There are days when I've got so much to share it seems like we're gong to write "War & Peace" but not to fear, we'll keep this edition of Sunday Morning Coffee short because you've got much to do. My name is Michael Libbie and each Sunday I get up...early...and jot down some of the news stories you've seen and, perhaps some that you've missed. All laced with my take. Sometimes serious sometimes fun...it's all about politics. Grab a cup and let's go!
Health Care Debate
For those of you who are thinking the latest attempt to sink the Affordable Care Act is dead...not so fast. For days the White House, McConnell and "45" have been pulling out all the stops to make this happen. Graham-Cassidy is not dead and to give up the fight to protect some 21 million people from losing their health care would be a mistake. In Iowa we know where Sen. Chuck "Death-Panel" Grassley (R-IA) stands, "Hey, it's a campaign promise that that is what is important..." and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) can be expected to fall into line caring more about insurance companies and drug companies than the millions facing an even worse system. Now is the time to reach out and call your senators. Need a list? Here you go!
Last week we had this story from the Brookings Institute that 21 million Americans would lose their health care coverage. That number is even HIGHER than the last attempt at sinking Obamacare and it is the first look because we don't have a CBO score yet. The GOP can't wait around for something like the facts...they are busy sticking it to you. A note about that 21 million. Brookings says that may be an "underestimate" because of the difficulty many states will have in putting together their own health care plan. This, my friends, is a disaster. Please call your senator...even if the call falls on deaf ears.
Once again congratulations to those of you who voted for "45" and honestly thought that he was going to change things and "drain the swamp". So silly. Over the past couple of days we've learned about the tens of thousands of dollars of tax-payers money Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price in chartering private jets to ferry him about the country. Before that we learned that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wanted a government jet for his honeymoon and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (who hates the EPA) flies home to Oklahoma on chartered aircraft. All of these guys are worth millions and yet they are using your tax dollars to "jet about". What a lying bunch of thieves. Once again, congratulations "Swamp People" you get what you voted for. How is all that working out for you?
Take A Knee
The "Take a Knee" campaign is, once again, heating up. This weekend Bruce Maxwell a rookie catcher for the Oakland A's took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Maxwell is a product of a military family and said he felt that only having the NFL players take all the heat was not broad enough. Meanwhile white American's fail to understand what this is about. It is not about disrespect but it is about the lack of equality and racism that is endemic in our nation. Not sure what part of that you can not understand. Help me out? Meanwhile "45" lashes out. Clearly HE doesn't get it...do you?
Meanwhile in Iowa
While you were sleeping the Iowa Economic Development Authority offered up Tyson Foods a cool $2.4 million in incentives to expand their Waterloo processing plant. On Monday the Waterloo City Council is expected to add to that with their own gift of tax abatement, etc. And, yes, they too will roll over. Let's put this into perspective for a moment. Tyson Foods is the number one meat processor in the nation.Sales last quarter were $9.48 billion. In 2015 the company had a NET INCOME of $1.2 billion. Remember Accounting 101? Net income is AFTER expenses. But, the nice thing is that Tyson has promised to to create 245 new jobs that will pay a minimum of $17.29 an hour. Now, will Tyson hire union workers for construction? Watch this space.
Iowa Budget In the Red - Iowa GOP Celebrates
Last week we learned that Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) will remove nearly $15 million from the state's emergency fund to balance the budget and the GOP is celebrating. Why? Tax receipts came in after the books were closed for fiscal 2017 so the shortfall in income was not as drastic as what was forecast back in July. That number was $50 million short which would have, no doubt, been reason for the Governor to call a special session of the legislature. Now they don't have to do that and it is a WIN for the GOP. Of course let us not forget that this Branstad/Reynolds crowd has so mismanaged our finances and continues to offer up corporate welfare in the multi-millions that they can not afford to fund education, health care, mental health care, roads and bridges. Nice going...and this is the party of "fiscal responsibility"? Yet another lie.
Today I get to hang out at the Latino Festival in the Gateway Park with friends from the Polk County Democrats. Our goal is to register voters and talk about economics, social justice, jobs and equality. Should be a great time and yes...I'll post some photos. Should be a great day to get out. Some sun, some friends and some cerveza. Shaping up to be a great Sunday!
Speaking of the Polk County Democrats last week, during a very long meeting, the body voted to allow Third District Congressional hopeful Heather Ryan to speak at the Polk County Steak Fry on Sunday the 30th. It was a contentious battle with some wanting to punish her for yelling "Asshole" at an event while others said it was not in our best interests to censor her. Polk County Chair Sean Bagniewski threatened, after the vote, that the subject was not finished and said, "Those of you who think this vote is OK better be at the Special Events Committee Meeting on Thursday because they may vote to keep all the Third District Congressional Candidates from speaking." Really? There is deep trouble in the county my friends and the Republicans are loving every minute. They are also loving it that the Dems scheduled the event on Yom Kippur...a fast day for Jews. My friend Will Rogers (former Polk County GOP Chair) would never have let that happen.
Walking, Knocking, Listening - That's what I've been doing for a couple of weeks since announcing my candidacy for the Windsor Heights City Council. I've knocked on close to 300 doors and I've been getting an ear-full. Let me offer you this, "When some distrust we all lose." It's a quote I heard the other day on NPR and it fits in this campaign. If you would like to follow along, and maybe even offer up a check to the campaign, here is my Michael Libbie for City Council BLOG. Enjoy. But, as a taste...here's a quick video.
hanks for reading, watching and have a great Sunday!