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!

Greg Guelcher teaches history with relevance

Greg Guelcher is a local college professor who has a passion for teaching his students history and utilizes his interest in politics to give them a relevant viewpoint. He brings these stories to life with political memorabilia he has collected over the years.

Guelcher is also the vice chair of the Woodbury County Democratic Party and believes in a large tent where all views are important, and should not be held hostage to ideology, taking a more moderate stance to life’s issues.

Sen. Joni Ernst to make the “squeal”

It was announced the other day that Iowa’s first elected woman U.S. Senator, Joni Ernst, will make the rebuttal speech for the Republican party after Pres. Obama’s State of the Union address.

Iowans will get the chance to hear what she has to say and whether she tries to maintain that centrist view she says she had while campaigning or if she has tacked to the right after being elected.

National Public Radio made an interesting report about Republicans chosen to respond to Democratic Presidential State of the Union addresses.

NPR reports that Ernst was a GOP long shot to begin with during the primary season in Iowa until her TV ad began squealing and then picked up traction, although as a candidate representing a state she ditched a lot of opportunities to talk with those constituents through their representatives known as the free press.

NPR reported “Ernst was a long shot a year ago, stuck in the pack of other Republican wannabes. Then she aired a TV ad in which she smilingly talked about castrating hogs in her early days on the farm. In case you missed the portent, in the ad Ernst said she’d know how to “cut pork” in Washington and “make ‘em squeal.”

Soon the Ernst campaign was the talk of Iowa and the national political class that keeps a weather eye on the Hawkeye State. Late in the season, Ernst had some rough weeks and ran afoul of some in the Iowa media. In the closing weeks, she skipped editorial board meetings, even at the state’s powerful Des Moines Register. She often sails past reporters now in the Capitol, smiling but answering no queries.

Even this week, at the Republican retreat in Hershey, Pa., where her SOTU role was announced, she did not take questions at a press conference.”

The NPR piece is an interesting read because it details what became of the members of the GOP party after they made the rebuttal speech after Democratic Presidents gave the State of Union Address. Only Susan Collins, Paul Ryan, Marc Rubio and Cathy McMorris Rodgers remain active members of Congress after giving the rebuttal speech. Most became marginalized and some later convicted of crimes. Not a stellar achievement.

So it will be interesting to see what Sen. Ernst has to say, her poise in saying it and how well she reads her teleprompter.

Koch Brothers bow shot to the GOP

The Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity group is sending a strong message to the GOP members of Congress and elsewhere as reported by National Public Radio.

It reported: “Tim Phillips, president of AFP, said at a Washington press conference that congressional Republicans “failed miserably” a decade ago, especially on cutting the federal budget. “They’ve been given a second chance by the American people,” he said, “and we’re going to hold them accountable. We’re determined about that.”

The agenda covers three areas: taxes, including repeal of the estate or death tax; energy, headlined by a call to build the Keystone XL pipeline; and health care, which includes repealing the Affordable Care Act. Phillips noted that Washington has debated all of the issues for years.

AFP is best known for its TV advertising and its financing by billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch and other, undisclosed, wealthy donors. AFP is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, not a political committee, and thus isn’t required to disclosure its contributors.

The social welfare agency wants to maintain that welfare for its private donors and sponsors, which more than likely are those north of the 1% dollar mark. Rich people need all the welfare they can obtain through tax breaks and subsidies for their businesses (like oil subsidies, unlike ethanol subsidies) so they can maintain that 1%.

NPR’s reports continued saying that  ”until now, AFP has almost completely avoided the Republican Party’s internal battles — a stance that seems ready to change with the emphasis on “accountability.” Phillips said AFP will use grass roots and a variety of other avenues to pressure Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“Hopefully it will be encouraging,” he said. “But in cases where we need to hold them accountable, we’ll look at everything. But for today, let’s just say we’re going to hold them accountable.”

Well, it appears that these Republicans who probably abhor shadow governments are planning on using their own form of shadow government to achieve the ends to policy matters they find greatly important for retaining their status quo, but not helpful to the majority of the citizens of the United States.

Vermonter stumps for inclusion in early caucus

Politics is a serious business. It determines the outcomes and fortunes of many lives, for good or ill.  And no matter what some say, money is an integral part of politics.

And so Vermonter political cartoonist Jeff Danziger spoke to that issue of money in a recent piece in the Washington Post. And he made no bones about it, he believes Vermont should go for a piece of that political pie and the economics it represents when it comes to being the first in the nation to caucus. And even though it makes light about a very serious topic, in the end he just wants to see his state share in the spoils.

Danziger quips “It’s not only the money that the New Hampshire primary brings in that bothers me. It’s the . . . well, okay, it’s the money. In the run-up to the vote in 2016, New Hampshire’s television stations will be rolling in dough, its restaurants will be crowded with journalists and hangers-on, and its merchants’ registers will sing.

Meanwhile, we here in Vermont, who, God knows, are much better equipped to make an intelligent decision about the future of the country, are ignored. Worse, we are forced to watch salty old New Hampshire men crackle wise to the candidates and floor credulous news crews with their cranky humor. But actually it’s the money.

The money is why New Hampshire has maintained its first-in-the-nation status despite attempts to dislodge it. New Hampshire’s legislature passed a law to make its vote first in the nation no matter how early it has to be scheduled. It has frustrated efforts to create true regional primaries by insisting that it retain its privileged perch.

Let’s face facts. New Hampshire and certain other states (Delaware comes to mind) have always opted for lucrative schemes over honest financial planning. Delaware has its dicey incorporation laws and soaks everyone who’s forced to drive its short stretch of interstate. New Hampshire, from its early days, was in it for other people’s money, too. It did everything possible to sell as much liquor as possible to the passing public. It had the nation’s first lottery, preying on Americans’ weakness for the promise of riches without labor. And that was back when lotteries were thought to be gambling, a sign of human frailty; now we know they’re actually not gambling in the usual sense because you have almost no chance of winning.

 In short, New Hampshire — the Grabbit State — turned the primary system into a scheme for selling more lottery tickets and liquor. Someone in its legislature, some crotchety old spotted loon, ruminating in his backhouse, realized that politicians’ lust for early approval could be turned into a quadrennial cash cow. The important thing was that New Hampshire be first. Iowans muscled in with their caucuses, but a lot of the caucus decisions are based on whether some farmwife put enough booze in the stroganoff. Caucuses are good-natured gab-fests. Primaries are ballots. Plus, as we saw last time, Iowans can’t count.”

Nebraska, a Democrat’s nightmare and perpetual hope

A Mary Pipher wrote an opinion piece that ran in the New York Times recently. She talked about the crushing defeat Democrats annually and perpetually face from their Republican counterparts.

She writes about a continued stuggle, but also with a badge of honor, about fighting for what they believe in and can accomplish, even in a small way. Something all Democrats should respect and take into account as they look to 2016.

Pipher writes, “Today pockets of progressives live in Lincoln and Omaha, and we have a handful of statewide groups. I am part of a group that has been meeting for five years. We originally came together to stop the Keystone XL pipeline from crossing our Sand Hills and Ogallala Aquifer, a cause that has brought together farmers, ranchers, urbanites, Republicans and Democrats, students and senior citizens. We are still fighting the tar sands pipeline, but we have expanded our mission to clean energy, environmental justice and the local food movement.

The old-timers in our group are the royalty of lost causes. Many of us have fought for decades for improvements in our schools and university, affordable health care, the abolition of the death penalty, immigration reform and workers’ rights. We have lost almost every battle. However, we have kept the Keystone XL pipeline out of our state and country for five years.

We are generally a resilient bunch. We know how to lose and keep working. Twelve to 15 of us meet once a month to report on our activities and to plan actions for the next month. We celebrate small victories and manage to keep one another cheerful and hopeful. We believe, to quote the Nebraska Farmers Union president, John K. Hansen, that “activism is not like planting corn and walking away, rather it’s like milking cows, something you do over and over again all year long.”

She and her  companions is what gives other Democrats sustained hope, that we continue to fight the good fight, and continue to move forward no matter the difficulty and uphill battle that comes with it.

GOP conservatives fearful of Sam Brownback

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback won his re-election bid. But a lot of conservatives are stopping short of congratulating him and the direction of his state as it continues to meet a financial crisis.

Politico calls it the Brownback effect.  ”Ohio Gov. John Kasich will roll out “responsible” tax plans that protect against revenue gaps. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Arizona’s new Republican governor are delaying big dreams of nixing the income tax as they face budget shortfalls. And Missouri Republicans, once jealous of their neighbor Kansas’ massive cuts, are thankful they trimmed less.”

“It’s a cautionary tale on a national scale … Many of us felt that [Kansas] had been too aggressive,” said Indiana Senate Majority Leader and tax committee chairman Brandt Hershman, who helped GOP Gov. Mike Pence cut corporate taxes last spring. “We all like low taxes … but we have to ensure the stability of a revenue stream to provide basic services that our citizens expect.”

One can only hope enough people nationally believe this in 2016 and decide a Republican national approach is too extreme.

 

Woodbury County Democrats, promoting democratic ideals and greater participation.