Allow me to speak for Mel when I extend a big thanks to everyone who came out today for the first day of our "Penny Pickup" fundraiser for Shop With A Cop.  We'll see you all tomorrow at North Grand Mall.  Remind me to dress better for the cold.

An interesting notion that we'll try to flesh out more on Tuesday's show.  Gov. Branstad says President Obama has an "obligation" to support a greater ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuels Standard since he campaigned on the issue in Iowa back in 2008, playing counter to Sen. John McCain's criticism of ethanol.  This ethanol issue is really important to how many states?  Six?  Seven? Eight?  Let's call it, 10, at the most.  So where do the other 40 states factor in to a campaign promise Obama made five years ago before he was president?

Make no mistake--Branstad is a veteran politician poised to run for re-election in 2014.  He will "hold" Obama to this promise, if for no other reason than to keep his street cred with a huge block of Iowa voters.  I would expect nothing less.