Monday Reads — Guns and Caffeine

Yep, last week at this time I was asleep. I predict typos. So what can we do to stay awake?

Well, you could buy an assault rifle. Nothing opens those bleary eyes like firing a few bursts into the air.

Apparently, that’s one segment of the economy that’s booming, according to the Mason City Globe-Gazette. Folks at the River City Gun Show,  well, they’ve got trouble, with a capital B and that stands for ban. Paranoia is an economic stimulant, evidently:

“Sales are up big time,” said Chris Maiers, trapshooting coach at St. Ansgar High School, who attended the gun show Saturday and Sunday at the North Iowa Fairgrounds. “Handgun sales are through the roof.”

Sales are appently up due to fears President Barack Obama may try to ban certain weapons, including assault weapons. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported gun sales shot up 42 percent after the election and have continued to be high ever since.

“Everybody’s stockpiling in case they pass legislation banning gun sales,” Maiers said. “People are afraid they might lose their right to buy anything that has a clip (a small dispenser used to hold rounds of ammunition).”

 Everybody’s stockpiling. See, the president is restoring some consumers’ confidence.

I suppose you could also try good old caffeine, according to the University of Iowa’s Sleep Disorder Clinic. Radio Iowa also reports that we need to watch out around 6 p.m., when groggy drivers may be crashing into each other. Overall, however, added evening daylight causes a slight decrease in accidents.

But have a Red Bull, just in case.

If that doesn’t work, start poring over billions of dollars worth of state tax credits and incentives to see which ones are needed and which are useless money pits. According to The Des Moines Register, Statehouse types are determined to which special interest nooks and crannies in the tax code could be filled to help balance the budget. This has been tried before with little success. But with 191 tax breaks adding up to $7.2 billion, more than the state spends in a year, you can’t blame them for trying again.

The big news around these parts is Ron Corbett’s announcement today that he wants to be the next mayor of Cedar Rapids. The Gazette fronts news of the formal announcement, although the story is not posted on its Web site for some reason. Luckily, city government reporter Rick Smith has a great overview on his blog. Corbett, a former speaker of the Iowa House and president of the local chamber is vice president of CRST International, a trucking firm.

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