The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Posts Tagged ‘Iowa

Dazzling: Olbermann indicts elected officials on healthcare-funded campaigns

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Watch this video!

Keith Olbermann reveals the numbers behind those Senators and Congressmen and women who have funded their elections with health industry money, and who now deliver the goods by killing the public option.

I believe that Iowa’s own Chuck Grassley (who lately has joined in the “death panels” fabrication)  is among the top ten recipients of health industry contributions in the Senate.  Sen. Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, received more campaign money from the industry than from his home state.

The public option is the single greatest cost-cutting measure of this entire process.  It creates competition for an industry that operates in near-monopoly conditions. It takes the need to make a profit out of the choices doctors offer their patients.

It is good for Americans but bad for health industry millionaires.  And the CEOs are calling in their debts.

The politicians who rode industry money into office know what’s at stake:  choke the the public option, or find other money to fund your re-election.

Write your elected officials today.  Tell them you want the option to choose insurance that doesn’t connect care with profits.  You can find their addresses in the right sidebar, under the heading “E-mail.”

They’ve got the money.  But we cast the votes.

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Media: GOP ‘death panel’ claims like insisting ‘the earth is flat’

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Outstanding video:  News media anchors express astonishment that GOP leaders (Iowa’s own Chuck Grassley being today’s lead) would be so brazen as to fabricate the “death panel” scare.  It’s like insisting “that the earth is flat.”

The truth? A Republican Congressman wrote a provision into one of the House bills calling for insurance payment to be available to people who want to consult their physician about making a living will.

That’s it.   The rest is simply made up.  There is no government involvement at all.

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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 »

IA Rep Steve King is sole objector to slave labor memorial at US Capitol

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Steve, Steve, Steve.

Iowa has a cherished history of getting it right early on civil rights issues. Why must you so disgrace us?

clipped from www.bleedingheartland.com

Congressman Steve King showed us again on Tuesday why Esquire magazine named him one of the 10 Worst members of Congress last year.
On Tuesday King distinguished himself as the only member of the U.S. House to vote against placing “a marker acknowledging the role that slave labor played in constructing the Capitol” in a “prominent location in the visitor center’s Emancipation Hall.” This was not a partisan resolution; 399 members of Congress voted yes, including certifiable wingnuts such as Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann.
King objects:

Our Judeo-Christian heritage is an essential foundation stone of our great nation and should not be held hostage to yet another effort to place guilt on future Americans for the sins of some of their ancestors.

Reading King’s statement reminded me of Esquire’s observation:

King believes himself to be clever, and his list of idiot declarations is probably the longest in Washington.

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Written by Monte

July 21, 2009 at 8:46 am

Iowa tightens up on factory-farm water polluters

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Good news from Blog for Iowa: A renewed and extended anti-pollution bill bans spreading of liquid manure on frozen and snow-covered ground over a longer part of the year than ever before.  The bill has passed the Iowa House and is expected to pass unchanged in the Senate.
clipped from www.blogforiowa.com
Victory for Clean Water!  Iowa House Passes Bill Extending Ban on Manure Application

Due to widespread pressure from members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) and other environmental groups from all across the state, the Iowa House passed SF 432 with strong amendments today. This bill will ban the application of factory farm liquid manure on snow-covered ground during the winter months [extending the ban to start December 21, vs. February 1 in the original version] and bans application on frozen ground between Feb. 1 and April 1.

In the past few years, Iowa has nearly doubled the number of waterways on the impaired waterways list and … the United States Geological Survey pointed to Iowa as one of the leading contributors to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

The bill also requires the DNR to give progress reports to the appropriate legislative committees on the impact on Iowa’s water quality. The bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass as is

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Our beautiful state has become the sewer of the midwest.  There’s a long ways to go before we Iowans can hold our heads up downstream, but this is an important and hopeful development.

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Ads target GOP senators who might block stimulus bill

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After the bill passed the House without Republican support, a series of ads and publicity campaigns will ask voters to contact GOP senators, enlisting their support.  This one’s directed toward Iowa‘s Chuck Grassley:

Tax cuts and smaller government won’t put people back to work, won’t create demand for manufactured or retail goods, won’t rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, won’t forestall home foreclosures, won’t return money to retirement portfolios, won’t help people get the education they need to care for their families.

Every economist that I’ve read sees stimulus as the best hope for stopping our economic free-fall.  Is this the time for ideological mantras —and partisan politics—or for taking our best shot, together?


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Written by Monte

January 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm