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Sunday Funday – Deflated Balls Edition

Ernst loaf-ers

Ernst loaf-ers

I can’t believe the fuss the networks are making over the Patriots supposedly letting the air out of footballs.Top story on a couple newscasts I saw during the week. What it says to me is that networks will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid real news. Got to be a sense of pride around the network news rooms that they can fritter away extremely valuable network air time on less than trivia and get highly paid for it. Maybe they could replace the network news with another edition of Jeopardy. At least we might learn something.

Speaking of trivia, were you paying attention last week?

1) So the first question just has to be – what is the proscribed inflation for NFL game balls?

2) By how much was New England accused of under-inflating game balls?

3) Wednesday the US Senate voted on whether human activity caused climate change. “YES” won by a vote of 50 – 49. How did Iowa’s senators vote?

4) According to the United Nations the US, Oman and Papua New Guinea are the only 3 nations in the world that do not offer what?

5) Speaker of the House Boehner committed a major diplomatic blunder (some say treason) when he invited what Head of State to speak before congress without informing the White House?

6) In Cincinnati, one worker was killed and a semi driver injured when what happened?

7) Up in Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency when what happened to the Yellowstone River?

8) Doing the math on her age, Joni Ernst was probably using bread bags for shoes during what presidential and Iowa gubernatorial administrations?

9) Disneyland was the epicenter of an outbreak of what childhood disease?

10) Controversy is already swirling in the Iowa legislature concerning schools on at least two issues. Can you give us one of them?

11) In her response to the State of the Union address, Iowa’s Joni Ernst erroneously portrayed the Keystone Pipeline project as what?

12) After Mike Huckabee criticized Pres. Obama for allowing his children to listen to Beyonce, Daily Show star Jon Stewart asked Huckabee how he (Huckabee) could justify playing with what sexually oriented rocker?

13) Republican senators voted down an amendment to the Keystone Pipeline that would have required materials for the pipeline be made where?

14) Good old Steve King just had to show what an embarrassment he can be to Iowa right before the SOTU, when he called a guest of the First Lady a what?

15) The mayor of Paris, France announced her intention to sue what “news” organization after they continued to broadcast false reports that Paris had “neighborhoods that were off limits to non-Muslims”?

One thing about Ernst’s bread bag story. Most every kid I knew used the bread bag trick in the winter, rich or poor. Unlike the kids she apparently knew, we wore ours over our shoes but under the overshoes. Overshoes (or buckle boots) were leaky. So the bread bags served to keep feet dry while also acting as a lubricant to get the shoes and feet into the boot. If you wore the bags on the outside, your would either slip on your butt in the snow or wear the bag out if the sidewalks were clear. Wearing bags the right way you couldn’t see who was wearing bags and who wasn’t.


1) 12.5 to 13.5 PSI (pounds/square inch)

2) 2 PSI 0r 15%

3) Grassley NO and Ernst NO – climate change is not caused by human activity

4) paid maternity leave

5) Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu

6) an overpass on I75 that was being demolished collapsed on the road below

7) oil from a pipeline leaked into the river.

8) Reagan and Branstad. Seems like many folks go through tough times with Republican administrations

9) Measles – Blame for the outbreak was pointed at the anti-vaxers.

10) 1) Branstad called for a very low increase in spending for education and 2) Schools will be expected to start after Sept. 1 next year.

11) a jobs bill

12) Ted Nugent

13) in America – whoops – there goes a bunch of jobs.

14) “a deportable” The First Lady had a Dreamer as her guest.

15) Fox News

Keep your bread bags dry and warm all!

Sunday Funday – January Thaw Edition

I need a Koch!

I need a Koch!

Seems like just last week we were freezing our tookusses off. Hold it – last week we were freezing our tookusses off. But thanks to a blast of hot air from statehouses around the country we get our annual January thaw. For those of you who say state legislators are good for nothing, you most certainly have forgotten the unproven link between the convening of legislatures and the January thaw. It’s enough to wake up a groundhog.

Were you paying attention?

1) Governor Branstad claimed his administration has created 168,000 jobs. In reality, how many jobs has Iowa gained in the past 4 years?

2) Two black men prominent in the civil rights movement of the ‘60s have birthday anniversaries this week in January. Martin Luther King’s birthday is January 15th. Whose 73rd birthday was January 17th?

3) Pope Francis said last Sunday that caring for the poor is part of the gospel and not what?

4) After a bumpy ride, Terri Wahlert suddenly resigned Sunday as Iowa’s Director of what agency?

5) President announced a new initiative that would offer 2 years of what free to Americans?

6) Here’s one to test your memory. What former Republican governor of New York is considering a run for president?

7) Where did 2014 rank among recorded years for temperature globally?

8) According to data from the CDC, what will soon overtake car accidents as the leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds?

9) Rand Paul told a reporter last week that what was the definition of insanity?

10) Kamala Harris announced her intentions to run for the California senate seat after what long term senator announced her retirement?

11) President Obama made a case for wider broadband access in what Iowa city last week?

12) One of the Iowa Regent Universities will have a retirement in August. Who is retiring as Iowa’s president August 1st?

13) Bobbity, bobbity, bobbity. Feng Lung was arrested in China for doing what to her husband, not once but twice?

14) And the beat goes on. House Republicans tacked an amendment defunding what Obama executive action on to a funding bill for the DHS?

15) According to the Southern Education Foundation the majority of public school students share what economic condition in the United States?

No doubt the campaigning for president will bring even more hot air into Iowa soon.

1) @ 82,000

2) Muhammed Ali

3) Communism. Always nice to see the right trot out the communism bogey.

4) Workforce Development

5) Community College

6) George Pataki. Anyone remember Pataki? Seats in the clown car going fast!

7) the hottest ever

8) guns – trend is car deaths going down and gun deaths going up. Sad

9) Mitt Romney running for president again. Scary, I agree with Rand Paul on something.

10) Barbara Boxer

11) Cedar Falls

12) Sally Mason

13) Cutting off his penis. Once at home and once more after it was reattached in the hospital.

14) Obama’s executive order on immigration.

15) Poverty. 51% + of US public school students now come from homes in poverty. Why do we fund charter schools?

Sunday Funday: Here Comes The Legislature Edition

legislators will gather to puzzle over today's quiz

legislators will gather to puzzle over today’s quiz

Like many Iowans, I grew up reading the great Donald Kaul. Some of his funniest columns focused on the seeming full speed backward legislature that gathers in Des Moines to kill time between harvest and planting seasons.

Well it is that time again. Looks like we will have another iteration of Republicans trying to pass ALEC legislation and Democrats trying to work on solutions to actual problems. All I can hope is that they provide me with some material for a few questions and a couple of snarky comments. I am sure they will, at least the Republicans. Who can forget Matt Windschitl’s brilliant bill to allow silencers on guns? It would keep mass murderers from disturbing people’s sleep or interfering with people being able to hear the movie before they get shot.

At least Iowa will be led into the ‘20s by Branstad. But I am not sure the 1920s is where we want to be.

Were you paying attention?

1) Gentlemen ( and women) start your engines. What former Republican presidential candidate left his Fox News(?) show leading to speculation he will run once again?

2) Just like Mitch McConnell promised, what was the first bill introduced into the new Republican majority led senate?

3) In a study released by Johns Hopkins, much of the risk of getting cancer is due to what?

4) Two weeks from yesterday, a “Freedom Summit” will be held in Des Moines to showcase Republican presidential candidates. Who is heading up this showcase of America’s top talent?

5) Harper Collins quit publishing an atlas specifically for the Middle East because it had what major glaring error that had been made on purpose?

6) Ohio State and Oregon play Monday to complete the first real tournament to crown the major college football champion. Who is Oregon’s famous mascot?

7) Researchers unveiled a new molecule called teixobactin. Teixobactin is the first new what in over 30 years?

8) Des Moines is considering suing the state of Iowa over what?

9) Webster City 7th grade girls basketball player Taylor McKinney got national attention when she did what last week?

10) Get those taste buds ready for a new treat. Trios and Toffee Tastic are new Girl Scout cookies that feature what newly desirable trait?

11) Can’t ignore the doings in France. One of the gunman during a previous trial had said he was politicized by images of what?

12) What Republican presidential hopeful let it be known he will pay for his own tickets and transportation as he goes to watch his favorite team in the playoffs this weekend?

13) Very light perp walk. What former GOP governor and VP hopeful got off with only 2 years in the slammer for corruption?

14) A bill to gut what Wall Street watchdog law fell short of a needed 2/3rds majority in the House despite support from 35 defectors from the Democratic caucus?

15) What potential GOP presidential hopeful has taken a first step toward a run by praying to God?

Blood supplies in the Iowa systems are quite low due to the weather and the flu. If you have ever thought about becoming a donor, this would be a really good time to take that step. Call your local hospital and I am sure if they don’t take donations they will know someone close by who does. And you can add lifesaver to your list of accomplishments.


1) Mike Huckabee

2) Keystone pipeline

3) with the exception of lung cancer, it is just bad luck

4) Steve King (“top talent” – I kill myself)

5) the maps left Israel off

6) Donald Duck

7) antibiotic. Teixobactin and the method used to discover it hold great potential. It may well stop antibiotic resistance.

8) nitrate levels in the rivers that the state has refused to deal with is causing DM to fail water quality levels.

9) made a buzzer beating half court shot that brought her team from behind to win

10) they are gluten free

11) pictures of Abu Ghraib prisoners

12) Chris Christie. He and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones became friends just when Jones needed some help winning a Port Authority contract

13) Bob McDonnell from Virginia

14) Dodd Franks

15) Scott Walker

Sunday Funday: And Now The High Holy Days Of Football

this ghost of football past could ace this quiz

this ghost of football past could ace this quiz

While others look forward to the summer and the sun, I am one of those people that looks forward to the cold and chill of winter. While I don’t love the snow and the cold, at least I don’t have to cut the grass every week. One big plus to the winter season is the almost endless parade of sports championships. October brings us the baseball championships. November is the high school football championships. December is a resting period with the winter holidays themselves taking place, but the stage is also being set for college football bowl season. January is the football championship month in both college and pros. Of course the pro championship slops over into February with the Super Bowl. February also brings us the start of the high school basketball tournaments and high school wrestling. March is of course well noted for March Madness with colleges culminating with their championship in early April.

Then it is about time peek outside again.

Were you paying attention last week? I wasn’t so I will have to throw in some non-topical questions.

1) Humorist Andy Borowitz noted that Jeb Bush must be serious about running for president. Borowitz claimed Jebby has resigned what position?

2) Even though everyone calls him “Jeb” Bush, his real first name is not Jeb. Where does the name “Jeb” come from?

3) What group of Iowa marketers is asking for state help in replacing aging underground storage tanks?

4) Have you noticed that while the day is getting longer in the evening, it is still quite dark in the morning? When will the sun finally start coming up earlier in the morning?

5) What is the most universally celebrated of all holidays?

6) January is named after the Roman god of what?

7) Ebola is being considered as a low tech bio weapon by what terrorist group?

8) January 1, 1863 – Abraham Lincoln issued what proclamation?

9) Gov. Terry Branstad had surgery for what ailment last week?

10) January 8, 1935 a king is born. What was his name?

11) What very versatile song writer / performer was honored with a Gershwin Award Friday?

12) A little three year old girl from Elkhorn died of flu yesterday in Des Moines. How many children have died from the flu in the US from flu so fare this year?

13) A woman in Hayden, Idaho died while shopping at a Walmart. What was the cause of her death?

14) December 26th thousands gathered in Banda Aceh, Indonesia to commemorate the 10th anniversary of what?

15) CoOpportunity Health – an insurance group set up for the ACA – became financially unstable due to a provision in what recently passed legislation?

Guess what folks? IT’S BACK TO WORK TOMORROW! Console yourselves with some football games and potato chips.


1) being a brother to George W. figuring this would give him a better chance of being president

2) It is an acronym of John Ellis Bush his real name

3) Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa

4) Jan. 9th

5) New Year’s Day

6) Janus – the god of beginning (and thus doors and gates)


8) The Emancipation Proclamation

9) varicose veins

10) Elvis Presley

11) Billy Joel

12) 15

13) She was shot by her 2 year old who removed a gun from her purse and caused it to discharge

14) the 2004 tsunami

15) The CRomnibus bill

Here’s to a much better 2015 to all our readers.

Sunday Funday: It’s The Holidays Folks!

Hey! I am done working for a year!

Hey! I am done working for a year!

Let us relax and just have some fun. How about a few questions on the lore of the holiday season or seasons? Oh we may throw in a question on recent doings, but only if I get stuck.

Let your mind wander back to childhood and see if you can answer these questions.

1) December 25th is the date Christians picked to celebrate Christmas. How does it relate to the date of the Winter Solstice?

2) What recently added December holiday was conceived on the Seinfeld show?

3) What Christmas themed movie included the line “lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas around which the whole kid year revolved”?

4) What did Alvin want for Christmas?

5) What was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer originally named?

6) Where did President Obama spend his Christmas this year?

7) Who is credited with popularizing the tradition of bringing a fir tree into the home for Christmas?

8) Many countries celebrate the holiday known as longest night. What day is this holiday celebrated on?

9) Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson tweeted this message “on this day long ago a child was born who would transform the world by the age of 30.” Who was Tyson referring to?

10)The image of Santa Claus is most likely taken from what Norse god?

11) In 1931 the modern image of Santa Claus was created by Haddon Sundblom. For what purpose did Sundblom create this image?

12) “On the 12th day of Christmas …” When is the 12th day of Christmas?

13) Much of the original celebrations of Christmas, including the day, comes from what ancient Roman celebration?

14) The name Kris Kringle is an alias for Santa Claus. Where is the name Kris Kringle derived from?

15) What movie did the Christmas song “Silver Bells” come from?

Whew! More work than I wanted to do this holiday. Hope you have fun looking up the answers.

What??? Ok, Ok – here’s the answers:

1) In ancient calendars the winter solstice fell on December 25th.

2) Festivus (for the rest of us)

3) Christmas Story

4) a Hula Hoop

5) Rollo – but creator Robert May changed the name before publication of the story

6) In the state where he was born Hawai’i (considered a foreign country by some in the tea party)

7) Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband (he was from Germany where it was already a tradition) in the 1830s.

8) the eve of the winter solstice or the day of the solstice.

9) Isaac Newton – many fundamentalists were rather upset by this tweet.

10) Woden

11) As an advertising image for Coca-Cola

12) Jan 6th aka the feast of the three kings.

13) Saturnalia

14) from the German for the Christ child, Christ Kindl

15) The Lemon Drop Kid starring Bob Hope.

Sunday Funday – December Is November

Ho, ho, ho. These questions are crazy

Ho, ho, ho. These questions are crazy

We seem to have had a turn over in our weather patterns. Shortly after Halloween we went directly to cold December type weather complete with snow. Since December 1, we seem to have reverted to November weather with highs in the cool autumn mode. If this proves anything, I think it is do not anger the weather gods. They mess with us just for fun. If we complain, they just mess with us more.

Speaking of messing with us, I had almost forgotten that Dec. 12, 2000 was the date of the last American revolution. If you have forgotten, that is the date that five members of the US Supreme Court chose the president over the vote of the American people. Disaster ensued.

Were you paying attention last week?

1) December has many holidays that represent the return of light (the sun). This Swedish festival celebrated on Dec. 13 features young girls wearing a head wreath of leaves with candles and a white gown. Can you name the saint at the center of this festival?

2) Speaking of Scandinavian countries, our Patent Office refused a patent to a Norwegian company because the name of their product was “offensive.” Do you know the product’s name?

3) The final nail in coffin for Democrats came in Louisiana Tuesday when Sen. Mary Landrieu was defeated by what challenger?

4) Folks in what Iowa tourist mecca took an icy “polar bear” plunge last Sunday to raise money for ‘Toys For Tots’?

5) Many players in what pro sport wore pre-game warm ups that had a message saying “I Can’t Breathe”?

6) Which former major retailer and it subsidiary announced last week that it would close approximately 15% of its stores next year?

7) December 16,1944, Iowa lost one of its most famous sons. There is still controversy on what may have happened, but we know that what famous band leader of the era died in a plane crash on that day?

8) Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on CIA torture this week. What Republican senator was the only one who said the report needed to be released?

9) With oil prices tumbling, what do many analysts feel that the break even price for pumping North American oil is?

10) Thursday the US House passed a funding bill to fund the government until September except for one department. What is the department and why was it excluded?

11) In that funding bill there was an add on clause that many critics claim was written by what financial company?

12) Once again I was disappointed as I was passed over for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Who did win this honor this year?

13) For the second time in a couple of weeks, citizens of what state are getting pummeled by powerful storms that may signal an end to one of their longest droughts ever?

14) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will kick off his presidential campaign with a prayer rally in Baton Rouge on Jan. 24. In a handout in preparation for the event, Jindal blames natural disaster’s such as Hurricane Katrina on what?

15) What GOP presidential primary runner up in 2012 announced his 2016 candidacy to a deafening roar of silence Thursday?

Remember while we are freezing here in the north, folks in the southern hemisphere are going through yet another record breaking summer.


1) Lucia aka Santa Lucia or Saint Lucy

2) Comfyballs (yep just what it sounds like)

3) Bill Cassidy

4) Clear Lake

5) Professional basketball (the NBA)

6) Sears along with Kmart plan to close @235 of 1800 stores

7) Glenn Miller – some thought is that he was lost in a spy mission

8) John McCain because he was tortured

9) $50/ barrel. Oil prices were in the middle $50s at the end of the week.

10) Homeland Security. This was to punish Obama for his “amnesty” of immigrants

11) Citibank. This provision gutted the main provision of Dodd-Franks

12) Ebola fighters

13) California

14) homosexuality and abortion. He plans a massive stadium prayer rally to announce his candidacy

15) Rick Santorum. Someone call Foster Friess!

Sunday Funday – Awful Christmas Shows Edition

So easy an elf could ace this one

So easy an elf could ace this one

It is always a challenge anymore to see if we can withstand the onslaught of horrible Christmas shows with so many has been or never were stars singing Christmas songs in tortured ways that cause the writers of said songs to roll in their graves. This is in addition to the knuckleheads that insist that saying “happy holidays” or anything that isn’t “merry christmas” is an insult. Sorry there Bubba, but it is just a greeting that happens every year around the winter solstice. There are many religions and non-religions that celebrate the return of the sun somewhere in December that most any greeting is okay.

It was a quiet week wasn’t it? Or Maybe it wasn’t:

1) Meeting in Washington, DC last week what extreme business oriented group handed out their desired laws for next year to state legislators?

2) Can you identify the Tamir Rice mentioned in today’s introduction?

3) “December 7, 1941 – A day that will live in infamy.” Who spoke these words before a joint session of Congress?

4) December 5th, 1933 was indeed a day to celebrate. An era ended on that day when the 21st amendment to the constitution repealed what?

5) Information meetings began across Iowa preparing for the construction of what?

6) Maybe you didn’t notice, but last week America officially became the world’s #2 economy behind what other country?

7) Were “Black Friday” sales – a retail indicator every year – up or down this year?

8) A congressional committee is investigating Japanese auto parts maker Takata for what defective part they have supplied to numerous auto makers?

9) Yesterday was one of the first holidays of December, a month with many holidays. This holiday is big in Europe. What holiday was celebrated yesterday?

10) Akai Gurley was shot by police in a stairway by police in Brooklyn. What unusual step did police then take as Mr. Gurley lay dying?

11) As one wit said “He pointed at himself and said “Out!” Dale Scott became the first member of what profession to come out as gay?

12) Iowa’s Board of Regents voted last week to do what to tuition at Iowa’s regent universities last week?

13) As badly needed as the rain and snow were, it brought a mixed bag of good effects and bad to what drought stricken state last week?

14) SCOTUS justices heard arguments Wednesday in the case of a woman who was refused to be given light duty and then was fired by UPS because of what physical condition she had acquired?

15) While police and National Guard confront protestors on the streets of Ferguson, Mo. what armed volunteer militia is watching the proceedings from rooftops?

Bonus: The US did something it hasn’t done for 42 years Friday. Do you know what it was?

Double bonus: The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear oral arguments in a case involving Texas’ ability to choose the messages it allows on government-issued license plates. What symbol is Texas trying to keep off its license plates?

Stay warm – soon we celebrate the return of the sun.



2) The 12 year old boy shot in Cleveland by police. He had a pellet gun in his hands at the time in a nearly deserted park.

3) FDR

4) the 18th amendment aka prohibition

5) the Bakken oil pipeline that will cut across Iowa diagonally

6) China

7) down about 11% and that includes Thanksgiving day sales

8) air bags – they have exploded in some vehicles for no reason killing some.

9) St. Nicholas Day

10) texted their union representative.

11) baseball umpires

12) freeze tuitions for in state students for the 3rd year in a row

13) California

14) pregnancy

15) Oath Keepers (how do they get away with that you wonder? So do I)

Bonus: Launched a crew capable space craft above low earth orbit

Double Bonus: The confederate flag. (maybe I am nuts but isn’t that a flag of treason?)

Sunday Funday – Shop Til You Drop Edition

tough quiz today! Ho, ho, ho

tough quiz today! Ho, ho, ho

Who can forget those immortal words of George W. Bush? “Go shopping” Bush said. In the face of crisis, this is the new American answer. Now we live in a world of increasing income inequality and increasing racial divide. Could George Bush’s words ever ring more true? Go shopping even if you have no money or are in the ‘wrong’ part of town. And when best to go shopping than that unique American holiday, Black Friday? Makes it one proud to do their patriotic duty!

Were you paying attention last week or were you so stuffed with turkey you slept through the week?

1) Feel a smile coming to your face today? November 30th is the birthday of America’s greatest humorist and observer of humanity. What great humorist was born on this date in Florida, Missouri in 1835?

2) This man’s name became a household name by the end of this week. What is the name of the St. Louis County prosecutor who announced the decision in the Darren Wilson case this week?

3) Liberals held their breath when news that what SCOTUS justice was treated for a heart blockage with a stent?

4) OPEC met last week and decided to do what with their production in the face of falling oil prices?

5) What legendary writer, performer and director and one of the few winners of the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) awards died last week?

6) Negotiations between the state of Iowa and its employees union began last week with the parties far apart on what two issues?

7) The European Parliament is considering a proposal to break up what company?

8) Russia is losing as much as $100 billion a year due to what?

9) December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. On December 5th what response to her arrest began?

10) Pope Francis is on a little trip. Where is the Pope venturing out to?

11) A gunman in Austin, Texas went on a rampage Friday morning shooting at several government buildings, including the Mexican consulate. One motive was thought to be what?

12) President Obama and his family kept up their Thanksgiving tradition of doing what for the poor on Wednesday?

13) A work of art by what woman was auctioned off for a record $4.4 million, a record for a woman artist?

14) Workers for what major retailer once more staged demonstrations throughout the country on Black Friday?

15) Protestors of the Ferguson grand jury decision temporarily shut down 3 malls in what major city Friday?

In a time honored tradition, yours truly will do his shopping sometime on December 24th. I mean, what’s the hurry?


1) Mark Twain or Sam Clemens if you wish

2) Bob McCulloch

3) Ruth Bader Ginsburg

4) nothing – maintain their current production

5) Mike Nichols

6) wage hikes and who pays what for health insurance

7) Google

8) the downturn in oil prices

9) the Montgomery bus boycott

10) Turkey

11) the new executive order on immigrants

12) handing out food at Bread for the City.

13) Georgia O’Keefe

14) Walmart

15) St. Louis

Here is a brief video of the first family handing out food. For the life of me I can not understand why they are so vilified.

Sunday Funday: Buffalo Still Exists Edition

we can try the quiz after dinner

we can try the quiz after dinner

THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! Or so it must have seemed in Buffalo, New York and environs last week. Epochal snowfall. Even Noah himself would have had trouble in this one. Once more a weather event points up that indeed the climate is changing and we are headed for more and more extreme incidents. Remember that little rain we had last summer? Remember those tornadoes that devastated Washington, Illinois last November? Once again Australia is burning up. Lakes in California are dried up. The United Nations says we must make drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions immediately.

Buffalo survives for this round. But the warning shots are getting louder.

We’ll mix in a little Thanksgiving trivia with the questions this week.

1) In a bit of a surprise what major world economy announced they were in recession at the beginning of the week?

2) President Obama made a major policy address on immigration Thursday. Which of the television networks carried this major address?

3) The Iowa Board of Regents will discuss a third straight tuition freeze since Iowa students graduate ranked as number what in debt load?

4) The first Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1920 by what department store? (Choices: Macy’s Gimbel’s or Penney’s)

5) The Keystone XL pipeline was “defeated” in the Senate by a vote of what?

6) Susan Hamm of Oklahoma City made headlines when she said she would appeal her divorce settlement as being too low. What was the settlement?

7) Benjy, the Irish bull was scheduled for the slaughterhouse before he was saved by activists who raised money to save him. Why was Benjy scheduled to be slaughtered?

8) History notes that the Pilgrims may have been dumped at Plymouth Rock because the ship’s crew feared running out of what staple provision on the way home to England? (hint: it was stored in kegs)

9) A wise Person would stock up now. Increased consumption and a disease called “frosty pod” threatens what staple of the American diet?

10) An Iowa man went where he shouldn’t have. R. j. Ranae Kapheim of Davenport was arrested where with what?

11) Campus shootings were recorded at two locations this week. Can you name one of them?

12) What long time humorist was not laughing this week as many women came forward with tales of sexual abuse at his hands?

13) Back in the day – 1621 – it took about how long to travel from England to America – two months, three months or four months?

14) The USDA approved a genetically modified potato for Simplot company. However, what company said they would not use this potato?

15) FDR tried to move up the Thanksgiving holiday by a week to stimulate the economy in what year?

Last I heard Buffalo had as much as 84 inches (7 feet) of snow. That is just unbelievable. Our best wishes for a recovery for those folks.


1) Japan

2) PBS – none of the commercial networks carried the address

3) sixth highest

4) Gimbel’s in Philadelphia. Macy joined the fun in 1924

5) 59 for 41 against – therefore the against wins in Senate math

6) She got $1 billion, but since that was only 6% of her husband’s fortune, she felt it too little

7) he seemed to be gay, only hung with the bulls and had no interest in mating

8) beer – fermented drinks were often used since water could kill a person

9) chocolate

10) near the White House with several weapons and ammunition.

11) Edinburg, Pa. and Florida State

12) Bill Cosby

13) two months

14) McDonald’s said it would not use the potato for fries – at least for now.

15) 1939. In 1941 Congress passed a bill establishing the 4th Thursday as Thanksgiving. Moving the holiday was a major kerfluffle.

For those who just can’t get enough football, the Grey Cup is scheduled for next Sunday (Nov. 30) at 5PM Central time.
Happy Holiday

Sunday Funday – Sit In At Walmart Edition

you folks want to take the quiz?

you folks want to take the quiz?

Thursday night some truly surprising news came out of Los Angeles – an old fashioned labor sit-in protest by employees was held at one of the LA area Walmarts. Reports that came out were a bit confusing to me and the protest was ended by county police a few hours later. However, I understood that the protestors were joined by a large number of supporters. Once more this year protests are planned for Walmart across the country on Black Friday. We wish them the best.

While that may have not been reported, much else was last week. Were you paying attention?

1) In case we forgot who was president, Obama had a very active week last week. Early in the week he announced an agreement with China on what major world problem?

2) Perhaps some of the most astonishing news of the week when the ESA announced the landing of a spacecraft on what?

3) The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) was threatened with a lawsuit for defamation by what right wing extremist radio host?

4) Coming back from a long layoff, Democrats in the US senate immediately scheduled a vote on the Keystone Pipeline in an effort to save whose senate seat?

5) November 19th, 1863. President Lincoln offers a few short remarks at the dedication of a battlefield as a cemetery located in what city?

6) What major Iowa grocery chain announced their filing of chapter 11 bankruptcy and sale to Associated Wholesale Grocers?

7) Keeping up his active week, President Obama authorized a plan that would double what?

8) November 18th, 1883. School teacher Charles Dowd proposes a solution to one of America’s most confusing problems. This problem made it nearly impossible to co-ordinate schedules in more than one town. What did Dowd propose?

9) Major extremist right wing heart throb Ted Cruz was hit hard on Facebook by his adoring fans when he made a sarcastic post aimed at what hot button topic?

10) Republicans promised to hold up the approval of Atty. Gen. nominee Loretta Lynch over what issue?

11) Last year was a disastrous roll out for this new government program. This year things are expected to go much smoother for the re-enrollments under what new program?

12) The Obama administration also floated a couple of balloons on possible action on two hot button issues. Can you name both of these policies?

13) For those of us who fear heights, Wednesday scared us to the quick as two window washers dangled precariously before they were rescued at what NYC building?

14) AFSCME, the union representing some 40,000 Iowa government worker, offered their proposal for a new contract this week. What was their proposed wage increase?

15) Procter & Gamble announced their first sale in their effort to slim their product lines. Warren Buffet bought what battery company for $6.4 B?

Bonus question: The governor of Arkansas announced he will pardon a young man convicted of drug offenses. What is notable about this pardon?

This hasn’t been a good year for Walmart. Early this week they issued a memo ordering their stores to sell more groceries and do a better job of rotating stock. They have been hurt badly by supporting cuts to food stamps and by their own labor policies. Too bad for them.


1) Greenhouse gas emissions

2) comet

3) Rush Limbaugh (it is ok to laugh)

4) Mary Landrieu

5) Gettysburg, Pa.

6) Dahl’s

7) troops in Iraq

8) uniform time zone plan consisting of 4 time zones

9) net neutrality – seems right wingers want NN also

10) immigration

11) Affordable Care Act.

12) executive orders on not deporting certain immigrants and a much higher minimum wage for federal contractors.

13) #1 World Trade Center

14) 8% over 2 years

15) Duracell

Bonus: They are father and son. Governor Mike Beebe and son Kyle Beebe