Journalists covering the Iowa caucus face a profound dilemma this New Year's Eve: Where are the good parties at in Des Moines?! Fortunately, political consultant Eric Branstad has scribes' backs. He's hosting "Raucous Before The Caucus," a "political media invite only event" on December 31 that is expected to attract 500 to 700 partiers, according to Michael Calderone at the Huffington Post. So how will the fourth estate be ringing in 2012 in Iowa? With a lot of trans fats, apparently. And if you don't like 'em, political media, just head back to New York or D.C. for a posher party.

Unlike 2008's "Raucous" party, this year's event is free -- courtesy of a few local sponsors -- and will feature Iowa staples like La Quercia and Maytag cheeses, Templeton Rye, and Bauder's famous Oreo-encrusted peppermint ice-cream bar. Hy-Vee will provide catering and Brooks Reynolds, an organizer of Iowa's annual BaconFest, is cooking up a "bacon extravaganza."