If it's Sunday... My name is Michael Libbie and each Sunday Morning I sit down to write about the political stories you've seen, or perhaps missed, and then add my, often acerbic, commentary. Grab your cup of joe and let's visit for a bit...and thanks for coming by.
Independents and Impeachment
The polls are saying that "independent voters" are starting to turn against impeachment. The reason might surprise you...or not. Independents believe that the impeachment process has consumed Washington D.C. and because of that "nothing is being done". And, nothing could be further from the truth. Since January the House of Representatives have passed over 300 bills many of which, the polls also say, are exactly what American's want. From making it easier to register to vote to protecting the rights of LGBTQ individuals to establishing a path to citizenship to universal background checks for firearms to action on climate change to lowering the cost of prescription drugs...you get it. The list is long and, here is a link.
Trouble is nothing is getting a vote in the GOP Senate. Rather than fume about hearings that have now proven the president acted time and time again against the interests of this nation and for himself...Independents should be urging Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to actually do something other than stonewall.
There is also something else brewing and that is voter fatigue. I'm a pretty active person in the world of politics and the lack of interest many show when it comes to politics and the direction of our state and nation is stunning. I have said, for years, that the two things people should be talking about are politics and religion. Why? Because those two things have a bigger impact on our lives than any other set of issues. Your job your wages your sense of fairness and self awareness can all be tied to politics and religion. So, why are we told not to engage in politics and religion? The simple answer is that most people know little about either...and that, my friends, we do to our peril.
Or...play video games.
While you were sleeping the citizens of Hong Kong went to the polls in record numbers. As of this morning a whopping 63% of voters took part in the election of the City Legislature. Sixty-three percent! We're lucky to get 6% out for a city election here.
This is what happens when people who fight for freedom get involved. The citizens of Hong Kong are turning their backs on the dictator in China and desire to have open and fair elections. Us? Pass the popcorn.
Anybody hear a peep out of U.S. Ambassador to China...Terry Branstad? Not that there is anything going on like:
- A trade war that has decimated the farming interests of the United States;
- A trade war that is impacting every American causing higher prices;
- A trade war that has had a negative impact on businesses;
- Hong Kong citizens being brutalized by the Chinese government;
- The rounding up and internment of Chinese Muslim citizens.
This week we got a clue as to why he's so silent. Your Iowa tax dollars are now going to be spent, according to Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), to appeal the jury verdict of $1.5 million against Ambassador Branstad for his discrimination against an openly gay department head while Branstad was governor of Iowa.
If you count up the dollars spent in fines and legal fees for all the crap going on under the "Golden Dome" since the GOP took power of the House, Senate and the Executive Branch...we're now north of $12 million bucks. Your...bucks.
Had enough yet?
It's the "Silly Season" in Iowa and across the nation. We're 71 days away from the Iowa Caucus and things are getting "chippy" to use the word of my friend Peter Crane. Engaged Democrats don't just fall into line with their preferred candidate they love to attack other candidates and supporters of candidates not to their liking. That seems to be in stark contrast to the Republicans who march "lock step" and dare not criticise another. (Image from Lila Star)
Let me give you an example. Just yesterday I was visiting with Ed Fallon, a friend, former legislator and climate activist during an event in Des Moines for Vice President Joe Biden. Ed was "chipping" about Biden saying that he was incoherent on climate change and that "all polls indicate that he would lose the election to "45'". I was standing with my friend Cynthia Fodor from KCCI-TV8 as Ed continued his harangue. Except Ed was and is wrong. The polls indicate the opposite and then, once Biden took the microphone in the packed event, he clearly outlined several critical climate change policy ideas.
I get it that you "like" somebody else. I get it that you are going to caucus for somebody different than your neighbor but please people be civil and be accurate. Taking out the knives against each other plays well into the hands of the GOP. They love it when you fight.
Last week, for five minutes, a Trans Flag flew above the Iowa Statehouse. It was a request from Iowa Safe Schools executive director Nate Monson to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance. And that was enough to cause two GOP legislators to lose their mind calling the action a clear attempt at a "Rainbow Jihad". And questioning what would happen if a "Christian Flag" were flown over the capital.
Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) said he plans to file legislation next session to limit what flags can be flown at the Capitol. Meanwhile Rep. Skyler Wheeler (R-Orange City) had an interesting quote in the Iowa Standard: “How would the Rainbow Jihad react if we were trying to fly the Christian flag over the state Capitol? The Rainbow Jihad is not OK with simply living their lives. They are so hellbent on pushing their beliefs on us that they would go so far as to fly that flag over the state Capitol. It’s one of the most egregious acts of political aggression I’ve ever seen.”
Iowa was the first state in the nation to hoist the flag and it was done to remember the 22 Americans who have been killed this year for being transgender or gender non-conforming. Here is the article from the Iowa Starting Line who also is credited with the image.
It has begun. The annual "Remove Everything in The House so We Can Decorate for Christmas" ritual is in full swing here. I quit counting how many Christmas Trees my Bride puts up at 8. There may be more. The event will consume hours and hours and when complete it will, as always, be delightful...and beautiful.
Me? I am a "Ritual Bystander" who is only occasionally asked to do a chore. When I decorate for Chanukah it takes me about 10 seconds to pull out the menorah. But...tis the season and Georgie is making magic happen. I'll stay out of the way.
Note...even Moses gets into the act.
A campaign note: I'll be participating in a candidate forum on December 4th in Clive with the other Iowa Senate District 22 candidates which should be informative. Also December 21st I'll be holding a "listening post" on gun violence at the West Des Moines Library starting at 10:00AM. It is part of my monthly series of events to better connect with voters in Clive, Waukee, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights. You can watch my Iowa Senate Campaign Website for details.
Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful Sunday!