Troop Reductions, Superman Returns and Warren’s Charity Buffet

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The top US general in Iraq says he’s got a plan to reduce the number of troops in Iraq in half starting this fall. The Democrats say this is just an election ploy by the administration. You’ll remember two Democratic resolutions calling for troop withdrawal by the end of 2007 failed to pass the Senate last week.

Add to that story, Rep. Peter King’s outrage about a NYTimes story that went to print lastly week. The congressman, who’s also head of the House Committee on Homeland Security says he’s going to ask the Attorney General to investigate whether The Times compromised anti-terrorism efforts. Apparently, the administration asked the paper not to publish the report. The editors said they considered it in the public interest to go with the story.
So that brings up an interesting question for debate. Who’s right here? When should a paper or a TV station have to hold a story in the interest of national security. There have been stories and editorials all over the media about this all weekend.
Bring it down to the local level. We’ve been asked to hold stories we were ready to air because law enforcement asked us to. Is that the responsibility of a free press, or is it the media’s responsibility to get the story out there for public debate?

Superman flew into Iowa this weekend in the form of Brandon Routh(like south). The new Man of Steel gave a private showing of the newsest installment of the Superman Movie for friends, family and a bunch of kids from Variety Club. Good cause…Everyone continues to say this is a good guy who’s representing Iowa well on the national stage. I’m excited to see the movie.

The Des Moines Arts Festival is being called a big success this weekend. I thought the new location was great. I know that’s a mixed blessing for organizers. Principal is paying a lot of money to spruce up the Downtown riverfront. They like that everyone was comfortable in the western gateway park, but they don’t want everyone to like it too much. They’ve got to go back to the Riverfront when the construction is done.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the WHO booth this weekend. I had fun meeting some new people and seeing those of you who are always down to say hello and let us know there’s someone on the other side of that camera lens.

Maybe the talker of the day is Warren Buffet’s announcement that he’ll give away as much as $37 BILLION dollars of his fortune. Now, don’t go having any garage sales for Warren.
He’s still got a ton of money, but what a decision!
Would you make the same decision?
Also interesting. I talked to a friend who’s in fundraising and she told me these announcements are nice, but she opened my eyes to another end of raising money for a good cause. She said it’s the “smaller” donations that often mean the most. If you think about it, the 5 dollar a week donation from the guy making five dollars an hour can make people who’ve got the disposable income feel like that particular cause is one people are passionate about. Think about that next time you feel like your small donation doesn’t make a difference, or isn’t noticed.

Finally, the Hy-Vee classic finished up this weekend. Another good Des Moines event. This morning’s paper made it sound like Hy-Vee was considering some changes. I don’t mean to speculate here, and I’m not. But if I were King of Hy-Vee and had all the money in the world, I might look at a combo, LPGA/PGA senior event here. It would combine the best of the Allianz, and the Hy-vee Classic. The LPGA Players are fun to watch and you talk about fan friendly! They’re great.

Hope you all enjoy the wonderful weather we’re supposed to have today.

Patrick Dix