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.