Friday, April 20, 2007

Iowa Lawmakers’ Got Game?

While key legislation hangs in the balance of the DMZ (Democrat Majority Zone), where bills such as VOICE, CAFO, and Civil Rights have been sentenced to solitary confinement, our legislators find refuge in mindless games, such as computer solitaire, on the House and Senate floors. Why engage in meaningful debate, when you can play by yourself?

(Political Surgeon General's Warning: Playing computer solitaire in either the House or Senate chamber may lead to carpal tunnel, bills Killed in Committee (KIC), negative public perceptions, pent up frustrations which lead to verbal outbursts on unsuspecting public citizens in the state capital corridor, or worse, a political leadership position.)

It appears freshmen lawmakers aren’t allowed to sit at the big table when the session winds down, as their leaders play their political games behind closed doors. Senate Minority Leader and occasional gamer Mary “She’s Got Game” Lundby wasn’t too surprised when Sen. Bill Heckroth, D-Waverly, took the Senate floor on Thursday decrying his colleagues' behavior during legislative sessions:

“As a new senator, it just didn’t make me feel real good to think that that’s our image,” said Heckroth, who was first elected last November. “You hear enough bad things about being a politician.”

Gamer Lundby shrugged off Heckroth’s advice: “Freshmen are always shocked by what goes on,” Lundby said. “Next year, he won’t even mention it. He’ll probably be playing games.”

Senate Sultan of Solitaire Mary Lundby: "Got game? Bring it on!"

In the meantime, since our freshmen lawmakers aren't allowed to pariticpate in the political games, maybe we should put them to work, or give them something to do while killing time.

List of Seven Things Freshmen Lawmakers Can Do While Their Leaders Are Off Killing Bills in Committee:

7. Gather holy oils for ceremonial anointment of congressional leaders' feet when they descend upon the den of slackdom and impart their representative wisdom

6. Download music, ring tones, and games before the tax hammer falls

5. Go mow the bosses’ lawn and try their bureaucratic scissorhands at the topiary arts (Note: the proposed starting Terrace Hill groundskeeper salary is $5000 more than that of an entry-level lawmaker)

4. Surf Iowa political blogs and, using clever pseudonyms, leave snarky comments about their leaders (see comments below)

3. Sneak off to Taco John's and beat Mary “She’s Got Game” Lundby’s high score on Galaga, so you can enter SUX above her initials (Tee Hee:))

2. Babysit, chauffeur, and protect the Bossman’s kids, saving the taxpayers an additional $250,000

1. Go raise another $500,000, so they can buy a leadership gig and join in the political leadership games

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sen. Gronstal Drops F-Bomb on Iowans' VOICE

Republicans in Democrat Clothes???

Apparently there’s one thing Dick Cheney doesn’t own, and that’s the rights to dropping F-Bombs on Corporate Hill. Following in his footsteps, Iowa’s new Senate Majority Leader Mike “I’m Not a Crook” Gronstal dropped a “kiss my ass” coupled with an F-Bomb on VOICE activists at the state capitol yesterday.

Duck and Cover!!!

Now that’s leadership, eh?

According to news reports and eyewitness accounts, VOICE activists, who had gathered for an organized lobbying effort at the State House, cornered Gronstal and tried to engage him into a discussion about the fate of the VOICE bill, which has been stuck in committee. The one-sided discussion/lecture got a little heated, until an older activist threw kerosene on the fire and said, “Your nothing but a Republican in Democrat clothing.”

Now thems fightin’ words!

Duck and Cover!!!

“That's the lowest blow that anyone's ever dealt me. You can kiss my ass!"

Shocked and awed by Gronstal’s attack, the VOICE activists barely had enough time to wipe off the vulgar debris, before Gronstal pushed the button and dropped an F-Bomb on their unsuspecting heads.

Sen. Gronstal refused to talk to reporters and stomped off to his office. After giving himself a “Time Out” in his office, Senator Gronstal released the following statement:

“Someone called me a crook. I lost my temper and ended the conversation.”

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal: "I'm not a crook!"

By crook, did Gronstal mean Republican?

Uh oh....Duck and Cover!!!

More Fallout: Gronstal’s F-Bomb Double-Doppler Tracker...

Watch video clip, “Tense Talk at Statehouse” (WOI TV-5)

Read & Take Action!: “Gronstal to Iowa Voters – F*ck You!” (Blog for Iowa)

My VOICE LTE: "Take special-interest money out of elections" (Des Moines Register)

F-Bomb Warning Signs: "Pass public financing for Iowa campaigns" (Des Moines Register)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

VOICE Bill: “Special Interests, Nevermore!”

Today is “Lobby Day” at the Iowa State Capital (High Noon), as lobbyists across the state gather and urge our elected officials to pass VOICE (Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections). Despite the Democrat Majority Leaders' attempt to silence the bill by killing it in committee, the people of Iowa are making their voices heard. Should VOICE die in committee, I can only imagine the psychological burdens those responsible for allowing it to do so will have to face -- as their guilt comes rapping, rapping at their chamber doors…

Quoth the Raven: "Special Interests, Nevermore!"
“The Raven’s VOICE” (Parody of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten Democratic lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at the House chamber door.
`'Tis some constituent,' I muttered, `tapping at the House chamber door--
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was the end of April
And the VOICE bill wrought its ghost upon the House Appropriations’ floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; -- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my constituents whose voices had been silenced in committee --
And replaced by special interests whose influence helps shape Democracy --
Nameless here, ‘tis such a pity.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtainThrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating`'Tis some voter entreating entrance at the House chamber door -
Some late voter entreating entrance at the House chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at the House chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Democracy Yore’
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Democracy Yore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the House chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at the window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -'
Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately bird of the saintly days of Democracy yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above the house chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!
'Quoth the raven, `Special Interests, Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above the House chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above the House chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
Those three words, as if his soul in those words he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.
'Then the bird said, `Special Interests, Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Special Interests, Never-nevermore."

'But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Special Interests, Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, special interests, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Democracy yore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Democracy yore!
'Quoth the raven, `Special Interests, Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!
'Quoth the raven, `Special Interests, Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Democracy Yore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Democracy Yore?
'Quoth the raven, `Special Interests, Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!
'Quoth the raven, `Special Interests, Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the House chamber floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lucy: “Iowa Democratic Majority Suffering Trifectaphobia"

Only 10 days remain in this year’s legislative session in Iowa, and a number of pivotal bills have not only flown under the radar of the Iowa media, but also have managed to find refuge in the DMZ (Democrat Majority Zone). In lieu of sending these bills out into battle, where they can be discussed and debated on the chamber floors, the new Democrat Majority leaders have silenced the bills, condemning them to a fate worse than any imaginable form of torture: Death by Committee! (Note: Death by Committee has been recently banned by the British Parliament, who cited the torture as barbarous and inhumane.)

Although some hope remains, the following bills face the KIC (Killed in Committee) Treatment: Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections (HSB 805), CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) Regulation (HF 873), and the Civil Rights Bill (SF 427).

With the Democrats in charge of both houses and the executive branch of Iowa, these bills appeared destined to pass during this session. But as we all know, nothing is a given in the Underworld of Politics. Perplexed by the Majority’s paralysis, I sought to tap the infinite wisdom of Lucy, an untrained, yet affordable psychiatrist:

Political Fallout: Say Lucy, how come Iowa’s new Democrat Majority leaders are helping kill bills in committee?

Lucy: Isn’t it obvious?

Political Fallout: No, that’s why I’m asking you.

I wish I could help, but I didn’t hear anything hit the bottom of the can?

Political Fallout: (Pulls out a nickel and plops it into can) Now will you help?

Lucy: They suffer from Trifectaphobia.

Political Fallout: Tri-fect-a-what-a?

Lucy: Phobia. That’s right, Trifectaphobia.

Political Fallout: What’s that?

Lucy: Oh, if I only knew… (I plop another nickel in the can). Ah, sweet sweet music to my ears. Trifectaphobia is the fear of losing power and control. Once all of the power and control has been usurped, the new party’s stranglehold manages to slowly strangle itself to death.

Political Fallout: So, it’s like triangulation strangulation, eh? Is there any way to overcome it?

Lucy: (Bats eyes lovingly) A date with yours truly. And flowers, and a box of chocolates, and holding my hand on the playground when everyone is watching, and…

Political Fallout: Oh, brother. Any other remedies?

Lucy: What the people tend to forget is that they have the power, so phone calls and e-mails to their representatives may help ease leaders' Trifectaphobic tendencies.

Political Fallout: And what if that doesn’t work?

Lucy: I suggest voters began feeding them their tails. So, when will you pick me up for our date? (Bats eyes lovingly) Hmmmm?

Political Fallout: AAAAAhhhggggggggg!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hillary Dodges Sanjaya Softball Question

Political Diva Hillary-Just-Hillary attempted to field a question during a radio call-in show in New Hampshire, only to bobble the ball before making her response all about her. When a listener asked Hillary what the United States can do about Sanjaya Malakar, the underdog “American Idol” candidate who critics contend lacks any shred of talent, she replied:

"That's the best question I've been asked in a long time. Well, you know, people can vote for whomever they want. That's true in my election, and it's true on 'American Idol.'"

Apparently fielding a question about Sanjaya’s fate is better than responding to questions about what the United States should do about the War in Iraq, the health care crisis, campaign finance reform, the budget deficit, genocide in Darfur, and irreverent bloggers.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Sanjaya’s performance abilities, check out his rendition of The Kinks' song “You Really Got Me.” Notice the effect Sanjaya has on a younger Hillary prototype in the audience.

Hillary-Just-Hillary finally gets a softball question and instead of swinging, she dodges the question. Had she wanted to get on base and/or score, Hillary should have used the following responses:

What should the United States do about Sanjaya Malakar?

Single Response: Who the hell is Sanjaya? And why the hell should we care?

Double Response: Turn off your television.

Triple Response: Nice try, Howard (Stern). You have your own radio show. Please hang up and give the people of New Hampshire a chance to ask questions.

Home Run Response: Give him a job as a consultant for a Democrat presidential campaign.

Grand Slam Response: Impeach his talentless ass!

Now let's Play Ball! But first, a Sanjaya-inspired performance of the National Anthem:

FYI: Sanjaya literally means “victory,” while Hillary’s name was rated 882nd in the 2005 top 1000 baby names. The smart money is on Sanjaya.