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The Coolest First Lady Ever

For fun ICYMI. She is so awesome.

 

Kaufmann: “Walker Administration a ‘Model’ of What One-Party Control Should Look Like”

Jeff_Kaufmann_-_Official_Portrait_-_84th_GAWe don’t typically like to fear-monger, but if you are worried about Iowa becoming Wisconsin, it would seem that your concern is well-founded, because that is exactly what the Iowa Republicans have in mind.

Please think about ways you can help elect a Democrat in your district to the Iowa legislature.

http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/alexander-wisconsin-a-model-for-iowa-says-state-gop-chief/article.html

Republicans should follow Wisconsin’s road map if the GOP takes the lone seat of Democratic power in Iowa, the state Senate, in November, party officials said Monday.

Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann lauded the tax breaks and right-to-work policies enacted since Republicans seized Wisconsin’s Legislature and governor’s mansion in 2010.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is a “model” of what one-party control should look like, Kaufmann said Monday morning while introducing Wisconsin’s governor to Iowa delegates.

For his part, Walker highlighted sweeping tax cuts, voter ID laws and defunding Planned Parenthood that were only possible under GOP control of both legislative houses. Iowa could achieve those conservative milestones, too, he said, should the party topple Senate Democrats.

click here to read the entire story

Rep. David Young Votes Against LGBT Protections

win back congressIowa Republican David Young switched his vote at the last minute on an amendment that would have prevented federal contractors from getting government work if they discriminate against members of the LGBT community. The amendment was about to pass by one vote, when 7 members changed their vote at the last minute, Young being one of them.  Young said he changed his vote after he learned that there were no religious protections in the amendment –  presumably meaning that he thinks if you want to discriminate because you are religious, you should be able to –  but the video shows Young being taken off of the house floor by two party leaders shortly before he changed his vote.

Democratic challenger Jim Mowrer observed,  “Every single opportunity he’s had to vote with the moderates and on the right side of these issues, he has instead chosen to vote with the tea party and allowed to have his agenda controlled by Washington Republicans, not by Iowa voters…religion is never an excuse to discriminate.”

Help Democrat Jim Mowrer take back this congressional seat. We need more Iowa Democrats in Washington, not more tea party Republicans.  You can donate or volunteer to help by going to Mowrer’s campaign website, http://jimforiowa.com.  Or follow him on Facebook and Twitter

 

Grassley #Doyourjob Rallies At Six Locations In Iowa

Grassley do your job
Action Alert from Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO: 

Rallies on Tuesday, July 19 – the 125th day of obstruction for Merrick Garland, longer than any Supreme Court nominee in U.S. history. 6 locations, some details still to be confirmed:

WHERE: 210 Walnut St, Des Moines, Iowa
WHEN: Tues, July 19 at 5:30 PM
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/
CONTACT: Matt Sinovic, (515) 423-0530

WHERE: 531 Commercial St, Waterloo, Iowa
WHEN: Tues, July 19 at 5:30 PM
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/
CONTACT: Chris Schwartz, (319) 429-0133

WHERE: 131 E 4th St, Davenport, Iowa
WHEN: Tues, July 19 at 5:00 PM
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/
CONTACT: Sheri Carnahan or Tracy Leone

WHERE: 111 7th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
WHEN: Tues, July 19 at 5:30 PM
CONTACT: Christian Noyce

WHERE: 320 6th St, Sioux City, Iowa
WHEN: Tues, July 19 at 5:30 PM
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/
CONTACT: Jeremy Dumkrieger

WHERE: 8 South 6th St, Council Bluffs, Iowa
WHEN: Tues, July 19 at 6:00 PM
CONTACT: Bill Biede, (402) 250-0943, yankeesfan47@cox.net

Just Say No To Endless War

veterans for peace flagThe US House of Representatives and the US Senate have each approved a version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Each authorizes expenditures of over $600 billion for national defense. (Please note that the $600 billion does NOT include the $182 billion budget for the Veterans Administration, nor the $48 billion for Homeland Security).

Although military spending constitutes 54% of all discretionary spending, the NDAA commands very little public attention. The lack of public attention is dangerous and foolhardy, as is the NDAA itself. Why?

These expenditures are the single largest contributor to our national debt, which in itself is a threat to national security;

The US military produces more greenhouse gasses and consumes more fossil fuel than any other organization in the world, and thus threatens the security of the U.S. and the planet;

Our annual passive acceptance of a bloated NDAA reveals an addiction to violence, and, like many addicts, we are in denial. We claim to be a peaceful nation, but the only levers we fund are violent. More Reaper drones and new bombers and militarization of our police forces won’t bring peace;

We have spent over $1.7 trillion on our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no end in sight. After fifteen years, maybe it’s time to reflect and change;

Every reader, with a little thought, can add items to the above list. But until we care enough to say “NO,” we will continue into a future of endless war.

Grassley Swings At Journalists And Hits Himself

another sour note from the old crooner hat tip to dailykos

another sour note from the old crooner
hat tip to dailykos

Chuck Grassley once seemed to have a golden political touch but these days all he touches turns to lead. When he tries to show how hip he is by using the twitter machine, it often turns around to bite him in the butt. Maybe he would be better expressing his thoughts in a full text on Facebook or some other such platform.

Monday Grassley took to twitter to spank journalists. Journalists have been the target of the Republican party for decades. Who can forget Spiro Agnew’s infamous line “nattering nabobs of negativism” as the Nixon administration waged a public battle with journalists.

When a Republican politician’s fortune starts to fade it seems the first line of offense is to blame the reporters. This has always been an iffy strategy at best but in this day and age when so much of what is reported is also accompanied by a visual recording, attacking the messenger can lead to some real embarrassments.

Not sure what triggered Grassley’s tweet Monday morning. Perhaps Grassley is not enjoying life in the hot seat for the first time in his career. Since deciding to be the point person in defying the constitution, Grassley’s statements are no longer treated as statements from a being from above. More and more the Iowa press is treating him as if he is human.

The descent from the throne must be hard. Grassley still doesn’t quite seem to understand that his little outbursts of temper are no longer going to get all praise but are now going to be scrutinized. So when he tweeted this little outburst Monday morning Grassley was probably surprised that he stirred up a bit of a hornet’s nest.

ChuckGrassley ✔@ChuckGrassley
Do u think 2day’s journalists r too elite for ‘ordinary Americans’?

10:02 AM – 11 Jul 2016

Grassley appears to be trying to rile up some backlash against those nasty reporters who have dared question him, especially about his stand on defying the constitution. He seems to be trying to appear as the folksy ordinary man against some group of snobs. He should have realized that 1) most journalists can read and 2) many of them monitor twitter since breaking stories of get first mention on twitter 3) journalism for most reporters is not an avenue to wealth.

So the group of people who write for a living wrote responses.

Many noted in a variety of ways that most journalists are not wealthy. Some noted that by Iowa standards Grassley is very well off.

Evan Lobell @e_lobell
@mattdpearce Chuck Grassley’s net worth is estimated to be about $3.76 million. What are “2day’s journalists” worth?

A tweet such as this one from Grassley will do little to tarnish journalists, but sure will be used to highlight just who is out of touch with ordinary Americans. For a senator from the party that bows to the wishes of the wealthy and the corporations turning on this light will surely have it shined back on him. Grassley continues with his very unpopular stand defying the constitution. Grassley also continues to refuse to answer sincere questions about this stand. Grassley also supports the TPP which is becoming more and more unpopular especially among ordinary Iowans who may once more see their jobs shipped overseas.

It is hard to claim to understand ordinary Americans when you have a very high paid job, get lots of time off and yet you refuse to do it and you constantly support those who cut workers pay or send your jobs overseas.

In short, by trying to punch journalists with his ‘out of touch’ charge, Grassley is seeing it rebound to hit him. Stumbley-bumbley.

Sunday Funday: Get The Popcorn Ready Edition

Cleveland,  here we come!

Cleveland, here we come!

This coming week will most likely go down in the annals of politics for many reason. The question we may all have to ask ourselves is: Do we have the stomach to watch?

We probably won’t. While I could stand the speeches and cheerleading for Trump, what we will not be able to stomach will be the corporate news media fawning over this @#(*&%$ as if he were truly mainstream and a representation of America. No doubt there will be plenty of opportunities for them to run down Hillary Clinton and to mention emails that turned out to be absolutely nothing. That last part will be left out, however.

Another historic week. We’ll try to capture some of the smaller stories and maybe some convention trivia.

1) One woman took the reins of power unelected in a democracy last week Who is she and where did this take place?

2) Tuesday July 12, Portsmouth, New Hampshire – what took place?

3) Monday night which disgruntled former Republican presidential candidate had an interview on MSNBC in which he trashed Donald Trump?

4) The Republican Party nominated who as their first presidential candidate in 1856 in Philadelphia?

5) In a photo that evoked Tianamen Square, a young black woman in a flowing dress stood calmly in front of police in what racially embattled city?

6) What Supreme Court justice stepped into the political arena this week with some comments on Donald Trump?

7) In 1860, Republicans convened in Chicago to nominate their first successful ticket – Abraham Lincoln and who?

8) After 45 years the FBI announced that it was no longer actively investigating what legendary case? (case took place Nov. 24, 1971)

9) In Britain, what brexit supporter and failed leadership candidate was announced as the new foreign secretary Thursday?

10) The 1912 Republican convention saw William Howard Taft nominated despite major primary wins by what challenger?

11) Senator Grassley took to the twitters Monday to post a disparaging remark against what group of people?

12) July 20 of what year did the world hear these words: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”?

13) The police chief of Dallas challenged protesters to be part of the solution by doing what?

14) Indiana democrats were happily treated to news that what popular former senator would run for his old seat?

15) The Republican convention became a TV event for the first time in what year?

16) Another controversial law in North Carolina where Gov. McCrory signed a bill blocking the release of what recordings into the public record?

17) 1952 Republicans chose the very popular WWII commander Dwight Eisenhower over what son of a former president?

18) As Republicans predicted the economy is in a tailspin. Last week saw huge job numbers, this week what economic indicators hit new records?

19) Molly Ivins said “I liked it better in the original German” as she commented on the convention speech by what Republican pundit in 1992?

20) As congress rushes to adjourn what critical piece of legislation had to pass at the last minute?

Our sympathies to the French who once more appear to have been victimized by terrorists attacks.

Answers:

1) Theresa May was picked to be PM of Great Britain by the conservative party replacing David Cameron Wednesday

2) Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president

3) Jeb!

4) John C. Fremont of California

5) Baton Rouge

6) Justice Ginsburg

7) Sen. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine

8) the airplane hijacking and subsequent parachute disappearance of DB Cooper

9) Boris Johnson

10) former president Theodore Roosevelt

11) journalists

12) 1969

13) joining the police force

14) Evan Bayh

15) 1940

16) police body cam era recordings

17) Robert Taft son of William Howard Taft

18) stock market averages – Dow Jones and the S&P 500 – thanks Obama

19) Pat Buchanan

20) stopping GMO labeling on food

The weather will be hot next week. Will it be hotter than Republicans as they nominate Trump?

Adding Pence Completes The Republican Hate Portfolio

During the Republican primary Donald Trump was quite blatant about what he was running on. He was running on an openly racist platform targeting Muslims and Mexicans in particular, blacks only slightly less pointedly but with plenty of dog whistle phrases to please his supporters. He was also openly misogynist treating women as if they were but servants.

One group that seemed to avoid the brunt of the Trump hate was the gay community. Not that Trump was a supporter, but he just didn’t seem to have a canon loaded for them. But then, I may have missed it if it happened. It is extremely hard to listen to Trump.

So it must have been with that in mind that Trump picked Mike Pence to be his Vice Presidential candidate and ambassador to the gay community. As most folks know, Pence polished his credentials as a hater of gays with the infamous Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act or RFRA. This is the law that gave people and businesses an excuse of religion as a reason to discriminate gays in particular. Thus did shine his Republican star back in March and April of 2015.

Along with supporting and signing this camouflaged discrimination bill twice – once the original and once an amended but just as bad bill – Pence also polished his religion in government creds by claiming he prayed over his decision. Praying rather than dealing with reality is a hallmark of this group.

So much like picking any VP candidate, the Republican nominee chose his VP candidate to shore up some perceived weaknesses in the background of the presidential nominee. This is quite a different take on business as usual in politics. Instead of picking a running mate to appease a region of the country or to show camaraderie with a certain voting bloc, this pick is to complete a portfolio of groups that the party wants to discriminate against.

There is a nod to a certain voting bloc in a way. The nod is to the religulous across the land that Republicans have and will continue to use the power of government to enforce their religious beliefs despite the constitution’s interdiction against it.

Another unmentioned plus for the religious crowd based on Pence’s actions in office there will be more of a reliance on prayer in times of crisis rather than actually doing something.

Pence’s pick is quite in line with the 2016 Republican platform.

An observation – Current elected officials who will attend the convention and/or support this ticket are guilty of moral cowardice. Rather than stand up to the moral bankruptcy that is Donald Trump, these folks choose the easy path of following authority no matter what. The morally bankrupt have no business in positions of authority.

hat tip to EarlG at democraticunderground.com

hat tip to EarlG at democraticunderground.com

Patty Judge No Stranger To Defying Odds

Patty_Judge

With the conventions beginning next week the campaigns will be getting into full swing soon thereafter. One here in Iowa that the nation will be watching is the race for the senate seat currently occupied by Chuck Grassley.

Grassley goes into the contest with two big pluses – incumbency which is hard to beat anymore and money, money, money. As chair of the Judiciary Committee, and member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Budget Committee coupled with his high seniority makes Grassley the kind of guy that lobbyists beg to shower with money. A quick trip to Open Secrets shows that Grassley has money and certain industries will keep him in the chips.

His opponent doesn’t have Grassley’s money, but Patty Judge does have a some big pluses on her side. First there is her reputation as a politician with integrity. Second is her opponents own stumbles especially over the judiciary nominations that are the kind of self inflicted wounds that most politicians only dream of. But maybe most important is Judge’s bulldog character. Expect her to fight and fight hard to the end.

From the Hill Tuesday we get a portrait of Patty Judge the fighter:

Grassley, 82, has consistently won more than 60 percent of the vote in each of his reelection contests. But this year, he faces his first real competition and a very unpredictable election cycle, with polls showing him as little as 1 point ahead of Judge.

“I think she’s trusted. I think people respect her and like her, but I think she’s got to run a great campaign in order to convince people to make the change,” said David Andersen, assistant political science professor at Iowa State University. “If you’re going to unseat Chuck Grassley, you have to convince people there’s a reason to do it.

Those who have worked closely with Judge also describe her as capable of taking on the Senate legend.

“She is a pretty aggressive campaigner in getting out and meeting people across the state, which I think particularly going against Chuck Grassley … is really going to be a strong quality in a candidate,” said Norm Sterzenbach, former deputy campaign manager for the Culver-Judge gubernatorial campaign.

Judge has condemned Grassley’s support of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who came in second in the state’s caucuses. She has endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who eked out a win there in February and is eager to campaign with Clinton when she next visits Iowa.

“I think that she’s a strong woman, and I think I’m a strong woman, but I think we both are very, very qualified to take on the jobs that we’re seeking, despite our gender,” Judge said.

Add to this that Chuck Grassley has been pretty much hiding from most Iowans during this term. Thanks to research by a new website called fakegrassley we see that while Grassley claims to make his 99 county tour yearly in the most populous counties he avoids people. This has been very evident since he signed on to Sen. Cotton’s treasonous letter last year and even more conspicuous since his unconstitutional stand on judicial appointments.

DES MOINES – Progress Iowa today released in-depth research detailing Senator Chuck Grassley’s public town hall meetings since 2011. What was discovered is that Senator Grassley has not held an open public meeting as part of his annual 99 county tour in nearly all of the state’s major population centers, including no public meetings in 11 counties overall, 8 of which are among Iowa’s most populous 10 counties.

“The findings from our research into Senator Grassley’s public meetings are shocking – he has intentionally avoided hearing from the open public in most of Iowa’s largest counties,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “This is not just a one-year anomaly. Our research shows Senator Grassley repeatedly and consistently holding zero public events in nearly all of our most populated counties. Senator Grassley is essentially hiding from the public input of nearly half of his constituents. Senator Grassley reminds us regularly that he visits 99 counties each year, but with far too many private events and no public events in Iowa’s biggest counties, his so-called ‘full Grassley’ tour should be called the ‘fake Grassley.’”

Key findings from the report, which can be found at www.fakegrassley.com, include:

Since 2011, Senator Grassley held just 3 public town hall meetings in Iowa’s 10 most populated counties, and held no public meetings in 8 of the 10 most populated counties:
Polk: 0
Linn: 0
Scott: 2 (none since May 2012)
Johnson: 0
Black Hawk: 0
Woodbury: 0
Dubuque: 0
Story: 0
Pottawattamie: 1 (none since August 2011)
Dallas: 0

Senator Grassley has not held a public meeting in Polk, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, Woodbury, Dubuque, Story, Dallas, Jasper, Buena Vista, or Fayette counties, which comprise just over 45% of Iowa’s total population.

Less than half of his 99 county tour meetings are open to the public; in 2016, Senator Grassley has stated he has visited 72 counties, but just 25 of those have been public town meetings

Progress Iowa is hosting the full findings of the report on the new website www.FakeGrassley.com, which includes additional information and statistics about Senator Grassley’s travel schedules.

I can vouch that that in my neck of the woods that a Grassley sighting is a very rare occurrence. His last foray out our way was shortly after he refused to do his job. The meeting was very tense with most people there to ask why he wouldn’t do his job and Grassley refusing to answer.

No wonder he is hiding.

Bold Iowa #nobakken Pipeline Action

Bakken Pipeline Proposed RouteNew Action Alert from Ed Fallon and the Bold Iowa Team

Thanks again for signing the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance.

We are closing in on 1,000 signers! Many thanks to our partners at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and CREDO Action for helping to circulate the pledge.

This is incredible and unprecedented, and I thank you for choosing to be part of what could be a truly historic moment.

While it’s impossible to say exactly when or where direct action will occur, it could be soon — we just heard from allies in both Lee and Jefferson counties that construction on the Bakken pipeline has begun in Iowa.

We knew this was coming, and I’m not the least bit discouraged. Construction was initiated on other pipelines (Keystone, Constitution, Palmetto) and they were defeated. We can stop this! But it will involve all hands on deck.

We are currently organizing several actions for everyone who signed the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance. We will have details to share with you soon, but we need a little more information from you.

Click here to complete our short 3-question Next Steps survey, and confirm your pledge.

We have also assembled a Bakken Pledge “Next Steps” FAQ, which you will be directed to after you complete the survey.

Click here to chip in $10 or whatever you can to support the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance.

One more thing: Native American youth are on a 1,500-mile relay run from North Dakota to Washington, D.C. to protest the pipeline. They’ll cross Iowa from July 19 – 25, and they invite people to run with them, meet them, share a meal with them, hear their stories. They also need to borrow a couple of vans.

For more information on the “Run For Our Water” visit the Oceti Sakowin Youth + Allies Facebook Page or contact Bobbi Jean Three Legs at bobbi.jean@ocetisakowinyouth.com or Joseph White Eyes at joseph@ocetisakowinyouth.com.

There have been many critical moments in this fight to stop the Bakken Pipeline. This one may be the most critical yet, and I am honored to have you as an ally.

Thank you for standing with us.

Ed Fallon and the Bold Iowa team

P.S. Chip in $10 here to support the Bakken Pledge of Resistance.