Sunday Morning Coffee is my opportunity to share my opinion on some of the things your Mother said never to talk about: Politics & Religion...with a little gossip tossed in for good measure. My name is Michael P. Libbie and if you wish to comment here, feel free. Or we can hook up on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and/or my personal Facebook Page is right here. It's been a very busy week with "The Trifecta". Let's go:
Tin Foil Hats & Praying
Two days into the week and the Republicans were frothing: "Finally we have found a string of scandals which will bring Obama down!" They have kept up the pressure on issues asked and answered regarding Benghazi. In fact Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), always eager to sling red meat, told the media, this issue would bring down the Obama administration. Of course my friends on the Right continue to uphold the misinformation and pray the Sen. Graham is correct. Conspiracy theories aside this is what we know:
- Four Americans are dead - It is a tragic event and a dreadful reminder of 9/11.
- There was a lack of security - Yes, however there is no new news here and remember a smaller government means fewer resources;
- Four man special forces team recalled - Yes it was. However President Obama nor then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered that decision. It was the professional military on the ground that ordered the turn-around;
- Blame uprisings on the video - It is true that during this time demonstrations were being held in Cairo, Tunis, Jakarta and Khartoum as a direct result of an anti Islam video. However, President Obama, from the White House called this an act of terror almost immediately.
- Gregory Hicks was not demoted - He asked to return to the United States where the State Department sat him at a desk job until something he liked came around. And muzzled? Hardly he was very much talking last week.
But, if it all makes for great political theater...have at it. Sad.
The IRS "Scandal"
This is a good one. The far right is banging the drum that when asking for a tax exempt status for their political education efforts they were "harassed" and somehow President Obama had his hands in this. The fact is the law relating to receiving a tax exempt status from the IRS is so hazy and the large number of anti-government and/or anti-Obama groups seeking this exemption did prompt some questions and further scrutiny. It is a fake scandal regarding the president and the GOP knows it.
Finally - We've Got A Call for You AP
This third "made up scandal" is a good one. The Justice Department aware that the Associated Press had shared a story leaked by "someone" regarding a planned airliner bombing decided to take a closer look at who the AP is talking to. This, of course, upset the press and some complain it is an invasion of the First Amendment. But, it's not. No one was denied the ability to report...anything. What the Justice Department wanted to know was who is leaking sensitive, national security information. The Democrats, years ago, attempted to put forward a "media shield bill" which was filibustered by (tah-dah) the GOP.
Bottom line: Republicans have said they will stop using the word "scandal" in every sentence that comes out of their mouths if President Obama resigns. Weary...
It doesn't exist. Want proof? Last week the House Agriculture Committee trimmed the food stamp program by $2.5 billion over Democratic efforts to keep the $80 billion a year program intact. The GOP says the cuts are "small". Yes, they are...unless you are one of the 1 in 7 Americans that depend on the program. What was a hoot is that during debate several Republicans talked about their Christianity saying the Bible encourages people to help each other but does not mandate what the federal government should do. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) said, "We should be doing this as individuals, helping the poor." There you have it. Let's privatize social welfare! Brilliant.
Meanwhile in Iowa - More Traffic Cameras
The legislature here passed a property tax compromise that is great news for Walmart, Target, Lowes, HyVee but not so good for the cities where they build. The deal, yet to be voted on, cuts already strapped city budgets by 2.7 million in 2015 and cities will lose about $116 million by 2024. The plan says the state will "backfill" some of that loss. I believe this "compromise" will have many more cities seeking ways to increase their lost revenue and what is more tempting than the dreaded automatic traffic cameras both the left and the right scream about. Watch.
Still No Health Care
The Iowa Legislature may very well adjourn without a health care program in place. Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) believes his Healthy Iowa plan which costs more but covers fewer Iowans is the right idea. Sen. Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) believes the state should adopt the expansion of Medicaid which would cover 150,000 Iowans and costs the state less. There is talk of a special session.
Let's Keep Them in the Minority
State Senator and Minority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) a well-to-do agribusiness-man said last week that he strongly objected to an increase in the state's earned income tax credit. The tax package deal for low-income Iowans gives an increase in the tax credit from 7% to 14% for 2013 and 15% after that. For example an Iowan with one child who makes $20,000 in 2012 now gets a tax credit of $189. The new law would raise that to $378 in 2013 and to $405 in following years. Sen. Dix says we should not do that but reward (get ready for the standard GOP line....) "...job creators so they have an opportunity to move forward and make investments..." Nice doing Karl Rove your kids remember well. Mr. Dix said it was wrong for the state to hand out money to those who pay no taxes. Hmmmm...now THAT sounds like the states existing plan for economic development.
Maybe This is the Reason?
Last week my friend J. Michael McKoy was moaning that he can't get Democrats to come on his talk show "A View From the Pew" and asked if I would come in and discuss state and national politics with he and Tom Coates. Tom is well known for his right of right world view on everything. But, we're all friends so I said I would. During the interview I said I was surprised that behind me on the screen they didn't have the Soviet flag...seeing how they believe me to be the "commie devil". His producer took care of that and for the remainder of the show this is what viewers saw.
It was funny for ten seconds but for thirty minutes? I believe I've found out why Democrats shun Mr. McKoy. One other thing: I knew Mr. Coates was "off the beam to the right" but his constant snickering and name calling didn't score any points for the intellectual side of the debate. I should have expected it...after all he is a Republican.
It was a birthday party that cost $1,000. Not for the "birthday boy" our grandson Carter...but for all the remodel efforts my son and his bride did to their home to get ready. They have this "do-it'yourself ability" and the place looked great. Mom, who will be 93 in a few weeks, enjoyed the festivities. Here she is asking son Aaron, "How much did you pay for this lawn furniture?" She said it was nice but in her day rocks and log stumps got the job done. LOL!!
Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful Sunday!