STARBUCKS UPDATE--REBRANDING, RONALD STYLE: In an act of hilarity about as funny as a knock-knock joke, McDonald's has decided to try to compete with Starbucks with a new McCafe. *jaw drops*

That is wrong in so many ways, but for blogging simplification purposes, let's go with one. It's McDonald's people! M-C-D-O-N-A-L-D-S! We're talking about the good folks who brought us the McRib: an overprocessed meat-like patty shaped into rib form and slathered in heart attack. Delicious.

Starbucks is the best place ever. Just try experiencing a Starbucks in Iowa (the best state ever); it's like God felt like slicing out a little piece of heaven just for us.


IT'S OVER FOR NOW: After seventeen interviews, three flights and countless hours, I'm finally ready to accept an offer at a firm.

Back to diligently blogging for the next week.

LIFE SUCKS FOR MINERS: Yet another tragedy. This time seventy miners were involved...and survival. Barely a tragedy. That is so Canadian.

RACING TO IOWA: The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently compiled a list of the folks who have begun the politicking for '08.

In the Republican corner, Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee leads with six visits. Mitt Romney (Massachusetts governor), Sam Brownback (Kansas senator) and George Pataki (New York governor) have toured the corn four times each. Newt and Tom Tancredo (Colorado congressman) have rolled through three times, while Mr. "Roboto" Frist and neighbor Chuck Hagel (Nebraska senator) have only dropped in once.

Curiously, fewer Democrats have campaigned. Must be busy working in Washington. Of those, John Edwards has stomped the grounds the most with four visits, while Evan Bayh (Indiana senator) and Mark Warner (Virginia governor) tie for second with two visits. John Kerry, Bill Richardson (New Mexico governor) and Tom Daschle and showed up once.

Notably, Iowa has gotten no love from Hillary, John McCain, Condolezza Rice and Rudy Giuliani.

NO JACK ABRAMOFF HERE, THANK YOU: The Burlington Hawk Eye reports that we're a pretty clean state. Good thing too, since last year's record-breaking $5.1 million fundraising rainbow clanged into the gubernatorial race's pot of gold.

Nussle led the horse race with about half of those funds, while Dem front-runner Culver accepted a $15,000 contribution from Chappaquiddick Kennedy. Luckily, it was in dollars and not Guinness.


INTERVIEWING THIS WEEK: Planes and blisters. Amazing. I'll be sporadic this week...then, of course, distance politicking from Greece.

LAW SCHOOL DIVERSITY: University of Montana is America's whitest law school. Surprise, surprise.




FAREWELL, PERHAPS SLIGHTLY STRESSED BY TOO MANY BOATS IN THE THAMES, FOND FRIEND: David Skorton leaves and an English whale dies. There is something profoundly wrong with the world.

Thousands cheered. Why, Wally, why?




FAREWELL, PERHAPS SLIGHTLY UNDERCOMPENSATED, FOND FRIEND: The following is a message sent to all University of Iowa students and staff.

Dear members of the University community:

It is with a keen sense of excitement and sadness that we send this
message. David has been chosen to become Cornell’s 12th president. At
the same time, Robin has accepted joint appointments in the Department
of Cell Biology and Genetics in the Weill-Cornell Medical College and
in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Our sadness comes from leaving The University of Iowa, which has been
our home for most of our professional lives, and from leaving you, who
have been our family. You have taught us and nurtured us. You have been our mentors and our friends. You have entrusted us with positions of leadership through which we have done our best to make this University and this community a better place. We are profoundly grateful for everything you have done to make this University the wonderful, humane place that it is. You have enriched our lives beyond repayment. We will miss you, but we know that this excellent university will be sustained by your loyalty and devotion. Oh yeah, and sorry about all the jazz all the time. My bad, but seriously, you have to admit I'm pretty good ;) (Editor's note)

With respect and love,

David Skorton

Robin Davisson
Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology

I blame the Regents. Sorta. Maybe. Not. I'm just confused.




Actually, click here.
BETTER THAN A 4TH OF JULY BBQ: Well, I thought about doing this, but the balloon symmetry on the party collage put me off.

And the fact that the GOP is offering a "GOP House Party Planning Packet." What does it have in it, Tom Delay Livestrong bracelets and coupons for non-alcoholic beer from your local Exxon station?

Perhaps, it's a clever hook by Karl Rove to get us thinking about America's disastrous progressive tax system. You never know what subliminal message Karl Rove will send you over e-mail.



Hey everyone,

so this is my first time blogging but I thought it was necessary to inform the masses that while Harry Reed and company gave a big speech accusing the Republicans of being inept at battling corruption, Rep. Alcee Hastings, a former federal judge who was impeached and thrown out of office was standing not more than 10 feet away from the podium.

I haven't been able to find the roll call vote yet but I'm pretty sure some of the Democrats on the stage with Hastings voted for his impeachment or removal at some point. Tell your friends about this.


NEW BLOGGER: First we brought you Bono updates, then we brought you our non-Pulitzer Prize winning series Most Worthless Country of the Week, now Hawkeye Republican brings you...a guest blogger...not from Iowa.

*GASP* Our new blogger reigns from New Jersey (oh yeah, he'll break your kneecaps) and attends the University of Chicago. I know that many of you may not have heard of the University of Chicago, because it is not the University of Iowa, which is the epicenter of academia, but the new guy tells me it's a fairly decent school.

Here are a few facts about the new guy to help you, you know, connect:
1. He thinks that Bob Dole is "the shit."
2. During his free time he likes to "keep it real"
3. He formerly worked for the RNC and once helped Ed Gillespie spell his last name

Now join me in welcoming "the new guy"


WORKING HARD IS HARD TO DO: Florida school considers eliminating valedictorian honor.

Connie Boyle, Guidance Counselor commented, "Some of the students are separated by a fraction, fraction of a percentage point, fraction of thousandth percentage point. How fair is that?"

Life is not fair. The other day I was at Starbucks, stopped to pick up some litter and got a parking ticket. Is it fair that I got a parking ticket in the thirty seconds I was performing community service? May I add, after paying $4 for a latte. Okay, so one may argue that if I'm dumb enough to pay $4 for a latte then I deserve the parking ticket, but let's not argue that, eh?

Students work hard and aspire to be their school's valedictorian. We don't need another thing to devalue education.

SWEET, SWEET REJECTION: To summarize my thoughts (or those of someone else, as may be the case):

Dear name of the person who signed the rejection letter,

Thank you for your letter of date of the rejection letter. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment with your firm.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite name of the co or agency that sent you this letter’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time.

Therefore, I will initiate employment with your firm immediately following graduation/job change, etc. — get creative here. I look forward to working with you. Best of luck in rejecting future candidates.

your name


CANADIAN ATTACK ADS: With the impending Canadian elections, those mounties are getting nasty!

Partly hilarious and partly frightening, Paul Martin's Liberal party plays the US card.

Check out "Choose Your Canada: Washington Times"
A Harper victory will put a smile on George W. Bush's face. Well at least someone will be happy, eh?

BBC ASKS, "SHOULD IRAN DEVELOP NUCLEAR ENERGY?": Keeping in mind Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hopeful words for the future:

"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map"

And, of course,

"They have created a myth today that they call the massacre of Jews and they consider it a principle above God, religions and the prophets"

The world still resoundingly answers:

"What right have we to deny them the rights that we exercise daily?"

Oh yeah, because Ahmadinejad participated in the Iranian hostage crisis, wants Israel "wiped off the map" and thinks that the Holocaust was a lie. Then of course, there is the fact that nuclear weapons clearly constitute basic human rights in a state that is out of compliance with always useful UN inspectors.

That little Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty sure doesn't mean much.

AGRICULTURE UPDATE: Boo-yah! Take that Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois and Kansas, we're totally #1 in corn and soybean production! And that was with a drought.

And get geared up all you Miss Burlington rejects, the Iowa Pork Congress is thisclose to choosing their Queen!

DRINKING TEA AND RAISING FUNDS: Okay, so maybe we can assume that someone who features their lawnmower in a political ad campaign does not drink tea. But, who knows, Chuck Grassley is certainly cool enough for tea.

The point is, Grassman (as in the mower of lawns, not illegial-Columbian-druglord-migrant-worker) has decided to keep his campaign contributions from dirty lobbyist Jack Abramoff. A gaggle of Midwestern congressmen also got the Indian kickbacks.

Old news? Yes. Interesting news? Slightly. Reference to Chuck Grassley as "Grassman"? Priceless.

Last usage of kitschy VISA ad reference on Hawkeye Republican? Oh yeah.

DRINKING TEA AND TAKING NAMES: There's nothing like recovering from the flu and dealing with incompetent municipal, state and federal law enforcement officials. For real. We're doomed.

My story: Once upon a time, Laura decided to go to Greece. She was a good little study abroad potential--planning early, learning the weird and indistinguishable Sanskrit alphabet of the freakish language that is Greek and contacting everyone really, really early.

However, she did not count on the fact that the law enforcement in Iowa is collectively retarded. In order to secure her Schengen VISA, she needed a federal criminal background check. The Cedar Rapids Police Department referred her to the Department of Criminal Investigation who referred her to the Linn County Sheriff's Office who told her to go to Des Moines to the State Department of Criminal Investigation.

Dutifully, she drove across the state in an attempt to get her freakin' fingerprints processed and sent into the Feds. After traveling to the Greek Embassy in Chicago, she went to the Iowa City Police Department who referred her to the Department of Criminal Investigation who referred her to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office who told her to check the FBI's website, which was wrong.

So folks, after a month of ferrying in between the collective stupidity that "serve and protect" about as well as a blind chihuahua, I finally contacted Congressman Jim Leach's Office. Who helped me. Alot. By giving me the customer service number of the FBI.

I had to contact my congressman to get the FBI's customer service number.

To be fair, once I did get a hold of the FBI they were extremely responsive. Also, several folks from Congressman Leach's were, undoubtedly, on the phone for quite a while trying to help sort things out.

In summary, Cheers to Congressman Leach and Jeers to municipal and state law enforcement agencies who have no clue how to take fingerprints.



Bring it, Chet

RASMUSSEN REPORTS: Oh man, we're only polling 4% ahead of Patty Judge? Truly, 36% of Iowans have never seen or heard Patty Judge or they just dislike the color forest green.

Alright, go caucus already!

Election 2006
Iowa Governor
Jim Nussle (R) 40%
Chet Culver (D) 40%

Election 2006
Iowa Governor
Jim Nussle (R) 39%
Michael Blouin (D) 34%

Election 2006
Iowa Governor
Jim Nussle (R) 40%
Patty Judge (D) 36%

Election 2006
Iowa Governor
Jim Nussle (R) 42%
Ed Fallon (D) 27%

GEORGE GALLOWAY FINALLY GOES CRAZY: This is why Tony Blair never took you seriously. Just remember I called it.


IOWA GOP PRESENTS BOLD IDEAS: I'm sorry, that was just the font.

Our bold idea: target the seniors. No, not like free-range deer, silly.

Between all those discounts at Wendy's (oh yes, there is a senior discount) and their universal health care system, the seniors are really hurting in our aging state.

Oh sure, I could read a little deeper into House Republican intentions to eliminate income taxes on Social Security and pension benefits and laud it as a first step to the end of manipulated progressive politics gone awry, but that would be a run-on sentence.

Okay, so I will. A little bit.

Keeping the perversion of America's tax system, getting rid of a few state add-alongs is progress. Since Republicans have chosen to target seniors, this may provide the party with some leverage going into the quickly approaching election cycle.

However, it worries me greatly that tax relief has been painted as an effort to retain rich seniors. Oh wait, because it is. Plus, I don't like old people.

Seriously...just kidding Grandma!

EU leaders consider Iran action: Iran considers asking EU leaders if they can spell "EU" and then promptly sticks out yellow cake uranium tongue.


IN CASE OF DISASTER PROTECT THE DONUTS: Krispy Kreme in Clive named a critical asset by Iowa Homeland Security officials. Sorry, but this joke is waaay too easy.


GET MOTIVATED: Before making this poster, I was motivated to filibuster. That would have pitted me against Bill Frist and his colossal death robot nation--not that I am at all suggesting that my people are robots. Except for Bill Frist. I don't know if you've met Bill Frist before, but he honestly might be a robot. I wonder what kind?

Wow, deep thoughts. Thank you, motivational poster generator, thank you.

PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL JOCKEYING HAS BEGUN: Not that it ever, ever, ever stops. Fist shaking GOP state house members say to presidential hopefuls, "treat Alito fairly or we'll cut off the nation's corn supply!" Bill Frist threatens to filibuster.


STATING THE OBVIOUS--SORRY FOR THE SPORADIC POSTING: Good news is that I've clawed my way out of a pit of despair induced by the unfathomable Hawkeye bowl game loss. Really, let's not talk about it. For you twenty odd readers out there, the bad news is that my pit of despair has been replaced with a pit of too-much-crap-to-do.

I haven't read the Wall Street Journal all week! That's right. All week. I can barely form sentences, which would be a good skill to possess for the slew of internship interviews on next week's horizon.

On that note, and to bring this rambling post full circle, there may not be much this week. Just consider it your late Christmas present.




The Worst Calls in the History of Football: The 2006 Outback Bowl

IT'S NOT THAT I'M A SORE LOSER, IT'S JUST THAT I HATE CRAPPY OFFICIATING: If you think that the calls made during the 2006 Outback Bowl were the most "unconscionable" in football history and the officials may, in fact, be blind third graders, rest assured you are alongside millions of Americans.

As Randy Brubaker commented on the Des Moines Register Sports Blog:
Turned out to be an interesting fourth quarter, didn’t it? The Iowa offense came alive, Kyle Schlicher made a clutch kick and the Hawkeyes recovered an onside kick with a minute to play and had a chance to win.

Ooops. Turns out the officiating crew saw the play differently, although Iowa fans in Raymond James Stadium and ESPN’s Chris Spielman certainly begged to differ.

Spielman’s word for the offside call that cost the Hawkeyes a chance to tie or win: “Unconscionable.”

“The game is too fast for these officials,” he said.

Extra man on the field? No problem. Questionable call that could throw the game? Excellent opportunity for the blind third graders to show their middle school buddies how shitty officiating is done.


Lovely British Weather is a Godsend

EVEN MOTHER NATURE HATES TAXES: Apparently the Paymaster General has a little bit too much time on his hands; however, efforts to monitor potential pools of revenue in the form of unreported home renovations have been derailed by God.

Congrats, this is the best thing I've heard yet in 2006!

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