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Hurricane Earl has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, but he’ll still keep people indoors.  In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the cool front as Nebraska takes on Western Kentucky.  Here’s your Roundup:

Governor Loses, Pretends He Wins: Heineman tried to bully education groups pushing them to publicly oppose health reform and call for its repeal. We were worried the Nebraska Board of Education was going to buckle under Heineman’s pressure, but they firmly pushed back.  Instead of the resolution written by a board member that Heineman appointed (and who has also started a PAC to support candidates Heineman likes), the board members passed a resolution opposing all unfunded mandates.  Does No Child Left Behind count, too? View Here

Louisiana Blues: While clean up crews are are still mopping up the BP Spill in the Gulf and Republicans are still calling for an end to the drilling moratorium, another oil rig caught fire just south of Louisiana.  In the interest of clarity, it was a platform and not a drilling operation.  The question still remains: when will the cost of dirty energy be too high?  View Here

Cult of Personality Disappears: For all the moaning we heard in 2008 about the youth vote being a cult of personality around Obama, we offer you this piece from the NY Times.  New PEW research shows that Democrats might be losing their edge with the youth vote.  The message campaign managers should be taking away: don’t take young voters for granted. You have to target them and talk to them just like you would older voters.  View Here

No New Stimulus: The White House is definitely putting the kabash on plans for a second stimulus.  This just shortly after parting advisor Christina Romer said another stimulus was needed and unemployment hovers under 10%.  Obama is ruminating over some more targeted measures to spur job creation.  Guess campaigning conservatives will just have to settle on attack ads about their efforts to curb the deficit.  View Here

Corn Heirs: The NE Supreme Court ruled yesterday that surviving heirs must be notified before a farmland lease is terminated.  It’s the first time the court’s come down on the side of heirs’ rights.  View Here

 

Thursday, September 2nd

It’s more American than apple pie, we bring to you deep-fried beer.  The unhallowed-abomination/ sacrosanct-treat is being served up (of course) at the Texas state fair.  Our burning question: if it comes to Nebraska, will we be forced to restrict our deep-fried beer feasts to beer gardens?  Here’s your Roundup:

Independents, Libertarians and Lathrop, Oh My!: Maybe it’s something in the aquifer, but Nebraska’s elections this year keep getting more tantalizing.  Dan Hill has submitted petition signatures to run as an independent in the 3rd CD, the Libertarians have a candidate for treasurer and the legislature’s suavest senator and one of the Republicans “top targets”, Steve Lathrop, is running unopposed.  We’re sure Dave Nabity of Omaha Alliance for the Private Sector is thrilled that his mortal enemy’s (Steve Lathrop) seat is safe.  View Here

Terror of London Returns to Nebraska: We’ve been saying it a lot lately, and it gets more disturbing each time — we’ve got two governors, the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Heineman.  The duo showed up again this time in a single article from the Columbus telegram.  They mentioned the $750 million budget deficit and claimed to have a balanced state budget at the same event. Perhaps it just depends on what your definition of “balanced” is?  View Here

Don’t Look, Just Leap: State senators Charlie Janssen and Tony Fulton have jumped on the Arizona bandwagon.  Disregarding any advice to look before he leaps, Janssen wants to introduce immigration legislation like Arizona’s this year (we knew this already, but now Fulton’s getting pulled into the vortex).  Because what any state with a $750 million budget shortfall needs is more legislation that will lead to costly lawsuits.  View Here

What They Should Look At: Janssen, Fulton and Heineman should check out this report before they push any immigration legislation this January.  According to PEW research, the number of illegal immigrants entering and living in the US has dropped over the past five years.  PEW says a tough economy and tougher border enforcement are to blame.  We’re brain-storming ideas to get the senators’ attention.  How much does a skywriter cost?  View Here

Just Keep Swimming: The White House is moderating another round of Mideast peace talks between Israel and Palestine.  Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is taking the lead on this one. View Here

 

Wednesday, September 1st

The President announced the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom last night.  Thank you to all the men and women who have made us proud with their brave service.  There is no gesture great enough to show our appreciation for your sacrifices.

 Iraq Vet says “Thank You”: President Obama delivered his second Oval Office address last night to announce the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  One veteran cuts through the talking heads and blog chatter to speak from the heart.  View Here

Rainbows at the OWH: Gay rights supporters are celebrating a major victory after the OWH publisher changed it’s opposition to printing same sex wedding announcements.  After his request for his daughter’s engagement was denied, Terry Wilke took to Facebook.  Congrats to the 2,760 supporters on Facebook and the happy couple.  View Here

Dr. Jekyll, Governor Heineman the Sequel: Remember when Heineman criticized the stimulus while simultaneously using it to plug gaping holes in the state budget and attend ribbon cutting ceremonies?  Well his behavior sold so well he just had to make a sequel, but like any good “2” the stakes are even higher.  The governor is now  taking federal health care money for early retirees, while not only criticizing health care reform but also suing the federal government over it.  It’s hard to tell which Governor we will see each day, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Heineman.  View Here

Suspicious Activity Speculation: The director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance is stepping down this October.  Ann Frohman’s says she’s leaving to pursue opportunities in the private sector.  The timing is oddly in sync with the early stages of health care reform implementation.  We heard Frohman was moving forward with implementation.  Perhaps she unfortunately crossed Mr. Heineman instead of Dr. Jekyll.  View Here

Kobach Using Family to Sneak Across Border: The OWH was kind enough to answer our question yesterday about how Kansan Kris Kobach keeps showing up in Nebraska immigration debates.  Turns out his in-laws live in Fairbury.  View Here

 

Tuesday, August 31st

The ad campaigns are heating up as Tom White releases his first of the season.  We didn’t expect things to get heated until after Labor Day, but why wait?  If they can start advertising for Christmas before Halloween, we can certainly kick up the campaign rhetoric a week early.  Here’s your Roundup:

Meister/Boyle: Mike Meister tapped Ann Boyle as his Lieutenant Governor in his bid for governor yesterday.  Joe Jordan took some good video, and we gota chuckle out of Boyle noting the height difference between herself and Meister.  View Here

Banks Back Away from High Risk Energy: The same banks that were involved in the financial collapse of 2008 are backing away from one of their favorite high risk investments: dirty energy.  Turns out, environmental degradation has just become too big a cost to keep lending to energy projects like the tar sands or mountaintop removal mining.  Now let’s see some of that green go to green energy.  View Here

Young Guns Fire Blanks: Reps. Cantor, Ryan, and McCarthy — the so-called “Young Guns” of the GOP — want to blaze a new trail.  So they’re doing what all the Repubs seem to be doing these days, they wrote a book (hey, it worked for Obama).  Politico says the book’s long on platitudes but short on policy.  Sounds about right.  View Here

Purell, Anyone?: Kris Kobach is like a bad rash Nebraskans can’t get rid of.  Infamous for writing and now defending the Fremont immigration ordinance, he’s also become entangled in lawsuit about in-state tuition for undocumented students.  We don’t know how Kobach finds the time to sell all that snake oil what with his other job of running for Kansas’ Secretary of State.  View Here

Ed Board Waffles: The Nebraska Board of Education is now considering opposing health care reform.  Board member Bob Evnen insists it has nothing to do with Heineman’s latest threats to cut education funding.  Our teachers always told us to stand up to bullies, giving them what they want just encourages them.  View Here

 

Monday, August 30th

Don’t expect us to waste precious space or breath discussing Glenn Beck’s rally in DC over the weekend.  Instead, we’re celebrating National Toasted Marshmallow Day.  We recommend this recipe for Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes (courtesy of Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn).  Here’s your Roundup:

Flawed Numbers: Brian Depew from the Center for Rural Affairs explains why Heineman’s Medicaid numbers are faulty.  Apparently the study Heineman paid for uses a formula better for political posturing than accurate estimates.  We wish this shocked us.  View Here

We Won: TransCanada’s quickly learning that you don’t threaten Nebraska landowners.  The oil company has rescinded negotiating deadlines and is backing off using eminent domain.  We’ll keep standing up to big oil and pressuring Nebraska politicians to do the same.  View Here

LJS Gets Bold: The Journal Star’s editorial staff is getting quite brazen these days, and we are loving it.  This weekend they criticized Kris Kobach’s role and the logic behind Fremont’s immigration ordinance.  They’re even warning state politicians to say “no” to Kobach’s snake oil.  View Here

In an Alternate Universe: Newsweek says if the GOP had been in charge since January 2009 — or even worse if they enact any of their schemes in the future — the deficit would be higher and fewer people would be employed.  Feel free to double check the math.  View Here

Year of the Man?: Palin may be touting mamma grizzlies, but if a large number of Democratic incumbents lose, then the number of women in Congress could drop for the first time since 1978.  Just 4 of the GOP’s 46 frontline challengers are women.  We certainly aren’t advocating anyone vote based solely on a candidate’s gender, but we have to ask: what have Republicans been doing for the past 30 years if not building a bench of qualified women candidates?  View Here

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