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Friday, September 28, 2007

Politically Speaking: King calls out, called out

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve King today not only called out a
governor, he was on the receiving end of a barb in which his own
thought process was questioned. As the political battle on
reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program heats up
in Washington, King took his stance public by offering to debate Iowa
Gov. Chet Culver on the matter here in Sioux City. King contends SCHIP
is being too broadly cast, since with the funding under discussion
(the House passed it this week in spite of King's 'No' vote, the
Senate likely will pass it today and President Bush has threatened to
veto it) the health insurance program would be available to families
making up to $83,000 annually. Many of those families already have
private health insurance, King notes. King contends the funding
mechanism for the SCHIP broadening is suspect, since it relies on an
increase in the federal tobacco tax.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Braley Owes MoveOn $87,000

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Bruce Braley voted to condemn MoveOn.org for the Petraeus/Betray Us ad
that ran in the New York Times. MoveOn.org helped raise over $87,000
to help get Braley elected in 2006. Matt Stoller from Open Left
wrote... 'Since they voted to condemn MoveOn's ad, they have
neutralized MoveOn's ability to help them.' Since Braley considers
MoveOn so bad, should he consider returning the $87,000 then? Or does
Braley consider, now that he is elected, that he doesn't need help
from groups like MoveOn? Or does Braley think newspaper ads do more
harm than continue a failed policy in Iraq?

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FromDC2Iowa: Hold Onto Your Wallet -- Earthpark Defies Death

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Earthpark Does a Terry Shiavo... Earthpark may be dead, but it's not yet
buried under a tulip bed in Pella. There's a family member and at
least one U.S. Senator who swear they saw it smile. Perry Beeman,
"Georgia Company to Aid Earthpark," Des Moines Register, September 27,
2007. I have been publishing newspaper columns (14) and other written
analyses (15) of this ill-conceived, misrepresented, mismanaged,
failed earmarked $50 million pork project since January 2001. Since
February 2004 I have been maintaining what I believe to be the single
most thorough Web site of commentary on the developments (probably
well in excess of 100 pages if printed out), with links to the full
text of dozens (if not hundreds) of newspaper stories, studies and
reports. See, Nicholas Johnson, "Earthpark/Iowa Environmental
Project/I.O.W.A. Child Project."

Iowa Progress: Dems Recruit Candidate With Ties To Agribusiness and Casinos

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

In the open seat for House District 89 currently held by Republican
Sandy Greiner, Larry Marek, a farmer with ties to agribusiness and to
the gaming industry has announced his candidacy for the Democratic
nomination. As John Deeth notes, Marek has been an active member of
the Soybean Promotion Board (along with Farm Bureau, the Corngrowers
and the Cattlemen) and was described by the Iowa City Press-Citizen as
"an early backer of the Riverside Casino & Hotel project." District 89
is a potentially competitive district but one that will be an uphill
battle in 2008 as the Republicans have a significant registration
advantage. With Marek's background, he seems like the type of "Blue
Dog Dem" who could do very well in the district. Plus, his background
is sure to give him an advantage raising money.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Iowa Progressive: Biden Moves To Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progressive

As Chris Cilizza reports, Joe Biden is staking his entire campaign on
a strong performance in Iowa. He has moved almost his entire national
staff into Iowa in hopes of a strong performance in the caucuses.
Biden seems to hope that this increased focus, combined with support
from many Iowa legislators (including his recent endorsement by Iowa
House Speaker Pro Tem Polly Bukta). His strategy, as reported by Marc
Ambinder seems solid, based on having surrogates hit smaller towns
with a particular focus on the blue collar Democratic counties along
the Mississippi River. However, there is one inherent flaw. Ambinder
notes that Biden has "nine field offices and 23 full-time staffers"
which is puny compared to the number of staffers and field offices
that Obama, Edwards and Clinton have. In fact, even Chris Dodd has 59
full-time staffers on the ground in Iowa right now.

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iPol: Senate Iraq Vote is a Big Win for Biden

Excerpted from this post at iPol

That old bromide about the weather - everybody talks about it, but
nobody ever does anything about it - could just as easily be applied
to Iraq, and particularly with regard to the deadlocked United States
Senate throughout 2007. That all shifted significantly today with the
Senate's overwhelming passage of the Biden amendment to the FY2008
Defense Authorization Act. The amendment lays out Biden's vision for a
political settlement in Iraq based on a federal system of a three-way
partition of the country into semi-autonomous sectarian regions. The
regions, one each for Iraq's Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish populations,
would have direct control over local matters like law enforcement and
jobs, with a weakened central government in Baghdad controlling
national matters like border security, foreign policy and the
distribution of oil revenues.

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HawkeyeGOP: The Iowa Defense of Marriage Task Force

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

I have expressed my concern about gay marriage in Iowa in a couple of
recent posts (8/30/07 & 8/31/07). There fore, when I received an
e-mail inviting me to the inaugural meeting of the Iowa Defense of
Marriage Task Force, I was interested. The e-mail started like this:
"Friends: Never in our state's history has the institution of marriage
been attacked with such veracity(sic)..." It certainly looked promising.
Then I looked closer. Hmm... The e-mail came from Joe Earle, Joe was
Director of Outreach for the Iowa Christian Alliance. He is now a
Romney Staffer. A further Google search shows that Hoekstra, Gallagher
and Flaherty are all prominent Romney supporters.

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Back Roads to the White House: Tancredo's takes during the Dem debate

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

The Democratic presidential contenders squared-off in New Hampshire
Wednesday night on MSNBC, but the real fun was here at "Back Roads to
the White House." We assembled an all-star cast of bloggers and
journalists -- including one who was posting from just outside the
spin room in New Hampshire -- to comment while the debate was
unfolding. And, just for kicks, one of our featured participants was
none other than: Rep. Tom Tancredo. We started out asking Tancredo if
he had anything in common with any of the Democrats. "Bill Richardson
has said he supports the individual right to keep and bear arms
embodied in the Second Amendment. If he remains true to that position,
then I suppose he and I agree there."

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The Real Sporer: A real convention?

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Have any of our readers spent their sleepless nights calculating the
odds of the Republican nominee remaining undetermined until the
Convention? Could 2008 produce a real floor battle for the nominee?
You bet it could. Even a cursory analysis of the GOP nominating
process shows a very diverse process. The abbreviated primary process
may very well allow insufficient time for a fourth or fifth place
finisher in the first four or five contest to run out of money before
February 5. If so, the game then becomes much dicier. Many of the
February 5 states are winner take all in name only. Congressional
district results will determine hundreds of delegates on February 5
alone. For example, California has 173 "district" delegates whose
allocation will ultimately be based on the winners in California's
more than four dozen Congressional districts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Popular Progressive: Grassley: "Yes" Bush Holding SCHIP Bill Hostage

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

A battle over the President's policy view of using tax deductions to
afford private health coverage rather than helping uninsured kids to
Medicare coverage may lead to a desertion by Iowa's Chuck Grassley.
The Washington Post reports that our most senior Senator accused
President Bush yesterday of holding up a bipartisan three months,
along with campaign advertisements accusing Republicans of abandoning
children. That way, pressure would mount either on Bush to sign the
bill or on House Republicans to override the veto... Asked if Bush was
holding the children's health bill hostage, Grassley said, "Yes."

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Essestial Estrogen: Polly Bukta Endorses Biden for President

Excerpted from this post at Essestial Estrogen

Iowa House Speaker Pro Tempore Polly Bukta, D-Clinton, has become the
ninth member of the Iowa legislature to endorse Delaware Sen. Joe
Biden. With the addition of Bukta, the campaign's endorsement list
includes five members of the Iowa House Leadership. Biden was one of
four candidates to attend Bukta's annual corn boil held in August.
Biden was the final speaker of the day and many in the stands at
Riverfront Stadium in Clinton had moved to the grounds, most
scampering after New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Connecticut
Sen. Chris Dodd and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards on a quest
for pictures and autographs. On that day, Biden spoke forcefully about
his plan for Iraq and his reasoning for voting to continue funding.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Dr. James Zogby at Iowa State University

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Tonight, I attended Dr. James Zogby's lecture on the campus of Iowa
State University. Zogby titled his lecture, "The Mess We're In: How
U.S. Leaders Have Failed Us In The Middle East And What You Can Do."
John Zogby, who operates the influential polling firm "Zogby", is the
brother of James Zogby. Zogby is the founder and current President of
the Arab American Institute and is considered to be one of the most
powerful Arab Americans in the United States. He's been an advocate
and adviser on foreign policy related to the United States for a
number of years. Zogby has written a book or two and writes weekly
columns for publications in the United States.

John Deeth Blog: Nader Running Again? As Democrat?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The "Ralph Nader Democratic Caucus Campaign Draft Committee" is
advertising for campaign staffers on the craigslist web pages for Des
Moines and New Hampshire. The Des Moines ad offers $1000 a week for
full-time work between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15 and seeks "8 experienced
(non-profit or political) organizers full time, and 12 field interns
(6 part and 6 fulltime)." The ads list a New York address for the
committee but offer no web site other than Nader's Wikipedia entry.
Nader entered the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 1992, and won a
handful of Iowa Democratic caucus delegates in Johnson County in 1996
(though those results were delayed till after newspaper deadlines and,
in effect, scrubbed from the historic record).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: Newt Continues to Tease GOPers with Presidential Talk

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Newt Gingrich is almost as big of a flirt as Fred Thompson. However,
most people knew that Fred was eventually going to run. Most people,
however, don't know what Newt is thinking. Newt certainly is behaving
and even talking like a candidate. He's been holding some events in
early states (almost more events than some of the already established
candidates) and is getting himself a lot of media attention by
speaking to influential groups about important causes. Getting plenty
of face time at the Iowa Straw Poll last month and recently speaking
to the National Rifle Association are certainly stops that serious
candidates have to make. But Newt might also be taking advantage of
this state of limbo by promoting his books. He put out a book a few
months ago and then has a new book coming out in just a few days that
he has authored with a friend.

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John Deeth Blog: Zogby Quietly Praises Obama, Richardson

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, praised the
foreign policy skills of candidates Barack Obama and Bill Richardson
while talking with Iowa Independent and several audience members
following an Iowa City talk today. "Obama has an incredible
understanding of the issues," Zogby said. "This is just an incredibly
smart guy." Zogby was less positive when asked about Hillary Clinton's
statement that the U.S. is more secure now than before the Iraq War.
"It's not a sellout so much as what they think passes as smart
politics," he said. "It's a bad calculation based more on the politics
of convenience, and I don't trust that instinct." Zogby didn't offer
these observations in his address to acrowd of 125, many of whom
munched on free pizza, and the Arab American Institute does not make
endorsements.

Popular Progressive: Edwards: Will He or Won't He Walk the Line?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

In August, before the Daily Kos convention, John Edwards walked the
line with striking hotel workers in Chicago. With 73,000 of the UAW
striking against General Motors, the question is, will Edwards join
them too? Earlier this month in Des Moines Edwards is quoted as having
said, ``I want to be the president who walks down the White House lawn
and says the word union, who walks down the White House lawn and makes
certain that America understands the importance of the organized labor
movement in the history of America.'' Edwards also said he has shown
his support for labor and ``over 200 times over the past few years I
have walked picket lines, worked personally in organizing campaigns,
worked with employers to get them to open the process of union
organizing in their personal business.''

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The Real Sporer: Jasper County GOP rings the Bell

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

The Real Sporer was back on the road tonight, this time attending the
Jasper County Central Committee meeting in Newton. The GOP looks alive
and well in our eastern neighbor. Jasper County has a very active
Republican Party and it was great to see their enthusiasm. The Jasper
County pachyderms appear very eager to get the battle joined. I also
had a chance to obtain some information about the Democrat who
represents HD 41, the legislative district that encompasses most of
Jasper County and all of the County seat in Newton. Now Paul Bell is
one of those good old boy Democrats that tells his blue-collar union
supporters back home that he is salt of the earth, just a regular guy,
not one of those left wing radicals from Iowa City or Des Moines. Then
he heads to the Golden Dome. Then this happens.

Iowa True Blue: Hope

Excerpted from this post at Iowa True Blue

When I relaunched this blog six weeks ago, I shared my four goals: (1)
to be positive; (2) to address the negative influence of Big Money in
politics and need for campaign finance reform; (3) to show how
"ordinary" people can reach extraordinary results through politics;
and (4) to show why politics is important. I came back to these same
four goals again and again over the past several months as I reflected
on the outstanding Democratic field of candidates for president and
considered whom to support. Who could make people feel positive and
hopeful about our future? Who would take a meaningful stand about how
money can negatively influence the political process? Who would
inspire a whole range of Democrats -- young and old, party
establishment and first-time caucus-goers -- to get involved? Who
would help remind us of the good that we can accomplish through
politics? Clearly, the candidate with the greatest ability to achieve
all these goals is Barack Obama.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Radio Iowa: Fischer to Obama camp

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Former Iowa Democratic Party chairman Gordon Fischer today endorsed Barack Obama for president. In a telephone conference call with reporters, Fischer cited three reasons for making the jump to Obama's campaign: Obama's electability, his modus operandi as a "change agent" and the politics/issue positions Obama has introduced.

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chase martyn (on display): Florida GOP Screwing Democrats -- and Iowa

Excerpted from this post at chase martyn (on display)

The Florida Democratic Party just can't catch a break. First, Florida's GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill to move the state's primary to January 29, 2008, in violation of agreed-upon national political party rules. The Democratic National Committee then announced that if Florida went ahead with its plans, it would be stripped of its delegates to the DNC... Florida Democrats opposed the move from the moment they heard the DNC's threats (at least superficially), but the state GOP once again forced their hand by getting a constitutional referendum lowering property taxes onto the January 29 ballot. Moving the Democratic nominating contest to a different date would result in lower Democratic turnout on January 29

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Bleeding Heartland: What Happens After February 5th?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

One of the possibilities that horseracers find exciting is the potential for a tight two-way or three-way race coming out of Super Tuesday... What people usually miss in this discussion, though, is that most caucus/convention states don't officially select their delegates until their state conventions - the "results" from their precinct or county-level caucuses are really just estimates of what would happen were the convention held that day (and not even good estimates at that). ... This means that, though Wikipedia would have you believe that the last delegate is pledged on June 3rd, in fact the last 18 delegates are selected on June 28th by the Idaho Democratic State Convention. And directly preceding that? Iowa. Nebraska and Iowa (and no one else) hold their conventions on June 14th, electing 24 and 10 pledged delegates respectively (Most of Iowa's delegates are actually elected at the congressional district conventions).

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The Cman Blog: Time to Walk the Walk

Excerpted from this post at The Cman Blog

It is really easy to bang away at the keyboard sneering and playing Monday Morning Quarterback with our politicians at all levels. Which isn't to say that those sneers and second-guesses are unearned. But at the end of the day if we really, really want to look ourselves in the mirror, or face our children and say we are really making a difference then it is time to push ourselves away from the desk. Time to walk the walk. Which is why I announced this week that I am running for Clinton City Council for an At-Large seat. The election is this November 6.

Cyclone Conservatives: Barack Obama at Iowa State University

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Yesterday, I attended a central campus "rally" put on by the Obama campaign at noon on central campus at Iowa State University... This was the best performance I've seen Obama give in terms of campaigning. I saw his initial event in Ames back in February when he announced and I saw him in early August when he came to the Le Mars, IA. Obama's speech, as compared to the one I heard last month, was much more idealistic. I guess you can do that when you have a whole lot of idealistic, ultra liberal college kids screaming your name and lapping up every word you say.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Blog coverage of the AARP/Iowa Public Television Democratic debate in Davenport

Century of the Common Iowan: Biden and Edwards Stand Out at AARP
Debate in Davenport
http://commoniowan.blogspot.com/2007/09/biden-and-edwards-stand-out-at-aarp.html

Back Roads to the White House: A night in Davenport
http://blogs.rockymountainnews.com/denver/sprengelmeyer/archives/2007/09/a_night_in_davenport.html

Iowa Independent: Live Blog: AARP/IPTV 'Divided We Fail' Democratic
Presidential Forum
http://www.iowaindependent.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1088

Radio Iowa: New wrinkle from Edwards in AARP forum
http://learfield.typepad.com/radioiowa/2007/09/new-wrinkle-fro.html

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Radio Iowa: Attack Dog Vilsack

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack was in New York City yesterday to
introduce Hillary Clinton at a NYC fundraiser. He took a turn on a
New York television station and took a few shots at former New York
Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Vilsack mentioned Giuliani's "multiple
marriages" and references Giuliani's strained relationships with his
children in the interview... Vilsack's statements would no doubt be
classified as "negative" by the Giuliani campaign, if the Giuliani
folks were making comments on this episode (which they're not).
Adding more context to this flap is Vilsack's tirade against Barack
Obama in July during the whole squabble over whether Obama and/or
Clinton would or would not talk to dictators if either is elected
president. "It's not the Iowa way," Vilsack said, accusing Obama of
engaging in "negative politics" in his verbal tussle with Clinton.

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Essential Estrogen: Bruce Braley Takes Aim at Washington-Speak

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Congressman Bruce Braley introduced a piece of legislation this
morning that would require the federal government to write documents
in simple, easy-to-understand language.The Plain Language in
Government Communications Act -- HR 3584 -- is a bipartisan bill that
targets tax returns, federal college aid applications and Veterans
Administration forms. Basically, any form, publication and publicly
distributed document must be provided in a "clear, concise,
well-organized" manner that follows the best practices of plain
language writing. A complete description of the Federal Plain Language
Guidelines is available online. There are also examples of
before-and-after applications of the initiative.

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Politically Speaking: Hubler/King news

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Since the election is 14 months away, I'm surprised myself to have two
consecutive days with posts concerning Rob Hubler, but the Democratic
congressional office-seeker has announced a staffing move of note.
Sioux City attorney, former 14-year Iowa lawmaker and former Woodbury
County Democratic Party chairman Al Sturgeon has been named as
Hubler's campaign chairman today. Sturgeon has praised Hubler's
ability to take on Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve King in the
past, and did so again with this announcement. For those who think
Hubler upsetting the entrenched King in a heavily Republican district
is impossible, Sturgeon notes underdog Democrat Dave Loebsack (a Sioux
City native) took out three-decade Congressman Jim Leach in November
2006.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Iowa Independent: New Republican Minority Leader Has Goals, Says He's Realistic

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

An amendment to Iowa's constitution to ban gay marriage and a move to
reduce property taxes will be among the top priorities of newly
elected Iowa Senate Minority Leader Ron Wieck. Wieck, a Republican
from Sioux City in his second term, was elected by party colleagues
last week to replace retiring Sen. Mary Lundby. Republicans, holding
only 20 seats in the 50-seat Senate, have little power to wield. Their
new leadership will determine what actions they will take to use what
little power they have in influencing policies -- and to maneuver to
regain seats in the 2008 elections. In an interview with Iowa
Independent this week, Wieck discussed three main areas of focus that
he will use to achieve those goals. Those three issues: property tax
reform, health care reform and a constitutional amendment banning gay
marriage.

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Cyclone Conservatives: NRCC Sets Target on Braley & Loebsack

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the political and
fundraising arm of the Republican House of Representatives Caucus, has
been ambitiously sending out regular press releases to media outlets
in the districts of Democrats that they view as fertile for Republican
pick-ups. In the latest round of press releases, both of Iowa's
freshmen Democrats made their way into the sights of the NRCC. In a
recent press release that notes many Democratic members of Congress
have voted to give housing assistance to illegal aliens, Dave Loebsack
and Bruce Braley are listed as culprits. At this point in time, no big
name Republican has stepped forward to challenge either man from what
I can tell. Both districts, at this point in time, are uphill battles
but cannot be viewed as complete write-offs.

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John Deeth Blog: Mauro Testifies On Senate Leapfrog Bill

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Iowa Secretary of State Mike Mauro testified in Washington Wednesday
on a Senate bill that would end the frontloading and leapfrog
competition between states seeking early presidential nominating
contests. S1905, sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Lamar!
Alexander, R-Tenn., and Joe Lieberman, Former Democrat-Conn., would
create four regional primaries in early March, April, May and June of
2012. The order would be determined by lot and then rotated in future
cycles. The bill exempts Iowa and New Hampshire, who would remain
first. "Iowa and New Hampshire do an excellent job in vetting
candidates," Mauro said in prepared remarks before the Senate Rules
and Administration Committee.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Why Iowa Needs to be First and How to Fix the Nominating Schedule

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Iowa should not pick the next president. I don't think my opinion
should matter more than those in other states. However, I do think
Iowa and New Hampshire should go first because they are small states
that are won on the ground with retail politics. If Iowa and New
Hampshire weren't first, then Joe Biden and Chris Dodd would not be in
the race and maybe even Bill Richardson and campaigns would be won
with TV ads, large donor fundraisers, and even more mud throwing. You
don't need a ton of money to do well in Iowa, just look at Mike
Huckabee's performace at the Ames Straw Poll. Huckabee had less than
half a million dollars on hand at the end of the July. In some states,
one TV ad costs more money than Huckabee has. Huckabee is still able
to gain traction in the race because Iowa is first.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Open Left: No Child Left Behind Leaves All Children Behind

Excerpted from this post at Open Left

Tom Vilsack, who has been a very strong opponent of the bill for
years, wrote this great post about NCLB... 'As Congress resumes its work
after the August recess the nation's attention will be drawn to the
civil war in Iraq and who the next Attorney General ought to be.
However, perhaps the most important work for the long term good of the
nation may well be the debate over the reauthorization of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Efforts will be made to
improve on the effort of the Congress and the Bush administration when
5 years ago the Act was reauthorized under the banner of "No Child
Left Behind". Unfortunately, the last effort left not just our
children behind but our values as well. What is the purpose of public
education? Simple - every child should have what they need to realize
their talents and to contribute in a meaningful way to their community
and nation.'

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John Deeth Blog: Loebsack vs. Peace Left: Reports Exaggerated?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Buzz on the Eastern Iowa peace left that Dave Loebsack is miffed with
them is getting a firm dismissal from the congressman's office, and
from some peace activists. "The Congressman is not in any way upset
with people opposed to the war," Loebsack spokeswoman Gabby Adler told
Iowa Independent Tuesday night. "He's repeatedly encouraged
constituents to stand strong in their efforts to hold the Bush
Administration's feet to the fire." The dustup that's been circulating
on email lists since the weekend came as Loebsack joined 78 other
House members in signing the House Progressive Caucus pledge not to
support any more Iraq War funding except for troop withdrawal. The
effort started in mid-July with three California Democrats - Lynn
Woolsey, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters. "Just this week eight more
signed on," said Adler.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Brownback Campaign Lowers Boom on Huckabee, Romney

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Senator Sam Brownback's Campaign has unleashed a pair of press
releases following last night's "Values Voter Presidential Debate"
suggesting that Mike Huckabee does not have a sufficient grasp on an
important issue pertaining to the pro-life movement and suggesting
that Mitt Romney's absence is indicative of the fact that he has a
less than steller record for which to stand upon. Here's Brownback's
beef with Huckabee: "While Senator Sam Brownback has lead the fight in
the Senate to protect a key pro-life federal policy, former Governor
Mike Huckabee revealed an alarming ignorance of the issue when asked
about it at today's Values Voters Presidential Debate…" As it pertains
to Romney, Brownback noted a laundry list of concerns that
conservatives and 'values voters' should have with the former
Massachusetts Governor.

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Political Forecast: Restore habeas corpus!

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut gave what many consider to be a
barn-burner of a speech on Sunday at the 30th Annual Harkin Steak Fry,
and from my seat close to the stage on the press riser I'd have to
agree. One of the most riveting moments was when Sen. Dodd called for
the restoration of habeas corpus. You can watch the video of his
speech at the bottom of this post, but we've got one more pressing
issue right now. We've got to restore habeas corpus, and Sen. Dodd and
Sen. Patrick Leahy are taking the charge at Restore-Habeas.org. Matt
Browner-Hamlin has got the lowdown on the effort here at Bleeding
Heartland, with video from Sen. Dodd... If you're an Iowan, make sure to
put the pressure on Sen. Chuck Grassley. He's indicated he's a 'Maybe'
vote but that isn't good enough.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Before Leaving Des Moines Stage, Clinton's Health Care Plan Under Fire

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Things move fast in Iowa. Within minutes of New York Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton's unveiling of a mandatory health insurance plan in Des
Moines critiques were rolling in from rivals on both sides of the
political fence. "While she talks about the political scars she bears,
the personal scars borne by the American people are far greater," said
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who is also seeking the Democratic
presidential nomination. "The mismanagement of the effort in 1993 and
1994 has set back our ability to move toward universal health care
immeasurable. We've known what the problems have been for nearly 15
years, and what the solutions could be. What's been missing is
leadership that knows how to bring people together and get the job
done." Dodd went on to add that affordable health care will take more
than leadership "that simply knows how to fight -- it will take
leadership that knows how to bring people together and win."

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Cyclone Conservatives: Another GOP Iowa Senator Calling It Quits

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Three term Republican Senator Jeff Angelo of Creston and current
co-chair for Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign here in Iowa
has announced that he will not seek another term in the Iowa Senate in
November of 2008. Angelo cites several reasons for not seeking
re-election on his blog: "Today I announced officially that I will not
seek re-election to the Iowa Senate in 2008. It will have been 13
years (almost to the day) since I first declared my candidacy and it
has been a wondrous 12 years in the Iowa Senate."... Angelo's name is
now added to a growing list of Republican members who are no longer
interested in seeking another term. Previous names include Thurman
Gaskill, Mary Lundby, and John Putney. As it stands now, the new
leader of the Iowa Senate GOP, Ron Wieck, has his work cut out for
him.

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Krusty Konservative: Iowa Caucus: Jan Five?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

In yesterday's Des Moines Register, David Yepsen weighs in on when he
thinks Iowans should caucus; Saturday afternoon January 5th. It's a
good idea and one that I think IDP and RPI should act on. Now I think
the ideal date for the caucus is Monday, January 14th, but with states
moving up to kompact the entire nominating process into one month, I
think January 5th is the best we can hope for. January 5th allows
kandidates 11 days to kampaign between Christmas and the caucuses. The
5th also allows enough space for New Hampshire squeeze in during the
week of the 7th. It will be interesting to see how long it will take
the folks at the IDP and RPI to kome to an agreement. Uncertainty is
not an ally to the Iowa caucuses, if we are going to caucus on a
different day and a different time, we need to know sooner rather than
later so people know what's going on.

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The Real Sporer: Bipartisanship on display in Des Moines

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

The Real Sporer has learned that former Rep. Ed Fallon (D), an
unsuccessful candidate for Governor last year and current Republican
Representatives Jeff Kaufmann (Wilton) and Jodi Tymeson (Winterset)
are holding a public press conference, that sounds more like a rally
with reporters invited, tomorrow, September 18 on the West steps of
the Statehouse. I hear the event kicks off at 1:30 in the afternoon.
The eminent domain debate certainly created strange alliances and
tomorrow's has to be among the strangest. However, strange as it may
seem to find Jeff Kaufmann on the same side as Ed Fallon, their
pairing, along with the ever-congenial Jodi Tymeson, evidences the
widespread rejection of the overreaching eminent domain powers for
which Gov. Culver and the Democrat legislative leadership are always
in search.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Radio Iowa: Biden's "get" and his pre-rebuttal to Bush's address

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden appeared (20 minutes late)
on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse today to announce he's been
endorsed by a state legislator. More on that in a moment. Biden
offered a 5 minute, 15 second response after I asked him to analyze
Bush's announcement to the country that's scheduled for this evening
(it's no secret what Bush is going to say)... Now, back to the
endorsements. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines
endorsed Biden today. That would be the Kevin McCarthy who is an
assistant Polk County Attorney and the same Kevin McCarthy who was Joe
Lieberman's Iowa campaign manager back in 2003. "This presidential
campaign is all about Iraq," McCarthy said to open his remarks at the
news conference.

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Back roads to the White House: With a new endorsement, can Biden ketchup?

Excerpted from this post at Back roads to the White House

For Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, this week's new Los Angeles
Times/Bloomberg poll must have been about as appetizing as a dirt
sandwich. In the all-important, first caucus state of Iowa, he was
tied with Rep. Dennis Kucinich in fifth place among Democrats. At 2
percent, he was 26 percentage points behind front-runner Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton. What he needs right now is a whole lot of ketchup --
or catch-up, if you prefer. Well, on Thursday his campaign got some
new sauce when state House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed him
at the Iowa Statehouse... That could explain Biden's smile when he
arrived at a crowded diner in Atlantic, Iowa, for a lunchtime event on
Thursday. The smile soon disappeared as he gave a grim assessment of
the war in Iraq -- an issue that has come to dominate all others on
Biden's agenda.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Liberals Lose This Battle: Arming Campus Police

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

While the debate across Iowa has centered around the war on terrorism,
immigration, gay marriage and which presidential candidate is worth
supporting, one issue has really heated up on the university campuses
as of late: the issue of arming campus police officers. Even before
the tragic events at Virginia Tech last spring, the issue of providing
guns to police officers has been something that has been up for
consideration. However, like many public policy discussions, the
debate becomes more intense after a noteworthy event, i.e. Virginia
Tech. If you recall, the Iowa General Assembly took action on this
issue last spring. The Iowa House passed a resolution pushing for
armed campus officers whereas the much more liberal Iowa Senate
defeated such an idea.

Essential Estrogen: Latest Battlefront in Abortion War: America's Midwest

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Squeezed between two powder kegs of anti-abortion activity, most
Iowans continue to follow presidential candidates around the state
without much knowledge or thought given to the battles being waged to
the east and south, just hours from their homes. "I tend to see both
ends of the spectrum as wrong," said Lori Cavanaugh as she waited
tables in a diner off Interstate 80 in eastern Iowa. "I don't know
what's going on in the neighboring states and, honestly, I don't care
much. I believe most of us are somewhere in the middle and that our
laws will continue to reflect that." Despite her initial response,
Cavanaugh said she was "shocked" to learn that the Missouri
Legislature passed a bill that reclassified Planned Parenthood and
other abortion clinics as "ambulatory surgical centers."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Politically Speaking: How hot is it in Iraq?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

The post title above isn't a reference to the feverish military
reality in Iraq, but the actual temperature present in the war-torn
country. On the heels of last night's Sioux City visit by Republican
presidential candidate John McCain, who was accompanied by native
Sioux Cityan and hero Bud Day, some news besides McCain's stance on
the war is being made. Got a call this morning from a writer at Slate
magazine, a fine online publication, who wanted to verify a line I
typed from McCain's stop. The Arizona senator praised the soldiers who
serve in Iraq, saying it was the most difficult war duty in history,
since the soldiers lug 40 pound body armor and weapons in 130 degree
heat. It was that temperature that the writer wanted to make sure was
accurate. I responded that the number was as McCain said.

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HawkeyeGOP: Bill Salier -- We've Missed You

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Bill Salier is back! Two weeks ago, Polk County District Judge, Robert
Hanson opened the floodgates for gay marriage in Iowa by ruling the
state's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Hanson issued
a stay the next day but in the meantime at least one gay marriage was
performed and registered in the state. This week Bill Salier is
leading an effort to petition the Iowa Legislature to impeach Judge
Hanson. Salier of course lost a bitter primary fight in the 2002 US
Senate race to Greg Ganske. (Ganske of course went on to lose to Tom
Harkin.) Salier's organization Everyday America, a non profit, is
organizing the petition drive. Information is on the organization's
web site. In Iowa, the voters cannot directly recall a judge. Judges
get put on the ballot periodically and voters may vote whether they
should be retained.

Cyclone Conservatives: Parsing the Polls, Iowa Style: Still a Fluid Race

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

During my brief hiatus recently due to computer malfunctions, a couple
of new Iowa polls were released in Iowa. Additionally, a new poll
testing Iowa GOPers was also unleashed today. All of them paint a
portrait of a political landscape in Iowa that is (if you can believe
this) both consistent and fluid in nature. So why look at these polls?
Well, polls are sometimes very accurate and sometimes nothing more
than rubbish but they provide political junkies like you and me a
glimpse (hopefully more reliable than not) of what is happening in the
borders of our fine state. We are now past the sad and unfortunate 6th
anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. We are now a month
past the Straw Poll and finally have the ever flirtacious Fred
Thompson committed to a full blown campaign effort.

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John Deeth Blog: Senate President Pro Tem Danielson Endorses Dodd

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Waterloo, announced his endorsement of Chris
Dodd Wednesday night in a recorded "robo-call" to Iowa Democratic
activists. Danielson is serving as Senate president pro tem in his
first term, and is also a Cedar Falls firefighter. The firefighter
connection was emphasized in the endorsement: "Firefighters know that
when it comes to protecting this country and strengthening our
communities, proven leadership and experience matter," Danielson said
in the call. "We are supporting Chris Dodd because we believe he is
the candidate to keep America safe and keep our middle class families
strong." Dodd won the International Association of Firefighters
endorsement two weeks ago, followed quickly by a nod from the Iowa
firefighters.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: McCain's day for Day

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

If Sen. John McCain needed an energy infusion for his uphill White
House bid, he couldn't have asked for any more than he got from
82-year-old retired Air Force Col. Bud Day on Tuesday. McCain broke
with recent political tradition in these years after the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks by scheduling a partisan political rally on
Tuesday's anniversary. But he did it just south of Sioux City, Iowa,
at Col. Bud Day Field, an Air Force facility named for his fellow
Vietnam prisoner of war and longtime friend. Day, a Medal of Honor
recipient, is one of the most highly-decorated military veterans in
U.S. military history, dating back to his service in the Marines
during World War II, as an Air Force pilot in the Korean and Vietnam
wars, and including his more than five years in prisoner of war camp
in Vietnam. Day bounced off a bus, strode to a stage ahead of McCain
and then he made it clear to Tuesday night's crowd that nobody had
better question the honor of his former Vietnam cellmate.

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Iowa Independent: Nussle Officially Takes Financial Helm of Bush's Sinking Ship

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Generally speaking, padding your resume with the title of director of
the White House Office of Management and Budget would be considered a
vertical move for political climbers. Jumping aboard President Bush's
S.S. Lame Duck, however, may have dire political consequences for
former Iowa Rep. Jim Nussle, who was officially sworn in as Bush's
budget chief Monday. While a number of those in Bush's cabinet have
bailed ship, Nussle has agreed to sign on to Bush's crew. As his
administration attempts to navigate the shark-infested waters of
bloodthirsty Democrats before next year's fiscal budget begins, Bush
has chosen to "stay the course" and steer the S.S. Lame Duck, full
throttle, toward the iceberg, Iraq. Meanwhile, the Democrat-controlled
Senate has approved only one of the 12 House-passed appropriation
bills to fund the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Now, armed with the
threat of Bush's newly discovered weapon of choice, VETO, Nussle will
have to negotiate the budget with top congressional Democrats.

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Political Fallout: Gay Marriage in Iowa and the Pending Apocalypse

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout

(Disclaimer: In no way, shape or listless form is this column intended
to threaten the sanctity of marriage. No legal unions between men and
women dissolved during the writing process. Nonetheless, some readers
should proceed with caution if their faith in the sanctity of marriage
is threatened by external forces such as the gay marriages of others,
Village People songs at wedding receptions or literal translations of
satiric parables. Keep in mind that the definition of satire is
between satirists and their readers and should in no way be
misconstrued by those who decry its very existence yet don't bother to
read it. Such behavior will only serve to threaten the sanctity of
satire, which in turn may lead to the end of the world as we know it.)
Upon hearing news of Polk County Judge Robert Hanson's ruling smiting
Iowa's prohibition on same-sex marriage, I grabbed my well-thumbed
copy of James Dobson's "Marriage Under Fire," hopped in my Sin City
getaway car, and fled Des Moines before God had a chance to destroy
the capital city with fire and brimstone.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: Seizing the day

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

There was a time when candidates shied away from politicking on the
anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But that time
has passed. On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, launches a
seven-day "No Surrender Tour" with a rally in Sioux City, Iowa. In
Washington, D.C., another Republican, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas,
participates in a forum co-sponsored by the Center on Politics and
Foreign Relations, and the Financial Times. (The topic is a
provocative one any day of the week: "A Traditional Non-Intervention
Foreign Policy.") In New York, former Sen. Mike Gravel also
participates in a Sept. 11 forum. McCain's appearance comes at a time
when he is trying to revitalize his campaign, in part by focusing on
"fighting Islamic extremists."

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Price of Politics: Op-Edin' for a Better Seat

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

Bill Richardson's been looking for a better seat at the table. He's
4th in most of the Iowa polls I've seen. He's looking to knock off at
least 1 of the 3 dems above him on Caucus night. And unlike the 3
above him (except for Edwards sometimes), he's getting a little
"specifically aggressive". He's going after other candidates. But
unlike what Clinton and Obama seem to do, Richardson is
criticizing/comparing/challenging the others by actually saying their
names, instead of making the media try to figure out which opponents
they mean. Here's his op-ed piece in today's Washington Post: "Why We
Should Exit Iraq Now. By Bill Richardson. Hillary Clinton, Barack
Obama and John Edwards have suggested that there is little difference
among us on Iraq."

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Essential Estrogen: Obama Launches Listening Tour for Women's Issues

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

The morning noise level at the Blue Strawberry in Cedar Rapids didn't
seem bother Chicago attorney Judy Gold or the local women who came to
discuss Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and his bid for the White House.
Gold, who served as chief of policy for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
and chairwoman of the Illinois Commission on the Status of Women, is
an attorney in private practice. She came to Iowa, however, as a
listening ear for the Obama campaign, which she serves officially as
the chairwoman for the Women's Policy Advisory Group. Thirteen women
came to this session of the "Hear from the Heartland" listening post
and spoke about everything from recent Women's Equality Day activities
to the issues of health care and education to the war in Iraq. Most of
those in attendance, however, seem to have women's issues -- in
particular the issue of women's reproductive health -- at the front of
their thoughts.

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The Rural Populist: Tom Harkin: Strengthening America with Investments

Excerpted from this post at The Rural Populist

In the last few weeks I've traveled to over 26 cities and towns all
over Iowa to meet face to face with residents and listen to their
hopes, their concerns, and their feedback on the 2007 farm bill, which
will strengthen investment and economic opportunities for our rural
communities and farmers, conserve our environment while decreasing our
dependence on foreign sources of oil and improve the quality and
safety of our food and nutritional options for our children. What
struck me most during these personal meetings was how our uniquely
American entrepreneurial spirit is stronger than ever. I have always
believed that one of the cardinal responsibilities of government is to
provide the basic infrastructure for Americans with innovative ideas
to be able to readily carry them out -- and in Washington, Anamosa,
Lake City, and other cities and rural communities across Iowa -- I was
able to witness this entrepreneurial spirit first hand.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: Fred Thompson's Presidential Announcement in Des Moines

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This afternoon I trucked it down I-35 from Ames to Des Moines to
attend former United States Senator Fred Thompson's Presidential
announcement event in Des Moines at the Polk County Convention
Complex. This was an extraordinarily well planned event and very
professional in nature. There were also, I would estimate, somewhere
between 350 and 400 people in attendance, which definitely brought a
smile to the Senator's face and no doubt some added optimism to the
blossoming campaign of the former Law and Order star. There was an
immense gaggle of news and media outlets there. Of all the single
candidate events that I have attended so far in 2007, no other single
candidate event had more media. Not even close. I did about 5 or 6
interviews with different tv and print publications, including
Newsweek and the New York Times.

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The Demo Memo: Fred Thompson Makes a Mockery of the Nomination Process

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

I am trying to figure out what all the excitement's about. Republicans
are trying to recreate the "Reagan magic" of the 1980's by supporting
the candidacy of Fred Thompson. This guy has made some pretty big
mistakes already and I think he waited way too long to get in to the
race. The number one search term that brings people to my blog is
"Fred Thompson lobbyist," so people must be searching for information
on his checkered past. I covered his lobbying career in a previous
post, which I've dug up for you here. I've also previously pondered
the Top Ten Reasons that Fred Thompson Shouldn't Be President, all of
which still hold true. I'd add one reason to that list today. Thompson
showed that he is absolutely lazy and has no class by skipping the New
Hampshire GOP debate to appear on Jay Leno to announce his Hollywood
candidacy.

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Popular Progressive: The Farm Bill and Locally Grown Food

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

My friends at the American Farmland Trust remind me: Every hour, we
lose 125 acres of farm and ranch land. That's 3,000 acres a day and
over 1 million acres a year! Eighty-six percent of America's fruits
and vegetables are grown in metro regions in the path of development.
Over half of America's land is managed by farmers and ranchers, and
their decisions affect our air, water, wildlife and food. The farm
bill influences those decisions and is up for voting this fall. What
would a world without farms and ranches mean? Probably a growing
dependence on the center aisles of our grocery stores—processed foods
enriched with ingredients you can't pronounce. But what about our
water and the air we breathe? Over half of the U.S. is working
agriculture land, and well managed farms and ranches provide critical
environmental benefits like water filtration, flood control, air
quality improvements, carbon sequestration, renewable energy and
wildlife habitat.

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HawkeyeGOP: Sam Brownback - the Party's Over

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

I did my best not to laugh. I was at an event this week and a sincere
young Brownback staffer explained how the Senator was pleased with his
3rd place finish at the Ames Straw Poll. The staffer even managed to
say it with a straight face! The Fox News New Hampshire debate shows
just how marginalized the Brownback campaign has become. Brownback
went almost 30 minutes into the debate before even getting a chance to
respond to a question. The real proof that Brownback is done came
today on the Sean Hannity Show. Hannity was commenting about how he
liked all of the Republicans in the field. He went on to name them all
and point to something in their positions or accomplishments. Now he
did mention his differences with Ron Paul. And course being Hannity,
he lavished praise on Mayor Giuliani - but to be fair he mentioned all
of the candidates - except Sam Brownback.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Krusty Konservative: Fox News Debate and Fred's First Date

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Last night Fox News held a Republican Presidential Debate in New
Hampshire. All in all it was a solid debate that should help voters
make a decision on who they will support next year or maybe this year... The most apparent problem with this debate was the krowded stage. Some
kandidates like Mitt Romney got to answer two questions before Tom
Tancredo and Sam Brownback were even asked one question or exchanged a
pleasantry. If I was a Tancredo or Brownback supporter I would be
pissed, mostly because Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter received far more
attention than I got. The solution is to limit who can participate in
these debates. It's a difficult call to make but until these debates
focus on the real kontenders we are not going to learn much.

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The Real Sporer: Republican Debate Review... Huck, Rudy and John

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

The fourth debate is in the books. Tonight presented a far better
format, with far more intramural clash, than in any of the predecessor
events. Huckabee stole the show tonight, with Rudy close on his heals
and McCain rebounding hard. I still don't know why we have moderators
at all. Shouldn't someone who wants to be President of the United
States be able to stand his ground on a stage with his competitors
without any direction or editing? As usual, we're going to rate each
debater on a scale of 1-30. The ratings are based in part on
presentation, part on content and part on the stage management of the
occasion. In alphabetical order: Sam Brownback: Sam seemed very off
his game tonight. Sam started the debate series with a great
performance in the first debate but has consistently been kind of a
wall flower in the last three debates.

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Bleeding Heartland: The Big Lug on Gay Marriage

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Something about how Chet Culver describes gay marriage always struck
me as funny, but I could never quite put my finger on it. I knew
there was some dog whistle politics thing about it, and today with
this whole new gay marriage flap I finally realized what it was.
Check out this quote: "I have said personally that I believe marriage
is between a man and a woman, and I've been consistent on that. At the
same time, I think it's important we let the judicial process work
itself out here," [Culver] said. Do you notice it? The guy never
makes any judgment at all. He believes that marriage is between a man
and a woman, not necessarily that it should be. And, I think we can
all agree, he is correct for the state of Iowa. Marriage is indeed
only between a man and a woman.

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Iowa Independent: 'Iowa Last'

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The new deputy communications director for the Fred Thompson campaign
suggested last month on a prominent political website that America
might be better off if Iowa didn't play host to the
first-in-the-nation caucus. Karen Hanretty wrote on The Hill's
Political Pundit blog that the move would help to end expensive
ethanol subsidies and would save the country millions of dollars.
Hanretty wrote her comments on Aug. 10. "Perhaps it's time to put
America first and make Iowa go last," Hanretty wrote.
Thompson is already susceptible to criticism
from Iowans for choosing not to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll, a
decision that was seem by some as a snub to the state's importance in
the election cycle. Thompson campaign officials didn't return
telephone calls seeking comment on Hanretty's piece.

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FromDC2Iowa: Peace Through War; Security Through Weaponry

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Weaponry on Campus: Wrong Reasons, Wrong Result. Republican
presidential candidate, Governor Mike Huckabee, asked about his
conservative credentials, once said "I'm a conservative all right; I'm
just not angry about it." That's kind of how I am about bringing guns
onto the UI campus -- something that looks close to inevitable at this
point. I think it's a terrible thing to do, but I'm not angry about
it. Just disappointed and sad. Since I'll be teaching this afternoon
while the public meeting is going on, I thought I'd put some of my
thoughts into the debate in this way. We should not be surprised that,
since this groundswell of support for weaponry has come out of the
wrong governance model, using the wrong process, relying on the wrong
reasons, the advocates have come up with the wrong proposal.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Nussle Confirmed as White House Budget Director 69-24

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

The Senate voted 69-24 to confirm Jim Nussle as White House Budget
Director today. According the to the Des Moines Register, Nussle...
"will advocate the president's budget policies and manage government
regulations in the powerful but highly bureaucratic post." Here is a
list of the 24 Senators that voted against Nussle....And here are 2
interesting comments from Democrats that voted against Nussle...
"Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who had
supported Nussle in a committee vote, said he and Nussle always have
had a good personal relationship 'but this goes beyond a personal
relationship – he has been an architect of this fiscal policy.' Sen.
Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., called the nomination an 'outrage' and urged
its rejection.

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Essential Estrogen: Presidential Surrogates Bank on Iowa's Past

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

While polls in Iowa and the nation don't show their chosen candidates
as front-runners, former Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan and Iowa
Rep. Mike Reasoner say the American people should stop and remember
history. "Of course there is some concern there," said Nolan, who has
been traveling Iowa as a surrogate for Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd.
"But, having said that, this time four years ago Joe Lieberman was the
leading Democratic candidate here in Iowa, and shortly after that Dick
Gephardt was the leading candidate and then Howard Dean was the
leading candidate. The same has been true for other Democratic
candidates -- Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John Kennedy. Dodd is now
right about where all of those winners were." Reasoner, D-Creston, has
been stumping on behalf of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and also believes
the lessons of four years ago are important.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa: The Massachusetts of the Midwest?

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Last Thursday, one man propelled Iowa squarely into the red hot social
debate over gay marriage. We've seen this brewing for sometime now.
There's been a few lawsuits floating through the legal system in Iowa,
just waiting for an activist judge to strike down the Iowa Code that
was passed by the an overwhelming mass of legislators, some of which
are pretty notable and important in today's leadership picture.
Anybody notice Tom Vilsack's name on there? Need a refreshment? The
Iowa Defense of Marriage Act passed the Iowa House of Representatives
on April 6, 1998 by a tally of 89 to 10. Here's a list of those who
voted for it... This decision definitely put Iowa on the map for
political reasons other than Presidential politics and this decision
should give pause to all Iowans, not only Republicans and Democrats
(and everyone else in between).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

WebCoRep Blog: Iowa's Influence in the Primary Cycle

Excerpted from this post at WebCoRep Blog

Ross Kaminsky as an interesting piece at Real Clear Politics on the
influence of Iowa and New Hampshire. Kaminsky argues that Iowa and New
Hampshire is loosing it's influence in the primary schedule. Romney is
leading by between 10 and 15 points in both Iowa and New Hampshire,
while Giuliani is leading in a number of the February 5th states, as
well as in the national polls. Kaminsky argues that while focusing on
Iowa and New Hampshire is probably the best strategy for Romney, in
the end it won't help him with the nomination because the compact
schedule will prevent him from gaining on any momentum in the later
states (particularly the February 5th states) where Giuliani has a
good hold. While I think that Kaminsky is on to something, and indeed
I pretty much agree that the nomination will come down to a question
of strategy, I still wonder.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Nussle Nomination Up for Vote on Tuesday

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

The nomination of Jim Nussle as the OMB Director will be up for a vote
in the Senate on Tuesday. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has written a
lengthy piece at the Huffington Post about why he is voting against
Jim Nussle. Here is what Sanders concludes… "In my view, it all comes
down to the phrase "which side are we on." Are we on the side of those
people who make huge campaign contributions to Congress and the White
House, or are we on the side of tens of millions of working families,
struggling hard to keep their heads above water? That is the choice we
face. And, that is why I am voting against Jim Nussle. Not because he
is not smart, he is. Not because I don't like him, personally, I do. I
am voting against Jim Nussle because I believe we should not give a
break to the heirs of the Wal-Mart fortune."

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Back Roads to the White House: We're back -- and so are Billary and friends

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

They say some Iowa voters don't start paying attention to elections
until Labor Day. Well, here it is, the day that brings our Back Roads
to the White House vacation to an end -- and just in time to catch the
unofficial start of the sprint to the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus.
You can start paying attention now. On Monday, the national Democratic
front-runner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, brought her
husband, former President Bill Clinton, back to the Iowa State
Fairgrounds, where he first joined her on the campaign trail in July.
The occasion was "Solidarity Fest," the holiday show of force for the
South-Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. But don't let the
event's name fool you. One of Clinton's leading rivals, Sen. John
Edwards of North Carolina, made sure he had made his pro-labor speech
and got out of there before the Clintons and their unusually large
media tag-along crew arrived.

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The Demo Memo: Happy Labor Day: Why Labor Unions Still Matter

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

This is a replica of my favorite bumper sticker in my extensive
collection. "The Labor Movement, The Folks Who Brought You the
Weekend." The words say it all. All of us, whether we acknowledge it
or not, owe a debt of gratitude to the first brave men and women who
stood up for worker's rights. You can read here about the beginnings
of the labor movement and the first Labor Day, but today I wanted to
reflect on the movement today and the lasting significance it still
has on the lives of working people in our country. I perused the
AFL-CIO Web site today, and it truly is excellent. There are so many
current issues in our country that the labor movement gets involved
with to ensure that "we the people" have a voice in the negotiations.
And as always, unions champion the rights of all working people, not
just paying members of labor unions.

Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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