Besides being a hard worker and all-around great guy, Gabriel de La Cerda is an awesome chess player. Applying his penchant for deep analysis to last week's big news stories, Gabe postulates that President Obama's Catholic Contraception Controversy, the Attorneys General Bank Settlement, and Rick Santorum's three primary victories are all connected.
Gabe writes: "By leaking the bank settlement along with the contraception news, Obama was able to dictate which story would be at the fore of the national dialogue and which would be buried. Many talking heads, who would have asked questions as to why a $26 billion settlement could not have been more, were instead busy chasing the juicier story of women's contraception."
Furthermore, "Thursday was the beginning of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Friday, Obama announces a compromise in the contraception case nearly at the same time the main speakers where taking the CPAC stage."
In terms of its political impact on the President, "the contraception issue should be negative. Normally when bad news is coming, administrations try to dump it on a Friday, so the talking heads don't have an entire week to dissect the story."
"So why activate the far right on a prime news day? Because Obama wants the primary process to go on as long as possible. If he could pick an opponent to run against, Rick Santorum is his huckleberry."
"The contraception news was fire for Santorum to add to his rise going into CPAC. This political play forced Romney to step away from his strengths - economy and business - and step into his weakness - morality, an issue which plays to Santorum's strengths."
Wow, Gabe! You and I need to play a game of chess! But seriously, though one doesn't want to believe that the forces of Big Government and Big Business are this sinister and conniving, it's hard not to think Gabe's got some good points.
Monday, we talk about the ongoing foreclosure crisis and recent bank settlement. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is declaring victory. Others aren't so sure. Still others claim government sold out to the big banks. If you've got a foreclosure tale to share, give me a call tonight at (515) 312-0983.
Tuesday, we talk about Komen's corporate connections. As Laurence Lewis writes in a recent Daily Kos column, "One example is Komen's recent partnership with KFC to raise millions of dollars, and of course, just coincidentally, to associate the junk food giant with the promotion of health." I'd like to thank an anonymous listener with an immediate family member who died of breast cancer for helping sponsor this show.
Wednesday, consumer advocate Mark Cooper talks about nuclear power. Each week, some new information surfaces to make it even clearer what a bad idea is MidAmerican's ratepayer money grab. And is Warren Buffet really the friend of the people that the media like to paint? Thanks to Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility for helping to sponsor this show.
Thursday, State Rep Dan Kelley (D-Newton) joins us, as does comedian-activist Lee Camp. This week's Fallon Forum Freebie is a gift certificate to Leap Day Special at Mojo's on 86th. We'll also give away two tickets to "Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom," performing at the Des Moines Social Club this week and next.
So, join the conversation Monday - Thursday from 7:00-8:00 pm at 98.3 FM and online. Call-in at (515) 312-0983 or toll-free at (866) 908-TALK. You can download the Fallon Forum as a podcast, too. Thanks! -- Ed
February 13 - Our New Energy and Climate Reality Presentation (Ames)
Free presentation by State Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids) at 7:00 pm at the Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave about our new energy and climate reality -- and what we must do for the sake of our economy, our environment and future generations. Sponsored by 350.org and Iowa Climate Advocates. No registration required.
February 16 - Drinking Liberally (Des Moines)
You don't have to be a card-carrying liberal to enjoy political conversation and excellent libations at AJ's, 419 E Court starting at 8:00 pm every Thursday. If the revolution is going to start anyplace, this is probably it. Contact email@example.com.
February 20 - Compassion & Choices of Iowa Board Meeting (Amana)
Compassion & Choices of Iowa is a group which educates, advocates and legislates end-of-life issues. The public is invited to its board meeting on at 10:00 am at the coffee shop of the Clarion Hotel on I-80. Contact Pat Larson at (515) 270-6644 or
February 21 - Irish Jam at Open Sesame (Des Moines)
Discover the fusion of Lebanese and Celtic culture every third Tuesday of the month: belly dancing to Irish gigs and reels, Lebanese cooking washed-down with a pint of Guinness. All musicians patrons welcome, at 313 E. Locust St from 8:30-10:30 pm.
February 23 - Green Drinks (Des Moines-Ankeny)
Join casual conversation with people interested in environmental issues and sustainable energy over something to eat and/or drink. It's from 5:30-7:30 pm at a special location this month: Net Zero House at 1714 SW College Ave, Ankeny. Contact Shari Hrdina at DesMoinesGreenDrinks@gmail.com.
March 10 - Civic Engagement at the Library (Des Moines)
Citizens have the opportunity to discuss public issues in a moderated forum. The topic for March is The New Challenges of American Immigration: What Should We Do? It's from 9:15 am - 12:00 noon at the Central Library Meeting Room One, 1000 Grand Avenue. To participate, please register at www.dmpl.org (Online Events Calendar), or call (515) 283-4957. Limited to 25 registrants.
Through March 23 - Environmental Impact Awards Applications (Central Iowa)
The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Center on Sustainable Communities and Metro Waste Authority established the Environmental Impact Awards to recognize organizations and leaders who exemplify environmentally sustainable practices. Awards will be given to individuals, businesses (large and small), non-profit or community organizations, and for the built environment (residential and commercial). Applications available at www.desmoinesmetro.com/events. Deadline is March 23 at 3:30 pm. Winners will be recognized in an awards ceremony luncheon on May 16 at the Botanical Center.
March 31 - Bishop Dingman Peace Award Dinner (Ankeny)
Join Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (featured in Michael Moore's latest documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story) and Joshua Casteel, a US Soldier Interrogator at Abu Gharib who is now a conscientious objector and scholar. It’s at Our Ladies Immaculate Heart, 510 E. 1st St at 6:00 pm and is a fundraiser for Catholic Peace Ministry. Tickets are $35 or $280 for a table of eight. Contact Jeffrey Weiss at
or (515) 255-8114.
May 12 - Asian Festival (Des Moines)
From 10:00 am - 5:00 pm on the east side of the Iowa State Capitol. Contact Swallow Yan at