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Friday, August 29, 2008

Reaction to McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Palin as running mate

Iowa's newz liter: Democrats Palin Comparison
Sarah Palin is a pick to get excited about in more ways than one and the scientific community is united in that fact. It was refreshing that she didn't have to put Obama and Biden down in her speech, a class act that they can't return. The Obama-Biden camp scoffed that McCain wants to put the former mayor of a town of 9,000, with no foreign policy experience, a heartbeat from the Presidency. Never mind that Obama as a onetime state senator, who voted present on the tough bills, thinks his heart should beat with the title of that top job.
Hawkeye GOP: Sara Palin!
It's official! John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Palin is an excellent choice. She is young (44) and extremely popular in her home state. She is a reformer and a fiscal conservative. There had been some discussion that recent corruption in the Alaska Republican Party hurt her chances to be VP. In some ways the opposite may be true. Palin helped to bring many of these issues to light. She unseated an incumbent Republican governor in the 2006 primary and ran as an outsider to win the seat.
God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Live-Blogging The McCain-Palin Announcement
She introduces husband Todd--they are celebrating their 20th anniversary today. "I promised him a little surprise for our anniversary and I hope he knows I've delivered." She talks about the son that is not there--he enlisted on September 11th last year--he will be deployed to Iraq on September 11. Michael Moore will be furious. The crowd chants "USA!" She's plain spoken and describes herself as a "hockey mom." She's doing great. She talks about standing up against the "good ol' boy network." That brings cheers. She's hitting her themes perfectly. Reforms, ethics, energy, reaching across the aisle, ending earmarks. "This is a man who serves his country, not just his party." She honors Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton--perfect. She says Clinton made cracks in the glass ceiling--it's time for women to shatter the glass.
Bleeding Heartland: I have just one question
If today is John McCain's birthday, why did he give us a present? I strongly disagree with the idea that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a game-changer for the Republicans. Hillary Clinton gave a strong endorsement of Barack Obama on Tuesday and will be out campaigning for him this fall. I'm supposed to believe that women who preferred Hillary in the Democratic primaries will flock to McCain, with his horrible record on women's issues, because a conservative woman is his running mate? I get the rationale for picking Palin, as laid out here by Chris Bowers and in a different way by Iowa blogger Douglas Burns. But McCain is staking his campaign on persuading Americans that Obama is "not ready to lead." I cannot see how it helps McCain to choose a running mate who is younger and less experienced than Obama. Palin has served less than two years as governor and before that was mayor of a town with fewer than 10,000 residents.
God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: VP picks as "gap-fillers"
People suggested last week, when Joe Biden was announced as Barack Obama's running mate, that his selection was an attempt by the Obama campaign to "fill a gap." ... Now we are going to hear the same things about Sarah Palin as John McCain's pick. First and foremost, we will hear that she fills a gap because she's young and a woman. It's suggested that her age will assuage some voters' concerns about McCain being, well, old. And many have argued that her gender will pull disaffected Hillary supporters into the McCain column. I think it's harder, though, for McCain and Palin to cast themselves as complementary candidates or a unified team. Their differences are so glaring that every image, every appearance, every photo will remind voters that McCain is old.
John Deeth blog: McCain-Palin
First thoughts: # Blatant play for the PUMA vote, but one way or another the white male club is broken on January 20. # Hurts the experience argument in a big big way: it's hard to argue Obama's not ready when your running mate was mayor of a small suburb two years ago. ...
iPol: Sarah Palin is the New Dan Quayle
Reports in the media this morning are that John McCain has selected a Right-wing no-name politician to be his running mate: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Two words: push over. Joe Biden will destroy Palin in a debate. McCain's choice is clearly a dog-whistle move to try to cement his right flank, and does nothing to address McCain's main liability of being in the pocket of oil companies and other corporate interests and out of touch with every day Americans.
Essential Estrogen: McCain poised to beat Palin's drum all the way to White House
It should come as no surprise then, when even the most staunch within the GOP are finding it difficult to be inspired by the party's candidate for our nation's highest office, that Arizona Sen. John McCain would reach out and tap an individual with a personal story loud enough to drown out the collapse of interstate bridges. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a former beauty queen, sports journalist, city councilor and mayor, is the mother of five children. She has three daughters: Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7. She also has two sons. Her eldest son, Track, joined the Army last fall. Her youngest son, Trig, was born this past April and has Down Syndrome. ... Palin, as a woman with a compelling personal story, can provide McCain what no other individual could. Even at the cost of lowering the national conversation once again into divisive politics... even while publicly proclaiming his desire for armed conflict to continue for 100 years... McCain has gladly and gleefully grasped Palin's "pro-life" credentials as a last resort to motivate the previous supporters of Pres. George W. Bush to head to the polls in November.
Constitution Daily: Finally!
As an active volunteering conservative, I feel like I finally got a bone thrown my way by the McCain camp. He could have picked Ridge, Romney, Pawlenty, Lieberman or another establishment running mate. But McCain gave conservatives a reason to get out and work for him, not just against Obama. ... By choosing Palin as his running mate, McCain has leveled the political playing field. Obama is the first African American presidential nominee. Palin is the first female GOP running mate. McCain’s Achilles heel of age is neutralized by the youth and energy of Palin. Obama’s grey-haired DC insider running mate is opposed by a true change-agent who has changed the status quo.
Battleground Iowa: And Another Thing Feminists Should Like About Palin...
I’m hearing a lot of hubbub about this situation in Alaska with Palin’s former brother-in-law (her sister’s now ex-husband) who was an Alaska State Trooper. The “scandal” deals with an allegation that Palin or someone in her administration pressured the head of the Alaska Dept. of Public Safety to fire the trooper. The head of the Dept. of Public Safety was fired by Palin, supposedly, in part, because he didn’t comply and fire the bother-in-law trooper. Most mentions of this situation leave it there and don’t give more detail. However, I was reading Marc Ambinder, who had a post that mentions that this trooper may have been guilty of domestic violence, allegations that came out during the divorce from Palin’s sister. If a law enforcement officer was involved in domestic violence, he has no business being a law enforcement officer any longer. And if Palin, as chief executive officer of the state had information that this guy was a perpetrator of domestic violence, she would be derelict in her duty if she were to let such a scumbag remain in that position.
Krusty Konservative: It’s Palin!
Circle today on your calendar, it is the day that John McCain united his party by selecting Sarah Palin to serve as his Vice President. In Palin we have a fresh face for our party who has fought ethical violations by those in her own party. Her accomplishments in 2006 are astounding; she won election in by first defeating the incumbent governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan governor in the general election. There are obvious reasons for McCain to pick Palin. Sure those disgruntled Hillary supporters may be even more inclined to support McCain after putting Palin on the ticket, but she’s also articulate, she hunts, owns a float plane, and rides snowmobiles and she is solidly pro-life.
Politically Speaking: McCain’s bold Palin pick
With the conclusion of the Democratic Party national convention and his fine speech last night, Barack Obama won’t be getting much bounce today. Republicans will hold their convention next week, and presumptive presidential nominee John McCain has changed the game this morning with his pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential partner. Seriously, I think the election is his to lose now. Reaction to her pick has been overwhelmingly (universally?) positive from Republicans, and Palin definitely has the ability to pull in independents — and some disgruntled Hillary Democratic supporters.
Price of Politics: Sarah Palin?
Why didn't I go with my gut? Wuss. I really felt John McCain might want to try to pit history vs. history. Barack Obama is working to become the first african-american prez. McCain could find a woman running mate and go for something similar. But repubs just don't seem to really have a lot of well-known female executive-types...like a governor. ... What's also interesting to me is that the McCain camp had been ripping on Obama's pick of Joe Biden. Supporters said it shows that Obama knows he's weak on experience and foreign policy and that's why he picked Biden. How can McCain now not get grilled for picking someone to help his possible "weaknesses"? McCain turns 72 today. He's been in Washington longer than many of Obama's supporters have been alive. Will he convince voters that Palin, who is now only a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, is ready? Social conservatives haven't been all that hot on McCain. Palin, once social cons get to know her, would seem to make them pretty happy.
In Flyover Country: VEEPstakes Ends with Palin as the Pick!
We In Flyover Country months ago were the first to report Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a viable, sure-fire pick, and have come to believe that this is the best choice Team McCain could have made. She's the entire package wrapped up in one - she's a fresh face (a runner-up 1984 Miss Alaska to boot!) and a true reformer. In just a short time, she has done more as governor than others can in a lifetime. She is rock solid on the socially conservative issues, but fiscal conservatives will also love the fact that she has thus far saved $5 billion in the state of Alaska, even humbly selling the state's jet. When she was mayor, she cut her own pay. ... One key factor here is, if there are any Clinton supporters still unsure of Barack after last night, they will NEVER flock to him. Barack hit a home run, and those who still aren't sure will most assuredly back McCain for president and his female vice presidential pick.

In Flyover Country: VEEPstakes ends with Palin as the pick!

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

We In Flyover Country months ago were the first to report Alaska Gov.
Sarah Palin as a viable, sure-fire pick, and have come to believe that
this is the best choice Team McCain could have made. She's the entire
package wrapped up in one - she's a fresh face (a runner-up 1984 Miss
Alaska to boot!) and a true reformer. In just a short time, she has
done more as governor than others can in a lifetime. She is rock
solid on the socially conservative issues, but fiscal conservatives
will also love the fact that she has thus far saved $5 billion in the
state of Alaska, even humbly selling the state's jet. When she was
mayor, she cut her own pay. Increasingly known for being a corrupt
state, Palin went in as a reformer and has cleaned house.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Sarah Palin's executive experience?

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

Jeff's already touting Sarah Palin as the only candidate on either
ballot with "executive experience." But note that Alaska has a
population (under 700,000) not much larger than that of the Des Moines
metropolitan area. Ambinder sums up the pros and cons. For me, the
choice of a woman is great (though I heard some blowhard conservative
radio guy on CNN this morning refer to Palin as a "female," which
suggests that some conservatives will have to go back to sensitivity
training before they talk much more about her). Having her a heartbeat
away from the presidency ... not so great.

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FromDC2Iowa: Important things in politics

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Priceless: The Political Influence Money Can Buy ... "Mark Hanna,
William McKinley's campaign manager, once said, "There are two
important things in politics. The first is the money and I can't
remember the second." Patrick J. Buchanan, "A Plague on Both Your
Houses," Harvard University, March 16, 2000. The line is often quoted
(most recently by Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation on ABC News,
below) but omitted from even Wikipedia's Mark Hanna entry, and
otherwise seldom sourced. It's consistent with today's definition of
the "Golden Rule": "Those who have the gold make the rules." It was
the subject of an eight-part series of blog entries I did on the
general subject of "Golden Rules & Revolutions" ... And it was on
display big time at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

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Essential Estrogen: White House or not, Sen. Clinton still deserving of our admiration

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a person that tends to draw strong emotions
from other people. While I realize I'm painting with a wide brush
(something I find to be a rather scary practice), the sense I have
from 18 months of election commotion is that people tend to have warm
feelings toward the former first lady or they tend to view her with
skepticism. I don't believe, however, that these personal perceptions
of the woman will be the subject of discourse in 20 or 30 years. While
the discussions about the Clinton campaign ranging from the leaked
memo about skipping the Iowa caucuses to the possible stumbles heading
into to Super Tuesday will no doubt go on for a few years, the
historical and more lofty conversation will one day turn to the
incredible contributions Clinton has made to all women who aspire to
hold public office.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Iowa Independent: McCain, Obama officials agree: Iowa is a battleground

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Democrats have 15-1 advantage in Iowa field staff ... While Sens. Barack
Obama and John McCain spend time at their party's conventions, making
their presidential pitches to a national audience, the real work to
make that a reality is taking place in battleground states like Iowa.
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama are both counting on Iowa to help
deliver them to the White House. Both campaigns have invested heavily
in Iowa, and the top operatives for each side agree the outcome is
still very much up in the air. While the state seems to be trending
Democratic, recent polls show McCain making up ground as Election Day
draws near. "If we didn't think Iowa was important, if it wasn't a key
battleground for us, we wouldn't be putting a huge investment in TV,
radio and people on the ground," said Gentry Collins, Midwest regional
director for the McCain campaign.

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John Deeth Blog: Calendar "reform" risky for Iowa, mistake for Democrats

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

In the end, the Michigan and Florida delegate seating that was at the
center of the political universe at the end of May sailed through
without notice, on a quick credentials vote Monday before the
delegates were even though the security lines. "Unity," it seems,
mattered more than loyalty, and the Michigan and Florida pols who
heaped vitriol on Barack Obama for standing by the rules, and for
taking his name off the Michigan ballot, mattered more than the Iowans
who actually caucused for him. Instead of getting tossed out of the
Democratic National Convention for breaking the rules, Michigan and
Florida were rewarded with front row seats. "Florida's Rebel Stand
Pays Off," bragged the Fort Myers News-Press. You could almost see
Michigan's Carl Levin sticking out his tongue and wiggling his fingers
in his ears at Iowa, and at the rules.

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Politically Speaking: GOP wish list for vice president

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

I'm in the the midst of interviewing the six Siouxland persons who
will be going to the Sept. 1-4 Republican Party national convention
as voting delegates. In addition to asking about the excitement level
on participating in the biggest national political stage, I'm also
querying them on the Republican they'd like to see John McCain pick as
a running mate. So far the vice presidential list includes Mike
Huckabee, John Thune and Charles Grassley. The list being debated
nationally has the likes of Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Tom Ridge. I
first pitched the veep preference question to Dan Lederman of Dakota
Dunes, S.D., who quickly answered with Thune, the senator representing
South Dakota. Sitting next to Lederman, delegate Bob Vander Plaats
then immediately also used a home state name, Grassley, before saying
he could definitely support Thune on the ticket.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Hillary's big night

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

As you all know by now I'm a partisan hack, but I give credit where
credit is due, and Hillary Clinton's speech last night was a homerun…
for her, not Obama. I have never seen Hillary deliver such a
performance. I was impressed and was left telling myself thank God the
Democrats didn't nominate her, and secondly why the hell isn't she on
the ticket? Oh that's right because she is married to Bill. Speaking
of Bill, he gives a prime time speech tomorrow. So let's see if I have
this right, night one was all about making the Obama's into the
Huxtables. Night two is all about Hillary. Night three will be all
about Bill, unless Biden says something stupid, which leaves Obama
with only one night where he is the focus of the convention. Someone
should be fired for that.

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Political Fallout: Will Hillary be the next Nader?

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout

Recent history indicates that the Democrats have been successful at
one thing: losing presidential elections. As Americans face the
prospects of never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an economy
that has tanked, the foreclosure crisis, health care costs still
growing exponentially in relation to inflation, and myriad other
indicators that spell out political D-O-O-M for the incumbent's party,
this year's presidential election is the Democrat's to lose. But don't
underestimate the Democratic Party, which has been saddled with the
historic curse of losing the presidency to George W. Bush not once,
but twice. When in doubt, leave it to the Democrats to snatch defeat
from the jaws of victory.

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Bleeding Heartland: Convene a special legislative session for flood recovery

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The Rebuild Iowa Advisory Commission will release its final report next week, but the task forces working on various aspects of flood recovery released their recommendations on Monday. Click the link to read the Des Moines Register's brief summaries of about 30 different recommendations, or click here for a 267-page pdf file containing all the reports from the task forces. According to the Register, several members of the Rebuild Iowa Commission say a special session of the legislature is warranted to address flood recovery and reconstruction needs. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said there is a 50-50 chance of that happening. I imagine that legislators in tough campaigns wouldn't want to come to Des Moines for a special session, but these needs are urgent, and I don't think they can all be put off until January.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Iowa Independent: Leach waxes professorial in Democratic convention speech

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

"Little is riskier to the national interest than more of the same" ...
True to form, former congressman Jim Leach, R-Iowa, delivered a speech
to the Democratic party's 2008 convention that was part endorsement,
part treatise on American government Monday night. "In troubled times,
it was understood that country comes before party," Leach said after
listing several examples of bipartisanship in U.S. history. "As a
Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and
traditions of my political party," Leach said at the beginning of his
speech. "But it is clear to all Americans that something is akilter
in our great republic. In less than a decade, America's political and
economic standings in the world have been diminished."

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John Deeth Blog: Convention night one: Blogging the Iowans

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

This morning's liveblog subject may be hard to top from the confines
of my living room, but at least I don't have the Secret Service rifle
squad sitting behind me. I'm sure even my most loyal readers will go
to other sources for the big speakers (but was it hard not to feel a
lump in the throat for Ted Kennedy.) Here's Candy Schmeider from Iowa
County as one of the Real People (working mom, precinct volunteer
etc.) slotted in between the big speakers. I can't pull a quote out
but the gist is "Obama inspired me." Have to flip over to CSPAN to
catch it; MSNBC was talking to Chris Dodd about Kennedy. Tom Harkin is
doing double duty: He's signing and letting the interpreter speak, and
he's introducing Jim Leach. Never thought I'd say that. "We Iowans
never genuflect to ideology," he says (now with his own voice) by way
of introduction.

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HawkeyeGOP: National platform committee

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

We had the first meeting of the national platform committee yesterday
in preparation for next week's convention. I have been impressed with
our chairman Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California and our
co-chairman Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina. I have had a
chance to talk to delegates from all over the US and among the
highlights are the two sitting right next to me. One is a law
professor who in his spare time defends cities and states who are
trying to enforce immigration policies. The other is another lawyer
who works with a variety of well-known Christian organizations.
Yesterday was only the preliminary meetings but we have already
started up some good discussions. It will be interesting because we
only have two working days to complete the platform. Previous
conventions have taken as many as five.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbets: Culver expects little change to caucuses

Excerpted from this post at On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbets

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said he doesn't expect a new commission set up
to study the Democratic Party's nominating system to result in
significant changes to the caucuses or Iowa's first-in-the-nation
status. The party has approved the appointment of a 35-member panel to
study the primary and caucus system. A similar commission was set up
after the 2004 cycle and Iowa stayed first. However, the panel could
be a storm cloud on the horizon. "It will require, as it always does,
a lot of work" to keep Iowa first, Culver told reporters this
afternoon. To that end, Culver said he'd visit the New Hampshire
delegation tomorrow. Iowa and New Hampshire, which has the nation's
first primary, have historically worked together to keep other states
at bay.

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John Deeth Blog: The last word on Florida and Michigan: Full seating

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The rules? Never mind. The DNC's credentials connittee made it
official yesterday: The two states that broke the rules on the
nomination calendar and caused delegate count turmoil until days
before the primaries ended, Florida and Michigan, will get full
seating and full votes at this week's convention. Michigan Senator
Carl Levin, Public Enemy Number One of the Iowa caucuses, declared
victory. "We had the guts to take the system on, and we made progress
this year," he said. Levin has made it clear that in his mind,
"reform" means "Iowa and New Hampshire don't go first anymore." The
DNC is organizing a calender reform commission headed by Michigan's
Debbie Dingell, another caucus hater. "There's a principle at stake,
and we are committed to that principle," said Dingell.

Constitution Daily: Stuck on stupid

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

Members of Iowa's delegation to the Republican National Convention
received an email from the delegation chair and co-chair Friday.
Constitution Daily was forwarded the email and here it is for you to
read. "We have vacancies in our delegation. Rule No. 17 of the
Republican Party (as adopted by the 2004 Republican National
Convention)for the 2008 Republican National Convention permits the
delegates to fill the vacancies. We propose the following names to
fill vacancies." ... Immediately alarm bells began going off across the
state, emails began flying, and dust we hoped was settled is stirred
as though a cyclone struck. And we have to ask, what was Scheffler
thinking? First of all, you need a flowchart and PhD in organizational
communications to unravel the delegate and alternate swapping outlined
in the email.

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Krusty Konservative: Obama-Biden, Dems head to Convention

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

With each passing day I'm becoming more and more certain that my
prediction that Barack Obama will be the biggest flop in history. This
past weekend he tabbed Sen. Joe Biden as his Vice President nominee,
and while Joe is great for a sound bite and can be a ferocious attack
dog, his comments about Obama from the caucuses and primaries have
already made their rounds in the media. Heck, the Biden pick has
allowed McCain to blast out a very effective ad that show's Biden in a
debate saying that Obama's not ready to lead, but praises John McCain.
I also found it interesting to see the liberal get all fired up when
Biden said McCain was out of touch with the American people in his 7
dining room table jab. To be really honest, that's really weak
material for your first time out of the gate. The liberals are used to
the "Bush lied people died" BS, and the best that Obama America and
his team of writers could do was line about 7 dinning room tables?

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Fire up the Mitt Mobile?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Mark Halperin notes that two Republican sources say that McCain has settled on Mitt Romney to be his Vice President pick, but no offer has been extended. There are plenty of advantages that Romney brings to the ticket, but most notably is his ability to raise money. Unlike any other potential candidate only Romney and Rudy Giuliani have a nation wide fundraising apparatus, but Romney's network is probably more prone to not give unless he's on the ticket. Rudy's backers are probably pretty happy with McCain as the nominee. Throughout the Republican caucuses and primaries, there has been a constant reminder of 1976. Many conservatives are not engaged in the McCain effort and believe that Republicans nominated the wrong guy. Conservatives are looking to the convention to see who will give the Reagan 76 speech, would it be Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney.

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Battleground Iowa: Obama stabbing Iowans in the back

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

After Yepsen's article yesterday saying that the only hope of Iowa keeping its first in the nation caucus status is if Obama wins, there are several news reports out now to the contrary. First, there needs to be some clarification. Ds and Rs don't have to have their primaries/caucuses on the same day. There were several states this last primary season whose parties held their events on separate days. So, what the Dems do doesn't necessarily affect the Republicans and vice versa. As I mentioned yesterday, the R calendar for 2012 is supposedly set, and just needs rubber-stamp approval at the September convention. If McCain wins, I don't see why he would care which state is first. Either he's only going to serve for one term and not care what happens in 2012, or he'll be an incumbent president with no serious primary/caucus challengers in 2012 anyways.

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John Deeth Blog: Nagle: Obama "throwing Iowa under bus" with calendar commission

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Dave Nagle told Iowa Independent that Barack Obama is "throwing Iowa under the bus" by supporting a commission to study the Democratic nomination calendar. That commission will be headed by Debbie Dingell of Michigan, one of the fiercest opponents of Iowa's first in the nation role. "The creation of this commission is a clear sellout to Hillary Clinton," said Nagle, who chaired the Iowa Democratic Party during the 1984 caucuses and served in Congress from 1986 to 1992. Clinton supporters have been critical of the caucuses, arguing that they are too difficult to attend and that Iowa, where Clinton finished third, has too much influence. Obama won 12 of 13 states which held caucuses. "I got the email from (Iowa Obama campaign chair) Jackie Norris this morning saying this wasn't a problem for Iowa and we'd all be fine, but it's a real threat and it's really disappointing," said Nagle. "It's a real disaster for our state, frankly."

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: How would you build a better nominating process?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The Democratic National Committee is putting together a Democratic Change Commission to review possible changes to the presidential nominating process. According to the Associated Press, DNC leaders want to reduce the number of superdelegates and "regain control of the primary calendar" ... I'm all for reducing the number of superdelegates and strictly limiting the number of states that can hold primaries or caucuses before March. But if we are going to increase the relative importance of pledged delegates, we need to be aware that the pledged delegate count does not necessarily reflect the will of the people. Longtime readers know that I am not a big fan of the caucus system even in Iowa, where voters and party officials have a lot of experience with it. I don't think any of the alleged benefits of caucuses outweigh the barriers to participation that caucuses create. Furthermore, no state but Iowa can claim any genuine party-building benefit from caucuses, because other states didn't have multiple campaigns organizing at the precinct level for months.

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In Flyover Country: Is Yepsen right?

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

... Yepsen underscores the claim that the Iowa Caucuses cost the Democrats the 2004 election by selecting the liberal Kerry, and makes a comparison to the stumbling Obama. Unfortunately for Iowa politicos, Yepsen is right again. First, if Obama loses, the Clintons will put a stake through the heart of the caucuses. It will be their party again. Second, and what he didn't write about, is that with Iowa Republicans giving the win to a fundamentalist Christian Leader, we've shit our Republican nest as well. Sorry all you Huckamaniacs, but the country will NEVER nominate or elect a candidate with a profile like Mike Huckabee. Set aside how much McCain hates the Iowa Caucuses (and believe us, he does), when mainstream candidates drop out of our straw poll, and don't compete hard in the caucuses, it's for a reason. And the reason is, the fundamentalist Christians want to make our caucuses about who is most radically pro-life, or most radically anti-gay.

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God, Poltics and Rock 'n' Roll: Everyone act surprised when Microsoft locates in West Des Moines!

Excerpted from this post at God, Poltics and Rock 'n' Roll

Iowa Governor Chet Culver is set to announce that Microsoft will locate a new data center in West Des Moines. Especially funny in this report is the following paragraph: "Culver has scheduled a 'major economic development announcement' on the west steps of the Statehouse on Thursday morning. An official with knowledge of the matter said the governor will announce Microsoft's plans to build a center in West Des Moines. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting Culver's announcement." Um...excuse me, anonymous "official" but YOU JUST PRE-EMPTED THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY LEAKING IT TO THE MEDIA. It's now NOT an announcement--it's a confirmation of what the media is widely reporting.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Radio Iowa: Congressional candidate websites

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

A few moments ago I wanted a tidbit of information about GOP
congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa, so I
logged onto her campaign website. I clicked on issues. A blank page
came up. I clicked on experience. Again, nothing. I decided to check
other campaign websites for Iowa's congressional candidate.
Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Waterloo, who represents
the second district, is the person Miller-Meeks faces in November. He
doesn't have a campaign website. Moving to the first district, David
Hartsuch, the Republican Party's candidate, doesn't have a campaign
website. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, has a
campaign website. It took a long time to load and I sort of gave up
after three or four minutes.

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John Deeth Blog: Leach plays "Hardball" for Obama

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Jim Leach is taking his Barack Obama endorsement on the cable news
circuit, appearing Tuesday night on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" on
MSNBC in a "Republicans for Obama" segment. "Do we want a new
direction rooted in historical American values, or one that might be
described as aberrational, that is unusual, in which we attack
countries that haven't attacked us, in which we lay plans for long
term occupation of a land where America and the West are deeply
resented," Leach asked. "It's time for a change and that change needs
to come quickly." Leach declined to state who Abraham Lincoln would
support in this election -- yes, Matthews actually asked. "It's always
presumptuous to think of anyone in a historical setting," Leach said ...

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HawkeyeGOP: Republican National Convention

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Ever since attending my first precinct caucus in 1980 I have been
interested in the platform. Since then I have served on numerous
county, district and state platform committees. I have served as
secretary and chairman of the committee at each level. On a personal
level I have always wanted to serve on the national platform
committee. At the Second District Convention I was elected as a
delegate to the Republican National Convention. In our delegation, I
(along with Lisa Smith) was elected to the National Platform
Committee. The Platform Committee meets M-W the week before the
convention. My intent is to advocate for those core issues from our
state platform in the national platform.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Sebelius to Iowa Thursday - off VP list?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Barack Obama's campaign today announced a three-stop Iowa visit
Thursday by Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, one of the names that's
been on his vice presidential short list. With time running out before
next week's Democratic national convention, this could be a hint that
Sebelius is off the list, since she'd presumably need to appear at a
big roll-out rally with Obama if she were selected. Or, to take
another approach to the tea leaf reading and Kremlinology of vice
presidential selection politics, could the Iowa stops be auditions?

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Constitution Daily: How the GOP loses the election on the energy issue

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

Remember a few months before the 2006 election? A split GOP boiled
over on the immigration issue and the halls of Congress were jammed
with phone calls, emails, petitions, and an angry electorate that
would vote anyone out of office if they voted for that comprehensive
immigration plan. Congress heard it, and passed the positive
components of immigration reform that America overwhelmingly
supported. Like the wall. Just weeks before the election, almost every
ounce of rage was sapped from the voting public because Congress got
the message. We were going to actually build a wall. Problem solved.
We all know the result.

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In Flyover Country: An elected official doing his job - and saving you and me money

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

The Associated Press offers up today's must-read piece on what it means to be a Republican. They offer us an in-depth look into State Auditor David Vaudt's investigations, markedly up from his predecessor, where he has rooted out nearly $7 million in taxpayer fraud in just five years. That's astounding. His office has conducted nearly 100 special investigations, and in too many instances, they have found that your tax dollars are being misspent, misused or worse. Think about the thousands and thousands of unchecked ledgers out there, all purporting to effectively manage your tax dollars.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Iowa Independent: Rural Iowa Obama supporter says smear emails working

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

One prominent Western Iowa supporter of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama says
he's thinks misleading chain emails and rumor mongering are eroding
his candidate's support among older voters. "Even though John McCain
doesn't know how to use an email other people his age do," said Dr.
Steven Kraus, founder and president of Future Health, Inc. in Carroll.
Kraus, who sat next to the Obamas at the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner
weeks before the Iowa Caucuses and served as the presidential
candidate's co-chair for Carroll County during that process, says
emails falsely referring to Obama as a Muslim are having an effect
with older voters he talks to in rural Iowa.

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The Real Sporer: The Polk County line-up

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

With the time for filing now behind us the competing line ups for
control of the General Assembly are now set. No county has more impact
on the composition of the General Assembly that does Polk County, a
fact that the Democrats have well understood for years. The best news
for us in Polk County is our two senior Senators, Pat Ward (SD30) and
Brad Zaun (SD32) remained unopposed. Pat and Brad are in a position to
make a major contribution to the county and statewide effort. The only
Democrat Senator on the ballot, Dick Dearden (SD34) isn't. Scott
Strosahl is a very energetic young man who is bringing an athletic
approach to campaigning against a complacent incumbent.

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John Deeth Blog: 21 legislative seats uncontested

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

21 Iowa legislative candidates, including one open seat contender, can
start picking out their favorite desk trinkets for the January session
-- they've got no opposition at all. Democrats have a slight edge over
Republicans in filling places on the ballot in Iowa's 125 state
legislative races. Democrats have fielded 114 candidates, while
Republicans have 108. The two parties break nearly even on uncontested
races. 10 Democrats and 11 Republicans have no opposition in the fall.
The Democratic edge comes in the seven races where Democratic
incumbents will face only a third party opponent and no Republican.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Constitution Daily: 2010 gubernatorial race ranking

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

As promised, here's how I would rank the Republicans profiled in this
blog according to my opinion on who would be the best candidate for
this great state. A good candidate will have the energy and tenacity
to run a campaign on the issues and against the opponent. A good
candidate will know the issues inside and out and will be aligned with
the voters on the majority of the issues. A good candidate will know
how to utilize the free and paid media. A good candidate will be able
to raise a ton of money as well as run a full court grassroots
campaign. A good candidate won't run from each and every battle
because he will be too busy winning the war on the offensive.

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Popular Progressive: Why are the Democrats so anti-American energy?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

Virginia Foxx, a Republican congresswoman from North Carolina asked a
great question during a press conference held yesterday "Why are the
Democrats anti-American energy?" Apparently being "anti-American
energy" means not allowing oil companies carte blanche to open up the
ANWR to oil and gas exploration or the outer continental shelf to deep
sea oil exploration. So why are the Democrats so "anti-American"?
Perhaps they don't believe that existing American oil and gas fields
are all in play. EIA (Energy Information Administration) data shows
that domestic production of oil has decreased from the 1980's to about
half the level today.

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Radio Iowa: A fire and a reversal involving Iowa GOP

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

First, there was a fire yesterday in the dumpster outside the
Republican Party of Iowa's headquarters. Incendiary memos? Improperly
discarded smoking materials? A prankster? Second, Republican Party of
Iowa chairman Stewart Iverson is a former legislator and earlier this
week it was announced he would be accepting another job, as a staff
person in the office of Senate Republican Leader Ron Wieck. For those
of you who've been around Iowa politics, you know that Iverson held
the job of Senate Republican Leader until he was oustead in the fall
of 2006. Iverson then chose not to seek reelection.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Leach for VP?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

In yesterday's conference call endorsing Barack Obama, Jim Leach
suggested a fellow Republican, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, as Obama's
running mate. Jim, you were always a modest guy. If Obama's going to
go with a Republican, how about you? Lord, two years ago I never
thought I'd say that. The most partisan Democrats might scream at the
notion of a Republican on the ticket. But Leach, at age 66 on Election
Day 2008, would be an unlikely prospect for the White House in 2012 or
2016. And talk about the symbolism. In his pre-Congress diplomatic
career, Leach literally worked side by side with Dick Cheney and
Donald Rumsfeld. Leach is a far better fit on the issues than Hagel.

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Battleground Iowa: Leach

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

The talk of the Iowa political universe today is that former U.S. Rep.
Jim Leach (allegedly a Republican) has endorsed Barack Obama for
president. I'm disgusted by this. While many of us have our reasons
for not being thrilled with McCain, an actual endorsement of Obama
crosses the line. Obama's attempt to appeal to evangelicals by talking
some of the talk of Christianity, all the while making a mockery of
every ideal Christians should hold dear (i.e. life, marriage, family)
is just evil. The sad thing is, he's fooled many Christians in the
process. And he's fooled Jim Leach too, particularly in the area of
foreign policy.

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Iowa True Blue: All FECed up

Excerpted from this post at Iowa True Blue

The Des Moines Register carried a small story today about the Federal
Election Commission having ruled 6-0 in my favor on a complaint lodged
against me last November. I hadn't ever written about the complaint
for three reasons: 1. The complaint was completely ridiculous and
unfounded. 2. I believe strongly in due process. We live in a great
country, where a citizen with a concern -- even if it's one others
judge ridiculous and unfounded -- can take his concern to our
government and have it investigated and acted upon. I did not want to
interfere, or even appear in any way to be interfering, with that
process. 3. After responding to the FEC last fall, I promptly forgot
all about it (it was that ridiculous and unfounded) until I received a
letter from the FEC last week with the ruling I had not violated
federal election laws.

Politically Speaking: King's confab

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve King will be in Northwest Iowa in
two days, kicking off eight stops over a week. The first public
meetings in which he'll hear citizen input on current issues are in
Sioux Center and Sioux City on Aug. 15. Republican King is running for
a fourth term vs. Democrat Rob Hubler. To date, there will be no
debate, at least in Sioux City. Thus far King has declined Hubler's
invitation to debate multiple times throughout the Fifth District.
King, of course, has said he wouldn't participate in an October Sioux
City debate hosted by the Journal and the League of Women Voters. His
reason in 2006 for not debating Democrat Joyce Schulte was that she
wasn't a bona fide candidate.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Constitution Daily: The elephant in the room

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

Congressman Steve King is definitely the elephant in the room in any
Iowa state wide Republican primary discussion. As many of you know,
King looked at running against Harkin this year and opted to stay in
the U.S. House. We know he would have liked the fight against Harkin
but with McCain as the Presidential Nominee and with Republican
numbers declining, his best choice was to stay in the House. King is
the Republican Party's greatest asset and we need him working away at
the liberals. So which one is best for King and best for us? King is
facing redistricting in 2012 and there is no assurance what the new
district will bring. When Iowa goes to four districts, King may well
represent two-thirds of Iowa from Congress.

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HawkeyeGOP: Jim Leach, RINO, traitor

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

The Associated Press reports today that former 2nd District
Congressman Jim Leach has endorsed Barack Obama for president. I was a
supporter of Jim Leach for as long as he was my congressman. I often
found myself defending him to conservative friends. Yes, I disagreed
with him on abortion, campaign finance and to a lesser degree the war.
But he was a Republican and helped us maintain a majority in the US
House. Personally, I know Leach to be an honest man and a gentleman.
He nominated my daughter for the Congressional Page program. During
her tenure in Washington, she had nothing but praise for the
Congressman and his interaction with the pages and staff. RINO
(Rebublican In Name Only) is not a phrase I use very often. I am not a
part of Steve Deace's Operation Extinction - to rid the party of
RINO's.

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Iowa Independent: Vilsack: Edwards's career is 'damaged irreparably'

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack says the revelation of two-time
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' infidelity has
destroyed the North Carolinian's career. And it won't be easily
forgiven in a public sense, Vilsack, a Democrat, said in an interview
during a fund-raiser for 5th District congressional candidate Rob
Hubler at Crossroads Bistro in Carroll. "It's extraordinarily
disappointing," Vilsack said. "His public career, I suspect, has been
damaged irreparably -- as it should." In an interview with ABC News
and in a subsequent statement, Edwards admitted to having an affair
with a former New York City socialite who shot videos for his
campaign.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Radio Iowa: Jim Leach endorsing Obama

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

According to a source in the Obama campaign, former Iowa Congressman
Jim Leach -- a Republican -- will be endorsing Democratic presidential
candidate Barack Obama this morning. Leach, as you may recall, lost
his bid for re-election in 2006 after three decades representing
portions of eastern Iowa in congress. Leach was considered a
"moderate" Republican and was a backer of campaign finance reform.
Leach did not accept campaign contributions from political action
committees. Leach became a professor at his alma mater -- Princeton --
and then was asked to be the interim director of Harvard University's
Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government when its
director left to run for the U.S. Senate. The institute's new director
is to start September 1, 2008. Leach's wife has contributed the
maximum amount allowed to Obama's campaign.

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Eastern Iowan Conservative: What a difference a year makes

Excerpted from this post at Eastern Iowan Conservative

I was looking at the calendar today, and today's date, August 11,
jumped out at me as being significant, though I couldn't quite put my
finger on why it was. Then, it dawned on me - one year ago today was
the Iowa Straw Poll, the Mardi Gras of the Republican Party of Iowa.
It's hard to think back at how much the GOP political landscape has
changed within a year's time. Last year, John McCain essentially had
thrown in the proverbial towel in this state, looking instead at other
early states such as New Hampshire that he actually had a chance of
winning. Rudy Giuliani saw the same writing on the wall and followed
McCain's strategy albeit with much different results. A year ago
today, Mitt Romney was spending like a fiend while Mike Huckabee
pinched his pennies so tight that Ebenezer Scrooge would consider him
cheap.

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John Deeth Blog: Did Edwards cost Clinton nomination? Maybe not

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

A top aide to Hillary Clinton says if revelations about John Edwards'
extramarital affair had come out before the Iowa caucuses, Hillary
Clinton would be the presumptive nominee today. That's impossible to
definitively answer, of course. But a caucus night survey indicates
that most Edwards caucus goers had a second choice other than Clinton,
and his absence would likely have meant a bigger Iowa win for Barack
Obama. "I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would
therefore have been the nominee," if Edwards had dropped out before
Iowa, former Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson told ABC
News.

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On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts: Ethanol = Iowa (for now)

Excerpted from this post at On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts

The Iowa Democratic Party has put up a new web site taking on John
McCain on Iowa issues. For now, it's weighted heavily on ethanol
subsidies (which McCain opposes) and the farm bill (which he voted
against). You may hear that a couple times in the video. Brooke
Borkenhagen, the spokesperson for the IDP, says it will be adding
issues like energy, taxes and health care in the next couple months.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

The Real Sporer: Breaking news: Iverson to Senate staff position

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

In what can best be described as a highly unusual move, current RPI
Chairman, and former Senate Majority Leader, Stewart Iverson has taken
a position with the Senate campaign staff. Chairman Iverson will fill
the opening created by Brent Oleson's decision to campaign for
Supervisor in Linn County. The move was announced earlier tonight at a
Buena Vista County event by a member of our Senate caucus. Sources
inform us that Iverson intends to retain his Party office as well.

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Essential Estrogen: Newcomer or not, Miller-Meeks confident she'd do well in Congress

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

When political newcomer Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks squeaked out a
victory in Iowa's 2nd District congressional primary, a few Republican
eyebrows raised. None of those eyebrows, however, were attached to the
people who met the Ottumwa ophthalmologist and learned her story. When
considered in context with the rest of her life, the primary was just
one more challenge she met with planted feet. "I really had no desire
to be in politics prior to last year," Miller-Meeks said. "Nine years
ago, when I first began visiting Congress with the Academy of
Ophthalmology, advocating and addressing health care issues, I had a
wonderful rapport and relationship with the honorable [former
Congressman] Jim Leach."

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FromDC2Iowa: Public transportation and energy policy

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Public Transportation: Having once been a part of a legal team
representing American Airlines, and subsequently a United Airlines
groupie (lifetime Red Carpet Club membership, credit card, "Mileage
Plus"), it is with sadness that I have finally had to acknowledge that
our airline industry is disfunctional as a transportation system. The
rising costs for fewer flights, including the nickle-and-diming us for
everything from pillows to peanuts, the delays, the even more crowed
seats, the lost luggage, the lines and necessity to dress twice the
morning of a flight to satisfy the terrorist-prevention folks -- the
list goes on. Add to this the flights' impact on greenhouse gasses,
global warming and the ozone hole, and it's just not the
transportation system it used to seem to be -- not to mention the fun.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

In Flyover Country: Taxpayer Waste Relegated to the Funny Pages

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country
The Des Moines Register today outlined what was reported first here In Flyover Country, that Chet Culver and five in his entourage flew business class - at a cost of $47,000 to the taxpayer - during a trade mission trip to China in May. Rather than do a true expose on the story, the Register instead chose to relegate it to their funny pages: The Iowa Ear, which is a cute play on the happenings in government and campaigns. This doesn't belong there. ... Fitting they went to China, where under communism, the bureaucrats control all the money, and treat themselves to luxuries the common proletariat is unable to ever achieve. Hmmmm...starting to sound a little familiar. All of which the Governor will have to account for when trying to seem empathetic to flood victims at next month's pomp-and-circumstance special session.

Iowa Guy 2.0: A Former Congressman Weighs In

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0
Mr. Bedell writes a great commentary in the Sioux City Journal yesterday. He talks about his open-door policies from his days as a congressman and the fact that he welcomed every opportunity to debate his opponents in elections, something Steve King (R - Megalomaniac) continues to refuse. Steve King's refusal to debate Rob Hubler shows, more than anything else, why King is unfit to be our representative. Engaging in debate would show Iowans exactly where the two candidates stand on the issues. If King really is the best person to represent the 5th District, shouldn't he welcome the opportunity to stand up in front of us and explain to us why?

John Deeth blog: King Stays in DC for Drilling Protest

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog
Steve King is one of two dozen Republican U.S. House members staying in Washington during the AUgust recess to demand a vote on offshore drilling. King spoke Monday on a darkened House floor, next to a giant photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with the words "I am trying to save the planet" underneath. King said Pelosi has decided that "saving the planet is worth more than saving the Homo sapiens." ... Iowa's other House members are back home, meeting with constituents and getting in a little campaigning.

Politically Speaking: Nader eyes getting on Iowa ballot

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking
Tomorrow morning, Ralph Nader will go to the Capitol Building in Des Moines to turn in 3,000 petitions he figures will get him on the Nov. 4 presidential ballot in Iowa. It takes a petition with 1,500 signatures to get on the Iowa ballot, so Nader could be on firm ground in his quest. Independent Nader is seeking to get on the Iowa ballot as the Iowa Peace and Freedom party nominee, and if he gets more than 2 percent of the vote, the party will become a ballot-qualified political group.

Constitution Daily: And I just kept on running ...

Excerpted from this post at BLOGNAME
Bob Vander Plaats is the only Republican candidate for governor who has lost two primaries – oh come on, he would have lost. ... He ran twice and lost twice. Technically he’s lost one primary and one general. I don’t see him winning this time either. Everyday Bob is looking for a springboard for Governor. He needs to take a break or run for State House or State Senate. He’s a good candidate but needs some credibility. Whatever Bob has done in the last 8 years has been FOR BOB. He now needs to have public service on his record. Perhaps that will provide the opportunity to deliver something tangible to Iowans.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Essential Estrogen: Payne speaks out about his criminal charges

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
A 22-year-old Iowa blogger is speaking out today and providing his personal reflections as to why he, a volunteer who had worked with rape and sexual assault victims, chose to photograph another woman's body without her consent. Kyle Payne, who is awaiting criminal sentencing in connection with the January 2007 incident, says that he wrote today's post as an example that he has the courage to "own" what he has done and to open himself up to criticism. "While I still wholeheartedly identify with feminism – and in fact, started a personal blog as an attempt to become more in touch with feminist principles – there is no question that my actions have grossly contradicted these principles. Furthermore, by failing to address these contradictions openly, while presenting myself as any sort of ally to women, I have not been completely honest."

Battleground Iowa: George Eichhorn Loses Again

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa
... This year, Eichhorn first lost his U.S. Senate GOP primary race to the new kid on the block, Christopher Reed, and now his win record in his law practice seems to be taking a hit as well. ... I understand wanting to challenge the casino exemption, which is actually the one point on which the judge did say the bar owners might succeed. But other than that, I really think that fighting the smoking ban in court is a waste of time and resources. Once again, trying to get a judge to twist or overrule a valid law is a liberal tactic, not a conservative one.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

John Deeth blog: Nagle: Convention Needs To Affirm Iowa's Place In Calendar

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog
Dave Nagle, former congressman and Iowa Democratic Party chair, says Barack Obama's recommendation to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations at full strength at this month's Democratic National Convention "can't be unexpected." But he believes the national convention needs to reaffirm the calendar that set Iowa first, and not revisit the calendar again "in our lifetime". ... [Nagle:] I mean, if they say to Michigan and Florida, all is forgiven, you're back, you're full members of the party, and by the way, you can go out in four years and try to defy us again, that'll be fine, then they haven't solved the problem, they've just postponed it. Deeth: So it sets a precedent of no consequences. Nagle: Yeah, it's defiance without consequences. But we shouldn't single them out -- four years from now it may be some other state.

Monday, August 04, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Obama: Full Seating For Calendar Cheaters FL, MI

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
Remember that all-important Democratic Rules and Nominations committee meeting at the end of May, that finally, definitively punished Florida and Michigan for violating the primary calendar? Well, forget it. Barack Obama is, now that it doesn't matter to the nomination math, recommending seating the two states at full strength. ... Assuming this happens -- and what the nominee says generally goes -- Florida and Michigan will suffer no punishment at all for their open defiance of the DNC's official nomination calendar. Yet Iowa may still be in good shape for staying first in 2012. Republicans have a tentative calendar that keeps Iowa first, and on the Democratic side Obama clearly credits his Iowa win with setting him on the road to the nomination.

Radio Iowa blog: Iowa Bar Owners' first day in court, fighting the smoking ban

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa blog
I noticed a woman sitting in front of me wearing her bar jacket from the "Two of a Kind" bar in Fort Madison. Bill Duncan, the owner of that bar, is among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit which challenges Iowa's new statewide smoking ban and he was sitting beside that woman to listen as the judge heard testimony and legal arguments from the lawyers involved in the case. ... What follows is a sort of recap of the three hours of courtroom drama, based on my notes. There were no cameras or microphones allowed in the courtroom. The hearing on Friday was about the bar owners' motion for a preliminary restraining order to suspend enforcement of the smoking ban until the case is settled.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Grassley maligns Katrina victims

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Matt Stoller found this shameful tidbit in the Congressional Record
from last Friday. The speaker is Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who is
mad that some senators want to find budget cuts to offset disaster aid
for Iowa: "So I don't want anybody telling me that we have to offset a
disaster relief package for the Midwest where people are hurting, when
we didn't do it for New Orleans. Why the double standard? Is it
because people aren't on rooftops complaining for helicopters to
rescue them, and you see it on television too much? We aren't doing
that in Iowa. We are trying to help ourselves in Iowa. We have a
can-do attitude. It doesn't show up on television like it did in New
Orleans for 2 months." Open Left commenter SpitBall raises an
excellent point--a better question is "why federal aid to the flood
victims in Iowa should require a budgetary offset, when the invasion
[and] occupation of Iraq does not."

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Politically Speaking: Culver here for Hubler

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

The political world might be much more focused on eastern Iowa today,
but we have our own news here in Northwest Iowa. Sure, Barack Obama
held a town hall meeting in Cedar Rapids on economic issues, but in a
few minutes at 4 p.m. the first of two Sioux City fundraisers with
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver in attendance will begin. Both money-raising
events will be to aid the candidacy of Democrat Rob Hubler, who is
working to unseat Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve King. The second
event will be hosted by the Woodbury County Democratic Party, and
Culver will speak at both, as will Hubler. Hubler's again hammering on
his message of providing real representation in the district.

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The Real Sporer: The recession that wasn't and the victory that was

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Did anyone notice that we won the Iraq campaign this week? American
casualties fell to five. All evidence indicates that al Qaeda in
Mesopotamia has been annihilated, the Mahdi Army crushed, the Sunnis
integrating into the political process and actively participating in
the new Iraqi Army and the political process at least as functional as
our nine percent Congress. But those strategic reasons aren't the sign
of sure victory. It's not even something anecdotal like Ryan Crocker
walking down the streets of Basra. Nope, it's the Colonel. Yes, a
Colonel Sanders "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise in Fallujah.
Islamic extremism cannot flourish where confronted by the Colonel's
finger lickin' goodness. American culture has begun to take root.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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