Thursday, January 15, 2009

Democrat to English Dictionary

“Cigarette Tax Increase”- A trick meant to make the public believe Democrats cared about their health, while in reality they needed the money to cover their spending habits

“Fair Share”- A sad, pathetic, misleading term to force people to join a union against their will

“Fee increase”- a tax increase dressed in disguise

“Fiscal Responsibility”- A campaign trick phrase Democratic candidates use to attempt to lure moderate Republican and Independent voters to their side

“Iowa’s economy faces serious challenges due to the worst national economic crisis since the great depression”- Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain who spent taxpayer money like a drunken sailor driving us into a $600 million hole

“Labor Union”- Term for Democrats who contribute large sums of money to other Democrats

“Notwithstanding”- A common word a Democrat uses to get around the law

“Not Germane”- Any Republican germane amendment that Democrats don’t want to vote on

“Open Meeting”- A public meeting held after all the terms have been agreed upon behind closed doors by Democrats and their special interest groups

“Teacher’s Union”- Democratic politician training ground and funding source

“We have balanced our budget”- A slight of hand trick performed by moving hundreds of millions of dollars off budget

“We need bipartisan support”- We are afraid to vote for this issue on our own for fear of not getting re-elected

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One of Those Days

Working at the Capitol isn't for everybody and sometimes it can drive you to distraction. Looks like one of us is way too wrapped up in their work in the mornings.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

State of the State Leaves us in a State

Governor Culver gave his annual State of the State address today, primarily focusing on disaster relief in Iowa. He even showed a dynomite video to illistrate the disaster hardships Iowans have faced. This professional piece of videography leaves us scratching our heads as to how it was paid for. Hopefully some secret donor was nice enough to cough up the cash, but that's doubtful. So as some Iowans will never live in their houses again or see their businesses rebuilt, they can rest assured that a fancy video documenting their hardships was made for posterity. Money well-spent, no doubt.......

Culver also placed a lot of blame. He blamed the feds for getting us into this economic mess and in the next breath advocated for teamwork and consensus from both parties in 2009. Legislators remain in the dark and have yet to see his budget and details of the Rebuild Iowa plan that he wants so desperately to pass as soon as possible. We'll see how that goes.

One thing we can agree on with the governor is using the state’s rainy day funds to the tune of 43 million dollars in flood and disaster recovery. This should have happened sooner. In fact, we think he should have called a special session this summer to nip the problem in the bud instead of waiting till the ice and snow are hard on the ground.

Here are some pictures from yesterday's swearing in ceremony.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Legislative Lingo for the First Day of Session

Thanks to Todd Dorman for this great primer on legislative lingo

Dorman: A primer on legislative lingo you'll hear this year
By Todd Dorman The Gazette

In four days, the Iowa Legislature returns to the Statehouse. I'm too excited to sleep. And in order to understand the Legislature's customs and rituals, it helps to speak fluent lawmaker. So I've compiled this short glossary of legis-speak, freshly updated for 2009. I've come across many new additions to the language listening to leaders and lawmakers in recent days.

Bipartisan — A thoughtful invitation to the minority party to join the majority in a politically suicidal act. Example: "We hope our dear friends across the aisle will join us in a bipartisan effort to pass a whopping tax hike."

Challenging — We have no flippin' idea how to solve all these problems. Synonym: "Screwed."

Daunting — Seriously, we have no idea. 50-50 chance — It would take a miracle for that to happen.

Infrastructure — A long, impressive-sounding word, usually paired with words like "crumbling," and used to answer a wide array of tough questions. How do we improve the economy? "Infrastructure." Why do we need to raise taxes? "Infrastructure." How do we attract new business? "Infrastructure." Why did you forget our anniversary? "Infrastructure."

Innovation — New 2009 definition: The act of coming up with crazy moneymaking schemes at the end of a session when lawmakers realize they can't balance the budget with conventional tricks and dodges. Example: "Let's lease the lottery and put keno in bars and sell naming rights to state agencies, like the 'Department of Agriculture, Presented by Monsanto' and the 'Outback Statehouse.'" Now that's innovation.

Job creation — New 2009 definition: Raising the gas tax. Example: "It's not a tax increase, it's job creation."

Lack of consensus — An excuse for shelving something a lawmaker really didn't want to do in the first place. Example: "I share your deep concerns about this issue, but doggone it, there's just a lack of consensus."

Long term — A period that begins after a politician leaves office. See also Short term — The time between now and the next election.

Middle class — Everyone in Iowa, with the exception of the truly needy and the obscenely wealthy.

Move quickly — Legislative action will probably occur in your lifetime. See also "glacial" and "molasses."

Eternally optimistic — Things don't look so good. Synonym: "Denial."

Quite frankly — A phrase often used by a lawmaker who is trying very hard to avoid being frank. Example: "Quite frankly, I'm eternally optimistic."

Rainy day fund — A magic $620 million fund that can cover more than $1 gazillion in promises.

Revenue enhancements — Tax increases. Example: "Hey, let's pick up people by the ankles and shake some revenue enhancements out of their pockets."

Washington — A mysterious city to the east that can be blamed for all problems.
We'll take a look at that — A phrase used to describe something dead.