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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

McCain hits pitch but Obama makes sale

By Douglas Burns | 09.27.08 | 1:00 am

You can make the case that Sen. John McCain won the presidential debate Friday on foreign policy, but if it is victory, it is hollow, as McCain was in something of the position of selling yesterday.  His references to the  bombing in Lebanon and Somalia and Kosovo showed he understands the history of foreign policy, but he appeared tethered to it when the nation clearly wants a new course.

Sen. Barack Obama made a change of direction — getting out of Iraq more quickly than McCain and focusing on Afghanistan and other incubators of terror — sound safe in his hands.

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama shake hands before the first debate of the 2008 general election (Photo: Flickr - David Katz/Obama for America)

Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama shake hands before the first debate of the 2008 general election (Photo: Flickr - David Katz/Obama for America)

In the end, McCain was like a Buick salesman who did a better job pitching his car than the Toyota guy. Great on points, but we know who gets the sale.

“Obviously our foreign policy over the last eight years has not worked,” Obama said.

The Illinois Democrat showed a presidential command of foreign policy issues and went after his rival in a strong, respectful manner — a more Midwestern approach, if you will.

McCain flexed large foreign policy muscles, but he detracted from that with personal attacks on Obama, calling him naive and inexperienced. At times, the presidential debate at the University of Mississippi seemed like a contest between confidence in the form of Obama and arrogance itself with McCain.

It is a subtety not lost on Midwesterners.

Both candidates successfully articulated highly nuanced foreign policy positions, effortlessly getting the challenging names of world leaders correct (mostly), and weaving through complexities with no hiccups. No one lost the debate tonight as Obama, 47, showed the bearing for the Oval Office and McCain, 72, demonstrated sufficient vigor.

How will it play in the Iowa?

For those in Iowa looking for specific personal financial reasons to pick a candidate, McCain may be the only one who has provided us one — and it is not good for him in this state.  McCain made it clear one of the casualties of the potential Wall Street bailout should be ethanol.

Supporting ethanol might be debatable on a national level, but it is N.I.M.B.Y. around here.

“I’d eliminate ethanol subsidies,” McCain said flatly. “I oppose ethanol subsidies.”

Those are likely deal-killing words for farmers and others in rural America who have made investments and business decisions based on ethanol.

Iowa’s ethanol industry has resulted in more than 47,000 new jobs in Iowa.  Production of ethanol puts $1.7 billion into Iowa consumers’ pockets each year, according to the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

In neighboring Nebraska, ethanol is big business, too, and because the Cornhusker State bases three of its five electoral votes on how presidential candidates do in individual congressional districts, McCain’s ethanol blast only serves to help Obama’s already aggressive efforts in Omaha.

Candidates on offense

McCain had his strongest moments of the night in challenging Obama’s long-stated and controversial declaration that he’d meet with certain world leaders without preconditions.

Actually using the word “Holocaust,” McCain attempted to paint a picture of Obama sitting down with Hitler-like figures bent on Israel’s destruction. A mere meeting, McCain argues, confers legitimacy on thug rulers.

“It doesn’t mean we invite them over for tea,” Obama shot back.

Obama generally found success when he sought to connect McCain with George W. Bush, leaving the Arizona Republican with little but ridiculous deflectors. McCain went so far as to give himself different nicknames in the debate. First he said some people call him “sheriff” because of his alleged efforts to attack waste, fraud and abuse. I wonder what Charles Keating called McCain back in the 1980s? Sheriff — of Mayberry, maybe.

McCain then called himself a “maverick” as if plucking that word from his first life would save him in a second as he faced a withering assault on the links to Bush.

The Arizonan never adequately answered the charge that 90 percent of his political DNA comes from W.

“It’s well known I have not been elected Miss Congenialty,” McCain repeated.

Comments

  • primus

    Even Obama's critics will concede that he was McCain's equal last night. For a lot of undecided voters, the big question has always been whether this new and odd-looking guy could look like an American president, whether he passes Middle America's gut-check on how a president Obama feels in their psyches. I think Obama passed that test, as Reagan did in 1980 and as Kennedy did in 1960.

  • primus

    Even Obama's critics will concede that he was McCain's equal last night. For a lot of undecided voters, the big question has always been whether this new and odd-looking guy could look like an American president, whether he passes Middle America's gut-check on how a president Obama feels in their psyches. I think Obama passed that test, as Reagan did in 1980 and as Kennedy did in 1960.

  • primus

    Even Obama's critics will concede that he was McCain's equal last night. For a lot of undecided voters, the big question has always been whether this new and odd-looking guy could look like an American president, whether he passes Middle America's gut-check on how a president Obama feels in their psyches. I think Obama passed that test, as Reagan did in 1980 and as Kennedy did in 1960.

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