Nebraska’s State Bird is the turtle, 83% of Americans are Canadian, and Michelle Bachmann prefers to be called “Stepford 5”–these and other hilarious tweets continuously come in thanks to The Daily Show ribbing Herman Cain. Here’s your Roundup: 

Media Bias: While emails showing a cozy relationship between TransCanada’s lobbyists and the State Department have come to light in recent weeks, big media outlets have not offered one bit of coverage on this infringement on democratic values. Read here

Violence against Non-Violence: The non-violent Occupy Wall Street Protests have spread nationwide, but the protesters are facing more violent treatment from the police force, notably the NYPD. Several videos taken at the scene of arrests show officers initiating scuffles with the protesters, then taking them down and putting them under arrest. Many protesters have reported being pepper-sprayed. This is a disturbing reaction to non-violent actions, a tactic which has helped people around the world bring about social change. Read here

Health Debate Brews: Controversy immediately followed a recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that healthy men should no longer receive a P.S.A. blood test to screen for prostate cancer. The task force’s recommendations are a result of studies showing that there is no evidence the test is effective at saving lives, and that it instead causes more harm than good. Advocates for the test pledge that it is what saved their lives. Read here

Nobel Prize Winners: Three women share this year’s Nobel Prize. They were chosen “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” the committee said in Oslo, Norway. Read here


Thursday, Oct 6th

Apple visionary Steve Jobs died yesterday at the age of 56, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His death is mourned across the globe, but his legacy will continue in the genius of his products. Here’s your Roundup: 

We Need Bold Politicians: State Senator Dennis Utter says he is still undecided about the need for a special session to discuss the pipeline siting bill proposed by Senator Dubas on Monday. He also says he would prefer that the Keystone XL pipeline goes around the aquifer. Does he realize the only way to ensure his “preference” is to hold a special session? Nebraska politicians should start naming exact laws they think will be broken by putting common sense pipeline regulations that other states have in place. Read here

“Getting Tough on Immigration” Backfires: The tough immigration law in Alabama has already backfired. As much as one fourth of the commercial buildings workforce has left, a $7 billion industry for the state. Many farmers are already saying they doubt they will be in business next year. It will be even worse when the economy starts to improve. The law has created fear, hate, and exodus. Read here

Disenfranchisement: A 96 year old woman who has voted every year since she became eligible was denied voter ID in Tennessee. This story provides more proof that the laws passed by Tennessee Republicans to prevent “widespread voting fraud” (that doesn’t actually exist) will disenfranchise voters. Read here

We’re the 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Protests have gained momentum. Union members joined marches in lower Manhattan and students walked out of classes of several colleges in solidarity with the movement. Hundreds of colleges students walked out to condemn corporate control of government and spiraling costs of their education. Read here

Join us on Monday, October 10th for the free Nebraska premiere of “Pipe Dreams,” a documentary short about the Keystone XL.


Wednesday, Oct 5th

The Occupy movement spreads while banks try to make us feel sorry for them. In Nebraska, we continue to watch our state senators to see if they will support a special session. If your Senator has spoken out against the pipeline, call them and let them know a special session is needed. Here’s your Roundup:

Giving Up: According to Representative Eric Cantor, bold action is something we should just give up on in Washington. The Majority Leader said Obama’s jobs bill is dead, and that Congress should stop with the whole big action to save our economy from a double dip recession. To Cantor, incremental small changes are only possible due to the dysfunction of Washington. He may be right, but that dysfunction is largely due to him and other GOP members who continually refuse to negotiate. The President’s job bill had a lot of things Republicans usually like, plus it was paid for by spending cuts. But there was one thing that Congressional Republicans just can’t get over when it comes to supporting the bill–it’s from the office of President Obama. Read here 

Crackdowns at the White House: We understand the intense security standard that is needed at the White House, but an interesting article on Equality Matter’s website points out to the seemingly increased number of arrests of peaceful protesters that stage out in front of the White House. The article even calls into question the legality of holding the first day anti-KXL protesters for two days in jail. All we can say is that we are glad the attempts to deter us never worked, and we continued to voice our opinion. But this article should make us pledge to defend our right and never accept our voices being silenced, whether that be in front of the White House or anywhere else. Read here

They Just Don’t Get It: Banks responded to the pressures from Washington after raising fees on debit and credit cards. The outcry stems from Bank of America charging a $5 monthly fee for a checking account. The Banks can try to justify their moves, but they simply seem to be complaining. As the Occupy Wall Street protesters have shown, we will not accept attempts to pad the pockets of the banking elite. Banks’ financial problems cannot be blamed on Americans or on recent consumer protection regulations put in place by the government. Rather, it’s their constant gambling, like the billions placed in unsteady and unknown derivative markets, that is to blame. And THAT is solely the fault of the banks. Read here


Tuesday, Oct 4th

State Senator Dubas introduced a bill enabling Nebraska siting authority over oil pipelines yesterday, with the hope that 33 of her fellow legislators will get on board to support a special session. We’re doing our due diligence and carefully reading the bill this morning. Here’s your Roundup:

Carpetbaggers from the North: In an eloquent editorial, the York News Times publisher wrote his take on the KXL pipeline debate. He went back to U.S. history to explain how TransCanada is like the carpetbaggers during the Civil War coming down south to profit on their reconstruction. After the hearings and when everyone who was bussed in from out of state left, he described the two things that were left: “Nebraskans, dressed in red, passionate about our land, our water, our heritage and our families. And of course the Ogallala Aquifer. It too will remain, in what condition is still unknown.” Read here

Reducing Aid: The United State’s foreign aid budget has taken its first significant cut for the first time in decades. This comes at a time when humanitarian crises around the world are profound and there have been uncertain political developments. This reflects the declining influence of America on the world stage, but cutting part of the 1% of overall federal spending that foreign aid claimed will likely have disproportional effects, diminishing the help provided to victims of natural disasters and food shortages. Read here

Uncertainty a Part of our Government: Reflecting on the past six months, we can recall several “government crises” where government funding was suddenly up in the air. These routine funding extensions have been happening since 1876, yet this political climate is making the routine impossible to accomplish. These temporary funding extensions don’t only affect the government agencies, but also every company that does work with them. The public has heard over an over again that businesses hate uncertainty. But with all these temporary extensions simply a part of our government, how could there not be uncertainty? Read here

The Value of Democracy: New voting laws across the nation will significantly affect elections because they are discriminatory toward populations that historically have greater challenges voting. Minorities, the poor, and young people will have a harder time exercising their RIGHT to vote, and a study done by the Brennan Center shows that an estimated 5 million voters will be affected. Read here

Income Inequality Kills Economic Growth: According to a study published in the International Monetary Fund’s quarterly magazine, income equality is a driver for sustained economic growth and is the most important factor in preventing economic downturns. The study suggests that the sky high income inequality in the U.S. could be partially to blame for the current economic condition. Read here


Monday, Oct 3rd

Many developments in America over the weekend. The Occupy movement continues to spread, Koch Industries is hit hard, and Bold is getting some respect from around the nation. Check out OnEarth’s article with a nice segment on our very own Ben Gotschall. Here’s your Roundup:

Won’t Back Down: Over 700 arrests during a peaceful march can’t keep the Occupy Wall Street protesters away. The eclectic group is back in full force at Liberty Square and they now have an official first statement. The listed grievances are numerous, as it should be. Many of those camped out describe the scene as a new example of a harmonious society, engulfed in a movement that has long been coming. For too long those in the elite financial circles have played high risk games, where all of us on main-street are forced to assume the risks while they benefit from massive gains. Read the official first statement here. 

And It Spreads: Since the beginning the Occupy Wall Street leaders have said that New York City was only the beginning. They were right as hundreds to thousands are beginning to camp in L.A. and D.C. Occupy Together, an organization to promote the collective spread of the Occupy movement, was started by two Lincolnites who felt inspired by actions in New York. You can check out supporters of Occupy Lincoln and Occupy Omaha on Facebook. Visit the entire Occupy Together site here for news and updates. 

3rd Quarter Problems: Economic slowdown and what appears to be a lack of enthusiasm for all candidates will likely mean lower 3rd quarter fundraising totals for all Presidential hopefuls. Romney and Perry are likely to bring in the most money for Republican candidates, although Mitten’s campaign says it will bring in considerably less than his $18 million 2nd quarter haul. President Obama will bring in less than his 2nd quarter earnings as well, although his projected $55 million will be much more than any GOP hopeful. Fundraising aside, Obama could take some advice from Bill Clinton. The former President had the quote of the day for Poltico. Read here

Koch Big Mistake(s): Certainly the only mistake the Koch brothers would admit to is getting caught… Bloomberg released a scathing report on the company detailing illegal payments made to reach contract agreements, price rigging competitors, horrible environmental violations, and back door dealings with countries like Iran. This is the same Koch Industries that funnels millions upon millions into the GOP base. Will Koch finally get what’s coming to them? Read here

Trust? No Way: A former Keystone pipeline inspector has come out against Keystone XL. Michael Klink, a civil engineer, noted many faults in the construction of the original Keystone project. His refusal to look past these errors led to TransCanada firing him, but his assessment has proved correct as the pipe has leaked over a dozen times in its short lifetime. Klink’s experience with TransCanada and their negligence has him speaking out against the possible KXL expansion. TransCanada continues to show no reason to trust their claims of safety. In fact, their refusal to even use best quality construction and project materials (as they have promised) is further proof of their lack of concern. Read here