On this Festivus-eve, we begin with an interesting rumor regarding the prospects for employment of one Senator E. Benjamin Nelson.

Some have speculated that Nelson, who will be 71 years old in the Election year 2012, may not be that interested in running an expected hard and bitter campaign to retain his seat.

So what is he to do?


Yesterday it was announced that the President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), former Michigan Governor John Engler, resigned to become President of the Business Roundtable.

So, in the interim, if there is one, the NAM executive vice president will take the reigns.

But, word is that one Tony Raimondo, who is on the Board of NAM, is pitching the name of a “Beltway insider” for the gig. An insider who also has experience with a manufacturing company.

Hmm. Ben Nelson, Beltway Insider. Check. Ben Nelson, on the board of Raimondo’s Behlen Manufacturing. Check. Plenty of other Democrat Senators leaving their gigs — Chris Dodd, Byron Dorgan, Evan Bayh — to head to the private sector or associations. Check.

And Nelson could arguably be a good fit for position. Not a big Union guy. Has the phone number of the White House (unless they change it on him). Gotten himself well known as a adept negotiator over the last few years.  Oh, and the pay is decent.

If Nelson is interested, word is that NAM would definitely be. And with a shake-up of Nelson’s top DC staff likely coming, it makes the likelihood of Nelson leaving just a little more credible.

And what of the results if Nelson takes off?

The numbers in the Senate wouldn’t (arguably) make that much of a difference.

But, that would leave a gigantic appointment for Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. Would Nelson want to give him that? Well, maybe he doesn’t care.

If he appointed anyone other than Bruning, Bruning would stay in to battle that person. If it was Bruning, Bruning may still have a primary fight, and would have much more of a record that he’d have to run on.

Things would certainly be shaken up. And remember who was eventually elected Senator the last time a Republican was appointed to fill a vacant seat: Bob Kerrey.

Now, of course, all of this may be just another trial balloon or feather in the wind.

And maybe, probably, they just keep Timmons as the President.

Or it could be another Festivus Miracle.


Still waiting to hear from Judge Pete Bataillon on the Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle recall matter.

Now that the election has been set for January 25th, we will keep our ears tuned on a few things:

If the Judge rules against the anti-Recallers, does Vince Powers et al appeal it? Suttle had said that he wouldn’t pursue any other legal avenues if the signatures were accepted.

Well, Dave Phipps verified the sigs. At the time, the court case was already in the hopper, so arguably that was just an extension.

But if the Judge says they’re good and the election is set, an appeal of the case would go directly against what Suttle said he would do.

Oh we know, we know, another mis-statement fabrication by Jim Suttle. What? Oh my, the room is spinning!

But that is the fact of the matter, so we will see if Suttle would just say, Screw-it, let’s election-up.

Of course the problem with that is that many, on both sides, believe he loses in January.

Consider our breath bated.


Congratulations to Nebraska’s Congressional delegation on their new committee assignments.

As we’ve mentioned here and on the Twitter machine, the 2nd’s Lee Terry is the new Vice Chairman of the of the House Communications, Technology & the Internets Subcommittee.

The 3rd’s Adrian Smith was named to the A-list powerful House Ways and Means Committee. (That’s the tax-writing committee, kiddos.)

And then it was just announced that the 1st’s Jeff Fortenberry was named Chairman of the Ag Committee’s Department Operations, Oversight, and Credit Subcommittee. Fort will have jurisdiction over agency oversight, review and analysis, special investigations, and agricultural credit.

We wait to see what their districts look like when redrawn before the 2012 elections.


In case we don’t get back to you on Festivus Day (tomorrow), be sure to install that pole, air your grievances and display the feats of strength.


  1. Short Timer says:

    With EBN’s votes this week on DADT and START coupled with Health Care last Christmas eve, there is no way he is planning to run. Those are all ‘big losers’ with Nebraska voters.

  2. GeosUser says:

    When, not if, Judge Bataillon rules against Mayor Moron and Backward Omaha, Vince Powers will immediately file an appeal with the Nebraska Supreme Court. Don’t forget, Mayor Moron listed the “judicial system” as a higher priority for his “putting his faith in” than voters. His chances of a successful appeal are lower than the current case…below zero if that’s possible. On the upside, Omaha media will have an unexpected flood of ad buys as both sides gear-up for Mayor Moron’s expensive but unsuccessful campaign to stay in office on 01/25/2011.

  3. Lord of the Idiots says:

    Vice Chairman of the of the House Communications, Technology & the Internets Subcommittee? Wow, congrats to Lee on this truly monumental victory. Good to see that the House is finally starting to value his insight and give him the respect he deserves.

    First order of business: find a way to remove any mention of Evolution from the internet. It’s gonna be tough – better call in the Mrs. for this one.

  4. Anon says:

    EBN would relish the opportunity to put the Gov in a hard place with regards to whom to appoint.

    Otherwise it’s all pretty much a hum drum issue. Can’t change most of what’s on the table for the next 2 years, and so the People are left holding a bag of flaming cat crap while locked in a closet.

  5. Ricky says:

    Congrats to Mr Sweeper on his site upgrade.
    Can somebody tell me if I am wrong on this;
    Halfway through the recall-Suttle petition process, it appeared that not enough Omahans thought the Mayor should be thrown out, and the signatures were not going to be enough.
    Then, oodles of (Nabity) money went to pay the circulator expert from out of town, who hired the unemployed (240 of them), and brought in “advisers” who could not sign but just coach.
    Hence, the fraud, the lawsuit, and all the rancor.
    The recall was not wanted by a majority of Omahans, but was bought by the Republicans.

    Ricky From Omaha

  6. Hank Kimball says:

    Ricky, by your logic, the vast majority of Omahans (Daub voters + voters who stayed home) didn’t want Suttle in the first place. And the recall may have had Republican support, but couldn’t have got enough signatures without the thousands of Democrats who signed it. So, yeah, you’re wrong on this.

  7. Ricky says:

    A point on how many Democrats signed the recall-Suttle petitions.
    The OWH pointed out, and I think it is true, that most of the Democratic signatures were gotten by the paid-for circulators, and after the Nov 2nd election.
    What happened was that Nabity bought workers from employment agencies, many from the north side of town, who then went to their neighborhoods and signed up there buddies, often by lying and misrepresenting the situation.


  8. Paul Jacob says:

    First I committed fraud all over your insignificant little city, and then I perjured myself in Judge Bataillon’s courtroom! See you later, Omaha!


  9. Hank Kimball says:

    Ricky –
    No, the big rise in numbers (and Democrats) came when the recall group put the petitions in centralized locations and advertised where to find them. Democrats came looking for the petitions, not the other way around.

    You Forward Omaha folks eventually got to realize that you need to campaign FOR Suttle and not AGAINST the recall if you hope to keep him in office.

  10. The Pip says:

    Let me get this right. Smith spent $250,000 of money Nebraskans gave him to run for office to buy a position on Ways and Means? Smith is a genius. He took money that was used to by his influence, and used it to buy influence with the GOP. I hope he doesn’t have another Nebraskan give him a dime. “And then he rode his rocking horse into Washington D.C., and was never heard from again” We deserve so much better.

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