Come with me to "The Dark Side" as some would call it...yep, my world view is a bit more progressive than most and once a week I get to share some stories you may have seen...or missed...about politics, religion and a little gossip thrown in just for flavor. Time for Sunday Morning Coffee! Grab a cup but, be warned, it may be...hot.
The Media Trump
The media along with the bombastic ability of Donald Trump has made his campaign. The more outlandish his actions or words the more the media salivates and reports. I am going to be so grateful when this is over and the media should be ashamed. Had they been reporting all along about this man and his failed business schemes, his shady personal life, his shifting work out of the country, his failure to release tax information, his absolute failure to provide even a small amount of public service to an American that he believes is broken we would he never would have ascended to this level of support. But, the media...never failing to fail...bought it and rather than do their job in the early months they pushed what would sell. Weary...
The Nicer Trump?
Well, so much for policy. Last week Mr. Trump replaced the equally shady Paul Manafort with Breitbart News chief and professional flame-thrower Steve Bannon as campaign CEO and Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager. They are stacking up: Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort and now Bannon and Conway. I can hear it now.. "You're fired!" With 78 days to go wanna bet there is another change at the top? By the way last week Mr. Trump said he should not have said some things but did not elaborate. "Regrets, I have a few, but then again...too few to mention...."
Meanwhile in Michigan
Mr. Trump, speaking to an overwhelmingly white audience that featured only a smattering of African-Americans and other minorities in the Lansing suburb of Dimondale said to African-American voters, "You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed -- what the hell do you have to lose?" (Trump has cited the 58% statistic before, a figure likely extrapolated from the employment-population ratio, which shows that 42.7% of blacks ages 16 to 24 had a job in July. But that doesn't mean that those without a job are necessarily looking for one.) Way to swing the vote Donald. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton tweeted, "This is so ignorant it is staggering." Yep...agreed. (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
It's the final day of the Iowa State Fair and the weather here in Des Moines is...delightful. Last week I stopped in the Iowa State Democratic booth in the varied industries building and visited with veteran campaign volunteer Kerry Bowen about her experience. She told me the attitude of people is, "the worst I've ever experienced". For those of you who may not know the Democratic booth and the Republican booth are next to each other in the Varied Industries Building separated by a 20' aisle. "Some people have been nice but the vast majority of people that have negative things to say do so in such a mean manner and they parrot hate-speech that is so offensive. It is like nothing I have ever experienced." Kerry should know, she's been working on Democratic campaigns for decades.
The Clinton Foundation
The Right and the Left are in a froth over the donors who have, over the years, supported the Clinton Foundation. They are upset over donations of a million dollars or more by the likes of (hold on this get good) The list includes the governments of Saudi Arabia and Australia, the British bank Barclay’s, and major U.S. companies such as Coca-Cola and ExxonMobil. Shocking that a foundation with the express intent to fund health-care, education and environmental initiatives around the world would accept money from Australia or Coca-Cola! Oh and chummy with Saudi Arabia? Each administration since Reagan has dolled out money and curried favor with the kingdom. Please people...get a grip. Really, this is all you've got? You are going to hold this over Hillary while the GOP candidate has, what is arguably, the worst record in business and personal life?
Tom and Christie Vilsack
I posted this story on my personal Facebook Page but it's worth repeating here. Last week Roxanne Conlin hosted the 16th Annual Polk County Democratic Women's Event at her home. There were, at least, 150 people there waiting for special guests former Iowa Governor and now USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack and his wife and former Iowa First Lady, Christie Vilsack. I was standing on the porch chatting with Roxanne when the big black SUV came up the street. That tends to be "standard issue" for government types and usually carries the dignitary and security. Just ahead of that "monster vehicle" was a small, red Mercury Mountaineer (I think, can't tell any more). It pulled up and climbing out of the passenger seat was Tom Vilsack and the driver? Christie. It was soooooo Iowan and so Tom and Christie. It was one of those moments folks "back east" wouldn't understand unless they live in Vermont.
When it was time for the speeches Sec. Vilsack said something that was one of the most enduring things I've heard. I did not record this but wrote about it on Facebook during the event. He stood on this staircase and along with other things had this to say about his bride: "She has been with me and had my back for over 43 years. I will love this woman until the day I die." It's the first time veteran politicos had seen Tom Vilsack choke up and, there was not a dry eye in the house. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
After the crowd started to move out I had the chance to chat with Sec. Vilsack about both of these items and asked him if, after Washington, if he and Christie would be moving back to Iowa and Des Moines. He said, "Yes, we've got a house here in Iowa and this is home. I can't imagine living anywhere else." I said to him that it is clear that Iowa also loves him and my bet would be that Iowa would welcome his leadership and would vote him back as Governor. He said, "I don't know, we've not done such a good job at recycling lately." You can take that for what it is worth.
It was great to see my friend former State Senator Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) at the event. He told me he is writing a book that he hopes to release after the election. From what I gathered it is going to be quite an honest look at the Iowa Democratic Party and some changes that, he believes, needs to happen. We'll see.
The Women of Polk and Dallas County
My friend Tamyra Wissmiller Harrison snapped this during the event. We are going to pick up some Democratic seats in Polk and Dallas County. Meet some wonderful candidates and female leaders! Pictured: Claire Celsi, Jennifer Glover Konfrst, Marti Anderson, Andrea Philips, Miyoko Hikiji, Jo Oldson, Janet Petersen, Som Baccam, Heather Matson, Julie Stewart.
Let's do this!
One of my biggest regrets of the past week was not demanding that my grand-daughters accompany me to the event at the home of Roxanne Conlin. I should have made that happen. Even though they are young I think it's never too early to have them meet and be among female leaders who are not family members. When you actually see the possibilities it is much easier to attain them. Dang...missed opportunity.
Gotta go and sorry this is late because dinner last night was way late. My bride did a "Century Ride" yesterday with several in her Des Moines Cycle Club Peddle Off the Pounds group. For many on that ride it was an emotional experience at accomplishing something that, just 20 weeks ago, would have been impossible. I know she is so very proud of each of them. Well done.
Thanks for reading, have a great day at the fair...perhaps see you there!