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Bold Roundup: Mar 21-25

Bold’s intern Emily is in DC helping getting the word out about how Young Nebraskans and their parents can “get covered,” Bob Kerrey goes after the “radical-right,” Jane thinks we need gas pumps turned into ears of corn and we are 40 “likes” away from sending Heineman a special delivery. Here’s your Roundup:

Getting Covered: Navigating health insurance can be confusing even for those us who have done it before.  Imagine you are a new college grad or a busy parent and just need the basics all in one place.  Bold’s intern Emily is in DC helping push out a new toolkit called “Getting Covered” that we know is going to be a huge help for young people and parents.  Check it out and spread the word.  View Here

Radical Right: We love Bob Kerrey and his term “radical right.”  We may have to start using that to describe what we have been calling “fringe conservatives.”  While Senator Nelson has not announced his intentions on running again in 2012, Bob Kerrey is actively fundraising for Nelson. We want to highlight that both Kerrey and Nelson, when they were governors, fought for the protection of our land and water.  Both of them made sure nuclear waste was not going to hit our soil and water.  If only we had a warrior in the Gov’s mansion now… a girl can dream right?  View Here

Corn and Gas: One of the “radical right” state senators, Mark Christensen, introduced a bill that would REMOVE ethanol labeling at gas stations.  We have read both sides of this debate and simply find the side that wants to remove the lables laugable.  We live in a corn state.  While there are arguments about ethanol not being a good source of alterntive enrgey, we disgaree 100%. As the industry matures, so does the technology and all of this results in two things: jobs and American-made fuel.  We need more labels.  We need pumps that have pictures of the farmers who made the fuel. We need pumps that look like ears of corn. We should all be proud of our state’s efforts to make America energy independent.  We agree with the LJS editorial board, this bill is bad news.  View Here

We just need 40 more likes on our facebook page before we make an awesome special delivery to Gov. Heineman telling him to stop his lip service on protecting Nebraska and to get to work on ensuring we have safety regulations in place for oil pipelines.  Like Here

 

Thurs, March 24

 

Rep. Terry continues to be a broken record that his “health care plan” is better than the current law, problem is he has no plan. The fringe conservative group funded by Pete Ricketts and the Koch brothers might have to start disclosing donors in Nebraska because of bold State Senator Avery.  And, there is NOT an app for that (anymore). Here’s your Roundup:

 Broken Record: Over a year ago, a video profiling Rep. Lee Terry’s abundance of criticism on health reform and complete absence of an alternative option showed Terry’s blatant lack of a plan for the broken health care system.  Seems that Terry (R-NE2) is still singing the same tune. Yesterday, he released a statement on the anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that denounced the legislation while providing only vague outlines, such as “including lowering premiums through increased competition, providing the States greater flexibility to administer Medicaid programs, and eliminating duplicate government programs and waste.” Newsflash: the ACA accomplishes Terry’s “plan,” maybe he didn’t read the bill? View Here

Closing LoopholesSen. Bill Avery’s LB606 would close the loophole in Nebraska law that currently allows the out-of-state fringe conservative group Americans for Prosperity to mail flyers against Nebraskan candidates without reporting spending.  The bill advanced in the Unicameral yesterday by a vote of 31-0.  Nebraska is one step closer to more transparent laws around campaign mailings and electoral campaigns.  Thumbs up, Sen. Avery. View Here

Balancing Act: During this budget session, we have repeatedly called out Gov. Heineman for “balancing” the state budget at the expense of municipalities, kids and the environment.  It seems that Heineman isn’t the only one trying to pass this off as sound budgeting.  Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s governors are all implementing similar policies.  For most cities, this means layoffs and cutting services.  While we understand that times are hard, passing the buck to cities and claiming solvency is not the answer. We want to see Heineman also cut the salaries of his appointed staff. View Here

Loss of an Bold Icon: Yesterday the world lost a talent and celebrity matched by few.  Elizabeth Taylor, who starred in classics such as National Velvet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Cleopatra, passed away yesterday in an LA hospital at the age of 79.  She was a bold leader for individuals and families suffering from AIDS when no one else would stand up to talk about this critical health issue.  We’ll miss you, Liz.  View Here

There’s Not an App for That: Apple removed the controversial “Cure Gays” app from the iPhone App Store yesterday after receiving considerably (and justified) criticism for allowing it be sold in the first place.  The app, which received a four star rating that indicated it had little “objectionable content,” provided tips for curing people of homosexuality.  We’re glad the app is off the market, but are offended that it was deemed appropriate for sale.  There are some things that just shouldn’t be an app for. View Here

 

Wed, March 23

 

After we uncovered Don Stenberg boxers (from the ‘06 campaign), we thought we’d hit our threshold for campaign horrors.  But we forgot that “genuine, lifelong” conservatives like Stenberg play on a completely different field.  We give you Don Stenberg thongs. Here’s your Roundup:

1 Year!:

It’s officially been one full year since Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (known to most of us a health care reform).  Hyperbolic conservatives predicted Armageddon, but we’re still standing.  Major reforms won’t be fully implemented until 2014.  Not sure how health reform works for you?  Check out the Kaiser Family Foundation’s handy flow chart.  They’ve got a dearth of resources that explain the law through easy and attractive visuals.  View Here

TransCanada’s Spin: TransCanada’s been on a media blitz ever since the Dept. of State announced that they want a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL. It was a major victory for activists fighting the pipeline.  Now TransCanada’s saying the delay isn’t costing them a cent.  How ironic considering just a month ago they said the delay cost them $1 billion dollars.  They fudge job numbers, eminent domain laws with landowners and now their books!  (It’s hilarious to watch the Fox host pronounce “ah-qui-FOUR.”)  Watch the Spin Here

 

 

High Noon at the OK Corral: State Sen. Deb Fischer’s got a nice spread in the World Herald today.  We were appalled when the OWH described Fischer as a politician whom “defends landowner rights and supports the agricultural constituents she represents.”  Funny, she hasn’t said a word against TransCanada as they’ve threatened to eminent domain on ranchers IN HER DISTRICT.  We see her often with laughing it up with their lobbyists.  Let’s do some research before we make broad claims in a state paper, shall we?  View Here

Ethanol In Danger: 

 A bill in the Unicameral to remove ethanol labels at the pump advanced to a second round of debate yesterday.  LB698 would remove requirements to label ethanol blends under 10%.  Apparently, Nebraska’s ethanol business is in such dire straights that we have to trick people into buying the clean, corn-based fuel.  Oh wait, 85.6% of fuel sold in Nebraska is an ethanol blend, and that’s up from 68% in 2009.  We’re opposed to this nonsense bill that claims to fix a problem we know doesn’t exist.  View Here

 

USA Today Covers Pipeline: 

USA Today picked up on the Keystone XL story, and interviewed Stuart landowner Susan Luebbe.  Susan’s story is one of many we’ve heard from landowners (across the country).  TransCanada comes in and threatens eminent domain.  When ranchers like Susan don’t run scared, they start to cut them off by telling them their neighbors have sold — another lie.  TransCanada can’t keep hiding their bullying, and we’re proud of people like Susan who have the guts to call them out.  View Here

 

Steep Hill

Freshman Republicans will have a steep hill to climb when their reelection campaigns roll around in 2012.  A new survey from Democracy Corps analyzes 50 battleground districts that a currently held by GOP reps but swung for Obama in ‘08.  Incumbents are significantly weaker in these districts than even Dems were in ‘09.  The incumbents had an average approval rating of 35%, 25% disapproving and 38% wouldn’t give a rating (which suggests extremely low name recognition).  For you political strategy junkies, the rest of the poll breakdown is a fascinating read.  View Here

 

Sad news this morning, Elizabeth Taylor passed away at 79.

 

Tues, March 22

 

 

1,130 people like us on Facebook!  If we reach 1,500, we’ll make a special delivery to Gov. Heineman as part of our Mouth Off with Bold campaign. Tell your kids, tell your wife, tell your husband, tell your whole social network!  Here’s your Roundup:

Johanns & Big Gov: We thought conservatives were supposed to advocate for smaller government.  Apparently Sen. Johanns didn’t get the memo (then again, he was a democrat until he ran for office, so maybe he’s forgotten).  Johanns has a new bill to create a committee that would analyze the fiscal impacts of the EPA’s regulations and legislation like the Clean Air Act. Johanns says he introduced the bill to stop the partisan bickering over the benefits/costs of the CAA.  We’ll believe it when we see some Democratic co-sponsors.  View Here

Citizen Watch: Yesterday, we spent several minutes hitting our heads against our keyboards because of State Sen. Pirsch and Gov. Heineman. Today, we’re laying of the aspirin and fist pumping the air because of amazing citizens like Jan Enstrom and Scott Svoboda. Enstrom and Svoboda wrote a stellar letter to the editor (LTE) praising thework of citizens and groups who are fighting for common sense pipeline protections. They scolded Sen. Langemeier for his lack of leadership on the pipeline bills.  The letter got picked up by the Journal Star and World Herald.  It’s activists like Jan, Scott and you that keep us going when we feel like we’ve hit a wall.  Keep up the great work, folks!  View Here

They’re Baaaaack: Alcoholic energy drinks are coming back to store shelves with all the controversy but none of the caffeine.  Manufacturers reformulated the drinks after controversy arose over the so-called “blackout in a can” beverages.  The biggest attention-grabber was a party at Washington Central University where the police thought a date rape drug had gone around because so many students were blacked out.  View Here

Ezra’s Gift: Our favorite WaPo blogger Ezra Klein has a present for health care reform on its first birthday: some clarity on what the law does and doesn’t do.  If you’re not a health reform junkie, this a great refresher on the law, what it’s done so far and what’s coming in the future.  We’re celebrating one year of reform this week with blog posts and press events (and maybe some cake).  Stay tuned!  View Here

AT&T and You: AT&T has announced that will buy T-Mobile for the grand total of $39 billion. This might not mean much to a majority of Nebraskans who rely mostly on Verizon and Alltel (who merged in 2009).  However, another merger of two major wireless companies means less competition in the market.  Is this new merger a boon that cut costs and increase efficiency?  Or is it a dangerous consolidation of the market that could mean less innovation and reduced competition?  Even the fairly progressive folks at Slate can’t agree.  View Here

Mon, March 21

If you’re a college student, then you’re probably on spring break this morning.  Instead of heading to Cancun, we’re sticking around to celebrate the one year anniversary of health care reform passing.  It’s also Twitter’s 5th birthday, so plan on eating lots of cake! Here’s your Roundup:

Go To Jail, Pay Twice: Some of the bills that are introduced in the Unicameral make us want to smack our heads repeatedly against a wall.  LB609, introduced by Sen. Pirsch, is one such piece of legislation.  Pirsch’s bill would require inmates to pay a portion of their incarceration costs.  It sounds like a good plan to raise revenue until you actually look at the penal system and see that most inmates have no money.  Not only that, the bill could be unconstitutional because punishing people and making them pay for that punishment might be double jeopardy.  View Here

Whiteclay Progress: The Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs is giving a nearly $15,000 grant to fund a group that will promote entrepreneurship and mentor youth around Whiteclay. The group is a collaboration of non-profits and local governments.  A big pat on the back goes to State Sen. Louden who introduced the bill to make this grant possible.  For those of us who feel passionately about the issue of Whiteclay providing alcohol to residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation, this could be a big step forward from the current tragedy.  View Here

Protect Ethanol: Threaten the ethanol industry, and you’ll get a whole mess of Nebraskans contacting your office.  Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, testified in DC about the negative ramifications of repealing ethanol incentives.  According to Sneller, Nebraska motorists saved $50 million last year because some much of our gas is ethanol infused and thus cheaper.  That’s 5% of the current state budget gap!  In the federal budget votes that happened last week, only Sen. Nelson voted to protect ethanol investments.  The rest of our federal delegation voted to cut support of ethanol.  View Here

10% of the Budget Gap: An increased tax on cigarette products in Nebraska could generate $100 million in state revenue.  But Gov. Heineman says he’ll veto the bill that would generate enough revenue to fill 10% of the state budget gap.  Remember how we said some bills in the Unicameral make us want to smack our heads against a wall?  Well sometimes Heineman’s reactions to GREAT bills make us want smack our heads against a wall.  Time to break out the aspirin.  View Here

Fix Your Own Pothole: If you fear for your life — or at least your car — while driving down highways 91, 31 or 75 near the Omaha metro, Heineman says to suck it up for another year. He’s going up against a bill from State Sen. Deb Fischer that would earmark one-half cent of the state’s sales tax for highway work.  Seeing Fischer and Heineman on opposite sides of the issue is like spotting a white rhino on an African safari — super rare.  Meanwhile, the state’s roads look like a herd of rhinos had a field day.  We’d bet the Governor is missing the extra stimulus money from ‘09 right about now.  View Here

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