Category: Government

Obamacare: Welcome to Neo-Feudalism

obamacareIt is axiomatic in history that the new worlds of the revolutionaries tend to resemble the social systems of the past. Tsar Alexander II freed 60 million serfs with the stroke of a pen, and seventy years later Joseph Stalin would re-impose serfdom under the guise of collective farms. He used bullets instead of ink. Similar stories can be told of the French Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, and probably all revolutions in some respect.

Alexander Hamilton wanted America to copy the British system, complete with political elites, state-supported monopoly corporations like the British East India Company, and all-powerful central government. It took two hundred years to overcome Jeffersonian resistance, but Hamilton finally won when TARP was implemented.

Perhaps it is no surprise …


How A Libertarian Would Rock The Primary…And Why I Think One Will

ballot boxI have heard from three separate sources in recent days that former SCC member Drew Ivers is leaning toward a Senate primary run.  Many have speculated that an Iowa libertarian would enter the race at some point—and as the Iowa Chair of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign Ivers certainly would fit this bill.

Whether this is true or not is unclear at the moment, but what is clear in my mind is the impact Ivers or any other legitimate Libertarian candidate would have on the race.

Besides the obvious—that the other candidate’s ability to pitch to and draw in Libertarians would be greatly diminished—there are many other ways this would shape the contest.  Setting these aside for now, specifically from the Libertarian movement’s perspective there …


DM Register Bias In Senate Race Already In Full Bloom

Metal trash canThough the U.S. Senate race in Iowa is only in the pre-natal stage the Des Moines Register hasn’t wasted any time in displaying the partisan favoritism it has become infamous for—an impressive feat given the race is only a few months old and has only a combined three candidates declared.

The Evidence

In the last month they have run two stories solely based on Democratic talking points, a practice they have failed to reciprocate for the other side, and flat-out offered no coverage of a significant Republican event.

The first instance occurred almost a month ago when, days after candidate Matt Whitaker announced on The Simon Conway Show, the Register’s Jennifer Jacobs published verbatim a full press-release from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee attacking Whitaker …


Local Economic Development Through Youth Entrepreneurship

business start-upWell, another class of high school graduates are killing time until they begin their college experience. In four, five, or six years, many of them will graduate from college, and move to Dallas County so they can work as temps at Wells Fargo.

Meanwhile, town squares across Iowa are emptying out. I’ve spent some time exploring small towns in rural Iowa, and there are common threads that threaten to further damage the prospects of the young, and may even threaten the existence of many towns across the state.

And so it goes; young people leave to try and buy jobs that don’t matter (and often don’t exist in large numbers), buildings stand unused, and eventually the towns just collapse into stagnant malaise.

What Muscatine Has


Ed. Reform Bill: A Failure of Policy & Politics

Iowa HouseSoon after the final votes of the Iowa legislative session were taken late last week, many legislators from both Parties took to multiple media platforms trumpeting the “historic” and “sweeping” positive reforms they had just passed.  I would love to fully concur—and if I happened to be a Democrat I certainly would—but as a Conservative Republican I am less than impressed with some of these “achievements”.

Of the three major compromises reached I believe, at the most, Conservatives should be “somewhat satisfied” by the understandable terms reached on tax reform and health insurance coverage.  However, I am deeply disappointed by what has passed as “reform” in Iowa’s K-12 education system.  The following will focus on education reform and later in the week we will deal …


Term Limits In Iowa: A Policy Proposal

Cronstal 1st yearIOne of my favorite self-coined terms is “legi-saurs”.  As you may guess it refers to politicians at all levels of government who get elected–and then never go away.

Like many on the right I am convinced this semi-permanent presence in the halls of power is a destructive one in politics.  These careers start innocently enough.  The member actually has a job in the private sector, lives as a normal citizen, and regardless of ideology brings fresh ideas and solutions to the table.  But in most cases, over time, they eventually detach from the economy by not working  outside the Capitol, they develop grudges against their colleages, their ideas and thinking become stale, and they learn to play the legislative process like a game.

Here in


Another Potential Scandal Brewing In Iowa’s Education System

Iowa map educationWith a sweeping education reform package currently being worked on by a bi-partisan Conference Committee at the Statehouse, some potentially damaging information about how the state is representing student achievement is coming to light.  Late last week the citizen group Iowalive released a report that would, if true, give all Iowa parents and legislators cause for grave concern.

The crux of the report is Iowalive’s claim that the standards our Department of Education is using to report student proficiency levels is misleading.  This, according to the group, stems from Iowa having adopted a lower standard to measure student learning called the “40th National Percentile Rank”.  This current set of standards was adopted a decade ago by the then Governor Vilsack administration and is different from …


2013 Legislative Session Delivering Little Hope for Conservatives So Far

Iowa HouseQuestion: What has happened so far at the Statehouse this session?

Answer: Mostly a whole lot of nothing.

With potentially as little as three weeks left before they gavel out this has been one of the most uneventful sessions since I began following them closely.  There could still be some fireworks in store as the larger ticket items get discussed, but as it stands now nearly everything Governor Branstad has signed into law has been with near unanimous consent from both Parties.  In fact, of the 36 bills he has signed so far most have been technical or clerical items passed with no dissent—and all but a couple have had no more than 3 no votes between the two chambers (notable exceptions being SF 184 …


The Republican vs. Libertarian Feud In Iowa Must End

photo1The battle between traditional Republicans and Libertarians that began in Iowa on Caucus night in 2012 has risen to a destructive level and needs to be addressed.  If it weren’t so publicly obvious I would call this an opinion—but the reality is it’s a fact.   What has transpired to this point is a lot of bomb throwing from each side and very little, if any, attempts to search for the potential common ground that would result in, at the least, a truce—and perhaps even a mutually beneficial alliance.

Some Background

The feud started when, after having a relatively modest presence in 2008, Ron Paul inspired Libertarians organized and made a concerted effort to acquire as many county central committee seats as possible on caucus night.  …


“Fix The Debt Iowa” Releases New Web Ad

fix the debtA very worthwhile group has come to Iowa recently and their mission is to solve the debt crisis that America is currently headed for.  “Fix The Debt Iowa” is one of the 23 state chapters of a larger group which can be found at FixThe Debt.org.

Last week they released a short web video in Iowa equating our nations fiscal problems with the budget of a middle-class family–which is cleverly done by adding or subtracting eight zeros.

I am happy to see efforts being made to frame the facts of this issue in a way that even the non-politically involved can understand.  Since the national debt is now in excess of 16 million separate units of a million dollars, quantifying the problem is getting …


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