Back after the Passover Break! Matzah for eight bread-less days. But there was Matzah Pizza and Potato Vodka...more on that later. If you like politics, religion and gossip gets you going you've found your "happy place". My name is Michael Libbie and this is Sunday Morning Coffee where I get to rant with you about the news stories you may have seen or missed out on. Let's get to it shall we?
Deadline! Help! Send Money Now! The Sky is Falling!
If you have ever given to a political campaign you have, over the past 48 hours, received a host of doomsday emails extorting you to give and give quickly to (insert favorite here): _____. Yes, we all get them. Here is why: Marketers have found that for every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign that investment returns about $38. And, that is with an open rate (how many people actually open the email) of about 15%. If your favorite political group has a list of 100,000 or a million...you can see how fast the cash can pile up. So...now you know.
Maybe it's because we don't live there or maybe it's because Canadians are just more civil. I'm sure that Canada has it's share of serious issues but, honestly, don't you sometimes want to pack up and leave the craziness of the United States? Last week I called a friend who lives in Canada and asked him what he and his friends think of the political wreck that is going on in our country. He said, "You people are nuts. Honestly, when we look at what your presidential race has become and part of our reaction is unbelief the other part is fear. I've got to think you are smarter than what you are doing down there. The top of the ticket for both major political parties is wrought with exactly the wrong people. What are you doing?" Good question. He went on to say that, if we want, perhaps Canada might be able to make arrangements to send us Justin Trudeau if only on a part-time basis. He may be on to something. After all he is good looking and can speak several languages...oh and he is a progressive.
The End Is In Sight
So, what is President Obama going to do after he leaves the White House next year? The Hill
has this great video of him hanging out with former Speaker of the House John Boehner. No, really. If you want to watch...just go here...but come back?
Meanwhile the former speaker says Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the devil....which got Mr. Boehner in hot water with Satanists. Seems you can't please anybody these days.
See what you learn with you sip your Sunday Morning Coffee...
It's been a fun week for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in Indiana. From referring to the basketball hoop as the "basketball ring" to getting the endorsement of Governor Mike Pence (R-IN). I'm sure that Sen. Cruz will school Gov. Pence on what a mistake the governor made when he messed around with the pro-discrimination bill after major companies in Indiana said they were moving their business elsewhere. After all, Sen. Cruz is really into "religious freedom" as long as the religion is...correct. And, in case you missed it: Gov. Pence last month signed a bill that made Indiana the second state in the nation, after North Dakota, that prohibits a woman from seeking an abortion because the fetus is diagnosed with a disability, such as Down's Syndrome or microcephaly. The law also requires that the remains of an aborted fetus be interred or cremated and prohibits fetal tissue donation.
Additionally, the law will hold doctors liable for wrongful death if it is found that they perform an abortion that was motivated by a fetal defect, sex, or other prohibited reasons. Dear Indiana: Canada is not that far away.
They have left the building. It is now safe to come back outside. So, what happened in the 2016 session? Here ya go:
- Tax Breaks - If you are in business, especially big business or in agriculture you will offer up a big sloppy kiss to your legislators. Millions of dollars in tax breaks or credits were handed out. Congratulations...
- Dirty Water - Nobody seems to care. Iowa is awash in filthy water and citizens, both urban and rural, are suffering. We ain't Flint...yet but we seem to be getting closer. But, hey, if I'm in the legislature I have plenty of access to bottled water.
- Sex is Icky - There was plenty of hand wringing going on at the Statehouse about vaginas and Planned Parenthood. However they did approve a measure to double the tax credit if you choose to adopt a child. Should you adopt, in Iowa, you can take a $5,000 tax credit plus itemize other expenses if those expenses are more than 3% of your annual net income. (See what you learn here!)
- Shhhhhhh - You may now put silencers on your gun! And, you may now ride around on your ATV or snowmobile with a loaded firearm. That's pretty cool huh? Whipping around just South of Grand on my ATV with a loaded long-gun will be so cool. You'll hear the ATV but not the shot.
- We Don't Need No Education - School funding received a 2.25% budget increase. They wanted 4% but the state has no money. Which is exactly why we need to offer more tax breaks and credits. I know...I'm obviously confused.
- Crumbling State Owned Buildings are Good - State workers need to continue to put up with black mold, put buckets on the floor to catch dripping water and take deep breaths of toxic fumes. After all they are ONLY state workers.
- Medicaid Oversight - Will the governor sign a bill that puts public oversight on private, for profit, companies that are now raking in billions to manage the states medicaid patients? Perhaps but how about a line item veto that fails to fund the measure? That would work...
- Roads? We Don't Need No Roads - The legislature reduced the DOT budget by $4.85 million which the department said will result in the loss of 400 jobs. Maybe they can volunteer to empty the rain water buckets at the Wallace Building.
- The Slippery Slope - If you are one of a handful of folks that find relief in the use of medical marijuana...tough. You are a criminal and besides we don't want to send the wrong message on drug use. But, go ahead and get blitzed on booze and run over a cyclist...right? We must have priorities!
- More Student Debt is Good! - Colleges wanted more than $8 million but got $6.3 million but, what the heck...a little more student loan debt is a good thing. It teaches responsibility...
Valley West Mall and DART
Last week, under withering social media pressure and demonstrations and media questions Valley West Mall and DART came to an agreement to build a new bus stop, on mall property. It was a very good thing...not the best but better than what was proposed.
Yesterday I got to spend the day with my friend Desmund Adams who is running to represent Iowa's Third Congressional District and unseat Rep. David Young R-IA). It was the district convention which was held in Creston. Good times! Desmund, in his speech before the assembled delegates was powerful and direct..."This is about winning and for the past several cycles Democrats have lost and lost because they have not reached out to powerful voting blocks. I've built a strong, inclusive coalition that will take us to victory in November. It's wrong to talk issues because we're all pretty much the same on issues...this is about winning. When Democrats lose, people get hurt."
He followed that up with another speech and a lengthy question and answer time with an overflow room of alternate delegates. It was one of his best days since launching back in July of last year.
Last night was the final evening of Passover. Love the holiday on Day One, Two and maybe Three then the journey from slavery to freedom gets tough. No beer or bread for eight days. But there is always Matzah Pizza and Potato Vodka...
Hey...the journey is long.
Have a wonderful Sunday, happy May Day and thanks for reading!