Sunday Morning Coffee; time to relax and visit about the stuff you "love to hate" all with my personal opinion. My name is Michael P. Libbie and if you would like to leave a comment here, feel free. Or we can hook up on my personal Twitter Stream @MichaelLibbie and my personal Facebook Page is right here. OK..enough "chatter" let's get to the news:
This week has been dreadful for America. On Monday it was the horrific attack during the Boston Marathon which scattered the sunshine that many of us have basked in since 9/11. I'm far from an expert on any of this but it was an eerie return to that morning and the nation has been, once again, shocked by the reality of terrorist violence. One interesting thought. I have loads of friends who abhor surveillance cameras. Usually this is directed toward automated traffic cameras but...not always. I didn't hear a peep out of them when the two alleged bombers were identified through the review of... surveillance cameras.
The Cowards in the US Senate
They say Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) is a Democrat. I suspect he, sort of, is. This past week he and three other Democratic Senators voted with the violence lobby and quash the gun safety background check proposal. That the Republicans closed ranks to defeat common sense legislation is not surprising. (They can't vote for gun safety, something this country sadly needs, but they can endorse voter ID requirements saying voter fraud is a "national crisis" which it isn't.) Maybe it's time Montana replaces Sen. Baucus (who has had some remarkable professional and personal "issues") with former Governor Brian Schweitzer. Besides...I like his dog, Jag. Other Democratic senators who bolted: Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
The new junior senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) voted with the gun violence crowd this past week. Heidi who won a surprise victory last November largely in part because she appeared to be a strong willed, independent thinker turned her back on the vast majority of Americans. In the end she caved and Bill Daley wrote in the Washington Post, "I want my money back." Good read.
Gov. Branstad & China
Last week the Des Moines Register reported that Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) was treated like a "rock star" during his visit to China. The governor has a very warm place in his heart for the nation that disallows political freedom, controls every aspect of business, uses abortion to control the population and supplies weapons to terrorist organizations. Nice crowd governor...welcome back.
The Damn Cheating Democrats & Matt Schultz
Iowa Secretary of State, Matt Schultz (R-IA) was also treated like a rock star last week during his appearance at a gathering of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. (They believe in "freedom" only if you follow their..."faith".) Secretary Schultz, who will lose in November to Democrat Brad Anderson because Schultz is that wacky, told the faithful, "...we care about abortion, gay marriage, a whole lot of social issues..." and went on to say that those issues will go nowhere because (Democrats) "...will cheat". For more about Secretary Schultz and his continued frothing about "Zombie Voters" here is a piece from our friends from Bleeding Heartland.
Not A Bad Gig...If You Can Get It
The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee continues to look into the $7,500 monthly payment state senator Kent Sorenson (R-Milo) received via a "back channel" of the Michele Bachmann (R-MN) short-lived presidential campaign. Senator Sorenson is quite the piece of work; from personal issues ("But I found Jesus!") to jumping the "Bachmann Bandwagon" on the eve of the Iowa Caucus and joining up with former presidential contender Cong. Ron Paul (R-TX). In other words, he's just the sort of solid upstanding guy that wins the hearts and minds of my Tea Party Friends. Is nobody going to come forward and challenge this man in 2014 or is Warren County that bat-crap-crazy? (Update: According to my friend Rep. Scott Orth (D-Ackworth) this area may not be winnable for a Democrat. OK then...can't we get a moderate Republican to face him in a primary? If there is such a thing...)
Speaking of Warren County, Iowa
My friend Jason White who is the executive director of the Warren County Development Corporation must have the toughest skin on the planet. Jason is spearheading work to bring a new casino to the area about 15 miles south of Des Moines. Daily he is pilloried on his Facebook Page by those "concerned citizens" who are opposed to the jobs plan. Me? I hope it goes through and they build the casino. In fact, I'd love to see a casino in every Iowa county. It's more fun than a fertilizer plant...and safer too.
But...Back to Jesus
Last week Wells Fargo Home Mortgage announced a one-million dollar expansion of their offices based in West Des Moines. This came on the heels of a fax I received on the 17th telling me that, "Wells Fargo Home Mortgage...Killed Jesus Christ and America." (And all this time I thought it was the Damn Jews!) It was put out by an Andy Clark from Eugene, OR. For an insightful look at Operation Sunrise, whom I believe sent me those greetings, here is a link. Careful...you are in for a treat.
Iowa and Medicaid
It was a fun show last week as the public was invited to speak in favor of expanding Medicaid to 150,000 Iowans or support what is being called "TerryCare", a program which costs the state more but delivers less care and is the brain-child of Gov. Terry Brandstad (R-IA). Of those signed up to speak the majority favored expanding Medicaid coverage. What was fun were those who spoke against. Folks like Jill Ellsworth a Grimes massage therapist who got huge points for linking "big government" with "the Soviet Union". Nice play! Then there was a chorus of "the federal government can't afford this" crowd including Marc Lucas and Americans for Prosperity (remember them?), Ed Brown of the Iowa Clinic, Deb Thornton of the Public Interest Institute and a Tyler DeHaan an "Urbandale Republican". While more folks, 56 of the 73, signed up to speak in favor of Medicaid expansion the GOP controlled House saw to it that it was much more "equal" and disallowed many pro-medicaid speakers the microphone.
Iowa House District 43
This week I'll be visiting with Iowa House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Des Moines) about finding a viable candidate to run against Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights). Mr. Hagenow, one of the most extreme members of the House, portrays himself as a likable family guy that is a good fit for his district. That, my friends, is smoke and mirrors. I've had some fun looking at his voting record and positions and he is far from a "good fit" for this district. Susan Judkins, it looks like, will not face him in 2014. Who will Kevin?
Congressman Bruce Braley
There was a reception and fund raiser for Cong. Braley (D-IA) who appeared at the event with retiring Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). (If you have trouble seeing the video make sure you click on the title of the blog.)
For personal reasons I usually don't go out on Friday evenings. However, and I hope Gd forgives me, we traveled to Tama, Iowa and the Meskwaki Casino (Told you I liked them!) to see my old friend Chubby Checker. Chubb and I go back decades but this was the first time I've seen him perform. Mom went with and totally enjoyed the concert...and the attention. Chubby gave a full 90 minutes of music to hundreds of fans...no break in the action. Later we talked about him doing RAGBRAI in 2014. I think he's in. Finally...
I am...intolerant. I admit it. Last week as Cong. Steve King (R-IA) took the opportunity of the tragedy in Boston to rail against immigration (along with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Oklahoma Republican State Representative Dennis Johnson had his "Jew me down..." moment (Here is the video clip), another Oklahoma Republican Rep. David Dank railed against the film industry because, "99.9 of the people we're rebating money to are pro-abortion!" (Yet he offered no proof.), Iowa State Senator Dennis Guth (R-Klemme) offered a tirade against marriage equality, inserting various Bible verses to prove his point...and that is just a smattering of what enlightened members of the Republican Party spewed last week. Anyway, I said, on my personal Facebook page, "I am so done with these idiots." That comment was called out by a defender of bat-crap-crazy and I was taken to task for "name calling" and "being intolerant". He has a point and I am...guilty as charged.
Have a wonderful Sunday...thanks for coming by. - Michael Libbie