Politicians rearrange deck chairs as the S.S. Iowa hits COVID-19

Herb Strentz reviews recent comments from Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Governor Kim Reynolds. -promoted by Laura Belin

Sea-going metaphors and idioms hardly reflect life in Iowa, but may be useful in considering the double whammy that’s hit us with COVID-19 and Trump.

At least that drives this take on our U.S. senators and governor during past few weeks.  As one idiom would have it, they are rearranging the deck chairs aboard Iowa’s political and virus-ridden “Titanic.”

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Iowa's state universities won't follow Trump's payroll tax deferral

Tens of thousands of employees at Iowa’s state universities will have their payroll taxes withheld as usual this fall, despite a recent executive order from President Donald Trump.

Trump moved last month to suspend payroll taxes from September 1 through December 31, 2020. Affected employees would see slightly higher paychecks for the next four months, but would have lower take-home pay from January through April 2021 as employers withhold double the amount for payroll taxes.

Josh Lehman, communications director for the Iowa Board of Regents, told Bleeding Heartland on September 9,

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Iowa state government won't follow Trump's payroll tax deferral

The agency handling payroll for Iowa’s executive, judicial, and legislative employees will not follow President Donald Trump’s recent executive order allowing payroll taxes to be deferred for the last four months of this calendar year.

Wendy Noce, the Centralized Payroll program manager for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, announced the decision in a September 4 email to state entities.

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When Chuck Grassley was "pwned" by the televangelists

Richard Lindgren reviews Senator Chuck Grassley’s probe of self-dealing by tax-exempt televangelists, which fizzled out with little to show for years of work. -promoted by Laura Belin

In a recent Bleeding Heartland piece, Laura Belin contrasted U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley’s aggressive attack on then-Vice President Al Gore’s use of a government telephone in 1997 to make fundraising calls to his silence after repeated and blatant Trump administration violations of the Hatch Act. This flouting of laws and norms culminated in President Trump pulling out all stops to use the White House grounds and hundreds of federal employees to publicly accept the 2020 Republican nomination for President.

In the internet gaming language of “leetspeak,” the notoriously frugal and “by the book” Grassley has repeatedly been “pwned,” (intentionally misspelled, but pronounced “owned”) which means to be embarrassingly dominated and defeated by another “gamer.”

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The Joni Ernst/Chuck Grassley combo in Iowa's U.S. Senate races

Herb Strentz explores rhetoric from Iowa’s 2014 and 2020 U.S. Senate campaigns and finds parallels between our two Republican senators. -promoted by Laura Belin

Labor Day in even-numbered years usually brings more public interest in politics and the final stage of hopeful campaigns for Congress or the presidency.

This time around, many are driven by dread — dread of elections past, and, oh yeah, fears for the one coming on November 3.

Small wonder, given what “We the people” have inflicted upon ourselves.

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The "death tax" is hogwash

Neil Hamilton: “It is almost impossible to find an Iowa farm family or ‘small business’ impacted by the estate tax, let alone one forced out of business.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Election season has brought the usual flood of TV commercials – generally trying to scare voters about the evils to expect if the opponent is elected. The ads are often marked by outlandish claims and even outright lies, but the ones deserving first prize for deception concern the so-called “death tax.” 

No doubt you have seen them with salt of the earth farmers claiming the death tax threatens the very existence of their family farm and of rural communities. Who knows, perhaps these folks even believe what the political consultants asked them to say – they have been brainwashed with the claims for so long.

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