12/30/11

QCI GAMEDAY POST: Iowa Caucus Edition - Part 2: Breakdown and Predictions

EDITORS NOTE: Again, the following is a collaboration of thoughts from four anonymous loyal readers of QCI. Ginormous thanks to writing team. The following is the transcript of the back and forth.

CHRIS FOWLER: Welcome back to the QCI Gameday Post: Iowa Caucus Edition. On a very heavy football day here in the Hawkeye State, the candidates are all… how would you say it Beano?

BEANO COOK: All up in here.

FOWLER: That’s right. Today we are going to break down the contenders and of course get the predictions from our great panel. Erin, you’ve been out there on the sidelines, so to speak. Let’s start with someone very much in the news for what may be unfortunate reasons. Michelle Bachmann.

ERIN ANDREWS: Well, this lady came out of the gates and everyone was majorly crushing on her. Sure, she’s tiny and kinda cute – but then you get the sound bites………yikes. Got a whole lot of crazy coming out of her mouth and the crazy is not issues. I’ts things like the John Wayne (Gacey) fiasco - eek. Not a good move. From her lack of timeliness to her verbal blunders, she flamed out faster than Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries marriage.

FOWLER: Ouch.

ANDREWS: That said Bachmann has begun to grow on me. When you go to one of her events, she’s rather likeable in person. Too bad she was late everywhere on her bus tour.

FOWLER: Iowans won’t stand for being late all the time. Kirk, were the gaffes really an issue?

KIRK HERBSTREIT: You know, Chris. Bachmann came out with a great offense. She started out by announcing that she wasn’t announcing at the New Hampshire debate, but she would be announcing soon. Yes, I’m confused, too. Then she launched her Iowa campaign in Waterloo, her birthplace. There were a few hiccups following that announcement, like claiming that John Wayne was from Waterloo. One problem. John Wayne is not from Waterloo; serial killer John Wayne Gacy is from Waterloo. Still, she was the early favorite and had all the momentum.

FOWLER: Oh cmon guys, like you knew where John Wayne was born….

HERBSTREIT: Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll by edging out Ron Paul and never answering a question directly. Kirk Ferentz loved that strategy. Bachmann’s demise started after she got rid of the great strategist Ed Rollins. Following his departure, Bachmann tanked. She refused to go in to events until staffers had checked the lighting, she was late to almost every event, she refused to hold media availably after events and would drown out tough questions with loud music, she pulled a Cam Newton and stole the homeschoolers email list (allegedly), refused to put on a mustache at Gov. Branstad’s birthday party, and failed to secure what many thought was inevitable, the Steve King endorsement. Then, Bob Vander Plaats asked her drop out and support Santorum. Ouch.

FOWLER: So many great references. So little time. Coach, break down the Bachmann candidacy.

LEE CORSO: Take a look at Michele Bachmann, ya know Kirk I am old and very gender bias.

HERBSTREIT: Uh oh…

CORSO: Yea, Kirk I am bias towards females unfairly over males and I love this lady. What’s this mother raised 13,000 foster children or something? You got to have character, leadership and compassion to do that and this lady's got it. Ya know what else she’s got? Fight, and a lot of it so you can never count her out. She's also got a great conservative foundation and philosophy which is what the GOP needs. But its not what she's got that's holding her back, it's what she doesn't got. And what she doesn't got is very important for this time in history, and that's accomplishments. She has accomplished a lot personally and that's why she’s great. But legislatively she has great stances and positions but Kirk if you can’t move the ball towards the goal line you’re not going to score - and if you don't score, we lose. There is a reason that when you play your 12 year old cousin in NCAA football 12 you dominate him every time. It’s because he throws the hail-mary pass every play except for on 4th down when I’ts a fake punt. So while I really like Bachmann’s female conservative tenacity it’s the failed hail-mary passes and poor play calling that holds me back. But I'll tell you guys another thing if she wins I can’t wait to support her over the current quarterback in the White House.



FOWLER: Interesting coach, now this Kent Sorenson mess that has happened. What do you all have on this?

BEANO: We measured men by their worth and their handlebar mustache in my day. And this man couldn’t grow a man’s mustache if I spotted him half of Franz Ferdinand’s broom pusher.
FOWLER: Not sure if this is a slam or under handed shout out to Governor Branstad. Erin?

ANDREWS: This last play is shocking! My thought is this isn’t going to do impact Ron Paul all that much – he’s already got a huge fan base. But this is devastating to Bachmann. Right Coach?

CORSO: If Kent doesn't look out for Kent, who will? I think Mr. Sorensen said it best when he said, "everyone sells out in Iowa, why shouldn't I.” I think of course he is only referring to those who run in that limited group of for-profit social conservatives. It was just days ago when the Senator was allegedly threatening to "burn in effigy" a like minded and similar type of social conservative activist for endorsing Santorum over Bachmann? Kirk, let me tell you there’s one thing that you can count on with Senator Sorenson and that's Kent is going to always do what is in his best interest.

HERBSTREIT: No comment here, Coach. Senator Sorenson’s actions speak for itself.

FOWLER: This is wishful thinking, but hopefully this is the last we’ll hear about all this. Moving on to another contender. Newt Gingrich. Coach, why don’t you start us out here.

CORSO: Chris, I love this guy. He throws hay makers and connects. Newt Gingrich has the intellectual horsepower that the GOP is craving for. George W and the straight talk express didn't have people jumping out of their seats with their rhetorical historical perspective and pure simple IQ level. I tell ya, I haven't seen a guy with this much communication skill since the Ole' Gipper, or a guy with this much genius since the Stein of Ein. When he speaks all listen because he can articulate the conservative point of view so well a liberal journalist professor from Iowa City would even be speechless. I'm telling you this guys Heisman material. Like a rocket arm, and pin point accuracy. But this mad scientist is sometimes just that, mad. And I don't mean pissed off, dammit no swearing I almost forgot. No guys, is this guy JaMarcus Russell/Ryan Leaf, or Peyton Manning/Dan Marino. This genius is like many others, they are very disorganized and have difficulty sorting out the great ideas from the bad. We have a real wild card here Kirk. I'd love to run with the good, but worried we might want to run away from the bad. Sometimes you got to take a chance on the franchise Savior. Will the GOP?

HERBSTREIT: Oh c’mon, Coach. Newt’s reminded me a lot of John McCain in 2008. The crafty veteran who may be seen as the candidate whose turn it is. Newt is a great ideas man, but his lack of discipline and lackluster organization will haunt him.

CORSO: Not so fast my…

HERBSTREIT: Let’s be real here, Coach. Newt got off to an awful start. He criticized Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reduce the budget on “Meet the Press,” was called an embarrassment to the party in Dubuque (it was caught on camera), got glittered, had his Iowa staff walk out on him (only to return to him once he became the front runner), and was called out for racking up big debt at Tiffany’s and on private jets.

CORSO: Kirk, THE Ohio State University football program spent 20 times more on tattoos.

HERBSTREIT: His lack of organization will hurt him, Coach. In an election when the two other frontrunners, Paul and Romney, have been organizing for 5+ years, Gingrich can’t afford to be flying to Virginia to gather signatures to get on the ballot. His lack of organization and money showed when Perry, Paul and Romney began hammering him on the airwaves after he became the frontrunner. A tele-town hall will not put the attacks to rest. You must fight fire with fire.

FOWLER: I may have to separate you two. Erin, are these two making sense?

ANDREWS: When I listen to this guy, I think that I can really get behind him. He’s got solutions, not just ideas and platitudes. Buuuut then I walk away and think “ugh, baggage…” I still can’t get past the comments Newt made earlier this year to “explain” his poor personal choices years ago.

FOWLER: The baggage comes out. But that’s not all, is it?

ANDREWS: Chris, it’s kind of a schizophrenic campaign. He’s organized… his staff quits… he’s MIA in Iowa… he’s back in Iowa… his former staff comes back. I’m confused. I guess I’m still irritated that he skipped on the Iowa Straw Poll and that this campaign hasn’t put much boots on ground effort here.

FOWLER: Good ole Iowan grudges. Beano, do I dare ask your thoughts on Newt?

BEANO: Back when I was a sprout, we didn’t get divorced, let alone 3 times… we sucked it up and ate terrible food from an unhappy soul dead wife. I just don’t see how anyone would elect Wade Phillips, he’s an ok defensive coordinator, but he just isn’t a good head coach.

FOWLER: Why is Beano here again? Let’s keep up with this pace everyone. A name that will surely light up the hit counts… Ron Paul. Let’s start with you, Erin.

ANDREWS: This guy has a cult following. But the cult is ginormous. And organized. His events are hugely attended, and the people who show up aren’t your typical Republican event goers. The thing I can’t get past is every time RP talks, it sounds like he’s just making up as he goes along – but people are taking it and nodding their heads. Just proves if you say anything with enough conviction, people believe it’s a fact.

CORSO: Have you seen the good Doctors TV ads!? They're great!!! And guys, Ron Paul has been running a classic Iowa campaign, and shocker, I know -- it works!

HERBSTREIT: Exactly right, Coach! Paul’s organization is top notch and is able to mobilize on its own. Much like Romney, the people who were with him in 2008 are still with him. But, unlike Romney, Paul continues to build new support and now has a higher floor than the other caucus candidates. Less than 20% in the caucus seems very unlikely for the Texas Congressman. Paul recently had over 1,000 people at an Ames event. A fluke you say? He had 600 in Bettendorf. Paul’s message is resonating in Iowa and the stars could be aligning for him to win on Jan. 3rd.

ANDREWS: I don’t know, boys. To me, he doesn’t seem to need much of a formal organization – his followers were out at shopping malls on Christmas Eve telling people to go to the caucus for Paul. It seems as though the Paul campaign is very grassroots – his folks are doing these things on their own (as far as I know). Now, they really need to work on learning the law about where campaign signs can and can’t be placed (hello? Can’t put them in right of ways or on poles) Oh wait, they don’t believe in regulations…never mind.

FOWLER: Lots of questions on what is going on with this Ron Paul organization. I, myself, have been impressed. I guess this is why we play the game. Kirk, let’s stay in the state of Texas so to speak. Rick Perry.

HERBSTREIT: Rick Perry was thought to be the conservative’s savior. He turned out to be a flawed candidate who failed to demonstrate he was intelligent enough to be president. His “oops” moment mortally damaged his campaign. He seemed to make several good hires in Iowa, but the campaign never got going.

CORSO: Kirk, he has raised a lot of cash. Put together a great organization. Has run some good ads, some bad. Came in hot, looking for that spark again. He is possibly the most personable candidate running but doesn't have the rhetorical prowess that the GOP is looking for this cycle.

HERBSTREIT: But Coach, no one seems to know if his weak Iowa organization is because of the flawed candidate or because a lack of staffer motivation. I’m guessing it is more to do with the candidate. I have yet to meet someone, who isn’t paid by Perry, that is supporting Perry. I predict single digits on Caucus night.

FOWLER: I don’t know guys, I think he has a great team and has been hitting that State hard here in the last quarter. Is that what you’re seeing on the sidelines, Erin?

ANDREWS: I have received more pro-Perry mail than any other candidate; I guess I fit in their target universe. His organization has really stepped it up in the last month or so, doing a bus tour and is ring is huge. I wonder if that’s from a Super Bowl? And, how can you not like a guy who has a Van Halen song as his ring tone?

BEANO: I’ve had to get my spectacle re-adjusted to read all of his mail he’s sent out this month. Tough for someone who worships the golden dome to get behind a TEXAN.

FOWLER: All Notre Dame, all the time Beano. Two more candidates left to break down. How about one who’s topping the charts late. Mitt Romney, Coach. Does he have enough comMITTs to win a championship?

CORSO: Take a look at this guy, he's beautiful. I think they made him in a plastic mold. Do they grey his hair one strand at a time just so it’s perfect? I don't know. But Mitt is Mitt. Disciplined, well spoken, strategic, consistent. Everybody knows it, and about 20-25 percent like it. Which may explain why he maintains support at 20-25 percent. Weeks ago they said that as though it was negative. Lately they're talking about how great his steady support is. The rest are looking for a Mitternative but have not been able to agree on which one. And he who hesitates is lost. If Mitt wins Iowa, this nomination is pretty well over. And we could do worse, no doubt.

ANDREWS: Coach, it’s essentially the same players as four years ago but this time instead of the major organization you have a “once and a while” campaign strategy. He’s in Iowa for a day, and then a month later he’s back. I get it, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

HERBSTREIT: Erin, it’s not just “once and a while”. His Iowa team is small and mighty. The team started out in an apartment attic tucked away off of Ingersoll. Their early job was to make sure they didn’t have any local-level defectors from 2008. From what I can see, they didn’t lose a great deal of local support. This will be invaluable on caucus night. Their people believe in Mitt, have stood by him for years, and have heard all the attacks. I suspect they will be ready for the attacks on caucus night and stand up for their candidate at their local precincts.

FOWLER: Somewhat diverse reaction to Mitt Romney here. I know G$ had been harping a lot on 99 county chairs lately. He may have a point. Remember, the Romney folks had a pretty solid organization 4 years ago. So Kirk, I think, is on to something. Speaking of organizations and really doing it the Iowa way. Rick Santorum.

BEANO: Santorum has reminded me of an old Florida State squad. He’s putting everyone on their schedule, all 99 counties. They’re beating who they have to. Running up scores… like a Bowden. Bobby sure does have some nice sweater vests.

CORSO: Beano, Slick Rick has really worked hard in Iowa. And for that he will be rewarded by exceeding his expectations. By how much is the question since those expectations were so low to begin with. Guys, this Santorum fella has had very consistent debate performances when given the chance to speak. He has great, thoughtful policy positions which have kept him in consideration by many. It is really hard to pick Rick apart on anything. He is a solid candidate and would make a very stiff match up for the President.

ANDREWS: Santorum has put in the most effort and time getting to all 99 counties, getting some key (and not so key) endorsements, but he can’t seem to gain any traction. All I can guess is there is something that people just can’t get their arms around. Perhaps it IS the fact that he’s been to all 99 counties and just doesn’t have the personality that people are looking for.

HERBSTREIT: I don’t know, Erin… And I never thought Santorum stood a chance in this Presidential race. Now, I think he could be the Huckabee of 2011/2012. Conservatives trust him and his positions have not changed. He is a nice, personable guy who connects well in retail politics.

FOWLER: He has been after it, hasn’t he Kirk?

HERBSTREIT: Chris, all I know is that Nick Ryan, Jill Latham and Cody Brown have done a great job with former Sen. Santorum. They bought in early to the Branstad/Grassley model, visiting all of Iowa’s 99 counties. And Santorum did the visits the right way, not like Bachmann who arrives to the stops on her tour 50 minutes late and only stays for 10 minutes. Santorum put in the time and it will yield dividends. He will out-perform polling on caucus night. Book it.

FOWLER: I can see the mascot box being brought to the stage. It is time. Predictions. It’s been a long, long ride. Let’s have ‘em. Beano, how is it going to go on Tuesday night?

BEANO: My top three are Romney first, Paul second and the Newt in third. Watch out for Rick Perry, he’s Texan, you know… and the real question that has been missing this entire cycle. WHERE THE HELL IS ALAN KEYES!

FOWLER: Alan Keyes… and the ghosts of Caucuses Past have arrived. Erin, your top 3?

ANDREWS: Chris… maybe I’m way off, but I have Paul first, Newt second and Mitt third… That said, keep a corner in your eye open for Santorum. He is really doing the Iowa caucuses the way they should be done.

FOWLER: Kirk, you told me you’ve been tossing and turning on this one.

HERBSTREIT: Sure have Chris. Since, I’m calling the Caucus tonight with Musburger, I shouldn’t make predictions, but I’ll make an exception. Romney first, Paul second and Santorum in third. When I say watch out for Santorum, I mean watch out for Santorum. If Newt doesn’t stop the bleeding fast, I believe Santorum can sneak into the 3rd spot. Visiting all 99 counties will build you an incredible organization. Santorum did it the right way and I think he’ll be rewarded. I think Newt will slip to #4. I believe Perry and Bachmann will drop out before NH.

FOWLER: So Kirk, you have bought into Santormentum.

HERBSTREIT: I do, Chris. Something is happening.

FOWLER: Before we finish up, Kirk, you had more to add.

HERBSTREIT: Yes. Here’s three headlines you will see Wednesday morning “Perry forgets the 3rd reason he lost in concession speech. Oops.”

FOWLER: Ouch. The second?

HERBSTREIT: “Man smoking outside of caucus mistaken for Mark Block, turns out to be Grant Young.”

FOWLER: A little shout out to the editor. Nice work.

HERBSTREIT: Absolutely! Now, how much I think this Santormentum is real… the third headline on Wednesday morning will be “Santorum after surprise top 3 finish: Google me now, bitches!”

FOWLER: Can he say that on air? I guess we can expect an apology from Kirk with a gun pointed to his head.

HERBSTREIT: *gulp*

FOWLER: Alright… now, time for Lee to finish up with a tradition like no other. What do you have for a prediction there coach?

CORSO: This is the most difficult race to pick here on gameday, probably ever. And I can tell you one thing now that is for certain. I look forward to supporting whom ever the nominee is with great enthusiasm because four more years of Obama we cannot have.

HERBSTRIET: AMEN COACH!

CORSO: Kirk! I have contrarian thinking on the good Doctors chances. High turnout is not what Paul wants but I think that's what he gets. Paul is polling slightly higher than he will finish but will come in very close third. He has very dedicated supporters and it's certainly not inconceivable that he could win. So I have Ron Paul in third place.

HERBSTREIT: C’mon Coach, third? You have no faith in the sweater vest?

CORSO: Two guys who could surprise. And might. I'm telling you this thing is up for grabs and while Perry has been steadily climbing back, Santorum is roaring ahead. Either one of these guys could break into the top three but no way both can. But in second, Romney could easily win with 25 percent because of the fractured vote. And NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS! With a very high turnout and something special happening between now and January 3, and by the narrowest of margins…. I didn't even need to be enlarged, fits right on there at actual size.

(CORSO slaps desk and puts on head)

CORSO: Efff it. NEEEEEEWT! YEAH!!!!!


HERBSTREIT: You know Chris, he’s right. That thing is actual size.

BEANO: Wade Phillips is a fine coordinator. But no head coach.

ANDREWS: That thing is ginormous.
FOWLER: There you have it friends. Our panel has made its picks. Now it’s up to you. See you Tuesday Night!

ANDREWS: Good Lord that thing is huge.

BEANO: That’s what she said.


12/29/11

QCI GAMEDAY PREVIEW: Iowa Caucus Edition - Part 1

EDITORS NOTE: The following is a collaboration of thoughts from three anonymous loyal readers of QCI. Ginormous thanks to writing team. The following is the transcript of the back and forth.

CHRIS FOWLER: Just like we always do this time of year… I’m Chris Fowler and welcome to QCI’s Gameday: Iowa Caucus Edition. We have lots to cover here. So much that I believe we’ll make this a two part post. Tonight, we’ll cover some odds and ends. Tomorrow morning we’ll get to our predictions and of course, the mascot head. But before we get to all of that, with us as always, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso.

KIRK HERBSTREIT: Lots and lots of energy going on, Chris. A lot at stake, coach! Are you ready?

LEE CORSO: Kirk! Let’s get this going!

FOWLER: Also with us is long time analyst Beano Cook.

BEANO COOK: Hello Chris and fellers. Notre Dame.

FOWLER: And to help provide some insight from the sidelines, Ms. Erin Andrews. Welcome aboard Erin.

ERIN ANDREWS: Great to be here Chris. My first time on the QCI Gameday. A little nervous.

BEANO: Humina, humina, humina.

FOWLER: Let’s dive in here. In what is becoming one of THE most interesting back and for Iowa Caucus seasons ever, there’ve been game changes and interceptions. First off, there are some people who didn’t make it to the dance. I’m going to just throw out names at all of you. Tim Pawlenty.

HERBSTREIT: His TV ads looked like “Transformers” previews. His speeches were about exciting as a George Eichhorn campaign rally. What do you got Coach?

CORSO: A little harsh, Kirk. Would still have a chance if he had played for the long haul.

FOWLER: Erin, your take from the sidelines?

ANDREWS: He had a huge organization leading up to the Straw Poll, it’s just too bad that T-Paw wasn’t more dynamic as a candidate. I think the problem wasn’t that he spent too much money or had too big of an organization, he just couldn’t catch on no matter what he did.

FOWLER: Another missing person. The last drop out of the race…. Herman Cain.

CORSO: Captured a movement and excited the GOP, Chris. Was one of the best speakers in the race. Inexperience showed and was his ultimate demise.

ANDREWS: Well, he’s still on the ballot, sooooooo is Cain really a dropout? Kidding. At any rate, Cain seemed to be picking up support and then all of his personal issues came out.

HERBSTREIT: Only thing that comes to mind is, The Serial Fondler. Am I right Beano?

BEANO: One butt grab is an aberration, two is a trend and 2 decades worth is Herman Cain.

FOWLER: He sure did get people excited. But as well put by both Kirk and Beano, the personal issues were becoming a prevent defense. Prevents you from winning. Is it worth even talking about Thad McCotter?

ANDREWS: Who? Just kidding, Chris. McCotter’s biggest problem was not getting any love from the national media. And his second biggest problem was his uncommon name – it was easy to forget. He could have had a niche but he was only around for a month or two and just couldn’t catch on. Beano?

BEANO: Awe yes, Thad McCotter. That’s the quarterbacks coach for Notre Dame, right?

CORSO: No way Beano! Ran horrible campaign, and paid too much for it.

HERBSTREIT: I agree Coach. His campaign was quicker than Oregon’s offense and fizzled faster than Jake Christensen’s popularity in Iowa City.

FOWLER: Interesting bits here. Let’s move on to Iowa Haters. What about former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roehmer?

HERBSTREIT: Who?

CORSO: Who?

BEANO: Kicker for Bowling Green in the 50s who didn’t have the grades for Notre Dame or Ann Arbor.

ANDREWS: You don’t make any effort in Iowa; I’m not going to make any effort talking about you.

FOWLER: And proverbial Iowa Hater, Jon Huntsman?

HERBSTREIT: Chris, this guy makes less sense than Lou Holtz. Refusing to campaign in Iowa because of your ethanol subsidy position is weak. Even Giuliani says your Iowa strategy sucks. We were just taking about this off air, Coach.

CORSO: Jon Huntsman has played the roll of McCain circa '99-'00 very well… minus anyone campaigning against him. Oh and, except for the primary success. Oh and, he won't be the next nominee either.

ANDREWS: Again, Chris. You don’t make any effort in Iowa; I’m not going to make any effort talking about you.

FOWLER: All Iowa, all the time. Love it. Lots and lots more to come. Tomorrow our QCI Gameday Team will break down every campaign and ole Coach will put on the mascot head. Make sure you follow G$ on Twitter for updates on the post and join us on the Book of Faces as well, if you’re into that type of thing. See you then!

12/16/11

It's baaaaaack....

























It’s back… the now infamous “Gameday Post” courtesy of me and my ghost writers. Will post it on Thursday, December 26… maybe with a launch party or something….

So hang tight on the details…

For the uninitiated… here’s Gameday Posts from the past….

2008 Primary Gameday PreviewLINK (the Original)

2008 General Election Gameday PreviewLINK

2010 Statewide Primary Gameday PreviewLINK

2010 Congressional and Governor Primary PreviewLINK

More details to come… until then, you can follow some really horrible tweets HERE.

Stay thirsty my friends.

4/21/11

You blasted kids!

"Oh look! He posted something!"

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear ya.

So... these internets are getting hotter than Elizabeth Shue on any day that ends in Y with this bit about Professor F-Bomb over at the University of Iowa. Our homey jomey from Wyoming ERR Ankeny, C-Raig Robinson at the TIR had a good bit on it. That's a hell of a lot of comments there, sir.

Anyways... I went to the U of I and was active in CRs there as well... so anytime I see that the ole UICRs making the news, my ears perk up. Now, back in the day... we weren't exactly as loud as thems kids are today. Hell, we were more worried about working for campaigns and finishing our meetings on time so we could hit the Airliner for "Flip Night"... (a pitcher and cup, aye there Caleb?)...

So... turns out the UICRs have this "Conservative Coming Out Week" thinger. And they got to send a blast email approved to go campus wide to tells thems kids all about it. Wow, times sure have changed, right? Then blah blah blah... the blast goes out and blah blah blah... some uberlefty professor starts doing her best Cee Lo Green impersonation via email.

The blogs pick the story up and then Fox News does a thinger. Pretty cool stuff for a student organization stunt that got someone a little more cranky when they screw up their organic moca cafe way too expensive coffee at Starbucks. Even I, of all people, took a minute to put some words together to form sentences over this. Yeah, I know, weird, right?

Then these comment sections start blowing up on the blogs, news sites... ect. And, in the political age we live in now... the Ben Franklin/John Hancock wannabes and crunchy elderly former hippy burn outs begin an epic debate over the Constitution... rights... blah blah blah blah...

Namely, Freedom of Speech.

Now, I'm no constitutional scholar, never claim to be, never went to law school or have any interest doing so otherwise. What can I say, I likes books with pictures.

But when peeps start turning into Legal Beagles, I turn to my lawyer and law school pals. I figure hey, they paid enough cabbage to learn it up... so I don't have to. Just like when they ask for my advice on being awesome. Kinda works out that way. It's the circle of life, Simba.

Then, when their super duper law school Someone v. Someone Supreme Court case speak gets my head spinning to the point where I think they're speaking Portuguese... That's when I turn to rants given by Dennis Miller... Because for some reason, he puts things in ways that I can understand them.

So check out this video... my favorite is his explanation of the first two amendments... right around the 52 second mark. Enjoy and stay thirsty...

4/12/11

QCI Twitter Event: Party Like It's 1999

Hey. How’s it going? Yeah, yeah, yeah… long time, no talk. I hear ya. Anyways… incase you missed it, and judging by the tweets, you have. Turns out that Chris Cizzilla, AKA the Fix from the Washington Post is bringing his monthly “Politics and Pints” to the Hawkeye State on August 10th. These monthly events are usually held at one of our favorite DC hangouts, Capitol Lounge. Basically it’s a trivia night with beers and politicos… so you can see why we’re excited about this and that this event totally has our attention. Oh and by the way… QCI plans on fielding a team at this event… so EAT THAT Albrecht. So what’s up with this post? Well, we kind of got inspired by this event and idea… and decided to totally rip it off on the interwebs… (yes, I know, stay classy G$)…. Well, kind of… Anyways, last night my crack team over here at QCI HQ was digging through the G$ archives and found some files from the 1999-2000 Caucus season. Stuff like mail pieces… endorsement releases… some good old school stuff. This all kind of segwayed into another conversation we were having last night as well. It was the thought of the brain trust at the HQ that we are on the verge of everything really heating up… kind of like it was 12 years ago. Staffers are getting hired… activists are getting personal calls… and all over the Des Moines metro, office space is looking to get leased. Also, we’ve have been meaning to write the MUST IOWA TWITTER FOLLOWS (sigh… I know, yet another list). Iowa has a great political Twitterverse… So in a weird, organic, fun way…. We figured we could make it happen… just by having it happen, tonight. So, tonight… we thought we’d do a little tweetchat about the stuff we found moderated by yours truly. Think of tonight’s tweetchat as a… “Where Are They Now” meets political war story time at some table over at Wellman’s… make sense? Good. So here’s all the deets on tonight’s QCI Tweetchat…. WHAT: QCI Tweetchat – Let’s Party Like It’s 1999 WHERE: Twitter on the internets. Hashtag yer tweets with #partylikeits99. Or you can follow my feed on the right side WHEN: Tonight – 6ish to 7ish pm Iowa Time (that’s Central Time for you folks reading in Story City) WHO: Loyal readers, special guests and everyone in between. So see you all in a but… and as always… stay thirsty my friends.

2/27/11

People still read this?

So... how's everyone? Cool. Good to hear.

Um hey, I know. Longtime, no talk.

Working on a few things. I hope you all will like 'em. Like, liking 'em just as much as this rocking tune by a couple of fellas from Akron, OH.

Crank it up, real real loud. And stay tuned.

12/29/10

That Girl Named: Iowa Hawkeye Football

From time to time, I have explained Iowa Hawkeye Football as a relationship. Sure, no relationship is perfect. It takes some work. There are ups and downs. We’ve sure had some great times over the past few years… Like those nice little New Years Day dates... unexpected surprises like the catch in the Capital One bowl... The last two Michigan State games... The Ricky Stanzi Orange Bowl post game speech... Bowl wins... Magical bliss... good times.

*hearts*

Hawkeye Football usually goes about the same as that on again/off again girlfriend you have. It starts in the Winter... after the bowl game... we miss her. Sure... from now until the next Fall... we may flirt or even go out with the NFL Playoffs, or the upcoming Major League Baseball season... hell, we might even hook up with the Olympics to keep us occupied. But these gals are no Hawkeye Football... no way, no how.

The Spring Game comes along... You haven't seen her in a while. And booyah! Damn she looks good. REAL good. She's lost some weight. She's doing this new thing with her hair. And that black and gold outfit she's rockin'? Those one pair of jeans that make you go nuts. (humina humina humina)

But you keep it cool. You'll say hello... maybe grab a drink, but that's it. There's no need to get too excited, yet. You're not gonna call or anything... wouldn't want to sound desperate... she'll be back, right? There’s emptiness for most of the Summer. It's a long wait... Time makes the heart grow fonder so to speak.

The Big Ten previews start coming out late summer. Lindy's, Sporting News and Anthlon... all talking about how she is lookin' FINE. You go to the State Fair and pick up your Hawkeye Football Schedule Poster... you just know she's going to be back in your life. And things are going to be great again. Bam! Two weeks until that first game? You're back together... and it's better than the last year. You're heart goes pitter patter. Everything seems to be a little nicer... everything seems to be a little brighter. Iowa Hawkeye Football is your girl... and life is good.

During this preseason? You stopped at the jewelers in Pasedena. You were looking for a ring. A big ring. For some reason, you just felt that this was it. This was the time we were gonna settle down and be immortal for ever... every thing great and smelling rosy...

But this 2010 Iowa Hawkeye Football girl was a little more complicated than the past years. Expectations... dude, you were shopping for a damn ring! Yeah... this was as serious as a dry keg two hours before kick off at Kinnick. Yeah, that serious. For some reason, in the back of your head... you had high expectations... but we've all been here before... you just knew this year was going to be different… But something didn't smell right. Especially when her father got involved.

He's always has been suspect of us. Her father started putting these tailgating restrictions. All of those cops on Melrose. The parking lots at Kinnick weren't making you feel like you lived in the Hawkeye State, but a Police State. We should have known from the beginning that indeed, something was up... and it wasn't gonna end well.

Enter our girl... the 2010 Iowa Hawkeyes.

The season started off great. No problems. Good two dates in Iowa City. All is well. Great times. Then we took a trip with her to Tucson, Arizona...which seemed exotic for us. Things could get a little freaky, right? Like freaky nice. Then there was the whole time change thing and we were both cranky. Bad weekend. We probably said a few things to each other... at a bad time. But hey, that was just the time change and stuff. No problem, we can work this out.

The next week? Good times were had again. She wore throwbacks... because we're into that. Yeah man. It was nice. Then beating JoePa again?! *hearts* A win like that calls for a blissful night in the hot tub if you catch my drift. Beating Michigan? In Ann Arbor? Yeah... nothing could go wrong between us and our girl now, Hawkeye Football. Damn, she's the best girl, ever.

But... Here's where it gets a little rocky... or Bucky if you will. Freaking Wisconsin.

Yeah, she let them have the Bull. You know.... that trophy with the Bull on it. Yes... that hurt... but could you really be hurt about a trophy that was just made a few years ago? Nah. We'll forgive her. Turns out, Bucky was good this year... no Bull trophy could come between us... right? No problem. It's OK. We can forget about this one... Sure... we both said a few things we shouldn't have said. But we made up. Next weekend will be better, she promises.

Ole Sparty came to Iowa City. Yeah... she showed him the door. She's pretty cute when she gets angry and puts a beat down on the conference frontrunner... of the time. It's like when she crinkles her nose when's she's mad. So cute. That's why we love her. She was mad and everything was alright. Which made her mad in nice ways later if you know what I'm sayin’… Hey yo!

Then we took a little trip to Indiana. No problems, right?

Yeah, we stayed in Indianapolis. And yeah... OK, so we may have spent too much time at the Broad Ripple bars the night before. We were pretty cloudy in the morning. Missed the bus... but caught a cab to Bloomington just in time. We got on each others nerves, but that’s how it goes. We won. Things would get better if we just took a little get away to Chicago for the weekend, right? Yeah, that's the ticket. A nice little weekend in the Windy City. We'll go out, maybe take her shopping on Michigan Ave... maybe take in a Second City Show... you know... just for fun. A nice little leisurely trip to Chicago....

Sigh… Yeah, not good. This weekend in Chicago was supposed to the weekend where we make up... maybe we get on a bended knee. We'll get closer to Roses... LA... Become one...

Wrong.

She got all pissy about leaving the seat up in the hotel... lots of yelling... lectures on how I... of all people, I needed to grow up. How'd that go? Yeah... quiet trip back to Iowa from the Windy City. But... all is fair... Brutus was coming to town. How could we not get excited for a date like that, right? Yeah... maybe after a win like that we could make the ask.... forever. Well... that wasn't a good weekend for our girl, either.

We had a great time... it was intense... all of the stuff that keeps you interested in this girl... then... we must have said something wrong. With a 2:30 start... I'll admit, we probably had too much to drink before kick off... but, that never harmed our relationship before, right? Then... Awe dammit... pissed away... in more ways than one. Call us Popeye... because we just got owned by Brutus for our girl again.

Double sigh...

But one last date to make it all better, right? One more and we'll have our selves a nice little New Years getaway where it’s warm and nice.

We love Floyd of Rosedale. He's child to us if you will... One more date up North. Nothing wrong could happen... could it? On to the Twin Cities and at this new joint. They don't serve beer. So... we're gonna need a little help to get her in the mood. We're gonna be outside... and from past experiences all year... we know we're in trouble with our girl. We would fight, make up and do it all again. Just like every single game of the season in the past. We prepared for this. But in the Twin Cities, well... we had a fight. Not just a lovers spat... put the kind of fight that doesn't end well with you're on again/off again girlfriend that is Hawkeye Football. The kind of fight where things are said and she kicks you square in the nuts.

Yeah, not awesome.

Was it something we said? Listen, I know Brutus the Buckeye is a handsome fellow... but him? Goldie? Goldie the freaking Golden Gopher? You had to let him win?! Really? Did that make you feel better? You let them have the pig?!! The Pig?!! Has it gotten that bad between us?! I know it was cold up there and all of that stuff... and yes, we should have bought you that designer winter coat at the Mall of America on our night out... Yeah yeah yeah... I know, it was freezing... but... you had to let them have the pig? You started to face facts... you knew this break up might be... final.

We were officially fighting after that chilly day in Minne-no-place.

That's when we got a little defensive. How could you?! After all the things, the tailgate restrictions by your father... all of our ups and downs... and now you're going to expect us to forgive and forget... and go to some Phoenix suburb for a bowl game?!! This is how this relationship ends?

This fight carried on. Off field problems. Players in trouble. Heroes disgraced... It was like she was playing a sick game of making us hurt. Rumors… charges… The embarrassment… This might be the final straw. It could be over…

Fast forward to this past week. You saw her texts... Missed calls… Voice mails…

Hit ignore... and delete.

Don’t pick up, dude... do not pick up that phone.

No need to put yourself through this again. All you get is hurt. And we all might have had enough pain…

But the funny thing about this girl named Iowa Hawkeye Football… she was your first and only… and it usually… doesn’t take much to get you back. That’s why you didn’t want to pick up that phone…

All that was waiting was more hurt on the other side of the phone...

Then… It happened. Just one spark. All it takes is one spark, and this one was some Ozark hillybilly Mizzou fan’s Facebook status talking smack about our girl…

No one, I mean no one talks about our girl like that. No one.

On Iowa! Go Hawks! AND GAME ON!

You pick up the phone… you dial and don’t even let her get a word in, “Babe, it’s me again. Let's work this out. Put on that black and gold thing you wear that drives me nuts and I’ll be there in a minute to pick you up. We’re going to Tempe.”

All of those heartbreaking losses… forgotten. Off field garbage? Forgotten. Iowa Hawkeye Football is our girl. And are we not going let some toothless low rent Big 12 school mess with our girl, right? Hell no.

We lock arms and head to Arizona. We're together again. *birds chriping*

So we get there and all the chatter for the game builds up. The Hawks have no chance. Missouri is favored. Too many distractions… this isn’t going to end well. Then you remember why we love her. This stuff just makes her pissed… and remember, she gets really really cute when she gets pissed. "Bring it... Mizzzzzourahhhh," she says in that hot chick voice. *hearts*

It’s Game Time at the Insight Bowl. We're baaaaaaack! Man did she look good last night. The Hawkeyes came out on all cylinders. It was awesome! Where was this Big 12 North super power we were sold on? Mizzou ain’t got nothin’ our girl. Then… Hyde’s interception for 6? Are you serious?!! Oh yeah, man. Oh… yeah.

Then, being the drama queen she always is… the review of that pass? It was of course incomplete… but not you and us, Iowa Football… you complete us. And that’s why the hurting has started to begin…

The wait…

We have to wait until next Fall to see you again. I can hear Hawks fans say it, “But, but, but wait?! We just got back together?! You have to go?!” She does, man… She does…

Iowa Football will be back next year… and she’ll look as fine as she did last night.

So start the countdown fellas… I know that I, like many of you Hawkeye fans, are already counting the days until we’ll see our sweet sweet love again… Iowa Hawkeye Football.

12/26/10

CHIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFS!!!!!!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!!

*tears of joy*

I always believe....


12/24/10

Epic Christmas

Christmas is frigging awesome. Seriously, it's the season that makes me come to grips with the fact that... Though I am 33 years old... I'm basically a big kid. Ain't it cool how this time of year does that to you? Yeah, I thought so.

Anyways... since I'm not gonna be standing in line at a store when Mass starts tonight (Grant speak for "I actually have all my shopping done") I figured... I'd do a random Christmas thoughts post as my little stocking stuffer to all of you loyal readers out there. We'll call this post of random... Epic Christmas...

CHRISTMAS TUNES - How awesome are Christmas tunes? I mean there are some terrible ones (insert "Christmas in Iowa" song here)... It's just straight up freaking awful. When I hear this song it makes me want to tell my buddy of mine to meet me in the backyard and whip 3 dozen snowballs at my junk. Yeah. Not a fan. But... nothing like when you hear someone belt out a good one. I'm not much for the Christmas Radio Station bit... just on the mere fact that you have to listen to the crap songs. What's my Holiday Mix Tape? Anything with Frank Sinatra, Charlie Brown Christmas, Boston Pops (basically anything with horns) and maybe Cheech and Chong. Oh and anything done by the Roots. Oh and that Beach Boys one. And yeah, I'm total sucker for the Churchy songs. You know... the ones sang right by the hot chick in your confirmation class... the ones that brings the tears in the pews. Crazy good. How freaking awesome are those? Freaking awesome. I mean these guys who were writing these songs like a hundred years ago had to be like, "Dudes, some day... peeps are gonna be bawling by the end of this one." I shared that idea with my sister, she said, "They probably were brought to tears composing them." Good point April.
TRADITIONS - No matter if its the ones your ancestors brought over on the boat... Something your family does... or even that Ugly Sweater party... Every one's got em. My favorite? Christmas Eve in Jewell. I grew up on the same block as the church. So here's how it goes down... 5:30 Mass at Good Shepherd... then anyone who's around comes over to my parent's house. Not just like family... but family friends, sometimes the priest... my Dad's buddies... high school pals (and now their kids). They show up after Mass or stop before they head to their church's services, have some cocktails... get fat on all of the epic things my Mom cooked up and just hang out. Which makes for just a great night of laughs and holiday cheer. One year, they thought Midnight Mass would be a decent change. Yeah... still had the party at my folks... but headed to Mass later. Which made the snow drift in front of the parish doors rival most snow drifts on college campuses on a Thursday night. Hey, like I said, we live on the same block... Have road beers and Christmas spirit, will travel.
EPIC FOOD - Dudes... Are. You. Serious! The best evar. I'm not much of a sweets guy... but I can't stop eating Christmas cookies. The best part of having like... 60 aunts... is that they are off the chain in the kitchen. Add to the fact that my family is involved in farming one way or another... yeah, just about any thing you can make with a pork product is served. Big ass Bell's Mill ham... meat trays... pigs in a balnket... And if it didn't come from a pig, they'll wrap it in bacon and drown it in a sauce. Yeah man. No one goes hungry.
SANTA CLAUS - Yes, there is a Santa Claus. No doubt about it. Oh and for you Santa haters out there. Recognize. I know its not a very Christmasy thing to say... but if you say there ain't no Santa... you get what you deserve, nothing.
SPEAKING OF SANTA... and turning into a big kid. So I was outside the mall the other day, you know... smoke break. And a lady with two big crates of candy canes was coming up to the door. She was struggling a little with the large cargo... so I helped load 'em in the mall. I asked, "Hey wait a minute... are these Santa's candy canes?" As my eyes got wide, she grinned back at me saying, "Yep, that's right. These are Santa's candy canes." Then I go, "Dude, that's awesome!" Candy canes were delivered to the big man and I went back to shopping. But I sure had a glow of being important. I, of all people, just got to help out THE Santa Claus. What can I say, I'm just a big kid.
SAYING MERRY CHRISTMAS - Yeah yeah yeah. I hear you. I'm not much for lecturing people that it's Jesus' epic birthday. I say Merry Christmas... You can say Happy Holidays, Happy Festivus, Happy Hanukkah... Happy Saturday... whatever you want. I won't be offended. I don't care. If its this time of year, I say Merry Christmas... Just like I say "Go Chiefs" or just plain "CHIEEEEEEEEFS" to anyone I see on a Sunday.
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS - Shopping... gets a little stressful, sometimes... doesn't it? Is this what he wants? Will she fit in this? Is he into Legos yet or will he choke on 'em? What age is appropriate for Barbie? Don't buy it dude, someone may have gotten it for you... These are the thoughts that come to my head and are asked to better shopping experts than I. Of which I know gets a little annoying at times for them... what am I to do? I'm notta shopping expert. Was asked the other day, "What was the best Christmas gift you ever got?" With out even flinching... An authentic sideline team issue Kansas City Chiefs winter jacket... just like Marty Schottenheimer wore on many of those playoff runs. I think I was like 12 or 13... maye older... when I got it. My Mom says I about hit the ceiling when I opened it... literally. That my friends was a bad ass jacket. It was like before stores had all the authentic stuff. It came directly from Kansas City. Man that was a great jacket. And to answer your question, yes. When no one was around... I'd put it on, wore an old pair of my Dad's glasses and paced around the house... pretending like I was Marty telling Derrick Thomas, "Good job, Derrick. Keep working that guy." Um yeah, I think that's the first time I've ever admitted that.
THE END OF A YEAR - Cool part, I think at least, is that whole reflect on the last year stuff. 2010? I'd say it was decent. Not bad, not bad at all. Big wins in November... The Chiefs win and they're in the playoffs... Decent health... (heavy on the decent)... We can do better too in 2011, don't you think? Of course.

Alright... I gotta start negotiating my way back to God's County. Mass is at 6:30. So I gotta split...

Before I load up my sleigh of presents and head north, I have a brief message to all of you loyal readers, friends, family, haters, stalkers, even Denver Bronco fans... and everyone in between. Back at Good Shepherd up in Jewell, Father Recker would always end his homily with this line that I always kind of digged. He's was longtime drama coach for a big catholic high school somewhere back in the day... and it showed during Mass. Crazy good stuff.

Here's his line and my wish for you all...

"To you and yours. May you have a very Happy, a very Holy... a very Merry Christmas."

12/14/10

QCI's 2012 Iowa Caucus List and Keys


"G$, you gotta list?"

C'mon son... everyone is doing it...

Man oh man, I love Christmas... and the Christmas party circuit! What a rockin' party over at 621 East 9th, am I right?! Great to see so many old friends, new friends, colleagues, acquaintances... and it was even great seeing the people I don't like!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Just kidding. I roll like Rocky Balboa, I like just about everyone. Even you Monte Shaw.

Anyways, per usual, I've been talking to a lot of people since the big November victories. The subjects? Here they are...

What's next? How long are they keeping you on the pay roll? What are you thinking? Hear from anyone yet?

And of course...

Who do you like in 2012?

On the subject of 2012... lately the buzz I keep hearing on the street and reading in the blogs? That little list of 50 people in an article Tony Beaumont wrote a couple weeks back in the Des Moines Register.

Lists do funny things to people... especially in politics. Judging from the blogs and "on the street" chatter I'm hearing... Here are the 4 reactions I get:

1) Peeps who really don't care and don't have time to.
2) Folks who look like Rudy checking the Notre Dame dress list to see if they "get" to suit up on Saturday... because coach promised.
3) Egos who would like you to kiss their rings because they made the list.
4) The rest? They blow up like that movie producer did on CJ Craig on the West Wing... just because he dropped from #2 to #9 on the list of Hollywood's most important people.

Again, lists do funny things...

Hershel chimed in... then I saw a few others who were mostly pissed for not making the list... and/or all their buddies that got left off. Get over yourselves people.... and act like you been here before.

This prompted Tim Bowmount to write another list... Oh, and don't worry. Someone will get pissed again... or want to advocate for someone and something... and the DMR's political guy, Biff Toemont will have to write another list. (sigh...)

My take on all these lists? Yep. Everyone single one should be on there. All accomplished. All influential no matter how great or worthless you personally believe these people are. I'm as serious as a dry keg 2 hours until kick off when I said that. Are there some folks missing? Yes of course... there's always someone who didn't make Selection Sunday. It's OK... there's always the NIT... but enough of the really lame college basketball references...

You want the list? I'll give you the list... well, at least not the Excel Sheet. No way Homey Jomey from Wyoming. You all aren't that cool enough, sorry. And for some of you reading... that chick still thinks you're a creeper and you can't have her cell phone number. Sorry bro.

You're just gonna have to look 'em all up... and since you clearly have this computer thing called "the internets"... you have access to a little website called "Google." Cmon now, who hooks you up? Say it together friends, "G$ hooks us up."

At the urging of loyal readers... let's do this... And I'm sure you will think my list sucks... but hear me out. I break it down different than others... I hope you people in Story City are able to follow along....

MY STAFF AND CONSULTANT LIST

Here's who makes the cut...

1) Anyone who is from Iowa and who has been a staffer/advisor/consultant, at any level, on any campaign or official office in this state for the past 30 years. I know, you may think that's lame, but its true. And if you don't think so... You're drinking some one's or your own Kool Aid.
2) Out of staters who have spent time here. They learned how to say Nevada and Madrid... They've earned you honorary citizenship. We even like the way you talk funny. Never discount honorary Iowans
3) The ones you haven't heard about yet. I'm talking about the kid who comes from no where and gets more than 700 votes for a candidate down in Van Buren County on Caucus Night. Yeah... freakish good.

THE KEYS TO STAFFS AND CONSULTANTS:

1) You can assemble the best, most accomplished, most decorated political staffs in the history of campaigns for your Iowa Caucus staff. But if you don't have anything to sell (candidate)... you will end up with the Giants and Rangers in your World Series. If you don't get the reference (sigh), this is what it means. You can have the best team money can buy... the New York Yankees of politics... but if your candidate sucks and/or can't connect, you're screwed. Staffers and consultants don't win elections. Candidates and ideas do.
2) It doesn't matter if you've been involved since Reagan or just got the job out of college gig today... to put it simple... And I'll probably be the first to say it, you don't need "caucus experience." For real. You can take an entire day to teach a monkey about the Caucuses... and that monkey will get 10 new precinct leaders, tonight.

MY BIG NAME ENDORSEMENT LIST

Endorsements are pretty simple around here...

1) All current City, County, State and Federally elected officials
2) All former City, County, State and Federally elected officials
3) All former candidates who lost City, County, State and Federal elections
4) All heads of interest groups and their organizations... you name the association or concern... hook it up... on the list
5) Iowa Celebs... Movies stars, Athletes, Coaches or basically someone who has been on TV... once... yeah... we're huckleberries about this stuff... deal with it.
6) "That guys" and "that ladys"... You know... "That guy" who is the president of the Lions Club and serves as township fire chief... Or "that lady" who heads up the library board and is chair of the parks and recreation commission... they know everyone and are respected by everyone in their communities.

THE KEYS TO BIG NAME ENDORSEMENTS

1) Just because so and so is with that candidate doesn't mean instant votes. (that's goes for everyone on this list) There is only one organization that can produce 3,000 solid votes in Iowa. They reside on the Southside of Des Moines and are on the other side of the aisle. Do. Not. Let. Anyone. Tell. You. Different.
2) Elected officials are nice and all... but don't count on them doing a whole hell of a lot. Yes, there are exceptions to the rules... A lot of it has to do with their elected duties is why they can't do so much. That whole time thinger. For real... I'm just saying and the honest ones will tell you the same exact thing.

MY GRASSROOTS LIST

Oh yeah... the ones who give their time for free. The most important list there is on this post...

1) Past and present State Party Leaders (chairs, SCC, ect)... all of them
2) Past and present County Party Leaders (chairs, central committees, delegates, IFRW, ect)
3) Leadership of every single past campaign in the past 20 years (chairs, coalitions, precinct leaders, all of them)
4) Past straw poll and caucus attendees for the past four caucuses
5) Volunteers of every campaign in the state of Iowa for the past 20 years. Yes, all of them. Even those crappy campaigns too... all campaigns have great volunteers. Just like all dogs go to heaven.
6) The new activists who join the cause... this year.
7) And everyone else in between.

THE KEYS TO THE VOLUNTEER LIST

I'll put it simple here for you. If you don't know the keys to every single one of these grassroots volunteer lists... Step aside friend. Let the big kids handle this.

CONCLUSION?

Did I leave anyone off? Oh yeah I did. Some on purpose and some not. Why? Call me John Madden... this is the list that matters. If you can put this list together... call them. Get them on board.... maybe 25%... you too can win the Iowa Caucus.

Yes, I can already hear you typing, "G$!!!!! WHY DID YOU MENTION THIS OR NAMES!!!!" Calm down son... When I say, anyone under the above descriptions.... this is what I mean. All of them. And yes, I'll agree with you, as lame as all this sounds. You really do need Iowans from all of the described lists to win.

And if that is lame to you... or think this is way too simplified. I have a great bridge on Loucst Street I want to sell you. I'll give you a good price on it.

Stay thirsty my friends.

12/11/10

Driving with Bob Feller...

I was bummed to hear that the legendary Bob Feller was moved to hospice the other day. And yes... maybe I'm "going Iowan on you"... but this dude is awesome.

We all know his story. Amazing arm... he probably could pierce brick walls with his pitches. But on top of all the strike outs, no hitters and all the things that make him the epic hall of famer that he is... You baseball historians also know that left the game for four seasons during arguably the peak of his career. The Heater from Van Meter signed up for the Navy THE DAY after Pearl Harbor. Becoming the first Major League player to sign up and fight. Talk about bad ass. Over to you Ricky Stanzi. After his decorated stint in the Navy, he came back to doing what he did best... dominating the mound.

Anyways... anytime I hear the name Bob Feller... I'm always reminded of one my early and favorite experiences on the campaign trail.

I was a young college punk when I joined John Kasich for President in 1999. (yes, for you people smirking at home, John Kasich briefly ran for president). Rapid Robert endorsed Kasich early and did appearances for the campaign. It was mid summer and we had a tour for Kasich as we were building up our Ames Straw Poll efforts... and Bob Feller was going to tag along.

A week before our tour, Kasich dropped out of the race and endorsed George W. Bush. But we had already sent the postcards for all of the house parties. Our supporters were bummed John decided to get out of the race, but still wanted host John at their homes. So the campaign decided to make it a farewell tour... And Bob was still willing to tag along.

The day before the last day of the tour we were up in Humboldt County. I was a make shift advance man for the day. Just lending in on what needed to be done. The schedule was an event in Dakota City and end up in Des Moines for a staff dinner with John and Bob at the Iowa Beef Steakhouse on Euclid (great joint if you've never been).

The event up north ended and this is when I was told, "You're going to drive Mr. Feller back to Des Moines." Insert instant feeling of awesome. Good thing I cleaned my car the night before! After being given my instructions... Mr Feller and I jumped in my red Cutlass Supreme (great car) we were on our way. Was told Bob might wanna stop and check out some farm machinery along the way, which was fine. We had all afternoon to get back to Des Moines. (awesome sidenote, you can take the farm kid out of Iowa... but never the Iowa out of the farm kid, right?)

So we were on the road.

Bob was reading the newspaper and I'm just kind of freaking out... in a good way. For the first 15 minutes of the trip, we didn't talk much. I didn't think he would want some young punk political hack being all chatty. Which is when I started saying in my head, "DUDE, you have BOB FREAKING FELLER in your car! When are you ever going to be doing this again?!"

So I started the small talk. And then... we started chatting it up. "Hey Mr. Feller, you knew Babe Ruth, didn't you?" "George?" Feller smiled. "Yep, good man." And it was on. You name the legend? He knew him and had a story. I started rattling all of them off.

"Hey Mr. Feller, Ty Cobb. Everyone says he was a jerk, is that true." He smiled again. "Well, I got along with him. He was a great player."

"Joe DiMaggio, you knew him too?" Remember, Joltin' Joe had just passed away in the spring of that year. He again replied with a smile, "Joe and I were great friends. We went out to dinner all the time if we were in New York or they were in Cleveland."

The great thing about guys like Bob Feller, they love telling stories... and his are off the charts.

"So, when you went out for dinner, did you meet Marilyn Monroe?" "Yes, when they were married, on many occasions."

While I soaked up in my brush with greatness road trip with Bob... I couldn't stop thinking, "Dude, you are in the car. With a legend. And you are having a conversation about Marilyn Monroe. This is epic before things became epic." I kept asking, he kept answering. I'll never forget that trip. We made it back to Des Moines, scored steaks on the Eastside, such a good day. A great freaking day.

The last day of the Kasich-Feller tour ended at my parents' house up in Jewell. We had a great crowd... not only for John and Bob... but the Nadas were going to play in the backyard. You see, we had them signed to play the Straw Poll for Kasich... and since that wasn't going to happen... they played to end the tour.

It was you know, a typical event up in God's Country, Iowa. A politician... pork burgers... a living legend signing baseballs... a good band playing. No big whoop. (smirk)

I'll never forget the way Feller was with everyone on that day and on that tour. Always gracious. Always took a picture when asked. My Grandpa scored a click. I think he was pretty excited. That picture of him and Bob is still up on my Grandma's fridge. Not only was he meeting a great baseball hero of his... but a fellow Navy guy who served in World War II. It was pretty cool.

Anyways... anytime I hear Bob Feller's name... It takes me back to our little road trip. And again, I'll never forget it.

Here's to you Mr. Feller. I hope you're spending your time being comfortable. You're one of the greatest people I've met. Warm wishes and thoughts to you, your family and friends.

11/16/10

QCI Investigates: The Establishment

Sometimes we do have some breaking news and journalistic value for all of you. Today, the QCI Newsroom has obtained a copy of a Blackberry Messenger or "BBM" conversation from the Establishment. (insert spooky music here) Yes, THE Establishment. The ones who run, everything.

The numerous sources we have followed up with... all confirm that this is really how everything is decided.

Here's the chilling BBM transcript...

Waspy Smithfield – They really need to know who’s in charge around here.
Tanner Jones – Agreed. They will crawl back for our help.
Waspy Smithfield – Hey, do you want to meet in the smoke filled back room later today?
Tanner Jones - Hmmm… Maybe. I have a meeting at the UN. Then I have to see if my black helicopter is fixed.
Tanner Jones – So upsetting when it breaks down. It’s such a chore.
Waspy Smithfield – I know, right?! If people knew how hard it was to be the establishment, they would understand.
Tanner Jones – Totally. It’s tough being important.
Waspy Smithfield – That’s OK, we can meet tomorrow. I need to finalize my plans to start the next war for oil.
Tanner Jones – Did you get your Skull and Bones Reunion invite in the mail?
Tanner Jones – Which blazer are you going to wear? Blue or blue?
Waspy Smithfield – Yes, of course. I’m going with blue.
Waspy Smithfield – I’m also going to make a motion we change the secret handshake to something else. You know… everyone knows it’s a handshake and all.
Tanner Jones – That’s terrific. But, I for one am not much for change. Call me elitist and all.
Waspy Smithfield – You damn country clubber!
Tanner Jones – LOL! Good one!
Tanner Jones – Not to be on your ass about it, but are you done with the list of candidates we are going to throw our money behind yet?
Waspy Smithfield – I’m a little hung up with on how to start this war. But I did finish the list of who’s allowed to run.
Tanner Jones – Delicious. You know you can’t just throw these primaries overnight. These things take a little time.
Tanner Jones – Hang on a minute. Karl Rove is calling me.
Waspy Smithfield – Perfect. Tell him “all golden girls and boys fly by the seat of their swords”… He’ll know what that means.
Tanner Jones – Message delivered.
Waspy Smithfield – Ruling the world is fun.
Tanner Jones – It so is. SOMEONE has to do the thinking around here.
Waspy Smithfield – *thumbs up*


Trust no one, loyal readers. Trust no one.

11/15/10

Chiefs, Judges, "Leadership", Kinky and Playground Brawls...



A few things for you to chirp about in the comment section.... AND one of the best songs and videos I have seen/heard in a long long while... here's your quick hits...

THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - I'll just say it. It was like watching monkeys fornicating with a football on Sunday. Don't worry, all sharp objects have been taken away from my place.

CULVER AND THE JUDGES - Hmmm... sounds like an ironic band name. So the news today is Culver saying he'd appoint 'em if they came up with names. Hasn't this guy found his new house in Northern Virginia yet? Cmon son.

PRESS RELEASES CAN MAKE A FUNNY - Yea, saw that the IDP Chair said this of Gronstal and McCarthy on their elections to leadership:

“Senator Gronstal and Representative McCarthy are both steadfast supporters of this state and committed to moving it forward by creating quality jobs and protecting the progress that has made Iowa a national leader in so many areas. Democrats across the state appreciate their work on behalf of all Iowans and willingness to stand up for what is right.”

Um, that's why a good amount of Iowans threw out... a good chunk of that... leadership. #justsayin

KINKY ON POTUS 43 - Yeah... in case you missed this... Kinky Friedman has a good bit on the former President and the current President.

AND FINALLY... Dudes... been loving me some Black Keys for a long time. Not only is this song epic enough to crank loud so you and you palls can head nod... but the video is quite humorous... Stay thirsty my friends...

11/13/10

Weekend Update....






OK... so for a first time in a long team here at the ole QCI Headquarters, we enjoyed a lazy day of football... tweets... and chirping about. So que the music. Let's get to the awesome that is the QCI Weekend Update....

THE IOWA HAWKEYES - If I refer to the Hawkeyes as that "on again off again chick you break up with, yet hook up again the very next weekend"... then this was one of those disaster dates. The kind that ends up with you getting kicked in the nads. Yeah. That great. I don't think I've seen this many cuss word texted to my phone within in 5 minutes of the ending of this disaster. I believe I saw a few new ones... of which I won't list any them. Because, we try to keep this blog at least PG13. Someone get me and all the other Iowa fans some ice packets for our collective junk.

POLITICAL GOSSIP AT THE SPEED OF TWITTER - So word in Twittersburgh today was that State Senator Wally Horn from out in Eastern Iowa is gonna run for Majority Leader. That would end the term of Governor Mike Gronstal for sure. After that thing got retweeted say, 20 times, five of loyal QCI-ders alerted us that he's running for Assistant Leader. Which one is it then? Does it rally matter? Awe yes... to paraphrase Rick James, Twitter is a hell of a drug.

IOWA NATIONAL GUARD TAKES CARE OF BIDNESS - So was listening to this story over the news breaks today during football... Turns out some of the good guys were out on a mission in Afghanistan when the bad guys showed up. it was great to hear that the Iowa Guard "took care of the situation". No one harmed... except the ones who needed to be harmed. And they took into custody one of the Taliban. Keep kicking ass and get home safe soon, dear heroes.

THE ELECTION IS OVER, RIGHT? Hey, I don't like Leonard Boswell as much as the next guy... but I think you can cancel the "retire Boswell" Facebook ads.

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION - Speaking of these Book of Faces you speak of. How about giving a "like" to the World's Crappiest Blog? Click here... spread some love and make your news feed full of the awesome.

AND FINALLY... Your weekend tunes... Stay thirsty friends....

11/12/10

Ride the Lightning Round

Hmmmmmm... new feature? Don't get too excited dearest loyal readers. Well... This idea stems out of a couple conversations I have had the past few days.

I don't know why people ask me questions about things or particular subjects... but I'm a chatty type of kid, so it's all good.

So I figure, I'd throw out a bunch of subjects... do my quick take on it and call it close. If you got any things you want to ad to the next "Ride the Lightning Round" (super clever name inserting Metallica in to this feature, if you ask me) then email me up.... OK... let's do this.

The Iowa Caucuses - Yeah... that didn't take too long to start, didn't it? First debate set by NBC... and the candidates are planning trips to the state... its not even Thanksgiving yet. Even. Better.
The Kansas City Chiefs - Yes. The Oakland loss still stings. But effff 'em. It's Denver Week. Time to put a whoopin on the methheads ERR Broncos.
Veterans Day and Birthdays - Be honest, some of you wouldn't have thought much about Veteran's Day... or your former 5th grade basketball team mate's birthday for that matter... if you weren't on Facebook.
Facebook Follow Up - Also, are you less patriotic because you didn't say anything in your Facebook status about Veteran's Day? Think about that one.
Iowa Family Policy Center - Yeah. I know, right? But, when you first heard about it.... were you really surprised? C'mon son.
Meghan McCain - Who is Meghan McCain and why should I care what she has to say? Seriously, never heard of her. Did I miss something?
Iowa Hawkeyes - Effff... why don't I ever have a good feeling about playing Northwestern? I mean, it's effing Northwestern.
Boston Celtics - Bwahahahahahahahaha! Or as loyal reader Yoda said, "Miami Heat? More like the Miami Clowns Machine!" Bwahahahahahaha! Celtics!
The Tokyo Sandblaster - I can't even try to imagine what that means. Although, my first thought is... painful, slopped up with a side of hideous?
Remember November 2 - Who could forget? OK... I got it. We won. Let's change some of those avatars out there people. It's kind of lame-ish.
The Des Moines Register - Not sure what's more annoying... their political leanings or those uber huge take over your screen freeze your computer ads on the main page of their website.
Snow - No. I'm not ready for it. I speak for many. I have authority here. We are not read. Please no.
New Book Releases - So many books to get... too close to Christmas-ish. But, the new Denis Leary looks so awesome... might have to pull the trigger when it comes out.
Iowa State Senate - Noice. Although, I think its laughable how tough Former Governor Mike Gronstal is talking. Better yet, keep talking, sir.
Epic Book - Awe crap... get this. I hvae changed the format 4 times now. But, its still gonna rule. Maybe I'll just push out pieces at a time. Release it... the Book Tour the hell out of it. Yessssssssssssss!
Iowa State House - Two words, Charlie effing Smithson, dude. (Kuwait a minute)... I have to admit, had to have this one explained to me. But after that, yeah man, how awesome is that?
You are always on your phone - Hang on a minute. I need to reply to this. It will just take another minute.
New Tunes? So freaking good. Danielle Ate The Sandwich. Move over Elizabeth Shue? Could there be a new American Sweetheart? Hmmm... for real, she belts out epic stuff. YouTube it.
Elizabeth Shue? She is America's Sweetheart, always will be. I mean... well... if you don't believe so... why don't you go back where you came from Mao Zedong.
Good Eats? How have I been in the DeMo this long and NEVER gone to Little John's Burgers on 2nd north of Euclid? Crazy good.
FourSquare - No I did not check in here... or there... or anywhere... You can keep all those FourSquare badges for you Girl Scout sash, pal... Yeah... not a fan.

OK... that was easy enough. More to come... stay thirsty my friends.