Category: Featured Local

The Politics of Obamacare, Medicaid, Illegal Immigration, and Education Reform: The Conservative Reader Interview with Sen. Jack Whitver (Part 2 of 2)

In part one of this interview, the last legislative session was the main focus. Now we will turn our attention to the major issues that will be hotly debated in 2012.

One of the first things to jump out at anyone who starts digging into the issues being wrestled with by our general assembly is how much they mirror the issues being debated at the Federal level. This being the case, there is no better place to start than how Obamacare and trimming entitlements manifest themselves here In Iowa.

Obamacare and the Politics of Medicaid

While scarcely publicized, last session included preliminary debates into setting up Iowa’s insurance exchange, which Obamacare mandates be done by next year’s legislative adjournment. The tricky situation for state legislators …


Why Iowa’s 2011 Legislative Session Matters to Conservatives: The Conservative Reader Interview with Senator Jack Whitver (Part 1 of 2)

Three weeks removed from ending the third longest legislative session in Iowa history, I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with District 35’s representative in the Iowa Senate—Republican Jack Whitver. The main focus of our conversation was the results of the 172 day session and the political clouds already forming on the horizon for next year’s Senatorial get together.

In the interest of adding perspective, here is a brief overview of Senator Whitver’s political and business careers: He joined the Iowa Senate this year by virtue of winning a special election to fill the seat of Larry Noble, first beating five other Republicans in a truncated primary and then defeating Democrat John Calhoun (63%-36%). The district covers most of the northern half …


The Stench of Impropriety: Your Tax Dollars, Your Body Image, and The Government (Part 2 of 2)

The following is the second installment of a two part piece. The first is entitled “The Stench of Impropriety: Tom Harkin, Al Franken, Herbalife International, and The F.R.E.E.D Act”, and can be viewed below.

In part one of this piece, I introduced you to the relationship between Tom Harkin and his largest campaign contributor, Herbalife International. A partnership that demonstrates the perils of an incestuous system of politics and money, and ultimately played a part in Harkin’s introduction of the F.R.E.E.D. Act in the U.S. Senate. As bad as that looks, what the bill actually proposes to do is just as bad.

The act itself is only impressive in that it manages to hit the Liberal trifecta—it is completely devoid of any traditionally rational …


The Stench Of Impropriety: Tom Harkin, Al Franken, Herbalife International, And The F.R.E.E.D Act (Part 1 of 2)

Harkin and Herbalife

Every reasonable American with a pulse knows that much of what goes on in the undercurrents of Washington D.C is disturbing. It is not often, however, that one proposed piece of legislation encapsulates nearly everything that is wrong in our Federal Government, unfortunately that is exactly the case with Senate file 481.

The name of this bill is the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders, or the F.R.E.E.D Act. It is sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), co-sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and was introduced in the Senate on March 3, 2011. If you have ever wondered what Tom Harkin and Al Franken have been up to lately you are about to find out not just …


Environmentalism: A Cult with a Ponzi Scheme

A long time ago, somebody figured out that people were afraid of nature. With this realization, our subject set out to carve a statue of a woman with a horned head dress, and declared the idol to be Ninhursag, the goddess of the earth. Our carver then set about convincing people that if they brought their best wheat, their best grapes, and their best lambs and calves to sacrifice to the goddess then they will be blessed with plenty and the grace of the divine goddess will rain down upon them, but if they refused they would be cursed with pestilence.

And thus the people, rending their garments and lamenting of their fear of the weather and their invented devil gods, brought their best produce …


Still The Gold Standard: Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative” 50 Years Later

“The Conservative also recognizes that the political power on which order is based is a self-aggrandizing force; that its appetite grows with eating. He knows that the utmost vigilance and care are required to keep political power within its bounds.” – Barry Goldwater

Evidenced by the fact that I recently finished re-reading Barry Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative on a kindle—much has changed since it was first published in 1960. However, by the staggering parallels that its content has to the political realities of 2011, one could say that not much has changed at all.

Anyone who chooses to invest the few hours necessary to read this book will become apprised of the historical context in which the political and ideological battles of our …


Politicians, Bailouts and Bank-Owned Houses

Around the corner from my former apartment in Newton was a house that was taken in foreclosure. The “For Sale” sign had been there for a very long time, the lawn wasn’t mowed regularly and the shrubs had died in the winter but hadn’t been removed.

Walk around your own neighborhood and see how many houses are for sale. Sometimes the sign openly states that it is bank-owned, other times you might have to search on the county assessors website. There are plenty of bank-owned houses in Iowa; there are many, many more in California, Nevada, Michigan and Illinois.

The point is this: With such a large supply of bank-owned houses, of course houses will continue to fall in price. When a store has excess …


The Failure of Stimulus

Imagine a plot of land in the desert, consisting only of mesquite scrub and dust. If you assembled a system of sprinklers on this desert land, and ran them heavily enough, you could make the desert green with grass, corn, or even water loving willow trees. But then the water supply you are stealing from runs dry, and the sprinklers sit there, idle. The greenery of your efforts wilts, dies and turns to dust.

This is the story of government stimulus. First, the federal government stole – yes, I said stole – hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out first the banks, and then General Motors, and then spend hundreds of billions more on the President’s stimulus package, which promised to reignite the economy, …


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American Gladiators II: A Painful Look Back…A Bright Future Ahead

The Following piece is the 2nd installment of an ongoing series here at The Conservative Reader. “American Gladiators” is a recurring feature focusing on the defining political issue of our generation: the crucial battle over Federal spending and the debt and deficit it creates.

A favorite saying of both political parties these days is that “elections have consequences”—2010 proved that so do primaries. For Republicans no past event has had a bigger impact on the eventual major players and the shape of the fiscal debate’s battlefield than the primaries preceding the 2010 mid-term elections.

Though history now, you may recall at that time an internal debate was raging amongst Republicans. Many influential Conservative thinkers, including Charles Krauthammer, joined a large number of high ranking members …


Dear Republican Candidates: It’s Monetary Policy, Stupid

At barely five feet tall and armed only with a Ph.D in economics, Milton Friedman hardly had the look of a hero set out to save a nation. Yet, Professor Friedman predicted with near perfection the disastrous economic situation the United States is enduring today. He did this with a simple idea – the Quantity Theory of Money.

MV = PQ. This is the simple mathematical formula which explains the death of American prosperity. Where M is the supply of money, V is the velocity that it circulates, P is prices, and Q is the quantity of transactions. Simply put, if the government prints more money, prices go up unless the number of transactions also increases. Too many dollars chasing too few goods, as they …


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