July 28, 2007

Summer Vacation

I don't know why I think of this movie everytime I hook up the camper for a long trip. Me and the woman that lets me live with her actually travel pretty well together as long as I drive and she is giving the directions. Travel and moving has been such a big part of our life the past six years that it has become second nature, and our daughter has logged more miles than a long haul trucker it seems.

So, tomarrow morning at the crack 'o' dawn we will be heading east to meet friends from Michigan for a week on the shores of the lake that they call Mishigami.

"The Long, Long Trailer, stars Lucy and Desi as an upwardly mobile couple who decide to buy a trailer for their vacations. Thanks to their naivete in such matters, they end up with a huge, bulky RV that costs five times what they planned. Their "seeing America" trip turns out to be a slapstick disaster...
... The story is told in flashback, as Desi 'splains the breakup of his marriage to a motel court manager."

July 27, 2007

Senator Harkin, Bringing Home the Bacon

The group "Americans for Prosperity" has compiled a list of the earmarks for the 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. AFP reports;

The 1,016 earmarks total nearly $392 million, and include millions for questionable projects such as $1 million in tax dollars for a museum dedicated to recreating the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival experience and $250,000 to help fund the Polynesian Voyaging Society, which makes and sails ancient canoes from Hawaii to Japan.
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin brought $28 million into a variety of state organizations including $100,000 for “Lighten Up Iowa,” an online program encouraging people to lose weight while also preaching the benefits of vegan diets. He also teamed with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley for another $10 million. Grassley on his own was only able to muster a mere $400,000. It's tough being in the minority.

Harkin's efforts didn't stop at the Iowa border however. He also brought home a little bacon for his constituents in Arizona, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi Texas, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Which included a grant of $500,000 for the "National Council of La Raza" in Washington, DC.

July 25, 2007

The Incredible Shrinking Newspaper.

During the mid 90's as newsprint prices climbed past $600 per ton, newspapers began a frantic nationwide reduction in paper size. Reducing the width from the 25 year old standard of 27 inch to a slimmer 25 inch sheet. The larger papers spent upwards of a million dollars per pressline to convert their equipment to the narrower web size.

Today, despite low prices and a glut of newsprint in the market due to declining consumption, web width reduction is once again sweeping the industry as papers begin converting to a 24 inch sheet. One operation I talked with, which is now making the change to 24 inch is looking to the future by making the necessary changes to easily take the next step to a 23 inch sheet. To put that into perspective, a single newspaper page will be slightly wider than your standard paper towel.
The Newspaper Association of America has set the ad standards for the new web size leaving advertisers to decided if the rates for the new reduced columns are an effective use of ad dollars. With a plunge in ad revenues already in progress I am betting the answer is no.

Other signs of publisher desperation include the unheard of practice of selling advertising space on the front page at the Los Angeles Times and talk of The San Francisco Chronicle ending print operations entirely.

The death spiral continues.

July 24, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam

I want to take this opportunity to thank Iowa Hawk's Dave Burge for helping me identify the make and model of the car in this old photograph of my dad. Turns out it is a 1948 Willey's Jeepster parked in front of the "EATS" Cafe. I am guessing Cedar Falls, Iowa early 1950's. Also over at the Iowa Hawk it's turning into a horse race in the Annual Hoosegow Honey competition and my favorite filly, April, is fading fast in 4th place.

Two events are going on this week that merit mention. The first is the Annual Oshkosh Airventure sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh Wisconsin. We visited the airplane extravaganza last year and I am still in awe. We have decided to vacation with friends on the shores of Lake Michigan so we won't be attending this year but if you love airplanes or even the occasional airshow this is a must see event.

The second event is the 35th annual "Register Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Riders left the west coast of Iowa Sunday and will arrive at the Mississippi River on Friday. I have never ridden in the event but I hear that there it is a seven day party as you travel the back roads of Iowa.

The Agriculture Department reportedly paid over a billion dollars in farm subsidies to farmers that are allegedly dead. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley responded ‘‘We passed a law that said a person must be actively engaged in the business of farming before they could receive a farm payment,’’ Grassley said. ‘‘As far as I know, the only way dead farmers can be actively engaged is if they’re pushing up daisies."

Thx to CR Gazette

Governor Vilsack; Deal With the Devil

Former Iowa Governor and Presidential Candidate Tom Vilsack has offered his assistance to the Democratic front runner in the Iowa primary and in return is now able to retire his campaign debts.

On July 16th Radio Iowa reported "Clinton purchased a "strategic document" from Vilsack for $20,000. A LA Times report on July 17th states:

"Shortly after endorsing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack received nearly $90,000 in donations to his defunct presidential campaign from some of Clinton's major backers, campaign finance reports show. "

If you love a good conspiracy one has to ask, is the Governor hoping to be tapped for the VP slot on the ticket or is Obama already assured that position?

July 22, 2007

General Reid, "Bugler Call Retreat"

McConnell (adj) prudent: possessing or displaying shrewdness, tact, or cunning

From Hugh Hewitt @ Townhall

After Democratic leader Harry Reid’s MoveOn.org all-night session Tuesday night, a move that resulted only in helping unify the weak-kneed Republicans who were peeling away from continued support of the Petraeus surge in Iraq, McConnell, the Republican leader, served notice to anyone watching C-SPAN that he now runs the Senate.
After a couple of Republican amendments failed, Mitch McConnell took to the floor and offered his own amendment, which was a Sense of the Senate that Guantanamo detainees not be allowed released or moved to U.S. soil. To conservatives, this obviously makes sense. To liberals, especially California’s Dianne Feinstein, one of the chief proponents of the effort to close the detention center at Gitmo and relocate these detainees into the American justice system, especially when tagged onto a student loan and grant bill, you’d think this measure would go down in flames. Except a funny thing happened. The bill was titled in a way that you had to vote yes to vote no, and no to vote yes. The final vote was 94-3, officially putting the Senate on record as saying terrorist detainees shouldn't be moved to the U.S. Before the Democrats, who clearly hadn’t read the amendment, realized they screwed up, the vote was recorded.

The Democrats slowly realized that they had just had their heads handed to them. As a diversion Reed sent out pit bull Ted Kennedy for one of his tired tirades as a diversion while his forces regrouped. Reed then attempted a full frontal assault, but the agile McConnell quickly parried and responded by sweeping the enemy's flank, forcing the ever effervescent Harry Reed to pull the bill and once again depart the senate floor in a full retreat.

I predict a coup for the Senate leadership is in the offing.

The Night Mitch McConnell Became Leader of the Republican Party.

Flotsam and Jetsam

The Louisiana governor signed a bill making the "Pelican State" the 50th state to outlaw the sport of cock fighting.
The AP reported, "Louisiana breeders of the fighting roosters and owners of the cockfighting arenas, known as "pits," had argued that an immediate ban would be unfair, leaving them with equipment and hundreds of useless birds."
Equipment like say, tiny little punching bags or what? As for the useless birds I was thinking...Hmmm, How bout Soup!

s I caught the director of this organization, Lt. Pete Hegseth, on Chris Matthew's "Hardball". The articulate lieutenant handled the machine gun like questioning of Matthews and the dumb bombs of Ron Reagan with aplomb. The Vets for Freedom is an organization of Iraq veterans that recently met with congress urging members to give the surge time to work.

High winds and rain blasted across the great plains flooding streets, knocking out power, and as you can see devastating the Salmon corn crop. We are still waiting for FEMA. Oh the humanity of it!

You got to love the humor of the guys at Sirius Satellite Radio. They elected to name their liberal talk channel "Sirius Left" While the conservative channel has been christened "Sirius Patriot" . What could have been more appropriate? But there are some sectors that have their shorts in a serious bunch over the issue. Taylor Marsh , unknown progressive radio talk show hostette, suggested that Left be changed to Liberty, I was leaning toward Serius Socialist. Any Suggestions?

From the Cedar Rapids Gazette; When the depth of the water is less than the draft of your boat, you have probably run aground. Alcohol may have been a factor.

I'm Back.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going on "hiatus". I have never actually been on a hiatus before. Taken a vacation, called in sick from the river during salmon season a few times but never actually hiatused.
So I get a call the other day from my brother in Tex-ass berating me for saying I was going on hiatus. "You've been on hiatus for two years, you deadbeat" he says. This is from the guy that lived the life of Riley for three years after he sold his company and stayed home with his new son, which ironically he named Riley in honor of the life he was living at the time.
Deadbeat? I admit that after the my last job in the newspaper bidness turned into the job from hell I stayed at home until the unemployment ran out but hey I spent that time bonding with my new daughter. Then I enlisted full time at Tall Corn College and Technical Institute to get some education. Hardly what you could call a hiatus for someone my age.
But I get his point. Its time to get back work and put together some interesting or sometimes banal (this links for you my brother) posts here on the Salmon. God, its good to be back.

Update: An anonymous commenter let me know that I had misspelled Riley. It should be Reilly. But doesn't this break the I before E rule?

July 06, 2007

Gone Fishing...

Going into this blogging project with a little trepidation I said I would give it a year, and yesterday marked the first anniversary of the Cedar River Salmon. It has been an interesting and somewhat challenging experience. I have found that the ability to come come up with interesting and original material on a regular basis and the time commitment is a tough proposition that I am sure results in the eventual death of many blogs. For the majority of the 6 million blogs that are not engaged in some slick marketing strategy most, like mine, cruise along in relative anonymity.
I am now planning to take a short hiatus from the blogging and enjoy the remainder of the summer before the start of the fall semester at the U.
For all my faithful readers, and you both know who you are, thanks for your support during the past year and I will return soon.

Gone Fishin!


July 04, 2007

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-

Why We Keep This Creed By Michael Gerson
'Wonderfully Spared' BY JOYCE LEE MALCOLM
The Nation's Birthday from The Rocky Mountain News
Enjoy the Holiday!

July 03, 2007


There are those that expect that the justice system is not interpretors of law but instead the final arbitor of morality. In this piece in the Saint Pete Times, we see comdemnation of the supreme court for not reaching a decision that fit the moral expectations of the writer. She writes;
"If there's a choice between casting their lot with the little guy and tipping a case toward compassion, or putting a foot on his throat, it's a safe bet that these four will be getting out their boots." And this; "Now we see that Roberts and Alito are cut from the same razor wire"
The implication that the supreme court is now the home of mean spirited, jackbooted, brown shirts is a cute use of rhetorical metaphor but it misses the mark in honestly interpreting the function of the court.

Power Hungry Giddiness

Pics Courtesy Drudge

July 01, 2007

Tax Increase

For those in Linn and Johnson counties today is the day we begin to ante up another penny in the local option tax for schools. So don't tell me we don't have enough money!