Congress Has Dithered Long Enough On Guns

How many more will it take? How many more mass shootings? How many more bodies of adults and children will need to pile up — in the aisles of retail stores, in churches, in the classrooms and corridors of schools, in offices, in movie theaters, in nightclubs? How many more times must this happen before our leaders in Washington, D.C., do what is so long overdue and work on solutions — and not brush off any discussion because it’s too soon after a tragedy to “engage in politics”? How many more massacres need to occur before Senate Majority Leader Mitch […]

Coming This Week: Singing The Sound Of Progress

Progress Iowa will take the stage this week to sing the Sound of Progress. The musical performance will include adapted versions of familiar songs heard in Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Wiz and more.  It opens with a version of the familiar song “Look Down” from Les Mis’. From there, the musical goes on to send a message about President Donald Trump using songs from other popular musicals such as Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and The Wiz. “It shows that we need to fight back against President Trump and the right wing and get people off the bench,” Progress Iowa […]

Iowa Republicans Need To Stop Immigrant Fear-Mongering

Enough already. In yet another weekend where it seems like the country is coming apart, terrorist gunmen in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio massacred innocent people. Details are just starting to emerge about the Dayton murderer, but we already have a disturbing — and all too familiar — profile of the El Paso killer. A 21-year-old white male, Patrick Crusius drove nine hours from his Dallas metro home to intentionally seek out and murder Hispanic people. Authorities believe a manifesto posted online before the massacre is, in fact, his, one in which he makes clear his racist intentions. “This […]

What Joni Ernst’s Health Care Votes Mean To Iowan Laura Wright

As Republican-led efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act [ACA] continue, living with a chronic illness has become increasingly difficult. While some may still have a solid health insurance plan through their employer, that plan is tied to employment and still includes deductibles. What happens when an employment contract ends or a job is lost? That is the situation Laura Wright faced, and what has inspired her to become an activist on the health care scene, pushing back on members of Congress who continue to vote to limit coverage and tear down the ACA. “My job ended,” said Wright. “The […]

Trump’s EPA Pulls Another Bait-And-Switch On Farmers

In a whirlwind week for trade and agricultural policy, the EPA’s Andrew Wheeler defended their approach to Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) in a closed-door meeting with farm state senators. In other parts of a busy day, President Trump approved $16 billion in trade aid for 2019, but 2018 trade-aid analysis shows that a majority of the payments went to the biggest, most successful farms. SRE Update: EPA to Continue Down Current Path According to four sources, Wheeler said in the private meeting that the program has had no negative impact on ethanol demand. This comes just a day after a […]

Iowa Educators Flee To Union-Strong Minnesota For Better Pay

Kindergarten teacher Kathie Card used to work in Iowa. She still lives here. She has a house in Armstrong, in Emmet County. But now she’s teaching in Fairmont, Minnesota, ever since the Iowa legislature stripped public employees of their right to collectively bargain in 2017. “When things started changing, my district was very small and they kept putting us in pay freezes,” Card said. “Things started changing as far as the bargaining and everything, and my daughter teaches in Fairmont, so I said I think I’m ready for a change.” “That was it in a nutshell,” Card said. Joe Brown, […]

New Iowa Poll: Talk Science To Me, Candidates

Science-related issues may not be a topic voters automatically associate with their list of policy priorities, but according to a new poll, it’s a subject a majority of Iowans want politicians to address. A June poll conducted by Research!America and Science Data found 74% of the 802 Iowans surveyed believe “it is important for the presidential candidates to talk about how science and scientific research will affect their policymaking decisions.” The online Iowa Science Survey found 79% of respondents “would like candidates to have a plan that addresses climate change specifically.” “Science policies related to our health, environment, economy, and […]

A Messaging Idea: Capitalism With A Conscience

Guest post from Bob Raker, a Polk County Democratic activist. As usual, economic policy will be an important topic in the 2020 election debate. We can expect that Russian Bots and the Republican Party will flood the media universe with attacks that label Democratic Party policies as socialist. At a time when silly phrases such as “lock her up” seem to resonate with some voters, these attacks could be troublesome. Democrats may want to establish their own tagline. A more accurate description of the Democrats’ economic policy would be: CAPITALISM WITH A CONSCIENCE. Anyone who thinks the Democrats are the […]

Finance Committee Dems All Back Grassley Prescription Drug Bill

A bipartisan bill aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs was approved Thursday in the Senate Finance Committee led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley. A committee meeting spanning more than three hours ultimately gave way to a 19-9 vote in favor of the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019. The bill now is eligible for consideration before the full Senate, controlled by Grassley’s Republican Party. “This is the moment for the Senate to act,” said Grassley, a member of the chamber since 1981. “We have jurisdiction over all of Medicare and Medicaid, so what we do here today really […]

Iowa VA Workers Protest Privatization Attempts, Fight For Fair Contracts

Unionized VA workers walked out of the VA Hospital in Des Moines with picket signs Wednesday afternoon to protest the federal government’s attempt to privatize veteran healthcare services and to fight for fair contracts. More than 50 people, including hospital workers, retired workers, members of the Iowa Federation of Labor and presidential campaigns staffers chanted. “What do we want? Fair contracts! When do we want it? Now!” They held signs that said “We’re for workers rights” and “I stand with government workers.” Gregg James, the national vice president for the American Federation of Government Employees, said the picket line in […]