# Martin Luther King Jr

Five links for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to the Bleeding Heartland community. Here are some links I enjoyed today.

Mother Jones put together a slide show on how we got this holiday, with photos of those who helped, and those who stood in the way.

Here are a couple dozen quotes from the civil rights leader.

Listen here as MLK explains, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam.”

The AFSCME blog compiled some of MLK’s comments about labor.

Susannah Heschel describes the relationship between Dr. King and her father, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

This is an open thread.


The 22nd annual event hosted by the Iowa Department of Human Rights and the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans took place this morning at the Iowa Historical Building. Branstad was scheduled and listed in the program as signing a proclamation as well as delivering an address.

Branstad arrived around 10:40 a.m., signed the proclamation and made a few statements.  He was then overheard apologizing to some of the event organizers, saying he was too busy to give the address, noting that this is one of his first days in office. Branstad was sworn in Friday.

Branstad then took a few questions from the press before he and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds left.

Tim Albrecht, a spokesman for the governor, said Branstad was in meetings today that weren’t open to the public.

Wonder who he made time for on the holiday.

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Weekend open thread with events coming up this week

The Iowa caucuses take place this Saturday, January 23, beginning at 1 pm. Democrats can click here and enter your zip code to find your caucus location. If you’ve never attended an off-year caucus, I recommend the experience as a way to meet some of the most committed activists in your precinct and have input on the party platform and party machinery. Polk County Democratic Party executive director Tamyra Harrison explained the benefits of attending an off-year caucus in more detail here. The level of energy and excitement won’t match the 2008 caucus, but on the plus side, you won’t be packed like sardines into a stuffy room.

Some non-profit advocacy organizations have drafted resolutions for supporters to offer at their precinct caucuses. If adopted, these resolutions will be forwarded to the county platform committee. For example, 1000 Friends of Iowa is encouraging supporters to offer this resolution on responsible land use.

This thread is for discussing anything on your mind this weekend.

There are Martin Luther King Jr. remembrances going on in many Iowa cities today and tomorrow; check your local news outlet for details. To mark King’s birthday, Democratic Senate candidate Bob Krause pledged to develop “a comprehensive strategy for alleviating the Iowa incarceration disparity,” in light of the fact that “Iowa has a per capita incarceration rate for blacks that is fourteen times the incarceration rate for whites.”

I appreciated this letter to the editor by Frank McCammond of Redfield, which the Des Moines Register published on January 15:

Marian Riggs Gelb’s Jan. 3 guest column (“Protect Iowa’s Liquid Gems”) calls for thank-you notes to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for designating a few streams in northeast Iowa for protection as “outstanding waters.”

It was a nice suggestion. However, where do I write the note about letting the rest of the state’s river systems be turned into open sewers by the farm and livestock interests and by towns that won’t fix their sewage systems?

(Gelb’s guest column is here, and the Iowa Environmental Council has more information on the “outstanding Iowa waters” designation here.)

After the jump I’ve posted more about events coming up this week. Roxanne Conlin began her 99-county tour last week, but I couldn’t find any event details or calendar on her campaign website.

UPDATE: Duh! Forgot Johnson County’s special election on Tuesday. Go vote for Janelle Rettig for county supervisor. John Deeth has been providing great coverage of the race at his blog. Lori Cardella is like school in the summertime–no class.

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