Iowa can learn from other states on nutrient-driven water pollution

John Norwood is a candidate for Polk County Soil and Water Commission. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Nutrient leaching from land use activities is a national issue. Solutions require systems thinking and robust financial support.

In some surprising news this week, Ohio Governor John Kasich, a former Republican presidential candidate with three months remaining in his term, fired his state’s Agricultural Director David Daniels over his slow response to Lake Erie algae. The algae are feeding on nutrients from fertilizers that drain into the lake and fuel these blooms. [Note to readers: In the State of Ohio like many others, the Governor appoints the state’s Agriculture Director.]

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Senate bill would break health care promises from Grassley and Ernst

Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst say they are “continuing to carefully look through the revised health care discussion draft” released by Senate Republican leaders last week. Iowans who have called the senators’ offices are likewise hearing from staffers that Grassley and Ernst have not decided whether to support the GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

I suspect Iowa’s senators would rubber-stamp any GOP “health care” bill Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brings to the floor, for several reasons:

• None of the Washington-based reporters on this beat include Grassley or Ernst on their lists of Republican senators who may not support the bill.

• Reports speculating about special deals GOP Senate leaders may offer to lock down votes don’t refer to any additional spending geared toward Iowa.

• Neither Grassley nor Ernst made time to meet with Iowa hospital leaders who lobbied against the bill on a trip to Washington last week.

• Neither Grassley nor Ernst has bucked the party line on any important Senate vote that I can recall.

For now, let’s take Iowa’s senators at their word: they are still undecided and seeking input from constituents. If Grassley and Ernst intend to keep promises they’ve been making on health care policy, they need not spend any more time deliberating. They have ample reasons to vote against the Orwellian-named Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Non-partisan analysis indicates that if this bill becomes law, tens of millions of Americans–including hundreds of thousands of Iowans–will have worse health insurance coverage or no coverage at all.

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Ted Cruz is playing a smarter long game than Scott Walker or Marco Rubio

Three 40-something politicians who had hoped to be this year’s GOP presidential nominee addressed the Republican National Convention last night. Only one of them upstaged what was supposed to be the evening’s highlight: a speech by vice presidential nominee and Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Although Senator Ted Cruz drew boos from many in the crowd and was panned by some journalists, he ended the night better-positioned for a possible 2020 race than either Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker or Senator Marco Rubio.

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Desperate times call for desperate measures: Why the Cruz-Carly ticket makes sense

Needing a victory in Indiana’s May 3 primary to have any hope of stopping Donald Trump from winning a majority of delegates before the Republican National Convention, Ted Cruz announced yesterday, “If I am nominated, I will run on a ticket with @carlyfiorina as my Vice President.”

Many politics-watchers laughed at the idea of Cruz picking his running mate a day after distant third-place finishes in five primaries put him 400 delegates behind Trump. But Cruz has nothing to lose from the alliance, and neither does Fiorina.

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You cannot beat somebody with nobody

Thanks to the guest author formerly known as fladem for another well-informed look at the Republican delegate race. This piece follows up on his analysis from shortly after the Wisconsin primary. -promoted by desmoinesdem

There is an old line in politics: “You can’t beat somebody with nobody”.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich seemed determined to prove this adage true.

On April 5th Ted Cruz won Wisconsin decisively. When I wrote a piece here on April 7th, there seemed good reasons to think Trump could be stopped. I outlined some of them. Keeping Trump under 50 (as seemed possible then) in New York would deny him 27 delegates. Winning or coming close to Trump in Pennsylvania could deny him 25-35 more, and given the fact that 54 delegates in that state are not bound to any candidate, it was not impossible to see a majority of delegates siding against Trump.

But I could not foresee just how hapless and incompetent the Kasich and Cruz campaigns would be. In fact there are precincts in New York where Cruz struggled to beat Ben Carson. Consider the following:

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"Acela primary" discussion thread

Five states along the east coast held primaries today. Donald Trump had a clean sweep on the Republican side of the so-called Acela primary, named for the Amtrak express train that connects Boston to Washington, DC. As of 8 pm central time, Trump had won more than 50 percent of the votes counted in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Dark days lie ahead for the #NeverTrump crowd. Even if Ted Cruz manages to win the Indiana primary next week and John Kasich wins Oregon and New Mexico, stopping Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates before the Republican National Convention will be a tall order. Dave Wasserman published a good analysis of Trump’s success at FiveThirtyEight.com. I’ve posted excerpts after the jump.

Networks called Maryland for Hillary Clinton immediately after polls closed. At this writing, she has also been projected to win Pennsylvania and Delaware, while Bernie Sanders is set to win Rhode Island, and Connecticut is still too close to call. Clinton’s remarks to her supporters in Philadelphia tonight sounded very much like a general-election stump speech.

Dave Weigel noted Clinton has won eleven states she lost to Barack Obama in 2008: Iowa, Maryland, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Even more striking, Weigel pointed out, “After tonight, Donald Trump will have won 12 of the 13 original colonies. He’s also favored to win in the 13th, New Jersey.”

Any comments about the presidential race are welcome in this thread. Today the admin for U.S. Senate candidate Tom Fiegen’s social media blocked me on Twitter after I challenged one of Fiegen’s many tweets suggesting the Democratic superdelegates should switch from Clinton to Sanders. So touchy! Fiegen proceeded to block several people who had re-tweeted me or commented negatively about the blocking.

UPDATE: Added below the full text of Clinton’s speech tonight and a statement released by Sanders. Although he did not concede the nomination, he appears to be shifting to a fight about the Democratic Party platform, rather than trying to beat Clinton.

SECOND UPDATE: Clinton ended up winning Connecticut by about 5 points. Trump’s margins of victory were enormous in all five states: 29 points ahead of Kasich in Connecticut, 35 points in Pennsylvania, 31 points in Maryland, 39 points in Rhode Island, and 40 points in Delaware.

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