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Grassley – Stands Up to Big Pharma

By S.C. Sherman

Bio pic3Seems like I’ve been writing about Senator Chuck Grassley lately. Last month it was an internet gaming bill now it’s drugs. He’s just the man in the big chair. He has earned a position of leadership in the Senate and that means he wields a lot of power. Like Uncle Ben said, with great power comes great responsibility. However, Senator Grassley has never forgotten his Iowa roots. When he finally gives up his office, he’ll come back to Iowa. He is the one who started the Iowa 99 thing that Presidential Candidates like to copy. He visits every one of Iowa’s 99 counties. He loves the people of Iowa and he’s never forgotten that he’s a farmer and then a politician. Well, as a politician he gets asked to care about a lot of things most farmers never even think about, like how patent reform relates to drug prices.

It turns out that there is a chance to significantly affect the price of drugs in America by changing the patent laws that are currently being abused beyond belief to keep Big Pharma in Big Money! I like to keep things simple. I know you Iowa State grads will say that’s because of my Hawkeye degree, but it’s not that. Well, mostly not. Anyway, before I got that fancy degree from Iowa, I was just a farm kid from Grinnell. I grew up walking beans and detasseling. Then I joined my Dad’s travelling construction crew. We were all over Minnesota and Iowa building football and baseball aluminum bleachers. Let me tell you, that is where I learned some vocabulary that we’ll just call Layman’s Terms! Even though I know a whole lot $25 words I learned during my time at the University of Iowa, I’m still comfortable with the “F” word as an adjective or an exclamatory or a verb or a noun or an ancillary, well you get the idea…I like things spelled out plain.

Here’s the deal. Big Pharma has been using patent law to lock up their formulas for years on end. This eliminates competition and allows a drug company to charge $20 per pill or $250 per pill and there is nothing to do but pay it. Finally, when the patent runs out, generic pill makers make a generic version of that $250 pill for about $2. Say what? Yeah, now is a good time for an exclamatory statement starting with an F bomb!

It so happens that this year there is a chance to bust some of this crony corruption up. It’s not going to get much press because it’s boring to talk about, but I’m writing about it anyway. There is a bill called H.R. 9 the Innovation Act sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia). The idea is to crack down on costly and abusive patent lawsuits to ultimately help consumers by severely limiting the billions drained from our economy through abusive lawsuits. Our Senator Chuck Grassley has the power to facilitate this type of bill and that will seriously help the consumer. Click here to read more about recent happenings in the world of political Pharma.

If the power of Big Pharma to basically have limited monopolies was destroyed we would see real competition and prices of drugs would normalize to sustainable and justifiable rates. Yes, it is possible and yes great innovations would still take place. Patents would still protect fantastic new innovation in biopharma, but the abuse of the people would be brought into check. Grassley is in a position to help this actually come to fruition.

Patent reform has support from both sides of the aisle. Who doesn’t want to say they’ve helped lower the price of your meds to the constituents back home. Patent reform supporters are hopeful it will come to both chambers after a packed September agenda. But both Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa have stated pessimism that the bills would ultimately include an exemption for biopharma patents allowing them to continue business as usual. However Grassley said, “But that’s not the best thing to do. There are some in the tech community who think we've already gone too far.”

I for one don’t think you’ve gone too far. By all means, keep going. Competition is good in any industry. Big Pharma is no exception. If you’ve ever had to buy an antibiotic for your crying kid with an ear infection at two in morning without a drug card…let me tell thank God for generic!

Go Chuck Go! Patent reform will mean cheaper drugs, and that’s for everyone…even Iowa State fans, we all know they need medication!

S.C. (Steve) Sherman grew up an Iowa farm kid. He graduated from the University of Iowa and lives and works in Hawkeye country. Steve is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate. His articles have appeared nationally in both print and online. His most recent novel, titled Mercy Shot, can be found on Amazon or at Steve can be reached at



'Dem' Moines Register wants censorship

The leftist, rather sophomoric quasi-journalist, RekHA Basu, at the left-leaning Dem Moines Register is now lobbying for the ultimate Leftist, socialist, communist tyrant play.    Her left-wing column in the Sunday edition calls for censorship of the popular WHO radio host, Jan Mickelson.  RekHa, is quite simply, a typical left-winger, who has lost another debate.     Her hypocritical protection of every leftist pablum has lead her down the path of other socialist/communist types, to play the Censorship card.    So, so Un-American.    Not a surprise really.    What is surprising is that many Iowans apparently put up with a loon, like RekHA.

Ha, I don’t and won’t.     The Dem Moines Register is trying its darnedest to protect Hillary Rodham from fully informing Iowans of the trouble, Scandal and outright LIES that she has been floating, since she first declared that she and Monica Lewinsky’s boyfriend were ‘Dead Broke’ when they were ‘stealing’ out of the White House, just a few years back. 

Jan Mickelson  is like a lot of hard working, Iowans.   We are tired of endless taxpayer dollars being spent/wasted on leftist schemes to ‘transform’ America.  Most of this is illegal/immoral, or often both.     Why are limitless taxpayer dollars funding abortions and baby-part harvesting ghouls at Planned Parenthood?  Why are Iowa taxpayers funding the education, lifestyle and sometimes felonious actions of people, who stay here, Illegally?     

RekHA, like Hillary Rodham, is just another leftist, hypocrite, who is just now being fully exposed.     But, you won’t find much about Hillary’s Scandal in the Dem Moines Register, or the Iowa City Press-Corruption.    Both of those rags are ‘in the tank’ for anything with a ‘D’ after its name.

~ P.J. Bredinger,  rural Johnson County, IA

(former resident of Iowa City)

Not News: Unarmed White Teen Killed by Cop; Two White Cops Killed by Blacks - Larry Elder

The media enthusiastically remind us that it's the first anniversary of the death of Ferguson's Michael Brown, a death that spawned the so-called Black Lives Matter movement.

In a September speech at the United Nations, President Barack Obama said, "The world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri -- where a young man was killed, and a community was divided."

Never mind that both a grand jury and the federal Department of Justice exonerated the officer who shot and killed Brown. Never mind that neither the physical evidence nor eyewitness testimony corroborated the assertions that Brown had his hands up or that he said, "Don't shoot."


Eastern Iowa Is Now Part of Chicago!

By Deborah D. Thornton
Eastern Iowa Is Now Part of Chicago!
The distance from Chicago to Dubuque, or Clinton, or Davenport is around 200 miles. It’s almost 250 from Burlington.  Yet recent and proposed actions by the federal government are making Eastern Iowa part of the “greater-Chicago area.”
The expanding federal nanny state has decided that our river towns, many of which are struggling to provide good jobs and decent housing for low-income people who already live here, should focus on recruiting low-income people from outside the state, instead of working to recruit military veterans, active retirees, or young college graduates, who can remain in their hometowns, start businesses, begin families, and help lift their neighborhoods up.
The process is starting with the low-income housing rental programs of Dubuque.  Many people rent housing instead of buying, allowing greater flexibility in living arrangements — including ease of moving for jobs, increased cost controls to help manage expenses, and no responsibility for maintenance.  Unfortunately, rental properties in the last few years have not kept up with demand, resulting in lower vacancies and higher rents. 
Many people have turned to government-supported low-income housing programs, specifically the Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) program or Section 8.  The HCV program is supposedly controlled by local (generally city or county based) public housing agencies (PHAs).  The money for vouchers comes from taxpayers – after being routed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 
Once an individual receives a Section 8 voucher, they find a rental owner who will accept it.  Typically there are more applicants than money available.  Many waiting lists are long.  And typically there are more Section 8 voucher holders than there are owners willing to accept them.  Both the individual application process and the owner’s property requirements are significant and onerous.
If HUD is successful at finalizing the Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation this summer – proposed a year ago – local control of Section 8 will be significantly eroded.  According to HUD’s press release, “HUD will provide data for every neighborhood … in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and … resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class.  Long-term solutions will involve various strategies, such as helping people gain access to different neighborhoods and channeling investments into underserved areas,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.
After an extensive investigation of alleged discrimination in their local priority ranking system, which was found to unfairly keep minorities (mostly from out of state, specifically Chicago, Illinois, which is four hours away) from being approved and placed on the Dubuque Section 8 voucher list, HUD forced officials to sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement ceding control of their program even before AFFH is finalized.  Dubuque is being required to not focus on the local needy citizens, but instead to attract and recruit new low-income renters from outside of Iowa.  They must specifically advertise for and recruit low-income applicants reflecting the demographics of Chicago.  The administrative burden is significant and Dubuque is required to follow HUD’s every direction for the next five years or more.
Dubuque is not a city which could be considered wealthy and elite.  Local residents are not looking to increase the number of people who are dependent on government services for their daily living needs.  Instead, Dubuque (like our other river cities) is struggling to revive its economic base, keep its young people from moving away, and provide for the needs of those who currently live there, who vote there, and who pay taxes there, to whom they already have an obligation.
The elected officials responsible for our Iowa towns must take note.  Because they took the federal government’s money, Dubuque is now controlled by HUD and has become a part of Chicago.  It cannot be said too often: if you take their money, you play by their rules.  Their rules are not pretty.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry. 
Deborah D. Thornton, Research Analyst, Public Interest Institute, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641-1328. Ph: 319-385-3462, Web site:  Contact her at

The Full Dinner Pail

By John Hendrickson

The Grand Old Party (GOP) has changed since its founding. One change that has occurred is the Republican Party’s stance on trade policy. Today a solid majority of Republicans are supporters of the doctrine of free trade. This was not the case for most of the GOP’s history as Republicans became the champions of protectionism. In fact the principle of protectionism was a sacred pillar of the Republican Party. This philosophy or the American System was carried over from the Federalist and Whig economic programs of Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican to be elected President, championed a protective tariff. A tariff was used both for revenues and to protect the American economy from Europe.

This philosophy also consisted of a commitment to sound money as exemplified by the gold standard, low levels of taxation and regulation, balanced budgets, and a commitment to property rights and economic liberty. These principles along with the protective tariff defined the political economy of the Republican Party. The doctrine of protectionism was not just putting “America first,” but also protecting the entire economy, and especially labor by preserving manufacturing with solid wages for workers.
During the late 19th century, Ohio’s William McKinley became the chief defender of both “protection and the gold standard.” President Calvin Coolidge argued that McKinley’s policies brought forth a period of economic prosperity owing to trade protection and strengthening the gold standard.
The result of McKinley’s policies as Coolidge noted was the “application of his principle of a protective tariff, which furnished the initial opportunity for laying down the greatest industries of America and the development of her entire resources.” Coolidge believed, just as McKinley argued, that protectionism benefited not just business, but the farmer and laborer as well. “Cheap goods meant cheap men,” stated Coolidge. The rallying cry of protectionism in the GOP came under the slogan the “Full Dinner Pail,” which was utilized by William McKinley during his presidential campaigns and by later Republican presidential candidates including Calvin Coolidge. The “Full Dinner Pail” represented economic prosperity, high wages, and a sound economy.
The “Full Dinner Pail” platform of McKinley, Harding, and Coolidge resulted in a period of economic expansion and growth, which benefited not only business, but the middle class. As columnist and former Republican presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan wrote: “Protectionism is the structuring of trade policy to protect the national sovereignty, ensure economic self-reliance, and ‘prosper America first.’ It was the policy of the Republican Party from Abraham Lincoln to Calvin Coolidge. America began that era in 1860 with one half of Britain’s production and ended it producing more than all of Europe put together. Is this a record to be ashamed of?”
The America-first trade policy of protectionism through tariffs was not only a constitutional way of protecting national sovereignty, but also putting the economic health of the nation first. The policy of protectionism was often debated within Republican circles, but it was a policy that many took seriously as a key component to an overall successful economic program.
As Robert Lighthizer, who served as a trade representative in President Ronald Reagan’s administration, wrote: “Conservative statesmen from Alexander Hamilton to Ronald Reagan sometimes supported protectionism and at other times they leaned toward lowering barriers. But they always understood that trade policy was merely a tool for building a strong and independent country with a prosperous middle class.”
Republicans would be wise to remember such American conservative statesmen who followed in the footsteps of Hamilton, Lincoln, McKinley, Harding, and Coolidge, who placed America first above anything else.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry. 
John Hendrickson, Research Analyst, Public Interest Institute, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641-1328. Ph: 319-385-3462, Web site:  Contact him at

Don't Be Fooled by the Media; This Isn't About Trump - David Limbaugh

Is anyone concerned that the media have succeeded in using a flap between Donald Trump and John McCain to divert our attention from serious issues facing the nation?

Trump has been very outspoken in recent weeks on certain issues, especially immigration. His unfiltered remarks have resonated with people, driving him high in the polls among the GOP hopefuls.


Transparency at the County Level in Iowa

By Jennifer L. Crull

We are reporting on the project has done with all 99 counties in Iowa. ( The Ballotpedia Website talks about how taxpayers should be able to tell from their county’s Website if the county government is effective, competent, frugal with tax dollars, and in compliance with all expectations and relevant laws about public records and open meeting laws.
The criteria were outlined on a “transparency checklist” on the Ballotpedia Website. The following are the ten categories Ballotpedia is looking at when they examine a Website:
Budget - The county website should include comprehensive budget information.
County government meetings/agendas - The county's website should disclose all county government meetings and agendas.
Elected officials and elections - The county's website should disclose key information about the county's elected officials.
Administrative officials - The county's website should disclose key information about the county's appointed administrators such as their names, titles, and contact information, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Building permits and zoning - The building permit and zoning applications should be available for download online. In addition, constituents should be able to submit applications and track the process online.         
Audits (financial/performance) - If the county conducts financial and management audits to ensure that it is operating in accordance with the highest standards of financial and management competence and integrity, theses audits should be available on the website.
Contracts - The county's website should provide comprehensive information about the contracts it enters into with vendors.
Lobbying/advocacy - If the unit of government belongs to any government sector lobbying associations that it helps to fund by paying association or membership dues, that information should be disclosed on the government agency's website.
Local taxes - The website should include a central location for all tax information, including state fees such as drivers' licenses, tax documents for all elected officials, and each agency’s sources of revenue.
Public records - The website should include the name of the person who is in charge of fulfilling open records requests, along with contact information.
If you take the time to visit the Website you would see that we have a couple counties that have worked hard to increase transparency at the county level such as Johnson and Scott Counties, but we have many counties that have a long way to go to increase transparency at the county level.
Given that our state has risen to an “A-,” how can we have such low scores for our county governments?  I think that it is time for our counties to focus on increasing access to information, especially since this is the level of government that people interact with the most.  I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit and check the transparency score for government agencies in your area. Also, if you feel the score is wrong Ballotpedia asks that you contact them at and request a new evaluation to keep their records up to date.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Public Interest Institute.  They are brought to you in the interest of a better informed citizenry. 
Jennifer L. Crull, IT Specialist, Public Interest Institute, 600 North Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641-1328. Ph: 319-385-3462, Web site:  Contact her at

UCLA to Hire Illegal Aliens As Interns - Aaron Bandler

Illegal aliens are put up on a pedestal in California, and the state's education system makes certain of that. UCLA is now hiring them as interns, according to Campus Reform:

The UCLA Labor Center’s Dream Resource Center is allowing undocumented students to apply for Dream Summer, a ten-week summer program that provides paid internship opportunities for immigrants in California, regardless of their immigration or insurance status. The program will encourage them to advocate for immigration reform and promote universal health care access regardless of immigration status.

The Center says the program began in 2011 after the U.S. Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act in 2010, which would have given a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants who came to the United states before the age of 16. The program claims to have provided 418 internship opportunities to immigrant youth throughout the nation.

UC Berkeley and UC San Diego have a similar policy, according to the report.

California taxpayers already pay for illegal aliens to attend school via the Dream Act, and now at schools like UCLA, even more money pays for them to intern at the school to promote immigration reform and government-funded healthcare to illegals? Seems like a massive taxpayer scam.

While it's bad enough that they are further bleeding taxpayers dry, it makes it worse that UCLA is turning these illegals into activists for liberal policies:


The Wine-Sipping Butchers of Planned Parenthood - Michelle Malkin

Hannibal Lecter ain't got nothing on the profit-maximizing abortion ghoul caught on tape hawking aborted baby parts as she swilled wine and nibbled on a gourmet salad.

In newly released undercover footage from the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, seasoned abortionist Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who serves as national senior director of "medical services" at Planned Parenthood, chitter-chattered eagerly about fulfilling the bloodthirsty demand for "intact hearts," "lower extremities" and lungs.

Price tag? "You know, I would throw a number out," she babbled breezily as she twirled her fork. "I would say it's probably anywhere from $30 to $100" per specimen.


Bill O'Reilly Talking Points Memo: 'Dangerous People Are Walking Around Because of Political Correctness' | Fox News Insider

In his Talking Points Memo tonight, Bill O'Reilly sounded off about the murder of Kate Steinle, saying that "dangerous people are walking around because of political correctness."

O'Reilly said that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the 11 city supervisors are "directly responsible" for Steinle's death. 

"That's because San Francisco is a sanctuary city that does not cooperate with the federal government, even on holding and identifying criminal aliens," he explained. "Sanchez was in custody in San Francisco and ... Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi let him out, defying ICE officials."

"The Factor" host said that Mirkarimi should resign immediately. 

"I mean what kind of law officer allows a known felon to walk free when the feds want him in custody?" O'Reilly asked. "The sheriff is incompetent ... And so are the folks who run the city of San Francisco, most of whom are now hiding."

O'Reilly argued that Steinle is "collateral damage to the insane far-left politics that have long corrupted the city by the bay."

He said that dangerous people are "walking around because of political correctness."