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HOT SHEET: Nobody cares what I have to say about the #election2020, but I’m saying it anyway

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM FIRST: Nobody cares what the typist thinks about the presidential election, but he’s going to talk about it anyway. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker is happy that Joe Biden won the presidency. Donald Trump is a horrible human being who embodied the worst traits of this country and forever lowered the standard of person it takes to occupy the Oval Office. The typist struggles to understand how his fellow Iowans voted so heavily in favor of this person who in every way refutes the image of kindly neighbors Iowans have always sought to project. He will struggle with this as he continues to move forward with life.

ITEM SECOND: Iowa political historians should study the campaign of Theresa Greenfield for the Senate because it was hysterically poor from its media standpoint. If you watched Greenfield’s ads — and if you watched a sporting event live since September, you couldn’t have missed them — her entire campaign centered around how her husband died in a work accident, he once owned a Chevy Nova, she played high school basketball and, most embarrassing of all, she has a twin who thinks her sister would be a good senator. These saccharine confections are the kinds of things that win middle school class presidencies, but not U.S. Senate campaigns. Whoever managed her media campaign should go into hiding for a while.

Even the dark money groups trying to help Greenfield fumbled. They took shots at Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa’s Dollar Store Sarah Palin, because she — GASP! — lives in a $400,000 condo in Washington, D.C. The typist is not one to defend Ernst, but she does work in D.C. and a $400k condo in D.C. is a cheap hole-in-the-wall, not a swank luxury pad. Trying to go after someone for daring to have a residence in D.C. when they’re a senator is almost as dumb as filming an ad with your twin sister and expecting voters to give a flip about it.

ITEM THREE: If anyone is fool enough to think Joe Biden’s presumptive election to the presidency settles anything consider the following: This election was so close it took almost five days to figure out and there are still court cases to go through.

And then consider the cool, calm and even-handed response from the College Republicans at Iowa State, which tweeted “Everybody needs to arm up, expect these people to attempt to destroy your life, the elites want revenge on us.”

The typist won’t bother to try to figure out how Donald Trump, a billionaire by inheritance, con man, philanderer and failure at everything but being a reality TV host, somehow became an avatar for the downtrodden and disrespected.

It does remind the ol’ Paragraph Stacker of how foolish the notion that dangerous and horrible ideologies will not die out generationally.

ITEM FOUR: Withheld to give everybody a chance to count to 10 and settle down.

ITEM FIVE: The Hawkeyes and Cyclones were both winners Saturday. Iowa stomped Michigan State. It’s always fun to see Sparty lose. The Cyclones almost laid an egg against Baylor, but scored 28 unanswered points to earn their fifth win of the season. Iowa State is now 5-1 in the Big 12, the best record in program history and making the Cyclones real contenders for the league title. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker mocked this idea at the beginning of the season, but what the hell does he know?

ITEM SIX: Watch David Chappelle opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live.” I can imagine no better thing to see, laugh at and think about than this.

Daniel P. Finney is still optimistic enough to believe he may one day be in a torrid affair with a celebrity. is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit


HOT SHEET: The typist is in hibernation until after the election — maybe longer

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM FIRST: The ol’ Paragraph Stacker has found few things to celebrate in this miserable year, but perhaps the only thing he anticipates with glee is, due to his layoff from the local Gannett outlet store, he will not have to be anywhere near a newsroom — especially a corporate newsroom — on Election Day.

ITEM TWO: The local Gannett outlet store published its last poll before Tuesday’s election. The results of the poll were so depressing to the typist that he has instituted a news blackout beginning at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, until 9 a.m. Wednesday. The smartphone notifications are off. His remote won’t fall on any of the news stations or the local channels during news time.

ITEM THREE: The ol’ Paragraph Stacker is going full bunker mode on Election Day. He’ll call all his friends and family and wish them well by 7 p.m. Then the phone will be turned off and put in a drawer. He’ll close up the laptop and turn off the TV. He would allow himself a few shows on MeTV, but he worries those bastards at parent station KCCI-TV would break in with some election bullshit in the middle of a perfectly decent episode of “Perry Mason” or “The Twilight Zone.” Instead, the typist will hunker down with a stack of comic books, some iced tea and some protein snacks. Whatever happens Tuesday night can wait to be obsessed over until Wednesday.

ITEM FOUR: As previously chronicled, the typist attends graduate school at Drake University in an effort to earn his master’s degree and teacher certification. The semester wanes in the second half, but the intensity mounts. The challenge is the typist is doing the work of an educator for the first time. It has been a long time since he’s been a novice. He knew how to report and write practically any story that landed on his desk by the time the corporate goons wadded up his career and threw it in the trash. But the work of teaching? This is all new. It feels weird to be a rookie and it’s unsettling. It leads to a lot of emotional reactions he didn’t anticipate. Still, he hacks away, trying to new a new professional language and cling to the skin of this little blue-green planet hurtling around the sun at 67,000 mph.

ITEM FIVE: The typist wishes he could assure everyone that things are going to be OK no matter how things go on Election Day. But he does not believe that. He believes everything will be OK for a very small number of people, most things will be OK for some people and a lot of things will remain terrible or get exceptionally worse for too many people.

ITEM LAST: The election stress combined with emotional and financial stresses have taken their toll on the ol’ Paragraph Stacker’s mental health. Because of that, this is the last Hot Sheet until after the election, maybe longer. The typist will return. Maybe.

Daniel P. Finney dresses like this to look for a job. On a weekday. is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit