Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Brother's (Obama and Ben Nelson's) Obamacare Tracking Race, Ethnicity, Primary Languge, etc.

We confess that we have not read all 2000 some pages of President Obama's and Ben Judas Nelson's Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) so we continue to be astounded by some of the things that are in the act that many of us are just finding out about--as well as the intent of those developing its regulations.   Oh, the devil is in the details.

Anyway, Politico tells us this morning:

DISPARITIES MAY BE BEYOND HHS REACH- The health reform law gives federal health officials a new mandate to address the fact that racial and ethnic minorities tend to be sicker than the rest of the population. But there are limits to what they can actually do about the problem. The root causes, public health experts say, are social forces like poverty, poor schools and crumbling infrastructure that are outside the control of HHS. J. Lester Feder looks at how social factors contribute to disparities, and the challenge this poses to policymakers: http://politico.pro/soq6XF

--As part of HHS efforts to address health disparities, Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh will announce today new final standards for tracking race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability. HHS was tasked with coming up with these measures by the Affordable Care Act"" (Highlighting and underlining is ours).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery Act

Citizens Against Government Waste has awarded its "Porker of the Month Award" to U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) for her Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery Act.   You've probably already heard about this but we're glad her desire to wastefully squander tax dollars is being properly recognized.   Like CAGW, we think the idea stinks

Here is what they had to say:
"Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) Porker of the Month for proposing the Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery Act (DIAPER). The bill would amend the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 to include diapers among the grant-eligible items. Capitol Hill’s diaper diva issued a press release on October 7 recognizing “the work of Joanne Goldblum, who has been operating a Diaper Bank in Connecticut for years now, and whose good work has served as the inspiration for this legislation.” However, the Diaper Bank has done more than just inspire. In the fiscal year 2009 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Act, Rep. DeLauro disposed of $133,000 in taxpayer money with an earmark to the Diaper Bank. DIAPER “is another example of the mission creep within federal programs that gives taxpayers a bad rash,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Even as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is holding hearings on how to…wrangle some control over spiraling government spending, members like Rep. DeLauro are still trying to load on more spending and more debt. On behalf of taxpayers, we think this bill is, well…just offal. It should be left on the congressional compost heap.” For discharging a bill that needlessly dumps on taxpayers, Rep. DeLauro is CAGW’s October Pooper – er – Porker of the Month. Read more about the Porker of the Month."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lee Terry Gets It Right--and Wrong

In our "we get e-mail" category we got our weekly update from Congressman Lee Terry.  Now we like Lee and we're glad he wants to put a hiatus on new regulations from our dear federal government.    What we don't like is the bill only does so until January of 2013.  

The problem with businesses not spending and not hiring is more than what is going to happen in the next twelve months.   It's what the next several years hold.   It's Obamacare.  It's the threat of more regulation and enforcement for the next several years.  If businesses are to be expected to spend more and hire, a one year moratorium on regulations will mean NOTHING!

With due respect to the congressman, perhaps his January 21, 2013 date has to do with the election of the next president.  Perhaps it has to do with the current congress being unable to control what the next one will do.   Regardless, a year is still meaningless.

Here is what Congressman Terry had to say:

 "Regulatory Time-Out Act of 2011
Our economy needs a push in the right direction which is why I along with my colleague, Richard Hanna (R-NY), introduced H.R. 3257, the Regulatory Time-Out Act of 2011. The Regulatory Time-Out Act will let American business, large and small, know that for a period, there will not be any new regulations coming down the chute to hit them in the pocketbook. By temporarily prohibiting the adoption of any new federal regulations through January 21, 2013, that would cost the American economy more than $100 million, it will ensure, at least for while, that we won’t be biting the hand that feeds us. Every newly-created regulation holds down the very people that the American economy relies on: job creators. A provisional suspension, like this, from new regulatory hurdles is expected to spur American job growth."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Help Needed to Picket Omaha Banks

In today's "We get e-mail" category we have one from our friends at Moveon.org.  Seems they want to bring their protests to Omaha on November 5 and are looking for volunteers to coordinate the effort to let those big nasty greedy banks know the 99% isn't going to stand for it any longer.  These folks want to picket those Omaha branch banks.   They want fees cut, foreclosures stopped and the banks to invest in their communities.  

Apparently, these Moveon folks never heard of the Community Reinvestment Act which was passed years ago and really 'enhanced' by the Clinton Administration.   It was that act the purpose of which was to get banks lending to more and more unqualified persons that resulted in the real estate bubble that has nearly brought down the banks and our country.   And those new fees, yes they were brought to you by the current occupant of the White House and associates Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who pushed restrictive and costly regulations on financial institutions.

But we digress.   Here is Moveon's request for your involvement.   See you on the 5th!

Dear MoveOn member,

"It's time to Make Wall Street Pay in our communities.
The 99% protesters have brought incredible national attention to Wall Street's greed and the corporate capture of our democracy, and now a campaign to move our money out of the big banks is spreading virally online, with tens of thousands of people joining in.1
So we're going all in with a big day of action on November 5, picketing Wall Street banks at their Main Street branches all across the country. We'll gather at banks across America to let them know that we're moving our money and asking everyone who's part of the 99% to do the same.

Unless the big banks start investing in our communities again, and stop the mass foreclosures, charging of ridiculous new fees, and undercutting of any chance for economic renewal, it's time for us to take our business elsewhere. The government bailed them out—it's up to us to call them out.

We need someone to lead a Make Wall Street Pay action against a local big bank branch inOmaha on November 5. Can you?

The Wall Street speculation that crashed our economy started with our bank deposits in the Main Street branches of the big banks, which is why we need thousands of people picketing the local big bank branches in their communities.

Instead of investing our money in our communities, the big banks gambled it recklessly, crashed our economy, and got bailed out with our tax dollars. And they're still not done. Through their increased fees, mass foreclosures, and record executive bonuses, the banks have shown no remorse and taken no responsibility for restoring the economy that they destroyed.2
For instance, Bank of America just raised fees on its customers and announced that it's cutting 30,000 jobs, all while pocketing $6.2 billion in third quarter profits.3 That's after receiving a $1.9 billion federal tax refund on their $4.4 billion in profits last year.4
It's an insult to every American taxpayer, and our government has done nothing to hold them accountable. That's why we have to hold them accountable on November 5 in Omaha.

Thanks for all you do."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nelson's Abysmal Voting Record on Family Issues

According to the Family Research Council Ben Nelson has an absolutely abysmal record when it comes to voting on 'family' issues, at least if you believe the results of his votes on 8 issues the U.S. Senate dealt with in the first session of the 112th Congress.    Yes, ol' pro-family Ben got a whopping 14%!   Senator Johanns earned a 71%, and on 10 issues before the House, Congressmen Terry, Fortenberry and Smith earned grades of 90%.

Frankly, this illustrates rather vividly that the Ben Nelson Ben Nelson wants Nebraskans to see in Nebraska is certainly not the Ben Nelson that votes for family issues back in Nebraska.

We wonder how Judas Ben Nelson will demagogue these results?

Ben Nelson's Obamacare is Anti-Marriage, Anti-Family

Will once again a surprise from Ben Nelson's 60th vote and Obamacare.    Politico tells us this morning that the program could be anti-marriage, anti-family in the way tax credits will be allowed.   

For a program that Nelson CREATED by his 60TH VOTE, there seem to be lots of unintended results, i.e., 1099's for business sales of more than $600,  3% tax hold backs from businesses contracting with the federal government, the unworkable window-dressing Class Act, etc., etc.   Now an anti-family, anti-marriage tax credit.

Here is what "Politico" is telling us:


"IF YOU WANT A TAX CREDIT, DON'T PUT A RING ON IT? You might want to re-think heading down the aisle if you counted on getting a premium tax credit to buy health insurance. At least, that's the claim of a new report out this morning from the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. The report says the health care law implements a "marriage penalty tax" and will, over time "directly cause fewer individuals to marry." Yes, that part got our attention too. The report charges a "marriage penalty" would work like this:

1. Because the law links the tax credit to household income, two people who make above a certain combined income will not be able to get a tax credit if they file together (married), but if they get divorced or decided against tying the knot they would, individually, be eligible for a premium credit. Giving people pause about marriage could be a big "unintended consequence" of the law, the report says. (PULSE thought bubble: or provide a convenient excuse to those with commitment issues?)

2. Although the proposed rule on tax credits is somewhat unclear on the issue of affordability for families with employer-sponsored insurance, the GOP report suggests that the rule could be interpreted in a way where families with only one spouse receiving insurance through their employer could encounter a dilemma where they are forced to choose between a.) a divorce and tax credits b.) buying individual insurance without a premium subsidy or c.) paying a penalty and forgoing insurance.

"The proposed rule issued by the administration ... disqualifies a family from claiming the credit if either spouse is offered an insurance plan at work with an out-of-pocket premium less than 9.5 percent of household income for self-only coverage. For example, if a 40-year-old married couple with two children makes $70,000 per year and neither spouse has an offer of ESI, the family would qualify for a tax credit of $5,579. If either spouse has an offer of ESI, however, the couple would not qualify for the tax credit. Under the status quo, nearly all employees who are offered coverage at their workplace will likely have an offer of affordable coverage because most employees pay less than 9.5 percent of household income for their portion of the total premium. Thus, married couples and their families will generally be ineligible for the credits if either spouse has access to coverage through his or her employer."

THANKS, BEN.

Obama Enriched by State Department

Fox News and others have noted that the State Department has bought more than $70,000 of our dear president's book, "Dreams from My Father.    They are sending them out as Christmas presents (maybe they miss Ramadan?) and including them in their diplomatic libraries across the world.     Apparently, there are still a lot of those 10 year old books around.    Maybe his campaign can further enrich him and offer them to donors?

All of this kind of reminds us of former Speaker Jim Wright who made hundreds of thousands of dollars by forcing folks to buy his book.   At least Hillary got her money in advance before becoming Secretary of State.....

KFAB Fades: Listeners Lose a Friend

At best Tom Becka's voice reminds one of chalk scratching a blackboard.   His face and figure are designed for radio.  But, alas, Tom's job has been 'eliminated' in some woe foe Clear Channel Broadcasting redo to supposedly help Clear Channel 'grow' across the country.    That remains to be seen.

We didn't always agree with Tom.    Neither did Omaha's incompetent mayor or the Omaha Fire Union who are certainly still toasting his demise.   If Tom didn't agree with you he let you know it, but he always gave those (targets) an opportunity to rebut him on his show if they dared and he was respectful of them when they did.  

Tom Becka, unlike a lot of local radio personalities, was always ready to take a stand and we suspect in a way that contributed to his demise.   Perhaps, in the end it was that which cost him his job.

Sadly, this sounds somewhat like an obituary.    It isn't although many in Omaha will certainly miss his presence on KFAB.    We know Tom will land on his feet whether in Omaha or elsewhere.    We hope it will be in Omaha and if it is KFAB and Clear Channel may find they just won't 'grow' in that time segment.

Tom is a friend.    We'll miss his voice and audacious way of tackling issues.   So will Omaha.   We wish him luck.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where is Joe Biden?

If you noticed the column to the left we have returned the Joe Biden "Foot in Mouth" award to its rightful owner, Joe Biden.   With that said and with his worry about jobs and rapes we wonder why he isn't talking about the occupy movement where rapes and arrests seem to be the norm?   Can't he find some way to create some jobs for these vagrants so they'll quit their nascent careers in crime?

Here is what we are told today by

Hillsdale College Invites You to Listen In

Hillsdale College is a unique institution of higher learning that accepts absolutely no government aide.   Students can't even use federally guaranteed loans to attend.    That allows Hillsdale to be able to say "no" to countless government requirements and regulations.

With that said, Hillsdale is offering an interesting Free Market Forum program over the next two days and we'd encourage our audience to partake of their generous web cast offerings on a number of issues that conservatives will find very interesting.

Here are the details:


Free Market Forum
"Markets, Government, and the Common Good"

October 27-28, 2011 

Watch the speeches and panels live on your computer.
All events will also be archived for later viewing.
Schedule of Events (All times are Eastern):
Thursday, October 27th

"The New Road to Serfdom: Lessons to Learn from European Policy"
Daniel Hannan
European Parliament
8:00 p.m.

Friday, October 28th

Panel: "The National Debt and Entitlement Reform"
8:00 - 9:45 a.m.

Panel: "Can We Shrink the Federal Bureaucracy?"
10:15 -11:45 a.m.

Panel: "The Debate over Public-Sector Unions"
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

"Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility"
Nikki Haley
Governor of South Carolina
8:00 p.m.

A complete schedule of events and presenters is available on the
registration page at at hillsdalefmf.com. After registering, you will
receive a confirmation email and instructions about logging-on to
view the webcasts.
About Hillsdale's Free Market Forum

The Free Market Forum seeks to encourage the study of free


enterprise. Faculty members from colleges and universities
affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
and policy analysts at state think tanks attend as guests of the
Free Market Forum.


Visit our website, www.hillsdale.edu, for more information
about Hillsdale College.

Governor Heineman Shows Washington How to Create Jobs at a Fraction of the Cost

Although we often get e-mails from the governor's office, most of them are about judgeship appointments or objects of less than earth-shattering import.   Today, however, in our "We Get E-mail" category we got one in which the governor says he has awarded $505,000 in CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds to a Columbus, NE company known as Apogee Retail, LLC.    The governor tells us the grant will produce 100 new full-time positions.

Now, assuming our calculations are correct, that means that the award amounts to only $5,050 for each new job created.    As we recall, the cost of President Obama's job stimulus was around $176,000 per (alleged) jobs created.    As we recall, the cost of the president's 'green jobs' has been nearly $800,000 per job created.   Of course, it's hard to amortize the cost of those 'green jobs' when you're writing off misguided investments of $500+ billions of dollars on firms like Solyndra.

We certainly choose to differ with Governor Heineman on issues from time to time (i.e., the Keystone XL Pipeline) but this is a case where once again our president and our federal government could learn a great deal from Heineman and the State of Nebraska.   Kudos to the governor.


The Gov. Heineman's e-mail:  Gov. Heineman Awards $505,000 in CDBG Funds to Columbus for Business Expansion
Wed, 26 Oct 2011 15:05:00 -0500

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today awarded $505,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to the city of Columbus to help Apogee Retail, LLC in the update and expansion of call center operations. The project will result in 100 new full-time positions.

Keystone XL Pipeline: To Be a Scandal or Not, or Just Being Duped?

It seems that the Keystone XL Pipeline may be more of an issue as a national political scandal than of an environmental-wacko one to just 'reroute' (stop it altogether) it through Nebraska--at least if you are aligned to the effort to stop it.

A Roll Call article, "Democrats slow to probe Keystone" by Darren Goode, which appeared yesterday, suggests that opponents have uncovered conflict of interest issues that portend a scandal, but can't get their Democrat brethren to do anything about it.

Nebraskans have actually heard the 'scandal' discussed in the back and forth allegations made locally that certain e-mails reveal a 'cozy' relationship with Keystone and a former Clinton (Hillary that is) campaign aide.

Apparently, those senate Democrats aren't very interested in dealing with the issue of the potential scandal. Even Judas Ben Nelson seems to dismiss the issue--at least back in Washington.   Given Ben's cozy relationship with Harry Reid, one would think that if Ben wanted to be truly effective he'd have the clout to move ol' Harry, but Harry isn't too worried about it.

We'll let you read the full article below and try to figure this one out.

More and more this issue seems to be one similar to the tax increase by the unicameral in 2003 when then Governor Johanns publicly opposed the tax increase but knew, and hoped, the unicameral would pass it and over-ride his veto--which happened.   More and more we think Nebraska's two U.S. Senators and its current governor are doing pretty much the same thing, trying to represent their view (really that of Jane Kleeb and wacko-environmentalists who have stirred up this passion) of what public opinion is while still hoping the thing moves forward. In the end, we suspect that is what will happen regardless of any national scandal.   And, of course, there will still be plenty of opportunity for finger pointing by these guys whichever way it goes.

It's just a shame these folks have been manipulated, duped, by Kleeb and friends. Someday this will come back to haunt them and potentially Nebraskans.

Here's the article:

"Democrats slow to probe Keystone
By: Darren Goode
October 25, 2011 11:23 PM EDT
Critics of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline think they’ve uncovered a conflict
-of-interest scandal that will shake the halls of Congress.

They just can’t get top Senate Democrats to help them do it.
Environmental groups opposing the $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline sending crude
from Alberta oil sands to Texas have uncovered evidence they say shows the 
State Department has already made up its mind, such as internal emails showing
a cozy relationship between a TransCanada lobbyist and former Hillary Clinton 
campaign aide with a department official working on the project.

But while House Republicans have fanned the flames of the Solyndra affair with
an unending stream of letters, hearings and subpoena threats, Senate Democrats
— who have all the same arrows in their quivers — have been slow to take up
arms over Keystone.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, long a champion of 
green causes, cited a busy schedule — which includes a seat on the deficit-cutting
supercommitee — as his reason for not jumping on the issue, although it involves
 the State Department.

Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman has no plans
to look into the pipeline review or the project itself before the State Department 
makes its decision by the end of the year.

And when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote Clinton this month to question
the need for the pipeline, his office kept the letter quiet. Reid’s letter wasn’t
released by his office or even publicly cited until The Washington Post referenced
it in a story two weeks after it was sent.

Another pipeline critic, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), admitted he’s not familiar with
allegations that the State Department’s review of the TransCanada pipeline is not
on the level.

“I haven’t spent any time looking at those charges,” Nelson said. “I just don’t think
it’s that newsworthy.”

Other key Democratic partners with the environmental community like Senate 
Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, Energy and
Commerce ranking member Henry Waxman and House Natural Resources
ranking member Ed Markey have written letters and otherwise raised concerns
about the pipeline, focusing on environmental and safety concerns, rather than
the conflict-of-interest charges.

“The environmental and economic concerns have been and will continue to be 
the primary one for many members,” said Markey’s spokesman Eben 
Burnham-Snyder.

Unlike other Obama administration environmental and energy efforts, such as 
climate change legislation, the decision on the proposed pipeline lies with 
President Barack Obama due to the fact it would cross the U.S.-Canada border.

Pipeline opponents have waged a public campaign against the administration, 
protesting at the White House in August and again Tuesday outside Obama’s
hotel in San Francisco. Another major protest is scheduled for Nov. 6 at the
White House. Protest organizer Bill McKibben has repeatedly stated his goal
isn’t to hurt the president, but opponents realize that Democratic lawmakers
may not be eager to draw much attention to criticism of the administration or
allege something as serious as a conflict of interest as 2012 approaches.

“To be blunt, there’s a lot going on, but there’s also a lot of counterpressure
going on not to upset the apple cart,” said Damon Moglen, director of climate


“Democratic lawmakers in Congress are always reluctant to take on their own 
president,” said Jeremy Symons, senior vice president for conservation and 
education at the National Wildlife Federation.

Labor unions — an important constituency for Obama and a lot of other 
Democrats — are backing the pipeline and the jobs it could bring.

The State Department in August released a final environmental impact assessment,
stating that the pipeline would have minimal adverse impact. This assessment
further cemented in the minds of critics that the department is well on its way to
approving the pipeline.

Clinton herself raised eyebrows in October 2010 when she said the department 
was “inclined” to approve the pipeline since it’s better to get oil from a friendly
neighbor like Canada than from the Middle East.


“I think it’s driving the environmental community nuts because their friends in
the White House and the State Department are going to grant this permit,” said
Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), who along with Nelson is opposed to the proposed
pathway the pipeline would take in their state.

The lack of congressional investigation has meant that the “growing influence

scandal,” as Friends of the Earth has dubbed it, has developed more slowly.
Friends of the Earth collected through a Freedom of Information Act request the
emails between State Department officials and Paul Elliott, TransCanada’s chief
Washington lobbyist — and Clinton’s national deputy campaign manager when
she ran for president in 2008.

But congressional demands are faster than FOIA requests. The flames igniting

any burgeoning scandal — as evidenced by the attention played on Solyndra —
often grow brighter through subpoenas and other action by Congress, regardless
of the validity of the charges being levied.

“This is not a legislative issue and, at this time when there’s so many other battles

competing for members’ attention, it makes sense that some would focus more on
those issues rather than on a decision that is still pending in the administration,”
said Daniel Weiss, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Weiss also suggested that more media attention would raise more eyebrows

among lawmakers.

“The more that Keystone is covered, the more you see members of Congress

taking a position on it,” he said.

Thirty-three House Democrats led by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and three

Senate Democrats this month did send separate letters to Clinton questioning
the validity of the department’s review by referencing a New York Times article on
the department’s selection of Cardno Entrix to handle the environmental review of
the pipeline after reportedly listing TransCanada as a “major client.”

“Hillary Clinton’s mess is making it harder to ignore,” Symons said.

Clinton has denied any problem with the department’s review, telling The

Associated Press this month that she has “no reason to believe” that the
department is biased in favor of the project.

In a meeting last week with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), department officials also

stressed a decision hasn’t been made and that the environmental analysis is
merely one piece of a larger, complicated review.

The announcement Monday that Broderick Johnson would be a senior adviser

on Obama’s reelection team after spending time working at a lobbying shop that
represented TransCanada also irks some critics. “It stinks,” said McKibben.
Johnson registered as a lobbyist for TransCanada, though the company is
denying he worked on its behalf.

Not everyone is necessarily waiting for congressional Democrats to throw

more weight around. Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity
are among those that have already challenged the project in court.

“Our attention is focused entirely outside of Washington, outside of the Beltway,

where the action really is on this issue,” Symons said. “Washington is the problem.”

Aside from the protests, the McKibben-led Tar Sands Action is also backing a print

ad in The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as on POLITICO and
other news websites, slamming the State Department’s connections to
TransCanada and alleging the pipeline is “an environmental crime in progress.”"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Senator Lautenbaugh Speaks Candidly

One of our correspondents attended the Douglas County Republican Luncheon held yesterday at the Garden Cafe.    The guest speaker was State Senator Scott Lautenbaugh.

Lautenbaugh discussed a number of topics which included the Omaha Public School System and its administration, the Keystone XL Pipeline, the requirement that all Nebraska lawyers must join the state bar, Lake Ashland and answered a number of questions in his typical candid and direct manner.

On the pipeline, Lautenbaugh was clear that he didn't favor a special session---even though, apparently unknown to him, the governor was in the process of calling one at the same time.   It was pretty clear from Lautenbaugh's comments that he considers the passion on rerouting the pipeline to be aimed at not rerouting it but just stopping it because of the environmentalists' desire to stop any fossil fuel effort.

On the Omaha Public Schools, Lautenbaugh discussed his decision to introduce a bill to restructure it to 5 rather than 12 members and to pay board members while also limiting their terms.    He noted that while at South High School in the early 80s, current board member Sandra Jensen was on the board when he and fellow students advocated for the need of a high school parking lot.      Lautenbaugh said he was vacillating a little between whether a 5 member or 7 member board would make more sense.   He said that the board should be mandated to follow certain 'non-delegatable' duties in contrast to the current system where the board has abdicated (our words) those decision making accountabilities to the superintendent.    Lautenbaugh said that to his knowledge, "No one supports the current structure except the members of the board."

Lautenbaugh, who has also raised some attention by his advocating for a study of a possible Lake Ashland, discussed his desire to initiate a feasibility study.    He said the cost would be somewhere between one and two million dollars and suggested that the state might tap the $800,000 in the Campaign Finance Limitation Act Account since it appears that the use of those funds will probably not be required given the recent court decision in Arizona and the N.A.D.C. (Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission) decision not to enforce the Campaign Finance Limitation Act.   Lautenbaugh believes that if it were found feasible, Lake Ashland would provide a tremendous stimulus for Nebraska.  

In the same regard, Lautenbaugh noted that he was happy that others had helped determine the fate of the Campaign Finance Law since his efforts to do so in the legislature have not been productive.

Lautenbaugh noted that he objected to the state law that requires attorneys to join the state bar.    He questioned why he should be required to support an organization that often spends thousands of dollars, including his dues, to lobby against his bills.   He noted that doctors are not required to join medical associations, etc.

Lautenbaugh was asked questions on the Learning Community to which he responded that any potential legislation would probably depend on what the courts due with the cross-county tax issue now before them.    On the potential change next year to the 'winner-takes-all' electoral vote, he said there was some things going on but did not elaborate.   He noted the bill was in the Government Committee chaired by Senator Avery.   We will also note that self-enriching, slime-ball, gambling advocate State Senator Schumacher also serves on that committee and refuses to vote to move the bill out of committee.  

Lautenbaugh responded to a number of other questions.    He displays a comfort and assurance in dealing with any and all issues and as we noted earlier does so in a direct and candidate manner.    He is not afraid of taking a lead on issues, even controversial ones.  Omahans are lucky to have him represent them.

Obama's Green Jobs--Romney Responds

In our "We get e-mail" category we received one today from Mitt Romney.   While we're not about to endorse Mitt, we certainly agree with much of the commentary on Obama and his 'green jobs' program.   Below is part of that commentary:

"First, the good news: President Barack Obama has finally created some "green jobs." Now for the bad news: They are not in the United States, but in Finland.

The creation of environmentally friendly jobs has been at the top of Barack Obama's policy agenda since coming into office. With the first of his now many jobs plans, the President set out to fulfill his campaign promise of spending $150 billion to create ten million green jobs. Alas, things didn't quite worked out as planned.

First came Solyndra, the solar-panel maker backed by a major Obama campaign-funds bundler, which President Obama hailed as a "true engine of economic growth." It turned out to be a true engine of bankruptcy. Even as the administration trumpeted its accomplishments, the firm was careening toward insolvency. Taxpayers were left holding a $500 million bill, and the firm was left facing an FBI investigation. Nonetheless, at least one Solyndra-linked fundraiser is helping to organize Tuesday's presidential cash call in San Francisco.

Now we may be in for more of the same. The Obama administration has shoveled $1 billion out the door to two California-based electric car manufacturers. Fisker Automotive got a $529 million loan from the Department of Energy; Tesla got $465 million. President Obama has hailed such subsidies as a "historic opportunity to ensure that the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks are made in America."

Alas, like Solyndra, these loans are turning out to be historic opportunities to line the pockets of major campaign fundraisers. Fisker investors, including Al Gore himself, have donated more than $1 million to political campaigns - primarily Democrats. Tesla, for its part, has financial backing from a fundraiser who bundled hundreds of thousands of dollars for the President's campaign; Tesla's CEO is also a major Democratic donor who has poured money into Obama's campaign coffers.

Tesla's next vehicle is expected to list for $57,400. Fisker's car, already a year behind schedule, will cost $97,000. "We have a history of losses and we expect significant increases in our costs and expenses to result in continuing losses for at least the foreseeable future," says Tesla's most recent quarterly filing.

And neither firm has created many jobs. So far, approximately 100 workers are employed by Fisker in Wilmington, Del., while an additional 500 are actually assembling the cars in Finland. Tesla's record is only slightly better. Even these few jobs may be illusory: studies of Europe's green job experiments have found that each new green job destroys several other jobs elsewhere in the economy.

Last summer, the Government Accountability Office, Congress's investigative arm, sounded alarm bells about potential abuses in the issuance of green-job loans, warning that the Obama administration's Department of Energy had "treated applicants inconsistently, favoring some and disadvantaging others." Congress should investigate carefully how so much taxpayer money was spent so poorly on behalf of so many donors."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Governor Continues to Astound on Pipeline Issue

Pipelines Already Crossing the Ogallala Aquifer from South
Dakota to Texas
We're not at all sure what the governor is thinking but he has now called for a special session of the legislature to deal with the Keystone XL Pipeline.   He surprised us when he came out against the current route but this really is astounding.

From his message, it appears that the is grasping for any legislation that might be held to be legal and could have an impact on the routing.  

Given Senator Floods well researched efforts and his letter last week suggesting that a special session wouldn't make sense, we just wonder what the governor thinks can be done.

It seems to us that if the governor wants something done he ought to be prepared to submit his version of the legislation he thinks can pass and actually accomplish something.   

We continue to believe the governor has been duped by this anti-pipeline, anti-tar sands Jane Fleming Kleeb Bold Nebraska mentality.    The anti-pipeline folks want one thing--NO PIPELINE AT ALL!   NO TAR SAND OIL. 

The Governor's Press Release:

"Nebraska to Hold Special Session Regarding Oil Pipelines

Gov. Heineman and Unicameral to Seek Solution on Pipeline Siting
(Lincoln, Neb.) Today, Gov. Dave Heineman announced that he will be calling the Nebraska Unicameral into Special Session to determine if siting legislation can be crafted and passed for pipeline routing in Nebraska. The purpose of the Special Session will be to find a legal and constitutional solution to the siting of oil pipelines within the state.

“The key decision for current pipeline discussions is the permitting decision that will be made by the Obama Administration, which is why I have urged President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to deny the permit,” said Gov. Heineman. “However, I believe Nebraskans are expecting our best efforts to determine if alternatives exist. Therefore, I will be calling a special session of the Nebraska Legislature to have a thoughtful and thorough public discussion about alternative solutions that could impact the route of the pipeline in a legal and constitutional manner.”

Gov. Heineman worked with State Senator Mike Flood of Norfolk, Speaker of the Legislature, to set the starting date of the Special Session for Nov. 1."

Ben Nelson Get the Big Bucks

We see from Roll Call that Ben Nelson (Ben Nelson Sees Early DSCC Help, by David M. Drucker
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_46/Ben-Nelson-Sees-Early-DSCC-Help-209693-1.html?pos=hftxt--)  Has received more than $800,000 in advertising courtesy of the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Nebraska Democrat Party.
Of course, Nelson will ultimately decide to run, but here are a few interesting notes form the Roll Call article:
  • Since September, the Nebraska Democratic Party appears to have accessed DSCC transfers to fund about $800,000 worth of statewide television and radio ads on Nelson's behalf, according to GOP sources who track media purchases.
  • Nelson said in an interview that he would decide by the end of the year whether he will seek a third term, but he disputed any suggestion that there was a connection between his decision and the DSCC's early intervention in the race.
  • Nelson said family issues and how productive he can be over the course of another six years in the Senate are among his considerations. He characterized the television spots run on his behalf this fall as a "response to all the negative ads that were run about me by Americans for Prosperity and Karl Rove's PAC, and so it's more in that line than anything else."
  • The Nebraska Democratic Party is not the only state affiliate to receive transfers from the DSCC. But it appears that the Nebraska party may have benefited more than others from the committee's largess. Media tracking sources say the Nebraska party, which first went on air in late July, has bought statewide broadcast and cable television through Nov. 2 at an average of about $135,000 per week, more than enough to penetrate the Cornhusker State's relatively inexpensive media markets.
There is no question that ads like "Three Peas in a Pod" are designed to drive down Republican favorables and drive up Nelson's favorables.    Apparently, the DSCC thinks that if it can do it now, it can do that once a G.O.P. challenger is actually picked.   Abetted by Nelson's campaign consultant/manager and the DSCC, the premise to Nelson will be that using his normal demagogic tactics he can win in 2012.    We're not quite so sure.   All his opponent will have to do is show him and his buddy the president under the caption, "Nebraskans Sold Out on Obamacare."

Local Daily Exposes itself in Fischer Hit Piece

We're not quite sure what the local daily attempted to accomplish in its front-page-below-the-fold piece on State Senator and want-to-be G.O.P. U.S. Senate candidate Deb Fischer in it's Sunday edition, "When ranch practices butt up against politics".   Is it the beginning of what we expect to be a continuing series of hit pieces against anyone other than their yet unendorsed hero, Ben Nelson?  

Fischer's ranch which abuts federal land which her family leases isn't doing anything wrong.  The family ranch has grazed cattle on the land for decades and she married into the family.    We're told 136 other Nebraskans take advantage of the program which we would agree is obviously under-priced when it comes to what the government charges.   That's not Fischer's fault.

Maybe as the headline implies, the Fischer family 'ranch practies', i.e., leasing federal land, will 'butt' up against politics, but so far it hasn't--at least until the local daily brought it up.    Candidates Stenberg and Bruning wisely chose not to comment on the issue since the local daily will obviously be having follow-ups on their already mentioned or unmentioned 'transgressions'.  

Now, what we would like to know since the local daily brought up the issue is where Fischer, Stenberg, Bruning and YES the Omaha World-Herald's beloved Ben Nelson stand on the issue?  Do they favor revision of the lease rates to make them at least pay for the costs of the administration of them?   Yes or No?  Do they favor the elimination of the program entirely?   Yes or No?

Not asking the latter questions simply shows the local daily to be justifying its ultimate endorsement of Ben Nelson.   It simply augers what will be more hit pieces on Bruning and Stenberg and Fischer  

Of course, we're not particularly surprised that the writer of the piece, Robynn Tysver who typically lacks any intellectual curiosity, didn't ask the questions.   Perhaps we are too hard on Tysver given that no doubt she sacrifices that curiosity, assuming she has it at all, to job security and the editorial page's efforts to re-elect Ben Nelson. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Nelson Demonstrations

Last week we were at the 'Tuesday' demonstration in front of Ben Nelson's Omaha hideout.    We call it his Omaha hideout because normal constituents who have a difference with him don't dare even park in his parking lot for fear of being towed.   Oh, if you are the folks from Moveon.org, you can park there anytime you want for any reason. 

While we were there hundreds of passing motorists once again were treated to a citizen organized demonstration by upwards of 50 sign carriers.  

Next week, those sign carriers will be joined by even more folks as Americans for Prosperity will be joining the effort to let folks know just what a lying Judas Ben Nelson is when it comes to his 60th vote on Obamacare or his recent "Three Peas in a Pod" commercial.

Here are the details from AFP:
 



We're re-starting our weekly NelsonCare protests. Let's remind Nebraskans about Senator Nelson's historical deciding 60th vote, and remind Senator Nelson that we haven't forgotten his role in this unconstitutional legislation.

Join us Tuesdays at Senator Ben Nelson's Omaha office for:Nebraska Remembers the Cornhusker Kickback Protests.

Every Tuesday starting October 25th
Senator Ben Nelson's Omaha Office -
11819 Miracle Hills Dr

Nelson's Dereliction of Duty and Lee Terry's Efforts to Stay in Contact with Constituents

Congressman Lee Terry's latest weekly update points out the real difference between reality and the president's and Harry Reid's job creation mentality.   You can see part of that below.  

What strikes us is that Terry who held some 57 meetings and multiple town hall meetings with constituents during the August congressional recess speaks from the reality of actually talking to and visiting with business folks and constituents.    We continue to compare his performance with that of Nebraska's Judas U.S. Senator Ben Nelson who apparently spent the month of August in retreat at his state-stocked turkey retreat overlooking the Platte River Valley.   

We continue to assert that local media, i.e., The Omaha World-Herald, has given Nelson a pass on any criticism for his disappearing act.   But then to Nelson's logic, would you subject yourself to the citizens of Nebraska that will never give him a pass on his Cornhusker Kickback and his 60th vote to make Obamacare a reality?

"Senator Reid on Jobs:

Earlier this week Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) stated that “private-sector jobs have been doing just fine, it’s the public-sector jobs where we have lost huge numbers.” Having met with dozens and dozens of businesses in Omaha-I can tell you the majority of small businesses do not feel as though they are "fine."

Senator Reid is not only wrong in his belief that more government spending will create jobs, he is factually wrong in his assessment that private jobs are “just fine” and pubic-sector jobs are being lost. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 2007 the private sector has lost 5.4 percent of its jobs, while all of government has only lost 1.8 percent. We've had unemployment at or near 9 percent for two straight years. Obviously no sector our economy is doing "just fine"-even in Nebraska where we have been spared the worst of the economic downturn.

I believe that the way to create jobs is to get out of the way of America’s innovators and entrepreneurs. So far the House has passed 15 pro-growth pieces of legislation that have bipartisan support. Check out this job tracker to learn more about legislation designed to promote job growth:
http://majorityleader.gov/JobsTracker/ ."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Anybody But Romney?

Our friend Stu Rothenberg has an interesting post with which we are inclined to agree.   Again, we're not the strongest fans of Mitt Romney.   We had great hopes for Governor Perry and we really like Herman Cain but it is becoming somewhat obvious to us that the 'conservatives' are just the candidate du jour in a failing attempts to stop the moderately regarded Romney.     We, too, wish there were an electable Ronald Reagan out there to take on Romney, but as Rothenberg notes, it is getting late and more and more we're inclined to believe Romney will be the G.O.P. nominee.   

Governor Romney signing Massachusetts' health care bill
We don't like any comparison of Romney with McCain but it's certainly there.    In fact, we have comparisons of Romney with Bob Dole in our minds as well.   And, certainly, McCain's nomination of Palin energized the conservative base in a year in which a Republican Jesus Christ probably couldn't have won an election given the deplorable fiscal mistakes of George W. and six years of Republican control in congress.

Hopefully, if Romney is the nominee he will go to Marco Rubio as his first choice for V.I.P.    Hopefully, he'll let conservatives know that Herman Cain will have a place in his administration.    Hopefully, he'll give Newt some cabinet post where he can dismantle the entire operation, i.e., Secretary of Education, E.P.A., or Energy--all three of which should be dismantled. 

But again, we digress:

Here is what Rothenberg had to say:

"For Some GOPers, It’s Still Anyone but Mitt Romney" from "The Rothenberg Political Report"
For former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential campaign is looking like a simple matter of survival.

With a substantial chunk of the Republican Party appearing unenthusiastic about embracing him, Romney now finds himself in the position of having to “hang around” in the GOP race while conservatives flirt with a series of alternatives.

After first getting excited about Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, then Texas Gov. Rick Perry and most recently businessman Herman Cain, conservatives still seem to be looking for someone — anyone — they can embrace as an alternative to Romney.
But so far, none of the alternatives has shown much staying power in the race.
Bachmann looked to be developing as a serious choice, but her numbers crashed when Perry entered the contest. Then Perry looked like the obvious alternative, until he opened his mouth.

Cain’s spike in the polls makes him the latest conservative alternative to Romney, but his tendency to speak first and only then think about what he wants to say isn’t exactly an asset when running for the nation’s top office.

Cain’s ability to be spontaneous is an asset, of course, but he does it too often. It has gotten him into trouble and almost certainly will do so again.

Plenty of Republicans would love to nominate a conservative African-American just to stick it to President Barack Obama and liberals who dismiss the GOP as a bunch of racists (making Cain an executive branch version of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), but the former pizza company CEO has a long way to go to demonstrate that he has the skills necessary to run the country.

“Cain needs to have a second act, and it isn’t clear he will have one,” said one veteran GOP observer who believes that Cain’s 9-9-9 proposal, while passionately supported by some talk-radio hosts and activists, won’t have broad appeal in the party.

Oddly, Romney probably benefits from the seemingly endless series of televised debates. That’s usually not the case with someone as well-known as Romney, who began the 2010 Republican race as the frontrunner and has remained in the top tier as the other candidates have bounced around from tier to tier.

The former Massachusetts governor has used the debates to repeat conservative themes, and Perry’s record on immigration has given Romney an issue on which he can paint himself to the right of the governor of Texas — a good place to be for a hopeful viewed by many Republicans as relatively moderate.

The more often Republican primary voters see and hear Romney talking about big government, high taxes and immigration, the greater the chance that they may ultimately conclude that the former governor is acceptably conservative.
Many conservatives, of course, will never accept Romney. For them, his sincerity is and will always be in doubt.

But Romney doesn’t need to become the conservatives’ favorite. He merely needs to become acceptable to them, at least as long as they don’t find an alternative about whom they can become excited.

Fundamentally, Romney needs to follow the path of Sen. John McCain in 2008 — at least to the point when the Arizonan wrapped up his party’s nomination in the spring of that year.

McCain was never the darling of conservatives, and they embraced his candidacy only after he selected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his running mate and the presidential contest was fully engaged, making it a choice between two increasingly ideological parties. Similarly, conservatives would embrace Romney against Obama next year.

That Romney has become the 2012 version of McCain surely is one of the great ironies in the race, considering the animosity that each man felt for the other at the end of the 2008 GOP contest.

Perry still has a window of opportunity to establish himself as the conservative alternative to Romney, but as one Republican strategist told me recently, it is closing rapidly.

“Perry’s attacks on Romney are a huge mistake,” the strategist said. “There is no need to attack a guy stuck at 27 percent in the polls. Perry’s biggest problem is Perry, not Romney. The main thing Perry needs to do is to get people to like him.”
That makes sense to me.

Any true-blue conservative in the GOP race doesn’t need to peel supporters off the former Massachusetts governor. He or she merely needs to become “the” alternative for the three-quarters of Republican primary voters who so far haven’t backed the best-known, most-polished GOP presidential hopeful.

Attacking Romney may make Perry feel good, but it won’t make the Texan appear more likable or presidential.

Few insiders expect Romney to make a major mistake in the next few months. He regards planning and preparation as absolutely crucial, so he rarely improvises. That makes him both the man to beat in the GOP race and also the candidate that many Republican voters can’t, and won’t, get excited about."

Help Jane

Jane Kleeb and her Bold Nebraska need your help.   She plans on carving 91 pumpkins today to leave at the Governor's Residence to remind Dave Heineman that there will be 91 projected leaks in the new Keystone XL Pipeline.    We missed her e-mail which came yesterday, but it's not too late to help Jane if you buy into the iterations of her less than credible Nebraska scientist who projects the 91 leaks.     We're not sure why she wants to target the governor whom she has at least duped to suggest that a reroute of the pipeline occur.

Here is what Jane, 'I'm-a-coward-to-get-arrested', Fleming Kleeb wants you to do:

"Tomorrow's the big day. The Huskers take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and we take on Governor Heineman. But just like the football team, we can't do it alone.

We need 91 activists to help us carve Pumpkins Against the Pipeline anytime tomorrow between noon and 6pm. We'll be in the Bold office parking lot at 1141 H St in Lincoln, listening to the game while we carve away.

At 7pm, we'll march with our newly carved jack-o-lanterns past the Governor's Mansion to a rally on the west side of the Capitol. So even if you can't help us carve, you can join the march."

P.S. If she offer food or supplies to the Lincoln Occupiers, we're sure they would be happy to join the march to the governor's home.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nebraska Should Enact Voter I.D. Laws

We've called for stricter I.D. rules for voting in Nebraska and hope that the next session of the legislature will adopt state statutes that will ensure that folks who vote have to produce appropriate identification.    Just three days ago we were told by a reliable voter that when she was at her polling place during the last election that she stood next to a 'voter' who told her that "this was the fourth time I voted today" as he bragged about the fact that he got paid $250 for each of those votes.   He was told what poll to go to and what name to use.

Nebraskans may not think they have voting fraud problems, but the do.   Just look at the pay for voting that took place in the recent mayoral recall election in Omaha.

Look at California where illegal aliens simply walk up to the polls, say they are citizens and get to vote.  

With that said, there was an interesting article in Roll Call recently that displays the fact that Democrats are nervous about such laws.    Why, because they know that they gain from voter fraud perpetrated by unions and other liberal organizations, i.e. ACORN.

Here are some highlights of that article:
  • Congressional Democrats are warning that stricter voter identification laws sweeping through state legislatures could suppress voters in the 2012 elections.
  • At least 34 states have introduced legislation, with varying degrees of restrictiveness, that would require voters to display identification at the polls before they are given a ballot. Some of these laws require voters to produce photo identification; some do not.The battleground state of Wisconsin has a new law requiring photo IDs, while proposals at various legislative stages in the perennial presidential swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania are also giving Democrats heartburn. The more restrictive voting ID measure in Ohio is pending Senate floor consideration. A bill to introduce ID rules for the first time in Pennsylvania has passed the state House and is currently in a state Senate committee. Democratic National Committee spokesman Alec Gerlach said Ohio is "one of the states where this has been a big concern."
  • "When you have millions potentially unable to vote, it will undoubtedly have political consequences," said Wendy Weiser, a co-author of the Brennan Center report.
  • Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) called the laws a "poll tax" on the House floor. Democrats opposing voter ID laws say they unfairly target minorities, college students and the elderly — voters who are less likely to have a government-issued ID and people who, incidentally, traditionally vote for Democrats.
  • One estimate suggests that as many as 5 million voters could be affected by the rule changes in 2012 — a number greater than the margin of victory in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
  • Democrats are reluctant to openly acknowledge the political consequences of these laws in future elections, saying the issue for them is about infringements on voter's rights. But they do argue that the laws hurt Democratic voters more than Republicans.
Let's see, Democrats don't want any I.D. laws because they know their illegal votes/voters will be lost.   That's the only reason they oppose such laws. 

Buffett Creates Unintended Consequences

Most of us are tired of Warren Buffett's guilt trip about how little taxes he pays.    We're just as tired about the current occupant of the White House advocating his 'Buffett' tax on the rich.   The truth of the matter as everyone knows is that virtually all of Buffett's income comes from capital gains, taxed at 15%.    Capital gain taxes at that level spur investors to invest, to take risks, to create capital for businesses to grow and hire.  Somehow Obama and his mentor seem to have forgotten that as they push their class warfare efforts to abet his re-election in 2012.

What Buffett and his protege may not realize is that their class warfare has acted as a stimulant to those disgruntled modern day hippies that want to occupy any place where they can get their photos in the media and complain.   Those same 'occupiers', actually encouraged and abetted by many Democrats, seem to be united in only one thing, their complaint about 'corporate greed'.  

The unintended consequence of Buffett's and the president's efforts is that the very businesses that create jobs, that can get the country out of the malaise it is in now have even less incentive to do so.  

Buffett and his protege would be much wiser to look for spending cuts and tax cuts across the board rather than just creating a more uncertain environment for those that create jobs.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Where is Romney?

If you are a poor Nebraskan or Iowan you might be asking where you can see Mitt Romney without paying $1000 or more to see him tonight in Omaha at the Old Market Embassy Suites.     Romney is in Iowa today but it seems that he is only doing 'private' events at a bank in Treyner, Iowa and for a chamber of commerce event elsewhere.    Apparently, a stop in Council Bluffs has been cancelled--if it was ever planned. 

We've talked to folks across the river that would like to have a chance to meet Romney in the same town hall format that other candidates have used to introduce themselves and build loyalties.     And obviously, there seems to be a consensus that Romney simply isn't very interested in Iowa given its January 3, 2012 caucuses.   He says he will compete, but will it be by advertising and telephone? 

While we may not be enthusiastic about Romney, the likelihood is that he will be the nominee come next year.    Certainly, he is a much better choice than the current occupant of the White House, but it would be nice to let folks, particularly in Iowa, get a better sense of who he is.

P.S.  Subsequent to our posting we learned that the high dollar event scheduled for tonight at the Old Market Embassy Suites has also been cancelled.   Those poor protesters--what will they do when they find out?

Advantage Republicans for Next Congressinal Election and Those for Decade

Larry Sabato and his Crystal Ball have a good read today if your interested in how congressional seats might break out for Republicans and Democrats next year and for the rest of the decade.   For Republicans, Sabato postulates that their are 186 safe seats next year while there are only 150 safe seats for Democrats.   The 99 are leaners or tossups. 

This should bode well for Republicans for next year and beyond assuming no major screw-ups or wave elections.    You can find the article by clicking on Sabato's Crystal Ball on our 'Links' in the column to the right and below.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Don't Want To Pay My Student Loan

Somehow it strikes us as pretty pathetic that many of the 'occupiers' think the government should forgive their student loans.   Yes, these lazy would-be vagrants many of whom only went to college because of overly generous student loans now think those loans should be forgiven.   Forget that millions have honorably repaid their student loans that gave them the opportunity to pursue their dreams.   If Obamacare can make health care 'free' will why can't all post-secondary education be free?   Harvard, here I come.  

Just today we were told that the government guaranteed more than $100 billion in student loans last year alone.   Now, for the first time in history the government guarantee of student loans exceeds $1 TRILLION.  

Unbelievably, now we have our friends at Moveon.org advocating for student loan forgiveness.   In today's, "We Get E-mail" category they are asking us to sign their petition to do so:

"Dear MoveOn member,

Forgiving the student loan debt of all Americans will have an immediate stimulative effect on our economy. With the stroke of the President's pen, millions of Americans would suddenly have hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of extra dollars in their pockets each and every month to spend on ailing sectors of the economy.
As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created, and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity will be ushered in for all. A rising tide does, in fact, lift all boats—forgiving student loan debt, rather than tax cuts for corporations, millionaires and billionaires, has a MUCH greater chance of helping to raise that tide in a MUCH shorter time-frame.
The future economic success of this country is wholly dependent upon a well-educated, prosperous middle class. Instead of saddling entire generations with debt from which there is no escape, let's empower the American people to grow this economy on their own!
That's why I created a petition on SignOn.org, calling on President Obama and Congress to support legislation seeking student loan forgiveness as a means of economic stimulus.
Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:"
Now this could be Obama's way of turning out the vote next year.   Promise total student loan forgiveness and all those folks over 18 will have a real reason to get out and vote for Obama.

Of course the logic of Moveon and these occupier reprobates is just flawless.   Convert $1 Trillion of guarantees into another trillion of debt.  Oh, and just where will the government find the money to pay off the individual creditors?   These folks should go back to high school and be made to take Economics 101.....

Thoughts On a Plethora of Issues

The News just seem to offer so many target rich opportunities for us to comment that we thought we would for the sake of brevity offer a few comments on the issues below:

THE OCCUPIERS: If you read our postings lately, you might have taken note of the 'want list' for those 'occupiers' of the Lincoln Centennial Mall 'tent city'.    These folks need blankets, heaters and things to keep them warm.    We have a better idea:  These reincarnated 60's leftists (all across the country for that matter) could use some help and we think President Obama is in a position to do so.   Yes, he could take all of those empty unfairly repossessed homes and offer them to these folks.    They could establish their free  love communes just as their grandparents did.   Of course, they'd need energy assistance grants to turn on the heat and electricity.    In fact, on reflection, maybe Solyndra has some energy panels that could be put on the roofs of these homes by workers under a new federal jobs program.   Now all the occupiers would need is Timothy Leary and some LSD to erase the memories of our repressive society?

Chris Jerram and the Super Committee:The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that the 'Super Committee' is plodding along with nothing more happening than bloviating on raising taxes, cutting spending, etc.  Apparently, some of the participants are more interested in talking than doing.    In that regard the Chamber reports that: "The circular nature of the discussions, the ethereal talk about 'modernizing Medicare' and 'reforming the tax code' has frustrated some panel members, with Senator John Kerry in particular being called out as overly talkative and aspirational." We're rather inclined to think that Omaha City Councilman would be a welcome addition to this 'committee' as we know of no one politician that can bloviate and drone on ad naseum longer than Jerram who apparently just loves to listen to himself while wasting his associates' and the public's time.

Joe Jordan and Herman Cain:   Omaha's 'watchdog' 'investigative reporter' Joe Jordan seems to think that Hernman Cain's donations to 'moderate Democrats' during the 1990's was something to expose.   He notes in his latest iteration that Cain donated $250 to Bob Kerrey in 1993, $250 to New York Congressman Joe Serrano in 1993, $500 to Nebraska Congressman Peter Hoagland in 1994, $500 to Governor Ben Nelson in 1996 and $500 to Michael Scott in 1998 for his run against Lee Terry. Jordan does note Cain was the C.E.O. of Godfather's Pizza from 1986-1996.   But like most of Jordan's 'investigative reports', he provides no logical connection.   And that would be that any C.E.O. of a business given the ask will make a contribution to a candidate that is likely to be elected or have an impact on his business.

Fischer Impresses

We were at the monthly Republican Forum luncheon held at noon today at Anthony/s Steakhouse in Omaha.    The event was attended by about 35 folks who heard Nebraska candidate for the G.O.P. U.S. Senate nomination Deb Fischer speak.  
Fischer comes off as a well-studied, low-key conservative who would distinguish herself as not being a 'career politician.'    Noting a difference between her and her opponents for the nomination, Fischer told the group that she is a housewife, a rancher and a small business person who has served on her local school board and been active in her community.   She noted that unlike her two major opponents for the nomination she did not decide to run or announce her candidacy for the nomination before taking office for a newly elected term to some other position.   She noted that while she was encouraged to get into the senate race early she declined because finishing her job in the legislature took precedence.

Fischer told the group that from her travels across the state she had concluded that Nebraskans are frustrated, they're angry and their frightened by our government.   She echoed the thought that while some small business have the capitol to expand and create new jobs they simply can't given the unknowns of government regulations, health care and red tape.

Fischer discussed her history and responded to several questions.    She was asked if she would support the Republican nominee against Ben Nelson if she didn't win the G.O.P. nomination herself and responded with an affirmative, "We've got to beat Ben Nelson".    She was asked about her position on the pipeline and while she noted her concerns said that it should be built and she supports it.   She discussed her roads bill  and said that government needs to be involved in infrastructure.   She noted that despite some assumptions the new  roads funding will benefit those in the most populous areas also noting that there were no projects in her 13 county district that would benefit.

Her goals if elected, Fischer said would be to repeal Obamacare, to make spending cuts and have a balanced budget amendment, to make permanent the Bush tax cuts, to eliminate the estate tax and to cut red tape. 

In response to a question on Nelson's "Three Peas in a Pod" commercial she out rightly declared that "Senator Nelson is lying".  

In conclusion, Senator Fischer made a impressive showing demonstrating that she is a serious well-informed candidate.