We’re going to jump the gun and wish Abe Lincoln a very happy birthday (he turns 202 tomorrow).  So far we haven’t heard of any shindigs planned in honor of Abe in our capitol city which is, of course, named after the 16th president.  Here’s your Roundup:

Bold Roundup

Egypt Dominates: Egypt is going to dominate the media headlines today.  Yesterday, President Hosni Mubarak’s refused to step down but transferred most of his presidential powers to his hand-picked vice president, Omar Suleiman.  Protesters have gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo, but Mubarak is rumored to have fled the capitol city.  Just as we were typing up the Roundup, word went out that Mubarak has completely stepped down.  We recommend following the NY Times’ comprehensive news feed pulling from print, video and social media sources.  View Here

Johanns Aims High: Sen. Johanns is gunning for the 3rd highest position in the Senate GOP — chairman of the Republican Conference.  Jon Kyle (AZ) is retiring which means the #2 spot of Minority Whip opens up.  Lamar Alexander (TN) is expected to move from chairman to whip which opens the field for interested parties like Johanns.  We find it more than a little ironic that the man who was on track to become chairman of the NE Democratic Party wants to become chairman of the Senate GOP.  View Here

Sex Ed: We’ve been wrapped up with immigration and pipeline bills this week, but we also wanted to highlight Senator Brenda Council’s bill that would require Nebraska schools to provide comprehensive sex education to teens.  Students wouldn’t have to attend if their parents or guardians filled out a request.  Considering Omaha has one of the highest STI rates in the country, specifically among 15 to 19-year-olds, it’s time we stopped squirming about sex ed and get real for the well-being of our teens.  And no, Mr. Voorhees, this would not mean schools would replace parents, and it does not mean little kids will be taught about sex. View Here

You Look Good!: Channel1011 has posted their piece on the hearing for the pipeline bills online.  A huge thank you to everyone who turned out to support this legislation that would give Nebraskans more local control over our land and water.  You’ve all been amazing and these bills are direct result of your work.  Opponents of the bill kept hammering on jobs which we find ridiculous because these bills would not stop construction.  We also heard a new set of jobs numbers at the hearing on Wed.  View Here


Thursday, February 10th

Today marks the kickoff of Emily’s favorite holiday, Fall Fashion Week in New York.  The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week runs February 10-17.  Go here for a schedule of all the shows and here for recaps on all the amazing shows you missed.  And with that, back to politics.  Here’s your Roundup:

Pipeline in the Unicameral: As many of you know, yesterday the Natural Resources Committee held hearings on the three pieces of legislation regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Bold staffers were present the entire time, and we will have more coming soon on those bills.  Thanks to everyone who came out and spoke up for Nebraska.

Bowing Out:  Yesterday was an interesting day on Capitol Hill as Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) both announced that they will not seek reelection in 2012.  In addition, Rep. Christopher Lee (D-NY) submitted his resignation after questionable pictures of him on CraigsList surfaced in a Gawker article early Wednesday morning. These departures sent politicos across DC into a frenzy, as the speculation begins about who will fill Kyl’s leadership position after his term is up.  View Here

Liar Liar, Pants on Fire:  A recent study by SmartPolitics that analyzed more than 500 PolitiFact stories from the past year found that Republicans were assigned “Pants on Fire” or False ratings a whopping 39% of the time, while their Democratic counterparts received the ratings just 12% of the time.  We can’t say that we’re surprised. For more information on how SmartPolitics puts together its analysis — View Here

End of an Era: Reports coming from Egypt indicate that tonight President Hosni Mubarak may finally be stepping down after over a fortnight of protests in Tahir Square and throughout the country. We’ll be keeping an eye on Al Jazeera to see when and if Mubarak does resign.  For now, it’s looking like Democracy: 1, Autocracy: 0.  View Here

Inequality in America: The Economic Policy Institute recently released this interactive infographic that depicts income growth across the lower, middle, and upper class from 1917 to 2008.  Most striking is that in times of boon the top 10% experiences the majority of that growth, whereas in downturns, the financial loss is absorbed primarily by the lower class. For those of us who are not trained economists, this infographic makes understanding the income-gap a whole lot easier.  Thanks EPI!   View Here

Mr. Dodd Goes to Hollywood: Former Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) is in talks with the Motion Picture Association of America to become its chief lobbyist in DC. The MPAA’s first choice for the job, our very own Bob Kerrey, left talks after the job’s geography of DC and LA became an issue. We can’t say we blame him. Spending that much time away from the good life is definitely a deal breaker.  View Here


Wednesday, February 9th

Omaha’s got a new feather in its cap: Jones Bros Cupcakes took second place last night on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars!  The new bakery is in the new Aksarben Village complex.  We recommend trying their Sweet & Salty, Red Velvet or Tuxedo cupcakes when you visit.  Here’s your Roundup:

Dotting i’s and Crossing t’s: The Wall Street Journal has started to cover the pipeline opposition movement and asked for Sen. Johanns’ input.  Johanns reiterated his position that a second environmental study needs to be done before the State Dept. considers whether or not to approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL.  We’re please as punch to hear this news, especially as we’re preparing for today’s hearing on the 3 pipeline bills in the State Leg.  View Here

Horse Meat: How does fresh grilled horse meat sound for dinner?  It could be a possibility if freshman State Senator Tyson Larson’s bill to force horse slaughter onto Nebraskans picks up any traction.  Larson’s bill would set up a state agency to regulate the processing of horse meat. Another bill he’s introduced would force rescue groups to accept any horse brought to them without exception or face a class 4 misdemeanor.  But he’s offered no way for rescue groups to pay for added cost of equine care.  Nebraska rescue organizations aren’t buying it and neither are our stomachs.  View Here

Dream Act 1, Janssen 0: On Monday State Senator Charlie Janssen said Nebraska’s Dream Act — which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition — was in violation of federal law. As evidence that he’s no legal scholar, Janssen was proven completely wrong by civil rights attorney Shirley Mora James.  Just this summer, California’s Supreme Court ruled that it’s Dream Act was not a violation of federal law.  And last December, a judge in Jefferson County dismissed a lawsuit against our Dream Act.  Janssen keeps saying he wants to “work together,” but we’ve only seen him reach out to Kansan Kris Kobach.  View Here

Lincoln Mayoral Debate: Incumbent Mayor Chris Beutler will face off with challenger and local businesswoman Tammy Buffington in a debate hosted by the Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA).  The debate begins at 11:30AM on Feb. 15 at the downtown Holiday Inn. Watching is free; eating at the buffet will cost you $11.  Free parking while it lasts!  View Here

A Little Mercy: Nebraska Appleseed has posted a video from their Unity Rally on Jan. 27.  Sister Kathleen Erickson of the Sisters of Mercy speaks out on the Catholic opposition to Sen. Janssen’s LB48 which would implement Arizona-style immigration legislation in Nebraska.  As a graduate of Omaha’s Mercy High School, Malinda is beyond thrilled to see the Mercy community step up on this issue.  View Here


Tuesday, February 8th

In case you haven’t ventured out into the world yet today, let us give you a tip: bundle up.  Temperatures today are expected to dip well below zero with windchill factored in. We recommend a warm hat, mittens, and staying inside as much as possible.  While it may be cold in the Midwest, things are heating up in the Capitol.  Here’s your Roundup:

Speak Out Against the Pipeline: Tomorrow, Feb. 9t, at 1:30pm the Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on all three pieces of the pipeline legislation. If you have an opinon or are affected by the pipeline, please tell us your story or contact a member of the committee. These hearings are a critical step in ensuring the preservation of Nebraska land and resources.  For more information, view here

DLC No More:  The Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist think tank that was highly influential during the Clinton administration, has announced that it is almost broke and potentially closing its doors.  Many associate the decline with the DLC’s split from the Progressive Policy Institute and its 2006 endorsement of Sen. Joe Liebermann.  View Here

Talking ‘bout a Revolution:  By now, most of us know that something is going on in Egypt. We’ve been keeping you posted, and here’s the latest update:  The demonstration in Tahir Square is the largest its been yet, and shows no sign of letting up.  Reports also indicate that state-run media is being “dismantled from within”, that Egyptians are rallying around the recently released Google executive, and that the faculty of Cairo University issued a strong statement of support for the revolution late yesterday.  Looks like the times, they are a’changing.  View Here

Attack on Women’s Health: A new bill in the House, The Protect Life Act (H.R. 358), proposes an override to the “requirement that ER doctors treat every patient and do what’s necessary to save the patient’s life,” meaning that it allows doctors to let pregnant women die if they have life-threatening condition and require an abortion. Last time we checked, allowing the mother to die does not help the baby live.  This is just bad policy dressed in pro-life wrappings.  View Here

Bruning the Lib: Politico has picked up our story that reported “Wrong Way” Jon’s liberal leanings during his collegiate and law school years.  Bruning’s advisors have stressed repeatedly that “as Bruning matured, started a family and began his career in the private sector he embraced conservative principles.”  Well, for us immature progressives, that’s an answer that just doesn’t add up. View Here


Monday, February 7th

If you’re looking to dig into the immigration battle in Nebraska, the Education Committee will be hearing arguments on Sen. Charlie Janssen’s LB657 which would repeal Nebraska’s Dream Act.  The Dream Act allows undocumented students who have grown up in NE to pay in-state tuition (and thus become well-educated, productive members of society).  The hearing is at 1:30pm in Room 1525.  Here’s your Roundup:

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble: Sen. Ben Nelson came out swinging at the Lancaster County Dems’ Patriot Dinner this weekend.  Nelson wasted no time criticizing “Wrong Way” Jon Bruning’s political history, calling the Attn. Gen. a “political weather vane.”  The incumbent Senator seems ready to watch a contentious primary from the NE GOP and take on the exhausted victor in the 2012 general election.  View Here

Good Money After Bad: You know the expression, “Don’t throw good money after bad”?  It looks like State Sen. Russ Karpisek hasn’t.  Karpisek wrote and saw the passage of a bill in 2009 that forced state agencies to run background checks on anyone applying for state benefits, licenses or jobs.  Only .2% of people who applied were rejected because their “lawful presence” was questioned.  Aren’t conservatives supposed to oppose the expansion of government bureaucracy and excess paperwork?  View Here

Save the Aquifer: One of our favorite activists is Cindy Meyers from Stuart.  Cindy’s being working like crazy to raise awareness about the dangers the Keystone XL poses to her drinking water source — the Ogallala Aquifer.  She had a major breakthrough when the LJS agreed to publish her thoughts on building a toxic oil pipeline through the aquifer.  A big congrats to Cindy and all the water warriors in our state.  View Here

Healthy Kids: FairFoodFight.com is one of our favorite food safety/healthy food blogs.  The progressive fight for safe and healthy food (which extends all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt) often gets a bad rap for creating a “nanny state.”  Progressives don’t want to control what everyone puts on his plate; we want to make sure families have healthy OPTIONS.  Think it’s impossible to get kids to eat healthy?  Behold the powers of toothpicks and bite-size veggies on a fussy four-year-old.  View Here