A study in contrasts: Donald Trump and communities

Herb Strentz was inspired by emails from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and recent writing by progressive rural organizer Matthew Hildreth. -promoted by Laura Belin

This post is for PATRIOTS ONLY and is not intended to be shared.

Pardon that opening; please go ahead and read and share, if you want. But the “for PATRIOTS ONLY” line occurs often in the six to ten emails I receive daily from the President Donald Trump, his relatives, and his re-election campaign.

Don’t know how I got on the mailing list — maybe a joke from a friend. But I thought I’d save the notes for a while to see if I could fashion something to share with Bleeding Heartland patriots.

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Rural hospitals: Our canary in a coal mine

Julie Ann Neely explores the “commonality between the financial pressures of rural hospitals and the financial pressures of urban hospitals as they treat unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 patients.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Having chest pains? Cut off a finger? Need medical care now? For anyone living in a rural area there is no guarantee the closest hospital can provide needed emergency care. 

Signs may say “Hospital” and the doors may be open, but odds are they will not have the capability or staff to care for an urgent need or life-threatening emergency.  Logic tells us in an emergency increased time and distance can be life-threatening.  One study found that rural hospital closures are associated with a 5.9 percent increase in inpatient mortality.  1, 2

Ours is a “profits above all else” economy, and rural hospitals close because they are not profitable, often operating at a loss. Those that remain open have restructured, eliminated services, and reduced staff to the point they can no longer offer basic medical care. Hospitals lose money delivering babies which has caused dozens of Iowa hospitals, rural and urban, to discontinue this service.  Iowa is 50th out of 50 states for the number of obstetricians per population. 3 , 4

Due to the nature of the population served, rural hospitals cannot compete, and rural residents are the losers.

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Admiral Mike Franken: A candidate for an extraordinary time

Susan Nelson explains why Admiral Mike Franken is the candidate who can beat U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, and why progressives should be happy about that. -promoted by Laura Belin

Joni Ernst has got to go.

I am usually focused on issues in a primary, but in this race, I just want to pick a winner. A Republican-controlled Senate is an existential threat to preserving health care and doing something about climate change, and conservative Supreme Court nominees will be stopping progressive legislation for decades to come. Ernst is coming for your Social Security benefits, your health care, and so much more. She has glued herself to President Donald Trump. For all those reasons and more, this is a high-stakes election.

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Defeating Joni Ernst in November

David Weaver: To win statewide, candidates must demonstrate service, strong critical thinking skills, and the ability to understand rural Iowa. -promoted by Laura Belin

I have been an Iowan all my life, other than a two-year stint teaching English in Japan. I have lived in small towns like Grinnell, Pella, and Perry. I spent several years living in the city of Davenport, and I have lived in rural towns like Westside and Rippey (my hometown), as well as the farmhouse where my family currently resides.  I have been farming since 2006.   

I have always paid fairly close attention to politics and government, and ran for the Iowa House in 2018. 

Democrats have a (recent?) problem winning statewide elections. Zero for six in the past six races for governor or U.S. Senate. We know Democrats can win, and have won. Barack Obama did it a couple of times, and Rob Sand did it in 2018. Looking at my Iowa House district 47 results from 2018, one thing stood out to me that I believe is important and translates to winning any statewide race in Iowa.

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The misleading math of rural coronavirus

Richard Lindgren: “Surely, you may be thinking, this virus mostly impacts urban hellholes like New York City. Unfortunately, you are likely wrong.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Fifty-one cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) come out of one rural nursing home in northern Florida. A funeral in a small Georgia town is a key source for 150 cases of COVID-19 and eleven deaths.

The math of how the coronavirus emerges in rural America is different from how it has hit New York City. If red state governors like Iowa’s Kim Reynolds don’t figure this out, their actions may cause more problems than solutions.

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Kevin Warth offers unique perspective for Iowa Senate district 44

Tyler Mills is a Democratic activist in southeast Iowa who is consulting for Kevin Warth, one of three Democrats seeking the nomination in Senate district 44. -promoted by Laura Belin

Kevin Warth’s voice is desperately needed within the Democratic caucus in the Iowa Senate. Agriculture has always been the backbone of our state’s economy, and that isn’t going to change.

One of the key issues we are facing as a state is finding a way to make our young people willing to stay in the communities they grew up in–or at the very least, maintaining an interest in the overall benefit of those communities.

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