Missouri Lt. Governor is impoverished

Ah, the poor, poor Lt. Governor of Missouri is living an impoverished life. Choosing to run for political office Lt. Gov. Pete Kinder is finding life tough according to a short article on the dailykos website.

According to this piece the Lt. Governor makes $86,000, but has tastes that runs more to the likes of Donald Trump.

The article states: “The state’s No. 2 official, who has a home in Cape Girardeau and an office in Jefferson City, has grown accustomed to staying at luxury hotels in St. Louis – and letting taxpayers pick up the tab.

Since 2006, Kinder has billed the state for an average of more than two months per year at hotels in the St. Louis area.

Even with a discounted government rate, Kinder has charged taxpayers a total of $35,050 for at least 329 nights at hotels in St. Louis and St. Louis County during that time period. That includes 236 nights at the Chase and 42 nights at the downtown Four Seasons, his most frequented hotels.

The price tag doesn’t include the cost of meals on those trips or the hotel and meal cost for dozens of trips elsewhere in the state that Kinder has taken at taxpayer expense.”

Once again, a Republican that believes in smaller government, less spending, etc., except where he himself is involved. He wants to live the high life, dine and sleep in fine accommodations. Especially when someone else is paying. So why can’t this man learn to live within a budget that he probably believes others should to keep the cost of government down.

Hypocrisy is never a pretty thing. It is usually just petty. And again, please repeat after me, “Do as I say, not as I do” seems to be this man’s credo.

Republicans ALEC to circumvent state and local governments

An article published in the British newspaper, The Guardian, is about the Republican leaning organization, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). A right-wing lobby group that has decided to circumvent local and state governments so it can enact its own legislative demands, this one dealing specifically with rolling back any minimum wage increases to the working poor.

the article states: ”

According to strategic details obtained by the Guardian, the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) – along with its localised sister organization, ACCE – is trying to prevent elected city representatives from raising the minimum wage to levels above those set by their states. The group has launched an aggressive dual-track mission that combines legislation and litigation in what Alec calls a “new battleground” over worker compensation.

Alec’s plan to oppose minimum wage increases at the local level was set out in a recent meeting in Washington DC that brought together Republican legislators with several large corporate backers. The meeting was closed to journalists, but the Guardian has obtained details of the discussion from participants.

Cara Sullivan, who heads Alec’s commerce, insurance and economic development taskforce, told the meeting that corporate America was facing an “onslaught” of bids to raise the minimum wage at all levels of government. “Perhaps the biggest threat comes from the local level. We are seeing a number of localities that have increased their minimum wage,” she said, according to the accounts.

With an increasingly national and political focus on the inequality chasm between the so-called “1%” and a middle class that continues to struggle against wage stagnation, individual US cities have been forcing the pace of change by setting their own progressive standards. In a historic ballot initiative last year, Seattle voters approved a $15 per hour minimum. As other cities follow close behind – San Francisco approved a similar rise, Chicago has introduced a target of $13 an hour, and other cities including Los Angeles and San Diego have pressed phased increases – the trend is now even touching the likes of Walmart.

Alec’s response, Sullivan went on to explain at the meeting, is to frame and then lobby for model legislation in state assemblies across the country. She said that so far 12 states, most recently Oklahoma, have submitted anti-increase legislation based on the rightwing lobbyists’ language. “Our solution that Alec has passed is state legislation that pre-empts the polities from within the state from raising the minimum wage higher than state level,” she told the meeting.”

The article also stated: “A copy of a model bill, called the “living wage mandate preemption act”, is posted on Alec’s website. Most recently approved by the Alec board in 2013, it provides for the repeal of any minimum wage provisions introduced by local elected bodies within a state, claiming that increases “threaten many businesses with a loss of employees”.

Heightening the concern among rightwing groups is the sense that they are losing the argument: in several states, including in conservative parts of the country such as South Dakota and Arkansas, voters backed minimum wage initiatives by large margins last November. In a speech on Friday, Barack Obama said the hikes represented “perhaps the single most hopeful sign for middle-class families in a very long time”, and an Associated Press-GfK poll released this week found that six out of 10 Americans want a higher minimum wage.

“This is a policy that is very popular,” Sullivan conceded in her address to the Alec/ACCE meeting.

At the meeting, speakers described bringing lawsuits to try and stop cities from introducing pay increases. Dean Heyl, a lobbyist with the International Franchise Association – which represents 1,400 franchises, including some of America’s biggest such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway – said his organization had filed a legal challenge to Seattle’s hike.

Heyl presented the battle as a partisan political struggle pitting unions against employers: “I’m a Republican. We’re seeing the unions looking at the cities as their next target – we beat them on the federal level, we beat them on the state level. But the cities are much tougher, because there are more of them.”

Brian Crawford, a senior executive at the American Hotel and Lodging Association, told participants that his group – a prominent funder of Alec – was preparing litigation in Los Angeles and other cities to block wage increases. “Hopefully there’s no press in here,” he said.”

What is so galling about Alec’s rhetoric is that it believes higher pay hurts ordinary Americans. So who the hell are these people who think that making a few more dollars to possibly buy health insurance, food for the table, clothes for their children is going to hurt ordinary Americans. How un-American are they to determine what is right or correct for their neighbor. They don’t complain about the neighbor who makes millions,  just those who barely make anything.

And how, with the correct kind of PR campaign, they can dissuade people from pushing for more wages.

Crawford also urged conservatives to launch populist campaigns against wage increases by adopting the mantra that higher pay hurts ordinary Americans. It was crucial, he said at the meeting, to have “the right face, and that’s one of the things we’re focusing on… Not the Hyatts, not the Hiltons, not the Marriotts, but the small business people, telling their story about the American Dream – the independently owned Holiday Inn, owned by an Asian-American who came to this country, put all their life-savings into it, and now they’re going to lose this business because they can’t afford a $15 wage.”

The lobbying executive added: “We have a lot of resources; we have the studies, the economic data. And we have the real-life stories that we can put out there. The key component is the PR.”

Iowa Senator Bertrand sponsors bar age change

Recently Sioux City’s Sen. Rick Bertrand is sponsoring a bill to change the law and allow people under 21 to attend entertainment venues at bars. In his statements and quotes noted in a newspaper article, Bertrand never states that he is the owner of a couple of these venues and could benefit personally from such a bill. It seems readers and Iowa voters should also know that piece of information. Plus, how many young people can resist the temptation of not drinking at such a venue. And should the it be found out that a young person consumed alcohol, what is written does not address how this situation should be addressed. Currently, a bar or restaurant found guilty of serving underage patrons could lose their license to serve alcohol, and possibly even be closed for a period of time. Is that also part of the bill?

Is Sen. Bertrand just trying to help young people, or the bottom line. And what does law enforcement think of such a change in the law?

Sen. Bertrand believes these younger people need a place to hang out. As described here by a Quad City TImes newspaper article”

“Cities and counties could not adopt restrictions keeping patrons age 19 years or older from entering bars, taverns, entertainment venues or other establishments where alcoholic beverages are served under a bipartisan bill proposed by two state senators Wednesday.

Sens. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids, and Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City, said Senate File 208 is intended to address a situation primarily in college towns where young people are denied access to entertainment venues and end up binge drinking at private house parties where they may be assaulted or face other problems or attacks.

“Right now, there are a lot of problems that are happening out there with women and violence at colleges,” Bertrand said. “The problem is that a lot of these 19- and 20-year-olds, they can’t get into the big dance clubs, they can’t get into the places where kids are, so where do they end up at? They end up binge drinking somewhere at a party.”

The interesting issue with this bill is this statement:

“Horn said the legislation would overrule cities by saying they can’t pass ordinances barring 19- and 20-year-old adults from bars. In return, he said, young people would have to “self-patrol themselves” by not violating the state law prohibiting residents under the age of 21 from buying or consuming alcohol.” (emphasis added)

How many young people would do that.

Fox News station still lying about the President

This piece appeared on the site of Romenesko.com, that is published by a news reporter and columnist.

It seems all Fox affiliates are still trying to do what they can to disparage the President. Apparently they have no shame.

PRESIDENT OBAMA IS *NOT* A SEXUAL ASSAULT SUSPECT (DON’T BLAME FOX NEWS FOR THIS ERROR)

February 15, 2015
Romenesko

3:26 pm

- via Times of San Diego

– via Times of San Diego

Anchor: “The only suspect in a sex assault at SDSU will not be charged”
Good for Fox 5 San Diego graphic designer Thomas Condry for ‘fessing up to the Obama-as-suspect graphic error and setting commenters straight about the station being a Fox News affiliate. (It’s a Tribune Broadcasting property.)

“I’m spending my free time addressing these comments,” Condry writes on the Times of San Diego site, “because I’m in panic-mode. …My mistakes are put on television (let’s write articles about all your mistakes), and this is by far the worst I’ve made.” (It happened on Friday the 13th, by the way.)

Condry tells a commenter who wants an apology from the station: “I absolutely agree that the mistake deserved on-air acknowledgement and an apology. Unfortunately I am not in a position to make that decision. I may not be in any position after Monday haha (half kidding).”

Don’t discipline your refreshingly honest employee, Fox 5 bosses!

Update: The station has apologized.

* Obama depicted as rape suspect in Fox 5 graphic error (timesofsandiego.com)

Iowa’s Sen. Joni Ernst, combat veteran

Huffington Post columnist, Andrew Reinbach, recently wrote a piece that takes Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst to task for wearing her combat service on her sleeve. It is certain that conservatives will take issue.

The gist of this piece is that yes, Sen. Ernst honorably served during the first Gulf War and that any person, by order of then Pres. George W. Bush,  who served in a combat zone is a combat veteran. But Sen. Ernst did not lead her troops into combat, or fire fights. She led a dedicated team of logistical Iowa National Guard troops who moved equipment and other supplies when and where needed.

As Reinbach writes, And it’s technically true. She was company commander of the Iowa National Guard’s 1168th Transportation Company during its tour of active duty in Kuwait and southern Iraq, from February 2003 to April 2004. But the unit was never in a firefight, or for that matter attacked at all; it delivered supplies, and later, guarded the front gate and ran perimeter patrol at their home base outside Kuwait City, Camp Arifjan.

Real combat veterans I spoke to don’t think much of how the Senator talks up her combat duty. Larry Hanft, for instance, who earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge fighting in Vietnam, says, “By her definition, everybody who stepped off the plan in Kuwait is a combat veteran. Joni Ernst is using her military experience to gain a political edge and pull the wool over the eyes of the American people. She’s a fraud…” Mr. Hanft is one of Sen. Ernst’s constituents.

This isn’t to say Sen. Ernst’s soldiers spent the Iraq War lounging by a pool. According to the official history of the unit’s deployment — written by the Senator — the 183 soldiers of the 1168th worked hard. Between May and August 2003, they drove 230,278 miles on 402 missions around Kuwait and southern Iraq, hauling everything from Patriot missiles and body armor to mattresses. Then the unit was re-assigned to Force Protection — security — at their home base, manning the front gate and patrolling the camp’s perimeter.

Convoy duty in Iraq was dangerous work. Armies can’t fight without supplies, convoys deliver them, and convoys were prime targets of both Iraqi infantry and, later, roadside bombs. In fact on its way back from its first mission, the 1168th was forced to a crawl in one town: Iraqi men threw themselves in front of the trucks, and stayed there until they were almost run over (the trucks only slowed). Sen. Ernst’s soldiers would have been sitting ducks if they’d taken fire.

But they didn’t, and that’s the point. In the 1168th’s 14 months in theater, the unit was never under fire, or hit by a roadside bomb. The deployment’s only injury occurred on its last day in Kuwait, when a sergeant dislocated his shoulder.”

Sen. Ernst and others serving under her deserve our gratitude for serving their country and the state of Iowa. But did she play fast and loose, having a Brian Williams’ memory lapse about her service and leading her troops into combat?

Maybe a correction to leading her troops into a combat zone might be more accurate, and fair, and descriptive.

 

Upcoming events for Woodbury County Democrats

If looking for a little company from left leaning companions, Drinking Liberally members are meeting Thursday, Feb. 5 from 5-7 at Rebo’s in downtown Sioux City.

The Woodbury County Democrats central committee is meeting Wednesday, Feb. 11, beginning 6 p.m. in the Gleeson Room at the downtown Sioux City library off of 6th St.

N.J. Governor traveling like royalty

During N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s address at Congr. Steve King’s and Citizens United’s Freedom Summit, Christie made a remark about how Republican Iowans like him so much they keep inviting him back.

According to a current NYT story Christie‘s visits to Iowa and other places are done in style such as first class, and fortunately for him, paid for by others, even if the ethics is a little strained.

The story begins: ”

As Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey waited to depart on a trade mission to Israel in 2012, his entourage was delayed by a late arrival: Mr. Christie’s father, who had accidentally headed to the wrong airport.

A commercial flight might have left without him, but in this case, there was no rush. The private plane, on which Mr. Christie had his own bedroom, had been lent by Sheldon G. Adelson, the billionaire casino owner and supporter of Israel. At the time, he was opposing legislation then before the governor to legalize online gambling in New Jersey.

Mr. Christie loaded the plane with his wife, three of his four children, his mother-in-law, his father and stepmother, four staff members, his former law partner and a state trooper.

King Abdullah of Jordan picked up the tab for a Christie family weekend at the end of the trip. The governor and two staff members who accompanied him came back to New Jersey bubbling that they had celebrated with Bono, the lead singer of U2, at three parties, two at the king’s residence, the other a Champagne reception in the desert. But a small knot of aides fretted: The rooms in luxurious Kempinski hotels had cost about $30,000; what would happen if that became public?”

It continued with this: “

The governor, a Republican now preparing a run for president, shot to national prominence as a cheese-steak-on-the-boardwalk Everyman who bluntly preached transparency and austerity as the antidote to bloated state budgets. But throughout his career in public service, Mr. Christie has indulged a taste that runs more toward Champagne at the Four Seasons.

He has also quietly let others pay the bills.

That tendency — the governor himself says he wants to “squeeze all the juice out of the orange” — has put him in ethically questionable situations, taking benefits from those who stand to benefit from him.”

One wonders if Gov. Christie’s thirst for becoming President will result in a huge taxpayer bill for his indulgences. For being a loud guy who is like everyone else, well, not really.

Woodbury County Democrat FUNraiser

Bread White and Blue  Woodbury   

          County Democrat FUNraiser

White Bread Wonder

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 5pm – 8pm ,  Doxx Bar on 5th and Floyd

Food provided – cash bar What: Who knew bread sacks could be so fun?? We have planned a fun get together to support our local party, elected officials and future candidates. Wearing some sort of bread sack is highly encouraged. We will even give a much sought after door prize for most creative bread sack costume.  Free will offering for the County Party.

Top 10 Reasons for attending this gathering! 

 10. Recycle your trash   

9. The bag lady has left Iowa   

8.  Bring Home the Bacon   

7.  Breaking Bread   

6.  Hang out with your kindred souls   

5.  Good excuse for Breadtastic costumes   

4.  “Wonder” what everybody else is doing   

3.  We are all Bread-up with T-baggers   

2.  Pull up your Bread straps & Shake off 2014 Election   

1.  It’s what we KNEAD!

Woodbury County Democrats, promoting democratic ideals and greater participation.