The fact that the Iowa Republican Party supports Donald Trump should not be a real surprise. We have a governor who wants to act like a king. Working within the system to do things like privatize Medicaid is a bridge too far for Branstad. He just rules by fiat and then declares everything is fine. This seems like a preview of a possible Trump administration. The philosophy is not “Let’s work together” but “Try and stop me.”
In the US Senate, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley has become a one man obstruction crew. His disdain for Obama and all Democrats is legendary, but this year he has made it into historic and constitutional status. From here on Grassley will be the gold standard of obstruction. He has personally brought the federal judiciary – an extremely important co-equal branch of government – to a judicial crisis of historic proportions. Take a bow, Chuck.
Joni Ernst has distinguished herself as the epitome of the for sale politician. The Koch brothers are buying.
These are the top examples of what Iowa’s Republican Party has become. So backing Trump as he continues to thumb his nose at laws and conventions should hardly be a surprise. It is merely an extension of the Iowa Republicans’ standard practices.
Party before country or anything else.
That is a quote from Donald Trump denying that he committed the dozen or so episodes of sexual assault on women that he is accused of.
Of course there weren’t, you dolt. Sexual assault is not usually something that you want to do in front of an audience. It is a crime and therefore something that is done in secrecy. It is also frequently done by someone who has some form of power to another person that the first person has that power over.
This pattern should be familiar to anyone who followed the stories of the boys and some girls who were abused by priests. As a victim of priestly abuse myself, when the stories started coming out I recognized the pattern as if it were taken from a textbook. Powerful person corners a victim in a situation where the powerful person can force their attention on the victim. Often the assaulter has created the situation to make sure that there is little chance of discovery yet looks to be a spur of the moment thing.
When the assault is done the victim is often warned that any attempt to report on this incident will be denied by the assaulter. Who do you think authorities will believe, a liar like you or someone with a pristine reputation like me? If you do anything I will destroy your life in some way. Thus the victim is silenced.
My incident occurred at the ripe old age of 12. The scenario was that I was asked to come to the rectory to help move some things on a Saturday morning in spring. Unbeknownst to me, all other members of the rectory were scheduled to be out of town that day. When I get to the rectory my assaulter quickly moved us to his bedroom. Then the assault began – hands all over me, unzipping me. It almost seems as if it were scripted. Luckily for me he let go of me to take his pants off. I was out the door like a rocket, never stopping until I reached a small woods where I would often go for quiet.
I tried to tell my parents but they shrieked in horror – accusing a priest of such things – I would burn in hell! So while I didn’t stick around to get the story on who had the power in my situation. My parents let me know how things stood very quickly however. I never brought it up again to my parents, nor would I ever say anything to anyone else. The priest spent the rest of that summer trying to get us alone again, literally stalking me He would stop by our home to ask my parents to send me down to the rectory for talks etc. It was, to use the term that is being used so much now – very creepy.
Much like Trump’s victims I said nothing for years – decades in my instance. As the stories of abuse trickled out of Boston at the start of the new century, my suppressed memories came flooding back. One night I could not sleep it bothered me so much. So I hand wrote a letter to the diocese explaining what happened. My abuser was long dead, but I explained that I felt the Catholic Church owed me an apology. That was all i wanted. An acknowledgment that I had been assaulted and there was some remorse on the part of the group that had provided the circumstances.
Instead of any apology, I received a formal letter that my name had been added to a lawsuit. I was livid!
That is about the point we are at in the story of Trump’s assault stories. The parallels between what I went through decades ago and what Trump’s accusers endured is almost like a repeat story. When Donald Trump looked at the camera during that Sunday debate and denied that he had ever accosted any women, I relived getting that formal letter.
Trump supporters claim it is suspicious that accusers seemed to come out of the woodwork all at once. But most humans do not want confrontation. When something very ugly has happened in their life, most of us just want to let it lie and forget about it. That is unless someone calls us liars and defies us. Then we get fighting mad. That is the response Trump has triggered. A dozen or so so far have come forward. They are courageous. Especially courageous is the the young woman who has sued Trump for rape. Also extra courageous is Jill Harth who came forward against Trump in 1997.
So of course there were no witnesses, Donald Trump. You set up the scenarios to be alone with your victims even if for only a few moments so you could exert your power over them. The very fact that there are so many from such diverse areas and backgrounds who have essentially the very same story lends credence to their accusations. The stories also seem to be textbook cases of sexual abuse.
Trump’s assaults are among the major issues of this election. His disregard for others – especially women – in conjunction with his disregard for our laws as shown by his business practices show us that putting ultimate power in his abusing hands would be a huge, huge mistake.
I have a very good idea how this will turn out. Look back at the priest abuse stories for guidance. America owes David Farenthold a big thanks for releasing the tape of Trump bragging about his assaults on that bus among his many contributions to journalism this election season.
What is sickening is that the Iowa Republican Party continues to support Trump and his behavior. There comes a time when leaders must stand up for what is right. In this case that time was several weeks back. The Iowa Republican Party from Grassley to King, Blum, Peters and Young and down to the statehouse and the courthouse deserve a rebuke for their support of Trump.
As I was told so many times as a youth, you make your bed, you lie in it.
Every time I drive by a political sign for Grassley that says “ Grassley Works” I have to laugh my butt off.
He works doing what exactly?
All he has done for the past 8 years is stop any progress that could be made.
Who can forget his crazy stand on the stimulus package as our country and the world stood at the bring of major depression.
How about his nutty blocking of any solution of to the health care crisis? Who can forget his “pull the plug on grandma” line during his last re-election.
Right now his work is to block any nominees to the federal bench just waiting for the glorious nominees of President Trump. Does anyone really think he won’t just move his obstruction game to vex another opponent if he is still in charge of the Judiary Committee.
Seriously, Grassley Works. What a joke.
He works about as well as the Corvair I had in college. I had to push it, then hop in and pop the clutch to get it started. I guess the analogy stops there. While my Corvair needed some special attention to get it running, there seems to be nothing that can get Grassley to do his job.
That would probably make a great Twitter meme “Grassley Works like” a broken watch; a Samsung Galaxy 7 phone; a sloth; a bat in the daytime.
Have fun, make up your own.
Remember he has a debate Wednesday night against Patty Judge. Even in running for re-election he has done little. This has been a non-run run.
Most people have a mother, sister, daughter, aunt or grandmother. Most of those same people would not want those relatives to be molested by any man no matter what that man’s stature was. Whether the victim is a relative or any woman it shouldn’t make any difference. Sexual assault should never be condoned.
What Donald Trump engaged in was not “locker room talk.” It was sexual assault as CNN newsman Cooper Anderson pointed out at the October 8th debate. It is sad to see our media take the sting out of Donald Trump’s words by using his euphemism of “locker room talk.” Like many men, I have spent time in locker rooms after a workout or game and the talk does not turn to violent sexual fantasies. Maybe in Donald Trump’s world it does
Yet the Iowa Republican Party from the top down including the governor, both of our senators and the three Republican congressmen are all more than happy to turn a blind eye when the sexual assaulter is their party’s standard bearer for the presidency.
As a nation we should not hire a man who admittedly committed sexual assault in a nationally released tape. Nor should we rehire those who defend him even after he admitted during the debate that he committed such acts.
To stand idly by or worse to condone such practices by continuing to endorse this man, Donald Trump, should be condemned by every Iowan with a lick of morality or a female relative. Yet the leaders in the Iowa Republican Party had their chance and refused to do so.
According to radioiowa.com, Senator Grassley will continue to endorse Donald Trump because of the Supreme Court. It is amazing that a sitting senator can condone sexual assault so his party can win, but there it is in black and white.
Senator Ernst’s stand in continuing to endorse Trump is particularly puzzling since she has made sexual assault in our armed forces one of her signature issues. Does she think sexual assault is OK outside the armed forces? Or is it OK of done by prominent individuals?
It is not too surprising Iowa’s three Republican representatives turned a blind eye. They are from the extreme wing of the party and as such believe one of their own can do no wrong.
In a survey of the Iowa legislature done by Progress Iowa a few weeks back, all Republican legislators refused to say one way or another whether they stood with Trump. What cowardice.
Branstad has also long ago gone to the extreme wing of the party, but also has a vested interest since his son is Trump’s campaign manager in Iowa.
Not only does this say a lot about the leadership of the Republican Party in Iowa, it will also say a lot about Iowans if they choose Trump.
The leaders of the Iowa Republican Party failing to stand up for the women of Iowa and of our country is also cowardice.
Donald Trump says this is not a big issue. Yes it is. It affects half the country (the women) and every family in this country. Your admission made the safety and civil rights of women a huge issue.
Grassley also shows a decided lack of knowledge of recent American history. Trump has already announced economic policies that most economists say will throw the world into a huge depression. Perhaps Mr. Grassley forgets the end of the Bush 43 administration as the country bled jobs at nearly 800,000 a month and common Americans lost their homes and their life savings.
When Republicans, especially Grassley, blame the Obama administration with poor economic policy they ignore the fact that unemployment stands at a fairly low 5%. They also ignore a stock market that has tripled since Obama has been president. They also ignore the fact that the economy could be much better had the Republicans not stopped every economic program from the day Obama became president.
Iowa Republicans toss away their integrity as if it means nothing out of an irrational fear of Hillary Clinton. Republicans in congress have spent well over $100M investigating Hillary Clinton, over $20M this past year and have found nothing wrong. Talk about abuse of power!
Wasting tax dollars, bad economics and party first politics is what Republicans are offering this year. It is a bad buy.
Trump’s problem with women is hardly news, though. The corporate media has failed in its duty to report on similar incidents that have come to light over the past year and a half. Included among those is the rape of a minor from the 1990s and another assault in the late 90s. http://fusion.net/story/328522/donald-trump-accused-rape-sexual-assault/
When the Trump defenders claim Bill Clinton did the same, it is a moot statement. Bill Clinton is not running for president.
Corporate media’s failure on reporting on Donald Trump is nearly matched by their continued false reporting on Hillary Clinton. As noted above Republicans in congress spent over $100M dollars investigating Clinton. Who knows how many hours have been wasted? Yet for their pursuance of Hillary Clinton like an animal, they have come up empty and been absolved of any accusations. The only people who still believe that Clinton did something illegal are the Fox News and Breitbart fans. Even Russian hackers have had to resort to faking emails to try to create controversy.
As Hillary Clinton did amazing things over her lifetime the American press has seldom reported them. Instead they have focused on the false accusations as if Clinton was a convicted criminal. The caricature that their reporting has created over 30+ years of has been a huge disservice to our country.
Will you vote for cowardly Republicans or the party that has stood up to the bullies and for minorities, women, the disabled and our armed forces? Remember a vote for Trump will say a lot about Iowa to the world. I would not want to tell my daughters that I voted for Trump in this election.
Iowa’s senior senator attempted to minimize Trump’s lewd comments with this absurd remark. Will he be held accountable in this election for his steadfast support of Donald Trump? You don’t have to wait until election day to vote in Iowa. Click here to find out where you can vote early. http://iowavotesearly.com/
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.
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.
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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:
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.
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We thank you for a well done video that shows how close Grassley is to Trump. The lies, the adulation of Putin, the divisive and racist campaign, the mockery of the disabled, the treating of women as second class citizens, the disdain for Hispanics, the outright hate for Muslims, the total lack of any knowledge of foreign affairs. Doesn’t matter to Grassley.
None of this matters to other Republican leaders in Iowa, either. Branstad’s son is the head of the Trump campaign in Iowa. Branstad himself endorses Trump. Trump was the guest of honor for Joni Ernst’s hog roast. Rod Blum endorses Trump. David Young in the 3rd district has endorsed Trump, as has Steve King.
Make no doubt that Donald Trump represents the very worst, the very very worst of America. Not just the worst of American politics, but the worst of America. Born rich, Trump has spent his life thumbing his nose at American morals and exploiting the poor and middle class for his own enrichment. He uses America’s courts as if the system were his toy. He cares not one wit how much he insults anyone. In short he is a spoiled rich kid who is easily bored. His campaign is nothing but a sales job. All hype and no product. Just like his fraudulent “university” Trump University.
It is also sad to see the Iowa Republican Party headed by my former state rep toss away any pretense of caring about people or country in order to endorse Trump. If they endorse him, they endorse his policies. The Iowa Republican Party and its leaders endorse his praise for Putin, his screwing laborers and small business owners out of wages and payments.
Many Iowans wonder if they will continue to endorse Trump as the story of his bribe to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and current Texas and former Texas attorney general Greg Abbot unfolds. Based on the IRP’s past in matters Trump, we have no reason to think that a bribery scandal would bother them.
Even in his presidential campaign Donald Trump falls back on his old habits of stiffing those who do work for him. Esquire reports that Trump is stiffing his campaign staff:
Donald Trump has been plagued with accusations that he does not always fully compensate construction contractors who work on some of his biggest projects. And now, according to a Reuters report, Trump is putting that strategy to use with some of his top staff.
A review of campaign finance disclosures revealed that the Trump campaign has not paid as many as 10 of the candidate’s top staffers, consultants, and advisers including former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
It would be Karmic that the young Branstad had to go hat in hand to the old man for a short term loan because he got stiffed by Trump. It would also be very Karmic if all those Iowa republicans endorsing Trump were pulled down by the weight of the anchor that Trump is.
Wow – what a display of – what? sexism? Republican registration? media bias? doing the dirty work for Comcast? all of the above? by Matt Lauer Wednesday night in the inappropriately named Commander-in-Chief Forum.
The night begins with a 17 minute attack on the Clinton emails which had nothing, zero, nada to do with the supposed reason for the forum. As if that wasn’t enough, the email controversy was even dismissed by congressional Republicans months ago after wasting tens of millions of dollars and countless hours of valuable congressional time on the matter. If a person didn’t know better they could only guess that Matt Lauer was following orders from the folks who sign his checks at Comcast.
As if Lauer’s disgraceful display with Clinton weren’t enough to give a clue who NBC was rooting for, his bootlicking display with Donald Trump was worse. After interrupting Clinton time after time, Lauer asks Trump open ended questions over and over and then lets Trump wander way off the topic.
If we did not have the internet that is pretty much what we citizens would be left to digest. That plus the cable newser followups that added little to the mix. Since corporations own and control a high percentage of all our media – TV, radio, magazines, newspapers – there is but one major media where Americans can find a true diversity of opinion. That is the internet, but only so long as it remains neutral. The internet is so diverse that anyone with access to the net can even contribute their opinion.
The neutral internet of today is the equivalent of the back room printing presses that kept colonists informed before and during our revolution. With the printing press common people had access to a way to disseminate news and opinion, to get the word out about meetings and to let the populace know of the atrocities of an unaccountable government. This held true throughout following eras such as the abolitionist movement and the fight against Jim Crow.
A neutral internet and its spawn, the social media, is the electronic heir to the printing press in the back room in previous ages. Wednesday night the heir to the printing press once again proved a worthy successor as the shill job done by Lauer was hammered from many corners. Even the wealthy and well connected who are so used to having their way can’t simply shut down their cities on the open internet.
And that is a major sticking point for those who currently have the power and money to shape public opinion. They can’t control a neutral internet. They can’t control if people like you and I state that Matt Lauer stunk Wednesday. Nor can they stop us if we suggest that his performance may be tied to his paycheck. Comments like that won’t make it into their newspapers and TV programs.
If you have forgotten, the model for the internet that is favored by the those who want to control it is the current cable and satellite TV industry. For a price you get a package of pre-selected channels. For more money you get “better” channels. For a bundle that no one can afford you get pretty open access. Think of the internet where major liberal sites could be put behind paywalls where the price is simply too steep for most citizens.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how easily a few internet “gatekeepers” could easily manipulate your choices. Want to get to Dailykos? You have to pick up an opinion package that includes Breitbart, Drudge, Redstates and Worldnetdaily. And then Dailykos may have continuing outages.
Ending net neutrality is one of Comcast’s major goals. They are not the only one by far. AT&T, Verizon, Time-Warner etc. – pretty much anyone who has any corner of the telecommunications industry – is buying congress critters and using our courts to end neutrality.
So what kind of congress critters do they invest in? Taking a little peek on Open secrets.org we see that Comcast and Verizon are Chuck Grassley’s top two contributors. Wasn’t it Donald Trump who said a year ago that he gave money expecting favors:
We were reminded the other day in articles from dailykos and hullabaloo that the reason that blogs took off and for many have become their first source of news is because the media was doing and continues to do such a crappy job. From Digby on Hullabaloo:
When I first started writing online many moons ago, the issue that drove me to it was the fact that we were dealing with impeachment and a stolen election substantially because the media was putting their thumbs on the scales in our politics in ways that enabled a malevolent right wing force to take advantage. I never thought they were right wing themselves, simply that they found it easier to capitulate to the right’s pressures and were far too willing to chase the narratives the right helpfully provided for them. This helped pave the way for some horrifying disasters — the Iraq war and the financial crash among them. It has certainly prevented real progress and led to cynicism. And they simply don’t seem to be able to see it. (What’s even more depressing is the fact that so many people who are able to see media malpractice when it comes to government malevolence can’t see it when it comes to political coverage.)
So we certainly do not want the internet in the hands of those who want to control the news and dish out crappy little portions to us. Vote for Trump, vote for Grassley and sit back and watch your internet disintegrate.