It’s Friday!  And you know what that means: we’re headed to the Nebraska Farmers’ Union Convention in Grand Island.  The anticipation of seeing Paul Blackburn of Plains Justice confront Jeff Rauh of TransCanada is making us feel all tingly.  Don’t forget to to flip your radio to C-SPAN on the drive to GI so you can listen the 2nd day of DADT testimony in the Senate.  Here’s your Roundup:

A Win for Kids: The House voted to pass the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act yesterday which was supported by Mrs. Obama and will improve child nutrition in our schools.  It passed by a vote of 264-157.  Nebraska’s own Rep. Fortenberry was one of the 17 Republicans who voted for the bill. Lee Terry and Adrian Smith voted against it.  Voting against healthy kids, well we just can’t paint it worse than that.  View Here

Infinity: Slate magazine dares to ask, “How should a president respond to a job that is increasingly an endless series of emergencies?”  The economy, jobs, the deficit, terrorism, Wikileaks, DADT, immigration and the list goes on (and on and on and ON).  The presidency is a never ending game of balancing policy priorities and trying to respond to the country’s mood swings while still actually being effective in office.  His inbox will never reach zero.  View Here

What a Mouth: The incoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner, called House Democrats’ move to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year “chicken crap.” Does he kiss his mother with that mouth?  But really, we’re just glad to see that poor, defenseless millionaires have a courageous advocate like John Boehner.  Truly sir, we don’t know what Warren Buffett would do without your help.  View Here

Would You Like Some Pork with that Tea?: Citizens Against Wasteful Government found that the 52 members of the House Tea Party Caucus asked for 764 earmarks totaling $1 billion in the fiscal ending Sept. 30.  Maybe we misheard their mantra of “cut wasteful government spending”?  Rep.Adrian Smith fromthe 3rd CD is a member of the Tea Party Caucus.  View Here


Thursday, December 2nd

Our theme for this week is hearings, hearings and more hearings.  Yesterday was the Nebraska state legislature’s committee hearing on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Today the Senate Armed Services Committee is hosting a hearing on the repeal of DADT and the recent Pentagon report.  Our own Senator Ben Nelson is on the SAC (and he hit it out of the park with this statement this morning) which means we’ll be watching C-SPAN all day.  Here’s your Roundup: 

Pipeline Hearing Coverage: The state legislature’s hearing on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline garnered plenty of local news coverage.  Finally, we’re seeing TransCanada officials directly questioned by our elected officials.  No more avoiding our calls or buying up ad space in our papers and on our radios.  Here are the media articles on the hearing.  Thank you to all the landowners and citizens who showed up and expressed their concern for the pipeline. Send us more stories you find them!
    Omaha World Herald
    Lincoln Journal Star
    Grand Island Independent
    Columbus Telegram
    Nebraska Radio Network
    1011 News 

John McCain Cracks Us Up: In an interview with Howard Kurtz, John McCain says, “The Republicans won the last election; the president did not.”  Well spotted, Senator.  We’d argue the reason the president didn’t win the 2010 elections was because he wasn’t a candidate.  But hey, logic and Joh McCain have never had a cozy relationship.  We think his line of questioning this morning about repealing DADT is enough evidence of that.  View Here

Kaiser Breaks Down 1099: Democrats and Republicans seem equally sympathetic about the added paperwork burden that health reform places on small business with new requirements for filling out 1099 tax reforms.  The parties’ proposals to appease small business are another matter.  Senators Mike Johanns and Max Baucus (D-MT) had two different solutions; both of which were voted down this week in the Senate.  We hear there might be some consensus on a new 1099 amendment and that Senator Nelson may be helping with that bridge. Get the details from Kaiser Health News.  View Here

NFP and Arizona Immigration: Nebraskans for Peace is speaking out against Arizona-like immigration laws being introduced in Nebraska.  Norman Pflanz of Nebraska Appleseed writes for NFP about the fiscal and legal hazards that such a law could have in Nebraska.  We think Pflanz’s concluding statement sums it up nicely, “Based on the experiences of other local and state governments, Nebraska should not risk our financial stability, public safety and community spirit by passing a law similar to SB 1070. Instead, we must insist that our federal elected officials in Congress create workable solutions that uphold our values and move us forward.”  View Here 


Wenesday, December 1st

Happy December, Roundup readers!  Today, we’re at the legislative hearing led by State Senator Annette Dubas on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.  But we haven’t forgotten that it’s also World AIDS Day.  Starbucks has teamed up with The Killers to raise money for (RED).  For every view of this new Killers video, Starbucks will donate $.05 to the World Fund.  Find others ways you can help fight AIDS at  Here’s your Roundup:

Fell’s Take on DADT: We’ve always recommended Paul Fell’s daily political cartoons, but Paul’s team as also always had a great blog that usually accompanies the Daily Felltoon.  Today Paul and his team took on the Pentagon report which released the findings of a military study on the impact of repealing DADT.  There was overwhelming support, and a distinct lack of opposition, among military members and their families to repealing DADT.  Conservatives who oppose the repeal have run out of plausible excuses.  View Here

Political Dynamite: The President’s deficit commission released their final report today which WaPo describes as “full of political dynamite.”  What’s included in the commission’s recommendations?  Drastic military spending cuts, raising the retirement age and tax reforms that could cost the average American an extra $1,700 per year.  It’s also unclear if the commission can build a bipartisan consensus among members who most vote on the proposal this Friday.  No one said balancing the federal budget would be painless.  View Here

Amazon Sublets Server to Wikileaks: Unless you been avoiding all media since Sunday, you’ve probably heard Wikileaks’ massive dump of private cables from US foreign officials.  It’s proving a massive embarrassment to the government, and some elected officials are saying it’s a huge security threat.  If you tried to read the cables on Monday, chances are you couldn’t because Wikileaks was under attack from a hacker (let the government conspiracy theories begin). is currently allowing the technology company that serves Wikileaks to use its servers.  View Here

Lackluster Ladies: The LJS did an extensive report on the lackluster number of women serving in our state government.  Less than a quarter of our state senators are women, but that makes us about average compared to other states.  While we don’t advocate voting for a candidate just because she’s a woman, we do think our state needs to build up a bench of talented female political leaders who should be in office.  Issues like restoring prenatal care in our state would have a totally different flavor if more women were in the legislature.  View Here

Suttle at Bat: Omaha’s Mayor Jim Suttle is fighting for more time to validate signatures on recall petitions.  According to state law, the County Election Commissioner has 15 days after the petition deadline to verify the legitimacy of the signatures.  But 15 days is a blink when you’re checking the validity of 37,000 signatures with a small staff.  So Suttle is asking for the Election Commissioner to get 75 days.  We find it hard to argue against actions that enhance the legitimacy of the democratic process.  View Here


Tuesday, November 30th

It’s a busy, busy day in the Senate.  The upper house of Congress is trying to get through landmark legislation before Christmas break and the new class gets sworn in.  Their frantic pace is reminiscent of our late nights cramming for college finals (which are coming up soon). We have a correction below as well. Here’s your Roundup:

Floor Update: According to CNN’s Political Unit, the Senate has passed food safety legislation and voted down a broad-based ban on earmarks.  The House will now have to pass the food safety legislation before it is signed into law by the President.  If the earmark ban had passed, the new Ag Research Center at UNL would have been in danger.  View Here

Healthy Kids: Time is running out for the House to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which would invest in childhood nutrition across the country.  And good news for deficit hawks: it’s deficit neutral.  The bill would expand meal access for low income kids, fund healthier school meals and invest in farm-to-school programs which also help local farmers.  Tell Congressmen Fortenberry, Terry and Smith to support healthy kids.  Just dial 1-877-698-8228, provide your zip code and tell the Congressmen, “Congress must pass the child nutrition bill this year. Please pass the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (S.3307) now.”  View Here

Bold in the News: The Nebraska Attorney General’s office is part of a multi-state lawsuit against the EPA because they have ruled that greenhouse gases are dangerous to human health and the environment.  But the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is moving ahead with implementing the EPA’s regulations because it’s more cost-effective for local businesses like the ethanol industry which qualifies as a polluter because of their CO2 emissions.  Jane weighs in on the validity of the EPA report.  View Here

A Million Laughs: Americans United for Change has released a new ad that satirizes Wall Street CEOs cozy relationship with conservatives and certain tea partyers.  Two faceless millionaires laugh about the GOP takeover of the House while discussing the $700 billion in tax breaks that could be headed their way if all the Bush tax cuts are extended.  It’s a great ad that that points out the hypocrisy of fiscal conservatives who say they want to reign in the deficit and simultaneously extend all the Bush tax cuts.  View Here

Students Make a Difference: Students in Bowling Green, Ohio made the difference in passing a ballot initiative that protected LGBTQ citizens from employment and housing discrimination.  We know young people have a lot to say about politics (heck, we employ them), and this could happen in Nebraska if the Omaha City Council puts the LGBT employment discrimination issue on the ballot.  View Her

We Stand Corrected: Last week we received a letter from Jen Rae Hein’s lawyer requesting we correct our blog post where we stated she was perhaps the anonymous Leavenworth Street blogger. Jen Rae Hein, the Communications Director for Governor Heineman, states via her lawyer’s letter to Bold Nebraska that she is 100%, not the anonymous gossip blogger.  We stand corrected.

Bold Nebraska will continue to keep a look out for the person who indeed has an inside track to information from the Nebraska Republican party.  We find it disturbing that both parties in our state do not join hands in demanding transparency about who is writing the blog and who is providing information to the blogger(s).  We are relieved that mainstream newspapers have stopped quoting Leavenworth Street blog as a legitimate source of political information because the source is unknown and therefore so are their motives.

We encourage Jen and any others who disagree with our posts to start a conversation online, all of our content can be commented on, and we encourage the discussion so we can have a more politically balanced state.

Now on to more serious and much more important topics like the TransCanada pipeline and ensuring Nebraska babies are born healthy


Monday, November 29th

Congress heads back to work today after a break filled with turkey and pumpkin pie.  To see what’s on their plate, check out our Roundup: Lame Duck Edition.  We expect the Senate to vote on food safety and the DREAM Act today.  Meanwhile, we’re glad to see the President is back on the basketball court after getting stitches in his lip.  Here’s your Roundup:

Stevens Speaks His Mind: Former Justice John Paul Stevens gets personal and opinionated in a book review of David Garland’s Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition.  Stevens, who was recently replaced by Elena Kagan, was considered a progressive bastion of the court in recent years.  However, he originally supported capital punishment, and he explains why he grew to oppose it in this review.  Expect this to be a new pattern for retiring Supreme Court Justices: speaking their mind on issues that were “off-limits” when they served through provocative interviews, essays and speeches.  View Here

Issa’s Little War: Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is seeking expanded subpoena powers for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee which he will chair when the GOP officially takes control of the House in January.  Issa’s expanding the committee’s role even larger than his Democratic or Republican predecessors.  Ironically, Issa wants to shrink the government by growing the power of his own committee.  View Here

Immigration Battle Lengthens: The legal battle over Fremont’s controversial immigration ordinance, which punishes those in the city limits who would hire or rent to undocumented workers, has moved the goal posts once again.  Judge Laurie Smith Camp (whose name we see more and more) has extended the deadlines for lawyers from both sides to file arguments.  The city’s legal team headed by Kris Kobach, Kansas’ new Secretary of State, asked for more time.  Kobach has ties to nativist hate groups.  View Here

Recall Will Be Close: An analysis by the OWH shows that the petition drive to recall Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle could be a real nail-bitter even though recallers gathered 37,600 signatures — well above the 26,600 needed.  The OWH did a random sample analysis and found that 25% of the signatures they saw were invalid with a 4.8% margin of error.  The recallers can lose 29% of their signatures and still succeed, which means this hoopla is far from over.  View Here

Preventative Care Works: A new report by U.S. health officers show that over half of colorectal and cervical cancers and one-third of breast cancers are diagnosed in the late stages.  The problem is, most of these cancers can be caught with early detection methods and prevented.  Nebraska has high rates of late-stage colorectal cancer.  The health reform law would provide funding for more preventative care that would detect these cancers before they’re deadly.  Senator Johanns has a bill that would gut funding for preventative care in the name of small business.  View Here