Well another Bloomsday has come and gone, the College World Series is set to kick off (so long as the new park doesn’t become the next Atlantis) and Jon Huntsman is probably in the desert somewhere on a dirt bike en route to New Hampshire.  Here’s your roundup:


Big Beef Gets Busted: Swift Beef Company, the world’s largest beef producer, is being forced to pony up some cash for dumping waste into the Wood and Platte Rivers and interfering with Grand Island’s water treatment process.  This just exemplifies the problems with corporate agriculture in general.  Most Nebraskans understand the importance of conservation, and have a vested interest in not destroying their own communities.  Corporations only see higher costs where citizens see safe water.  Oh and the reason that a company like Swift has to answer to anybody?  A little group called the EPA that the GOP is desperately trying to slander, gut and defund.  Read here. 

Poor Little Presidential Candidate: Mittens Romney recently joked with some unemployed Floridians about his own “unemployed” situation.  Although, it’s not surprising that a person worth something like $200 million would be out of touch.  It must be nice to be a millionaire and not worry about your next meal when you can’t find a job.  Poor, little, rich Mittens, you’re so rich you don’t even know how far removed running a presidential campaign is from being laid off.  We’ll help you out.  They’re not even in the same universe, let alone the same ballpark.  Read here. 

Ethanol Subsidies Take a Hit: In a mostly symbolic gesture, the senate has voted to end some ethanol subsidies.  The real reason this is a big deal?  A lot of Republicans have now actually agreed, on record to increases in revenues, also known as taxes.  Our question though?  Why choose an issue that targets the Midwest and farmers specifically?  Where was this willingness to compromise when every single Republican voted against ending subsidies to the five major oil companies?  And this all despite the fact these companies have been posting record profits.  Read here. 

Rural and Renewable: Fortenberry has gotten an amendment through that should support renewable and alternative energy in rural areas.  He’s taken a position rare within the GOP, that renewable energy sources can both create jobs and address environmental concerns.  Makes sense to us.  You almost wonder why a representative [insert coughing, Lee Terry, insult] on the Energy Subcommittee isn’t espousing similar ideas.  Read here.

And because it’s absurd that a) T-Paw thinks anyone in San Francisco will vote for him, b) he has the gall to do a book signing in what appears to be the Moscone center and c) it’s really funny, we give you Code Pink’s latest glitter bomb.

Thurs, June 16

Heavy flood water from the Missouri River is worrying officials at Eppley Airfield, who are monitoring the levees that surround three sides of the airport for weaknesses. In other news, the flood of news coverage has finally gotten to Anthony Weiner who announced today he will be resigning. Here’s your roundup:

Keystone Deadline Bill Advances: A bill proposed by our very own Rep. Lee Terry (or Lee TransCanada, if you prefer) to speed up the State Dept.’s decision on the Keystone XL, advanced in a congressional subcommittee yesterday.  Sen. Johanns, on the other hand, gave Terry the cold shoulder and said he hadn’t even read his proposal.  While Rep. Terry continues to insist that Nebraska “cannot afford to continue to delay” the Keystone pipeline, we think that Nebraska cannot afford to risk the Sand Hill and Ogallala Aquifer without all the facts.  Read Here.

More Warnings, Calls For Further Study: Two UNL professors with expertise in groundwater flow and contamination wrote a letter to Sec. Clinton earlier this month urging the State Department to conduct further study on the impact of Keystone XL pipeline. They point out that the State Dept. is relying on a single 1979 study as the source of what they know about crude oil behaviors in aquifers–a fact that troubles the two scientists. They ask: with so much research lacking, why exactly are we rushing to construction?  Good question.  Read Here

Those Poor Children: Children with Medicaid are far more likely than those with private insurance to be turned away by medical specialists or be made to wait more than a month for an appointment, even for serious medical problems, according to a new study. Ironically, this study was released at the same time that Medicaid is being eyed for significant cuts as part of Biden’s bipartisan budget deal.  Politically, Medicaid is the least painful program to cut, simply because the poor, the disabled and children don’t have much clout in Washington.  Read Here.

More Videos: This video is one of the weirdest campaign videos I’ve seen in a while.  I think soon-to-be GOP candidate Jon Huntsman is trying to go all “viral marketing” on us… but after repeated viewings, I’m really not sure what he’s trying to say.  Watch Here

Can’t get enough?  Goddard’s Political Wire is a go-to source politics junkies.  Check out today’s headlines at http://politicalwire.com/.

Wed, June 15

Speculation about a pistol wielding Perry presidential bid is growing as he travels to New York, John Boehner is threatening to invoke the War Powers Act against Obama, and poor Ben Bernanke is still trying to explain to politicians the dangers of not raising the debt ceiling.  Here’s your Roundup:

Eco-hawks: The U.S. military seems to understand what our politicians don’t.  In a new energy policy designed to make the military more energy efficient and less reliant upon oil, the military notes, “The realities of global oil markets mean a disruption of oil supplies is plausible and increasingly likely in the coming decades.”  As the largest U.S. consumer of oil, the military understands both the necessity and inevitability of investing in sustainable infrastructure.  It realizes that such investment now means immense savings in the long run.  We hope all the anti-spending, anti-EPA robots are paying attention.  Read here.

Oil Money: TransCanada has contributed $75,000 for flood relief in the Midwest.  While it seems like a nice gesture, Nebraskans support for their dangerous pipeline is not for sale.  Well, Bruning’s and Heineman’s might be, but a lot of us actually have principles.  You see, TransCanada, it turns out we’ve done just fine without you for our state’s entire existence.  And if you disappear tomorrow, we will continue to succeed and prosper without your assistance. You’ll understand if we’re hesitant to trust the good intentions of somebody cavalier enough to risk poisoning our water supply and damaging one of the most sensitive ecological areas on the planet.  Read here.

Republicans Let Off Leash: GOP infighting has erupted over the issue of ethanol subsidies.  A bizarre series of events demonstrates the reality behind all the anti-tax, anti-subsidy rhetoric. “Ending subsidies” means ending subsidies for anyone NOT close to Grover Norquist’s greasy heart, which is obviously anyone in the Midwest.  The GOP has been taken hostage by Grover Norquist, and they are fickle captors with their own agenda.  Senator Johanns, we suggest you escape now before it’s too late.  Read here.

DOMA going bankrupt: A federal bankruptcy court has declared that the Defense of Marriage Act cannot be constitutionally applied to a gay couple, saying it deprived them of equal rights under the law.  This is an important victory for everyone opposed to seeing religious inclinations become the law of the land.  Bachmann, Romney, Pawlenty, et al. … Are you listening?  Read here.

Can’t get enough?  Goddard’s Political Wire is a go-to source politics junkies.  Check out today’s headlines at http://politicalwire.com/.

Tues, June 14th

The Republicans may have “battled” it out last night during CNN’s New Hampshire debate, but the whole affair felt rather disappointing.  WaPo’s Ezra Klein summed it up best in this after-debate tweet: “Romney won. Bachmann surged. Cain disappointed. Pawlenty whiffed. Gingrich slept. Santorum fretted. Paul scolded.”  Here’s your Roundup:

No Doubt: Gov. Heineman continues to deny Nebraska’s authority to choose the route of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Yesterday, Heineman sparred with a caller about the issue during his monthly radio call-in show.  The caller asked why Heineman hasn’t taken a strong stand against the pipeline and called for a change in route (as Sen. Johanns has).  Heineman insisted that there’s “some doubt” on whether Nebraska can pass legislation affecting the route and said, “This is a federal, regulatory decision.”  Clearly Heineman prefers to dodge questions and leave Nebraskans at the mercy of TransCanada.  Read Here

GOP Split on Subsidies: The Senate will vote soon on whether to eliminate billions in ethanol subsidies.  This will create some problems for Repubs who are split between the “cut everything with a price tag” (and by everything, I mean everything that works for them politically) rhetoric and protecting their state’s ethanol industries.  Sen. Johanns has already spoken out against cutting the subsidies.  But where does Rep. Adrian Smith, who has been supported financially by a group called Club for Growth (who called ethanol subsidies an abomination and destructive), stand on the issue?  Read Here.

GOP Debate Aftermath: There has been a flood of great political news since last night’s debate. Michele Bachmann is officially running and wants to rename the EPA “the job killing organization of America” (and to shut it down completely).  It was also pretty clear that none of the candidates cared to talk much substance about the economy (unless you consider “cut taxes” and “less regulation” an economic plan).  Find more analysis on the debate’s winners and losers here. Also, the website Politifact will be putting the GOP candidate’s statements to the test throughout the day, distinguishing the truth from the outright lies.

Fun Fact: A Chronicle of Higher Education study found Nebraska’s legislature is the third most educated in the country, with 87.3% of state lawmakers possessing a college degree or a post-graduate degree.  California ranked first with 89.9%, while New Hampshire ranked last with 53.4%.  Does higher education make for a better legislature?  Read Here

More Videos: The White House blog released a slightly comedic video today about the new Campaign to Cut Waste.  In it, Obama discusses stopping wasteful spending where ever it is found in the government — and that means shutting down a government website dedicated to foresters who play the fiddle.  Watch Here.  Also, the DNC quickly released this video mocking last night’s debate.  Watch Here.

Want more headlines from the DC scene?  Check out Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire.


Mon, June 13

The IMF has recently been targeted by a series of cyber-attacks, Greenpeace has put the finishing touches on their third Rainbow Warrior boat, and Allen West has fired an intern over a pro-gay tweet. Here’s your roundup:

Nebraska pushed to start reforms: A number of consumer representatives recently met and urged the state to move forward with instituting reforms mandated by the new health care laws. They also proposed principles for the formation of Nebraska’s insurance exchange.  It’s nice to be reminded that despite all the apocalyptic talk about health care destroying the country and our way of life, the reality will be far more anti-climactic.  Why?  Becauses it manages to provide health care to far more people than have ever had it in our country.  Read here.

Mr. Friend a little too friendly: Common Cause has filed a suit against former State Senator Mike Friend, accusing him of failing to register as lobbyists despite, well, being a lobbyist.  Friend claims to be a humble grassroots activist despite being the state director of the national group Americans for Prosperity.  This is especially hypocritical since the GOP accused our own Jane Kleeb of the exact same thing (by the way, she is registered).  Apparently the same rules don’t apply to somebody working for an organization backed by the Koch brothers.  Read here.

T-Paw tax fantasy: When loaded emotional rhetoric just won’t cut it, T-Paw doesn’t hesitate to simply tell bald-faced lies.  He may actually have a future as a politician (though we hope not). We do hope that enough of the electorate understands that cutting taxes to raise revenue is not just counter-intuitive, it’s provably wrong.  Reagan is gone Mr. Pawlenty, let it go.  It’s over. Successful supply-side economics only exist the way the satyrs and nymphs exist. Read here.

Size does matter: In this great post Anthony Swift talks about the admitted inadequacies of Transcanada’s system for detecting leaks.  It really exemplifies the sort of misrepresentation that is Transcanada’s modus operandi (or MO if you watch cop shows).  For instance even if the Keystone XL will be the safest pipeline, that does not mean that it is safe.  Or that when Transcanada admits it wouldn’t be able to detect a “small” leak, it means anything under 700,000 gallons a day.  Or a pinhole one like the leak in the Enbridge line that leaked 63,000 gallons of oil before it was discovered.  This equivocation and exploitation of relative definitions is shameful. Read here.