Thursday, December 30, 2010

2012 Campaign promise, Gooey butter cakes

Daddy, I like to read!

2012: Before Christmas, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs asked for questions on Twitter. So I sent one in. Here was my question:

Will the president campaign in 2012 on ending the tax cuts for wealthier Americans? Or has he changed his mind for good on this?

Here was his reply:

Yes, POTUS will campaign against extending tax cuts for wealthy past 2012 - we can't afford it @idaveprice

Two things stood out in the reply to me. One, the prez will now have to push for raising taxes in an election year, according to this response. Of course, he was proposing that when he campaigned for the office the first time. But secondly, did Gibbs just admit the prez is running for re-election? I mean, it's not like most people don't think Obama wants a 2nd term. But still...

Gooey Goodness: Have you ever heard of gooey butter cake? It's butter, sugar, more sugar, more sugar, etc. And it's awesome. Incredibly sweet, but awesome. I think it might be a St. Louis thing. My mom makes a great one. Apparently, two local bakeries in St. Louis will bake-off against each other in a gooey butter cake contest on the Food Network's "Food Feuds" tonight at 9pm central. Yum.

(Photo courtesy: St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

The Holidays

Catching Up: Hi, it's been a while since I blogged. Two trips for our two families in two time zones brought chaos but a lot of welcome time with loved ones the past few weeks. The highlights:

Watching the grandparents loving all over Hayden. I didn't realize my old, crusty Dad could melt the way he does when Hayden smiles at him. Awesome.
White Christmases are nice. But there's something to be said for sunny and 70 in Tampa on Christmas Day!
Delta overbooked our flight, had mechanical problems with our second plane, lost our luggage on the return flight and then broke the handle on our suitcase. We did get 800 bucks worth of future flights for agreeing to get bumped off our flight, though.
My streak is over. I wish I could remember how many years it has been since I, well, you know, got sick (black and white cookie, anyone?). But it hit me Christmas night with a crowded room of guests at my in-laws' house. Not good timing. Of course, getting sick never is. Time to start a new streak. And a new year. Have a great year ahead, everyone!

Look to the cookie!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Iowa Supreme Court Justices Lawsuit

Separate Semantics: Remember when former prez Bill Clinton taught us the definition of the word "is"? He claimed at the time, "It means that there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship."

We later learned technically that was true since the sex stuff with Monica Lewinsky wasn't still going on at the time of his statement, hence, his use of "is" (I'm not sure when I last used the word "hence" in a post).

I was reminded of that covering the court hearing at the Polk County Courthouse today. It had nothing to do with sex but it has been a juicy affair this past year. Three attorneys were suing to try to, at least temporarily, keep those 3 ousted Iowa Supreme Court justices on the bench past the time their terms are set to expire December 31st. It turns out the justices decided they didn't want the attorneys fighting on their behalf. Well, at least they decided from a professional standpoint. We don't necessarily know if they believe that on a personal standpoint. So, upon learning that, the attorneys dropped that part of their lawsuit. They say they still plan on moving ahead with the other part. That's the claim voters illegally kicked out the justices. The fight comes down to the meaning of the word, "separate". There seem to be two issues at odds here: the Iowa Constitution and a law passed by the legislature.

The attorneys cite this in the constitution:

Iowa Constitution, Article V, Section 17

“They shall at such judicial election stand for retention in office on a separate ballot…”
However, they also point out lawmakers later passed this:

Iowa Code 46.21
“The names of all judges and clerks to be voted on shall be placed upon one ballot…”
So, does separate mean Iowans should vote on politicians on one part of the ballot and the judicial retention on a different part? Or does it mean Iowans should have to use 2 different ballots? This whole justice fight ain't over, friends. Although, one attorney, John Roehrick, at the hearing did tell me this means the 2010 fight is likely over. He's focusing now on getting resolution before the 2012 retention vote.

Des Moines Drops as Best City for Business

Dropping Des Moines: I doubt we will see this one on a news release in Iowa: Des Moines is no longer ranked as the best place in the U.S. to do business. Blame the unemployed, apparently, according to the MarketWatch story. Too many more Iowans in the metro lost their jobs. So Des Moines fell from the best place to the 4th best place. "We are number 4!"...that chant doesn't quite have the same sound to it, does it? The best city, in case you were wondering, is Washington, D.C. Can you say stimulus?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Iowa Supreme Court Justices

Judgement Day: It looks like all that commotion about which governor gets to pick the 3 replacements for the Iowa Supreme Court could be all but over. Outgoing Governor Chet Culver said he would pick the replacements if the State Judicial Nominating Commission sent him the list of finalists before he leaves office. Incoming Governor Terry Branstad maintained voters not only kicked out the 3 justices in November, they also voted out Culver. So this isn't Culver's call to make on the replacements.

Based on this news release from the court today, it doesn't seem like there is an issue any longer. Check out the dates. I will put them in bold. But I think the key date here is January 14th. That, by the way, is the day Branstad takes office.

Judicial Nominating Commission Begins Process for Selecting Nominees for Supreme Court

Des Moines, December 13, 2010— The State Judicial Nominating Commission, which is responsible for selecting nominees for appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court, announced today it will begin accepting applications for the vacancies that will occur when the terms of Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Justice Michael Streit and Justice David Baker end on December 31. The Commission has sixty days to send a slate of nominees to the Governor, who makes appointments to the court.

The deadline for applications is January 14, 2011. Any citizen may submit in writing to the secretary of the commission, or to any commissioner, the names of persons for consideration as a candidate for nomination and express views concerning such candidate. Once the application time has run, the Commission will release the names of all applicants along with information about each applicant's background, experience, and qualifications. This list and other information about the nominating commission and Iowa's merit selection process will be available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website:

The Commission plans to meet the week of January 24, 2011, to interview applicants and select a slate of nominees. The meeting schedule and location are yet to be determined. However, in light of heightened public interest in judicial appointments, the Commission plans to open the interview portion of the meeting to Iowans throughout the state by streaming the interviews on the Internet.

The 15-member commission is composed of a chair, who is the senior justice of the supreme court other than the chief justice, seven lawyer commissioners elected by lawyers licensed to practice law in Iowa and seven non-lawyer commissioners appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. With the exception of the commission chair, membership on the commission is limited to one six-year term. Terms are staggered. The Iowa Constitution requires that commission members be chosen without regard to political affiliation.

Iowa's process for selecting judges through the use of nominating commissions is known as merit selection. Iowa voters approved the merit selection process in 1962 by constitutional amendment. Merit selection is designed to emphasize the professional qualifications of applicants for judicial appointment and minimize partisan politics. In keeping with this design, the Commission put applicants for judicial office through a rigorous and thorough screening by reviewing extensive information about each applicant's background, education, professional skills, and experience. After the interviews, the commission sends the governor a slate of nominees. Iowa law requires nominees to be chosen "upon the basis of their qualifications and without regard to political affiliation." The governor is required to pick the new justices from this slate.

Important Notice to Applicants: To be eligible for appointment to the court, a person must be a resident of the state, licensed to practice law in Iowa, and must be of such age that they will be able to serve an initial and one regular term of office before reaching the age of 72. To be most favorably considered for balloting, an applicant must file a letter of intent to file an application with the secretary of the commission by January 10, 2011. In addition, an applicant must submit completed application forms to the commission on or before January 14, 2011.

Hawkeye Football Announcement

Hawkeye Drama: Is this the rest of the story or just part of it? Plenty of rumors flying around about what's going on with the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team. The athletic department just released this, saying more comments come tomorrow. Stay tuned.


IOWA CITY, IA – Sophomore running back Jewel Hampton has decided to leave the University of Iowa. And, sophomore running back Adam Robinson will not be part of the Hawkeye team that makes the trip to Arizona for the Insight Bowl. The announcement was made today by Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz.

“Jewel Hampton has decided to leave the team and plans to transfer to another school to complete his degree and finish his career. We wish him the best of success in the future,” said Ferentz.

“While Adam has been cleared medically, he will not be participating in the upcoming Insight Bowl game as a result of failing to comply with team expectations and policies. Adam will have the option to rejoin the team when classes resume in January.”

Hampton, a 5-9, 210-pounder from Indianapolis, IN, has been plagued by injury problems during his three years at Iowa. He has rushed for 577 yards and scored eight touchdowns as a Hawkeye. He was injured in the Arizona game earlier this season and was lost for the season following surgery.

Robinson, a 5-9, 205-pound back from Des Moines, IA, led the team in rushing with 941 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

EDITOR’S NOTE – There will be no additional comments tonight regarding this release. Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz and Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta will hold a press conference tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 10 a.m. to answer questions. The press conference will be held in the Player’s Auditorium of the Hayden Fry football complex.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thune, Pawlenty

Won't you be our neighbor?

Neighbor vs. Neighbor: The Politico has an interesting read about a potential battle of next-door neighbors in the Iowa caucuses. It's JT vs. TPaw...South Dakota's John Thune vs. Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty. Both lack much name-recognition in Iowa. TPaw has put together a staff, so, at this point, he looks more serious about running. He will also be back next month speaking to the Waukee Chamber of Commerce and promoting his book. I don't know of anything Thune is doing here any time soon. In a race that could feature names like Romney, Huckabee, Palin and Gingrich, it's hard to see how Thune or Pawlenty could go very far without a top 3 finish in the caucuses, don't you think?

Here's the release I got about the visit.

WAUKEE, IOWA – The Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce announced today that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner & Meeting.

2011 Chamber President Rod West said, “The Annual Dinner & Meeting’s purpose is to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and convey to our membership the organization’s goals for the coming year. We will also recognize our outgoing President & Board members and announce the 2010 Member of the Year and the 2010 Ambassador of the Year.”

The Board of Directors and membership is very excited to have Governor Pawlenty as the dinner keynote. Newly elected Dallas County Recorder, and outgoing Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Chad Airhart said, “We are thrilled to have Governor Pawlenty as our keynote speaker. Though he is from Minnesota, he could very well be an Iowan. Like many Iowans, he believes like we do; in a hard days work, earning your keep, faith, family, community, the family business and family farm. He is a man that has led by example, by understanding his values and staying true to them. Our membership will be very welcoming to Governor Pawlenty, and very encouraged by his message.”

“I’m excited to visit Dallas County, and speak to one of the fastest growing Chambers of Commerce in the State of Iowa,” said Governor Pawlenty. “The Waukee Area Chamber is more than an organization representing the business interests of their community; they are giving back in many other ways to make Waukee and Dallas County a better place to live, work and play. I look forward to celebrating their many accomplishments at the Annual Dinner & Meeting.”

Governor Pawlenty’s forthcoming book Courage to Stand will be released on January 11th. The book takes readers all the way back to the lessons Pawlenty learned as a boy in the gritty meatpacking town of South St. Paul. From the devastating early death of his mother to the struggle to work his way through college and law school and his epic political battles as Governor, Pawlenty opens up about his deepest beliefs and shares his vision for a better America. Pawlenty will have copies of Courage to Stand available for purchase and signing following the dinner.

The Chamber’s 2010 Annual Dinner & Meeting will be held Sunday evening January 30th, at the West Des Moines Marriott. Reception & Networking at 5 pm; Dinner & Program at 6 pm. More information on the Annual Meeting & Dinner is available on by calling 515-978-7115 or emailing

Iowa Department Directors

Who's Left?: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has been announcing a bunch of his picks to head state agencies once he takes over Terrace Hill. He still has some to go, though. And I'm curious which people he picks to fill them.

What about Christian Fong? He was a Republican candidate for governor for a short time and now heads the Iowa Dream Project. He may have a political future ahead of him. Is there a place for him?

Who will head the Department of Education? Outgoing Governor Chet Culver has let that stay empty for months. This would be a chance to overhaul the state's education system if that's what Branstad wants to do.

What about the Department of Public Safety? Does current commish Gene Meyer get to stick around? Will Branstad work to put more troopers back on the roads?

How about the Department of Natural Resources? Seems like an interesting pick to see how a pro-business Republican would fill the position for the head of an agency that watches the environment.

There are some others, too. But here's what really makes me curious: will Branstad put some prominent Democrats in any prominent positions?

Will outgoing Secretary of State Michael Mauro, a Democrat, get a job somewhere in the administration? He's highly-respected from lawmakers in both parties. But voters booted him out this November. So what job could he do?

Will some other Democrat get a spot? How about outgoing Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge? She's a former lawmaker, nurse, and Secretary of Agriculture. She would be an intriguing pick in this ultra-political world, wouldn't she?

What about this one: Mike Gronstal? Now, that would be a fun choice, wouldn't it? Gronstal seems to have all the power at the statehouse this coming year as the Democrats' leader in the senate. With Republicans taking over the gov's mansion and the house, the senate is the only chamber the Dems will control. As the leader, Gronstal can block a vote from getting to the floor on same-sex marriage and most anything else he wants. So, it would be fascinating if Branstad offered Gronstal a great job somewhere, not some b.s. token offer, but a real position that would tempt Gronstal to give up the senate. I wonder what kind of job that could even be. Is there such a job anywhere in state government? Well, besides the governor's job, of course.

Dome Collapses

This was my view out of our front door this morning.

And here's my obstacle as I tried to open the door.

Stop the Snow: We only had about four inches or so of snow at my house. But it sure was nasty this weekend, so it felt like much more. The winds were terrible. They took your breath away and pelted you with those snow/ice pellets just to add insult to injury.
Dome Down: The video of what happened to the dome in Minneapolis is amazing. It seems like they are blaming the wind, more than the nearly foot-and-a-half of snow that fell. I've been there twice. We saw Mark McGwire play for the Cardinals against the Twins there in '98. Not much of a baseball stadium. But we did get to see him homer, so that was cool. Doesn't quite mean as much now that we know he was a cheat. A few years ago, we saw the Tampa Bay Bucs play the Vikings there. Seems like a much better place for football.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Clinton and Obama, Huckabee's New House

Behold, Bubba: I just happened to be flipping through the channels Friday when I saw quite a sight: President Barack Obama standing next to former President Bill Clinton in the White House briefing room. The current prez got the former prez to talk about that tax cut compromise that some Dems have been so ticked off about. Obama gave a few remarks and then said Clinton would talk a few minutes. Yeah, right. Clinton talked and talked and talked. He sure seemed to love talking back and forth with the national reporters. He talked so long, Obama excused himself and left. Will this do any good? Will Clinton's support ease concerns of Dems and convince them to back the deal? Dems don't like the big tax breaks for the rich, both in income and estate taxes. Clinton's point was that, if you look at the entire compromise package, it's as good as it can get. We should know soon if he changed any minds on this.

Huck's Hut: Mike Huckabee changed his residency to Florida. Now, he bought a nearly $3 million pad near Desdin. That's a long way from Little Rock. But what does it all mean? Huck is now making some good money giving speeches, doing radio commentary and working for Fox news. Florida doesn't have state income taxes. So moving there could save him some money. Does it mean he doesn't want to run for president and he's thinking of his financial future instead? On the other hand, Florida is one of those big, "purple" states that gets and gives a lot of attention to the presidential candidates. Hmmm....

Snowy Saturday: The snow has been falling in Des Moines this Saturday morning. It's our first of the year. I guess it had to happen sometime. Now, if, somehow, the below zero temps could stay away this weekend. Doubt it will happen.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Branstad Calls Grontstal "Dictator"

Name-Calling: Governor-Elect Terry Branstad said Iowans should have the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. Branstad offered the same stance during the campaign, but he wouldn't say how he would vote on the matter. He still isn't saying. But he did have something to say about the man blocking a vote on the issue in the state senate, Democratic Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. Branstad said, "Just because you're a leader in the legislature, doesn't mean you are a dictator or you have the right to make unilateral decisions. And I think on an issue of this importance and magnitude, certainly, the senators should be given the opportunity to vote on it, as well as the representatives."

Branstad said a public vote would help restore public support in the judicial system. Gronstal has said repeatedly he considers same-sex marriage a civil rights issue and has no plans to bring up a possible constitutional amendment during the coming legislation session.

Budget Projections

Budging the Budget: There's not much that makes me feel less smart than covering a meeting of the Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference. It's numbers, numbers, numbers...not exactly why journalists get into the business. But it seems (at least from what I thought I understood) that Iowa's economy continues to make baby steps of progress. Holly Lyons, the Director of the Legislative Services Agency, said the auto, construction and home industries are picking up. The tax receipts were encouraging enough that the REC bumped up its projections from October by $34 million for the current fiscal year and $85 million the following year. Not time to dance in the streets, but it seems like it's at least a move in the right direction. One thing that floored me was this...Lyons said the country hit its jobs peak in December of 07 and its jobs low in December of 09 (what's with the month of December?). She said at this rate of growth, it would take 7 years to recover all the job losses since 07. Wow.

The REC didn't take into account the impact on state revenue if Congress extends the "Bush tax cuts". Iowans deduct their federal taxes on their state taxes. Lowering federal taxes would mean an additional $147 million in state revenue. That could lessen the pain even more in the future.

However, Lyons pointed out two factors possibly working against a continued economic recovery (definitely a small "r" in that word recovery, huh?): the European money crisis and the political unrest between North and South Korea.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Cut Taxes or Cut the Deficit?

Congress' Conundrum: Cut taxes or cut the deficit? Is this an "either or" situation? Republicans want to cut the deficit. At least they say they do this time. They failed to stop the deficits from going up for the 20 years Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush served as president. But they say they do want to do it now. Is it because they don't control the White House this time or is it because they have come to terms with the fact that this skyrocketing national debt of ours threatens to completely screw over our children and grandchildren? Democrats have also started to say they want to cut the deficit. They did it the last time a Democrat ruled the White House (Bill Clinton). I do seem to remember Democrats railing on tax cuts on the campaign trail. But that apparently was just the campaign talk at the time. It seems now like the majority of Congress wants to extend tax cuts (Bush 43's) to some degree. The question is who keeps the cuts? People who make less than $200,000 a year (is that rich to you or just a nice living?)? People who make less than $1 million a year? Or should everyone get the tax cut?

Republicans say they can't raise taxes on higher-earners because some of those people (3% according to the Joint Committee on Taxation) are also small business-owners. And if they raise taxes on them, then those people can't hire workers. Here's what I would like to know: These people have enjoyed the tax cuts since 2001 and 2003 (when Congress passed Bush's tax cuts). So shouldn't our unemployment be a lot lower since they were getting those cuts all this time? Is there proof things would get worse if they saw their tax cuts end now? Let's see proof, not rhetoric, please.

Can't Congress do both? Isn't it possible to start working on that ridiculous deficit AND cut taxes, at least for some people? If you believe raising taxes during a recession (or in this case, right after a recession) isn't a good idea for the economy, then can't Congress cut out the political crap and compromise on something that will help people right now? Seriously. How hard is that?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sarah Palin in Iowa

The Day the Music Died: The Big Bopper died in Iowa. That's supposed to be the day the music died. But Sarah Palin's music apparently died here, too. During a book-signing tour in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Palin asked if a CNN reporter turned off her music so he could ask her a question. He denied it. He did manage to get her to answer a question. That's not easy unless you work for FOX news. Here's the exchange:

Bush Tax Cuts,What Is Rich?, Ron Santo Dies

Cut the Cuts: CNN has a new poll out that shows people may be changing their minds about those "Bush tax cuts". More than half of the people polled say people making more than $250,000 should no longer get the tax cut. I think for some people this comes down to how much money do you have to make a year to be "rich". Is it $100,000? Is it $250,000? Is it $1 million? Is it $5 million? What's the magic number for you to consider yourself rich? Or does it depend if it's the other guy we're talking about?:) For me, I think my figure would be $500,000 Yeah, that's a lot of money. So, is $250,000. I guess I think you are "well-off", if you are under half a mill. But you are rich, if you make more than that. Ask me again, when I make that much money!

Ron Santo: I'm a life-long St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. But Ron Santo deserved to see his beloved Chicago Cubs win a World Series. He played for them. He announced their games forever. And, unfortunately, he battled health issues for decades. Through it all, you never failed to hear his passion for the team and the club he loved so much. I have no idea how he managed to get the strength to keep going all these years with all he battled. But he did. And he deserved some joy from that team, instead of all those years of heartache. I hope he gets to see a winner upstairs.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Economy Improving, Cowans Perform Again

Getting Better: Here's another story that seems to offer some numbers that our lives should be getting better. The Iowa Business Council predicts more spending and more hiring in the 4th quarter. So, when are we going to start feeling that the economy IS improving and the doom and gloom will start to lift? Most people I know don't seem to be overflowing with optimism these days.

Feeling Lazy Now: Marlow and Frances Cowan of Ankeny, Iowa, on paper should we wayyyy too old to be doing what they do. The Iowa couple, married more than 60 years, is already one of the (if not THE) most popular internet sensation in this state. The Cowans performed today at the Gateway Center Hotel to show off their never-ending talents and bring some smiles. Here's part of their performance.

They also have 7 million+ hits on YouTube from a previous performance. 7 million! Here's their classic show at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Iowa State Student with Bacterial Meningitis

In the Hospital: An Iowa State student is hospitalized with bacterial meningitis. Here are the details according to the ISU news service. I remember when students got sick when I was going to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. My dad freaked out after seeing something on the news about it. Mom and Dad lived about 35 minutes away. But he made me meet him to go see the doc, all because I had a cold at the time. The Centers for Disease Control on its website says that antibiotics can reduce your chance of dying from it to under 15%. Wow! I had no idea. I knew it could be fatal, but I had no idea the odds were so tough against you. Maybe my Dad wasn't so crazy after all.

Romney on Leno

Mitt TV: Mitt Romney is scheduled for some gab time with Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" Wednesday night (although right now, he would get before more eye balls if he sat down with the trio of hosts on ABC's "Nightline", but that's another story). How coy will Romney be? Come on. He is running, isn't he? What would have to happen for him NOT to run? He seems to be trying to figure out HOW to run. He spent a gazillion dollars to try to win the Iowa Caucuses in 2008, but he still couldn't catch Mike Huckabee's campaign on a shoe-string budget (what is a shoe-string, any way?). So will he go slowly in Iowa, if at all, for a while this time around. Maybe even skip the Republican Party of Iowa's Straw Poll next August? And then just shoot for a top 3 finish in Iowa? Would that be good enough to give him the big mo into New Hampshire? Romney, instead of trying to play on his economic/money management credentials in 08, tried (arguably unsuccessfully) to play to the social conservatives in Iowa. That was a tough sell for some since he came from a state with same-sex marriages. In light of the Tea Party movement and the ever-escalating federal debt, will he focus more on finances this time and concentrate less on Iowa and more on other states?

Unemployment Out: What should we do with people who can't/have been able/haven't tried to get a job (I tried to include everyone for every reason) and will now lose their unemployment? Some economists believe cutting off their unemployment will only hurt the economy. While some Republicans don't want to add to the deficit with the cost of the unemployment extension? The Iowa Workforce Development estimates about 2,000 Iowans will lose their benefits each week. What's the right thing to do? Surely, there are some people who just haven't been able to get a job. And, yes, there are those people who just haven't bothered to really try to get a job. Should we help any of them by extending unemployment for a limited time? Tell them all they are now on their own? What's the right thing to do?

Here's what outgoing Governor Chet Culver had to say about it in a statement:

“Today, emergency unemployment insurance benefits expire, leaving millions of Americans without a key lifeline to help them keep food on the table and make ends meet while they fight to find a job.

“I am urging the members of Iowa’s congressional delegation to do everything they can to extend unemployment benefits and assist our Iowa families.

“In December alone, at least 10,000 Iowans and more than two million Americans will lose this aid, and if we don’t act, almost seven million people total, will lose coverage over the next year. Allowing these benefits to expire will mean many Iowans will lose the ability to buy the basics as they look for work. Extending support to those hardest hit by the economic crisis is not just the right thing to do, it’s the right economic policy. Letting millions more workers suffer hardship will hurt our economy at a critical point in the recovery.”