Iowa’s 2019 economic outlook: The good, bad, and ugly

Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson reviews the evidence that President Donald Trump’s trade policy is “harming a large number of Iowans, limiting the state’s potential prosperity.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Governor Kim Reynolds’ Condition of the State address had precious little to say about Iowa’s economy, which is odd because that is something her predecessor and mentor always liked to crow about. She acknowledged that there are challenges for rural areas and that there are ongoing initiatives to promote training and placement of workers, but really said nothing about how the Hawkeye state is performing economically.

There’s plenty to say. Some of it good, some bad, and given the impacts of the President Donald Trump’s trade disputes, lots of ugly.

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Grassley, Ernst oppose keeping sanctions on Russian oligarch's companies

A resolution aimed at forcing the U.S. Treasury to maintain sanctions on three Russian corporations linked to a pro-Kremlin “oligarch” fell three votes short in the U.S. Senate on January 16.

Eleven Republicans joined the Democrats present to support the resolution, but Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst voted with the rest of the GOP caucus to defeat the measure. Although the vote was 57-42 in favor (roll call), Senate rules require 60 votes to clear this kind of procedural hurdle.

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Iowa legislature should also condemn Steve King

Ed Fallon served in the Iowa House from 1993 to 2006. -promoted by Laura Belin

There are two main reasons Iowa makes the national political news: (1) The Iowa caucuses, and (2) Congressman Steve King (R, late-1800s). The caucuses operate on a regular, predictable, four-year cycle, while King’s hateful rhetoric runs on its own erratic time table.

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Terry McAuliffe polling Iowans? Notes on a survey

I encourage activists to take notes on political surveys and share what they’ve heard. Bleeding Heartland user corncam did a great job. -promoted by Laura Belin

We can add one more name to the list of presidential candidates who may compete in the 2020 Iowa caucuses: former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. I completed a phone survey on January 14 that was ostensibly neutral, but I’m pretty sure it was sponsored by McAuliffe. I’ll tell you why below.

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Steyer sinks as Iowa women rise

Ed Fallon is a former Iowa lawmaker who hosts the Fallon Forum and directs Bold Iowa. He is the author of Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, his memoir about the 2014 Great March for Climate Action. -promoted by Laura Belin

I caught the tail end of Tom Steyer’s bait-and-switch press conference on January 9. With great flair and grandiosity, Steyer announced he wasn’t running for President. Instead, he’ll invest his time and money pounding the impeachment drum.

I’m ambivalent about whether Steyer runs for president. But if he could have picked a more poorly conceived cause than impeachment, I’m not sure what it would have been (maybe opposing continental drift?). If Democrats in the US House want to impeach President Trump, fine. But there’s not much any of us can do to impact what is largely a procedural undertaking.

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It's a symbol

Bruce Lear reflects on the federal government shutdown, drawing on 30-plus years of experience negotiating educator contracts. -promoted by Laura Belin

For some, symbols are more important than solutions. Sound bites outrank substance, and winning will trump a wall any day.

This fight isn’t about a wall. It’s about a symbol to gin a gullible base. In President Donald Trump’s mind, it’s win-win. If he doesn’t get his wall, he has the symbol of the wall. If he does, he can brag, “Look at that big beautiful wall I built for you.” It’s a narcissist’s dream. It’s the public’s nightmare.

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