Monday, December 29, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
“This comes as a surprise since about three weeks ago Governor Vilsack stated that he was not in contention for the job, but it sure isn’t a surprise because of his qualifications. As Governor of Iowa he has a firsthand look at the role of agriculture in our global economy,” Grassley said. “I’m happy for him, happy for Iowa and this is welcome news for agriculture.”
The comments, I assume refer to this Des Moines Register article that claims Vilsack says he will NOT become Ag Secretary.
It seems like quite a comeback for Vilsack. He talked up Hillary Clinton every chance he could after he dropped out of the presidential race. But after she quit her run, Vilsack traveled all over the place on Obama's behalf. It seems like I saw him on the national cable networks every other day pushing Obama's candidacy.
You'll remember last week Iowa's U.S. Senator Tom Harkin complained Obama's peeps weren't consulting enough with the senate about his appointments, particularly the Ag Sec job. I wonder if that helped Vilsack's case.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Auburn's hardly full of praise for this move. I used to work near Auburn before I moved to Des Moines. Football is everything there. EVERYTHING. I realize the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry is big here. But Auburn-Alabama is waaaaay bigger. College football season doesn't just last through the fall. It's a year-round sport there. It's a big day for a guy to ask a girl to go to an Auburn football game. They get dressed up. It's like a formal. I think that's why fans are so stunned their beloved team has hired Chizik. Chizik had success there earlier this decade as the team's defensive coordinator. But even Iowa State's most devoted followers have a tough time arguing he's had much success here. So it's hard for those Tigers' fans to understand how they could hire this guy. Check out the reaction with Auburn's athletic director lands back in Alabama after working on the deal with Chizik. It ain't pretty.
And how much free time does the person who did this have?!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I don't know reporter Ryan Luby very well. But he's a fellow University of Missouri grad. So a hearty M-I-Z-Z-O-U to him. I've known meteorologist Jason Parkin for more than seven years now. He used to work at our station before he went to KCCI. He's a great guy. A really great guy. This television market and central Iowans will miss him terribly. I wish them all the best of luck. They deserve it.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
The Principal Financial Group is laying off 550 employees, 300 from the metro. It was just a few weeks ago that Senior. V.P. Mary O'Keefe was telling us repeatedly how healthy the company was, that was despite the fact Principal had requested up to $2 billion in the government and that the stock price is worth a small fraction of what it once was. Apparently, a lot has changed in a few weeks.
Gov Chet Culver is cutting $77 million (if you count money that was already approved by the state legislature for that new state office building) from state spending. Repubs must be licking their chops politically. They said last year until they were blue in the face that the dems were spending way too much money. Does this help State Auditor Dave Vaudt (who was among the loudest spending critics) as he decides whether to run for governor against Culver?
Here are the highlights from a release from the gov's office:
Freeze personnel vacancies and new temporary positions, unless approved by Department of Management (DOM), and reduce the amount of overtime.
SAVINGS: $12.6 million
Freeze out-of-state travel, unless approved by DOM, and reduce in-state travel.
SAVINGS: $1.5 million
Reduce equipment purchases, service contracts and office supplies.
SAVINGS: $5.0 million
Cuts in spending by the Regents Institutions, Judicial Branch, and Legislature.
SAVINGS: $8.9 million
Transfers made to General Fund since the last Revenue Estimating Conference meeting.
SAVINGS: $12.0 million
Request the legislature to de-appropriate funding for a new state office building.
SAVINGS: $37 million
TOTAL: $77.0 million
Plus, did you watch any of the arguments in the Iowa Supreme Court over the same sex marriage case? No decision's expected for months, at least. Will the dems at the statehouse decide to take this up beforehand? Or will they keep avoiding the issue and wait for the Court?
Monday, December 08, 2008
One quick observation...Iowa is nowhere near as green as San Fran. The recycling efforts there seem to dwarf ours here. We stopped by a restaurant on a pier. They had three containers for waste...trash, compost and recyclables. Very impressive.
Tuesday looks to be a big news day around here. A big winter storm may come our way. The Iowa Supreme Court takes up gay marriage (no decision expected for months). And Governor Chet Culver will finally tell Iowans how state departments will cut $40 mil from their budgets. The Des Moines Register has been trying for a while now to get those cuts. Culver's office had failed to turn that info over. I guess Tuesday we'll all finally get to see what these cuts are and what they will mean for everyone in the state.
I haven't understood what NBC has been doing for the past few years. It seems the network gives up on prime time shows pretty soon. Didn't "Friends", "Seinfeld" and "The Office" all struggle at first? And CBS and ABC have zoomed past the peacock in the ratings. Here's an interesting move though. It looks like the network will announce Tuesday Jay Leno will host an hour-long prime time show at 9m central time Monday through Friday. No network has ever tried something like this. NBC decided a few years back Leno would leave "The Tonight Show" so that Conan O'Brien could take over. Now it looks like we can watch both guys five nights a week. Now that's entertainment.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
We had a quite a road trip. We went to my parents in southern Illinois for the Thanksgiving holiday. I think it snowed virtually the entire drive back. But the great news...thanks to those work crews for getting expansions on Highway 63 (actually, thanks to my tax dollars, too, I suppose). But we could now bypass both Ottumwa and Fairfield. I think I saved at least a half hour of driving. Priceless.
And, who saw this coming...it looks like NBC already canned Rosie ODonnell's new show...after ONE episode! The promos about her show seemed to make fun of it before the show even started. They hardly made the show look like a winner. I have no idea why I just wrote about this. But, seriously, after ONE episode? Not that I saw it.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Did you see this out of Minnesota? And I thought it was only Senator Larry Craig who made bathroom news up there. Apparently, some Iowa Hawkeye fans got a little too fired up at the game last weekend. A security guard says he busted a man and a woman going at it in a stall in one of the bathrooms during the game. And supposedly a group of spectators were checking out the activity. But here's the best part... after their arrests, the man and woman were released...the man to his girlfriend, the woman to her husband. Those must have been some awkward conversations!
Monday, November 24, 2008
We get hundreds of emails a day at our station. Hell, I get hundreds and not just about helping my "love skills". BTW, they don't need help. So quit sending them. Anyway...I thought you might want to see some of these from time to time (about other topics, I mean). Is the email that came today about a story we did? No. Is it about a vital issue affecting our community? No. It's about wardrobes. "Rowland B" sent this in today:
I DON'T LIKE THE WAY YOUR TIES LOOK.I RECOMMEND A HALF WINDSOR.MAYBE I'M OLD FASHIONED.THIS IS ONLY SUGGESTION.
I'm pretty sure I do a half windsor. Fortunately, You Tube can help us all. Tie one on...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
98% OF AMERICANS SAY 'OH S*#T' BEFORE GOING IN THE DITCH ON A SLIPPERY ROAD.
THE OTHER 2% ARE FROM IOWA AND THEY SAY, 'HOLD MY BEER AND WATCH THIS.' Another reason I love my native state ....
Saturday, November 22, 2008
First, a reporter busts Iowa First Lady Mari Culver breaking the law and puffing away in the state-owned SUV the troopers use to drive her family. She doesn't get a ticket. A day later, she requests the ticket. She gets a ticket. Can you imagine the position the trooper has been in (providing this wasn't the First Lady's first offense)? You would assume he knew she was breaking the law. But how does he write the boss's wife a ticket?
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal makes his Iowa tour, first Cedar Rapids, then West Des Moines. He says he didn't come here for a "political speech". He probably isn't thinking about running for president either, right? He's only 37. I didn't realize he was that young.
Des Moines city leaders are considering laying off about 90 people. Their budget is short somewhere between $6 and $9 million for next year. Doesn't it seem like this happens every year? Why does the city always seem to need to make cuts and Polk County doesn't?
Have you heard this story about Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley calling out a popular public radio talk show host? Apparently, the concern is this host's infinite mind may not be thinking straight.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Apparently, Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley's not a big fan of the way another congressman does business. Real Clear Politics says Braley gave an impassioned speech to help oust Michigan Rep. John Dingell from his House Energy and Transportation Committee post.
And Congress may come back early from vacation to work on the economy. Most people believe we're in a recession, the auto industry's out of gas, the stock market's tanked, there are layoffs everywhere. Wow. What a sacrifice for Congress to come back early. It will be interesting to see the public's view of Congress' democratic leadership. Much like they do in Iowa, Democrats have the triple play, both chambers of the legislative branch and the executive branch. What will Iowans/Americans think if these party leaders can't start to make lives better?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
“The failure of the American automobile industry could jeopardize millions of jobs here at home and have a devastating impact on our already struggling economy. I support efforts to provide immediate, targeted assistance to prevent job loss, secure the pensions of long time workers, and require a restructuring of automobile companies. As global demand for more fuel efficient vehicles continues to grow, it is critical automobile manufacturers also use this opportunity to become the leaders in the development and production of these vehicles so we can create green manufacturing jobs here at home.”
“The failure of the auto industry in the country would have a tremendous ripple effect throughout the economy. There’s no question that reforms need to occur in the industry. However, with the unemployment rate now hovering around 6.5%, I don’t think we want to idly sit by. If the bailout allows for restructuring, reform and transparency, I would give it serious consideration.”
Congressman Braley is open to an auto loan plan, provided the legislation contains strict oversight provisions to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely. As you saw in his letter to leadership yesterday, Rep. Braley wants to make sure that oversight written into the last bailout package is followed through with. Likewise on an auto package.
Congressman Latham is reserving judgment until there is actual legislation to review.
“We need to stop spending billions upon billions in taxpayer money to bail out those who’ve made poor business decisions. As if the $700 billion bailout for the financial industry wasn’t bad enough, now Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are going to completely disregard what few restrictions were placed upon the use of that money, bow to the demands of the auto unions, and send a big fat check to Detroit. We have several other automakers that have set up production lines here in the US. Automakers outside the Big Three make money at their US plants because they will not agree under threat of strike to gold plated benefits packages that would be destined to break their company. In the end, this bailout will only lead us down the path of having to entertain an endless number of requests from major players in every other sector of the American economy for similar aid.”
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
No surprise here...but the party purge continues for Iowa republicans. Today, they voted out Ron Wieck as their leader in the senate. Paul McKinley takes over. McKinley said democrats took republicans' ideas in the last election and that's why they won. He said voters couldn't tell from tv commercials whether democrats running for office were democrats or republicans. He claims they ran on lowering taxes, reducing property taxes and "standard republican issues."
I asked why then did voters decide democrats would be better to carry out republicans' ideas than republicans. McKinley said republicans now just need to "enunciate clearly" on their message that appeals to Iowa voters.
He also pointed out that he feels senate republicans "did quite well given the circumstances" on election night. Repubs lost two seats overall in the senate. They now have just 18 out of 50. I believe that's the fewest ever.
Urbandale's City Manager Robert Layton looks like he's about to take on ten times the work. I wonder if he'll get ten times the pay. O.K., probably not. The Wichita Eagle newspaper says the city council there approved Layton to become that city's new city manager. Layton would oversee about ten times as many city employees and be responsible for about ten times the budget. Here's the story.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2008
Braley Urges House Leadership to Finish Naming Members of Bailout Oversight Board
Board Established by Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in October
Washington, DC – Today Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House leaders urging them to finish naming members of a congressional oversight panel charged with overseeing the implementation of the $700 billion bailout package.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA), which became law in October, established a five-member panel with oversight authority over the $700 billion package. As of today, this panel has not met and some members have yet to be named.
A copy of Braley’s letter is attached to this message. The text of the letter is below:
November 18, 2008
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Office of the Speaker
H-232, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Office of the Majority Leader
H-107, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Minority Leader John Boehner
Office of the Minority Leader
H-204, U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Minority Leader Boehner,
Thank you for your leadership throughout the 110th Congress. As you know, we are facing an economic crisis as serious as any our nation has faced during my lifetime. While this crisis started on Wall Street, it now affects Iowans and Americans from all walks of life. We are all hopeful that the recently enacted Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) will have a significant impact on the recovery of financial markets.
Just last week, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a change in course on how taxpayer funds from the EESA will be used to stabilize the economy. He stated that instead of buying troubled assets, Treasury would use the funds to invest in nonbank financial companies, and to promote consumer borrowing through credit cards, car loans, and student loans. As reported in the Washington Post on November 13, 2008, the Bush Administration has already committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package.
With all that is going on, I am concerned that all of the members have not yet been nominated to the five-member Congressional Oversight panel, as designated by Section 125 of the EESA. As you know, the EESA included language that required the release of a detailed report from the congressional panel 30 days after the bailout program began. This deadline for this initial report has since passed. Additionally, the congressional oversight panel is supposed to issue a report on January 20, 2009, giving an update on the financial regulatory process. Since a congressional panel is not yet finalized, it is unclear as to whether this deadline can be met.
I strongly believe that the American people have a right to know how their taxpayer funds are being used by the Treasury, especially in light of the recent change in course on how to revitalize the economy. It is essential that Congress conduct vigorous oversight during this process. That is why I urge you to make it a top priority to complete the assembly of a Congressional Oversight Panel as soon as possible.
Thank you again for your leadership, and thank you for your attention to this issue. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Member of Congress
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Here's the link:
Kathie Lee Gifford, don't quit your day job. It turns out that email was a joke someone sent from Brad's Obama email account. Brad isn't leaving to go work on the high seas. Oops. He's returned to work at Link Strategies in Des Moines. My bad, Brad.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Perhaps, he'll find this gig is available when he gets there.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
It's the Oprah Dude. Sam Perry is his name, I believe. He's the California guy who volunteered for Obama and then during Obama's victory speech, he found himself as Oprah's leaning post. We ran into him at the Hilton Hotel where Obama held his first news conference after the election. Oprah Dude (He's "Mr. Man" to Oprah) was sitting at the hotel bar with a woman. She apparently wasn't his wife...we made that mistake.
In case you care about his fifteen minutes of fame... He said he was standing in the crowd and a bunch of people let Oprah move her way up to the front to hear Obama's speech Tuesday night. Oprah Dude said he offered to let her move ahead of him, but she declined. Instead, she started crying and leaned on him. Then, he got to be on her show the next day. It's a rough life to be Oprah Dude.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
As I write this at 12:17am, the Statehouse still isn't decided. But it definitely won't be what Governor Culver told us earlier in the evening. He predicted the Dems would pick up 5 in the house and 5 in the senate. Nope. There was concern for a while the house would go 50-50. That doesn't look like it will happen. But it appears as I write this, the Dems will be lucky to hold their margin in the house.
The Dems still had a really big night overall. But Iowa Republicans will be able to keep their chins up a bit. A bit. But the Kool-Aid sure tasted good.
Current Iowa House: Dems 53 Repubs 47
Governor's Election Night Prediction: Dems 58 Repubs 42
Current Iowa Senate: Dems 30 Repubs 20
Governor's Election Night Prediction: Dems 35 Repubs 15
Culver doesn't sound like he will be here for the duration of the night. He said he got an invite to Obama's huge party in Chicago. The Gov said he heard there may be a million people at that party. A MILLION!
Timing was a bit of a problem last night. The rally started at 9pm and was set up to be the backdrop for television stations' 10pm live shots. The speakers went short though. Governor Chet Culver spoke only about five minutes. Who expected that? Tom Harkin spoke last. Staffers kept getting him to stretch his words, so the event wouldn't end early. It almost worked. He quit a few minutes before ten, leaving our backdrop a mostly quiet and empty stage. Supporters did try a few cheers and organizers cranked up the music. So all wasn't lost. Ah, timing:)
My wife and I voted at the church by our house around 10 this morning. It was comfortably crowded. We finished in less than ten minutes. I was voter number 453. A poll worker told us it's definitely been busy. No problems, from what I could tell. We'll have to see how the same day registration goes. At our place, they had a table set up at the left side of the room where the voting virgins could sign up.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Democrats - 234,387
Republicans - 145,118
No Party - 123,155
Other - 304
Democrats - 262,119
Republicans - 159,870
No Party - 143,627
Other - 347
Sunday, November 02, 2008
In the words of Wilson Phillips, hold on for one more day (or 2, in this case). I don't know anybody who isn't paying attention to this Presidential election. And it seems everyone wants to talk about it. At church this morning, it started after the service with the older couple behind us. Then a middle-aged couple stopped us after the service. Even the minister talked politics on our way out the door.
Are there still really some people out there who won't bother to vote? Seriously, what more do they need to get engaged? A bad economy? A war? A horribly unpopular President? An even more unpopular Congress? Oh, wait.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here are our latest numbers:
40% McCain (R)
55% Obama (D)
Asked of 658 likely & actual voters Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 3.8%
Our U.S. Senate race looks like a blowout at this point.
35% Chris Reed (R)
61% Tom Harkin (D)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Roadway Information Report
City of Des Moines
Office of Traffic and Transportation
Phone: (515) 283-4973
Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
NOTICE OF STREET CLOSING
12th Street will be closed from Locust Street to Grand Avenue at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2008 to approximately 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2008.
The North bound lane of 13th Street will be closed from Locust Street to Grand Avenue at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2008 to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2008 with both lanes closing at 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on October 31, 2008.
This closure is in preparation for the Barrack Obama Rally to be held Friday, October 31, 2008.
Local traffic will be accommodated as much as possible for the area businesses. Motorists are urged to use caution when driving in this area, and to obey all warning signs.
If there are questions, contact Traffic and Transportation, City of Des Moines, at 283-4973.
B-A-R-A-C-K will be here Friday at 11:30a.m.
Speaking of Obama... There's clearly an effort here to get people to the polls early. Obama's rally is called the "Early Vote for Change Rally with Barack Obama". Governor Chet Culver already voted early, so is Senator Tom Harkin, so is Rep. Dave Loebsack (I think it was. Maybe it was Rep. Bruce Braley).
The campaign also sent this out to supporters:
Barack is coming back to Iowa this week to rally on Friday, October 31st, because he knows how important this state is. What began in Iowa nearly two years ago has set off a chain reaction -- and now all across the country, something is stirring. You see it in the thousands of people who are casting early votes for change in Iowa and across the country. But time is running out for you to be part of it. The last day of Early Vote is coming up quickly, and this Saturday there are extended hours at your local county auditor's office.
Then, there's this:
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here's the link:
Decide for yourself.
We'll have to see if either half of the McPalin ticket will return. McCain has been to Iowa four times in the last five weeks or so.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Here's the poll:
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Total - 2,134,334
D - 733,478
R - 623,455
O - 847
Total Sent: 393,462
Dem - 188,749
Rep - 110,914
No Party - 93,572
Other (Green and Libertarian) - 227
Total Recieved: 255,884
Dem - 130,220
Rep - 72,105
No Party - 53,401
Other (Green and Libertarian) - 158
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
(photo courtesy: time.com)
Friday, October 17, 2008
Here's another example of how YouTube is part of the Decision 2008. It's supposed to be for "swing voters". It seems like there are more of these types of videos supporting Obama, rather than McCain. Does anyone know of some good ones for McCain?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The poll also found McCain could be in big trouble unless his latest message of "I'm a fighter" works really, really well. About four in five people surveyed think Obama will win the election. McCain sure needs some kind of fight these final three weeks.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Joe is a beer reporter in Pennsylvania. Of course, he is. Here's his website.
Cheers! And three cheers for my St. Louis Rams, who finally won a ball game. They should have fired their head coach long ago...look at the results!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The campaign also made another push to get Iowans to vote early. Here's another email to supporters:
Iowa Voter Registration Deadline is October 24th Click here to register to vote. Our right to vote is one of the most important responsibilities we have as citizens of this great country. While many people might take this right for granted, much has been sacrificed for our democracy and it's up to us to exercise the right to vote. The first step is to make sure you're registered to vote. Please visit this page right now and mail in your application before October 24th. If you're not going to be home on Election Day, please don't forget to request an absentee ballot by visiting this page. It's easy: Visit this page and print out your application.
Mail it to the address listed on the website before October 24th. Vote on November 4th. If you're not going to be home on November 4th, request an absentee ballot here.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
It's just Al Gore this year, along with state democrats trying to get a little face time before the election. I'll be curious what kind of crowd it draws.
I doubt we'll get this kind of excitement though:)
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Why does Biden keep smiling like that from ear to ear when Palin is ripping on him?
Palin looked nervous to me when the debate began. Although, that seemed to disappear. She rarely engages Biden. Biden talks to the moderator. Palin talks to the camera. Perhaps, her time as a tv reporter pays off in this situation.
Palin is now praising Biden and his family (his son is serving in the National Guard) but she isn't even looking at him. She keeps looking ahead into the camera.
Palin is borrowing a George W Bush line: nuc-u-lar. She said it that way at least three times.
Biden will not say Sarah Palin. Well, he said it once and then right away corrected himself and said Governor Palin.
Biden seems to be holding back. This isn't the guy I remember covering so often before the caucus. He's stumbled a handful of times and almost sounds like he's whispering at times. Will he show the passion his supporters love?
Palin said she would disagree with McCain on ANWAR. In fact, she said it while winking at the camera. Biden said he would agree on every major plan of Obama. He didn't name any disagreement he would have.
Second Palin wink. This one was for her dad in the audience, she said, right after she broke out her first "doggoneit".
Palin had made the audience laugh at least twice so far, none for Biden that I remember. Does it matter? It might at least show Palin is feeling comfortable on stage.
Palin completely misunderstood the question on what her "achilles heel" would be, unless she is intentionally not answering it by giving her strengths instead. The moderator didn't call her out on it.
Biden started to choke up talking about how he knows what it's like to be a single dad.
He is now finally getting fired up a bit saying McCain voted with Bush 4 out of 5 times on the budget and skyrocketed the deficit.
My English teachers would have gone crazy to hear Palin say "have got" so many times.
O.K., that's it. It's over. Speaking of my English teachers, get out your red Sharpie pens and grade the candidates. What do you grade them for their performance tonight?
Will Palin stick to the talking points and the lines like she uses on the campaign trail in that folksy style? Will she avoid getting stumped like it seems she did numerous times by Katie Couric's interview? How will Biden strike the balance of the fiery guy his supporters love and the guy who can go on too long and get too fired up for his on good, especially on tv.
I'm not sure if this is a sign of organization or what...but I was checking through my emails this morning. Both prez campaigns sent out notices they'll be holding "debate watch" parties tonight. McCain's campaign holds two, one in Urbandale, one in Council Bluffs. Obama's is holding about 36, if my count is correct.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday night, McCain's advance team had scoped out WHO-TV's newsroom. The campaign wanted to do satellite interviews with other local tv stations across the country from our station. They had to check it all to make sure it worked for what they want. They showed up around 7pm and wanted answers now. Normally, we get far more advance of a request. Not this time.
Back to today...after McCain shook hands and smiled for a few minutes at the airport, they hurried him to his waiting entourage of vehicles. We were ushed to the press van (number 4, I believe). We were no longer headed to our station for those satellite interviews. I could tell as we turned right out of the airport parking lot, instead of the left turn that would have brought me back to my work. I learned we were off to West Des Moines. McCain was doing a "statement" there at his hotel to address the collapse of the bailout deal. I wondered what he would say.
After all, he had suspended his campaign last week and threatened to cancel his debate appearance if Congress didn't reach agreement. Now the deal had fallen through after leaders predicted it would pass. Inside the Marriott's Concourse B, McCain walked out to a room full of reporters and cameras. He didn't greet anyone. He just went to the podium. He used words like "crisis" and "grave". He blamed Obama and his democratic allies. Then he said we shouldn't "fix the blame". Three minutes and four seconds later, he was finished. He walked off. No answers for reporters.
The campaign rushed him off to WHO-TV for those satellite interviews. It's my understand the campaign canceled the interviews earlier in the day and then re-scheduled them. Chaos inside my station. We headed back to press van #4 in the parking lot of McCain's hotel. Press van #3 was no longer in the procession back my station as the secret service agent sitting in the van with us had not so politely pointed out to van's driver, Larry, a volunteer from West Des Moines who gave up two days for the campaign. The agent yelled at Larry to follow the van ahead of us. Our van wouldn't move. The agent yelled louder and longer. Our van still wouldn't move, despite Larry's best efforts. The agent yelled again. Larry implored her that it was the parking brake that was stuck. The van wouldn't move. We emptied out into another van. The agent yelled at Larry to hurry up and catch the procession. She yelled again as he slowed for the red light that would have stopped us outside the hotel. He kept going. The agent angrily asked if anyone knew how to get us to the station, since we had lost the procession. I reminded her I worked there. So I knew how to get there. She stopped yelling. Larry got us there safely (and quickly, I might add. No need for following the speed limit with a secret service agent yelling at you in the passenger seat beside you). I wonder if Larry will be back in the van Tuesday. I wonder if he even wants to be back. Good thing he really likes John McCain.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
O.K., grab your red sharpie and tell us who won...Obama or McCain? Give them each a grade...A,B,C,D or F.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
To address our current financial crisis, John McCain suspended his campaign and returned to Washington, D.C., today to help build a bipartisan consensus for a proposal that would protect the American taxpayer.
Despite today's news reports, there never existed a "deal," but merely a proposal offered by a small, select group of Members of Congress. As of right now, there exists only a series of principles, including greater oversight and measures to address CEO pay. However, these principles do not enjoy a consensus in Congress.
At today's cabinet meeting, John McCain did not attack any proposal or endorse any plan. John McCain simply urged that for any proposal to enjoy the confidence of the American people, stressing that all sides would have to cooperate and build a bipartisan consensus for a solution that protects taxpayers.
However, the Democrats allowed Senator Obama to run their side of the meeting. That did not work as the meeting quickly devolved into a contentious shouting match that did not seek to craft a bipartisan solution.
At this moment, the plan that has been put forth by the Administration does not enjoy the confidence of the American people as it will not protect the taxpayers and will sacrifice Main Street in favor of Wall Street.
The bottom line is that as of tonight, there are not enough Republican or Democrat votes for the current plan. However, we are still optimistic that a bipartisan solution will be found. Republicans and Democrats want a deal that will protect the taxpayers.
Tomorrow, John McCain will return to Capitol Hill where he will work with all sides to build a bipartisan solution that protects taxpayers and keeps Americans in their homes.
2. to attach so as to allow free movement: to suspend a door on a hinge.
3. to keep from falling, sinking, forming a deposit, etc., as if by hanging: to suspend solid particles in a liquid.
4. to hold or keep undetermined; refrain from forming or concluding definitely: to suspend one's judgment.
5. to defer or postpone: to suspend sentence on a convicted person.
6. to cause to cease or bring to a stop or stay, usually for a time: to suspend payment.
7. to cause to cease for a time from operation or effect, as a law, rule, privilege, service, or the like: to suspend ferry service.
8. to debar, usually for a limited time, from the exercise of an office or function or the enjoyment of a privilege: The student was suspended from school.
9. to keep in a mood or feeling of expectation or incompleteness; keep waiting in suspense: Finish the story; don't suspend us in midair.
10. Music. to prolong (a note or tone) into the next chord. –verb (used without object)
11. to come to a stop, usually temporarily; cease from operation for a time.
12. to stop payment; be unable to meet financial obligations.
13. to hang or be suspended, as from another object: The chandelier suspends from the ceiling. 14. to be suspended, as in a liquid, gas, etc.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
For as long as I've worked in Des Moines (since 2001), I would normally get an email from the governor's office (it started with Tom Vilsack) on Friday that would lay out the governor's public appearances for the coming week. Culver's office doesn't do that, especially this year. Most times, we will only get notice the day before, if not, that same day. That makes planning news coverage especially difficult. Let's hope Phil brings some form to this process, which will help us all...the media, and the viewers, listeners and readers who depend on information about their government and their government's leaders.
IowaPolitics.com has Phil's background.
Troy Price (no relation) has been doing it all in the office for the past few months. He now settles in as Culver's Press Secretary.