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Archive for January 29, 2012

Watch That Gas Price!

If things seem to be going too good, they probably are. I am the kind of person who sees a cloud behind every silver lining. Right now  the silver lining of Republican discord couples with some good news from the Obama side.

But I can’t help but remember that the oil companies hate Obama. Thanks to Citizen’s United, they will be able to weigh in heavily against Obama this summer and fall.

But more than that, they have the ability to manipulate prices. And if one thing could cripple an economy almost overnight it would be $5 or more for a gallon of gas. Pay attention.

Walker aide singing like a canary in John Doe investigation
While officials in Wisconsin are checking the over 1 million signatures to bring Scott Walker to a recall election, the John Doe investigation into corruption during his time as county commissioner and governor continues to come closer to his desk. Thursday, a former aide worked out a plea bargain deal with investigators.  That usually means, I get a light sentence for turning in evidence on higher ups.

Can Walker govern from behind bars?

Still endorse Gingrich?
A thought crossed my mind last night while watching Gingrich continuing to send out dog whistle messages on racial politics. The question is, do those who endorsed Gingrich in Iowa still endorse this type of thinly veiled racial politics? If you see one of his Iowa team, ask them.

Drug testing for welfare recipients? How about……
I see the latest hot legislation among ALEC legislators is to have anyone who receives welfare to be drug tested at some frequency at their own expense. I guess this is yet another way to shame the very poorest into realizing that they also must get off the “government tit”  (I love these Grassey-isms).

I don’t think such a bill goes nearly far enough. Testing should include anyone who gets any type of a check from any level of government. I know this is a radical idea but I would like to know if my legislators are sober. So I would include them and extend testing not only to illegal drugs, but alcohol as well. Alcohol has been shown to be without a doubt the most destructive of all drugs.

The governor should also be included, maybe twice as often since he is also dipping out a pension. And it should include everyone in his office, all county boards, sheriffs and any and all city employees. Much like welfare recipients, they also are getting tax money. So we should have some means to make sure we are getting our money’s worth.

Something the Legislature could do.
With the LIHEAP cuts this year, I fear many Iowans will be without heat next year. Instead of chasing non-existent fraudulent voters or demonizing the poor yet again, how about putting some of that money toward keeping some of our fellow citizens from freezing, starving or dying of lack of medical care?

Vilsack closing on King in 4th

Almost forgot to include this bit of good news. Eight months out and it looks like Christie Vilsack has a real shot at Steve King. From Dailykos Wednesday, the Public Policy Polling has the race close already. Show Christie some love if you can!

Christie Vilsack (D): 43
Steve King (R-inc): 49
MoE ±3.1%


Sunday Funday – A Couple Of Cantankerous Founders

One of my favorite founders is Tom Paine. Probably one of the most instrumental and at the same time the hardest to like. He was a firebrand. As Thom Hartmann points out, Paine proposed concepts like social security, universal health care and keeping a wary eye on corporations long, long before anyone else. But he was not universally loved. Neither was Sam Adams who seemed to be behind every fight that happened in Boston. So, I am stealing a couple of questions on Tom Paine and Sam Adams, a couple of cantankerous fools that got us into a little tiff. This should be fun.

1) With which religious doctrine did Thomas Paine align himself ?
a) Deism
b) Protestantism
c) Atheism
d) Roman Catholicism

2) What was the name of Paine’s monograph (published 1776), in which he outlined the case for America to seek political independence from Great Britain?
a) Plain Truth
b) Anyone For Tea?
c) Common Sense
d) No Taxation Without Representation

3) George Washington at first lauded Thomas Paine, indeed he had Paine’s words from “Crisis” (“These are the times that try men’s souls…”) read to his troops before they crossed the Delaware in 1776. Over what issue did the two men quarrel, never to be reconciled?
a) Taxation
b) Constitution
c) Free trade
d) Slavery

4) Edmund Burke published a highly critical account of the French Revolution entitled “Reflections on the Revolution in France”. Which phrase incensed Paine so much that it inspired him to write his famous riposte “Rights of Man”?
a) The swineish multitude
b) The grasping goats
c) The greedy pigs
d) The selfish sheep

5) Thomas Paine died on 8th June 1809 in New York City. According to contemporary reports how many mourners attended his funeral?
a) Six
b) Six hundred
c) Sixty
d) Six thousand

6) Samuel Adams’s father ran what type of business?
a) Bank
b) General Store
c) Clothing Story
d) Brewery

7) What group did Adams establish to handle communications?
a) Committees of Correspondence
b) Sons of Liberty clubs
c) Revere’s Riders
d) Stamp Act Congress

8) How many people died in the Boston Massacre?
a) five
b) ten
c) twelve
d) sixteen

9) Adams held what nickname?
a) Father of Our Country
b) The Great Emancipator
c) Father of America
d) Patriot of the Revolution

10) The Sons of Liberty, who threw 342 boxes of tea into Boston Harbor, were dressed as what?
a) British Sailors
b) Colonial Soldiers
c) Naragansett Indians
d) French Clowns

A couple of fun guys, I tell ya’! BTW – I got these questions from and


1) a) Deism (according to the answer sheet.)
2) c) who could forget Common Sense
3) d) Slavery
4) a) the swineish multitude
5) a) six
6) d) brewery – but you all knew that, right?
7) a) committees of correspondence
8) a) 5
9) c) Father of America
10) c) they were dressed as Indians, remember?