Monday, May 30, 2011

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Lathrop for 2014

In our Friday 'rumors' commentary (see below) we noted that State Senator Lathrop would be using the passage and signing of LB 397, the C.I.R. bill, as a credit toward running for governor in 2014. If you somehow missed it, yesterday's Douglas Street Rag (a.k.a., Omaha World-Herald) contained a real fluff piece on the senator. We almost wonder why they didn't call for beatification of him now so that he could be 'sainted' by the time he takes office in 2014.

We're not by any means great fans of Senator Ashford, but we'd bet you it was Ashford who was pushing the chamber of commerce side of the issue that Lathrop had to acquiesce to. Somehow the Daily Rag which likes Ashford, who is probably their candidate for Omaha's Mayor in 2013, didn't give Ashford any real credit.

This whole scenario reminds us greatly of how Ben Nelson came into being, although he wasn't in the legislature. Nelson was out almost from the beginning of Kay Orr's governorship paving the way for a run for himself for governor. Look where that got him.

Governor Heineman has, as we've noted, no love for Lathrop. Unfortunately, Heineman has improved Lathrop's future electability in a chess match where he first said he wouldn't sign LB 397 as written, then by giving Lathrop and associates the opportunity to rewrite it and then by signing the bill. From a political standpoint the governor shot himself and his party in the foot. What's really sad is that Heineman is the guy that really deserves credit for the revised C.I.R. bill. Frankly, we would have preferred to just do away with the C.I.R. entirely.

Lathrop is planning for 2014. His questionable television ads only support that. The fluff piece in the Douglas Street Rag gives his nascent campaign credibility. The governor throwing him a 'softball' only enhances Lathrop's chances.

If Republicans intend to beat this guy in 2014 they'd better get busy now or they may be calling him governor in 2014 and maybe senator (U.S., that is) subsequently.

Of Money Bombs and Presidential Politics

We've now received about 100 'money bomb' e-mails from Michele Bachman who looks increasingly likely to get into the presidential race. She raised somewhere around the quarter million she was looking for, not nearly the $10 million Romney raised in one day. Now, under our 'we get e-mail' category we received one from Ron Paul who is having his own 'money bomb' day. You can see that below.

And maybe there will be a couple of more candidates. Sarah Palin is off to New Hampshire this week and she sounds more and more like a candidate although we would still contend she can't get elected (sorry, Rush). Frankly, we think she's just teasing everyone and enhancing her cadre of followers.

The good news is that Governor Perry of Texas is now "thinking" about becoming a candidate for the presidential nomination. He could be a great addition to the field and would certainly add an additional 'electable' candidate to the race which at best contains only two 'electables' if you are inclined to add Romney to Pawlenty's name in that category.

Oh well, back to check for those money bombs!

Oops, here is what Ron Paul had to say:

Ten Million Dollars.

That's how much establishment candidate Mitt Romney raised in one day a couple of weeks ago from well-heeled party bigwigs for his 2012 White House bid.

So today, I'm writing to personally ask if you are up for a challenge.

My campaign's grassroots supporters are holding another Money Bomb next Sunday, June 5th, and I believe it offers us an excellent chance to make some headlines of our own.

You see, the Romney campaign thinks no one else can touch their accomplishment.

But honestly, I don't need 10 million dollars to match Mitt Romney.

After all, I don't have to defend a liberal record as governor of Massachusetts.

I don't have to defend against passing a bill just as bad as ObamaCare. Mitt Romney does. So it's ok if he has a bit more money than we do.

He's going to need it!

But it is absolutely critical I have the financial backing to build a first-class operation in early caucus and primary states and show the pundits and press that I am a serious candidate.

I know these so-called "gate keepers" are part of the Washington problem, but the fact is their either dismissing of candidates or praising them makes a difference to many undecided voters.

An overwhelming showing on June 5th would force the establishment pundits to realize you and I are in this to win it!

So please, visit on June 5th and contribute whatever you are able. I know times are tough, but each and every dollar will go toward implementing our plans to run a first-class, winning campaign to restore America now.

Support for my Presidential campaign is growing every day, and I'm hopeful that we are in time to save America, rebuild our economy, and hand our children an even better country than the one we inherited.

And on June 5th, we can demonstrate the strength of support for our freedom message.

If you can help my campaign really take off now with a contribution at on June 5th, I'd certainly appreciate it.

Your donation will allow us to ramp up our efforts in all the key primary states right away. That's why political experts say that $1 now is worth as much as $5 later on.

And it would prove that our campaign doesn't need fat cat bankers and rich elitists to compete.

When our R3VOLUTION comes together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish, and it is a great source of encouragement to know I can count on you.

Thank you for all your support!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Rumor Mill

We're hearing more and more that Senator Fischer is looking to get into the Republican primary race. She seems serious but we still don't know where she gets the money to take on Bruning or what she can do to overcome Bruning's or Stenberg's name recognition.

2014 is a long way away but everyone seems to think that Senator Lathrop is going for the Nebraska governor's seat. He'll use his LB 397 accomplishment as a credit.

In the same 2014 spectrum we're hearing that Lt. Governor Sheehy and State Senator Tony Fulton are a potential governor/Lt. governor team. Pretty early to be talking about such at this point, especially since it is still possible that Governor Heineman may be enticed away from his job prior to that if political dominoes fall in the right direction after next year's election.

Those Ag Subsidies

One would think that stopping the growth of our country's deficits and national debt is somehow nearly impossible given the seeming difficulty of getting Biden's 'gangof six' to agree on cuts that would allow the extension of the the country's borrowing limits. That simply isn't the case. A good example is provided by our friends at the Platte Institute in their recent commentary, "Energy/Ag Subsidies Subject to Scrutiny." As they correctly note, millions of dollars go to big corporate farms. Yes the liberals will tell you that such subsidies keep food costs low for Americans. A check of food costs for Americans against food costs for most of the citizens of other countries would quickly reveal that Americans pay much less for food as a percentage of their income than citizens of almost all other countries. But then, why shouldn't we subsidize food and the corporations that produce it? We can just increase the national debt and allow our children and grandchildren to pay for the food we consume today tomorrow. Right?

Enough said, but here is what the Platte Institute had to say in their latest missive:

"When Presidential candidates oppose ethanol tax credits while stumping in Iowa, it is clear that a fundamental shift in American politics is taking place. The current economic situation has forced politicians to take note of our nation's spending problem and look for common sense solutions.

"The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out," said former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in his announcement to run for President on Monday.

The passage of the 2007 energy bill coupled with the passage of the 2008 farm bill created a system that ensures billions of taxpayer dollars will be spent on agriculture subsidies, regardless of the actual farm economy. But the politics of federal spending and unsustainable debt have put all federal spending projects, including agriculture and ethanol subsidies in the Midwest, on the table.

Nationally, farm subsidies have cost the American taxpayer $246.7 billion from 1995 to 2009, with massive agri-business corporations receiving hundreds of millions of dollars. Let's review some of the payouts from 1995-2009:

  • Riceland Foods in Arkansas - $554.3 million

  • Producers Rice Mill in Arkansas - $314 million

  • Pilgrims Pride Corporation in Virginia - $26.4 million

  • Cargill Turkey Products in Virginia - $17.5 million

  • In Nebraska about $1 billion in subsidy benefits are up for grabs annually. And 10 percent of farming operations collect 62 percent of total subsidy payouts.

    From 1995-2009 payouts in Nebraska include:

  • Kaliff Farms in York, NE- $7.7 million

  • C J Farms Gen Ptnr in Holdrege, NE - $5.4 million

  • H-r-w Farming in Friend, NE - $4.9 million

  • Danielski Harvesting & Farming in Valentine, NE - $4.8 million.

  • Meanwhile, the bottom 80 percent of Nebraska farming operations receive an average of $1,316 in annual benefits. And 27 percent of Nebraska farmers did not collect subsidy payments at all, according to the USDA.

    These startling statistics demonstrate why the Platte Institute for Economic Research encourages lawmakers to begin reforming agriculture subsidy programs. When ‘farms' are receiving half-a-billion in taxpayer subsidies the system needs reform. Simply put, agriculture and energy subsidies as they stand amount to corporate welfare and the current system is unsustainable."
  • A Ryan Run for President or a Pox on the Republican Party in 2012?

    There's an interesting post on Stu Rothenberg's Rothenberg Report, "GOP Might Want To Rethink the Ryan Boomlet." We like Ryan and think he could be a great presidential candidate at some point. To be sure we've been impressed with Ryan although we think his honest effort to provide budget/deficit reform direction will cause a lot of heartburn for Republicans in 2012. Wait until you see how Judas Ben Nelson demagogues Jon Bruing over the proposed Medicare changes next year.

    With that said we learned some things about Ryan that we weren't aware of and Rothenberg points out some things that suggest that Ryan isn't the right guy for 2012. You can catch the full column at, but here are some excerpts:

    "Parts of his record, after all, would make some of the people calling for his entry into the race blush.

    "The Wisconsin lawmaker is a fierce opponent of Obama administration spending and any suggestion of higher taxes, but he also voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which conservatives like to say “bailed out the banks,” the “auto bailout,” No Child Left Behind, the 2006 highway bill (with its “Bridge to Nowhere”) and the prescription drug benefit.

    “It’s easy to vote against all of the Obama big spending items, but he voted for all the Bush-era big spending items,” said one conservative who wonders what all the hoopla over Ryan is about.

    Ryan also has voted repeatedly against repealing Davis-Bacon, with its “prevailing wage” provision that is strongly supported by organized labor and is heresy to most free-market Republicans."

    Rothenberg notes that:

    "Conservatives’ infatuation with Ryan is dangerous in another way.

    Ryan’s budget may reflect Republican values and approaches, but from a political point of view it is a serious burden with no possible near-term payoff......

    But Republicans aren’t going to pass the Ryan budget or fundamentally change Medicare, at least not this year or next. They don’t control the Senate, and they can’t get the Wisconsin Republican’s plan through it. Instead, Republicans who voted for the Ryan budget have merely taken a hard vote — a very hard vote — that may well result in some of them losing re-election next year.

    "Ryan surely deserves credit for starting a conversation, but GOP strategists believe that the Medicare debate created by Ryan’s budget is a considerable problem for their party’s candidates over the next year and a half..."

    “The Ryan budget is an excellent rallying cry for Democratic partisans, much as health care reform was a rallying cry for Republicans last year,” one Republican operative said. “Not only is Democratic enthusiasm up, but a part of the Republican electorate has reduced enthusiasm. Plus, it reduces our numbers among seniors, who are very important to us next year to offset the increase in turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds........”

    "But at some point, conservatives will realize that Ryan’s proposal is a considerable problem for the party and that a Ryan presidential bid would be an even bigger problem."

    "When they do, those Republicans and conservatives will be relieved that Paul Ryan, no matter how courageous, articulate, thoughtful and intelligent they think he is, isn’t the GOP nominee for president."

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Bachman's Money Bomb

    In our 'We Get E-mail' category we've gotten at least 10 from Michele Bachman asking us to donate to her 'money bomb'. She's trying to raise $240,000 for her campaign in 24 hours. The money will go to her congressional campaign which, because it is federal, could be transferred to a presidential campaign presumably. $240,000 in 24 hours isn't exactly chump change but then it doesn't come close to Mitt Romney raising $10 million in one day.

    Bachman may have some strength in Iowa and with Tea Partiers but she can't be nominated or elected our next president.

    Here's what she had to say:

    "We have an opportunity to make Obama a one-term president. However, if we don't continue building our base, we risk giving him four more years to push a far left, big government agenda that is destroying our nation.

    We are 22 hours into our money bomb and we are just shy of our goals. The outpouring of support yesterday and overnight has been overwhelming, and I know we can reach our goal of $240,000 soon with your immediate donation.

    I cannot stress how absolutely critical it is for our campaign to reach this goal. Every major news outlet - not to mention my opponents and Barack Obama's campaign manager -will use the numbers we report as a sign of my campaign's strength.

    Obama's disastrous policies such as Obamacare undermine the very principles you and I hold dear. Is this a political game to him? For you and I, it's a fight about values -- about remaining true to the Constitution and preserving the liberty we know is a gift, not a game.

    I know you are busy, but I ask that you take a few minutes to watch my video and make an immediate contribution of $24, $48, $72 or more so we can meet our money bomb goal of $240,000.

    The liberal media is watching what happens as this money bomb draws to a close. They know what's at stake if we meet our goal. But no matter the vile attacks they throw our way, we will not stop our work to spread the truth about Barack Obama's socialist agenda -- and refocusing our national attention on creating American jobs. We are building a grassroots movement against the far left agenda of Barack Obama, and we need all hands on deck.

    Remember your urgent donation of $24, $240, or any amount you can give makes all the difference! Together, we will make Barack Obama a one-term president. Thank you for all your support. Hope to hear from you on Facebook soon!

    As always, thank you for your unwavering support.


    Michele Bachmann

    PS. Every major news outlet - not to mention my opponents and Barack Obama's campaign manager - will use the numbers we report as a sign of my campaign's strength. Please watch my video now and donate to my make Obama a one-term president money bomb today so we can continue working together to put America on the right track!"

    Good News from the Supremes

    In our news bulletin we just received the notice that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Arizona's law which allows it to punish businesses who hire illegals. This is a blow to the Obama administration which said it was up to the feds to handle this issue, But should be great encouragement to state legislatures. We hope Nebraska legislators will duplicate that legislation early next year.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Huckabee Endorses Bruning

    In today's 'We get e-mail' category we received one from our candidate for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, Jon Bruning. It's an announcement of Governor Huckabee's endorsement of Bruing for the nomination. Since we published Don Stenberg's endorsement by yesterday it's only fair that we provide Huckabee's herein":

    Lincoln, NE - Nebraska Attorney General and U.S. Senate Candidate Jon Bruning announced today he has the endorsement of former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee in his campaign to unseat Ben Nelson.

    “I’m proud to endorse my good friend Attorney General Jon Bruning,” said Governor Huckabee. “I know he has the conservative record and proven leadership that Nebraskans need in the United States Senate. I’m confident that he’ll be a strong voice in the fight to balance the federal budget, eliminate the deficit, and repeal the federal takeover of health care......

    "Governor Huckabee has been in the arena; he knows how to govern effectively, how to make the tough decisions we need our leaders to make, and he knows how to lead. I'm humbled and honored by his endorsement, which continues to provide momentum for our campaign,” said Bruning."

    Should Have Been Passed With Emergency Clause

    Judging from Mayor Suttle's rust to approve his fire union contract it appears that the legislature which passed LB 397 on final reading by 48-0-1 should have passed it with the emergency clause.

    Governor Heineman, who has said he will sign the bill, today asked why Suttle is in such a hurry. But since LB 397 doesn't go into the law for 90 days, the legislature has given Suttle an excuse to take care of his friends without concern about potential savings under the new law. And, of course, Suttle's marionettes Gernandt, Jerram and Gray are automatic votes for anything he wants. One can only hope that Council members Mulligan and/or Festersen have the fortitude to stand up against the contract and Suttle. Unlikely.....

    Free Speech, Great Britain and Michael Savage

    To be clear, we think it is unfair to call talk-radio guy Michael Savage right-wing or even extremist. We think he is daffy, erratic and incapable of showing any consistency with the exception of his assertions about culture, borders and language. With that said we find it totally absurd that the British would ban him from their country because of his 'extremist views'.

    According to Newsmax Savage says: "First, if I am guilty of a thought crime so is everyone who reads your column. Second, when has speech become illegal? Third, I was never allowed to defend my name and reputation. Fourth, liberals used to say [quoting French philosopher Voltaire], 'While I may disagree with what you say I will defend to the death your right to say it.'"But now that 'progressives' have stolen liberalism, freedom of speech is dead for independents?"

    Newsmax further notes that, "The San Francisco-based Savage, known for his fiery right-wing views, is one of 22 people who have been banned from entering Britain since October, when the government concluded that they were agents of extremism and intolerance."

    According to World Net Daily and Newsmax, Savage's attorney was told, “Your client has not provided any evidence to show that he did not commit the unacceptable behaviour" that prompted the "decision to exclude him, nor has your client provided any acceptable evidence to show his repudiation of those unacceptable behaviours,” a representative of the United Kingdom's treasury solicitor said in a letter to Savage’s British attorney."

    As much as we disagree with some unwelcome visitors to the U.S., as long as they are not terrorists or criminals it seems that declaring someone 'persona non grata' because of his/her views says a lot about freedom of speech in a country.....

    This Slimeball Could Have Been President!

    From CNN Breaking news we received the following:

    "The Justice Department has authorized prosecutors to bring criminal charges against former presidential candidate and Sen. John Edwards, sources with knowledge of the investigation confirm to CNN. An indictment could be averted if prosecutors and lawyers for Edwards reach a plea deal.

    A federal grand jury in North Carolina has been investigating payments the former senator's campaign and supporters made to Rielle Hunter, his mistress, who also worked as a videographer for his campaign."

    This slimeball could have been president. The justice department shouldn't negotiate a plea deal with him, they should send him to jail.

    It's a sad commentary that slimeballs like Edwards, John Ensign and yes, Schwarzenegger (who if you recall some thought the U.S. Constitution should be changed so he could run for president) can lie to family and voters and live with their own consciousnesses in doing so.

    Obama Skirts Rule of Law

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce pointed us to a great column by Michael Barone on not only the waivers that Obama and his liberal Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius have granted but also the efforts to reward his friends (unions) and punish enemies as exemplified by the recent N.L.R.B. Boeing decision and the Internal Revenue Service's attempt to levy a gift tax on donors to certain 501(c)(4) organizations.

    This president and his administration seem set to punish their enemies in a Nixon-like manner regardless of the law.

    Here is what Barone had to say:

    "Question: What do the following have in common? Eckert Cold Storage Co., Kerly Homes of Yuma, Classic Party Rentals, West Coast Turf Inc., Ellenbecker Investment Group Inc., Only in San Francisco, Hotel Nikko, International Pacific Halibut Commission, City of Puyallup, Local 485 Health and Welfare Fund, Chicago Plastering Institute Health & Welfare Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Teamsters Local 522 Fund Welfare Fund Roofers Division, StayWell Saipan Basic Plan, CIGNA, Caribbean Workers' Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Health and Welfare Plan.

    Answer: They are all among the 1,372 businesses, state and local governments, labor unions and insurers, covering 3,095,593 individuals or families, that have been granted a waiver from Obamacare by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

    All of which raises another question: If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

    More specifically, why are more than half of those 3,095,593 in plans run by labor unions, which were among Obamacare's biggest political supporters? Union members are only 12 percent of all employees but have gotten 50.3 percent of Obamacare waivers.

    Just in April, Sebelius granted 38 waivers to restaurants, nightclubs, spas and hotels in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco congressional district. Pelosi's office said she had nothing to do with it.

    On its website HHS pledges that the waiver process will be transparent. But it doesn't list those whose requests for waivers have been denied.
    It does say that requests are "reviewed on a case by case basis by Department officials who look at a series of factors including" -- and then lists two factors. And it refers you to another website that says that "several factors . . . may be considered" -- and then lists six factors.

    What other factors may be considered? Political contributions or connections? (Unions contributed $400 million to Democrats in the 2008 campaign cycle.) The websites don't say.

    In his new book "The Origins of Political Order," Francis Fukuyama identifies the chief building blocks of liberal democracy as a strong central state, a society strong enough to hold the state accountable and -- equally crucial -- the rule of law.

    One basic principle of the rule of law is that laws apply to everybody. If the sign says "No Parking," you're not supposed to park there even if you're a pal of the alderman.

    Another principle of the rule of law is that government can't make up new rules to help its cronies and hurt its adversaries except through due process, such as getting a legislature to pass a new law.

    The Obamacare waiver process appears to violate that first rule. Two other recent Obama administration actions appear to violate the second.
    One example is the National Labor Relations Board general counsel's action to prevent Boeing from building a $2 billion assembly plant for the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, which has a right-to-work law barring compulsory union membership. The NLRB says Boeing has to assemble the planes in non-right-to-work Washington state.

    "I don't agree," says William Gould IV, NLRB chairman during the Clinton years. "The Boeing case is unprecedented."

    The other example is the Internal Revenue Service's attempt to levy a gift tax on donors to certain 501(c)(4) organizations that just happen to have spent money to elect Republicans.

    A gift tax is normally assessed on transfers to children and other heirs that are designed to avoid estate taxes. It has been applied to political donations "rarely, if ever," according to New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom.

    "The timing of the agency's moves, as the 2012 election cycle gets under way," continues Strom, "is prompting some tax law and campaign finance experts to question whether the IRS could be sending a signal in an effort to curtail big donations."

    In a Univision radio interview during the 2010 election cycle, Barack Obama urged Latinos not "to sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.' "

    Punishing enemies and rewarding friends -- politics Chicago style -- seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS' gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors.

    They look like examples of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and gangster government.

    One thing they don't look like is the rule of law."

    City of Omaha Licensing of Contractors -- John Chatelain, President Metropolitan Omaha Property Owners Association

    Omaha is on the verge of licensing “General Contractors”. Specifically included in the term General Contractors are landlords and property owners performing work on property they own but do not reside in. The license applicant must 1) pass a practical and theoretical ICC examination for the type of license to be obtained, 2) provide a certificate of liability insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000.00, 3) provide a bond to the city in the amount of $10,000.00, and 4) a pay a $300.00 application fee. The license expires in 3 years. Renewal requires 1) the required certificate of insurance, 2) 12 contact hours of continuing education from ICC or college courses related to construction, 3) three classes provided by the city’s permits and inspections division, and 4) a renewal fee of $300.00. Working without a license subjects contractor or landlord to a fee of 4 times the regular fee and possible criminal prosecution.

    One of the most disturbing aspects of this proposal was the apparent attempt to rush it through the city council before those affected by it had a chance to look it over.

    Requiring extensive credentials for many of the things landlords routinely do such as replacing a roof, installing new siding, hanging doors and replacing windows is absurd. Only a licensed contractor would be allowed to pull the required permits. The inevitable result will be that ever increasing costs will either be passed on to the tenants or absorbed by the property owners.

    This ordinance doesn’t solely attack landlords. Anyone wanting to work on a second property will be prevented from doing so. For her own good, the government now plans to tell Aunt Edna who she can and cannot hire to perform improvements on her residence. Basic property rights and freedom are under assault. The California Nanny State has officially arrived in Omaha, Nebraska.

    Several of our members are participating in a task force with the City Planning Director in an attempt to reach some compromise on the licensing bill. I believe Rick Cunningham is a well meaning individual, but so far we seem to have a solution in search of a problem.

    MOPOA will move along parallel tracks, working toward a meeting of minds yet ready for action if negotiations fail. The public hearing was continued for four weeks pending the outcome of the task force. Everyone should plan to speak out against the abomination when it goes back to the City Council. In the interim, contact your city council persons instructing them to vote NO on this horrible legislation. Be respectful but firm!

    Tennessee Legislature Stymies Liberal Homosexual City Ordinance Attempts (Ben Gray's Vision for Omaha)

    If you recall, it wasn't long ago that liberal City Councilman Ben (I've-never-seen-a-new-tax-I-don't-like, never-seen-liberal-social-issue-I-can't-propose-a-law-about) Gray was trying to foist his city ordinance on us and contractors requiring employment rights for gays, lesbians, cross-dressers and whatever. Fortunately, that was tabled or trashed and won't come back although given this mayor and city council it certainly could be resurrected. With that said it looks like the State of Tennessee through it's legislature has found a way to deal with this craziness. Hopefully, one of our state legislators will do the same during the next legislative session.

    Here is what happened in Tennessee, courtesy of our friends at Family First:

    "Tennessee Passes a Corporate Anti-Bullying Law "

    "After harassing law firms, sports figures, restaurants, and average Americans, homosexual activists are starting to show the public what they really are. Intolerant. Lawmakers in Tennessee witnessed the bullying firsthand, when the state tried to stop policies that are bad for business and worse for the economy. The Left had been trying to use local governments to demand special employment rights for gays and lesbians. Yesterday, Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that will keep private companies from being held hostage by homosexual activists. Starting this month, cities and counties can no longer adopt anti-discrimination policies that are stricter than state law.

    It all started with a Nashville city ordinance that required private government contractors to give special preference to gays in lesbians in hiring and firing decisions. By signing SB 632 into law, Gov. Haslam erased the Nashville measure and freed up companies to run their businesses the way they see fit. Thanks to local pastors and former state Sen. David Fowler at the Family Action Council of Tennessee, employers will be the ones dictating office policy--not the liberal government. To see where restrictions like Nashville's lead, check out FRC's video on the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It's part of FRC's DVD called Censoring the Church and Silencing Christians."

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Club For Growth Issues White Paper on Pawlenty

    The Club For Growth is one of the most conservative organizations out there and has a pocketbook to support its chosen candidates. We like them although they do sometimes shoot themselves in the foot by supporting candidates that once they get the nomination just can't win. However, as we said we like them and what they do.

    One of the Club's projects is the issuing of 'white papers' on perspective presidential candidates. They've already done one on Newt and just released one on Tim Pawlenty whom we think may be one of the few 'electable' potential G.O.P. nominees. Pawlenty gets a mixed summary from the club which we include below. For the complete 'white paper' you can go to the Club's website at:


    It’s clear that Governor Pawlenty is, for the most part, hard to pin down on his exact ideological moorings. Minnesota is not a conservative state by any means, and Governor Pawlenty did veto tax hikes passed by the liberal legislature and made a relatively strong push to keep a lid on taxes. Pawlenty deserves tremendous praise for keeping Minnesota’s spending growth remarkably low. For this, and for his consistent stances on school choice, tort reform, and political free speech, he deserves credit – while his record on health care and entitlement spending is mixed. However, Pawlenty has some simply inexcusable tax hikes in his record, and he made a mistake by taking no clear position on the 2008 Legacy Amendment. His tacit support for bailouts, more job-choking regulations, and various tariffs make it difficult for us to identify his core ideological identity. His support of things like mandatory vegetable oil in gasoline, cap and trade, and a statewide smoking ban make him sound overly eager to support big government proposals to address policy fads of the day.

    Given all of this, we struggle to identify the real Tim Pawlenty. We agree with those who say that Governor Pawlenty did the best he could in a state as liberal as Minnesota. And we believe he would be a stronger pro-growth executive in a more conservative climate, but his “clunkers” as he himself describes them are difficult to ignore. A President Pawlenty, we suspect, would fight for pro-growth policies, but would be susceptible to adopting “pragmatic” policies that grow government."

    Stenberg Gets Conservative Endorsement

    Well, it's no secret from our prior posts that we think Jon Bruning is the only guy that can defeat Ben Nelson in 2012. It's not that we don't like Don Stenberg. He'd be a great U.S. Senator. Unfortunately, Don's inept campaigns, his inability to raise money and his failure to achieve in win in three past attempts say a lot about Don's electability. Sorry, that's the way we feel.

    With that said, and to be fair if not totally objective (shall we say we're realistic?) we share with you the following as part of our 'We get e-mail' category which we received from Don today tauting his endorsement by

    " endorses Don Stenberg in Nebraska!

    Erick Erickson, Editor-in-chief of, the most widely read right of center blog on Capitol Hill and most quoted right of center blog in the media, endorsed Don Stenberg today in the GOP Nebraska primary race to take on Ben Nelson in 2012.

    Here's what Erickson said:

    After the historic gains made by conservatives — not just Republicans — in 2010, the conservative movement stands to slide back and lose in 2012.

    I’m not talking about the race to the White House. I’m talking about the United States Senate.
    At a time when Senate Republicans refuse to lead and Mitch McConnell is doing his best to marginalize the solid conservatives, the right is distracted by the White House. The same GOP that tried to stick the right with Trey Greyson, Charlie Crist, Mike Castle, and more is going to try again. If conservatives are not vigilant, they’re going to be stuck with the likes of Heather Wilson, etc.

    Let’s review the lay of the land and the states I’m interested in.

    Nebraska Conservatives going with Jon Brunning are making a terrible mistake. I realize the Bible is a story of repentance and forgiveness, but you don’t put the new converts in the Senate where they have six years to go Chuck Hagel on us. Don Stenberg is my guy for this race.

    “I would love to persuade you that trickle down economics was a farce or that Ronald Reagan was incapable of understanding complex policy arguments.”

    “I believe in gun control.”

    “I think a woman should have a right to choose.”

    Those are just some of Jon Brunning’s greatest hits.

    Yes, he has grown up. Yes, he has changed. Yes, he is center-right now. But I want to put a guy in the Senate who has a long term conservative track record. Conservatives have been burned once before by Nebraska with Chuck Hagel.

    I’m going with Don Stenberg."

    Nelson's Upcoming Attacks on Bruning

    We don't often agree with the writer of the New Nebraska Network, but he may just be right in his latest iteration which comes in today's 'We Get E-mail' category.

    Here's what he had to say:

    "In his speech to the Nebraska Democratic Party's annual Exon-Morrison dinner, Senator Ben Nelson made it clear that Bruning and Stenberg's support for the "radical" Ryan Medicare voucher scheme will be the defining issue in the 2012 Senate race. In that speech, Nelson said that the "radical right" is threatening Medicare and Social Security. Nelson also took issue with the "radical right's" support for the repeal of the 2010 Health Care Reform Act. Nelson said that the Ryan plan would shift medical costs onto seniors and said that the budget shouldn't be balanced on the backs of seniors. The Ryan plan will bring back pre-existing condition clauses and require seniors to shop for health insurance from the private health insurance industry. Nelson correctly pointed out that Medicare was originally adopted in the 1960s because seniors were unable to acquire private health insurance due to their health issues. I expect Nelson to relentlessly remind the voters of Bruning and Stenberg's support for Ryan's plan to shift more health costs onto seniors and to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans by $1 trillion."

    Nelson will obviously demagogue Jon Bruning on this issue in hopes of preventing him from getting the Republican nomination. Then when Bruning gets it Nelson will use it to convince Nebraska's older population to vote against Bruning and support him. It's a good strategy and Nelson will also use Obamacare provisions that are already in place to further demagogue Bruning. He'll talk about the changes in 'donut hole' provisions that help seniors with prescription costs and about the provisions that allow parents to keep their irresponsible kids on their health care policies until they turn 26. The latter two issues will be used by Democrats across the country to counter any campaigns to repeal Obamacare.

    The task for Bruning will be not to be distracted by Nelson's attacks and to simply remind Nebraskans daily that Judas Ben sold out on Christmas eve 2009 against the wishes of 70% of them who didn't want Obamacare--and still don't!

    Is the End Still Near?

    After the end of the world failed to materialize on Saturday we were relieved beyond words. Since we weren't among those transported to heaven at 6:00 we figured we'd have to just tough out the earthquakes and other catastrophes that would no doubt befall us until the end in five months. But since no one left we felt secure that Minister Camping had just once again miscalculated. After much celebration we are now told by Camping that the apocalypse will simply come as the earth is consumed by a fireball on October 21 which happens to be a Friday. Could that be the reason for the adage, T.G.I.F?

    Well at least we have until then to indulge in our vices of single malt scotches and cigars.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Has the 2014 Governor's Race Begun?

    We kind of thought that the race for governor of Nebraska might wait until sometime after December of 2012 but it may have begun.

    Last night we viewed what might be the first effort of likely candidate State Senator Steve Lathrop to 'acquaint' Nebraskans with his love of politics and representing them and their needs and concerns in Lincoln. Oddly, it wasn't a paid for political commercial but rather a Hauptman, O'Brien, Wolf and Lathrop Law firm commercial. The commercial we viewed was on Channel 42 KPTM TV but we presume it will or is airing across all Omaha and probably Lincoln television stations.

    What struck us was that most of the commercial was Steve Lathrop talking about his service in the legislature being a furtherance of his serving his clientele as a lawyer-not quite his words. It seemed to us that the commercial was much more about Steve Lathrop the politician than it was about his law firm.

    While the commercial had shades of the old Marc Kraft for City Council or County Board Commercials wherein he appeared in commercials for his downtown store prior to elections, the Lathrop commercial was much more blatant. Kraft never mentioned that he was a politician or that serving his clients in the City/County building was an extension of his love for junk or his junk buying clients. Lathrop on the other had does.

    We think Lathrop may have actually duped his most ardent opponent Governor Heineman who threatened to veto the C.I.R. legislation, LB 397. Although Lathrop's liberal union-owned allegiances were very evident in the 1.0 version of the bill, the governor's veto threat convinced him to come up with the 'substantial' changes needed to get the endorsement of the chambers of commerce and the governor. With its imminent passage Lathrop, who headed the bill committee that moved it to the floor of the legislature, will now claim to be every one's hero since most local governments and chambers got the revision they wanted and since Lathrop's union backers were able to swallow a pill much less painful than what would surly have been a total elimination of the C.I.R. by a ballot initiative. All of this will provide Lathrop with credentials to run his 2014 governor campaign.

    Bottom line is that Lathrop is thinking about 2014 and taking advantage of his law firm to acquaint potential voters with a face they may have only read or heard about. The governor's veto threat may have made Lathrop a hero by allowing him to claim a major legislative feat. Acknowledging this we believe that the N.A.D.C. should take a look at this commercial and decide if, in fact, it shouldn't at least be shown as an in-kind donation to Lathrop's political campaign.

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Can We Trade Barack for Bibi? - Doug Patton

    Let's just get it out in the open right now. I would like to trade Barack Obama for Benjamin Netanyahu. I know, I know, Netanyahu was not born in the United States, but then…well, let's not open that can of worms again. The bottom line is that the Israeli prime minister is one of the premier leaders in the world today, while Obama is one of the premier aspiring dictators. Ask yourself; wouldn't you honestly prefer an Israeli conservative to a Muslim sympathizer?

    In the 63 years since the creation of modern Israel, every American president has met the responsibilities expected of a friend and an ally — until now. From Harry Truman to George W. Bush, the tiny Jewish state could count on the United States of America to honor its commitments. Not any more. Barack Obama has thrown Israel under the international bus and is making no apologies for it.

    In his recent speech on the subject of Israeli-Palestinian "peace," Obama informed the world that he expected Israel to go back to its pre-1967 borders. Who does this arrogant man think that he is? Can you imagine Mexico telling Texans they should go back to their pre-1836 borders? (Actually, there are a lot of Mexicans who believe that is exactly what should happen, but that is a topic for another day.)

    Obama's incredible hubris was a direct slap in Netanyahu's face and the face of Israel. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton evidently gave the prime minister 48 hours notice of Obama's intentions to announce his ridiculous demands before the speech was actually delivered. In fact, Netanyahu was scheduled to fly to the United States for an official visit to the White House and to address Congress, and was actually in the air at the time of the speech. Coincidence? Hardly.

    This was a deliberate slight, just like the slights Obama delivered to our staunchest European ally, Great Britain, early in his presidency. Remember him sending back the bust of Winston Churchill, which was a gift to the White House after 9/11, and the lame gifts he gave Queen Elizabeth (an iPod) and then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown (a collection of DVDs that won't play on a European DVD player)?

    Netanyahu was gracious but firm in his remarks before the media in the Oval Office. After listening to Obama blather on about how there are "some differences between us in the precise formulations and language," the prime minister thanked the president and first lady for their hospitality and restated once again his commitment to peace and to Israel's alliance with the United States. He then made it clear that Israel was not going to return to the 1967 lines, which would leave Israel a mere nine miles wide at the narrowest point and therefore completely defenseless to Hamas rockets. Consider that the Israeli airport is within sight of the highest points on the West Bank. And Obama thinks the Israelis should just hand that land back to people who have sworn their destruction. Could the man possibly be more obtuse?

    "It's not going to happen," Netanyahu told a tight-jawed Obama in front of the president's adoring sycophants in the press. "Everybody knows it's not going to happen. And I think it's time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it's not going to happen."

    Good for you, Bibi! You are my international hero. You are the bravest leader of the most courageous people on planet earth. Every day you and your countrymen get out of bed knowing that you are surrounded by people who hate you and have sworn to kill you. They will push you into the sea if they can, and despite his smooth rhetoric, Barack Obama is urging them to do it.

    © 2011 by Doug Patton

    Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at

    Good Thought From Lee Terry

    In our "We get e-mail" category we received on from Congressman Lee Terry wherein he says he is introducing a bill to make regulators tell us the impact on jobs. We think it's a good idea. It's kind of an E.P.A. environmental impact statement for those bureaucrats.

    Here's what Lee had to say in this regard:

    "I recognize how important it is to allow our economy to create new jobs which is why I will be introducing legislation in the near future which will require Federal agencies to submit to the American people the impact these regulations would have on existing or new jobs. It is time for the Federal government to use common sense when proposing new rules on our nation’s small business and energy producers. If a new rule must be created then Americans need to know the impact it will have on American jobs. My bill simply states that when an agency decides to act it must include a statement describing how many jobs will be gained lost or sent overseas should this regulation be enacted.

    In these tough economic times, with unemployment at 9% and an economy struggling to grow, government needs to play a more responsible and balanced role when it comes to regulations and their impact on jobs. Americans and Nebraskans have the right to know how their lives will be affected by an agency action, especially when it comes to their job.

    It is my hope that this common sense bill advances quickly through Congress and the President signs it into law as soon as possible."

    Food Rage and Irrelevant Omaha World-Herald Editorials

    Yesterday's Douglas Street Rag (a.k.a., Omaha World-Herald) was one worth missing if you pay attention to the editorial page. The 'Food Rage Incidents When Food triggers fury' had to be among the most irrelevant, empty, inane and vacuous diatribes to ever occupy the top left hand column. One would think that Geitner Simmons could have found something more important and appropriate for his readers than the use of guns in fast food restaurants by stupid silly people. In his concluding paragraph he asks, "Is food rage a trend?," and responds to his own question, "We certainly hope these incidents don't add up to one......"

    Please, maybe he could have used the space to at least wish the believers in yesterday's non-rapture well on their journey and provided the rest of us with tips for making the best of the catastrophic five months to follow leading to our demise and the earth's destruction!

    Or maybe he could have at least inferred that Mayor Suttle's Restaurant Tax could lead to food rage.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    President "W" Coming to Omaha

    President George "W" Bush will be in Omaha on June 18th to throw out the first pitch for the College World Series. It's a possibility that his father President George H.W. Bush may join him. At this point it appears that Bush will be at a private reception courtesy of a local business who has a luxury suite at T.D. Ameritrade Stadium.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Nabity Doesn't Get Away With It

    Dave Nabity who has tried to evade a lawsuit filed by the Fire Union president has been dealt a setback with the Nebraska Supreme Court which refused his appeal claiming that he is protected under the Nebraska shield act from revealing the sources of his allegations, much as a reporter. The judge didn't buy, nor do we.

    Now Nabity will have to either reveal names or face the music in a suit by Steve LeClair.

    We continue to believe that Nabity's ego-driven, control-freak mentality to become Omaha's mayor at any cost has been his undoing and that in so doing he has destroyed the credibility of not only himself but that of the Omaha Alliance for the Private Sector and those who supported him and paid his salary.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Nebraska Watch Dog Joe Jordan's Yellow Journalism

    We pretty much choose not to criticize or pay much heed to local area bloggists and reporters, with some exceptions. Today, we just can't refrain from taking exception with 'Nebraska Watchdog' Joe Jordan.

    Jordan whose 'watchdog' efforts are financed by conservatives seems intent at letting his anti-conservative personal philosophies dominate his latest iteration of 'journalism'. Jordan's efforts at 'investigative reporting' and asking politically tough questions over the the years while he was employed at KMTV are no stranger to Omaha politicos and there is nothing wrong with investigative reporting or asking tough questions but years of observation would seem to substantiate that Jordan's journalism shows an obvious bias against conservatives. We'd go further and say his style is not journalism but 'yellow journalism' (see definition below). The latest example is today's 'Watchdog' piece, "News Update: Video Special: Bruning Lashes Out As Criticism Mounts‏."

    Yesterday, Jordan covered Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate nomination Jon Bruning's appearance before the Republican Forum held at Anthony's Restaurant in Omaha. Several of our contributors were in the room and heard the same things that Jordan did so we are not offended when Jordan repeats what actually happened:

    "Bruning told a roomful of Omaha Republicans that Stenberg is a Senate also-ran. “He can’t win,” said Bruning. According to Bruning both Stenberg and a 3rd Republican in the race, Schuyler businessman Pat Flynn,” are not going to beat Ben Nelson.”" Fact, that is what Bruning said and unlike Jordan we'll tell you that we agree. But for Jordan, who obviously has a bias against Bruning, he just goes on to tell folks what Stenberg says. "Stenberg’s campaign tells Nebraska Watchdog that Stenberg, who lost to Nelson by just 2 points in 2000, already leads Nelson in some polls." Somehow Jordan fails to acknowledge that Bruning leads Nelson in the same poll by a substantially higher number.

    When Bruning told the attendees of Nelson's fund raising efforts and methods, i.e., raising more than $500 million from special interest groups and intimidating donors to give to him and not his opponents, Jordan just comes up with a shot at Bruning courtesy of the Nelson campaign, ""A spokesman for Nelson’s campaign says it’s Bruning who uses his office for “pay to play politics.”" But does Jordan do anything to actually 'investigate' Brunings charges? NO. Does Jordan make an issue of the huge amount raised by Nelson from PACs? NO.

    As his final biased effort to go after Bruning, Jordan has to bring up the comments made by Bruning about his then finance chairman David Sokol after the Berkshire-Hathaway Lubrizol details surfaced. Interestingly, Bruning didn't mention the issue at all during his presentation at the forum nor was he questioned about it. To further lay it on Bruning, Jordan then brings up an editorial by the Omaha World-Herald taking Bruning to task over the issue. We've already expressed our opinion that Bruning's quick defense of Sokol might have been a little hasty and that we hope he will be more tempered in responding in the future. But none of what Bruning said yesterday had anything to do with Sokol. Jordan simply wanted to raise the issue, again showing his bias against Bruning. And unlike us, Jordan doesn't have the guts to overtly tell us his opinion even though it's less than veiled under his yellow journalism guise of 'reporting'.

    If Jordan wants to be a columnist he should simply give up the mantra of being a reporter. If Jordan wants to be a reporter he should give up the bias he shows in his 'reporting'.

    P.S. defines 'yellow journalism' as:

    Yellow Journalism Law & Legal Definition

    "Yellow journalism is the type of journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates news to create sensations and attract readers. This method of journalism is used to increase circulation. However, news provided in yellow circulations is not given high news value by authorities. It is mostly considered as inflammatory and irresponsible reporting. Newspapers that practice yellow journalism are called yellow press. Now a days, yellow journalism is considered as an unprofessional or unethical practice."

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Obamacare Waivers

    From the Family Research Council and Tony Perkinss Washington update we got the following on the waivers being granted to Obamacare. Of course, it's interesting that Nancy Pelosi and Nevada seem to be fairing so well, but then what would we expect?

    "Obama's Party Favors

    On ObamaCare, maybe Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn't need to know "what's in it" because she just planned to get exempted from it! In the latest batch of health care waivers, California's 8th District seems to be enjoying a disproportionate amount. Thirty-eight of the 204 favors approved by the administration in April were tagged directly for San Francisco. And unlike the 1,334 other exemptions, these have a distinctly upscale feel to them. As the Daily Caller points out, Pelosi's waivers give a free pass to "fancy eateries, hip nightclubs, decadent hotels"--and even a four-star spa! Give me a break. These restaurants are selling $59 steaks but they can't make ends "meat" on health care? When pressed, a Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesman said the department is "committed to making the waiver process transparent to the public." Oh, it's transparent all right. Voters can see right through the political quid pro quo. Apart from the Pelosi waivers, HHS also exempted the entire state of Nevada, home to Pelosi's former counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)! In the year since ObamaCare was passed, America now has more waivers (1,372) than the bill had pages (906). "What does it say about the feasibility of the health care law," asked Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) "when the administration needs to exempt over 1,000 health plans from its own law?"

    What it says is that the Republican Party shouldn't drop its call to repeal. If the groups who fought for the law can't stomach it, then no one should have to. What's more, there seems to be no legal basis for granting these exemptions in the first place. Nothing that we've found in the law's fine print empowers the HHS Secretary to excuse any business (with 50 or more employees) from abiding by ObamaCare's requirements. By giving its friends immunity, the administration is putting other companies at a competitive disadvantage. Unlike the President's pets, these businesses will be lucky just to survive under the law's job-killing, resource-draining mandates. Like the owner of San Francisco's Tru Spa said, ObamaCare has "devastated" business. "It's been bad for us," he told the Daily Caller. And it will be bad for America if Republicans don't step up and get the government out of the health care business."

    Dwindling G.O.P. Presidential Field

    With Huckabee out, with the Donald out, with Newt on a self-destruct mission and Romney pretty much doing the same by refusal to acknowledge the mistake of mandated health-care in Massachusetts the G.O.P., the G.O.P. presidential nomination field seems to be narrowing. We still think it comes down to Pawlenty and Daniels (as yet undeclared) although neither totally excites us.

    Of course there are others other than Daniels still undeclared. One of those is Jon Huntsman. Frankly, we don't think the conservatives (they are the ones who will turn out to vote and nominate the G.O.P. nominee in the end) will support either of two rich Mormons with suspect credentials. Time will tell, but those who would like a pretty brief synopsis on Huntsman might want to check out the Rothenberg commentary on him at:

    Flynn On the Radio

    Apparently Patrick Flynn, would-be Nebraska G.O.P. U.S. Senate nominee hasapparently found some money. He is running an ad on KFAB telling the world that the U.S. debt limit should not be raised. Good for him but there is not enough money for him to fend off the presumptive G.O.P. nominee Jon Bruning.

    Giving Ben the Boot

    In yesterday's "We Get e-mail" category we got one from Jordan McGrain, Executive Director of the Nebraska G.O.P., regarding Judas Ben Nelson's 70th birthday. Of course, McGrain used the message as a fund-raising opportunity suggesting that folks give $70 to the party to help expedite Nelson's exit from his current job.

    Here's what the state G.O.P. said:

    "Our old friend Ben Nelson turns 70 today and we want to take this moment to help celebrate his, uh, distinguished career. Just consider these most recent achievements:

    * Under Barack Obama, Nelson's handpicked choice for President, gas prices, unemployment, and the national deficit have reached new heights.

    * The Federal Health Care Reform Bill, for which he cast the deciding vote, amounts to "probably the biggest tax increase ever in the history of our country."

    * He remains the only member of the Nebraska delegation to vote against an earmark ban, requesting 51 earmarks totaling $180 million taxpayer dollars last year.

    * And don't forget that his Cornhusker Kickback is widely considered the most infamous earmark of all-time.

    * The watchdog group Citizens Against Govt Waste named him 2010 "Porker of the Year."

    Wow! That's a lot to, um, celebrate. Unfortunately, we could not afford a gift for Senator Nelson, thanks in part to the crushing tax increases he's helped to impose and the crippling economic policies of the administration he supports.

    But mostly, we couldn't spare a nickel on a birthday gift because we're too preoccupied with saving for his upcoming Retirement Party! Many have suggested that 70 should be the new retirement age, and in Senator Nelson's particular case, we wholeheartedly agree.

    Please help the NEGOP save for Senator Nelson's Retirement Party by making a contribution of $70 (to honor his birthday) or whatever else you can afford today!


    Jordan McGrain
    Executive Director"

    Thoughts on LB 84 Road Funding

    Given our history we might be described as fans of Governor Heineman and that continues even though we are disappointed that he signed Senator Fischer's road building legislation which commits the state to spending 1/4 of a cent of its sales tax dollars beginning in 2013. The governor had been reluctant to commit future and unknown dollars to the effort. We think he should have stood his ground.

    One group that won't be happy with him is the Nebraska educational community which feels threatened by earmarking sales tax revenue to road building and fears reduced education spending. Perhaps the governor has crossed the Rubicon with these folks anyway given his recent statements that the union-owned State Senator Steve Lathrop's revision of the C.I.R. bill doesn't go far enough. The education community is solidly opposed to where the governor wants to leave the public employee unions on this issue. So maybe the governor has written off the support of the education groups and teachers although he been a strong supporter of education improvements.

    Now, having obtained passage of LB 84 we're hearing increasing rumors that Senator Fischer might just enter the U.S. Senate race. Getting the bill passed may be a feather in her bonnet, but still smacks of spending and earmarks which might not result in as much statewide support as she may hope for. Certainly, her name recognition can't compete with Stenberg's or Brunings and certainly neither Fischer, Stenberg or even Flynn can raise anywhere near enough money to be viable competitors against Bruning. Only Bruning can hurt Bruning. Based on his recent learning lesson on David Sokol (speaking out a little too quickly) we suspect Bruning will be much more tempered and reasoned in future iterations regarding friends or policy.

    Bottom line on all of this? Fischer wins, Heineman punts and Bruning is still the 800 pound gorilla.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Courting Heineman

    Seems that at least someone thinks that Nebraska's Governor Dave Heineman is worthy of courting if one wants to be the next G.O.P. nominee for the presidency. The fact is that a number of potential candidates are or have been talking to prominent Nebraska Republicans. We know of at least one prominent Nebraska Republican who has already agreed to serve in state chair capacity for a likely front-runner but we aren't at liberty to disclose those names yet.

    The one thing the article in Real Clear Politics doesn't mention or suggest is that Governor Dave may, in fact, be a great candidate for the second slot if he chooses not to put his name out there for the first one.

    Here is the article from Real Clear Politics by Erin McPike, "Courting a Border Governor (Nebraska's, That Is):

    "Now that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has taken himself out of the 2012 Republican presidential contest, expect those who do run to give Iowa more intense attention. Huckabee won the Hawkeye State's caucuses last time, and his decision makes the state all the more competitive this time, which makes one endorsement all the more important.

    It's not just Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad whom GOP hopefuls have to court in the first voting state of 2012 -- there's also Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, whose state borders Iowa to the west.

    Thanks to an Omaha media market that spills into western Iowa, Heineman is well-known there, an area heavy with activists from the religious right who go to the Republican caucuses in droves.

    In an interview with RealClearPolitics last week, Heineman said it's possible that he could wind up endorsing one of the governors or former governors in the race and campaign hard for his choice in Iowa.

    In the 2008 election he supported former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Heineman is open to supporting him again but says he has "a few more friends in the race this time." He had been considering Haley Barbour before the Mississippi governor chose not to run, and named Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty as good friends of his.

    Heineman said he's not as familiar with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, but he wants to get to know him, too. And it's likely he'll have an opportunity in July, when the National Governors Association gathers in Salt Lake City. Huntsman worked two years ago to bring this summer's NGA meeting in his home state, and it just so happens that Heineman will take on the chairmanship of the organization at that gathering, so it's likely Huntsman will have a golden opportunity to make his pitch there.

    Not surprisingly, Heineman said that the three top issues in the race will be the economy, jobs and health care, and he'll be in search of a candidate that can best address those three things.

    His support might mean more than meets the eye. Under Heineman, Nebraska's unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is well below the national average, and he's eager to showcase the reforms he's overseen in his state.

    Beyond that, Heineman has some political skills that could prove helpful to a candidate in Iowa. He was appointed governor in 2005 when President Bush tapped Mike Johanns to be secretary of agriculture; the following year, Heineman came out on top in a bitter primary he was expected to lose. Former Rep. Tom Osborne, who was once the coach of the University of Nebraska football team (a role known around the state as something of a "Nebraska Jesus"), was expected to dethrone Heineman in the intra-party fight. But Heineman beat him by several points and went on to garner nearly three-quarters of the statewide vote in 2006, even though that election cycle was particularly bad for Republicans.

    Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at"

    Governor Will Veto Current Version of LB 397

    In our "we get e-mail" category, we received the following news release from Governor Heineman's office a few moments ago. We believe that the governor is right on and if the liberal, union-owned Nebraska State Senator Steve Lathrop's bill isn't substantially re-engineered, the governor should veto it. In fact, we hope he does veto it so that a referendum can be placed before the voters next spring which would eliminate the C.I.R. once and for all.

    Here is what the governor's release had to say:

    "Gov. Dave Heineman today held a news conference call to discuss the Commission of Industrial Relations bill, LB 397, which is currently being considered in the Nebraska Legislature.

    Gov. Heineman typically doesn’t say if he would sign or veto bills before they reach his desk, due to their changing nature in the Legislature. However, in a rare occurrence, Gov. Heineman said he would veto the bill in its current form.

    “I seldom announce how I will act on a legislative bill before it reaches my desk, but I want to be crystal clear on LB 397,” said Gov. Heineman. “Senator Lathrop’s current version of LB 397 is unacceptable and I will veto it if the bill reaches my desk. The citizens of Nebraska want real reform and they expect the Legislature to produce real CIR reform.”

    Gov. Heineman added, “Real reform is possible if LB 397 is amended to include changes similar to the amendment submitted by Nebraska’s business leaders.”

    The proposed business amendment would bring more consistency to how public employee union disputes are handled. It would increase transparency on how labor union contracts are negotiated. It would provide more flexibility to local and state governments who are faced with the need to pay different union employees different wages. It would ensure accountability of taxpayer funds when negotiating union contracts or when a final decision is entered in a labor union dispute.

    Gov. Heineman stated, “The business community’s amendment is real reform and in its current form, I would sign it into law. Senator Lathrop’s intransigence on this issue is detrimental to the process. Real reform should include cost containment ideas and a simplified, transparent, and accountable process.”

    No Bus Flatulence!

    Everyone has now heard of the crime committed by a senior high school student who abetted by his two buddies posted his prom invite for his would-be date on the wall of his high school building. Political correctness called for the the boy and his buddies to be punished for the high crime by being banned from attending the prom. The head master's decision started an outcry that circled the world with the head master 'altering' her policy over the weekend, abandoning her strict disciplinary code in face of criticism and announcing that the lad and associates would now be allowed to attend the prom with some other form of punishment to be administered for their misdeeds. So much for political correctness (By the way there is a good editorial on this by Paul Jacob who was associated with the recent mayoral recall campaign which can be found at:

    But it's of interest that in Ohio political correctness is still the rule when it comes to 13 year-olds committing the crime of 'passing gas' on the school bus. We really couldn't have made this up and it appears these boys are being appropriately punished by being banned from the school bus for a week.

    Here's the article from the Columbus Dispatch:

    'Cutting the cheese' cuts bus rides for Canal Winchester students
    By Randy Ludlow

    "Two Canal Winchester Middle School students were booted off the school bus last week for, well, passing gas.

    James Nichols and Kristine Kuzora are upset that their son's flatulence was designated as an obscene gesture by school officials.

    Their 13-year-old son and another boy were on the school bus Thursday when they both experienced an emission. Children being children, the flatulence apparently caused a ruckus on the bus amid a flurry of laughs, jeers and lowering of windows, Nichols said.

    Canal Winchester Middle School officials cited the boys for making an obscene gesture in violation of the student code of conduct in revoking their rides to school Friday.

    The bus driver had warned the boys a few weeks ago after another joint gas attack, so they apparently were designated repeat offenders and handed one-day bus suspensions, Nichols said.

    Nichols has a sense of humor about the incident but is amazed that his seventh-grader, Anthony, would be kicked off the bus for doing what comes naturally - and accidentally.

    "It's very laughable, that's what it is," he said yesterday.

    He said the bus driver reported the boys to the vice principal, Daniel Senu-Oke, with whom he discussed the punishment.

    "He suggested my son should hold his gas on this hourlong bus ride, if in fact he has gas," said Nichols, whose family lives in Bloom Township in Fairfield County south of Canal Winchester.

    "When it happens, it just happens," he said. "It's not intentional."

    Calls to the middle school and superintendent's office seeking comment were not returned yesterday.

    Anthony's parents also are displeased that school officials made a "real stretch" to find an offense that could be cited to suspend the boys from the bus.

    "Obscene gesture?" Nichols asked. "I wouldn't call him an angel, but for passing gas on the bus?"

    Nichols said his wife was more upset, given a recent health problem.

    "As a sufferer of gastro-intestinal issues who was recently hospitalized for these issues, I take great offense to passing gas being cause for suspension and marked as an obscene gesture," Kuzora wrote to The Dispatch."

    I Like Mike, but it doesn't matter now -- Doug Patton

    Ever since he first announced his intention to seek the presidency last time around, I have made no secret of my admiration for Mike Huckabee. On the national stage, I had come to believe that Huckabee was a moral and political giant among pigmies. I even wrote in late 2007 that I agreed with his then-campaign manager and former Ronald Reagan aide, Ed Rollins, that Huckabee could well be the heir to the legacy of the Gipper himself. I had hoped that the former Arkansas governor would run again in 2012. Last Saturday night on his Fox News program, he informed the world that he would not.

    Huckabee was one of the few serious prospective presidential contenders to be an outspoken advocate of true federal tax reform via the Fair Tax — a national sales tax that would completely replace the corporate and personal income tax. Such a system, if properly implemented, would bring to an end a century of government policies that punish achievement in this country.

    Huckabee is an unabashed defender of traditional marriage and unborn human life. As an ordained Baptist minister, he sees the spiritual and social ramifications of America's slide toward Sodom and Gomorrah.

    He knows that the Second Amendment to the Constitution is not there to defend our right to hunt or even to defend our homes against invasion, but rather to ensure that Americans are never left impotent in the face of internal tyranny.

    And he understands that a strong national defense is the primary role of the federal government in America.

    In short, his beliefs embody the political "three-legged stool" Reagan spoke of so often: national security, fiscal responsibility leading to an opportunity society and not a welfare state, and traditional social values.

    Many people have forgotten — or never knew — that in the 1990s, when Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, Bill Clinton's felonious successor in Arkansas, was sent to prison, his lieutenant governor, Mike Huckabee, was gearing up to run for the United States Senate. Instead, Huckabee abandoned that campaign — which he likely would have won — to take charge as governor of a state in crisis. He completed the remainder of Tucker's term, and then was elected to two terms in his own right, serving a total of ten and a half years.

    Much has been said and written about Huckabee's new-found wealth and celebrity. After years of personal and professional austerity, first as a Baptist pastor and then as a poorly paid public servant, he is now the host of a highly rated weekend cable news show. He is reportedly building a $2.5 million home in Florida. With a salary in the millions, six-figure speaking fees, best-selling books and a daily five-minute commentary carried on 600 radio stations, he is clearly living the dream.

    But at least a few nagging questions hang in the air. What does Mike Huckabee owe America? Does the fact that he could very well win the Republican nomination and subsequently bring the socialist presidency of Barack Obama to an end obligate him to the nation far beyond any considerations of personal gain? Has he considered that the millions of dollars he is amassing for himself and his family might not be worth the paper and ink it takes to print them if Barack Obama's reckless policies are not stopped?

    Was Huckabee afraid of the scrutiny he would have received this time around? Some conservatives have castigated him as being soft on crime and for tax increases implemented while he was governor; and these are no doubt issues he would have had to face had he chosen to again seek the presidency. But I believe this man had the stuff to become a great president.

    Mike Huckabee restored decency to state government in Arkansas after the corruption of Bill Clinton and Jim Guy Tucker. He had a golden opportunity to do the same in Washington. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and opine that he, like Sarah Palin or Donald Trump, might do more good as a king maker than as a king. Still, it is with sadness that I realize I will not have the chance to mark my ballot for Mike Huckabee next year.
    © 2011 by Doug Patton
    Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011


    We were struck, really struck, by a column by Kathryn Lopez today, "Hope in Abortion Fight". Sadly, it didn't give us much reason for hope and, frankly, it says a lot about today's society.

    In part, here is what she tells us:

    "In New York City, 41 percent of babies are aborted.

    It's even worse than that, actually.

    As the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a group that supports abortion alternatives, has pointed out: "Sixty percent of African-American pregnancies in New York City were aborted in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available. In a 10-year period beginning in 2000, more than 900,000 pregnancies in the city ended in abortion -- nearly one-eighth of the entire city population of just over 8 million.""


    900,000 abortions and 41% of the pregnancies in a 10 year period in New York City!

    Even more disgusting 60% of black Americans! Maybe the blacks should go back and look at the intent of the founders of Planned Parenthood because it appears to be on display in the Big Apple.

    No 'Surprise': Bruning Gets Tea Party Express Endorsement

    The Tea Party Express led us to believe that their endorsement would be a 'surprise' but happily it really isn't if you are rational. Yes, they've endorsed Jon Bruning and maybe the only surprise is that Pat Flynn and Don Stenberg, both of whom are unelectable are now perhaps a little more so.

    To the news, Bruning said, “I’m honored to be the first candidate in the country endorsed by the Tea Party Express for the 2012 election cycle....I appreciate the Tea Party Express’ confidence in my experience and conservative record....Nebraskans deserve new leadership in Washington who will support fiscally responsible legislation; balance the federal budget; and repeal Obamacare. That’s what I intend to do in the United States Senate."

    In her comments Amy Kremer, chairman of the organization, said, “We at the Tea Party Express have long waited for the right candidate to defeat Senator Ben Nelson – one of the biggest enemies of the tea party principles, Jon Bruning is that candidate - a true conservative who will send Nelson into retirement and stand up for fiscal responsibility. We are thrilled to endorse Jon Bruning for US Senate.”

    Addendum: This from Roll Call's Daily Briefing:

    "The Tea Party Express made its first 2012 endorsement this morning, getting behind Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning’s bid for Ben Nelson’s Senate seat. What’s notable is that Bruning is nothing like the sort of outsiders the group got behind with decidedly mixed success (Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller) last year — and he already has enough establishment backing to make him the favorite for the GOP nomination against state Treasurer Don Stenberg. Nelson is the most conservative Democratic senator, but his bid for a third term has already become a tossup in the solidly Republican state."

    Immigration Reform?

    Wasting time and energy but keeping his face in front of a camera and trying to appeal to his liberal friends and and illegals who could be Democrat voters in the future, the Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama went to El Paso yesterday to advocate for 'immigration reform'. Of course such 'reform' has no chance of passing but does allow the president to remind Hispanics that he's on their side.

    All of this says a lot about our great half-breed leader who has his attorney general selectively support the laws he likes and not the ones he doesn't, i.e. Obamacare vs D.O.M.A. And it says a lot about a leader who supports giving rights to folks whose first act in the U.S. was to commit a crime, illegally crossing our border. And if some of those folks have worked here for five or ten years and are made legal, don't worry about punishing them for not paying their taxes or breaking the law; you simply make sure that the real citizen who didn't file his is penalized or sent to jail.

    When unemployment is 9% the simple 'immigration reform' is requiring businesses to hire only American citizens, penalizing them for violating the law and building a border defense that works.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    A Gracious Heineman Would Like To Show Obama a Few Things

    From the folks at Real Clear Politics, we came across an article by Erin Pike, "Obama Makes Himself a Stranger in 10 Red States". Pike also takes note of Governor Heineman's response on the Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama's absence from the state.

    Pike notes that...

    "in his victory address to the massive crowd at Chicago's Grant Park on Election Night 2008, Obama declared, "To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too."

    Being everyone's president doesn't necessarily mean stopping by for a visit, however. This past Friday, he traveled to Indianapolis and chatted with potential 2012 GOP rival Mitch Daniels, Indiana's governor. But Obama won that red state three years ago.

    Here's the more telling statistic: There are 11 states he has yet to visit as president, according to a recent analysis by McClatchy, and chances are slim he can make the 10 red states on that list competitive next year. (It's also unlikely he'll have any trouble holding onto the 11th one, Vermont.)

    The 10 red states that haven't been on Obama's must-see list thus far: Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.

    But political leaders in those states don't seem upset with Obama's absence, and most say they would welcome him if he came.

    Dave Heineman, the Republican governor of Nebraska, said in an interview with RCP that he hopes Obama will visit all 50 states because, “as president, you represent all of the people.”

    In 2008, Obama won one electoral vote -- that of the second congressional district -- in the Cornhusker State, contributing to its unique political positioning for Obama. (Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that allow for electoral votes to be split.)

    Heineman added that if Obama were to visit, he’d want to show off what his state has been able to accomplish both in education and jobs, especially considering Nebraska has the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation: 4.2 percent."