The Republicans gave themselves a report card this week. Completely failing grade. They seem to understand lately that their party is struggling, but due to their failure to support education of any kind, they will again fail to learn why.
May I offer some suggestions?
It’s the racism. There are racists in your party, and none of you call them on it in public. It’s the religious hypocrisy. You keep trying to legislate morality according to your view of Christianity. You keep failing to use our country’s pooled resources to actually work on Christ’s mission of feeding, teaching and healing. The legislating of morality issue wouldn’t be so objectionable if you actually understood Christianity. None of you give any credence to Jesus’ actual examples. All you do is close your eyes and shout rules, rules, rules.
The crucifixion and the resulting New Covenant compel us to place grace above Old Testament rules. It’s the economic selfishness combined with stupidity. When corporations and billionaires are given tax breaks, they don’t add jobs, they pay their upper level employees more. If they had been taxed reasonably the past ten years, the spending on infrastructure would have grown and stabilized the economy.
Your stance on “obamacare” is stupefying. You chant “socialism,” and refuse to consider any ramifications of universal health care. Imagine businesses not having to offer health benefits, or to have the entire workers compensation program removed. Imagine workers not tied to jobs for healthcare. Minimum wage workers are never going to make enough to pay bills, save for retirement and buy health “insurance.” Healthcare is not a reward for exceptional people, it is a basic need for a stable economy.
It’s your hypocrisy about cutting spending and waste. Fraud and graft committed by rich republicans cause more waste and instability than any social program . You call social security a program for moochers, and have no comment on all of the retirees who lost everything to criminal actions by the executives at Enron.
It is your failure to regulate businesses whose shortcomings affect the entire world and its future. Instead of ruining the earth even more with your fracking schemes, choose to invest in renewables now.
It’s your war on women. Women are not property. Your “traditional marriage” interpretation is based on the tradition of women being “owned “by their fathers and husbands. It’s your failure to understand that you don’t get to decide what sexual morality is.
It’s your failure to understand that population growth does not equal economic growth. We need to a) increase the percentage of current population productively engaged in our economies, and b) use birth control to control population growth. We face serious land and water distribution problems.
It’s your disrespect for working class people. Workers deserve an inclusion in the teamwork concept at their jobs. This is not communicated by the attitude of “take it or leave it, I can hire ten other people at your current wages.”
It’s your attitude towards education. The Bible is not a science textbook. Smart, poor kids deserve all the help we can give. It is your refusal to admit that you want to gut education programs because most corporations benefit financially from having a larger pool of uneducated workers to take advantage of.
It is your failure to adequately define family values. Does “octomom’s desire for more children than she can afford fit the definition?
Maybe we need to tax members of “right to life” groups a special tax to cover society’s costs of inadequately raised children.
Maybe we should charge Republicans a war tax to pay for Bush’s war.
Obviously an incomplete list.
Laura Twing lives in Cedar county, with her husband and various animal companions.
One of the strange aspects of our society is that the more highly valued an employee is, the further they are removed from the customer. Look at almost any industry and you will see that as an employee gets raises and promotions, the new responsibilities that come with the promotions take them further from the customer that actually brings the money in to the business.
And so it is with the Branstad education bill. Teachers who do an excellent job in the classroom will be given an opportunity to earn more money by leaving the classroom and becoming a “mentor teacher.” Thus we will be incentivizing our best teachers to remove themselves from the customer -your children and grandchildren.
I really have to wonder about the rationale behind such a move. If I have heard one thing over and over it is that we want our best teachers in the classroom. Not as observers or quasi-bosses but as teachers. Nearly each and every one of us can relate a story of how a good teacher inspired us or a bad teacher turned us off forever on a given subject. Seems to me that removing the best teachers from the classroom is similar to getting rid of your best sales people. Short term gains, long term slump.
Wars Can’t Stop Our Government; Republicans Can
It is quite a curiosity that our government has not been stopped by an invasion of British in the war of 1812, by a Civil War that came close to Washington, D.C. itself and a World War that was unique in its horror and reach. Even the threats of terror through the mail of public officials failed to slow down or stop our government. But once more on March 1st (next Friday) our government faces yet another in what seems to be an endless series of threats from the now ultra right wing party known as the Republicans.
Acting like a group of majorly spoiled 2 year olds, once more Republicans are holding their collective breath until they turn blue and making demands that will hurt each and every citizen in some way. Now, I am sure you and I know what should be done with a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum – they should get their diaper changed and sent to bed. Then maybe they will learn to act in a proper manner.
Ridng Dinosaurs In Oklahoma
Wish this was a joke but it isn’t. The Oklahoma Common Education Committee pased a bill proposed by Rep. Gus Blackwell that “would forbid teachers from penalizing students who turn in papers attempting to debunk almost universally accepted scientific theories such as biological evolution and anthropogenic (human-driven) climate change.” Stated another way, students could make untestable, faith-based claims in science classes without fear of receiving a poor mark.
That brings up a series of questions which begins, “Why bother teaching biology?” and ends with “why bother sending anyone to school at all?” If proven scientific theory is open to question based on religious belief, then why not math or language? The upside is we won’t be paying taxes for education any more. Bobby Jindahl was right – they are the stupid party.
The Supreme Court has decided to hear McCutcheon V. the Federal Election Commission concerning the contribution limits to campaigns. Like its predecessor, the infamous Citizens United, it looks like McCutcheon will be the Roberts Court’s second shot at putting democracy up for sale. I expect a 5-4 decision with contribution limits going down. Once more the Roberts Court will stand in opposition to hundreds of years of decisions just as they were in Citizens United.
I simply can’t see much good this will do. The only good we can hope for is that Move To Amend has not yet proposed a constitutional amendment, so they can add this one to the one nullifying Citizens United. Buy buy democracy!
80 Years Ago on March 4th, 1933
Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated as President.The rest, as they say, is history. I am not going to compare what Obama has done to what Roosevelt accomplished. Obama has had historic opposition that Roosevelt did not have to encounter. Considering the roadblocks that Republicans in congress have thrown at Obama, he has done a pretty fair job. And thank goodness we had a Roosevelt when we needed him. I never knew what party my parents were, but I know the name Roosevelt was revered.
Follow John Deeth at jdeeth.blogspot.com.
The recent Republican effort in swing states to game the electoral college by changing to a district system died a quick death, in large part out of its own shamelessness.
But as usual, the Johnson County Republicans are behind the curve, so they’re getting ready their own local If You Can’t Win, Change The Rules plan. After failing to get the signatures two years ago, they’re making another attempt to change the Board of Supervisors to a district system.
Right now, all county voters elect all the supervisors. It’s worked well. No matter where the supervisors live, they have to listen to voters from Sutliff to Frytown, from Lone Tree to Swisher. Under the most restrictive district system, it would be very easy for an urban supervisor to oppose, say, the whole Secondary Roads budget, because her or his district had zero miles of those roads.
The Republicans will no doubt make arguments about increasing rural representation, the same kind of rhetoric their special election candidate is using even though Democrat Terry Dahms is ALSO a rural resident. As I’ll show in upcoming posts, the math and the history don’t match the rhetoric.
But as usual the real reasons aren’t as high-minded as the surface arguments.
The district plan is, frankly, an blatant effort to gerrymander one of either Rod Sullivan or Janelle Rettig out of office. Both are hard-working officials who have won multiple contested elections, and by coincidence they live in the same east side precinct. (As we’ll see, NOT a historic pattern.)
Rod annoys them because he’s an unapologetic liberal; Janelle annoys them even more because she’s that AND a lesbian AND she stomped their candidate last time they made a serious run at a board seat in 2010. In an ideal set of circumstances for Republicans, a low turnout January special election with a deep pockets candidate, they lost by more than 20 points.
They forced that election by a petition, and the bill was in the $75,000 ballpark. And because they can’t win by the rules, the Republicans, self proclaimed guardians of tax dollars, are now trying to force you to pay for a FOURTH special election of the year in August.
And they’re trying to force that election because they can’t win.Ex-chair Bob Anderson directly admits it’s a motivation: “Those (rural) areas are much more competitive in elections, it’s not to say they are heavily Republican, but they’re much more competitive and that’s certainly a side benefit to the Republican party,”
The Republicans are oh-fer-a half century on the Board: their last winner was Oren Alt in 1958. Their last win for any courthouse office was Sheriff Gary Hughes in 1984. It’s not just the courthouse jobs. Take away a couple Jim Leach and Chuck Grassley races, and some legislative districts based mostly in neighboring counties, and the record is dismal. The last Republican presidential winner in the county was Nixon – not over McGovern, but over JFK. That was before I was born, and I’m a grandfather.
True, just on sheer size their varying margins of defeat have played important roles in statewide wins. There are more Republicans in Johnson County than in overwhelmingly Republican Sioux County.
But at some point you have to conclude that Republican ideas are just not popular here. If anything, they are getting less popular. A public university town where even the rich doctors are government employees isn’t going to respond positively to tea partyish spending and tax cut talk. Our 25,000 extra young people think opposition to marriage equality is a joke. Our fast growing Hispanic community is threatened by Steve King’s anti-immigrant rants.
Local Republicans could choose to adapt by recruiting popular candidates with popular ideas. Most elections, they don’t even try; the Greens and Libertarians are more likely to find a legislative candidate for one of the core Iowa City/Coralville legislative seats than the Republicans are. In 2010 Dave Jacoby’s opponent actually left the Republicans specifically to run as a Libertarian. That’s how damaged the GOP brand is here.
Or they could do as they have done: accept a lesser local role, settling for winning “nonpartisan” city races and occasionally helping swing a Democratic primary, while trying every couple years to cut their losses by a few percentage points and contribute to a statewide win.
Instead, as is so often true with today’s Republican Party, they’re gaming the system.
The gang of Republicans in the state house kicked off last week asking for a constitutional amendment to include their political position on Iowa’s status as a right to work state in the Iowa Constitution. Didn’t they hear about the divided government and the need to compromise? Whether the measure will be voted out of committee is uncertain. If it is, and the resolution is debated, passed and messaged to the senate, the result is foregone―it isn’t going anywhere during the 85th Iowa General Assembly.
House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR 1), calls for an amendment to the Iowa Constitution to incorporate existing right to work law into the document. A new Article XIII would be added, titled “Labor Union Membership,” explained in the bill as follows:
“This joint resolution proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa relating to labor union membership. The joint resolution proposes incorporating current Code sections 731.1 through 731.5 into the constitution. The resolution provides that a person shall not be deprived of the right to work for any employer because of membership in, or refusal to join, a labor union. The resolution also prohibits requiring the payment of union dues or the deduction of union dues from a person’s pay as a prerequisite for employment.”
HJR 1 is expected to be dead on arrival in the Iowa Senate. It represents the business as usual political posturing endemic to 21st Century Iowa politics. Iowa is, and has been, a “right to work” or “open shop” state for a long time. Whether we will continue to be so is not a question among most people I know—Iowa will be a right to work state for the foreseeable future. So what is the bill about?
Some believe strengthening Iowa’s right to work laws would attract businesses to Iowa. Of this there is no guarantee. While I have heard executives who were seeking a place to locate their business talk about right to work, it was a lesser consideration. It sounded more like executive chatter, preliminary pleasantries before discussion of more important issues: tax incentives, real estate deals, utility concessions and other financial considerations. As the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) pointed out, implementing right to work laws can go the other way, as they did in Oklahoma. EPI reported, “since the (right-to-work) law passed (in Oklahoma) in 2001, manufacturing employment and re-locations into the state reversed their climb and began to fall, precisely the opposite of what right-to-work advocates promised.” What happened in Oklahoma may not happen in Iowa, but there is a different reason some would like to see this bill gain traction.
HJR 1 continues the rigorous acrimony between Iowa Democrats and Republicans regarding union membership, public unions in particular. Republicans view labor unions as Democratic supporters, and Democrats find the financial and campaign support of labor unions useful in politics. HJR 1 is the Republican way of flipping the bird at Democratic politicians, especially since they must realize HJR 1 is going nowhere in the 85th Iowa General Assembly.
That’s a fine howdy-do to get the session started.
Veterans won’t be getting a new, billion-dollar jobs program, not from this Senate. Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked a vote on the Veterans Job Corps Bill after Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised a point of order — he said the bill violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year.
The bill’s sponsor, Patty Murray of Washington, said that shouldn’t matter, since the bill’s cost was fully offset by new revenues. She said Mr. Sessions and his party colleagues had been furiously generating excuses to oppose the bill, and were now exploiting a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things.
The bill needed 60 votes to advance. The final tally was 58 to 40, and all 40 opponents of the proposal were Republicans.
As proposals go, this should have been a no-brainer. The Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), sought to lower unemployment among military veterans, giving grants to federal, state, and local agencies, which in turn would hire veterans — giving priority to those who served on or after 9/11 — to work as first-responders and in conservation jobs at national parks.
The bill was fully paid for, and entirely bipartisan — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) had his own set of ideas for the bill, and Murray incorporated all of them into her legislation.
And yet, all but five Senate Republicans voted to kill it anyway, 48 days before a national election. Even Burr sided with his party to defeat the bill, and it was filled with his provisions.
A New York Times editorial added the other day, “It makes sense for the 99 percent of Americans to find new ways to pay their debt to the 1 percent who serve in uniform. To most people, Senator Murray’s bill would seem like one decent way to do that. But not if you’re one of those Republicans in Washington who thinks it’s more important in an election year to deny Democrats a success or accomplishment of any kind.
Betty Ryan’s son, Paul, went on national TV and made a shambles of his mother’s ability to raise children. Can you imagine the shame she must feel right now? Her son is the nominee to run for the second highest office in the land. This would normally be a great source of pride. But poor Betty had to sit and watch her son stand before the country and lie, lie, lie. It must have made her feel so bad that people would think that she couldn’t raise a son who at a moment that should be so wonderful felt he had to lie. She must be ashamed to show her face among her family and friends, let alone out in public in Janesville.
At least that is how my mother and all the other mothers I have ever known would have reacted after something like the lie filled performance her son made Wednesday at the RNC. Poor Betty, having to wear the shame of a son who can’t tell the truth. Hope she has a huge bar of soap (union made I hope) to wash that mouth out good and forever.
Election 2012 – A poll on gullibility and stupidity?
Mitt Romney never tells the truth anymore. Ability to lie with a straight face appears to be a requisite to be his vice-president. I doubt they will change this tactic between now and Nov. 6th. So what does that tell you about people who would vote for someone who looks them straight in the eye and lies? They must be either totally gullible or just plain stupid. I think most of us will be amazed at how many fit one of these descriptions this fall. Surely explains why advertising is such a lucrative business in this country.
Would you hire an applicant that lied on his application?
Simple question. The GOP claims to be the party of business. We have a couple of guys applying for jobs where truth and discretion are paramount attributes. So these two guys are filling out their application right now and they seem to have a lot of trouble telling the truth. So if they have to lie to get hired, what makes you think they will change and tell the truth after they arew hired. Honestly, Mr. Businessman, would you trust Romney and Ryan to work in your store or at your warehouse, let alone in the office where they could do some real damage?
Convention Shows Off GOP Power Structure.
DemocracyNow! had some excellent coverage behind the scenes at the convention while the networks were running the show that the party handed them. Friday Amy Goodman has a great segment on the power behind the scenes.
This reminds me of a post I put up almost exactly a year ago. To be honest while Romney wears the crown, the power is Karl Rove, Charles and David Koch and Sheldon Adelstein. It made no difference which politician wore the crown at the end, the power is behind the scenes.
Galbraith Summed Up the Republicans Long Ago
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
In November, Women Will Remember!
“We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!” link
That was Hank Williams, Jr. in a performance at the Iowa State Fair Friday night. The Des Moines Register/Metromix, calls this lie and hatefulness “political commentary.”
Meanwhile, there’s a media sideshow concerning a couple of ordinary Iowa citizens being accused of “hurting Democracy” and rude behavior by DesMoines Register political reporter Kathy Obradovich because they called out a couple of questions like “Are you going to cut Medicare?” and “Stop the war on women” to Paul Ryan. They were hauled away by cops for this relatively minor infraction and everyone agreed that this was appropriate.
So, Hank and fans, just for the record, this President is not a Muslim (although what exactly would be wrong with that even if he was)? And no, this President does not hate farming (Why would anyone hate farming?) or the military. And no, everyone in the US does not hate him. In fact, most of us love this President having elected him by a huge margin, ten million votes or so.
We get that you hate him but he is standing up for you and your interests nonetheless. Just sayin’.
Everyone else, those of you who didn’t care so much for Hank’s style of “political commentary” at the Iowa State Fair, perhaps there is something you would like to say to the Iowa State Fair Board about this. If so, here’s how to contact them.
Click here for the online contact form Scroll down for snail-mail, phone numbers, etc.
2012 Iowa State Fair Board Officers and Directors
Honorable Terry Branstad
Director by Office Held – Governor, State of Iowa,
Represented by Honorable Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds
Honorable Bill Northey
Director by Office Held – Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Des Moines
Represented by Jay Johnson
Gary McConnell, President
Southeast District, Bloomfield
Alan Brown, Vice-President
North Central District, Hampton
Northwest District, LeMars
Northwest District, LeMars
South Central District, Osceola
James Romer, Treasurer
North Central District, Ames
Northeast District, Monticello
Northeast District, Dubuque
Southwest District, Guthrie Center
Southwest District, Exira
South Central District, Earlham
Southeast District, Columbus Junction
Dr. Steven Leath
Director by Office Held – President, Iowa State
Represented by Dr. Chuck Morris
Fair Secretary/Manager/CEO, Des Moines
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 57130, Des Moines, IA 50317
Physical Address: East 30th Street and East University Avenue, Des Moines, IA
GPS & Online Mapping Address: 3000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50317
Office Phone: 515-262-3111
Information Hotline: 1-800-545-FAIR
I have had this analogy rolling in my mind for a long time. Last night I mentioned it to a friend and he thought it was a quite fitting analogy. My thought is this: for a long time, Republicans have engaged in a war while Democrats have continued with tactics from the past of campaigning during campaign season and trying to govern all other times.
It seems to me that since the infamous Lewis Powell Memorandum written in 1971, all factions of the Republican Party have been mustered into a type of army that is attacking constantly at all sections of our government and social life to slowly attempt to mold America into someone’s version of a right wing radical paradise. They have also used any and all tools at their disposal, especially the manipulation of the Christian religion.
For those of us who were alive before the Powell Memorandum, you can probably remember when campaigns took place mostly during a campaign season. This was loosely defined as at least during the election year. Other times both parties would go about the serious business of governing with only a partial eye to re-election. And at least in the post Great Depression era, most governing was geared toward what was best for the society as a whole, not just how one sector could profit massively from government.
With Powell as a guide, conservatives focused on not only taking over government but also in changing the scope of government and the public discourse on government. As I mentioned to my friend last night, what is the first thing revolutionaries take over when they depose a government? His answer was right on the money: the TV and radio stations. As we look at the rise of what is known now as “movement conservatives” we see that once Ronald Reagan became President, much of the government controls on media were greatly relaxed or dropped. Media consolidated under corporate umbrellas and pro-business, pro-conservative slants on news became the norm
A second front that a revolution deals with is the religious communities. If they can’t work with them, then the revolution will try to shut them down. In this case we have some of both. Those religious institutions that would cooperate were rewarded. Their followers were given a message that folded in nicely with that of the Republican Party. Pastors often stepped over the line of endorsing candidates but were never threatened with losing their tax exemptions. Those religions that did not fold in with the Republican Party were harassed via the media with various charges of lack of proper fealty to the government.
So in 1971 we had the start of an ideological movement. With the election of Ronald Reagan, many of the restrictions that inhibited the growth of the movement were removed. With a media that was slowly evolving to being very friendly to Republicans and a religious community that tied everlasting life to voting Republican, the party became extremely aggressive, attacking any opposition. One of their great victories comes in 1994 with the election of the Newt Gingerich led “Republican revolution”.
In the years leading up to this victory, the old norms of campaigning during the campaign season and governing at other times was abandoned by Republicans, but not by Democrats. Every act of governing also became attached to the next campaign. Messages to the masses were sent through the mass media and through the pulpits. For Republicans, the campaign became a daily war to be waged on all fronts.
As Republicans grew in power on the national front, they extended their reach down into the state legislatures, county boards, school boards and city councils of the country. While Democrats usually did not look anything below state legislature as a place to contend for seats, Republicans saw the local boards and councils as great way to extend control.
And with all that came the day to day assault on previous government actions at all levels that had created a solid middle class and a stability in society seldom seen in history. With the breaking down of norms that had created a society headed to more and more equality, the vultures have been able to capitalize and create one of the most unequal societies on earth in just a short space of time.
So we are now at a situation where the Republican Party views the contest for governance as a war to be fought on all fronts daily, often with incredible propaganda as their main weapon which is disseminated through some of the most trusted institutions in the country: the media and the pulpit.
Meanwhile, Democrats cling to a bygone era where politicians were elected by the people based on their stands on issues, usually only responding to the never ending Republican attacks. Democrats fight in the manner of the line battle of long ago. Republicans are motivated by ideology and money to fight in any manner they believe will win with no regard for morality. And they care not about governing, but only to keep government away from their enterprises so they can engage in whatever pursuit they wish, no matter how ugly, with impunity.
Another View — DMReg.com
MARK POTOK is editor of the Intelligence Report/Hatewatch blog and senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center
I used to think you were a pretty straight-ahead place, what with all that flat land and healthy vegetables and honest living. I mean, Iowans rejected slavery 20 years before the Civil War and they approved interracial marriage a century before the U.S. Supreme Court. Homosexuality was decriminalized almost 30 years before the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision did so nationwide. Today, control of the state’s Legislature is split between Democrats and Republicans and, a few characters aside, it is not known for political extremism. Like the corn it produces in such copious amounts, Iowa generally seemed a healthy and sensible place.
That idea of the state ended for me last week when I read the proposed platform released by the platform committee of the Republican Party of Iowa.
Are you people totally insane?
The platform is absolutely thick with ideas from the extreme right, lunatic conspiracy theories, and barely concealed hatred for President Obama and anything that smacks of multiculturalism. It sneers at science, is down on poor people, and despises, really despises, the United Nations.
Here’s a sampling of the deep-thinking goals of the Iowa GOP:
• Require candidates for president to prove that they are “natural born citizens,” beginning with the 2012 election. After all, non-citizens serving as president have been a longstanding problem in American politics.
• Reject the “claims” of global warming, which are “based on fraudulent, inaccurate information” and pushed by people using “extremist scare tactics.” The Iowa GOP “recognizes” that policies and laws designed to combat global warming are really “a plan to take our freedoms and liberties away.”
• Entirely eliminate the departments of Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Energy, Interior, Labor and Commerce, along with the Transportation Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
• Likewise, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and repeal the 16th Amendment, which legalized the federal income tax.
• Eliminate the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which oversees job safety.
• Repeal smoking bans because, as the platform statement asserts, “We believe this to be an issue of liberty.” Air quality in all businesses should be left up to owners’ “freedom to choose.”
• Repeal all hate crime laws.
• Build a fence along the entire U.S. border with Mexico.
• Eliminate no-fault divorce laws and require “good cause” to get a divorce.
• End minimum wage laws.
an ideology that the Iowa platform committee says is all about the party’s main goal, which is “nothing more or less than a world set free.”
Set free, that is, from any connection to reality, critical thinking, or common sense.