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Jim Wallis in Iowa City Sept. 13

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Stephen at Eastern Iowa Emergent Cohort writes:

Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author [of the God’s Politics blog and]Jim Wallis God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It, will give a free, public lecture 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 in the Main Lounge of the University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union, at the corner of Jefferson and Madison streets. The title of Wallis’ talk is “Biblical Faith and Political Values: A New Vision for America.”Here’s a synopsis: “Jim Wallis senses a profound hunger in America for a politics that appeals to our deepest hopes and values, that unites rather than divides. As an evangelical Christian, he shows how a full biblical faith can contribute to resolving the great moral and political issues of our times: poverty, peace, security, abortion, care of the earth, immigration and the rest.”

Thanks for the tip, Stephen!


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Written by Monte

September 3, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Iowa State Senators: “Grassley Should Start Listening to Iowans”

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The State Capitol of Iowa, featuring its golde...
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The Des Moines Register:

“The will of Iowans and the rest of America is marching steadily toward reform.”

The following is a guest opinion on health care reform by State Senators Jack Hatch and Joe Bolkcom that appeared in Saturday’s Des Moines Register. [I encountered it as a reprint at Blog for Iowa – Monte]

As we head into August, a few Washington lawmakers are standing in the way of health-care reform that America desperately needs. While patients are denied crucial treatment and families go bankrupt from medical bills, Sen. Charles Grassley and a cadre of his Senate colleagues have provoked a stir by steadfastly refusing to support the most essential piece of President Barack Obama’s proposal: a public health-insurance option. We think it’s time for Grassley to start listening to Iowans and work with the president for real health-care reform.

A public health-insurance option would introduce much needed competition into the health-insurance market, extending quality care to as many as 300,000 Iowans, while providing incentives to insurance companies to offer their current customers a better deal. Unfortunately, in a July 30 Des Moines Register editorial, Grassley said he opposes giving Americans the choice of a public option “because it is a pathway to a completely government-run system.” Read the rest of this entry »

Low income Iowans pay higher tax rates

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Hmm—and we thought taxation in America was progressive. None such here in my state. In fact, it’s tilted against those who have the least.

If you’re poor, you pay a higher net rate—especially in states that shift the burden away from income tax and onto sales tax. Details:[h/t Lori, via the newspaper of our youth, the Burlington Hawk-Eye.]

clipped from www.thehawkeye.com

Study finds low-income Iowans pay higher taxes

the bottom 60 percent of Iowa taxpayers pay roughly 10 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
Those in the top 1 percent, making more than $320,000 a year, pay 6.3 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the study said.

“The state sales tax has doubled in the last 25 years while we have made big cuts in income tax,” Ralston said. “This is not a good tradeoff if we want a tax system that better reflects a household’s ability to pay.”

For low-income families making less than $16,000 a year, 7.3 percent of the household income goes for sales and excise taxes. Those taxes consume 2 percent of those with household incomes about $127,000.

The report recommended that lawmakers once again expand the earned income tax credit that goes to the working poor, as well as allow local option income taxes to augment or replace local option sales taxes.
warned against any additional increases in the sales tax
the most regressive of taxes
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Now suppose you make $16,000 a year.  When you pay taxes, you pay them instead of something you need.  You don’t fill your prescriptions.  You hold off repairing your car.  You don’t even think about going to the dentist or paying for a haircut, or getting your kid’s teeth straightened.

And you make it.  Until one thing goes seriously wrong.

Say, the car’s transmission fails.  No chance Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

November 12, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Iowa stuns No. 3 Penn State

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Ahhhh.

clipped from nbcsports.msnbc.com

Iowa stuns No. 3 Penn State on last-second FG

Murray celebrates

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Penn State can’t blame the BCS for this.

Daniel Murray, who hadn’t made a field goal since the season opener, hit a 31-yarder with a second left and the Hawkeyes rallied to stun the third-ranked Nittany Lions 24-23.

He drilled it down the middle, sending Iowa’s freezing fans spilling onto the field.

“I’ve always dreamed about it,” said Murray, who grew up in Iowa City. “I kept hoping and hoping I’d get my chance.”

This was the biggest win for Iowa in years, its first against a top-five team since 1990. The Hawkeyes suffered through two seasons of mediocrity after finishing No. 8 in the country three years in a row.

The Hawkeyes had lost four games this season by a total of 12 points — and they got beat last week by Illinois on a 46-yard field goal with 24 seconds left
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Written by Monte

November 9, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Iowa

Darfur and East Iowa

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My friend Dan writes that he and his son are hiking in an Iowa City event to get shelter for Darfur refugees. Date is May 19. An $80 sponsorship buys an all-season tent for a family of five.

Tired of waiting for governments to do something? People change the world. Take a hike. Details here:


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Written by Monte

April 23, 2007 at 5:52 pm