Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee! Some politics with a bit of religion sprinkled in, just for fun. In addition today is Father's Day an event that pales when it comes to Mother's Day but...hey, we'll take what we can get. Right? Grab a cup and let's go! And, thanks for reading...
Well, that was fast! Yesterday was Juneteenth, which is now a federal holiday. They say the wheels of congress turn slowly but not in this case. Businesses and states didn't have much time to alter their schedules following the quick vote and signing. But, we'll take it. Now the work really begins. We must use this opportunity to teach about the racial history of our nation. Otherwise it's just another day to have a mattress sale.
Last week, in a closely watched election for president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), two prominent far-right candidates lost to a more mainstream conservative named Ed Litton, blunting the momentum of a Tea Party-style group aiming to lurch the SBC in an even more right-wing direction.
For years the SBC has been a reliable lap dog for rightwing politicians while having to grapple with sexual abuse in some churches. But to think this election is a signal that Southern Baptists have had a change of heart and now will move in a more moderate direction is, in my view, a mistake. This group is firmly opposed to any progressive agenda be it racial, ethnic, workers rights, abortion...the list gets long...and they have been at it for a very long time.
You Can Vote...If You Are White
I'm not sure why the Republicans just don't come out and say it, "We'll allow you to vote if you are a white person." There...done. But they know that's just a bridge too far so they cling to the insane notion that voter suppression is really something called "voter integrity". In every Red State those two words are shouted as a mantra to make it harder to vote especially if you are a person of color. It's quite shameful because nobody is free until we are all free to vote. Politicians should make it easier, not harder but...when you have not a hint of policy agenda (other than obstruction) the worst thing is having people vote.
Last week Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) laid out his objections to the voting rights bill passed by the House and offered some "amendments" that he said he could support. It didn't take a hour for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to step to the microphone and proclaim that GOP senators would not support the Manchin Proposal (or really any voting rights bill). The United States goes to war in other countries so that people there can vote (Remember Iraq and blue fingers?) but here elected officials are dead set against voting. The world is watching and figuring out that we are not the nation we say we are. Meanwhile in West (By Gosh) Virginia well over 60% of the people there support voting rights. Now what Joe? (Image: Denver Post)
The U.S. Threat Is Not China...But Us.
There is a great article out today by former Secretary Robert Reich that speaks to the real threat we face...and that threat is complacency. He writes that post WWII the U.S. was lulled into a false sense of security and superiority. After all we won a world war. But then came the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the United States, fearing that the Soviets would dominate, set off a host congressional funding bills dealing with money for infrastructure, education, scientific research and development.
Once again America led the world in those areas and then came Japan innovation in technology and vehicles. Many in the U.S. saw this as a threat to our national security as Japan rolled out electronics and cars Americans wanted and bought. Japan...a nation that was in ruins just 30 years earlier made the decision to plow government money into...you guessed it...education, infrastructure, research and development.
Today we are there once again. As politicians rail against China folks on Wall Street line their pockets funding investment in China while decrying investments in the United States as government overreach and more importantly having to actually pay taxes to fund infrastructure, education, research and development. And, once again...we are faced with a major threat but it comes from...us.
Want to read the article in The Guardian? Here you go.
We Love You Joni!
The Iowa Poll was released this morning and Iowans are in love with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). Never mind that none of them can come up with any policy she has endorsed that would make their lives better. The Iowa Poll says that "men and rural Iowan's" have boosted her standing since the last poll in March of this year. Isn't that nice? Aw, shucks, us guys think you're cute and the rest of us..." This is what you get when you defund education me thinks.
The same Iowa Poll tells us that only a third of Iowa voters would like to retain Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) the 87 year old senior senator from the Hawkeye State. Back in the day Chuck was sort of the GOP answer to President Harry Truman. A rural, no-nonsense politician that fought against waste and corruption while playing off his "Aw, shucks" persona. In recent years Senator Grassley has become a hanger-on when it comes to anything the former president says or does. But my guess isn't politics that is taking down the Grassley Appeal but more to do with ageism. Just my guess.
Last week Rep. Ras Smith (D-Waterloo) announced his candidacy for governor. The young representative has an uphill battle but he has struck an inclusive cord in his message by saying that he doesn't care what party you belong to but, "you deserve better" and that he will fight for everybody. But one thing is certain, Jeff Kaufmann is a jerk. Just hours after Smith announced the head of the Iowa GOP came out with a scathing condemnation about everything associated with Rep. Smith. You've got to hand it to them. Republicans are masters at saying tough, and false, things about their opponents while the Democrats always want to play nice. We have a problem. (Image - KWWL)
Last week I ventured out of my office and spoke at EntreFEST in Cedar Rapids. It was the first public outing since March of last year. As I got into the elevator to head to my room a woman entered...also without a mask. I said, "How are you doing?" She looked at me, smiled and said, "Isn't science wonderful?". I was with a friendly. It was a good time and if you've never been and you are at all interested in the entrepreneur and startup community and economy make plans to go in 2022. There were, I am told, about 80 speakers at the event and several hundred attendees on-site and others online. I spoke about "Podcasting for Business" and had a great time. Would do it again.
Ah, the rain! It's still raining here in Des Moines and we've needed this break. Right now I was to have been at a softball field watching our granddaughter in a 12-U championship game as well as "calling" the game on an app called Game Changer. We're not sure if the event will take place today or not but...the delay gave me the opportunity to write Sunday Morning Coffee so...all is good. Just got word...tournament has been cancelled. Not the way we wanted to end the season.
Thanks for reading...and Happy Father's Day!