Gather around my friends for a fresh cup of Sunday Morning Coffee. The political news you've seen or, perhaps, missed all laced with my commentary. It's what I get to do while others are sleeping. Let's go.
The polls out over the past two days indicate that "45" may be reelected in November of 2020. A CNN Poll and a Five-Thirty Eight poll both indicate that the approval rating of the president is on the increase. While the indication is that former Vice President Biden still leads in a head-to-head poll it's troubling that in some key battleground states that went heavy for "45" in 2016 are shaping up to once again bring us an election where the presidency is decided by the Electoral College rather than by the popular vote.
Meanwhile the Democrats
The same polls indicate voters are uneasy with the Democrats running. The polls could be the result of inter-party scuffling as candidate ramp up the attacks on each other. Respondents to the polls say they are being positively impacted by the economy and they fear the Democrats will ruin the ride.
Two comforting thoughts just ahead of Christmas.
That's what I get to report on each day. If you watch and report on the business news you can get caught up in the idea that everybody is doing great. We've never had so much money. Disposable income is at an all time high and just yesterday on Super Saturday the projected sales numbers topped those of Black Friday not in millions but in billions.
Something just doesn't seem right and if you look deeper you'll see that American Shoppers are loading up their purchases on ever expanding credit. Sort of like we did eleven years ago before the Great Recession. In fact the 128 U.S. households now have credit card debt that exceeds $1 trillion. A Federal Reserve Report indicates that credit card debt is rising. In October alone credit card debt was up 8.8% over what was owed in September and that number is expected to grow during the holiday shopping season.
It is to this back-drop that the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II will bring The Poor People's Campaign to Des Moines Iowa on Wednesday, January 15 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the First Christian Church located in the Drake University Neighborhood. It is also the actual birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
See you there.
And There Is This
Just in time for the holidays: US Steel has announced 1,545 layoffs at two plants in Michigan. Last year, 5 executives at US Steel received on average a compensation package of $4.8M, a 53 percent increase from 2017.
See a pattern here?
Yes...next? One thing looks certain. This will drag into next year while so many Americans are gearing up for the Iowa Caucus and the Democratic Primaries. Hang on.
Or so it would seem. Just this past week a woman in the Des Moines, Iowa suburb of Clive intentionally left the roadway with her vehicle and hit a young girl walking on the sidewalk. The reason? The police there say 42 year old Nicole Poole Franklin said she targeted the girl because the girl "is Mexican".
The Des Moines Register reported that my friend Joe Henry, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens Council No. 307 said racist attacks have been on the rise since "45" was elected. FBI says hate crimes against Latinos have risen by 13% over one year and if you look back at the past five years hate crimes against Latinos have soared upward by 48%.
Meanwhile, just this weekend, two young men stabbed to death outside of a bar in Nashville, TN (one the brother of former University of Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard) and 12 people shot at a house party in Chicago. And, that is just a tiny sample of the violence that happens every day here.
When former Navy Admiral Michael Franken announced he was running for the United States Senate and attempt to beat Sen.Joni Ernst (R-IA) in November of 2020 I had one of those, "Who is he?" moments.
Last week I had the chance to sit down with Mike Franken for an extended interview which will air today in the 11AM hour on News/Talk 1540 KXEL. (I'll also post it on Insight on Business the News Hour later this week.) I was greatly impressed. Franken faces an uphill battle for traction considering that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed my friend Theresa Greenfield way back in June.
But...and you knew that was coming...a growing group of voters have taken issue with that early endorsement saying it smacks of the same issue voters had in 2016 when the Democratic National Committee fully and early on endorsed Sec. Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Having said that you really should take some time to hear him out on the issues. And, if you want, that can start this morning. You can live-stream the interview by heading to the KXEL website link...above.
Family was in town this past weekend and it was wonderful. All six grand-children the parents and my brother. It was a heartwarming. It was also a bit different. During the flurry of opening gifts nobody was taking a photo. Back in the day that was what we did. Now that the kids are getting older maybe it's not so...cute? I dunno but it was, I thought, remarkable.
But we did get photos! My good friend Lauren Campbell of Lauren Campbell Photography came over and took a bunch of shots. I keep telling her that she is my local "Pete Souza". Thank you so much Lauren! Lauren has been a wonderful friend and advisor. Thanks again!
Tonight we'll light the first of the eight Chanukah Candles. If you want a bit of insight on that holiday here is the blog from my congregation Adas Israel based in Mason City, Iowa. Enjoy and Happy Chanukah!
Thank you to those of you who came to chat a bit about guns and gun violence during he event yesterday in West Des Moines. I know it's a busy time of the year and grateful that you took some time out of your busy schedule. Be looking for my next event later in January as I continue these "Listening Posts" right up until the November Election. For more about that campaign here is my website, Libbie for Iowa.
Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday and, once again... Happy Chanukah!