Cuts, Sex Offenders Out, and Somethin’s Gotta Give

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Good Morning!
For whatever reason I’m feeling a lot better this morning. It might have something to do with cutting a little bit out of my schedule of events last night.
I got a much needed nap yesterday around 2. I woke up just before four fully intending to get to the gym before I made some dinner for Sally. I went to the cleaners, picked up a few things for Sally at her work and threw a load of wash in. It was an ambitious list I admit, considering I was supposed to have dinner ready by about 6.
The mailman threw me a curve ball at me when he delivered a notice of a mistake we’d made writing a check. We wrote different numerals out in the box than we did on the line. Just a brain fart…either way we clearly tried to pay more than we owed.
I called the financing company and after being sent through the automated system I got someone on the phone who told me she’d send me to the right department. Apparently the “right” department meant hanging up on me.
I called again…different person, same result. I’d now been on hold or navigating telephone menu hell for a grand total of about thirty minutes. Nothing makes me more determined than bad customer service. I finally got a guy on the phone who told me…not luck they can’t wave the one time fee that totaled more than HALF OUR PAYMENT!!!!!
It’s one of these, “no financing for a year” deals and we’ve paid WAY ahead on the account so far; always paying considerably more than the minimum. We made a mistake, and I understand they have rules but last I checked, banks are in a bit of a pinch for business these days. I know they weren’t making any money on us, but they certainly won’t now. I closed the account and we plan to just pay it off. It wouldn’t cost this company anything to take some time, look at the situation use some common sense and just wave the fee. The companies that consider these kinds of unusual situations, and respond with the customer in mind ALWAYS get my business back.

To the news:

I continue to be surprised and interested in Governor Culver’s political decision making. Last night he announced a six and a half percent cut across the board for the budget. It’s not going to be popular but I think there are a lot of people in this state that will say, “Well, if I’m doing it with my personal budget, the State should to the same and cut the fat.” I know the cuts will be hard but to me that makes the decision even better.
Rather than taking a lot of money out the rainy day fund, the Gov cuts the budget first and uses the rainy day fund to supplement the cuts. There will be a lot of people who will criticize the cuts and say we can’t do without, but those are the people who would gain if their Department or Agency was spared the cuts.
Meanwhile the response from Republicans is to say they’re not sure if we should use the rainy day fund cause we don’t know how long the recession is going to last? Ummmm, last I checked there are animals coming into the State Capitol two by two. IT”S RAINING!!!!
Using the rainy day money to supplement a budget in good times is bad policy. We’ve done that every years since I came to Iowa a decade ago. Using it in times like these is WHAT THE MONEY THERE FOR!
So doesn’t the plan seem reasonable?

Eight is Enough
So I guess if you thought you were having seven kids, having an eighth isn’t really that big of a surprise. A family in California thought they were having seven and when they went to deliver yesterday…They found an eighth!
It is just one of a long list of stories someone has shared with Sally or myself this week that’s made us think…well it could be a lot more challenging than it is for us right now.

Also in the “It could be worse” file this morning. There’s a huge Ice storm from Texas to Tennessee and it’s moving east. I talked to my aunt in Springfield last night and they were waiting for the power to go off…
If you ask me, I’d take a foot and a half of snow over a half inch of ice.

Sex Offenders
If you missed this one, and Iowa Supreme Court ruling means a small group of sex offenders will get out of prison. They’re not getting out early, they’re just not staying in as long as the DOC had scheduled.
Decisions like this one are hard. I think everyone would agree they’d like to see a violent sex offender locked up, especially one who fails a rehab program while in prison. The problem is, lawmakers have to write laws that will hold up if challenged. This was a law that sounded good, it was what a lot of people wanted to see and I’m sure it was politically popular. The problem was it wasn’t written well and so the court has to throw it out. The court basically ruled that you can’t change the rules in the middle of the game. A majority of justices agreed Iowa Lawmakers did that when they changed the rules for awarding “good behavior” time to sex offenders.
There aren’t many people who are going to have a problem when something unfair happens to a convicted sex offender but the problem is president. You can’t just protect the people you want to. The law has to protect everyone…even the people we’d like to see in jail.

American Gothic
The painting is arriving this week at the Des Moines Art Center. That’s one to see in person

Tattoo You?
Did you get a tattoo in College? When you were in the military…or some weekend when you were on a bender in New Orleans?
Thankfully I can say no to all of the above. Jeriann and Brooke both say the same.
We had this conversation after Andy Fales’ story about new regulations for the body art industry in Iowa.
No offense against anyone with a tattoo, I’m sure the picture of Wylie Coyote on your lower back is totally classy…
Seriously, some people look at body art as just that…and you know what? They call it freedom of expression for a reason. So I say go for it. But what happens when you’re 75? 80?
I don’t imagine the people who’ve really thought about it will mind. But what about the gal you work with who thought a picture of a dove on her stomach was a good idea at 22? Now that she’s had three kids, the thing looks more like some prehistoric condor out of a Jurassic Park movie. Very few decisions are “forever”…that’s one I’m glad I didn’t jump into.
Feel free to disagree, that’s what makes this fun.

I think that’s it.
Have a good one


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