Gather around some great political news this week and more to look forward to. It's Sunday Morning Coffee that bright spot in an otherwise dull world of politics (I know...making that up!). Here are some stories you've no doubt seem and some you may have missed all laced with my own (correct BTW)) commentary. Get comfortable and grab a cup...remember it can be hot.
What? A Grand Jury!
Last week we learned the Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury which means stuff is going on the record. But it is more than that. It means that Mr. Mueller is indicating that he has found evidence of criminal activity. You don't gather together a grand jury for show. This is serious and, in a very real way, helps insulate Mueller from "45" and any attempt at removing him as special prosecutor. Of course "Team Trump" led by some real legal clowns have said any expansion in the investigation will be met with "increasing resistance". Words that he must have learned from...us.
Notice something over the past 72 hours? The Twitter account for "45" has gone pretty much silent. Another show of strength from Gen. John Kelly the new Chief of Staff who is in the White House to instill some order and some sanity following six crazy months of "45" blowing off about nearly everything in 140 characters. An interesting fact about Kelly. It is said that after every promotion he has read a book about the failures and the advances of a fictional British General during WWI. The Wall Street Journal says that Kelly reads "The General" written by C.S. Forester in 1936 as a reminder of "...what to avoid as a leader". Think of that, somebody in the White House...reads! Meanwhile it seems all quiet on the Western Front.
There was some movement last week as "45" attempts to make good on another campaign promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to keep those "bad hombres" out. The Department of Homeland Security wants to waive environmental rules to build the wall. Also the Washington Post shared a transcript of a phone conversation (think leaks) between "45" and the president of Mexico Enrique Pena that the wall is just a political stunt. "Believe it or not, this is the least important thing we are talking about, but politically it might be the most important thing we are talking about." He also said that President Pena should not say that his country is not going to pay for the wall but that he should say, "We can work it out". "45" is a fraud, but you knew that.
Meanwhile the Statue of Liberty was brought up last week. Stephen Miller that strange little fellow who is the Senior White House Aide (who look natural dressed in an SS military uniform) dismissed the fact the Statue of Liberty is a national symbol of embracing immigration. He told the White House Press Corps that the poem by Emma Lazarus was not part of the original statue, a gift from France but a "symbol of American liberty lighting the world". Technically he is correct about the sonnet. "The New Colossus" written by Jewish immigrant Lazarus in 1883 was part of a marketing campaign to raise funds for a pedestal for the statue. Lazarus died four years later and the poem was forgotten until 1901 when it was found in a book. She brought it to the attention of the world and that plaque was then added to the statue. Still what kid (who went to school back in the day) doesn't equate that work of art with the Statue of Liberty. It was written at a time when the United States was hell bent on keeping out Jews, the Irish, the Germans...anybody that wasn't "just like us". It is fitting and proper no matter what Obersturmbannfuhrer Miller says.
There are more and more Iowans coming to the realization that Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) is "in over her head". She attached herself at the hip of former Gov. Terry Branstad (Who left Iowa in a mess and dumped the remains into the lap of Reynolds) and that is what now comes back to bite her. Biggest hurdle: The deepening fiscal mismanagement that she, by attaching herself to Branstad, helped create. And, she has no way out. Meanwhile Democrats are salivating to, at every turn, remind voters that the reason the state piggy-bank is empty is because the Branstad/Reynolds Team shoveled out millions and millions of dollars to already successful companies who then go on the "promise" they will create jobs...sometimes as few as 27...in trade for millions. It is malfeasance of the highest order and Democrats will use it daily to remind voters as to why it seems only the already wealthy get cake and they are left with crumbs.
Anti worker groups like the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Farm Bureau and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will gear up to back the corporate welfare, environmental pollution and suppression of voting Reynolds and her gang are known for. It's already becoming very busy.
The Wing Ding
It started out as a little gathering of Democrats in Clear Lake and it has become a big deal. It happens this Friday, starting at 5PM at the Surf Ballroom. Now in its 14th year the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding is a major fundraiser for several northern county parties. Headliners this year include Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Jason Kander the former Secretary of State in Missouri who, no doubt, looks toward 2020. I get to be there for only a brief period of time before heading over to Mason City for Shabbat Services at Adas Israel. Wonder if I can get Jason to go with? You can BUY TICKETS for the Wing Ding here!
So much going on! Today is the birthday of my bride! Yay! I reminded her of that last night and she looked at me and said, "Oh my...I forgot!" Once upon-a-time it was Georgie Birthday Month where there was a daily celebration every day during August. Perhaps we need to go back in the direction. Happy Birthday Georgie...you are great and thank you for being a terrific person, loved by so many. Goodness is in your soul.
Today marks the second anniversary of my relationship with a guy I've never met in person. Two years ago Tim Lloyd joined Sunday Morning Coffee as a regular contributor of cartoons and the very funny "Letters from the Front by I.M. Stupid". Tim has been a faithful part of this adventure and I thank you my friend. Some day we'll have to meet up... Courvoisier for two?
Last week I cleared a major hurdle in running for public office. As my friend Sen. Robb Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids) has said this is the Summer of Citizenship and time for progressive people to get involved in a major way to move our cities, counties, state and nation forward. I live in Windsor Heights, often the butt of jokes and sarcasm regarding speed limits, sidewalks and any host of things folks seem to want to throw at us. I'd like to see that image change and the only way I can see that happening is if people running for our City Council take up the challenge to run "for something" rather than "run against everything". Over the past week I've been visiting with folks here, and outside of our city, and hope to make a formal announcement for City Council very soon. Key to this campaign will be a focus on inclusion, public safety, economic development and easing the tax burden of our citizens. Hang on...
Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday!