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Friday, April 28, 2006

T. Longren: Bush Endorses Amnesty. Sorta.

Excerpted from this post at T. Longren

There's been an enormous amount of immigration talk lately. Congress is currently looking at various immigration reform proposals. Newt Gingrich thinks the U.S. should just start enforcing our current immigration laws, which really would make the most sense.

The Passing Parade...: No, Mr. Bush, nothing 'hidden' about this robbery

Excerpted from this post at The Passing Parade...

No, Mr. President, there's nothing "hidden" about this robbery. We working people can clearly see it occurring every time we drive by a gas station, and fall personally victim to it every time we drive in to fill 'er up -- or to buy whatever portion of a fill-up we can afford at $3 a gallon. Maybe enough to get us home, get the kids to school tomorrow and get to work; maybe not.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

John Deeth Blog: Isn't there some country we can send Steve King back to?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Or can we at least ship him off to Nebraska?

Rep. Steve King of Iowa has written a blistering broadside against the planned National Day Without Immigrants. He sent out a column to newspapers in his congressional district that dubs the May 1 event 'Nothing Gringo Day' and 'Bite The Hand That Feeds You Day.'

What would that May 1st look like without illegal immigration? There would be no one to smuggle across our southern border the heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines that plague the United States

Blog for Iowa: Iowa GOP aims for Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

This just in, courtesy of Linda. The GOP is trying, once again, to make same-sex marriage an issue in the state. According to an article posted today in the Advocate, 17 Iowa GOP lawmakers have jumped in on a previously filed lawsuit, and a ruling is expected by the end of the summer.

Is this another attempt by the GOP to drive conservatives to the polls? More information on this will certainly be forthcoming...

Iowa Voice: Senate Republicans Want To Give $100 Rebates

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

An amendment is being considered that would send every taxpayer a $100 rebate check to help with high gas prices: Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.

With today's prices, that would last all of one week for a lot of people. I could stretch it for a month, but that's just me. My point is, it's a drop in the bucket, so why bother? And I have a sneaking suspicion that not everyone who deserved it would get it. It just smells of a plan to buy votes. Rotten idea.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

John Deeth Blog: The Midwest -- Competition Fierce in Many House Districts

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Congressional Quarterly looks at US House competition in the midwest and sees three Iowa districts - 1, 2, 3 - on the charts.

Worth a read for people who want to understand the battle for the House the way it really matters: seat by seat.

Also look at the northeast, south, and west, and the Senate.

Iowa Voice: Feingold "Parody" A Blatant Lie

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

I swear, Russ Feingold is losing his mind:

Sen. Russ Feingold's leadership PAC sponsored an Internet video making an unfounded suggestion that President Bush is being urged to eavesdrop "on anybody who has the nerve to disagree with [him] - court order or not."

A Feingold spokesman says the ad is a parody. Funny or not, it makes an accusation for which there's no evidence. It's not a joke, and Feingold knows exactly what he's doing.

He's catering to the "get Bush" crowd, and he's banking on the Democrats winning in November. I think he's going to be more than a little disappointed with that, though. In any case, he says this "ad" is a "parody". Well, I don't think anybody's laughing.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blog for Iowa: Feingold's Trip to Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will be traveling to Iowa this week, Friday, April 28th and Saturday, April 29th. He will hold fundraisers for 2nd Congressional District Candidate Dave Loebsack on Friday and 4th Congressional District Candidate Selden Spencer on Saturday. Feingold will also speak on Friday at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City.

The speech is open to the public. Feingold will discuss the President's illegal
domestic wiretapping program as well as his resolution to censure the President for those illegal actions. Feingold's censure resolution is the first step toward holding the President accountable for breaking the law.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin was the first Senator to publicly support and cosponsor Feingold's censure resolution shortly after it was introduced.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blog for Iowa: DFA-Link Endorsement Page

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

Denise O'Brien was the latest person to contact me about support for her campaign. In fairness to those who have taken steps to make themselves available, I have decided to post a link to the DFA page that lists all of the Iowa campaigns this year.

If you are a candidate and have not applied for a DFA endorsement, check this link out. These are the approved candidates, to date. You can also nominate candidates through the same page. Of course, kudos go out to the QCA's own Elisha Gayman, who is already on the A-list.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Political Forecast: Reflections on the Boswell-Warner event

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

So, I just got home (at about 7:30) from the event at Harry Bookey and Pamela Bass-Bookey's place here in Des Moines.

It was a great turnout of about 75 folks or so, so it was also pretty packed. Some of the notable guests included Patty Judge, Mike Blouin, Andy McGuire, Ako Abdul-Samad, Tom Miller, Neil Hamilton, Jack Hatch, Matt McCoy, Jo Oldson, and many others.

Mainstream Iowan: This Week's Events In CIETC Scandal

Excerpted from this post at Mainstream Iowan

Secretary Laurie Rieck did not appear before legislative hearings for questioning and instead submitted a letter explaining her actions. She could not sleep and wanted to clean her office. Rieck was found dumping documents early on April 6, the morning after Jane Barto, her boss, resigned as deputy director of Iowa Workforce Development.

Rieck wrote that she went to the Iowa Workforce Development office about 4:30 a.m. "I did not throw anything away that mentioned CIETC. In fact, I found a few documents that had the name CIETC on them and those I placed on my desk," she wrote.

John Deeth Blog: SurveyUSA - 100 US Senator Approval Ratings

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Ben Nelson, a nominal Democrat in Big Red Nebraska, tops the charts. He doesn't vote great, but a vote for control out of one of the four states still backing Bush is more than one can dream of.

Rick Santorum and Conrad Burns, Republicans up for re-election, are dead last.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

John Deeth Blog: Warner in DM for Boswell

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

From the inbox: The Leonard Boswell for Congress campaign is hosting a fundraiser with former Virginia Governor Mark Warner on Thursday, April 20th at 5:30 p.m. in Des Moines...Interesting nationally (it's Warner, it's Iowa) and locally (Lamberti bests Boswell in fundraising).

Krusty Konservative: First District Money Race

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

1. Not only did Dix raise the most money it the first quarter, he also took the lead in the over all money race, now leading Braley $504,980.50 to $487,266. It's impressive that Dix has been able to match the Democrats golden boy Braley dollar for dollar.

2. Kennedy couldn't even beat Bill Gluba in fundraising in the 1st quarter. Face in Kennedy fans, its not going to happen. Money is a good indication about the strength of ones campaign. However, some candidates have proven that money doesn't matter. Kongressman Steve King is a good example of this. But there is not a Steve King type
candidate running is the 1st CD.

Political Forecast: IA-Gov: Tax returns for the curious

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

I'm not all that interested in what the candidates for governor make, or even what the current governor makes, and then pays in taxes. But if you're interested, here's the report from the Sioux City Journal with everyone's returns but Sal Mohammed.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Political Forecast: Is the CIETC scandal over? Lundby, Vaudt say no

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

Since I didn't feed your news addiction yesterday with CIETC updates, I'll add some of yesterday's stories into the stuff coming out today from the Register, which is still the only Iowa newspaper reporting the stuff.

From a nice little fluff piece on State Auditor Dave Vaudt, we learn that the FBI is supposedly finding out a lot more information and following a lot more leads in the CIETC controversy.

Still, he doesn't say if there has been anything blatantly illegal found, but I expect that at some point someone will find something. Newly elected Senate Republican leader Mary Lundby is saying the same thing and expects her party to begin the push to expand government in Iowa by creating an inspector's office to check into possible government abuses or create an office similar to the federal government's General Accounting Office (GAO).

John Deeth Blog: Tornado Pictures

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Neighbor Sean of the John Deeth Blog Action Storm Watch Team shares some early morning photos of the downtown damage.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mainstream Iowan: More On Iowa And The IWD - CIETC Scandal

Excerpted from this post at Mainstream Iowan

Over the past two weeks, a joint committee of the Legislature has dragged before it officials including two who were subsequently fired, a disgraced Des Moines city councilman and the whistle-blower who exposed the whole sordid tale. Now, however, Gov. Tom Vilsack’s office won’t let the interim director of the Iowa Workforce Development office testify in person.

Blog for Iowa: Just Try to Go West, Old Man

Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa

In 2008, there is going to be consensus among Democrats and Greens that the war in Iraq was wrong, abortion should be legal, rich people should pay more taxes, and elections should be fair and honest. That’s why it’s kind of funny that Republicans can’t seem to figure out where they stand on any of that. I am sure that they will roll out some Shrub-clones, but there’s going to be a lot of debate about who among them is the anti-Shrub. Of course, McCain comes to mind, but he’s not faring too well in some parts of this state. News about our opponents comes to us from KMEG of Sioux City (http://www.kmeg14.com/news/local/2627706.html) which reports that McCain is trying to court die-hard conservatives. It’s not going to well for J-Mac out there, largely because the GOP conservatives look at him and see a traitor.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Harkin Newsletter: No American -- and that must include the President -- is above the law

Excerpted from this post at Harkin Newsletter

Sign the Petition for Bush Censure

That's why I co-sponsored Senator Russ Feingold's resolution to censure George W. Bush for breaking the FISA law with his illegal, warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.

Sign the Petition for Bush Censure

It is not enough for me to stand up for what's right. I am working hard to
build support for this important resolution

John Deeth Blog: Old Media on Soup

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Bush gets the bigger headlines of course; the ball game ain't fair but their team has the ball. (Aside: Baseball is the only major sport where the defense, not the offense, controls the ball. Discuss.)

Press-Citizen catches the flavor of the soup reasonably well. The DI zooms in on their interview with Blouin and his tuition-freeze proposal. The Gazette has something too but their site is acting wacky this AM.

Register skips the soup and opts for the sign war instead.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Political Forecast: Huge turnout at yesterday’s rally

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

Yesterday's immigration rally in Des Moines had an amazing turnout - around 5,000 to 6,000 people according to the Des Moines Police Department.

I was unable to make it as I was doing a charity walk with some fraternity brothers, but I hope to have some pictures up later today from a friend who went to the rally. That friend also estimated turnout at at least 10,000, so take your pick for estimates. Gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon was also at the event, along with his staffers passing out literature.

Definitely a good way for outreach, I'm sure. I'm just curious to know how many of those at the rally yesterday are eligible to vote. Anyway, the Register write-up of the rally is here, along with some pictures showing just how big and peaceful the rally was.

Iowa Voice: FDIC To Hold Hearings On Wal-Mart Bank Today

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

I can understand the concerns here, but I think they're unfounded, myself. Working in the service industry, I had access to the monthly and yearly P&Ls (profit/loss statements), and I saw how much these companies charge you to be able to accept credit cards.

For a restaurant doing $2 million in sales, these charges were quite high, and they cut into your profit margin by quite a bit. It's almost not worth accepting credit cards, that's how bad it is. So I can fully understand Wal-Mart wanting to set up its own institution to knock the middleman out of the way. Can you imagine the fees they have to pay on credit card processing charges each day? Each month? Each year? Yikes.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Corruption on Iowa Governor Vilsack's Watch

Excerpted from this post at Mainstream Iowan

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black: While Iowa Governor Vilsack was ignoring his job being so worried about his next one, our Iowa government was holding hearings on corruption and mismanagement by his appointees. (Don't forget this isn't the first time -- i.e., Rich Varn and ITE). What about corruption in Iowa in your administration Governor Vilsack?

CIETC Scandal

Excerpted from this post at Half the Politics

What exactly is the Iowa Workforce Department and CIETC scandal?

Over the past couple of years top executives at IWD have been receiving salaries that are four times higher than other jobs comparable with the same position. The state may have funded over 1.8 million dollars to pay the yearly salaries of CIETC CEO Ramona Cunningham (368,000/year) and CIETC COO John Bargman (360,000/year)

As my tweener might say...RPI to Vilsack

Excerpted from this post at Things Going Round & Round
I figure everybody else is doing it; either for a Party, or with a party, or whatever, but it's really none of my business. Anyway, my turn. Today I'm acting as an official spokes-shill for the Republican Party of Iowa. It's just for today and it's only because this is a great press release -- mean enough to make it into blogland unedited

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DrewMiller.net: By Popular Demand - The Whole Forum

Excerpted from this post at DrewMiller.net

- Blouin Intro: I would say Blouin underperformed his speech. It was still a lot better than he was nine months ago, but it lacked passion. Pics coming later.

- Culver Intro: Chet went over his time limit (no one said anything though) but he sounded pretty good. He briefly touched on energy issues.

- Fallon Intro: Fallon is full of energy today. He namechecks Paul Wellstone. I get pissed when people do this. I'm glad everyone likes Wellstone, but I wish they wouldn't use him to advance their own politics. Fallon emphasized campaign finance and that he can be elected.

Hawkeye Republican: WE MEAN BUSINESS

Excerpted from this post at Hawkeye Republican

Kudos to the Regents for doing something intelligent - selecting Gary Fethke as the interim president of the University of Iowa. As the outgoing business dean, Fethke has done an arguably good job maintaining the excellence of the College, as well as spurring the construction of new facilities.

Take it from a student, the John Pappajohn College of Business is a great place to learn. At a lofty salary of $302,050 to lead the university, maybe Fethke will go Skorton-style and support another block party next Fall?

Iowa Voice: My Top 10 Blogs

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

Haven't done this in a while, so I figured it was time to do one again. Keep in mind, this list changes over time, and if you were a blog that made my last list, but didn't this time, don't feel bad...you could very well make the list next time. I'm fickle, I know. =D

1] Right Wing News
2] Michelle Malkin
3] Sister Toldjah
4] Expose the Left
5] Ace of Spades HQ
6] IMAO
7] bRight & Early
8] Stop The ACLU
9] Wizbang
10] Blogs For Bush

Monday, April 03, 2006

John Deeth Blog: Midterms put focus on Iowa

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Gazette looks at the Iowa house races:

In a year when national political observers expect there to be only a couple of dozen truly hot races, two of Iowa's three (sic) U.S. House races are on the watch lists of news organizations, such as Congressional Quarterly, and a third - the 2nd District - shows some promise of heating up, they say.

The race for the seat Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle has held since 1990 is considered to be one of the three hottest U.S. House races in the country...

Actually, there's five races, but who's counting?

DrewMiller.net: Teacher Pay

Excerpted from this post at DrewMiller.net

How much to increase teacher pay is a huge issue in Iowa right now, and I've been neglecting my duty of spouting underinformed and inarticulate opinions. No more!

First of all, I think it is safe to say that our teacher salaries are too low for the performance we expect (and for the most part receive). We generally expect our teachers to be well-educated and hard-working, and yet their salaries in no way reflect this. Increasing teacher pay should be a priority if we want to maintain our position as a top-tier education state.

Things Going Round & Round: Budget Offal at its Finest

Excerpted from this post at BLOGNAME

Like I said on Friday, needed to soak my toes for a few days, but my god, after reading this in Saturday's DMR I either had to soak my head or just pull it together and get back in the fight.

Okay, if I was "in the fight" I would have posted on Saturday and be hammering away at this in some umpteenth seperate post, but I do have a life outside of typing random thoughts on a blog.

Anyway, read this: ...A report issued Friday by Iowa Auditor David Vaudt indicates that the publicly funded Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium's top executives are each collecting more than $350,000 in pay this year. By comparison, Gov. Tom Vilsack was paid $107,482 last year.

Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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