So much going on that it's sometimes hard to keep up. Maybe that is the strategy? Time for Sunday Morning Coffee some political news stories you may have seen or missed all laced with my personal opinion. Why? Because once a week it's "Fun and Awe". Let's go!
Stay Out...Well, Maybe
Banning travel to the United States from seven nations that have a majority population of Muslims isn't such a popular move as evidenced by scores of protests in the U.S. and around the world. Then when the Trump Administration doubled down and said that Christians from those countries could enter but not them folks who don't pray to Jesus...well that was enough to ensnare us in that old "Establishment Clause". On Friday a federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide restraining order halting the travel ban and then, today, the federal appeals court denied the Justice Department's request to reinstate the "Let Them Christians in But Keep Out them Muslims Act of 2017". Sometimes the law does work.
Used Car Sales
There are a couple of things most people dislike. Stuff like having a root canal or shopping for a car...new or used. One can hurt like hell the other, not so much because they use Novocaine and sometimes gas. But at least you know it's coming. Last week Mr. Trump signed an executive order requesting the Department of Labor check to see if they could lay off telling your financial adviser to work in your best interests rather than their own. On the surface the ruling that financial folks should work in the investors interests, formed by the Obama Administration, sounded like a good idea until you get lawyers involved. Here is the problem: What if your financial adviser works in your best interest but you don't think so and you sue? Wouldn't happen? Please... If you, the person who is being advised with regard to financial matters, can't tell if you are being sold a bill of goods maybe you've got the wrong adviser? This went down in my world over the past two weeks and because I could smell something fishy...I ended that relationship because I took the time to check things out. Sometimes we have got to ask the tough questions.
Still putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop has never worked....and the Big Banks, as evidenced by this week's cartoon by Tim Lloyd pretty much sums it up.
Uniting the Nation
The population isn't happy and Donald J. Trump has done what I did not think he could do...unite the nation. Millions of people have joined the active resistance against, not only Mr. Trump, but the Republicans marching in goose step with their supreme leader. It has been an amazing thing to witness. When you get 25,000+ men and women to a day of protest at the Iowa State Capital and millions in Washington, D.C. "somethings happening here"... Wait! How about a musical interlude?
Feel better? As I was saying, Trump is uniting the nation in a resistance movement I've not seen since the 1960's. Here in Des Moines every Democratic Neighborhood Group that was formed last year is now reporting record numbers at their meetings. There isn't a day that goes by where we don't see people in the streets, at the state capital, at federal buildings protesting and it is starting to work. Keep it up. Thank you Mr. President.
When the Pot Calls the Kettle Black
The Republican controlled senate thinks they can tell you that "sh*t doesn't stink" as they stand in a pile of poo. That's what is going on as they tell you that it is unfair the Democrats are boycotting hearings and talking about tanking the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. If we get in the "Way Back Machine" you might remember that it was the Republicans that didn't allow even a hearing on Judge Garland when President Obama nominated him to the Supreme Court. And the GOP is pissed off that the Democrats actually are demanding that this nominee get the 60 votes that were required for every Obama nominee...just like the Republicans demanded. Don't you love it?
But, and this is important, you also need to stay focused on what is happening in your backyard:
Meanwhile In Des Moines
Tomorrow (Monday) it looks like the GOP controlled legislature will send out their anti-workers bill in an effort to cripple unions and the workers who are paid livable wages and have protection because they are in a union. The Republicans hate that. You see in their world the goal is to keep wages and benefits as low as possible so more dollars are directed to the bottom line. Why? Come on...investors are demanding a return. "More for me and less for those stinking workers." So, when the GOP floats that balloon you should be poking holes in it. We hear one of the ways they intend to crush the unions is to make it more difficult for unions to collect their dues. It's what they did in Wisconsin and if you liked that...welcome to Iowa. Charles Schneider (R-WDM) we will be watching,
Got a Coat Hanger?
Iowa is about to return to the days of "Coat Hanger Abortions" by denying Planned Parenthood funding. Even in the face of the fact there are fewer and fewer abortions happening in the state. Of course we know that the majority of work done by Planned Parenthood is providing low cost medical care and contraception and THAT is the reason we have fewer abortions. But the Governor and his cronies have made a promise, "We love us them kids before they is born. We loves them so much we want more of you poor folk to have chillen so we can deny them access to public schools and push them into poverty and then into for-profit prisons."
Think this doesn't matter? Try this article from the New York Times about what happens in places like Tennessee when faced with tough decisions. Welcome to...Iowa?
Gotta love those guys.
Keep 'Em Dumb and on The Farm
The Republicans in the Iowa Legislature continue to do their best to defund public schools. Tomorrow (Monday) Iowans For Public Education will hold a news conference that is intended to share with you the need to have strong public schools to ready our kids for the workforce. The event will take place at 10am in the Iowa State Capital, Room 15 off of the Legislative Dining Room. You are invited to attend. They are supporting three basic issues:
- Full funding for public education SSA (Supplemental State Aid) – state aid is now set at 1.1 % for 2017-2018 and after seven years of cuts, districts are being starved of operating funds. This is a statewide crisis in districts large and small.
- Rejection of school vouchers, also known as “ESAs.” Public school funds should not be used for private schools or unregulated home schools.
- Preservation of Iowa Chapter 20 – Collective bargaining is an essential system that keeps our teachers and districts able to reach mutual agreements that avoid strikes and provides our teachers good benefits and retirement security.
The photo is of my friend Claire Celsi speaking to a packed room of Polk County Democrats on Saturday morning. If you want more information or want to help you can reach Claire now at 515-554-6754.
And, I like that. Former State Senator Jack Hatch has written a book, "No Surrender - Building a Progressive Agenda for Iowa with the Five Securities" that maps out a progressive agenda for Iowa and calls out a system that has been more intent on keeping power-brokers in power than in doing what is right by the people of Iowa. In his book he doesn't just bitch about the problem he offers action steps to put the Democratic Party of Iowa back on a progressive course of action that will not only build success politically but also resonate with the people who are negatively impacted by regressive actions on the part of the GOP.
I was at his book signing this weekend and if you are interested in reading and then doing you can buy Jack's book here. And, while we do not "do politics" on The Business News Hour Sen. Hatch will be my guest on Tuesday afternoon talking about the impact politics has on business. You'll be able to hear that about 5:15pm on AM-940 and FM-104.5. And we'll post the Podcast as well.
We did it. After weeks of practicing our dance moves it was off to the Father Daughter Dance in Urbandale last night. Jovie had a great time and the place was packed with Dads and Daughters. As with any "date" it was off to dinner following the dance which, by the way, was fueled by tons of sugary snacks...
The last dance at the event was something about "Butterfly Kisses". Damn. "No, Jovie I just have something in my eye."
Thanks for reading and have a great week!