Preventative Measures We Should Have In Place That Would Have Helped With COVID-19

Image result for COVID-19

COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus) is a global pandemic that is posing more cases exponentially. It has shut down many businesses (hopefully only temporarily) and has displaced millions of workers here in America.
In my opinion, there are a few steps that should have been implemented that could have helped detect and slow COVID-19. These things could also help American families not go bankrupt due to COVID-19.

1. Improved Medicare for All – IM4A would allow ALL Americans to be able to get tested and treated without the fear of life crippling debt. IM4A would have allowed us to get a handle on COVID-19 and could have prevented us from being where we are currently, exponential growth of COVID-19 (doubling every 4 days now).

2. Universal Basic Income – UBI would help ALL Americans weather the storm of being laid off (possibly indefinitely). This would help make sure American families do not lose their homes, will be able to continue to put food on their tables and keep up with utilities.

3. National Paid sick leave – National Paid sick leave follows a lot of the same benefits as UBI. It helps ALL Americans sustain extended unemployment due to illness, allowing making sure American families do not lose their homes, will be able to continue to put food on their tables and keep up with utilities.

4. Fund Meals on Wheels and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – MoW and SNAP are programs that help keep food on the table for our elderly and our children. This will free up money so that families with children or elderly people can better keep up with their mortgage / rent payments and utilities.

5. Invest more in government funded pharmaceutical research and development and force pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices instead of gouging people in need of medication. R&D is the reason a lot of pharmaceutical companies give for the excessive drug prices.

These are just a few ideas that would help the American people immensely if we had them implemented today. We should learn from what we are experiencing today with COVID-19 and implement these suggestions as soon as humanly possible so that when, not if, this or something like it happens again, we are much better prepared to weather the storm.

Congressional Republicans are Either Complicit with or Guilty of Treason

Here is a small sampling of the bullshit pulled in the US Congress to cover for DJT this week.
In the House of Representatives
  • Refused to subpoena DJT’s translator.
  • Refused to increase funding of election security despite US Intelligence warning, Mueller probe findings and DHS stating that Russia is gearing up to run a similar election interference on behalf of the Republican Party this November.
In the US Senate
  • John Cornyn (R-TX) blocked a resolution publicly supporting the conclusions of the intelligence community stating the Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of DJT.
  • Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked a resolution by Bernie Sander (I-VT) that called for the Senate to support the conclusions of the intelligence community about Russian hacking in the 2016 election. Paul accused Sanders of “Trump derangement” syndrome.
At best, it looks like Republicans in Congress are complicit with the treasonous acts of their party’s president. At worst, they are actively trying to undermine our democracy all in the name of greed and power.
Since Republicans refuse to do anything to protect our democracy, violating their oaths of office, we absolutely must replace every last one of them in the 2018 midterm election this November. The future of our democracy depends on the American people voting these traitors out of office.

SCOTUS Violated The Constitution With It’s Ruling On The Muslim Ban

First Amendment

In a 5-4 decision along partisan lines, The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in favor of Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “The Proclamation is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority.” While this Proclamation may be in the scope of Presidential authority, it is completely unconstitutional according to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

While the First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” logically one would deduce that, Congress being two thirds of the executive branch, this would also apply to the President of the United States (POTUS).

It is my feeling that the five conservative judges that ruled in favor of the Muslim ban, violating the Constitution, should face impeachment. This has nothing to do with them being Conservative, it has everything to do with their violation of the Constitution. However, the procedure relating to the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court is regulated by the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968, by the process of impeachment. There are two grounds for removal – proved misbehavior or incapacity. A judge of the Supreme Court can be removed from his office by an order of the President. The President can issue the removal order after an address by the Parliament, supported by a special majority of each House of Parliament (that is, a majority of the total membership of that House and a majority of not less than two thirds of the members of that house present and voting), has been presented to the President in the same session of Parliament for such a removal. The likelihood of this happening in our current political climate is less than zero.

For now, all we can do it #Resist and push for Liberal and Democratic Socialist candidates to represent the best interests of their constituents, not the padding of their pockets.


The Future Is Progressive

Progressive Future

Our predecessors brought forth some of the most progressive policies in generations. From the Civil War that help end slavery to the Civil Rights Movement that helped secure the legal rights for African Americans that other Americans already held to The Women’s Rights Movement and many more, The United States of America has had a history of pushing progressive agendas…for their time.

The progressive issues of the day include, but are not limited to, LGBTQ Rights, Single Payer Healthcare, a living wage and affordable education. In other words, fighting for the right to have a prosperous life, no matter your race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or national origin.

None of these ideas are outlandish and we have made some ground on a lot of these issues. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5-4) on Obergefell v. Hodges, stating bans on same-sex marriage and on recognizing same-sex marriages duly performed in other jurisdictions are unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. As for discriminating against members of the LGBTQ community, in many states this is still legal and there is still much that needs to be addressed to change this in these states.

One of the most important issues for many Americans is healthcare. A healthy population is usually a happier and more productive population. Today, people are being turned away from the medical needs and medications they need due to insurance companies dictating their eligibility and need instead of their doctors. Insurance companies do not care about the people that they are insuring. They only care about making profits in spite of the people they are insuring. The best idea I have heard of to date is Improved Medicare for All. Yes this would include a tax on both employees (2.2% of payroll) and employers (6.7% of payroll), but employees and employers wouldn’t be paying the insurance premiums and deductibles to insurance companies anymore. This would save the average American family $3,855 to $5,173 in annual health care costs and would be cheaper for the employer as well. To top it all off, it would provide healthcare for every American.

On June 25, 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed into law. The FLSA established minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. The last time the minimum wage was increased was to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. If our standard for minimum wages had kept pace with overall income growth in the American economy, it would now be $21.16 per hour. Knowing this, asking for an increase to $15.00 per hour really isn’t that much. Increasing the minimum wage would increase employee morale and work ethic, leading to an increase in productivity and reduced employee turnover and training. Raising the minimum wage would also boost the economy. Low-wage earners earning a living wage would allow them to have disposable income increasing consumer spending and boosting the economy. This has been proven in cities that have already increased their minimum wage.

Tuition free public college would allow for families that are less fortunate to acquire an education that could lead to higher paying jobs. Increasing taxes on the wealthy, that are already seeing record profits, would allow for this to happen. A better educated population is a happier and more productive population as well. Also, if you remember from the above paragraph, this would also boost the economy by increasing consumer spending. Another extremely important benefit of tuition free public colleges is it would rid students from crushing, lifelong debt. Without crushing, lifelong debt, graduates will be able to further boost the economy through consumer spending.

There are many other issues that Progressives want to address too, but these are some of the issues that are most important to me. Progressives are not the “Alt-Left” or extremists that right-wing media likes to portray us as. We are normal, everyday people that, most likely, hold a lot of the same concerns and hopes for the future of America. We are just more outspoken and active on addressing these issues.

Why Do I Still Fight?

4 February 2017, West Point Cadets tour the Permanent Exhibition.

I have been asked why, after all the shit I have been put through on the county level, I continue to participate in the Polk County Democratic Party. Sure there are other places that I can focus my energy, such as the Ankeny Area Democrats, Congressional District 3 Democratic Party or the State Democratic Party. Here is the thing, I am active in all 4.

So, why do I continue even though there have been targeted attacks on my character from the people in power in the Polk Count Democratic Party? Because they are transient, our communities and our party are not. Over time, those in power now will not be in power in the future, but our communities and our party will still be around and still need help fighting for the future of all our neighbors. That is why I continue.

Another question I have been asked, and I have already answered this in another post, is why do I fight for things that don’t necessarily effect me? Just because I am not directly effected by current policies doesn’t mean that it doesn’t effect someone that I know. Plus, when the community as a whole does better, we all do better. If we turn a blind eye as our elected representatives to openly attack our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, our sisters and brothers of color, our sisters and brothers of different religions and women’s reproductive and civil rights, it is only a matter of time until they come after everyone else.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, Martin Niemöller. The quote is as follows:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

If we stand idly by and allow our elected officials to go after those that can’t or won’t fight against them, then it is up to the rest of us to fight for them.

This is exactly why I continue on fighting within the Democratic Party even though the chair attacks my integrity and and character. This is OUR party, and I for one am here to stay no matter what some transient chair does or says. To those trying to push me out, keep trying if you want, but I am here to stay. I will continue to be on the front lines fighting for inclusion for all our sisters and brothers in all walks of life.

I Am Not A Single Issue Voter

Calvin and Hobbs Single Issue Voter
I am not a single issue voter. I know a lot of my Republican friends are. And for most, the one issue they vote on relates to their 2nd Amendment rights. If I were a single issue voter, it would be Healthcare, Education or ACTUAL Tax Reform (not the corporate tax giveaway that just passed). I would vote for a single issue that helps ALL Americans, not my desire to own a fucking firearm.
In all reality, Democrats aren’t “coming for your guns.” Democrats want to pass common sense gun legislation to keep guns out of the hands of would-be domestic terrorists so that we can avoid another Columbine or another Sandy Hook or another Vegas or any other of a unfathomable number of other mass shootings that happen every year.
Today, in what used to be the greatest country in the world, we are failing our fellow Americans by being the only industrialized country on the planet to not provide free and inclusive medical care as a right to our citizens.
The US used to be the country to strive to be in regards to education. Today, we rank 14th out of 40 countries in education. It is time to fully fund education in the US and this DOES NOT mean funding private schools. Private schools are called private for a reason, that reason is because they are supposed to be PRIVATELY funded, not publicly.
We are also, as the wealthiest country on the planet, taxing our lower and middle class citizens to the point where they can not afford to live, while giving truck loads of money to the top 1% and corporations that DO NOT need it.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am sick of our elected officials in Congress representing the interests of their donors instead of those of their constituents all in the name of the all mighty dollar. We must get rid of Private Campaign Funding and overturn the disastrous Citizens United. Our government is meant to be “of the people, by the people and for the people”, not bought and paid for by moneyed interests and corporations through lobbyists.
The only way to take our country back and make sure they work for we the people is to support candidates that align with your beliefs, educate other people about these candidates and make sure EVERYONE gets out and votes in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

Republican Blood Money

Blood Money

According to mass shooting data, under the leadership of Obama (2008 – 2016) there were a total of 37 mass shooting incidents with 308 fatalities and 308 injuries. We are only 9 months into the “leadership” of Trump and there have already been 10 mass shooting incidents with 112 fatalities and 520 injuries.

After each incident, Obama would call for common sense gun legislation. But with the blatant obstruction from Republicans in Congress, no such legislation was ever passed. In the age of Trump with a Republican controlled Congress, the only thing that we get is thoughts and prayer followed by statements that it is not the time to talk about gun regulations.

There is a greedy reason why we only get thoughts and prayers from the right, blood money from the NRA spent to buy members of Congress. Below are the top 10 members of the House and Senate and what they were paid to never bring forth common sense gun legislation.

The top ten House recipients are as follows:

  1. French Hill (R-AR) $1,089,477
  2.  Ken Buck (R-CO) $800,544
  3.  David Young (R-IA) $707,662
  4.  Mike Simpson (IND-ID) $385,731
  5.  Greg Gianforte (R-MT) $344,630
  6.  Don Young (R-AL) $245,720
  7. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) $221,736
  8.  Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) $201,398
  9.  Pete Sessions (R-TX) $158,111
  10.  Barbara Comstock (R-VA) $137,232

The top ten Senate recipients are as follows:

  1. John McCain (R-AZ) $7,740,521
  2. Richard Burr (R-NC) $6,986,620
  3. Roy Blunt (R-MO) $4,551,146
  4. Thom Tillis (R-NC) $4,418,012
  5. Cory Gardner (R-CO) $3,879,064
  6. Marco Rubio (R-FL) $3,303,355
  7. Joni Ernst (R-IA) $3,124,273
  8. Rob Portman (R-OH) $3,061,941
  9. Todd Young (R-IN) $2,896,732
  10. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) $2,861,047

Wayne Robert LaPierre, Jr., the executive vice president of the NRA, is the main opposition of gun control policies. As such, in my humble opinion, LaPierre and all of the Senators and House Representatives he has bought off are guilty of multiple counts of mass murder for the role they have played in blocking any form of common sense gun regulation, all in the name of greed.

There are a few things we can do to fight back against these vile and evil people. We need to educate anyone and everyone about what common sense gun control is and is not. It IS keeping guns out of the hands of known criminals by way of extensive background checks and closing loopholes like the gun show loophole. It is NOT about taking guns away from everyone.

The NRA and Republicans continually bring up how owning guns are a Second Amendment Right. The Second Amendment reads as follows, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” There are some gun owners that are responsible gun owners, but what we are seeing today is not a “well regulated Militia”, it is a bunch of mentally unstable domestic terrorists taking out men, women and children.

When it is not safe to go to a movie in a theater, go to school or go to church, it is past time to talk about this issue. We must do something to change this now before more innocent people are killed.


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In Memoriam: Progressive Activist and Journalist, Scott Galindez

Rest in Peace my friend. It was an honor to have known and worked beside you.

Progressive Voices of Iowa

It is with a heavy heart and great sorrow that we announce the passing of a member of our PVI family. Scott Galindez was a fiery activist, advocate, and journalist who fought with everything he had for what he believed. He was a talented video editor and organizer. He was a fantastic writer and a passionately fought against the very flaws in the for-profit healthcare system that eventually took his life. He was a friend and he will be sorely missed.

In spite of his health issues, Scott worked with all his might to fight for the change he wanted to see in the world. Earlier this year in February, he helped to organize the Des Moines healthcare rally that joined with the nationwide effort to demand the protection of the ACA and its evolution to a national single payer healthcare system.

He was also a talented journalist, publishing in Reader…

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