How Hillary Clinton might avoid Scott Walker’s fate

Dear Friends,

I love the richness of our descriptors for gatherings of various life forms. A few of my favorites:
– A pride of lions
– A murder of crows
– A host of sparrows
– A field of presidential candidates

Ok, that last one’s not official. But we use it a lot, and as the field of Republican presidential candidates thins, it seems like a fitting metaphor.

This week, we saw the surprising and sudden exit of Scott Walker. Expect more of that. I predict a Republican field that shrinks to ten candidates, or less.

On the Democratic side? It’s just a matter of time before Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb call it quits. No surprise there. But what about Hillary Clinton? The trajectory of her campaign is very similar to Walker’s, who once led the Republican field by a substantial margin. And when Joe Biden jumps in and eats-up a chunk of Clinton’s dwindling support, she’ll be under a lot of pressure to step aside.

Something big, different and defining needs to happen to revive Clinton’s campaign. Here’s a thought: None of the candidates have prioritized climate change like the crisis it is. The door to that visionary stance is wide open. Clinton could be the first to sign the Pledge to Mobilize, calling for an emergency response to the climate crisis “carried out on the scale of the American World War II home front mobilization.”

We’ve heard that language before, from  . . . Hillary Clinton! In a speech delivered on November 5, 2007, in Cedar Rapids, Clinton said, “For this generation of Americans, climate change is our Space Race. It is our home-front mobilization during World War II and it is our response to the Great Depression.”

If Clinton were to beat Biden, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley to the punch and distinguish herself as the first candidate to commit to an ambitious, full-scale emergency response to the climate crisis, that would be huge. Would it be enough to send her poll numbers in the other direction? Hard to say. But I, for one, would love to find out.

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A hearty thank you to all who participated in this weekend’s “Rosie the Riveter” action at the Republican candidate forum, and to Rodger Routh for this video: Climate Activists Confront Presidential Candidates in Iowa.

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Check out podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum:
– The Pearl Project (with Kelly Boon
)
Lee Camp on Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the FERC fasters
– Water wars and the Iowa Environmental Council’s 20th anniversary (with Katy Heggen
)
Caucus Buzz: Blown-off by Ted Cruz
 (with Pat Bertroche)
– California fires could be climate’s Pearl Harbor moment

Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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Catholic Church speaks out on climate

Dear Friends,

I am honored to have Bishop Richard Pates of the Des Moines Catholic Diocese on today’s Fallon Forum at 11:00 a.m. You can tune-in to the conversation live on KDLF 1260 AM La Reina or online. A podcast will be available after the program.

Responding to Pope Francis’ encyclical addressing climate change, Bishop Pates wrote “An honest conversation acknowledges that humans are causing much of the recent climate change . . . The dialogue we need is not about whether to act on clime change but how to act.” (The Des Moines Register, July 2, 2015)

Bishop Pates goes on to challenge us to action, saying, “With presidential candidates already visiting us regularly, I encourage Catholics across our state, and all people of good will, to talk to them and ask not if, but how, they plan to work toward solutions to climate change.”

Already, 2015 has been a big year for climate action, with two major events still on the horizon:

* Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. this month, including a first-ever address by a pontiff to a joint session of Congress.

* The United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, November 30 – December 11, where expectations are high that a serious climate agreement might at last be attained.

I am grateful for Bishop Pate’s clarion call to faith-based action on behalf of creation and our planet. And I am grateful to all who are engaged in principled acts of conscience leading up to these two landmark moments in the face of escalating climate disasters. There are so many encouraging citizen-based actions in progress right now, it’s impossible to note them all. But let me mention three:

1. The Climate Mobilization, a promising new initiative challenging presidential candidates, other elected leaders, and all of us to confront climate change honestly and commit ourselves to “a World War II-scale emergency climate mobilization to protect civilization from the climate crisis.” If you haven’t yet signed the Pledge to Mobilize, please do.

2. Activists, including some of last year’s participants in the Great March for Climate Action, are fasting for eighteen days in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) building in Washington, DC. In advance of the Pope’s visit, they hope to call on FERC to stop issuing permits for fracking.

3. The People’s Pilgrimage chronicles an informal network of concerned people heading to Paris for the U.N. Climate Summit, or those who plan to be there in spirit. The initiative’s website says, “You can cross a continent, or only walk a mile. It’s up to you. You can do it any way you like – walk, cycle or some other low or zero fossil fuel means. What matters is the spiritual journey and that you use the journey to reflect on the risks of climate change.”

Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts available, too.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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Revival of hope in SE Iowa

Dear Friends,

{WATCH THE FIVE-MINUTE VIDEO PRODUCED BY SHARI HRDINA THAT GIVES ME SUCH HOPE!}

Democracy in America is not dead. But it is seriously ill, and most of us know it.

Hughie Tweedy Protest Party Thumbnail

Hughie Tweedy

Now, I am optimistic by nature. But in recent years, I sometimes find myself in despair over the extent to which Big Business and Big Government control our lives – and conspire to shift more and more of OUR wealth into their pockets.

On August 29-30, 2015, in the far southeast corner of Iowa, something very special occurred on Hughie Tweedy’s farm. Democracy proved it is still alive and ready to fight. The Tweedy family has deep roots in this rolling country along the Mississippi River, and Hughie is a vocal and colorful opponent of the proposed Bakken oil pipeline.

Well, “vocal” and “colorful” took on new dimensions last weekend, as nearly 2,000 friends, family members and fellow pipeline fighters descended upon the Tweedy farm for a festival of camping, music, food and organizing. The diversity, unity and spunk of those assembled imbued me with new hope for democracy. Farmers and hippies, rednecks and environmentalists, Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians and independents. People arrived by pick-up truck, Prius and Harley. They came to support Hughie and other landowners fighting to stop the Bakken pipeline. They came to say that all of us average, working Americans have a lot more in common than any of us do with the executives sitting in corporate boardrooms and their bought-and-paid-for politicians sitting in state and federal halls of power.

Most of us will admit that our political system is a mess. But it’s the system we’re stuck with, for now at least. We can make it work for The People when we organize and look beyond our differences and diverse backgrounds to a greater vision of our common good.

At the Tweedy farm, that reality was on display last weekend. If, like me, you sometimes need a reminder that the passion for liberty and justice still burns strong in America, this was it. Check out the five-minute video Shari Hrdina put together and you’ll see what I mean: http://fallonforum.com/1701-2/.

Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts available, too.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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