The sun has returned to Iowa! Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at the news stories you have seen or, perhaps, missed and all with my usual bit of editorial. Hey, it's what I get to do. Today, for my Christian friends it is Palm Sunday. Peace. Let's get started.
The Commander in Chief seems to think that he and his cronies are on some ill fated reality show. Well, in a way they are. Each day The Virus Show comes to us with little drama but lots of lies. But, I digress. Captain Brett Crozer wrote a letter saying that his ship the USS Theodore Roosevelt was in trouble as a number of sailors had contracted COVID-19. The letter that he wrote was for his superiors but it was leaked to the media and the captain was...fired. He was standing up for the men and women under his command.
This morning Defence Secretary Mike Esper (a former defense lobbyist) said that he believes the action was correct and that, “I think it's just another example of how we hold leaders accountable for their actions." Ironic...no?
The Saddest Week in America
This morning Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that the week ahead would be the “hardest and the saddest” of “most Americans’ lives.” What he should have said was that "The time the President of the United States scoffed at COVID-19 were the saddest six weeks of our lives which allowed this plague to run out of control." But, he didn't.
Relax, Jared Is On It!
I was really starting to worry about the future of millions of Americas but then we learned that Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of the president, has taken a lead role in advising what to do in the face of the pandemic. You might remember Jared he was the point person who was able to finally bring peace to the Middle East. Oh, wait...
We're in good shape here. Nothing to worry about. Dr. Kim Reynolds (who also happens to be the governor) says she knows best with regard to handling the COVID-19 outbreak in the state that now has close to 1,000 cases and 14 deaths. While that pales in comparison to Washington State or New York it's not clear, really, how many are infected. We simply don't have the data....because we don't have the tests...because nobody knows. But Dr. Reynolds pronounced last week that she and her crack team know better than some, oh...doctors...about the reality of what is going on and what we should do. So, there is that. And would somebody please get her a lab coat....
And Now A Word From Our Sponsor
Well, not really but have you heard of the video conferencing program called Lifesize? I used it last week to conduct an interview with a business in Germany. Pretty cool. Now, back to our show. (Oh, and I'm not being paid to promote...just thought you should have an option.)
Iowa State Senate District Meeting
It caused quite a stir yesterday...or so I am told. A Republican who is running against another Republican for the open seat in District 22 (Clive, West Des Moines, Waukee and Windsor Heights) posted, on her facebook page that she was gathering with other "GOP Women" at their annual meeting. It was complete with a photo of a bunch of smiling ladies that looks like it was taken at the Machine Shed Restaurant on Hickman in Urbandale (Owner Mike Whalen is a big time donor to the GOP.) It didn't take long for folks that follow that sort of thing to call her out for the posting. She later clarified that it was a "virtual meeting". So who posts dumb stuff like that? Oh, never mind...bet she got the "all clear" from Dr. Reynolds.
Sorry, just a half a cup of Sunday Morning Coffee today. So much to get done. But there are a couple of personal thoughts. So you know my friends at the Windsor Heights HyVee have stocked up on Passover Food. Gotta make a quick run later today. Passover begins on the evening of Wednesday the 8th of April. It's a big deal. Sadly our congregation, Adas Israel, in Mason City had to cancel our annual Community Seder and this year our own Seder will lack the number of friends and family that usually attend. Perhaps it will give us time to reflect on this, the latest plague, and our response. The photo...SLICES. Those of you who know...know.
This morning I learned of the death of Reb Aaron Rubashkin OBM the founder of Agriprocessors which revolutionized kosher meat production and was based in Postville, Iowa. Aaron died in New York from COVID-19 at the age of 92. To be sure, I had never met Aaron Rubashkin but I know, and like, his son Shalom Rubashkin. Before he was convicted and sent to prison on a host of immigration violations we met many times and he was, when in Des Moines, a regular at the Orthodox Shul, Beth El Jacob. He served some time and in 2017 had his sentence commuted by the president. I've always thought it odd that of the many meat processors that dot Iowa and those who have been raided and found to be in violation of immigration laws...to my knowledge...only one person had been convicted and sent to prison. Aaron Rubashkin, from what I am told, was a humble and generous person. May his memory be a blessing. (Image- USA Today)
I also learned of the death of a gentle soul and friend Ron Scott. Ron had been battling cancer for several years. I understand that he died, at home, peacefully this weekend. Ron was one of the many who worked for NASA during the wonder days of that organization. We had many talks about how these men and women in different parts of the country worked together to do amazing things in the space program. Ron went on to become a member of the clergy and retired to a real estate firm in Florida. His devoted bride, Nancy, is...crushed and so too are those of us who came into contact with this wonderful man. May his memory be a blessing.
Finally an issue that I have been passionate about for decades is, now, showing itself to be a crisis. The State of Iowa has known about this for years and years and...we have failed. You may not be aware but if somebody were to ask how many direct caregivers we have in the state nobody could tell you. There is no complete data base of people who work in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care agencies, rehab facilities... But, it's not only a lack of information about who these folks are and how we might be able to mobilize them...the disregard for the valuable work they do, everyday, and at low pay they receive is disgraceful. You may not have thought about this...before. But, bet you do now. Once we get beyond this plague I promise you that I will work on behalf of direct caregivers and do everything I can to elevate their role in our healthcare system and support them in their quest for better pay and more respect. It's the right thing to do.
To that end...if you would like to help me take that support to the Iowa Legislature here is a link to my Iowa State Senate Campaign website. I could use your assistance and...thank you, in advance.
They call this "Holy Week" for many reasons. May you find peace.
Thanks for reading!