Thursday, August 30, 2007
From Political Wire...
According to the AP, Wyoming Republicans "have jumped to the head of the pack in the US presidential nominating process, moving their caucus to January 5, ahead of even the traditional early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.”Yes, you probably can't win Wyoming without doing retail politics and it doesn't cost much to run ads there, so every candidate would be able to participate, but are there even enough people there to make it worth campaigning there. Wyoming's population comes in at just over 500,000 people compared to Iowa's 3 million people. Iowa has a some decent sized cities in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Dubuque, Waterloo, Iowa City. Wyoming has Cheyenne and Laramie. When candidates campaign there, there needs to be some kind of crowd.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Here are some kind words by Ethel Kennedy about Barack Obama...
"I think he feels it. He feels it just like Bobby did," Ethel Kennedy said, comparing her late husband's quest for social justice to Obama's. "He has the passion in his heart. He's not selling you. It's just him." Ethel Kennedy invited Obama to deliver the keynote address at a ceremony commemorating the 80th birthday of Robert F. Kennedy. She said she had carefully followed the career of the Illinois senator, whom she referred to as "our next president."I have heard a lot about JFK and RFK being leaders that only come around once in generation. The most appealing thing about Obama is his leadership qualities. I get the feeling that he is the same kind of leader as JFK and RFK and that I don't want to be missing out on a movement.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.That quote by Gandhi is one of the biggest reasons I teach, pay attention to politics, recycle, and buy locally. If I don't try and do something then who will?
This email from Ed Fallon and I'm For Iowa explores this same idea and really gets to the heart of the issue.
This morning, I'm sitting at Sargent's Garage in Des Moines' inner city, waiting for an oil change for the van. Graham Gormley, one of the owners, is particularly hot under the collar. He's talking to me and reading big business and big government the riot act. "Corporations and Congress are like one entity anymore," rails Graham.
It�s early and the gears operating my cranium haven't yet fully engaged. But Graham's energy and scathing critique of the state of affairs act like an additional jolt of caffeine. "It's really our fault, the people's fault, for letting this happen. What percentage of Americans doesn't vote? How many people are spending so much time with their cell phone, ipod, tv and computer that they don't even take the time to figure out what's going on?"
A lot, I offer. In fact, the largest political block in America today is not Democrats or Republicans. It's not even those registered "No Party." The most potent political block in America is non-voters, a force that could change the direction of our nation in one election if people would choose to engage.
Somehow, we have to get beyond the ridiculous, popular notion that all politicians are crooks. Heck, even my favorite folk singer, Don McLean, said as much from the stage as he performed the closing act at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month, calling all presidential candidates "liars." Do some tell lies? Sure. Big ones. But if McLean would choose to pay attention, he would hear a lot of truth in what some of the candidates have to say. In fact, some campaign rhetoric follows the same themes McLean so poetically expresses in his music.
I don't know how to put this any more emphatically, so imagine that the next sentence is highlighted, bold-faced and underlined (this e-mail program only allows caps): WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. IF POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT AND ACT ONLY IN THE INTEREST OF BIG BUSINESS AND THE VERY WEALTHY, IT'S BECAUSE WE LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!
The solution? DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!! (See last week's Update, challenging YOU to run for office. And while I'm at it, mea culpa for failing to remind you to vote in the upcoming school board election on September 11.)
WE need to become the experts on the issues, or at least on one or two issues. You won't get it all from the corporate media. There are great sources of information on-line and in independent newspapers, magazines and journals. Locally-owned radio stations and community-access television are occasionally helpful. The best source of quality information for me as a state lawmaker proved to be rank-and-file constituents I had come to know and trust over the years. They had a grasp of information that put any lobbyist to shame.
WE need to donate time, money and ideas to those who run for office: providing they aren't corporate or partisan lackeys. How to sort out the good from the bad? Well, perhaps it's not unlike reviewing the cast of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. At first blush, it may be hard to tell the real from the fake. I can even think of candidates who I thought were great; I helped them and later regretted it. At a minimum, ask these questions: What have candidates done to show that they care about their community? Can they think clearly? Do they have a good heart? Do they have a stiff spine, a strong stomach?
Finally, WE need to be the ones running for office.
Back to Sargent's Garage. As my van neared the end of its oil change, Mike Pingel, the other owner, told me how his business, like nearly 99% of Iowa's small businesses, gets no handouts from the government. In fact, after sinking $20,000 into improving the business, Mike and Graham were rewarded with an assessment that raised their property taxes by $1,500. Meanwhile, Principal gets its insurance premium tax cut in half, Allied gets tax abatement, the Register gets TIF, Michael Gartner's I-Cubs get nearly $1 million from the Vision Iowa board (which he chaired), and Wells Fargo cashes in big on the Iowa Values Fund. And that�s just the local scene.
Yup. It's hard not to be cynical.
The alternative to cynicism is activism, and we're a society of activists, thinkers, dreamers, self-starters, trouble-makers. Heck, we got our start throwing British tea into Boston Harbor and we've been acting out ever since. Now more than ever, we need an active, engaged, fed-up populace.
Share your own ideas. What are YOU doing or going to do to turn this mess around? What do YOU think others should be doing? How are WE going to recover our democracy from those who would exploit and destroy it. If we hear from enough of you, those stories will help write the next UPDATE!
Thanks for reading. Onward!
Labels: Ed Fallon
I guess Minnesota will move up their primary to February 5th.
Previously, though Minnesota Republicans were planning to caucus on Feb. 5, the Democrats had been set to meet on March 4. The move adds Minnesota to the nearly 20 states that now plan to choose their presidential nominees on the first Tuesday in February.20 states voting on 1 day? Do these states actually think candidates will be able to campaign in those states?
From Marc Ambinder...
Everytime someone declares John Edwards dead, he rises again. His Fighting for One America tour culiminated in a 1,000-person rally last night in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Those are Obama numbers! In New Hampshire! Where Edwards Isn't Supposed To Be Strong!)
Here's an emotional moment from the event:
Monday, August 27, 2007
On Tuesday the Iraq Summer is holding two Take a Stand Townhall meetings.
Invitations were given to Sen. Grassley and Rep. Latham, but both declined. Supposedly, the invite to Grassley was to attend a Townhall meeting at the end of August and the group would be flexible with the time and location. Grassley's office called back and said they were available on that date, unfortunately a date had not been given. Latham was already holding a meeting in Pochantas, so Iraq Summer is holding one there also.
Here's the details...
Tuesday August 28th:
Take A Stand Town Hall
Pocahontas County Courthouse
Tuesday, 28 Aug 2007, 4:00 PMTuesday August 28th:
Take A Stand Town Hall
State University, Memorial Union Pioneer Room
Ames, IA 50014
Tuesday, 28 Aug 2007, 6:00 PM
Labels: Iraq Summer
Sunday, August 26, 2007
This article in Rolling Stone is astounding. It tells how contractors are wasting taxpayer money, providing crappy services, and putting troops in harms way all to make a profit on the war.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush's war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity -- to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up.It seems to get in on this payday, all you had to do was be a loyal Republican with the right connections...
To travel to Iraq, would-be contractors needed permission from the Bush administration, which was far from blind in its appraisal of applicants. In a much-ballyhooed example of favoritism, the White House originally installed a clown named Jim O'Beirne at the relevant evaluation desk in the Department of Defense. O'Beirne proved to be a classic Bush villain, a moron's moron who judged applicants not on their Arabic skills or their relevant expertise but on their Republican bona fides; he sent a twenty-four-year-old who had never worked in finance to manage the reopening of the Iraqi stock exchange, and appointed a recent graduate of an evangelical university for home-schooled kids who had no accounting experience to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget. James K. Haveman, who had served as Michigan's community-health director under a GOP governor, was put in charge of rehabilitating Iraq's health-care system and decided that what this war-ravaged, malnourished, sanitation-deficient country most urgently needed was . . . an anti-smoking campaign.Everyone, Democrats and Republicans, should outraged about the stories in this articles. Just as you think it can't get any worse, there is another story that leaves you even more flabbergasted.
In perhaps the ultimate example of military capitalism, KBR reportedly ran convoys of empty trucks back and forth across the insurgent-laden desert, pointlessly risking the lives of soldiers and drivers so the company could charge the taxpayer for its phantom deliveries. Truckers for KBR, knowing full well that the trips were bullshit, derisively referred to their cargo as "sailboat fuel."And that was a rare occasion when the contractors were actually doing something...
One of the most dependable methods for burning taxpayer funds was simply to do nothing. After securing a contract in Iraq, companies would mobilize their teams, rush them into the war zone and then wait, citing the security situation or delayed paperwork -- all the while charging the government for housing, meals and other expenses. Last year, a government audit of twelve major contracts awarded to KBR, Parsons and other companies found that idle time often accounted for more than half of a contract's total costs. In one deal awarded to KBR, the company's "indirect" administrative costs were $52.7 million, and its direct costs -- the costs associated with the actual job -- were only $13.4 million.I have heard bits and pieces about government waste and poor services provided by contractors in Iraq, but they were reported as isolated instances. This article links these instances together and shows they are by no means isolated.
Ripping off taxpayer's money and raiding the treasury has become the overriding culture that has invaded the Pentagon, been encouraged by the White House, and ignored by the media. It is a perfect example of why there used to be laws preventing war profiteering. Now we just need Congress to investigate these contracts, enforce the laws, and actually take action to get our money back and hold the people accountable that let this happen.
Republicans are quick to scream that Democrats want to cut and run when they discuss not voting for funding. However, if this is how our money is being spent in Iraq, the people that voted to fund the war should be kicked out of office.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Here is video of the speech John Edwards made in New Hampshire that I wrote about where Edwards said...
The choice for our party could not be more clear. We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other.
The New York Times is reporting that blue states tend to have fewer divorces than red states. They cite a study that show the fewest divorces in the Northeast, while Kentucky, Mississippi, and Arkansas have the highest divorce rates.
The article gives reasons such as faith, economic and education levels, and an emphasis on abstinence before marriage to explain the differences in divorce rates.
The lowest divorce rates are largely in the blue states: the Northeast and the upper Midwest. And the state with the lowest divorce rate was Massachusetts, home to
John Kerry, the Kennedys and same-sex marriage.
In 2003, the rate in Massachusetts was 5.7 divorces per 1,000 married people, compared with 10.8 in Kentucky, 11.1 in Mississippi and 12.7 in Arkansas.
"Some people are saying, 'The Bible Belt is so pro-marriage, but gee, they have the highest divorce rates in the country,' " said Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. "And there's a lot of worry in the red states about the high rate of divorce."
Friday, August 24, 2007
Sen. Chris Dodd responded yesterday to other candidate's comments about the surge in Iraq.
Despite the exemplary performance of our troops, we are coming off the bloodiest summer of this misguided war and it should be clear that there can be no military solution in Iraq.Dodd is exactly right. There is no military solution to the situation in Iraq. It can only be "won" through political and diplomatic means. That doesn't mean we lost in Iraq. The military mission was accomplished part of the war back when Saddam was toppled, captured, and brought to justice. The problem is our military stayed in Iraq.
It is useless to argue the merits of a specific tactic when the strategy itself is failed.
Here is the part of the article...
Dinsdale, who hardly fits the activist stereotype, often catches McCain and other politicians off-guard. Her father served in Korea, her husband in Vietnam, and her oldest son finished his tour in Iraq three years ago. But the mother of three also works as the Iowa director of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a group that has recruited people like Dinsdale to change the image of its anti-war cause.Read the rest of the article for more information about what Iraq Summer has been doing in Iowa.
“I’m not a fool. I know we need a military,” she says. “It’s just this war that’s making me crazy.”
She isn’t the only one: According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 64 percent of Americans oppose the war.
Dinsdale is just one player in a multimillion-dollar production aiming to tap into that sentiment. Anti-war group AAEI -- a coalition of MoveOn.org, the Service Employees International Union and other progressive groups -- is targeting Republicans who support President Bush’s Iraq policy in 40 congressional districts. During the August recess, AAEI is slamming its targets with grass-roots campaigns led by local activists such as Dinsdale.
Labels: Iraq Summer
Thursday, August 23, 2007
John Edwards makes an excellent point in a speech today in New Hampshire.
Edwards is strongly going after the vote of Democratic wing of the Democratic party by calling out the DLC candidates in the race and connecting the influence of money to the Clinton White House.
From Marc Ambinder ...
The choice for our party could not be more clear. We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other.Corporate Republicans or Corporate Democrats? It still means it is a government that supports policies that favor corporate interests over the interests of common Americans.
The American people deserve to know that their Presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate.
It’s time to end the game. It’s time to tell the big corporations and the lobbyists who have been running things for too long that their time is over. It’s time to challenge politicians to put the American people’s interests ahead of their own calculated political interests, to look the lobbyists in the eye and just say no.
Yesterday was my first day back to work. I have workshops, staff meetings, trainings, and a little time to work in my classroom before the students come on Tuesday. Posting will be lighter over the next few days.
In the meantime, here is some back to school articles to read...
Three Cheers for Universal Pre-K
Of all the social programs the U.S. could possibly institute, universal pre-K is perhaps the most important. It is that rare initiative that meets the gold standard of public policy by simultaneously fulfilling the goals of equity and efficiency. Equity, because preschool and other early education programs have a lasting, powerful and well-documented positive impact on the outcomes of poor children. And efficiency, because it is extremely cost efficient. Few if any government investments produce a higher rate of return.School Lunch and Breakfast Programs
I can only imagine then, how difficult it must have been for needy children to have accomplished much of anything before the advent of both the National School Lunch Act, and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, which provided for subsidized lunches and breakfasts, respectively, for needy children. The former was signed into law by Harry Truman and the latter by Lyndon Johnson. Let's hope their need to exist will someday disappear.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A White House Front Group led by former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer is airing TV ads going after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Tom Latham in a desperate attempt to shore up support for Bush's failed Iraq policies.
Grassley and Latham have been feeling pressure from their constituents and from the Iraq Summer campaign.
“These ads, being run by a White House supported front group, are swift boating Republicans - squeezing from the right the same Republicans who are feeling the heat from voters back home for their support for Bush's failed war policy ,” said Brad Woodhouse, President of Americans United for Change. “The White House is eating its own in a desperate move to preserve the President’s failed policy in Iraq .”Here is information on the ad buy...
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Last week in Des Moines, Chris Dodd outlined his education plans. As a public school teacher, I was very interested to hear what Dodd had to say. Dodd has long been a champion of K-12 public education and has introduced in a bill in the Senate to reform No Child Left Behind that has been endorsed by the NEA.
The part of his plan, however, that stuck out to me was his call for free community college. Dodd would reform the student loan system and make changes to the subsidies banks recieve. Banks would then have to compete with one another for the loans. Dodd would use these savings to provide matching funds to states for tuition at community colleges. If a state picked up 20% of the cost then they would get 20% from the federal government. If a state picked up 50% of the cost then the federal government would pitch in the other 50%.
Sen. Dodd's plan would open up access to many Americans. This plan is a bold vision that could spark economic growth for years to come. Community Colleges are tremendous vehicles to promote education of people of all ages. If people are looking to gain a college degree or for job training, community colleges are key parts of the education system.
I am asked a lot about who I am supporting for president. There have been a couple people who aren't as active politically (or are Republicans) that are really surprised that I do not support Hillary Clinton for president. I think they assume that I am a Democrats, so I must have to be for Clinton.
One of the main reasons that I do not support Clinton is I do not trust her on Iraq. I wrote about it back in June and here is some clips from one of the debates.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I haven't posted a presidential poll since March, so I thought it was about time to post a new one.
The poll question is who do you support for the Democratic Nominee for President in 2008? The poll is located at the top of the left hand column and will run for 4 weeks.
Here is a look at the results back in March...
1. John Edwards 40%It is also interesting to look at the results from August of 06 to see how things were a year ago.
2. Barack Obama 31%
3. Bill Richardson 10%
4. Hillary Clinton 8%
5. Joe Biden 5%
6. Dennis Kucinich 3%
7. Chris Dodd 3%
8. Mike Gravel 1%
Earlier this month, Steve Sodders announced his candidacy for State Senate against Larry McKibben in district 22, which includes Marshall and Hardin Counties. Sodders is a Deputy Sherriff in Marshall County and former County Chair of the Marshall County Democratic Party.
I will be covering this race a lot over the next year. I live in Senate District 22 and know Steve Sodders quite well. Not only that, but it should be one of the most highly contested races in the State Senate in 2008. Iowa Progress ranked this seat as the top pickup opportunity for Democrats earlier this year, saying...
“Serving in the Iowa Senate is an opportunity for me to apply the experiences I’ve gained working with hundreds of local students, parents, and other community leaders to bring common sense solutions to the State Legislature,” said Sodders, a Democrat. “I will be an active, fiscally responsible voice that will work to ensure that our families have the jobs, schools, health care and public safety necessary to succeed.”
McKibben represents a district that Chet Culver won by nearly 1500 votes in 2006. It consists of Marshall County, a traditionally strong Democratic county and Hardin, a mildly Republican leaning county. In 2004, McKibben edged out the Democratic candidate, Wayne Sawtelle, a labor activist, by less than 800 votes. McKibben owed his victory to piling up a huge lead in Hardin County, despite running significantly behind George Bush in Marshall County. The large labor community in Marshalltown will still be gunning for McKibben in 2008 and McKibben won’t be running on anywhere near as strong a ticket in 2008. With Tom Harkin up for Senate and Selden Spencer making a more serious attempt to run against Tom Latham, McKibben won’t have the advantages he had in 2004. He’s hanging on by a slim thread and this race will probably be decided again by less than 1000 votes.
Labels: Steve Sodders
Monday, August 20, 2007
This video is from the Fighting for One America Bus Tour in Osage, Iowa on August 15, 2007. The Edwards campaign should take this footage, clean it up a bit, make a commercial out of it, and then air it right after Labor day.
Here are clips from different stops on the bus tour about rewarding work.
This populist message is what propelled Jon Tester and Jim Webb to upset victories in the US Senate last November. Edwards is the candidate that is speaking the most clearly on the ideas of rewarding work, having a secure retirement, and having the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. It is a winning message.
Here is a op-ed piece by 7 US Soldiers about their view of what is going on in Iraq. Make sure you read the entire thing...
Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched...
The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins...
Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side...
Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, “We need security, not free food.”
In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are - an army of occupation - and force our withdrawal.
Republican Minority leader John Boehner was in Iowa last week and attended the State Fair and appeared on Mickelson in the Morning with Rep. Tom Latham.
Was Boehner here to talk Latham into staying in the House and not run for Senate against Tom Harkin?
Mike Huckabee is at it again. At first, I thought this was just Huckabee saying some nice things about the Clintons because they all came from Arkansas.
Then I read this quote...
Bill Clinton and Hillary went through some horrible experiences in their marriage, because of some of the reckless behavior that he has admitted he had. I'm not defending him on that — it's indefensible. But they kept their marriage together. And a lot of the Republicans who have condemned them, and who talk about their platform of family values, interestingly didn't keep their own families together.Are you listening Rudy? Fred? Newt?
Throughout the Iowa State Fair people could cast their kernel for their candidate for choice at the WHO Channel 13 booth. A total of 35,448 kernels were cast in the poll.
The fair ended yesterday and the results are in...
DemocratsThe results pretty much fall in line with recent polls. Huckabee got the bounce from the straw poll to be a legit contender. McCain is shockingly low.
Hillary Clinton 33%
John Edwards 28%
Barack Obama 22%
Bill Richardson 13%
Joe Biden 2%
Chris Doddd 1%
Dennis Kucinich 1%
Mike Gravel 0%
Fred Thompson 13%
Sunday, August 19, 2007
This new TV ad by Joe Biden is a powerful statement about Iraq.
I am one of the first to say that we need to bring our troops out of Iraq safely. I have seen Joe Biden speak twice (here's my writeup back in July in Des Moines) however, and I think I could support his plan to exit I am one of the first ones to say that we need to get out of Iraq responsibly.
Check out www.PlanForIraq.com for more information.
I ran across this quote in a post about the history of the Marshall County Courthouse.
I remember a historian once remarking you could tell what was most important to a culture by observing what its biggest buildings were - the biggest buildings were once churches, then government buildings, of which this is an example, and finally buildings of commerce today.
The quote comes from a blog on sustainable agriculture written by a resident of rural Marshall County. If you want some interesting details and pictures from life on a farm, check out High Hopes Garden. There is some good stuff there.
I didn't see the debate this morning. I attended a wedding last night, got in late, and decided to sleep in. I hope to catch the debate on CSPAN or catch highlights on YouTube later today.
There was a lot of coverage of the debate by Iowa blogs however.
Dave at iPol liveblogged the debate and has a transcript of it posted.
Iowa Independent has a pair of bloggers at the debate. They also liveblogged the event and have pictures, info about a lonely Republican protester, a report on who won the sign war, and praise for Kucinich. They also dissected what the candidates had to say about lobbyists and Iraq.
O. Kay Henderson from Radio Iowa has a great piece also.
I will try and post some thoughts on the debate tomorrow after I actually get to see it.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
An ad sponsored by the California Nurses Association, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, and Physicians for a National Health Program is going to be running ads in Iowa in support of single payer universal health care.
Here is the first ad that targets Hillary Clinton.
David Sirota has more.
Friday, August 17, 2007
The Iraq Summer Campaign is holding events all over Iowa to pass out yard signs. Check to see if there are any in your area and then stop by to get a sign and show your support for the troops.
The goal of the Iraq Summer Campaign is to convince Sen. Grassley and Rep. Latham to change course and vote for the safe and responsible redeployment of
WHO: Americans Against Escalation in
Iraq's ' Summer' Campaign Iraq
WHAT: "Support the Troops, End the War"
Yard Sign DriveComes to a Town Near You
Iowa City: Ped Mall at the Friday Night Concert Series (Corner of Dubuqueand Streets) Washington
Friday, August 17: 6 -9 pm
1000 signs expected to be distributed at this event
: Fort Dodge City Square, 424 Central Avenue, Fort Dodge, IA
Saturday, August 18: 11AM – 2PM
John Slaight 202-423-5693
Mason City: , Labor Temple 510 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Mason City, IA
Saturday, August 18: 11 am – 1 pm
Liam Gallagher 202-904-7212
Marshalltown: Anson Park, 301 E. Anson, Marshalltown, IA
Saturday, August 18: 10 am – Noon
Amethyst Polk, 202-423-3542
Des Moines: 3214 University, Des Moines, Iowa
Across from the State Fairgrounds
Every day, August 15 - 19 4-8 pm
There is an unofficial exit poll done at the Ames straw poll that shows Ron Paul ahead by a pretty large margin. The exit poll was conducted by the Vote in Sunshine group, which is the same group that had the lawsuit against the RPI dismissed over the use of Diebold voting machines. The group stated their main goal was...
achieving fair and accurate voting processes in America by returning to the use of and counting/saving/storing of paper ballots.Here are the results from the exit poll...
Iowa Straw Poll Exit PollAnother blog compared the official results with the exit polls.
Ron Paul………..332……37.01%……9. 1%……..27.91%
Mike Huckabee……187……..20.85%…..18.1%. …….2.75%
Tom Tancredo………..150…….16.72%……..13.7% ……..3.02%
Duncan Hunter………..12………1.34%……….1.2% ………..0.14%
Fred Thompson………..8………0.89%…….1. 4%…….-0.51%
Rudy Giuliani……….6………0.67%…… .1.3%……..-0.63%
John McCain……..5………0.56%…… 0.7%……..-0.14%
Some Ron Paul supporters say this is proof that the voting at the straw poll was rigged and Ron Paul actually won the event.
I actually think the difference stems from the fact that Ron Paul had hundreds of supporters at the Straw Poll from outside the state. I heard a spokesperson from the Ron Paul campaign say this on CSPAN's broadcast live from the event. These people could not vote because you had to have a Iowa ID to vote. I am pretty sure Ron Paul wasn't the only candidate that had supporters there from out of the state. If the group that conducted the straw poll asked some of the people who were from out of state the results would be skewed in favor of Ron Paul.
Labels: Ron Paul
Just when you thought the nominating calendar couldn't get any wackier, Marc Ambinder reports this...
And what does this do to Iowa? Ambinder writes...
Michigan could hold a statewide primary on Jan 15, if a deal reached this morning by top Republicans and Democrats in the state passes muster with state legislators.
Michigan political sources say that Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Sen. Carl Levin are very close to a deal with House Speaker Andy Dillon (D) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R). It's not clear whether the state parties are on board, yet, but if the legislature decides to pass a bill changing the primary date, and then Gov. Granholm signs it, there's not much dissidents can do.
If the political world takes Michigan seriously, Iowa might be forced to look at a December date again (despite Gov. Chet Culver's protestations to the contrary) because New Hampshire's Secretary of State would be pressed to set the state's primary in early January.I say just set the caucus date in mid December. No other state would jump behind us because of the holidays. New Hampshire could then go in early January and the holidays would prevent states from jumping ahead of them. Candidates would still compete here because they have already invested so much into the state and we keep our relationship in tact with New Hampshire.
Chris Bowers at Open Left makes a guess at what the schedule will look like...
- Mid-December-Mid-January: Iowa caucuses
- Tuesday, January 8th: New Hampshire
- Tuesday, January 15th: Michigan
- Saturday, January 19th: Nevada Democratic caucuses, South Carolina Republican primary
- Tuesday, January 22nd: Wyoming Republican caucuses
- Tuesday, January 29th: Florida primary, South Carolina Democratic primary
- Tuesday, February 5th: Super Tuesday
Labels: 2008 Iowa Caucuses
Tom Latham and Chuck Grassley have been saying for awhile now they will be waiting for General Petraeus' report that is due out on September 15th before they decide if they are going to continue to support Bush's failed Iraq policy or to vote to begin to redeploy troops out of Iraq.
However, the news yesterday is that the White House will be writing the report, not General Petraeus.
So that leads back to the question to Rep. Latham and Sen. Grassley, are you going to listen to the majority of Iowans and begin redeploying troops from Iraq or are you going to continue supporting Bush's failed Iraq policy?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
David Brooks thinks so.
Read the story here or watch the report from Keith Olbermann...
Last week at a townhall meeting, Sen. Grassley calls out one of the field organizers from Iraq Summer for video taping the meeting.
Then later in the meeting Grassley is thanked for the warning about being on YouTube by one of the people attending the meeting...
Thank you Senator for the warning about being on YouTube, but realize this is southern Iowa, we don't care because we all underwear. So if we are on YouTube don't worry about.The man then tells Sen. Grassley we need to get out of Iraq and use the money we are spending in Iraq on health care. Grassley answers with just one sentence about Social Security and Medicare being paid from separate funds and totally ignores the portion about Iraq. The next question is from a woman who's son is serving overseas. Grassley stumbles around, gives the same wait until September talking points, and the discussion gets a little heated at the end.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The John Edwards campaign announced today their statewide leadership committee that includes some current State Legislators. Many of these are news to me.
Keith Kreiman, State Senator,
Bloomfield, Davis County
Geri Huser, State Representative,
Des Moines, Polk County
Wes Whitead, State Representative,
Sioux City, Woodbury County
Kurt Swaim, State Representative,
Bloomfield, Davis County
Ro Foege, State Representative,
Mount Vernon, Linn County
Art Staed, State Representative,
Cedar Rapids, Linn County
Andrew Wenthe, State Representative, Hawkeye,
Yesteday, Tom Mattzi the Washington Director of MoveOn.org was on the Jan Mickelson show. Tom was joined with by Sue Dinsdale, the Iowa Field director of Iraq Summer. They discussed the need to change our policy in Iraq and bring our troops home. They were on in the first hour of the show.
The best part of the show was when Mickelson tried to pin Mattzi into a corner on immigration and Mattzi said of course we are for securing the border. Mickelson was surprised a liberal would say that and Mattzi insisted everyone is for securing our border. Mickelson stumbled around to find an audio clip of someone who is for an open border and he could only find a free trader speaking about the economic benefits of having unskilled workers.
You can listen to the show here.
The Hawkeye Labor Council Democratic Presidential Forum is this Saturday in Cedar Rapids and there are still a few tickets left. Here is a previous post about the event.
These Presidential Candidates are committed to appear:
This event will be held at the newly renovated Hawkeye Downs expo center. Free parking plus plenty of nearby hotels.
Will you be with us Saturday, August 18th at Hawkeye Downs in
? Cedar Rapids
If you're among the hundreds and hundreds of folks who already have your tickets to enjoy an Iowa pork dinner and interaction with the top seven Democratic Presidential candidates this Saturday, great! We'll see you there.
If, however, you're still thinking about it...time's running out. Order your tickets today. This Saturday, August 18th, the top seven Democratic candidates will be at Hawkeye Downs in
for dinner, speeches and a "party". Cedar Rapids
Order your tickets today by clicking here and we'll arrange to have them waiting for you at the door. Or if you have a really big group or a special opportunity you want to discuss with us, call us at (319) 396-8461 and we'll take good care of you. But please don't wait: the event is Saturday!
Join the party Saturday night. Get your ticket order in today. Click here to get to our ticket order info page. For only $25 a person, this is the party of the season. See you there. Doors open at 4:30P and speakers begin at 6:30P
Don't wait...order your tickets today or call us at (319) 396-8461. This is one dinner party you're not going to want to miss.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Workers for a Better Iowa
Hawkeye Labor Council
1211 Wiley Blvd. S.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Representing 40 AFL-CIO affiliates
And over 9000 Iowa workers
In seven Eastern Iowa counties.
Who is the biggest taxer and biggest spender ever?
CMan has the answer.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Here is an interesting quote about Hillary Clinton's campaign that I found on Andrew Sullivan's blog...
"Hillary wanted to lock up the race early, and she hasn’t done it. Her lead in the national polls is irrelevant. It's all about what happens in the early primary states. She's redefining change as nostalgia. Her campaign is about building a bridge to the past, not the future, as her husband used to say," - Bob Shrum in the new New Yorker.Obama and Edwards are both advocating change through changing the culture of Washington and through bold leadership on the issues. Clinton is positioning herself into a corner on this important issue.
On Sunday there was a great letter in the Des Moines Register by Dave Leach about how conservatives have lost their moral compass on the issue of immigration. The letter debunks arguments used to dehumanize illegal immigrants and concludes...
Tom Tancredo has spun our unofficial moral compass around like a Wheel of Fortune, with enough success that the other candidates are afraid to define amnesty correctly or to oppose Tancredo's National ID agenda. The National ID is more big-brotherish than the one in Hillary Clinton's 1993 health-care plan, at which moral conservatives professed to be aghast.
Moral conservatives used to be against the drawing of lines around the rights of others where God has not drawn them, whether it was skin color, not yet being born, or being born on the other side of a line.
Who hijacked my category? I feel like an illegal alien in my own category!
Former Rep. Dave Nagle is back blogging at the Des Moines Register. Yesterday, he wrote about Iowa's role as first in the nation.
Critics argue that neither state is representative of the country as a whole. The populations are too white or too rural to really reflect the national will. But whether these reasons or others, every four years it is still Iowa and then New Hampshire.
But interestingly enough, while other states continually challenge the “first in the nation states”, the potential candidates do not and the reason for their not challenging is based upon some pretty sound logic.
Long shot individuals, who in their bedrooms at night hear the nation calling them, know that it doesn’t require the money that front-runners have at their disposal. A level playing field is better than the future leader of the free world being decided by who has the biggest bank account.
Labels: 2008 Iowa Caucuses
Chris at Political Forecast posted this last night and I thought I'd share.
The Iraq Summer Campaign, led by Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI) and other organizations, is upping the ante in Iowa some more this summer by launching a two-hour phone bank operation across from the Iowa State Fair tomorrow. From the Iraq Summer group:
“On August 14th from 2-4 PM, Senator Chuck Grassley and Rep. Tom Latham are in for a surge of phone calls from Iowa constituents urging them to vote for a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq as the ‘Iraq Summer Campaign’ launches its ‘Candy for Calling’ phone call drive. With a 12-foot long ‘Support the Troops, End the War’ blimp hovering overhead, the Iraq Summer Campaign will set up a phone banking hub across the street from the state fair grand stands and offer sweets to passing Iowans in exchange for a call on a prepaid phone into either Senator Grassley or Rep. Latham’s constituent offices – all part of an ongoing effort to convince them to start representing the clear majority of Iowans by voting to begin the responsible redeployment of U.S. troops out of harm’s way in Iraq.”
This is a pretty creative idea and one that will keep the pressure on Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Tom Latham who AAEI and Iraq Summer have been targeting all summer in Iowa.
Here are the details:
WHO: Iowa ‘Iraq Summer’ Campaign
WHAT: “Calling for Candy” Phone Bank Offering Iowa State Fair Goers Candy in Exchange for Calling Sen. Grassley, Rep. Latham and Urging Them to Vote for Safe and Responsible End to the War in Iraq
WHERE: 3214 University Ave (Across the street from the Iowa State Fair grand stands), Des Moines, IA
WHEN: Tuesday, August 14th from 2-4 PM
Even if you aren't going to the Fair today, you can still call Grassley at 515-288-1145 and Latham at 515-232-2885.
Monday, August 13, 2007
This isn't breaking news at all, but on the John Edwards for President website they have this information about Ed Fallon endorsing John Edwards.
Ed Fallon Endorses John Edwards As The Strongest Candidate For President
Des Moines, Iowa – The John Edwards for President campaign today announced that former Iowa gubernatorial candidate and state representative Ed Fallon has endorsed Senator John Edwards in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"John Edwards is the only candidate who has offered progressive solutions on everything from universal health care to solving the global climate crisis," Fallon said. "He has been a strong and clear voice on ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home. He also has the backbone to stand up to the big corporations and the courage to tackle problems that other politicians simply ignore – like ending poverty in America. John Edwards can and will lead our party to victory in November 2008."
"I am honored to have Ed Fallon's support," Edwards said. "As a leading progressive voice in the Democratic Party, Ed understands the needs of Iowans, and I look forward to working with him in Iowa to build support for an agenda of bold change."
Fallon was a Democratic candidate for Governor of Iowa in 2006 and served as a member of the Iowa General Assembly from 1993 to 2006. A graduate of Drake University, Fallon is a former organizer for Iowa Citizen Action Network and founder of the Clarion Alliance, a non-profit focusing on peace and conflict resolution issues. Fallon is also a co-founder of “1000 Friends of Iowa,” a non-profit focused on responsible land use and community development.
In 1992, Fallon won election to the Iowa House and over the next 14 years he earned a reputation as a progressive legislator with a keen interest in his constituents' needs and a commitment to campaign finance reform, universal health care and ending poverty. After leaving office, Fallon co-founded "Independence Movement for Iowa," or "I'M for Iowa," a grassroots statewide organization seeking to support local businesses, family farmers and progressive candidates for office.
Fallon did better than expected in the Democratic primary for Governor by winning 26% of the vote. His campaign was successful by organizing at the grassroots level. These connections will help Edwards in the Iowa caucuses because organization is key to doing well in the caucuses.
It hasn't been a secret that Fallon has been supporting Edwards. He was taking tickets at Edwards official announcement in Des Moines back in December and he gave Elizabeth Edwards a tour of the Des Moines Farmer's Market a few weeks ago. I hope this announcement means Fallon will be playing an even bigger role with the Edwards campaign in Iowa.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Speaking before a small crowd of about 25 people in a
If it weren’t for you people in
Biden discussed what it would be like if larger states like
Biden then went and asked if we ever thought candidates would be sitting in a small coffeeshop in
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Jon Stewart takes a look at Romney's statements this week about his sons serving the nation by helping him get elected. The Daily Show takes a look at Mess O'Poromnia by sending a reporter to take a look at the Band of Romney Brothers has they campaign in Iowa.
Check out Popular Progressive to watch the video.
Labels: Mitt Romney
Friday, August 10, 2007
Over at Raising Kaine they have the 50 Greatest Liberal/Progressive Rock Songs.
Here are my top 5 from that list...
5. "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" (Neil Young)
We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler,
Machine gun hand
4. "A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall" (Bob Dylan)
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden
3. "Born in the USA" (Bruce Springsteen)
Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man
2. "Power and the Glory" (Phil Ochs)
But our land is still troubled by men who have to hate
They twist away our freedom & they twist away our fate
Fear is their weapon and treason is their cry
We can stop them if we try
1. "Imagine" (John Lennon)
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
The DNC has new website called I'm With None of the Above highlighting the fact that Republicans don't really like any of their candidates.
They sight 2 recent polls. One showing None of the Above polling ahead of all the other candidates...
Support Among Likely Republican Voters:
None of the Above
And one showing Republicans aren't satisfied with their choices...
Q: Are you satisfied with the current choices for the Republican nomination?
* Includes 'somewhat satisfied' and 'somewhat dissatisfied'
So since None of the Above will be on the Ames Straw Poll Ballot, who what candidate will Republicans vote for?
Thursday, August 09, 2007
There was a new poll released yesterday by the University of Iowa. The poll is interesting to take a look at because it breaks down caucus goers based on how likely they will attend the caucuses.
However, the most shocking finding in the poll comes from the question about presidential preference that included candidates from both parties...
Obama actually finished third as the preferred general election candidate of registered Republicans, at 6.7 percent, behind Romney (21.8 percent), and Giuliani (10 percent), but ahead of Thompson (5.2 percent) and McCain (1.8 percent).Another interesting thing to note is that the results among the least likely caucus goers in Iowa are pretty similar to the national poll numbers.
From Open Left...
I am struck by how similar the “least likely” caucus goers in Iowa seem to break along roughly the same lines as national polls. Would anyone bat an eyelash at a national poll showing Clinton 33%, Obama 25%, Edwards 10%, and Richardson 6%? I don’t think so. Even though Clinton’s number has been higher lately, the similarity is interesting, and might imply that once the campaign heats up post-Iowa, there could be as much flexibility in national numbers as there was in 2004. Of course, there are only 106 in the least likely caucus goers sample, so it might be best not to put too much stock in those numbers.And finally here are the results among most likely caucus goers...
Mitt Romney leads with 28% support, followed by Rudy Giuliani at 12%, Fred Thompson trails at 8%, Rep. Tom Tancredo at 5%, Sen. Sam Brownback at 4%, Sen. John McCain at 3% and Mike Huckabee at 2%.
John Edwards leads with 26%, followed by Sen. Hillary Clinton at 25%, Sen. Barack Obama at 19%, and Gov. Bill Richardson at 9%.
John Edwards has picked up the endorsement from Jeff Link, who has a wealth of campaign experience in the state. Link has connections that go back to the Gore-Lieberman campaign and he has worked on Vilsack and Harkin campaigns. These connections will be a big help for Edwards in the state.
MSNBC's First Read had this to say about Link's endorsement...
A somewhat surprising commitment today in Iowa for Edwards. Harkin operative Jeff Link is endorsing Edwards today, but not joining the official campaign payroll. Link's got ties to both Clinton and Obama, so the Edwards signing is a minor surprise to those in Iowa.Iowa Politics has the press release from Edwards campaign where Link had this to say about Edwards...
“Not only does John Edwards have the boldest agenda of change and taking on special interests, but he is the strongest candidate to carry our party to victory next November,” Link said. “He is the only candidate who has won in a solidly red state and in poll after poll he is the best Democratic candidate against whomever the Republicans nominate. I’m honored to be a part of his team.”
The majority of Americans recognize the overwhelming influence large corporations and industries have in Washington DC. This is true for both Democrats and Republicans. However, most Republican politicians like Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani still trumpet the talking points about the estate tax or billionaire's tax, corporate corruption, and on corporate welfare.
Mike Huckabee sees this influence and thinks America will be great when there is a level playing field. Check out this clip of Huckabee on Hardball yesterday...
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
At a campaign event in Bettendorf today, Mitt Romney compared his sons taking time to campaign for his Presidential bid to soldiers serving in Iraq. Romney was asked how many of his five sons are serving in the military and what they are doing to help fight the war on terrorism.
Here are Romney's remarks...
It’s remarkable how we can show our support for our nation and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife. And I respect that and respect all of those in the way they serve this great country.So Mitt is saying know this...
is pretty much the same as this...
I saw this on Democratic Underground and thought I'd share it. It is a translation guide to use while listening to a DLC candidate speak.
When They Say: Pragmatic
They Mean: Corporatist
Example: "Rahm Emanuel's campaign was a pragmatic success."
When They Say: Grown-up
They Mean: Corporatist
Example: "Unlike Dennis Kucinich, Hillary Clinton is a grown-up."
When They Say: Rational
They Mean: Corporatist
Example: "Harold Ford advocates a rational approach to foreign policy."
When They Say: Reasonable
They Mean: Corporatist
Example: "Steny Hoyer wants to adopt reasonable restrictions on greenhouse gasses."
When They Say: Centrist
They Mean: Corporatist
Example: "Diane Feinstein's centrist views have not been popular in the more liberal areas of her state."
When They Say: Bipartisan
They Mean: Corporatist
Example: "Joe Lieberman led a bipartisan effort to compromise on the Roberts nomination."
I only caught the last part of the AFL-CIO debate in Chicago last night. I didn't see enough to write a review of it.
I did see this question and it almost brought me to tears.
I would really like to see this same question asked at a Republican debate and watch the candidates squirm their way out of it. The responses would be similar to when Bush was peddling his Social Security plan and a woman told Bush that she works 3 jobs and Bush said that is uniquely American.
The Des Moines Register is reporting that Ron Paul has gone up with TV and radio ads in Iowa starting today that will run through the weekend.
The 30-second ads will be in rotation in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Sioux City, campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said. He would not disclose the amount paid.
The ad features Paul speaking to a crowd of supporters while an announcer repeats Paul's fiscally conservative campaign themes.
"Ron Paul has never voted to increase taxes, he refused his congressional pension and has never voted to raise his congressional pay," the announcer says while a camera pans over Paul and cheering supporters. "Now he's running for president to secure our borders, to stop runaway spending, to protect our liberties and to save our Constitution."
Labels: Ron Paul
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
With Democratic leadership of both legislative chambers and the governorship for the first time in forty years, the result in Iowa was a series of landmark legislative achievements, with a promise of even greater achievement in 2008:
· One of the signature bills of the session was the creation of the Iowa Power Fund, a $100 million investment in the state's renewable energy industry.
· Iowa approved Election Day Registration, a key reform to improve voter turnout in future elections.
· Along with raising the state minimum wage in line with likely federal increases, the legislature approved an increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit to 7% and made the credit refundable.
· Iowa became the 18th state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and the 11th state to ban discrimination based on gender identity.
· Teacher salaries will advance to the national average, a $250 million teacher pay increase.
· The legislature voted to end paperless electronic voting and move the state towards voter-marked paper ballots.
· The Senate approved a resolution opposing the President's escalation in Iraq.
On health care, the state raised the cigarette tax by $1 per pack, allowed small businesses to band together in purchasing pools, and encouraged embryonic stem cell research by repealing a 2002 law that prohibited human cloning. More comprehensive health care reforms were turned over to a committee to recommend changes for the 2008 legislature.
On the downside, the legislature failed to enact pro-union reforms of Iowa's "right to work for less" law and failed to enact a prevailing wage law to raise wages on public construction projects to match the wages paid in the private sector.
Here are the rest of the rankings...
- Star States who advanced progressive reforms on multiple fronts:
Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington
- Policy Leaders who enacted important reforms but could have achieved far more:
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada
- Incremental Gainers who made solid if unspectacular progress this session:
Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia
- Leadership Laggards who either accomplished little or balanced negative and positive policy changes:
Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Lousiana, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming
- Bottom of the Barrel states which distinguished themselves by rightwing policies or particularly dysfunctional leadership:
Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri