According to the Terry Branstad method of accounting for jobs he will be happy to know that when he loses his next year it will not count against him. Plus when the Democrat takes his place, that will count as another job created by Branstad!
Gay Marriage In Illinois?
They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere! What’s that? Oh, there really are gays everywhere. I’ll be darned. They are getting married and raising kids and your marriage has not been ruined. Somebody been lying to us!
Scott Walker is starting to make noises like a presidential candidate. Sorry, Mr. Walker but many of us will ever see you as anything more than a Koch sucker.
Did You Ever Hear?
Have you heard someone say “I don’t have kids in school, why should I pay taxes for schools?” Well look at this chart and see if there aren’t a few things YOU would like to cut out.
Note To Ken Cuccinelli
Couldn’t have happened to a better person, Cooch. The loss, I mean. Maybe TMAC will really turn Virginia into a place for lovers – of all stripe. On your way out the door, take one more read of this.
Hi To All The New Worlds Out There
The Keppler telescope has allowed scientists to estimate that there are possibly some 20 billion planets in “Goldolocks” zones just in our galaxy, with potentially billions more throughout the universe. I can hardly wait until we make contact and can start fighting a war over whose God is the one and true God.
“Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion–several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.”
See you soon?
Most of us woke up to the news that once more the poor had benefits cut. Since they have few advocates anywhere in our governmental system this is hardly a surprise. As a group the poor are beat up day in and day out on right wing media. One thing they always point out is that a job is the best poverty program. What they fail to point out is that Republicans in congress have obstructed multiple jobs bills. Yesterday Paul Krugman pointed out in his New York Times column that there is an out and out war on the poor. After discussing the current state of Republicans shredding the safety net, Krugman goes on to say:
“So what’s this all about? One reason, the sociologist Daniel Little suggested in a recent essay, is market ideology: If the market is always right, then people who end up poor must deserve to be poor. I’d add that some leading Republicans are, in their minds, acting out adolescent libertarian fantasies. “It’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,” declared Paul Ryan in 2009.
But there’s also, as Mr. Little says, the stain that won’t go away: race.
In a much-cited recent memo, Democracy Corps, a Democratic-leaning public opinion research organization, reported on the results of focus groups held with members of various Republican factions. They found the Republican base “very conscious of being white in a country that is increasingly minority” — and seeing the social safety net both as something that helps Those People, not people like themselves, and binds the rising nonwhite population to the Democratic Party. And, yes, the Medicaid expansion many states are rejecting would disproportionately have helped poor blacks.
So there is indeed a war on the poor, coinciding with and deepening the pain from a troubled economy. And that war is now the central, defining issue of American politics.”
It is not just a war on the poor but also a war on those who may be loosely affiliated with the poor or subgroups within the poor.
- There is a very open and ugly war on women. This includes the war on abortion which just adds to the need for a safety net.
- War on the elderly that has been in the background for many years is slowly coming into the open.
- War on immigrants. This has really escalated. The immigrant group is one group that is fighting back.
- There has been an almost open war on workers for a long time which has lead to lowering wages in general and many full time positions not even earning enough money to get out of abject poverty working for major corporation ( hint: McDonald’s and Walmart)
- And the granddaddy of them all – the war on unions that is well into its second century. Strong unions could help in resolving many of these problems.
- Finally the new war on those groups likely to vote for Democrats. These are the new restrictions on voting that seem to be aimed at groups mentioned above.
As I mentioned, the immigrant group is showing signs of working as a block. One of the tactics that Republicans have perfected over the years is to split groups apart with wedge issues to keep them from forming a block to go after their issues. If they are to have any form of success, they need to get by the wedge issues and join with other groups to elect representatives to work for all the “other” groups.
If you take all those in this country that either are a member of one of the groups mentioned above or have a loved one who is a member of one of those groups, I would estimate it would cover nearly 80% of Americans. Imagine, just imagine if 80% of Americans banded together to focus on electing and pushing representatives who would work for a better life for all. Those votes would speak very loudly. So loud they could win the Wars!
DES MOINES– From the desk of Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa.
Progress Iowa to hold “Iowa Women Deserve Better” rally at state capitol
Featured speakers include Rep. Marti Anderson, Senator Jack Hatch, Rep. Tyler Olson, and Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell
Progress Iowa will hold a rally on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the state capitol in opposition to Governor Branstad’s politicization of women’s health care and his partnership with anti-abortion activists and the Iowa Board of Medicine to eliminate access to women’s reproductive health care.
The Iowa Board of Medicine is considering a proposed rule change that would ban the state’s telemedicine delivery system for medication abortion. Telemedicine is a safe and common practice, which has been in place since 2008 in Iowa. In 2010, the Iowa Board of Medicine reviewed the rules governing the telemedicine delivery system for medication abortion, and upheld the current system. Since then, Governor Branstad has filled the entire board with his hand-picked replacements. And recently, the Des Moines Register uncovered an email between Governor Branstad’s staff and an activist coordinating a petition to the Board requesting that the rules be reviewed and changed.
“Governor Branstad is proving that politicians make lousy doctors,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Politics should never dictate health care, but the governor keeps injecting himself into personal decisions that should remain between a woman and her doctor. And his administration’s partnership with anti-abortion activists in an orchestrated political attack with the Board of Medicine is shameful.”
WHAT: Iowa Women Deserve Better Rally.
WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 28, noon.
WHERE: Iowa State Capitol, West Steps.
CONFIRMED SPEAKERS: Rep. Marti Anderson, Sen. Jack Hatch, Rep. Tyler Olson, Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell.
The “Iowa Women Deserve Better” rally is being co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa, AFSCME Iowa Council 61, Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, and One Iowa. For more information, visit progressiowa.org.
In case you had missed it yesterday, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a decision they had made in January that yes, indeed, you can be fired from your job just for being too attractive. If you hadn’t guessed already the ‘defendant’ in the case is a female and the Iowa Supremes who ruled are a bunch of overgrown boys.
Coming to the same conclusion as it did in December, the all-male court found that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender.
The ruling upholds a judge’s decision to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit filed against Fort Dodge dentist James Knight, who fired assistant Melissa Nelson, even while acknowledging she had been a stellar employee for 10 years. Knight and his wife believed that his attraction to Nelson — two decades younger than the dentist — had become a threat to their marriage. Nelson, now 33, was replaced by another woman; Knight had an all-femalestaff.
The all-male court issued its revised opinion Friday in the case after taking the unusual step last month of withdrawing its December opinion, which had received nationwide publicity, debate and criticism.
Nelson’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, had asked the court in January to reconsider, calling the decision a blow for gender and racial equity in the workplace. She had warned the opinion could allow bosses to legally fire dark-skinned blacks and replace them with light-skinned blacks or small- breasted workers in favor of big-breasted workers.
Couple things to say here: Wow what an incredibly stupid decision. I try to fight Iowa’s reputation as backward hayseeds and then our highest judges make decisions like this that prove that yes the state has turned around under Branstad and is headed directly to the 1800s. And the people of Iowa must be proud to have thrown competent judges off the court to have them replaced by Moe, Larry and Curly. The judges who were thrown off the court earned a well deserved “Profile In Courage” award. Bet no one on this group gets one.
Amazingly it was an all male court that decided that when a male can’t control himself and act as a mature citizen, then it must be the woman’s fault. How very,very 19th century of you, boys.
Pretty hard to hold your head up high as an Iowan with neanderthal rulings such as that. What next for the Boys’ Club? Women as property?
Maybe I am over reacting, but I want the women in my life to be treated equally with men. In employment, in health care, simply in all aspects of life. If the dentist in question has a problem he should resolve it himself, not make someone else pay the price. I used to hear all this talk about “personal responsibility.”
If I were a woman I would certainly find another dentist quickly. As a man who supports women, I would do the same. Maybe he can control himself when he is all alone.
I can only hope there is an appeal. I believe that would be to the Supreme Court. They are no longer a Boys’ Club.
One of our daughters lives in Mississippi. This is of course one of the states that would rather watch a woman die than to let her have a needed medical procedure if it was called for. It scares the hell out of her, and it scares the hell out of her parents. At least we currently do have the outlet that we could get her back to Iowa for health care if we had to. She is lucky in that respect. Most women are stuck dealing with the health care where they live. It is hard to believe that in modern day America we have to deal with 3rd world political decisions.
If I were a woman, married to a woman, had a sister, had a mother or had a daughter I would never vote for any politician who would deny any woman health care in America that is deemed necessary between a woman and her doctor. It is the 21st century, folks. Women should be able to get safe legal medical procedures in all of the United States and its territories. To deny that is to deny women their rights as human beings.
“Obamacare” Will Succeed.
As I have said before, the greatest fear the Republican Party has now and has had for decades is that Democrats would pass some sort of national health care. Their fear is that it will work. If it works, much like Social Security and Medicare, it will create at least a generation of voters who will thankfully vote Democratic. And they will vote Democratic also because they will know that national health care will need to be amended to work at its best and they know Republicans will NEVER, NEVER do anything to help such a system.
Let me say that “Obamacare” will succeed simply by comparison to the laughable system Republican policies have backed us into over the past 3 decades. Simply the fact that some 50,000,000 Americans will actually be able to see a doctor will mean the world to them. Then there are the next tier of some 50,000,000 who have insurance but are kept from doctors by prohibitive deductibles and co-pays. The biggest problem we will have will be that the system was built to deny care to a segment of the population, so there will be some overcrowding. Answers will be created to meet these problems and jobs will be created.
Republicans will not just sit back and let the ACA (Obamacare) succeed. No they will do everything they can to undermine the law of the land. Look for major assaults on several fronts trying to stall the January 1st implementation date. Remember these assaults will be carried out by Republican members of Congress who have sworn to uphold the Constitutions and laws of the US.
Walmart Versus Washington, D.C.
Most here know that Walmart got in a tussle with the city of Washington D.C. over the wages that Walmart workers in future stores in DC would be paid. Walmart wants to pay minimum wage and the DC council wants them to pay at least $12.50/hr. There are several aspects to this story. One I have heard very little about is the amount of welfare Walmart get from our government that translates into more money in the pockets of the Walton kids (big winners in the lucky sperm contest).
Because Walmart pays so little and is now moving to using more and more temp workers, many of their workers end up receiving food stamps, medicaid and other government services that you and I pay for. We should be applauding the DC council and hope that other governmental units across the country follow their lead.
The week of July 4th seems like a good opportunity to take a little time to see where we are at and where do we want to go. It never hurts to assess what our goals are and therefore where we should be focusing. Like most inventories I plan on being fairly sober and task driven. I would appreciate keeping the chatter down and try to follow along.
I think we need to separate our list into “must do today” and “need to do, but can wait a bit.” I think most of you will agree that there is not a lot of slack in any of these.
1) End global warming.
- Climate change or whatever you want to call it, without a place to live, all else becomes moot. The horizon for stopping and then reversing global warming is becoming shorter each day.
2) Get money out of politics.
- Until we have decision makers freed from being beholden to corporations and the rich we can never expect them to make decisions for the best of all humans. And we can’t use the institutions set up for decision making until we have people who are able to think and act freely.
- All lobbying and contacts with decision makers must be in the open. No money or gifts should ever change hands. No former decision maker can become a lobbyist.
3) Verifiable elections with all citizens allowed to vote
- We simply can’t have true leadership if there are always questions of election theft and rigged elections. This is closely tied to #2.
4) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
- We have plenty of work to be done in this country. Repairing infrastructure and creating the infrastructure for the renewable energy economy should keep us busy for a couple of decades. We do have the money to do it. That money is in fewer and fewer hands. Getting at it is tied once again to the two previous points – money out of politics and verifiable elections. A populace that is beholden to the rich for their very existence is a populace that will be restive.
5) Media must be freed of corporate control and competition in media must be restored.
- Except for the internet – which must be kept open – our media is about the equal of 1960s Russia.
- This would be the lowest hanging fruit in terms of what could be done tomorrow, but we need leaders with guts to do the right things. BTW – much of the work that needs to be done directly relates to changing society to use less resources and global warming causing methods.
Those are, to me, the very critical tasks that must be focused on immediately and with a laser-like beam. Without getting those behind us it remains increasingly hard to accomplish any of the following:
5) Public Education focusing on reality and equality with it geared toward turning out good citizens.
- currently the trend toward privatizing education with an eye only on profits is scary. The other side of the coin – the starving of the public system with an eye on destroying it is also scary. Neither will produce what the country needs – well grounded and educated citizens.
6) A subset of #1 – re-invigorating the environment.
- Our planet needs diversity among plants and animals to survive and prosper. We have greatly hurt that cause in the past centuries, but all is not lost.
7) Total separation of church and state.
8) Women’s issues from health to equal pay.
There should never be any reason why one worker doing the same job gets 30% less than another. Nor should there ever be a time when a woman cannot get a legal medical procedure done in the United States. Men do not have such a problem.
8a) Racial discrimination. We are currently headed backwards from the ideal that all men are created equal. Despite what John Roberts says, we have problems. Ignoring them will not cause them to go away.
9) Medical care for all and ending hunger in America
- Bring the US from 3rd world status in this category. We have the money. Why do we let it happen?
10) Keep the internet free and open.
11) End all secrecy in government, except for personnel matters; nothing else should be done in secret. No organizations such as ALEC, no NSA, no secret courts.
Well, the above is one person’s opinion. When I look at the list I do not see see one item that a case couldn’t be made that it is the top priority. The point is that each of us should take some time to reflect on occasion where we are headed.
Keep working all.
In what must be the first move in the 2014 election cycle, a large group of Republican House members voted for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and at the same time voted AGAINST VAWA. So, even though the money that runs the Republican Party was against the VAWA, most Republicans knew that voting against it would look bad.
So Speaker John Boehner scheduled votes for a Republican version of the VAWA that excluded help for immigrants and Native Americans on tribal lands, among others. So King and his ilk could vote for that version, thus claiming they voted FOR the VAWA, even though this version failed to pass. Then when Boehner allowed a vote on the Senate passed version of the VAWA, which the Republicans opposed, King and his ilk could vote against it. Thus, when he goes to campaign in 2014 whether it be state-wide or in his district he can claim that he voted FOR VAWA or he can claim he voted AGAINST VAWA depending on the crowd. The version that passed is quite popular.
Implicit in this maneuver by Steve King is that he thinks the average Iowa voter is an idiot. So think about what Steve King’s opinion of you is, if you are in an area where he is on the ballot.
The full story is here and names others playing the same trick.
A story posted on alternet the other day got me to thinking: it really is time for the new American narrative to be told. The old one where people work together and compromise for the better of the whole country is long out of date. Finding out the real truth when coming of age can be quite traumatic for many. Often they realize that not only is the national narrative is filled with manure, so is much of what they are told day in and day out. On second thought maybe the untrue national story does serve a greater good.
8 Giveaways To Corporations
During a conversation with a friend last week I made the statement that “the big money always wins.” And once again, while the country was all atwitter about the “fiscal cliff” and who was winning or losing, the big boys weren’t worried, they knew they would win. In this article we find out that while some had their taxes raised some corporations once more made out like bandits. Same old, same old. I am sure that gave some consolation to Republicans.
Means Testing SS & Medicare
One of the most often offered answers to the so-called “crises” concerning Social Security and Medicare is to means test those who receive benefits. After all, why should the rich get a social security? Why shouldn’t the rich pay for their own medical care? Read the reasons in this article and arm yourself for that eventual tea bagger who claims that means testing will save these two great programs. If you happen to think “divide and conquer” when you read this, you are on the right track.
House Blocks Violence Against Women Act
No real surprise here is there? Just the continuation of Republicans trying to keep women in their place. Nothing personal. Many Republicans have mothers, sisters, daughters and even friends who are female.
Gov. Christie Surprised By Republican House.
Imagine what must be going through Chris Christie’s mind when he found out on his own that Republicans are asses when it comes to aiding misfortunate Americans. Imagine what will go through his mind when he finds out he is one of those hated Republicans.
Harry Reid Gets Unanimous Consent For Pages Of Nominees
Lawrence O’Donnell, who served for years as chief adviser for Sen. Moynihan and as chief of staff for the Senate Finance Committee, dug into that background to report a huge story that no one else reported on. For the first four years one of the tactics that Republican senators employed to cripple the Obama presidency was to automatically filibuster damn near every nominee for anything that the administration sent to the senate for confirmation.
So after all the fanfare of the fiscal cliff story, after all the reporters were gone, Harry Reid quietly brought the numbers of the nominees to the floor and through an agreement with Sen. McConnell, each was passed with a unanimous consent vote. Now the administration can do its job. A thing of quiet beauty.
Medicare Costs Down Dramatically
Hard to believe, but once more Republicans are using “facts” that are not true. The claims that Medicare costs are spiraling out of control are demonstrably not true. And the changes that the Affordable Care Act will bring will help reign them in even more. Peter Orzag, formerly of the Obama Administration and now of Ctiti, has put together some numbers and charts which show Medicare costs down dramatically with a downward trend. This should be a game changer.
I certainly miss the days when real facts were used in debating policy.