zeitgeist

Democrat Tim Gannon running for Iowa secretary of agriculture

Feb 03, 2018

What I'd rather hear

“Tim Gannon will work every day to find new markets for Iowa’s corn and beans”

How about if instead we work every day to diversity and create markets for Iowa farms to grow something *other* than more corn and beans? “Finding a market” for excess, cheap corn means things like putting more high fructose corn syrup in products that didn’t use to have as much, if any, added sweetener. Everyone’s health has been the worse for having found “new markets for Iowa’s corn.” There are less input-intensive crops that diversify the ecosystem and Iowa’s economy that we used to have until Earl Butz’ industrialization of farm policy in the 1970s. Apples, wheat, alfalfa, and generally a much wider variety of fruits, vegetables and grains were grown on land that is now almost entirely corn and soybeans. When farm income was managed by supply management for commodity crops rather than through price subsidies, there was less incentive to eliminate buffer strips, more incentive to supplement with non-commodity farming, etc. It was better for everyone except the industrial middlemen and processed food and feed companies. And frankly they can look out for themselves without the Iowa Sec Ag’s help.

John Norris for a better future

Dec 15, 2017

Agree completely

All of this. I also have a child (now dependent adult, actually) with disabilities and I support and trust John Norris. I think Norris brings several important things: he was instrumental in jump-starting a Vilsack campaign that was struggling in a critical election — and thank god we won! — so he knows how to run a campaign, and has been working harder than anyone in the race out in rural areas. Most important to me, since most of the Democrats will be largely aligned on key issues, Norris is the one with the best experience to turn those positions into state policy. He knows the job from being Chief of Staff to the Governor, he has experience with administration in both his state and federal positions. He’ll be ready on Day One. But he is also just a good guy, with three school-aged kids and his wife is CEO of Goodwill of Central Iowa — yet more reasons I find he understands the issues of a family like mine.

IA-Gov: Fred Hubbell has big edge in name ID

Nov 16, 2017

Conspicuous Consumption

I got the Hubbell mailer about the Dubuque PP location. Am I the only one bothered by the way that piece and the mental health ad brag about how he and Char spent their money? I mean, its great that they did that, but part of it comes off as “look how rich we are” as if that alone is a qualification. I’d rather hear about the hands on work they did. Moreover, when wealthy individuals do things like fund a facility, it merely gives the conservatives fodder to argue government funding isn’t needed because individuals and charities can step in and handle it. I may be in the minority, but that pitch (in both pieces) rubs me the wrong way.

How three new activists got involved in Scott County

Oct 31, 2017

Great stories

Thanks for sharing and providing ideas for success in party building. I particularly like this part:

“if you show up and expect people to kiss your feet for attending a meeting, you are going to be disappointed. You have to show up, listen, learn how the meetings work, and when you see a chance to help, volunteer yourself and show that you are ready to work. It means doing things like sweating in 90-degree heat as you walk in a parade, or knocking on doors to hand out fliers for events. It’s not glamorous work”

This is a reality that some other commenters here and in other places who have complained about change not coming fast enough, or not feeling welcomed enough, could stand to re-read.

View More...