Read today’s news from around the state and country. Each day in the Roundup we cover politics, always with a side of bold humor. We think politics should be fun, informative and encourage us all to take action.
Friday, May 4th
Last night, we held our Landowners and Citizen Information and Legal Meeting on the pending TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline in Neligh. We hope you were able to attend and gain some valuable information. We will not back down from this fight! Here’s your Roundup:
Ten Steps Back: The Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning’s office released a legal opinion today on Omaha’s recent LGBQT rights ordinance for the workplace, stating that state law does not give cities the authority to create protected classes. The kicker—Wrong Way Jon’s opinion is based upon a Nebraska Supreme Court ruling from 1964 that over-ruled a law meant to prevent racial discrimination. As Bruning attempts to take our cities ten steps backwards, a similar ordinance is about to be considered by the Lincoln City Council. It is great to see Nebraska cities begin to provide protection to employees who consider themselves gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. Read here
They’re at it Again: TransCanada is on the verge of submitting a new presidential permit application for its Keystone XL Pipeline, a move that is expected to intensify the political battle over KXL. TransCanada’s CEO met with the United States Assistant Secretary of State in Washington, D.C. yesterday, but the subject of the meeting was not made available. We are hoping President Obama will once again stand up to Big Oiland oppose a project that is neither in our national interest and will only endanger our land and health. We urge you to make your voice heard during this process. Tell President Obama to oppose this project and focus on a more sustainable, cleaner method of energy. Read here
Interesting Endorsements: Former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum weighed in on the recent U.S. Senate race. In Nebraska. Santorum endorsed Jon Bruning for U.S. Senate (surprise!!). According to Santorum, Bruning will be the best candidate to defeat Bob Kerrey. Contender, Don Stenberg, current Nebraska State Treasurer, has the backing of South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, stacking two nationally-prominent Republicans against one another in NE. We encourage you to educate yourself on the candidates and participate in the May 15 primary elections coming up soon! Read here
Wasteful Spending: The Senate Conservatives Fund, a super political action committee (PAC) has purchased a large media spot on behalf of State Treasurer Don Stenberg with the primary elections just over a week away. The PAC, formed by Sen. Jim DeMint, began airing a television ad to denigrate politicians that will “say anything to get elected.” That ad ran the Senate Conservatives Fund a cool $250,000, bringing its total spending on the Nebraska Senate race $1.4 million. It seems that Nebraska politics are no longer just for the candidates and our citizens, but have become a playground for super-PACs who want buy off Senate sets. We have a better idea for all that money—why don’t they pay down on the federal debt instead of using it to complain about the debt on the television. Read here
Thursday, May 3rd
Newt Gingrich finally bowed out of the presidential race yesterday. Yes, we are wondering why he stayed in so long, too. It must have been a hit to his pride to have to step out of the race… It’s time to focus on the actual nominees for president. Here’s your Roundup:
Legal Gaps: Lincoln city officials are looking at amending city code to close legal loopholes found by Occupy protesters. The Occupy protesters were ordered to leave the Centennial Mall in Lincoln by May 1. Measures include hours of operation for the Mall, a prohibition of permanent or temporary building structures, including tents, without a permit, and a broadening of the definition of a park. The city is confident they will avoid any legal challenges. The Occupiers are not so sure. Read here
What a Mess: State Senator Colby Coash backed away from his plans to host a campaign fundraiser with musician Ted Nugent in Omaha. Just in case you did not know, Ted Nugent made some very serious, even violent, remarks about President Obama at a recent NRA convention. And then a Nebraska state senator wants to use him for a fundraiser? What an embarrassment. Coash says he will stay host a private, invitation-only reception with Nugent, but attendees are “not obligated” to support his campaign. Senator Coash, could you really not find anyone better? You know, someone that hasn’t had to meet with the U.S. Secret Service recently over violent remarks about the president? Read here
Left and Right Rallies: Both sides of the spectrum, the Tea Party Express and the Occupy Movement, held rallies recently, but they did not receive much reaction. The energy level has not been as high as it has within the last few years. Read here
Wednesday, May 2nd
As May 15th is approaching, we would like to remind you that Friday is the last day to register to vote in the upcoming primary elections. The deadline for mail-in voter registration has passed, so visit your local election commissioner and register today! Here’s your Roundup:
GOP Senate Debate: The top three GOP Senate hopefuls, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, State Treasurer Don Stenberg, and State Senator Deb Fischer, duked it out last night it a debate hosted by the Omaha World Herald. The 60 minute debate was fairly low-key with no major surprises. Of course, the candidates still carried on with their out-of-touch, dangerous proposals. Calls for the end of Obamacare, or anything Obama, for that matter, and a smaller federal government made up most of the pledges for the night. We encourage you to truly educate yourselves on the issues and compare the candidates. Not from just one party, but both. The answer should be clear. We need someone with common sense values, a willingness to work across the aisle, and a candidate that will represent our state and nation well. Read here
Debate Blues: GOP Senate candidate, Pat Flynn, is upset with the Omaha World Herald. Flynn, who has been overlooked as a candidate, claims the World Herald is “marginalizing” him. He did not get an invitation to last night’s GOP debate. In light of the lack of invitation, Flynn has taken to social media to tell subscribers to end their subscriptions and call the editor to express their complaints. Oh, and Flynn called the World Herald a “liberal rag” and pointed out the company is owned by Warren Buffett, a big supporter of President Obama. Yes, this man is running for U.S. Senate. Read here
War in Afghanistan: President Barack Obama made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan yesterday. First, visiting with American troops to express his support, President Obama took to the airwaves for a live address to the nation. In his address he outlined the steady drawdown of US troops out of Afghanistan. By the end of 2014, all US troops will be out of Afghanistan. At that point, all security responsibilities will be turned over to the Afghanistan government. President Obama and his administration is committed to working with all involved parties to ensure a safe and timely exit of US troops. This is just one more reason President Obama deserves another term; ending the war in Iraq and now announcing the end of the war in Afghanistan is the right move. Read here
Gaining Support: Eighteen Lincoln elected officials, current and former, gathered Tuesday to express support of the recent proposal submitted by Lincoln City Councilmember Carl Eskridge. The proposal would prohibit discrimination in the workplace, public accommodations, and housing against individuals that identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. The Lincoln City Council plans on hosting a public hearing on May 7 and a vote on the proposal on May 14. We encourage you to attend the hearing to express your support. Here at Bold, we support this movement. Omaha has shown it can be done. Lincoln, it is now up to you. Include all citizens, regardless of sexual identity. Read here
Monday, April 30th
In case you missed it, President Obama and Jimmy Kimmel tore things up at the 2012 White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Watch the President here and Jimmy Kimmel here, it’s worth the time! Here’s your Roundup:
Tomato, Tomaahto: In America, environmentalists and oil-lovers spend a fair amount of time debating whether the type of oil carried by the Keystone XL pipeline should be called tarsands or oilsands. In Canada, they debate whether or not it should be called “ethical oil.” Regardless of what they call the oil, it’s clear that groups in Canada are trying to silence the opposition. Most recently EthicalOil.org, an oil sands lobby group, has filed a complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency about the David Suzuki Foundation, claiming that it engages in “political and partisan activies” surrounding the issue of oil. Read here.
“Republicans are the Problem”: These words come not from us, but rather from Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, two prominent conservative political scientists. In a controversial piece for the Washington Post, they explain that “the GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science…” They conclude that “when one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.” Bringing debates back to the middle would not only make Congress more effective, but serve the American people better as well. Read here.
Wal-Mart and Bribery: In the past week, Wal Mart has been slammed with opposition its new U.S. expansions as a response to revelation of a bribery scandal in its Mexican subsidiary. The retailer, which was trying to expand in the big cities that had previously blacklisted it from their jurisdictions, has been set back considerably in its renewed attempts as it faces increased scrutiny in New York, San Diego, and Boston. Read here
Calling TransCanada’s Bluff: While we have been repeatedly assured that the Keystone XL pipeline will not cross over the Ogallala Aquifer, the map that Inside Climate News has put together shows nicely the new route of the Keystone XL pipeline. See anything wrong with that picture? The fact that KXL still passes over the Ogallala Aquifer has us wondering where Nebraskans stand to benefit from this arrangement. Read here.