If you went to the mall at midnight, we hoped you tackled those deals. We have some online ideas for shopping local and supporting Nebraska family owned businesses. Grow Nebraska, UNL Dairy Store, Nebraska Food Co-Op are some of our favs. Here is your Roundup:
Vegas “Uncle Sam” Hired: Some answers are definitely needed on the hire by Nebraska’s Health Department. OWH broke the story of the Nebraska government hiring an anti-government activist– Mike Sciullo–from Las Vegas to implement a key piece of infrastructure that will touch all of our pocket books, the state’s health exchange. How did he secure a key position in the Nebraska health department without any prior experience except of course if you count dressing up as Uncle Sam while saying we live in tyranny. Watch the video from Vegas and then send his boss Bruce Ramge an email asking that he explain how a resume from Mike Sciullo crossed his desk and what qualifications he hired him on to do this job. Watch video
Thursday, November 24th
We’re briefly interrupting your Turkey time to bring you a short but sweet Roundup for Thanksgiving. Here’s your Roundup:
Good News, Bad News: The good news, oil and coal demand is down and demand is up for renewables and natural gas. The bad news is climate change is still not taken seriously. Estimates are we have about 5 years to get a solid plan in place to start decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We can start by denying TransCanada’s permit since tar sands emits 3 times the amount of greenhouse gas than traditional oil. In fact, tar sands extraction accounts for 40 million tons of CO2 emissions per year and all the “greening” the tar sands companies have said they are doing to offset this damage is now being questioned by the Canadian government. Read here
Yemen’s Independence: The Arab Spring revolution continues even though we’re well into fall. President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to step down yesterday after thirty years of autocratic rule and 10 months of instability. It remains to be seen if Saleh’s agreement to step down will hold up, but if it does, he’ll be the fourth Arab leader to be forced from power this year. Read here
Occupy the App: The Occupy movement now has it’s own facebook app. To link up and connect with occupiers close to you, click here.
Cocktails: Odds are you’ve already locked down and initiated your Thanksgiving recipes, but we like Food and Wine’s list of Thanksgiving cocktails to go with your feast. And this yummy blissini drink is the perfect twist on mimosas for a Black Friday brunch.
Come back tomorrow for some Black Friday shopping suggestions or tell us some good ones to include in the comments section. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
Wednesday, November 23rd
Not Over Yet: It was all of your efforts that led to the pipeline being rerouted out of the Sandhills. Some people say that’s the best we can hope for, but while the reroute remains a victory, there are too many uncertainties to quit now. For one, we do not know the new route of the pipeline. Will TransCanada bully landowners along the next proposed route as they did the first? Secondly, the substance hasn’t changed. This pipe is still carrying dirty, toxic tar sands. A commitment to this resource signals a near deadly blow in the battle against climate change. Nonetheless, we thank all of you for your help in this struggle and hope you continue to aid us in this fight and others that attack the core of what makes Nebraska the Good Life. Read here
By the Numbers: “It would have been worse.” That unfortunately has had to be the talking point of Democrats when defending the stimulus package. While this statement is true, it does little to win people over. However, now the Congressional Budget Office has released a report indicating that as many as 3.3 million jobs were created in the 3rd quarter of this year by the 2009 stimulus package. This means that the stimulus didn’t just prevent further decline but was a semi-significant improvement on job creation. We’d consider the stimulus a relative success compared to the bank bailout, which Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party seem to equally loathe. Read here
It’s An Insane Thanksgiving, Charlie Janssen: Senator Janssen is at it again with legislation that is just plain bad for our state. Janssen will again push a voter ID bill come next session after previously failing. The bill would be costly to the state of Nebraska, but even worse, it would disenfranchise many voters. It should not be a chore or task to be able to vote. Low income families, college students, and the elderly would find it much harder to enter the voting booth. Janssen says his bill makes perfect sense. Maybe so, but only in that it makes perfect sense to deny this disgraceful attack at Nebraskans’ liberties. Read here
Debate Overload: If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of GOP debates before Iowa, join the club. In the twelfth debate of the primary season, candidates tried to strengthen their stance on foreign policy. Many tried to recover from previous gaffes like Cain who swears he knows what’s going on in Libya. Other made new gaffes like Michelle Bachmann claiming President Obama’s cancelled the Keystone XL. When some candidate made a statement that wasn’t radical in its conservatism, other candidates attacked. Gingrich, acknowledging that we can’t possibly deport all illegal immigrants, faced this very scenario. Debate recap here
Tuesday, November 22nd
Thanks to everyone who came to our press conference today. Pipeline fighters and Sandhills lovers came out on top from the special session. Our work’s not done, but we’re encouraging everyone to enjoy the well-deserved holiday break. Here’s your Roundup:
Friends From the North: Robert Redford calls on the conscience and histories of the United States and Canada to ask that we stand together to defeat the tarsands. Rather than allowing TransCanada to pit us against our neighbors, we need to realize many Canadians are just as against the KXL as we are and are fighting a similar battle against the Northern Gateway pipeline in British Columbia. This is about protecting our land and dignity, which both nations have long placed in high importance. Read here
Lack of Democracy: Sunday’s LJS editorial rightly notes the lack of democratic process in the Farm Bill. In normal times, it would take months to write the farm bill. The Secretary of Agriculture would propose a bill. Agriculture committees in the House and the Senate would come up with their versions. Public hearings would be held. Stakeholders would have a place at the table. Ultimately, the House and Senate versions would be reconciled. But this time it’s being written by four people: the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Ag committees. None of the people directly involved represents Nebraska. The Farm Bill, which not only covers crop subsidies but also food stamps and renewable energy programs, is now under the control of those who do not represent the interests of all the people it will affect. Read here
Tarsands CEOs Convicted: The U.K. just conducted a mock trial prosecuting a fictional tar sands CEO, backed by a legal team, of “ecocide.” The term refers to a new international crime that may be added to the list of the UN’s crimes against peace, which so far include genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and war crimes. The mock trial featured real judges, top lawyers and a by-the-book public jury, who found the CEO guilty as a result of his/her company’s extraction of oil from tar sands in Canada. In order for “ecocide” to join the UN’s list, it must be backed by 86 member countries of the International Criminal Court, a likely event. Read here
Congressional Failure: The supercommittee in charge of reducing our nation’s deficit officially failed yesterday, making the scheduled cuts to the military and social programs set in stone. The supercommittee’s job was to come up with deficit-cutting proposals, but reportedly didn’t even meet very often. This failure is just another to add to Congress’ list this year. Reactions of Americans reveal the failure came as less of a surprise than if they would have succeeded, and reflecting Congress’s record-breaking low approval rating, young people and businessmen alike have no confidence in our government’s ability to work.
Monday, November 21st
Just as quickly as they restarted, protests in Egypt are being stopped by extreme brutality from the Egyptian Army. Sadly, police brutality is also happening at Occupy protests around the country. State and national leaders must begin to speak out about the far too numerous examples of violent force used on nonviolent protesters. Here’s your Roundup:
A Tall Tax Tale: You’ve probably seen or heard the advertisements claiming the millions TransCanada will provide Nebraska in tax revenue if the Keystone XL is built. Like many of the claims made by TransCanada, this too is likely an extreme exaggeration. In order to pass through South Dakota, Keystone 1 boasted that it would provide $9.14 million annually in tax revenue to counties. Now, more than a year into operation, the real amount of taxes is far lower–about â…“ of TransCanada’s original estimates. We shouldn’t be surprised, TransCanada failed to consult with the Department of Revenue to review their overblown predictions. Read here
Mayors Against KXL: 103 mayors from 28 states have sent President Barack Obama a letter urging the him to deny the Keystone XL permit in wake of the news that the project will be scrutinized with another environmental impact statement. These leaders realize the perilous road tar sands production sets us down. Too few of our leaders effectively consider future consequences of consuming this extremely dangerous and dirty fuel source. While the pipeline may seem to only effect those people whose land or counties it passes, these mayors realize that a commitment to this toxic oil negatively effects everyone. Read some of the mayors pleas here
Lee-T&T: While not exactly a new ally to corporations, Lee Terry is now buddying up to the telecommunications industry. Remember those pesky robocalls and telemarketers that would bombard your landline? Remember how nice it was when you switched to a cellphone where they couldn’t reach you? Well, Terry wants to shatter your solitude. He’s proposing a law that would allow those telemarketers to come storming back after a 20 year ban. Watch Olbermann tear Terry up here
Cold Shower: The New York Times has an excellent piece out about the groundswell movement around Elizabeth Warren, the creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who’s running to fill Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. Progressives who feel let down by President Obama have flocked to Warren and raised her up as the new people’s champion. The NY Times offers a strong dose of reality, “The key is not just emotional investment in election-year saviors but also an engagement with policy.” That’s a lesson Nebraskans have learned well in the KXL fight and that Bold continues to advocate. Read here