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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coralville Courier: Bailout crisis? What bailout crisis?

Excerpted from this post at Coralville Courier

If the supposed financial crisis on Wall Street is soooooooo severe,
then why hasn't a bill passed? Democrats hold the majority in the
House. If they really wanted to pass some GOOD legislation, they
could. They don't need a single GOP vote to get things done. The U.S.
House voted no and defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the
nation's financial system on Monday, putting a stop to what some have
termed a socialist takeover of the markets. The vote was 228-205 to
reject the bill, with Speaker Pelosi, a Democrat, blaming a baker's
dozen number of Republicans for the defeat. What Pelosi intentionally
omitted in her post vote comments, is that 94 Democrats also voted no.

John Deeth Blog: Democrats take estimated 30,000-vote lead in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Five weeks before Election Day, Barack Obama likely has a lead of more
than 30,000 votes in Iowa, based on absentee ballot requests. But
Democrats will need to continue their early voting blitz--they won the
early vote in 2004 only to lose by a bigger margin on Election Day.
Through Thursday, the first day of in-person early voting, there were
62,024 absentee requests statewide from Democrats and 18,558
from-republicans. People not affiliated with a party have made 23,460
requests, and another 35 are from Greens and Libertarians. Republicans
will likely close that gap, though not all the way, before Election
Day. Democratic early voting efforts in recent years have focused on
door-to-door canvassing through the summer months.

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Bleeding Heartland: Which Democratic pickups will shock us the most?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I wrote this piece primarily for readers outside Iowa, but since
Bleeding Heartland has some of those too, I'm posting it here as well
as at several national blogs. Growing up liberal during the Reagan
years taught me to go into elections expecting to be disappointed.
Watching high-ranking Democrats in Congress fail to challenge the
premise behind the dreadful and unnecessary proposed bailout of Wall
Street, I share thereisnospoon's concern that Democrats will snatch
defeat from the jaws of victory yet again. But looking at the polling
trends in the presidential race and in key Senate races, even a
pessimist like me has to admit that a big Democratic wave seems quite
possible.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Iowa Independent: Hubler says Navy service informs his candidacy

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Serving aboard a nuclear submarine in the 1960s, Rob Hubler and his
fellow crew members received word that war with the Soviet Union had
started, that their arsenal was to be released on the enemy. After
following through the missile launch, the crew of the submarine
pondered what they had done -- not knowing that it was only a drill,
that no nuclear warheads were in the sky ready to rain death,
destruction and Armageddon. In the middle of the ocean, with the true
nature of their assignment kept under wraps so top brass could obtain
realistic results, Hubler and his submariner buddies thought a nuclear
war was happening above. "We sat there for 45 minutes knowing everyone
we knew was dead," said Hubler, 65, a Council Bluffs Democrat who is
running for Iowa's Fifth Congressional District against U.S. Rep.
Steve King, R-Iowa.

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Popular Progressive: Paying taxes worse than investing in the stock market?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

The stock market is predicated by the idea that, for most of us, good
investments come from patiently riding out waves of the market and, of
course, buying stock at low prices and selling it when the price is
high. This is a voluntary activity, though, in fairness, more and more
employment retirement programs are being tied to it. Paying taxes, on
the other hand, is not a voluntary activity. In fairness, we get a lot
of good stuff from our taxes: schools, medical research, streets and
highways, mass transit, and, oh, a social safety net, to name a few.
However, it also pays for weapons of mass destruction, bailing out
corporations, rewarding the richest of us, and more. The say we have
in this is limited to voting for (and cajoling thereafter) candidates
who best represent our views. Note that investing in the stock market
is participating in a lightly (apparently) regulated free market,
while paying taxes is a result of representative democracy.

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FromDC2Iowa: Alternatives to "The Plan"

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

What are we to make of the money changers in the temple, worshipers at
the alter of "the free market," overturning their own tables, leaving
the temple, and following the anti-Christ through the desert to the
land of socialism? Many of my favorite radio programs come from the
BBC World Service. The most relevant today -- as 100 million American
families are each about to add an additional $7000 in debt by this
evening to what they already owe for homes, cars, credit cards and
student loans -- is this week's "Global Business" with Peter Day. The
program pretty consistently offers a weekly look inside that enormous
wad of chewing gum we call "business" that results in creative
insights not likely to be found elsewhere in the business media. There
was a time when banks provided capital for goods and services --
people who grew things, or manufactured things, or sold things, real
things you could hold as well as services to a consumer economy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Politically Speaking: Bailout a 'death spiral' for economy?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

As very important legislation works through Congress in the next day
or so, the proposed "bailout" of the financial markets crisis is
getting much criticism. There's much thought that this is too
important -- and costly -- a piece of legislation to be rushed in
line with time constraints of congresspersons wanting to finish and go
out for re-election bids. And when the criticism comes from both sides
of the aisle, then there's reason for concern. Or reason to be
pleased, since it means neither major political party is getting fully
what they want. Two missives in the last day show conservatives are
against a bailout, while the Progressive Democrats of America also has
that position.

Battleground Iowa: U of I rape: The whitewash continues

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

Well, I can't say I'm surprised, but I'm disappointed. Yesterday, the
Regents barely even gave U of I President Sally Mason a slap on the
hand. I wasn't a hundred percent certain that she should be fired, but
at the very least, I thought a significant pay cut would have been
appropriate to send a message that she was derelict in her duty to
supervise what was going on with the rape investigation, particularly
when she found out that, initially, the athletic department was
handling the investigation of two football players. If red lights and
sirens didn't go off in her head upon learning that information, she's
got issues.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Battleground Iowa: Sally Mason Facing the Music, Phillip Jones Not Going Quietly

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa
A lot of people are calling for Mason's head. Sally took drastic measures this week in an attempt to bolster her own credibility by firing General Counsel Marcus Mills and Dean of Students Phillip Jones earlier this week. In attempting to look decisive, Sally may have just sealed her own fate. Now, she has two very motivated enemies out to take her down with them. Yesterday, Mills was already making statements to the press that Mason knew a lot more about what was going on in the rape investigation than she is letting on. Today, Jones has notified the Regents that he is viewing this as a wrongful termination and had his attorneys (yes, that's plural) send the Regents a letter filling them in on his side of the story.

FromDC2Iowa: Scapegoat bites back

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa
... UI President Sally Mason has responded to the Stolar Report of the University's mishandling of an alleged sexual assault last October 14 ("a perfect storm," the firm's lead investigator put it) by firing the UI's General Counsel Mark Mills (and also UI Vice President Phil Jones). ... Before any of this happened I wrote "The Case for Mills and Jones" ... I didn't attempt to defend everything the Stolar Report said they did (and didn't) do. But I noted five categories of reasons why their peremptory dismissals would not be appropriate -- never realizing last Saturday when I wrote it that they would be gone by yesterday (Tuesday). I mentioned, among other things, that because so many people were involved that it would be unfair to single them out; that if they were to be fired their overall performance needed to be evaluated in a routine and calm way (as the Regents are doing with President Mason); that "the buck stops," normally, at the CEO/presidential level, not the vice-presidential level; and that focusing on them, making it look like the problem was simply the consequence of the behavior of two individuals, diverts attention from the football culture of the campus and the need for organizational restructuring (as recommended by Stolar).

John Deeth Blog: House Candidate Robinson Ends Campaign

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
Iowa House candidate Mike Robinson announced he was ending his campaign Wednesday night, telling the Linn County Democrats in a prepared statement that he was exiting the race for personal reasons. He is expected to make a formal announcement today. Robinson, who chaired the Linn County Democrats until stepping down for the race, was challenging incumbent Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, in House District 35 in northern Linn County.

Coralville Courier: Iowa City Press-Citizen Fails To Properly Cover Loebsack/Rangel Story

Excerpted from this post at Coralville Courier
Leave it to a liberal publication to overlook bad news pertaining to their preferred political candidate. Congressman Dave Loebsack has recently come under fire for taking a $5,000 donation from Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), who is under investigation for ethics violations. ... With the ethics violations news going public, Loebsack suddenly couldn't write checks fast enough in redirecting the Rangel money.  Loebsack gave $1,000 each to the chambers of commerce in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, and to three non-profit groups. So why isn't the PC covering this story? Do a Google search for Loebsack + Rangel, no search results come up for a Press-Citizen story of that topic.  Do a search on the Press-Citizen site, 'Loebsack' and nothing Rangel related comes up.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: What if no one gets 270 electoral votes?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Most of the electoral vote counters have swung in Barack Obama's favor
during the past week, but it still looks as if the presidential
election will be close. In fact, there are at least two plausible
scenarios for the candidates tying at 269 electoral votes each. That
would happen if Obama won all the states John Kerry won in 2004, plus
Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada, or if Obama won all the Kerry states
except for New Hampshire, plus Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado. The
Constitution stipulates that the House of Representatives picks the
president if no candidate wins 270 electoral votes, while the Senate
picks the vice president. But it's not a simple vote of the House
members; they vote by state delegation.

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24-Hour Dorman: Today's big idea -- Health casinos

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

I've figured out how to forge a compromise between bickering casinos,
gambling expansionists and health advocates -- create "Health
Casino." Please, hold your applause until the end. Casinos want to
keep their hard-fought smoking ban exemption, which allows smoking on
gaming floors. But health advocates want that loophole filled, pronto.
Gambling expansionists want more casinos in places such as Tama and
Fort Dodge, Hampton and Ottumwa. But casinos fear lost business.
That's where Health Casinos come in. Existing casinos can keep smoky
gaming floors, but any new casinos opened from here on out will be
smoke-free. That way, health-conscious gamblers will have a smoke-free
place to lose money or watch D-list entertainment. Everybody gets what
they want.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Iowa Independent: King sees some truth in far-fetched North American Union conspiracy

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

At his next town hall meeting, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, may very
well tell us that he woke up in a hotel room in New Orleans in a
bathtub full of ice, missing a kidney, victim of an organized ring of
organ thieves. The odds that King will buy into the greatest urban
legend of all time greatly increased last month when he told
constituents that he was connecting the dots on another popular
conspiracy theory: the creation of a North American Union, a
border-blurring confederation of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The North American Union theory takes various forms depending on who's
doing the talking or blogging. Some incarnations involve a
"superhighway" linking the nations, others a common currency often
called the "amero."

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Krusty Konservative: Phase 2: The debates

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I always break down the general elections for presidential candidates
into three phases, the conventions, the debates, and the all out blitz
for the final weeks of the campaign. John McCain somehow found a way
to win the convention phase despite the 80,000 people who filled a
football stadium to see Obama's convention speech. The McCain campaign
ripped the headline away from Obama by selecting Sarah Palin as his VP
selection, and used a hurricane shortened convention to unite a
Republican Party against Obama. Going into the general election I
would have said that the only phase that McCain could win is the
debate phase. Obama has shown that he can give a great speech with the
aide of a teleprompter, but when left to answer questions on the spot
he suddenly sounds more like President Bush.

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Bleeding Heartland: Latham knows this will be a big Democratic year

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

If you were a loyal Republican foot-soldier seeking re-election in a
state that's trending Democratic, where the Democratic presidential
candidate has a commanding lead over your party's nominee as well as a
much bigger ground game in your own Congressional district, you might
want to reinvent yourself. Late last week, Tom Latham did just that in
his first television commercial of this election cycle. You can view
the ad at Latham's campaign website. It focuses on a bill Latham
introduced to address the nursing shortage in Iowa. Judging from the
content of this ad, Latham recognizes that 2008 will be a big
Democratic year in Iowa. Neither the commercial nor the campaign's
accompanying press release (which I've posted after the jump) mention
that Latham is a Republican. Instead, they note that he authored
"bipartisan legislation" in a specific area.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Battleground Iowa: More U of I news: The Regents and the rape report and criticizing Kirk

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

I had an awful flashback over the weekend. I happened to be watching
Iowa Press on Sunday morning, and found that Regents' President David
Miles and Regent Bonnie Campbell were on discussing the recently
released Stolar Report on the U of I rape case, as well as the
flooding in Iowa City, and various other issues. I know this show is
usually taped on Friday, but I found it absolutely obnoxious that
Miles was up there giving an interview on the report, but then
admitted that he hadn't actually read the report yet himself. That's
when the flashback happened. Is David Miles taking leadership lessons
from Stu Iverson? In case you'd forgotten, Stu had to admit on live
radio that he hadn't actually read the GOP state platform two days
before the GOP state convention.

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Bleeding Heartland: Doubt we'll be seeing Obama or McCain again before November

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Survey USA becomes the third pollster (after CNN/Time and Selzer and
Associates for the Des Moines Register) to find Barack Obama above 50
percent in Iowa, with a double-digit lead over John McCain. The poll
found Obama ahead 54-43 ... Yes, the Big Ten Battleground States poll
showing Obama and McCain tied in Iowa is an outlier. I'm thinking the
McCain/Palin rally in Cedar Rapids on Thursday is the last we will see
of the Republican ticket before November. We may get another visit
from Joe Biden, but I doubt Obama is going to spend any more time in
Iowa before the election either. Side note: Rob Hubler and Becky
Greenwald have to be encouraged by the news that Obama is slightly
ahead in northwest Iowa and far ahead in northeast Iowa.

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Krusty Konservative: Culver is in denial

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

I forgot to mention this the other day. Apparently Governor Chet
Culver isn't worried about the financial crisis that our country is
dealing with. This is from the Cedar Rapids Gazette: "The next
president will have to "figure out why our national economy is going
in the tank," Culver said. "I'm not worried that Wall Street will
affect Iowa" in the four months until the next president takes
office." ... Maybe our good friend Auditor Dave Vaudt should knock on
the Governor's door and remind him that the money in the cash reserves
is already spoken for in next year's budget, which is why Culver can't
call for a special session because the state doesn't have the money to
help its citizens. This is what happens when you increase state
spending by a BILLION dollars in two years.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Politically Speaking: Can McCain win Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

John McCain is wrapping his Cedar Rapids campaign stop, in which he
brought vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin this morning. McCain
talked about a host of issues, but yesterday in Sioux City State Sen.
Steve Warnstadt and the Iowa Democratic Party held a press conference
as a preemptive strike. Warnstadt noted McCain's opposition to ethanol
incentives for an industry that's greatly impacted the Iowa economy,
saying it's something voters need to remember. Polls have shown McCain
trailing in Iowa, and this weekend we'll release a Journal/Lee Poll
conducted through yesterday of 600 likely Iowa voters. As McCain-Palin
fight to win Iowa's seven electoral votes, it's worth noting that he
didn't win any of the 14 Northwest Iowa counties in the January Iowa
caucuses, Republicans favored other men at the time.

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Bleeding Heartland: No, Obama and McCain are not tied in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The Big Ten Battleground Poll released today shows Barack Obama and
John McCain virtually tied in Iowa, with Obama at 42.7 percent and
McCain at 42 percent when leaners are not added, and Obama and McCain
both at 44.8 percent with leaners. I am not buying it. It's not just
that Selzer and Associates, which has an excellent track record in
Iowa, released a poll four days ago showing Obama ahead 52-40. It's
not just that CNN/Time released a poll two weeks ago showing Obama
ahead 55-40. It's the fact that according to a commenter at MyDD who
has dug into the methodology, the Big Ten Battleground polls did not
weight the data according to turnout projections.

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FromDC2Iowa: Extra: Stolar Report

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

For the most part, this morning's [Sept. 19] newspaper coverage of the
Regent's meeting and the Stolar Partnership Report are not
significantly different from the online coverage yesterday -- reports
about "The Report." That full document is probably the best source for
anyone really interested in the details. The Stolar Report [a pdf file
uploaded by the Press-Citizen]. Indeed, the Report is so relatively
well done, candid and thorough (while attempting to avoid accusatory
and mean-spirited language, e.g., "no cover-up"), that there is very
little to add to it by way of anyone's commentary, including mine. (Of
course, not everyone bought the "no cover-up" conclusion: "'The
general counsel [Marc Mills] failed to turn over documents for no
justifiable reason,' [Regent Michael] Gartner said, seeking
clarification from Stolar.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

24-Hour Dorman: Should McCain tour the flood zone?

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

... Now, to be fair, "some Cedar Rapids officials" apparently amounts to
Clancey and Rep. Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, who isn't grumbling as
much as he simply wishes McCain had time for a tour. Clancey is
referred to as a Republican, which is technically true, but she did
endorse Al Gore in 2000. She supported Hillary Clinton in the primary
race this year. Anyway, the question is, should McCain have scheduled
at least a short tour? I understand his time crunch, but the answer is
a clear yes. Can you imagine McCain dropping in for a campaign event
just outside Houston or New Orleans this week and skipping a damage
tour? Wouldn't happen, so why skip it here? Sure, McCain probably
won't even be around to vote on disaster relief. But he's still
sending a bad symbolic message.

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Iowa Independent: Local GOP candidate says party leaders snubbed her ahead of McCain rally

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

At least three Cedar Rapids-area Republican candidates for state
office have been snubbed by GOP leadership in an opportunity to share
the stage with Arizona Sen. John McCain Thursday, according to one of
the candidates. Kathy Potts, Republican candidate in Iowa House
District 33, said she has been excluded from the event. She said Emma
Nemecek, Republican candidate in House District 29, and Joe Childers,
who is running in Senate District 18, had also been told that they
would not get to appear with McCain. "Christopher [Rants] and Kraig
[Paulsen] are in charge of the event tomorrow with McCain," said
Potts. "They do not want me on stage. They said that I and Emma
Nemecek and Joe Childers are losers and that they only want Renee
[Schulte] and Nick [Wagner] on stage."

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Constitution Daily: Splitting the difference

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

We've now had two polls conducted in Iowa showing McCain up by six or
down by 12. The problem with both of these polls is they are both done
by biased organizations. So let me just split the difference.
McCain/Palin is down by six points right now in Iowa. In 2004, polling
at this time in the election gave an average advantage to Bush over
Kerry by 3.5 points. This comparison doesn't look too good for McCain
especially when you factor in the Palin bounce that happened
everywhere, including here in Iowa. So what does this mean for Iowa
Republicans? We can't wait any longer to get out and talk to our
friends, neighbors, and families. If you are in the 1st you need to
tell them how Hartsuch and Reed are everyday Joes and will not toe the
establishment line.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Krusty Konservative: McCain leading in Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Victory Enterprises based in Davenport, Iowa has released the results
of its recent poll of 402 registered voters. The poll showed John
McCain with a 48% to 42% advantage over Barack Obama. A third of the
respondents were Democrat, Republican, and no party voters. The poll
stands in contrast to the Des Moines Register Poll which showed Obama
with a 12% lead over McCain. The Iowa Poll is conducted by Selzer &
Co. Inc. of Des Moines. Selzer was spot on with her final polls before
the Iowa Caucuses and the Republican Primary in Michigan. The
difference is that the VE poll chose to focus on only registered
voters, and with Iowa's new same day voter registration law in effect
they are not accounting for any participation from unregistered voters
or illegal aliens.

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24-Hour Dorman: Culver comes a callin'

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

Gov. Chet Culver stopped by The Gazette for an editorial board chat
this afternoon. Here's the Chet Notes version, like Cliffs Notes, only
with less detail. SPECIAL SESSION -- Culver insisted, impatiently at
times, that he's heroically using his executive authority to shift $40
million from the state budget into housing and business assistance,
making a special session unnecessary. He says his top priority is
getting money into people's hands fast, and he can do that without
waiting for lawmakers to arrive and vote. Three branches of government
can be so cumbersome, really. "What people need is assistance," Culver
said. "They know, as of Friday, when we announced this, that hope is
on the way."

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Battleground Iowa: TouchPlay by any other name is still the same

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

Let's make up a conspiracy theory. Ah ... the memories. Suppose there
were people who wanted to bring back Touchplay-like gambling to Iowa.
Suppose these people included state legislators who miss that gambling
revenue and want to find a way to take more money from some poor
suckers who can barely afford their mortgage, food for their kids, and
cigarettes for themselves (thanks to that pesky tobacco tax). Oh yes,
cigarettes. Those are another problem for these hypothetical state
legislators. You see, despite the fact that the smoking ban is hugely
popular with the general public, there is a vocal minority throwing a
hissy fit over the smoking ban. After all, if you're going to a bar to
kill your liver, you might as well damage your lungs as well. How on
earth can we fix these two problems? How can we get back some of that
gambling revenue and placate those loud-mouth idiot bar owners at the
same time?

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Essential Estrogen: EMILY's List endorses Becky Greenwald for Congress

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Becky Greenwald, Democratic congressional candidate in Iowa's 4th
District, has garnered the attention of one of the nation's largest
political action committees and financial powerhouse for women seeking
public office. Today, the Washington, D.C.-based EMILY's List -- an
acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast -- announced its endorsement of
Greenwald and Sharen Neuhardt, a candidate in Ohio's 7th District.
"Running in emerging take-back opportunities for the House, Becky
Greenwald and Sharen Neuhardt represent the dynamic, capable, and
visionary leaders we need in Congress today," said Ellen R. Malcolm,
president of the organization. "Hailing from the swing states of Iowa
and Ohio, these exceptional candidates have the passion and experience
to tackle the real problems facing their districts.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Iowa Independent: Iowa companies invest nearly $250K in California ballot measure

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Supporters of Proposition 2 cry foul at late disclosures ... Thirteen
Iowa companies have made nearly a quarter of a million dollars in
donations to "Californians for SAFE Food - No on Prop2," a coalition
organized to fight a ballot measure amending the state's health and
safety code in relation to the confinement of livestock. The
donations, most of which were only recently disclosed by the
organization, have become the subject of a complaint with the
California Fair Political Practices Commission. "Yes! on Prop 2 -
Californians for Humane Farms," a group supporting the ballot measure,
filed an initial complaint on Sept. 3 against the United Egg
Producers, Inc., the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and No on Prop 2
that charged the entities were hiding major donations by filtering
them through corporate channels.

Iowa Defense Alliance: When Iowa Democrats attack

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Defense Alliance

It was just a matter of time before the Iowa Democrats started to
unleash their own rhetorical and misinformation campaign against GOP
vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. First it was Culver a couple of
days ago. Then the Great American Hypocrite, Senator Tom Harkin,
launched a verbal attack against her. Now Iowa's lunatic lieutenant
Governor Patty Judge has lashed out. First of all let me point out the
fact that these treasonous slugs did not lash out at Republican
presidential nominee John McCain, no they had to lash out at the vice
presidential nominee instead. Does anyone other than me find this a
strange turn of circumstances? Based upon their attacks, one would
assume that she was the presidential nominee, not the running mate.
Second, if the roles were reversed wouldn't they be yelling at the top
of their lungs that the Republicans were belittling her with sexist
attacks and comments?

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Coralville Courier: Another reason not to vote Democrat in November

Excerpted from this post at Coralville Courier

My name is Dan Gee, I am a lifelong resident of Cedar Rapids and the
President of Gee Asphalt Systems, Inc. My business was affected by the
June floods. As you know, Cedar Rapids was ravaged by flooding in June
of this year. At that time, elected leaders at every level of
government pledged their cooperation to help our city recover. Our
state's governor, Chet Culver, spoke about the possible need for a
special session of the legislature in order to help speed recovery
efforts by getting aid to the people that need it. While news cycles
move fast, and many people probably don't know, I can tell you that
three months later, Cedar Rapids still remains a disaster area. There
is still a curfew at night in downtown Cedar Rapids. There are areas
in Cedar Rapids that lack electricity, phones or even common public
works like street lights. And there are people that still lack
housing.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Bleeding Heartland: Why hasn't EMILY's List gotten behind Becky Greenwald?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Maybe someone out there who knows the inner workings of EMILY's List
can explain to me why this group has not put money behind Becky
Greenwald, the Democrat challenging loyal Republican foot-soldier Tom
Latham in Iowa's fourth Congressional district. I have been going over
the list of Democratic women running for Congress whom EMILY's List is
supporting, with a particular focus on the six challengers most
recently added to this group in early August. I do not mean to knock
any of those candidates, and I recognize that every race has its own
dynamic. However, after comparing Greenwald's race to those of other
candidates, I remain puzzled that EMILY's list is not more involved in
IA-04.

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Krusty Konservative: Iowa's real disaster: Governor Culver

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

My friends in Fly Over Country have been doing a great job keeping
tabs on how Chet Culver is handing Iowa's flood recovery. If you ask
me the state hasn't done a damn thing to help its citizens, instead
Governor Chet Culver has leaned on the federal government to provide
assistance. I guess this should be expected in the post Katrina world.
People, especially Democrats, like to sit back and play the blame game
instead of being part of the solution. There is no doubt that FEMA is
everybody's favorite scapegoat, but we need to remember that every
state and local government has a responsibility to provide for its
citizens, not just the federal government. Now I'll admit that I
haven't followed the Iowa Floods as closely as I probably should have,
but what exactly has Governor Culver done?

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John Deeth Blog: Sebelius to Eastern Iowa Tuesday

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, an erstwhile vice-presidential
short-lister, will be campaigning for Barack Obama in eastern Iowa
Tuesday. The Kansas governor, a two-term winner in one of the reddest
states, will be in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Sebelius was believed
to be in the VP mix until the last days, as a possible map-changer who
could have carried her state. She is term-limited out of office in
2010 and is considered likely to run for the Senate seat now held by
former Republican presidential contender Sam Brownback. Kansas has not
elected a Democratic Senator since 1932.

Politically Speaking: Hubler headway moves 5th into "watch" race

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Hot off his appearance today at U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's Steak Fry, Rob
Hubler has placed himself in line for some national help. The
Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Iowa 5th District Congressman
Steve King, Hubler now has the attention of the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee. The 5th District race has been
deemed a race to watch by the DCCC, which means financial resources
could be arriving soon. Hubler's own internal polling of two weeks ago
shows he's not ahead in the race, but he likes how he fares on a
generic ballot. In a letter to supporters yesterday, Hubler noted only
campaigns "generating excitement in their districts and running strong
operations make the cut" for DCCC input. Hubler's campaign chairman
(former congressman) Berkley Bedell said the contest is a "winnable
race."

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Friday, September 12, 2008

In Flyover Country: Snatching defeat

Excerpted from this post at In Flyover Country

When will the Democrats ever learn? As the polls tighten, and the
McCain campaign (rightfully) swells with confidence, it's time to
diagnose for the Democrats what their problem is winning elections
that they are absolutely supposed to win. Here are 5 things that our
liberal friends need to learn... 1. Stop hitting like girls - Jake
Tapper has started calling Obama "Isotoner" because the campaign has
now said for the sixth time that they are going to take the gloves
off. Their new tough ad? A photo of McCain in 1982 and a rubic's cube
and a big old cell phone. Dumb. Meantime, McCain has a pack of rabid
wolves running through the Alaskan forest. You'd think with all the
image talent and Hollywood types around Obama, they could come up with
at least one good, hard-hitting ad.

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Iowa Guy 2.0: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Guy 2.0

This election should be an absolute blow-out for the Democratic Party.
The Republican Administration, which has been in control for nearly
eight years, has seen the worst attack ever to occur on our soil,
taken the country to war under false pretenses after giving up the
hunt for the perpetrators of said attacks, destroyed the surplus it
inherited from the previous administration while running up the
highest deficits ever, increased the national debt more than all other
administrations combined, seen jobs lost, stagnation of wages and loss
of benefits, the economy on the verge of collapse, a mortgage crisis
that will see thousands, if not millions, of families lose their
homes, 47 million people without health insurance, negative savings
rates unseen since the Great Depression, trillions of dollars in
personal debt for Americans, and all the while rewarding its corporate
buddies and communist masters who really own this country. People
everywhere are clamoring for a change in direction.

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Krusty Konservative: Implosion

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

For a while now I have been on record stating that Barack Obama will
go down as the biggest flop ever to run for President. Just a few
months ago it was inconceivable that John McCain would have any chance
to win on November 4th. McCain lacked the support of the Republican
base; he couldn't raise the money needed, while Obama couldn't do any
wrong. Now it's hard to see how Obama can turn things around,
especially when you consider he's not good debate settings. For some
people Obama's fall is hard to comprehend. For us Iowans however, we
saw an example of this in the 2006 election with the gubernatorial
race between then presumptive Governor Jim Nussle, and Chet Culver. We
know how that turned out.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Iowa Independent: Braley takes aim at federal child labor penalties after Agriprocessors charges

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Charges of state child labor law violations at Agriprocessors have
prompted a member of Iowa's congressional delegation to propose new
federal legislation that would increase penalties against offending
companies. "Yesterday's charges against Agriprocessors emphasize the
need to protect children against unsafe and illegal working
conditions," said U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley. "When employers purposefully
break the law by hiring children for dangerous jobs, they put our
children's lives and safety at risk. The current, low federal
penalties must be increased to deter future child labor violations."
Tuesday morning Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed documents in
Allamakee County against Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in
Postville, charging the company and five individuals with more than
9,000 violations of state child labor laws.

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Coralville Courier: Joe Biden says Hillary might have been better VP pick

Excerpted from this post at Coralville Courier

It's been reported that Barack Obama picked Joe Biden as his VP
because Joe is supposedly a smart guy, politically savvy and a man
with foreign policy know how. Well if a recent campaign stop is any
indication, Joe is not nearly as good as advertised. Biden defended
Hillary Clinton, saying to the crowd of supporters: "She's a truly
close personal friend and she is qualified to be president of the
United States of America, she's easily qualified to be vice president
of the United States of America and quite frankly it might have been a
better pick than me." Sticking up for a colleague in the U.S. Senate
is one thing, but saying that Barack Obama could have picked someone
better then him as a running mate? That's just plain dumb.

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Constitution Daily: It's time

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

With McCain trailing in the polls in Iowa by a fairly large margin,
Iowa Republicans need to get serious about this election. Even if you
still think of McCain as McCan't, he is at the top of the ticket and a
major loss by him will take other good Republicans down. We have great
Congressional candidates along with a very young and promising
Senatorial candidate in Chris Reed. We also have many die hard
conservative Iowa House and Senate candidates that need a strong
showing by McCain to win. We don't need McCain here to do it but we do
need Sarah Palin. She is our motivation this election cycle and with
her principles, conservatives can be proud to volunteer for their
candidates and county party organizations. I know we need to get the
conservatives in northwest Iowa ramped up.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Constitution Daily: Pelosi and the Iowa floods

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

Speaker Nancy Pelosi toured Iowa flood and tornado zones this week, locales now in their 3rd month and more of cleanup and restoration. This is after she failed to pass legislation to assist in the Iowa efforts. This is also after she went on a miserable failure of a book tour. This is also after she turned off the lights and cameras in the U.S. House to stop debate on our energy crisis. And what do we get from the media? An audio clip on WHO Radio of Pelosi saying you just can't believe it until you see it. Pelosi should be chastised by the media as well as her Democrat buddies Culver, Braley, Loebsack, and Boswell. Latham and King were already ripping on her.

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John Deeth Blog: Hartsuch believes message will beat money in 1st CD

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Two years ago, Iowa's 1st Congressional District was at the top of national target lists for both parties. Republican incumbent Jim Nussle stepped down to run for governor and Democrat Bruce Braley won the seat in one of the highest spending races in the country. It couldn't be more different this year. In a district that was held for decades, under varying configurations, by Republicans like Tom Tauke, Jim Leach, and Nussle, the Republican nominee is having trouble even campaigning door to door. State Sen. David Hartsuch of Bettendorf says he doesn't even have enough money in the bank to print flyers for doorknocking.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

John Deeth Blog: Voters head to polls for school election

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

With only eight weeks to go before the presidential election, Iowans
are going to the polls today for school board elections. It's the last
time that will happen in a presidential year. Changes in state law
take effect in 2009, and school board elections will be held every
other year in odd-numbered years, rather than every year. As part of
the transition, some districts will have short terms on the ballot.
For example, Clear Creek Amana voters will elect two members to three
year terms and one member to a one year term. In Urbandale, where two
candidates are running for two seats, the candidate with the most
votes gets a three-year term, and the other candidate will get a one
year term.

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Krusty Konservative: Leadership or partisanship? You decide at the ballot box

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

If you asked me what is the biggest problem facing our country today,
I wouldn't say energy prices, health care costs, or homeland security.
While all of those are on all of our minds, and extremely important, I
believe our biggest problem might just be partisanship. It's becoming
more and more apparent that partisanship is far more important to some
of our elected leaders in this state than providing the people with
leadership in a great time of need. One needs to only look at the
recent news regarding flood recovery to see a good example of what I'm
talking about. From Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal...

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Politically Speaking: That's a definite 'No' on King-Hubler

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

There will be no debate in Sioux City involving the Iowa 5th District
congressional candidates. The League of Women Voters today completely
cancelled the Oct. 9 debate, after incumbent Republican Steve King
wouldn't come off his no-debate position. King, you'll recall, is mad
at the Journal for a summer article and attacks from staff blogs (this
one?), and so would not agree to participate in a debate hosted by the
Journal and the League of Women Voters. Journal officials agreed to
back out of the debate sponsorship if that would help King decide to
take part, but when he kept with the 'no' answer, the league cancelled
it altogether, even though Democrat Rob Hubler was ready to take part.

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Constitution Daily: The final countdown

Excerpted from this post at Constitution Daily

McCain-Palin -- Coming off their excellent convention speeches and
spin that followed, McCain-Palin has secured a decent lead in the
polls over Obama-Biden. Palin obviously energized the base of the
Republican Party and independents across the nation. Hopefully they
will continue to put the screws to our opponents' ideology for the
next 8 weeks. Reed v. Harkin -- Reed still struggles to gain traction
in his race to unseat Iowa's favorite resident of the Bahamas. Reed is
a good conservative and with any luck at all, he will start to get the
media to at least look at him. He does have a debate scheduled for the
9th of October on IPTV. Maybe that will get his campaign the boost it
needs. I heard the Iowa delegation passed the hat for him at one of
their breakfast meetings last week, giving him a boost and ability to
make a little more progress in his uphill climb.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Iowa Independent: Dean: "We can't afford to lose a single vote in Iowa"

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean called Iowa "one of
the most important swing states in America" at the University of Iowa
Friday. "We didn't win Iowa last time," Dean said in his first Iowa
City visit since a rally the night before the 2004 caucuses. "If we
win Iowa this time, we will win the presidency of the United States of
America." Riding into town on a red white and blue Obama "Register For
Change" bus, Dean stressed voter registration, early voting, and
volunteering. "We can't afford to lose a single vote in Iowa, I'm not
kidding. Not one," said Dean, asking the mostly student crowd to
pretend the eager staffers in the back armed with voter registration
forms ware big burly security guards. "They won't let you past them
until you get signed up."

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Bleeding Heartland: Reform the caucus system

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

David Yepsen has a good column in Sunday's Des Moines Register urging
Iowa's political parties to improve the caucus system. He reasons that
Iowa is less likely to retain its first-in-the-nation status if our
state parties do not correct some of the flaws in the caucus process.
I would go further and state that Iowa does not deserve to remain
first unless the parties make some changes in the caucus system.
Actually, if I were in charge of reforming the nominating process, I
would ban caucuses for the purposes of presidential selection. The
parties in Iowa will never adopt primaries, though, because of New
Hampshire's law stating that it must hold the first primary. ... Conduct
secret-ballot voting: Iowa Republicans already do this, but Democrats
have to stand in a group with other supporters of their candidate.

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Popular Progressive: Look what got slipped in the New Energy Reform Act

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

Congress will come back from summer recess, and immediately consider
energy legislation. These bills, which would allow offshore oil
drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf as a supposed response to high
gasoline prices, also contain massive taxpayer subsidies for the
nuclear power industry. Introduced a month ago, the "New Energy Reform
Act of 2008" has not yet been put in legislative form and still lacks
a bill number. The plan is sponsored by such bipartisan pro-nuclear
Senators as Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia,
and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as Democrats Mary
Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and
Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Battleground Iowa: McCain reaction

Excerpted from this post at Battleground Iowa

Was McCain's speech great? No. Did it come anywhere close to Palin in
terms of excitement? No. But was it decent/good? Sure. Did he do what
he needed to do? I think so. Everyone knows that McCain is not the
greatest orator, so he went into last night with rather low
expectations, which works in his favor. In terms of energy, he started
out a little slow. He addressed the economy and oil prices, which he
needed to do. At times, it seems a little awkward, but I think a large
part of that was having to deal with the protestors who tried to storm
the stage and the crowd trying to drown the protestors out with their
chants. But I have to say the speech really picked up in the last 15
minutes or so. When McCain started talking about his personal history,
how he used to be a selfish young man, how his imprisonment changed
him, and how his faith in his country got him through that ordeal,
that was pretty powerful.

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Krusty Konservative: Put your Country First, vote McCain

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

When you take a step back, and think about where the Republican Party
and the McCain campaign was a few weeks ago, and then fast forward to
today and see where the Party and the McCain campaign is, the
transformation is amazing. While the McCain campaign was taking the
fight to Obama with a series of TV ads, there was always doubt that
McCain would be able defeat Obama. That doubt has replaced not by
hope, but by determination in a hurricane shortened convention. We
have seen how hard it is for Iowa Republicans to unite our activists
across our state, but this convention united us a party all across the
nation. The unifying force is a heroic American named John McCain, and
his running mate and fellow maverick Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.

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Iowa Independent: Iowa praised for work towards new energy economy

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

State leaders 'ahead of the curve' in creation of green jobs ...
Representatives of environmental groups and labor unions praised the
work of Iowa, and specifically Gov. Chet Culver, for its success in
attracting green jobs to the state. Gov. Chet Culver in Husum,
Germany, last September for Europe's largest wind energy show. At a
panel discussion on the potential of investing in the clean energy
economy sponsored by the Blue Green Alliance, Iowa was singled out as
being ahead of the curve in working to attract companies that create
jobs and promote renewable energies. "Iowa has captured five wind
turbine manufacturing factories in recent years, factories that could
have easily been built in Minnesota," said David Foster, executive
director of the Blue Green Alliance Action Fund, a coalition of the
Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers of America working to promote
clean energy economic development.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Krusty Konservative: America's Iron Lady?

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

Let me first admit that I took a lot of notes, had a lot of things I
wanted to highlight from the various speeches, wrote down some of the
great lines, and was all ready to handicap 2010 (Rudy, Mitt, Huck,
Newt and maybe Jindal) but I threw all of it away because none of that
matters, we have more important things to talk about. The maverick
Senator from Arizona, who in the past has denigrated the conservative
right by passing campaign finance reform, and looking the other way on
illegal immigration, also may have paved the way for another
conservative revolution in America by selecting Sarah Palin to be his
Vice President. My expectations for Palin's speech were high, so high
that I was a bit nervous as she walked out to the convention floor.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Fred Thompson: What's up with that?

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

Former presidential candidate Fred Thompson gave a fiery and
well-received convention speech on Tuesday night. He follows it up
today by announcing Fred PAC--a PAC dedicated to the election of
conservative candidates. Pardon me for scratching my head over the
new, energized Fred Thompson... when he campaigned for President in
Iowa... he seemed distracted and bored. Even as the media was asking if
he was the savior of the GOP, I was attending speeches in which he
seemed completely disengaged. So what's up now?

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On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts: Bolton visits Iowans

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

Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton visited the Iowa
delegation this morning to make a foreign policy case for John McCain
over Barack Obama. He said McCain proved more able when responding to
Russia's invasion of Georgia. "I think I can sum this up quite simply.
John McCain is ready to be president, Barack Obama is not," Bolton
said to a roomful of cheering Republicans. Bolton also praised
McCain's pick for vice president, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. He said she
is qualified to not only be on the ticket, but to step into the Oval
Office. Critics have raised questions about Palin's qualifications.
She was elected governor in 2006 and before that she was the mayor of
a town of 8,500 people.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Iowa Independent: GOP platform calls for end to ethanol mandate

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Proposal breaks with Bush administration, Midwestern leaders ...
Republicans unanimously passed a platform on Monday that calls for the
federal government to end a mandate that gasoline contain a set amount
of ethanol, but Iowa Republicans say they oppose the proposal. Under
the agriculture section, the platform talks about food versus fuel
concerns and states that the "U.S. government should end mandates for
ethanol and let the free market work." The move is a major change from
the 2004 platform, which supported expanding the use of ethanol as a
way to reduce dependence on foreign oil and increase revenue for
farmers. It's also a move away from the Bush administration's views on
ethanol towards those of the presumptive Republican presidential
nominee, Sen. John McCain.

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John Deeth Blog: GOP calendar plan quietly passes

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

A 2012 nomination calendar that could help keep Iowa first in the
nation was one of the few items that quietly passed during Monday's
abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention. Iowa's role
is not directly addressed under the Republican rules adopted Monday,
since the caucuses are a non-binding straw poll. Like the Democrats,
Republicans appointed a commission to study calendar reform. This is
the first time Republicans have deferred final calendar decisions to a
post-convention body. The big difference is that the GOP has required
its commission to keep New Hampshire and South Carolina first in the
primary calendar. The Democrats have given their commission a clean
slate.

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HawkeyeGOP: Vilsack sighting in St. Paul

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Today while standing in line to get into the Xcel Center. I saw
someone I thought I recognized. I introduced myself and sure enough, I
was right. The person I saw was former Democrat Iowa Governor, Tom
Vilsack. The same Tom Vilsack who ran for president as a Democrat. The
Governor was standing in line to get into the venue and he had what
looked like a guest pass. He was standing in the normal line and
waited like everyone else. I asked if he were switching parties. He
said, "No you'll have to do a lot more convincing."

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Krusty Konservative: Gustav -- Babygate -- Liberals attack

Excerpted from this post at Krusty Konservative

It was a little difficult to enjoy the holiday weekend with a major
hurricane slamming the gulf coast once again. I don't know about you,
but from Saturday morning on I was having a bad case of deja vu,
fortunately Hurricane Gustav weakened, but it still did plenty of
damage to the gulf coast. With Gustav dominating the headlines, John
McCain and the Republicans wisely downgraded what was to be the start
of their convention. Unfortunately the liberals didn't see the need to
put politics aside due to a devastating storm, instead they created a
storm of their own by attacking the family of Sarah Palin. By Saturday
afternoon internet rumors that Governor Palin was not the mother of
Trig, her 5 month old son with Down syndrome, were running rampant.

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24-Hour Dorman: Reading the Palin tea leaves

Excerpted from this post at 24-Hour Dorman

John McCain's decision to add Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the GOP
ticket is enormously popular with members of the Iowa delegation here
at the Republican National Convention. Again and again, I've talked
to delegates who were only so-so on McCain's prospects just days ago
who are now fired up. Her background, her conservative credentials,
her guns, they love everything about her. Although they're still a
little uncertain how to pronounce her name. At this morning's
delegation breakfast I heard Paylin and Paulin and Peelin and Pulin.
Never mind that. What they know, they like. "I would walk on broken
glass to get this team elected," said Steve Scheffler, a GOP national
committee member, chairman of the delegation and the leader of the
Iowa Christian Alliance. He says Palin was his first choice for VP.

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John Deeth Blog: Loebsack says leadership on board for flood relief

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Dave Loebsack is spending a little time on political tasks, attending
Labor Day picnics Monday and the Democratic convention last week. But
Loebsack said the flood in eastern Iowa made his convention trip a
short one. "I didn't get out to Denver until Tuesday afternoon"
because of flood work in the district, Loebsack told Iowa Independent,
"and even when I was out there I was mostly talking about the flood."
He said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer met with
Iowans in Denver and are now fully supportive of the relief package.
Dave Loebsack is spending a little time on political tasks, attending
Labor Day picnics Monday and the Democratic convention last week. But
Loebsack said the flood in eastern Iowa made his convention trip a
short one.

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