Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Problem with Ethanol

I saw this on State 29 and it sums up my concersn with ethanol.We put so much petroleum products onto our crops and use oil to make the stuff that the amount of fuel we create is a loss. Fortanately, we can change that by altering the way we grow crops, make ethanol out of another crop (such as switchgrass) and using more solar and wind energy for power. However, because of the amount of petroleum it takes to make ethanol now, I think biodiesel is better option.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

IRenew Energy Expo in September

I know this is awhile off, but thought I would give this information out anyway. I went for the first time last year and had a great time. I learned a great deal about a wide range of topics. There is definitly something for everyone there.

The Iowa Renewable Energy Association's 15th annualEnergy EXPO will be held September 9th and 10th at Solon High School in Solon, Iowa:


"The EXPO features workshops and speakers covering many topics- from renewable energy- wind, solar & more, sustainable living, green building, entrepreneurship and DIY (Do-it-Yourself), children's art, energy efficient technology, renewable fuels, alternative transportation, advocacy, etc. For this year, we are adding a local focus to cover local energy, food and fiber. The 2006 Energy EXPO theme is: Energizing Iowa's Communities.

Our Saturday keynote speaker is Steve Andrews, 25-year energy consultant and writer, long-time speaker on peak oil, and advocate for balanced energy strategies. Our Sunday keynote is a panel presentation on renewable fuels.

The I-Renew Energy EXPO also features a demonstration area including cars that run on alternative fuels, bicycle art & technology, solar & wind energy, hydrogen storage and a fuel cell, among other creative demonstrations. We will have exhibitors from the business and non-profit communities that fit within our theme, including local food vendors, plus the I-Renew Silent Auction, Children's Program and family entertainment."


Visit the I-Renew web site: For more information, call (319) 341-4372 or email

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No Surprise, Latham backs Bush against Stem Cell Research

Tom Latham Votes With George W. Bush Against Stem Cell Research

Yesterday Tom Latham, along with other conservative republican representatives, voted against H.R. 810, The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The bill divided Republicans in both the House and the Senate.

Dr. Selden Spencer, the democratic congressional candidate running against Tom Latham in the fourth district has a different view on the issue.

"Tom Latham's vote against stem cell research is typical of his voting pattern of endorsing the Republican administration and George W. Bush. As a physician I see great potential for stem cell research and would have strongly favored passage of the bill."

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act would allow for more stem cell research to help further knowledge and find cures for certain diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spinal cord injuries to name a few.

Tom Latham and Steve King, both representatives of Iowa, voted against this bill. They were part of a division of Republicans in both the House and the Senate that agreed with President George W. Bush on his stance in regards to stem cell research. George W. Bush vetoed the bill shortly after it was passed overwhelmingly in the House and the Senate. It was the first veto George W. Bush had ever used. This historic veto and Tom Latham's unwillingness to put life-saving science and research ahead of partisanship sends a strong message to Iowans. We need a Representative in Congress who will put our interests first and not be a rubberstamp for any Administration.

Visit Dr. Spencer's website for more information about his campaign against Tom Latham in Iowa's 4th District.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is flying the US flag upside down disorderly?

An Iowa man has been charged with disorderly conduct for flying a United States flag upside down.

Dale Klyn raises beef cows in Corydon, Iowa.

For the past six years, he has been flying an American flag on his property.

But since May 21, that flag has been upside down.

He gives two reasons.

First, he’s angry at a judge for allowing a debtor of his to declare bankruptcy. The debtor, who had bought a business from Klyn on a contract and still owed him $282,000, now only has to “pay me six cents on the dollar,” says Klyn. “The judge approved that on the 18th of May. I was pretty upset about that.”

Second, he wants to show solidarity for Terri Jones.

She’s the Iowa mom who has been flying her flag upside down after her son returned from the Iraq War and committed suicide. (Klyn had never met her before.)

Klyn goes on saying that he has recieved threats and letters from people about his protest.

You might disagree with Mr. Klyn's stance, but it is hardly disorderly. The people that think they have a right to threaten someone are the ones who should be charged because their actions are actually inflicting harm on another person.

Can't people respect each other's opinions? Mr. Klyn's small protest is doing a lot less harm to our nation than a long, long list of things.

Monday, July 24, 2006

New Odd Couple: Culver and Fallon

The Quad City Times has a nice look at the relationship between Chet Culver and Ed Fallon. Though they have many differences there is one thing to remember come November:

But Fallon insists the focus now should be on defeating Republican Jim Nussle.

“We have a lot more in common, all of us do, than we have with Jim Nussle,” Fallon said.

Where's Chet?

Last weekend when I was in eastern Iowa, someone asked me if Culver was still running for Governor. This person was somewhat joking when they asked this. But why would a person who is active in their county party even have to ask this?

They said they had not seen Culver even once (not even during the primaries) or gotten any materials from the campaign. This person said she had heard the same things coming from other major eastern Iowa towns (Davenport, Dubuque, and Clinton).

Culver's campaign site has this to say about Upcoming Events...

Sorry. No public events are currently available.
So for the rest of the month, I am going to be playing a game called Where's Chet? If you find a campaign stop by Culver, please post in the comments section.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Braley Profiled on Firedoglake

Bruce Braley is profiled on the blog Firedoglake.

When we sit down and think about candidates for Blue America, we are very careful. If one of us senses that someone isn’t a committed progressive, or that someone smells like they might sell out to big money interests once they get to D.C., like so many politicians from both parties do, they are off the list.

Bruce Braley is a complete natural for us. What might throw some people isn’t anything Bruce says — he’s right on on every single issue — but the fact that the DCCC seems to be targeting his race. In fact, 2 weeks ago they got him the coveted national radio slot to respond to Bush’s Saturday address.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wal Mart Cancels Plans for Iowa City Supercenter

Following up from a post earlier this week. The Register writes about Wal Mart's decision to not buy the land from the city of Iowa City.

Wal-Mart will not build a supercenter as planned off Ruppert Road in south Iowa City, company spokesman Ryan Horn said Friday. However, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant still plans to expand here.

"Basically, the city has been good to work with and has done everything appropriately and we certainly understand and appreciate the council's need to move the transaction forward quickly," Horn said. "But we're not going to be able to close on the property by July 31 and thus continue the project."
Gary Sanders, who led the group against the Supercenter, had this to say.
Gary Sanders, chairman of the Stop Wal-Mart campaign, said the news was a "great victory" after a year and a half fight.

"Wal-Mart is the No. 1 predator corporation. And we do not need them on public land in Iowa City," he said to The Des Moines Register Friday.
So it sounds like Wal Mart will continue looking for a place to build a Supercenter. Maybe Iowa City should sell them part of the Old Capitol Mall. Students would flock to Wal Mart and it would attract people to downtown to do shopping instead of heading out to Coralville.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Raising the Minimum Wage

I found this on Blog for Iowa via the Iowa Policy Project about raising the minimum wage here in Iowa. One of the arguments against raising the minimum wage is that the people that make the it are usually teenagers. This pretty much squash's that argument...

The report found a minimum wage increase to $6.15 would benefit 53,000 working Iowans. The average hourly pay raise would be 37 cents. Of those workers:
€ 57 percent are over age 20;
€ 61 percent are female;
€ 27 percent work full time; and
€ 12 percent are parents.

If the minimum wage were increased to $7.25 per hour, about 257,000 Iowans – or 18 percent of all workers – would receive an average hourly wage increase of 60 cents. Of those workers:
€ 75 percent are over age 20;
€ 58 percent are female;
€ 42 percent work full time; and
€ 20 percent are parents.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Harkin on Bush's Stem Cell Veto

Here are Harkin's remarks on the Senate floor about the stem cell veto.

I don't get it. Who gave the President the authority to draw that line? He may be the President of the United States, but he's not the moral authority for all Americans. I say Mr. President, you are not our moral ayatollah. You don't have that right and you don't have that power. Oh, you can veto legislation, you can veto it...He vetoed it because he said it was immoral...tantamount to murder. No, I'm sorry but it is hyprocisy at the extreme for the President to take that position.

Obama to speak at Harkin Steak Fry

From the Des Moines Register...

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin announced today that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama would be the guest at his annual fund-raiser in Indianola in September.

Obama, an Illinois Democrat, will headline Harkin’s annual steak-fry scheduled for Sept. 17 at the Warren County Fairgrounds, the Iowa Democrat announced.

It would be Obama’s first trip since his election in 2004 to Iowa, where the 2008 Democratic Party precinct caucuses are expected to launch the next presidential nominating cycle.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Vilsack adds to his resume

Vilsack adds to his resume to be the named Sec. of Education in 2008. Vilsack has teamed up with Hillary Clinton on a plan to help students with rising college tuition.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York appeared together here today to tout a new $220 billion Democratic initiative to send more students to college in the face of soaring tuition rates.

If enacted, it would create 1 million more college graduates than would have been expected by 2015, they said. Americans must be “the most innovative and creative people on the face of the Earth, and to do that we have to have young people have access to college,” Vilsack said.
I wonder if Hillary is trying to make up for calling young people lazy?

Wal-Mart to decide soon on its future in Iowa City

The Register had this story today...

Wal-Mart officials are days away from deciding how to move forward on a plan to replace its existing Iowa City store with a 214,000-square-foot Supercenter.

The deadline for the $3.1 million purchase of land in the southwestern part of town is July 31, but at least two pending lawsuits by the Iowa City Stop Wal-Mart campaign and a ruling against Wal-Mart by the city's Board of Adjustment have put wrinkles in plans by the world's largest retailer.
It had been so long since hearing about this that I had forgotton it was still going on. I know the group of citizens have been fighting long and hard against the new Supercenter. There is a Supercenter just down the road in Coralville. If the Supercenter does get built, Paul's will be in trouble and it won't help downtown any.

KWWL is reporting that the Iowa City City Council has denied a request by Wal Mart to extend the July 31st in a 4-3 vote.
City leaders say if Wal-Mart does not purchase the land by July 31st, it will go back on the market.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Peace is a Moral Issue

I haven't written about the occupation in Iraq for awhile, so I thought I would post this article that I found a couple weeks ago.

Peace Works
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"
- Mahatma Gandhi

When is it right to use military action? I have read a lot about pacifism, the just war theory, and the ethic of reciprocity. I have come to the conclusion that war is a fundamentally flawed principle. It is a bloody and inhuman path which eventually must lead to an agreement in paper anyway. War does not heal wounds, but, rather, only progresses them and makes new ones. For, surely, in response, if neither side is willing to admit defeat, the only way of winning is complete destruction.

I cannot, as a person, or as a Christian, or whatever, bring myself to destroy human life. I could never join the military because I could not bring myself to kill another person. Therefore, I would not, and will not, commit other people to a fate which I would never choose.
If we justify one war, who is not to say that someone else will jusify another war? The only answer to this vicious cycle is to declare war as unacceptable. War brings us to our most primitive states, when we would kill others for a piece of meat. Now, we are killing others for a piece of land or for an idea.

One of the reasons I could never kill anyone is because I believe that all human beings are inherently good. And, despite their hatred, no person can be totally bad. Therefore, that spec of goodness in them is worth preserving their life. That is also why I don't believe in the death penalty because we should never end a person's life, especially if they have, or have the possibility to, find themselves, God, or their central being so that they are at peace with themselves and the world.

The definitive principle of human morality is to understand our obligations, not only to ourselves or those we love, but also to those we hate.
The last sentence is what fundamentally separates Democrats and Republicans like Steve King and probably the 32% of Americans that are still supporting Bush.
The definitive principle of human morality is to understand our obligations, not only to ourselves or those we love, but also to those we hate.
It is a strong statement that gets to the core values of fairness, equality, opportunity, and compassion that makes up what the Democratic Party is all about. Please post your thoughts.

Fundraising Reports

Krusty took the time to go through the fundraising reports and post about them. It is interesting to see how much each candidate is raising and worth the read. even though I disagree with some of Krusty's analysis. Here are the numbers from Krusty's site:

1st District

Bruce Braley
This Period: $253,226.00 (from PACS: $150,750.00)
Total Raised: $820,037.00 (from PACS: $229,750.00)
Current Cash on Hand: $ 130,706.54

Mike Whalen
This Period: $206,139.00 (from PACS: $ 142,750.00)
Total Raised: $657,118.00 (from PACS: $ 183,250.00)
Current Cash on Hand: $215,223.83

2nd District

Congressman Jim Leach
This Period: $67,001.00 (from PACS: $0.00)
Total Raised: $359,805.75 (from PACS: $0.00)
Current Cash on Hand: $201,670.58

Democrat Challenger Dave Loebsack
This Period: $58,613.96 (from PACS: $11,500.00)
Total Raised: $222,258.04 (from PACS: $34,150.00
Current Cash on Hand: $60,455.57

3rd District

Congressman Leonard Boswell
This Period: $292,279.90 (from PACS: $162,000.00)
Total Raised: $1,362,059.60 (from PACS: $858,165.20)
Current Cash on Hand: $1,093,465.01

Republican Challenger Jeff Lamberti
This Period: $264,400.67 (from PACS: $94,554.04)
Total Raised: $1,110,144.79 (from PACS: $318,864.47)
Current Cash on Hand: $820,105.56

4th District

Congressman Tom Latham
This Period: $67,592.00 (from PACS: $23,750.00)
Total Raised: $783,671.67 (from PACS: $380,448.85)
Current Cash on Hand: $609,896.85

Democrat Challenger Sheldon Spencer
This Period: $57,909.68 (from PACS: $250.00)
Total Raised: $179,973.10 (from PACS: $9,250.00)
Current Cash on Hand: $132,606.83

5th District

Congressman Steve King
This Period: $48,687.00 (from PACS: $31,500.00)
Total Raised: $440,282.89 (from PACS: $279,131.92)
Current Cash on Hand: $149,400.03

Democrat Challenger Joyce Schulte
This Period: $3942.02 (from PACS: $0.00)
Total Raised: $12,546.01 (from PACS: $0.00)
Current Cash on Hand: $3257.15

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sen. Feingold Trip to Iowa

I covered Sen. Feingold's trip to Clinton and Davenport today. Check Iowa for Feingold for coverage. I will be posting pictures shortly and was able to live blog at the Davenport event. I will also write a more in depth piece about the event in Clinton.

Kyle from Diary of a Political Madman was also there, so check his site for some in depth coverage later on.

Also, was there and will have more information and coverage.

Sen. Feingold's best quote was about a topic that I have written about a few times: the rising cost of college.

It is a "denial of the American dream" when students can't afford to go to college without going into massive debt.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Cheney Coming to the Quad Cities Monday...Show him what you think

Concerned Citizens!

VP Dick Cheney will be in Davenport on Monday, July 17th at 5pm to attend a $500 to $1,000 (with photo) per plate fundraiser dinner for Congressional Candidate Mike Whalen, as specified in the QC Times.

If you would like to join other citizens to express your concerns about the detrimental effects that the policies of this administration continue to have on working families and others within our community:

Please join our Demonstration!

Where: Lindsey Park (11th St)
When: Monday, July 17th
Time: 4:30pm

Bring a sign (no sticks attached) that reflects the issues that you care about and please, no inflammatory statements. We want to raise the important issues that affect us to the forefront of the public discourse - we DO NOT want this demonstration to be portrayed in the press as simply being "anti-Cheney." Yes, we want accountability, but we do not want our message around the real issues to be derailed by inflammatory rhetoric.

For more information contact Caroline Vernon at

This is what democracy looks like!

Feingold's Weekend Schedule in Iowa

Sen. Russ Feingold is making his 2nd trip to Iowa this weekend. Russ will be making stops in Eastern Iowa. I was a little dispointed that there are only 2 public events, the rest are invite only. Hopefully, there are many more trips to the state in the near future. Here are the info for public events...

Saturday, July 15th
2:00pm – 3:30pm Listening Session
Dubuque County Democratic Party Headquarters
1449 Central Ave., Suite 400

5:00pm – 7:00pm Fundraiser for Iowa State House Caucus
Home of Democratic Leader Pat Murphy, Dubuque, IA
On Sunday, Sen. Feingold will be at a breakfast in Maquoketa, at a meeting in Clinton, having lunch in Davenport, and then an event in Davenport.

I will be attending the event in Clinton and Davenport and will be covering them for Iowa for Feingold, so check that blog for writeups, pictures, and I might even be able to live blog them.

Blog for Iowa writes about our Debt for Diploma System

Blog for Iowa has a nice post about a topic that I have written about a couple times: the rising cost of college. You might think that the Government would do something about this, but no, according the article...

On July 1, interest rates on student loans experienced the greatest jump in history, with the variable rate on common Stafford loans shooting up almost two percent for students and graduates. The rate hike comes as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which was signed into law by President Bush on Feb. 8, 2006 as part of an effort to save the federal government more than $22 billion over the next five years. (By comparison, the Department of Defense spends approximately $8.1 billion a month in Iraq).
Check out my past posts about this topic here and here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Spencer Barnstorming the 4th District

Dr. Selden Spencer is making stops in 40 towns in all 28 counties in the 4th district over a 5 day stretch.

Democratic Congressional Candidate, Dr. Selden Spencer, will begin a 40 stop tour where he will visit all 28 counties in the 4th congressional district from Thursday July 13 to Monday July 17.

Dr. Spencer decided to run for Congress after being frustrated by the actions of George W. Bush, Tom Latham and the Republican administration. He will be speaking to the citizens of the 4th congressional district about their concerns, as well as healthcare, renewable energy and the situation in Iraq.

The tour will begin with a grand office opening at Dr. Selden Spencer’s campaign headquarters in Story County. The event will be located at 600 5th St. in Ames at 5pm on Thursday, July 13. Everyone is invited to join Dr. Spencer in kicking off his district-wide tour.

Dr. Spencer is a doctor at the McFarland Clinic in Story County. He has been serving the people of the fourth district since 1990. Dr. Spencer has decided to run because he feels that Washington needs a new vision of fiscal responsibility, honesty and Iowa Values.
Check out the website for information on all the stops. If you get a chance stop and talk with Dr. Spencer. I have met him a couple times and he is very nice, intelligent, and seems to be a strong candidate. Right now he is lacking name recognition and it is tours like these in the heat of the summer that will earn him that name recognigition. If his message is right and he gives a clear vision, I think Dr. Spencer could make a big mark in this election.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Calling all Yellow Elephants: Come Get Your Desert Camouflage Hat

Finally, all of those young Republicans that are too scared, just have better things to do, that God has other plans for them, or their parents are too wealthy can now get their own Desert Camouflage Hat, just like the troops wear in Iraq. And they don't even have to enlist. If you order today, you get a free deck of Ronald Reagen playing cards with it!

Here is the chance for all of the Yellow Elephants out there to be just like the troops, (but a lot safter). Chilling on the beach with your friends is just like patrolling the streets of Baghdad.

Since our sons and daughters are fighting overseas, at least someone (besides Halliburton) should be making a buck of it, shouldn't they?

Now in all seriousness, I ask everyone out there (Democrat, Republican, Independent), what are you sacrificing while our soldiers are fighting. What are you doing to make sure they return home safely? During WWII there were victory gardens and today we have yellow ribbons and now hats. A little space on your bumper for that yellow ribbon doesn't cut it.

Dissecting the Republican Platform

Kyle from the Diary of a Political Madman has a great, indepth post about the Republican platform. It is rather lengthy, so I won't post any of it here. It is well worth the read to see what Republicans really stand for.

I would like to see Nussle asked about this plank...

5.2 We support the elimination of no-fault divorce.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Iowa CCI Convention this weekend

I got this email today from Iowa CCI.

Today’s Des Moines Register included a great story on Lewis Lapham, keynote speaker at Iowa CCI’s Annual Statewide Convention this Friday, July 14 at 8:00PM.

It’s not too late to sign up for the convention or purchase tickets to see Lapham. Sign up today by calling CCI at (515)255-0800 or you can sign up online.

More shocking news from Register about Burglars

The Des Moines Register wrote their 2nd story in a week about burglars in Des Moines. Last week, they broke the news that burglars will cut screens to get into houses. Now they tell us that burglars will go through windows if they can't get in the door.

Burglars pried on the door, they pried on the door jam, they kicked the door and left muddy shoe prints on it. Police found a broken screw driver head next to it. The door remained shut.

In the end, however, the intruders came in through a kitchen window of the house.
Shouldn't the Register have written the story about burglars going through windows first? I mean the screens are in the windows. If burglars cut the screen they are obviously going to go through the window to get into the house. And why did this issue seem so newsworthy that it deserved two articles? The article today even mentioned that burglaries were down.
Burglaries were down slightly last month, with 135 house prowls reported in Des Moines. That compares with 142 residential burglaries during June 2005.

Monday, July 10, 2006

2008 just might Democrats' 1994

Kos takes a look at Democrats chances of taking control of the Senate in 2006 and says things look really good in 2008.

Nussle and Flow Nails It

Nussle and Flow put out a great post today about Nussle and NCLB Watch List. Make sure you read it.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Breezing through the Register

The Des Moines Register had some interesting articles today. Here they are...

We can continue to support casinos, hog-confinement and slaughter houses in the state of Iowa, or we can provide sustainable, family-centered jobs that encourage a healthy environment.

We can lay our money down on more stinking air, lost farms, and lost fingers, or we can embrace the new agriculture.

My generation has begun a change. We've stopped chasing our losses and have returned to the simple idea of growing, selling, and consuming our own food within our own borders. We've led the way with pesticide-, hormone- and drug-free products. But we can't continue this journey on our own. We need young Iowans to travel with us.

Newsweek: Edwards back in Iowa

Newsweek covered John Edwards' trip to Iowa this weekend, including the Warren Co. Democrats BBQ. The story will appear in the issue that is released next Friday, but is available online now. The article discusses the early advantage Edwards has, but fails to mention that Edwards has visited the state 10 times since the last election.

One key advantage Edwards is counting on: people know who he is. His retooled stump speech takes ironic jabs at his old campaign persona. ("There is the chance that at least one of you remembers that I'm the son of a millworker," he told the Indianola audience.) His advisers learned in 2004 that the hardest hurdle a candidate faces is simply getting voters to remember his name. That's not a problem in Iowa anymore, they say. "A Warner or Evan Bayh would have to spend $30 million to get where Edwards is," says an aide who asked not to be identified speaking about a still unannounced campaign. Other campaigns point out that a figure as well known as Edwards will have a hard time redefining himself.

Blame poverty, not racism, for achievement gap in schools

There was a great opinon piece in the Register on Saturday that explains the situation in our schools and achievement gaps.

The "minority achievement gap" is, in reality, a poverty gap. One education expert calls the link between poverty and student learning "every bit as strong as the connection between cigarettes and cancer." Another study found that the cognitive scores of children in poverty are 60 percent lower than the highest socio-economic groups before they enter kindergarten.
Here in Marshalltown, in one Kindergarten classroom at one of the more affluent schools 17 out of 25 students tested at grade level in September. At the school I worked in, where many students live in poverty, out of the three Kindergarten classrooms just 4 out of 75 students tested were at grade level in September. These tests were given after just 1 month in school and clearly show difference a child's home environment.

The article also discusses the use of our tax dollars and show how we are choosing to invest in our future here in Iowa.
In 2004, Iowa was the only state in the nation to cut taxes by more than 1 percent of state revenues, (cuts that primarily benefited Iowa's wealthiest individuals), while 93,000 Iowa children (13.4 percent) lived in poverty and another 21 percent lived in low-income households. How many additional teachers of English language learners could that lost revenue have provided? What could that money have done for children in poverty at a time when service providers are experiencing budget cuts?

We'll never know.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

So now Bush likes Science?

Bush suddenly decides science is a good thing and asks for more funding for science from the Senate.

Then he tours a lab in Illinois with Hastert.

Not sure what that does to the Republican's War on Science.

Workers' Pensions Get Cut While Executives' Pensions Grow

Here is a very in depth article explaining how workers' pensions are getting cut, while pensions for executives grow. Here is the main idea (read the entire article for many details and numbers)...

Even as many reduce, freeze or eliminate pensions for workers -- complaining of the costs -- their executives are building up ever-bigger pensions, causing the companies' financial obligations for them to balloon.

Companies disclose little about any of this. But a Wall Street Journal analysis of corporate filings reveals that executive benefits are playing a large and hidden role in the declining health of America's pensions.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Flying F Bio-Fuels Grand Opening Reception

I got this email this afternoon and thought I would pass it on. Steve Fugate also holds workshops on how to make your own biodiesal. I was going to attend one last year, but I didn't sign up in time. If you interested in renewable fuels this might be a good thing to check out.


For Immediate Publication

RE: Flying F Bio-Fuels Grand Opening Reception

Flying F Bio-Fuels extends a public invitation to join a reception for the grand opening of its new facilities in Tiffin. Flying F Bio-Fuels designs and manufactures small scale biodiesel production systems that are used across Iowa and around the country. Steven Fugate, President, will share information on the benefits of bio-diesel for Iowa’s economy and environment as well as demonstrating how their machines operate.

Grand Opening Reception: Tuesday July 11 from 3:00-7:30 p.m.

Location: 400 Stephans St., BAY B, Tiffin, IA

Just East of the BP Station on Highway 6

No Cost to Attend, Refreshments served

For More Information Please Contact Steve Fugate: 319-545-7022

Invited Guests: Chet Culver, Patti Judge, Denise O’Brien, Bob Dvorsky, Dave Jacoby

Shocking News From the Register

Some shocking news from the Register...
Burgulars Cut Screens to Get into Houses.

How dare they cut screens! And this is supposed to be newsworthy?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Braley to Give Democratic Radio Address

Got this email from the Braley campaign...

Dear Friends,

This Saturday, I will deliver the Democratic Party’s weekly national radio address.

My address will focus on the importance of protecting Social Security for our children and generations of Americans to come.

I’m grateful for this opportunity. Giving this speech is a special honor for a Congressional candidate, and it demonstrates the high priority Democrats across the nation have placed on helping us win back Iowa’s First District seat.

You can listen to the Democratic radio address live in Iowa and nationwide on major radio networks, including ABC, AP, AURN, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, NPR, American Forces Radio, Voice of America, BBC, and CBC.

The address will air at approximately 10:00 a.m. central time.

You can also listen to a recording of the speech after the broadcast. The recording should be posted by 11:00 a.m. central time on Saturday.

Be sure to tune in on Saturday!

Bruce Braley
This is a great idea from the DNC. It will give the Braley campaign a lot of publicity on the national level and should help with fundraising.

Lamont - Lieberman Debate Tonight on CSPAN

One of the most high profile national races right now is the Democratic Primary out in Connecticut between Joe Lieberman and challenger Ned Lamont. CSPAN will air a debate between the two tonight at 6 pm.

I wrote some of about this race last month and Gavin has commented on it as well.

I believe defeating Lieberman with a strong Progressive like Lamont would be one of the biggest victories for Democrats this year. I know Lieberman has a D behind his name, but it seems Lieberman does more to undermine the party's objectives. Every time a blue state Democrat like Lieberman votes with the Republicans, he gives cover to other Democrats to do so. Lieberman's corporate, pro-war agenda goes against the core Democratic values and makes it nearly impossible for Democrats to stand united with one single message.

This race is definitely one to watch the rest of this summer. Stay tuned.

Iowa is Getting Invaded

2008 Presidential hopefuls are coming out in full force and visiting Iowa. The Register has the story here and includes information about Vilsack campaigning in his own state on a "Promises Kept" tour.

This weekend will see Evan Bayh (check Nicolai's post about Bayh) and John Edwards here. Mark Warner will be heading here next week and I am once again hearing rumors about Russ Feingold coming to Iowa this month. Joe Biden plans on moving to Iowa for 2 weeks in August. I hope to be able to get out and live blog a couple of the events.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Colbert Explains the Difference Between Big Government and Small Government

"If you mention Jesus in your speech (usually about Abortion, Gay Marriage), it is Small Government. If you do the things Jesus asks you to do (such as help the poor and less fortunate, work for peace, provide healthcare), it is Big Government."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

I want to wish everyone a fun and safe Independence Day. As your out grilling, watching fireworks, or whatever you do today, please remember all who have sacrificed so much, including the 31 Iowans who have died in Iraq.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Restore rights lost to war on terrorism

The Des Moines Register editorial board wrote yesterday listing ways our civil liberities and constitutional rights are being broken in the name of the "war on terror." They argue that we need to restore our rights that were lost to the war on terroism and I totally agree. However, the Register's solution is...

The time to begin doing so (restoring our rights) is now by bringing the anti-terrorist spying programs within the law and the Constitution.
Bringing the anti-terrorist spying programs within the law and the Constitution? How is that restoring our rights. That is letting the Bush Administration still infringe on our privacy and making it legal to do so. This is a postion that Republicans like Arlen Specter are advocating. It is saying, lets just take this paragraph out of the Bill of Rights, and this section out of the Geneva Conventions, get rid of this part of the constitution, and piss on the Washington monument while we are at it.

When someone gets pulled over for speeding they don't tell the police officer, "Gee thanks for catching me, now lets raise the speed limit on this road, so you don't have to write that ticket."

That is basically how the Register wants to solve this.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Gingrich Challenged Edwards to DebatePoverty

Edwards response...

"People worried about feeding their children don't need politicians shooting their mouths off at partisan political events who didn't do anything significant about poverty when they had the chance," Edwards spokeswoman Kim Rubey said in a statement.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lunch with John and Dave

Please join us for an afternoon with Senator John Edwards and Democratic
Congressional Candidate Dave Loebsack

Friday, July 7, 2006
11:30 am—1:30 pm

The Blue Strawberry
118 2nd Street, Cedar Rapids

Please join the Loebsack for Congress campaign for gourmet sandwiches and stimulating conversation with two visionary leaders. John and Dave will offer their plan for getting America back on the right track.

$25 per person

RSVP to Eileen O’Toole by July 6th
at (319) 351-DAVE (3283) or at


Since I am a teacher, I thought I would assign some homework over the weekend. I got this idea from Randi Rhodes, who has the homework section on her website full of interesting articles. So here are some articles and websites that I found interesting and think everyone should take a look out. Don't worry, there won't be any tests over this stuff.

  • George Lakoff wrote another great article called "Bush is Not Incompetent." Lakoff outlines how Bush isn't to blame for the mess we are in (in Iraq, in education, in health care, in corporate scandals, in government scandals, in the environment), but it is actually just part of the Conservative governing philosophy.
  • The Quad City Times wrote about a powerful lobbying group here in Iowa, Iowans for Tax Relief. Chris at Political Forecast has a good analysis of the group too.
  • The new site King Watch, which outlines all the embarrassing things Rep. Steve King has done, has a video of Rep. King discussing the Voting Rights Act. Make sure the kids are out of the room because your about to see "Republicans Gone Crazy!"
  • Finally, there is an Op-Ed peice in the LA Times asking "Did Bush Commit War Crimes." The articles gives information about the Supreme Court decision about the military tribunals at Gitmo.