That is the message I take away from Grassley’s vote against very weak tea gun control legislation Wednesday. I can almost hear him thinking “Let’s see which side can pony up the big bucks for my vote.”
And now Grassley is all over the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing
“Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says the attacks raise questions like how to beef up security checks on people who wish to enter the U.S.”
Seriously, the suspects were kids when they came to the United States. People’s beliefs change over time and by influence. For instance, today’s Republican party would probably not let Ronald Reagan in the door. After all he did raise taxes and practiced Keynsian economics. Don’t believe me?
Look it up.
This Captures The NRA
Let me pass on a description I saw that truly captures the spirit of the NRA. Unfortunately the link where I saw it is no longer available, but here it is anyway:
The North American Man-Gun Love Association
In case you don’t recognize it this is a word play off of the the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), that most disgusting of organizations. In both cases they are out of the norm and alter perceptions.
Bradstad Doesn’t Understand How To Count Jobs
His administration once again can’t seem to understand the concept of subtracting jobs when they go away. Branstad claims another 1,600 jobs added whereas the true bean counters saw a decrease of 5,500 jobs. Since taking office, Branstad claims a stellar 70,000+ jobs created while the Iowa Workforce Development count a rather dismal 15,500. Maybe the state needs a ‘truth spokesperson.’
A Couple Of Observations On Boston
1) I am so glad there weren’t any self-appointed vigilantes ready to open up with their AR15 or even a shotgun. In a crowd like Boston had, some goofball popping out shots and hitting innocent bystanders would have turned a totally chaotic situation into a bloodbath of monumental proportions. In the real world the guy with the gun seldom stops the evil doer and usually just adds to the confusion and casualties.
2) Who pays the bills for those who do not have health insurance? I have asked around among friends and most seem to believe that if you get hurt and can’t pay, well good luck. So to add to the pain of injury or death, one can probably look forward to bankruptcy and a meager existence.
I know in some cases hospital bills have been forgiven. But I can’t imagine hospitals can do too much of that. They are businesses. Beyond that many victims are often disabled from their experience, so working may be out of the question.
I am less concerned about a Boston style incident, but more wondering about the one person shootings where an individual survives, but has no money to pay the bills and has been disabled for life. I wish someone could tell me that there is some victims fund that helps with this, but I am not holding my breath. And if there is a fund, I would bet it is woefully inadequate.
3) Late addition to say well done to the good citizens of the Boston area and their public servants. When Republicans start crying about how much public servants make and how bad it is that they have unions, remember these folks. Well done.
3rd ‘Storm Of The Century’ In 2 Decades.
“Storms of the century” seem to be coming around quite a bit more often than before. Actually what we had last Wednesday and Thursday was not termed by anyone a storm of the century. But it does seem the big flooding rains come much more frequently than before. It actually seems like some part of the country is under the gun every year. Starting to look like this may be our turn after a couple of very dry years. The weather is a-changin’.
We would like to say to the police, the political leadership of Boston “well done.” At a time when many folks want to act like dime novel superheroes, those faced with with the actual crisis used cool heads and proven methods to deal with an incredible situation.
Thanks not only to them, but also to their predecessors who helped develop the fine police forces and methods which were used. I hope theirs becomes the example to follow, not something from a movie.
The good people of the Boston area, especially Watertown, acted as real citizens should act in such a crisis, not as vigilantes or single superheroes. This averted much more bloodshed and confusion.
Once more, well done.
Reaction to the death of Margaret Thatcher in Britain has been among the most mixed I have ever seen for any public figure in my lifetime. American media has painted Mrs. Thatcher as some sort of unquestioned leader who took a country deep in the throes of economic woes and returned them to their rightful place among nations.
But the British who had to live through her reign have an entirely different view. I had never heard of “death parties” before, but now I have. Parties celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher broke out all over the British islands. It appears that Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had special reasons to celebrate her death. She can no longer harm them.
Thatcher’s reign included such little reported in America items as taking milk from poor children in school, major union busting and a form of a poll tax. In other words she would fit right in with America’s current crop of crazy tea baggers who see poverty as a sin which much be punished with even more government sponsored deprivation and wealth should be rewarded with government sponsored treasury transfers.
The 1980s are a blur for me due to personal problems. I was aware of some of Thatcher’s problems but never really understood the effect she was having on her country. Apparently not many in America were listening because America voted for Bush 2 in such numbers that his group could have the SCOTUS steal the Presidency for him. Then we found out what an out of control leader can do to their own country. Thatcher has been out of power for nearly 25 years and the pain and the problems linger. We can easily expect the Bush legacy to haunt America at least that long.
I have a couple of major take-aways from the death of Margaret Thatcher.
First her reign shows just how necessary a truly free press is in a democracy. My memory is that, especially in America, coverage of Thatcher was fairly one-sided and favorable. This was at a time when competiton in the press was on the way out and most media was in the process of being consolidated into corporations.
And second,especially in right leaning governments there needs to be viable opposition against the corruption of wealth and corporations working with those in power. Viable opposition does not mean just another party, but opposition in the media and from other organized groups. Probably the best check against out of control government entanglement with the monied interests are workers unions. Notice that breaking unions has been one of the trademark processes that right wing governments employ to destroy opposition. Even at the state level we see politicians like Terry Branstad and Scott Walker aiming at busting unions in what seems to be obeisance to the wealthy and corporate powers.
Branstad’s Alternate to Medicaid Expansion
Branstad appears to be so proud of his alternate proposal to Medicaid Expansion that he slipped it in in the middle of the night. It is hard to find any analysis of it. Basically all I have heard is that it covers far less people and they will have to pay something. Lack of money is the reason that most of these people are not covered now. Think about it, Mister Branstad. Plus we still pay taxes for Medicaid we won’t get. Heck of a bargain you drive there, Terry.
My representative, Tom Sands, says medicaid Expansion is welfare. I say it is a matter of health policy. Having a substantial bloc of people unable to access health care is bad policy and leaves us open for epidemics. Somehow, I will bet Mr. Sands doesn’t see things like tax abatements and free utilities for businesses as welfare. I do.
Mr. Branstad, you have carried the water big time for the corporations and wealthy in your return. How about thinking of the people of Iowa for once?
Is Vander Plaats 15 minutes up yet?
I see he was crying over one of his underlings (Robert Cramer) being kicked off the Board of Regents. My question is why would any reputable news agency give Vander Plaats any time at all. His 15 minutes of fame is long gone and his claim as a king maker in Iowa is believed only by him. Here is hoping Iowa’s news media decides to cover news from now on. Like, just what is in Branstad’s medicaid proposal?
I support the Governor’s goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by focusing on improving health outcomes and rewarding healthy behaviors. That is why the Senate has incorporated those ideas into SF 296, which would expand Medicaid and make affordable health care available to 150,000 low-income Iowans who are currently uninsured.
The Governor’s new health care proposal, on the other hand, would not do enough to help Iowa achieve the goal of becoming the healthiest state in the nation. In fact, we would fall behind other states if the Governor’s plan were adopted.
The Governor’s proposal (House Study Bill 232) covers fewer Iowans and offers fewer medical services. On top of that, his plan would raise local property taxes and cost the state $150 million more than the Senate plan that I voted for.
I will continue to work with the House and the Governor to improve the health care legislation that we have already passed in the Senate. The Iowa Catholic Conference, AARP, the Iowa Hospital Association and at least 75 other Iowa organizations are in favor of the Senate bill because it would move Iowa in the direction of becoming the healthiest state in the nation.
We’re on the right track with SF 296.
ENSURING MORE IOWANS HAVE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
The Legislature is continuing its bipartisan efforts to expand access to affordable health care.
Your address should not determine the health care available to you. That is why the Legislature has worked in recent years to make mental health and disability services more consistent across the state. We recently took another step toward implementing a regional mental health and disability services system that will give Iowans access to critical services, regardless of where they live.
The Senate plan (SF 415) is based on recommendations of an interim committee tasked with analyzing the fiscal viability of the mental health and disability services redesign provisions the Legislature enacted in 2012. The bill, which has now received the stamp of approved from the Senate Appropriations Committee, would:
• Authorize regions to provide mental health and disability services that research shows to be effective and efficient.
• Ensure those currently eligible for county services remain eligible after the regions are formed.
• Allow county services to continue this year while the new regions develop their service plans.
• Establish new technology standards to improve reporting and make information more available to the public online.
• Create a panel to recommend improvements for mental health and other programs for children.
The Senate plan invests $29.8 million over the next year to support local services and ensure Iowans get the care they need as we move through the transition to a regional system.
Senate File1 415 now goes to the full Senate for debate.
BUDGETING FOR BETTER PUBLIC SAFETY
We want our state to be the safest possible place for Iowans. The Justice System Budget (SSB 1249) has been approved by a Senate Appropriations subcommittee with that goal in mind.
Corrections experts and health professionals have told us that the offenders in our prisons and community-based corrections facilities are changing. Incidence of mental illness has increased, with offenders requiring more supervision and treatment. SSB 1249 provides resources to the Department of Corrections to hire the staff to meet those needs and enhance safety at our institutions.
The bill also helps Community Based Corrections Districts open facilities that have already been built but are not yet in use. This is a smart move that will help limit the wait for those in need of critical mental health services. Funding for community-based corrections also provides for efforts to deter future crime and help offenders become contributing members of their communities.
Victims’ assistance grants will see an increase in funding. These grants go to local programs that provide housing and other help to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Additional resources will allow survivors to stay away from dangerous living situations, get the skills they need to hold down a job and deal with the trauma they’ve experienced.
We also increase the number of troopers on Iowa’s roads. More officers on patrol will allow them to more quickly respond to accidents and other problems—ultimately improving safety and saving lives.
SENATE CONFIRMS GOVERNOR’S APPOINTEES
So far this year, the Iowa Senate has confirmed 214 of Governor Branstad’s 216 appointees to Iowa’s statewide boards and commissions.
The Governor appoints members to more than 160 boards and commissions as openings become available. These panels are responsible for advising the Governor, the Legislature and state agencies.
The Senate must confirm the Governor’s appointees, and we take the job seriously. We review their qualifications, talk with them about their background and goals, and listen to input from Iowans. That’s the same kind of due diligence we give to every piece of legislation that comes before us.
Historically, the Senate confirms more than 99 percent of the appointees nominated by Iowa’s Governors. That trend continues as we conclude the confirmation process for the third year of Governor Branstad’s current term.
The few appointees that have failed to be confirmed over the years received serious, substantial consideration. Their non-confirmation came after concerns are addressed in a professional manner.
Learn more about Iowa’s statewide boards and commissions, the work they do and how you can serve at https://openup.iowa.gov.
ENCOURAGING OUR NEXT GENERATION OF FARMERS
Iowa’s strong agricultural heritage will continue as long as we ensure farming is a viable career for our young people. Two bills currently under consideration in the Legislature could help.
House File 599 would expand a tax credit program in which retiring farmers lease or rent land to beginning farmers. The state now provides $6 million in tax credits to retiring farmers who lease land to those starting out. HF 599 calls for doubling that amount so that beginning farmers will be eligible for tax credits if they make improvements to the farm.
This effort is supported by such organizations as the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority, which gives financial help to farmers buying land, equipment or livestock. HF 599 is now in the Senate Ways & Means Committee for further review.
Another bill, House File 457, directs the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to give preference to qualified beginning farmers when current leases for DNR-managed agricultural land expire. Land may be available for crops and for grazing. The DNR must use rental history, market factors and conservation practices—instead of a competitive bid process—to determine the lease amount.
HF 457 was approved unanimously by the Senate on April 10 and will hopefully receive the Governor’s signature in the near future.
CARE FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE IOWANS
This year and every year, we want to honor our commitment to help the most vulnerable Iowans, including those in need of critical health care, older Iowans at risk for abuse and fraud, and veterans coping with medical concerns.
The Health and Human Services Budget aims to do that by:
• Providing vital legal and other decision-making assistance to older Iowans with dementia or Alzheimer’s to ensure they are protected from abuse.
• Improving long-term care by hiring more ombudsmen to meet the needs of patients and their families.
• Expanding mental health and other statewide for young children.
• Cutting the number of uninsured Iowans in half.
• Expanding access to high-quality childcare.
• Implementing programs to reduce juvenile crime and long-term crime rates.
The legislation is now being reviewed by the Senate Appropriations Committee. To read the full bill, go to www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/LSA/SC_MaterialsDist/2013/SDJRB039.PDF.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Empowering students to adopt healthy lifestyles
Through April 30, Iowa schools can apply for private funding to participate in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. General Mills Foundation and other partners are offering public schools this chance to acquire assessment tools, professional development and education for physical educators, and awards and recognition for students. To learn more, go to www.presidentialyouthfitnessprogram.org and click on “Funding Opportunity.”
Submit work for Agriculture Art Award
Iowa artists of all ages are invited to participate in the second annual Celebration of Iowa: Agricultural Art Award. The theme for this year’s exhibit is “Cultivating Change.”
The Agriculture Art Award is a juried art exhibit that highlights our state’s role as a global leader in agriculture. Art work will be judged on innovation of concept, execution of contest theme, and the aesthetic and technical quality of the work.
The exhibit, which features $5,000 in cash prizes in youth and adult divisions, is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
The submission deadline is July 1. Full details are available at www.iowaagriculture.gov/press/pdfs/2013/AgArtAward2013.pdf.
Des Moines, IA 50319
2609 Clearview Drive
Burlington, IA 52601
Here we go with another “50 years ago” quiz. But you shouldn’t have to be an old fogie like me to recognize the description of popular shows from the way back. Most of these live on in syndication or as references in jokes that continue to be popular. So step once more into the way-back machine with me and hang on.
1) In the ’60s tv networks were delivering a full schedule of daytime, prime time and Saturday morning fare. This morning show for kids featured a shaggy haired grandpa figure who lived in the treasure house and a farmer neighbor who always wore bib overalls. There were various other characters from the forest and in the treasure house. What was the name of this children’s show?
2) The highest rated night time show was a new offering that was really different in concept for TV at the time. Suppose you took a mountain man from the Ozarks and he gets rich when oil is discovered under his land. This was the premise for what show?
3) Vincent Edwards became a huge star as a brooding young doctor on this big ABC hit that began in 1961. In 1963 it weighed in as the number 7 ranked show. What was this huge doctor drama?
4) Saturday mornings included quite a mixed bag of shows. Cowboys, cartoons, some scholarly and this one young lady who had a lot fun with her puppet friends Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy. Who was this delightful puppeteer?
5) At the end of the Saturday morning schedule NBC had a program that was almost like being in school. Yep, if you watched this show you might actually learn some science from the title character. Who was this on-air scientist? (bonus: can you remember his real name?)
6) One of the most popular series in 1963 began long before TV as a radio show and continued someplace into the early 2000s. The premise was to record people’s immediate reactions to some mild practical jokes. Even today people will use their tag line in an unusual situation. What tag line did this TV show spawn?
7) Billed as the first animated prime time TV show, this show told the story of stone age families beset with modern day problems. Some folks believe this is the basis for creation science theories of men living with dinosaurs. What is the name of the title family?
8) In 1962, CBS dropped this Friday night standard for a new comedy called “Fair Exchange.” Viewers didn’t think it was a very fair exchange and wrote CBS en masse to demand a return of the Friday night standard. Called by one critic “Rod Serling’s little morality plays” what show was returned to the Friday night lineup by demand?
9) Back to Saturday morning. There were 2 cowboy shows on the schedule. One was a flying cowboy and the other was a singing cowboy who had made his fame in movies. Can you name these two shows?
10) The Master of the Macabre still had a weekly show on CBS. Known for many great films, who was this film director and host of a weekly anthology series?
11) Leading into the evening CBS and NBC had signature national news programs. Who were the hosts of these programs?
12) He couldn’t sing or dance or even act very well, but this man’s show was very popular. He helped launch the careers of luminaries like Carol Burnett, George Goebel, Don Knotts and Johnathan Winters. Can you name this variety show host?
13) Often thought of as the quintessential American family, we watched as the children grew from cute kids to adults in college. In 1963, the youngest of the two boys was one of the top rock and roll artists in the country. What was the name of this family sitcom?
14) Sunday night included this highly rated cowboy show. But instead of the usual “shoot ‘em up” cowboy show, this program revolved around a family of ranchers and their adventures on the Ponderosa. What was the name of this show?
15) Finally – Monday night was owned by CBS with a couple of game shows leading into a 3 half hour sitcoms. All of these shows were in the top 20. The last show in the group told the story of a small town sheriff and his family in the hills of North carolina. Can you name this idyllic show?
Whew – there was fine TV watching back then – maybe a little sacharine, but mostly harmless. To be hoest, I didn’t watch that much back then, but most of these programs are known by reputation if nothing else. So here we go with some dusty 50 year old answers.
1) Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan)
2) The Beverly Hillbillies
3) Ben Casey
4) Shari Lewis
5) Mr. Wizard (Don Herbert was his real name)
6) “Smile – You’re On Candid Camera”
7) The Flintstones
8) The Twilight Zone
9) Sky King ans Roy Rogers
10) Alfred Hitchcock
11) CBS- Walter Cronkite NBC – Chet Huntley and David Brinkley
12) Garry Moore
13) “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” The son was Rick Nelson.
15) The Andy Griffith Show.
Every day I hear some republican say “We are leaving our children a crushing debt.” This is simply hooey and bothers me a great deal on two levels:
1) it is not “we” that are leaving the debt, it is pure and simple the Republicans that grew this debt to what it is, with their tax cuts for the rich, two unfunded wars and the really bad Medicare drug program. Then they have cemented it with their obstruction to do anything that would grow the economy.
2) Much worse than the debt, Republican policy over the past 33 years - and especially the last 13 - have done everything they can to dismantle the economy. The country that our kids will inherit will be broken. And it will be broken in such a way that fixing it is next to impossible. Democrats that are trying to fix it now can tell you.
One of the standard beliefs of American mythology is that education is the key to an individual’s advancement as well as that of the country. But a quick look around shows that our public school system – once the pride of the world – is in the process of being broken and turned into a laughing stock. Teachers have been publicly pilloried, been accused of being lazy, worthless, and leaches at the public trough. They have been forced to teach to the test by misguided laws that place emphasis on standardized tests. Their dignity has been undercut by politicians more than willing to shut down public schools and replace them with various forms of private schools which sometimes operate on the edge with pseudo-science classes and teachers that may not be certified. Teachers unions have been high on the hit list for decades for Republican politicians who see any union as the enemy.
The parents of today’s students themselves are having a hard time making a living. Many have lost jobs and wages in the upheaval of the past decade. Only a few decades ago one parent could make enough money to allow the other parent to stay in the home. The job also had benefits that included medical care for the family, so that a childhood emergency could be attended to. In America today, both parents must work. Between them they can hardly afford food, shelter, transportation and clothing. Medical care is no longer a benefit, so if a child gets sick a family must make a choice between food and medical care.
Where once a family could get aid from the government quietly, that is no longer true. Often the family may be humiliated in public for taking government help. Where once some of the elders could help out, they no longer can as pensions have been stolen and investments have crashed. There are many, many cases now where three generations of a family live under one roof. They do so out of necessity, not because they want to. So there is little money for extras. In many cases the family may have lost their house in the mortgage bubble of 2007 and 2008. So their credit may be ruined on top of losing the house.
What was once the great escape from poverty vehicle – a college degree – is no longer the ticket it once was. Since state and federal governments no longer pick up much of the cost of college, the student must do so themselves. In many cases a student will graduate college with a debt the size of a mortgage and no real job skills to speak of. This is a choice that many students are or will be facing soon. Go deeply into debt to get an education on a bet that it will help you get a good job? But without a degree there is very little chance of earning a living wage? What about a technical degree?
Higher education for the young is also one of the great factors that drives our country. So when more and more of them decide they can’t afford the debt, our country as a whole will suffer greatly to the point of stagnating the economy. We especially need future scientists, but will students take on the debt to become a scientist when good paying jobs are not there today?
We are leaving our children a country where the balance of justice and the balance of law greatly favors the rich and corporations. The Citizens United decision greatly tipped the balance in elections to the wealthy. They have used that to elect state legislatures that have gerrymandered states as they have never been before. This in turn also tips the scales to the rich. Legislatures have also used this imbalance to pass laws restricting who can vote and to use proprietary voting machines. All this will also tip the balance in favor of the rich. In a slow steady onslaught the poor and middle class have seen their power at the polls diminished greatly. Trying to turn this around will be nearly impossible in the gerrymandered world of today.
One of the workingman’s greatest accomplishments was to unionize workplaces. This gave the worker some power in his job and some say in his pay, hours and safety. The unions have been smashed. The chances of their resurrection to their previous power is slim, especially in the political world described above.
All this and now a segment of our society believes that putting guns in the schools is a great idea. I think not. Too many bad things can happen with guns around. Better that they be limited in society.
And let us not forget a climate that surely will bake most human by the end of the century. And food that will be ever tougher to get and more costly, water that may also be hard to get.
If today’s child survives all that will they be able to save for old age? They better be, since Republicans will never quit in their quest to turn Social Security savings over to the Wall Street casino.
Republicans are right. “We” are leaving our children in bad shape.” But not the debt. If we could begin the chore of putting the economy back on track, that is a problem that could be dealt with. But as Republican policies continue to handcuff our and our children’s ability to deal with problems, the problems will only deepen and spread until they will be almost impossible to deal with.
After all Sir Mick studied at the London School of Economics. Had that other gig not worked out as it did, perhaps he would have capped his economics career advising David Cameron. Could have done it with a rock ‘n’ roll beat so maybe Brits wouldn’t notice every thing swirling around the crapper. As Republicans keep saying, their message is good, it is how it is being delivered.
Maybe Republicans could get their go to rocker Ted Nugent to whip a little ditty like “Who You Gonna Call After We’ve Taken It All?” or some other message songs.
Getting Their Hands On Social Security
It just occurred to me that the driving force behind every maneuver the right has made in recent years has been to get their hands on the Social Security trust fund. Every crisis they have created since St.Ronald of Reagan was president ended with a negotiating stance that included some form of privatizing Social Security. The biggest reason is the $2 trillion that is in the Social Security Trust Fund. Oh they desperately, desperately want to get their hands on that so they can slowly drain it to their friends on Wall street in the form of charges and fees etc.
And the other thing is that once they break through the last great social safety net, that pretty much destroys everything the Democratic Party stands for. They don’t need to swallow it all at once whole. What they need is a small break, just an opening. Once the barrier is breached, they can slowly tear at it and tear at it until there is nothing left. All they need right now is for the leaders of the Democratic Party (Obama, Reid, Durban) to agree to cut backs in payments such as the CPI. Once SS is up for negotiations, it is forever open to nicks and cuts that will eventually tear the fabric apart.
One of the tactics that is used is the idea that investing in Wall Street will make everybody rich. If you remember history, you will remember that the ones who get rich in all the gold rushes are the ones selling the shovels and pans, not the gold rushers themselves. Same goes here: those selling the securities get rich while the investors get fleeced.
Scalia: What I Know I learned From My Son
Interesting twist to the strange questions and statements that Justice Antonin Scalia makes during discussions of anything gay: his son is a priest who approaches homosexuality as something that may exist but is a behavior that shouldn’t be practiced.
“Insights into Scalia’s understanding of homosexuality (or lack thereof) can perhaps be found through his son, Rev. Paul Scalia, a Catholic priest in Arlington, Virginia. The younger Scalia has worked with the Church’s Courage ministry, which promotes “chastity” for gay Catholics using principles from ex-gay therapy. He has also spoken openly on the topic, and though he’s proven quite capable of reiterating the Church’s anti-gay teachings, a 2005 article reveals just how distorted the family’s view on homosexuality may be.
Writing about labels, Rev. Scalia compares identifying as gay to other school stereotypes like “preps,” “jocks,” and “geeks,” and argues that it’s unhelpful to young people to encourage them to embrace such labels. Challenging the notion that homosexuality even exists, he tries to distinguish between having “homosexual inclinations” or identifying as “a gay,” suggesting that some kids are “just confused.” Of course, his intention is to reduce homosexuality to “behaviors,” inferring that people with same-sex orientations are simply heterosexuals inclined to a special kind of sin. His true goal with this wordplay is to find a way to justify parents’ rejecting their gay children.”
Note that those on the right seldom use the word “gay” but seem to always use “homosexual” to make sure that the word “sex” is used so we don’t forget that it is “sex” we are discussing.
Reminder: Climate Change Will Make Summer Miserable
Even tough winter was more near what a normal winter used to be, I think we can bank on this coming summer to be hot and most likely dry at the worst possible time. Australia just suffered through their hottest summer ever, including temperatures never before reached. Could we survive 130 degrees? We may need to try to survive 110 soon.
Early Prediction: Scott Walker Will Be Republican Presidential Nominee
I am sticking my neck way out here, but I really believe that Scott Walker will be the next republican presidential nominee. My reasoning goes like this:
First: the money, the really big money, is behind him. He has been a very good puppet for them so far.
Second: He is a governor and has been an executive. In that capacity he had royally screwed the poor and busted unions like no other.
Third: He will be a sitting governor because the election in Wisconsin will be rigged and he will win in 2014.
The biggest reason is that he has been a good puppet and has proven that he will go the extra yard to do what the rich want. Follow the money
Final Thought – Has It Always Been Follow The Money?
One thought about politics that has stayed with me from the Nixon days is “follow the money.” Now it seems that if we put that yardstick up against every Republican move, “follow the money” is almost always the working philosophy behind most policy moves. Was that always true? Was “follow the money” the working philosophy behind slavery? Was “follow the money” the working philosophy behind suppressing the colonies?
I have no answer. This is just a question I keep in the back of my mind to muse on when I have time. So far the answer seems to be YES, but there is lots of history yet to ponder.
Oops – One More
Wish I had some kind of “quote of the week award.” Make no doubt about it, Justice Ginsburg made one of the great statements of all time with her comment on 2 types of marriage in the US ”There are two kinds of marriage: full marriage and the sort of skim-milk marriage.” Really summed it up.
Don’t forget to attend and ask questions at your local legislative forums. If you don’t speak out, who will? Find a list of forums here:
Time for some on the left to quit blaming President Obama for everything that happens like he’s God. Here’s a message From Americans Against The Tea Party. For more informed, wonky discussion about this issue and what really happened, click here: http://www.biofortified.org/community/forum/genetic-engineering-group3/politics-forum1/biotech-riders-thread290.0/ and here http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/monsanto-hitches-a-ride-on-must-pass-budget-bill/
MARCH 27th, 2013 Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0530
Healthiest Iowa Initiative to Hold “Medicaid Madness” Statewide Tour Today, Wednesday, March 27th
26 organizations have joined the Healthiest Iowa Initiative, including small business owners, health care providers, and citizen organizations
DES MOINES — The Healthiest Iowa Initiative will hold its “Medicaid Madness” tour today, Wednesday, March 27th. The events, which will educate Iowans about Medicaid expansion and ask them to contact Governor Branstad to support Medicaid expansion, will take place in Davenport, Mason City, Ottumwa, and Cedar Rapids. More information about the Healthiest Iowa Initiative can be found at www.healthiestiowa.com.
“Medicaid Madness” March 27th Events
WHEN: Today, Wednesday, March 27th, 10:15 am
WHERE: Community Health Care; 500 West River Drive, Davenport, Iowa
WHO: Tom Bowman, CEO, Community Health Care
Bill Gluba, Mayor of Davenport
Ken Croken, VP of Corporate Communication, Genesis Health System
Berlinda Tyler-Jamison, VP of Community impact and Advocacy, Trinity Regional Health System
Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director, Iowa Citizen Action Network
WHEN: Today, Wednesday, March 27th, 9:00 AM
WHERE: Cerro Gordo County Courthouse; 220 N Washington Ave, Mason City, Iowa
WHO: Chris Petersen, Iowa Main Street Alliance
John Colombo, President, North Iowa Nine Labor Council
Frank Driscoll, Organizer, Iowa Citizen Action Network
WHEN: Today, Wednesday, March 27th, 11:00 AM
WHERE: Hawkeye Labor Council, AFL-CIO; 1211 Wiley Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
WHO: Norm Sterzenbach, Board Member, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
Matt Sinovic, Executive Director, Progress Iowa
WHEN: Today, Wednesday, March 27th, 12:30 PM
WHERE: Ottumwa Pediatrics; 1000 Pennsylvania, Ottumwa, Iowa
WHO: Rick Johnson, Executive Director of River Hills Community Health Center;
Cheryll Jones, Regional Director of University of Iowa Specialized Child Health Clinic
Steve Siegel, President of Southern Iowa Labor Council AFL-CIO
Accepting Medicaid expansion would cover an additional 150,000 Iowans – uninsured young adults, veterans, the working poor, and mentally ill. Although he has objected to expansion because of a potential failure on the part of the federal government to honor its commitments, Governor Branstad’s alternative plan costs Iowa more and still relies on the federal government for funding. Full details of the Governor’s plan have not been released, but reviews of the limited information that is available indicate that the Governor’s proposal would cost the state more while providing fewer Iowans with the health security they need.
The 26 organizations participating in the Healthiest Iowa Initiative include AFSCME Iowa Council 61, Americans for Democratic Action, AMOS, Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa, Disability Rights Iowa, Hawkeye Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Iowa Human Needs Advocates, Iowa Main Street Alliance, Iowa Mental Health Planning Council, Iowa Olmstead Consumer Task Force, Iowa State Education Association, Iowa Statewide Independent Living Council, NAMI Greater Des Moines, National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upper Midwest Chapter, One Iowa, Passageway, Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa, Progress Iowa, Progressive Action for the Common Good, South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and Working Families Win.
In addition to learning about Medicaid expansion at Medicaid Madness events, Iowans are encouraged to sign the following petition at www.healthiestiowa.com: Iowa has the opportunity to approve a Medicaid expansion as part of Obamacare. We call on Governor Branstad to take this opportunity to help thousands of Iowans rather than pursue a plan that costs more, covers fewer and has no guarantee of federal funding. There are no real reasons – only political rhetoric – for failing to support Medicaid expansion in Iowa.
Iowans launch Healthiest Iowa Initiative
Iowa Senate caught up in Medicaid Mania
“Medicaid Madness” grips the statehouse
1963 was the year that the threads that were holding society together started to get frayed. In the US it was still pre British music invasion and we were still only ‘advising’ in Viet Nam. So we will reach back to March of 1963 to see what was popping.
So let’s see if you can remember (or had Mom and Dad tell you) about that wonderful year 1963.
1) A young man is arrested in Phoenix, Ariz. He makes statements to the police that lead to his conviction. He sues claiming he was never advised of his constitutional rights. Three years later the SCOTUS agrees and police now advise people using a warning named after this young man. His name was:
a) Clarence Gideon
b) William Douglas
c) Pedro Ramirez
d) Ernesto Miranda
2) This up and coming heavy weight boxer almost saw what would be a historic career end when he barely outpointed Doug Jones on March 13th. Whose career barely survived that fight?
a) Joe Frazier
b) George Foreman
c) Cassius Clay (later Muhammed Ali)
d) Sugar Ray Robinson
3) On March 21, one of America’s most well-known institutions closed. It is now a tourist attraction. What is this place?
a) The Bijou theater where John Dillinger was shot.
b) The school where evolution was taught leading to the Scopes Monkey Trial
d) Fort Laramie
4) March 22, 1963 this rock group released their first album in Britain. This group is …?
a) the Rolling Stones
b) The Beatles
c) The Kinks
d) The Dave Clark 5
5) The beginnings of a major scandal brews in Canada when Defence Minister John Profumo claims he was not involved with what woman?
a) Christine Keeler
b) Donna Rice
c) Evelyn Nesbitt
d) Fanne Foxe
6) In a decision announced on March 18, the SCOTUS ruled that
a) Police must have a search warrant before entering a private residence
b) Evidence obtained from an illegal search can not be presented in court
c) a person can not be forced to testify against him or her self
d) all defendants must be represented by counsel in court
7) On March 5th what major country music star dies in an airplane crash?
a) Jayne Mansfield
b) Dinah Shore
c) Patsy Cline
d) Skeeter Davis
8) The top rated TV show of the 1962-1963 TV season is
a) The Bevely Hillbillies
b) The Lucy Show
c) The Red Skelton Show
d) Candid Camera
9) The 1962 – 1963 late night line up saw what up & coming comedian take over the Tonight Show?
a) Steve Allen
b) Jack Paar
c) Johnny Carson
d) Joey Bishop
10) The week of March 24th this song took over as #1 and stayed at the top for a month. What was it?
a) “Telstar” by the Tornadoes
b) “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons
c) “Dominique” by the Singing Nun
d) “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles
Fifty years?? Hope that cake I put in the oven back then is done. Time surely goes by fast, doesn’t it? Well I guess it is time for some answers!
1) d) Ernesto Miranda. The case would make it to the SCOTUS in 1966. And that old liberal Warren court said people needed to be advised of their rights.
2) c) Cassius Clay aka Muhammed Ali nearly had his career stunted by Doug Jones.
3) c) Alcatraz
4) b) The Beatles – the album was rushed because of their popularity and was “Please Please Me”
5) a) Christine Keeler – tough question
6) d) In Gideon V Wainwright SCOTUS ruled that all defendants must be represented by counsel
7) c) Patsy Cline was killed on March 5, 1963
8) a) Yep – The Beverly Hillbillies
9) c) Johnny Carson started his long run in October 1962
10) b) we were still in the pre-Beatles stage and “He’s So Fine” spent a month on top of the charts
Note: On the same day as the Gideon decision the SCOTUS also issued the “one man, one vote” decision.
Note2: March 22 was the 50th anniversary of Dick Cheney’s first deferment.