Friday, March 30, 2007

Iowa GOP Flag Desecrators Inflamed by Ruling

Thanks to a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling, Iowa’s Minority Party finally found a retread wedge issue they can rally around: Flag Desecration. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Pratt of Des Moines, ruled Iowa’s flag laws are unconstitutional because they’re too vague to enforce.

Oh yeah Mister Fancy Pants Stickler for the Rules, Activist Judging from the Bench? Iowa’s GOP unconstitutional lawmakers will see about that. Too vague you say? Humpf! On that note, House Republicans have vowed to fix that: "We are simply advocating that we should not leave the Capitol without fixing this," said Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, a Republican from Wilton. "I don't think you can let this simmer."

There seems to be a fine line between flag desecration and free speech. Let’s toggle between the two and see what happens.

The first law at issue is IOWA CODE SECTION 718A.1, which details what people cannot do with and to the flag, including using it in advertisements and on clothing.

(WARNING: the following images may violate your sensibilities and/or provoke you to commit a crime (e.g. flag burning). Political Fallout cannot be held responsible for any crimes committed by its readers, in particular those directly linked to the reading of this post and/or viewing the following pictures. You’re advised to peruse at your own risk.)

Rounding up the Usual Suspects: Iowa's GOP Flag Desecrators...
EXHIBIT A: Jim Nussle

Former Iowa Gubernatorial candidate and staunch congressional flag protectionist Jim Nussle sports a desecrated flag shirt while pimping votes on a parade route in Iowa. The shirt was hand-stitched by a 12-year old girl in an Indonesian factory, a job Nussle helped outsource while serving as chair on the House Budget Committee.

EXHIBIT B: Johnson County GOP's Desecration Headquarters

Upon infilitration of the Peoples' Republic of Johnson County, the JC GOP held a desecrated flag ribbon-cutting ceremony to honor the opening of their new desecration headquarters. The occasion was symbolized by the dualing desecrating elephant logos hanging overhead the entrance way.

EXHIBIT C: Iowa Delegation at the RNC

The Iowa Delegation at the RNC wears desecrated flag napkin hats while reciting the Pledge of Allegience.

EXHIBIT D: Rep. Christopher Rants's Underpants

This flag desecration needs no explanation. (Note: Due to additional displays and charges of indecency, a model was used to display the questionable evidence.)

The second law under contention is IOWA CODE SECTION 723.4, which forbids any display of the flag that shows "disrespect" for it as a symbol of the United States, or which may "provoke" someone to commit a crime.

Off the record: All of the images displayed above not only inspired me to write this post, but provoked me to commit the heinous crime of desecration, which by law, may be deemed a simple misdemeanor, should authorities actually decide to prosecute. I would encourage you to BURN THIS POST IMMEDIATELY!!! But be extremely careful, for lighting matches in the blogsphere can be highly inflammatory.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

DLC Merger Complete: Hillary, Inc. Adopts Vilsack

Tom Vilsack, Inc. Officially Merges with Hillary, Inc., Joining the "Other America"

The inevitable finally happened when Democratic Leadership Corporation Diva, Hillary Just Hillary, acquired former DLC Chair Tom Vilsack. Even though Vilsack, Inc. went into the red after its failed presidential bid, Hillary, Inc. went ahead with the merger, promising to help Vilsack pay off his $400,000 campaign debt. Wow, that’s some dowry, eh? Maybe Vilsack should throw in a couple of goats to sweeten the deal. Although this is a mere pittance when compared to the multi-trillion dollar debt our next President stands to inherit, not including the Iraq War Bush threw in for good measure. King George may want to consider throwing in his two daughters as a peace offering.

The world of corporate politics works just the same as the traditional corporate world, meaning there’s no such thing as “money for nothin’.” So how’s Vilsack going to earn his keep? In addition to cleaning Hillary's stables and tendering his public endorsement, Hillary, Inc. gave Vilsack (formerly of Vilsack, Inc.) a title, National Co-Chairman, and we all know that titles work as good political fronts for the laundering of dirty money (e.g. Political Action Committees). Short of having any dispensable goats, Vilsack sacrificed his wife Christie, who was given the title, State Co-Chairwoman. This should help seal the deal; well sort of -- an Iowa Caucus victory for Hillary, Inc. sure would pay dividends for the DLC’s shareholders. Having already sold his soul to the DLC, I’m not sure what else Vilsack could use for collateral, should Hillary lose in Iowa.

To hold up his end of the bargain, Vilsack had already sent a letter to his list of 1,159 (1,059 after 100 of them defected to Edwards during the “Blue Scare”) supporters last week, begging them to help pay off his debt. On Monday, he sent an e-mail to Clinton’s supporters saying he planned to help Clinton win Iowa’s leadoff nominating caucuses.

Golly, that’s all he has to do for $400,000? Where do I sign up? Hillary, if you, or any of your paid supporters are reading this post, Political Fallout would like to offer its services in exchange for $400,000. For the sum, Political Fallout will publicly endorse you, accept a title of your choosing, and send e-mails to all my and supporters and yours that documents the founder of Political Fallout, T.M. Lindsey, will help you win Iowa Caucuses next January. (Note: this is not meant to be satiric, but rather, a desperate plea on behalf of a starving blogger.)

According to Hillary, Inc. spokesman, Phil Singer, Vilsack’s endorsement had nothing to do with helping Hillary's promise to absorb his debt: "One thing's got absolutely nothing to do with the other. They've known each other for years. If she weren't running for president, she'd be doing whatever she can to help retire his debt." I wish I had friends like that. Oh wait a minute, I do. Hillary’s been a dear friend of mine on My Space for a couple of months now. We’re pretty close. I know this, because she sends me bulletins on My Space all of the time. So what do you say, Hillary, you ready to deal with Political Fallout? You know where to find me. I’ll be waiting. Oh the places we will go, Hillary.

While reading Dr. Suess's "Oh, the Place You'll Go," Hillary took a break to capitalize on a "teaching moment" by giving the Greenwood Elementary students a mini-civics lesson. When asked how many major political parties were in the U.S., most students replied either one or two, but Hillary informed them that the correct answer is three: the Republican, the Democrat, and the Corporate (DLC).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Clean Election’s Price Tag for Restoring Democracy

With our VOICE (Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections bill: HF 805) on life support, struggling for it’s last gasp of clean air in a House Appropriations sub-committee, our newly elected Democratic Majority is making their priorities clear, and it appears “Clean Elections” may not be one of them. I hope Iowa’s 82nd General Assembly doesn’t intend to follow their predecessors’ mantra: “Now that we have the majority rule, let’s use our new powers to insure that we maintain it.”

From what I’ve gathered, the only barrier impeding VOICE’s move forward is funding. The price tag for creating a Clean Elections startup fund is $10 million (approximately less than .01% of our state’s annual budget). Rep. Dave Jacoby, one of the three members of the House Appropriation sub-committee who will decide upon VOICE’s fate, contends there’s not enough funding for this bill. There are funding mechanisms written in the bill that will help replenish the fund each election cycle; some of these include an optional income tax check off, private donations to the fund, seed money and qualifying fees collected by candidates who volunteer to participate, and a funding stream collected from unclaimed or abandoned property. The latter funding mechanism brings in an estimated $12 - $15 billion and would cover the entire fund. Jacoby pointed out this funding mechanism is allocated from the state’s general fund, which means something else would have to be cut. So the big question is how much of a priority is the Democratic majority willing to make Clean Elections?

This is the question all of us need to pursue with our representatives, the Democratic leaders, and the three members of the House Appropriations sub-committee. The bill hasn’t been scheduled on the docket as of yet, so there’s still time to contact all of the aforementioned people. We cannot afford for this bill to die in committee, so share your voice by urging VOICE forward. In the meantime, let’s take a brief commercial break, brought to you in part by Political Fallout, exposers of political absurdities and hypocrisies:

Can Iowa Afford Clean Elections? (VOICE Over)

Iowa Values Fund (Corporate Welfare): $10 million/year

Iowa Football Coach Kirk Ferentz’s Yearly Salary: $1.2 million (+$400,000 longevity bonus)

2006 Iowa Governor’s Race: $13 million

2006 Iowa House & Senate Race Disbursements: $16,639 million

Big Tobacco Ho’ Minority Leader Christopher Rants Big Tobacco Mo’: $60,000

Security Detail for Culver’s Children: $253,494

Clean Elections (VOICE): $10 million

Cost of e-mailing representative: $Zero

Restoring Faith in Democracy: $Priceless

Monday, March 26, 2007

Who’s Afraid of Clean Elections?

Mr. Big Bad Clean Elections: "I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your House of Incumbency down!"
Who’s afraid of Clean Elections,
Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections?
Who’s afraid of Clean Elections?
Tra la la la la

The “Clean Elections” bill (HF 805) is huffing and puffing at the Iowa House chamber door, while the Three Little Pigs who sit on the House Appropriations sub-committee decide what to do. But time is running out for ol’ Clean Elections, for the Three Little Pigs are said to vote on Tuesday or Wednesday yore, deciding whether or not to invite Clean Elections in for a debate and discussion on the House and Senate floor.
Who’s afraid of Clean Elections,
Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections?
Who’s afraid of Clean Elections?
Tra la la la la

Meanwhile Iowa Voters are becoming antsy,
For they’ve grown tired of money in politics
And are plotting a political vigilante.
Resurrected by the notion of restoring integrity, trust, and faith in politics,
The Iowa Voters are breathing new life into Clean Elections.
But more VOICEs need to be heard,
So contact your representatives and the majority leaders.

And let them know where you stand.
Urge them to steer clear from the special interest troughs,
And help us reclaim Democracy from those who perceive their votes can be bought.

Who’s afraid of Clean Elections,
Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections?

Could it be OUR House Appropriations Sub-Committe Members?

Dave Jacoby
Home Address: 2308 Northridge Drive, Coralville, IA, 52241
Home Telephone: 319-358-8538

Jo Oldson
Home Address: 418 38th Place, Des Moines, IA, 50312
Home Telephone: 515-255-2805

Dwayne Alons
Home Address: 1314 7th Street, Hull, IA, 51239
Home Telephone: 712-439-2479

Or could it be OUR Majority Congressional Leaders?:

Pat Murphy
Home Address: 155 N. Grandview, Dubuque, IA, 52001-6325
Home Telephone: 563-582-5922
Kevin McCarthy

Mike Gronstal
Home Address: 220 Bennett Ave, Council Bluffs, IA, 51503
Home Telephone: 712-328-2808
Business Telephone: 515-281-4610
Business Fax: 515-281-3361

Kevin McCarthy
Home Address: 5220 SE 31st Court, Des Moines, IA, 50320

Came the day when fate did frown,
And Clean Elections blew into town
With a gruff "puff-puff" he puffed just enough

And the incumbency house fell right down!!!

To learn more about Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections and/or get the straight dope, go to:

Voter-Owned Iowa: “Reclaiming Our Democracy”

Iowa Citizens Action Network: “Get Big Money Out of Politics”

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Iowa’s White Elephant Alford Passed Off to New Mexico

As the sacred saying goes, “One state’s abandoned White Elephant is another state’s treasured White Elephant.” The University of Iowa’s basketball program received an early Christmas present when Steve Alford announced he was off to Lobos’ land to help spread his black and gold Midas touch to unsuspecting New Mexicans. Who knows, Maybe Alford will be a perfect fit for New Mexico basketball, but only God knows, and given God’s smoting of Alford and his family while flying to New Mexico, the signs from above aren’t looking good for the Lobos.

After an impressive Final Four finish in Political Fallout’s 2006 White Elephant Awards, it looks as if Iowa’s Million Dollar Baby has become New Mexico’s Million Dollar Baby. Alford signed a 6-year deal that will pay him $975,000 annually -- just shy of a million bones, but don't you fret, I’m sure other perks will push him well over the million-dollar milestone. The salary, nine times as much as Governor Richardson’s, will make Alford the state’s highest paid employee.

Not everyone in New Mexico is happy about the acquisition of the White Elephant and the gift that keeps on taking. Republican state Sen. Joe Carraro weighed in with his thoughts: “I think it’s absurd. The UNM medical school can’t afford to hire a neurosurgeon because most of them won’t move for less than $500,000 a year, but we’re going to pay a basketball coach almost twice that amount? Things are out of control at UNM. They are making some terrible decisions with the state’s money.” Carraro’s looking at this all wrong; he should seriously consider working out a Nike deal for UNM neurosurgeons. What could be more therapeutic than seeing a smiling Nike swoosh logo staring at you when the anesthesia wares off after brain surgery. Better yet, what about spearheading neurosurgeon camps during the summer? Nothing says “cha ching” like a bunch of teenage neurosurgeon wannabes running around UNM dormitories, wielding scalpels overhead and yelling, “It’s Alive!”

Why Alford has sought a change of scenery remains a mystery. Despite Alford’s insistence that his decision was some sort of transcendental calling, Political Fallout has other insights as to why Alford flew the Hawk’s nest:

1. Alford wanted to be physically closer to his mentor, Bobby Knight, thus preparing for an epic battle -- precluded by a father/son reconciliation involving a battle of egos and the smashing of chairs. The battle would end with Basketball Master Knight saying, “Steve, put the chair down. I am your f**cking father, you little piece of sh*t.”

2. Iowa City businesses threatened to put economic sanctions on Alford and his family, cutting them off from their usual “freebies” until Alford landed the Hawkeyes in the second round of the Big Dance.

3. The U of I could no longer afford buying up all of the anti-Alford websites.

On a final note, Political Fallout would like to impart the following words to --

University of New Mexico: God bless and God save you.

Steve Alford:
Na-na na-na-na na na na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye
Hey hey-hey, goodbye Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.

The University of Iowa: Political Fallout is NOT for sale.