Sunday Morning Coffee, that relaxing time where I share with you my opinion about politics, religion and share some (often) juicy gossip. Fun ain't it? If you would like to respond here, feel free or let's connect on my personal Twitter Stream @MichaelLibbie and my personal Facebook Page is right here. OK...enough! We've got LOTS to talk about.
Segregation in the South? It's a Myth!
Our enlightened friends south of the Mason-Dixon Line just can't help themselves. This past week Alabama (the same state that wants to gut the Voter Rights Act) pardoned the Scottsboro Boys. For those who may not know, back in 1931 nine young African-American men were fingered, tried and found guilty of raping a young Caucasian woman. Problem was, they didn't do it. It is a captivating story. The young men went to prison and the last surviving member of the Scottsboro Boys died in 1989. Now, 14 years later, the Alabama Legislature has "found a way to pardon the boys". It is being hailed as a progressive move. And, that is pure BS. A "progressive move" would have been to enact whatever it took to pardon them decades ago.
There Ain't No Segregation in the South - Part Two
When my Republican friends (Jim?) crow about "local school rule" I wonder if this is what they have in mind? I was shocked to learn that in the enlightened state of Georgia the Wilcox County High School has allowed segregated student events for...decades. This year four brave young people said, "Enough!" and are attempting to put on an "Interracial Prom". But it ain't that easy. They have been mocked, bullied and threatened. But perhaps...
Jesus Is The Answer?
Once again we hear from our friends "down south". This time from the North Carolina Legislature where nine (9) Republican lawmakers sponsored a bill that would create a "State Religion". The intent was to thumb the collective (and always odd) North Carolina Nose at the First Amendment regarding the anti-establishment clause and, in particular, defend the Rowan County Board of Commissioners who are being sued by the North Carolina ACLU for opening their meetings with sectarian prayers to....nope not Buddha...but our good friend Jesus. It's early in 2013 and already the GOP, which (according to its recent PR attempt) wants to transform itself into a more open and "accepting" political entity. These are the same folks who, already, have: put up bans on abortion rights, rejected marriage equality, attacked contraception access, targeted Planned Parenthood and go after sex-education. That "big tent" is getting smaller by the day. But, there is more fun...
South Carolina Picks the Loser
Former Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) won a primary battle last week in his bid to represent the enlightened state in the US Congress. The former married father of four said he was hiking the Appalachian trails when, in 2009, he "disappeared" for SIX DAYS. In reality he was doing the "bump & grind" with his mistress former Argentine journalist Maria Belen Chapur (ain't that hot) who showed up at the victory celebration. At least the GOP is consistent in their love for these guys. Visions of Newt Gingrich... Sanford will go on to beat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch in the May special election. Why? "Colbert-Busch doesn't represent the conservative values of the district." (Ben Frasier) Weary.... But...this was fun!
Gov. Sanford is so loved by the folks in South Carolina that he finished those 500 days and his term in 2011. But enough about "the south" let's talk about the fun of gun violence.
Goofy But, I Understand
Last week I penned a piece asking you to help me understand the strong attachment many of you have with firearms. So strong that you oppose mandatory background checks, high capacity magazines and a ban on assault rifles. My friend (and he really is) Justin Brady had the guts to take me on in the public comments and suggested that we should "ban swimming pools" because more kids die in them than by gun violence. There is a word for that debate tactic...obfuscate. The reality is this: In 2011 there were 5,285 deaths of children by firearms. That same year Canada experienced 153 child gun deaths, France: 109 and Japan: 0. On average 4,000 US kids are killed each year because of guns. (Average swimming pool deaths for kids amount to 226). There is something really wrong here and while limiting magazines to ten rounds or less may not have spared one child in Newtown...it also may have. What might that have been...worth?
Fired Up - Ready to Go!
That's the feeling of Iowa Democrats as the 2014 cycle begins. This past week Cong. Bruce Braley (D-IA) was making the rounds in Western Iowa, long considered a "GOP Stronghold" because...well, I don't really know. Cong. Braley announced his candidacy for the US Senate to replace Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) who retires in 2014. He had stops in Fort Dodge, Carroll, Council Bluffs, Denison, Red Oak, Creston and Osceola before capping the two day swing at a Polk County (Des Moines Metro) event honoring long-time political insider Ed Skinner. I asked Cong. Braley why he started so early...
Braley has an impressive grassroots story and, on Thursday evening, delivered it well to the nearly 200 standing room only crowd. This is going to be fun...and, if you are able, I'd ask you to join the campain now. Here is the link to his site and his story.
More Party News
Ed Skinner is an amazing man in Central Iowa Democratic Politics and he was honored for his long and faithful support to the party and our ideals. On hand were dozens of friends, family and political heavy weights. Speaking words of praise were former Congressman Leonard Boswell, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (D-IA) and lawyer and party activist Tom Whitney. But, it was Ed Skinner who caused the biggest ripple and a standing O for his choice of which Democrat should run against Cong. Tom Latham (R-IA) for the 3rd Congressional District in 2014. He looked out into the crowd and said, "There is a person in this room who can take on Tom Latham and beat him. That person is whom me and my family support. Staci Appel, stand up and be recognized!" She did and everybody in the crowd stood with her including others who had been mentioned as possible candidates, former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, State Senator Janet Peterson (D-Des Moines) and activist Andy McGuire who was sitting just to my right. I asked Staci about the endorsement and she said, "Michael, I am shocked. I never expected Ed to do something like that. Shocked and honored." If the Democrats are going to mount a real challenge against Latham they better get busy. Cong. Latham is becoming a fixture in the House. Who's in?
My friend Sam Reno received the Volunteer of the Year award from the Polk County Democrats. Sam is best known for his recent work in the 2012 Obama victory and for turning Beaverdale into Obamadale. Sam and his crew are amazing and they continue to work for progress. I'm proud to know him and call him a friend. Nice going and a great selection that should inspire others. It was great to see so many fired up friends and if I start naming them...I'm gonna screw up and miss several. However, seeing Susan Judkins warmed my heart. She's gotta stay in to defeat the extremest (posing as a nice guy) Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) in 2014. It's past time.
Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) is still set on denying Medicaid coverage to 150,000 Iowans. But...he is willing to spend more state money on a half-baked program which will cover fewer people. In an effort to be even more "half-baked" the Iowa House GOP sent up their health care bill last week. I wish I made this stuff up but here's a great image from some of my friends in the Iowa Senate. Shocking huh?
The Republicans in the Iowa House also failed to take up the common sense Made in Iowa Bill. Senate File 170 came out of the Commerce Committee and was meant to give preferential treatment to state contracts/purchases of products made in...Iowa. I dunno either but, this was a key campaign idea that was also championed by my friend Desmund Adams during his two year campaign for the Iowa Senate. That too failed to gain traction among our business elite. 2014 can't come soon enough! For a listing of the bills my friends in the GOP controlled house decided to tank...here's a link. Shocking.
I'm about to piss off my atheist friends but, let me be clear, you are entitled to believe in not believing. I frankly don't care. On Wednesday we concluded the seven (eight outside of Israel) days of Passover or Pesach (Hebrew) that (here it comes, close your eyes) The Bible (Torah) says, "Matzos shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and there shall no chametz (leavening) seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you, in all your borders." (Exodus 13:7) Chametz is made of corn, wheat, rye, soy and whatever the hell spelt is... "Borders", in this case, means your home because, unlike my Republican friends I have no intention to invade your home and tell you what to do there. Anyway all of this means that we rid our homes of chametz, food, dishes, etc. On Wednesday, to help you get the drift of Jewish Spring Cleaning I made this quick video.
Thanks for coming by and have a superior Sunday!