It is beginning to look like Joni Ernst just wants to be another Sara Palin. In case you forget who Palin is, she is the huge mistake John McCain nearly foisted on the US. Mostly known for being a real buffoon on the campaign trail, Palin is mostly forgotten now except when she says something so outrageous she can’t be ignored.
From Palin we have such golden moments as “mama grizzly”, “lipstick on a pig” and of course who could forget “I read them all” in response to a Katy Couric question on what newspaper she reads. She is constantly calling for the impeachment of President Obama, because, well he must have done something.
In only a few months on the old campaign trail Joni Ernst left her mark big time with her pig castration video. Beyond that some of her campaign ads have a “do you really want to go there?” feel. In one she shows her opponent Bruce Braley saying that Senator Chuck Grassley is a farmer. This may come as a surprise to Joni, but Grassley IS a farmer. Or at least claims he is. In reality Grassley is all politician. But I digress. Saying that calling a man who claims he is a farmer, a farmer is an insult how? Braley did not use “farmer” in a disparaging way, but Ernst surely does. And she is a farmer.
In another ad, she claims Braley missed several committee meetings. This from an elected state senator who could barely find her way to Des Moines last session. Only a small portion of her absences were due to Guard duty; most were due to campaigning. By the way has she ever seen a US House committee meeting? Committees with 50 members may be lucky to have 10 in attendance. If you can’t make it to Des Moines for you state senate job, could we expect any different from her if she is elected to the US senate? Even Republicans have their doubts.
Over the past year, Ernst has called for the impeachment of President Obama. This is now a sentiment that is sending shivers through the spines of Republicans. Ernst has also called for states to nullify federal laws. Maybe she missed it, but that was a settled issue back shortly after the Civil War.
Then last week when she was criticized for going to a fundraiser given by major oil interests said she “didn’t see a problem.” Well, at least we know who she will be working for. I think most Iowans can see a problem.
Just to add to the fun, playing the role of Todd Palin is Ernst’s husband Gail. In June Gail became a news item when his facebook posts concerning quite sexist remarks he made about Hillary Clinton. But other facebook entries make it plain he is on the very extreme right of this country. Makes you wonder if a husband ever influences his wife’s opinions doesn’t it?
Iowa is more than embarrassed enough by the likes of Steve King. Bruce Braley has proven over and over again his concern is about the country as a whole and Iowa in particular. He is beholden to no special interests. Braley’s views are those that most Iowans share.
Clearly his opponent hangs out in the very far right wing of a right wing party. Neither Iowa nor the country needs any more of those who wish to choke government from the inside. Much like Palin, Ernst has already proven we would be much better with her on the outside.
Since I had written a post telling of my fun with the insurance company I was trying to sign up with through the ACA, I thought I would follow up with a short update.
I now have a card and have actually been to a health care provider a couple of times. Like many I have some blood pressure problems. Nothing too dire, but needs attention. Since I will soon be eligible for Medicare, other tests and treatments can be delayed for a bit.
While the ACA has been a tremendous positive for America, based on my recent experience it is still a bit early to trust insurance companies to fully comply with the ACA. I have an option that others don’t have which is to wait for Medicare.
The ACA is definitely a step in the right direction. I remember full well the nights I would lay in bed trying to decide if that pain or this sensation was worth a trip to the doctor. Since my “insurance” at the time had a high deductible plus the old “pre-existing condition” clause, I could pretty much figure that every visit would be on my nickel. Since doctors post no fee schedules, I may as well as just given them my checkbook. It is not as if I could make a guess as to what the fees and other services might cost.
For five years or more I had to endure what may have been warning signs of a heart attack, sprained ankles, a shoulder that was so painful that I would cry and many various ailments just hoping and hoping it was nothing really serious. I am out of that hell now. Now thanks to President Obama, I do not have to lie in bed wondering if I am dying – wondering if I take a chance at bankruptcy to get treatment. I know I am far from alone with what I went through.
Of course I blame the Republican congress and Charles Grassley for the hell I went through unnecessarily. I saw the hearings and I read the stories.
Republicans and in particular Grassley were resolute in stopping bringing our health care system into the modern age. Not just during Obama’s presidency but since the presidency of FDR. For that reason alone I would never vote for any Republican.
What is really sad is that the power behind the Republican party is still fighting hard to return us to those dark days. And they are fighting hard to end Medicare and Medicaid. Why would I ever want someone who hates America’s citizens so much that they would bring back this form of personalized terror to our country.
I truly thank President Obama and Congressmen Loebsack and Braley and Senator Harkin for standing up for us. You can not imagine how much relief I feel every day knowing that if I have a medical problem I do not have to sit in fear and try to decide between dying or going bankrupt. It wasn’t funny folks, it was reality in my life and many, many others for a long time.
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Congressman Loebsack. Thank You, Congressman Braley. Thank you, Senator Harkin. Believe me, it almost makes me cry to be covered for medical finally.
BUT – now we need to improve the ACA. Really, we need single payer. And we need the citizens to call for it. Loudly
* I am feeling in a somewhat snarky mood after spending the best part of the past two weeks trying to get my new health insurance in place. You know if we had single payer and everyone was enrolled then I wouldn’t be going through this. Let me once more thank the insurance industry for putting forth the best arguments to put single payer in and closing the insurance industry.
* Robert Reich: How to deal with low-wage employers (from Facebook) (then stolen from democraticundergroud)
HOW TO DEAL WITH LOW-WAGE EMPLOYERS. I met yesterday with a former executive of a big corporation who had a good idea. Taxpayers spend at least $55 billion a year on benefits (Medicaid, food stamps, etc.) to working people whose employers don’t pay enough to provide them and their families a decent standard of living. So in effect we’re subsidizing these employers – many of which (like Walmart) are large and profitable. His idea was to tax these employers by that amount. It would be easy enough to do since the IRS and the states have the Social Security numbers of all employees who receive these benefits, and can connect them to their employers. Not only would this “lousy-pay” tax be fair to other companies that pay higher wages and don’t get the subsidy. It would also help replenish federal and state budgets. And it would prod these low-paying corporations to raise wages so their employees don’t have to rely on taxpayer-financed benefits.
* I am rather amazed that Chuck Grassley would invoke BIG GOVERNMENT into the propane gas situation. Has he not learned that the invisible hand of the free market will answer the problems? If people die or go broke, then they must not be working hard enough or it was meant to be by God. Chuck is trying real hard to be a Tea Bagger, but just doesn’t seem to quite grasp the concept. Republicans, it is time to primary old Chuck. Heck, they are doing it in Kentucky to old Mitch because he isn’t pure enough.
* OK Canada has gone too far. Yet another direct assault from their weather systems are set to attack the US again this week. We have evidence that they are sending their Alberta Clippers and Canadian Highs across the border to weaken our defenses and soften us up for the eventual invasion. If we can threaten to go to war over some slap in the face 10000 miles away, we cn surely seal our borders against these destructive weather systems. I propose we line our northern border with patriots about 1/4 mile apart from Maine to the Puget Sound to stop these incursions. Republicans, this will be a great chance to serve your country and laugh at those who believe in “climate change.” You get summers off, but winters starting September and last until May.
* My pick for Republican Presidential nominee in 2016
* From bluntandcranky:
“When I was hungry, you cut my food stamps; when thirsty, you allowed my water to be polluted for corporate profit; when I was a stranger, you detained and deported me. When I was naked and vulnerable, without a job or income, you denied me extended unemployment compensation, holding it hostage to a political agenda. When I was ill, you refused to extend Medicaid; when I was in prison, you denied me justice in favor of revenge, and executed me.”
And the righteous replied,”When was it that we saw You hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, ill or in prison?” And He said, “Anything you did to one of these–however humble, poor and powerless–you did to me.”
This was submitted to the Cleveland Plain Dealer by Chester E. Ramey, and was published in their LTTE section on 1/19/14. And a better case against the Republicans cannot be made, in this blogger’s humble opinion.
* Ever wonder how Republicans reproduce? Every time I hear yet another Republican denigrating women and making it sound like sex is by far the worst sin in the world, I just kind of drop my jaw and wonder how do they ever screw up the courage to submit themselves to such an evil action. My best guess is that it must involve much prayer and perhaps some self-flagellation. Even thinking about it gives me the willies.
* The Bieb was all over the news this week. Thus such news had to take some time away from other subjects:
* Snark off and thank you for putting up with me.
KRAUSE: GRASSLEY SPENDS BILLIONS TO SHUT DOWN GOVERNMENT BUT ZERO FOR UNEMPLOYED
Bob Krause, announced candidate for the Democratic nomination for US Senate in 2016, today said that Senator Charles Grassley showed misplaced priorities, when he voted today against the extension of Unemployment Compensation benefits. “Grassley happily spent $24+ billion to shut down the government, but would not pay $6.4 billion to extend unemployment benefits to the insured unemployed that are seeking work,” said Krause.
“Many people say they like Grassley because he does have an “Iowa folksy” gift, but that does not mean that his votes are right for the needs of America,” added Krause.
Krause pointed to the 200,000 veterans across the US that are hurt by this loss of extended unemployment benefits. “In fact,” said Krause, “veterans are 15% of the extended unemployment benefit eligibility pool. Post 9-11 veterans are hit especially hard, and have a 10 percent unemployment rate nationally.
“I predict that there will be an upsurge in homeless veterans and others if this extension is not passed. If that does happen, I hope that you contact Senator Grassley and tell him of the consequences of his vote,” stated Krause.
Krause also projected that another group that will be hurt by this will be older workers that tend to be discriminated against in the hiring process. In fact, here in Iowa, we are well above the national average in people over 45 that are on unemployment compensation.
Paid For by Krause For Iowa, Labor Donated.
PRESS RELEASE: For Release, Tuesday, January 7, 2013
For Particulars, Contact Bob Krause at Krause For Iowa, 515-657-0069, 2127 High Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312
Email email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
For those who have not heard, Bob Krause has dropped from the governor’s race and become the first announced candidate to oppose current Senator Charles Grassley.
Over the years I have found Bob Krause to be one of the most articulate politicians I have ever met. He can make a very succinct and understandable statement. I run this today not as an endorsement of Krause, but as a fine example of the kind of criticism Grassley richly deserves. We need much more of this. Grassley’s priorities are definitely skewed.
Address our Fiscal Crises—Reduce Military Spending
Another government shut-down and debt ceiling crisis are on the horizon. Senator Grassley is a member of the conference committee charged with submitting formal budget recommendations by December 13.
Senator Grassley knows, as does every other member of Congress and every economist, that a dollar spent on the military creates far fewer jobs than a dollar spent in education, alternative energy or infrastructure. He knows that the Pentagon has never been audited. He knows that military spending constitutes over one-half of federal discretionary spending, and is fraught with waste. He knows that the U.S. spends more on military than the next ten largest-spending countries combined.
Senator Grassley should listen to what he already knows. He must insist that a substantial reduction in military spending be the first step in addressing our fiscal crises.
We must insist that he listen to what he already knows.
[BFIA Action alert: Contact Grassley]
One of the reasons that I have been thinking over the past couple of years that Chuck Grassley may be an order of french fries short of a happy meal is that many times over the past couple years he has made some outlandish statements in public. He was at it once again Tuesday when he issued what he must have considered to be a threat to Democrats but was actually much more than that.
“Many of those on the other side who are clamoring for rules change and almost falling over themselves to do it have never served a single day in the minority,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Tuesday in a floor speech. “All I can say is this — be careful what you wish for.”
“So if the Democrats are bent on changing the rules, then I say go ahead,” he said. “There are a lot more Scalias and [Clarence] Thomases that we’d love to put on the bench. The nominees we’d nominate and put on the bench with 51 votes would interpret the constitution as it was written.”
What Mr. Grassley said in that statement is that if the Dems take away the Republican option to force everything to a super-majority which is nearly impossible to attain (thus the obstruction caused by the Republicans during the Obama presidency), the Republicans will let loose more stink bombs on the country just like a bunch of petulant 13 year old junior high boys.
Invoking the names of two of the worst justices who have ever sat on the bench, Grassley threatened “There are a lot more Scalias and [Clarence] Thomases.” Scalia pulls opinions out of seemingly nowhere, making it up as he goes. He is overtly anti-gay and thus almost always a solid “NO” on any case that might advance minority rights. Clarence Thomas votes however Scalia does. In addition, he seems to think court sessions are good places for long rests. He seems to be limited to a few words a decade and even those may be garbled. But Thomas’s wife is seldom quiet. Many times her well paid political activity has come at a time when her husband is judging a case on issues she’s involved in as a partisan. Neither sees a problem with that.
I could go on, but the point is that while Chuck must have thought he was scaring Democrats into backing off from the so-called nuclear option, he was actually admitting that Scalia and Thomas were really bad, else such a statement would prevent no threat. Thus threatening to use great responsibilities, such as approving people who will have great unchecked power in our government, as judiciously as the 13 year old boy who let’s off the stink bomb on the junior high playground.
Funny no one has stepped up to defend Thomas and Scalia as the not deserving of their new status as examples of just how bad the GOP can be. If I were Scalia or Thomas I would think I would be outraged at having been inferred to be really lousy choices. But no one has stepped up to say Scalia and Thomas are good judges not even themselves. So I guess they agree with apparently nearly everyone else. I know for sure this is one time I agree with Chuck. Thomas, Scalia equal stink bombs.
Thomas and Scalia are two great examples of just how irresponsible and juvenile Republicans can be when using their awesome power of approving appointments. Thank you for pointing this out, Chuck. BTW – where in the Constitution does it say the Senate has a filibuster? Or that to move legislation or approve nominees to anything needs a super majority. No, I do not believe that Republicans are anywhere near the arbiters of the original meaning of the Constitution Grassley thinks they are.
I can hardly wait to vote for whoever runs against him. Time for him to stay home and just use one mower at a time.
I think I will call Chuck Grassley’s office today……and ask what happens when Republicans shut down the government next week?
– will Social Security payments be made?
– what about Medicare?
– what programs will specifically be affected?
We need to know and they are the party doing it so they should tell us their plans and give us an idea how to survive it. -
If Republicans can force people to work for food stamps why can’t we just create jobs for those in poverty? We did that once before and it worked well. There is plenty of work that needs to be done and would greatly benefit society, especially infrastructure. Then they would not need food stamps. OOPS – except for those working at Walmart.
Speaking Of Walmart
How do you like their new commercial to blunt the criticism that their jobs are low paying, dead end jobs. I doubt anyone is fooled – or at least those watching MSNBC where I see that commercial come on.
If Eric Snowden Wanted To Avoid Prosecution
Why doesn’t he hook on with a Wall Street banking company or hedge fund? They has stolen trillions and caused huge damage to the country, but nobody except maybe Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Eliot Spitzer wants to do anything to these folks.
Republicans Two Pronged Strategy
It is looking more and more like Latinos and Latinas have shown that there is power voting for an issue, immigration. This has stunned Republicans who no doubt thought they could pry some votes with their phony “family values” crap. So Republicans have launched an interesting 2 pronged strategy looking to blunt the Latino effect by coming at it from polar opposites.
The first approach is to pretend to be in favor of immigration. This is of course so against what they truly believe that they are having a hard time promoting it with a straight face and without blowback from their own party members. Plus their version of immigration reform will be so hard as to make it impossible.
So they are still pushing what was their original approach. That is to somehow stop Latinos from voting, much as they have done with blacks over the years. We don’t hear much about this anymore, but you can bet it is still in play. Of course it is an out and out racist attempt to deny the vote to legitimate citizens and an insult not only to them but to all citizens. See why they don’t want you to hear much about it?
Ways To Improve The Economy R v D
The split between Republicans and Democrats can be illustrated by their approaches to ways to get the economy moving.
Fix infrastructure which is needs repair such as bridges, sewers, electric grid.
Make education available to all and affordable. Well trained and knowledgable work forces help create inventions and innovations.
Help poor with subsidies and training programs. They buy things that in turn creates jobs because most of what they buy is necessities made in America.
Create environment for decent paying jobs for many not ultra high pay for a few.
Create environment where most money goes to a few at the top who will create jobs by buying expensive toys. This may or may not employ people. If it does pay them lowest wages possible.
Create environment where one or two players in an industry sector dominate. Thus employees will have few opportunities to move up if there is little competition for their services.
Get involved in foreign wars. This secures foreign resources for the wealthy. Pay soldiers little.
Close borders, create jobs by linng borders with low paid guards. Also build fences to keep people from experiencing our freedom.
If I May Ask
Senator Grassley, Rep. King, Rep. Latham,
Why, if you are so anti-immigration do you not introduce a bill giving harsh penalties to those who have knowingly hired undocumented workers for the past 30 years. My guess is there are many in this state. Many of them are probably your contributors.
Also, about that wide open border with Canada………
Yet another headline showing our once respected senior senator acting like a baby in front of the nation. Tuesday, Grassley complained that President Obama “doesn’t call him anymore.” During the time leading up to the passage of the health care reform bill, Obama treated Grassley as about the most important person in the world. This, despite what most in the country could see, not only Grassley dealing with Obama in bad faith but almost with scorn. Obama bent way over to work with Grassley on health care, even asking for changes to satisfy Grassley. But Grassley would have none of it.
After treating the President like a disease, Grassley wonders why he doesn’t call? Is that the way you treat people, Senator? But this is hardly the only incident with Grassley recently that has to make you wonder if Grassley is connected to the real world sometimes. Just last week, Grassley came up with a unique answer to senate Republicans’ refusal to act on Obama nominees to the DC federal court bench. That court is designed to have 11 judges. Some of the most important and intricate cases come to the DC court, especially business cases. Why they have 11 judges I do not know, but it has been that way forever and as far as I know no one has ever questioned it.
But with the senate Republicans refusing to even give Obama nominees a hearing, Grassley came up with a novel claim when he said that Obama was trying to “pack the court” by nominating justices to fill vacant seats. He then went on to suggest that Obama leave the seats unfilled and thereby reduce the number on that court. Part of a president’s constitutional duty is to fill vacancies on courts and regulatory bodies. Duty, Chuck.
Grassley is also ramping up his criticism of an immigration bill that was hammered together by a special group of eight senators, 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats. When the bill was first sent to the Judiciary committee, Grassley offered 77 amendments to the bill. He is not planning on allowing any immigration legislation, thus making those in the limbo that exists roast that much longer.
These are just a few examples of our senior senator acting sometimes like a spoiled two year old, sometimes quite arrogant, but recently mostly like a tea party member whose only mission is to obstruct anything that the Obama administration or Democratic leadership in the senate tries to do. He certainly has disdain for what Iowans care about. He voted against expanding background checks, even though nearly 70% of Iowans want background checks expanded.
I could spend a great deal of time listing things which Grassley has done over the years. But every time I hear something anymore, it makes me wonder if he is slowly losing touch with things. This recent complaint about President Obama not calling him is almost silly. In the rough and tumble of Washington politics, he wants Obama to be his friend despite the fact that he (Grassley) has made it abundantly clear to the world that he had nothing but disrespect for Obama? His recent actions and pronouncements seem to be erratic at best. Scares me to think that this guy is in charge of some of the most important committees in Congress.
It is a shame that Grassley couldn’t have been removed from office in 2010, despite his strange pronouncements that Obama wanted to “pull the plug on Grandma” and then his denials that he said it.
We get another opportunity in 2016. But we need to make sure that Iowans understand that it is well past time that Grassley be sent home to cut his grass.
In a survey released Wednesday, Politifact noted that Republicans lie 3 times more than Democrats. This is based on a study of statements only since the beginning of Obama’s second term. Although I did not see this noted, I would assume it only included actual office holders and did not include Republican sycophants like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and most radio talk shows.
There were of course some attempt to determine how much truth was being told during the campaign in 2012. Maybe you can remember how well acquainted Republicans were with the truth last year. About the only time Mitt Romney told the truth was the night he thought he was speaking behind closed doors and safely under the rocks to a group of his peers. That was the famous 47% speech. Beyond that it is rather doubtful that Romney ever said anything that was true. Ironically his confidence in winning was buoyed by an old hand at lying who never told Romney the truth. That of course was Karl Rove. Still funny when I think about it.
Like most of you, I think Politifact was being kind. They rated only 1/3rd of Republican statements as false. I seldom hear one that is true. Even our vaunted senator, Chuck Grassley seldom says things that can be labeled fully true. Remember his continual denial that he made the famous “pull the plug on Grandma” statement despite a video of him doing so going viral on the internet.
The very beliefs that under gird the GOP is little but a pack of lies. Whatever you call “Reaganomics” whether it be “supply-side economics” or “Chicago school” economics or whatever, events have proven over and over that it simply does not work. So as they go on and on about how great their version of economics works, history has long since proven it does not work. As an addendum, the book that their current philosophy of austerity is based on has been proven to be based on false presumptions and misuse of data. That is the now infamous Reinhart and Rogoff book that claims that once the national debt reaches 90% of GDP the consequences get bad and feed on themselves. They had to ignore a lot of data to support that claim.
In Iowa we have some of the most productive liars the Republicans have ever produced. The aforementioned Grassley who seems to be only loosely acquainted with truth. But the top prevaricator in Iowa has to go to Governor-for-life Terry Branstad who still can’t understand the concept of NET job gains. Following close behind is Secretary of State-in-training Matt Schultz who can’t seem to grasp that he must follow laws and that his job is not to make up laws out of thin air.
It is hard to believe that Republicans do not know what they are saying are lies, or if not lies certainly misleads. However, much of what they say is based on lies and misleads pushed by a propagandistic media which is mostly corporate and mostly Republican. Our media is now a sad shell of what it once was. Slanting stories, ignoring stories and leaving out nettlesome facts are par for the course for our corporate media. Republicans can use the media’s poor performance easily as a basis for their lies rather than ferreting out the truth themselves.
Most Republicans (all I am sure) claim that the very basis of their belief system is Christianity and the bible. The Bible itself is a book that seems to be full of pretty questionable accuracy. (Methuselah really lived to be 900 years old? Really?) Even beyond that there is the practice to only support a few quite selected portions of the bible and totally ignore anything they disagree with. (Jesus really did believe that we should not purposely let our fellow man starve to death). So it seems that the very foundation of Republican values is based on untruths, misleads and omissions.
I am not saying Democrats don’t lie. But certainly not on the scale of Republicans and not with the intent of causing harm. The other thing that is so distressing about Republican lies is that they lie in order to cover their true intent on what they want to do in government. If they were truthful, they would be running on a platform of lowering wages to the lowest possible point, ending all government programs that helped individuals in any way, controlling our sex lives and ending all taxes, especially for the rich. Their true platform would be one written by the rich, for the rich. It is already that but is couched in weasel words or Frank Luntz words. Were they to tell the truth no one would vote for them. And nearly everyday more Republicans are awakening to the fact that they are being lied to and lied to and lied to.
Just last week some guy named Bob Dole woke up to that fact, noting that he does not belong in today’s Republican Party.