October 31, 2006
October 30, 2006
Listed below are a few of the endorsements for Iowa governor from papers scattered across the Hawkeye state. In the interest of time they were pulled from the websites of the two candidates. I would like to note however, that the Nussle endorsements come primarily from the small Iowa based news organizations while Culver has attracted the nod of the large national corporations of Gannett and Lee.
For Jim Nussle
Cedar Rapids Gazette............Gazette Communications/Cedar Rapids Ia.
Soiux City Journal.........................Lee Enterprises/ Davenport Ia.
Dubuque Herald Telegraph.........Woodward Publications/ Dubuque Ia.
Fort Dodge Messenger.................Independent/ Fort Dodge Ia.
Esterville Daily News...................-------------/ Esterville Ia.
For Chet Culver
DesMoines Register......................Gannett Corp./ McClain, VA.
Mason City Globe Gazette...........Lee Enterprises/Davenport Ia.
Quad City Times...........................Lee Enterprises/ Davenport Ia.
Iowa City Press Citizen................Gannett Corp/ McClain Va.
NAA listing of US publications and corporations HERE
October 28, 2006
Ask The Aussie Imam
Islamic Advice from Imam Yahu al-Zirius Spiritual Leader, Fostaz al-Vegimita MosqueLakembabongabinga, Sydney, NSW
Check it out.
For those unfamiliar with the Touchplay controversy, here is a quick Touchplay primer.
Gambling interests convinced that legislature that they had an electronic equivalent to the scratch-off games that are found in stores throughout the state. The legislature approved the use of the machines and private interests invested in these machines that went into bars, convenience stores, and the like. For the investors they had hit the motherlode, the equivalent of printing money.
For the person like me standing in line at the local Handimart for 10 minutes with a half rack of beer and a bag of chips, while candidates for gamblers anonymous haggled with the clerk for their winnings and bells were ringing like the Vegas Strip, the machines were a major nuisance.
The legislature decided that the machines were basically slot machines and they pulled the permits from the operators. Peace returned to the beer shop, but there was hell to pay in DesMoines as the operators were left holding the bag on their investments and threats of lawsuits filled the air. What raised my hackles. besides the delay in beer purchases, was the argument that thier buiness' could not now survive without Touchplay.
Which brings us back to the Nussle accusation. In the first debate when asked about their stance on Touchplay Nussle was emphatic that he thought they were inappropriate in spite of the loss of revenue that trickled in to state coffers. Culver's answer on the other hand was somewhat oblique. He said, "As governor I want to work to protect the interests of all business". The answer struck me as odd then and nefarious now.
The Des Moines Register has raised several questions about Culvers involvement with the Touchplay lobby.
By DAVID YEPSEN,
REGISTER POLITICAL COLUMNIST
October 26, 2006
Democrat Chet Culver's mishandling of the TouchPlay issue is bringing back some old questions:Is he smart enough to be a good governor? And do we want to restore TouchPlay gambling or pay off the businesses who lost money when the state shut down the machines?Those are just the sort of issues Culver doesn't need right before a close election. But they're out there, thanks to the way he's dealt with them.Here's his problem: During the Democratic primary campaign, Culver first said he wouldn't have signed a ban on TouchPlay gambling in Iowa. He said he was worried about the hit to state revenues - and to the merchants and bar owners who invested in the machines.Then, during the recent Brown-Black Forum, he wouldn't say whether it should be brought back. Later, he clearly told reporters the machines shouldn't be returned. But then we find out he and Democratic legislative leaders have accepted tens of thousands of dollars from TouchPlay gambling interests.So if they're not bringing back TouchPlay, what's up? Maybe the TouchPlay folks think they'll get a sweeter legal settlement out of Culver than Nussle.(After the governor and lawmakers shut down the devices earlier this year, the machine operators sued. They contend the state enticed them to buy these devices but then shafted them by shutting down such gambling. Depending on how the courts rule, it's quite possible the next governor and next Legislature will have to agree to pay some legal judgments.)Nussle said Tuesday: "Let me be clear. As governor, I will not cut a deal on an out-of-court settlement with TouchPlay special interests and further put Iowa taxpayers on the hook." But Culver spokeswoman Taylor West told The Associated Press: "That's an issue that's winding its way through the courts." Then later in the day she issued a statement from Culver: "Let me be clear: This is a settled matter. TouchPlay is not coming back in my administration, and I am opposed to an out-of-court settlement."Well, let me be clear (to borrow a phrase). Culver's cutting the tail off the dog an inch at a time here. He came off looking like he either didn't know what he wanted to do - which is bad - or was trying to cozy up to his big donors without being straight with the rest of us - which is worse.
Entire article here
October 26, 2006
I meant the other Paris......
It is reported that the French have activated 50,000 security forces in anticipation of further bad behavior. Story Here
Meanwhile, the Iranian President in a threat to the EU stated;
We have advised the Europeans that the Americans are far away, but you are the neighbors of the nations in this region. We inform you that the nations are like an ocean that is welling up, and if a storm begins, the dimensions will not stay limited to Palestine, and you may get hurt. It is in your own interest to distance yourself from these criminals (Israel). . . . This is an ultimatum. (WSJ)
October 25, 2006
1. On missile defense of America — Democrats voted against it.
2. On the Patriot Act — Democrats voted against it.
3. On tapping foreign terrorists’ phone calls to the U.S. — Democrats voted against it.
4. On tracing terrorists’ money flow between foreign banks Democrats voted against it
5. On building a border wall to control illegal immigration and stop dope — dealers, terrorists and criminals — Democrats voted against it.
6. On interrogating captured terrorists — 194 Democrats just voted against it.
7. On telling the world (and our enemy) about a timetable for withdrawing from and deserting Iraq — this is Democrats’ retreat and defeat plan.
Read the entire list here .
And From Michael Medved a few more. Here
October 24, 2006
TELEGRAPH HERALD EDITORIAL Sunday, October 22, 2006
Congressman's record and leadership are preferred over Culver's promises.
Since 1991, Jim Nussle has served well as Iowa's 1st District representative in the U.S. House, and he would serve the entire state well as governor.
In the view of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board, Nussle is the better choice to succeed Gov. Tom Vilsack.
As Nussle gained experience, and as he and his fellow Republicans attained majority status in Congress, Nussle accepted greater responsibility in federal government. As chair of the House Budget Committee, he had to make countless decisions - difficult and controversial decisions that provide ample ammunition for political adversaries.
On the campaign trail, Nussle's Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Chet Culver, criticizes not only Nussle's votes and positions with which he disagrees but virtually any and all "sins" by President Bush or the entire Congress. Such is the nature of campaigns.
But it is convenient for Culver to take those shots because Culver does not have much record to defend. His current job is largely administrative, and he has not had to make the many tough decisions demanded of a congressman, a governor or a legislator during some of our nation's most trying times.
Voters will agree or disagree with Nussle on various issues. Even this editorial board does not see eye-to-eye with Nussle on everything. (For example, he opposes raising the cigarette tax, even though the current tax does not begin to cover the state's Medicaid costs for smoking-related diseases.)
Those debates are fair game. However, like it or not, compromise is how things get done in Washington. Jim Nussle, as one of 535 federal lawmakers, cannot be personally responsible for every decision made by Congress or the White House. He has had a hand in many things, certainly, but voters must decide how much credit or blame he bears. If, for example, Nussle is to blame for U.S. involvement in Iraq, he also should receive credit for the economic rebound the country has experienced since 9/11.
Meanwhile, Culver, with a short list of achievements and a long list of promises and programs, speaks enthusiastically of great things ahead for Iowa in a Culver administration. The editorial board endorses his positive outlook for the state, but it seems that too many of his initiatives come with hefty price tags. His agenda features little in the way of belt-tightening. The message seems to be, there is nothing Iowa can't accomplish - if we spend enough.
On the issue of higher education, for example, Nussle's plan would allow parents and students to budget for college by holding the line on tuition increases. Tuition hikes would be limited to the Higher Education Guaranteed Price Index, which has increased an average of 4 percent over the past five years.
Culver's plan to reduce costs would involve spending $25 million.
Nussle would also offer loans that would be forgiven at a rate of 15 percent for every year students remain in Iowa after graduation. That addresses two problems - education costs and young people leaving the state.
Culver suggests that students save a year of college tuition by taking college courses during their senior year of high school. That idea raises some concerns. Today's students must "grow up" too soon already. Do we really want to push them out of their high-school experiences ahead of time?
Nussle has strong leadership experience as House Budget Committee chairman. He is an effective communicator and has stayed in touch with the 1st District. Bringing his leadership home to Iowa would be the best choice for the state.
Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board: Jim Normandin (publisher), Brian Cooper, Ken Brown, Monty Gilles, Amy Gilligan and Sharon Welborn.
October 23, 2006
So why should we care what is going on in France of all places? Heaven knows the French have been less that supportive of the US the last few years.
It matters because; although the jury is still out on if the potential exists for it happening here, what happens there will still have repercussions on our options and the rest of the world. What hthe future holds for us here will be determined in large part in how the problem is handled there.
Will the French have the will to put down what amounts to an insurrection by a force that was initially invited into the country? History tells us they haven't been very successful in the past hundred years or so. Don’t think that our closest ally, Britain, is in a much better position. Concessions are already being made in an effort to placate in hopes of delaying the inevitable clash of civilizations in thier country.
The parrallel to what is already happening here, albeit with a different ethnic group, is food for thought.
October 19, 2006
Now it is Apple Computers that has blasphemed by using a cube . Story Here
Am I sensing a connection here?
As I wrote earlier, the tone of some of the stuff that comes out blogs like DailyKos is often crass and asinine. A short time ago I gained some insight into self-proclaimed king of the liberal blogging world, Markos Moulitsas, in a remark that he posted about at the tragic death of TV's Croc Hunter, Steve Irwin. He stated that he couldn't figure out why a person would put himself in such a dangerous position when he had children that were now fatherless. (This was also echoed by a couple of my professors at Tall Corn College).
Author Sherwood Anderson writes in his classic "Winesburg, Ohio", that if you want to be a writer instead of a run of the mill hack, you have to dream, you have to live, you have to have passion. You have to have the ability to understand a person and thier passions.
I have no doubt that Mr. Moulitas is a genuinely smart guy. According to his bio he has sheepskins stacked up like cordwood and he lists his occuption as writer, but without the ability to "dream" he will never fathom why a person would swim with sharks, climb a moutain, fly a plane, or any of the pastimes and professions that don't offer the comfort or safety of blogging and because of that it leaves the rest of his analysis and opinions looking hollow.
October 17, 2006
"You cannot blame the entire Republican party for this reason. The entire government of the United States, the Congress, the White House and increasingly the courts for the last six years has been in the total control not of the Republican party but of the most ideological, the most right wing, the most extreme sliver of the Republican Party."
October 12, 2006
October 09, 2006
Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a bar in Melcher, IOWA. After last call the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so intoxicated that he could barely walk. The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing. After what seemed an eternity in which he tried his keys on five different vehicles, the man managed to find his car and fall into it. He sat there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off.
Finally, he started the car, switched the wipers on and off--it was a fine, dry summer night--, flicked the blinkers on and of a couple of times, honked the horn and then switched on the lights. He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for a few more minutes as some more of the other patrons' vehicles left.
At last, when his was the only car left in the parking lot, he pulled out and drove slowly down the road. The police officer, having waited patiently all this time, now started up his patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and administered a Breathalyzer test. To his amazement, the Breathalyzer indicated no evidence that the man had consumed any alcohol at all! Dumbfounded, the officer said, "I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the police station. This Breathalyzer equipment must be broken."
"I doubt it," said the truly proud IOWAN. "Tonight I'm the designated decoy."
As a Raider fan there was always a glimmer of hope that a return to the glory days was just around the corner. Not this year. We have become the Lions. The only pleasure to glean from this season, and I know I'm being vindictive, is the fact that flash in the pan coach Jon "Chucky" Gruden's carrer seems to be in parallel with the demise of the Raiders. The Bucs are also zip and four.
October 05, 2006
It was interesting that after the moderator said that there would not be an opening statement Nussle launched into what was not only an opening statement but a tear jerking moment of silence for 2 fallen soldiers. Made him look a little phony and a lot like a smart ass. Of course Culver couldn't let that slide and proceeded to do the same.
Nussle certainly has honed the political mannerisms after 16 years in Washington and is pretty good in the extemporaneous format.
Culver looked like he wasn't quite ready for prime time. He seemed to be a little sweaty, probably from all the fist shaking he used to emphasize, every, word, he, had, to, say. While it appeared the other hand was firmly planted in his left pocket with a couple of worry stones.
Jim tried to project vision and Chet kept stressing "I have a plan" so often I thought he was about to bust out with a "I have a dream" momentm plus I am aways leary of anyone that stresses they want us "to move us forward", one of the more empty phrases in the campaign rhetorical tool box.
So with more campaign retoric and not much of substance I guess this debate exercise boils down to who looks more statesmanlike. I'll have to give round one to Nussle.
October 04, 2006
Great minds throughout the ages, scientists, philosophers, and theologians have all struggled to answer the question "What is the meaning of life?" It seems an impossible task to find an answer to a term such as "meaning" which is in this case is itself ambiguous. Some philosophers contend that the questioned can?t be answered at all believing that life itself has no meaning, rather it is what is in a persons life, the events or possessions, that have a meaning only to that person. So in a sense this search for a meaning is a question of measuring a fullness of a life.
At some point in everyone's life there is a questioning of purpose. I went through this process several years ago. I stopped and asked myself where I have been and where did I want to be. Fortunately this didn?t lead to a crisis that drives some to a new Corvette and a twenty-year old girl friend.
I discovered that my life was defined by where I lived and the things I did. A life of seeking love, or freedom or adventure, sure that each would bring the happiness or pleasure that I sought. Some would say it would appear to be the life of a person that is wild and free, but as I could attest it is a selfish life. Robert Service reflected on this type of individual in his poem "The Men That Don't Fit In". In part it reads:
During this time of self-evaluation, one of the best bits of advice I ever heard was that if you want success in business or in life, you should start at the end. Your end! Picture who would be at your funeral. For a person that is focused only on self the picture would surely be a lonely end. If on the other hand you can picture a room filled to capacity, and if you use friends and family as the gauge of your success, then at the end you could say, it truly was a wonderful life.
There's a race of men that don't fit in,A race that can't stay still;So they break the hearts of kith and kin,And they roam the world at will.They range the field and they rove the flood,And they climb the mountain's crest;Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,And they don't know how to rest.If they just went straight they might go far;They are strong and brave and true;But they're always tired of the things that are,And they want the strange and new.They say: "Could I find my proper groove,What a deep mark I would make!"So they chop and change, and each fresh move Is only a fresh mistake.
October 03, 2006
Thanks to Mr. Savage for bringng this to my attention.