In possibly the biggest news to come out of Comedy Central, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be hosting opposing rallies in DC on October 30th.  Stewart’s leading a “Rally to Restore Sanity” while Colbert’s marching to “Keep Fear Alive.”  We can’t be in DC because we’ll be getting out the vote with Trick or Vote.  We’ll do our part for Colbert by busting out our Anne Coulter costumes.  Here’s your Roundup:

Bold Roundup

 Now That’s a BFD: Joe Biden’s coming to Omaha!  The VP will be in town to help campaign for Tom White.  We applaud White for announcing his visitor before he comes to town and not after he’s already left.  Who did Terry think was going to protest Boehner? …Quit looking at us like that! View Here

We Made Reuters!: In another example of the national attention we’re getting for our work fighting back TransCanada, Reuters has picked up the story of our dueling poll results and the “secret” meetings.  Keep up the great work, activists!  View Here

Tea Party not so Big in NE: The OWH asks why the Tea Party hasn’t picked up more steam in Nebraska.  Their tentative answer is that fiscal conservatism is already a typical state value, making the Tea Party’s mantra old news for cornhuskers.  Still, their candidate put a 37% dent in Terry’s support in the primaries.  View Here

It’s All Politics: Ben Nelson doesn’t want Harry Reid to tag the DREAM Act onto the defense authorization bill going up for a vote next week.  Nelson told reporters the bill shouldn’t be used for “political purposes.”  Of course, the DREAM Act has had huge bipartisan support for the past 10 years, and repealing DADT is also a part of the bill.  Time to get out your phones and make some calls, people.  View Here


Thursday, September 16th

We’ve collected over 277 pledges to vote this November, and we’re not done yet.  Our goal is 1,000.  We’d say the odds on our awesome volunteers making that happen are really good.  Here’s your Roundup:

Oklahoman to Head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The sooner state may have an epic football rivalry with Nebraska, but they can add Elizabeth Warren to their state list of accomplishments.  Warren’s been a strong consumer advocate and outspoken proponent of creating a consumer protection entity after the 2008 meltdown.  She’s also been a guest on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.  View Here

Sarah REALLY Doesn’t Speak for Me: EMILY’s List’s latest project is a campaign called “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me” that gives progressive ladies (and their gentlemen comrades) a platform to push back on mamma grizzly Palin.  They’ve got another video which responds to Palin’s comments that progressive mamma grizzlies are a bunch of radicals.  It’s got the mamma grizzlies in our office very excited.  View Here

JN Takes to the Op-Ed: State Senator Jeremy Nordquist is one of the more vocal state senators who supports health care reform.  Frequently quoted by the OWH,Nordquist now has a whole op-ed to himself.  Keep up the good fight, JN.  View Here

Don’t Believe Us?: JN’s quoted in an LJS article saying Heineman’s Medicaid report is totally off. We’ve shared this info before, but it bears repeating.  The $47,000 Milliman study used faulty logic that drastically overestimated the costs of Medicaid to Nebraska with health reform changes in place.  Leighton Ku breaks it down.  View Here

Separation of Church and Education: The ACLU’s warning Nebraska schools to keep an eye out for guest speakers that come in under the auspices of anti-drug and alcohol campaigns with the intent of proselytizing to students.  Since religious indoctrination in public schools is a big no-no, we’d say the ACLU has a pretty solid point.  Maybe there should be signs around schools saying, “Freedom of Religion Zone.”  View Here

PoliSci Thesis: Does releasing a book prior to election have an impact on voting?  Fox News asked our own Jane Kleeb what she thought.  As always, she dolls out a stellar response.  We won’t spoil the ending here.  View Here

Herding Cats: Paul Fell’s cartoons are usually right on the money.  Today’s Cap News Cartoon is no different.  View Here


Wednesday, September 15th

Last night was the final round of primaries before the general election in November.  The one win everyone at the office water cooler will be talking about is Tea Party darling Christine O’Donnell of Delaware.  Anointed by Sarah Palin, O’Donnell beat the GOP favorite, Mike Castle, for Joe Biden’s former seat.  No word yet from the Vice President on how big of a deal this is.  Here’s your Roundup:

White and Terry Make Top 25: The fight over the Omaha metro’s congressional seat is popping up in national news everywhere.  The Washington Post has just put it in their top 25 House races to watch.  Check out the other races to watch and play with this super sweet interactive map. View Here

The Tea Party Won’t Like That: Republican plans to extend the Bush tax cuts would increase the deficit by $3.9 trillion and add $950 billion in interest payments on the national debt over the next decade.  That’s four times the projected deficit impact of health reform and the stimulus combined.  Really, what would Reagan say?  View Here

Holistic Budget: In an op-ed to the LJS, Jennifer Carter encourages looking at the state budget more holistically.  Carter says our priorities are reflected in the budget.  So if kids are a priority, we should budget for them to get a good education and be healthy, right?  We echo Carter’s sentiments that you can’t attack a budget shortfall by just cutting spending (yes governor, we’re talking to you).  View Here

No Banner Day for Johanns: “On the Other Hand” Johanns’s amendment to health reform was defeated yesterday by a vote of 46-52.  The legislation would have repealed requirements for small businesses and non-profits to file 1099 forms and offset costs by gutting funding for preventative health care.  Democrats have a few more modest plans in the pipes that ease 1099 requirements without destroying the preventative programs. We do want to remind readers that Johanns’ life was saved by a preventative visit to his doc earlier this week.  View Here

Big Win for Small Biz: The Senate voted to end debate on the small business bill after months of Republican obstruction.  Two GOP senators grew weary of the delays and broke the stalemate to end debate (nice to see someone actually act bipartisan).  The bill provides loans and tax breaks to small businesses, a group that both parties believe is essential for economic growth.  The Senate is likely to vote on final passage before the end of the week.  Barring any big surprises, it will pass the House and move on to the president.  View Here

While You’re Getting Salmonella: Senate Republicans are holding up a food safety bill.  The measure picked up support over recess when over 500 million tainted eggs were recalled from a farm in Iowa.  Ben Nelson is a cosponsor.  Johanns is sadly not even after witnessing multiple food outbreaks while he was Ag Secretary under Bush.  View Here

Two Birds with One Bill: With speed further perplexing politicos and wonks, Harry Reid has announced that the Senate will vote on a major defense policy bill next week.  Not only that, the always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride DREAM Act is being tacked on.  If passed, the bill would repeal DADT and create a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who came to the States as children.  It’s not typical to see the Senate move this fast, and we like it.  More action please! View Here


Tuesday, September 14th

The Senate and House of Representatives are both back from August Recess.  We’ll miss all that free time we had with the Nebraska delegation.  There’s a lot that needs to get done before the new session, but elections are botching up the work schedule.  All the hullabaloo doesn’t dull our election season buzz:

 This is Why You Cite Your Sources: TransCanada is announcing a big union deal this morning for the yet-to-be-approved pipeline.  The kicker is that they are now saying the oil will come to the US and replace all the oil we are currently getting from Venezuela and Iraq.  They are also saying that they’ll employ 250k people vs the 20k they said in the LJS on Sunday.  Will we all get unicorns also?  View Here

Nobody Likes a Bully: Everywhere we look, state education groups are standing up to notorious playground bully, Dave Heineman.  The LJS has reported that the Nebraska Association of School Boards, the Nebraska State Education Association, and the Nebraska Council of School Administrators have all followed the lead of the state Board of Education.  Instead of denouncing health reform (which is what Heineman wanted), they are denouncing unfunded mandates. Would that include Republicans’ No Child Left Behind?  View Here

Cornhusker Kickback: Ben Nelson’s taking to the pages of the LJS to explain the “Cornhusker Kickback.”  Turns out, it wasn’t an exclusive deal for Nebraska, prevented an unfunded mandate (where have we heard that before?), and was mischaracterized by the extreme-right from the get go.  We’re not shocked because that seems to be the general playbook conservatives have embraced for the past two years.  View Here

Smells like a Butterfly and Stings like a Bee: Anne Boyle’s taking the gubernatorial election to the next level.  Boyle recently visited Fremont to discuss growing racial tensions between residents since the immigration ordinance was passed in June.  Heineman blames federal inaction.  But considering incidents increased after the ordinance was passed, and the governor has yet to pay a visit to Fremont, his perception might be a little off.  View Here

The Oracle Speaks: Warren Buffett’s shaking off dire predictions of a double-dip recession.  He points to Berkshire Hathaway’s growth as positive indicators.  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and GE Chairman Jeff Immelt backed him up.  View Here

Stimulus fails Politically, not Economically: The New Yorker argues that the stimulus has been a success economically, and that overly optimistic predictions are to blame for the discontent.  It reduced unemployment, boosted the GDP and kept interest rates low.  What the stimulus lacks is a concrete image of what it’s accomplished like the Hoover Dam did for the New Deal.  We’ve already embraced the challenge of finding “Stimulus Successes” like Garden Fresh Vegetables.  View Here


Monday, September 13th

Unwrap a Hershey’s, crack open a Toblerone or pour chocolate milk over your Cocoa Puffs because it’s International Chocolate Day!  Here’s Your Roundup:

Ann Frohman, Insurance Queen of Nebraska: Her official title is Director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance, but we couldn’t pass on a Ferris Bueller reference.  Frohman’s been leading her department forward in health reform implementation.  They’re waiting on a million dollar grant from the Fed to study the impact of setting up a state exchange program, and they’ve spent a whopping 2,500 hours studying the 2,400 page law.  Frohman’s stepping down as director at the end of October which we will continue to speculate about.  View Here

Does that Sell Papers?: We disagree with the OWH’s story that tries to frame the White/Terry race as some microcosm of Obama vs. Bush for so many reasons, but we really can’t fit them all here.  That aside, there’s some great info there reminding voters that White was working in Nebraska while Terry was maxing out the national credit card.  Besides, Bush didn’t fly in under the radar to raise money for Terrry, that job’s for his fellow lobbyist-lover John Boehner.  View Here

Respect Your Elders: The Lancaster County Board is open to ideas on how to spend the $2.6 million they got for selling Lancaster Manor (which was valued at $9.5 million when it was sold). The LJS takes a rather chipper tone considering the nursing home was sold to a private company, Hunter Management, that’s been banned from operating in Indiana and Illinois in addition to racking up $835,00 in fines.  But hey, we got $2.6 million for the deal so zip it you trouble-making whippersnappers.  View Here

Newt Gingrich, Time Traveller: The former Republican Speaker of the House seems to be in some weird time warp where colonialism is still good, and everyone’s a birther who questions Obama’s citizenship.  Newt called Obama’s behavior Kenyan and anti-colonial this weekend. Or maybe he was just a little deep in the cups.  The man is gearing up for a presidential bid after all. View Here

Campaign season is in full swing and after that is the lame duck session, and Congress still has a full docket.  Politico tried to hit the highlights in The Pulse:

 1099 REPEAL: The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow on Johanns’ and Nelson’s amendments to repeal and scale back, respectively, the new 1099 reporting requirements in the reform law. At this point, neither seem to have the votes to pass. 
FOOD SAFETY: The House-passed food safety bill has been stalled in the Senate. Last month’s egg recall (and Henry Waxman’s hearing on the issue this week) will put new pressure on the Senate to pass the legislation. But the calendar is closing in. That said, Harkin released a manager’s amendment before the egg recall with the bipartisan support of Enzi, Durbin, Dodd, Gregg and Burr. The BPA issue (led by Sen. Feinstein) is still unresolved. 
ALSO ON THE TABLE: Hospital groups want Congress to change how multi-campus hospitals are treated for electronic medical record incentives. Democrats want to expand health benefits for 9/11 first responders. First Lady Michelle Obama is urging Congress to pass child nutrition legislation. Down the road is the doc fix — the latest patch expires Nov. 30. 
A WHOLE LOT OF REPEAL BILLS: Republicans in both chambers have introduced countless bills to repeal all or pieces of the reform law. Don’t expect to see these on the dockets, but PULSE wouldn’t be shocked if the GOP is hoping to try to get another repeal measure through in a motion to recommit. 
THE BIG CAVEAT: There is a lot on Congress’ plate that HAS to address, including the expiring tax cuts, a DOD authorization, FAA reauthorization and funding the government. Aides from both parties aren’t expecting health-related legislation to get a lot of attention.