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December 2015
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Sunday Morning Pictures

Some graphic thoughts on a holiday weekend:

tired of paying salaries

fugelsang republicans love government

good guy with a rock

Goring on controlling the people

broken media

Sanders we must make this stop

Sunday Funday: It’s Holidays Time Edition

happy holidays lights

We suspend the usual format of timely news questions this week as your kindly old quizmaster is suspended in holiday frivolity. But if you haven’t noticed Americans have a lot of partying to do between last Thursday and sometime in early January when the holiday season slowly winds to a halt. At that time most Americans will notice that it is winter and national month of depression begins. So here is my feeble attempt to mix in some lore and some reality in a quiz about holidays that seem to happen nearly every day in December. Enjoy!

1) Let’s start with a little Thanksgiving trivia. The other night I was listening to an old time radio show where the story line was that there would be 2 Thanksgivings that year. What year was that?

2) The first Thanksgiving Day Parade was held by what store in what city?

3) Football and Thanksgiving go back a long ways. Any idea when the first Thanksgiving day football game was played? hint: think early college days.

4) Sara Josepha Hale was a magazine editor who pushed Abraham Lincoln hard to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. What nursery rhyme is Ms. Hale also credited with authoring?

5) What beverage sustained the Pilgrims on their voyage to America?

6) Now to some coming holidays. Next Saturday is the first of the Christmas related holidays. Dec. 6 is the feast of what saint in the Catholic calendar?

7) Partying, overeating and gift giving were hallmarks of what Roman holiday that occurred at the beginning of winter?

8) Dec. 8 is another big holiday in the Catholic Church. It is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Whose immaculate conception?

9) Advent begins 4 Sundays prior to Christmas. Advent is a word derived from Latin and means what?

10) Oddly, the sun begins setting later in the day around Dec. 13th. This makes the 13th a great day to celebrate what saint associated with light in the dark of winter?

11) Many religions have holidays in December. Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day. This is the day that Siddhartha Gautama experienced what?

12) Many religions and societies in the northern hemisphere celebrate what holiday associated with the darkness either on or near the solstice?

13) The solstice is celebrated 2 times a year at the beginnings of what seasons?

14) The word solstice is of latin derivation and means what?

15) What ancient Nordic pagan feast lasted about 12 days from what is now late December to early January? Coincides roughly with the 12 days of Christmas.

16) A secular holiday in British commonwealth countries, what day after Christmas holiday is the day when service workers receive gifts?

17) “Good King Wenceslaus looked out on the Feast of Stephen” goes the old carol. The feast of Stephen is what day in December?

18) Some atheists and skeptics celebrate a holiday on December 25th named after the what 17th physicist who wrote “Principia Mathematica”?

19) Over in China and eastern Asia Dongzhi is celebrated. As with many holidays this time of year, it celebrates what?

20) Dies Natalis Solis Invicti is an ancient Roman holiday that celebrates the “return of the unconquered” what? (hint: translate solis)

21) one extra today: the 12 days of Christmas spans the time between what two holidays?

Thanks for letting me take a day off – my family appreciates it.


1) 1939 – Retailers wanted the 4th Thursday to be Tday to extend the buying season. Tradition then was the last Thursday of November , hence Nov. 30 that year. FDR declared the 23rd while many traditionalist celebrated on the 30th. Congress rectified this a couple years later.

2) Gimbel’s in Philly in 1920. Macy’s followed suit in 1924

3) 1869. Tday became a holiday in 1863. College football started shortly thereafter and the two were married quite early on

4) “Mary had a little lamb”

5) beer. Remember back the fermentation was the only way to get clean drinks

6) St. Nicholas

7) Saturnalia

8) Jesus mother Mary – born without original sin according to the Catholic church.

9) to come

10) Lucia (Lucy). Lucia is derived from latin for light (Santa Lucia in Italian). Mostly celebrated in Scandinavia

11) enlightenment

12) longest night usually on the 20th

13) summer and winter

14) sun stands still

15) Yule (Jul)

16) boxing day

17) 26th

18) Isaac Newton the feast is ‘Newtonmas’ – Newton was born (old calendar) Dec. 25, 1643

19) the return of the sun and the new flow of energy

20) sun

21) Christmas (Dec. 25) to the Epiphany (Jan. 6)

Dec. 6th – the feast of St. Nicholas – is also known as ‘little Christmas’ in some European countries. Good enough reason to celebrate I’d say.

Random Thoughts At Thanksgiving

Reigning turkey of the year

Reigning turkey of the year

Letting the old mind idle for the holiday:

Terry Branstad panders once again
Let’s face it Iowans, this guy is a far right winger; he just sounds better than most when he does things like this: After joining in the hate and fear crowd last week, Branstad Monday said maybe he’d let some Syrian refugees into Iowa if that gawd awful US House SAFE Act became law knowing full well it never will. See, Branstad once again sounds almost rational tying his pretense at being rational to something that he know will never happen. Refugees from previous disasters should be giving thanks that today’s Republicans weren’t in charge when their families were in need of help.

Grassley is about the ultimate in partisan politics
Good Old Chuck (and I do mean old) is doing everything he can to stop our government from functioning by stalling any appointments to both the State Department and the federal judiciary. That is in using his capacity as as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for politics to keep Hillary Clinton from being president. Who can forget his role in the Affordable Care Act where he fought hard to keep poor Americans from getting health care. Republicans love their phrase “run the government like a business.” If you were a share holder in a business where a group of vice presidents is working hard to undermine the business and set it up for a hostile takeover rather than making the business healthy, what would you do? As a citizen, you are the Board of Directors for the government. Will you vote to retain a vice-president (Senator) who at every turn tries to undermine the operation and cause the business of the people to be done?

Racism: Trump forges back to the 50s?
America’s original sin is slavery. The enslavement of people of color needed justification by proving that the enslaved were not human in any aspect. This is the basis of racism. Legally, enslavement ended following the Civil War and the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. In reality enslavement through racism has been a part of the American social structure since the Civil War. America was making some strides to combat racism, but the election of a black president and the campaign to delegitimize him as a “real” president once again unleashed the worst demons of racism.

Now Donald Trump’s campaign seems to be capitalizing on racism’s re-emergence as he demagogues, and violent incidents against minorities are linked to his campaign. Over the weekend a person from Black Lives Matter was assaulted as Trump railed against Muslims. Another in a growing list of incidents that follow the Trump campaign.

Somehow, Trump leads and has led Iowa polls from the start. Says buckets full about today’s Iowa Republican Party.

Is it a conspiracy to make Rubio look good?
Trump’s racist demogoguery, Carson’s goofiness, Fiorina’s lies, Bush’s total incompetence, Cruz’s extremism, Kasich’s blandness – are the Republican candidates each in their own way trying to look so bad that eventually the only one that looks rational by comparison will be Marco Rubio? Is it some kind of a conspiracy to make a really bad candidate in Rubio look good because he isn’t as totally obnoxious as the others? The corporate media then can build a myth around Rubio not being nuts and therefore presidential material. This very low standard for a presidential candidate that is Republican will still get that candidate 45% minimum of the vote in 2016.

Charlie Pierce: The Family Leader picks a candidate
Charlie Pierce should be required reading. For everyone. Last week he attended the public portion of the right wing religious group that seems to think it is God’s political representative in Iowa. Republican candidate of course since as we all know Democrats all worship Satan. Here is an excerpt:

There was unction in the extreme, and no little sanctimony, and the now very familiar recitation of the dystopian landscape created by eight years of the Obama Administration and of the nearly unstoppable acceleration of the handbasket taking the country to hell. The Savior was summoned on a number of occasions, not all of them relevant to his gospel mission on Earth. But the real meat on the Thanksgiving table got served up when Luntz wrenched the discussion away from sacred platitudes and into the realm of national security and foreign affairs. The clouds of incense were dispersed. The preacher masks all dropped. To a person, the seven Republican candidates came right up to the edge of accusing the president of the United States of treason and of being in sympathy with the murderers in France and in Mali. Right up to the edge, they all walked. Then they winked and took baby steps back, but everybody in the hall, all of the good Christians who’d come out in the snow, got the message.

They all signed onto the conservative talking point with the dumbest ass of all–that the president refuses to say the magic words, “radical Islamic extremism.” (All of them were unanimous that “political correctness” was now not merely a nuisance, but a clear and present danger to national security.) Asked if Secretary of State John Kerry should resign over remarks he had made the other day comparing the attacks in Paris to the murders at Charlie Hebdo, Mike Huckabee replied, “I’d like Barack Obama to resign if he’s not going to protect Americans, but rather respect Islam.” Carson called the president an “armchair quarterback who is interfering tremendously” with the military in its efforts to roll back Daesh. After warning us of the rising Islamic caliphate, Santorum said, “We have a president who won’t even call ISIS ‘Islamic.’ Nor will he even identify them as a state. This is delusional, and it’s costing lives.”

This is gamey, awful stuff, reminiscent of the charges back in the 1950s that Dwight Eisenhower was a Communist dupe. But this kind of thing is thoroughly mainstreamed now, so much so that they don’t even have to say it outright any more. It’s been a long time since it was considered cricket to discuss a sitting president in terms like this in a political campaign but, as has been the case since 2009, the usual rules do not apply to this president, and this campaign is nowhere near as ugly as it’s going to get. It changed over the last two weeks, and all of the well-dressed friends of Jesus at the Thanksgiving table there on stage have declared themselves along for the whole damn ride.

My thought for this week.
I would echo what Bernie Sanders called for many months ago. Early debates should not be separated by parties. All candidates should be put on a stage together so we could see early on the differences between the parties and the issues. Right now the stench coming from the Republican Party as it reaches out for the most extreme voters and the richest billionaires is overwhelming.

Sunday Funday: Don’t Feed The Fears Edition

do not feed the fears

You know if you feed the fears they grow large and demand more and more of your time and attention. They grow to the point where they take over your life and consume all your attention. The media will present more and more stuff to fear. Partaking of media pushed fear only makes the fear grow larger and larger until it totally consumes you. Beware and Don’t Feed The Fears!

Were you paying attention last week?

1) This is of course the anniversary of JFK’s assassination in 1963. Who was the governor who was also shot when Kennedy was killed?

2) WADA has called for Russian athletes to be banned from international competition. What is WADA?

3) The mastermind of the Paris bombings was killed last week. Where was this person born?

4) Interstate 94 was shut down by protestors last week over the shooting of a black man in custody by police in what city?

5) Quietly what overwhelmingly Catholic country in Europe legalized same sex marriage Monday?

6) Which two of Iowa’s congress critters voted with the opposition on the vote for the SAFE Act (to slow Syrian refugees) Thursday?

7) Ted Cruz got a big lift when what Iowa politician endorsed him Monday?

8) ISIS chose Paris to attack because they said Paris is the capital of what?

9) Just prior to the Paris attacks last week, what other major world city was attacked by suicide bombers?

10) What well known actor revealed he is HIV positive during a segment of the Today Show last week?

11) Convicted spy Johnathan Pollard was released from prison Friday. One of the most notorious spies in history, what country did Pollard spy on the US for?

12) Bernie Sanders gave a major policy speech on what issue at Georgetown University Thursday?

13) Nearly 250,000 women in Texas have attempted what medical procedure on themselves due to lack of availability of that procedure in Texas?

14) Jerry McKim, whose agency handles LIHEAP applications said that utilities sent out how many disconnect notices in September in Iowa?

15) Was he Piyush-ed out? What lesser Republican presidential candidate ‘suspended’ his campaign last week?

16) Many right wingers this week have compared their push to stop Syrian refugees to the way America treated citizens with what heritage in WWII?

17) Ben Carson compared refugees to what type of dogs?

18) The Oxford Dictionary named what non-word as its “word of the year?”

19) Shades of horrors past. What presidential candidate said muslims may need to carry some special form of ID or be registered in a database?

20) TV and Thanksgiving teamed up in 1953 to create what symbol of Americana when a buyer for Swanson way overbought turkeys for the holiday?

Happy Thanksgiving all. Celebrate safely and with meaning.


1) John Connally of Texas

2) World Anti Doping Agency

3) Belgium

4) Minneapolis

5) Ireland

6) Loebsack voted for the bill (most Repub votes) and Steve King joined Dems in voting against

7) Steve King. Kidding about the big lift

8) “prostitution and vice”

9) Beirut, Lebanon

10) Charlie Sheen

11) Israel

12) democratic socialism

13) abortion

14) 91,000 households

15) Piyush “Bobby” Jindal

16) the Japanese who were put in internment camps

17) rabid dogs

18) the crying with tears of joy emoji

19) Donald Trump. How about a yellow star er.. crescent Mr. Trump {disgusting}

20) The TV dinner

Sunday Funday: The Actress Speaks The Truth Edition

Lawrence eviscerates Republicans

1) The password to access the wifi for journalists covering the Republican debate Tuesday was what?

2) Aung San Suu Kyi appears ready to head the government of what country despite not being elected?

3) Last Saturday a guitar once used by what rock start sold for $2.4 million at auction?

4) The president of what university resigned Monday in response to racial tensions?

5) The Obama administration appealed a negative ruling by the 5th District Court directly to the Supreme Court on what issue?

6) After a long study the Obama administration finally announced that it would killing what international project?

7) Wednesday was the biggest online shopping day in history due to what holiday created by Chinese merchant Ali-Baba?

8) On this date in 1777 our first constitution, known as what, was adopted by the Continental congress?

9) As of Monday what two states bordering Iowa sell medical marijuana products?

10) What professional group filed suit against the Branstad Administration to stop the rush to managed care for Iowa’s medicaid program?

11) Iowa saw some rare November events Wednesday as what ripped across Iowa?

12) The SCOTUS granted certiorari for a case out of Texas concerning what divisive issue Friday?

13) What group of workers went on strike Tuesday in their “fight for $15?”

14) What former German Chancellor and architect of the European currency system died last week?

15) A man was arrested outside the White House fence when he deployed what weapon and fired at the White House?

16) As of March of 2016, Sony will no longer make what recording medium that is has manufactured for 40 years?

17) Joe’s Crab Shack announced it will test what new policy for its workers at 18 of its stores?

18) The announcement of the retirement of Wyoming’s only representative has what former Wyoming senate candidate thinking about running?

19) November 19th, 1863, what speech that becomes one of the basic statements of America is delivered?

20) The Iowa Utilities Board held a very well attended meeting in Boone Thursday concerning what issue?

Uh-oh! Big trouble in Paris! Pay attention!


1) stophillary

2) Myanmar aka Burma

3) John Lennon

4) Missouri

5) His executive order on immigrants

6) the Keystone pipeline

7) “singles day” 11/11

8) Articles of Confederation

9) Minnesota and Illinois. But they only sell to citizens of their states

10) the Iowa Hospital Association

11) strong storms including tornados

12) access to safe abortions

13) fast food workers

14) Helmut Schmidt

15) a slingshot

16) beta-max tapes

17) pay it’s workers a decent hourly wage and no tipping

18) Liz Cheney

19) The Gettysburg Address

20) the Bakken pipeline.

The glide path to the holiday season is on. Adjust lives accordingly.

Sunday Funday – Pyramids Are For Grain Storage Edition

ancient grain bin?

ancient grain bin?

Who knew that what rest of the world from ancient days to today saw as elaborate burial tombs for Pharaohs were actually ancient grain storage bins. Thousands of people missed that connection until Ben Carson came along to educate the world. Carson is hoping to ride insights like this and other insights (like how giving up your gun is much worse than the body of a young person riddled with bullets) to the presidency next year. To say that Carson sees the world through a different lens than 99.9999% of Americans is an major understatement.

Yet half of the Republican Party is ready to support him even though they (nor he apparently) have no idea what he is talking about. After all he is a doctor and expresses a belief in God and what more do you need to be president these days with Google and Fox News?

Were you paying attention like Dr. Ben?

1) A woman snuck into the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha last Sunday and tried to pet a caged tiger. What was the result?

2) Last Tuesday was election day. In Houston Texas an anti-discrimination ordinance was soundly defeated. It was dubbed the “bathroom ordinance.” Why?

3) On Monday, President Obama made a plea to ‘ban the box’ on federal job applications. What is ‘the box?’

4) “Remember, remember the fifth of November” is an old saying in England. Well the 5th of November just passed. What was remembered?

5) November 7th, 1962 what politician told the press “You won’t have _______ to kick around anymore”? As usual, he lied.

6) This Tuesday, November 10th, what group of American workers is planning a strike in an attempt to get wages raised to $15/hour?

7) What former actor, senator and failed presidential candidate died last week?

8) This man who died last week created the basis used to justify the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Who was he?

9) In an election surprise, Matt Bevin was elected governor of Kentucky promising to end what federal program in Kentucky?

10) An Iowa statehouse committee met Tuesday trying to figure the very confusing change in what set to take place on Jan.1, 2016?

11) Democrats scored a big win in what state’s Supreme Court election sweeping all 3 seats on the ballot?

12) Maybe not the first, but following Tuesday’s election what Iowa city has a completely female city council?

13) The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1917 what happened that is still commemorated to this day?

14) George H.W. Bush caused some waves this week when he said that what two members of the administration did not serve his son well?

15) The World Series stretched into November this year before who won?

16) Montana became the 30th state to adopt what mainstay of the Obamacare program Monday?

17) A recall of the Koch backed school board members in Jefferson county in what state was successful Tuesday?

18) What two major Republican presidential candidates were demoted to the “kiddie table” for the next debate?

19) New Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s new cabinet was announce last week. It was unique simply because it was composed of what?

20) The hometown of the Mormon Church – Salt Lake City, Utah – appears to have elected a mayor who has what traits that Mormons have trouble with?

The next election is only a year away – act accordingly


1) The tiger bit her hand causing a severe injury

2) Fear of “men in women’s public bathrooms” caused the defeat of anti-discrimination for transgender people.

3) A box to check if a person has a criminal record.

4) Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up Parliament in the 1600s

5) Nixon. Sadly he came back for more kicking a few years later.

6) fast food restaurant workers. Support them by avoiding such restaurants Tuesday.

7) Fred Thompson

8) Ahmed Chalabi

9) Medicaid expansion known as Kynect in Kentucky

10) the privatization of Iowa’s Medicaid program. Iowa has 565,000 people on medicaid.

11) Pennsylvania

12) West Liberty

13) The Armistice ending WWI was signed.

14) VP Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. (most of us could suggest dozens more)

15) Kansas City Royals

16) Medicaid expansion

17) Colorado

18) Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee

19) equal representation from each gender – 15 men, 15 women

20) Jackie Biskupsi is a lesbian – female and gay that is.

Note to Ben Carson – Knowledge takes time, ignorance is instantaneous

Sunday Funday: It Gets Late Early Now Edition

Time to answer the quiz today

Time to answer the quiz today

The title riffs from a Yogi Berra quote of long back. Here we are back to standard time and a week of time schedule screw ups thanks to the silly changing of the clock. Didn’t bother me as much when daylight time started when school ended and ended when school started. However, thanks to a spineless congress and the barbecue (spring) and the candy (Halloween) lobbies, times change at the oddest times now. So tonight many of us will be ready for bed shortly after 6PM and be rising @ 4:30 tomorrow as our bodies try to switch over.

But that extra hour of sleep is wonderful.

Were you paying attention?

1) Looks like the outcome of the last GOP debate was that which candidate is spending most of his time claiming he is still a viable candidate?

2) Much of the blogosphere discussed at length the rough treatment of a female high school student by who?

3) If yesterday was Halloween, then what is today known as?

4) At last week’s JJ Dinner in DesMoines, which candidate was criticized roundly for apparently leaving too early?

5) One of the most famous newspaper headlines ever was published Wed. Nov. 3, 1948 in Chicago. What did it say?

6) At Wednesday’s debate, Ben Carson denied any connection to which company, even though there are youtube videos of him endorsing their product?

7) Following votes by student and faculty representatives, what was removed from the Ole Miss campus Monday?

8) Heating costs in Iowa are expected to lower or stabilize this winter due to a gas supply glut and what else?

9) Hillary Clinton got a surprise endorsement this week from what Ohio senator?

10) What has joined cigarettes and asbestos as a group 1 carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization?

11) Iowa’s State Public Defender’s Office has added what new division?

12) Finally as John Boehner leaves office he gives the President a gift by getting what passed?

13) Scientists have discovered a comet that is leaving a trail of sugar and what other substance?

14) The huge hurricane, Patricia, left how many deaths in its wake?

15) A woman in Oklahoma killed 4 when she slammed into a crowd of people watching what?

16) The label on Aquafina bottled water will soon be changed to say “public water sources” which is another way of saying what?

17) According to scientists at MIT, the Persian Gulf area could be too hot for what by 2100?

18) What former US Speaker of the House pled guilty to evading currency reporting requirements in federal court Tuesday?

19) The Republican Party pulled its February debate from what network in response because it thought Wednesday’s questions out of line?

20) Scott Kelly Friday became the holder of the American record for consecutive days spent where?

For today’s trick, no answers — hehehehee


1) Jeb Bush – many folks writing that his campaign is kaput.

2) a school Resource Officer or sheriff’s deputy or Ben Fields by name

3) Al Hallow’s Day. Hallowe’en means hallowed (or holy) evening and the day after the hallowed evening is hallowed day AKA All Saint’s Day in Catholicism.

4) Bernie Sanders

5) “Dewey Defeats Truman” by the Chicago Tribune.

6) Mannatech

7) The state flag which contains the confederate flag within it.

8) a very strong El Nino which is expected to keep temperatures mild

9) Sherrod Brown

10) processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausage

11) division of Wrongful Convictions

12) a budget. Been a long time.

13) alcohol

14) 0

15) the homecoming parade at Oklahoma State U.

16) tap water

17) human habitation

18) Dennis Hastert

19) NBC – Wednesday’s debate was on subsidiary CNBC

20) in space – 216 days and counting

And now to hibernate

Sunday Funday: Week Before Halloween Edition

happy halloween

What can you say? Eight Republicans backed by the full Republican Party took on one woman in a knock-down, drag-out fight Thursday. Result? Not a scratch on the woman, but the Republican Party severely damaged. But then, the woman was Hillary Clinton! But just wait until Donald Trump goes to battle against Hillary {chuckle}…………………

Whew, what a week. Were you paying attention?

1) 1) What company is being forced to remove “Made In The USA” from its website after being investigated by the FTC for deceptive advertising?

2) Canada had an election last Monday. What party won parliament?

3) Who is Canadian Prime Minister now?

4) News organizations covering what major event next summer will have to pay a $150 access fee for seats in the press stand?

5) Three Democrats dropped out of the presidential race in the past two weeks. Who are they?

6) What prediction made in a movie 26 years ago fell short this week?

7) 190 years ago tomorrow the first man made waterway in the US opened linking what two navigable waterways?

8) This is how it should have been. In Iceland, a group which shared what profession were sentenced to jail for crimes related to the economic meltdown in 2008?

9) New UI President Bruce Herrold asked that work be stopped on what on campus?

10) Surprise, surprise! Who is now leading the Republican polls in Iowa?

11) The German government had to issue a statement Wednesday clarifying that Germany alone was responsible for what?

12) What presidential candidate criticized Branstad’s decision to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid program?

13) An Iowa taxidermist was sentenced to 27 months in prison buying and selling what forbidden commodity?

14) Boone County supervisors approved a resolution opposing the construction of what in Boone County?

15) Tomorrow is the birthday of what noted American politician and states person? (hint it’s #68)

16) What US commonwealth is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis, according to the Treasury Department?

17) Patricia is a name in the news this weekend. Why?

18) In China last week, the Communist Party banned what sport for its members as a move to fight corruption?

19) Herbicide Glyphosate will be listed as a carcinogen in California. What company is working hard to stop it from being listed?

20) Just in time for the new star Wars movie a statue of what Soviet hero has been transformed into Darth Vader?

The trees are turning color fast so get out and get some fall color looking in right away.


1) Walmart

2) Liberals – 184 of 338 seats

3) Justin Trudeau (son of former PM Pierre Trudeau)

4) The Republican National Convention

5) Jim Webb, VP Joe Biden and Lincoln Chafee

6) in “Back to the Future 2” a newspaper headline stated the Cubs win the 2015 World Series

7) The Erie Canal linked Lake Erie and the Hudson River

8) bankers

9) renovation of his office

10) Ben Carson

11) the Holocaust. The statement was prompted by Bibi Netanyahu’s wild stories that Palestinians persuaded Hitler to kill the Jews.

12) Hillary Clinton

13) black rhinoceros horns

14) the Bakken Oil pipeline

15) Hillary Clinton

16) Puerto Rico

17) it’s the name of the huge hurricane that hit Mexico Friday and Saturday

18) golf

19) Monsanto. Glyphosate is sold under the brand name Roundup

20) Lenin


Sunday Funday: We Don’t Need No Leaders Edition

fall trees 1

Seems like about once a week the Republican Party suffers a small earthquake within itself. My recollection from a geology class in my distant past was that a huge earthquake is preceded by several smaller quakes. We have some very strange early quakes going on in tea party land especially in the leadership area. Totally inexperienced people leading the parade of presidential candidates and no one seeming to want to be Speaker of the House have the earth quivering at the moment.

Pretty bad time for this to be happening with a potential default on our debt coming up shortly and another closing of government in the offing. As the earth quivers, let us hope that the country doesn’t get harmed in the explosion. Well, as Richard Nixon once said, “How can a party that can’t govern itself, govern the country?”

Were you paying attention last week?

1) We alluded to this in the intro today. Who withdrew his name in the race for Speaker of the House Thursday?

2) According to HuffingtonPost what percentage of Americans know someone who was killed by a gun – a) 25% b) 40% c) 50%?

3) School shootings #46 and #47 for 2015 happened Friday on what university campuses?

4) What man would have been 75 last Friday. No politician or world leader, but his music still influences people, especially the song “Imagine”?

5) Flood waters are still receding after historic rains in what state?

6) The ‘i’s were dotted and the ’t’s finally crossed and negotiations came to an end on what trade agreement Monday?

7) In the midst of the Watergate hearings what VP resigned quietly on October 10,1973?

8) Still no butts in jail. What corporation has finally been fined a record $20.8B for its oil spill in 2010?

9) Doctors Without Borders called what a “war crime”?

10) If your are reading this, you must have survived what that was supposed to have happened Wednesday?

11) The cornerstone of the White House was laid Oct. 1792. What is the approximate market value of the White House today, according to Zillow?

12) Who is the only remaining original member of Pres. Obama’s cabinet?

13) The highly regarded Harvard debate team made news last week by losing to a debate team from where?

14) Ruppert Murdoch tweeted that Ben Carson would be what, thus igniting a a tsunami of reaction?

15) In an interview Wednesday on public radio’s Marketplace, what Republican presidential candidate embarrassed himself with a total lack of understanding of the debt limit?

16) What Republican state senator announced his candidacy for congress in Iowa’s second district?

17) One of American’s great sports has been hit by a cheating scandal. What emerging industry based on football has been rocked with stories of insider cheating?

18) The Nobel Peace Prize was won by a group that helped what country transition from a revolution to a democratic government?

19) Declassified documents showed that what dictator had assassinations carried out in the US in 1976?

20) Republican senators say they plan to use what process in order to avoid a filibuster on a bill to cut funds to Planned Parenthood and end Obamacare?

The end of the world may come when the Cubs win the World Series. You have been warned.


1) Kevin McCarthy

2) b) 40% – pretty high

3) Northern Arizona University and Texas Southern U.

4) John Lennon

5) South Carolina

6) Trans-Pacific Partnership

7) Spiro Agnew in response to bribery charges

8) BP

9) the US’s bombing of the hospital at Kunduz, Afghanistan

10) the end of the world

11) just short of $400,000,000

12) Tom Vilsack

13) Eastern New York Correctional facility (prisoners)

14) the first “real” black president

15) Ben Carson

16) Mark Chelgrin of Ottumwa

17) fantasy football

18) Tunisia

19) Pinochet

20) reconciliation

Fall colors – get out and see them!

Sunday Funday: Sad Day In America Edition

Charles Pierce

Charles Pierce

Charles Pierce on the Lawrence O’Donnell Show Thursday night:

“We only allow ourselves two political parties in this country and one of our political parties is completely insane. It’s the party that when we have mine disasters blocks mine regulation. It’s the party that when we want to fix our roads we can’t have an infrastructure bill and you can’t raise gas tax. It’s the party that when we have floods like New Jersey, mark Chris Christie lousy because he accepted help from the federal government. And we have the same party which now has between three and six hundred candidates running for president none of whom will do anything about the mass shootings in America. So I mean, I am politicizing the hell out of this thing and I don’t care.”!#full-episodes from 37:00 to 38:00 minutes

Couldn’t agree more.

Were you paying attention?

1) What Republican presidential candidate revealed their tax plan Monday that included a big slice for themselves?

2) Well we are finally in a month that has a Democratic debate. What day will this be held?

3) Can it be nearly a century? October 1, 1908 what rolled off the assembly lines of Detroit for the first time?

4) In a real surprise what oil company abandoned oil exploration in the Arctic Monday?

5) Pres. Obama met with world leaders Pope Francis and Xi Jinping last week. Who did he meet with at the beginning of this week?

6) Republican congressmen were embarrassed by what president of Planned Parenthood during hearings last week?

7) Kevin McCarthy volunteered on national TV that the Benghazi hearings were actually held just to take down what Democratic politician?

8) Tomorrow is the First Monday in October. What significance does this have for our government?

9) Iowa Republican big wigs led by Bruce Rastetter endorsed the nearly dead candidacy of what Republican presidential hopeful?

10) Government job numbers for September were what?

11) Following the Planned Parenthood hearings in the House Tuesday, a clinic was set on fire in what major US city?

12) It was reported this week that Pope Francis met with what now notorious low level Kentucky politician last week?

13) An Arizona family called police after their dog’s house was crushed by what that fell from the sky?

14) Rush Limbaugh called this discovery a “a technique to advance the leftist agenda.” What out of this world discovery was he talking about?

15) Money and politics. What presidential candidate became the first to surpass 1 million donations?

16) How many school shootings have occurred in the US in calendar 2015 so far?

17) What group called for the resignation of Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter last week?

18) A former police officer and lawyer was arrested in Waverly for selling what to undercover law enforcement agents last week?

19) Jeb! Bush once more stepped in it when a question about the Oregon tragedy drew what nonchalant response from him?

20) Mighty late in the season, but what hurricane gave the east coast fits this weekend?

I will try to think happy thoughts of Republicans someday facing up to reality and doing their duty


1) Donald Trump. Presidenting can be profitable

2) October 13th from Las Vegas

3) the Model T

4) Shell – at least for this year

5) Vladimir Putin and Raul Castro

6) Cecile Richards

7) Hillary Clinton (this is highly illegal folks)

8) The new session of the Supreme Court begins

9) Chris Christie

10) 142,000 new jobs. 67 consecutive months of job growth.

11) Thousand Oaks, California (far suburb of LA)

12) Kim Davis

13) twenty eight pounds of marijuana

14) water on Mars. No one understands what Rush was talking about.

15) Bernie Sanders

16) 45

17) The Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty at the University of Iowa

18) fake money (aka counterfeit) that he had made

19) “Stuff happens”

20) Hurricane Joaquin

Enjoy the beautiful weather