Put down the number two pencil and anything else sharp because it's time for Sunday Morning Coffee the bright spot in your non-business world. Here you'll find some stories you may have missed. Politics, sex, gossip...the stuff you love...all written by me, Michael P. Libbie (no hiding here kids). If you want to respond, you may do so here or we can visit on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and here is my personal Facebook Page. Grab a cup...let's go!
What's Taking So Long...
Pronounced dead months ago Congressman Newt "The Angry" Gingrich continues to stay in the presidential race. Governor Mitt "It's NOT a Cult!" Romney has this thing sewed up. I know, relax. Give the guy a break. Yawn.... The word now is that Gingrich will close shop THIS Wednesday. Meanwhile Obama for America, with the exception of a few comments, has remained focused on the Romney effort. They and (Not to say, "I told you so...") I called this race last year, I think in July. Let the games begin! Here's the story from our friends at CNN.
Mrs. Obama in The Village
Last week Mrs. Obama made her first campaign speech of the cycle here in the Village of Windsor Heights. A standing room only crowd heard her tick off a long list of accomplishments including: Bringing home the troops from Iraq, saving thousands of middle-class jobs, allowing students to remain on their parents insurance plans, protecting individuals from being kicked out of insurance plans, ending pre-existing health rules, removal of dictators, doubled the funding for Pell Grants, equal pay for women and building a swing-set for his kids. (OK, I made that one up.) Mrs. Obama also referenced how she grew up in a middle class home where her father worked as a city water plant employee. Solid middle class roots my friends and a clear difference to what we're being handed from the Republicans. What folks said:
The Big Move
Last week my friends at KCCI-TV8 here in Des Moines ran a story, again, highlighting the serious injury and recovery of Iowa State Senator Pat "I am not a RINO" Ward (R). I made this comment, which you can find on my personal Facebook Page: "I'm grateful for this is well. But, I wonder. Was she working on her "home" in West Des Moines or her "home" in West Des Moines...she has two. One outside of Senate District 22 and the other she recently moved into so she would not have to run against Matt McCoy in November. Anybody know?" I think that was a fair question. However, now that some folks have said I made "inappropriate political jabs" and another questions how I can support Mrs. Vilsack in her "move to Ames" let me see if I can help you: 1) Mrs. Ward did move from her expansive home in West Des Moines to a town-home in West Des Moines, a mile or two away, because she did not wish to run against Senator Matt McCoy (D). (When you're a proud member of the GOP you can have two homes a mile apart and run for a job that pays $25K plus $102.75 per diem); 2) Mrs. Vilsack, to my knowledge, made her home in Des Moines at the Park Fleur. She has, for years, wished to run for congress. She had four options: Run against and primary Congressman Loebsack (D), primary Congressman Boswell (D), primary Congressman Braley (D). She did the smart thing (though some doubt) and moved to Ames to run against Congressman King (R) whom she will beat in November. Finally it was a political comment...most everything is...political. I am just carrying the water of my good friend Pastor Jeff "Bachmann 2012!" Mullen who, I am sure, during the primary, will point to the issue suggesting she is out of step with the real issues of the day. And, finally, notice...not one word about Congressman Tom "Got Seed?" Latham (R) moving from Ames to Clive when he found himself redistricted against Mr. King. (I'm sorry...that was way too long. But only 26 miles.) Now back to our regular program...
Ever Heard of iJAG?
I had not but I am impressed. It is a non-profit program, started in 1999, as a "school to work" effort that has assisted "more than 7,000 students who were at the highest risk of disengaging from school or dropping out of school". I was in Ankeny this past Wednesday and...WOW. Here is the link to iJAG so you can see some of the good stuff they are doing.
During the past two weeks four young Iowa men have killed themselves. A shocking statistic when you consider how small and connected we are in this state. Tomorrow there was to have been a Community Forum on Bullying in West Des Moines. However organizers cancelled the event out of respect and not wishing to make it a political football. However, this clearly is an issue parents, teachers, grandparents and friends need to better understand. Here, for background, is the story from our friends at the Des Moines Register.
The Cost of Education
State universities are not the only places we're seeing rising costs. The average cost, per pupil, in Iowa is $5,883 unchanged from FY 2011. However, the number of ways school districts can charge for a wide range of services is surprising. (I know, when I went to school teachers were not married, we had a McGuffey Reader, all 50 of us from K-8 sat in the same one room and we had to walk, up hill, to and from school with snow up to our ass.) OK, but seriously, why do I raise this issue? Because some of my friends in the Iowa Legislature wish to not only cut public school funding, cut corporate property taxes they also wish to fund private schools. It's a theme for disaster. Wanna peek at allowable tuition and fees in Iowa? Here is a link to he Iowa Department of Education. Just for fun.
Worst Nightmare - Chris Hagenow
Let's take a well connected, well funded former Republican who has, for years, worked with cities and pit her common sense approach to fiscal issues and social issues against an extremist "new right" politician and...ouch. That's what is happening in Iowa House District 43 (Windsor Heights, Clive and West Des Moines) as Susan Judkins has ramped up an impressive early campaign receiving the support of fellow Democrats and more Republicans than you might think. Her campaign, as well as the moderate campaign of Desmund Adams is a pretty solid "one-two" punch for the western suburbs. This is going to be...fun.
Last week Mom and I were out and about twice. Once to a series of doctors (just routine checks) and another time to the grocery store...our Urbandale Hy-Vee. It's a lesson in patience. We made it from the apple section to the onion section in under 15 minutes...a new record. Meanwhile, over in the meat department, I showed her 10 different roasts (she wanted to see each one) only to be told, "What? $5 a pound? No way!". For those of you who see me at the store and I fail to acknowledge you it's because I'm sorta busy. What a hoot and I am so grateful to the Urbandale Hy-Vee staff who are always so accommodating and friendly. Thanks gang!
Have a fantastic Sunday...stay warm! - Michael