Sunday Morning Coffee; our quiet time together to talk about politics, religion, gossip and my opinion...you know, the stuff you love to hate. My name is Michael P. Libbie and if you want to leave a comment here, feel free...or let's connect on my personal Twitter Stream @MichaelLibbie and/or my personal Facebook Page is right here. Let's dig in and see what's been going on...
The Gun Will Keep You Safe
So much for that argument as judges, police officers and military personal are gunned down across the country. The NRA would have us believe that if everybody is armed than everyone is more...safe. Meanwhile the National Rifle Association continues to thumb its collective nose at the "ninety percent" of Americans who want, and now demand, some sensible firearms laws. Makes you wonder just who our elected leaders listen to.. Oh, never mind it's always, "Follow the money...."
Which Brings Us to This...
With the vast majority of Americans demanding changes in gun laws comes another reality. Last week President Obama (I just love writing those two words...) released a budget proposal that tanked with the "Right" and with the "Left". The GOP controlled House said any tax increase language was a "non-starter" and my friends on the "left of sane" said any cuts to social programs is a "non-starter". But...what do you think? A recent CBS News poll indicates that 58% of you believe the best way to reduce the deficit is a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. That is exactly what the president rolled out. The poll also says only 33% favor spending cuts alone and 2% favor tax increases alone. What part of "listening" does congress not...get?
Who Pays for Budget Cuts?
The simple answer is...YOU DO. Last week I received a first hand account on how this is done. In Iowa the Department of Transportation is responsible for issuing drivers licenses. Mine expired with my birthday so off to the renewal location I go. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist, 3 DOT workers and 40 folks jammed into a waiting room. One hour and twenty minutes later I left with my "temporary license". One hour...and twenty minutes...gone. I asked the friendly folks behind the slate gray counters (What is it with the lack of COLOR in government buildings? Call Beau Foder MONDAY and get colored for cryin' out loud!) if it was always busy like this and why there are seven stations but only three workers. "They won't send us any more help. And, today? Today is much less busy than the past three days." So, there you have it my "Deficit Hawk" friends... Who pays for your love of cut, cut, cut? Me and I ain't happy...and neither are those "lazy ass government workers" you like to insult.
Speaking of Government...
The Iowa Legislature is getting closer to going home (please hold your applause...) but they have three mighty large pieces of unfinished business:
- How to stick it to cities;
- How to stick it to the poor;
- How to stick it to the kids.
Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) has listed all three as "top priorities" for the legislative session. He would love to reduce property taxes for out of state big box stores (that pay little to no Iowa taxes) and then shift that tax burden to the cities and counties who are already struggling due to cuts in service. He would love to deny thousands of Iowans the opportunity to enroll in Medicaid because he doesn't "trust government". And, he's already been a wonderment at sticking it to kids and thumbing his nose at allowable growth for school districts...remember that line item veto? My personal goal between now and 2014 is to help find a way to defeat the governor. He is no longer worthy of the position.
Robert Cramer & The Board of Regents
Last week the Iowa Senate blocked two of Gov. Branstad's nominations to the Iowa Board of Regents. Craig Lang, the most powerful voice of farming, got caught up in the Harkin Institute flap at Iowa State University. Done. But, it was Robert Cramer who caused what appears to be the most troubling issue for the Des Moines Register who, in an editorial said the senate should approve both nominations. (The Register and my friend Editor Rick Green also endorsed Mitt Romney...they are becoming less creditable by the month.) I suspect the Register and others were squirming a bit due to the religious nature of Robert Cramer. While the governor would have us believe he appointed Mr. Cramer because of his "expertise in construction" it was really Mr. Cramer's public work on behalf of discrimination that must have caught the governors eye. The "Newspaper Iowa Depends On" said there should be no "religious litmus test for office". I agree but this was not about religion this was about...equality. Robert Cramer, through his very public work with the Family Leader and his "book banning" events during his tenure on the Johnston Public School Board tanked his nomination...not religion. But, I know..."Christians are persecuted..." How this crowd continues to behave like the victims is astonishing.
Next To The Last Session?
Things are winding down at the Iowa Legislature but heating up in House District 43 as several people are now talking about running against the "Todd Akin of Windsor Heights"...Rep. Chris Hagenow. Rep. Hagenow likes to portray himself as a thoughtful, nice guy when in reality he is another lackey for the bat-crap-crazy right. Lots of talk going on about who and when to start the campaign. Mr. Hagenow held on to his seat by twenty-two votes due mostly because the House Minority didn't have their house in order. Maybe they have learned a lesson? Hold on kids...this will be fun.
It is the best kept secret in Urbandale, Iowa. Last week I celebrated a birthday and our son and daughter took us to Isla Cozumel just east of 86th Street. Whoa! Great service, super setting and a BIG place. Private dining room, big outdoor patio. Here is the link to their website but...WARNING...turn down your speakers. The music is...uhm...not as good as the food. Here we are celebrating a bit and what fun. They did ask me if I had permission to travel from Windsor Heights to Urbandale. Not to worry...I have Real ID!
Thanks for coming by and have a superior Sunday! - Michael