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Bold Roundup: Feb 28 – Mar 4

It’s going to be a crazy weekend.  We kick off with Americans for Prosperity who is hosting a “do-over” rally against organized workers and the middle class in front of the state capitol.  Our favorite Republican candidates Don Stenberg and “Wrong Way” Jon Bruning will be there.  But we’re ending the weekend on a high note with a fundraiser to fight the pipeline at the Zoo Bar.  See you there!  Here’s your Roundup:

Roundup

Overwhelming Underdogs: That’s how Yogi Berra described the 1969 Mets, and it’s how Republicans like Ari Fleischer (a former Bush press secretary) appear to be framing Nelson. Fleischer’s main argument: the notorious Cornhusker Kickback.  But the NE State Paper points out that Nelson was fighting against unfunded mandates for the states, not a special deal for Nebraska.  And that’s what was in the final bill.  Nelson may be an underdog, but so were the Mets.  And they went on to win the ‘69 World Series.  View Here

$381 Million: That’s what the USDA has invested in rural Nebraska over the last year thanks to Recovery Act funding (more commonly known as the Stimulus of 2009).  The funds were used for housing, business and community development, energy, telecommunications and broadband. Twenty-two communities will benefit from the $43 million used for projects like libraries, tribal colleges, community centers and ag societies.  Eighteen businesses received $69 million for development.  And 773 households were able to secure loans or loan guarantees.  We’d call that a major win for rural Nebraska.  View Here

$562 Million: That’s what it would cost to deport all of the 45,000 undocumented immigrants that are estimated to live in Nebraska.  Senator Janssen, who introduced an AZ-style immigration bill, said he’d be willing to pay that cost.  But $562 million is just what you pay to rip families apart. We haven’t even included the costs to communities when valuable workers and taxpayers are kicked out or scared away.  We’re with Chairman Ashford on this one, our money would be better used securing the border and prosecuting businesses that entice undocumented workers.  View Here

Malinda Was Right!: Our news director, Malinda Frevert, has been moaning over the woeful state of Omaha’s roads on her facebook for a couple weeks now.  It turns out, she was totally justified.  According to a new exclusive from Nebraska Watchdog, miles of state highway in Omaha don’t meet the Nebraska Dept. of Roads’ standards.  Only 63% of the roads in the Omaha Metro are in “good” or “very good” condition (in college, that’s a D-).  But with cash-strapped budgets, it could be a while before Omaha even gets a C on their report card.  View Here

The DNR Goes to Washington: While we were taking the news the Supreme Court upheld the 1st Amendment rights of the Westboro Baptist Church, the justices were listening to a Nebraska case.  On Wednesday, the Supreme Court listened to arguments from the Nebraska Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Frenchman Cambridge Irrigation District.  The DNR argued that they can’t declare part of a river basin over-appropriated because of 2004’s LB962.  The irrigation district says the law is being misinterpreted.  View Here

 

Thursday, March 3rd

Yesterday, Apple announced the release of the iPad 2, which is apparently twice and fast and (surprise!) even slimmer than its predecessor.  For Apple lovers everywhere, it was a joyous day.  Take a look for yourself.  Here’s your Roundup:

ESP Epidemic:  There must be something in the water, because for the second time this week, a Nebraska senatorial candidate has seen into the future.  Just over a week ago, Jon Bruning named Ben Nelson as the “porker of the year.”  Imagine our surprise when the right-wing group Citizens Against Government Waste named Nelson its official “Porker of the Year” on Tuesday. We’re curious to know how “Wrong Way” Jon had such impressive foresight and how he obtained this information before it was made public.  Coordinating with non-profit (c)3 and (c)4 groups is against campaign laws, after all.  Coincidence?  View Here

The Glass Ceiling: The age old “glass ceiling” is, unfortunately, still alive and well. In a report released Tuesday by the White House Council on Women and Girls, our fears were confirmed. At all education levels, women earn about 75% of what their males counterparts earn. The study also a found a caregiving gap, wherein women are often the primary childrearers, and a health gap.  The administration is now faced with the challenge of closing the gaps.  The ladies of Bold eagerly await their progress. View Here

Let the Games Begin: With the release of the official Nebraska figures from the 2010 US Census earlier this week, talk of congressional redistricting is officially underway. Proposed changes include moving Offutt Air Force Base (Sarpy County) from the 2nd to the 1st, and and Columbus (Platte County) from the 3rd to the 1st.  We anticipate a Republican redistricting that plan attempts to reduce the Democratic influence in the 2nd district.  Stay tuned, Nebraska,  because we predict that this fight is going to get messy. View Here

The Best Show on TV: Not Two and a Half Men, but it does star the illustrious Charlie Sheen, who has gone off the deep end.  He’s entertained the world all week with gems like, “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”  While we’re not sure how to take that, there is one quote that we agree with: “Women are not to be hit, they’re to be hugged…” Cheers to that, Charlie. View Here

Budget Chats: President Obama has invited congressional leaders from both parties to the White House to further chat about the continuing resolution HR 1 that will fund the federal government through the end of FY 2011.  The meetings were set in an attempt to move past continuing resolutions and the “threat of government shutdown every few weeks.”  The meetings could begin as early as today.  View Here

 

Wednesday, March 2nd

The Senate has just passed a House Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government for another two weeks while Congress debates on a much larger bill to fund the government to the end of the fiscal year.  The bill will now head to Obama’s desk. Government shutdown avoided.  You’re welcome, America.  Here’s your Roundup:

Eight to One: The Supreme Court has just handed out its decision on the case of Snyder v. Phelps.  Snyder sued Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, after the group picketed his son’s military funeral.  The Supreme Court ruled eight to one that the WBC had a right to picket because of the first amendment.  The Court’s majority opinion said that while the WBC’s speech is despicable, that does not negate their right to express it.  We’d like to know what “Wrong Way” Jon Bruning thinks given his reaction to a similar case in 1992.  View Here

Three Words: Expensive, ineffective and unconstitutional.  That’s how Nebraskans for Civic Reform describes State Sen. Charlie Janssen’s LB239.  (We used similar adjectives yesterday.) Janssen’s bill would require voters to present a current and valid photo ID before stepping into the polling booth.  While this may not be an issue for a majority of Nebraskans, many of the elderly, some students and low income citizens could be easily disenfranchised.  If you’re not already following NCR’s tumblr, we recommend adding it to your daily read.  View Here

NE <3 PS: Nebraskans love their public schools.  If you’re not related to a public school teacher, you’ve probably got one who’s a friend or at least a casual acquaintance.  If you’re really lucky, maybe you’re dating or married to a teacher.  Now the Sherwood Foundation is on a mission to instill public school pride in Nebraskans from Omaha to Ogallala by asking for your stories of PS pride.  Share Here

Teachers With Machine Guns: That’s the image House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is using to describe unions and local governments.  In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Boehner said of unions, “We’ve given them a machine gun and put it right at the heads of the local officials.”  Because teachers, bus drivers, firefighters and your garbage man are over-compensated sociopaths who live in ritzy mansions with a doorman.  Oh wait… those are the notorious Tea Party backers, the Koch brothers.  Our mistake.  And so much for toning down the violent rhetoric post-Arizona.  View Here

 

Tuesday, March 1st

Welcome to March, ladies and gents!  As we exit the month of love, we say goodbye to the Oscars, bitter cold (hopefully), and and Hallmark holidays that depress single people.  Bring on St. Patty’s.  Here’s your Roundup:

Copy Cat Syndrome:  Sen. Mark Christensen’s LB232, which would expand justifiable homicide to include a fetus, is markedly similar to the bills that recently popped up in South Dakota and Iowa. The bill is the result of a push from an out-of-state group called American United for Life, which has passed versions of the bill in Missouri and Oklahoma. Contrary to what Christensen and the other legislators who have introduced this bill will tell you, this bill is specifically designed to apply the “affirmative defense of ‘defense of others’ to protect the unborn… and opens a new chapter in the fight to protect the lives of the unborn.”  We don’t need copy cat bills in the unicameral; we can write our own laws.  View Here

Don’t Back Down: While our elected officials look the other way, TransCanada has been pushing landowners around in an attempt to make them cave and sell their land along the route of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  This isn’t news to us, but shame on our elected officials for sitting idly by while Nebraskans are being intimidated. Hold-out landowners, we stand with you!  View Here

The Man Behind the Curtain: Today’s edition of the National Review profiles our very own senatorial candidate, reformed progressive Jon Bruning.  After poo-pooing health reform for a bit, Bruning claims that we need to, “pull back the curtain” on Nelson and his plans for a “nanny government.”  Wrong Way Jon, we’re curious to see how you plan to pull back a curtain when you’re standing behind one of your own.  View Here

America Supports Unions:  A new poll released today by CBS News shows that 60% of Americans oppose removing the bargaining rights of unions. The poll shows that by and large, Americans don’t think that sweeping measures that reduce pay or curtail their ability to negotiate is right, even in light of the budget crises that state are facing.  You hear that, Heineman?  View Here

 

Monday, February 28th

No big surprises at last night’s Oscars.  Favorites Colin Firth and Natalie Portman won the Best Actor and Actress categories (respectively). The King’s Speech walked away with another 3 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original screenplay.  If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend dishing out the $9 at the box office.  Here’s your Roundup:

Johanns the Moderate?:  While his voting record is redder than a Husker jersey, Sen. Johanns sounds more like a moderate in a recent interview with Nebraska Watchdog.  Johanns said he’s opposed to letting disagreements over federal funding lead to a full government shutdown.  While a shutdown may play well to the GOP’s tea party base, it might blow up in their faces when people call their local Social Security office and get an answering machine.  View Here

Nailed: KFAB’s hosts range from moderate-conservative to uber-conservative.  But we love when even they have to call a spade a spade.  Afternoon host (and moderate-conservative) Tom Becka did just that on his facebook wall this morning when he said AG Jon Bruning is “the most transparent opportunist I have ever met.”  Becka called Bruning out after the AG’s office announced it would be getting involved in a local murder case.  View Here

Schumacher FTW: Republicans across Nebraska are impressing us this morning.  In Don Walton’s weekly column, State Sen. Paul Schumacher basically told NE GOP Chairman Mark Fahleson to take a hike.  Schumacher is a Republican and will likely be the deciding vote on whether or not the bill to switch Nebraska’s electoral college votes to a winner-take-all system will move to the Unicam floor.  While Fahleson’s told the papers that the NE GOP will put pressure on the state senators, Schumacher told Walton that he’s accountable to his constituents, not the state party.  View Here

Something for Something: As Congress clashes over funding the federal government, Preston Tsarev tries to talk a little budget sense over at Flag on the Play.  Tsarev points out the the government and individuals learned in 2008 that running up credit is a very risky business.  Now, we’ve got to decide how many government programs we’re willing to sacrifice and how many we’re willing to pay for (with *gasp* taxes).  In a state that’s weathered the economic collapse fairly well, we consider it a shame that Gov. Heineman won’t even consider a moderate tax increase (on cigarettes for example) to fix our $1 billion budget gap.  View Here

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