It is the Sunday before Halloween and for many of us it gets more scary with each passing day. Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at some of the political stores you might have seen, or missed, along with my commentary. Sometimes fun, often serious this regular blog is my way of keeping up...and there is so much to keep up with. Grab a cup and let's get started!
They Simply Do Not Care
The next time you visit with your Republican friends ask them why they think their leaders in Congress refuse to take up funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Today thousands of kids are at risk of losing health insurance coverage because Congress is way too busy doing...nothing. Funding for CHIP ran out a month ago and states are dipping into any unspent money they have to fund the program on a local level. Some states are considering sending out notices to families letting them know they will not be covered. By the way there are 9 million children in the United States who are on this program. To pay for the re-authorization the GOP wants to gut the Affordable Care Act and charge more for Medicare. Senator Grassley, your "Death Panel" is working.
Yesterday Hillary Clinton said in a speech that "The attacks on the LGBT community are striking and scary" She was referring to the "Transsexual Ban" that 45 has introduced regarding the military and the Jeff Sessions reversal on the 1964 civil rights law that protects transgender people from discrimination. She went on to say that "We can not depend on this administration or the Supreme Court to uphold LGBT rights" and said, "I know what it feels like to be torn down and attacked and I want you to know I am with you." This is the latest from the 2016 nominee who is becoming more vocal since earlier this summer saying she would not remain quiet and simply "melt away".
Our contributor Tim Lloyd notes that "45" and his lackeys in congress, Faux News and the administration are digging up anything and everything and throwing it at the wall to see what sticks. How true. As late as yesterday a Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro said "it's time" to put former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in jail. “It’s time, folks. It’s time to shut it down, turn the tables, and lock her up. That’s what I said. I actually said it. Lock her up,” Pirro said during her show, “Justice with Jeanine.” Weary...so very weary.
Republicans are doing their best to roll back federal regulations that protect consumers. So far the GOP has rolled back regulatory actions that limited the state’s ability to drug test for unemployment benefits, created new reporting requirements for potential government contractors who have violated labor laws and protected consumer rights to settle disputes with financial institutions in court. Now they want to bar any federal agency from issuing any "substantially similar" regulation without approval from congress. That, in this era, would end consumer protection in a host of areas. A history lesson, do you know why agencies have been allowed to create regulatory acts? Because people were dying from poisons and food illness. Food safety regulations were among the first enacted. Scary just scary. (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
While you were enjoying football yesterday the Nazis marched in Shelbyvill Tennessee. The rally organized by the League of the South a group named by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "neo-Confederate hate group" was mostly peaceful. The speech by the groups leader Mitchell Hill was largely drowned out by the counter protesters who were playing "La Bamba" over loud speakers. "La Bamba, you've got to love it! Oh, there was one arrest. Some "White Lives Matter" guy got out of control and the Shelbyville police showed him the seat of a golf cart... No, really...a golf cart.
Iowans will remember the day Governor Kim Reynolds (R-IA) sided with the insurance industry over people in need of health care insurance. Last week Democrats in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate lofted an idea to allow some 20,000 desperate citizens to "buy into" Medicaid. According to reports from the Des Moines Register, Sen. Matt McCoy (D-West Des Moines) and Rep. John Forbes (D-Urbandale) pitched the idea as a way for the state to save hundreds of millions of dollars while offering a lifeline to roughly 20,000 Iowans facing the loss of any affordable options for private health-insurance policies. The GOP was swift to come to the aid of the insurance industry: “It’s a half-baked idea that hasn't even worked in the most liberal of states,” House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, said in a press release Friday afternoon. “This is a political ploy that will end up costing Iowans hundreds of millions of dollars and turn choice and control over to the government.”
Brenna Smith, spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, called the Democrats' idea "a sugar pill," which would do nothing for Iowans facing sky-high premiums for 2018 coverage. So, there you have it. On the heels of the failure of Gov. Reynolds to put into place a "stop gap" insurance program she and her friends in the GOP controlled legislature call progress "half-baked" and a "sugar pill" We will all remember...
It was a "union busting move" that backfired on the Republican controlled Iowa Legislature. Last week Iowa public employees voted overwhelmingly to retain their relationship with their unions. If you remember former Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) and his wrecking ball legislature passed a wide-ranging collective bargaining bill that limited what Iowa public workers could bargain for. It also instituted re-certification votes with extremely cumbersome rules – local bargaining units needed a majority of all their members to vote in favor, not simply a majority of those voting. (Photo - The Iowa Starting Line)
And they won!
From the Iowa Starting Line: 436 of 468 local unions voted to re-certify, most by overwhelming numbers. 33,252 public employees were covered by the local unions up in this election. 28,448 voted in favor of certification, compared to only 624 people who voted against. That amounts to 86% of public employees voting in favor, and only 2% voting against. 4,043 people did not vote, or about 12% of the total eligible. 137, or half a percent, tried to cast a vote, but it was considered “void.”
The voting process itself was made as difficult as possible, and Iowa’s union leaders complained of needless obstacles in the phone and online voting process. Still, 86% voted in favor of re-certification.
While there were some losses this action has energized what had become a somewhat tired effort at unionization here. We can only hope the outrage continues into the 2018 election.
It is just over a week before the Windsor Heights City Council Election. As of last night I have knocked on 903 doors since entering the race at the end of September and will break 1,000 today. That is a bunch of listening and a bunch of voicing my support for a larger commercial footprint in Windsor Heights to help dull the pain of being the second highest property tax community in the Greater Des Moines Metro, to have reasonable and civil conversations and to set up a plan to improve our community public image. Last Sunday my friend Desmund Adams came out of "political retirement" to help knock doors and meet voters:
And, they remembered him from his state senate and congressional campaigns. Nice!
If you would consider a donation to this effort we would love to have you join us...even if you are not from the area. Checks for People for Libbie can be sent to my address at 2009 80th Street, Windsor Heights, Iowa 50324. Thank you in advance!
If you want to check out the local issues and my campaign blog head to MichaelLibbie.com. This has been a fun and energizing adventure and I have learned much from my fellow citizens.
Thanks for reading! Have a great Sunday and careful out there...it can be scary!