I’m on a loooow budget

First a little Legislature SAB for ya (sent in by a loyal Lincoln reader):

Rookie Omaha state Senator Burke Harr, and annonying insurance salesman, “Ned the Head” Ryerson from Groundhog Day.

***

This is the season of the budget, and everywhere you look, someone is talking about cutting.

From the Feds to the State to the Cities, it’s all about budgeting these days. A few things we’ve seen…

***

Don Stenberg announced his plan to cut $1.4 mil from the State Treasurer’s budget over the next two years.

When it came up we thought, “Hey, good for Don-o! Way to get on board. Nice plan.”

Well…except that Don didn’t come up with that plan.
And he didn’t give any credit to the guy who did come up with the plan.

  • The College Savings Program shift was because of a bill initiated by former State Treasurer Shane Osborn in 2009.
  • Eliminating postage expense from Child Support billing statements was proposed to the appropriations committee by Osborn in November of 2009.
  • The reduction of office equipment and personnel came from the budget submitted by Osborn in September 2010.

And that is great that Stenberg wants to implement those plans.
But they are not his proposals.
And he should certainly credit Osborn.

Note: Don did have one original point — the $98K reduction from the elimination of the long-term care savings plan. Which he already announced last month.

Here’s the thing: the Stenberg camp HAD to know this was coming. Our guess is they figure the fact that these were Osborn’s proposals will be a side story at best, and that his original press is good enough, damn any consequences.

And he may be right.
But don’t expect Osborn (or Jon Bruning) to sit by idly on this.

***

While we are on the subject of the Stenberg camp, we note that Don now has an official campaign manager on staff now.

Lois Akers, who previously worked on the the Matt Sakalosky NE-2 primary campaign against Lee Terry, is staffed-up with Stenberg. She adds to the Dan Parsons team for the Senate race.

***

At the federal level we see that Senator Ben Nelson is rejecting everyone’s budget plan, saying they all stink. My, how middle-of-the-road of him. Boy, haven’t seen THAT before.

Of course you will note that during an election year, Nelson traditionally votes more against his party.  Then in off-years, when the Democrats need him — on things like Supreme Court nominees and take-over of the health care system — he is right there for him.

Wonder if Nebraskans will figure that out this time.

***

We get emails all the time on various budget issues, and this one from the Tea Party gang caught our eyes.   Seems there is proposal before the Senate for a new jet engine (the F-135) for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

But there is an additional proposal for an additional, backup engine (the F-136) for the same jet. A duplicate. Just in case.

Now we get it. There are two different companies that make each engine. And sure, there are jobs at stake if you don’t make the second engine.

But there are also jobs at stake if you don’t make a third engine. Or a fourth.

Or if you don’t support Cowboy poetry in Nevada.

At what point do you say “no”?

***

The pols have an unusual opportunity going on in the present climate. People want them to cut things. To spend less. As a matter of fact, if you aren’t visibly on board with that plan, you are part of the problem.

Governor Dave Heineman just batted that ball back at Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, when Suttle claimed that he needed more state money.

Of course the Suttle folks started screaming Pools! Libraries! (Which is apparently the only thing the city spends money on.)

We would add that we have none of the answers on these points.

But the pol that DOES come up with something original…
Something other than, “Well, we will just have to raise taxes,”…
With SOME plan on how to do things differently…

…will be rewarded by the voters.

People want to see out-of-the-box thinking.
It is an opportunity.

***

Bouncing back to the Senate race, Joe Jordan reports that it looks like Nebraska’s system of breaking up the Presidential Electoral Votes by Congressional District will not change this year.

That’s good news for Ben Nelson.

Because now there is a chance that the Obama campaign will try to compete again in the 2nd District — bringing with it more Democrat voters.

Ask the Lee Terry camp if that makes a difference.

***

And we chuckled to see the latest supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

A guy named Patrick Moore.

No, we hadn’t heard of him either. But we are familiar with the organization he co-founded:

A little group called Greenpeace.

Listen to Moore bat away the majority of the arguments against the pipeline, and the oil itself.

And always remember that those who are against “the pipeline” aren’t really against the pipeline. They are against the oil itself, and are using the pipeline as an excuse to foil the whole thing.

An interesting five minutes of your time via Fox Business’s Stuart Varney:

36 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lois, I’ve never worked a political campaign except for the guy who lost, Akers? Same one that couldn’t manage all that money that never flowed for the Sac? Way to go Don. You keep making Jon look better and better every day. I thought those ideas sounded like they came from Shane. Nice one Donny.

  2. RWP says:

    According to Politico, EBN is also in a group of ‘moderate’ senators trying to save CPB/NPR from the ax. EBN says NPR is a vital lifeline to many Nebraska communities. And he’s right. There is the several hundred strong classical music community, all too poor to go on iTunes to download their own music; the thousand strong leftist wannabe intellectual community who get their morning news from All Things Considered and their evening news from Rachel Maddow; and the dozen of us who like ‘Backyard Farmer’, if only because it showcases the incredible savvy of UNL extension agents when it comes to weird fungal plant diseases.

    Without NPR, I’d just have to choose my listening from the 200-odd stations on Sirius-XM. Oh woe!

  3. Macdaddy says:

    Don’t forget the Intertubes, RWP. I heard you kin git music over that thing. My cousin Vern just swears by it ceptin’ his boy keeps downloadin’ Poop Dogg and Enema.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Jane’s motley gang will take over our Capitol. I’m sure they’re experienced at drumming circles and chants.

  5. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I don’t know that building jet engines that we don’t need, and the Pentagon doesn’t want, is an appropriate way to keep Americans employed. But, I do know that shipping America’s manufacturing capabilities overseas hasn’t done a damned thing to lower the employment rate here. I do know that having enormous cargo ships arriving in our ports from China, filling Wal-Mart’s shelves, then returning empty, is doing nothing to decrease our trade deficit. I do know that continuing to rely on foreign energy as the only fix to calm our oil junkie jones will do nothing to maintain our ability to defend America in the future. I do know that carrying wheelbarrows full of thousand dollars bills to the billionaires’ bank accounts will do absolutely nothing to stem the every ebbing tide of America’s middle class.

    I also know that if we don’t all start pulling together, and doing so pretty soon, there isn’t going to be an America left for those of you on the right, and those of us on the left, to fight over. We’d better find some common ground if we all want to survive the ensuing decades. I just read an interesting article about how China and India, among other countries, are developing societies with a huge predominance of males. History has shown us that when that happens, all these guys start looking for something to do, and the result is usually … war. We’d better be a strong, united America when that day arrives … or get used to the idea of being slaves.

    Donald Trump already has his retirement home in Quatar. How about you?

  6. ThinkAgain says:

    Lois Akers also managed Don Stenberg’s successful statewide campaign for Treasurer, so using her again for a statewide US Senate bid makes good sense.

  7. GeosUser says:

    I’m surprised that BTO took time from his protest activities in Madison, WI to post one of his liberal progressive rants here. Here’s how we unite America, raise everyone’s standard of living and ensure a bright future for American…make sure all liberals at every level of government are voted out of office and keep them out for at least a generation before the finally bankrupt the country.

  8. to brian says:

    Brian, I agree with a lot of what you say. But I just read a a news piece that reports that dems in Wisconsin are threatening Republican legislators with death. You are right, we need to start working together, but first, death threats need to stop.

  9. Nate says:

    China and India are just as likely to have to deal with a higher level of internal lawlessness as wage external war as the result of their male/female imbalance. Which, in China’s case, is the end result of the atrocious One Child policy.

  10. Brian T. Osborn says:

    GeosUsuer,
    You are an incompetent fool. Does your mother know that you always go so far out of your way to prove that she failed to educate you?

    to brian,
    Anonymous a55holes threatening others’ lives, be they from the left or the right, are incompetent fools as well. So long as we have to deal with misinformed, opinionated idiots from all sides of the political spectrum, America will continue to slide into oblivion, led by such fools as GeosUser.

  11. Oh Mander says:

    SS – Your selective reporting failed to mention which politician fought to keep the unnecessary F35 in the budget because it would be built in his own district (House Speaker John Boehner) and who proposed to cut if from the budget (Obama) and who is now removing it from the budget (Democrats). I wouldn’t have said anything, but the first half of your post was devoted to giving credit where credit is due.

    Criticize Ben Nelson all you want for voting against both proposals, but I think he made the right call here. Obviously the cuts in Obama’s budget didn’t go far enough, and though I don’t think the proposed dollar amount in the Republican’s budget was too big, it aimed to pull funds from vulnerable populations without making those at the tippy top share in the sacrifice. I’m no Ben Nelson fan, but I actually applaud his push to start over.

  12. GeosUser says:

    BTO,
    You are a blithering idiot and shining example of the failure of public education in specific and liberalism in general. I still can’t understand why you haven’t relocated to one of your socialist paradises like Cuba where everyone is equally poor, miserable and the ambitious are willing to risk their lives to escape.

  13. Brian T. Osborn says:

    GeosUseless,

    You don’t know anything about me, other than the fact that I am a Liberal. But don’t let your ignorance stand in the way of your need to demonstrate to the world the weakness of your logic. We Liberals exist, much of what makes the United States of America a great nation is because of us, and we have just as much right to exist as anyone else. If anyone should feel more comfortable in a nation more attuned to their political leanings, I would think your fascist ideals would find a welcome home with the dictators in North Africa. Maybe you should give Gaddafi a call and make a reservation.

    In the meantime I intend to put aside my hard-line stance on the issues and seek a consensus with others, trying to help find that middle ground where we can all coexist. Although I am a hardcore lefty, unlike you, I am not an idiot that believes everyone that disagrees with me must be marginalized. Your way of thinking is passé, fool. Grow up or get lost!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Japan is in bad shape. I wonder how this is going to affect everything? Kind of makes discussion of Lois and Harr moot.

  15. Greg says:

    @Brian T. Osborn as a hardcore conservative who also seeks common ground with the left, mainly because I am agnostic if you will on the social issues in the U.S., I see myself as a fiscal conservative who leans right on social issue. For example, I cannot recconcile the fact the left is against the death penalty, but for free choice when it comes to abortion. However, I believe that if a woman wants to abort a fetus, then have at it, no skin off my back.

    But what really makes me think that there is no way that the left and right can co-exist in American is this: A pro shariah muslim cleric had planned to march on Washington D.C. to tell President Obama to tear up the Constitution and instutue shariah law in the United States. There were a number of counter protests planned (one of them was by the reverend in Florida who proposed “burn a koran day”). None of the counter protesters were from the extreme left. Groups like NOW and GLADD didn’t even provide so much as a press release condeming the radical cleric. These groups have been fighting for equal rights in the US for at least 20 years and have been VERY vocal about it.

    Am I to believe that NOW suddenly supports a woman being stoned to death because she was raped and didn’t fight off her attacker strong enough, therefore bringing shame to her family? Does GLADD suddenly support the outlawing of homosexual relationship and the death sentences for homosexuals? These are but two of the punishments in shariah law.

    I beleived that this was an issue that the left and right could get behind, maybe gave NOW and GLADD a pass because it wasn’t highly publicized. Then comes the news out of Washington that Representative King wanted to hold hearings about the radicalization of muslims in the United States and the left starts calling him a xenophobe and a hate monger and racist, etc., etc. Make no mistake about it Mr. Osborn, muslim extremists view this nation as the “great satan” and will stop at nothing to destroy it. This truly was an issue that the left and right could come together on start to build a relationship. Once again the left bows to the pressure of political correctness and worrying about peoples feelings at a time when the Nation is faced with a determined and willing enemy.

    No Mr. Osborn until the left comes to the realization that political correctness and pandering to our enemies will not ensure the safety of our nation there shall be no common ground upon which the left and right can occupy.

  16. GeosUser says:

    BTObnoxious,
    The very fact that you are a liberal and proud of it clearly demonstrates that you are intellectually challenged and, quite likely, a miserable failure by any objective measure. Any further discussion is pointless since you are incapable of understanding.

  17. @Greg says:

    Maybe no one really protested the cleric outside of the White House calling for Sharia law because the guy was a loon and there’s no reason to legitimize his argument. Why waste time with his garbage? No one takes him seriously. And the folks who do give him attention do so only to pull higher ratings on their commentary-driven ‘news’ outlets.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey ThinkAgain at 8:36AM…that’s exactly what I did so I checked Stenberg’s NADC reports to find Lois got paid $1,000 a month for “consulting” for six months which by most standards is chicken feed. Is that what Don feels is acceptable in the real world where most campaign managers are paid decent especially if male? Hell of a deal Don and good for you Lois for your charity work as well as making Jon look better and better every day.

  19. Greg says:

    @@Greg If you had taken the time to read my long winded comment you may have seen that I said I gave a pass to NOW and GLADD because it was an overly publicized event. What really irks me is the fact that Rep. King is being called a racist, xenophobe, etc., etc. when is simply conducting hearings on radicalized muslims in the United States.

    Nice try though.

  20. How about my “Cap & Aid” proposal.

    All federal/Land Grant University Chancellor/Vice-Chancellor/Dean/Provost/Professor salaries will be capped for one decade at a quarter of a million dollars. Period. No exceptions. (The salary of the ISU Professor who recently got in trouble is $360,000 dollars and that does not include his benefits. And yes, Iowa State University, like NU, is a federal Morrill/Land Grant Act University). Shared sacrifice. I’ve done the math: millions will be saved. That’s the “Cap” piece of my plan

    The “Aid” piece is that the soon-to-be-three-billion-dollar NU Foundation’s status must be changed from “private, non-profit,” to public, non-profit and it must be required to stop bestowing lucrative perks ($97,000 Porsche Cayenne’s, country club memberships, maid service, lawn service, etc. to Chancellors who are on their third career and whose salary and benefits exceed that of the Leader of the Free World) to NU’s top brass and the Foundation must begin awarding far more grant money to deserving Nebraska students.

    A Question for SS: What do you think of the disconnect between the Governor’s dust-up with Mayor Suttle over more state aid and the Fact that the Good Governor – according to the Lincoln Journal Star – is asking Nebraska’s beleaguered taxpayers to pony up more than $ 25 million for Corporation Campus?

  21. RWP says:

    There’s very little I disagree with Ivy’s post over, except the term ‘corporation campus’. They should be so lucky. Corporations is what they wish they had.

    Harvey wrote a grovelling email to the UNL faculty today, pleading for someone, anyone with corporate connections to invest. It’s a shell game, folks. I just wish it were a public corporation, so I could seriously short sell it.

  22. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Greg,
    All the beans that you count, and the pennies you pinch, will do you no good in the grand scheme of things. Fiscal conservatism will avail you little if you lose your soul in the pursuit of financial stability above all else.
    I too am an agnostic on many social issues and I certainly don’t ascribe to issues of the left merely because others on the left implore me to do so. I am not much of a “follower.” I travel to the beat of my own drummer … and he plays a syncopated rhythm. The issues I go to bat on are the ones that hold a personal meaning for me, not just because they are advanced by GLADD, NOW, MOVE-ON, MOVE-OVER, or anyone else. I don’t have a uterus, so I don’t believe the issue of abortion is any of my business, nor should it be of any concern to anyone that has my kind of plumbing.
    You expect me to get all dazed and delirious because one testa di cazzo decides to tell President Obama that he should institute Sharia Law in the U.S.? Or that I should get my Fruit of the Looms in a bunch and join other reactionaries that thought such a thing needed a national call to protest? Excuse me, but I have a life.
    I support women, men, gays, straights, blacks, whites and every other variety of the human race. In fact, on my census form, I always write in the little box for “race” … human. I believe all humans have the same rights, whether they live in this country or any other. I am particularly fond of those that live in the U.S.A. since it is my home and I did, when I was younger, swear an oath to defend it against all enemies – foreign AND domestic. But when you get right down to it, I don’t believe that God, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever name you use for the creator of our universe, sees any of us as being “better” than any other. We only become something less when we prove ourselves unworthy, as so aptly demonstrated by GeosUseless.
    As for Rep. King. What the **** is his problem anyway? Yeah, there are some radical muslims out there that want to cause trouble, just as there are KKK members, skinheads, Hells Angels and others that just can’t seem to play well with others. Are we holding Congressional hearings on all of them? I’m not unduly excited about a very small minority of one of the world’s largest religious factions. I am certain that they are an embarrassment to most of their faith, just as most midwestern Christians are ashamed of the Westboro Baptist Church.
    So long as Americans are fighting one another over the nefarious schemes of a very small minority of Muslim fanatics, then we will have let them win without even putting up a fight. The reason the U.S. and its Allies were victorious in WWII was because we set aside our differences and fought together to defeat a common enemy. As I see it, the greatest threat to the longevity of the U.S.A. is NOT a handful of disgruntled Al Qaeda terrorists, but a nation divided between political factions that is busy tearing apart the unity that once made our nation strong. Without compromise this nation would never have even come into being.
    Greg, until we ALL come to the realization that political divisiveness and pandering to what differentiates us is the true root of evil, we are all doomed to perish together.

  23. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Greg,
    Sorry, I’m not sure I really answered your point about Rep. King.
    I believe he is wasting Congress’ time. Period. Our nation is in the toilet for a good many reasons. He is concentrating the efforts of our representatives in Washington on one that is nothing but a distraction.
    Hey, what’s Charlie Sheen been up to today? That’s what we all REALLY want to know.

    Isn’t it?

  24. Don Kuhns says:

    Introducing Patrick Moore as a “founder of Greenpeace” without mentioning that he’s been a paid corporate shill for many years is like introducing David Brock as a “former fellow at The Heritage Foundation” without mentioning that he runs Media Matters.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Look at the Senate race. Where is the guy who served this country or anything else in a meaningful way? I mean minimal effort to contribute one ounce of himself before demanding he be elected tyrant over Nebraskans who have contributed. Bruning, Stenberg and Nelson are all selfish ambitious lawyers. When have any of them done an ounce of anything that wasn’t for them? And why are we left having to pick the least crappy of them to be our Senator?
    Nelson’s “kickback” is the tip of a sick unethical iceberg, part of which is the guy thinking he is a military hero because he has a bronze statue of himself in a Boy Scout uniform. And Stenberg is the hardest headed loser ever. He actually put Nelson into the Senate by losing to Nelson. And Stenberg was also twice rejected for the Senate by his own Republican voters. But he just keeps plowing on for his shot at tyranny. Bruning has no shortage of ego either. But at least Bruning showed some non-stupidity when after raising over a million bucks for a Senate bid, he bowed out to Johanns. Some see that as Bruning’s loyalty to the GOP. It was really just minimal political smarts. But that puts minimal Bruning ahead of the seriously damaged Stenberg and Nelson.
    If these guys had done or risked something of real value at any point in their lives, that wouldn’t necessarily mean they would be fit to be a Senator. But that lack denies them any chance of having perspective beyond selfishness. They are boiling pots of nothing but personal ambition and voters get to pick the pot with the least scum on top. How many people in Nebraska and this is the best we can do?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Anon 9:09 Just wondering with your questioning of whether Nelson,Bruning,Stenberg ever served in the military. Did Johanns? I don’t know, just asking since you brought up the topic. If Johanns does have military service, awesome. If not, does that put him in the same category as Bruning/Stenberg?

  27. Jenn says:

    People who oppose the pipeline are NOT opposed to the oil. I’d be fine with the project if they would reroute it, and not take people’s private land against their wills for it. I’d be fine with retrofitting the other pipeline to transmit higher volumes. I just have doubts about whether Transcanada’s new plans are best for Nebraska. I don’t trust some of the claims I’m hearing, factual support is lacking, and I don’t see how this is going to benefit us. There was a time, it was “conservative” to want to make prudent, fact-based decisions. This ain’t just because people don’t want more Canadian oil.

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