Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly piece about politics, religion, gossip...you know, all the stuff you should NOT talk about. You're going to get a "short cup" today. This weekend was spent with my congregation Adas Israel in Mason City, Iowa. Then last night a rain-shortened Iowa Cubs game courtesy of some friends and this morning get ready for softball with my grand-daughter. Yikes!! Let's get into just a couple of things to think about.
The Trust Issue
There were two things that happened recently that tells me, even more clearly, that you can never, not once, trust "45". First it was that hand-wringing Pontius Pilate act about calling off a strike on Iran because it would be "disproportionate" and cause the death of "150 Iraqis". This is the same guy who is overseeing the death of migrants in concentration camps in the United States. People who are held in the most extreme conditions and he wants you to believe he suddenly has a soul?
It's an attempt to make him appear like a human. Don't fall for it.
The Trust Issue Two
In his second attempt to appear human "45" says he has called off the ICE raids that were set to happen this weekend. I believe the real reason is because they don't have the manpower to conduct thousands of raids without the help of local law enforcement and many cities stepped up late last week and told "45" to go to hell. They were not going to allow their local officials to work with ICE.
That and I think the optics were going to be really, really bad. Knocking on doors removing part of a family and going on hunts for the rest and then sending folks off to different concentration camps. Ugly....
The Trust Issue Three
Last week I attended a private affair and visited with several of my friends who are or were elected officials and associate with the Republican Party. We were talking about that and I asked one of my friends if he considered switching parties because, "Your public pronouncements tell me your heart is not with the GOP and your values align much more closely with the Democrats. Why stay?" He gave me the weakest answer ever, "I'm not switching." Which tells me more about his real values than you can imagine.
I'm getting close to making an announcement for public office. A couple of things have to line up before I dive in. I mentioned that to a former elected member of the GOP and when he asked what office, and I told him, he said to me, "Oh, him. I really like him." The follow up question from me to him was... "Why? You are in favor of underemployment, gutting working families of the right to bargain, voter suppression, massive corporate tax cuts that create reduced services for Iowa families, a disaster that has crippled the health care of thousands of people on Medicaid, the continued assault on public education? Which of those do you proudly stand for my friend?"
He just shook his head.
The Trust Issue Five
Last week Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said in a committee hearing: "To be clear, American importers and consumers are paying for these tariffs," $22 billion out of the pockets of hardworking Americans is not in our national best interest.” Meanwhile his counterpart Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) says nothing. She is scared to death and I don't trust a single thing she says...not one. Even while ag exports from the U.S. will be down by over $2 billion according to the USDA....it's silence. Bad for Iowa.
The Trust Issue Six
I see that Ambassador Terry Branstad took a fast plane to Iowa last week so he could say he has no problems with gay people. "Those LGB people, you know." He was in a court room facing questions as to why, as Iowa governor, he cut the salary of openly gay Workers Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey. Of course he is lying and he was just pissed that Mr. Godfrey challenged Branstad when Branstad demanded his resignation because he wanted to "put my team in charge". Even though the office is to be immune from politics.
One other thing about Ambassador Branstad. Notice how quiet he has been as American's struggle with the Trump Tariffs? Not a peep about his "good friend" the President of the United States or his other "good friend" the President of China.
For over 30 years I have served as the spiritual leader of Adas Israel the Jewish Congregation of Northern Iowa based in Mason City. Services are on Friday evenings, once a month, and the next day on Shabbat (Saturday) I hold a two hour Torah study that is open to anyone in the community. And, we have quite a mix of folks from many faiths and denominations.
One of my newer students came up to me after class and said that I should look into teaching a section on Judaism for the North Iowa Area Community College because, "...there are so many people who have so many questions about the faith." I was flattered and then she said, "Besides it would be great for you to do in retirement..."
Three letters: LOL! Not retired and got no plans for that kids. You're stuck with me. But...it is an intriguing offer to head back to a classroom.
Have a wonderful Sunday, off to the softball game and thanks for reading!