Not only is the coffee hot...so too is the weather. Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee with some of the stories you've seen and others you may have missed but all are laced with my commentary. Why? It's what I do. Let's roll...
I do a daily newscast about business and last week we had a story about the economy and how wonderful it is. I mean, you are living on easy street. But the problem is you fail to give credit to the president for all his hard work that has allowed you to relax in the lap of luxury.
Except you ain't and we all know it. On Friday Wall Street posted some crazy numbers. The Dow gained 7.2% in June, its best June performance since 1938. The S&P 500 rose 6.9% this month, its biggest June gain since 1955. The Nasdaq advanced 7.4%.
Trouble is this is the part of the economy you're not in...me either. A new Bankrate survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers found 39% believe the economy is “not so good” or “poor.” A sample of financial experts, in comparison, all rated the economy as “good” or “excellent.” Where is the disconnect?
The reality is that middle income Americans are simply not doing as well as their more wealthy counterparts and people are starting to crack. It is, my friends, a Tale of Two Cities all over again. Income inequality gaining strength...it's time to change things for the people.
Otherwise known as "Two Nights Where Sixty-Second Soundbites Ruled". It wasn't so much of a debate as it was a circus. And, yes, I watched both...twice.
The day before the first debate I was asked in a radio interview if the candidates would trash "45" and that would be that. I said that my sense is that the candidates will talk about issues of importance to the families of America, "kitchen table talk" as they say. I was right. However, there were lots of issues not covered well and candidates who have really good ideas never got to make their case.
Lots of people watched and many felt like their candidate did really well. Some have gone so far as to rank winners and losers. Me? I think it is way, way too early. There are substantial topics like climate change, health care, income inequality, voter rights, jobs of this century and systemic racism that need more conversation. My thoughts anyway...
The Hy-Vee PAC
Well this caused a firestorm. Bleeding Heartland authored a story early in the week about how the Iowa based grocery store chain's political action committee wrote a check for $25,000 to the Iowa Republican Party just days ahead of welcoming "45" to their convention center in West Des Moines.
That action caused people to call for a boycott of the grocer, threaten to shop less and trash Hy-Vee all over social media.
The outcry was so severe that the PAC director Mary Beth Hart issued an explanation as to why the Hy-Vee PAC gave up such a large donation. If you want to read the rational here is that link.
What doesn't hold water in that statement is the rational. It seems Hy-Vee wanted to talk to "45" about the "high cost of prescription drugs". So, to be able to do that required a $25,000 check to the Iowa GOP?
To prove that Hy-Vee is a bipartisan corporation Mary Beth wrote that, "When President Obama was in office, Hy-Vee leaders went to Capitol Hill to discuss various health-related issues, and in 2012, Hy-Vee teamed up with and hosted First Lady Michelle Obama for a health and wellness day for more than 10,000 kids in Des Moines."
None of which required a $25,000 donation.
It's a fair question. Just who are the Iowa Republicans? Let's make a list shall we? The Iowa Republican Party:
- Believes in voter suppression and creates rules to make that possible;
- Believes women should not have control over their bodies and creates laws that say so;
- Believes collective bargaining, which creates better wages for working families, is evil;
- Believes every man, woman and child should own a gun and passes laws to make it so;
- Believes that public education is an evil that must be starved to death;
- Believes that public school teachers are a threat that must be dealt with;
- Believes that health care is not a right but a tool to extract more money for a bloated system;
- Believes that income inequality is based on the idea that some folks are just...lazy;
- Believes that we can continue to pollute our land and water without consequence;
- Believes that our court system must be controlled through political interference;
- Believes it's OK to embrace dictators and shun our long time allies;
- Believes that love is not love but hate is just dandy;
- Believes that ripping children away from their parents and putting them up for adoption is right;
- Believes that the words on the Statue of Liberty mean nothing;
- Believes that massive corporate gifts are more important than mental health care;
- Believes there are "good people" who promote racism in our nation.
That about sums it up. Nice to know who were facing.
Yesterday I was covering two events where former Congressman John Delaney was speaking. The first was a small gathering of NAACP leaders who sat with the candidate and had a frank an open discussion on a number of wide ranging issues from "banking deserts" in minority neighborhoods to the minimum wage and reaching out to the faith community and what that means. That was followed by a town hall meeting with the Iowa Asian-Latino Coalition at the statehouse where Delaney was asked a different set of questions from trans-people serving in the military to issues of immigration to his stand health care.
But, there was something else going on at the Statehouse that flew under the radar of the local media. Over a hundred people gathered on the west side of the Capital to call attention to the plight of the people living in Sudan. Christians and Muslims came together to chant for freedom from oppression and an end to the endless war there that is killing hundreds of people every day.
I've got to admit that with everything else going on I've been out of the loop on this issue. However, I was able to have a conversation with some of the leaders of the movement and I'll air that piece later this week.
The bottom line here is that nobody covered the story. Nobody. No newspaper reporters, nobody from the TV media...and if I had not
stumbled onto the event...I too would have missed it.
Finally, last evening I went to a fund-raiser for Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D-IA) where I was able to visit with a number of Democrats about a host of items. Then Cindy took the floor to talk about life in Washington D.C. and how it often contrasts with Iowa. She talked about Rural Iowa and her thoughts about getting that economy back on track. She spoke to the issue of impeachment and how she is following leadership on the issue. She spoke about health care, climate change and about her efforts of introducing legislation that will impact working families.
It was a good event and I was delighted to catch up with her and others. A staffer for Congresswoman Axne snapped this photo before we posed for the more "traditional" shot.
I often think the candid photos are really the best. Cindy Axne is the real deal...and we should be proud to have her. She will be in a tough race going forward. If you are able...join the team.
Thanks for reading...and have a great Sunday!