Monday, October 16, 2006

Round Up - a few political weeds

The Sunday DMR “Iowa Poll” released a flurry of press. First, the Nussle camp came out with a morning statement on the poll, which included this prickly swipe at the cozy relationship that the DMR seems to have with the Democratic Party.

What’s more interesting is that the current Democrat Governor had knowledge of these questionable numbers to announce before partisans at a Democrat fundraiser before they were made available to the public in print or online.

Notice I did not say they’re in bed together – that’s all we need some blog memed misinterpreted Iowa sex scandal: A mature Des Moines Register text messaging innocent Culver campaign with polling information that can be described as lurid & profane.

State 29, as always, picked up the news and sent it sprawling, and he must have a decent reach: according to O. Kay’s blog the Culver campaign sent out a response by mid afternoon. The release included the usual happy camp spin and then, unexpectedly, snuck in this paragraph.

“The Culver campaign will continue working tirelessly to reach out and inspire voters, including people like the volunteer who waited at the Des Moines Register print shop last night to get the first copy of Sunday’s paper off the press and report the poll numbers back to a fired-up Jefferson-Jackson Dinner crowd.

With lines like this, it does seem more like a sex scandal than just a paper unwilling to acknowledge their political bias. Come on DMR, wouldn’t it be easier to come clean and own your values rather than have to sneak around and pretend to be something that you’re not?


Iowa’s future Power Family (kids or no kids -- it’s just creepy anyway you slice this stuff) received some good news, on Friday Vilsack announced that Brent Appel is his nominee to the Iowa Supreme Court. Remember stay at home mom Staci Appel wants to transition back into the workforce with a seat in the Iowa Senate. Even her Husband acknowledged a potential for conflict of interest if he is on the Supreme Court and she’s a member of the Iowa Senate. From Saturday's DMR:

…adding that he and his wife might have to withdraw occasionally from legal cases or bills involving each other's institutions.

I think the legislature approves the judicial branch appropriations at least once a year. I wouldn’t call the need to recuse yourself from a vote on major appropriations every year “occasional”. But that’s just me; a misogynist with a uterus just making sure Staci Appel stays home barefoot and pregnant. Hmm.

This really bugs me. So, we get a judge and a legislator who will only be working part time for the good citizenry because their personal ambitions create conflicts of interest that will cause them to recuse themselves from voting or judging.

Then, little kids get sick all the time. Plus, she's pregnant with Number 5. Is she due during the session?

With respect to the passionate volunteer getting the poll results:

Ya sure. A volunteer would have known the DSMRedstar was doing the poll and would know when they were going to print it and then know who to contact to get the results on an after hour basis, and then deliver it to the Gov of the State of Iowa so he could announce it at their big annual dinner. A simple passionate volunteer?

Ya sure.
I hate to defend the Register, but they do typically contact each campaign, tell them the poll result, and then ask for comment before the story is printed.
Ya sure.
You betcha, it is a little hard to believe that some passionate volunteer waited outside the printing gates for the first copy of Sunday's DMR.

If we end up the big lug, we can expect years of this sort of artful press work, and that should worry us all as it provides a window on the quality of the Culver staff.

Remember, now that the brilliant and reproductively successful Brent Appel cannot be involved in the political process, who is Chet going to turn to for good advice? His communications team with limited skills in obfuscating and manipulating?

Ya know, politicians do tend to lie, it's part of the job. The only thing that makes it tolerable is the quality of the lies. If the lies suck, well it's just embarrassing for everyone.
I just heard that Stacy Appel is baking cookies for all the pre-schoolers in central Iowa.
She doesn't sound like a cookie baker to me.
I just heard that Stacy Appel was related to someone involved in a hit and run accident out by Grundy Center.
You know we must be pinching some sort of nerve when a volunteer takes on the fun job of tracking and posting random Disneyland style comments. But as campaign volunteer jobs go, I suppose blog lurking beats waiting around the DMR print shop half the night.

I miss Manville, at least they're funny & smart.
fyi--people walked out of the jj dinner with copies of the first run of the Sunday DSM Register in hand. This conspiracy theory stuff is just silly. Most campaigns know when they can go down to the press and when copies are available. The Sunday edition is usually printed even earlier than the weekday editions.
Then why does your party keep trying to spin getting that info at the moment you did as nothing more than the result of the effort of a simple devoted volunteer. WOuldn't be a reason to spin it that way if you legitimately got the information when Nussle did.

Ya right.
I'm amused at the angst over the apparent -- shock, shock -- left-leaning impulses of the DMR. A former Washington Post reporter, on the hustings for his new book, points out that in his view, reporters are somewhere between 15-1, and 25-1, Democratic Party-leaning.

Which walking, talking, human really thought the DMR would support Nussle?

This is a longer paragraph than random blog-adherents warrant, but of course, the reason for this is simple: reporters fancy themselves *intellectual* (capable of better thought than the average citizen), but somehow in a free economy, they don't make much money. How could it be that their apparent virtue lacks reward? Why are they so relatively unimportant? Why do people who do make money resent giving it to people who don't work? (sorry, people who belong to AFSCME?) Why aren't they, the people's defenders, rich, while investments bankers pay for medical bills with credit cards?

It's all about an anxiety of influence, and I don't mean in the Harold Bloom sense. As in, they see their influence diminishing ...

Meanwhile, the case of Mrs. Appel's ambitions, and how far from the tree they appear to fall:

I recently had the misfortune of attending a power-party of Harvard MBAs and met a young thing who, once married, decided that (after six whole weeks of trying) (trying: that is as graphic as I'm going to get) it was taking too long to get pregnant. (That's affirmative: that's two cycles she tolerated.) She was behind plan. And husband, who had just had his vasectomy reversed, and described it as one of the single most painful thing he had experienced, was not getting any younger! (You guess who was in marriage #1 vs. #2.) So she had IVF! No time to waste wondering what would happen in cycle #3! (Husband #2 wondered what the agony of the reversed vasectomy was for, but went ahead and had vasectomy #2, which, in context, sounds pretty smart.)

Just thought I would pass this along in case Mrs. Appel runs out of time for producing further additions to the brood. No speculations here on the ardent Justice A.

Remember two things:

1. It's for the children, and if it's not, we'll get back to you.

2. Mencken: Those who seek to reform seek to rule.

Meant to add, apropos reproduction, this epigram from one of the hand's wives (we shipped 1400 head yesterday):

"Is there any one thing you wish you hadn't learned over the years?"

"Yes. How to AI a cow."

I guess this is the issue with Mrs. Appel's ambitions: they're just sort of tacky, given all that's going on.

You're back! And as insightful and obscure as always.
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