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Condition of the State, Which Wine is Really Better? and Working the Room

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Good Morning!

All’s right with the world again. Brooke is back and feeling better. We had a great time this morning while the camera was on and when it was off.

Lots to talk about:
State of the State
That’s what I always call it. It is, of course, the Condition of the State. The Governor will unveil his plan to raise the bottle and can deposit to ten cents per. Anyone on board with this one? We already have a pretty low rate of littering and a high rate of return on bottles and cans because of the five cent deposit. What do you think? Are you willing to pay more for your six pack of pop?

If you’re like Sally and I we keep our bottles and cans till we can’t stand to look at them anymore. Tip for those of you who hate to stand in line at the grocery: Go over to Patterson Recycling south of the Capitol. The people over there are great! They take your bottles and cans…count em up and give you your cash, then they take care of it. Great option.
Other than the Recycling, the Gov is supposed to talk about roads and healthcare and partisan bickering. That last one is the one I’d like to hear. Though this session is not off to a great start where that’s concerned. Usually the name calling at the Capitol waits until week two. Not so much this year.
Is there one thing you’d like to see Lawmakers accomplish this session?

On a side note to the business at the Capitol, I went to the Greater Des Moines Partnership Legislative reception at Prairie Meadows last night.
I feel like I never get out of the building anymore because I’m doing the Noon and Morning. It was good to see some of the people I’ve worked with in my time as a reporter. Most of the people I talked to expect a session where not much gets done except the budget. That’ll be hard enough.
One of the Lawmakers I talked to told me he doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. The more time lawmakers have at the capitol, the more laws they’ll pass, and in this guy’s opinion, the point of our short legislative session is to keep Iowa’s Capitol full of citizen lawmakers and not full time Politicians.
Presidential Politics
For those of you keeping score at home, Republicans vote tonight in Michigan.
Democrats debate in Nevada…maybe. A judge says he’ll block the debate if Dennis Kucinich isn’t included.
From Yahoo News:
The Kucinich campaign sued NBC over the network’s decision to conduct a closed debate. And Senior Clark County District Court Judge Charles Thompson ruled Monday that the congressman must be allowed to participate. Arguing that Nevada voters — and, by extension, the Democratic nominating process in which they are playing a high-profile role — would benefit by hearing from more than just NBC-favored contenders Clinton, Obama and Edwards, Judge Thompson said, “I don’t think that just deciding that just three is good enough for the state of Nevada is a legitimate basis (for dropping Kucinich).”
“Had it been established at the beginning that they’ll only take the top three for the debates, I wouldn’t have any problem enforcing it,” the judge explained to NBC’s lawyers. “I’m somewhat offended that a legitimate candidate was invited to a debate and then uninvited under circumstances that appear to be that they just decided to exclude him.”
How offended? Judge Thompson told the network’s lawyers that any move to exclude Kucinich would lead him to issue an injunction to stop the televised debate.
This threat to its ability to police the discourse was an affront that NBC would not let stand. “We disagree with the judge’s decision and are filing an appeal,” declared Jeremy Gaines, a vice president for MSNBC, who announced that the cable channel’s parent network would demand an immediate hearing before the Nevada Supreme Court.

Now I’m not sure what right the Judge thinks he had to try and stop a group from assembling or exercising their right to free speech. I understand the argument from some people that the Congressman’s exclusion from the debate is essentially NBC saying which candidates are important and which aren’t. We’ve had a lot of this debate from the beginning of the campaign.
I would argue Kucinich and other candidates had a lot of time to make their case to Iowans. How many times was the Congressman here? How many events did you see him at? How did he finish in Iowa and New Hampshire? My point is this; at some point you have to call the Kucinich for President Campaign what it is…
Kucinich will enter every Presidential race until he’s out of Congress and use the forum to advance his issues. He’s got that right; but he can’t stand there with a straight face and tell me he’s running a legitimate, ALL OUT campaign for President. That’s an insult to a guy like Chris Dodd or Joe Biden.
And by the way NBC can ask anyone it likes to the debate. You are welcome to criticize NBC for the decision it’s making. Kucinich is welcome to hold his own event or pay for air time. I think they call it free speech.
Or you can make the argument like Rep Ron Paul seems to have and raise enough money to buy airtime yourself. In other words show you are putting forth the effort and have the support of enough Americans that you are a legitimate candidate to be President.
Kucinich hasn’t demonstrated that yet and he’s been in three races.
A final Question: If NBC doesn’t exercise some discretion about who should be in the debate, who decides? Can I be in the debate? Someone, somewhere has to come up with a cut-off. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as you’re going to get.
NBC isn’t choosing these candidates…results of votes taken are. The people are.
If you can come up with a legitimate argument that more air time would mean a come from behind victory for Dennis Kucinich…go ahead…make it here. I’ll be happy to hear it.
Which Wine?
Does the price on the bottle influence your opinion of a bottle of wine? Researchers say yes. They blind tested some people telling them some wines were really pricey and it seemed to improve their opinion of the wine even if it wasn’t really an expensive bottle. What do you wine drinkers think? Anyone would have to say the expectation of a good bottle goes up with the price. That also means I’m more likely to be harder on a bottle of wine I’ve paid more for.
I’ve said too much already. I’ll only add that we’re going to continue to blog until they tell me to stop…and when I say they, I mean my boss. I enjoy doing it. I can ignore (read: delete) the dumb comments and enjoy hearing your opinions. Keep em coming.


  • Anonymous

    Re: Your lead online storyWhy are Iowans so scared of same-sex marriage? Are we worried that given an option, our opposite-sex spouses/significant others are going to run off with someone of the same-sex? I have confidence in my marriage that a same-sex marriage is going to zero impact on my own. I’m not small-minded enough to believe that because I’m heterosexual, I’m somehow superior to homosexuals and should enjoy a right that they cannot. And I strongly believe in a separation of church and state, so that takes care of the biblical/religious side of it. Other then outright discrimination, I don’t see how we could possibly find reason to tell these people “no, you cannot be married”.

  • Anonymous

    I think altering the bottle/can ‘deposit’ to not refund the entire amount, is RIDUCULOUS! It is one more way for the government to get its hands on my money.This makes me appreciate that I have been able to get free of my soda addiction and am not going to feel the pain of this silly initiative if it passes!N

  • Anonymous

    hey pat,saw your giant head on the billboard on fleur drive. (just kidding about your head) congrats on the great work you do!!

  • Anonymous

    Cost of wine: It was my experience from going to a friends wine tasting party that medium priced wines go over well with almost everyone. In a selection of 10 wines, each wrapped in a brown paper bag and numbered, we each tested the wine. We had 10 pieces of paper given to us by our hosts with the prices of the wine on them. We tried to match them up to the wine. We also wrote down which wine was our favorite and which was our least favorite. We found that we placed the expensive prices on the wine we like the most, and these ended up being the $15-$20 bottles of wine. Kind of an interesting and a fun party idea! The host and hostess bought a couple of bottles of the most expensive wine, then everyone else was asked to bring a bottle of wine to share with the price attached.Bottle/can deposit: Being from a rural community, this is a horrible idea! It can be difficult to find places that will take bottles/cans b/c they can’t afford to keep locations open. However, our community takes cans and redeems them for our 4th of July fireworks show, so it could raise more money for the cause.CLP

  • Patrick Dix

    Thanks for noticing the billboard. It’s for our work in raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. It’s one of the things I’m proudest of from last year and I thank you all again for the help you provided a deserving cause and worthy organization.It’s kinda weird. I’ve never been on a billboard before.

  • Heather R.

    Great job to the morning gang and welcoem back everyone! I missed everyone!! Keep up the good work!!!Heather

  • rosorio

    Wine tasting I am signing up for classes to learn more about wine, beer and spirits. I attended a holiday show for wines a while back. The learning experience expanded my wine selection and knowledge. I found wines that I now consider my favorites. The wines we really liked were not expensive at all. I am not into buying a very expensive bottle of wine that won’t taste as good.

  • Anonymous

    Never stop this blog! I love all the “tid-bits” of information you guys write and others opinions and suggestions.As for wine, ever heard of 2 Buck Chuck? I love it but basically have to get it bootlegged from california since Trader Joe’s is the only place I think it’s sold. At only 2 bucks a bottle, the Cabernet is great! And a case of the stuff costs less than 20 dollars!

  • Anonymous

    Pat – this morning you commented you have a story for the blog in regards to the Meanest Mom on Earth story…just wondering if you were going to post it.In regards to the bottle deposit, I think it’s Governor’s way of getting his hands on more of our money. Personally, I think that the State gets enough as it is. Why do we have to be taxed on a bottle deposit when we pay tax on the drink? Essentially, we will be double taxed on one item.

  • Anonymous

    The state is getting what it asked for when voters elected another democratic governor. Crack open those wallets, kids, and get ready for “2008: the year of the Tax”The government gets enough of my hard-earned money, thank you very much.

  • Anonymous

    As for LBJ doing more than Mrtin Luther King. I think maybe its about equal. LBJ got laws passedthat went along with what Martin Luther King was wanting. Course I think JFK was really responsible for the legislation as he was pushing for that and LBJ got it passed kind of as a tribute to JFK.

  • Anonymous

    Our country was founded by the the belief in God. Its all over Washington DC on buildings. Also the papers the eary leaders signed.All beleived in the Bible. The Bible says sodomy is a sin. What do you think those same sex marriages practice?

  • Anonymous

    I have never blogged before, but wanted to share that there are 3 Trader Joe’s in Mpls/St Paul area. Enjoy!

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