Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at the crazy and often numbing world of politics and public policy. My name is Michael Libbie and this is what I do...early on Sunday Morning. Let's get started.
Kasich, "Stop the Chaos"
This morning Governor John Kasich (R-OH) said the big take-a-way from the close congressional special election in Ohio where a Democrat came within a cat's hair of winning a solid GOP (gerrymandered) district is, "Stop the chaos!".
Kasich said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that last Tuesday was not a good night for Republicans even though Troy Balderson (R) is clinging to a narrow lead in Ohio's 12th Congressional District. Republicans have held the district for decades. So, what constitutes chaos?
- Attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act that has shoved millions off of health care;
- Increasing health care costs that are not affordable for many families;
- Ripping children out of the arms of their parents and placing them in "detention centers";
- Overseeing an economy that only widens the gap between those who have and those who have not;
- The global trade war with China which will raise the prices of everything from cars to electronics.
How is that for just a start. However, his words will fall on deaf ears because "45" and the cowards who follow him will keep it up. It plays well with their voters even as it hurts them. He didn't mention...Russia however.
Oh But Wait...There's More
When, in your lifetime, has the President of the United States said that a boycott of an American company is "Great"? Returning to chaos for a moment that is exactly what "45" tweeted early today saying the decision of some Harley Davidson consumers to boycott the company and its motorcycles should it start some overseas production is "Great!". Never mind that the reason HD says they must move production is because of the wacko trade war started by "45" and his minions. Weary.....
Conservative Review Television
Not sure about you but lately I've been seeing more and more CRTV shares on my Facebook Feed. To be clear, CRTV is propaganda disguised as news. The company is headed by right-wing blow torch Mark Levin who has, along for the ride, Michelle Makin, Steve Deace (remember him?) and Duck Dynasty wacko Phil Robertson. They make it look good but the recent piece on LaBron James "Running out of Bounds to Slam President Trump" was so over the top it made me want to find out who in the hell is behind the stuff. Sharing this with you as a public service. You are welcome.
If you didn't see the bit about supporters of "45" and Space Force from the Daily Show with Trevor Noah it is worth a view. No, really spend the four-and-a-half minutes and see what Space Force is (in the minds of the believers). It will make you want to remove voting rights for people who can't articulate what they don't know...or think they know but don't.
Which brings to mind Tim Lloyd is back with this week's cartoon. We've missed Tim and he brings us to another timely topic:
A year ago today hate was on full display in Charlottesville. Today that hate moves to Washington D.C. No, Mr. President there are no "good people" on that side of the fence. I know how badly you wish to stoke the flames of bigotry and hate (and you've done a damn good job of it) because it serves you well. You and the cowards like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) believe in your heart that America would be better off without "those people" many of whom were forced into slavery for the welfare of the white majority. People are scared because they are coming face to face with the fact that white folks will be in the minority in just a few decades. That is real fear and that is what drives...crazy.
Welcome back Tim Lloyd!
Let's Talk Unions
Last week we had a story about American workers and unions. In 2017 less than 11% of workers belonged to a Union. Twenty-five years ago that number was 22%. Fifty years ago nearly 35% of workers belonged to a union. What has the war on workers produced? Stagnate wages, reduced benefits and a loss of the American Dream.
Thankfully voters in Missouri last week turned back a "Right to Work" law that would have made that state more like Iowa where wages have not kept pace with inflation and more and more people are turning to some type of assistance be it government or charity.
But, it's not only here. What does Des Moines, Iowa have in common with London? If you want to read further here is a piece from Bloomberg that speaks to reduced income and increasing poor people. The same as we have in the capital of Iowa.
Just One Example
Let's take retail workers. Name it, grocery stores, shopping malls and let's take a look at wages and benefits of union vs. non-union. Just blocks from where I live is a West Des Moines based grocery store that is paying $12 dollars an hour for their workers. Nearby the worlds largest retailer WalMart is paying the same rate. BTW - The hourly rate has not gone up because of the kindness of the company but
because it's so hard to find people.
Now, let's look at what is happening at a union grocery store. I have a friend who shared this data with me and it is striking: Five years ago...yes, five years ago...she started as a cashier at $10 an hour. In time she received regular raises and now makes $20.50 an hour. But, that's not all. Thanks to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union she also has and this is her quote: "I pay just $5 a week for my insurance and it is pretty standard. I have an annual deductible and the usual copays. My annual physical, flu shot and mammogram are fully covered. I have great dental coverage that includes 2 cleanings a year and often pays a large percentage of other procedures. Really, just $5 a week. My union dues are $12.38/week."
And, she has protection. Her employer can't simply fire her because they don't like the color of her socks.
I went to the Iowa State Fair the other day to capture images of endangered species. What was striking is the GOP booth that takes a swipe at Fred Hubbell and his time at Younkers. Of course most of it is false and way out to sync with what actually went on but to Gov. Kim Reynolds and her lying tribe it doesn't matter. Here is the fact check from The Gazette. They think you'll focus on this rather than her failed economic policies, failed health care policies, failed education policies, failed family policies...failed....failed....failed.
Maybe THAT is what we should focus on and list to what Fred Hubbell says is WILL do rather than listen to a failed administration that has squandered away millions of dollars shoving it out to already successful companies.
It is the Iowa State Fair! Welcome to our state and have a great time.
Last week, before the Iowa Wing Ding held in Clear Lake I had the chance to sit down with Andrew Yang an announced candidate for president in 2020. Mr. Yang is a business person, entrepreneur, and author. He was kind enough to give me his book, "The War on Normal People - The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future".
I conducted my interview near a food truck (The Greek House) during the Farmer's Market in the Historic Valley Junction and before setting up asked the owner if it would be OK if we used a table and promised him we would buy something following our conversation. The man said, "Is he a Democrat or a Republican?" When I answered that Mr. Yang is a Democrat the owner said, "You better sit someplace else we are all Republicans here!" After the interview I went back to the Greek House and purchased a lemonade.
If you would like to meet Mr. Yang and hear his thoughts on the economy, jobs, rural economic recovery, broadband and the Universal Basic Income...click the link below.
Thanks for reading and listening!