Archive for tom harkin

Sen. Tom Harkin: GOP senator from southern state called Pres. Obama “exotic” during closed-door meeting


la cucaracha racism obamaVia Lalo Alcaraz

Senator Tom Harkin has been busy lately. Earlier I posted: Iowa woman breaks down in tears at Harkin event supporting expansion of Social Security. Then he told the Des Moines Register that a GOP senator from a southern state referred to President Obama as "exotic" during a closed-door bipartisan meeting when they were trying to avoid more gridlock over changes to filibuster rules regarding executive branch nominees.

"Exotic," he said.

"Doesn't share our values," he said.

"My people," he said.

President Obama will forever be "the other" to small-minded ignorami.

I'm surprised he didn't call him "That one" and "darky." I'm sure "his people" have.

Via Roll Call:

“I’m not naming any names, but one senator got up from a southern state and said, ‘Well, you’ve got to understand that to my people down here, Obama seems like he’s exotic,’” the Iowa Democrat said. “That he’s just exotic, he doesn’t share our values.” [...]

Asked whether there were other periods in American history with partisan polarization like what Washington’s currently experiencing, Harkin said, “Sure – the Civil War,” the Register reported.

His "Civil War" reference couldn't have been more apt.


VIDEO: Iowa woman breaks down in tears at Harkin event supporting expansion of Social Security


woman pleading for social security

Via, a local NBC affiliate in Des Moines, here is video of a woman at a retirement center during an event held by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, Progress Iowa, The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy For America,, Social Security Works, and Credo Action.

The topic: Social Security cuts.

Harkin's bill would increase monthly benefits by $65 a month by lifting the cap that taxes income for social security, and expressed his disappointment in President Obama when he said, “I’m sorry to say the president of my own party has advocated this and he’s wrong... I’m so tired of people saying we’ve got to cut social security. No, you can increase social security.”

Sheryl Tenicat, who is retired and now looking for work, broke down in tears while pleading for expanding Social Security benefits-- as opposed to continuing efforts to slash the program. She told her very real, very painful story about what happens when life-saving programs are cut:


I have $624 a month. That’s what I'm living on.

99 of that goes to my Medicare Part ‘A’ and ‘B’. After I get my check in two weeks, it’s gone. I have nothing.

I live on what I eat here [at the senior center]. And I just do not want my cost of living cut because I’ve paid in since I was 16, to the government.

I'm looking for work!... I have property taxes to pay. ... My car just broke down. I can't repair it, so I'm walking and taking the bus...

There is no way for me to eat less. Thank you.

No, thank you, Ms. Tenicat.

Here is a video of the entire news report:


bernie sanders chained cpi social security


Roll Call: Iowa Senate race no longer "likely" Democratic, now "leans" Democratic


heads up

Now that Senator Tom Harkin won’t seek a 6th Senate term, Iowa just went from "likely" to "leans" Democratic. Get your wallets ready.

Via Roll Call:

Sen. Tom Harkin’s retirement makes the Iowa Senate seat more competitive by virtue of the six-term Democrat’s departure. Couple that with the Hawkeye State’s competitive nature, and this race could be one of the most targeted of the 2014 cycle.

Accordingly, CQ Roll Call now characterizes the Iowa Senate race as Leans Democratic, after previously rating the contest as Likely Democratic.

On the Republican side we have the possibility of Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham running.

On the Dem side, four-term Congressman Rep. Bruce Braley is a good bet.


AP NewsBreak: Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) won't seek 6th Senate term



Oh oh. Republicans are smiling in Iowa today.

CUMMING, Iowa -- Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014.

The 73-year-old Harkin tells The Associated Press in an interview, "It's just time to step aside," because by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81.

Harkin said it would also allow a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.

The announcement comes as a surprise, considering he had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.

Harkin played a lead role in urging the Senate's more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill.

No Iowa Republicans have taken formal steps toward seeking the seat. Harkin's decision eases the burden on the GOP, who have to gain six seats to win the majority.