My name is Michael Libbie and I know you don't have a bunch of time so we created Sunday Morning Coffee to give you short bursts of politics and religion flavored with a dash of gossip. You know you love it! Been another busy week...let's get at it.
Make Them Suffer!
I am so proud that I am not a Republican. Oh, I have friends that say they are followers of the GOP and I've even had one or two in my home. Honest. For the most part I like them because they are not...mean. I'm sure none of them would stand in the way of giving people a second chance at a life of promise vs. a life in prison. Except that is exactly what Republican leadership said about extending Pell Grant funding to state and federal prisoners. Even though studies show that those who participated in educational programs were 43% less likely to return to prison. But, no...let them languish in prison and build in recidivism. After all, "once a con, always a con". Weary...
Out of Control
I'm an old man. I was brought up to respect police officers and others "in authority". I have never been "detained", arrested or questioned. To my knowledge my civil rights have never been violated. My friends, who are people of color and from a wide range of ages have also been schooled in respect. However many have been detained, stopped, searched and, no doubt, had their civil rights violated. Forcing young female teens to the ground, slamming a 68 year old immigrants head into the concrete, shooting people, murdering individuals on the streets of Cincinnati and having fellow officers lie about the activity...all in the past month. And, those are the horrible things we...know about. Respect is turning into revulsion and that is not a good thing for any of us. Just like in society there are "bad apples" but "out of control bad apples" wearing a badge need to be rooted out...before respect can be asked for or granted.
They have been my carrier for years. Last year I helped Verizon make a profit of $5.1 billion. That is not income...but profit. In the bank dollars. Meanwhile Verizon is balking at signing a contract with the 37,000 members of the Communication Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. But don't fear Verizon customers the men and women of the union say they will continue working as talks continue. What is the sticking point? Verizon, the company that banked 5.1 billion last year wants to cut costs in the area of pension benefits and health care so they can, "better compete in the market". What and make $7 billion?
Joe Biden for President?
It's being reported that Vice President Biden is still considering a race for the White House. He is such a great guy and would be a welcome addition to the campaign.
The Living Wage Myth
I hear it all the time, "If we raise the minimum wage the price of a Whopper is going to be $9!" Which is...bunk. A study done by an economist for Bloomberg News (hardly a leftist, Commie think tank) looked at the effect of raising the minimum wage at Wal-Mart to $10.10 an hour and concluded the price of a $16 CD would increase by...wait for it...a penny! You know those copper things that you throw away. Really people? But, ya know what? It's so easy for the ill informed to shout goofy economics. It would be nice to go to $10.10 an hour but I'm all in for $15 an hour. Let's really make it a living wage. And for those of you who believe the minimum wage is "just for kids who work at fast food joints in the summer". That too is bunk. It's time to put an end to "trickle down economics" and time to "percolate up"!
I'm spending more time watching and listening to the gossip about who might yet run against Desmund Adams for the opportunity to take out Congressman David Young (R-IA). Last week another name popped up. Lawyer and Chairman of the Polk County Democrats, Tom Henderson is said to be considering a run. That's Tom chatting with Desmund at a recent event in Polk County. I know and like Tom but pitting himself up against a very dynamic and engaging Adams would be tough. I'm still waiting for the former Governor of Iowa to take a shot. Having Chet Culver in the race would be...fantastic for so many reasons.
Tulsi Gabbard in Iowa
Last week I attended the 15th Annual Polk County Women's Event hosted by Dr. Andy McGuire the Iowa Democratic Party Chair. The guest of honor was Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) who was elected in 2012 and is the first American Samoan and first Hindu member of Congress. She is also a combat veteran. Ya know, there is a reason folks come to Iowa. Just sayin'.
Governor Branstad and Dirty Water
Last week Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) told reporters that the Des Moines Water Works should "just tone it down" when it comes to dirty water and agriculture. The Water Works says it's rates will have to climb by 10% to cover the cost of cleaning up nitrates they say comes from agricultural run off. And they have the documents to prove it. Governor Branstad says the state has a voluntary measure that is working. The Des Moines Register survey of nitrate pollution did show a slight decline in nitrate levels in recent decades, perhaps due to farmers employing more conservation practices. But, of course it is voluntary. Maybe we should have a voluntary speed law...what the hell. In Iowa it is against all reason to say anything bad about agriculture. Never mind that we're losing soil, our water is polluted and toxins are floating around in the air. Weary...again.
Iowa Senate Democrats
They had best get their "stuff" together! Iowa is one of eight states being targeted by the GOP to take control of the Iowa Senate. And, they are not joking around. They have 40 million dollars to spend (that's tiny...but targeted could be effective) in the eight states. Senate Majority Leader, Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) had best circle the wagons and find some outstanding candidates to remain in control and get some seats back in the Iowa House. One candidate that has a shot is Miyoko Hikiji who is running to unseat Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale). If she gets some help from the party she could be a major pick-up for the Senate. That's Miyoko with Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie.
Last Thursday evening we lost our Bungee Girl...she had just turned 15 the day before. (That's her on the right in a photo taken a week ago with our other geriatric pooch Koozie who is almost 17.) We all know, when we go into a pet relationship, it's not going to last forever. Heck...nothing, other than Donald Trump lasts forever. But it was so very hard. She, we think, had a heart attack and died in our arms. I guess that's the only positive here. Other than she had a good life. We'll see her again...across the Rainbow Bridge. Damn it's hard.
Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday!