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SharonClark's Journal
SharonClark's Journal
March 14, 2021

Opinion: Joe Biden's covid-19 relief bill is an extraordinary achievement

Opinion by Helaine Olen

The just-signed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act is incredibly popular. Polling shows that 7 out of 10 Americans support it. A majority of men and women say they are in favor of it. People of all ages, races and income brackets give it a thumbs up in large numbers.

This is extraordinary. In a nation where people who need to rely on welfare to get by are routinely derided as “takers,” Joe Biden and congressional Democrats sold the nation on the largest expansion of the social safety net since the Great Society initiatives of the 1960s, and they did it in less than two months.

Republicans have been left in the dust, reduced to whining about how the plan is not “prudent” — to quote Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.) — when they aren’t falsely attempting to take credit for parts of it, as Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker did.

Here’s the secret: By ignoring decades of so-called Washington wisdom about the need for narrowly targeted aid and small steps forward, this legislation allows us to sidestep our societal tripwires around race, poverty and who we think is deserving of a government assist.

The American Rescue Plan assumes that almost everyone can use a helping hand. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, roughly 85 percent of adults and children will receive a stimulus payment — meaning, as Biden said in his Thursday night speech, that “a typical family of four earning about $110,000 will get checks for $5,600.” The yearlong expansion of the earned-income tax credit will significantly reduce child poverty, and the additional child tax credit will impact more than 90 percent of households with children under the age of 17. And for those who receive their health insurance through a federal exchange, not only are subsidies upped for two years but premium payments also are capped at 8.5 percent of household income. There’s $39 billion in aid for child-care centers, and $29 billion in help for restaurants.
Now our new president has raised the bar — and then some — for what kind of help Americans can expect from our government in future economic downturns. Yes, many of the benefits for individuals and families are temporary, but, it’s almost certain that the expansion will create a large constituency for making them permanent. This bill is a remarkable and amazing achievement.

source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/14/joe-bidens-covid-19-relief-bill-is-an-extraordinary-achievement/
March 12, 2021

There goes Ari Melber again.

Interrupting a conversation about covid relief with Michelle Goldberg and Eugene Robinson to interject rap “Moneybag Joe” and hip hop.

I still can’t figure him out.

March 12, 2021

Anti-Transgender legislation in Iowa didn't make it out of the "funnel"

It's been a tough legislative session, but one important positive is that every single, terrible anti-transgender bill didn't make it past last Friday's "funnel" deadline.
It was appalling and harmful that these bills were ever introduced:
• Legislation that would ban trans kids from competing in sports with other students of the same gender.
• A bill that would prohibit doctors from giving gender-affirming care to minors.
• Legislation that would ban students at school from using the restroom that matches their gender.
• So-called "religious freedom" legislation that would allow businesses and others to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, among others, because they felt their religion permits them to do so.

It seems that collectively the Iowa Legislature has gotten the memo that these discriminatory laws are bad for the economy. States that have passed laws that brutally discriminate against LGBTQ communities have been boycotted and seen their economies damaged.
We also hope the Iowa Legislature has also gotten this crucially fundamental message: LGBTQ and transgender people belong in Iowa and they deserve to be treated with the same respect and equal treatment as anyone else.

source: ACLU Iowa Alert

March 10, 2021

Rachel Maddow Names The 'Petty' Donald Trump Move She'd Love To See Joe Biden Copy

This is so damn hilarious. If only wishing could made it happened.

“Get petty for once. It’s OK. This is a big effing deal,” the MSNBC anchor urged President Joe Biden.
President Joe Biden apparently isn’t planning on following in the footsteps of his predecessor, ex-President Donald Trump, in terms of having his name plastered on stimulus checks aimed at assisting Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow thinks he should.

“It’s obviously sort of a petty move for a president to do something like that,” Maddow said Tuesday. “But honestly, as I get older, as I live through more and more years of Republican governance, I’m getting more and more petty all the time about stuff like this.”

Maddow noted how GOP presidents “put their name on everything” and Democratic presidents are “all modest.”

“If I was a Democratic president, I would put my name on that check with a big hologram on it, too, so it glowed when you open the envelope,” she said. “I’d make it like one of those greeting cards that plays a song when you pull it out of the envelope and it would sing my name.”

“I would put sequins on the thing,” she continued. “It would be all about remembering which party made this happen and which party all voted against it.”

“But like I said, as I develop an increasingly severe case of the O-L-D, I’m getting cattier and pettier with each passing day, and Biden is not doing that,” Maddow concluded. “It’s why somebody like him is president and nobody asks my advice on these things. Get petty for once. It’s OK. This is a big effing deal, as someone once said.”

March 10, 2021

Andrea Sahouri, IA reporter, judge is granting a defense request to include a spoliation instruct

"The judge is granting a defense request to include a spoliation instruction, telling the jury that, if they find police and prosecutors intentionally destroyed or failed to preserve body camera video of the arrests, they are allowed to infer the evidence not preserved would have been favorable to the defense.

"When I look at the totality of the evidence, I believe there is substantial evidence that a jury could infer that there was intentional spoliation of evidence," Judge Lawrence McLellan said."


March 10, 2021

Latino civil rights group [LULAC] sues over Iowa's new election law

I'm so proud LULAC is working with Marc Elias on this lawsuit.

A Latino civil rights group, backed by Democratic attorneys, says it has filed a lawsuit challenging a new Iowa law shortening the state's early and Election Day voting, among other restrictions.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law Monday, saying it would create transparency, accountability and give Iowans greater confidence in their elections.

But the suit argues that the law, which cuts the number of early voting days by 9 and gives Iowans one less hour to vote on Election Day, violates the Iowa Constitution's protections for the right to vote, free speech, free assembly and equal protection.
. . .
"Taken as a whole, the bill targets and restricts virtually every aspect of the voting process — registering to vote, requesting and submitting absentee ballots and even in-person voting on Election Day," the lawsuit states.

source: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/09/lulac-sues-iowa-voting-law-signed-gov-kim-reynolds-constitutional-rights-latino-civil-rights-group/4643153001/?utm_source=desmoinesregister-Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_briefing&utm_term=hero
March 8, 2021

"Democrats will only get credit for doing the right thing . . . if people know about it"

Weird title, but contains good rsources.

How about some $1,400 chicken soup?
Published by Tom Sullivan on March 8, 2021
. . .
Dan Pfeiffer reminds Democrats not to expect the rescue package to sell itself: “Democrats will only get credit for doing the right thing, and Republicans will only get the blame for doing the wrong thing if people know about it.”

That’s more challenging than it sounds, he adds. So far, few Americans know anything about the plan. It is up to us to make sure they do, Pfeiffer says and offers some tools:

Here are some assets to share on social media to help flood the zone with the good news of the American Rescue Act:

A video from President Biden discussing the provisions of the American Rescue Plan. https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1368243640787734537

A chart from the Center for American Progress breaking down what’s in the bill. https://twitter.com/capaction/status/1368254040035880963?s=10

A graphic from Senator Bernie Sanders to share with your progressive friends and family dissatisfied with the final outcome. https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1368256311549435911?s=20

A lot of research from the 2020 cycle showed that the more specific the information the better. This thread from Eric Levitz of New York Magazine has a lot of good information about the impact of the bill. https://twitter.com/EricLevitz/status/1368233889823678464?s=20

A lot of people are sharing images and news about their family and friends getting vaccinated. Let’s include a thank you to President Biden and Democrats and use the moment as evidence that elections matter.

source: https://digbysblog.net/
March 8, 2021

Controversial bills affecting Iowa's image, hurting business and workforce recruitment, leaders say

The farmers and evangelicals don't care because they'll still get their welfare from Grassley and Ernst.

Several bills circulating through the Legislature this year may be damaging Iowa’s brand and hindering the state’s goal of attracting and retaining top talent, some business leaders say.

In some cases, those bills have caused companies to cross Iowa off their list of places they were considering.

Bills such as those that would require transgender people to use restrooms of their assigned sex at birth in schools and those that would ban tenure at the state regents’ universities, are damaging Iowa’s reputation on the national and world stage, the leaders said.

Even if the bills don’t become law, they’re sending a message that Iowa is not a welcoming state, said Geoff Wood, founder of Gravitate Coworking, who raised his concerns during Wednesday’s Capital Crossroads meeting and discussed them further with the Business Record.
. . .
During the Capital Crossroads meeting, Wood said the issue of Iowa’s brand is “really being felt in the entrepreneurial community based on what’s happening in the Legislature.”

“People are rethinking about coming to Iowa because of the brand they see with our state,” Wood said. “We may know a lot of these things won’t actually become law, but they’re one step from becoming law and maybe next session they will, so people are thinking those through.”

Rick Sanders, president and director of the Iowa State University Research Park, said during Wednesday’s meeting that ISU was in competition with Purdue and the University of Illinois on three different projects with companies that are considering moving innovation centers to one of the institutions.

“Three weeks ago we felt we were right there; now all three have dropped us … and two of them were bold enough to tell us one of the primary reasons they dropped us is what’s going on at the Capitol right now,” Sanders said.
. . .

Article at: https://businessrecord.com/Content/Default/All-Latest-News/Article/Controversial-bills-affecting-Iowa-s-image-hurting-business-and-workforce-recruitment-leaders-say/-3/248/92678?fbclid=IwAR1kptBPZkiikssfbN0bbA6Jk07mFj2beO1ae_UjppwXoVyhwIHl6X_FKZY
March 3, 2021

Des Moines Public Works crews see 2000% increase in potholes reports.

It's bad out there...

Public Works Director Jonathan Gano said he expects this pothole season to be worse than usual, "We've received over 750 reports already this week and don't expect to slow down filling potholes anytime soon." To report a pothole you can call the Public Works customer service line at 515-283-4950, submit a request online or via the myDSM mobile app.

source: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/picture-gallery/news/2021/03/03/pothole-reports-increase-2-000-according-des-moines-public-works/6892230002/
March 3, 2021

The Supreme Court may be set to gut voting rights -- but Democrats can still stop them

I get frustrated when Dems don't use all the tools available to them. We need HR1 to pass.

The GOP-dominated SCOTUS longs to end the Voting Rights Act. Democrats can save it by nuking the filibuster

th the news cycle as nuts as it is — the constant pandemic news, the ongoing fallout from the Capitol insurrection, conservatives pretending to believe Dr. Seuss was "canceled" — it likely passed many people's attention that the Supreme Court listened to arguments Tuesday that may signal the end of voting rights as we know them.

On the surface, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee may not seem like a big deal. The cases address partisan fights over rules in Arizona disallowing third party ballot collection and requiring ballots cast in the wrong precinct to be thrown out entirely, regulations that don't seem, on their surface, like earth-shattering assaults on the ability of most voters to cast ballots. But voting rights experts fear that the particulars of the Arizona restrictions are not really what's at stake in the case, which is likely to be ruled on this summer.

Instead, the concern is that the Republican-majority Supreme Court is going to use these cases to issue a broad ruling that will be used to destroy what is left of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, opening the door to a flood of voting restrictions targeting the ability of certain classes of people — such as young people and people of color — to vote. If that happens, it could further entrench minority rule over the U.S., making it nearly impossible for Democrats to hold substantial power, despite routinely winning the majority of votes in federal elections.

The good news is that Democrats, at this moment, have the power to stop this from happening, by passing the For the People Act, otherwise known as H.R. 1.
. . .

Source: https://www.salon.com/2021/03/03/the-supreme-court-may-be-set-to-gut-voting-rights---but-democrats-can-still-stop-them/

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