Doing a survey of how many folks have dusted off their 1950's fallout shelters. Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my attempt at sharing some political news stories you seem, or may have missed, along with my commentary. Sometimes fun, sometimes serious...it's all good because it is Sunday Morning Coffee. Grab a cup and let's go!
Get Under Your Desk!
I'm old enough to remember fallout shelters and practicing to survive an atomic blast by getting under our school desk and covering our heads. I remember the pall that was over the entire country for years as we lived under the threat of ICBM nuclear warheads raining down on our people. Some are feeling that way today as diplomacy has given way to foot stomping bluster and childlike reactions to some very serious issues. But we are now in a place where two "leaders" have the capacity to do great harm. Elections have consequences my friends. Imagine, for a moment, if the popular vote would have carried the day. Today we would have calm, experienced people dealing with North Korea. But...we don't and now the guy in charge here, and there, are toying around with nukes. Seriously people...one word: Unfit! (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
Hate in Virginia
There was a home-grown terror attack yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia as James Alex Fields, 20, of Ohio allegedly rammed his car into a crowd of protesters killing one person and injuring several others. Fields was identified by police and news sources tracked down his high school teacher, Derek Weimer, who told WCPO-TV that Fields held "very radical pro Nazi views" and was "infatuated with WWII German military". That hate made its way to a white nationalist rally where others who share those views marched and chanted anti Jewish and immigrant and minority slogans while giving the Nazi salute. Meanwhile "45" condemned bigotry on "both sides". This is on you and your administration. In a related story two police officers died when a helicopter they were in crashed outside of downtown Charlottesville. There is no confirmation if that crash was linked to the demonstrations.
Transgender and Trump
Meanwhile top military leaders are pushing back on the transgender ban cooked up by "45" and openly saying the policy is not necessary. Last week "45" said, via Twitter, his favorite method of communicating policy, that he had done the military a "great favor" by instuting the ban. However Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said that while he will follow any order given by the Commander in Chief "any patriot" should be allowed to serve. A 2016 RAND Corp. study estimated that there are nearly 2,500 transgender people on active duty in the military, while a 2014 Williams Institute examination put the number at 8,800. There are 250 openly transgender troops.
Notice anything about the past week? You and America are being played by "45" and his mob. They will do anything they can to move their illegal activity off the news cycle. This guy is a master at manipulation and he knows how to divert attention. Stay focused on the resistance. Make sure you are paying attention to state and local politics because that is where the real battle starts. The circus side-show in Washington can be a cover for the hurtful policies coming down on a more local level. Stay focused....
Clear Lake Chicken Wings
I'm not sure who my friend Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register was talking to but his opening line covering the Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake was a "head scratchier": "Who is Eric Swalwell? Who is Jason Kander? Who is Tim Ryan? And what the heck are they all doing in Iowa? Those questions have been echoing through Democratic conversations in the state for the better part of a year now, and they rang out again here in northern Iowa on Friday night, when Swalwell and Kander headlined the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding fundraiser."
Uhm...Jason...don't sell us short. Many of us have visited, in person, with Swalwell, Kander and Ryan. I was unable to attend the Wing Ding because I was doing services in Mason City...a scant 14 miles away. But I heard that Jason Kander had a great story about foxholes, Jews and Muslims and "always telling the truth". In addition, while I couldn't watch the live video put out by my friend Tamyra Harrison, I was able to listen to the very cool "Thirteen Indictments" of the Iowa GOP and the "Guilty!" verdict announced by the crowd. Thanks Tamyra....sounded like a good night. (Photo: Alan Steckman & Jason Kander)
One other thing about Clear Lake...the vast amount of people running as Democrats required some very, very short speeches. That we have, dozens of people declared or considering running for office is a great way to put our message in front of voters. Because there are so many progressive people running for congress, state, county and city elections our message will start to drown out the negative noise from the other side and we will be able to cut through the hurtful and hateful politics of those who play on fear and falsehoods. Watch...
My friends in Webster County have another name to consider as last week Leann Jacobsen of Spencer kicked off her campaign for Congress. That, so far, makes two in the running to unseat Rep. Steve King (R-IA). The other candidate there is J.D. Scholten of Sioux City. This primary, and the work being done in the First and Third District, will impact voters with our progressive message. Bring it on and let's get to work! In case you are interested here is the new video from Jacobsen:
We like...let's go!
Iowa Democrats at the State Fair
To be honest, I've not yet been to the Varied Industries Building for the 2017 Iowa State Fair...but I am going today. Each fair the Iowa Democrats (and those hurtful, hateful folks from the GOP) have a booth just inside the east side of the VI Building. In past years our booth was a mess. It, in a way, mirrored our party...a bit tired and tattered. However, this year, thanks to the work of many, we've improved the look at the design. I'm in the business of marketing and when you look sharp it is an attraction. I'll post some images later. Looking forward to seeing what our crews have done.
Yesterday in Mason City during the Adas Israel bible study I do each month...I heard the sad news that a very long-time friend and tireless worker for the synagogue is considering Hospice care. I cried. The impact of losing loved ones is getting overwhelming. Ruth is an amazing woman of faith and she has, for years, guided so many on the path of loving the Torah and Israel. From study sessions to missions to Israel to hosting any number of Israelis in her home. She has been a champion. We never give up and daily it's time to say the 36 Psalms that deal with comfort and compassion. To learn more here is that link.
Locally Iowans Supporting Israel will have an event at noon on Thursday called "A View From the Ground" with Rep. David Young (R-IA) who was recently in Israel. Yep, I'm going. For more about the group here is a link to their website.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Sunday!