That week flew by! Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at some of the political news you may have heard and some you might have missed all laced with my commentary. Why? Because this is what I do early on Sunday Morning...I know, right? So much to visit about so let's get right into it. Grab your cup and let's go!
It's A Mess - But Some Are Speaking Out
For those of us who enjoy politics what is happening with this administration is not only shocking but it is also putting our nation at risk. When policy is dictated by tweets, trade wars threatened and there is no coherent policy on anything. You would think that even Republicans in congress would say they have had enough. For some reason so many have forgot the basics of civics. There are THREE equal but separate branches of government. When is the legislative branch going to start governing? Well, hold on, that may be happening even if it's only with those who have seen the writing on the wall and opted out of running in 2018. Retiring GOP lawmakers are taking "45" on and speaking out. Meanwhile way too many more are proving themselves cowards by kowtowing to a madman. We're talking about you Rep. David Young (R-IA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). Your silence in the face of dysfunction and your inability to understand your culpability is astounding. Read what some retiring GOP lawmakers are saying in this piece from The Hill.
Quick! We must push back the army of brown women and children who are invading our beloved "White Nation" before, gulp...we white folk find ourselves in the...yikes...minority! There is more truth in that statement than you think. White people are scared to death. Why else would so many states start passing laws that demand local law enforcement "play nice" with the "jack-booted thugs" that make up the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE? It is fear and it is effective and it will come back to haunt those in power today. Mix it all together and there is not another reasonable answer: "We must, at all costs, preserve and protect our White/Christian Nation because it was ordained that way!" They really do think that you know.
Speaking of troops and war I suspect you realize you are the "cannon fodder" for the looming trade war about to unfold. All of this is nonsense and in the end it will not hurt the people making the rules it will hurt you the American Consumer and the further down on the economic ladder you are...the worse it will get. Wait until our farming community, those who supported "45" in great numbers, get smacked with tons of rotting soybeans that were to be shipped to China. When hog farmers can't pay the bills because U.S. pork is on the decline in Asia. And then...those of you who shop for stuff at discount stores that are dependent on goods made in China start to see everything from toys to electronics go up in price...it's going to be a bleak Christmas. If you can afford stuff made in Korea or Europe you can afford a trade war. But those of you on limited income who have counted on inexpensive products made in China. Well...thank your "great leader". It's all crazy. (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
You've got to hand it to "45" he knows how to take a slogan and turn it into gold. During the 2016 campaign we heard that our "great leader" would "Drain the swamp!". He was going to put people into cabinet positions that were just like you. People who understood the trials and difficulty of balancing work/life in a nation that has seen no substantial increase in pay since the 1970's. How did that work out for you? Here is just one example. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has spent nearly $3 million on his 24/7 security detail. According to the Washington Post there are 18 people assigned to protect Pruitt from...you...like at basketball games or picnics. That's just the tip of the ooze coming from the current swamp. From dining tables (Carson) to sound proof phone booths (Pruitt) it's a mess. How you like it...now? Oh, and congress? Crickets.
115 Deaths a Day
That's right, this year nearly 42,000 Americans will die due to addiction and misuse of opioids. That is five times higher than in 1999. And what is astounding is that Significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2015 to 2016 were seen in the Northeast, Midwest and South Census Regions. States with statistically significant increases in drug overdose death rates included Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. There is evidence that Marijuana may be one way to cut down on the epidemic. But, our state and federal government would rather have people die from drug overdose than deal with a way to help patients manage and control their pain. Iowa...I'm talking about you.
Papers, Show Me Your Papers!
You do know that our upcoming census will be a mess...right? The nutty people in charge of this country have decided to ask if you are a U.S. Citizen when the next census comes around. It's crazy but it is so brilliant. How do you better marginalize states that have large numbers of undocumented people? Don't count them. That then means less in federal aid, less in economic growth, less in infrastructure spending. There is more than one way to take down America...just don't count the people. Brilliant...truly.
Polk County Iowa - Activist Training
It's about time. The largest number of registered Democrats in Iowa are in Polk County yet we have seen our numbers continue to erode. Sure there are more and more neighborhood groups and the number of friendly organizations like Progress Iowa, Citizens for Community Improvement and Indivisible are sprouting up all over. However working together makes us all stronger. That's why it's exciting to see the program Activist to Organizer being adopted by the Polk County Democrats. For those of you familiar with Camp Wellstone it is a national training organization that teaches people the art of organizing. Progressives have long held up this education as being responsible for getting more and more people elected to public office. But, it's expensive.
This week the Polk County Democrats launched a one-day program based on the ideas of Wellstone but with an Iowa flavor. Yesterday John Hedgecoth met with leadership here and announced the opening of the project.
There is a bunch of stuff going on but let me give you the "CliffsNotes" version about some exciting changes:
Today at 2PM the Iowa Asian/Latino Coalition will hold an event which will feature several speakers including Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Rob Sand, Democratic Candidate for State Auditor and Josh Mandelbaum, Des Moines City Council. Here is the Facebook Notice should you want more information. See you there.
Many of you know that for the past five years I've hosted Insight on Business - The News Hour where we have broadcast from various radio stations associated with the Des Moines Radio Group. That adventure has allowed me to build an amazing following of our daily podcast which you can find on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio or Podbean. In fact, the audience numbers from our podcasts and our Radio Blog far outnumber the listeners associated with the our most recent station KPSZ - AM940 during our broadcast hour. Add to that fact that AM-940 is a religious station and since being placed there (And paying for the hour each day. That's right, I never worked for them...I paid them for the opportunity to broadcast the business news.) I've had serious doubts about the over all "fit" of a business news broadcast on religious radio. Not to say folks that are Christian are not interested in the business news but...it limited our reach. So we ended our relationship last week and our final broadcast there was on Friday. I am grateful for all the friends and "family" that we've made during those five years with the Des Moines Radio Group...they have been super to work with.
This week we'll launch our daily business news podcast version of The Business News Hour. While we have, for years, put up our interview segments we never podcast the news and our news opinion. Tomorrow all of that changes. We'll still offer up the daily business news, commentary, long form interviews and a look at the markets but it's all digital. Exciting!
Also, starting today at 2PM, for those of you in Eastern Iowa we launch The Business News Hour - Week in Review on the 50,000 watt "blowtorch" News/Talk 1540 KXEL. It's an opportunity to stay with broadcast radio but on a station that is a much better match for our content. The program will feature important business news stories of the past week, our business interviews and a look at what happened on Wall Street, why and a peek at the economic news coming up next week. And, unlike our former radio facility News/Talk 1540 KXEL streams their content so, no matter where in the world you live...you can listen in. A big thank you to Jeff Stein the news director and program director for the station. Over the years we've developed a great friendship.
Uhm...this got a little longer than CliffsNotes huh?
So..thanks for reading, for being part of the former News Hour and it's on to more exciting opportunities.
Have a great Sunday!