Iowa’s Rep. Steve King now the Tea Party Rep.

In a recent story published by The Hill concerning GOP conservatives   upset about “attacks” by allies of House Leader John Boehner, the paper refers to our Rep. Steve King as the Tea Party representative, not as Iowa’s representative.

The article states: Tea Party Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) equated the attack ads to GOP “cannibalism,” while his conservative colleague Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) called them a “stupid” tactic that would backfire.”

The article itself takes the conservatives to task for not compromising in getting anything done in Congress with the other side.

“American Action Network, a nonprofit whose board includes former Boehner chief of staff Barry Jackson, launched the $300,000 ad campaign earlier this month with TV spots depicting terrorists and accusing GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Tim Huelskamp (Kansas) and Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) of putting “our security at risk.”

The campaign also included national ads on conservative talk radio, including shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and on digital ads in the district of nine other House Republicans.

The non-election year ad buy was a shot across the bow to the newly formed House Freedom Caucus, a bloc of nearly 40 conservative rebels led by Jordan who refused to compromise on a DHS funding bill that didn’t include defunding of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.” 

Congressman King is again quoted: “It looks like cannibalism by leadership to me. I mean, when you go after your own people, what else would you call that?” said King, one of the most vocal advocates for defunding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

These are Republican resources. They’re being used against Republicans? And then he wants unity?” the Iowa Republican asked incredulously of Boehner.”

Who knows, maybe like Texas, particular Iowans will move to one or two counties and then ask to secede from the state to create their own Tea Party state with its own rules to micro manage everyone else’s lives.

Spread the word, Wisconsin Republicans to repeal the weekend

In a recently published story by the Los Angeles Times, columnist Michael Hiltzik writes about Wisconsin Republican legislators are looking at putting the common worker into an untenable position.

Hiltzik’s column begins: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a leading aspirant for the Republican nomination for president, made his state the 25th “right-to-work” state in the nation on March 9 when he signed a measure passed by the Republican-controlled legislature.

He may soon get another crack at a worker-unfriendly law: Legislators have introduced a bill to abolish employees’ legal right to at least one day off per week.”

He continues, “The new measure tracks one last year that was introduced too late in the legislative session to reach a vote. As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported at the time, it came directly from the wish list of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state’s biggest business lobbying group. According to the newspaper, the measure’s sponsors at first “said they had heard from businesses with employees who want to work the additional time.” Under questioning, one sponsor, Republican state Rep. Mark Born, acknowledged that he had met only with representatives of the business lobbying group.

Tell your Republican friends in Iowa, that Walker is not friendly to the working man and woman, Democrat, Republican or Independent. He is just anti-worker.

Prepare yourself, House Republicans come up with a proposed budget

The New York Times today ran an article about the House Republicans and their new budget proposal, which basically does what Republicans always like, hurts those that need help and benefits those who truly don’t need it but come to expect it.

The article states: “ House Republicans called it streamlining, empowering states or “achieving sustainability.” They couched deep spending reductions in any number of gauzy euphemisms.

What they would not do on Tuesday was call their budget plan, which slashes spending by $5.5 trillion over 10 years, a “cut.”

The 10-year blueprint for taxes and spending they formally unveiled would balance the federal budget, even promising a surplus by 2024, but only with the sort of sleights of hand that Republicans have so often derided.

The budget — the first since Republicans regained control of Congress this year —largely reflects the four previous versions written by Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin when he was chairman of the Budget Committee. But this plan may fare better than Mr. Ryan’s since Senate Republicans will be under pressure to reach an accord.”

It continues: “

Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, saw it differently: “This takes budget quackery to a new level.”

Without relying on tax increases, budget writers were forced into contortions to bring the budget into balance while placating defense hawks clamoring for increased military spending. They added nearly $40 billion in “emergency” war funding to the defense budget for next year, raising military spending without technically breaking strict caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The plan contains more than $1 trillion in savings from unspecified cuts to programs like food stamps and welfare. To make matters more complicated, the budget demands the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the tax increases that finance the health care law. But the plan assumes the same level of federal revenue over the next 10 years that the Congressional Budget Office foresees with those tax increases in place — essentially counting $1 trillion of taxes that the same budget swears to forgo.

And still, it achieves balance only by counting $147 billion in “dynamic” economic growth spurred by the policies of the budget itself. In 2024, the budget would produce a $13 billion surplus, thanks in part to $53 billion in a projected “macroeconomic impact” generated by Republican policies. That surplus would grow to $33 billion in 2025, and so would the macroeconomic impact, to $83 billion.

“I don’t know anyone who believes we’re going to balance the budget in 10 years,” said Representative Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado. “It’s all hooey.”

The prescribed cuts would be deep, but Republicans cast them as positive. The budget does not cut popular Pell Grants for higher education; it “makes the Pell Grant program permanently sustainable,” the document says. Spending on Medicaid may fall $913 billion over a decade once the health program is turned to block grants to the states, but House Republicans preferred to say in the plan, “Our budget realigns the relationship the federal government has with states and local communities by respecting and restoring the principle of federalism.”

The plan would cut billions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, but that was not exactly how the budget phrased the reductions.

“This budget converts SNAP to a State Flexibility Fund so state governments have the power to administer the program in ways that best fit the needs of their communities with greater incentives to achieve better results,” the document says.

Domestic programs would be cut $519 billion below the already restrictive caps set in 2011. White House officials estimated that between the Affordable Care Act repeal and the cuts to Medicaid, 37 million people would lose health insurance, more than doubling the ranks of the uninsured.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, called it “long on rhetoric and short on solution.”

 One wonders when the Republicans will declare a war on those without means and build more prisons for debtors so they can feel good about themselves. Then putting people to work by renting them out to service their debt.

Wisconsin Gov. Walker hire is now fired, or gone

In a Washington Post story recently a new hire by Team Walker came under fire by Iowan Republican leadership for saying disparaging things about Iowa.

The article states:” Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s new digital strategist Liz Mair came under fire Monday evening, just hours after CNN reported she had been hired, after journalists and critics noted several provocative statements on her Twitter feed — including remarks critical of voters in first-in-the-nation caucus state, which prompted the Des Moines Register to publish a story with the headline, “Scott Walker’s digital chief has taken swipes at Iowa.”

And today stories are afloat that this strategist is now looking for new work somewhere else according to a Des Moines Register story.

Social media and its digital components can be a great help to campaigns as Pres. Obama made know through his two elections. But these same digital components can also be detrimental to a campaign as evidence in the above stories.

And as in the Politico story of an Illinois Congressman who recently retired for questionable billing for travel as well as taking trips and redecorating his office, and then bragging about online. Nice work if you can get.

All candidates should remember that, that their actions have consequences. If only the supporters wake up and realize these people are accountable to us.

Gov. Christie faces questions about quid pro quo

It appears it is not enough for New Jersey Gov. Christ Christie to be caught up in the Tappen Z Bridge scandal with possible minions taking retribution on a city manager who would not support Christie’s last re-election bid.

Then Christie’s acceptance of a paltry fine for Exxon Mobil’s clean-up responsibility for polluting New Jersey’s shores and possibly harming its residents that previous governors fought years to receive a $9 billion dollar payout to actually clean up the affected sites.

Now according to a story from the International Business Times Gov. Christie awarded pension funds for investments to a company that gave generously to his personal re-election bid and to the Republican Party’s funding arm.

The article begins:

“Two years ago, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pursued re-election, his administration found itself mulling investment options for the state’s $80 billion pension fund. In one deal in May 2013, officials settled on a subsidiary of U.K.-based foreign financial conglomerate Prudential plc. With little fanfare, state pension overseers quickly endorsed the deal.

Weeks later, a Hong Kong-based executive director and board member of Prudential plc delivered a maximum $3,800 contribution to Christie’s gubernatorial campaign, followed by a maximum $32,400 donation to the Republican National Committee, which was about to launch a get-out-the-vote effort for Christie. Two months after that, New Jersey began moving public employees’ retirement savings into two funds managed by the Prudential subsidiary as part of the state’s new $300 millioninvestment commitment to the company.

State and federal rules are designed to prevent firms that manage public pension money from contributing to the campaigns of public officials who have the authority to influence pension investments. The sequence of transactions in New Jersey, campaign finance experts say, is troubling.

“Pay-to-play laws are intended to stop the potential conflicts of interest and appearance of corruption that arises whenever executives at a financial firm make large political contributions to a governor and his political party around the time the state is picking the firm to handle pension system investments,” said Larry Noble, a former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission who now works for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, a research group in Washington, D.C. “These situations undermine the public’s confidence in the integrity of government contracting.”

The article continues and talks about the hammering former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is receiving for foreign donations for Bill Clinton’s charitable Foundation and former gov. Jeb Bush receiving funds. Plus on top of that, while no investment organization can guarantee a return, it appears the state investment did not due well at all.

State documents from December 2014 show that one of New Jersey’s investments in Prudential plc has barely broken even, while another is worth less than the original investment, renewing debate about the wisdom of transferring public retirement savings from lower-risk securities to aggressive bets on hedge fund, private equity and real estate vehicles. The donations from Prudential plc’s top executive also underscore questions about the ability of 2016 presidential candidates to navigate pay-to-play rules while raising campaign cash. A top Christie adviser recently said that such rules offer “no loopholes” for candidates to exploit.

But with Christie appearing to move toward a 2016 White House run, this latest case adds an international twist to a seemingly local pension controversy — at a moment when concerns are already being raised about the influence of foreign interests on America’s presidential election.

Though that election is still almost two years away, the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, has been criticized for allowing her family’s foundation to rake in cash from foreign governments while she served as U.S. Secretary of State. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a leading Republican presidential contender, has faced intensifying scrutiny for launching a business that is almost exclusively composed of foreign investors. Now, critics say Christie must answer for committing to send more than a quarter-billion dollars of retirees’ money to a foreign firm whose top executive donated campaign cash to the governor and a group supporting his campaign.”

So much banter and criticism from right and yet those over their don’t have their own house in order.

Iowan evangelical pastors gear up for 2016

A current New York Times article spotlights one David Lane, which the article states:

“For Mr. Lane, a onetime Bible salesman and self-described former “wild man,” connecting the pastors with two likely presidential candidates was more than a good day’s work. It was part of what he sees as his mission, which is to make evangelical Christians a decisive power in the Republican Party.

“An army,” he said. “That’s the goal.”

And Mr. Lane is positioning himself as a field marshal. A fast-talking and born-again veteran of conservative politics with experience in Washington, Texas and California, Mr. Lane, 60, travels the country trying to persuade evangelical clergy members to become politically active.

His hope is that the politicized pastors will help mobilize congregations that have been disheartened by the repeated failure of socially conservative candidates, and by a party that has softened its opposition to same-sex marriage.”

The article continues: ”

“David is the real deal,” said the Rev. Brad Atkins, a prominent pastor in South Carolina. “He really believes that this is his calling.”

And it is here in Iowa, where conservatives traditionally have an inordinate influence in the state’s Republican presidential caucuses, that evangelicals have their best shot of shaping the field. In what he says is his effort to restore “our Christian heritage,” Mr. Lane’s American Renewal Project has already shown its influence in Iowa by helping to unseat three State Supreme Court justices who voted to allow same-sex marriage.

But Mr. Lane’s ambitions are national — he focused on battleground states in 2014 and has built an email list of 100,000 pastors around the country.

His goal now is to get 1,000 pastors to run for public office, and their potential support has drawn a virtual pilgrimage of conservative candidates eager to join the tours Mr. Lane organizes to Israel and to his “Pastors and Pews” events.”

2016 is not that far off, and Democrats need to be aware that the ongoing pursuit against regular Iowans values will continue.

Gov. Walker believes low wage earners don’t deserve more

In a recent article on the Daily Kos Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker believes minimum wage earners don’t deserve more income.  One can only hope that that these and other politicians find their own wages lowered to minimum wage and they learn to live within these means and then decide if it is indeed a living wage.

“Walker’s administration has rejected the request of a group of low-wage workers to use an unusual Wisconsin law saying that the state’s minimum wage has to be a living wage. The reasoning for refusing to raise the minimum wage? They’re claiming $7.25 is a living wage:

“The department has determined that there is no reasonable cause to believe that the wages paid to the complainants are not a living wage,” Robert Rodriguez, administrator of DWD’s Equal Rights Division, wrote in the denial letter.”

 

Woodbury County Democrats, promoting democratic ideals and greater participation.