Don’t mess with Iowa (5×8 – 1/3/12)


It’s almost over. The national media will soon pack up and take its “isn’t Iowa just the cutest state full of hillbillies” nonsense with it. One thing we learned in this caucus season: You don’t want to dump on Iowa. (not suitable for the workplace)

The assertion that Iowa is a Democratic state is an interesting one, and one on which David Yepsen, a political reporter in Des Moines, disagrees. Writing in the Washington Post, Yepsen debunks five myths about Iowa, one of which is that Iowa isn’t the far right state this crop of candidates thinks it is (maybe that’s why 41 percent are still undecided). But it is conservative.

After today, then, Iowa will go back to being Iowa. New Hampshire and South Carolina will be the new darlings of the national media. Maybe that’s good news for Emily Price and her husband, Dave. They’re political reporters in Des Moines, for competing TV stations.

Iowa lends itself to great images of campaigning. Today, the BBC provides this slideshow, which pales in comparison to MPR photographer Jeff Thompson’s gallery of a day with Michele Bachmann.

Here’s MPR’s coverage of today’s events.


How did the holiday economy perform? Fast Up Front has the winners and losers:

Retail Holiday Winners & Losers [ infographic ]


John Hammergren, the CEO of the McKesson Corp., a giant medical-supply company in California, is the $145 million man, top dog on the latest listing of the country’s highest-paid chief executives. He’s from St Paul, graduated from the University of Minnesota and the chances are you’ve never heard of him. (Daily Beast)

(h/t: Michael Wells)


Last Veterans Day, a retired Navy chaplain — who served with four Marines who were killed in Iraq — led a group of Marines and family members up a hill at Camp Pendleton to plant a 13-foot tall cross in their memory, the Los Angeles Times reports. They didn’t ask for permission.

Now the cross isn’t about the Marines’ memorial, it’s the latest battleground over the Constitution.

“The legal test is whether from the perspective of a reasonable observer this would be perceived as government endorsement of religion,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of the law school at UC Irvine and a constitutional scholar, who says it is.


In his column yesterday, Star Tribune sports reporter Michael Rand urged people to “tone down” the Ricky Rubio mania. Just one question: Why? Two moments from last night:

There’s magic happening at Target Center, but, Minnesota sport teams, we have to talk about something that’s getting out of control: Phony noise. The idea of a “host” at the game started several years ago and it was a nice little idea to get the crowd into the game. But now, the Minnesota Timberwolves have crossed the line. Constant, ear-splitting, high-decibel, “let me show you how to swallow this microphone!” pleas to “make some noise,” are generally ruining the “fan experience” at sports venues. You can’t go two minutes at a game now without the nagging. Even during Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll Part 2, we’re instructed when to shout “hey.” Who doesn’t know when to shout “hey” during Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll Part 2?

Just, stop it!

Bonus: How “our newspaper” became “the newspaper.”


It’s the day of the Iowa caucuses, where voters will finally begin to get their say in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Today’s Question: Who would you like to see emerge as the winner in the Iowa caucuses?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Kerri Miller talks with a panel of experts in Iowa politics and an audience of Iowa voters about the Iowa caucus and about how they define political leadership in 2012. A co-production of Minnesota Public Radio News and Iowa Public Radio.

Second hour: On the day of the Iowa caucus, we’ll look at the campaign strategy for what happens after Iowa. Will victory in Iowa launch one of the candidates to the nomination, and will a disappointing result mean the end of the road for others?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Dennis Goldford of Drake University on the Iowa caucuses.

Second hour: American RadioWorks documentary, “Bridge to Somewhere: Lessons from the New Deal”

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Why is there less crime?

Second hour: Tara Parker Pope talks about “The Fat Trap.” Plus, Facebook’s so-called

“compassion czar.”