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Chapter 9: Congress

[…]supports a ‘fairer, flatter, and simpler Federal tax code. She is a mild denier.   In mid 2015, Ernst sponsored ‘Joni’s 1st Annual Roast in Iowa and Ride’ – a motorcycle parade in which she rode a motorcycle. The Des Moines Register: ‘Ernst indicated that it is critical for presidential candidates to engage in the type of retail politicking this and other Iowa events provide’. The event was attended by Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Peter Walker. She and Scott Walker are close friends.   Her husband, Gail, a retired command sergeant major in the United States Army Rangers, has tweeted hate stuff when she was in the Iowa legislature.   She did say: I’m appalled by my husband’s remarks. They are uncalled for and clearly inappropriate. I’ve addressed this issue with my husband, and that’s between us.   Joni and Gail have a daughter, Libby. Husband Gail also has two daughters from a previous marriage.   She is a member of the Mamrelund Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Stanton, Iowa and  teaches bible confirmation to 8th and 9th grade-level students. Her Wikipedia entry says she’s an ‘Evangelical Lutheran’.   “I imagine […]

Chapter 6: Patient Priorities

[…]summers to work and help make men out of them.”   “Interesting,” I said. “So the Kochs, Joni Ernst, Jim Inhofe, and perhaps even Lamar Smith, as well as Ryan, Rubio, Labrador and their families, could all be there?”   “Sure, why not? Charles and David Koch seem to have an affinity for the Koch ranches. The Taft Center is about environmentalism and sustainability. The place is readily available and underutilized.”   “Sounds good. Will you look into it?”   “I already have,” Bill replied. “I’ll deal with the planning and logistics. Stay tuned.”   “Maybe Inhofe could fly his own plane there,” Jay said. “And perhaps pickup Lamar Smith on the way.”   “If we invite their families to Centennial Valley – the kids could read Ishmael there,” I suggested.   “Ishmael?” Jay asked.   “A beautiful little book on history, philosophy, and politics. We’ll get to […]

Chapter 11: Delivery and Treatment

[…]treatable diseases. His main Idaho office is also in Boise.     Iowa’s therapist is Bill, with Joni Ernst as the primary patient.   Ernst’s offices are in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Davenport, and Council Bluffs.   Other needy Iowans include:   Charles Grassley, Senator, elected in 1981, and up for reelection for a 7th term in 2016! He’s in the rough center of the GOP ideology plot with an above average leadership score. He has a major office in Des Moines. He’s a key figure in the McConnell – Obama standoff regarding the nomination and consideration of Scalia’s replacement.   Three of Iowa’s four congressional districts are held by the GOP:   Rod Blum, District 1, NE, Cedar Rapids – not very close to Des Moines; we’ll let him go for now.   David Young, District 3, SW, Des Moines; he’s to the left of average with a low leadership score.   Steve King, District 4, NW, Sioux City, close to Des Moines. He’s far to the right, with a high leadership score. He has an office in Ames, 37 miles north of Des Moines.   One Des Moines trip will cover Ernst, Grassley, Young, and King. […]

Chapter 12: Outcomes and Tomorrow

[…]before the Grassley-McConnell problem with the upcoming Supreme Court nomination.”   “At Ernst’s office I talked with the staffer about Joni and her positions. The staffer was a near chocoholic and immediately accepted the chocolate I handed her. She promised to give two each to Mrs. and Mr. Ernst. I felt a double dose can’t possibly hurt.”   “Did you know there’s a National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Iowa?” I asked. “Grassley introduced one of the GOP presidential candidates there just before the caucus. I sent the story on to my Czech friends.”   Bill continued: “King’s lone office staffer refused the chocolates, so I sent a followup mailing directly to King, with a return address within his district.”   “Did you see Egan’s column on Iowa?” Jay asked. “No wonder they need so much help. Iowa is almost all white, old and over half evangelical – and women are usually way in the background. Joni’s an exception.”   “But if she wasn’t white and evangelical, she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere in Iowa,” Jay said.   “Probably not. Egan went on to write: ... these demographics … produce candidates who deny that climate change even exists, who […]

Chapter 8: Presidential Candidates

[…]money,” Jay smiled.   “And he’s now getting some support from a popular Iowa senator, Joni Ernst,” I reported. ”She recently joined him for a rally in Des Moines, shortly after the Des Moines Register endorsed him.”   “Joni is a Koch favorite.”   “Gail Collin is after Marco now, based on his Iowa talks,” Jay said, “writing Rubio, who used to be sort of the Boy Scout of the pack, has been getting more and more irritating with every passing day.”   “And more and more religious, especially in Iowa,” Jay continued. “In response to a question, Rubio said: I pray for wisdom. The presidency of the United States is an extraordinary burden and you look at some of the greatest presidents in American history. They were very clear. They were on their knees all the time asking for God, asking God for the wisdom to solve, for the strength to persevere incredible tests.”   “I’d rather he used his kneeling time to read the New York Times,” Bill said.   “Bruni said basically the same thing, I’m less interested in whether a president kneels down than in whether he or she stands up for the important values that […]

Chapter 10: Plutocrats – and Others

[…]pain? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? She discusses Yeats and the Joni Mitchell song Slouching toward Bethlehem as well as Joan Didion.     “There’s more and more material coming out on empathy,” Jay said.   “And remember MDMA – the Movie?” Bill asked. “It may be released in late 2016.”   “harmless’ actions are just in time then,” I smiled.   “And we’ll soon be doing the Centennial Valley gig – for the Kochs, and perhaps Ernst, Gardner, Lee, and Inhofe. I’ve been planning for early September so the weather in southern Montana is still pleasant.” Bill said.   “There are so many patients who need treatment,” Jay said, without enthusiasm.   “It’s good to know we’re needed, even if we’re not wanted,” Bill offered.   “Yes, we – harmless – are definitely needed. But we can’t treat them all.” I said. “We need to successfully treat very key and important patients, demonstrating that they are indeed treatable. And then, hopefully, others will follow in our footsteps.”   “You mean we need to empower fellow activists to do their own revelation engineering work, correct?” Bill said.   “Exactly,” I said. “There […]

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