Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at the world of politics and religion with some added gossip just for fun. My name is Michael P. Libbie and if you want to leave a comment here, feel free. Or we can connect on my personal Twitter Feed @MichaelLibbie and/or my personal Facebook Page is right here. Just play nice. Not much happened this past week...
Giveth and Taketh Away...
Last week the Supreme Court gave millions of LGBT people the right to marry in states which have accepted same-sex marriage by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. In some states equal is now equal. Yet they upheld the rights of states who wish to pass laws which seek to discriminate against their citizens. Here in Iowa the GOP foes of equality vowed to overturn the progress in the next legislative session. Meanwhile the SCOTUS said all is well with regard to southern racial relations. Over the past 40 years the south has mended their ways and should no longer be subject to portions of the Voter Rights Act. That is crap. In many areas the rural, and often suburban, south still hold racial disparity close to their hearts. In these places, and I have been there, it will take several more funerals to wipe out the old Jim Crow way of life. Watch....
Speaking of Jim Crow
Can we be done with Paula Deen? Not quite yet. The sponsors and networks that shuttered Ms. Dean over-reacted to her admission of using the "N-Word" decades ago. The back-story was that Ms. Deen was being sued and rather than pay up the million or so and move on (she made about $22 million a year) she decided to fight and admitted in a deposition that at one time in her life, raised in the Jim Crow South, she did use "the word". And, the sponsors and the Food Network ran... They should have given her the boot years earlier for pushing fat causing, diabetes related foods while also getting paid $6 million in a two year deal to shill for Novo Nordisk a Danish pharmaceutical company that makes drugs for diabetics. BTW, Deen developed Type 2 diabetes yet kept it quiet for several years...it might have cramped her style? That, my friends, was the real "sin". Bye...Paula.
Then we have this man. A world-wide hero. Born in a dung-floor hut, jailed for 27 years in apartheid South Africa he rose to become the president of his country and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Unlike so many African leaders he voluntary stepped down after one five year term (the Constitution allows for two five-year terms) in a show of humility. As I write this the 94 year-old leader is gravely ill. President Obama is, this week, in South Africa. It is said he will not visit President Mandela but will have a private meeting with his family. Nelson Mandela...now stop for a moment and consider what other great leaders you can name from the past twenty years. Go... Short list huh?
Tomorrow the interest rate on federal subsidized student loans (Stafford Loans) doubles from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent because the "Do Nothing Congress of the United States" did...nothing. The inaction of these "leaders" will mean a person who has a loan will pay an additional $3,000 on a $23,000 loan over ten years. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) offered a way out last week but... But wait!!!! Maybe we can spend some additional time trying to find a way to halt Obamacare for like the 40th time in two years. Weary my friends...weary.
Did you hear that the lawsuit against Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was dropped? Out of the blue the lawsuit against Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign over allegedly stealing home-school supporters email information was resolved. It had been brought by Barbara Heki, a longtime board member of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators who had volunteered or Bachmann's 2012 Iowa caucus campaign. Nobody is talking. Wonder how many pieces of silver that cost?
With Jesus As My Drivers Education Teacher...
I missed this. When looking for background regarding the Barbara Heki/Michele Bachmann story I learned that if you home school your kids in Iowa you do not need to enroll them in the drivers education class offered by public schools. Nope...no longer. Anybody, really anybody, can teach those kids to drive. I suspect this is so they will not have to be under the thumb of the Anti-Christ who has invaded the public school system. OK then... (At this point I was going to write something about Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) and his new role as "Decider-in-Chief" with regard to Medicaid funded abortions but...decided not to bother. Two odd topics in row are just too much. See, I have spared you.)
Let's Get Local
For those of you who do not live in The Village of Windsor Heights feel free to skip to the next story. Seems our village of 4,800 people will no longer have Mayor Jerry Sullivan or City Council Member Diana Willits to kick around any longer. Both shared with me last week they will not stand for re-election this November. When I asked..."Why?" I got the standard, "I've been in a long time and it's time to move on." line. When pressed I learned, from others, there are some major non-progressive issues going on within the city council. Should be fun to watch. OK...you may re-engage.
The Iowa Farm Bureau
Otherwise known as "The GOP Voice for Agriculture" wants you to know that Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) is "no friend to Iowa farmers". In a desperate attempt to halt the Braley campaign for the US Senate The Iowa Republican penned a negative piece accusing Mr. Braley of being out of touch with agriculture and for being (hang on kids...this is awful) a trial lawyer. Shudder.... Here is the deal. The Iowa GOP needs to do something to prop up their list of "B-Players" many of whom are unknown outside of their county seat. Hang on this is going to get really good.
Then There Is Texas...
Texas, when I was growing up, was a place of almost mythical proportions. They had cowboys, Texas Rangers, Lyndon Johnson, the Alamo and swagger. Oh they had segregation, lynchings and the Klan too but we didn't pay that much attention to such things. Today Texas is a bat-crap-crazy refuge for white Christian Conservatives who don't see any problem with denying the poor access to medical care, deciding the fate of women, their hate of the LGBT community, and executing prisoners. Last week as the Texas State Senate "debated" an abortion bill favored by Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) that would ban the practice after 20 weeks and close hundreds of legal, safe clinics because "...we value all life" Texas executed it's 500th prisoner. Why anybody would want to volunteer to live or visit Texas is a mystery to me. We would have been better off to have, long ago, allowed them to form their own country. Last week, following a failed attempt to pass a new "compassionate" abortion bill during a special session, they are back at it on Monday and say they have the votes and the damn public can go to hell. Nice. In case you are interested here's an story of Gov. Perry jabbing State Sen. Wendy Davis the woman who stood for eleven hours to filibuster the abortion bill.
Last week I conducted a memorial service for Gilbert "Skip" Fleming z"l of Charles City. Skip and his wife Rose worked hard to secure a solid family structure and pass along their Jewish faith to their three boys. Education, they felt was critical to success, so they helped Jon, Jerry and Jim get to college (Iowa State) where they started on the road to a combined 35 years of post-high school studies. I knew Skip for over 25 years as a quiet man who loved his wife, his boys, the house he built by himself and the flowers that graced its lawn. During the meal at Adas Israel a friend of the family asked, "I remember so well how beautiful the yard was. Did the flowers bloom this year?". Jon Fleming said, "No, Dad wasn't there to plant them." Skip and Rose did plant the seed of learning and love with their family. Love of all people, no matter the color of their skin, their faith, their personal orientation or their economic standing. They were...liberals. Suspect you might have guessed that.
Have a blessed start to a new week!