It's a little after six o'clock on Sunday Morning and I'm in my office writing about some political stories you may have seen, or missed, and adding some commentary. It's Sunday Morning Coffee, sometimes funny often serious. Let's roll though some of what is impacting our lives and the nation, state and cities we love.
A "Disaster for Dems"
The President of the United States extended his childish feud with Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL). Yesterday, in a Tweet "45" called her "wacky" this morning he tweeted, "Wacky Congresswoman Wilson is the gift that keeps on giving for Republicans, a disaster for Dems" adding, "You watch her and vote R". You all know the story, Rep. Wilson was in the car when "45" called the widow of a fallen soldier and said that, "...he knew what he signed up for; but it hurts anyway." No, "45" each and every one of us will remember your childish acts and those who blindly follow you. We are so very eager for 2018 to turn your minions out and replace them with servants of the people not the cronies who fear 140 Twitter characters. If you are keeping track, this is now the fifth day of this insane feud. This is the child you elected to serve as the leader of the free world. I imagine you are proud..
Meanwhile Congress is stalled on finding out what the hell happened in Niger. Unlike the constant drum-beat for Benghazi transparency the followers of "45" are being very silent about this. The daily grind and constant reminders of the deaths in one nation are clearly being swept under the rug while those same congressional people look the other way here.
If you like...really like partisan politics you love this. It is a shame the honorable deaths of Americans are part of the political divide in our nation... (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
The Austrian elections are in the books and the far-right Freedom Party just won 26% of the vote. That comes on the heels of the German elections that saw far right Alternative for Germany win numbers and the erosion of democracy in Poland and Hungary. This is not a fluke. This is a strong push back against refugees, the fear of terror and some well planned campaigns. It should also scare the hell out of Europe as shades of the 1930's creeps ever closer to taking control today. In the United States we have seen the emboldened actions of the far right and just last week at a Nazi rally in Florida three brothers were arrested after a public confrontation with anti-Nazi demonstrators where they shot into the crowd. You may worry about the Russians but best keep an eye out for the Nazis.
Fresh Attacks on Obamacare
The GOP controlled senate is, even while they say they are working on bi-partisan efforts to fix parts of the Affordable Care Act, attempting to end the individual mandate. That is part of the IRS code that says individuals must have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. It's not going to be easy to overturn but the administration is putting pressure on the IRS. The individual mandate was intended to get more people to buy health insurance and with more people in the pool the cost of insurance would go down. People don't like that mandate (just like they don't like driving at the speed limit) never mind that the idea is to lower premiums. Meanwhile the Republicians are working overtime for the health insurance companies to allow them to sell crappy policies or high-deductible policies that will further bankrupt families. Weary...
The numbers are in. No, not the voting numbers but the very critical fund-raising numbers that give a glimpse of candidate acceptance and the work they are doing behind the public speeches to raise money for their campaign. And, the winner among the Democratic hopefuls is my friend Theresa Greenfield. Theresa pulled in a remarkable $200,263 in her first campaign finance report. That number was well above the second place effort by Eddie Mauro that netted $180,251 of which $100,000 was a personal "loan" to the campaign. How is she doing this while working full time? "Dedication to a very specific work schedule that starts at 5AM and rolls through the day until nearly mid-night" is what she told me last week. Having been on the front line of a congressional campaign I can tell you that remarkable work and her very touching personal story and connection with both the rural and urban voters will win the day. Rock on my friend! Oh, and Happy Birthday! If you want to read the full story and the numbers here is a link to The Iowa Starting Line.
He is everywhere and he knows he's got to be. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) has been traveling Iowa on a mission to get recognized. Why? He is the first announced Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election. He told me during the Third District Democratic Awards Dinner this past Monday that he is planning up to 400 events in Iowa and it's all about name recognition and his message that, "We must rise above the broken politics of today so we might focus on the future together". In his speech to the 3rd District Democrats he talked a populist message of working on policy that we can all agree on about his "blue-collar roots", his success in the business world (especially health care) in job creation and much more. Good stuff and if you get a chance...go and listen. Welcome to Iowa where it all starts. We are so darn lucky!
Voters Voting To Go Backward
Voting FOR something is much different than voting against something. We saw that in the 2016 presidential election. Voters either loved or loathed Hillary Clinton...even the Democrats so they sat out, didn't vote and bang we get "45". Nice call... This happens even in local politics. The lack of information and outright lies voters are told is staggering. I've been watching this first hand in my little village of Windsor Heights and while I shout into the wind it's gaining traction. A lie can only last a short time before it is exposed. More on that in coming in my campaign blog at MichaelLibbie.com.
Friday and Saturday I was in Mason City, Iowa at Adas Israel the congregation I've served for nearly 30 years. Prior to services Friday night I conducted a memorial service for Ruth Newman who died after a long batter with cancer. The tiny synagogue was packed with family and friends whom Ruth touched with her warmth, smile, grace and love of Torah. It was a celebration of life and of legacy. It should be that we might all try to emulate her efforts. May her memory be a blessing to all she touched...
Let's title this "What They Don't Know...They Don't Know". I'm running for the Windsor Heights City Council and this past Tuesday there was a candidate forum put on by the Windsor Heights Chamber of Commerce. I was stunned at what the vast majority of candidates simply do not know about this community. I heard lots of "I will listen" and "I will plan" and "I will make economic development a priority" but no specific references to an 114 page document called Destination Windsor Heights which was paid for, studied and approved by the city council with tons of citizen input. In it is everything that I talked about to the crowd of 300 people. I didn't think of it at the time but after the third call of congratulations for referencing street plans, sidewalk plans, quality of life plans and economic development plans that are all included in the Destination Windsor Heights document I reflected on what other did not say...or worse simply do not know. Weary...so very weary.
Thank you to the South Central Federation of Labor AFL/CIO for their recent endorsement of my campaign. That means so very much to me. Damn proud of my union heritage and how my grandfather worked for the working men and women of this nation as an organizer back in the 1930's and 1940's. He understood, as do I, that when workers are respected and paid well we all win. It's simple economics that fails to be understood by so many. Here is another reality. The Iowa Legislature has made it more difficult for those of you in public unions to stay there. Re-certification is happening all across the state. Stay together, stay strong and let's move forward for the working men and women of Iowa!
There will be more in my campaign blog...should you wish to drop in: MichaelLibbie.com And, just like everybody running for office...should you feel moved to help the campaign with a small donation it is People for Libbie, 2815 100th Street, Box 382, Urbandale, Iowa, 50322 (Office mailing address). Thank you...again, in advance!
Thanks for reading....time for me to get out and knock doors. Now at 783...more to go before November 7th!