Welcome to another Sunday Morning Coffee! For those of you who like your politics and religion with a smattering of gossip you've come to the right place. It has been another amazing week here in Iowa and around the nation. Let's kick things off with something thoughtful and astounding.
The Rise Of ISIS & Climate Change
The Toxic Talking Heads had a blast with this bit of news. Recently Governor Martin O'Malley made the connection between the rise of ISIS and climate change. The Right called him a lunatic and desperate to make headlines. Except...the Governor O'Malley is...correct. The back-story is that agriculture in the "fertile crescent" has dwindled and the already poor folks who work the land have been forced into already crowded cities. There, an oppressive regime that many were able to duck in the country, exerted their strong arm law. With no job prospects, hungry and angry many of these people were ripe to seek vengeance. Reminds me of the words written by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations: "No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."
Speaking of Governor O'Malley
The Greater Des Moines Partnership is holding a series of candidate forums which I attend due to the business nature of the Partnership. Gov. O'Malley was in town this past Friday and I had the opportunity to ask him several business related questions about corporate taxes and the rise of gun manufacturing in the United States.(Everybody else wanted to ask him about Hillary...silly press). We'll air his answers tomorrow during the Business News Hour. But, because this post is about politics, here is his answer as to if his message is being "drowned out" or "getting lost" by other candidates:
More tomorrow at 5PM on 1350-KRNT and...yes, we stream the business news too.
Louisiana and Guns
On the evening of the theater shooting in Lafayette Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "It is terrible. Who could imagine an act like this here in Lafayette or in Louisiana." But, the fact is...who couldn't? Louisiana has some of the
most lax gun laws in the nation. Louisiana does not require gun dealers to obtain a state license. It does not limit the number of guns that may be purchased at one time. It forbids local governments from regulating firearms. And it has no laws restricting assault weapons or .50 caliber rifles.
The National Rifle Association claims that this absence of gun regulation is a good thing, in part, because it enables armed vigilanties to gun down murderers like the man who perpetrated the shooting in Lafayette.
A 2013 report by the Center for American Progress examined all 50 states according to 10 factors related to gun violence. Louisiana received the worst rating of any state on several of these factors, including overall firearm deaths from 2001-2010, firearm homicides in 2010, and firearm homicides among women from 2001-2010.
Meanwhile families are hurting and no "good guy" with a gun rose from the audience to fell the lone gunman as he pumped bullet after bullet into the innocent crowd. Who could imagine.
The Pope and The Economy
If I were not Jewish...I'd become a Catholic for the simple reason that Pope Frances is amazing. He has been willing to match the message of the church with social issues that are on the minds and hearts of so many. The Pope is coming to the United States soon and the status-quo have already started saying he is "out of touch" or he is a "socialist" or "he should stick to religion". Isn't it amazing? Anyway, thought you might like to check out this article from AFSCME about the Pope and economic/worker issues. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Going to Market
My business is in advertising and marketing. Over the years we've helped our clients launch hundreds of products and services. The "run-up" to the launch is pretty much the same and it starts with a value proposition. We then build out the logos, packaging, wording, traditional media, social media...lots and lots of work. But, again, it all starts with what value does the product/service offer the consumer.
Last week, with some amazing and talented professionals, we assisted in the launch of Candidate Desmund Adams for Congress of the United States. I was proud to play a small part. Following months of exploring, listening, learning and communicating the value; Desmund made the decision to run for Congress. It's been a wonderful week. The team, from many national campaigns, that Desmund has put together is inspiring. Bring it!
Speaking of "bringing it" Donald Trump continues to stick it in the eye of just about everybody. (Did I mention that he will win the Iowa GOP Caucus?) This week it was a bit of back-tracking on people from Mexico. "I like them, I have thousands who work for me...." (If that is considered back-tracking) He also took it to Gov. Scott Walker, this weeks darling, whom Mr. Trump said did a lousy job in Wisconsin. At an event on Saturday in Oskaloosa in front of 800 jammed into a community center and another 400 in an overflow at a next door middle school Trump said, "Wisconsin is doing terribly. First of all it's in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don't have any money to rebuild them. They borrow money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus and instead of a $1 billion — I wrote this stuff all down, although I don't need it because I have a really good memory — but they projected a $1 billion surplus and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion."
As you know Faux News has decided only the top ten Republican contenders will take the stage at their "debate" which will really be a rehash of stuff like: "The World is Flat", "Jesus Saves", "BENGHAZI!!!!", "I Did Not Read the Iran Deal - But it's Bad!", "Safety in Guns!", "Obama is a Commie/Muslim/Kenyan/Devil."...you get the idea. What is interesting is that as of today these folks would be OUT: Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki, ex-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham were outside the top 10. Others close to the edge including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
My prediction is at the end of the summer we'll have 21 GOP hopefuls in the race.
Yesterday I was at the 13th Annual Tom Hockensmith Family Picnic. Tom is a Polk County Supervisor (and a great hockey fan). Tall, fit, rugged good looks and with a large family, as Gov. O'Malley (Yes he was there too!) pointed out, "That's not a family; that's a precinct!" So, how big a deal is Tom? Scores of elected officials were there, the heads of several labor unions came along. Also there was Andy McGuire the Iowa Democratic Party Chair. ...and then there second term Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) at the event. Hmmmmm.... Nice event Tom and Family!
Also at the event, and this is LOCAL, was Natasha Newcomb the District 3 Candidate for the Des Moines School Board. It was hot but she allowed me to snap a shot. Natasha is, like Desmund, a Drake Law School Grad. I'm telling you they are EVERYWHERE!
Yesterday there was also a surprise Birthday Party for my friend State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad. It was held at Creative Visions and lots of folks where there to celebrate Number 64! Backstory: To get him away from a meeting with Hillary Clinton (honest) friends and staff concocted a story that they had to see him "at the center right away". It was a fun event...tucked into everything from the day. In the photo is Desmund along with Ako and Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-DSM) and his Bride, Betty. Well done folks!
Sorry this has gotten long...told you there was much going on! Allow me a moment to fawn over my Bride? Georgie completed another RAGBRAI yesterday. That's her dipping her front tire in the Mississippi. Every day she got up from her camp, often before the sun was up, and peddled her way across Iowa. Hundreds of miles, thousands of feet of climb and she did is all joyfully. I truly admire her. Congratulations and welcome home!
Thanks for reading! So much more going on...but by now you figure this is reading like War & Peace. Have a great Sunday!