Wednesday, August 30, 2006
President Bush defended his speech there but, according to the Associate Press, later wrote Cardinal John O’Connor of New York and said he deeply regretted “causing needless offense” by not more clearly “disassociating myself from anti-Catholic sentiments and racial prejudice.”
Monday, August 28, 2006
Daily Times Herald Columnist
But they apparently don’t pay much attention to the most significant of American surveys: The Census.
The 2000 Census figures show dramatic growth in the number of Hispanics in Iowa. A wise candidate would take note of this and campaign aggressively in Iowa’s Hispanic enclaves.
It could be a winning strategy, a way for a candidate to separate from the field of nine (and possibly counting).
Only about 61,000 Iowans participated in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses in the year 2000, and that number doubled in 2004.
With a similar turnout in 2008, it’s conceivable that a candidate who successfully courts, say, 1,500 Hispanic caucus-goers in Sioux City could pull off a win.
A couple of caucuses in Denison and a few in Storm Lake, and presto, you’ve just won the night and vaulted into front-runner status for the Democratic Party’s nomination.
“That would be one way to get a significant portion of the early vote,” said Arthur Miller, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa.
Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver said it makes sense for candidates to pursue Hispanic voters.
“I actually think the one who wants to win will,” said Culver, a Democrat. “It has to be a part of their statewide and national strategy.”
So far, though, Miller says he hasn’t seen much from candidates in the way of appeal to Hispanics.
Clearly, the “Hispanic community” isn’t a monolith. Some Hispanics are Republicans, some are Democrats — and there are cultural differences between Hispanics from Mexico and those from Central America and South America.
“For all the white Americans all the Hispanics are Mexican,” says Roxana Boteo, a Guatemalan immigrant and interpreter in the South Sioux City schools. “But we’re not all Mexican. It’s not that I don’t like Mexicans. It’s just Mexico, Mexico, Mexico.”
Such cookie-cutter stereotyping can be exasperating, she says.
But Iowa Hispanics, whether they hail from Guatemala or California or Mexico City, have shared interests on issues like immigration reform and worker rights.
These are literally life and death issues for the Hispanic community, and Boteo says candidates who favorably address them would be surprised by the reaction in Latino areas.
A little attention would go a long ways, she says, noting that there are 9,300 Hispanics living in the Sioux City area alone according to the Census.
“They consider us for cheap labor,” Boteo says. “It’s very, very sad. We’re somebody to work, but we are not somebody to say anything.”
But like the Irish immigrants generations ago Hispanics in Iowa may have reached critical mass.
And just as Irish eyes spied opportunities and the ladder up from working-class tenement housing through politics, Hispanics could use the caucuses to foist their issues to the fore.
“I think they could actually use the caucuses to gain some additional highlighting and emphasis for their causes,” Miller says.
Support of ethanol is a litmus test here in the Hawkeye State. Why shouldn’t a candidate’s stance on immigration reform be one, too?
The numbers are there for Hispanics to make a strong statement.
In 2000 there were 81,500 Hispanics in Iowa. The Census reported that Polk County had 17,000 Hispanics; Pottawattamie, 3,000; Crawford County, 1,500; and Buena Vista County, 2,500.
“Politically, not only in Iowa, but nationally, Hispanics are going to play a large role in our political process,” Culver says.
Like the presidential race itself the emergence of Hispanic political clout, true electoral muscle, could start right here in Iowa.
“A block of 2,000 votes could be key,” Culver says.
Now, in the end, the question in this “English As The Official Language” state becomes: will cultural barriers prevent Hispanics from caucusing.
Even born-on-the-farm Iowa politicos struggle with the quirky caucuses at times.
Could relative newcomers adapt?
“There is such a curve,” Culver said. “It is hard to get anyone interested in the caucuses. The person who is going to win the caucuses on the Democratic side is the one who can get anyone to show up.”
Miller thinks a Democratic candidate with the right message could mobilize Hispanic voters.
And both Miller and Boteo say that the close-knit Hispanic communities in Iowa could thrive in a caucus process, that it may just be tailor-made for the Latino culture.
There literally could be all-Hispanic caucus sites in some places in Iowa.
“If it was localized it probably wouldn’t be a problem for them as long as they went in groups,” Miller says.
The danger with the Hispanic political strategy — and it could prove a fatal one — is that it might result in a backlash from white organized labor if its members aren’t sufficiently massaged after any Spanish pronouncements from candidates.
But so many Hispanics come to the United States for jobs native Iowans and union members don’t want anyway.
The incidents of discrimination and abuse visited upon Iowa’s Hispanics in those jobs — and outside of the workplace for that matter — have been legion.
But the numbers just might be in the Hispanics’ favor on caucus night 2008.
And to the kingmakers go the political spoils.
Harkin has been a longtime advocate of expanding production of farm-based renewable fuels. Recently, Harkin introduced The Biofuels Security Act, a comprehensive plan to increase production and use of biofuels. The legislation would ensure that the largest oil companies annually increase the number of E85 pumps at their branded fuel stations, until half of their stations nationwide carry E85 pumps. It would also require that nearly every new vehicle sold in the United States be flex-fuel compatible within 10 years and establish a new, more aggressive renewable fuels standard.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Crazy meanderings or something to watch? Hopefully, the former, but with immigration one of the few issues gaining traction for the GOP, don't be surprised to see someone trot this idea out there.
You can just see some of the yahoos in this part of the state loading up their ATVs with beer and heading out for a night of "Dog The Bounty Hunter." Surely there would be no violence or race war potential with any of this ...
He'll celebrate his 70th birthday Tuesday.
Here is what the newspaper reports:
That would put McCain in uncharted political territory should he win the presidency: No one older than 70 has ever moved into the White House.
Not only will the Republican senator be the oldest of the large field of possible candidates in both major parties, he'll be three years older on Election Day 2008 than Ronald Reagan was when he won his first term in 1980. At 69, Reagan was the oldest man ever to enter the White House. He was 73 when he won his second term. (Read more of the article).
Friday, August 25, 2006
Daily Times Herald Columnist
We have a president who finds flatulence jokes funny. He even makes them - the fart jokes, that is.
This is spectacularly disturbing as most high-school educated Americans know there are two types of people in the world: those who think farts are knee-slapping, hee-hawing fun and those who have left second grade on the merits, not through social promotion.
One of the easiest ways to judge someone, to spot a mouth-breathing loser who still watches cartoons and drinks Fanta cola in his 40s, is by whether they think farting is in any sense funny.
If you are over the age of 8 and still find a fart anything but what it is - an annoying release of human waste to be endured not announced with Cheshire grins and fraternity fanfare - the government should superglue a prophylactic on you. You should not be allowed to reproduce, much less be appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court to lead a world of 6 billion people.
In other words, the president should have a more advanced sense of humor than Larry the Cable Guy or any number of first-graders who just reported for class in Carroll, Iowa, this week.
But alas, this is not the case.
"We're learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes," reports U.S. News & World Report in its Aug. 28 edition. "A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he's a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes."
To make matters worse, Bush reportedly enjoys "cutting a few" when meeting new aides.
That's not exactly the way to inspire Mount Rushmore respect for the office.
I doubt George Washington whipped out his wooden teeth in front of Alexander Hamilton to break the ice.
At least Clinton and Monica were engaged in adult behavior.
Take the partisanship out of this for a second. Who would you rather have making a decision about wars and the economy?
(A) Someone who just received the Lewinsky treatment or (B) A dude who couldn't stop laughing because he just emitted some bean steam from his rear in the Oval Office.
Or look at this way: If someone came into your office for a job interview and let some gas fly - and then made some sophomoric joke about said episode - would you hire him?
I'd like to hear more from President Bush on this. Perhaps he could help me figure out something I've been wondering about since I left second grade. What's so funny about a fart?
On the humor scale, how is farting any different than taking a leak? When I go into restrooms in airports or sports arenas I don't see a bunch of guys standing over urinals laughing at the fact they're releasing spent fuel from their bodies.
People who find amusement-park fun in farts are 99 percent of the time the same guys who take photos of their No. 2 bowel movements, put them on their cell phones and show them to friends in the aforementioned fraternity houses.
Now, of course, some people will be quick to say, that W.'s affection for farts is endearing, that it's further evidence of his brush-clearing everyman appeal, that John Kerry and Al Gore are so stiff that their farting patterns are rare, sort of like lunar eclipses.
But there is nothing remotely redeeming about a president of the United States making sport out of individual exports of natural gas.
Remember the morning of 9/11, when Bush was in a Florida classroom reading "My Pet Goat" to grade-schoolers, a public-relations event he continued for seven minutes after being informed that we were under attack.
We in the non-fart-joking demographic just thought Bush was dazed and confused at the enormity of the problem in front of him.
In reality he probably felt some gas building and wanted to wait long enough to fart in front of the kids and get a great laugh to add some levity to the day as the towers were falling.
Bush's gross taste for bathroom-stall humor is further evidence that this president should be spending his nights making bad baseball trades, blowing family sweetened oil deals and going to movies like "Snakes on a Plane," not deciding where to send America's sons and daughters to lose their lives.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Daily Times Herald Columnist
Even though the movie is a comedy, Arthur's Congresswoman Phoebe Frost of "Iowa's Ninth District" is portrayed as a serious politician, earnest and competent in her work but just a bit unlucky in love.
She's sent with her committee on an investigation of troop morale in post-World War II Germany. The other members of Congress in the film are typecast as out-of-touch, aging Easterners and bumbling deep-fried Southerners. Frost is the one with the pluck and sense.
And the Iowa angle is played large in this film with Wilder and his team making a very believable case that Arthur could be a congresswoman from the Hawkeye State.
"How is good old Iowa?" asks her suitor, Capt. John Pringle.
"Sixty-two percent Republican, thank you," Congresswoman Frost says.
There is some discussion of the smell of cornfields after the rain and the singing of "Ioway."
It's interesting to watch this movie in 2006, to see the casual cigarette smoking in all places, the cruise-ship sexism of the Americans in Berlin, the antiquated speech and other cultural relics - and then realize that the back story for the marquee character is more progressive than anything that actually has happened for women in Iowa politics in the last 58 years.
The old movie is ahead of its time, and, disturbingly, our time.
Jean Arthur never lived to see the Internet, but she did play an Iowa congresswoman. To use the familiar language of my generation, that's messed up.
Iowans - who live in a state where the majority of residents are women and where many women have earned well-deserved reputations as successful state legislators - have never sent a woman to Washington, D.C., vested with the authority to vote in the halls of Congress.
Iowa joins Mississippi, Delaware, New Hampshire and Vermont as the only states with such a distinction.
Moreover, Iowa has never elected a woman as governor, although the state's last two chief executives have had female lieutenant governors.
"Honestly, it really amazed me when you pointed that out to me," said Linda Tarplin, a Carroll County native and top Republican lobbyist in Washington, D.C. "I was surprised because I would have wanted to believe that my great state is one of open-minded and certainly fair-minded people."
Tarplin worked for the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations before getting into healthcare lobbying. The Washington Post recently recognized her as one the top lobbyists in her field.
She's more qualified to do the job of a member of Congress than most men who have been elected from Iowa. I can tell you that Tarplin has one of the brighter political minds I've encountered in a decade and a half of writing about government - and Tarplin would be a far better advocate for western Iowa interests than U.S. Rep. Steve King or Democrat Joyce Schulte. But, tragically, Tarplin would be a doomed candidate for one reason: she's a she.
To be clear, Tarplin isn't a candidate for anything. But she works with some of the nation's most powerful people. So I asked her about this political glass ceiling for women in Iowa.
"As I thought about it I wondered if there is something to the fact that the state has traditionally been centered around an agricultural philosophy," Tarplin said. "Even if you are in a manufacturing industry, everyone cares how the farmers are doing as so much of the local economy is dependent upon that, and that really does remain a man's world."
By Donald Kaul
I'm shocked and awed by the stupidity of it all.
I'm speaking, of course, of the war in Lebanon. People seem to be focusing on whether Israel's response to Hezbollah's attacks from safe harbor across the Lebanese border is "disproportionate."
I'm afraid I don't understand the question. Since when is a response to repeated lethal attacks disproportionate? Was our dropping the atom bombs on Japan in 1945 a disproportionate way of ending World War II?
No it wasn't. God was on our side then and He's on the side of Israel now. Interestingly enough, He's also on Hezbollah's side.
It is a unique property of God that He is on the side of all combatants in every war. Just ask them. I'll bet Hitler thought God was on his side, and Stalin would have too, had he believed in God.
So let's not get too caught up in the morality of Israel's response. Wars are, by their very nature, amoral. The object of going to war is not to be named Miss Congeniality; it is to win.
And by that standard the Israeli effort is exceedingly dumb.
It, like our effort in Iraq, seeks to weaken its enemies and embolden its friends. Instead, like our effort in Iraq, it has emboldened its enemies and made impotent its friends.
Moderates in Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan have been rendered irrelevant by Israel's "collateral damage" to women and children while the murderous thugs of Hezbollah have become heroes to the Muslim world.
Nor---again, like our effort in Iraq---is there any easy way out of this for Israel.
As Yoel Marcus, an Israeli columnist, wrote recently: "It is unthinkable to walk away from the battlefield with the depressing sense that out of all the wars Israel has ever fought, only Hezbollah, a mere band of terrorists, was able to bombard the Israeli home front with thousands of missiles and get off scot-free. Israel must sound the last chord, launching a massive air and ground offensive that will end this mortifying war, not with a whimper but a thunderous roar."
That attitude is mirrored by Osama bin Laden's chief henchman, Ayman al-Zawahri, who has said: "War with Israel is not subject to a treaty, a cease-fire. It is a jihad for the cause of God until the entire religion is for him only. Jihad seeks the liberation of Palestine, the entire country of Palestine, and to liberate every land that used to be a territory of Islam from Spain to Iraq."
See, what did I tell you? God's on their side. And if I were Spain, I'd start worrying.
Our contribution to this fiasco has been laughingly inept. We've offered to hold Israel's coat while it cleans up on Hezbollah and refused to endorse an "immediate' cease fire, although we've clucked sympathetically at Lebanese deaths. This war is nothing more than the "birth pangs of democracy," Secretary of State Rice has said.
She has also sternly lectured Syria, a sponsor of Hezbollah, on the need to make that organization stop what it's doing. The lecture was indirect, of course; we don't talk to Syria or Iran directly. We don't like them. They're not nice people.
It sounds as though everything this administration learned about diplomacy it learned in kindergarten.
You want to know why this is important, besides the loss of life? Vali R. Nasr, a professor at the Navel Postgraduate School put it best when he told “The New York Times:”
"It potentially puts into question the entire rationale of whether overwhelming military force can shape the region. The bar for victory for the U.S. and Israel is growing every day and for Hezbollah it is lowering every day."
If this administration actually learned that, the mess would be worth something. But it won't. Its neo-con wing thinks the problem is that we've been too wimpy. Those people want to bomb Iran too.
If God were really on our side, Bush wouldn't be president.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Iowa senator’s invite for fall steak fry fuels speculation that young Illinoisan may run for presidency in ’08
By DOUGLAS BURNS Times Herald Staff Writer
With an invitation to keynote his annual steak fry and fund-raiser, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin has fueled speculation about a possible presidential bid by rising political superstar Barack Obama.
U.S. Sen. Obama, D-Ill., who rocketed from relative obscurity to the political stratosphere with a stirring speech to the Democratic Convention in 2004, will headline Harkin’s event on Sept. 17 at the Warren County Fairgrounds.
“I think Barack Obama has a lot of potential in many areas,” Harkin said. “He has the potential of being a great senator, being a unifier in terms of bringing better race relations to this county.”
Added Harkin, “I think he has the potential of giving a better face to America abroad.”
Obama, 44, is the son of a white Kansas woman and Kenyan man.
In a conference call with the Daily Times Herald and other media Harkin said Obama quickly has earned the respect of other senators since being elected in 2004.
“He’s just plainly a nice guy too,” Harkin said. “He doesn’t seem to have a big head or anything like that.”
In a high-profile speech last month to religious progressives Obama said the Democratic Party must do a better job of showing how faith isn’t exclusive to conservative voters. He noted that the major gap in party registration is “between those who attend church regularly and those who don’t.”
“I thought it was profound,” Harkin said of the speech. “I thought it was really sensitive and it’s where a lot of us are in terms of our thinking with morals, politics and religion. He’s charted a good course for everyone, not just Democrats but everyone.”
Harkin said he expects the Obama speech in September to energize Iowans.
“Here’s a guy who went from obscurity two years ago as a state senator in Illinois and now he’s a major spokesman and there’s a lot of buzz about him,” Harkin said. “It will be exciting.”
Several national political observers say the prime Iowa speaking slot could be one of the first steps toward an Obama presidential run.
“Given the wide open field, Obama risks nothing in making such moves,” Professor Gregory Payne of Emerson College in Boston told the Daily Times Herald. “It broadens his credibility and name recognition across the country with such speculation and puts him in a great position for a vice-presidential nomination as the campaign progresses. He has enormous potential given his emerging reputation as an eloquent and reasoned leader of a party in search of itself.”
Allan Saxe, an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at Arlington, sees Obama as a likely vice presidential candidate in 2008.
“He would be the first African-American on a major political party nomination ticket, similar to Senator Lieberman breaking new ground in 2000 as the first Jewish person on a major presidential ticket,” Saxe told the Daily Times Herald. “Senator Obama is in his first term as U.S. senator, but he has made a strong impression on a good part of the public.”
Saxe said Obama’s main drawbacks are that he may be perceived as too liberal and has no strong name recognition-yet.
“He is a young, strong, articulate speaker,” Saxe said.
Carroll Daily Times Herald
SIOUX CENTER — Dr. Rexanne Struve, a Manning veterinarian and pioneer on the animal-raising side of the emerging field of pig-to-human organ transplants, has a message for national lawmakers.
Big ideas don’t always come from big companies.
Struve recently testified in a U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture field hearing at Dordt College in Sioux Center.
“While swine vaccine trials remain the core of the present business, Struve Labs has begun producing antibodies for use in treating human diseases,” Struve told the House panel. “Work has also been done on the development of transgenic pigs which carry enough human genes to allow the use of pig organs to replace human organs.”
The developing technology could mean revolutionary changes in the fight against age-old diseases, Struve said.
Struve, who has traveled with Gov. Tom Vilsack and others to promote bioscience trade and development, envisions a world of medicine in the not-too-distant future in which organs in specially raised pigs, and the pigs themselves, are used to eradicate diabetes, repair ripped-up knees in men and women and provide a host of medical solutions, all through a process broadly known as xenotransplantation or animal-to-human transplants.
“This has huge implications in the treatment of human maladies such as Type II diabetes, heart, liver, and kidney failure, and burn wounds, to name a few,” she said.
Future plans for Struve Labs include raising small numbers of these unique pigs in specialized units on family farms in close proximity to a central surgical facility.
“From these animals, this hospital will harvest organs which will then be flown to transplant centers all over the U.S.,” Struve said. “The need for educated, high-level positions such as surgeons and technicians will profoundly affect the local area and its economy. Sioux Center has seen the same effect with the progression of Trans Ova.”
Wayne Seaman, a member of the Carroll Area Development Corp., who recently visited Struve Labs for an existing business and industry dialogue, says the operation holds major promise for economic development, and moreover, humanity.
“This is cutting-edge research that I believe will be molded into the health-care of humans,” Seaman said in an interview with the Daily Times Herald. “I just leave there stimulated every time I visit there.”
He said the business is about far more than Iowa agriculture.
“Rexanne would like to save local farmers and hog producers,” Seaman said. “I told her her view has to be bigger than that. She has to save humanity. She’s got a bigger agenda.”
Struve Labs produces pigs by the gold standard method for clean stock derivation.
These CDCD (Caesarian Derived, Colostrum Deprived) pigs are born within a sterile bubble by Caesarian Section, then taken to a biosecure laboratory where they are raised without colostrum, or the mother’s first milk. This means these pigs haven’t been exposed to the bacteria and viruses that are present in the mother sow’s body.
“In the recent past, CDCD pigs have been used primarily for FDA required safety and efficacy tests of vaccines used in U.S. swine herds,” Struve said. “These pigs are also used to study emerging swine diseases, since CDCD pigs are free of confounding factors which may skew the course of a disease entity.”
Struve Labs began as Merrick Labs in Manilla and has expanded throughout the last 45 years.
“It provides jobs and opportunities for local people to work and improve their skills and wages,” Struve said. “It has progressed to an entirely different business now, with global impact and possibilities. This is a boon to rural Western Iowa.
“Any legislation that can help producer entrepreneurs to improve their businesses in rural America will be welcomed and appreciated. The term ‘producer’ may include businesses like Struve Labs that are using crops and livestock previously considered commodities, to improve the health and well being of humankind and to provide improved livelihoods in rural Iowa and America.”
Seaman said Struve’s testimony should expose her lab to more research and university opportunities.
“I think it opens up a cash flow,” he said.
If there's one thing I learned while I was running for President, it's that Iowa matters.
That's why today, I'm asking for you to help my friend, Chet Culver, Democratic candidate for governor in Iowa. The Iowa governor's seat is ranked as Karl Rove's #1 target for a Republican gubernatorial pickup in 2006.
In fact, David Broder of the Washington Post said earlier this year: "The campaigns in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin will tell us more about the direction of the country and the shape of the 2008 presidential battleground than any of the battles for Capitol Hill."
Chet Culver has the experience, the commitment, and the leadership to not only win this race, but also to make Iowa better as governor. From his days as a public school teacher and successful football coach to his service as Secretary of State, Chet knows what it takes to help Iowans. That includes increasing teachers' pay, raising Iowa's minimum wage, and using alternative energy resources to fuel the world, create good jobs, and help break our nation's dependence on foreign oil. Chet will be a wonderful governor and his wife, Mari, who I met on my last trip to Iowa, will be a great first lady.
What can I say about Jim Nussle, Chet's opponent? Well for one thing, he took $15,000 from Tom Delay's political action committee, and then, not surprisingly, voted against investigating Tom DeLay's good friend and convicted felon, Jack Abramoff.
Jim Nussle has been nothing but a rubberstamp for President Bush in Congress. Since he became chair of the House Budget Committee, Jim Nussle and George W. Bush have turned a two-hundred-billion-dollar federal budget surplus into a four-hundred-billion-dollar deficit -- the largest in history. So it should come as no surprise that George W. Bush returned the favor by raising over $1 million for Nussle in one night at an April fundraiser.
This quid pro quo may work in Washington, but do we really want a guy who is mortgaging our children's future to run the state of Iowa?
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin has a message for Democratic presidential candidates in 2008: win Iowa and win the nomination.
Harkin tells the Daily Times Herald he believes the status of the Iowa caucuses is only enhanced by Saturday’s shake-up that inserts the Nevada caucus in between the expected Jan. 14 Iowa caucuses and Jan. 22 New Hampshire primary.
The closeness of those contests on the calendar, along with a South Carolina primary a week after New Hampshire, means candidates will have to be the political equivalent of a basketball point guard with a quick first step.
“It’s so close that whoever wins Iowa will basically win everything,” Harkin said in an interview at the Garst Farm Resorts this past Sunday. “Actually, Iowa becomes more important than ever now in this scenario because they’re so bunched together. Whoever wins Iowa, it’s so close to Nevada, you get the bounce.
Harkin said, “What they tried to do to knock Iowa out actually makes Iowa more important than ever.”
There’s just not enough time to recover from a second- or third-place finish in Iowa, said Harkin, who ran himself in 1992, winning Iowa but failing to make a strong showing in New Hampshire as President Clinton emerged as “The Comeback Kid.”
“I told John Kerry this before he ran: if someone can win Iowa and New Hampshire, they’re going to win the nomination of the party,” Harkin said. “He disagreed. Well, I was right about it. I was just wrong about who I bet on.”
Harkin supported Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2004.
While he sees the new primary and caucus schedule as advantageous, Harkin said the Democratic National Committee should have left the system as is.
“They shouldn’t have even tinkered with it at all,” he said.
He blamed his Democratic colleague in the U.S. Senate, Carl Levin of Michigan, for pushing the changes for years to “get rid of Iowa.”
Harkin said New Hampshire may balk at the new DNC plan and vault its primary ahead.
“Iowa law says we have to be at least eight days before the next one,” he said.
That may mean Iowa Democrats will be caucusing in late 2007, say between Christmas Day and New Year’s or right after the holidays, Harkin said.
“This whole thing could just fall apart because of two people who kept prodding and pushing to get rid of Iowa,” Harkin said. “Well, they couldn’t get rid of Iowa but they got this thing all messed up.”
Harkin said be believes Tom Vilsack’s presidential ambitions in Iowa are in the governor’s own hands.
Can another Democrat win even with Vilsack in the race, and does such a prospect, of gaining a road win so to speak, make Iowa even more attractive?
“That depends on how hard Vilsack works Iowa,” Harkin said. “There is a sense of hometown pride and that kind of thing, but he has to make sure that Iowans see him as a potential candidate. If he has the support and money and things like that, then people will see him like that.”
But Democrats don’t have the same loyalty to Vilsack that they do to Harkin who cruised to a win here in 1992.
Is that personality, character, or do some Iowans still not fully accept Vilsack as a Hawkeye Stater because he’s a Pennsylvania native?
“This is who I am with my ancestors,” Harkin said. “I just feel a part of it, and I’m sure Tom also must feel that way.”
“I don’t know about this other stuff,” Harkin said. “That’s hard to gauge. Maybe it’s personality.”
Thursday, August 17, 2006
New Nussle Ad Stresses Protecting Pensions & Retirement Accounts Says He’ll “Reject Risky Investment Schemes and…Protect Public Pensions”
“It’s simply staggering that Chet and his handlers would forward such a reckless and dangerous proposal,” stated Nick Ryan, Nussle’s Campaign Manager. “First Chet supported taking away people’s land by supporting the Governor’s Eminent Domain Veto, and now he wants to fritter away the pensions of city, county, and state employees, like folks in education and law enforcement. I guess this illustrates just how out-of-touch he really is with mainstream Iowans and their pocketbook concerns.”
ANALYSTS SPIN YARNS ON LIEBERMAN RACE; FOUR PENGUINS DIE – by Donald Kaul
There are some headlines on news stories that tell you what the story is about. That’s good. There are some that merely confuse you. That’s bad. And then there are those that suggest something more grand; a novel perhaps. They’re the best of all.
One such headline appeared on my Internet home page the other day. It read:
“Four penguins perish in truck accident. Octopus uninjured.”
Wow. Is that a headline or what?
If you click on the headline the story comes up and you can read it, but I didn’t click. I knew that the mundane facts of the case could never match the novel it suggested. (I’m a great deal like George Bush in that regard. When facts interfere with a narrative, I ignore them.) So…
Once upon a time, an octopus was driving his pickup truck on a main street, carrying a cargo of four penguins to their new home at the zoo. He had two of his pus on the wheel, another resting on the sill of the open window, another changing channels on his CD player, two more working the brake and gas pedals and one holding a cell phone to his earhole while he talked to his girlfriend.
When the penguins, being penguins, got into an argument over who had the coolest tuxedo, the octopus reached around with his remaining pus to swat them into silence. At that moment a utility pole darted in front of the truck and the he hit it.
The octopus dropped everything he was doing and wrapped all of his tentacles around every available anchor, so he was all right.
The penguins, however, being penguins, were not wearing seat belts and went tumbling into the street like so many formally attired bowling pins. Alas, they did not survive the crash.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Columnists are not the only media people who deal in fantasy, however. There are political analysts.
For example, many of them are sadly bemoaning Joe Lieberman’s loss in Connecticut’s Democratic Senate primary. He lost to a relatively unknown rich guy who attacked the three-term senator for his support of the Iraq war.
“Poor Joe,” the pundits are saying, “he voted his conscience and the nasty Democratic voters of Connecticut punished him for it. What is to become of compromise and moderation---hallmarks of Lieberman’s tenure---in this poisonous atmosphere?”
Excuse me, but I thought his job was to represent the people of Connecticut, not merely his immaculate conscience. He not only voted for the war, he’s continued to parrot the administration’s rosy scenario long after it became apparent that it was a fiction.
Besides, compromise in Congress is dead. George Bush killed it. Anyone who doesn’t know that is a fool.
Lieberman’s got a conscience? Fine. So do the Democrats of Connecticut and they voted it.
Lieberman has said that he’ll run as an independent in the fall and they say he’s got a chance of winning, although he may just siphon off enough votes to put the Republican candidate, a virtual nonentity, in office.
I have a friend George who thinks that would not be a bad result. He thinks the Democrats would be wise to let the Republicans keep control of Congress.
“We’re going to have to pull out of Iraq and sooner rather than later,” he said. “The American people won’t stand for keeping our troops in the middle of a civil war which, if eyewitness accounts are to be believed, Iraq has become.
“If the Democrats are in power when it happens the Republicans will say ‘See! We told you so. The Democrats are weak on national security. They lost Iraq.’ Already that little weasel Bill Kristol is saying that Lieberman was defeated by people who hate America.
“Better to let the Republicans stay in office and take the fall when the mess they’ve created reaches our eyeballs.”
That George, he’s such a cynic. Still, he could be right."Distributed by MinutemanMedia.org."