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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gehlen, the Legislature and Hammers or Rifles

Monday, January 7, 2013

Proving again that a city of 10,000 can support two fine K-12 schools, the Gehlen Competition Marching Band bowled 'em over at the Holiday Bowl. Director Paul Niebuhr and the kids should be congratulated for marching their way to first place in Class A at the San Diego, Calif., event.

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Iowa's youngest, smartest, (and now nearly sightless), Senator has been diligently working on his wish list for the Iowa legislative session. Shalee Senator Foghorn D. Paulin, a registered Silky Terrier, will turn 14 on January ninth. Not reading the bills places him on a par with former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

My Senator thinks Iowa's Fuel tax law needs revision to acknowledge that electric vehicles use our roads for little or nothing. Some legislators are reluctant to increase the state tax due to a maybe Federal increase. Not to worry -- simply make the bill contingent on that possibility. That is how I phrased the bill increasing the Interstate speed limit to 65 in 1987. It had been 'double nickels' since 1973.

New bicycles should be taxed an additional five or ten percent, with the first $150 being exempt. There are a lot of $1,000 bikes being sold. The proceeds should replace DOT funds now used for trails, allowing a few more potholes to be filled.

The Senator (we call him the politician) thinks all cats should be neutered, or spayed, some retroactively to conception. They should be licensed, taxed and not allowed to vote.

Tax credits for wind generating (except around the State House) should be gradually phased out. Wind, solar and other 'green' initiatives should be able to make it on their own merits after ten years.

If necessary, the readjusting and balancing of property taxes could be financed by boosting our sales tax a half point, Grover Norquist be damned. With all the nuances figured in we would still be competitive with the majority of the surrounding population.

Please do not pull a Governor Robert Ray and waste money sending the surplus back to taxpayers. Use the surplus (judiciously) to fund education, infrastructure catch-up, and to balance property taxes.

Are you one who enjoys watching paint dry? Grass grow? You are in luck! Starting this month you can watch the Iowa Senate in 'action,' and it only cost us $200,000. Officials said an IowAccess grant covered $135,000 of that, as if you didn't fund that, too. The Iowa House, which might be slightly more interesting, began live video streaming last year. The House, still slower than a constipated turtle, moves about twice as fast as the Senate, which is warp speed compared to the Feds.

Until the '90's Iowa Public Radio broadcast much of the legislative action and they broke for the morning markets. Some of the good-ol-boy Mossbacks tried to time their floor speeches just before and after the markets, knowing they would have a large rural audience.

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Ironically, author Suzanne Collins lives in Newtown, Connecticut. She is best known as the author of The Hunger Games, which involves violence, even kids killing kids. The book opens with the sacrificial slaughter of 23 children.

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There were 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs in 2011, as compared with 323 deaths connected to a rifle.

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Iowa is the only state whose U.S. Senators both voted against the fiscal cliff bill. Harkin because it didn't spend enough money and Grassley because it spends too much! That bill just kicks the can down the road toward the Monetary Mountain facing our nation. Ron Paul probably had a good reason for not voting.

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For 38 years, Michigan's Lake Superior State University has issued a list of a dozen words and phrases that some people want to ban from the English language. "Spoiler alert," "kick the can down the road," "trending," "bucket list," and "fiscal cliff" should be banished, they say.

You may disregard their recommendations, since most of the nominations were generated on Facebook. In fact, Facebook would be at the top of my list to ban! Kick the can, though, is too old, too good to get rid of.

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That


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