Why oversight of Iowa's COVID-19 spending just got more important

Three state agencies that play important roles in Iowa’s use of COVID-19 relief funds will have new leadership in the coming weeks.

The turnover underscores the need for lawmakers, state and federal auditors, and the news media to keep a close watch on how Governor Kim Reynolds’ administration spends money Congress approved last year to address the coronavirus pandemic.

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Leaders need to be role models

Bruce Lear reviews Iowa Republican leaders’ latest words and actions on COVID-19. -promoted by Laura Belin

There have always been individuals in jobs we hold to a higher standard. We expect more from them because they are in the public spotlight and have a certain prestige.

To name just a few, we expect doctors, teachers, and star athletes to serve as role models, and most of these professions follow a code of ethics. If that code is broken, the public or their employer scream foul.

I guess Iowa Republican legislators and our governor don’t consider themselves role models, or they would require masks and social distancing at the capitol. Also, their policies would protect students and educators by allowing local decision making.

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The following Wednesday

Ira Lacher: The latest U.S. House vote on impeachment may further isolate Trump’s running dogs in Congress. They deserve to be isolated. -promoted by Laura Belin

Republican sanctimony and mendacity were on naked display Wednesday, January 13, in the House chamber where, one week earlier, members of both parties were evacuated as a mass of bloodthirsty fascists, egged on by the president of the United States and his treasonous fellow travelers, screamed for their heads.

Before the House voted to impeach the president of the United States for the second time in little more than a year, Representative Tom McClintock, Republican of California, pontificated that the president really didn’t say what he was documented as saying. “He specifically told the crowd to protest peacefully and patriotically,” McClintock claimed.

Uh, no, he didn’t. “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you are allowed to go by very different rules,” the president said before the riot.

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Former war correspondent on Trump pardoning Blackwater mercenaries

Herb Strentz reached out to longtime television reporter Fabrice Moussus for perspective on some of President Donald Trump’s most heinous pardons. -promoted by Laura Belin

“You wake up one morning and the tanks are at every corner.”

That’s the closing line in an email I received from a retired television newsman you don’t know. However, it’s almost a certainty you have seen his video coverage of terrorism, warfare, and other aspects of life and death on television over the past 30 or 40 years.

Fabrice Moussus — in this post, he is Bleeding Heartland’s foreign correspondent in Paris —  is a delightful, self-effacing Frenchman. He’s retired now but he had put his life on the line to help tell people around the world what was going on in Iraq, Iran, Egypt and lots of other places.

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Iowans in Congress comment on Trump's second impeachment

Iowa’s delegation split along party lines as the U.S. House voted 232 to 197 on January 13 to impeach President Donald Trump on one count of “incitement to insurrection.”

Ten Republicans, including the third-ranking member of the GOP caucus, joined every Democrat in voting to impeach. I’ve enclosed below the lengthy House Judiciary Committee report supporting impeachment and the full text of the article, which argued that Trump “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government.”

Iowa’s Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03) said in a written statement,

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Birthing a conference: A celebration of Black kin

Des Moines-based holistic doula and lactation counselor Olivia Samples first published this post on Kismet Doula Services’ blog. -promoted by Laura Belin

Last year I attended two conferences centered around Black Maternal Health. After the first one I attended, I had a dance party in my room to the playlist they sent us. The discussion, resources, and connection I got from this event totally filled my cup; left me energized and ready for more.

A few weeks later, during the second conference, I felt the anger rising from my gut into my face. I cried and stepped away after hearing so many statistics of the disparities for Black birthing people in Iowa. I learned a lot from other sessions throughout the conference, but at the end of the day, I closed my laptop, journaled, and took a nap.

Something that sticks out from the entry that day:

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