The Other McCain

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IOWA NOTEBOOK: Occupy Caucuses?

Posted on | December 29, 2011 | 25 Comments

Rick Perry speaks at Smokey Row coffee shop
Pella, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011

DAVENPORT, Iowa
After days of chasing after campaigns, I find myself in the unusual position of waiting for the campaign to come to me. Rick Santorum will be here in Davenport this evening for a 7 p.m. event, and so I’m hunkered down in the corner booth at a McDonald’s, which will be temporary headquarters of the National Affairs Desk for a few hours.

The National Affairs Desk, 2:10 p.m. CT, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011

There’s news today about the Occupiers, who have announced plans to disrupt the GOP caucuses here:

DES MOINES, Iowa — Five Occupy protesters were arrested Thursday outside the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential contender Ron Paul as the group continued its protest against Republican candidates and President Barack Obama.
The five were cited with trespassing and later released after they refused repeated requests to leave Paul’s campaign office in the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny. The action came a day after seven protesters were arrested outside Republican Mitt Romney’s Des Moines headquarters, and Occupy spokeswoman Danielle Ryun said more protests, and probably arrests, will come.
“They’re all going to get equal play on this,” Ryun said. “We are very disillusioned with every candidate.”
The protests are part of an Occupy the Caucuses effort launched this week in Des Moines, attracting activists from around the country. Many of them have promised to interrupt campaign activities.
Ryun said the protesters would be going to the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines later Thursday and to other Republican candidate offices Friday.
Eight protesters were arrested at the state Democratic Party offices on Dec. 19. Ryan said protesters would try to get into the offices again Thursday.
Lt. Ben Bowersox, an Ankeny police spokesman, said as many as 15 protesters were at the Paul headquarters. They were told to move to a public sidewalk nearby or face arrest. All but the five moved to the sidewalk.

“Cited with trespassing and later released”? These scum should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law — and beyond. A bunch of worthless punks running around whining about how oppressed they are? I say, give them a nice taste of some real oppression: Tase them, pepper spray them, beat them with nightsticks. Crush them like ants.

But these are merely my personal feelings, and do not reflect the official opinions of the Future U.S. Embassy in Vanuatu.

Yesterday’s drive from Davenport to Pella was fun, especially after I got off the interstate. The black Ford Mustang I’ve rented was apparently manufactured for the specific purpose of high-speed driving on Iowa backroads. From Montezuma to New Sharon to Pella, I was impressed by the power and handling. There are several tight S-curves on that route marked 40 mph and I had no problem taking them at 80.

And the straightaways? Heh heh heh.

Just east of New Sharon, I passed a couple of sheriff’s patrol SUVs parked by the roadside but fortunately I had slowed down on my way through town. However, it made me a little paranoid — “Did the state patrol warn them I was coming? Is there now a statewide all-points-bulletin for this Mustang?” — and so as soon as I was out of sight over the next hill, I floored it. Just in case they were coming after me, I was going to make sure they couldn’t catch up. No way those SUVs could take a 40-mph curve doing 80.

This exercise in hillbilly moonshiner outlaw driving was, however, not merely fun, but was absolutely necessary if I was to reach the Rick Perry event by 3:30 p.m. When I left Davenport, the GPS unit estimated my time of arrival in Pella at 3:58, and so I had a lot of time to make up if I was going to be at Smokey Row coffee shop on Franklin Street on time. Thanks to the mighty Mustang, I made it, and caught the erstwhile front-runner talking tough on immigration:

“Within a year of being sworn in, we’re going to put thousands of National Guard troops on that border while we’re training up thousands of Border Patrols to permanently be in that border. We’re going to put the aviation assets in the air — Predator drones with high-tech ability to look down and know what’s going on, on both sides of that border 24-7. And when we see activities that are suspicious, and we know historically where those drug routes are and where they’re smuggling individuals and weapons and drugs, we’ll be able to respond quickly and we can shut that border down. And my promise to the American people is that that border will be shut down and stopped from illegal activity one year after I’m sworn in.”

The phrases that stuck out to me there were “shut that border down” — stopping just short of Herman Cain’s talk of moats and alligators and electrified fences — and also: “Predator drones.”

Isn’t the Predator a military drone armed with Hellfire missiles?

Because that would be really cool. Zap! Boom! Take that, José!

Here are a few extra photos from the Perry event in Pella:

Here’s the sign-up table outside the Perry event, where they were offering free T-shirts. Unfortunately, I’m not a registered voter in Iowa, so I couldn’t get a T-shirt.

The top of the sign-up table. You can click on the photo to enlarge it and read the sheet: “Precinct Leaders and Precinct Partners — Responsibilities.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t say anything about clobbering those damned “Occupy” protesters when they show up.

It was standing-room-only, and many people at the Perry event were forced to stand outside the coffee shop.

This is the Official Rick Perry Iowa Tour Bus. I’m pretty sure it can’t handle a 40 mph curve at 80 mph, which is what the Mustang was doing on the way back through New Sharon and Montezuma en route to Cedar Rapids, where I caught up with Rick Santorum last night. Here’s video of his post-event press conference, which was brief:

That got quoted extensively in today’s American Spectator column. For some reason, I find it easier to transcribe quotes from video than from audio recordings. Because I’m weird like that. Some extra photos from the Santorum event:

They had birthday cake at Wedneday’s event, held on the anniversary of Iowa’s statehood.

Dave Weigel hard at work, compiling his usual snarky compendium of bias, distortions, out-of-context smears and outright lies for Slate.

One of Santorum’s grassroots activists talks to the candidate after Wednesday’s event. Santorum is the most accessible candidate in Iowa. And that’s starting to pay off:

Top Santorum supporter says
he can win Iowa caucus

The Hill

No time now for me to read that and find out who this “top Santorum supporter” is, or why he’s trying to raise expectations, when the normal political strategy is to keep expectations low enough that you can easily exceed them. It’s almost 7 p.m. CT, so it’s time for me to head over to tonight’s Santorum Surge rally.

By the way, I checked out of the Radisson Quad City Plaza today. The rate was $89.99 a night and the bill for two nights came to $221.58, which might be OK for some of these corporate-type journalists like Dave Weigel, Shushannah Walshe and Chris Moody — they’re living like the 1% on their expense accounts — but won’t do for an authentic grassroots reader-supported New Media guy like me. (See how I did the “Occupy” class-warfare thing there?)

Anyway, I’m looking for cheaper lodging somewhere in Iowa for the next couple of days, if anyone has any suggestions.

But I just called the rental agency and extended my lease on the sweet black Ford Mustang. At $80 a day, I figure I could sleep in the car if I had to, but you can’t drive a motel room. OCCUPY TIP JAR!

Update (Smitty): welcome, Instapundit readers!
 

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Comments

  • DaveO

    Well, until the Occupiers start lining up GOP voters against a wall and machine-gunning them down, it’s a free country. Of course the only reason why the Occupiers can’t get guns is they live in nanny states.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UNZU74NIXQBSAAC5PR2B36VMWM Edward

    You know those folks are just one mis-spelled word away from disaster.

    OccupyCactuses!

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    These OWS problems could have been resolved by an ambassadorial candidate with foresight.  Had you taken early advantage of my generous offer, we could have had a squad campaign support team there for you.  (see video demo).

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Disrupting campaign events is just a small step away from disrupting the polls on Election Day.  These people need to be dealt with harshly.

    Besides, the whole point of “civil disobedience,” which is the most charitable characterization of these cases of trespassing and in some cases assault, is to sacrifice yourself against an unjust law.  Gandhi went to prison.  Martin Luther King wasn’t booked and released, he was jailed.  These modern pampered weenies can’t hack that, of course – “Oh, Corrections Officer!  My toilet is missing its seat and the door!” – they are fine with the law-breaking part, just not with the paying-your-debt-to-society part.

  • DaveO

    The New Black Panthers already have that mission. The Secretary of State Program already has filled out ballots in the trunks of polling station workers. So the only thing left is to get RINO on every ticket.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    I thought that the Occupests were safely ensconced in their parents’ basements, tucked up under down comforters and fleeces?

  • J.S.Bridges

    Mr. Shoeleather Reporter,

    You clearly need to be in Des Moines, it’s centrally located so you’ll have much better access State-wide. Check out the Motel 6 there, it’s inside the beltway but right next to the Interstate, they list rooms on-line for $47 a night for one adult (before taxes, of course) – clean beds, plenty of parking, what’s not to like? Or, if you want something else, try Super 8 – three locations, also just off Interstate, on-line at $58/nite (+Tax), or Days Inn, also three locations, all near Interstate, $51/nite (+ Tax).

    Ask about multiple-night rate discounts, discounts for being a AAA Member, a working-press member, or just ’cause you’ve got a nice smile – the worst that can happen is they say “No”, right?

    If you’re  sure you will be someplace for at least a full week, look for a Value Place – they’ll charge you about as much for a 7-day week as that Radisson would get for three freakin’ days.

    Tips from a frequent-traveler -

  • http://thevailspot.blogspot.com Rich Vail

    This just goes to show you how anti-democratic “Progressives” are.  They will do what ever they can to keep conservatives from actually using the democratic process to select the GOP’s candidate for president.  Most “progressives” would  prefer that Mr. Obama run un opposed as is the case in such worker’s paridises such as Venezuela, Cuba, China and North Korea…

    What the real question is…what would Thomas Jefferson say about people shouting out any and all opposition?

    Rich Vail
    Pikesville, Maryland
    http://thevailspot.blogspot.com

  • J.S.Bridges

    Also – book on-line, through Expedia, Travelocity or Orbitz for best prices; if you have more lead-time before you need the room, you can try Priceline, though I’ve never had as good luck as with the others. Guarantee the room with a CC, but (if you can) pay in cash or on a debit card; sometimes, you can get a small additional discount that way.

    Next time, try to book the room and your rental car together, using one of the discount on-line sites I listed – you’ll get a better rate on the car, too.

    Make sure you get a good, detailed receipt, either way – you DO know all of this travel cost can be claimed as “work-related per-diem expenses” and deducted on your itemized tax return – just as long as you’re traveling at least 50 miles away from your “tax home” (your regular address), right?

    (Full disclosure: I have NO vested interest, nor have I received any sort of compensation from any of the businesses I mentioned above – I just happen to know FAR more (shudder!) than I ever really wanted to know about keeping “on-the-road” costs down. Don’t ask me how I know this – it’s a mostly-ugly tale; trust me, you don’t really want to know!)

  • Anonymous

    Advice: I get lots of it.

    Money? Not so much.

    And if you’ve got enough money, you don’t need any advice.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Time to bring out the rubber bullets. Word on the street is, lead ones work even better.

  • BruceC

    Stacy, forget the politics.  Give us the lowdown on the ‘stang.  V8 or V6?  Stick or Automatic?  Model year?  Is there any tread left on the rear tires by now?  Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Anonymous

    The ‘Stang, she is sweet. Automatic. I have assumed there’s a V-8 under the hood, just from the roar when I punch it.

    And I punch it a lot.

    The strange situation whereby I got a Mustang for the Toyota Corolla rate is one of those weird things — like an earthquake in Vanuatu — that have been happening with astonishing frequency lately. Because, let’s face it: No responsible car-rental operation would ever dream of renting me a Mustang, much less at a discount rate of $58/day. The extra ~$20 daily includes:

    – The Garmin GPS unit, which has a sexy woman’s voice that tells me, “Turn right.” And I’m like, “Yeah, baby. Watch this here right turn …”

    – Full-coverage insurance. Which is the only responsible thing to do, right? I mean, I might be forced to do some Steve McQueen-type moves in this car and you never know what damage might result from maneuvers like that. But if the car ends up sideways in a cornfield, my total cost would be a $500 deductible.

    Hey, it just dawned on me: I haven’t seen a single deer the whole time I’ve been in Iowa. They say deer have a sixth sense that warns them of approaching danger, so they’ve probably been laying low ever since I got behind the wheel of this hot car.

  • Anonymous
  • SDN

    They wouldn’t say anything; Sam Adams would simply make sure there were several dozen Sons of Liberty equipped with clubs, tar, and feathers on hand.  The Founders knew exactly how to deal with Tories….

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    You should upload a pic of the damn thing. Do we have to tell you everything?

  • R.B. Phillips

    Unless it says “5.0″ ahead of the driver’s door, pal, it’s what I have, a teeny 227-inch V-6.   And it’s good for 13.80 at 100+ in summertime air in the 1/4.  Yours must be a premium if it has the electronics package.  I already took home a trophy in True Street class last August with mine….They’re heavy (3550 across the dragstrip scales with me in it), which only makes it more impressive.

  • http://thevailspot.blogspot.com Rich Vail

    yeah, unfortunately, today…with a highly biased media, that will report how wonderful such disruptions are…that they’re showing the world that they too have a voice.

    But, freedom of speech means allowing those you don’t agree with equal abillity to express their beliefs…but with “progressive groupthink” such freedom is always suppressed.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    COWS!

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  • Unnltnd

    A real reporter would delve into the untold story of the blonde  in the sheer-fabric body suit, focusing on the jewel in the belly button.  I bet Ace will. 
    Isn’t there a rule covering this sort of thing?

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