We remain in Northwest Iowa for our 8th visit, to Pocahontas County

The 99-part series continues. You can find previous installments here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This week I will review our eighth-smallest county in terms of population, Pocahontas County. The 2010 census found 7,310 people living in the entire 579 square miles of the county, the 32nd largest in Iowa. To put this in perspective, Pocahontas County is roughly equal in population to the city of Knoxville (Marion County). Pocahontas County is northwest of Des Moines. According to Google Maps, the county seat of Pocahontas County, Pocahontas, is 136 road miles from the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines.

Pocahontas County was founded in 1851 when it was formed from Greene and Humbolt Counties. The county was named after the Native American princess Pocahontas from Jamestown, Virginia.

In a bit of a different trend from our first counties, the highest population in Pocahontas County (16,266) was in the 1940 census. Pocahontas County has lost population in every census since that time, and in 2010 had roughly half the population that it had in 1960.

Continue Reading...

Now we visit Ida County, the 7th smallest in Iowa

The previous six installments in this planned 99-part series are available here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This week I will review our seventh-smallest county in terms of population, Ida County. The 2010 census found 7,089 people living in the entire 432 square miles of the county, the 14th smallest in Iowa. To put this in perspective, Ida County is roughly equal in population to the city of Hiawatha (Linn County). Ida County is north west of Des Moines. According to Google Maps, the county seat of Ida County, Ida Grove, is 139 road miles from the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines.

Ida County was founded in 1851 when it was separated from Greene County. The county was most likely named after Ida Smith, the first person of European ancestry to be born in the county.

Continue Reading...

Weekend open thread: Threats to national security edition

What’s on your mind, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread: all topics welcome.

Only one week into Donald Trump’s presidency, the outrages are piling up. Philip Rucker and David Filipov report today for the Washington Post that Trump has restructured the National Security Council to give his political strategist Steve Bannon a permanent spot on the “principals committee” of senior officials. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence will no longer be regular members of that committee. President George W. Bush never allowed his hatchet man Karl Rove to attend National Security Council meetings.

Trump issued several executive orders this week related to immigration. The most controversial (and probably unconstitutional) one restricts entry from seven countries–but maybe not for Christians from those areas. Despite the trending hashtag #MuslimBan, the order is technically not a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.–though Rudy Giuliani says Trump asked advisers to help him accomplish that goal through legal means. The White House is portraying the order as an anti-terrorism measure, but knowledgeable people know otherwise.

Continue Reading...

Our first trip to Northern Iowa- County number 6, Osceola County

The series continues; previous installments are here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This week I will review our sixth-smallest county in terms of population, Osceola County. The 2010 census found 6,462 people living in the entire 399 square miles, the 3rd smallest in Iowa. To put this in perspective, Osceola County is roughly equal in population to the city of Oelwein (Fayette County).

Osceola County is north and just a bit west of Des Moines, bordering Minnesota on its north border. The highest point in Iowa, Hawkeye Point is located within the county. According to Google Maps, the county seat of Osceola County, Sibley, is 236.1 road miles from the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines. Osceola County was founded in 1871 when it was separated from Woodbury County, and was the last county established in Iowa. The county was named after the Seminole chief Osceola.

Continue Reading...

44 photos from the Iowa Women's March

Turnout for the Women’s March in Washington and companion events around the world shattered expectations on Saturday, far exceeding the number of people who showed up to watch Donald Trump be sworn in as president the previous day. Trump and White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a right royal meltdown over media coverage of attendance at the inauguration. The president must have been seething to see yesterday’s news about more than 2.5 million people marching, including at least half a million in Washington and massive numbers in city after city: 750,000 in Los Angeles, 250,000 in Chicago, 100,000 in Denver, and so on.

Before the weekend, I heard predictions that 10,000 people might come to the Iowa Women’s March outside the Capitol in Des Moines. Instead, an estimated 26,000 people were there–impressive turnout for a state with about 3 million residents.

I spent most of Saturday at the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee meeting, so I’m grateful to Bleeding Heartland readers who gave me permission to share their Iowa Women’s March photos below (click on any image to enlarge). The only problem was choosing what to post among scores of inspiring images from the rally.

This is an open thread: all topics welcome. The Iowa City Press-Citizen published a photo gallery from the women’s march in the “people’s republic.”

Continue Reading...

17 Iowa politics predictions for 2017

Two weeks late and humbled by the results from previous efforts to foretell the future, I offer seventeen Iowa politics predictions for the new year.

I struggled to compile this list, in part because it’s harder to come up with things to predict during a non-election year. I didn’t want to stack the deck with obvious statements, such as “the GOP-controlled Iowa House and Senate will shred collective bargaining rights.” The most consequential new laws coming down the pike under unified Republican control of state government are utterly predictable. I needed time to look up some cases pending before the Iowa Supreme Court. Also, I kept changing my mind about whether to go for number 17. (No guts, no glory.)

I want to mention one prediction that isn’t on this list, because I don’t expect it to happen this year or next. I am convinced that if the GOP holds the governor’s office and both chambers of the Iowa legislature in 2018, they will do away with non-partisan redistricting before the 2020 census. I don’t care what anyone says about our system being a model for the country or too well-established for politicians to discard. Everywhere Republicans have had a trifecta during the last decade, they have gerrymandered. Iowa will be no exception. So if Democrats don’t want to be stuck with permanent minority status in the state legislature, we must win the governor’s race next year. You heard it here first.

Continue Reading...
View More...