Today is Easter – look outside. If it is raining, legend has it that it will rain for the next seven consecutive Sundays. This is particularly convenient for planning poker tournaments around spring planting. Imagine how guilty you would feel drawing to an inside straight instead of being in the tractor seat seeding the back 40. A rain on Easter Sunday should help salve the soul in regard to poker vs. planting.
If that didn’t fog a Sunday morning mind, let’s try the quiz and see if that doesn’t make you want to crawl back into bed. Here we go:
1) Per Thom Hartmann, it seems like the end of a Monopoly game. What pair’s net worth was pegged at $100 billion this week?
2) Senator Chuck Grassley made a big stink about what last week?
3) The ACA enrolled how many? What is the latest estimate of those insured through the ACA?
4) Many people were amazed when Pulitzer prizes for journalism went to the reporters of what story?
5) In the Kansas City suburb of Overton, Kansas was shocked Sunday with the killings of three people. What was the reason they were killed?
6) According to Americans for Tax Fairness, what corporation got over $7.8 billion in tax payer breaks and subsidies?
7) Governor Branstad continues to be dogged by stories surrounding hush money for fired employees. Now the state may have to pay back what other group, because hush money was commingled with other monies.
8) Math problem: The ACA has been voted on 52 times to be repealed by the US House. At $1.45 million per vote, how much have the Republicans wasted on these votes?
9) An Iowa legislator – Larry Sheets (R-Moulton) spoke in the Iowa House praising Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy for his stand against the federal government. What is Bundy accused of doing?
10) Some 975 former employees fired in the Iowa hush money scandal have been placed on a special list. What is that list called?
11) The CBO released a report that stated that the ACA would actually cost about how much less over 10 years than previously projected?
12) Republicans in what state will be voting on their right to secede from the union at their state convention in early May?
13) Once the Newton track got a handout from the government, it was inevitable that others would line up with their hands out. What other Iowa track put their handout and got a big giveaway from the Iowa House?
14) Hard to believe, but the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission turned down a license for what city by a vote of 4-1?
15) What high profile couple found out they will be grandparents this fall?
Easter bonus: Which of these were crucified and resurrected after 3 days?
B-Attis of Phrygia
1) Charles and David Koch.
2) The plan of the USDA and EPA to create bio-maps of methane emissions
3) 8 million
4) The NSA spying. AKA the Edward Snowden story.
5) The killer hated Jews and thought they were Jews.
6) Walmart. This included healthcare and food stamps for poorly paid employees.
7) Federal government for some portions of their contributions to some projects
8) $75.4 million that Boehner has wasted.
9) stealing grazing rights from the Bureau of Land Management. He has refused to pay for 20 years.
10) a blacklist of people not to be rehired.
11) approximately $164 billion
12) Wisconsin. Will the Badgers still be in the big 10?
13) Knoxville. Who will be next?
14) Cedar Rapids. Bet this one ain’t done.
15) Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Easter bonus: from what I have read all answers are correct.
You have earned a chocolate Easter bunny. Enjoy!
Congratulations to Congressman Dave Loebsack on being named the ranking member on the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. Maybe not a flashy position, but one where he can have an effect on Iowans lives in a good way. We know there is work that needs to be done due to the way that that education has been treated under the last Republican administration and with the obstruction of the Republicans in the Senate and the House. Good Luck, Congressman.
Branstad Doesn’t Seem To Know Much
Our Governor just doesn’t seem to quite have a handle on what is going on around him these days. His drivers driving too fast, not knowing he just can’t shut down a state facility, not knowing what is going on with personnel within his administration. I think Terry is suffering from burnout from being too long in the job. I know I am suffering burnout from him being in the job too long.
Civil Rights Act 50 Years Old.
Last Thursday the Civil Rights Act turned 50 years old. Probably one of the most reviled laws in our history. Probably directly responsible for the Republican Patry’s infamous Southern Strategy and all the consequence of that including today’s Tea Party. This is one Act that has tried to reconcile the gap between the promise of America (“all men created equal”) and its reality of racism and vast inequality of resource distribution. It has worked well at times, but is now under direct attack from the Roberts Court. May it re-emerge to be a guiding light to the good that is in men and women, rather than a magnet for the hate.
This fall before you vote, remember that succession is a factor to consider. Before voting for Terry Branstad, remember that Kim Reynolds is his chosen successor. Ms. Reynolds is very right wing.
Before voting for a republican for the US House, remember that is a vote for Boehner (or worse) as the second in line to succeed the President. That is a scary thought. Think about the consequences of your votes.
Reminding us what counts in elections, people.
Limbaugh Upset About Colbert
Apparently no one has told Limbaugh there are buttons that turn the TV off and that also change the channel.
Buckle up and let’s hop in the old time machine once again.
1) Just this week we had one noted person quit a job and a replacement hired. Who will replace David Letterman on CBS’ late night show?
2) On April 10, 2004 a Presidential Daily Briefing from August 2001 is declassified. What is the headline for the Briefing?
3) One day you are nobody, next day you are in the news. This week Mike Carroll became well known to Iowans. Why?
4) In April of 2004, fighting continued in this city that had started when a convoy of American contractors was ambushed coming into the city. What city had this siege?
5) The Party Is Over! What came to a crashing end Wednesday night up in Ames?
6) On April 14, 2004 then Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft put the blame on who for the 9/11 attacks? (before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks)
7) 2004. The US is still using a color coded advisory system of terrorist activity. Can you name the colors in order from least to worst terrorist potential?
8) What European nation pulled its troops from Iraq in April 2004 following the election of a leftist government?
9) Back to Iowa this week. During an interview on IPR Governor Branstad said he might consider signing a bill making limited used of what legal?
10) Making a bid to be the first man to lose to two different women in two different states (in two years might I add), who threw his hat into the New Hampshire Senate race Thursday?
11) Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Home Run no. 715, what baseball great compared Obama’s critics to the KKK that threatened him in 1974?
12) In sports this week the starting guard for what division I school came out as gay?
13) In another step backwards for the women’s vote this fall, Republicans blocked what legislation this week?
14) Kiss and Tell. A Republican representative from Louisiana was caught on tape kissing an aid. What happened to the Aid?
15) Ten years later they did it again. What school won both the Men’s and Women’s college basketball tournaments?
16) Authenticated as ancient papyrus, this document indicates who was married?
17) You can’t go back to Kansas, Toto. What did Kathleen Sebelius do before she became the secretary of HHS?
18) Worldwide carbon dioxide levels average 400 PPM last week. This is the highest levels in how many years?
19) April 29th of 2004 what car company made its final car, ending over a century in business?
20) April 1st of 2004 what email service is launched?
Whew – It was a busy week. Well how about some answers?
1) David Letterman announced he would retire and CBS picked Stephen Colbert to replace him
2) “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”
3) He was the head of the Department of Administrative Services in Iowa and was fired by Branstad over the secret payoff scandal.
6) President Clinton and Jamie Gorelick
7) Blue, least concern then green, yellow, orange and red.
9) medical marijuana
10) Scott Brown
11) Hank Aaron
12) University of Massachusetts
13) Equal pay for equal worth
14) She was fired by the representative
17) Governor of Kansas
See you next week!
Just a brief note on how blogforiowa and I crossed paths. I think the process I went through may be a process that many have gone through in the recent years. I have not been a highly political person all my life. I have been someone who tries to listen to arguments, evaluate them with what I know to be true and thus evaluate their validity.
Briefly , I was quite active on the college campus during the late ’60s and early ’70s against the Viet Nam War and for equal rights for all. Following the end of the War and what looked like real advancements in rights for all, I dropped out of politics and did what many others did. It was time for a job, a home and a family. We had some severe health adversity in our lives, so we did not in any way have a nice normal life. But we endured and raised a couple of fine young women.
Our kids finished college about the time that George W. Bush was given the presidency. It was not as though I was looking for something to do. I was quite happy to have an empty nest and some time of my own to work with. However, while we struggled through the ’80s with our problems, I could not help but notice a change in the attitudes of my fellow workers and the company I worked for. Things were less friendly. People all around seemed less giving, especially toward those who were poorer.
I must interject here that I spent 12 years in Catholic schools. One thing that stuck with me throughout all those years were the Church’s teachings on social justice. While the Church and I have long since parted ways, teachings on social justice have been my constant companion. At the base of these teachings is the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
We rolled into the 2000s and like many I was not closely following politics day to day, but the trumped up impeachment had piqued my interest. The whole idea of impeaching a president on a personal matter was out of bounds. This was a signal that things were way out of whack in Washington. Folks I was working with couldn’t see a problem. They were mostly mouthing what they had heard on the TV or radio.
This was the beginning of the feeling of isolation that I would feel for the next several years. The internet was new, but we were not yet connected. Thus I was unable to see that the feelings that we were going through were shared by millions. As the Bush presidency proceeded we became more and more uncomfortable with our political situation. The direction that our country took after 9/11 had us truly puzzled.
Then one day I was substitute teaching and the regular teacher had left his computer up on the internet. He had left a site up called tompaine.com. I found kindred spirits. One of the links was to dailykos.com, AKA the orange Satan. Once more I found thousands of kindred spirits. I also began reading material I had seen nowhere else. One of my real problems was that I knew as the Bush group led us to war that we were being lied to, I just didn’t know what the truth was.
From there we actively sought out those of our persuasion. The first place I looked was the Democratic Party in our county. Our county was quite red at the time, which had enhanced our isolation. I rather pushed my way in. Later I would attend candidate meet and greets and other gatherings. One of my personal concerns was that the almost total control of the media by right wing groups be broken up. The fact that we could not find information on what was really happening in the world was evidence to me that access to information in the United States was sorely lacking.
At one meet and greet there was an appearance by a group called Iowans for Better Local Television. Folks that were almost on my wavelength. We made friends with these folks and remain close today. 2004 was coming and I had decided that it was time to get back into the political saddle. When I heard Howard Dean enumerating the sins of Bushco that we had learned the hard way, we hooked on to his campaign and stayed on to the end and beyond.
We worked for Kerry that year, but Dr. Dean was still the one who had our hearts. Since those days we continued to run into various friends we made through the Dean campaign. Trish Nelson asked me to write an article or two for blogforiowa. There was no reason to be a shrinking violet anymore. We have kids, and we wanted to do what we could to change the direction of the country. This seemed like a good place to start.
I am learning so much every week doing this. Like most bloggers, it is a labor of love. Plus I get to run a weekly trivia page which I so enjoy.
It seems like it is almost impossible to turn on the TV in Eastern Iowa right now without hearing what a supposedly bad man Bruce Braley is. Night and day, day and night the spots play endlessly pounding the message over and over. Welcome to the world where those with too much money have been given a green light to spend as much money as they want thanks to two horrible Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United and McCutcheon.
Through various think tanks, action committees, 501c4 committees and who knows what other venues, Charles and David Koch are able to use their money to constantly drive their message into our homes. To me it is like them coming into my house and farting over and over and over. They expect me to love the smell of their stink because they are so rich that whatever they do is beatiful because of their money. They also seem to believe they can put a mask over their faces in the form of a front organization and we won’t figure out that it is Charles and David who are actually doing the farting.
But the masks have been pulled back and there are Charles and David bald faced, stinking up the air. I do not want them im my house anymore and I am betting that they have stunk up the air so badly in Iowa that most Iowans want them to take their stink somewhere else. Bruce Braley is not the only one the Kochs are trying to harm with their stinking money. Braley is only the best known one they are going after. Remember last fall when Koch money tried to buy some seats in the Coralville municipal election? That sure stunk when it was uncovered.
No doubt whoever is Braley’s Republican opponent this fall will have the weight of the Koch brother’s stinky money to run with. Sure many may think that having the constant drumbeat of smelly “educational” PAC advertisements is a good thing. But it will be a two edged sword. Iowa voters will know that there will be some expected payback for all the money the Kochs will spend. It makes no difference which of the Tea Party candidates is picked to run against Braley, they will dance to the Koch Brother’s tune.
The Tea Party candidate will avoid issues so that should they win, they will be able to be manipulated by the Kochs while claiming they are not breaking campaign promises. It makes no difference who the candidate is, they will be owned by the Koch Brothers and will be totally beholden to them.
The Koch Brothers’ money stinks, their front groups stink, their PACs stink, their attempts to buy politicians in Iowa stink. Iowans proudly have a fiercely independent streak. To think that the Koch brothers feel they could ‘sneak’ into Iowa behind patriotic sounding front groups to buy an election from a bunch of rubes stinks big time.
Go away Koch brothers, take your money and your anti-middle-class attitudes back where you came from. Iowans do not want it. And, yes we will be watching.
Turn around and you are ten! Happy Birthday Blog For Iowa! As has been noted here before BFIA is one of the blogs that came from the start of the DFA or Democracy For America movement. DFA continues to go strong. Dr. Dean and brother Jim continue to go on strong being among the clearest beacons for where our country should be going. Let us wish all mentioned above many more years of activism in helping bring this great country back to its glory and moral leadership.
So today we will have a quiz for last week and ten years back.Crank up the brain cells on a Sunday morning. They need the exercise.
1) Let us start with something simple. What was the split on the McCutcheon decision announced by the Supreme Court this week?
2) Ten years ago on April 8th this then National Security Advisor was grilled by the 9/11 Commission. Who hemmed and hawed their way through this testimony?
3) Over in Iraq, the bumbling Coalition Provisional Authority has a big headache with what non-elected cleric who is head of a group known as the Mahdi Militia that threatens stability?
4) Last week, tsunami waves emanated from an earthquake with an epicenter in what country?
5) Earlier this week in Iowa, parents of epileptic children met with Gov. Branstad to seek his support for what?
6) March 15, 2004, Presidential election takes place in Russia. Who wins the Russian presidency by a large margin?
7) In March of 2004 John Allen Muhammad is sentenced to death in Virginia for his role in what scary D.C. series of events?
8) This week some information about activities that were going on during the Iraq war are beginning to be released. What activities and who was doing it?
9) March 11, 2004. This event in Spain during morning rush hour killed or wounded nearly 2000. What happened?
10) This week it came out that the fix for a faulty ignition switch that is linked to 13 deaths in GM cars would have cost how much?
11) In the NCAA basketball tournaments in 2004, we had one school winning both the Men’s and Women’s titles. What school was that?
12) Who was the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in April 2004?
13) This week Mozilla’s new CEO stepped down after less than 2 weeks due to controversy over his past political donations. What donation in particular were users upset with?
14) March 18,2004: Justice Antonin Scalia refuses to recuse himself from a case even though one of the parties in the suit is a close friend of his. Who is this close friend?
15) March 21,2004: The War in Iraq is vehemently denounced by what former US President?
Kind of fun bouncing down memory lane, wasn’t it. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Well, here are some answers:
1) 5 to 4. 5 Republican appointees, 4 Dem appointees.
2) Condoleeza of course
3) Muqtada Al Sadr
5) medical cannibis.
6) Putin. You know that bare chested man the Republicans love.
7) The Beltway sniper attacks in D.C.
8) The CIA was the perp and torture was their game.
9) coordinated bombs set off in the Madrid subway system
10) 57 cents
12) L. Paul Bremer
13) a $1,000 for prop 8(hate) in california in 2008.
14) former VP Dick Cheney
15) Jimmy Carter.
More next week? I think so
RSVP for a Free Press Member Call on Comcast, Media Ownership and Net Neutrality today, Thursday, April 3rd at 1:00 pm CST
Not a member? Click here to join Free Press
The Internet we love is under attack like never before. A federal court overturned the Net Neutrality rules and the nation’s #1 cable and Internet company — a longtime Net Neutrality violator — wants to buy its chief rival.
But it’s not all gloom and doom out there: The Federal Communications Commission just moved to curb media consolidation for the first time in three decades.
We’d love to talk with you about how all these developments are intertwined and what you can do to fight for your rights to connect and communicate.
Thanks for all that you do—
Mary Alice, Candace, Josh and the rest of the Free Press team
P.P.S. If you haven’t already, please share our Comcast-Time Warner Cable action and these resources with anyone who doesn’t want the Internet to turn into a corporate playground.
Can’t make the call today? You can still do something. There is a bill, H.R. 3982, the Open Internet Preservation Act, that you can ask your representative to support. Click here to find contact info. for Harkin, Grassley, Loebsack, Braley, King and Latham all in one spot.
Methinks the main reason many laws don’t get changed is that legislators can’t admit they were wrong. Let’s take marijuana for example. Admitting that that it is much less harmful than alcohol and that it does have medicinal qualities that can’t be duplicated would force many a legislator to admit they were wrong. Then there is the matter of what to do about all those lives ruined with jail sentences for marijuana. Nope, we can’t even do tests for fear that the truth would make them look bad.
And Remember …….
That among those who desperately want to keep marijuana on the outside are a strange coalition of drug lords whose price & profits skyrocket the harder it is to get marijuana, alcohol companies who have the government keeping their competition out and privatized prisons who get paid by the incarcerated body. Marijuana convictions have been very good to them. One more group that may have a vested interest are drug companies…..
Couple of Thoughts on Hobby Lobby:
First the majority of their customers are women. They are taking what I believe is an anti-woman stance. Most of what they sell can be found elsewhere. Vote with your dollars, folks. It seems to be the only thing those with the money understand.
Second, if the justices rule that corporations are people and can have religious views, I predict the next round of converts will be the health insurance companies. They will claim one and all that following the dictates of the ACA is an abomination and a sacrilege according to their religious beliefs. No doubt there is a bible passage that says this in some vague way.
Talk About Welfare Queens….
Congratulations Iowans, looks like your “business” relations with NASCAR have been extended. I guess we are all owners of NASCAR’s Newton venue whether we want to be or not. $12.5 million worth of ownership. Isn’t there something, something better that the state of Iowa could do with that money? I have never been much in favor of governments giving welfare to businesses in the form of tax abatement, utility abatement, TIF agreements and I do not know how many other schemes that are out there that governments use to get businesses to locate to their area. I am so old that I remember back to the days when Iowa could lure businesses with good paying jobs to the state because we had a highly educated workforce that was high quality and reliable. We also offered a business atmosphere that where there were reliable customers for good products and solid working infrastructures.
Now we use bribes. Once we started bribing businesses we could never turn back. Seems like they are always at the door with their hand out, begging for more welfare. This welfare comes at a greater and greater cost to the individual taxpayer as the business welfare must come from somewhere. The costs to the taxpayers include busted pensions for public employees because governments must cut payments to pension funds to fund the welfare, cuts in services such as libraries, and fees for essential services.
Paying for places of business for professional sports teams is an epidemic in the US, with the welfare queen teams whining and crying for new stadia, new corporate boxes, bigger cuts of revenue, no rent clauses, and other demands else they leave for another city crying out for major league love. Iowa helps build a NASCAR track in Newton just to keep up with the other suckers.
This rant was inspired by my representative, Tom Sands. He is proudly conservative. So proudly conservative that he pushed a welfare bill through the Iowa House for NASCAR instead of using that money for much needed infrastructure repair, or schools that last I had heard the House refused to move on, or fixing the hundreds of bridges in Iowa that are below standards. Let me tell you Tom, they will be back with their hand out and so will their friends.
Of course we are not the only state or community offering welfare to the major sports. One of my favorite blogs is “field of schemes.” This blog details the ridiculous demands of the welfare sports queens and how governmental units screw the schools and essential services to give those welfare queens all they want.
Once More – FDR
Speech That Could Fit In Today
Finally – Is Iowa’s Republican Caucus In Trouble?
Thanks to the Citizen’s United ruling a couple of years back, the wealthy in the Republican Tea Party know they can buy themselves a presidential candidate. So the need to go through the show of a beauty contest in Iowa becomes almost moot. Each candidate will be flying off to Las Vegas and Michigan and Wisconsin or Arkansas and where ever those with the money live prior to Iowa. The race that the Tea Party candidate really want to win now is the backing of some multi-billionaire. Talk about a Tea Party win-win. Candidates that will auction themselves off to the highest bidder and bidders that have train loads of money.
So by the time the Iowa caucus comes around the real test will have taken place and the candidates will come to Iowa wiping lipstick from the lips that kissed some very wealthy rear ends. Isn’t democracy great?
Nothing like sports to bring out the cliches in all of us. Speaking of cliches, were you paying attention last week?
1) She must have made most of the male electorate when she spoke proudly of castrating pigs in her ad for the Republican bid for the nomination as their Senate candidate. Who made this commercial?
2) In Oklahoma, Katie Francis sold 18,107 of what?
3) Two major search operations are going on in the world at present. One is to find the missing Malaysian airline and the other is what?
4) With a couple days to go it looks like what will come close to its goal of 7 million registrants by March 31?
5) Meanwhile in Chicago, a commuter train had a major wreck. The cause cited was operator error because the operator was what?
6) There seems to be a scandal heating up in Des Moines over “Hush money” paid to who?
7) The US Attorney General said the federal government said it would honor same sex marriages performed during the short window what state allowed such marriages before they were stopped by a federal judge?
8) Chris Christie was found to have nothing to do with the George Washington Bridge scandal. This investigation was launched by who?
9) College sports prepared to be turned on its head after an NLRB regional head declared that players at what school were school employees and thus could unionize?
10) Despite many other needs in this state, the Iowa legislature was able to come up with a big tax break for which major sport, but none for college students repaying loans?
11) Rush Limbaugh said Obama only went to this place because he read it as “vacation.” Among other stops what major religious figure did President Obama visit this week?
12) In a consumer survey this week it was found that over 1/3rd of Americans had less than how much saved for retirement?
13) In Muscatine, what major polluter announced an agreement with the attorney general and the Iowa DNR on cutbacks in their pollution?
14) One of the more controversial cases SCOTUS will hear this year took place Tuesday when what company’s case against the ACA was heard?
15) Which Car manufacturer has been beset with a series of recalls early in the leadership of its first female CEO?
“Wait til next year!” As a Cub fan I have learned that since I was a baby. I can only say I would like to see more frequent championships with previous winners not allowed to compete. The Cubs would then have a chance.
1) Joni Ernst – I have many comments, none I can print
2) Girl Scout cookies
3) Searching for victims of a mudslide
4) The ACA
6) state workers fired by the Branstad admin.
8) Chris Christie
11) The Vatican where Obama met with Pope Francis
13) Grain Processors
14) Hobby Lobby
15) GM – of course the problems happened long before Mary Barra was appointed CEO.
The Hobby Lobby case makes me want to make a short comment on Clarence Thomas. I saw this article by Jeffrey Toobin about a month ago. He describes Thomas thus:
” These days, Thomas only reclines; his leather chair is pitched so that he can stare at the ceiling, which he does at length. He strokes his chin. His eyelids look heavy. Every schoolteacher knows this look. It’s called “not paying attention.”
Thomas is 65. He may well have another 25 years on the court. America deserves so much better.
Should this be The Permanent Democratic Platform?
from January 11,1944 but still fresh and still not fulfilled. When the next war ends…..
Seeing The Light
note to Matt Schultz: It is just as true here as in Wisconsin!
In Memory Of Maggie Thatcher
The anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s death is about two weeks away. Last year I marked her death with about 50 playings of this song.
Here it is one more time for old time’s sake:
Fifth Anniversary Coming
Believe it or not it is nearly five years since the Varnum v. Brien decision. On April 3, 2009 the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that gay people had as much right to marry who they love just as much as heterosexuals did under the equal protection clause of the Iowa constitution. Since then some of the justices lost their jobs by being voted out.
Those judges were then awarded (deservedly so, I believe) the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award. Iowa was the beginning for what has become yet another round of civil rights. Many other states have followed suit to the point where nearly half of the US states accepts same sex marriage. The Attorney General of Kentucky said the other day that there was no sense in him spending state money to defend the Kentucky anti-gay marriage amendment because it would lose in court.
Look What Scott Brown Ran Into Last Week
a big hat tip to EarlG at democraticunderground!
Note To My Democratic Friends:
RUN ON THE ACA. It is the largest advance in social legislation since Medicare and the civil rights legislation. It is not done, but it has
at long last started!