Thursday, November 29, 2012

Middle East Cease Fire(s) Deal

Secretary Clinton at the
end of the 178 hour summit.
A momentous achievement was accomplished in the waning hours of last night’s negotiations between the Jewish State and the Palestinian Territory, where both sides have come agreed to, in principal, a framework brokered by outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The deal is said to be centered around plans for five cease fires for the next five rounds of violence.

“We feel this will really expedite the process next time, saving the world diplomatic community hours of travel time and per diem meal expenses.” said one Israel official this morning.

Specifics are still need being negotiated such as the number of mortars launched into Israel and the number of drone attacks flown into the Gaza Strip in order to trigger one of these cease fires, though it was agreed verbally that once one of the cease fires kicks in, that normal everyday violence will resume after 10 days of relative calm and peace. One Palestinian we talked to was already excited about the news.

Celebrations have broken out in the Middle East.
“It’s a historic deal that will allow us to continue our turbulent cycle of destruction for the next several years, the next time I’m awoken by the sound of explosions and human suffering, I can forgo shouting at the news cameras about the need to end this senseless violence. Knowing that it’s just a matter of time before it’s just a matter time that we start the whole thing over again.”

However, most people we talked to agree that the real winners are the American people, who will no longer have to sit through a boring 5 minute pre-filmed exposé about the latest wave of violence in the Middle East during their cable newscasts, and get right to the more important news, like what did Lindsey Lohan get arrested for today.

In other news, Lindsay Lohan was arrested today for punching a 28 year old female in a New York Night Club.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Water Cooler Quiz

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Election Results - Stage 5: Acceptance

The confetti has fallen, and the signs are coming down, in the back of a smoke free juice bar, the nightly network news with Al Sharpton begins playing. Outside, next to the row of 180 mpg smart cars, is a gay man on his knees asking his partner for the past three years you spend the rest of his life with him. As we pan out, we hear the gentle whirr whirr of the windmills attached to the roofs of the surrounding buildings. This is just one scene of the nightmare that awaits us now that Obama has won a second term.

Stage 5: Acceptance

"Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward." -Barrack Obama

After the election of 2008, when my candidate eked out a narrow victory over the Constitution Party for a solid 4th place finish, I had a moment where I was filled with hope. A little piece of the same hope that Obama had been selling during his campaign. He had spoken of bettering our education system, and reducing the cost of Healthcare and College. All the while vowing to cut the deficit in half and spur a new green revolution in America that would lead the way to energy independence. The election seemed to had given him the political capital needed, along with a heavily democratic congress, to achieve some of these goals.

Putting aside certain shortcomings from the first term, let's look at what the positive aspects of a second term for Obama could be.

1. We now have an openly Pro-Gay President. Hot Lesbians are sure to follow.
2. We will finally win the war in Afghanistan, regardless of the outcome.
3. We get to continue to hear about the feeling Chris Mathews has in his pants.
4. Men's health insurance rates will be raised up to the level of woman's health insurance rates, making things equal.
5. The infamous lock box discussion on what to do with the Social Security surplus will be resolved, since it will be is gone.
6. We will finally be told how to save money in our health care system, thanks to IPAB.

Thus concludes the cycle of grief for the election 2012 cycle. See you all right back here in 2016.

Stage 1: Denial
Stage 2: Anger
Stage 3: Bargaining
Stage 4: Depression

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Election Results - Stage 4: Depression

Time to bust out the Hagen-Daiz and other all American foods that people gorge on to drown their sorrows.


"If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates." -Jay Leno

The most recognizable of all the grief stricken. You mock those in denial, you avoid those in anger, you judge those who try and bargain there way out of a situation, but most people have a spot in their hearts for their fellow men and woman who are truly depressed.

It's best to just let them be. If you confront them, the reaction will go something like, "What are you people doing here? Shouldn't you be out celebrating, because... evidently... you don't listen to anything I say!". If you must confront one, perhaps to ask for a cup a sugar from your neighbor who has a fading Romney/Ryan sign in their yard, don't back them into a corner. Offer them a way out. Perhaps a low lying window out the side of the house. Unless you want to see some waterfalls, it's best to just let them be.

Should you come across one of these voters that bleed 'red state' red and they are already sobbing, try offering them one of the flyers you got in the mail to help them wipe their tears, or one of the millions of fake ballots cast for Obama to blow their nose. Lend a sympathetic ear as they dribble on about how Obama-Care will destroy us all, or how the Deficit will crush our economy, simply nod and smile, because, deep down you all know it's true! Sorry, sorry, I need a minute...

While I wallow back and forth within the early stages of my personal grief, feel free to wallow with me. If you are one of the lucky ones that have finished shaking your head in disbelief, shaking your fist in anger, writing your petitions to get out of the whole deal, and shedding your tears, feel free to move on to the final stage; Acceptance.

Stage 1: Denial
Stage 2: Anger
Stage 3: Bargaining

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Election Results - Stage 3: Bargaining

Who is out there willing to play 'let's make a deal' with the Republican party? Perhaps those stinking Mexicans or the blasphemous homosexual community, or god forbid, the Atheists. But, how to make the vision of an anti-immigrant, traditional marriage, judeo-christian founded America appeal to them?


"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." -Mitt Romney

<My apologies to Mrs. Kubler-Ross for taking some liberties on what is meant by bargaining when it comes to grief.>

Once the anger subsides and the plotting begins in how to win the 2014 midterms and the next presidential election, the need to woo a new demographic to the right side in order to balance out the overall votes. We can not continue to wait for imaginary ninjas to help the right win.

There have been several thoughts presented as to who the Republican Party needs to tailor their message to in the hopes that it may make a dent in the growing gap with voting blocks that have been traditionally democratic. Some people believe this means compromising a long held position on a key issue. Perhaps immigration, perhaps gay marriage. Which of course could, in turn, prevent a key voting block from turning out on election day, of course I am talking about the closely held @$$-hole vote. I'm talking about those that believe that what hot lesbians do in there bedroom are not only topics for guys sitting in front of their computers late at night, but also matters to people who spend Sunday mornings gathering and talking about how everyone else is going to hell, and that believe the first amendment was put in place to prevent poorly placed mosques in Manhattan. There is some doubt cast when people point out the tailored messages that the RNC spent $5,000,000,000 on this past election trying to broadcast messages on Tela-mundo about the need for border protection, and the $100,000,000 spent by the Westboro Baptist Church of sponsoring a tour by the biggest celebrity they could find, George Micheal, to spread their message of sin and sodomy.

Many say that there is no need for change within the party, and that the problem is that large swaths of Americans that don't seem to want to change their morals and values no matter how many times theirs are proven to be inferior to their own. The solution to this conundrum is simple, succession. A petition to the White House has already garnered over 68,000 signatures to allow Texas to succeed from the United States.

To those readers who wish to pursue this path, I would recommend looking at history for the list of do's and do not's when it comes to succeeding from the United States. A brief look at history shows that seceding states don't have the greatest track record. 0 for 11 to be exact. The other number to toss around is 600,000, the sobering number of deaths as a result from the attempt.

Assuming that you are not an Italian plumber stereotype and have but one life to live for your country, my recommendation is to stop trying to wheel and deal your way out of the election results, grab a box of tissues and wait for the forth stage of grief; depression.

Stage 1: Denial
Stage 2: Anger

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Election Results - Stage 2: Anger

Continuing with my efforts to help move past the election results, today we will be addressing the uglier side of politics, no, I'm not talking about sex scandals, I'm talking about Anger, something that any liberal attempting to protest an NRA gathering is all too familiar with.


"This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!..." Donald Trump on his Twitter Feed

Anger, the ugly cousin of grief that always gets an obligatory invite to the party, but we all hope that they never show up. Once the results of the election started to solidify and the shock fades, who else but anger's grotesque form rears into the human psyche. 

%#@%&*$ Ninjas
It's Romney's fault, he abandoned Ohio and Virginia in the eleventh hour for a hail-mary pass in Pennsylvania  Minnesota, and Michigan. It's Obama's fault for painting such a horrid picture of such a decent and respectable man. It's the media's fault for slanting their vetting process in the President's favor, and ultimately, it's the Secret Society of Republican Ninja's fault, numbering in the millions and amassing in the Ohio valley and Florida's pan handle, for not only omitting their 10,000,000 solid republican votes, but for not existing in the first place!

Anger is natural enough, but it's how we decide to vent this anger that will judge the parties character moving forward. Reports of people committing suicide and running over their spouse with a car are not helping to transcend the situation, the best thing that comes from these incidents is late night monologue jokes, and considering that republicans are naturally opposed to humor in most forms, I would have to determine that these approaches will ultimately fail in swaying any votes to the right.

Anger, hate, and blame can be pointed in many directions, but for every finger you point at another faction or person who you accuse of costing Romney the election, the more soft money will slip through your fingers, and you will want that money as you move on to the next stage of grief; Bargaining.

Election Results - Stage 1: Denial

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Election Results - Stage 1: Denial

Grief is a funny thing. People can respond to it in funny ways. Confusion, sadness, and outbursts of emotion that make people want to check you for tourettes syndrome  After listening to the rounds of talk radio in the wake of the election, I've decided to put together a help guide over the coming days to assist with the grief that many are still feeling from the results of the presidential election.


"... No, I don't..." - Karl Rove when asked if he thinks Ohio has been settled shortly after declared won by Obama on Fox News.

As the results came rolling in, and the writing appeared obvious on the wall. There where some that insisted that it was not over, Karl Rove on Fox News questioned the declaration that Ohio would go Blue when 25% of the vote was still outstanding. Of course, Ohio would go Blue by a little over 100,000 votes. relatively close by most measures, but not close enough to justify holding on to some hope that a mistake had occurred. Especially when results in Virginia, Florida, and one other state would have to swing to make up for it. Last reports from Fox News have Karl Rove going from house to house in all 11 swings states doing a door to door recount to verify the results, currently he reports that Obama has actually grown his lead by 6,000,000 votes, but only because citizens learned that he insisted on receiving a high five from anyone claiming that they voted for Romney.

I'll admit it, I even made a G+ post about how quickly Michigan had been declared for Obama, knowing that it was tagged as a potential upset state, it was called after about 10% by most networks, and at one point, I think with roughly 25% reporting, Romney actually had a slight lead in Michigan. I took out my anger and frustration banging my head against the wall once for each of the 2,561,911 votes he got in Michigan. The new entry way this created from the living room to the bathroom in our house was not well received by the misses. Especially since she was showering at the time that vote number 1,894,923 was counted, and I blasted through the last bit of drywall and tile that created a 'how do you do' moment with my lovely wife that had previously only been hinted at in the pages of Dear Penthouse. My ending did not match the erotic ending of the forum.

But here is the truth, not only is it true that Obama won the election, it turns out that all the statisticians at all the major news networks got it right on the first try. Sure, many of us still remember the 2000 election and the constant changing of Florida with trepidation, but that was a learning experience for the news machine in general. We on the short end of this election need to accept this reality and start plotting the demise of our enemies as we move on to the next phase of grief; ANGER.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baseball Off Season

What do the clubs across the league need to do to get their teams back into contention for the 2013 season? Well I'm glad that you asked. Below are my notes on what to look for this off season, as well as the label if the team is a buyer, seller, or unknown. This of course in no way implies some form of exclusivity, but rather an indicator if the club is happy with the core of major leaguers is in need of one or two major pick ups of needs to be torn down and built back up. ENJOY!

Arizona Diamondbacks - Unknown
One of two teams that hit the .500 mark on the nose. Look to see what they do with BJ Upton's contract this off season to see if they feel they are on the right path back to the playoffs or if they will begin to cash in some of there bigger names approaching Free Agency to bring in some younger talent.

Atlanta Braves - Buyers
What to do with the hot corner in Atlanta? And what happens if Bourn walks? I see Atlanta trying to lock up Bourn and bring in another name for a corner infield. Atlanta does have a solid defensive team so look for a little pop in the lineup to give Atlanta an edge next year.

Baltimore Orioles - Buyers
After beating all expectations and a Boston team that appears to still be flailing, Baltimore has to think that their time is now or never. Look for them to loosen the purse strings in the ballpark of $15 Million in the free agency market and/or trade a prospect to bring in a bat from a team willing to eat some salary. 

Boston Red Sox - Sellers
Sellers, but probably very finicky ones. A big buy could still happen with an offer for a Hamilton or another big name to try and create a spark. Though the long term strategy seems to be toward a rebuild, any new manager should get a season to decide who will be part of the future and who won't. I don't believe the fire sale to LA last year was the entirety of Boston's tear down, but by the end of next season the short list will be created, and next off-season will be an epic one for this team in the Free Agency market.

Chicago White Sox - Buyers
I feel that the South Side is pretty happy with the team they got, though will add where the price is right. It will be interesting what kind of offer they tender to A.J this off season, especially when it comes to number of years.

Cincinnati Reds - Unknown
The Reds have spent the last several years piecing together the very good team that they have. They will likely have some holes to fill. But, with Cuedo, Votto, Bruce, and Phillips locked in, the team may look from within to fill some of these roles and keep their bank account looking good when it comes time to retain some of their bigger names in years to come. 

Cleveland Indians - Sellers
A decent collection of middle of the road players led by Choo should make for some tempting grazing grounds for teams looking to round out their rosters either this winter or at the next trade deadline. With few high prospects in the majors, Cleveland will continue to try and accumulate prospects in the hope of striking gold in the near future.

Colorado Rockies - Buyers
A Team that has to be very happy with the results of moves made last off season when it comes to position players, but their rotation is severely lacking, with <70 wins, the question is how much will the Rockies shell out in free agency for the coveted starting pitcher and how much will they look to within to bolster a team that was #1 in hits, #3 in RBI's, and #16 in ERA in the national league. The days of Coors being a hitters park are indeed alive and well.

Detroit Tigers - Buyers
With so many huge names locked in, you have to imagine Ilitch and Dombrowski are far from giving up on a ring after coming so close. With Valverde walking, priority one will be the Bullpen, though it sounds like they have a hot prospect coming up. If this is the case, then there could be plenty of money lying around to go grab one more big name.

Houston Astros - Sellers
After dumping the few big stars they had last season, I don't think the Astros are done. Jed Lowrie will probably be put on the blocks again and a lot of younger players will get their shot before this team starts reaching into their pocketbook.

Kansas City Royals - Buyers
They already grabbed Erivin Santana to bolster the rotation. The Royals have been patient and have put together a pretty decent lineup. Expect another modest pick up and see where that can take them in a division where 90 wins could make the playoffs.

Los Angeles Angels - Unknown
The late season pick up of Greinke wasn't enough to take the Angels over the hump and into the post season, but with so many big contracts and Trout just getting warmed up, you have to expect this team will be competing for the next several years. The question is how much do they have left in the bank to go out and grab another piece. I'd expect an attempt to at least drive up the price of Greink for another team. But nothing else of major note. 

Los Angeles Dodgers - Buyers
Well well well, after one of the most aggressive clubs in recent history failed to grab a playoff spot, where does that leave you? t does appear that the new ownership is committed to making a dominant Dodgers team a reality. Look for Kershaw to get a new buddy in the rotation by opening day.

Miami Marlins - Unknown
With such an active season that ended up to be such a bust, it's hard to imaging the club making another big acquisition so quickly, but you also don't see them reverting back to the old days of an all star farm team so quickly. You never know, maybe that god awful green paint that covers everything in the outfield opened up some cash for another round of purchases. 

Milwaukee Brewers - Buyers
Reluctant, but buying. They have a good thing started in Milwaukee, and they will need to feed the beast a bit, ideally with pitching, but if a better deal shows up with a bat, they will need something if they want it to continue with the good thing they started under the Fielder/Braun era. 

Minnesota Twins - Sellers
After losing their best pitcher Baker for all of 2012, it became apparent that the Twins did not have much going for them. Look for them to lock in Baker for a long term deal with the "coming off of tommy jones" discount and continue with the rebuilding process.

New York Mets - Buyers
After showing a lot of long awaited signs of life early in the 2012 season, the Mets might finally be in the position to spend some money and get their big market fan base a reason to support them again. The biggest question marks arise when looking at what kind of contract Dickey and Wright will need to stay put, and how much that will leave to grab a new catcher or bull pen help.

New Your Yankees - Buyers
Not even going to look down the stat lines for this team, if the Yankees feel they need something, they will go out and get it. Who will play Closer, Shortstop, Third base, and DH are all good questions, but one thing is for sure, if A-Rod leaves the Yanks, it won;t be because the Yanks think they can get some good young talent for him.

Oakland A's - Unknown
A team that consistently does a lot with very little, they will probably grab a couple guys deep in the free agent market and slide some players around that won;t make the front page of the paper, and still come out with a 90+ win team next year. A solid Rangers team and a stacked Angels team will make it difficult to repeat a playoff appearance though. 

Philadelphia Phillies - Buyers
Look for the Phillies to grab a big bat to keep the team winning while they focus on rebuilding their rotation. The sale of the team last year freed up a lot of cash and a lot of holes to fill to get them over the .500 mark.

Pittsburgh Pirates - Mid Season Buyers
They seem doomed to come out of the gates hot next year after a quite off season, only to wind up a few games out at the trade deadline and no cash to make a big splash with. I thought grabbing Wandy Rodriguez and Gaby Sanchez, but ultimately it didn't pan out.

San Diego Padres - Sellers
Though I should put an asterisks on this one, with new ownership that appears to be committed to some of the better trading chips that the Padres have to offer, such as Headley, there may be a bit of a 'wait and see' approach this off season. Making more modest acquisitions and trades. 

San Francisco Giants - Buyers
A lack luster season by The Freak doesn't have too many people worried, but the thought is that a few position players could be asking for a lot more then they would normally get thanks to the shiny finger packaging that they now sport. The Giants have had success using the formula of solid pitching and filling a lot of position holes on the fly. Don't expect any big names to be brought in, but expect the lineup to look quite a bit different next year.

Seattle Mariners - Sellers
Might catch some flack for this one, but the Seattle farm system just isn't deep enough to justify bringing in a big player to let them compete against the Rangers, Angels, and A's next year, and the payroll just isn't there. It will probably be more active at mid-season. Another bust year for the Angels and a Hamilton-less Ranger team could swing this race back to the Mariners favor though.

St. Louis Cardinals - Buyers
Proving that there is plenty of life in this club after Pujols, If Berkman calls it quits then look to the team making a splash to replace his bat, or getting a fresh young face to bolster a veteran rotation. In a couple years this club will be faced with the decisions to go young or not, but for now, this team can continue to compete with tweaks instead of rebuilds.

Tampa Bay Rays - Unknown
With Upton, Sheilds, and Pena all having question marks over them, it would be easy to call the Rays buyers to keep up in the AL East, but this is the Rays, somehow they will find another pair of All-Star prospects while fielding a team that makes a total of about $50. How do they do it?

Texas Rangers - Buyers
At the very least, Rangers are going to try and keep Hamilton, which may be a task to great to accomplish. Teams like the Brewers, Giants, Phillies, or even the BoSox will be betting on him to the point that Texas could bow out and pursue a pair of cheaper options. A nightmare scenario has the Yankees decreeing that they will get Hamilton, period. Any route will have Texas forking out some cash. 

Toronto Blue Jays - Sellers
They already traded their best Manager, I don't see them making the moves it would tack on the 25+ games they need to make the playoffs, parting with Johnson or Villinueva seem more likely.

Washington Nationals - Buyers
Alert the presses, The Nationals have waited years to make their run, a healthy Strasburg and several other things clicking in their favor, adding a big bat or a relief pitcher could go a long ways.

So there you are, all 29 teams. Wait, whats that? I missed one?

What would Theo dp?
Chicago Cubs - Sellers
Possibly the biggest sellers of them all, Garza could head out, there are already attempts at moving Soriano and Marmol, no decent offer will be turned away as the Cubbies are at least one more year away from making any huge moves towards being a truly competitive team. A move to bring in a vet in the rotation or the bench isn't out of question, but I'd be shocked if it were Greinke or Hamilton. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who is the American Voter

By using national exit poll data, I've formulated the most prominent aspects of voters for Obama and Romney,then smashed them into a single profile. Makes for an interesting contrast, enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Results: Iowa

It's the morning after, the sun still rose, the schools are still open, the zombie apocalypse did not occur. Though this latter point truly disappointing me, I do want to take a moment and reflect on what yesterdays election result mean, specifically for my state of Iowa.

The booths looked simular in 2010, coincidence?
We begin by looking at the national elections, The incumbent President takes the state by a healthy margin  and we had 5 incumbents running of our now 4 congressional districts, of which incumbents won all four. With neither of our senators that have served a combined 60 years of service up for reelection this go around. We move on to the state senate elections where 26 elections were held with 13 incumbents running. Thanks, once again, to redistricting, 2 of the incumbents got to go head to head, the race for state senate district 26 resulted in 50% of the loses that were handed to the incumbents, so even counting that as a win and a loss, incumbents won about 85% of their elections. 91% if you just remove the incumbent v. incumbent race.

The state house wasn't much better, and by better, of course, I mean worse, just a sliver shy of 93% of incumbents that ran got re elected. This includes counting Erik Helland as a loss since he got primar'ied out by Jake Highfill who ended up winning the seat for district 39. And I'm counting Art Stead's win over Renee Schulte as a loss, even though he held a seat in the legislator from '06 to '08, ironically loosing to the same person who he just defeated then.

What is to be extrapolated from this information? The optimist in me says that Iowa was generally dissatisfied with the alternatives offered and simply will sit and wait for a better listing of candidates. The true optimist in me says that Iowa has it figured out, that we have conquered all adversity, or at least 90 some percent of it, and we are down to tweeks rather then reforms in our republic. The realist in me has another possibility, we are just lazy.

The kicker to this story is that over $15 million was spent just on the local house elections, and over $5 million on the senate, not even going into the federal elections, this means that Iowa spent roughly $17 per vote in order to keep everything just the way it is.

Is this a case of "The devil you know..." or "May the best man win..."? We may never be certain.... I'm sure I had a broader point to make there but I can't think of what it was or what it should be at this moment. I'll leave it to you, good people of the blogosphere, to draw your own conclusions. I will continue to yell at the universe from the safety and security of my couch, Cherios and underwear well in hand. Wait, that came out wrong.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How I Will Vote Tomorrow

I may need more practice at this...
Some of these results probably will come as little surprise, others may come as a bit of a shock, but I thought I would continue my opining about this election cycle by announcing my voting decisions with a small amount of justification and insight. For those who live in Linn County Iowa, you can obtain a sample ballot here. The specific ballot I will be discussing can be found here. I'm big on getting everyone out to vote, just try and do a little bit of your own research before you do so, thank you.

President of the United Stated of America - Mitt Romney
If anyone is surprised by this then they haven't read this.

U.S. House of Representatives, Iowa District 1 - Gregory Hughes
When it comes to an election, you like to have a clear and concise choice, and if in however many years that choice has not worked out the way you want, you want to be offered a new alternative. This is not what is happening in this re-runoff between Ben Lange and Bruce Braley. Who already faced each other in 2010. Now with new districts they are recasting the same messages out hoping to either have the exact same outcome, or the outcome that was rejected two years ago. This seems a bit idiotic in my mind, so I gave a good solid look at Greg Hughes, or at least as good of one as I could find. He appears to be very proactive as far as holding members of the Judicial Branch accountable, and has spent a good amount of his time helping people and families in less fortunate times battle against the system. Nothing that effects me personally, but he offers some interesting stories and obviously very passionate about defending individuals.

State Senator District 34 - Liz Mathis
Perhaps a surprise to some, it's a bit of a de-facto pick, her original opponent Randi Shannon, dropped out, leaving Ryan Flood to try and put a campaign together with less then 3 months before the election.

It's not going so good...

The one flyer I received to even let me know of the change didn't have a website, I extrapolated it from the email address domain to find this, (and believe me, a Google search will not find it easily) his entire platform fits on a single sheet of paper. No real surprise as far as outcome here. But I did take some time to review Liz's voting record, and nothing stood out to my as absurd  I am curious to see how the commercial zone property tax argument will progress now that the state budget is looking much better. I also feel that a split legislator (house being Republican, Senate being Democrat) will result in a more agreeable reform that will limit impact on local school districts budgets while still getting some relief pointed toward locally owed businesses. Final thought, she also knocked on our door in person and spent several minutes discussing tax reform with me.

Call it an agreeable vote for the eventual winner, but I'm satisfied with my state senator.

State Representative, District 68 - Nick Wagner
As in depth as any election for a state house member can get, I actually feel like we have a pair of good candidates, I watched a replay of a debate and must say I was impressed by both of theirs knowledge and passion. Though I can not find a transcript of video upload online (very disappointing, but expected). I recall one point that was made about shifting power of the state universities budgeting more towards the legislature. Though not thrilled by the idea of it becoming a a battle between politicians and bureaucrats.  I am not a fan of our board of regents, something about how a school with lower enrollment and a higher endowment gets about 25% more per student then my alma mater, but I digress. Lundby believes that an appointed board is a better decision maker then an elected panel. What I've seen tells me otherwise. I don't feel like there is a 'wrong' decision in this race, but my vote is going to Nick Wagner.

Linn County Board of Supervisors, District 4 - Brett Olsen
I've had the opportunity to meet Brett on a couple occasions, once during a public session for rebuilding the City after our epic flood of '08. He's generally considered a practical guy with libertarian tendencies. I am a little disappointed that he's running unopposed as it prevents a candidate from holding as many open houses or going on the record for their plan and vision as much as I would like.

Linn County Auditor - Garth Fagerbakke
I'm envoking my knowledge of public Information Technology that tells me that Joel Miller is hiding something, you don't take a laptop from your employer and have some expectation of privacy on it. Regardless of the exact wording of the law. Add this to hiring an old buddy through a temp agency at $40/hr for a term of several months just rises my ire and makes me feel that we can try someone know in this posisiton.

Linn County Sheriff - Brian Gardner
Another unopposed election, I had heard rumblings of a write in effort for a Tim Pugh, but have not heard much other then that. Again, always feel a little disappointed when someone runs unopposed, but what can you do at this point.

Soil and Water Conservation and Agricultural Extension Council - Whoever wants it.
I'll admit it, I have almost no idea what these people do or why we are voting for them, but three people are running for three spots on one and four people are running for four spots on another, if you want the title, that's good enough for me at this point.


Judge Retention - Yes, to all
Using a highly scientific process of typing in "Should <judge name> be retained?" into Google and reading the first non-generic link that comes up, if the story warrants further investigation, investigate further. Suffice to say this process bored the crap out of me, with the exception of Wiggins. For those of you not in the know of Iowa, we are one of very few states that allow same sex marriage, due to a ruling a few years back by out state supreme court that decided that any ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional, ipso facto, they are legal. I understand a lot of people don't believe in life time appointments and will vote no regardless, my fear is the wrong message is being sent if Wiggins joins the 3 not retained judges from 2010 and our court will be horribly slanted towards the disposition against same sex. Read the opinion here, and remember that this decision was unanimous between all 7 justices at the time. The only thing that I have considered is voting no on the other three republican appointed judges, and yes on Wiggins, but I feel that would be a bit petty considering they just got appointed last year.

E911 Public Measure - ??
A measure to fund our 911 services with an additional $.25 surcharge to land lines monthly fee. I'm actually very opinionated, but for reasons that I won't get into here. Suffice to say my current job has offered me some insight into this measure, I strongly suggest my fellow Linn County residents to learn what you can and decide accordingly.

There you have it folks, the 2012 General Election ballot as filled out by yours truly, and once again, get informed and make your own decision. For those who are interested, here is my party scorecard.

Republican - 4
Democrat - 2
3rd Party - 1

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Case for Mitt Romney: Part 4

The election is in a couple days, the writing on the wall is grim for those of us who feel that damage has been done the last four years to our great country. So, I sit here and pound out one final plea, one last attempt to make my case for Mitt Romney over Barrack Obama.

For as far back as I can remember, I have felt that the source of the United States strength originated in it's vast economic wealth. It's ability to influence emerging democracies, it's capacity to fight evil and tyranny, and it's charge to help lift up those at home that are unable to care for them selves. All these are made possible because we have the resources, the drive, and the desire to ever expand and improve our economic condition. The need for protections to the public have become apparent over generations, few people will contest this, but companies must be free to manage their wealth to survive the test of time. They must ever expand but never over-reach. And from time to time must be humbled by their own limitations.

For the U.S. Government, this is one of those times.

We are not living within our means, and the solution offered by this administration is to keep dulling out the help that people crave, while stonewalling and hand tying those that create the wealth we depend on. As with many companies, not every quarter or year can be successful, you cut where you can in order to take care of the things that are important in the short term. Making sure social security, medicare, defense, and some additional resources for unemployment to ensure they are funded enough. But, this president seems to think that he can single handily shape what our entire economy will look like in the next 10 years. Dumping billions in start ups in certain industries while regulating others to death. Taking credit with the backdrop of companies that ultimately fail. It isn't working, and it will never work. When you are only adding $300 Billion in growth at the cost of over $1 trillion dollars to your debt, you are light years away from truly recovering.

Now we are left with an additional $6 trillion in debt, we where told that once the wars wind down we'd start saving money, once the stimulus was spent we'd save money, once the economy recovered we'd start saving money, these were lies. We ended one war, the other one got bloodier, the stimulus is spent and at best they can say that it prevented it from getting worse. The recession ended in the summer of '09, well before all the stimulus was spent, or even before the first fiscal year of trillion dollar deficits was on the books, so why haven't we recovered?

Now while we continue to spend a trillion dollars a year we don't have, we have no way to pay back the $2.7 trillion owed to Social Security and the trillions more in Medicare. These programs are now paying out more then they are taking in, and the only way to replay funds owed to them is to borrow more in our children's names. More so now then with the housing crisis, the tech bubble, or even the banking bust of '07 we are heading toward a Government credit bubble. It may be 5, 10 or maybe even 20 years, but our current path is taking us there, fast. Never in our history has a President been so committed to buying votes with new programs we can't afford.

This government is not being ran like a business, it's not even being ran like a responsible household, it's being ran like a college kid with their parents credit card, only the card is in the name of the next generation, because we have no plan to ever pay this money back.

Enter the business man.

There has been a deep desire on the right side of the aisle for generations to get an accomplished business man into the helm of this government and bring some aspects of private enterprise into Washington. To shed light on the lies that someone the post office is more efficient then a UPS warehouse, or that hospitals can run on medicare payments alone, or that the DMV is a shining example of efficiency. I assure you that George W. Bush was not that president, but Mitt Romney, who turned Bain Capital into a multi billion dollar success, saved the 2002 Olympics, and balanced a very progressive states budget, is exactly the type of businessman that we have been waiting for.

If things are so bad, why is this election so close?

Fear, when I hear of someone who is supporting Obama, and you ask why, they typically answer with fear of what a Romney Presidency will look like. There has been some sort of horrible rewriting of history that Planned Parenthoods closed all across Massachusetts under his watch, that homosexual athletes weren't allowed in to the ceremonies at Salt Lake, or that Bain Capital was notorious for firing employees when they got sick. A portrait of this great man has been made because he knows that the decision of funding planned parenthood versus medicare is only a few years off, or that funding big bird versus the US Army could follow shortly there after.

A man that has given more of his time, money, and himself to charity and others then Obama could ever even hope to, has been dragged through the mud this campaign. I know, I know, it's politics, Some untruths have gone the other way as well, but the level of frustration I feel when people think it's more important that Mitt Romney invests a portion of his considerable money in off shore accounts while this president spends our money on companies founded by his campaign bundle'ers or that when Mitt Romney says he is a pro life candidate, while never expecting to have to confront that issue during his term in Massachusetts, while Obama continues to dodge and duck questions about Fast and Furious operations, Benghazi, and Drone attacks.

This President is incompetent.  Americans have died under his watch, the credit cards are maxed out, privacy rights are being tossed out the window, and all he can do is point his finger and tell you who's fault it is. Mitt Romney may not be as charismatic, or as cool as Obama, that's because his strengths are in management. He didn't get to be so successful because of how he delivered a speech, but rather how he executed a plan, he is not a man of charm, but a man of vision, and right now, this country is in dire need of a new vision.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Disney Wars

With the recent purchase of LucasFilms by the Disney corporation, the creative possibilities for new story twists to classic Disney movies is nigh infinite. Here are some possibilities, enjoy!