Fear is so very powerful and politicians use it wisely but sometimes they overreach. Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my look at some
of the stories you may have seen or, perhaps, missed. All laced with my commentary. My name is Michael Libbie and this is what I do early on Sunday Morning... So much going on so let's get started. One other thing...thanks to my many "proof readers" who pointed out that last week I jumped forward an entire month to September. To be honest...almost did it again this week. Thinking I'm trying to rush to November.
Senator John McCain
This one really hurt not because of politics but because he was a person of honor. Unlike so many he, I believe, told the truth. Sure he had some issues and our politics were not always in alignment but he was an American hero... One thing I'll never quite understand is how and why he chose Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) as a running mate. Just never truly understood that one. Big regret on my end was not stopping into his office when I was in D.C. two years ago. A missed opportunity.
It Was a Bad Week
If you think "45" had a bad week with his "fixer" pleading guilty, his former campaign chair getting convicted, a guy by the name of Pecker cooperating and fighting with his own Justice Department consider who had a worse week. Think about it for a moment. Ready?
- Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) who does not have the guts to stand for what is right and he chairs the Judicial Committee;
- Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) who squeals with delight anytime "45" does something evil;
- Congressman David Young (R-IA) who hides behind funny stories and will not debate Cindy Axne outside of "friendly turf";
- The Entire GOP House and Senate who are gutless in the face of constitutional obstruction;
- Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) who didn't miss a beat when it came to an immigration cheap-shot in the wake of a murder.
And that's just the beginning. Cowards...each and every one. They have made a "blood oath" to a lying, race bating, sexist and all around despicable politician in the name of party loyalty. Forgetting they are elected to serve all the people. You might call them "endangered" as the vote is coming friends. Remember them all.
One other reality from last week. There are "Rats" and they are talking. Think for a moment where have you heard that kind of talk before? Ahhhhh....yes. Gangster movies. "Those dirty rats!" Our President is a gangster...but we already knew that. Cartoon - Tim Lloyd (and welcome back!)
Politicizing a Murder
Let's spend a moment on this. Family members of slain University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts have come out forcefully to demand politicians not turn her death into a political side show. But, it's too late. The keyboard was hot as politicians decided to use this for political gain. From "45" to Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) to Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) and a handful of race bating members of the Iowa House and Senate all taking their turn at saying the death was preventable if only we round up every Hispanic seen on the street. Legal, it would seem, and those here illegally.
My friend Art Behn wrote on Facebook: "I don't know the man charged with killing Mollie Tibbetts. I know he's Hispanic and undocumented. I also know that he is innocent until proven guilty. I know that more than one Latino Festivals have been cancelled tomorrow. I know that the killer of 52 people in Las Vegas was a white American. I know that white Americans killed school kids at Sandy Hook and Parkland. I know that you cannot damn an entire people for the actions of a single individual. Come on America, we're better that that."
Think for a moment how the narrative would change if the killer were a white male. Would we have talked about the issue of male aggression on females in our society? How do we square featuring the immigration status of one suspect in a case with a female victim with the reality that women in America between the ages of 18-24, like Tibbetts, are most likely to experience abuse from an intimate partner, and on average 2-3 women per day are murdered by intimate partners in the US. Indeed, if the President or the other elected officials wanted to focus on data about how to keep women safe, they would invest in domestic violence prevention. Instead what we do is look away and this White House and his cronies refuse to grant asylum to immigrant women fleeing domestic violence.
I think, Art, I've answered the question.
The Immigrant Worker Lie
You have been told that people who come to this country are taking jobs away from the native born population. It is a lie. The truth is many of the jobs documented or undocumented immigrants take are jobs shunned by the native born population. Want proof? The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) has never seen a pro-business policy they don't like. Even if it is something that creates even more stress among working families. Think the awful corporate tax cuts and the millions of tax dollars thrown at already successful companies. But, that is another story. Mike Ralston is the President of ABI and was quoted in the Des Moines Register last week as saying many of his organizations 1,500 members would like to see expanded immigration policies especially for highly skilled people. However the reality is even at the low skilled positions native born people don't want to work shoveling out manure, caring for hogs, working in meat and food processing companies. So, business and industry look the other way when they hire workers. Especially when it comes to checking on their status using E-Verify. From the report, "Federal data show that 3,123 Iowa employers participate in the program. But the state is home to 51,427 employers with two or more workers, according to Iowa Workforce Development.
That means that just 6 percent of Iowa businesses use E-Verify."
The fact is, according to the report, Iowa's economy depends on its 84,000 immigrant workers — including those here without legal documentation. Want to bus them all out of the state or nation? Who is going to step up and take that job? I'll wait for your answer.
I get it. You go to work every day. Some of you like what you do, others detest it. But still you work at the sales counter, in the cubicle, on the farm, on the telephone poles and any number of jobs that American's do. And each year you hope that your employer will allow you to be better compensated for the work you are doing. But, sadly, the raise (if you got one) doesn't help you keep up with cost of living.
How do we know this? Federal data says wages for the past year increased by 2.7% yet inflation...you know the cost of the stuff you buy/rent/use increased by 2.9%. You are not getting ahead...you are treading water.
But, not all are as unlucky as you. Last week Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) approved a whopping 7.5% raise to the two for profit managed health care companies overseeing, what some say, is a miserable job of caring for Iowa's poorest population. Last year they got a 3.3% increase. Two years and 10.8% increase in your tax dollars going to help these private, for profit companies screw up the system.
How about that raise?
Speaking of Raises
Early next month Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is going to introduce a Bill that requires employers that have more than 500 employees to pay for federal assistance like food stamps, housing and medicaid. No, really. It's a 100% tax on large corporations whose employees are being paid so little that they must turn to the government for living expenses. So, if an Amazon employees gets $300 a month in food stamps Amazon gets dinged $300 to cover that cost. Currently a bit over $150 billion is spent propping up the lives of low-wage workers. This is his way of forcing livable wages out of companies that are making billions. For example, last year profits for Amazon were $3 billion yet one in three Amazon workers in Arizona receive food stamps. This should be interesting.
Yesterday Iowa said goodbye to former Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA). The ironic thing was just hours before the funeral his beloved wife Dody passed away. Yesterday it was a duel funeral. I could not attend....wish I could have but work forced me into staying in Des Moines. I understand it was quite the event and so many showed to offer their support. My friend Kerry Bowen made the trip and had asked me to ride along. Thank you Kerry for all you do for so many.
Also it looks like my friend Al Womble is running to become the Third District Chair here in Iowa. Al, if you know him, is the very positive guy who gives of his time and talent in taking photos of just about every Democratic event in the district. I can't remember when the election is but Al is not only qualified he has the energy. Go get 'em Al.
Can I brag on our grand-daughter Jovie for a moment? Yesterday she played in two softball games. She is a catcher and does a great job. Her team won the first game 10 - 1. But in the second game, in the final inning they were down 1 - 5. Her team clawed back three runs to make it 4 - 5. Jovie was up and there were runners on third and second. There were two outs and the count was 3 - 2 (three balls two strikes against her). The pitch and Jovie hit a line drive to center field and drove in two runs to win the game 6 - 5. Yeah...that!
Finally, last week for Insight on Business the News Hour we went "Out to Lunch" with Third District Congressional Candidate Cindy Axne. Our "Out to Lunch" feature is when we go to a locally owned restaurant and have lunch with a thought leader and talk business, politics and more. If you want to listen in to what was going on at Vino 209 just click this link and you'll go right to our Podcast Page.
Thanks for reading...I know LONG today. Enjoy your Sunday!