Sunday Morning Coffee is my regular look at the world of politics and religion with some gossip thrown in for flavor. My name is Michael P. Libbie and if you want to comment here, feel free. And/Or let's connect on my personal Twitter Feed @MichaelLibbie and my personal Facebook Page which is right...here. Lots going on, as usual...so let's get with it.
Don't Talk About It!
That's the message conservative talk show folks are sharing with their listeners/viewers about President Obama and his call to jump-start the economy by putting people back to work. The right-wing pundits tell us it is simply a re-hash of old policy ideas. Well, could be...but you guys didn't listen the first time out so we're giving you another shot. I know, you don't believe it but a strong Middle Class is what makes America great...ya know the 99%.
"Madam President" came to Iowa last week. No, not an actually person but a town-hall meeting with an all female panel designed to push to nation towards a female president. One of the panelists US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said it was important to discuss the future of the 2016 presidential election now so that in 2017 the nation gets to say, "Madam President to Hillary Rodham Clinton". Of course Mrs. Clinton has not yet announced but it is widely expected she will. A woman in the White House? Perhaps, but Iowa needs to do a better job at electing Iowans who are female. Joining the panel was Staci Appel who is running against Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) but absent was State Sen. Jodi Ernst (R-Red Oak) who is one of many Republicans wishing to become the states junior senator when Tom Harkin (D-IA) retires in 2014. Wonder why she wasn't invited...
In A Related Story
Iowa Republicans are having a fit. Seems NBC and CNN have scheduled a couple of films about Hillary Clinton. A.J. Spiker, Iowa's GOP Party chairman has said, "I will not sign the Iowa GOP up to co-sponsor debates with NBC or CNN unless they pull their upcoming films on Hillary Clinton." Whoa...A.J. undies in a knot about Hillary? It wasn't that way back in 2008 when a film, which really was a hatchet job on Mrs. Clinton, aired. In fact the GOP called that a fair and balanced report on the, "...real Hillary Clinton".
The Christians Are At It Again
Last week The Family Leader ginned up (sorry...) Iowa Christian Conservatives and speaker after speaker cried out to Jesus to find a way to "take our country back". Back from those of us who are not Christian or back to those glorious years of discrimination like 1950? On hand for the gaiety (sorry again) where such stellar examples of Christianity like Donald Trump and the ever lovable Rep. Steve King (R-IA). However the best line came from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who said, "I'm here to tell you to get involved and to challenge today's postmodern culture." What ever in the hell that means. But this was the classic: "America needs one nation under God and if we were all angels, we would need no government." I'm telling you the man is daft.
Wanna Go For A Swim?
It's a good thing the weather has been cool. Here is Iowa the lakes and rivers are so filled with chemicals that we get routine postings about the inability to use the water for swimming. Now there seems to be crap (literally) in some swimming pools which are not being identified by the Health Department. We were told, back in July, this situation was under control. Except last week there were more folks who had fallen sick to an infectious parasite. More chlorine please...
Head Shaker of the Week
Let's say you work for a company that has as its job the health and safety of ill or infirm people. It takes special training to be good at your job. However you see that supervisors short cut that training and forge names on state-required training documents. You, being a dedicated humanitarian, report the infraction and your reward is to be...fired. Thinking that's wrong you have to go to court. The Jury agrees and awards you damages. But hold on...the company appeals to the Iowa Supreme Court where the majority affirms the lower court ruling but three justices agree with the company. Dissenting Justice Edward Mansfield writes for himself and Justice Thomas Walterman and Justice Bruce Zager that the ruling, "sweeps away previously clear legal standard and replaces it with a series of platitudes about health, safety and welfare." Platitudes about health, safety and welfare be damned! It gets better. You see Justices Mansfield, Walterman and Zager also believe that upholding decisions where the court awards damages to fired whistle-blowers could, "...be a new cost of doing business in Iowa." Nice that the court is also part of economic development. Weary...
I've written about how the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) love to hand out mountains of cash to already successful companies in bribes to get them to our expand to our state. However, I had no idea the governor was, in effect, trampling on the State Constitution and bet you didn't either. My friend Richard Doak writes in the Sunday Des Moines Register about exactly which sections of the Constitution we've decided no longer apply. It's a great piece and if you can get through the pay-wall well worth your time to read, "Salesman In Chief".
Senator Harkin and Social Security Reform
Last week Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) came to Des Moines to talk about the need to reform social security. You see, it's all the rage among Republicans who wish to cut benefits and privatize the program to "save it". Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has once again concocted the scheme and folks on the Right, who have already forgotten the trouncing they got back in November, seem eager to support it. Sen. Harkin has a different plan and he outlined it here:
Congress is on vacation for several more weeks. Time for you to make contact and ask them if they will support SB 567 or why in the hell they want to cut benefits and promises to our seniors. Never mind, I already know.
The Iowa State Fair is here and that means several trips to savor the flavor of this wonderful event. Except this year we're savoring less. I LOVE the State Fair Cheese Curds until we learned that each curd...each...carries 102 calories! So a basket of 18 means you'll consume 1,836 (delicious) calories! Opt for the sweet-corn at 105 and only one.
Mom had her hair done last week! I know, that seems to be a small deal but to her it was back to feeling better. She is still recovering under the care of the folks at Edgewater and I am grateful. She has been gone from her home for nearly two months...and eager to get back. We hope so too.
Thanks for coming by and have a fantastic Sunday!
I supported Hillary in 2008 mainly because I am a Bill Clinton loyalist. I was deeply disappointed in how Hillary ran her campaign in Iowa in 2007 & 2008. I was heavily courted by the Obama folks to support them but I felt it was too late and I would be doing an injustice to the Clinton campaign if I deserted the Clinton campaign. I believe in being consistent and fair. If Hillary does run again she will have no problem if she has no major or significant opposition in the caucuses or primaries but if she has major competition there I hope she improves her strategy. If that happens, she might have "had her day". If there is no major GOP competition in the wings for 2016 she might as well skip Iowa and save her money and concentrate money where she needs it. Iowa has had a lot of attention in the national limelight but we need to rest from it and concentrate on our local and state races where we can make the most difference. Presidential caucuses take away workers and supporters where they need to be and that is local. It is nice to have the attention but Iowa doesn't need to be first every time.
Posted by: Gary Schmidt | 08/11/2013 at 11:49 AM