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Questions voters need to ask Johnson County Supervisors regarding their proposal to raise the minimum wage

By Mike Thayer

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors wants to hurry up and pass an ordinance raising the minimum wage from the state mandate of $7.25 per hour to a county mandated $10.10 per hour.

What's the rush supes?

They need to answer some very basic questions before they go raising the hourly rate without public input.

Question One:  Why $10.10?  Sounds rather arbitrary.  How did supervisors 'arrive' at that figure?  It just happens to match Democrat talking points and President Obama's executive order giving federal contract workers that amount.  The cost of living in DC is much higher than it is here in Iowa.  Supervisors need to qualify their figure specific to the needs of Johnson County. 

Question Two:  Where is the evidence that raising the minimum wage stimulates the economy or miraculously lifts people out of poverty?  Supervisors haven't cited any because there is no such credible evidence.

Question Three:  How many heads of household in Johnson County earn just minimum wage?  I've asked board member Rod Sullivan this very question and he refuses to answer.  Here was his tap dancing response, provided on the DePressed-Citizen comment board

I'm not concerned about ONLY those earning minimum wage. I am concerned about people earning $7.50, $8, $8.50, etc.  As for "head of household" - what does that mean? Women tend to earn less than men. You can see above that 56% work full time - isn't that a "head of household"? You can see that 84% are over 20 - isn't that a "head of household"? 26% have children - isn't that a "head of household"? They earn 54% of the family income - does that make them "heads of households"?

Sullivan knows full well what head of household means, he's playing games and throwing out a bunch of percentages doesn't answer my question.  Sullivan is afraid it seems to provide the raw number of heads of household in Johnson earning just minimum wage.  And if he doesn't know it, he's proposing a hike in the minimum wage anyway?  Huh?

Question four:  How many employers in Johnson County are hiring at just minimum wage? In looking at various classifieds, jobs boards and making some phone calls, most starting wages are already at the $10/hr level. So what is the point then, of Supervisors passing an ordinance for something that's largely, already happening?

Until these very basic four questions are properly addressed by the board, there is no reason to rush into a wage hike, especially since most employers in the area are already at the $10 an hour figure.  If it ain't broke, don't *fix* it.  There's no need for government to interfere with businesses already meeting a desired standard. 

Additional Reading:  No proof that higher minimum wage boosts economy

Real World Results:  Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit

And never mind that the answer to a poorly paying job is to get a better one. 

The sad state of current affairs

By Mike Thayer

You can't take what the Obama administration says at face value, you just can't.  But when it comes to Iran, when they say "Death to America" you KNOW they mean it! 

DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program was "very disturbing".

"I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy," he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, parts of which the network quoted on Tuesday.

"But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were "180 degrees" opposed to Iran's, at a speech in a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".

"Even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change," Khamenei said.

John Kerry is an idiot and that deal made with Iran regarding their nuclear weapons program is worthless.

And to further demonstrate that the Obama Administration is inept:

.....during an interview with CNN, White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice admitted Iran might use some of their new money to fund "bad behavior," which is diplomatic code speech for terrorism.

"We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we've seen in the region up until now," Rice said.

Our so-called leaders knew this stuff - that Iran can't be trusted, that Iran would probably use the new money resulting from a lifting of sanctions to fund more terrorism - and Obama makes this deal with Iran anyway?  

So here's the sad state of current affairs, we can't take what the Obama administration says at face value, but we can with Iran.


Related Story:  Kerry says Iran vow to defy U.S. is 'very disturbing' - Yahoo News

Related Story:  Susan Rice: Yep, Iran Might Use Some of Their New $150 Billion For Terrorism - Katie Pavlich

Why I got rid of the ‘R’ - TheGazette

A Guest Column appearing in The Gazette, written by yours truly, Mike Thayer.....

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the greatest president of my lifetime:

I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the party left me.

The House vote on Tuesday to keep John “Establishment” Boehner as speaker was the last straw for me.


ObamaCare woes: Struggling Iowa health insurer taken over by state | Fox News

CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an Obamacare failure, but you won't see this story in the liberal press.  They won't acknowledge this reality in their so-called coverage of Obamacare, this story isn't a positive, so they won't run it.

A taxpayer-backed Iowa health insurer created under ObamaCare has been taken over by the state amid deep financial problems, sending policyholders in the Midwest scrambling for new coverage and raising questions about the status of similar outfits across the country. 

The Iowa Insurance Division announced Wednesday that Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart was taking over CoOpportunity Health, a struggling cooperative that sprouted out of the Affordable Care Act. 


Obama's talking points on immigration amounts to empty rhetoric, excuse making

By Mike Thayer

Tonight, Barack Obama is going to give an estimated five million illegal aliens the green light to stay in this country.

Talking points obtained by the Coralville Courier give us a look at what to expect tonight from Barack Obama and in the coming days from his Democrat cohorts on the issue of illegal immigration and Obama's abuse of Executive Order:

Talking point #1:  It’s not amnesty

Obama and the Democrats are going to claim that they'll conduct background checks on and collect taxes from illegal aliens and by doing those things, it means what Barack Obama is doing via Executive Order is not amnesty.    Don't believe that.   First of all, the immigration laws already on the books require the federal government to conduct background checks, so it's not like Obama is coming up with something new, in fact, Obama is only selectively fullfilling what is already required.  Secondly, Obama is blowing off deportation rules.  Most importantly, in considering all the illegal border crossings that have taken place at the U.S./Mexican border over the last year or so; how many criminals have crossed; how many sick people have crossed; how many unaccompanied children have crossed; how many background checks were NOT conducted and how much in taxes have NOT been collected from those illegals already here; how can we begin to believe that the federal government will actually do what Obama is promising?  He lies to us about virtually everything so make no mistake, this is a move of amnesty.

Talking point #2:  The president’s legal authority and Congress’ role

No president has ever willfully violated the constitutional process regarding immigration......  Until now.  Barack Obama claims the immigration system is broken, but the reality is he has been failing to faithfully and properly uphold and enforce the laws already on the books.    Barack Obama, does NOT have the authority to ignore federal law, nor does he have the authority to create a new law.  Obama will claim that what he's doing with his Executive Order is not any different than what Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush did with immigration in the 1980's.  That argument is blatantly false.  Obama is lying to you - AGAIN.  What Ronald Reagan and George Bush did was backed by 1986 legislation passed by Congress.  Reagan and Bush worked within Constitutional guidelines and in concert with Congress.  Barack Obama is ignoring both.     

Talking point #3Who to deport

The Obama/Democrat talking points misleadingly claim, “prioritize deporting felons.”   Obama and Democrats will add, We need to focus on deporting felons, not families.   That's a disgusting play on your emotions.  Know that CURRENT federal law already requires a priority to deport criminals!  Hence the requirement that background checks be conducted.....  The background checks that are only selectively being done, the background checks and deportations of illegal alien criminals that Obama is failing to faithfully enforce.

Talking point #4:  What to say to Republican threats on funding

Again, playing on your emotions, rather than be honest with you, Obama and the Democrats will falsely claim something along these lines....  Republicans are proposing to block funding to conduct background checks, and, Republicans are threatening another government shutdown over the collection of taxes from undocumented immigrants.  Note the use of flag words, 'threatening' 'block funding' and 'government shutdown.'    Instead of listening to you, instead of reaching out to a newly elected Congress, Barack Obama has chosen to use inflammatory language and play on people's fears.  Know that Obama's words are fabrication and manipulation, not words based in logic and reason.  No Republican wants to hurt families or make the immigration system even worse than what Obama has allowed it to become.  What Republicans want to do is stop a blatant abuse of power by Barack Obama, who seems to think he's a King, because he sure isn't acting like a president.  

Obama has allowed our immigration system to decay during his six years in office and all of a sudden he can't wait two months to get something done with the new Congress elected by the people?

Barack Obama isn't working to strengthen and improve immigration policy, he's working to WEAKEN it!

Related Story:     Obama's Justice Department released hundreds of immigrant felons in 2013

Snippet:  In 2013, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials freed 193 people who had been convicted of homicide, 426 of sexual assault, 303 of kidnapping and more than 16,000 with drunken-driving records.

Related Story: Report: 36K criminals freed while awaiting deportation

Snippet:  NEW YORK - The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 36,007 convicted criminal aliens last year who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings, according to a report issued Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies.


Here's what going to happen as a result of Obama delaying deportation of illegal aliens

By Mike Thayer

Regular readers know the following to be one of my most used sayings:

Only three things happen when the government gets involved in things like this:

  1. The cost goes up
  2. The wait gets longer
  3. The quality goes down

Here's what going to happen as a direct result of Barack Obama's abuse of Executive Order tonight:

  1. The cost goes up -  Members of Congress and Governors will now be forced to appropriate even more funds to provide government services and benefits.  In addition, illegal immigration along our southern border will increase.
  2. The wait gets longer - This action doesn't fix immigration problems, it makes matters worse and those immigrants playing by the rules trying to get to the U.S. (and their families here sponsoring them) will suffer for it.  The enforcement of immigration laws already on the books are being ignored by Obama.
  3. The quality goes down - Unemployment goes up, the quality of life gets watered down for many.  The pending increase of illegal border crossings compounds the problems of illegal immigration.  More trafficking, more crime, more border patrol, more ICE, overwhelmed charitable/private services at the local level and overwhelmed government services departments at all levels, local, state, federal.  This action by Obama doesn't clean things up, it muddies things up and it's by design.

Barack Obama, by abuse of Executive Order, will have failed to faithfully uphold and enforce federal laws, will have exceeded presidential authority, will have ignored and circumvented the Constitution, will have lied - again - to the American people.

Mike Thayer's Predictions for Election 2014

Here's my list of Iowa's race outcomes, some surprises, some not at all.

Election 2014 forecast

On the national level, this election is indeed about the Obama/Democrat agenda, and I think that agenda will be rejected.  The U.S. Senate will have a new Republican majority and the GOP will pick up a few more seats in the U.S. House.

Find your polling place:

Related Story:

Takes from the area's hard copy papers below.

City of Coralville wins city planning award, school district wants to tell them how to zone

The Real View, by Mike Thayer

The city of Coralville just won a national award for city planning, and the school board wants to tell Coralville officials - award winning officials - and other area cities how to zone?


This focus by the school board on a diversity policy continues to create more problems than it supposedly fixes.    That the board is trying to get cities to craft zoning rules as the school district would like them to accomodate their stupid policy is absurd.   The board opened up this diversity policy can of worms and now they're trying to get city fingers into the can and create an even bigger mess!  And are Utopian-minded zoning rules and a silly piece of paper really an answer to student issues?   No, not at all.  It's a school board pipe dream is what it is.  It seems to me the board is trying to prop up something that's flawed in design.   What a pointless, taxpayer dollar wasting exercise.   They need to go back to the drawing board and think out-of-the-box.  Their diversity policy sucks, they've already revised it multiple times to no avail and they need to leave city planners out of their failed project.  The board needs to refocus on solutions for the kids, not solutions for administration.

Iowa City Community School District officials needs to look within for answers to student issues.  They are in no position, no authority, to dicate to any city what zoning should or should not be.

Related Story:  Coralville Community Plan Recognized for Innovation, Engagement, Effectiveness

Iowa City Press-Citizen fails to report...... AGAIN

By Mike Thayer

In today's hard copy edition of the Iowa City DePressed Citizen, they ran a little blurb of a story about Barack Obama appointing a guy named Ron Klain to the position of Ebola Czar.

The little story is one paragraph, front page, below the fold, bottom right corner.  The headline reads, Obama names Ron Klain Ebola 'czar'.   It leads to a bigger story with the suggestion of, "Read more, "8A."  The story on 8A is by the Associated Press, it's sizeable, taking up nearly one-third of the page.  That headline reads, Obama names an Ebola 'czar' as precautions expand.

Both stories failed to REPORT that Ron Klain has absolutely NO medical experience whatsover.  That's a pretty significant piece of information to withhold don't you think?   We're talking about Ebola here, a VERY contagious virus, and the guy Obama puts in charge has ZERO experience in the field of medicine.  He's a lawyer.  And what do lawyers get paid to do?  They get paid to say, "No." 

Obama made a political move, rather than a doing-the-right-thing move.   This appointment was politically calculated, which is how Obama treats every decision he makes.  Low information voters will ignorantly view this appointment as, good, Obama is getting serious about Ebola.  But here's the reality:  Ron Klain wasn't hired to fix anything, he was hired to obstruct.

Know that your local liberal paper failed to report the Ron Klain has no medical experience whatsoever.  Know that your local liberal paper, knowingly fed you an AP story, that failed to provide that information.  Know that your local paper, could easily have added that information, but decided not to.  Know that DePressed Citizen editors have the authority to title AP stories as they see fit.  Editors also have a tool called "Editor's Note" which unfortunately, is hardly used anymore.

What good is a paper, that doesn't give you all sides to a story?

Why voters vote as they do

By Mike Thayer
This year's mid-term election is said to be a moratorium on the Obama agenda.  The so-called experts and politicos are predicting a GOP takeover of the U.S. Senate and the pick up of more Republican seats in the House because people are going to vote in protest of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. 
I say that's horse manure.
People may indeed cast protest votes in November, but that's superficial. 
REALITY:  The number of voters that cast votes based on emotion, outnumber the voters who cast their votes based in reason, logic and common sense. 
That reality dates back prior to the Reagan years.  Reagan won in two landslides not because most people were exercising logic and reason, but because Reagan was talented enough to appeal to most everybody's emotional state.    He didn't win because he had great ideas and a track record of success, he won because he made a majority of Americans feel good about their situation.  
It's all about the ability to appeal to emotions.  The activist majorities of both parties vote Republican or Democratic based in loyalty, not facts, logic, or reason.  It's true, otherwise attack ads wouldn't work.  It's all about the emotion.
Recent Presidential Election History
Reagan beat Carter so badly in 1980 not because of the misery index, but because Reagan's emotional appeal trumped Carter's.  Nobody can argue that Carter wasn't a well-intended guy, but most Americans embraced Reagan's vision of a shiny city on a hill.   It wasn't about the facts of the day, it was about how one man made people feel good and how one man frustrated so many.
George H.W. Bush won against Michael Dukakis in 1988 because America still wanted to ride the wave of the Reagan years.  Bush 41 wasn't the most charismatic guy, but neither was Dukakis.  Look at the political ads of that day, most all were emotionally based, not fact based.   The Willie Horton ad tops the list.  Bush 'out- emotioned' Dukakis.
Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush because of better emotional appeal.  Take a step back and really think about that.  If you review the economic numbers and current events of the day, they weren't that bad and not nearly as dark as Clinton successfully painted them to be.  Incumbent George H.W. Bush should not have lost to a then-governor of a small state in Bill Clinton.  But politically speaking, Clinton knew how to say, "I love you" better than Bush did.  Logic and reason didn't win the day, no, based on emotional appeal, Clinton became president. 
Despite Clinton adminstration scandal and shenanigans in the headlines during the '96 election season, Clinton beat Dole and won a second term because of better emotional appeal.    There is a reason why history notes Clinton as a great politician and Bob Dole displayed little to no charisma in trying to compete against Bill's ability.  It didn't hurt that the economy was growing, but in an emotionally based tangible, realize that people 'felt good' about the GOP takeover of the U.S. House in 1994 to keep the Clinton administration in check.   You would think a cheater would be tossed out of office, but no, emotions went into the voting booth.
George W. Bush beat Al Gore - who was virtually an incumbent - because of a more tolerable emotional appeal.  Yes, really.  There is absolutely no logical reason behind Gore's loss in 2000.  The economy was still seemingly humming along, the dot-com bubble hadn't burst yet.  This election shouldn't have even been close.   Gore wasn't charming, in fact, he was emotionally unappealing to enough folks to pave the way for a Bush presidency.
George W. Bush beat John Kerry in 2004 because of better emotional appeal.  Let's face it, John Kerry just comes off as an elitist, arrogant, snob.  Laid back beat uppity.   The emotions, tied to Bush's leadership regarding 911, also fueled enough votes to give him a second term. 
In 2008, up-and-comer Barack Obama beat consensus front-runner and supposed shoo-in Hillary Clinton in the primary because of a better ability to appeal to people's emotions.  He flat out better manipulated Democratic party feelings than Hillary did.   Obama then went on to beat John McCain in the Presidential election, with the emotional tag line of "Hope and Change."   McCain only came as close as he did because of the emotional spike Sarah Palin provided to the party faithful.  There was no logic in that election and sadly, far too many people still don't see that.
Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012, because of a better emotional appeal.  Obama's charisma was better than Romney's, who came off as stiff to many.  But there's no logic in that.  The economy was sour (still is), national debt was skyrocketing (still is), the signs of failed foreign policy were starting to show (prevalent now), the incidences of Obama administration cronyism were on display.   Logically, Mitt Romney should have won that election, but like all recent elections preceding this one, emotions went into the voting booth.  And wouldn't you know it, a bunch of voter's remorse stories are out there about how people wish they would have voted for Romney, and not Obama.  Gosh, remorse, an emotional expression of guilt!
Emotion, not even party-line, belongs in a voting booth
Emotions aren't restricted to presidential elections either.  They are prevalent in mid-term, state,  county/city, special and school board elections as well.  Some people vote 'against' rather than 'for'.  That's emotional.  Certain activists vote straight ticket under the guise of ideology rather than candidate qualifications, facts and reason.    That's voting based in emotion.  With that in mind, think now about Washington dysfunction....  Others vote with party in mind even in elections that are supposedly non-partisan.  Some people vote motivated by loyalty rather than common sense.  Again, that's emotionally based voting, just look at the illogical result of that.....   discontent with the Johnson County board of supervisors, the Iowa City council and the ICCSD school board.  There are those that vote based on how a candidate or issue makes them feel, rather than substance, record and/or results.   OK, we're human, we're emotional.  That's why most voters vote as they do.  Sad, but true, because we're all capable of great logic, too few however, actually exercise it.
So when somebody tries to tell you that the election of Republican Joni Ernst to the U.S. Senate would mean the end of the Department of Education and Medicare, know that the person making such bogus claims is trying to play with your emotions.  There's no logic or fact-based reasoning behind their argument.   Throw the common sense card in their face.

Emotion-based voting has gotten this country into the mess it's currently in.  Toss emotions out of the voting booth, they don't belong there.   Faith in a party is fine, ideology is needed, but even that has emotional ties.  Don't think party, don't think commercials, don't think about what your neighbor or relative said about the election when you go in the booth.  Hopefully you've done your homework, toss the emotional nonsense aside, use logic, facts, reason and common sense when casting your OH-so-important vote.  It's your obligation to be well-informed.  It's your duty to be logical about it.  Are you?