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Action Alert To Stop Bakken Pipeline Saturday

Bakken Pipeline Proposed RouteBold Iowa and Iowa CCI are activating the more than 2,500 signers of the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance to join us this Saturday, Oct. 15 in west central Iowa for our next nonviolent direct action to stop construction on the Dakota Access pipeline.

In addition to those planning to risk arrest, we will need support teams for all arrestees, as well as folks to stand with us in solidarity, hold signs, and help document the direct actions.

If you plan to risk arrest, you *must* attend the nonviolence training at 10:00 a.m., or must have previously attended a nonviolence training with us.

Those planning to risk arrest are asked to prepare for that possibility by bringing $300 in bail money — there are also limited funds available for those who do not have personal funds to cover bail and court costs.

We do not take this step lightly, but Dakota Access is trampling sovereign rights, abusing eminent domain for private gain, and threatening our land, water and climate.

Can’t join us? Chip in $5, $8, $20 or whatever you can to support the Bakken Pledge Legal Defense Fund.

Thanks for standing with us. 

Bold Iowa, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, CREDO Action, and 100 Grannies for a Livable Future.

P.S. Tickets are now on sale for the Oct. 30 “Climate Revolution Rally” in Des Moines feat. Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox (“Gasland”) screening his new documentary. Click here to purchase tickets for a $10 donation to Bold Iowa

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Branstad Adopts Trump Tactics, Blames Democrats For His Behavior



This  week I came across a story,  Law Enforcement: Lack of Resources for Mental Health in Iowa a Major Problem. In this story, Governor Branstad blamed Democrats for the closing of two MHIs and was quoted as saying, ” The fact remains that every Senate Democrat suing the state voted to not fund the two mental health institutions in question and keep them closed in House File 2460 (Roll Call Vote can be found here).”  I was taken aback, because that is not  how I remembered it happening.  So I wrote to my state senator, Joe Bolkcom, asking if the story was accurate and I have posted his reply below.  Basically, Branstad was just lying.

From Senator Bolkcom:

Your question has come to us repeatedly because all the Republican challengers are cookie cutter claiming that it was Senate Democrats’ fault that the two mental health institutes closed.

The short answer is, this is a cynical lie. The CR Gazette gave Sen Mathis’s opponent an F for the claim in their fact checking. The Republicans are desperate. If you can’t win with facts tell lies. It is the new Republican brand. Liars.

It is outrageous that Republicans are now blaming Senate Democrats for the closure of two mental health institutes. The facts clearly show that the decision was Governor Branstad’s. Even a few House Republican legislators called on Branstad to reverse course. The Senate Democrats worked during the 2015 session to save both MHIs only finally agreeing at the end of a long session to save Mt. Pleasant and privatize some of the gero-psych services at Clarinda. The Governor VETOED that compromise and both MHIs closed.

The original HHS Budget passed by the Senate in 2015 was SSB 1288 and SF 505 (first Senate passage) fully funded Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda (using SSBG funds).

NO Republicans voted for the version that funded all 4 MHI’s …26-22 Senate Journal 991. Costello, Feenstra, Johnson, Rozenboom, Segebart, Sinclair and Smith voted for the final compromise 33-17 Senate Journal 1079.

In addition Senate Republicans have not voted for any funding for mental health institutes, mental health regions or Medicaid funding for mental health in years.—which means we don’t have enough community services in place.

The bill that contained the “study MHI’s” language was in 2010, HF 811. It also contained full funding for the 4 MHI’s. We study lots of things and use the information in the studies to decide if it’s something is working or needs to be changed. The study indicated we need the services provided by the MHI’s. We never implemented closing any MHI, in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. We fought to keep them all open through a long 2015 session and finally ended up with a compromise to keep Mt. Pleasant open and look into privatizing Clarinda, which would have kept services in place.

To be attacked for working to improve mental health services is dishonest. Especially since the Governor and Republican legislators have done so much to hurt the service network by closing much needed mental health beds and privatizing Medicaid. So cynical.

Remember in November!

Grassley’s Off-The-Wall Comment About Trump And Sainthood Could Help Judge

Iowa’s senior senator attempted to minimize Trump’s lewd comments with this absurd remark.  Will he be held accountable in this election for his steadfast support of Donald Trump?   You don’t have to wait until election day to vote in Iowa.  Click here to find out where you can vote early.


How Things Got This Crazy: The Republican Long-Term Strategy Gone Wrong

lewis powellIt is time once again to revisit the Lewis Powell Memo, the founding document of the GOP’s 45 year old strategy to save capitalism.  We think you will be shocked and horrified by what this memorandum contains, as we were.  But by reading the Powell Memo, you will be able to see the purposefulness in their actions that have led us to this moment in history. What appears to the untrained eye as chaos, stupidity, and insanity on their part, is actually the plan. Here’s how it went down back in 1971.

Terrified of the country’s growing liberalism in the late sixties, conservatives were deathly afraid that the free enterprise system was at risk.  The Powell Memo was a confidential communication to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, putting forth what would become the Republicans’ long-term strategy for gaining and retaining power over the next 50 years.  It specifically named media – television, radio, newspapers; college campuses, the courts, advertising and “a more aggressive attitude” as the major tenets of the strategy.

The Lewis Powell Memo (aka The Powell Manifesto) written in 1971, before he became a Supreme Court Justice and went on to write a 1978 decision that effectively invented a First Amendment “right” for corporations to influence ballot questions.

“On August 23, 1971, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., an attorney from Richmond, Virginia, drafted a confidential memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that describes a strategy for the corporate takeover of the dominant public institutions of American society.”

The manifesto is divided into the following sections:

  • The Campus
  • Television
  • Other Media (radio/newspapers)
  • Books, Paperbacks And Pamphlets
  • Paid Advertisements
  • The Neglected Political Arena
  • Neglected Opportunity In The Courts
  • Neglected Stockholder Power
  • A More Aggressive Attitude
  • Quality Control Is Essential
  • Relaltionship To Freedom

You won’t regret taking the time to read it in its entirety.  Below we’ve posted (again) one of the scariest portions where you can see that everything they are doing now, stemmed directly from this memo.  It will be clear after you read it WHY they want to defund public education, WHY they have de-legitimized science and the arts, WHY they use the corporate media to promote their ideas, WHY they adopted Christianity and religion as their own.

Confidential Memorandum:
Attack of American Free Enterprise System
DATE: August 23, 1971
TO: Mr. Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman, Education Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
FROM: Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

This memorandum is submitted at your request as a basis for the discussion on August 24 with Mr. Booth (executive vice president) and others at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The purpose is to identify the problem, and suggest possible avenues of action for further consideration.

Dimensions of the Attack

No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.1 This varies in scope, intensity, in the techniques employed, and in the level of visibility.

There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism). Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.

But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.

Sources of the Attack
The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.

The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these “attackers,” or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes. This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people.

One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction.

The campuses from which much of the criticism emanates are supported by (i) tax funds generated largely from American business, and (ii) contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees of our universities overwhelmingly are composed of men and women who are leaders in the system.

Most of the media, including the national TV systems, are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend upon profits, and the enterprise system to survive.

You might ask, who are these lefty communist attackers they were so afraid of?  Here’s one:”

Perhaps the single most effective antagonist of American business is Ralph Nader, who — thanks largely to the media — has become a legend in his own time and an idol of millions of Americans. A recent article in Fortune speaks of Nader as follows:
“The passion that rules in him — and he is a passionate man — is aimed at smashing utterly the target of his hatred, which is corporate power. He thinks, and says quite bluntly, that a great many corporate executives belong in prison — for defrauding the consumer with shoddy merchandise, poisoning the food supply with chemical additives, and willfully manufacturing unsafe products that will maim or kill the buyer. He emphasizes that he is not talking just about ‘fly-by-night hucksters’ but the top management of blue chip business.”

Yes, it is a long memorandum. But to understand how we got to this level of crazy, it is a must read. Click here to read the Powell Manifesto in its entirety.

Republican Strategist Who Once Tried To Put Sarah Palin In The White House Eloquently Declares Trump Unfit

Here is the text.

When asked on Meet the Press what he expected to see on Sunday night’s presidential debate, former campaign manger for John McCain and currently a Republican strategist, said this:

“Someone who has no idea what he’s talking about from a policy perspective, who lacks the requisite dignity required of someone who wishes to be the head of state of the government of the United States, someone who lacks the capacity to be the commander-in-chief of the most powerful military and the world’s most potent nuclear arsenal – that’s what you’ll see tonight.

“The presidential race is effectively over. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the 45th President of the United States. Chuck Schumer will be the majority leader. And the only question that’s still up in the air is how close the Democrats will come to re-taking the House majority.

“What this exposes though, is much deeper, it goes to the Republican party as an institution. This candidacy, the magnitude of its disgrace to the country is almost impossible, I think, to articulate. But it has exposed the intellectual rot in the Republican party. It has exposed at a massive level the hypocrisy, the modern day money changers in the temple like Jerry Falwell, Jr. And so this party, to go forward and to represent a conservative vision fo America, has great soul searching to do. And what we’ve seen, and the danger of all of these candidates, is over the course of the last year, these candidates who have repeatedly put their party over their country, denying what is so obviously clear to anybody who’s watching, about his complete and total manifest unfitness for this office.”


Why You Should Vote For Monica Vernon For Congress


Grassley Should Put Country Before Party And Unendorse Trump



Grassley’s DC office
Phone: 202-224-3744
Fax: 202-224-6020

Grassley’s Des Moines office
Phone: 515-288-1145
Fax: 515-288-5097

Grassley’s Cedar Rapids office
Phone: 319-363-6832
Fax: 319-363-7179

Grassley’s Davenport office
Phone: 563-322-4331
Fax: 563-322-8552

Grassley’s Sioux City office
Phone: 712-233-1860
Fax: 712-233-1634

Grassley’s Waterloo office
Phone: 319-232-6657
Fax: 319-232-9965

Grassley’s Council Bluffs office
Phone: 712-322-7103
Fax: 712-322-7196


Cecile Richards Event In Iowa City Draws Supporters And Protesters

plannedparenthood2016 is the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood.

“Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has its roots in Brooklyn, New York, where Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in 1916. In 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which changed its name to Planned Parenthood in 1942. Planned Parenthood is made up of 159 medical and non-medical affiliates, which operate more than 650 health clinics in the United States, and it also partners with organizations in 12 countries globally. The organization directly provides a variety of reproductive health services and sexual education, contributes to research in reproductive technology, and does advocacy work aimed at protecting and expanding reproductive rights.”


Here is a live report from Dave Bradley who attended this event Wednesday.  Dave has the day off today.

Got an email @ 9AM for a 10:30 event, but we had some loose time today.

The event was at offices on Kirkwood Ave in Iowa City. It was easy to spot because of the protestors on the curb. That that made finding the place pretty easy.

There was a good crowd I would estimate at around 50, quite good for late morning in the middle of the week. As one could guess it was predominantly women of all ages and races. I was one of about ten men.

Ms. Richards message was short and sweet. We need to work hard to bring Hillary home in this election. First she asked how many in the room had voted only a few hands didn’t go up. She said great – you are the people we won’t have to call. Plus you are the people that that can make the calls and knock the doors to get those voters out.

Planned_Parenthood_Fan_Page_Profile_PhotoShe then tried to channel her mother, the late Governor of Texas, Ann Richards. “What would my mother say right now? I told you it would never be easy. Change never comes easy.”

She then made one more appeal for all to get out the vote. Then picture time.

As we left we got stares from the protestors. I just waved. As we drove off I said to Carol “I wonder what these folks would do if they had a medical emergency and had all sorts of politicians and other people trying to stop them? Bet none of them have ever had any such problem or even a similar issue.”

Into The Hurricane And Presidential Politics

Hurricane Matthew Oct. 6, 2016 Photo Credit - NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Hurricanes Matthew and Nicole Oct. 6, 2016 Photo Credit – NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Millions of people began evacuating Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in advance of hurricane Matthew. Hundreds are reported dead in Haiti.

Downgraded to Category 3, Matthew began hitting Florida Thursday. It’s expected to pick up velocity.

During the most recent communication with our child in Orlando, she was soaking wet. After determining she had a safe place to stay, I reminded her of Florida’s Oct. 11 deadline to change her voter registration. She’s good in more ways than one.

With Hillary Clinton Jan. 24, 2016

With Hillary Clinton Jan. 24, 2016

My support for Hillary Clinton began as she declared for president April 12, 2015. There was never a question she would win in our precinct, except by what margin. The margin was enough to win two delegates and make Martin O’Malley viable. When O’Malley dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucus we picked up his delegate at the county convention making us three of four for Hillary. My support for Hillary Clinton has not wavered.

The Des Moines Register asked Donald Trump on June 28, 2015 what he would do differently if elected president.

“I would probably comb my hair back,” Trump said. “Why? Because this thing is too hard to comb. I wouldn’t have time, because if I were in the White House, I’d be working my ass off.”

This election is more about hurricanes than hairstyles.

What brought us to the odd and irritating presidential election campaign of 2016 is continued, intentional obstruction of Democratic administrations by moneyed interests beginning with the 1992 election of Bill Clinton. A case can be made this started with Franklin Delano Roosevelt after World War II, but the Bill Clinton administration was a time when Republicans held an ongoing witch hunt working to find something wrong. Politics changed under Clinton and not in a good way.

Hillary survived multiple attacks from Republicans since then, each time ending with a finding there was little or nothing there, including the recent investigations of Benghazi and her email management process while Secretary of State.

We hear about dark money in politics, but it really isn’t a question that Charles and David Koch are key organizers among wealthy people trying to influence, if not buy elections. They and others like them are behind the continuous obstruction of anything in government that doesn’t serve their interests. They have plenty of resources to make their case and taking money out of politics isn’t a long-term solution. I don’t believe it is possible. We should accept that there will always be moneyed interests whose political activities require more sunshine.

Unlike Republicans, Hillary Clinton has been doing her job. She is better prepared to be president than any candidate. The constant attacks and obstruction have made her stronger. It is telling of her strength that Republican Party of Iowa chair Jeff Kaufmann, with little positive to say about Trump, constantly criticizes Clinton.

“The American people have had enough of failed status quo policies which have left them less hopeful for our country’s future,” Kaufmann said in an Aug. 10 press release. “They have had enough of serially dishonest, corrupt, and self-interested career politicians like the Clintons.”

Former Tiffin mayor Royce Phillips’ comments at yesterday’s debate with North Liberty mayor Amy Nielsen in House District 77 represent the accommodation Iowa Republicans make for Trump.

“Do I agree with everything the man says? Of course not,” Phillips said of Trump. He then drew a false equivalency between Trump and other politicians, cozying up to his nominee with every breath.

I call bullshit on Kaufmann, Phillips and other Republicans like them. Kaufmann is a successful campaigner but represents moneyed interests in the presidential race more than he does Iowans. He is experienced in campaigns and must realize that to win he has to keep attacking Hillary Clinton with his every breath regardless of the truth. For Kaufmann and his ilk the election is only about winning and there’s the rub.

Whatever the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, Americans will have reaped what they sowed. My hope is the electorate will send Hillary Clinton to the White House.

In a weird comment during the first presidential debate, seeming to promote his new Washington D.C. hotel, Trump said, “I’m going to get to Pennsylvania Avenue one way or another.” Expect obstruction of Democratic administrations by the richest Americans to continue if Hillary is elected Nov. 8.

For the rest of us, this election will soon be over. We know how to deal with a hurricane by evacuations or by hunkering down in a safe place. We know how to clean up the aftermath and rebuild.

What we don’t know is how the 2016 political campaign will leave us in its wake. Expect the damage to extend well beyond Florida, throughout the country. The rebuilding materials won’t be found at local hardware stores.

Dave Loebsack Supports the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act

Iowa’s only Democrat in Congress, Rep. Dave Loebsack spoke on the House floor in favor of passing the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, which aims to end breast cancer by 2020.