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Iowa
  • 5 Replacements for the Iowa Straw Poll

    If Iowa's Republican Governor Terry Branstad has his way, one of the dumbest events in the presidential election cycle will soon disappear…

    "I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness," Mr. Branstad said of the 33-year-old GOP ritual. "It has been a great fundraiser for the party but I think its days are over."

    Going back to 1979, Republican presidential contenders have flocked to Ames, Iowa in August to eat fried food, dance to country bands and wheedle votes from the party faithful in what amounts to an overblown party fund-raiser disguised as a trial run for the real Iowa caucuses early the next year.

    But what will replace the Iowa Straw Poll as the over-hyped event of the political season?

    Read More »


    Tags: Iowa, Iowa Straw Poll, Terry Branstad
  • Is Barack Obama's Firewall Safe?

    If you're not familiar with the term "firewall," you may be tempted to believe that it is a wall that is made out of fire that politicians like Barack Obama erect to keep inter-dimensional beasts from entering our peaceful realm and enslaving all of us.* Unfortunately, it is not. (So, we continue to remain in constant danger of netherworldy attack.)

    What it is in the case of Obama is a couple of states — namely Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa — which the President is expecting to hold, therefore keeping his re-election chances high. The question is: Will the firewall hold?

    According to Mitt Romney's advisers — who, when you think of it, have nothing to gain by lying — the answer is a resounding no

    Read More »


    Tags: Barack Obama, Electoral College, Iowa, Mitt Romney, Nate Silver, Ohio, Polls, Wisconsin
  • Steve King Worries Relief Funds Might Be Spent on Gucci Bags

    One of the worst things about Halloween are the dumb costumes many adults choose to wear. For example, at last night's congressional debate, Iowa Rep. Steve King came dressed as a douchebag

    "I want to get them the resources that are necessary to lift them out of this water and the sand and the ashes and the death that's over there in the East Coast and especially in the Northeast," King said during a Tuesday evening debate in Mason City, Iowa.

    So far, so good! You're doing so well…

    "But not one big shot to just open up the checkbook, because they spent it on Gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of in addition to what was necessary," he said later, referring to Hurricane Katrina.

    Two points in King's favor: One, that was a very convincing rendition of a douchebag. Two, at least he didn't make an attempt at being a sexy douchebag.

    Sadly, I have to take points off for creativity. That costume is virtually indistinguishable from King's every day persona.

    Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images


    Tags: Iowa, Natural Disasters, Steve King
  • One of a Kind Candidate: David Rosenfeld, 3rd Congressional District, Des Moines, IA

    David Rosenfeld is running as the Socialist Workers Party candidate in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District. I'll be honest, I didn't realize there were any actual card-carrying socialists in America. Turns out Glenn Beck's Venn diagrams were right! But the socialists aren't hiding, they're right there in the cornfields. At Rosenfeld's recent appearance at the Iowa State Fair, he really got the crowd into a lather, according to a fantastically specific account in the Des Moines Register

    An elderly man and a young boy sat down on the hay bales about halfway through the speech. Several people paused to listen Rosenfeld speak.

    Before going to print, it could not be determined whether the young boy had an ice cream cone.

    Just as we've always feared, socialists like soft-spoken factory worker Rosenfeld are bringing their sinister beliefs to our land…

    "There was a small group of individuals yesterday who attempted to disrupt (Republican vice presidential candidate Paul) Ryan's speech and shout him down," [Rosenfeld] said. "Shouting down those you disagree with is not only counter-productive; ultimately it will undermine our ability to defend our free speech rights when they come under attack."

    Chilling stuff.

    Rosenfeld is up against an incumbent Republican and an incumbent Democrat in a redrawn district. Third-party candidates are always blamed for splitting up the vote and spoiling the election for someone. But it would be sweet, ever so sweet, if the two incumbents in a new district split the vote and the third party candidate sneaks in and takes the crown. They do get crowns, right? I only watch C-SPAN for BookTV and the softcore.

    Photo by Richard Cummins/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    Previously: Holly Seeliger, "Student choice award"

    Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Mr. Rosenfeld a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:

    Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.


    Tags: Iowa, One of a Kind Candidates, Socialism