Strong school systems. Rich, black-coffee-colored-soil.
Strong sewing in our social fabric.
When we discuss rural Iowa’s advantages, the
reasons for our comparative successes, our lower
unemployment rates than the prevailing national
numbers, these factors come to the fore.
But there’s something else that deserves more
attention as a determinative influence on life
in rural Iowa: the presence of robust, credible,
entirely trustworthy community banks.
Lives in rural Iowa didn’t burst in the housing
bubble. We have lenders that do business the
time-honored way: sitting across from families
and discussing reasonable loans for homes they
can actually afford.
We see the impact of our local banks up close
and personal. We get it. They do business in
an honorable way.
That’s why it’s so encouraging to see the nation’s
collective eye now being turned to the benefits
of community banks. The protesters in the Occupy
Wall Street movement have dramatically strengthened
the Move Your Money Project — a national grassroots
push calling on depositors to switch from Goliath
national banks, and the dangerous hubris that
goes with them, to our competent and humble
“Potentially thousands will withdraw their money
from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks
and move to small community banks and credit
unions,” says the website moveyourmoney.org.
“What started out as just a Facebook event page
by Kristen Christian of California, quickly
went viral and garnered national media attention.”
Community banks improve America’s communities
by funding nearly 60 percent of all small businesses
under $1 million and by using local dollars
to help families purchase homes, buy cars, finance
college and build financial security, according
to the Community Bankers of Iowa organization.
Say what you will about the Occupy Wall Street
protesters, their tactics and politics, and
their often incoherent or indecipherable principles.
Not to mention some of those over-the-top antics
in Oakland, Calif.
But they are on to something with support of
community banks. What Occupy Wall Street and
the Move Your Money organizations are advocating
is four-square good for rural Iowa.
• • •
In December of 2009 Political Mercury said:
“Marco Rubio The Republican to Watch in 2010.”
“If I were a conservative twenty-something political
activist, I’d be heading to Palm Beach or Tampa
right now and looking for a job with Rubio,”
the column said. “Rubio’s got the goods for
the national stage, and should he take that
U.S. Senate seat, he’ll instantly be in the
running as a potential vice presidential running
mate for the GOP nominee in 2012.”
Now there’s research to show that Rubio, a U.S.
senator from Florida, changes the landscape
in his all-important state when added to the
Republican ticket, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS
(WSVN-Miami) poll of registered voters in Florida.
Assuming the selection of Rubio in the vice
president spot, the Republican presidential
nominee would secure 46 percent to President
Barack Obama’s 41 percent, with 2 percent voting
for an independent candidate and 12 percent
undecided. The poll also showed Mitt Romney
(25 percent) running neck-and-neck with Herman
Cain (24 percent) among registered Republicans
• • •
Writing in Rolling Stone magazine, the provocative
Matt Taibbi says Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, doesn’t
present himself well when tired. In fact, Taibbi
writes, Perry can resemble “a funeral director
with a hangover.”
• • •
Does “Boss” have the right stuff?
The new Starz television series starring Kelsey
Grammer as Chicago Mayor Tom Kane is a layered
political drama, that so far, is intriguing.
Grammer absolutely devours the role of the big-city
boss. Of course, enough real drama plays out
in our politics, but the Friday night show is
worth catching if for no other reason than to
see Grammer and his scene (make that series)
stealing star turn. CV
Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa
newspaperman who writes for The Carroll Daily
Times Herald and offers columns for Cityview.