Friday, July 23, 2010

Fear & Loathing in the Tea Party

It's funny how easy it is to turn around the slogan the North Iowa Tea Party put on their Mason City billboard (see picture and story at It's even funnier how tone-deaf this particular group of Tea Partiers was -- so much so that they had to be rebuked by their brethren from other parts of the state. One of them called "these kinds of signs" that equate Obama, Hitler and Lenin "borderline hate crimes." It's hilarious, then, that when the North Iowa Tea Party spokesman finally talked to the media, he said that the comparison was valid, but the billboard was just "misunderstood" (see story at It's worth listening to what he has to say, though, about why they made the comparison. He's denouncing the whole sweep of government assistance going back to the New Deal and social security. And he rightly points out that the latest wave government involvement started under George W. Bush (whom he is also critical of). The question still remains (and, as far as I'm concerned, it hasn't been answered in a satisfactory way): What would you have done instead? A path of reform, though certainly imperfect, is preferable to total economic collapse. One other point is valid: Strengthening this country's social safety net is not equivalent to embracing Nazism or Communism. It's not even a step towards those philosophies. See the whole series of Globe-Gazette stories at and see an editorial on the topic from The Courier at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Union Supporter (she might start a civil war)

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Kim Reynolds supports the one-man, one-woman definition of marriage. She also wants to give Iowans the opportunity to vote on how marriage is defined after the state's Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to ban gay marriage. But she would never consider the possibility of legalizing civil unions for homosexual couples, says the Branstad campaign. Except that she would. Last week in Carroll Reynolds said, "We could take a look at civil unions. There are other options maybe that I would be in favor of looking at." (See story at Branstad's campaign "clarified" that by contradicting her and then pretending that she was actually talking about extending domestic partnership benefits to employees at private companies. (See story at All of the pretending is necessary because Branstad is trying to court Christian conservatives who still want to cast a vote for Bob Vander Plaats even though he lost the primary. And why? Because he has proven gay marriage is his top concern: He'd sign an executive order his first day in office overturning the court's decision. (See story at As for Branstad, well, he whines that the governor doesn't have the authority to do that. But he'll push for that constitutional amendment.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Where's the bear?

Bears don't just disappear, people! After news stories tracking a young male black bear over the last month in The Courier, there have been no reports of the very non-Iowan animal for more than a week. The bear was heading in a southerly direction through Northeast Iowa. After being photographed near Jesup, he's apparently gone underground. But we have our suspicions of where the furry fellow could be found if people were just looking. Did you notice how Steve Schmitt single-handedly slowed down the process of hiking Waterloo parking fees ( Probably not really single-handedly. Or, hmmm, bear disappears and two men are shot in Waterloo ( Not likely a coincidence. Then the Red Cross offers free pie for a pint of blood ( Well, where else would a bear go with that option out there? And with a bear roaming as the campaign season heats up, what's the chance that he won't end up at a few political rallies. I'm betting the Branstad camp has already picked up that bear. He needs 'em, trying to reach out to moderates while convincing the right wingers not to sit out the election ( To follow the bear's progress before he started campaigning for the former governor, check out these stories:;;;; ttp://; tp://