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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


This is Joni Ernst.

She is the Republican candidate for the US Senate in Iowa.

She won the nomination by easily clearing the 35% threshold to avoid the process being decided at the state convention.

Her positions are for the lack of a better word unique.

As I mentioned in my post about now former Representative Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat in June 2014, here are some of the things that Ernst believes in.

Like many Republicans she wants to continue the quixotic quest to repeal ObamaCare despite that a majorities of both chambers of Congress passed it in March 2010, deemed constitutional by a conservative-leaning Supreme Court in June 2012, and the final validation of this policy was President Obama's re-election in November 2012.

And yet despite these realities Republicans continue to vote to repeal it. Even some Republicans are admitting that it is time to move on such as Ohio Governor John Kasich who told the Associated Press that he doesn't think there will be a repeal in Washington even if Republicans gain a majority in the senate.

She called the shooting that took place at University of California-Santa Barbara (USCB) earlier this year an "unfortunate accident." An "unfortunate accident" would be the 104-car pileup that happened during a surprise snow storm on I-25 in Denver in March 2014 that killed one person.

What happened at UCSB was an unspeakable tragedy because of both the loss of life and the lack of response we have done to combat mass shootings due to our current political system is too afraid to stand up to the gun lobby.

Like Senator Ted Cruz (Denial TX, R), she supports an amendment to the constitution that would ban same-sex marriages. This is despite that the Iowa Supreme Court in a unanimous ruling in April 2009 overturned the state's ban and that as of this writing 32 states (including Colorado) and DC have marriage equality.

Ernst believes that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) even though that has been widely discredited.

But Michael, there was a story published in the New York Times last week about how our troops discovered Saddam Hussein's old and inoperable chemical weapons facilities during the course of the Iraq War. Therefore George W. Bush and his surrogates that cheered for military action in Iraq were correct and must be vindicated.

No, no, no, and of course, no!

Salon points out that the Bush administration expected to find old, degraded chemical munitions plants and were expecting to find OLDER weapons along with newer weapons. As a matter of fact the final report of the weapons inspectors sent to find Saddam's WMDs was published and noted that there were older weapons in existence but no proof of newer weapons being produced.

That report was published ten years ago.

As his prospects for being re-elected to the US Senate in 2006 were fading in Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum (yes, THAT Santorum) tried to claim that yes, we did find WMDs in Iraq.

Santorum cited a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center regarding 500 chemical munitions shells that were buried near the Iraq-Iran border and then forgotten by Iraqi troops when their eight-year war with Iran ended in 1988.

Intelligence officials confirmed that these weapons were not the ones sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

The stunt backfired tremendously and attributed to Santorum's 17 point defeat to now-Senator Bob Casey Jr.

Vox analyzes the New York Times story. It points out a timeline of significant events that happened in that region over the last 35 years. What the article points out is not any vindication of the Bush administration, but rather our government and the Pentagon did not provide proper training on how to safely dispose these old weapons. The result is that those that were hurt were shushed and denied recognition or medical treatment for their injuries.

That New York Times article is not a cause for celebration; it should be a cause for alarm and anger.

Ernst is an Army veteran, but VoteVets is not endorsing her. In fact the organization is spending money to canvas for the Democrat, Bruce Braley. Why is an organization that is dedicated to getting veterans elected to office not supporting one of their own?

Because as Jon Soltz authored in this op-ed for the Huffington Post, one of Ernst's campaign financers is Big Oil. In July she attended a fundraiser with the political action committees of the American Petroleum Institute and Exxon Mobil. As Soltz pointed out, Big Oil only benefits our foreign enemies and the Pentagon has made the argument that investing in fuel efficient technologies is a national security interest.

And speaking of Big Oil, another one of her backers is the Americans For Prosperity group backed by the Koch Brothers.

Speaking of prosperity, she believes that only certain Americans should have a chance at it. Ernst doesn't support raising the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to President Obama's proposed $10.10. According to Public Policy Polling, 53% of 659 likely Iowa voters support raising the minimum wage to $10.10.

Another reason why Ernst doesn't get my support despite her being a fellow veteran is that she led a coup to oust veterans from a local board because they opposed her candidacy.

This board's job was to help veterans find employment in the community of Red Oak. This town suffered one of the highest casualty rates in World War II and this committee was established.

Despite her public image as a sweet, loving, compassionate farmer who castrates pigs, the real Joni Ernst is someone who is cold, calculating, and conniving as House Of Cards' Frank Underwood.

On the campaign trail she had Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin speak in support of her.

Y'all remember Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin right?

Palin was picked by the McCain campaign in 2008 in hopes that she would woo women voters to the Republican Party in that election but it turns out that they did not properly vet her and she turned into a disaster for their party in that election. The McCain-Palin ticket lost to Obama-Biden convincingly in the electoral college and the popular vote in 2008. Then in July 2009 she quit resigned as governor after serving only half a term.

Mitt Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts who implemented health care reform in his state and then in 2012 ran away from it. He lost the 2008 primary, but won the 2012 due to Republicans having to settle on a candidate who wasn't going to embarrass them horribly in the general election. During the general election campaign, a video was discovered of Romney dismissing 47% of the US population.

The final result of the 2012 Election?

Popular vote: Obama 51, Romney 47

There are rumors that the Republicans are trying to court Romney to run again in 2016.

As I look at the latest polls….

She is LEADING?!

How can that be?!

First rule of Iowa politics: Do NOT insult farmers.

The polls are saying that Ernst is going to win, but I think the pollsters are underestimating the ability of Iowa Democrats to turnout their voters.

One common theme that I have been hearing in these last two weeks of the various campaigns is that it comes down to who has the better turnout operation and who can get their voters to the polls.

If Democrats turnout their supporters then Joni Ernst will not be a Senator.

Ernst says that she wants to cut government if she is elected to the US Senate.

I hope that after January 2015 the only cutting that Ernst will be doing will be pigs.

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