Long before the sun comes up it's coffee and politics here. Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at some of the political and economic stories you may have seen, or missed...all laced with my commentary. Why? Can't sleep and this is way too much fun. Let's dive in so much to share and the coffee is hot.
It took thirty-five days to get right back to where we were before the government shutdown. What that means is that in less than three weeks we'll face another temper tantrum thrown by "45" over a campaign promise that his base is demanding. So, who is "his base"? From this seat it seems they are made up of folks who are scared. Fearful of people who don't look like them, speak like them and worship like them. They seem to hate knowledge, factual discussion of the issues and compromise. The good thing is they make up about 30% of the population but it is a loud, angry, frustrated thirty percent. So frustrated that even the "mouth-pieces" of "45" (Hannity. Coulter, Limbaugh) are saying their dear leader caved and they are disappointed that federal workers are going back to work and going to be paid. It's an odd bunch.
Meanwhile in Florida
So, the buddy of "45" gets indicted by the feds, says he is innocent and will not speak against his dear friend. Yeah, yeah....heard that before. But, once confronted with the facts, they are all singing like birds.
But that's not the big story coming out of the "enlightened" state of Florida. (It is, but this is really much more...interesting.) The morality of our friends in the GOP was put on full display last week as photos of the now disgraced (and booted) Secretary of State...ya know the person who oversees elections and stuff...Mike Ertel surfaced. Mike, it seems, thought Hurricane Katrina, that resulted in the deaths of 1,833 people, was sooooo funny that he showed up at a Halloween Event in black-face saying he was a "Katrina Survivor". Such side-splitting fun seems to be a favorite pastime of tone-deaf Republicans. The photos were taken two months after Katrina, when Mike was the Supervisor of Elections in Seminole County, Florida.
Ironic that, according to the website for the Florida Secretary of State, the office not only serves as the "Chief of Elections" but also the "Chief Cultural Officer". Gotta love that GOP "culture".
He Said WHAT?
When billionaire investor and current Secretary of Commerce of the United States of America, Wilbur Ross said he just couldn't understand why federal workers were standing in food lines when all they really needed to do was go to a bank or credit union and get a loan...the nation did a collective face-palm. Oh...and he is the guy that encouraged "45" to place a tariff on steel and aluminum imports. That YOU are paying for through increased prices.
The Clown Car that serves as the Presidential Cabinet never ceases to amaze with how out of touch they are with Americans. But, we shouldn't be surprised. It is a mirror of their dear leader who thinks tossing paper towels to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is an act of humanitarian leadership. Weary....
The World Bank
Maybe you heard that the president of the World Bank, an organization that has been around since after WWII and always headed by an American, resigned last week. The reason the investment bank has always been headed by an American is because the U.S. is the largest shareholder. It's just been understood by the other nations this is the way things go. However, all of that may change given the openly hostile attitude toward multilateral organizations and our European allies that is a hallmark of the current administration.
Some American names have been floated including David Malpass, a senior Treasury Department official, and Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the U.N. One other name was floated...and not kidding...Ivanka Trump was mentioned as a contender before the White House say..."Nyet!" But it is...funny.
Hang On For A Moment...
When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) ousted the old guard many of us applauded. Some of us think Medicaid for All should be the standard in the only industrialized nation on the planet not to care for its citizens but turns health care into a privilege. And, yes, the U.S. should not be profiting from high interest rates charged to students when they take out loans to go to school. I get it. But somebody needs to sit down with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and review some economics. She has been spewing off about facts and figures that are ...wrong. That's not just me calling it...but so too PolitiFact, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes...the list is getting pretty long.
We can "dream up" all sorts of worthy projects but, and at the same time, you've got to be creditable. And Rep. Ocasio-Cortez doesn't seem to want to go there and that is not a good thing for those of us who say we are progressives.
Trash, We LIKE Our Trash
Meanwhile the grocery store lobby, and their lap-dogs in the Iowa GOP, want more trash on our highways and in our parks. The beloved, by many, Iowa Bottle Bill that has resulted in a cleaner Iowa is under attack in the Iowa Legislature. Our friends at HyVee have never liked being forced to be a collection point for empty containers and they have fought it for years. And the Republicans in the legislature are giving it one more try to scrap the law and have you and I lug our empties to "redemption centers" that may or may not be anywhere close to you. Rather than scrap the law the legislature should be expanding it to include juice and water containers that were not around when the bill became law. But, nope...THAT would make too much sense. Elections have consequences...
If only Iowa would legalize prostitution we could become the "Las Vegas of the Midwest". Already the Hawkeye State applauds bilking millions from the folks that flock to our casinos. While that's bad enough the legislature now wants to approve sports betting. Sports betting, another way to separate fools from their money.
Let us not improve the quality of life for people suffering from disease with increasing the percentage of THC in medical cannabis. Let us not better educate our children. Let us not fix the broken, for profit, Medicaid System. But let us move forward with more gambling. Makes perfect sense...
Our son and daughter-in-law have left the country. Just at a time when Iowa is looking forward to high temperatures that will be below zero they headed south to the Dominican Republic. I did not ask them if they were coming back. Frankly, I was fearful of their answer. BTW kids...if you run into Michael Leo say "hello" for me?
Last week we were in Mobile, Alabama and one of the surprising things I uncovered was this educational program done through the Mobile Public Schools. They, just like us, have loads of job opportunities but few people "job ready" so kids in high school pick a trade or occupation and the school then sets up mentors, job-shadow opportunities, apprenticeships and education opportunities to get them "job ready" at graduation. I got an ear-full about the economics in Mobile from David Rodgers the V.P. of Economic Development for the Mobile Chamber. If you want to listen...here is a link.
Thanks for coming by and have a great Sunday!