How about some politics, religion and gossip all cooked up with my personal opinion? My name is Michael P. Libbie and I love to write about the stuff your Mother said, "Never talk about....". If you want to leave a comment here, feel free and/or let's connect on my personal Twitter Stream @MichaelLibbie and my personal Facebook Page is right here. Enough commercial...let's go!
Egypt & Middle East
Many of my liberal friends cringe because they know I'm a fan of Israel. Some think I must because I'm Jewish but it is more than that. Take a gander at what is going on in Egypt and you get a pretty clear picture of how dysfunctional things can get when you mix religious extremism with government. You would think that would be a clue to my friends in the GOP but...nah they continue to push their narrow, religious beliefs on the people. You want a theocracy? Good! Move to Saudia Arabia and let me know how things work out for you. Odd.
Now it's Wisconsin
He's backkkkkk! Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) last week signed a bill that requires women to have an ultrasound if they wish to have an abortion. Wisconsin now joins the other enlightened states of Ohio, Arkansas, North Dakota and Alabama in dictating medical procedures for women...only. Iowa would be next in line and will be if the Democrats lose the state senate.
Also last week businesses celebrated the delay in implementing federal health insurance requirements. Washington announced that large employers would not face a $2,000 per-worker penalty until 2015 for failing to provide health insurance to their full-time workers. Here is what the president should have done...and something I've written about for a couple of years. Rather than cozy up to the original Republican health care plan he should have pushed for the single payer option. It would have been a hell of a fight but one worth taking on. But, nope. Health care in the United States will remain a privilege for those who can afford it.
That Didn't Take Long...
The ink on the Supreme Court decision to gut the Voting Rights Act wasn't dry and our enlightened friends in Texas and Mississippi announced they would require voters to show identification at the polls. "If I have to show ID to write a check I should have to show ID to vote." is what we hear from those who support voter suppression. Well, bucko...check cashing procedures are a contract between a private business and the person seeking to do business. It's not the same thing as voting which, at one time in this country, was a basic right. Isn't it odd that Texas continues to show up as one of the most back-ass states in the nation? Oh...no...wait. Three words, Gov. Rick Perry. Nuff said.
Speaking of Iowa...
Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) injected himself into the marriage equality debate yet again. Saying that Iowa would continue to follow the directives of the Supreme Court with regard to equal rights for same-sex couples he could not help himself and called on Iowans to support the effort to vote for discrimination with a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between a man and a women...one of each. Governor, don't you have enough to do deciding who does and who does not get an abortion under Medicaid?
Looks Like "NOT!"
Last week Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) vetoed a provision to enhance Iowa's emergency medical services (EMS) by creating a board to offer recommendations of compliance for the states 12,000 individual EMT's. Gov. Branstad said this activity would, "grow the size, scope and cost of government". Oh, the cost to create this board? $28,000. Never mind that, right now, the governing body which oversees EMT's has had its staff cut from 17 to 10, has had no medical director for ten years and no bureau chief for two. Things are just fine. Move along, nothing to see here...
Last week I saw Gov. Branstad walking in the Urbandale 4th of July Parade with others from his party. They were being escorted by a white convertible. I was so tempted to ask if the car could do 90 MPH. (Sorry for the "inside joke" here is the link.) The float had a big sign on it, "Republicans (image of a heart) Freedom". I so badly wanted to grab a magic marker and write, "For White People". But, they were moving too fast.
If you are a Polk County Supervisor you get to ride in parades (I saw Robert Brownell do so just last week) you get to take time off, without asking, don't have to punch a clock and get paid $101,668 a year for your part-time job. Neat huh? Last week, as you slept, the Polk County Supervisors decided they needed a little more so they voted on a 3 percent pay raise AND an increase their "deferred compensation plan" by 5 percent. What is that? Well, if they resign or get beat in an election they get...retirement benefits. I can not make this stuff up kids.
Shooting for Christ
Afixed to my copy of the Des Moines Sunday Register was a sticker promoting Trinity Firearms Training which appears to be a local organization that provides classes for Permit to Carry. But, just for kicks I decided to Google the name, Trinity Firearms Training and it comes up with a location in North Carolina along with a heavy mix of Second Amendment rights and Jesus. Just so you know.
Great Governors of Iowa
Richard Doak has a wonderful article in today's Sunday Morning Register regarding his pick of the six great governors of the State of Iowa. Good reading if you can get through the pay-wall. Of the six four were Republicans and two Democrats. But, it must be noted...given the current framework of the Iowa Republican Party none of the former GOP governors would have a chance in hell of getting elected today. Why? They were way too progressive...and fair.
Word is that Mom will be discharged from Edgewater in a few weeks. She was hospitalized, in June, for compression fractures of her back and transferred to Edgewater for physical therapy. She's done really well and believes she can return to her apartment. We'll see how that goes. I can report that she seems much better and more grumpy. A good sign. BTW: Her right eye is a little red...she is on a blood thinner and it got a little wacky two weeks ago. I would have posted that image but it's a little scary. She's on the mend.
Thanks for coming by and have a fantastic Sunday!