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Member since: Sat Sep 26, 2015, 03:46 PM
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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/

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/

On a party-line vote of 30 to 18, the Iowa Senate approved Senate File 413

from the Polk County Democratic Party Weekly Memo...
The Republicans approved every method to disenfranchise voters that they could think of. They reduced the number of days to request an absentee ballot from 120 days to 70 days. They prohibited the Secretary of State from sending out absentee ballot requests. They prohibited county auditors from mailing absentee ballot requests unless they are specifically requested. Auditors now have 20 days to send out ballots instead of 29 days. Polls now must close at 8:00 PM instead of 9:00 PM. Ballots received after 8:00 must be discarded, even if they are postmarked before that deadline. That would have disqualified 6,500 votes last November. Auditors are restricted to just one ballot dropbox per county.

Only the voter, someone living in their household, an immediate family member, a caretaker, or an authorized staffer in a care facility can deliver sealed and signed ballots. People can only vote early for 17 days now. That number was 40 days before Iowa Republicans started cutting them down in 2017. County auditors can no longer set up satellite voting locations as they see fit. They can only be initiated by official petition. Lastly, registered voters will be moved to inactive status as soon as they miss one general election under the new legislation. Being moved to inactive status is the first step to being booted off the voting rolls entirely.

Source: https://www.bleedingheartland.com/2021/02/24/revised-gop-election-bill-would-exclude-thousands-more-iowa-voters/

Tyson Foods says it will vaccinate 'thousands' of its Iowa meatpacking workers this week

It's about time these workers were protected. Thank you Joe Biden for taking COVID seriously.

Tyson Foods announced Monday that it will vaccinate "thousands" of its employees at Iowa plants this week.

The company said in a news release that a business partner and local health organizations will hold on-site COVID-19 vaccinations at meatpacking plants in Columbus Junction, Council Bluffs, Independence, Perry, Sioux City, Storm Lake and Waterloo.

Many of those plants, where a combined 13,000 employees work, were sites of early coronavirus outbreaks. Tyson Foods partnered with Matrix Medical to administer the vaccine to workers.

“We’re pleased to offer our team members convenient access to the vaccine, and we appreciate the state of Iowa recognizing the essential role they play in feeding the world," Tom Brower, senior vice president of health and safety at Tyson Foods, said in a statement Monday.
. . .

more at source: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2021/03/01/tyson-foods-vaccinate-thousands-iowa-employees-week-covid-outbreak-matrix-medical-workers/6867363002/

Roger Stone-connected "Stop the Steal" group hasn't filed IRS reports -- and its agent disappeared

Pro-Trump group's registered agent no longer works at her law firm, and her LinkedIn page has been deactivated

A political nonprofit with ties to longtime Trump associate Roger Stone, which was supposedly created to challenge the 2020 election results, has missed two federal deadlines to disclose how much money it spent and received before and after the election. Furthermore, the law firm that employed the group's registered agent told Salon that she no longer works there, and her LinkedIn page appears deactivated.

"Committee to Stop the Steal" was registered with the federal government as a 527 tax-exempt political organization on Oct. 16, a few weeks before the election, by a clerk at a Southern California personal injury firm called Jensen & Associates. The IRS does not require 527 groups to disclose their donors, but it does mandate that they publicize how much money they raise and spend, including in post-election and year-end reports. Committee to Stop the Steal has missed the deadlines for both.

Jensen & Associates is led by Paul Rolf Jensen, a friend of Stone's who has represented the right-wing provocateur in an array of matters for at least two decades. The firm's website appears to have been unattended in recent months, but an archived version from last February does not mention political work. While Jensen himself isn't listed on the IRS registration for the Committee to Stop the Steal, the group's listed address is a UPS Store mailbox located near the firm's physical address, and its custodian of records, Ashley Maderos, worked at Jensen for a time as a post-bar law clerk.
. . .

More at: https://www.salon.com/2021/02/19/roger-stone-connected-stop-the-steal-group-hasnt-filed-irs-reports--and-its-agent-disappeared/

Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Allow Fathers To Veto Abortions

Is there a companion bill to allow the pregnant woman to cut the impregnator's pecker off? That would solve his problem with those uppity women.

A bill introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly this week would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to request an injunction barring her from having an abortion.

The legislation, SB0494 in the Senate and HB1079 in the House, would require a court hearing to be held within 14 days of a petition being filed by the individual seeking an injunction.

At the hearing, if the man can prove that he is the biological father and that there is a “reasonable probability” that the woman would obtain an abortion, the court shall issue an injunction prohibiting her from terminating the pregnancy. Proof of parenthood requires only that the petitioner acknowledges paternity. A DNA test is not required.

If the woman violates the injunction by obtaining an abortion, the court may hold her in civil or criminal contempt. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

The legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Mark Pody (R) and state Rep. Jerry Sexton (R). . . .

more at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tennessee-lawmakers-introduce-bill-allow-fathers-veto-abortions_n_6025ae58c5b6f88289fa797a

Catholic church in Iowa, state's biggest religious organization, got $50 million from COVID-19 bailo

As a taxpayer, this infuriates me.

The Catholic Church apparently is Iowa's largest recipient of money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program intended to help small businesses, a Des Moines Register review of the program shows.

The finding comes as a new investigation by the Associated Press shows that the U.S. arm of the church received at least $3 billion through the forgivable loan program, even as many dioceses remained financially healthy.

In Iowa, the church's total was more than $50 million, including more than $40 million for the components for the four Catholic dioceses and $8.7 million more that went to four Catholic colleges controlled by other church entities.

Those state and national totals appear to make a church with thousands of employees in Iowa alone the largest beneficiary — both statewide and nationally — of a program intended to help companies with fewer than 500 employees pay workers as the COVID-19 pandemic raged last summer. . . .

Iowa's more than 500,000 practicing Catholics make up the state’s largest religious denomination, according to the U.S. Religion Census, accounting for roughly 1 in 3 Iowa churchgoers,

The total the Paycheck Protection Program paid to the dioceses was roughly the same as to all other recipients listing themselves as religious organizations, combined. Without special treatment, the Catholic Church would not have received nearly so much, the AP found. . . .

Catholic officials lobbied the Trump administration to free religious organizations from the so-called affiliation rule that typically disqualifies applicants with more than 500 workers from being treated as a small business.

Without that break, many diocese would have missed out because — between their head offices, parishes, schools and other affiliates — their employee count would exceed the limit.

The Rev. James Connell, a former administrator in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, was among the experts who reviewed the findings of the AP investigation, and questioned why the church sought the exemption.

“Was it want or need? Need must be present, not simply the want," Connell told the AP. "Justice and love of neighbor must include the common good."

Connell said the AP’s findings convinced him that Catholic entities did not need government aid — especially when thousands of small businesses were permanently closing. . . .

More at: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2021/02/11/iowa-catholic-church-got-pandemic-aid-meant-for-small-businesses-covid-paycheck-protection/4382101001/

Iowa Gov Reynolds lifting Iowa's mask requirements, gathering limits Sunday

I am so fucking mad at her insanity.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will lift the state's limited mask requirement on Sunday, along with the social distancing requirements and other COVID-19 mitigation measures she had in place for businesses and social gatherings.

Many states had already mask mandates for months before Reynolds ordered Iowans to wear masks in certain social settings in November. According to reports, 36 states still require people to wear masks, although North Dakota's requirement expired last month and Mississippi's mandate only covers counties with high virus infection rates.

Reynolds latest coronavirus emergency proclamation, issued Friday afternoon and effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday, instead "strongly encourages Iowans, businesses and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health," Reynolds' spokesperson, Pat Garrett, said in an email.

A news release from Reynolds' office did not explain why she is relaxing the restrictions.

The lifted requirements come as Iowa's daily reported case numbers and hospitalizations have shown declines since their spike in November, and less than a week after the state opened up vaccine eligibility to hundreds of thousands of Iowans.

Still, the state reported another 804 confirmed cases Friday morning, and on Thursday the state surpassed the 5,000 deaths mark. Meanwhile, the coronavirus vaccine supply remains limited and in high demand, with Reynolds on Thursday saying Iowa ranks 47th in the nation in per capita vaccine distribution from the federal government and 46th in the rate of administering vaccines to residents.

Also, on Monday, state officials confirmed a new, more transmissible version of the coronavirus was now in Iowa.


Lindsey Graham's latest defense of Donald Trump is a racist attack on Kamala Harris

As Donald Trump’s second impeachment approaches, Lindsey Graham has made a series of extremely odd threats. On Tuesday, he suggested that should Democrats call a single witness, Republicans would call in the FBI to give a full accounting of how white supremacist groups had planned for weeks to carry out violent acts on Jan. 6. The reason that Graham thinks that this is a threat which should concern Democrats is because Fox News and other right-wing sources have been working hard to convince their viewers that the entire impeachment is just about things Trump said at the “Stop the Steal” rally just before the assault on the Capitol. So if anyone was doing pre-planning for the insurrection, that lets Trump off the hook. Except that’s not at all what the impeachment documents actually say.

It’s not clear if someone actually made that point to Graham, but when he was questioned about the impeachment on Wednesday, Donald Trump’s most loyal senator was ready to voice an even more obscure response—one that involves a long-running, and racist, Republican lie. If Democrats call even a single witness to discuss events on Jan. 6, Graham promised that Republicans would turn the table and … use the impeachment trial to attack Vice President Kamala Harris.

. . .

Source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/2/4/2013925/-Lindsey-Graham-latest-defense-of-Donald-Trump-is-a-racist-attack-on-Kamala-Harris?detail=emaildkre

Rep Don Bacon (R-NE) took over MTP Daily

It was a long section where he was allowed to talk without push back or even hard questions about “people want civility”, “Democrats will regret going after Greene because we’ll be back on power in 2 years and go after Maxine Waters for telling people to confront us at restaurants”, “ how he thinks he’s a good guy because he isn’t Qanon and he voted to certify the election”.

Todd thanked him for coming on his show “because it’s important to hear all sides”.

Then he blew him a kiss.
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