Good Morning and welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly set of random thoughts about politics, religion, gossip...you know the stuff you love to talk about. Some of the stories you may have seen others, maybe not. If you agree...fine. If you do not agree...that's just fine too. If you wish, leave a comment...but whatever happens enjoy...Hell, it's Easter.
We Are Being Duped
You know all that frustration you feel when President Trump or his people do something stupid...like daily? I'm convinced that he, and they, are just playing cover for the crap that is going on in our backyards with school boards, state legislatures and city governments. Truly, no administration can be this incompetent...can it? Recent polls suggest the majority of Americans want Trump to release his tax returns. Why? So we can all see what the heck this guy who loves the spotlight is really doing behind closed doors? Speaking of closed doors last week the Trump White House said it would stop sharing the names of White House Visitors. Why? "National security." Bunk. While it is true that President Obama also kept "some names from the press" Trump said he wants to protect visitors from the eyes of the public. Meanwhile, last week, Sean Spicer (on the first day of Passover) said that Hitler never used chemical weapons... Of course he has apologized for the gaff but, really? If this were a comedy we'd all be laughing but these idiots are playing with the lives of our people. Sad what you have wrought on yourselves.
Really would you hire any of these clowns to work for you or with you? Every day that goes by it's another head-scratchier. "Where in the hell did that come from?" seems to be the daily question around here. Meanwhile, as the cartoon from our contributor Tim Lloyd suggests we're sitting on a potential disaster.
Democrats Have A Problem
There is a neat article in The Hill about the potential problem Democrats have when it comes to the next set of elections. The theory is this: Democrats have seen an amazing rise in activity since the 2016 elections but most of that activity is coming from the progressive wing of the party. The question is this, "Can the Democrats field candidates who are progressive but yet will not alienate people who are more moderate?" The answer to that question is that we got into this mess because we were afraid. Democrats were unable to articulate a message that resonated with the electorate. What is that message? It sure as hell isn't "Let's do business like we've always done business." Why spend time and resources fawning over our solid base? We are not going to abandon the LGBT Community. We are not going to abandon the Hispanic Community. We are not going to abandon the Unions. We are not going to abandon the Black Community. We are not going to abandon other minority groups but by focusing on messages designed to placate our base we leave out the vast majority of Americans. Safe to say the folks in Clive, Iowa don't much give a damn about folks in the near north side of Des Moines. Folks in Polk City don't much care about our LGBT community and Gay Pride. So...how do we craft a message of inclusion that does not alienate our base? We deal with substantial issues that we can all agree on:
- Health Care For All - There is no reason under the sun we can't win the hearts and minds of the vast majority of Americans if we stand for Universal Health Care like most modern civilizations on the planet...none;
- Soil & Water Protection - What the hell are we doing poisoning the planet? Rally around the impact this is having on everything from health to safety and let people know;
- Better Jobs and Livable Wages - It is a crime to humanity that the Iowa Legislature rolled back advances in the minimum wage...and we just take it. But, the vast majority of Americans don't care about a "livable wage" because they are beyond that. However if we link being a slave state with how it impacts the lives and the incomes of folks in West Des Moines...we'll see people turn. Except those business owners who say it's just fine to take government handouts to allow them to pay slave wages;
- Tax System Changes - Our tax system is rigged. We hear all the time about how corporations pay little to no tax. Hell, here in Iowa we've got several hundred corporations, because of tax breaks and tax credits pay nothing but yet get a check from the state for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars? How do we allow this to continue? The message here is clear...but we're unwilling to share it;
- Education - If we really believe that education is a right and not something for the privileged few what the hell are we doing cutting funding, treating teachers with such disrespect and being willing to take your tax dollars to fund home schooling and for-profit schools? Show me a parent who gets a kick out of kicking in for pencils, tape, paper, stamps...our public school teachers have also become beggars. It is shameful and this will resonate with the electorate...proper funding of life long learning.
Now, if you want to see all of this in writing. If you want to see all of this in a thoughtful review of where we have been and where we should go...please get the book "No Surrender - Building a Progressive Agenda for Iowa with the Five Securities" by Jack Hatch. I have read this no less than three times...with highlights. It is a playbook for success. Otherwise keep doing what you're doing...and we'll get creamed...again. If you want to support local book sellers call yours and ask that if they have or can get.
Today on my Facebook Feed came this from Tim Henry Winter:
"Some takeaways on today's forum in Boone with Behn, Bacon & Baltimore. I give them credit for showing up, but that is all I give them. They said, "I don't know" a lot. You would think that they would have a better understanding of the issues they are voting on. They don't. The information they have is derived from big business, not science. For example, they don't have a clue as to what the Leopold Center is or why it should be considered important. Nitrates in our groundwater, what's that? What's the nitrate level in Boone/Xenia water before treatment? No clue! Behn used air quotes in discussing "nitrate contamination". Asked about education cuts, they deflected to what they done previous years. How do we compare ISU to other Big 12 university funding? "Don't know" was their answer. Non-existent voter ID?, "Huge problem that they have fixed". Cuts to labor? "We have really improved our relations with labor". Defunding watershed improvement initiatives, water trails, CRP, and buffer initiatives? "We love the environment and will be discussing ways to move forward". I swear if we had asked them about defunding PBS, their answer would have been; "We love public bathroom stalls". I know we can do better than these three!"
Yeah...I'm with you Tim!
Jennifer Konfrst - One More Time
Last week I was to have lunch with my Windsor Heights friend Jennifer Konfrst. She couldn't make it because she was busy announcing that she will run, again, for the Iowa House. This time she promised to be more forceful in her campaign. I hope so. There is no reason that we should be timid in our run against Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights). We understand the dirty tricks and lies that he is capable of sharing with the public. He's in church right now... Should, maybe go more often...like daily to beg for forgiveness for following his true masters.
Tired. Got home from our Passover Seder at Adas Israel in Mason City close to 1:00am. It was a wonderful experience. Of the 50+ people there the majority came for the first time to a traditional Jewish service. We had folks from Webster City, Northwood, Rochester, Charles City, Waterloo, Clear Lake and of course Mason City. I'm sure many were a bit surprised that a service, any service, would take over three hours to complete but it seemed that all had a great time, learned much and left with a better understanding of Judaism and, perhaps their own faith...whatever that may be. Oh...and we're still eating Matzah through Tuesday.
Thanks for coming by and have a blessed Easter, Passover and Sunday!
I was at the Boone forum also ... there was even attempted total misdirection. They maintained that the sales tax HAD to go up a full percentage and then the 3/8% could kick in, and that is why they hadn't acted on it. BS .. the sales tax can be increased by 3/8% (or whatever) ... When I asked in an email Chip replied "It is politically illogical to believe that the legislature would raise a sales tax by a fraction of a cent, because doing so is problematic for retailers on the one hand and requires rounding on the other, which leads to excess funds which must be dealt with. " When talking with Rob Bacon afterwards he expressed that he really thought sales taxes could only be increased by full percentages.
BTW ... I left the Passover Seder at Yosi's about midnight. It is a very special experience!
Posted by: George Ensley | 04/16/2017 at 11:46 AM