Vaccine Mandate Update

Since my newsletter for last week was written, another federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring the federal government from enforcing Biden’s executive order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID. This one is in Florida. That makes judges in Kentucky, Georgia and Missouri and Florida that have issued preliminary injunctions.

State Senator Julian Garrett

State Senator Julian Garrett

The U. S. Supreme Court has now scheduled a hearing for January 7 on 2 of Biden’s vaccine mandate cases. The 2 are the mandates involving federal contractors and subcontractors and the employers with 100 or more employees. The cases are consolidated and only 1 hour is scheduled for arguments on both cases. That is not much time for such high profile cases.

The issue will be whether the Supreme Court will issue temporary injunctions in the cases pending consideration of the merits of the cases in the lower courts and probably ultimately in the Supreme Court. My guess is that the Supreme Court will issue temporary injunctions in both cases. I would be surprised if they issued an injunction in 1 but not the other since they have combined them. I would expect the injunctions to be nationwide.

The Supreme Court case does not involve the case involving Medicaid and Medicare providers. You may recall that a federal judge in Louisiana has issued a nationwide temporary injunction prohibiting enforcement of that order.

Des Moines Shootings Up

The City of Des Moines reports that the number of shootings is up significantly in 2021, over 2020. The number in 2021, as of December 28, was 86, compared with 49 in 2020. However, there were only 11 deaths, compared with 17 in 2020. Better medical care is credited with at least some of the difference in deaths.

As for the increase in shootings, police spokesman, Sergeant Paul Parizek, pointed out that the City had dissolved the Special Enforcement Team that was concentrating on gun violence and taking illegal guns off the street. You probably know that it is illegal for a felon to possess a firearm in Iowa.

Though Parizek did not directly connect the two events, he did say that was “the one thing that we changed.”

As always, please feel free to contact me with your ideas or concerns.

Recommended for you

(11) comments


Mr. May: Facts and reason bounce off you like a ping pong ball bounces off a paddle. Please provide a link to any evidence showing that "violent insurrectionist" Ashli Babbitt assaulted anyone.

Michael R May

There you have it folks: Mr. Bohlken is zero for two on "Back the Blue".

First, Mr. Bohlken fails to "Back the Blue" against a violent insurrectionist in the very citadel of American Democracy. The result of the insurrection would have been the very meaning of a coup, i. e., the stealing of an election.

Second, Mr. Bohlken displays an entitlement mentality that you can "Back the Blue" with tax cuts. Instead of more tax cuts, how about funding law enforcement -- including prison staff - up to historic levels? With Governor Reynolds now claiming Iowa is a "border" state, how about ending the tax cuts and fund better training, better paying and better funding of retirement for all of Iowa's brave, workaday heroes in law enforcement whether they guard our highways, patrol of parks or inspect our nursing homes?


Mr. May once again makes false statements. I never stated that Ashli Babbitt was my “hero”.

Ms. Babbitt should never have trespassed into the Capitol. The police, including Lt. Michael Byrd, Babbitt’s killer, however, do not have a license to kill unarmed (or even armed) trespassers. As an attorney and American citizen, like the police, I support the rule of law, especially with regard to the use of deadly force.

By his own statements to NBC, Babbitt’s killer admitted he could not see whether she was armed and could not discern her intentions. As Professor Jonathan Turley pointed out, the officer’s actions admittedly contradicted the legal standard that “police officers should not shoot unarmed suspects or rioters without a clear threat to themselves or fellow officers. That even applies to armed suspects who fail to obey orders.”

Byrd had a record of carelessness with guns, having previously left a gun in a men’s bathroom at the Capitol.

Since Byrd claimed he could not see what was behind Babbitt (ignoring the rule that one must be aware of what is behind the target), it is pure luck that his shot did not penetrate Babbitt and kill one of the three rifle bearing police officers who were close behind her. Obviously, they didn’t perceive her as a threat.

When the Republicans retake power, and the Department of Justice is reformed so that the law is evenly and correctly applied to all Americans, Lt.. Byrd should stand trial at least for manslaughter. He is not “an American hero.”

It is not “fantasy” that the economic stimulus provided by tax cuts often increases revenues so no funding decreases are necessary. It is also not “fantasy”, that, if funding cuts are required, they can be managed so law enforcement is not cut and nonessential items are.

People who, unlike the Democratic Party, really do “Back the Blue” know that.

Michael R May

It is sufficient to understand Mr. Bohlken's vision of "Back the Blue" that his hero is a woman breaking through a door barricaded by the "Blue" in our American Capitol who was shot at the front of a mob incited by Trump to overturn an election on the fictitious ground of fraud. Instead of a "riot" it was an insurrection incited by Trump with the purpose identical to that of a coup -- denying the will of the people. The "Blue" in this case are American heroes who do not deserve Mr. Bohlken's scorn.

There is too Mr. Bohlken's fantasy that we can "Back the Blue" with tax cuts. You "Back the Blue" with bucks. Mr. Bohlken's fantasy evidences an entitlement mind set that believes that freedom to be safe is free.


Mr. May has a contradictory attitude on “Backing the Blue”. In the Ashli Babbitt case, an unarmed woman was shot without just cause by a Capitol Police officer during the January 6th riots. A detailed analysis of the Babbitt shooting by prominent Law Professor Jonathan Turley demonstrated that her shooting “directly contradicted standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement.” In a prior exchange concerning Ms. Babbitt, Mr. May’s attitude appeared to me to be that if the police shoot someone, or do anything else for that matter, that is OK, because the police did it. To suggest otherwise is to fail to “Back the Blue”. I doubt this attitude is supported by any rational police officer.

Now, Mr. May apparently supports Mr. Labertew’s criticism of the police for merely mentioning, in a discussion about increased shootings in Des Moines, that the only thing they changed was dissolving a Special Enforcement Team concentrating on removing guns illegally possessed by felons from the street. What happened to Back the Blue, no matter what the facts are?

But then May does another somersault and suggests that to cut taxes is always defunding police and a failure to “Back the Blue”. In reality, tax cuts or not, some parts of a budget are increased, some decreased, and some remain the same. There is also a long history of tax cuts resulting in increased revenue, due to the economic stimulus provided by the cuts. Both realities mean that cutting taxes is not necessarily defunding the police. Real defunding of the police, of course, is backed by Mr. May’s Democratic party, not Senator Garrett. So, if you’re keeping track, May’s “Back the Blue” equals: “Police shootings: Good. Police mentioning an enforcement team removed: Bad. Cutting taxes: Bad.”

Mr. May fantasizes that reforming our state’s gun laws to respect the right to keep and bear arms is, somehow, to blame for the increase in shootings.

In 2017, statisticians for Five Thirty Eight did a study on the effectiveness of assault weapon and high capacity magazine bans and other gun control laws. They concluded they didn’t reduce crime. A review of over 200 gun control studies by the National Academies of Science concluded that (a) it has not been shown that firearms or firearms ownership are a cause of violence and (b) it has not been shown that gun control laws can prevent illegal access to guns by criminals.

As for veterans, an online survey, ongoing since 2012, has shown that 71% of veterans voted “no” to the question, “Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun?”. To even suggest that a majority of veterans oppose the right to keep and bear arms is absurd. After all, a December 2021 Trafalger group poll shows that even “53.8 of Democrat respondents said the gun controls make ‘no difference’ in the crime spree, while 16.1 percent said the controls actually make it ‘worse.’”

(Edited by staff.)

Michael R May

Thank you for your letter Mr. Labertew, especially the expertise your bring to the issue as a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps.

Mr. Bohlken replies with a taunt to name causes which Mr. Bohlken well knows and is -- in fact of long public standing -- a personification of one of the causes.

Specifically, it is a matter of law enforcement and laws to enforce.

Senator Garrett stands for "Black the Blue" with tax cuts. Tax cuts are synonymous with incremental defunding of all sectors of law enforcement. This defunding-by-tax-cut includes 2 murders of officers in 2021 in our underfunded prisons.

With regard to gun laws to be enforced, it is a wonder that there are any left in Iowa due to efforts of people such as Mr. Bohlken. Mr. Bohlkens' solution to every gun massacre or killing is more guns. His is solution to this increase in shootings is probably the same -- we need more guns.

Lastly, I commend the voice of the veteran being raised on the gun issue. It calls to mind private conversations I have had with veterans. It also calls to mind the April 11, 2021 essay by another veteran in the Des Moines Register opposing ending of background checks for gun purchases entitled, "As in combat, I won't feel safe in Iowa anymore."

Michael R May

"Womenmatter" has an absolute right to insist that Senator Garrett be held to a measure of responsibility for the COVID deaths and illnesses in Iowa caused by his lack of leadership.

Over 8,000 Iowans have now died from COVID. Hospitalizations have recently hit record highs straining heroic hospital staffs to the breaking point. Yet, Senator Garrett's priority is tax cuts. Senator Garrett's focus on tax cuts is consistent with his failure to support masks, quarantines, vaccines or any other public health measure. Senator Garret thinks he can tax cut his way out of a deadly pandemic.

Senator Garrett, unless you believe the Right to Life ends at birth, where do you stand on protecting public health in Iowa as the death count from COVID again increases?

Opposition to mandated testing and vaccines does not save lives -- your leadership might.


The coronavirus infection rate in Iowa spiked in the past week to a level unseen since November 2020, which was the worst month of the pandemic for the state, according to preliminary Iowa Department of Public Health data.

There were 17,773 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past week, a 73% increase from a week ago. Way to go Julian!


Womenmatter: You made an irrational statement suggesting that Sen. Garrett was somehow responsible for 17773 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the past week. This increase is due to the Omicron variant. Do you think that Sen. Garrett created the Omicron variant in his basement genetics lab? If he did, we should thank him. Dr. Robert Malone noted that, because the Omicron variant is very weak in its effects, it is akin to a weakened live virus vaccine. It provides immunity against deadlier variants of the virus while causing symptoms that, for many, will be similar to the common cold. Dr. Malone, developer of the MRNA technology that was used to create the vaccines, referred to it as an early Christmas present. Since it is highly transmissible, it could lead to herd immunity at little cost to humanity.


So the police mention one thing they changed, without mentioning the dozens of other things in the communities that likely changed. Not a very scientific take from the police or Mr. Garrett, but it sure stokes fear in certain voters.


Mr. Labertew: It was the police, not Sen. Garrett, that brought up the elimination of the special enforcement team. Sen. Garrett merely reported what they said.

No pun intended, but don't shoot the messenger.

You claim there are dozens of other things in Des Moines that likely changed that could have caused the increase in shootings. Name one.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.