Thanks for clicking into Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at some of the news stories you may have seen or missed and all laced with some brief commentary. It's been quite the week, let's get started.
Finally, after months of waiting the House has initiated a formal impeachment inquiry into "45" based on the most recent issue with Ukraine. The Democrats are emboldened following the whistleblower news that the president pressured the Ukrainian president to look into dealings Hunter Biden has in that nation's gas company. Of course all the allegations are part of a wide conspiracy theory that "45" seems to buy into but the American people seem to be able to grasp this scandle much easier than the Russia probe. In a poll released this morning more than 60% of Americans say say it is a serious problem that "45" asked the leader of Ukraine to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.
The latest survey also found that most Americans are unsurprised by the president's move to encourage the leader of a foreign power to investigate a political opponent. Just 17 percent of respondents said that they are surprised to hear "45" called on Zelensky to investigate Biden. Eighty-three percent said that they are not surprised.
Meanwhile on another front the court battles are continuing in the attempt to get to the tax returns of the current president. Today there are no less than six cases. Battles in congress, New York and California are causing even more issues for the administration. It's pretty clear that not in our recent memory has a White House been under so much pressure from so many different angles.
Gay Teachers Beware
And, there is this: The administration filed a “statement of interest” supporting an Indiana Catholic School being sued by a former teacher who was fired for being in a same-sex marriage.
Joshua Payne-Elliot filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in July alleging that it “illegally interfered with his contractual and employment relationship” with Cathedral High School after the school fired him in June.
The Justice Department announced in a news release last Friday that it filed the statement of interest in the case, alleging that “the First Amendment protects the right of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis to interpret and apply Catholic doctrine".
Yesterday I was visiting with an emergency room physician who was telling me what we already know. The lack of mental health care and treatment in Iowa is abysmal. He told me that his ER has had patients come in with severe mental health issues only to be sent away after a few hours or days because there isn't anybody to see them. "I see a revolving door that stops at my emergency room and then the county jail and than back in society and back into our hospital." This physician also spent some time as the "house doctor" for the Polk County Jail and told me how mental health issues there are a constant. "It's awful what is happening in our state."
So, what should we do? How about funding mental health care? That would be a start. Currently there is a dollar cap on the property tax levy issued by counties in Iowa if that were removed and all counties in Iowa levied the same amount or what they realize is needed in their county. And then have the state come in and "buy down" the levy with state dollars. Which would assuage the fear of higher property taxes. Why? Because Iowa has put several mandates in place but failed to fund them. In other words passing bills and signing them into law makes for good talking points but if there isn't dollars behind them.... So, what is the projected figure of state assistance? Experts say about $30 million dollars which, if we are properly treating mental illness, would be an investment rather than an expense.
Of course the Iowa GOP will tell you we don't have the money. And the reason? How about because we shell out millions to already successful companies, pay millions in fines for workplace discrimination and sexual harassment cases, give millions of dollars to the for-profit MCO's and pass a corporate tax cut that did nothing for the working families in Iowa.
Our priorities are...screwed up.
This is pretty short today. Much to do as we prepare for Rosh Hashanah the Jewish New Year which begins at sundown tonight. That event ushers in the "Ten Days of Repentance" that ends on Yom Kippur or the "Day of Atonement". It's a big deal in my faith. For those of you familiar with the holidays of Christmas and Easter when your church is full of folks you may not see at any other time of the year...yeah...that here too. If you are celebrating...have a wonderful holiday.
Yesterday I spent the morning volunteering at the NAMI-Iowa walk. Hundreds of people raised over $117,000 dollars at the Des Moines Metro walk. Nationwide there were 109 NAMI Walks which raised in excess of $11 million. Today on the broadcast on News/Talk 1540 KXEL I'll spend some time with Connie Grunder of Ankeny as we talk about her son Zach, his suicide and her work in the student program called "Ending the Silence". That will air today about 2:45pm and I'll have it on our Podcast this week.
The afternoon was spent watching our granddaughter play softball where her team won both games. They were back at it this morning at 8am...and they won that as well. Nice huh?
I was up at 4 this morning...trying to get a start on the day...yikes!
Finally there is this video that was released this week following my announcement as a candidate for the Iowa State Senate. In the coming months look for more information about the campaign and what I hope to take to the incumbent who has over-stayed his welcome. It's Senate District 22 which includes Clive, Waukee, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Sunday!