Governor Reynolds is missing in action on water access

John Aspray: Only five Iowa cities have halted water shutoffs during the COVID-19 crisis. The governor has imposed no statewide moratorium. -promoted by Laura Belin

By now it’s clear: access to water, especially for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, is critically important. If you don’t have running water where you live, complete quarantine and adequate hand-washing are impossible.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 doesn’t just require us to act carefully individually, it requires us to act responsibly as a society. We need to make sure everyone has access to water to keep ourselves and our communities safe — it’s a matter of life or death.

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How shelter-in-place would improve on what Iowa's already doing

Governor Kim Reynolds announced more business closures on April 6, as the number of confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections climbed to 946. Cases have nearly doubled the total of 497 on March 31. Confirmed deaths (now 25) have more than doubled from eleven on April 3.

Establishments now shuttered in Iowa include enclosed shopping malls (but not stores that can be accessed from outside the mall), arcades, outdoor and indoor playgrounds, social halls, bowling alleys, tobacco or vape stores, movie stores, and campgrounds.

Though Reynolds repeatedly urged Iowans to stay home if possible, and said the ban on gatherings larger than ten people will be enforced, she again stopped short of issuing a mandatory shelter-in-place order.

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Matthew McDermott to continue Iowa Supreme Court's rightward march

Governor Kim Reynolds on April 3 named Des Moines attorney Matthew McDermott to succeed retiring Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins. During seventeen years in private practice, McDermott has worked on a wide variety of cases. Bleeding Heartland posted lengthy excerpts from his application and interview with the State Judicial Nominating Commission last month.

This appointment will continue the Iowa Supreme Court’s sharp turn to the right since 2018. As Bleeding Heartland discussed when McDermott was a finalist for the previous vacancy, he has worked closely with influential Republicans and handled some politically charged cases. He defended the 2017 collective bargaining law on behalf of the state and represented an Iowa House Republican seeking not to count 29 absentee ballots his constituents had cast on time.

On the other hand, McDermott has done a substantial amount of criminal defense work, and his application highlighted an unsuccessful appeal raising Fourth Amendment issues as one of his significant cases. Wiggins was a consistent voice for individual rights on the Supreme Court, including in many search and seizure cases.

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Yearning to return to the 1950s? You may get your wish

Julie Ann Neely is a longtime independent feminist/environmentalist/activist, now Democrat, who became politically active in retirement because she is worried about her grandchildren’s future and believes our democracy is in danger. -promoted by Laura Belin

Iowa Republican lawmakers and Governor Kim Reynolds have long sought to eliminate a woman’s right to choose, and several new attempts were introduced during the 2020 legislative session.

In plain language, this is about increasing unwanted pregnancies and trapping women in cycles of menstruation and reproduction that, once again, deny them control of their fertility and the autonomy to be free and creative agents of their own future. Anti-abortion extremist rhetoric professes protection for women and future “unborn” (an emotionally loaded euphemism for the medical term, fetus).

In reality, it means anyone who styles themselves as a fetus protector will be in a position to control women’s lives. Their stance is two dimensional:

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