Thanks for tuning in for another shot of politics, religion and gossip. This is Sunday Morning Coffee and I get to do this for two reasons. Hopefully one or two of the articles makes you think a bit and second...it's my personal mental health effort. There is so much "crazy" going on that, at least once a week, we get to consider some, OK I'm biased, sane commentary. If you are easily offended...please don't read on. However what might you miss?
It didn't take long for my Right Wing Toxic Talking Heads to put up the argument that if only the people of Paris had guns... It was all the rage over at 1350-W-GOP. Even the show-boat Donald Trump, just hours after the carnage, wrote a Tweet, "Isn't it interesting that this happened in a nation that does not allow guns?" Really? Here are the facts in not one of the now hundreds of mass shootings that have happened has there been a retaliatory effort on the part of some armed bystander who "took out" the assailant(s). None.
What happened in France was a military operation conducted by a group of fanatics who will not negotiate, will not bargain, will not "listen to reason". Done. What should happen, but it won't because we are cowards, is that the "civilized world" should rise up and end this. Russia, Syria and Iraq can wait this group can not.
Facebook has taken a hit because just a day before the Paris murders over 40 people were murdered in Beirut and there was no "check-in" deployed as Facebook had done with other natural disasters. Nor was there any "temporary overlay" for profile photos. It all suggests that "western lives" matter more than others. Those detractors may have a point. Of course FB denies it but still...
Last night Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley were in Des Moines at Drake University for a spirited debate. It was damn good. While I've committed to Sanders for the caucus Mrs. Clinton and Mr. O'Malley did very well. I was particularly impressed with for how Gov. O'Malley pushed back on several topics...looking very much in control. Best line however, and it resonated with Iowa Democrats, was from Sec. Clinton: "I would not want Governor Terry Branstad administering my health care." Bam!
Crumbs From the Table
Why some of my friends continue to lift up candidates that will work directly against their economic interests is stunning. I'm not sure if they don't realize they are being duped or if they are hoping for crumbs from the master's table. Sen. Sanders is correct in his railing against the financial institutions and "big money" interests that are running this nation and how somebody that is a member of the middle class can support anybody in the GOP is stunning (I know I used that word before). I believe it's' "Master, may I have a crumb of bread?" creeping in.
But maybe it's worse than"crumbs". Perhaps it's the general belief that others simply don't mater. "I'm in this for ME!" That the sense of unity has been directed toward the belief that somehow you and your group are superior. I get it. No, really. If you are white...you don't know or care about "White Privilege" because you live it every day. If you are a Christian your core belief is that everybody else is wrong and if only they would "see the light" the world would be wonderful. When folks sit around and have conversations about mass deportations like it's nothing...that my friends is scary. We have some history when it comes to that type of talk. All you now need to do is dust off the old uniform and shine those "jack-boots". (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
Medicaid & Gov. Branstad
While you were out thumping your bible or oiling your gun something interesting happened. The American Medical Association formally asked the Department of Justice to block the insurance company mergers of Aetna’s purchase of Humana and Anthem’s acquisition of Cigna that would reduce that industry to effectively three participants. If it goes through you, my friend, lose.
Meanwhile, and closer to home, the wheels are coming off the power/money grab by Governor Branstad and his cronies in the for-profit companies drooling over the opportunity to get a piece of the $4.2 billion Medicaid costs here in Iowa. People are starting to realize that this will have a disastrous impact on over 500,000 Iowans who are elderly and/or poor. I know some of you who are privileged see this as a good thing. "Let's save $50 million dollars so we can give that tax money to already wealthy corporations who come begging!" Perhaps, rather than thumping that bible, you might consider opening it. But, then that would be way too confusing.
Well, it's here. And if you are happy with 24/7 Christmas music...you got a shot of the preview on 104.1. It's the most wonderful months of the year. Maybe now you'll be more....kind.
Minimum Wage and Iowa
Oh, Iowa... In case you missed it Iowa currently is in the minority of states. You know those backward-ass states that believe people can exist on $7.25 an hour. Congratulations. There was an attempt last session, led by the Democrats in the Iowa State Senate, to boost the minimum wage to $8.75 (bold huh?) but, of course, the Republicans in the House said, "Nope ain't gonna budge besides everybody knows that only kids work at minimum wage jobs." Not true but it doesn't matter. Iowa...leading us back to 1954...proud huh? But, hey we won some football game or so I hear.
I often have mixed feelings about West Des Moines. It's a nice, mostly white, upper-class community that has a great tax base but a lousy street system (86th Street is 86th Street not 22nd)...but my attitude may be changing for the better all because of the arts. Last week Valley High School dedicated it's preforming arts center to Dr. Phyllis Staplin a 33 year veteran of the district. I would not have gone (I usually veg after 7PM) but our grand-daughter had an art project that was chosen to be part of the event. So we went and I was truly impressed. What a wonderful facility with great vision! The firm RDG created a magnificiant design and Weitz built a stunning addition to the campus. Congratulations on the Staplin Performing Arts Center. See...I can change!
Have a great Sunday and thanks for reading!