Calls to Action
Amazingly, there has been little fanfare on this round of debt ceiling limit. While Republicans claimed we would never go through this again, we are about to go through it again.
There has been little fanfare most likely because the near monopoly that Republican backers have on our media understand that Republican hostage taking in the last iteration of the debt crisis was horribly received by the public. This may be an especially touchy time to force yet another crisis caused by bad governing when we just avoided shutting down the Department of Homeland Security a week or so ago. The public may be getting sensitive, so it is probably best for our media not to even bring it up.
Republicans are so divided at this point that they haven’t even gotten together to talk about just what hostages they plan to take in this crisis. One thing for sure, there is a faction of the current congressional Republicans who will in no way vote to keep the government running. Iowans should be proud, since that faction appears to be headed by our own Neanderthal (apologies to any surviving Neanderthals), Steve King.
Yep, Iowa politicians are making quite the name for themselves these days. King, Grassley, Ernst. They make folks think Iowa is a backwater once more.
Governing from created crisis to created crisis is a horrible way to govern. Why do we elect folks who vocally hate government to run the government?
Legislative Services Agency – Legislative Information Office – www.legis.iowa.gov
HF 80 – A bill for an act establishing the state percent of growth and including effective date
provisions. (Formerly HSB 58)
Sponsored by the Education Committee –
Monday, January 26, 2015
7:00 PM (introductions begin)
After introductions, the hearing will be for two hours in the RM 103.
Speaking time per individual for the public hearing on HF 80 will be 3 minutes (written testimony is encouraged but not required). Written testimony or comments maybe emailed to email@example.com.
The cut off time to sign up to speak is 5 p.m. on Monday the 26th.
Persons wishing to speak or leave comments available to the public via the legislative website may sign up electronically at Public Hearings.
You may also sign up at the Legislative Information Office (LIO), Room G16, located in the Iowa State Capitol or call 515-281-5129 if you have questions. Please do not leave a recorded message by telephone.
Meghan Nelson, MPA
Assistant Chief Clerk
Iowa House of Representatives
A civility project of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
MOVING THE PROGRESSIVE VOICE FORWARD
Incoming Chairperson, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
January 16, 2015
11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC)
4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines
$10 per person (payable at the door)
Rev. David Sickelka, incoming chairperson of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, will lead a discussion on how we will move the progressive voice forward together in our state. Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is building toward the future with an exciting yet challenging new 3-year Strategic Plan, which addresses areas of Program, Outreach, Communications, Fund Development, and Human Resources.
How can progressive people of faith and no faith across Iowa be part of this movement for change? The discussion will be interactive and informative and we hope you will be part of it!
Reservations must be received by Tuesday, January 13, and may be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 515.279.8715. If you make a reservation and are unable to attend, payment for your reservation is appreciated if you do not cancel by the Tuesday deadline.
Like Crossroads on Facebook! You can find Crossroads on Facebook. We will have updated info on speakers for the coming months. Reservations will still need to be made by email or phone.
Crossroads is a monthly gathering of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. An opportunity to learn, to participate in civil dialogue, and to discuss issues at the crossroads of religion and politics.
Thanks CCI (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement) for sounding the alarm on toxic algae!
First it was Ohio, then Lake Red Rock in Iowa, and now it’s Big Creek Lake – toxic blue-green algae has struck again.
A reader sent us this photo that he took at Big Creek Lake last week with this comment: “Can see from the photo that water quality is one of Branstad and the DNRs’ top priorities…”
The toxic algae’s unpleasant odors and potentially dangerous health effects cannot be ignored.
When we look at the number of manure spills, just in the past year, the growth of this harmful algae is not surprising.
55 manure spills since Sept. 2013 when the DNR signed the Clean Water Act Work Plan – that’s over 1 manure spill per week.
The DNR must issue permits to these manure polluters – here is one action you take right now:
Share this photo on FB to keep the #cleanwaterfight in the public eye!
October is going to be a busy month for the #cleanwaterfight – stay tuned!
They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up,
The Iowa CCI Crew
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
2001 Forest Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311-3229
515-282-0484 . www.iowacci.org
Iraq War Veteran and congressional candidate Jim Mowrer has been endorsed by the Alliance for Retired Americans, an organization with more than 30,000 members in Iowa.
In a letter of endorsement, the organization wrote that Mowrer’s positions “demonstrate a strong commitment to improve the quality of life for older Americans,” and that “[his] leadership on issues such as preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare from privatization and benefit cuts ensures these programs will be around for current and future generations.”
Jim Mowrer: “I am humbled that the Alliance for Retired Americans believes that my election to the House of Representatives will enhance the quality of life for older Americans. While Congressman Steve King continues to vote to cut Social Security benefits and end Medicare as we know it, I’m committed to preserving and strengthening Social Security programs for years to come.”
To view a copy of the letter, click here.
Jim Mowrer grew up on a farm in Boone, Iowa. He is a life-long resident of the 4th district.
When Jim was seven, he lost his father in a farming accident. Thanks to his father’s Social Security survivor benefits, Jim’s family was able to get back on its feet. Jim worked hard and graduated from Boone High School and married his high school sweetheart, Chelsey. Today they have two boys, Carter (6) and Jack (3).
A month after the Iraq war started, Jim joined the Iowa National Guard, eventually serving in Iraq with the 1-133 Infantry Battalion.
In 2010, Jim was asked to serve as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army. At the Pentagon, Jim helped start and oversee the Army’s Office of Business Transformation – tasked with making the Army more effective, while saving tax dollars.
Jim Mowrer’s whole life has been about service to our country and protecting what makes America and Iowa great.
Here’s a note from CCI:
The rule passed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) two weeks ago brings Iowa closer into compliance with the Clean Water Act for the first time ever. But, it can be stronger, and the DNR must enforce it. That’s where your voice comes in!
The DNR is gathering Iowans’ thoughts on improving the state’s water quality goals as part of its three-year review of water quality standards and goals.
Can you attend a water quality hearing and remind the DNR what must be done for a Clean Water Iowa?
These public meetings are being held in the following places:
Today! Sept. 3, 4 to 6 p.m.
Spencer Public Library (Round Room), 21 East Third St.
Thursday, Sept. 4, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Washington Public Library (Nicholas Stoufer Room), 115 West Washington
West Des Moines
Monday, Sept. 8, 10 to 12 p.m.
West Des Moines Public Library (Community Room), 4000 Mills Civic Parkway
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Falcon Civic Center, 1305 Fifth Ave. NE
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 4 to 6 p.m.
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Lakeview Room, 10 North Lakeview Drive
Here is what we need to make sure the DNR doesn’t forget:
You must ramp up the inspections to find and fix problems at factory farms.
You must issue clean water act permits to all factory farms.
There must be tough fines and penalties for polluters.
Of course, tell the DNR why clean water is important to you personally!
They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up,
The Iowa CCI Crew
P.S. Can’t make one of the hearings? Submit written comments by Oct. 15 to: Rochelle Weiss, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 East Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50319, or by e-mailing Rochelle.Weiss@dnr.iowa.gov.
Excellent interview with Jim Mowrer at Salon.com. Here is an excerpt.
Could you talk a bit more about what you saw at the Pentagon? What’s an example of the kind of dysfunction you’re thinking of when you talk about your front-row seat?
The work I did at the Pentagon was to establish the Army Office of Business Transformation, and what we did there was to reform some of the Army’s business operations and make them more efficient and effective. So I had to work with Congress — the House and the Senate and the Armed Services Committee — and saw many times when we could not take action that was needed because of extreme partisan differences or parochial interests.
We had in many cases even generals saying, “We don’t need this program” or “We don’t need this machine any longer” yet Congress continued to fund those things, and we couldn’t get the job done.
Do you think your opponent, congressman King, deserves any special credit (or blame) for the level of stasis in Congress right now? Or is he just one among many, someone without any particular influence?
He is someone who pushed for the government shutdown last fall. When it ended, he said he wanted it to keep going. I think he’s someone who’s not interested in finding any kind of solutions or making Congress work. He’s much more interested in driving a partisan divide. His answer to everything is no. He does not want to get anything done. He wants to be an obstructionist. He’s said he wants to be a better obstructionist and he wishes there were more obstructionists like him in Congress; and that’s exactly what the people of Iowa don’t want right now.
I’m sure there are plenty of issues about which you and Rep. King differ, but what comes to mind when you think of areas where the difference between you two is the most pronounced?
Well, again, there is a stark contrast between us on almost every major issue and, frankly, almost every single issue.
But the biggest contrasts are probably when it comes to Social Security. When I was 7, my father was killed in a farming accident, and Social Security is the only thing that kept my family from falling so far down that we couldn’t get back up. So I believe in strengthening and protecting Social Security, while he voted to raise the retirement age to 70, and has said he wants to actually raise it to as high as 75 (because Wal-Mart will hire people until the age of 74). That’s a stark contrast.
On minimum wage, he’s said he doesn’t believe there should be a federal minimum wage, that it should drift away. I want to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, as Sen. Harkin has proposed. But I think the biggest difference between him and me is that I want this country to be successful no matter who gets the credit, no matter who the president is. I’ve served under a Republican president and I’ve served under a Democratic president; I just want this country to be successful.
When you say you want to strengthen and support Social Security, does that mean you won’t support any reform that ultimately leads to lower benefits? I ask because what we’ve often heard from activists who are worried about the federal budget is that they, too, want to protect Social Security — but their version of protection can end up meaning cuts. So, just for my clarification, you’re saying you would not support any plan that led to lower benefits?
If you’re referring to plans like chained CPI or raising the retirement age, I am dead-set against those. I would not support either under any circumstances — and that’s where the people of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District are on this.
Social Security is one of the most successful government programs that’s ever existed. It is overwhelmingly popular. It provides income security for 58 millions seniors, as well as people with disabilities and people who receive survivor benefits. Half of the seniors in this country would live in poverty without it. So we need to protect Social Security, which needs to be maintained at its current level and needs to be fully funded.
Right now we have a cap on the amount [of income that’s taxed for Social Security]. It stops at $117,000; so you have millionaires and billionaires who are not paying into Social Security beyond that cap … When I make my case to voters, a lot of people aren’t even aware that the cap exists — so [lifting the cap] is a very, very good first step.
Climate March Supports “Reject and Protect” with a 5-Day Week Of Actions
Tuesday: Send a video to email@example.com why you oppose Keystone XL Pipeline.
Wednesday: Sign Credo’s Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance.
Thursday: Write a letter urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Friday: Day of Silence
Saturday: Day of Fasting. RejectAndProtect.org action in Washington, DC
We 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,
Gov. Howard Dean, Founder
Democracy for America