Let's have some fun, shall we? We'll spend some quality time this morning chatting about politics, religion, sex and a little gossip thrown in for flavor. It's Sunday Morning Coffee, my attempt to help you better come to grips with our world. Some of you may agree and others, those of you who cling to your bible, gun and fear, (Wait, isn't that the Republican Party?) may not. Ready? Read on...
The Democratic Debate
Yep, I watched it. I was looking for some intelligent answers to issues that truly plague our nation. Quick overview: Hillary Clinton seemed relaxed and on her game. It's just that I keep waiting for "the rest of the story" from her. Martin O'Malley was forceful and emotional. He's got nothing to lose but I liked his opening and his promise not to, "...relinquish the values of freedom" and give way to fear. Bernie Sanders is right on the economy, the party, income distribution, medial care and education. If those where things the people cared about...
The GOP Debate
Be afraid, be very afraid unless you are white, Christian and wealthy...and vote GOP if you desire crumbs from the privileged table. I had predicted, long ago, that Donald Trump would take Iowa. But, I'm not so sure. As you know the Republican Iowa Caucus vote is by secret ballot. I'm thinking that many feel like Mr. Trump says what they are thinking but in the end they will vote for somebody more in touch with reality. Oh, wait...how does that explain Gov. Branstad? Never mind. (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
What's Right With America?
About this time in each election cycle (and they go on and on and on here in Iowa) we hear so much about how lousy things are and how terrible and wrong America is that some folks believe it. Yes, Canada is much more civilized than we are. Yes, the people of Australia seem to have more common sense than we. Germany, if they didn't cheat with VW's, is very cool and they offer universal health care for it's citizens...all of them. Here in the United States we've got a bunch of good things going on and for what we have I am grateful. However, we are way too xenophobic for our own good. We really should be trying to fix some stuff here rather than believing every nation should be a Mini-Me.
But It's Icky!!!
Sex (you were wondering when this would come up) is icky. It involves stuff that we don't understand. Sex is messy, often uncontrollable and way too much fun so we do stuff to inhibit anything that has to do with sex. Take, for example, the December 3rd vote in the United States Senate to de-fund planned parenthood. It's yet another example of how dysfunctional our nation is with sex. The rallying cry for the GOP was that Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill and must go away. But the truth...and I know how hard this is for you to understand...people fear Planned Parenthood because, for the most part, it is about women having control over sex. Sex education, contraception, health care of sexual things like breasts and vaginas. That is the fear but you can't say that because you would be weird so you attack something that we all dislike...abortion...which is less than 3% of what Planned Parenthood does and nearly zero federal dollar go to that...already. But, hey don't believe a Commie like me here is a great article by that leftist publication Forbes. Weary...
Speaking of Weary
I am very weary of the celebration. No, not Christmas...that's bad enough...but the celebration of the "longest serving governor in the nation". Enough. He was elected multiple times because while we have something called the Iowa Test of Basic Skills our skill set in electing thoughtful, progressive leaders is pretty bad. Frankly I wouldn't walk across the street. You reap what you sow. And, while I'm at it, I was told last night it's all but a "done deal" that former governor Chet Culver is in the race for Congress in the Third District. I can't wait. If you want to peek at why Mr. Branstad is governor look to Mr. Culver. Last night a political wonk said, "I mean who doesn't get re-elected as governor of Iowa? You've gotta be pretty bad not to." Ladies and gentlemen I offer you Exhibit A...Chet Culver the BFF of Mr. Branstad. Nice going.
Last week on NPR...I can think and drive at the same time...I heard something stunning. Something we, who are not Christian, talk about but rarely heard in open conversation. "Christians are not like Jews and not like Muslims! They believe in one God, called by names we do not know. We, on the other hand, believe in three deities: the Father, Son and Holy Ghost who combine to make our God. Any other form is foreign." That was spoken by a Christian defending the decision of Wheaton College to suspend tenured associate professor Larycia Hawkins (who, by the way, is a Christian) because she wrote on a Facebook Post, "I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God."
Apparently that is not true.
Wait, Back Up!
Sorry, "The Season" had me for a moment. Last night I met and visited with Jim Mowrer's worst nightmare a nice guy by the name of Mike Sherzan who, last week, announced that he is running for Congress in Iowa's Third District. We had a nice chat at a debate watch party hosted by the Urbandale Democrats. For those of you who follow this sort of stuff Mike announced for the 2014 election but left the campaign, just when it was getting started, due to some health issues. He tells me he is well and looking forward to a spirited campaign. This now makes three announced candidates: Desmund Adams announced first back in June then Mr. Mowrer and now Mr. Sherzan whom, I understand, has, "More money than God."...depending on which God you worship...welcome to the party! Dang...I should have gotten a photo!
In Case You Missed It
Speaking of Mr. Adams...in case you missed it the only Iowa political figure that I am aware of who, last week, not only spoke out against bigotry against Muslims but also held an inter-faith prayer gathering to celebrate our religious diversity was Desmund Adams. About 125 people joined together at the Iowa State Capitol for a series of short speeches and prayer by Christians, Muslims and Jews. Of course the Des Moines Media, all but the Des Moines Register, ignored the event. Way too much common sense going on here and not enough blood and guts for the broadcast media and thirty seconds of coverage. So you know, Mr. Adams reached out to invite Rep. David Young (R-IA) and Mr. Mowrer and made the personal invite to participate as a show of unity against bigotry. Crickets..
Last week I had a date. No, really and I know how shocking that might be for many of you. Jovie and I went, on opening night, to see The Wizard of Oz at the Des Moines Civic Center. Wonderful and she loved it! Today is the final performance and if you are seeking a family friendly, fun and updated classic go...just go! You will truly enjoy. Prior to the theater we enjoyed a drink and some food at Lurra Cocina which has become one of my favorite joints...and it's right next to the studio.
Or you can go and see some space movie that opened up this week. Something about a solo guy who meets a Danish fellow by the name of Hans. Should be delightful.
Thanks for Reading and Have a Great Week!