Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blogging Is Still A Thing

Twitter has been my medium of choice this week, as I've been too busy to string more than 140 at a time together, and because I have little to add to the BIG story of the week: we sent a SPACESHIP to freakin' PLUTO.

That last minute scare on the 4th of July, after a 9 1/2 year trip is almost forgotten, but read this and remember that ROCKET SCIENCE IS HARD AND THAT'S WHY WE CALL SOMEONE SUPER SMART A "ROCKET SCIENTIST."
But super smart doesn't have to be super serious. Rocket science reporter Emily Lakdawalla made herself a New Horizons hat. Anyone from Wisconsin knows what she used to start it with. Apparently the Packers are also Pluto's Team, probably because of the whole Frozen Tundra thing.
In a great irony, I was re-elected chair of my public employee union bargaining unit on the same day Scott Walker finally officially announced his presidential candidacy.

"Scott Walker is what would happen if you grew the perfect Republican candidate in a lab," writes Jonathan Allen - and that's basically what they did. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, conservative organizations were building a phalanx of professional Young Republicans, grooming them for future runs for office or think tank seats. And a generation later those investments are paying off. We have one nearby in Jeff Renander, Cedar County attorney and erstwhile editor of the late unlamented Campus Review newspaper.

Much is being made of Walker not graduating college - depending on who you believe he flunked out, dropped out, or got kicked out - but all of that misses the point. College was irrelevant. He was a College Republican in such a hurry that they found him a legislative seat before he finished college. And, for tenured faculty in Wisconsin, payback's a bitch.
In any case, my re-election as bargaining unit chair was easier that Walker's presidential race. Walker has 16 opponents, whereas I was elected by the time-honored method of No One Else Wants The Job. But of course my election would not even have happened in Wisconsin because "public employee union bargaining unit" is no longer a thing in my native state.

And someone stole my most famous hat at last night's Hillary Clinton office grand opening in Iowa City:
My effort at an exclusive interview with the cardboard cutout drew a no comment (I would have asked about the Iran deal and Palestine-Israel in general) but Mary Mascher, the organizers, and supervolunteer Robin Chambers had nice Hillary things to say to the crowd Officially counted at 80 (leaning about 2/3 female). "Pledge Card" is the drinking game word at Hillary events; I can't say enough how much she's running on the Obama 2008 organizing strategy.

Tomorrow is a big day - a YOOGE day as Bernie Sanders would say - on the Iowa campaign trail. I'll be at the first Democratic multi-candidate event of the cycle, the IDP's Hall of Fame dinner in Cedar Rapids. But I'll miss the preliminaries - Clinton and Sanders pre-events and Republican counter-events including a Walker visit - because it's also a YOOGE day for Johnson County.

Three years of effort are paying off as the Community ID program starts tomorrow with the first public applications. I've had a small role in supporting and promoting it but tomorrow my role is on the official side.
That is correct, professor: I'm one of the folks doing the work of actually processing the IDs. A good thing for the community and a nice little change of pace on the job.

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