with us when the stakes are highest,

- Howard

Gov. Howard Dean, Founder
Democracy for America

Trans Pacific Partnership Teach-In To Be Held In Ames

Happy Monday from BFIA!  Before you do anything, please read everything Dave posted over the weekend, especially Thank You, Obamacare! and What Would The Greatest Generation Do?   And don’t miss Dave’s Sunday Funday Quiz – Holy Daylight Edition.  Click on the links or scroll down when you get to the bottom of this post. Thanks for reading Blog for Iowa and have a great week!

tpp

TPP Teach-in Ames March 13

Steve Abbott, President of the CWA Iowa State Council:

Join us on Thursday, March 13th 6:30 pm at the Ames City Council Chambers for a Trans Pacific Partnership Teach-In!

Teach-in on how trade agreements affect jobs, the environment, social justice and the ability of local governments to govern.  Detailed talk on the Trans Pacific Partnership and what happens if “Fast Track” is enacted.

If you remember NAFTA, you will want to hear about the TPP.

Additional sponsors include Americans for Democratic Action, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Iowa Citizens Action Network, Progress Iowa, Iowa Federation of Labor, Iowa Alliance of Retired Americans, UAW Region 4 and Teamsters.

RSVP here

Be there to learn about the proposed policies that would send jobs overseas, take away the rights of workers, and destroy the environment — and how we can work together to fight for alternatives that create an economy that works for everyone, not just the Wall Street 1%.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who: open to the public — everyone!

What: community teach-in on the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that continues NAFTA’s global race to the bottom, and how we can fight back. Light refreshments provided.

When: Thursday, March 13th, 6:30PM

Where: Ames City Council Chambers, 515 Clark Ave, Ames, IA

Let us know you’ll be there by clicking here.

See you on March 13th!

 

How To Lobby For Animals – Upcoming Local Events

iowa federation of humane societies logoThe Humane Society of the United States invites members and supporters to join your Iowa state director and the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies to discuss current issues and get practical tips on how you can effectively advocate for Iowa’s animals.

If you’re concerned with horse slaughter for human consumption, strengthening animal abuse laws, or establishing an Iowa spay/neuter fund to provide subsidized spay/neuter, please attend a free meeting and find out what you can do to help.

Iowa’s animals need your voice!

Lobbying for Animals : Cedar Falls     RSVP
Tuesday December 3rd at 6:00pm
Cedar Falls Public Library in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Lobbying for Animals : Iowa City     RSVP
Tuesday, December 10 at 6:00pm
Iowa City Public Library in Iowa City, Iowa

Advocating for Horses : Mason City     RSVP
Wednesday, December 11 at 6:30pm
Mason City Public Library in Mason City, Iowa

Lobbying for Animals : Des Moines     RSVP
Friday, December 13 at 6:30pm
Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa

Lobbying for Animals : Davenport     RSVP
Saturday, December 14 at 10:00am
Davenport Public Library in Davenport, Iowa

Contact Carol Griglione at cgriglione@humanesociety.org if you have any additional questions.

facebook.com/iowafederationofhumanesocieties

facebook.com/events/

How You Can Help Counter Obamacare Disinformation

obamacare approvedWatching the Koch Brothers’ Teapublicans reveal their true greedy, ruthless natures during the shutdown has made it even more amazing that President Obama managed to pull off passage of health care reform, and The Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land.  The president is asking for all of our help in getting the facts out about the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare.  There has been so much disinformation spread primarily through right wing media that it will take all of us talking to our friends and neighbors for everyone to find out about the affordable coverage that is now available.

As we speak, Iowans are getting through and signing up at healthcare.gov.

Please watch this and share.

Friends Of Rice Field Fighting To Save Neighborhood Park From Development

more photos at http://ricefield.weebly.com/photos.html

Click on the image for more photos at http://ricefield.weebly.com/photos.html

UPDATE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18:

Friendsof RiceField,

You are Needed More than Ever!

The proposal for senior housing at Rice Field moves to City Council.

The highlight of last night’s hearing on the survival of Rice Field as recreational space came from a member of the P and Z board.

In addition to motioning that that the PUD not be amended, she motioned that the PUD be removed, return the land to original zoning and that the City procure it.

The motions were supported but did not pass at P and Z. The motions are clearly a step in the right direction to save Rice Field as we turn our attention to the City Council and continue advocating these very plans.

More later.  Visit Friends of Rice Field Facebook page

 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beaverdale, Des Moines residents have been fighting to save a patch of neighborhood green space from development since 2006.  You can help them by spreading the word about the public hearing on Rice field being held tonight.

See the Friends of Rice Field photo page to understand what a tragic loss it would be to the community if this tiny urban paradise for kids were to go away.     For more ways you can help these brave ordinary citizens fighting to preserve what is good in their community, click on the links below.  Click here to go to Friends of Rice Field issues page.

According to a letter from Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission to residents within 200 feet of Rice field:

“The City Plan and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday evening October 17, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Second Floor, City Hall, 400 Robert D. Ray Drive on the following matter:

A request from Beaverdale Partners, LLC (owner) represented by Jeffrey Ewing (officer) for review and approval of an amendment to the Rice Development Partners PUD Conceptual Plan on property located at 3001 Beaver Avenue revising the name to Beaverdale Cooperative Housing PUD and allowing development of a three-story 54-unit multiple-family dwelling for senior living…

At the public hearing, you or your representative will be given an opportunity to tell your views. Spoken comments will be held to 5 minutes per individual….

NOTE: The Plan and Zoning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council regarding this matter. The City Council will hold a public hearing on this request about two weeks after the Commission meeting. Please contact the City Clerk at 283-4209 to find out when the City Council will hold their public hearing on this item.

(Click here to read the entire letter)


Friendsof RiceField

Today, City Hall, 6:00

Well wishers and fans of Rice field as recreational space turn to Plan and Zoning tonight to defend this century-old community village green.

Since 2006, supporters of Rice Field continue to advocate for the majority–75% who desire Rice Field to be an enhanced park; 67% who wish the field be left simply as is (Essman Survey).

Since 2006, over 1,300 Friends-of-Rice-Field yard signs have been distributed and displayed within and beyond Beaverdale.

A petition was collected in the fall of 2006 which contained 1,000 signatures to oppose development at Rice Field.

Awareness has increased for the need to preserve this invaluable recreational field that brings health, vivaciousness and smiles to the community in a part of the city where parkland is seriously lacking and where recreational spaces have been lost to development.

As you view the photographs of Rice Field on  Friends of Ricefield Facebook page  it becomes apparent that we are advocating for the children; for our youth and adults who come to Rice Field to play.

We are advocating for our own wishes when we realize the goodness that Rice Field offers to the community as public green space.

To Help

For a Friends of Rice Field yard sign contact: friendsofricefield@live.com
For updates on Facebook: friendsofricefield
Call Friends of Rice Field spokesperson Matt Culp:  255-4699

Kids holding signs to save Rice

How The Shutdown Is Affecting Iowa

gov shutdown

kwwl/furloughed hospital workers protest government shutdown-click on photo for story

submitted by Naly Bounyalath

The current news of the 2013 government shut down has left people antsy and restless. It affects all of us. Some are stuck in the middle and others are retreating to the far end of each side.

Not all issues will be solved nor agreed upon with the different parties. Although with the help of many voices, we can stand united.  At Iowa Fair Share, we have been advocating for our rights and asking people to do their part by making sure everybody plays by the same set of rules.

“Are the Republicans trying to make life even worse for low-income families? For what? To re-litigate the 2012 elections? So the House can vote for a 44th or 45th time to defund the Affordable Care Act?”- Senator Tom Harkin.  He is doing his part for Iowa. He has expressed in his statements he voted to avoid a shutdown and to continue funding the government and wants the best for the State of Iowa.

Are you wondering how the shut down is affecting you as an Iowan?

  • Some Head Start Centers have been forced to close which effects the 8,000 children in Iowa.
  • Civilian workforces are sent home without pay or are delayed pay.
  • Department of Labor cannot be of assistance for the Trade Adjustment Assistance, which hinders those who have lost their jobs or in need of job placements.
  • Small businesses are waiting for their loans to process because Small Business Administration offices in the state have shut down.
  • Iowa has 233,815 veterans and for some, their benefits are delayed.
  • New Social Security beneficiaries are delayed and not receiving their social security payments.
  • New home loans are postponed and are not insured because they are authorized through appropriations acts.
  • For Iowa’s National parks and museums, along with its monuments are shut down and are hindering the states economic activity  LINK    LINK

The government shut down needs to end. Enough is enough.  Nineteen times did the House of Republicans reject the Senate Democrats’ attempt to hash out a budget so the shut down could end but the House of Republicans are not budging. For Senator Latham, the weight is heavy. It is time for Latham to stand with us and not with the corporations that are gaining through tax loopholes who are not playing fair or by the rules. We would like him to do the right thing and stand up for Iowa’s middle and working class.

Sign the petition and tell Lathem to end the shut down!

It is not illegal, but it is not right! If corporate loopholes are in continuance, there will be an increase of spending cuts to pay for lower taxes for the big corporations.  These cuts will mean less money is invested in jobs and education. Public schools would not get assistance. Private loans with high interest can help a student  continue on with college. For the next generation…. this means additional debt for us!

To sum it all up:

Occurred:
Republicans / Democrats = Budget Hesitancy

Current situation:
Budget hesitancy = Shut Down

Action needed:
End Grudge and Resistance from House of Republicans + Negotiations for Budget
= End Government Shut Down Without Delaying Obamacare
Include Closing Corporate tax loopholes = Taxes from what Corporations legitimately owe!

End Goal:
Taxes from what Corporations legitimately owe = Less debt + Stronger Working and Middle Class!!

Join Iowa Fair Share to move forward!

Latham Stands With The Tea Party

email inboxAction Alert From ProgressIowa and Dailykos

The government shutdown is one week old with no sign of stopping. Congressman Tom Latham is refusing to budge, standing with the Tea Party in demanding a delay in health care for millions of Americans just to re-open the government.

If only Latham could be reasoned with. But who could convince him? Perhaps… Tom Latham should listen to… Tom Latham.

In late August, Congressman Latham appeared at a town hall in Atlantic, Iowa, and said a shutdown would be “irresponsible” and have a “huge, negative impact.” He even opposed a shutdown as a way to stop Obamacare.

Join Progress Iowa and Daily Kos — tell Tom Latham to listen to… Tom Latham. He had it right in August, and he’s got it wrong now. Iowans and Americans can’t afford to live with his flip flop [hypocrisy] much longer.

Now, little more than a month later, Latham has refused to listen to his own advice, and is following in lockstep with Steve King and the rest of the Tea Party to keep the government closed. Meanwhile 800,000 federal employees won’t receive a paycheck, more than 34,000 Iowans may not receive their Social Security checks, and thousands of Iowa’s national guard may be furloughed.

All because of Tom Latham’s flip-flop.

Sign our joint petition. Tell Latham to take his own advice, get to work, and reopen the government without delaying Obamacare.

Thanks for all you do,
Matt Sinovic
Progress Iowa

Iowans Will Protest Even Bigger Money In Politics

get money out of politicsDes Moines –  Tuesday, October 8th as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC, activists and organizations across a wide spectrum of issues will speak out in support of protecting the integrity of our democracy at a rally outside the Iowa Capitol Building. In the McCutcheon case, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to strike down important caps on how much money an individual can contribute directly to political campaigns.

WHAT:   Rally against big money in politics and McCutcheon v. FEC
WHERE:   West steps of the Iowa State Capitol Building
WHEN:   Tuesday, October 8th at 10:30am (speakers at 10:45am)

Rally Hosts:

•    Iowa Public Interest Research Group
•    Move to Amend
•    Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
•    League of Women Voters
•    Sierra Club
•    Food & Water Watch
•    AFSCME Retired Workers

Contact:
Sonia Ashe, Advocate, IowaPIRG
(515) 282-4193/ sashe@iowapirg.org

 

All Politics Is Local And So Is Hunger

back_pack_programSome in Congress rail against the poor and vote to take away the food stamps that are often all some families have to keep them going. Two of Iowa’s representatives voted to take away food stamps. I doubt either Steve King or Tom Latham has ever looked a hungry person in the eye. To them the concept of hungry people in America must seem to be a fantasy that can be corrected by simply telling them to go to work.

But in the cities and towns of Iowa, hunger is a reality. It is an everyday reality that affects young and old alike, many of whom are working. It is well documented that families can’t survive on the little bit that the government allows for a family on food stamps along with jobs barely paying above minimum wage. What is really a shame is students who are innocent victims of this game of punishing the poor.

In our little town of West Liberty we have a great need. The need has grown tremendously over the past year. We have many students who are what is classified as food insecure. To meet this need, a couple of our leading citizens have established what is known as the “backpack program.” The purpose of the backpack program is to send food home with a food insecure student.

Most people understand that the key to ending poverty is education. But getting an education is hard to do when a stomach is empty. So while some elite in Congress see withholding food stamps as a way punish poverty, many people in towns across Iowa and other states are coming up with novel ideas to help keep the wolf from the door without the stigma being poor can bring.

If you would like to send a donation, we could sure use it. As I said, our need has grown greatly this year. The Methodist Church acts as a collector of donations here. Here is the address where monetary donations can be sent:

You may make a check payable to the West Liberty Backpack Program and mail it or drop it off at the church.

West Liberty Backpack Program
c/o United Methodist Church Missions
113 East 5th St.
West Liberty, IA 52776

Or if you are passing through some day, the owners of our local coffee shop have graciously offered to take donations. The Local Grounds Coffee Shop is located at 103 West Third Street in downtown West Liberty. They are open from 6AM to 2PM weekdays, until noon on Saturdays and closed Sundays

If you want to make a food donation what we need is single serving non-perishable foods. Some examples would be single serving soups or spaghetti, single serving peanut butter, applesauce or similar items. We are not allowed to break out servings from a single box. That is a general guideline.

We thank you very much.

http://www.backpack.fatcow.com/about_us.html

Steve King Votes Against Food For Iowans