Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cartoon of the Day Extra

Thought for the Day -- Melton Friedman

“When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union—like public housing in the United States—look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”  ---  Melton Friedman

Cartoon of the Day

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thought for the Day

Democrat Poll Shows Lee Terry Down

"Less than two weeks to go before Election Day, a new poll shows Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., trails his Democratic opponent by a 5-point margin.

In the survey conducted by a Democratic firm for the United Transportation Union, Terry trailed Democratic state Sen. Brad Ashford, 46 percent to 41 percent. A libertarian candidate, Steven Laird, drew 6 percent, while 7 percent remained undecided.

Even worse for Terry? The poll found the eight-term Republican is less popular than President Barack Obama in the Omaha-based 2nd District. According to the poll, 39 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Obama, while 34 percent had a favorable view of Terry.

This marks the first public survey since the National Republican Congressional Committee aired a negative ad tying Ashford to Nikko Jenkins, a criminal convicted of murdering four people after an early release from prison.

The survey was taken after the ad — widely viewed as Terry’s Hail Mary throw — had been on the air for five days.

But GOP operatives argue the race is closer. Terry’s campaign said the poll under-sampled Republican voters and over-sampled independents in the district. The survey pool included 31 percent Democrats, 33 percent Republicans and 36 percent independents.

The head-to-head poll surveyed 365 likely voters with a mix of automated surveys and live cellphone calls between Oct. 21 and Oct. 25. It has a margin of error of 5.1 percent.

It was conducted by DFM, a Minnesota-based polling firm that polled for North Dakota Democrats in 2012.

Democrats have poured millions into the race, hitting Terry on comments he made during last year’s government shutdown, when he vowed to keep his paycheck, even as federal employees feared losing their own.

Terry later apologized for the remarks, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC, a group that supports House Democrats, blasted them over the airwaves.
Nebraska’s 2nd District  is rated a Tossup contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call."

Cartoon of the Day

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thought for the Day

“When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union—like public housing in the United States—look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”  --  Melton Friedman

Cartoon of the Day

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thought for the Day

Playing the Sex Card

Apparently, at least according to her latest radio ad, the only reason to elect Stacy Ryan to the Nebraska legislature is because she is a woman.   Yep, only 20% of our state senators are women so that's why we should elected Stacy. 

Gosh, maybe if she gets there she'll push for a constitutional amendment for a sex quota in elected officials.  

Is Nebraska's 45th Position Threatened?

From The Hill, we learn today that Nebraska is the 45th most conservative state in the country unless your the President who thinks there are 57 states in which case Nebraska would be 52nd.   

Here's what they say:

"NEBRASKAVoted for Republican president the last seven elections; two Republican senators; three out of three House representatives are Republicans; two out of past three governors have been Republicans; nonpartisan Legislature."

So why would that ranking be threatened?   If Lee Terry should lose his race, there will be a major impact on that ranking.


Cartoon of the Day

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Terrry One of the Three Most Vulneralbe Huose Republicans?

From The Rothenberg Political Report we have the following and since it concerns our own Lee Terry, we thought we should share.

"A Good Year May Not Save These Three Vulnerable House Republicans Either"
"In his recent column, “Weak GOP Candidates May Need More Than a Good Year,” Stu pointed out how a handful of under-performing Senate candidates could cost Republicans the majority. Similarly, though the House of Representatives is not in play, a trio of GOP incumbents could cost their party larger gains in the House.

Even as the House landscape continues to shift in Republicans’ favor, Reps. Lee Terry of Nebraska, Steve Southerland II of Florida and Michael G. Grimm of New York are perched atop the list of most vulnerable incumbents. And it’s not hard to see why.

Terry, Southerland and Grimm are all vulnerable because of self-inflicted wounds, and a great Republican year might not be enough to save them. Meanwhile, some of their colleagues, such as Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, David Valadao of California and Chris Gibson of New York, are facing much brighter re-election prospects — despite being early targets and representing more Democratic districts than Terry or Southerland.

Terry handed Democrats a gift during last year’s government shutdown, when asked if he would continue collecting his paycheck.

“Dang straight,” he said. “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.”

His comments have allowed Democrats to keep the issue on the table in the 2nd District, even though it has faded virtually everywhere else.

In addition, Terry is not known for running the strongest campaigns, often making races closer than they needed to be. This could be the year it finally catches up with him.

A late, explosive television ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee could change the dynamic in the race, but if it doesn’t, the congressman will lose. The Rothenberg Political Report rating of the race is Pure Toss-up, for now.

Southerland handed Democrats a gift by holding a men-only fundraiser while running against Gwen Graham, one of Democrats’ strongest candidates anywhere in the country. There is nothing illegal about the event, but many GOP strategists considered it politically tone deaf at best.

Also, it didn’t help when the congressman tried to joke about it by mentioning a “lingerie shower.” You can probably file that one under, “Things a male Republican officeholder should never say.”
Similar to Terry, Southerland has not been known for running strong campaigns. But he may have been insulated by the polarized nature of the 2nd District. There is no guarantee Southerland can count on that life preserver this year. The Rothenberg Political Report rating of the race is Pure Toss-up, for now.

Grimm handed Democrats nearly two dozen gifts with a 20-count indictment in April. The charges include alleged fraud, tax evasion and perjury in a case involving how he managed his Manhattan restaurant before he was elected to Congress. Now, Grimm has made himself politically toxic. The NRCC isn’t helping him like it normally would for a vulnerable incumbent, and Grimm’s own fundraising has lagged since donors don’t often flock to indicted politicians with legal bills.

But Democrats have been attacking Grimm for weeks on television, and it hasn’t been enough to bury the congressman. What’s more, Democrats have given Grimm the best present of all, an opponent from Brooklyn in a Staten Island-based district.

At the end of last week, we shifted the Rothenberg Political Report rating of the race from Toss-up/Tilt Democratic to Pure Toss-up, a move in Grimm’s favor. But he would likely be coasting to re-election if it wasn’t for that pesky upcoming trial."

Thought for the Day

Cartoon of the Day

Monday, October 20, 2014

Deep Thoughts for the Day

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.
Funny how that works.  And here's another one worth considering...
2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money.  But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money?  What's interesting is the first group "worked for" their money, but the second didn't.
Think about it.....and Last but not least,
3. Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military and cutting our army to a level lower than before WWII, but we are not stopping the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.

Dan Frei's Political Future is Non-existent

Dan Frei ran a strong campaign against U.S. Congressman Lee Terry in the primary earlier this year.    He could have used that effort to leverage himself for a future campaign opportunity in 2016 again against Terry or for another office.

Sadly, Frei has chosen to continue his campaign against Terry.  First, unlike most members of a party who lose a race against an incumbent or lose in an open seat race, Frei chose to not endorse or congratulate the winner, Terry, after the primary.    Frei has had several changes to step up to the plate and show his Republican credentials since.   It was even rumored he'd do a radio spot to support Terry.   But apparently pursuing his own selfish goals, Frei has now criticized Terry for the ads being run by the Republican Congressional Committee (an organization whose help he would certainly need in a future congressional campaign).   He has burned any bridges possible to show that he would support Terry and by so doing showed he has no interest in helping the party that he claims to be a member of.

Frei's selfish efforts are no doubt directed at the notion that Terry will lose and come 2016, he, Frei, will be the 'conservative' nominee who will go after Brad Ashford.   Frei's naïveté doesn't recognize that Ashford, if elected, will stay in Congress as long as he desires or until the next Republican 'wave'.   His naiveté doesn't recognize that after facilitating the loss of Terry, should it happen, he will be no more than a pariah in the Republican party come 2016.

In the end, when Frei could have stepped up to the plate and acted like a loyal Republican he chose to pursue his own selfish and vindictive goals.   In the end, he'll find his tactics have boomeranged.   The only way he will find himself on the ballot in the fall of 2016 is if he registers as an independent or a Libertarian.   In any event, Dan Frei's political career and any respect or good well he may have gained through a well-run primary is over.  

Cartoon of the Day

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thought for the Day: Ted Nugent on Deer Hunting and Democrats

Ted Nugent, rock star and avid bow hunter from Michigan, was being interviewed by a liberal journalist who is also an animal rights activist.

The discussion came around to deer hunting.

The journalist asked, "What do you think is the last thought in the head of a deer before you shoot him? Is it, 'Are you my friend?' or is it 'Are you the one who killed my brother?'"

Nugent replied, "Deer aren't capable of that kind of thinking. All they care about is what am I going to eat next, who am I going to screw next, and can I run fast enough to get away. They are very much like the Democrats in Congress."

Cartoon of the Day

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thought for the Day

“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”  --  Melton Friedman

National Media Says Terry Fizzles

From The Hill's Ballot Box, we have an article that doesn't exactly inspire confidence that 2nd District U.S. Congressman will serve another term.    We expect a long night for Lee on November 4th.     In the interim, the those who are running his opponent's campaign are doing everything possible to see that he keeps out of their way and remains totally detached from the campaign.   Amazing.....

Neb. GOP congressman fizzles

Congressional Republicans are increasingly giddy about riding a Republican wave to victory in November, but it’s longtime Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) who is suddenly strapping on his lifejacket. 
Just a short time ago, Terry seemed to be primed for reelection. He bested a tough challenge in the May primary, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) hadn’t even budgeted ads against him in his GOP-leaning Omaha-based district. 

But a few months later, the tide against him is rising. National handicappers rate the race a toss up, and Terry is now in one of a handful of vulnerable GOP incumbents in his race against state Sen. Brad Ashford (D). Overall, Republicans are on track to make gains in the House, but Terry’s is one seat they very well might lose. 

“I don’t want to say they’ve got a perfect storm, because certainly there’s not a tide that benefits the Democrats [nationally], but there’s definitely an anti-incumbency tide here in this district,” said Randy Adkins, the head of the political science department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Terry has held this seat since 1999, but his margin of victory has trended smaller over the past few elections. After winning three elections by 30-point margins, he won by just 2 points in 2012.
Republicans have started losing enthusiasm for Terry, Adkins said. But he said Democrats haven’t capitalized because they’ve had trouble matching a “quality candidate” with the right financial backing. 

Now with Ashford, who has won the endorsement of the city’s largest newspaper, and substantial help from the DCCC, the Democrats have their best chance yet, if they can sway independent voters. 
That’s why both candidates are trying to grasp the center and paint each other as out of touch and too partisan for the district, but still trying not to leave their bases behind.

“My opponent is doing a great job of showing how liberal he is,” Terry told The Hill. “My opponent says he’s independent, but yet, he’s almost verbatim spouting out the DCCC’s talking points.” 
Terry is the chairman of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee and is a vocal supporter of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which he says is vital to decreasing America’s energy dependence.
But Terry has not always helped himself. He made a crass joke earlier this year about General Motors’ faulty ignition switches, which caused crashes that killed 13 people. And he dismissed the idea of giving back his paycheck during the federal shutdown.

“Dang straight,” he told The Omaha World-Herald in October 2013. “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college.”

In Ashford’s mind, the gaffe is critical and indicative of larger issues. That’s why both he and the DCCC have repeatedly dogged Terry on the comments. Three recent DCCC ads all dig up the comments, and unrelated Ashford statements sometimes pivot towards the quote.

Although Terry admits he doesn’t know how important the remark is to voters, he said he apologized and doesn’t understand why it’s blanketing the airwaves.

“It was unlike me, and that’s what hurts me most when I see those ads,” he said. In his mind, the strategy is just a way for Ashford to “hit me without having to talk about his views on the issues.”
Ashford’s campaign pitches the Democrat as a contrast to the dysfunction of Washington. He touts his time as Judiciary Committee chairman in the Nebraska Legislature, a unique single-house legislative branch. That record is one of the reasons The Omaha World-Herald endorsed him on Monday over Terry, whom the board called “a prisoner of D.C. gridlock.”

“He’s been in Congress for 16 years but has been ineffective in passing legislation, he votes with the Republican party on hyper-partisan bills instead of creating change,” Ashford said in an emailed statement. “I’ve got a proven 16 year record in Nebraska’s Unicameral of reaching across the aisle to solve the tough issues facing our state.”

But that same record could also spell trouble for Ashford.

Starting with their first debate in late September, Terry began hitting Ashford as soft on crime, specifically targeting his support for a Nebraska law that effectively cuts almost all prison sentences in half, as long as inmates remain on good behavior.

In a tragedy that sent shockwaves through Omaha, prison inmate Nikko Jenkins left jail early in 2013 and went on to kill four people.

Terry slammed Ashford for failing to implement legislative fixes to Nebraska’s “good time” laws and for “putting people in jeopardy.”

 “He had the opportunity, through the governor’s bill, and state legislators had a variety of bills, to fix the problem and refused to,” Terry said in an interview.

Ashford responded during the debate that the state’s penitentiaries were to blame for not taking away part of Jenkins’s sentence reduction despite the fact that he did not stay out of trouble while in prison. His new campaign ad includes a former U.S. attorney and a former judge praising Ashford’s push to up consequence for gang and gun crimes.  

“Congressman Terry is lobbing baseless and desperate attacks from his flailing campaign,” he said in a statement. “The Omaha World-Herald endorsed me and said that, ‘few lawmakers have done more to enhance public safety,’ than me.”

The two sides continue to spar over the issue in ads, but Adkins called the move “very effective.”
“The Terry campaign really changed the direction and discussion that was going on almost since the gaffe,” he said. “Nobody was talking about his government shutdown comment, everyone was talking about ‘good time.’”

And with just a few weeks left in a tight race, controlling the message will be vital, whether it be on the “good time” laws, Terry’s gaffes or something else. 

“I think it’s going to be a close race, so anything that can move the needle a couple points may influence the outcome of the election,” Adkins predicted."

Cartoon of the Day

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thought of the Day

Questions About County Board Candidate Cavanaugh's Campaign Spending

Most candidates get to the first N.A.D.C. (Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission) reporting point in the fall campaign, October 1, hoping to show how much money they have on hand to clobber their opponent over the next 34 days.   Omaha's 'Watchdog' and others have reported that a number of legislative candidates have raised a lot of money, six figure amounts, and are will situated to execute their campaign plans.  

Well, such is not the case for one candidate running for Douglas County Board.   That would be Lincoln lobbyist and lawyer James Cavanaugh who is running for Douglas County Commissioner in District 2 against Sam Clark.     Cavanaugh, who has a record of financial indiscretions and mismanagement seems to be running his campaign in a manner that reflects his personal record.

N.A.D.C. reports for Oct. 1, show that Cavanaugh has raised a boatload of money, over $63,000!    One would think he would come to the last month of the campaign well situated to execute a campaign.   But, wait (as they say on those late night commercials)!   Seems Cavanaugh has already spent $60,450 and shows just $3,878 in the bank!   Even worse, his campaign shows debts of $7,318!!

It's not unusual to spend money on a campaign but it is very strange for a candidate to end up in a position like this.   Looking at his N.A.D.C. report, Cavanaugh has spent an outrageous $9,789 on fundraising/fundraisers.   He's spent an even more outrageous $7,788 on 'research'.   And in a really strange amount, he's spent over $6,000 on payroll.  

One can't help but wonder what's going on with this campaign, who is managing it and who has the checkbook?   Unions have given a significant amount to Cavanaugh's campaign.   They ought to be scratching their heads about how their money is being used.   Individuals have given the majority of the money and certainly they should be asking what Cavanaugh has done with their contributions.

Cavanaugh now goes into the last few days of his campaign in a bankrupt campaign position while his opponent Sam Clark shows some $30,000 in cash on hand, having spent less than $10,000 thus far.

One can't help but wonder what Cavanaugh is doing with his money and how he can look contributors in the face when he has spent more than he has taken in and goes into the critical last days of the campaign with no funds left?   One can't help but wonder what kind of board member a Cavanaugh would be when he hasn't shown the ability to manage either his own or his campaign finances.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thought for the Day - Ronald Reagan

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
– President Ronald Reagan

Cartoon of the Day

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thought for the Day: Apolitical Aphorism

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office

On Purple Penquins -- John Chatelain

According to Fox News' "The Kelly File" and an article in today's Omaha World- Herald entitled "'Boys' and 'Girls' still have place in Lincoln schools", it appears Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent, Steve Joel, is now back-peddling after having been caught trying to blur the gender line in the elementary schools.

LPS wanted to make sure the littlest transgenders felt welcome at school.   The administrators had been studying replacing the words "boys" and "girls" with gender-neutral terms.

The WH article first quoted Joel as stating there's "absolutely no truth" to news that his district is mandating that teachers replace the words "boys" and "girls" with gender-neutral terms.

Later in the WH article, he stated he had no data on how many kids enrolled in his district identified themselves as other than a boy or a girl.   He vowed that his district officials would not be deterred from continuing to look for ways to make every student feel comfortable.

Apparently, being able to speak out of both sides of his mouth, almost simultaneously, is why Mr. Joel earns the big bucks.

And is it even possible to have a system where boys who identify with being boys, girls who identify with being girls, boys who identify themselves as girls, girls who identify themselves as boys and those who aren't sure, are all to feel welcome in the same class room?

What do we always hear from our public schools?  That they need more money.    The problem in our educational system is not a money problem.  If anything our schools have access to entirely too much taxpayer money, if they can waste dollars on such foolishness.

Knock it off, Mr. Joel, and get back to teaching math, English, history, science, geography, etc.

Cartoon of the Day