Hello and welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee the political blog I've been writing for the past twelve years or so. My name is Michael Libbie and thanks for stumbling in for a fresh cup. So much going on that, I get it, it's hard to keep up. So here are some snippets to amuse or horrify...your choice.
Fear & Anger
To powerful emotions. The constant drumbeat of hate that spews from "45" is totally unprecedented. When you reflect on the personal attacks this man makes on a daily basis it is stunning. And when you realize this vitriol is coming from the President of the United States it is not only embarrassing but also horrific. As a nation we are better than this. Or should be. Yet what he says or tweets resonates with some because they too are angry and fearful...just like their leader. We'll dive into a couple of those stories...just for kicks.
One of the constants about the support for "45" is that his fans will say, "I like him because he tells it like it is!" Except he doesn't. He and his followers (Here in Iowa it would be Gov. Kim Reynolds) will tell you it is raining when actually they are pissing on your head. For example when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hit 4.1% growth a couple of days ago the Republicans were quick to jump on that as "...proof the tax cuts and deregulation was working for all Americans!" Except it is not.
Workers in America, many who voted and still support "45", are in financial quicksand. They are working harder but not making it. Case in point: The Labor Department released the Jobs Report on Friday. Employers added 157,000 jobs in July well off the mark that had been pegged at 190,000. But the REAL story was that wages, year over year are up 2.7%. Meanwhile inflation is currently at 2.9%. In other words, Americans are working harder but not gaining any traction. It is real-world financial quicksand.
How can this be? "45" and Reynolds are telling us everything is just fine. It is not and it is going to get worse...want proof?
There are three compelling reasons why wages are flat and you are not gaining traction. The first is the lack of protection by organized labor. There is a reason union jobs pay better and that is because they have some say in pay and benefits. However union participation is at it's lowest point...ever. In 2017 the percentage of union workers in the United States was 10.7% in 1983 that number was 20.1%. In Iowa, in 1964 27.7% of workers were in a union, today it is less than 11%. "Right to Work" really means "Right to Steal" your future. And the attack on unions only continues. Often by the very people who would benefit from them. The GOP and their cronies have convinced you to vote against your own interests. They are...you got it...pissing on you. Wanna fact check it? Here you go.
Hold on to your old car and bypass the car dealer. Why? Also on Friday Toyota said that if the auto tariffs are enacted the average increase for their cars made in the United States would go up by $1,800 and those vehicles made in Japan will increase in cost by $6,000. That, my friends, is the real-world impact of these crazy tariffs. And now "45" has directed his trade department consider increasing the tariff on $200 billion dollars of goods from China from 10% to 25%. Who will pay for that? You! For crying out loud. You are working harder, not getting paid more, benefits continue to shrink while, "Everything is just fine...." They are pissing on you.
You are being told, every day, that the media is the "enemy of the people". This is not a new tactic. It has been employed by dictators in every autocratic society since Rome. It is shouted at every masturbatory rally held in honor of Der Fuhrer. And it is becoming more violent. Once again you are being sold a lie. Do media people have some bias? Sure every person has some personal bias but, if it is your career to report the news as news reporters go to great lengths to not allow that personal bias to shine through. Is it tough? Sure it is but in the end the job of the media is to share the facts. Do those facts often come with some bias? Yes but it is your job, as a citizen, to dig through the story and learn what is real. That is YOUR JOB. But, again, it is much easier to sit on the couch and let somebody else do the work.
Later today during Insight on Business the News Hour - Week in Review on News/Talk 1540 KXEL I'll have a conversation with Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) about jobs, technology, public policy and business. The important thing to know is that Congressman Khanna represents Silicon Valley...you know eBay, Apple, Google...Here is just a touch of what you'll hear in the 2:00pm hour. And, yes the station does stream its content. Here is that link for the stream. If you want to hear just a taste click on the audio file below.
Ro Khanna GDP Wages Working People
Parades and People
I was visiting with a long time leader in the Iowa Democratic Party about a parade in her community. She said that during the event Democratic Candidate for Governor, Fred Hubbell, who was in the parade, received a warm welcome. That was until the parade turned and went through what might be considered a part of town where home values are lower and there are more rental houses. There the welcome for Mr. Hubbell was not as welcome. Once again, it would seem, people are voting against their own interests.
Speaking of parades this image was floating around on Facebook the other day. I'm not sure who took the photo but it is attributed to a recent parade in Albia, Iowa. I have no independent confirmation as to the if this was altered but...it looks like it was not. Maybe there just wasn't room for the "Y" in her name? And, in front of a library...
You can't...or maybe you can...make this stuff up.
Last week Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) (yes...there IS a "Y" in her name) announced she was cancelling her regular Monday press briefings. Why? It seems she wants to spend less time being asked difficult questions and would prefer going out campaigning. Last week she even kicked out a bunch of reporters who had gathered to what was listed as a "public event" in her schedule. You have to hand it to her she is taking a page right out of the president's playbook. Anyway, if I had ANYTHING to do with the Fred Hubbell campaign I would start, on Monday, to hold regular press briefings about what he wants to do for Iowans and what he will do for Iowans. I hear the media has some extra time on their hands.
The Wing-Ding in Clear Lake
We're about 4 days out from the Annual Iowa Democratic Wing Ding which is held in Clear Lake, Iowa. Home, by the way, of Iowa House Leader and enemy of the people (hey, I thought I'd try it out!) Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake). The headliner for the event is attorney Michael Avenatti along with Congressman John Delaney (D-MD), Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Andrew Yang Candidate for President.
Just so you know...tickets are still available.
We get to celebrate a birthday tomorrow. My Bride doesn't want a big deal made out of it but...celebrate we will. I tell folks that I remember the date of her birthday...but not the year. Figure that doesn't much matter as long as I don't forget the day. Anyway, I clearly married up. Happy Birthday and thank you for all you do! Most of all, thank you for putting up with me! Yikes!!!
Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday!
Careful of the..."rain".
You brighten my day!
Posted by: Jan | 08/05/2018 at 10:55 AM
When you go to the link you mentioned https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/02/23/385843576/50-years-of-shrinking-union-membership-in-one-map you will see that in Iowa the years where a Democrat was President union membership stayed flat, but when a Repub was president Iowa unions got slashed (Reagan 24.3% down to 15% // Bush2 13.9% down to 10.7%) ... losses of 42% & 23%.
It will be scary to see what dt does.
Posted by: George Ensley | 08/05/2018 at 02:14 PM