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January 2012
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Archive for January 1, 2012

Republican Winner Before the Caucus?

Observations Going In To A New Year

I was not at all surprised when the Republican Party said that they would count their caucus votes behind closed doors due to “concerns about disturbances.” My contention is that Romney is the choice of the money boys and they do not want their horse to lose. So, as the Republicans have always said, “it’s not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes.”

If I recall, God spoke to Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. According to each, the big guy hand picked themselves to run for president. Somehow, I feel we are privy to a cosmic practical joke.

Rick Perry thinks Canada is part of the US? Or at least their oil is – or will be apparently, if he is president.

I saw some pictures of the Kim Jung Il funeral in Pyonyang. It looked like they had his casket mounted atop the funeral car. When I saw that, all I could think of was the stories of Romney putting the family dogs in a cage atop the family station wagon to go on vacation.

Speaking of Romney – just to remind you of the gap between him and real Americans – he is in the process of tearing down a $12 million house to build a $30 million house. Anyone else out there doing this please speak up?  Bueller?  Can’t hear you!

Romney has been running for something for 20+ years. His one-time real job was buying up businesses, squeezing every last cent out of them, firing the workers and then selling what was left for major profits. I am sure he would love to do that again.

At least by Wednesday morning we will no longer hear that Michelle Bachmann is an Iowa girl. Good bye, Michelle. And please don’t ever tell anyone else you were born in Iowa.

In doing some reading on the Ron Paul racism issue (he didn’t write ’em, he didn’t read ’em, he disavows them, BUT the money was good), someone noted that this year Romney has not one person of color on his campaign staff. Imagine my surprise.

In one of the funniest “be careful what you ask for” moments of the 2012 Republican campaign, it seems that Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry failed to qualify for the Virginia Republican primary. The reason is that the new, restrictive voter rules disqualified enough petition signers for each that they did not qualify. And Virginia primary rules do not allow for a write-in candidate. OOPSIE!

But Rick Perry will fight Virginia the old fashioned way.  An advocate for stopping “frivolous lawsuits,” the Governor will sue the state to get on the ballot. Should have read the rules, Rick.

Well the clown car departs Wednesday. Here is hoping that none are left behind.

One last thought. As Trish Nelson noted here the media has been quite poor in allowing Republican candidates to say the most off-the-wall, demonstrably false statements without so much as batting an eye or asking a question. For many years the media has been referred to as stenographers. I think they have truly achieved that status.

Iowa Policy Project Advances The Force Of Reason

Last week I got this donation solicitation from the Iowa Policy Project. Normally I would not pass on requests like this, but this organization does some of the best work in refuting  lies, omissions and misleading statements that have become the fabric of our discourse.

I still believe that the truth will win out and the lies of the moment must be shown to be not only false but detrimental to governing.

IPP Friend:

When we started the Iowa Policy Project, I had great dreams for a simple idea: Make public policy more user-friendly, and more facts available to Iowans, to encourage better decisions. If IPP could do that, Iowans would have a better chance to have clean air and water, more understandable and fair taxes, and a state where all have the opportunity to succeed.

Ten years later, our dream to provide that information is a reality — even if we have not seen hundreds of policy results yet.

We know Iowans want good information, because they come to us for it. Just this week, our research director, Peter Fisher, was on NPR’s “All Things Considered” to talk about corporate subsidies. (Hear it here.) It was the latest of many invitations for Peter — one of the state’s most recognized experts on tax policy and economic development. Last week he spoke at a national conference, and Iowans call upon him frequently.

Our good research covers so many topics that many Iowans find we can help them in ways they didn’t realize. They talk to us about one topic, then learn of other work we do:

A few weeks ago, a councilman from a small Iowa town came to our office to meet with Peter about tax-increment financing (TIF). Afterward, I met with the councilman about another issue: an energy-efficiency competition we organized with his community and three others.

A councilman in another town was so impressed with our report showing an “Apples to Apples” comparison of pay for public- and private-sector workers that he made the motion for his community to participate with us in our energy competition study.

Every public policy issue of consequence these days demands a fight. IPP makes sure those most concerned about a sustainable and just future for Iowans have facts and strong messages to make their case. That is our mission.

To provide this research we need your help. Not only do our grants from national funders require matching donations from Iowans; those grants are not enough to get the job done. And, in this economy, those grants are harder to come by. IPP needs your support.

Please help us advance the force of reason in Iowa’s public policy debates with a secure, online donation.

As we are a 501(c)(3) organization, your contribution may be fully tax-deductible.

Thank you for considering us in your end-of-year giving plans.

Warm regards,


PS — As Congress battles and the Iowa Legislature prepares to return, your help is especially important to IPP.

David Osterberg
Executive Director

20 E. Market St. • Iowa City, IA 52245

Sunday Funday – Caucus And New Year’s Edition

Boy oh boy, two big events in one week. It is more than the heart can stand. Maybe 2015-6 will be the year the Iowa caucuses finally cross the boundary and take place in the year prior to the election. Christmas Eve with your colleagues, what could be better?

So let’s mix in a few caucus questions and a few questions about New Year’s in one unconnected pile. Best thing for a New Year’s hangover is confusion.

1) Two of the Republican candidates use their middle name as their main name. Which two are they?

2) Two other Republican candidates do not have the same last name as they were born with. Which two and what were their birth family names?

3) Two ordained ministers have placed first and second in Republican caucuses in different years. Can you name them?

4) Under Forest Evashevski, Iowa went to its first two bowl games. Who were the quarterbacks on those teams?

5) What year was the first BCS (bowl championship series) title game played and who played in it?

6) One of the candidates for the Republican nomination lost his senate seat in 2006. One of the reasons is that he really lived in Virginia while his children were given a very expensive cyber-education paid for by the taxpayers back home.Who is this candidate?

7) This holiday comes as close to being a global holiday as any holiday does. Which is it?

8) Which candidate has a gay half-sister who supports Barack Obama?

9) What was the name of Ron Paul’s newsletter that has sparked so much controversy in recent days?

10) In a college football bowl game, the game officially lasts 60 minutes. Why does it take 4 hours to complete?

OK – is that head feeling a little more cockeyed? Just trying to help.  I come from a time long ago when New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were two of the coldest days of the year. What’s cold about 50 degrees?

Anyway, here are some answers to ease the brain:

1) Willard Mitt Romney and James Richard(Rick) Perry.
2) Michelle Bachmann (born Amble) and Newt Gingrich (born Newt McPherson adopted by stepfather)
3) Pat Robertson placed second in 1988 Iowa caucuses and Mike Huckabee won the 2008 caucus.
4) Kenny Ploen of Clinton in 1956 and Randy Duncan of Des Moines in 1958
5) after the 1998 season (Jan. 1999). #1 Tennessee played #2 Florida State – Tennessee won 23 – 16
6) Rick Santorum. His address in Pennsylvania was never lived in according to his neighbors. His children cost the school district some $73,000 to educate through cyber-education.
7) New Year’s day of course, since most of the world uses the Gregorian calendar
8) Newt Gingrich. Candace Gingrich-Jones is Newt’s half sister and an Obama supporter.
9) He actually had 3 – The Ron Paul Survival Report, The Ron Paul Investment Letter and the Ron Paul Political Report.
10) I was hoping maybe you knew? I mean 4 hours for 1 hour worth of game is ridiculous.