Hello and welcome to my early morning attempt to share some political news you may have seen or perhaps missed...all laced with my commentary. It's often serious sometimes fun but it is always Sunday Morning Coffee something that's been coming to you since at least 2010...maybe longer. I didn't look. But, enough of the "small talk" let's get into it!
So much has already been written and said. Each day we find out more information about this guy who has changed the lives of thousands in just ten to twelve minutes. The murder of 58 people will cling with us for a bit and then we, unlike those families that were so tragically impacted, will move on. Just like we did after Newtown, Milwaukee, Orlando and the list goes on and on and on. If you want to take a peek at the mass shootings you've heard about and those you've not heard about here is a link from the L.A. Times.
I am convinced we must do something about the gun violence in our nation. What are we to do? We must simply come to grips with the reality that any one of us has the right to be shot dead at any moment and in any location anywhere in the United States. Once we accept that we are neither safe nor free of terror we can go on about our lives with the clear knowledge that our lives mean very little other than to be chattel to our political masters who have no spine and use us as pawns in a ruthless game of "I Don't Give A Damn". Sounds fair...right?
What We Really Should Do
Do not give them a pass. Do not give our elected officials a pass when they say it's not time to talk about gun violence in America. Do not give them a pass when they offer prayers but inaction on gun control. Do not give them a pass when they offer platitudes praising those who feel it is their constitutional right to own weapons of mass destruction. It is stunning to me that only 5% of Americans own over 50% of the firearms in this nation. And, they are holding you and I hostage along with the National Rifle Association and their bought and paid for politicians. Here is what we really should do:
- Outlaw the ownership and use of firearms that are semi-automatic or retrofitted to be semi-automatic and hold more than six rounds;
- Create a national "buy back" program that pays gun owners (hell I don't know) ten times the value of their firearm;
- Melt them and create memorials to the lives our nation has taken because of our lust for guns and violence.
That's a starting point. While some want to ban "bump-stocks" we should take this much further and get it done. It worked in other nations. Consider this most recent review of the Australian Gun Control Laws that were enacted back in 1996. Do not tell me it can not be done.
While You Were Sleeping
Nazis were back in Charlottsville, Virgina yesterday. They were there to remind us they are not going away and to chant "The South will rise again" and "Russia is our friend". About 30 of them were at the statue of the traitor Robert E. Lee and because this is America they are allowed their constitutional right to free speech. No word on if "45" joined them.
It's musical chairs in the West Wing and "45", the dolt who thinks tossing paper towels to victims of natural disasters is the way to offer hope and comfort, may lose more of his, clearly, overwhelmed and embattled cabinet members. There has not been a time in our history when an administration is so clearly out of step with reality. I get it...the reality star is in over his head and like a petulant child causes confusion and infighting with his passive/aggressive form on leadership. It leaves people confused and frustrated. I wake up each morning and my first reaction to to check the overnight news cycle to see what wacko things "45" has dreamed up to Tweet about. This is no way to run a nation. But, we knew that.
Late Night Hosts Show More Leadership
You know we're in deep crap when it is the comedians on late night television who show more compassion and leadership than the President of the United States. "45" doesn't much like it and Fox News aired a segment that said Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon had taken their shows on a "hard turn to the left". "45" went on to Tweet, "More and more people are suggesting that Republicans (and me) should be given Equal Time on T.V. when you look at the one-sided coverage?" If I recall the media gave you billions of dollars of FREE TIME in your wacky run for the White House...and it paid off. That and help from your friend Vlad.
Ever since I can remember Republicans have been on the side of restraint when it comes to fiscal matters. "We should treat government like a business!" or "We should treat our state like our home and spend no more than we take in." Except, of course, when it comes to our favorite hobbies like booze, drugs, gambling or (in the case of the Iowa GOP) shoving money out the door to already wealthy companies when there is no need to do so. Now it's all coming back to reality.
It looks to some that newly minted Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) may have "cooked the books" to avoid holding an embarrassing special legislative session to deal with our broken budget. As Rick Smith points out in this piece from The Iowa Starting Line, "The Reynolds’ administration claims that revenues had somehow miraculously exceeded the historic three-month revenue average in a year of slow growth stretches credibility." It does and if you would like to read the entire piece, here you go.
Birth Control OK if You Are a Man
Last time I looked, like yesterday, we still treat women as second class (or lower) citizens of our nation. From right to health issues to birth control it is the woman that must bear, not only the pain and danger of pregnancy and child-birth, but a one-sided assault on family planning. The latest is that your company may opt out of providing birth control insurance if you think birth is somehow a duty of your female employees. Yes, duty. What I'm not clear on is if these same companies will cover a vasectomy for men. I mean THAT IS birth control...right? Nah...never mind. Let's move on.
Already known for a wide array of negative press and public relations from sidewalks to free speech the City of Windsor Heights last week denied a "mom & pop" specialty grocery store the right to sell smokes. I'm not making this up. On a three to two vote the City Council tanked a request by the Mediterranean Market the opportunity to cell tobacco products. That prompted one city council person to ask the question, "What's next? Will we deny HyVee the right to sell cigarettes and beer or Marco's Pizza the right to sell pizza because it can make you fat?" I really don't think that is the factor. Maybe it's because the Mediterranean Market is run by people who have "funny graphics" on their window? So you know....my brother is a regular at this place of business and I've just become a fan as well having stopped in twice last week. It's the least I can do is to support a local business even if the authorities will not.
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Good news and thank you. On Monday Morning (9 October) the City Council held yet another meeting to discuss this issue and voted 4-1 to restore the license and then create a "task force" to more clearly examine issues related to licensing of businesses so having all the facts prior to making a decision. I am grateful for their support of this small business and I do understand their concerns regarding tobacco use. If you are interested in the "rest of the story" you can find that here.
Gosh I'm having a great time! As you may know I'm running for the Windsor Heights City Council and part of my new "job" is to go out an meet voters in this little community of nearly 5,000 people. It's been a blast. So far I've knocked on over 450 doors and I've heard some wacky stories and some heartfelt hurt. I can't wait to join the City Council and hold regular and personal "Coffee Chats" or "Drinks & Discussion" twice a month before each City Council Meeting. I have found it so very invigorating to get out and meet our citizens over the past three weeks. Thank you for the opportunity.
If you would like to follow the Michael Libbie Election Blog here you go. They are simply short writings of what's going on. I think you'll enjoy. And...if you want to peek at the website Michael Libbie for Windsor Heights here is that link. OK...and IF you would like to help with a donation (and I would be grateful as I learned yesterday I need 100 more signs...yikes!) That PO Box is Michael Libbie, 2815 100th Street, Urbandale, Iowa 50322. Thanks again!!
I know...it's all about ME. Sorry.... The election is November 7th and it's important, I think, to continue on a progressive route into the future.
Thanks for reading...gotta go to a meeting at 11am and then...yep, knock those doors!