Thursday, March 9, 2017

Gawd-awful stuff happening in Iowa

"Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time." — George Carlin

WANT TO know what a laughingstock my state has become? I mean besides being the proud owners of

  • reactionary whackadoodle Congressman Steve King
  • senile Republican puppet, Senator Chuck Grassley 
  • Koch Brothers-funded, pig-castrating Senator Joni Ernst 
  • animatronic, corporate give-away cash machine Governor Terry Branstad
Speaking of Ms. Ernst, according to the Muscatine Journal, after a recent public roundtable where she "was met by about 300 people, many protesters, who chanted phrases such as 'You work for us' and 'Investigate Trump,'" Ernst complained that attendees were "not really there to listen." 

That's how incredibly backwards she has it! She doesn't think it's necessary or important to listen to the people she was elected to represent.

FYI: Joni Ernst will be appearing at town hall meeting open to the public in Des Moines on March 17. If you live in the area, here's your chance to ask her what's next on her Koch Brothers-financed agenda. 


Friday, March 17 at 5 PM - 6 PM

Drake University, Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Ave, Des Moines

The idiocies of King would require a full length Dumb and Dumber remake, and the rubber-stamp, unconscionable voting record of Grassley would fill several encyclopedias. But I digress.




Here's what's happening now in the Iowa Statehouse to frighten and embarrass every Iowan. Below are are some of the awful bills that have made it past the first hurdle towards legislation. Sources:
 The Des Moines Register, WHO-TV, Brennan Center for Justice, Muscatine Journal, Forbes, Iowa Starting Line, Pacific Standard, AFL-CIO.org.


Defunding Planned Parenthood


The Iowa Senate has already passed Senate File 2, which would block public funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.The bill has cleared a House subcommittee. 


Indiana and Texas, in their infinite lack of wisdom, did this and the result was that the number of HIV cases spiked i
Indiana due to decreased availability of safe-sex counseling and HIV testing, and in Texas there was a significant increase in unplanned pregnancies due to decreased access to birth control. Medicaid expenses also jumped 27%.


A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll found that 77% of Iowans support continued state funding for non-abortion services at Planned Parenthood
and massive protests have taken place on the Iowa capitol grounds, in the capitol and in hearings. Have the legislators listened? They have not. Driven by religious and political ideology, they are voting contrary to their constituents, and apparently, this current batch of legislative geniuses also suck at math.


Dismantling the Des Moines Water Works


This Republican-sponsored bill would abolish the Des Moines Water Works and replace it with a regional water authority controlled by multiple, area city councils. Sound like a power-to-the-people move? Nope. It's retaliation for a federal lawsuit filed by the Des Moines Water Works against three northwest Iowa counties in pursuit of damages for letting nitrates from field fertilizer flow into the Raccoon River, where they have to be removed in an expensive process costing millions. Republicans don't want to interfere with corporate agriculture's prerogative to pollute Iowa rivers, and the punishment is to take down the public utility and turn it over to elected city council . . . i.e. political control.


Minimum Wage Pre-emption 


A Republican bill introduced in the House would block cities and counties from setting their own minimum wages, effectively rolling back wage increases approved in four Iowa counties. Iowa's minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2008. 


The bill also includes broader pre-emption language that would prevent cities and counties from implementing policies like requiring paid family leave. Language was also added that protects landlords who don't want to rent to those who use federal housing vouchers, such as participants in the federal Section 8 program that helps the poor. Yeah, screw the poor.


Have you noticed that Republicans are all about local control only when it's a way to thwart federal mandates and requirements and only as long as things go the way they want? The counties that have raised minimum wage have done so as a means to attract workers. Yup, those same Republicans who are always running on about how they're creating jobs. Screw poorer counties who are trying to raise the standard of living and screw the poor.


Workers' Compensation


Matching bills introduced in both the House and Senate would significantly scale back workers' compensation benefits for injured workers. If passed, these bills will end worker benefits at age 67, reduce benefits for injuries tied to pre-existing conditions, minimize late fees for employers who fail to pay benefits on time, and limit how much attorneys can receive for legal fees. They also would allow employers to deny benefits if an injured worker tests positive for drugs or alcohol. Screw the elderly, the sick and the disabled.


Voter Identification 


A bill driven by Republican Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate would implement new voter identification laws including a provision that would require every voter to present valid government-issued identification, such as a driver's license, passport or military ID. Despite study after study that shows that the incidence of voter fraud is minuscule — according to New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, the incidence of impersonation fraud by voters is between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent — and despite the reality that implementing a voter ID law will cost the state, based on similar laws enacted in other states, an estimated $18 to $25 million, Republicans seem hellbent on passing this bill.


A study by the Brennan Center found that 11 percent of voting-age citizens lack a photo ID, disproportionately effecting people of color, senior citizens, the disabled, young voters, the and working poor, which historically, tends to depress Democratic voter turnout. Screw people of color, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. Notice a theme here?


Crackdown on Highway Protests


Political activists who block traffic on Iowa's roads are now cited with a simple misdemeanor offense and fined $35, but a Senate Republican bill would stiffen the penalties by classifying a first offense as a serious misdemeanor with punishment of up to a year in prison and fine of up to $1,875. Second-time offenders would be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor and third-time violators would face a Class D felony charge. A similar bill filed in the House, would make it a serious misdemeanor to block highways and it would be an aggravated misdemeanor to organize protests that block highways. 


These bills are retribution for an Iowa City demonstration protesting Trump's election when more than 100 marchers blocked eastbound traffic on Interstate Highway 80 for about 30 minutes. Notice the other running theme: retribution.


And this is just a portion of the Republican anti-people/pro-Koch Brothers agenda! See why I want to move?


5 comments:

  1. Ugh. Its hard to see it all in one pile of poop like that. We see GOP members taking apart right & protections in order to make their bosses ever wealthier and chortling with glee at our injuries and illnesses caused by their changes. Someone said it is like watching a bully with a magnifying glass and insects. Fairly accurate analogy. πŸ˜”

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hate seeing all these crazy things that will hurt Iowans. What's even more sad is how many people are supporting these things without really understanding the consequences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true, Lori. They don't have a clue what they've unleashed and how it will hurt them and everyone . . . except the super wealthy.

      Delete
  3. Um - yeah, I basically hate Iowa and am moving. I just came here for my daughter to get started in school. Its sad that this state is becoming more Republican...guess marijana legalization is out also.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Um - yeah, I basically hate Iowa and am moving. I just came here for my daughter to get started in school. Its sad that this state is becoming more Republican...guess marijana legalization is out also.

    ReplyDelete