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October 9th, 2011

Kevin’s Korner: The Truth About Newt, Nein-Nein-Nein, and Titanium Spines

Good morrow and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. To honor the passing of Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, I’m writing today’s column with my hair slicked back while wearing dark shades and a leisure suit. Trust me. It’s not a pretty sight. My advice for all the GOP presidential hopefuls out there: “Just win, baby.”

Sarah Palin finally tired of her cat and mouse game with supporters. Now she’s playing it with the rest of the GOP field, as they feverishly pursue her endorsement … Interestingly, her biggest backers in Iowa say Palin’s endorsement will have no impact on their decision… BTW, I think Palin decided a long time ago not to run. Remember Bristol Palin’s comments way back in June? “She definitely knows”. As I said many times, Sarah Palin had no intention of running. She was toying with people and using them for a publicity stunt. Palin played games with her biggest supporters.

Iowa Tea Party founder Ryan Rhodes is petitioning legislators to vote against a gas tax increase next session. Talk has persisted that Governor Branstad and some legislators want to increase the tax to help pay for Iowa’s crumbling infrastructure. I’m against raising taxes, but have also seen firsthand several of the crappy roads across the state that are in desperate need of repair… I would like to see the Tea Party offer a real alternative to raising the gas tax. They say the money exists elsewhere. Great. Find it. Offer real solutions … Tollbooths, anyone? Governor Branstad would be about as popular as Governor Le Petomane with that one.

Speaking of raising taxes, I cannot understand why the Tea Party or any conservative would back Herman Cain’s9-9-9” plan. It raises taxes by 18% on half the country. Cain fails to factor in the Earned Income Tax Credit when he explains 9-9-9 … He also admits it raises taxes on the poor, but doesn’t seem to have a problem with that.

I have a problem with giving Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid yet another national tax to toy with. They would gladly make 9-9-9 into 19-19-19 … Though #IDontHaveFactstoBackThisUp … The beauty of the Fair Tax, which Herman Cain used to advocate, is that it abolishes everything but a national sales tax and offers a prebate. 9-9-9 does neither … We need to make our taxes simpler, but we should say “Nein-Nein-Nein” to 9-9-9.

So, “We Built This City” by Jefferson Airplane Starship was named Worst Song of the 80s. I won’t put up much of an argument, but will say anything from New Kids on the Block belongs at the top along with Eddie Murphy’s sad attempt at being a music star … I do think “We Built Sioux City” is destined to be an all-time classic. Right up there with “Stairway to Heaven”.  And the WWF’s version of “Land of 1000 Dances”.

So, it’s looking like a January 3rd Iowa Caucus, just like four years ago. A little free advice to the candidates: Don’t do what Fred Thompson did and decide not to campaign on New Year’s Day. Fred thought Iowans “needed a break” from the campaign. Instead, every other candidate held events while Fred lived up to the “lazy” moniker the media shackled him with … BTW, Fred Thompson was the best candidate we had in ’08. He just didn’t want it bad enough.

Many Iowa caucus goers have heard the story that Newt Gingrich served his wife with divorce papers while she was dying of cancer in the hospital. It turns out, the story if not true. According to Newt’s daughter Jackie, it was her mom who asked for the divorce and that happened long before the hospital visit. Also, she didn’t have cancer and is still very much alive. She had surgery to remove a tumor, which was benign and Newt met with her the day after the operation. Jackie Gingrich Cushman set the record straight back in May, but the rumor persists. Hopefully, this helps put it to rest.

The Susan B. Anthony List and the National Organization for Marriage have produced their report cards for the GOP presidential candidates. Interesting stuff. Bachmann, Perry and Santorum are the only ones with perfect scores.

Michele Bachmann had a great chance to show off her vaunted “titanium spine” this week. She chose not to. Bachmann backed down from a bunch of college kids. She should have talked to them and answered their questions. Bachmann needs to stand up for her beliefs, especially to those who disagree with her … If you can’t handle a group of college kids, how are you going to deal with Iran, Syria, and Russia?

There is a reason so many people were excited about a Chris Christie run. He does not back down from a debate. He tackles them head-on. Bachmann should take a cue from the New Jersey Governor.

I shopped at Target yesterday. I wore my Al Davis costume and tried to go incognito, just like the First Lady. Unlike Michelle Obama, I didn’t notify the Associated Press I would be shopping there, then try to pretend it wasn’t a campaign stunt … I’m sure there would have been a media scrum to see me carrying two 72-roll packages of toilet paper … What? … They were on sale. My motto is: You can never have too much toilet paper … Aren’t you glad I’m here to pass these pearls of wisdom along?

Photo courtesy Dave Davidson,


About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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