Veterans with PTSD are not weak, Mister Trump

This morning the Republican standard bearer, Donald Trump, spoke on veterans issues.  It did not go well.

When asked how he would approach mental health issues such as PTSD and if he would support spiritual counseling for veterans affected by them, Trump implied that veterans who are “strong” don’t suffer from such afflictions.

“When you talk about the mental health problems,” he said, “when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in the room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it.”

This, from a candidate who avoided military service during the Vietnam War, who claims to respect veterans, as long as they didn’t get captured, who wants to privatize the Veterans Administration, who got caught lying about giving to veterans’ charities.  Is this a political party that can get your vote?

Republicans fail at governing, again

After passing a bill they were warned would create problems, and overriding the President’s veto of the bill, Republican leaders are now saying that they made a mistake.  You’ll never guess who is to blame.

Republicans said Thursday the White House should have done more to alert them earlier in the process of the bill’s possible consequences.

“That was a good example, it seems to me, of failure to communicate early about the potential consequences of a piece of legislation that was obviously very popular,” Mr. McConnell said Thursday.

Of course they were warned months ago, in writing, that it was a bad bill.  What’s shocking is not that they would ignore good advice.  I could respect them deciding they were right and the President was wrong, and sticking to their guns.  But no, they’re saying (a) the President was right all along, and (b) it is the President’s fault that they didn’t know what they were doing.  This is not how you talk if you’re a political party that knows how to run a government.

Republicans versus the Constitution

Conservatives like to declare their love the the Constitution, but it’s more of an abusive-boyfriend kind of love.  Republicans have nominated a Presidential candidate, with overwhelming support, that would be a one-man constitutional crisis, according to Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director.

Trump’s mass deportation scheme would mean arresting more than 15,000 people a day on immigration charges, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  From a civil liberties standpoint, there is no conceivable mechanism to accomplish the roundup that Trump has promised while respecting basic constitutional rights….

Trump’s plan would undoubtedly violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition “against unreasonable searches and seizures.” [It would rely on tactics] like suspicionless interrogations and arrests, unjustified traffic stops, warrantless searches of workplaces and homes, and door-to-door raids of immigrant neighborhoods….

If Trump were to try and make good on his promise to speedily deport more than 11 million people, he could only do so by trampling on the Fifth Amendment’s due process protections….There is no way around it: Donald Trump’s deportation policy would be an unconstitutional apparatus of human misery, which would effectively turn large areas around the Southwest border into a police state….

Trump’s message couldn’t be any clearer: Immigrants and their American-born descendants, particularly Muslims, aren’t really Americans. Worse, they’re a potential fifth column subverting the nation from within. In a nation of immigrants, this sentiment is as un-American as it gets….

By singling out Muslims, his entry ban would violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment by explicitly disapproving of one religion and implicitly favoring other faiths….

Trump’s Muslim ban could also run afoul of international law, such as the Refugee Convention and the Convention Against Torture, by refusing asylum to people fleeing persecution and violence….

If a President Trump acted unilaterally — or somehow convinced Congress — to implement a surveillance program explicitly targeting Muslims because of their faith, he would face an impossible task of defending such a policy as constitutional in court….

The Supreme Court has warned that “a law targeting religious beliefs as such is never permissible.” This apparently doesn’t give Trump pause when he calls for unmerited law enforcement attention devoted to American Muslim communities across the country….

He has also said he would authorize torture in a manner that would comply with controlling “laws and treaties.” And if that doesn’t work — and it couldn’t — a President Trump would seek to change the laws to permit torture….That torturing people again is even on the agenda is nothing short of an abomination….

The international legal prohibition of the practice was enshrined in domestic law when the United States signed and ratified the Convention Against Torture decades ago. When President Ronald Reagan sent the convention to the Senate, he wrote that the Senate’s consent to ratify would “demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture.”

During a February campaign stop in Texas, Trump had news for The New York Times and The Washington Post: If he wins the presidency, the Times and the Post will “have problems….”

Despite his lack of legal authority to “open up our libel laws,” a President Trump would almost certainly limit the individual rights enshrined in the First Amendment. Regularly on the campaign trail, he has shown contempt not only for free speech but also the freedom of the press and the right to protest….

Trump’s rhetoric and aggressive policing of his events also call into question how a Trump administration would respond to nonviolent protest. There have been at least 20 incidents of violence at Trump events since last October….

[I]t is important to remember those dark times when the U.S. government — often with public support — conspired against the nation’s most cherished ideals of liberty and equality for all. Among the more unsavory chapters of U.S. history are the Alien and Sedition Acts, Japanese-American imprisonment during World War II, and the long dark night of Jim Crow. Many Americans today rightfully look back at these injustices with horror and shame.

Under a Trump presidency, whole categories of people — Latinos and Hispanics, American Muslims, and reporters and vocal critics of Trump — could potentially be deprived of their constitutional rights because of their immigration status, their religion, their political beliefs, or their livelihoods. This is to say nothing of millions of women who might face prosecution for seeking an abortion if Trump once again changes his mind on this issue.


Republicans won’t let an anti-bullying bill pass

Iowa House Republicans have blocked anti-bulling legislation for the past six years.  It is overwhelmingly supported by Iowans, even by Governor Branstad, and has overwhelmingly passed the Iowa Senate.

In the 2015 session, Republicans objected that parents wouldn’t always be notified if a student was bullied.  Who could disagree?  Well, the bill required parental notification, but allowed school officials to make an exception if they believe the child would be abused or threatened at home as a result.  Such as, for example, if the child is being bullied for being gay, and the parents might join in the bullying.  Republicans are apparently OK with that.  Certainly Matt Windschitl is OK with bullying gay kids, he wanted to exclude gay kids from the protections enjoyed by straight kids.

Trump bribed the Florida Attorney General to back off “Trump U”

You’re probably already aware that “Trump University” was a scam designed to fleece wannabe real estate developers.  It turns out that when the Florida Attorney General was investigating whether to prosecute Trump for fraud in the matter, Trump picked that moment to give a $25,000 contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R).  Bondi instantly dropped the fraud investigation.  We are supposed to believe that these two things are not connected.

Turns out that wasn’t the only Trump gift to Bondi.  He gave her bargain rental rates at his Mar-a-Lago resort, $5,000 for the same facility that charged his own campaign $140,000.  In other words, he made a $135,000 in-kind contribution to Bondi.

Trump isn’t shy about expecting favors in return for campaign contributions.

“I’ve given to everybody,” he boasted earlier this year. “When I want something I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass. “It’s true. They kiss my ass.”

This is the Republican leader.  It’s corrupt all the way down.

AFSCME endorses Jan

Creasman for House is proud to announce that Jan Creasman has received the endorsement of the AFSCME Iowa Council 61 PEOPLE Committee in her campaign for Iowa House.

“AFSCME is excited to ensorse Jan Creasman.  Our members know that she can be counted on to support working families and protect the rights of workers.  Our members work hard and never quit.  We see those same values in Jan,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

In Iowa, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees including law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, mental health workers, professional school staff, emergency responders, and many other workers.  AFSCME Iowa Council 61 also represents home health care and child care providers across the state and private sector workers at Prarie Meadows, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Des Moines University, and ABM (Marshalltown).

The Party of Hate

Republicans say they’re against racism.  And yet:

  • Paul Ryan says Trumps attack on U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel was “the textbook definition of a racist comment”, but supports Trump for President anyway.
  • Reince Priebus, who brokered the Ryan endorsement of Trump, supports Trump.
  • Chuck Grassley said Trump’s racist remark was no worse than something someone else said, which wouldn’t justify Trump’s racism even if the remarks were comparable, which they are not.
  • Marco Rubio unambiguously said that Trump’s comments were wrong and discredit the Republican Party, but has repeatedly said he would back the Republican presidential nominee, even if it’s Trump.
  • Mitch McConnell says he “I couldn’t disagree more with a statement like that” but wouldn’t answer whether he considered it racist. He supports Trump anyway.
  • Ben Carson says Trump talks like a racist but is not a racist, and supports Trump anyway.
  • Newt Gingrich said the remarks were unacceptable, which is surprising coming from someone who has thus far failed to criticize Trump’s birtherism, anti-Muslim bigotry, misogny and casual racism. He supports Trump anyway.
  • Ted Cruz and Chris Christie simply had no comment, and presumably still support Trump.

So let’s see…that’s the current Speaker of the House, a former Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, and four Republicans who ran for President in 2016, and the chairman of the Republican National Committee, all either backing Trump despite admitting he’s a racist, or refusing to admit he’s a racist despite the evidence, or afraid to comment. And that’s just the leadership. We also have the unambiguous polling data showing that racist voters support Trump. And just as icing on the cake, David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and Trump supporter, says Trump’s not a racist, the problem is the Jewish media.

When the entire leadership of a political party, and a solid majority of the voting members of that party, want to put a racist in the White House, there’s no longer any argument about whether that political party stands for racism.  You can’t run as a Republican and claim to stand for something else.

ALEC wrote it, Windschitl proposed it: License to Kill Bill

Republican incumbent Matt Windschitl thought that we should have a so-called “Stand Your Ground” law in Iowa, so he proposed HB 57 in 2013.  Such laws lead to more homicides in jurisdictions that have passed similar legislation.

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden opposed the bill.  “A person already has the right to defend themselves or others, if needed.  The ‘stand your ground’ legislation goes far past that. I refer to it as the ‘license to kill’ statute, because that’s exactly what it does.”

ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing organization backed by the Koch brothers.

Source:  Blog for Iowa