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Bold Roundup: Feb 21-25

Are you one of the 61% of Americans who think workers should have the right to collectively bargain?  Think the Middle Class is totally awesome and needs to be protected?  Or maybe you believe teachers and police officers should be able to buy groceries.  Then join us tomorrow at noon in front of the State Capitol as we rally to save the American Dream.  Here’s your Roundup:

Bold Roundup

So Be It: That’s the mantra of conservatives on Capitol Hill who are taking a slash-and-burn approach to the national budget.  Instead of reaching across the aisle to fix the budget with reasonable cuts, at least 10 Republican lawmakers have said they’ll shut down the government to get their way.  That would cost our economy tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of jobs and $8 billion a week.  For example, the GOP’s current bill that would continue funding for the government slashes billions from the USDA who would have to furlough inspectors at meat packing plants.  No inspectors, means slaughterhouses would have to close for 6-9 weeks.  How many Nebraska ranchers can afford to go without an income for 2 months?  View Here

Heineman’s Anti-Labor: Gov. Heineman told Nebraska Watchdog in an exclusive interview that he’s willing to consider abolishing the Commission on Industrial Relations (CIR).  The CIR was created to solve disputes between public workers and the state or local bodies that employ them. Because the CIR resolves disagreements, government shutdowns, walkouts and strikes don’t happen in Nebraska.  Heineman’s threatened that if the unicameral doesn’t reform the CIR this year, the Chamber of Commerce (which represents PRIVATE businesses) will get involved.  View Here

Larson Kicks Out Teachers: One of the proposals to reform the CIR comes from freshman State Senator Tyson Larson.  Larson’s LB619 would remove teachers’ unions from the jurisdiction of the CIR which could mean strikes and school shutdowns.  While kids might not mind the extra days off school, weakening teachers’ collective bargaining power weakens our education system and our communities.  The Business and Labor Committee heard testimony for LB619 on Feb. 7. We’re waiting to see how they vote on this atrocious bill.  View Here

Electoral Reform: We’ve raised quite a hubbub about State Sen. Beau McCoy’s bill to change Nebraska’s electoral college votes to a winner-take-all system.  McCoy thinks changing to w-t-a will make Nebraska more attractive to presidential campaigns.  As any state political operative will tell you, that’s complete bullpucky.  On the other hand, Sen. Ken Haar’s LB583 would have Nebraska adopt the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.  Haar’s bill actually would make Nebraska more competitive during presidential elections.  Our new mantra: a national campaign office in every district!  View Here

Stay In School, Kids: A new Kaiser Health poll shows only a slim majority of Amerians know that health care reform is still law.  A whopping 22% think it’s been repealed, and 26% aren’t sure. That means only 52% accurately know that the ACA is the law of the land.  Further proof that you should stay in school, kids.  View Here


Thursday, February 24

After its launch a few weeks ago, The Daily is now the top-grossing app on the iPad.  Talk about instant success.  However, here at Bold, we still like to provide you with news free of charge.  Here’s your Roundup:

Daily Kos Calls out TransCanada:  In a letter of a explanation to its readers about the TransCanada ads on its site that promote the Keystone XL Pipeline, The Daily Kos highlights all the negative impacts that the pipeline will have on America, ranging from the fact that tar sands are literally “the dirtiest oil available” to the fact that it will displace domestic supplies while failing to increase energy security.  We especially like the Daily Kos version of the ads which say what the pipeline will actually do for America: “Let’s destroy forests, pollute water, and poison families to pipe America dirty oil.”  View Here

GOP Cuts Will Slow the Economy: A private economic analysis by Goldman Sachs found that the GOP’s proposed $61 billion in spending cuts would reduce GDP growth by 1.5% to 2% over the next two fiscal quarters.  Last time we checked, slowing down the economy was not what the American public wanted.  #budgetfail  View Here

Done with DOMA: Yesterday, the Department of Justice and Obama Administration announced that they will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, in court because part of the law is unconstitutional. After nearly three years of ambiguity from Obama on the issue of same-sex marriage, we have to say that are quite pleased with this clarification. View Here

Voting is a Right: LB239, which would require all voters to have a Nebraska or federally issued ID to vote, is being heard in the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee at the state legislature this afternoon. We here at Bold give this bill a resounding thumbs down. This bill creates voting hoops that out-of-state students, the elderly, and those who do not drive must jump through just to cast a ballot. Democracy is about giving voice to Nebraskans, not silencing them with institutional red tape. Our very own Jane Kleeb is testifying in opposition this afternoon. Watch her here at 1:30 on the feed for room #1507.

Get Your Vote On: Another set of bills regarding voting and voter registration are also going before the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee this afternoon. These bills, LB605, LB631, and LB169, would make voting more simple and accessible by allowing Nebraskans to register to vote at the polls, creating a permanent early voting request list, and authorizing provisional ballots for residents changing address within the state, respectively.  Three cheers for three bills that will make voting as easy as it should be.


Wednesday, February 23rd

Today in Chicago they’re celebrating Rahm Emanuel’s victory.  Obama’s former Chief of Staff is the new mayor of the Windy City.  We wonder what his first curse in office will be? Here’s your Roundup:

Flag on HCR BS: Flag on the Play’s got another winning post up, this time about collective bargaining and health care reform.  The blog’s founder and author Preston Tsarev points out that the John McCain health care plan that would have opened up insurance markets across state lines would have set up collective bargaining.  Conservatives supporting collective bargaining? We’re as shocked as Preston.  Like him, we too support the populist backlash that we’re seeing in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Georgia.  View Here

Winner-Take-All: Today the state legislature will hear testimony on Sen. Beau McCoy’s bill that would change our state’s electoral college system to winner-take-all.  Currently, Cornhuskers split our 5 electoral votes while 48 other states use winner-take-all.  A new poll shows McCoy’s proposal to switch to a w-t-a system only jibes with 16% of Nebraskans.  View Here

Janssen Stuck in Neutral: The State Column is reporting that Janssen’s AZ-style immigration bill could be stalled in the state legislature.  In a recent post, they said the sponsor of the bill predicted it would not pass the state legislature this year.  We can only presume they mean Janssen.  The hearing for the bill is set next Wed, and we’ll be watching his opening to see if this story has any merit.  View Here

Prank Call Gets Real Dirt: Gov. Walker has been avoiding calls from the media as things in Wisconsin continue to escalate.  But one crafty reporter from alt news source Buffalo Beast got through by pretending to be David Koch (one of the extremist, conservative, billionaire Koch brothers).  Walker preceded to dish about how he wants to hold the Democratic state senators’ pay and file ethics complaints if they accept lodging or food from union supporters.  The faux-Koch even enticed him by stating, “[O]nce you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”  View Here

No Coffee for WI Gov: Equal Exchange is giving away free coffee at the worker rallies in Wisconsin — unless you’re the governor.  During their typical day, EE sells fair trade coffee, tea, chocolates and snacks.  Now, their standing with and warming up the persistent protesters.  Poor Gov. Walker, first a potentially career-ruining call from a faux-Koch, now he’s denied free, fair trade coffee.  View Here

 

Tuesday, February 22nd

Secrets don’t make friends and friends don’t make secrets, but apparently some people do make secret friends, or least create fake Facebook accounts that appear to be friends.  Sarah Palin was caught by the fearless bloggers at Wonkette using an unlisted private email address that matched an account listed “Lou Sarah,” who often showers praise upon Palin and her daughter Bristol. Here’s your Roundup:

Response Plan?: What response plan?  In light of the recent explosion on one of TransCanada’s natural gas pipelines in the northern Ontario area, we’d like to draw your attention back to a November report from Plains Justice which highlights the lack of emergency preparedness in Nebraska and other states through which the Keystone XL Pipeline would pass.  Our biggest weakness is perhaps that “ inadequate spill response equipment is located at such distances from tar sands pipelines that the speed of emergency response anticipated by TransCanada in its environmental planning documents is unrealistic.” View Here

It’s Facebook Official: For those of you not hip on your Facebook lingo, Facebook Official means that your relationship is serious enough to be listed on your Facebook profile.  After this weekend, users can now enter into civil unions and domestic partnerships as one of the relationship options.  Props to Facebook for recognizing love in all its forms. View Here

Government Shutdown: In recent days, there has been increasing talk of a government shutdown on March 4 if congressional Democrats and Republicans cannot agree upon a continuing resolution that will fund the federal government in the absence of an actual budget.  We really hope it doesn’t come to that, because a shutdown means a lot of extra costs, ranging from diminished capacity at federal agencies like the Office of Management and Budget to interrupt contracted work.  View Here

Revolution 3.0:  After the demonstrations and government takedowns in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya is following suit.  Moammar Kadafi’s regime seems close to toppling at the hands of angry protestors, who were subdued with bombs, helicopter gunships and foreign mercenaries yesterday. Additionally, a slew of Libyan ambassadors, including the American ambassador, have resigned in protest of Kadafi’s “dictatorship.”  Kadafi went on national television early this morning denying reports that he has fled the country, but did not acknowledge the protests.  We will be keeping a close eye on the situation as events unfold.  View Here

Fat Jokes are so 2003: And someone should tell the conservative media consortium, whose newest line of defense against Michelle Obama’s health eating campaign is to accuse her of being fat.  This warrants no response other than a simple look at this picture from a recent state dinner.  Really, fat jokes?  Are we on the playground or are we dealing in reality? Can we at least pretend to act like adults here? View Here

 

Monday, February 21

Tomorrow’s the big day for former presidential Chief of Staff and Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel left the White House a few short months ago to run for mayor of Chicago.  It will all end or begin when residents of the Windy City go out to vote.  Polls show the hot-headed Emanuel with a healthy lead over his competition.  Here’s your Roundup:

Laughing So Hard It Hurts: We’re still gasping for breath after watching Joe Jordan’s interview with Gov. Heineman where he (the guv) throws caution to the wind and says Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.  Forget that polling shows 70% of Americans think she’s unqualified and that if she’s the GOP nominee, Nebraska could go completely blue.  But lest you think Heineman’s completely off his rocker, he did say that IF Palin won the race for president, she’d be qualified. You hear that Charlie Sheen?  Dave Heineman believes if you can win the race for president, then you’re qualified to run America.  View Here

Wildfire: It began in Tunisia and spread to Egypt where Hosni Mubarak was peacefully deposed after 30 years in office.  Now, protests are springing up across the Middle East in Yemen, Bahrain, Iran and Libya.  The BBC has a great interactive graphic that has the most recent news for most of the Middle East countries where there’s protest buzz.  The main focus now is Libya where Colonel Gaddafi’s son went on TV and warned that civil war could come to the country. View Here

Public Display: House Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) gave an emotional speech from the floor last Friday, sharing the story of her abortion.  Speier, now 60, suffered a miscarriage in the 1990s and terminated the pregnancy in her 2nd trimester after doctors told her the fetus wouldn’t live.  She spoke after her colleague Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) described the procedure in graphic detail. Speier’s most moving words were, “I lost a baby, but for you to stand on this floor and suggest as you have that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous.”  View Here

The Difference: Wisconsin’s edged out Egypt for front page news when protests errupted because of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget that would also cripple public workers’ collective bargaining rights.  Dave Weigel asks why are there 70,000 people protesting in Madison and not in California or New York where the governors are proposing pension reform?  The simple answer: the Dem. governors’ proposals are relevant to state budgets, but Walker’s goal is to weaken labor and the middle class for all time.  View Here

TransCanada Explosion: TransCanada’s gas pipeline near Beardmore, Ontario suffered an explosion on Saturday.  So far, no one’s reported serious injuries.  TransCanda’s speciality is gas pipelines, not oil, which means we’re already skeptical that they can safely operate a tar sands oil pipeline in the Sandhills.  How does a company who lauds its safety record expect Nebraskans to feel when one of their standard gas pipelines explodes?  View Here

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208 S. Burlington Ave., Ste 103, Box 325, Hastings, NE 68901