The scenic route

We were a little surprised, along with others, about Congressman Lee Terry’s “consideration” of a Senate run.

It was an interesting theory — in a crowded primary he could win the 2nd District, and thereby beat the rest of the field.

But even that would have been very risky for Terry, who is climbing the ladder in the House. He gets noticeably more national press and addresses the big issues of the day in his committee (we have seen a big change in the past year, and we read this stuff everrrrrrry day).

Sure he may have had a decent shot at the Senate seat, but it was not necessarily a better chance than his current gig. We understand the grind of running every two years though.


Oh, and Don Walton says Baby Buffett isn’t going to run for Congress…this year.

But there seems to definitely be a Democrat candidate who is currently organizing, and we are waiting to see whose name pops up. It will be a different dynamic running in 2012.


Interesting theory by Senator Ben Nelson on the pipeline issue — that the individual states have full “siting authority”.

Of course Ben has jumped into the whole issue at the point he can make as much political hay as possible — essentially getting a few swipes in against Governor Dave.

But his theory that the states can decide where the pipe goes is a goofy idea, at best. Note first that the pipeline will cross an international border, so that clearly makes is a federal issue.

Then think about each state deciding exactly where a pipeline will run (as noted by Senator Mike Johanns). Let’s get beyond the idea of each state Senator (and state Rep, in the other 49) guiding a pipeline in or out of their individual districts to gain favor one way or another with their voters. But just think about the connect four game that would have to go on in order to connect one end of the hose to the next, state by state.

What if South Dakota decides that the pipeline should exit at Yankton but Nebraska says it should come in just north of Chadron? (We will pause while you Omahans look at a map…. …. …) What are you going to do? Run the pipeline half and half across the border?

Under the Nelson Theory, I-80 would have left Iowa around Sioux City, then you would put your car on a ferry to travel down the Mighty Mo to the landing point at Nebraska City, where you would drive across Nebraska stopping in Lincoln, Omaha, Fremont, Norfolk, Valentine, Mullen, through McCook (of course), back up through Chappell and then out via Chadron. And then a mule cart would carry your vehicle down to Cheyenne and Denver — assuming their state Legislatures had systems through those cities.

Should there be requirements for a pipe? Yes. And there already are.

Should there be studies completed? Yes. And there have been two over the past three years.

Look, we get the NIMBY going on with some of the local land owners. But 93% of them have already given their O.K .for the pipeline. Not for oil from Iran or Venezuela — but from Canada.

So we understand that the Sierra Clubs and Kleebs of the world simply want to kill this project because they think the Canadian oil isn’t as sweet as the Saudi Arabian oil. And that this whole pipeline issue is just another way that they can stall the whole thing.

But don’t think for a minute that if the pipeline was passed along in maple leaf-lined funnel, with beaver skin pelts to mop up any spills, along some other magical route that was approved by Jacques Cousteau and Marlin Perkins, that Jane Kleeb and her gang would be for it. They are against the oil and will fight it no matter what anyone else does or says.


We noted a couple of months ago that 3rd District Congressional candidate Dennis Parker could find himself in a new district for his primary campaign.

And low and behold, Parker has landed in the new 1st District, and instead of moving to the next county, will instead take on Jeff Fortenberry for the nomination.

Good luck, and all that, Mr. Parker.


The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza still lists Nebraska as the #2 most likely state to switch parties in the Senate in 2012 (that would be Ben Nelson’s current desk).

And the Cook Political reports did an exhaustive analysis of the current race as well (through a pay wall), concluding that the race is a “Toss Up”. Which has to be a joy of a report for the Nelson campaign.

Essentially they say that Nelson is raising lots of money, has been there a while, and that the GOP primary will be a battle.

Which is all true, but get back to us after the primary is over, and then see what the view of Nelson’s chances are. We doubt it will be seen as a toss up at that point.

The Cook Report, frankly, hammers Don Stenberg for his past campaigns — essentially saying he should have clobbered Ben Nelson in 2000, but had an inept campaign. They then go on to talk about Jon Bruning’s career, and essentially says they don’t know enough yet about Deb Fischer.

We will be interested to see what kind of support Fischer gets out of the gate once she officially announces. If she gets immediate support, others will be much more likely to jump on the wagon — or at least take higher notice. The support she gathers over the spring and early summer will be a good indication of what she can do over the next nine months or so.


In case you missed it, Governor Dave has thrown in his hat (and now has hat-hair) for Mitt Romney for President. Not real surprising, considering he did the same for Romney four years ago.

But with Romney opting out of the Iowa Straw Poll, any influence Nebraska’s Governor may have had over Iowegians is probably lost. Who knows if Romney will make more of an effort for the Iowa Caucuses in February, but it looks more like his plan is to head east for his plan to win it.

From the candidates at last night’s debate, we still think Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will take the lead in neighboring Iowa. We like Herman Cain, but never holding office is a big hit against him, electability-wise. We don’t think Bachman or Santorum will crack much of the vote. And Newt seems to have seen his star rise and fall.

Pawlenty will probably need to excite some people, but he comes across as calm and insightful, and has solid experience and ideas as a Governor. If we were betting right now, we would say it will come down to T-Paw versus Mitt. But man, is it ever early so who knows what could happen.


And just for the pure excitement of it, when you make a comment to today’s post, at the end, state who you would vote for if the Presidential election were held today.

Can be Romney, Pawlenty, Obama, Palin, Perry, Giuliani, Heineman, Nader — or whomever you choose. You can give a reason, or none at all. But it should be interesting to see who you’re gunning for.

And list who you would LIKE to vote for, not who you think will win. Always a different dynamic.


And thanks to all you who have already clicked through Leavenworth Street’s link.  When you buy something on Amazon — first clicking through the ads on our site — we get a tiny taste of your purchase, from Amazon.  No additional cost to you, for stuff you were going to buy anyway.  Hopefully we can keep the lights on around here, a nickel or so at a time.  Your participation is GREATLY appreciated!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh goody. Lee gets up from the kiddie table long enough to run for Senate. Tell me three things he’s done for this district in over 12 long years of trying. Waiting….tick, tock, tick, tock…..zzzzzzz.

  2. Vernon J says:

    As of today I haven’t decided who will have the pleasure of getting my vote.

    I’m glad to see the Lee isn’t going to get in the Senate Race. Its Mr. Bruning, he stepped aside for Mike Johanns.

    I wouldn’t mind the Keystone XL going down 35th st. Why not?

    I see your new security feature below, BUT I’m color blind & all the letters are moving.

  3. colorblind says:

    It takes a long time to post comments on here when the letters all look black and white.

    In other news, I’m voting for Herman Cain. How’s that for color blind, Republicans?

  4. Kortezzi says:

    I’m leaning towards Palin, simply because the liberals hate and fear her the most! I’ll take anyone the Republicans nominate, though, over Obama.

    For the Keystone XL pipeline, I think it should go through Hastings, right in front of Jane’s house.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper, Your 10:30AM comment makes no sense. How is asking Lee to deliver on what he’s done in a promo of sorts an “angry vote for Obama”? Apples and oranges. You’re trying to connect apples and toasters. So? What has Lee done? At least Bruning shows he’s capable of delivering results as AG. OK Dennis, you can post the usual now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bachman will win Iowa, Then Romney will win New Hampshire. Then come the south those bigoted red necks fake Christians will vote for the most racists right wing super kook they can find. So the GOP is really up a creek with out a paddle. But Romney could still find a way to win the nomination to get beat by Obama. Especially when the Tea Party gets ticked and does not have a say in the VP at the convention. Obama wins in a walk.. Oh Kortezzi please get Palin to run. please . All Democrats would love to see a Palin, Bachman ticket the joke ticket.

  7. Vernon,
    We’ve been getting a massive amount of spam lately, so have been trying various anti-spam devices. And I would add that almost none do the trick. Seems like you worked it out, but let me know if you have further problems.

    We’ll let the Terry peeps answer when they want, to the same stale non-argument from past years and campaigns.

  8. Macdaddy says:

    I want the Presidential candidates to tell us what they are going to do about these evil ATMs and other modern conveniences that are keeping the unemployment rate high, according to Obama. Nothing like blaming your failures as a President on 40 year-old technology. The Democrat candidate for the NE2 won’t be able to count on any help from Obama in 2012. Apparently they are going to go back to walking couriers and carrier pigeons.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Junior for Senate?! Palin for Prez because we fear her most?! Hahaha thanks SS and Kortezzi, I needed a good laugh. All we need now is a “Stothert for Mayor” comment and I will literally laugh my ass off.

    Obama. In case the first paragraph didn’t give it away.

  10. RWP says:

    Ron Paul, to send a message, not as a realistic choice. By the time Nebraska voted four years ago, the choice was between Paul and McCain.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Every time I blog about widdle Lee…you post a comment, Sweeper. If I didn’t know better you must be in bed with someone ‘cuz you sure sound cozy….so to speak.

  12. Dennis says:

    It’s interesting to see that Governor Dave has endorsed Mitt Romney – the father of the individual mandate and Obama Care. Back in 2008, Romney was endorsed by the likes of Governor Dave, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and National Review – even though Mitt’s support of the individual mandate was common knowledge. Now, as early as 2009, those same Republicans (and all other Republicans for that matter) are now telling us that the individual mandate is the first step on the road to serfdom and the end of freedom. How do Republicans explain this monumental flip flop? By the way, I will be voting for Obama next year.

  13. Kortezzi says:

    To Anon 12:23:
    Stothert for Mayor – – good idea! Thanks for the tip!
    Now get yourself back to McFly’s.

  14. Mr.Mojo says:

    I want to vote for Abraham Lincoln, but with the current state of the Republican party, that ethnic sounding liberal SOB wouldn’t stand a chance.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Threatened by evil ATMs, Obama cries out, “Help us, Obi Ben Ka Nelson, you’re our only hope against the holograms.”

  16. Lil Mac says:

    Abe Lincoln’s GOP was for outlawing the most popular illegal drug of its day and for outlawing the most economically popular form of forced labor of its day. Democrats back then didn’t mind profiting from the drug trade (alcohol) and the Democratic Party was the stalwart foundation of extending slavery into perpetuity; so strongly so that outraged Americans formed the Republican Party to oppose the Democratic Party.

    Yes, between the two parties a few roles have reversed since then, and many old issues simply don’t carry over from then to now and vice versa. But much of what Lincoln was for and against remains GOP at its core. So too has the Democratic Party gone from endorsing the ownership of black Americans as work slaves, to its modern welfare incarnation as the owners of black Americans as a bloc of vote slaves. Some things never seem to change.

  17. Eating Healthy with Jane says:

    Well folks I see the College World Series is getting political. GW Bush it appears is throwing the first pitch. Scott and I were going to the game, but since Scott really hates Bush we will hit the bars instead. Hopefully I can find a good healthy Flat Bread Pizza in NO DO. See ya soon.

  18. RWP says:

    Dennis, don’t be dense.

    The objection to the individual mandate is that it’s not an enumerated federal power, and can’t reasonably be derived from the commerce or general welfare clauses. The Federal gummint should not have the power to make you buy something, any more than it should have the power to make you eat a serving of broccoli a day.

    Whether a state can mandate health insurance depends on that state’s constitution, not the US constitution. It’s been a while since I looked at the Massachusetts constitution, but IIRC it’s pretty statist compared to most. It’s up to the Democrat party hacks on the Supreme Judicial Court in the Bay State whether they can pass an individual mandate, but no constitutionalist considers it objectionable from the standpoint of the US Constitution.

    Personally, I think Romney did a valuable experiment, whose failure should teach us all something.

  19. Dennis says:

    RWP, Is the GOP/Bush S.S. partial privatization program constitutional? In a feature that is similar to Romney and Obama Care, the Bush/GOP S.S. plan requires Americans to buy financial products. If Romney/Obama Care are unconstitutional, then it would follow that the GOP’s S.S. plan isn’t constitutional, either.

  20. RWP says:


    I’m not really up on what GWB proposed. I wasn’t a Bush fan, and it never got anywhere anyway. I liked Milton Friedman’s idea, which was to gradually refund people’s FICA money in the form of long maturing T Bills.

  21. Oh Mander says:

    Kortezzi – I damn near bust a figurative political nut when I think about an Obama vs. Palin 2012 match up. You are kidding yourself, and if sheeple like you get your way, Palin will suffer the most public electoral embarrassment since Walter Mondale. I don’t agree with RWP on much, but he was right when he said that she is not viable.

    President Palin. I’ll save NE Voter three key taps and a click of the mouse by saying “LOL!”

  22. Anonymous says:

    A “Hillary can’t lose” Democrat tide was LOLing about Obama too, if you remember. Palin is likewise a different kind of candidate, tough to measure. She commands Democrat attention like nothing else. As a sod plow, she’s doing okay at cutting the crust. I don’t see her winning at this point, but for a woman who has been vilified to the nth degree, it seems the more fire thrown at her, the more it tempers her to strength. As Democrats keep doing that, we all might be surprised how strong she gets in public eyes. 50 lbs of her Emails are so clean she appears the real deal. That scrutiny makes her case and brings her credibility she couldn’t generate for herself as a VP candidate.

    As Democrats and media rabidly focus on Palin, it is they not Republicans, who deem her a viable candidate, else they’d not be so obsessed. New times, new kinds of candidates. Who knows?

  23. Anonymous says:

    There is not one Republican leader today that can beat Obama. Now if Lincoln or T. Roosevelt or Ike Eisenhower came back they would be good choices. But since they were pro taxes, anti corporation, big government type leaders they would be supporting President Obama.

  24. Nate says:


    It’s funny how the Dems and the pliant media cast Obama as some sort of ZOMG!!! Super Undefeatable Political Machine. Take a look at his Senate and Presidential campaigns. He wasn’t a lock to win the Senate race until certain parties (who I’m sure had no connection to Obama whatsoever) torpedoed Jack Ryan’s candidacy by opening his embarrassing divorce records. The Illinois GOP drafted Alan Keyes with 86 days left to the election. Keyes had never lived in Illinois and never had a realistic shot at winning.

    In 2008, of course McCain was exactly who the Dems wanted to run against. He was their favorite RINO, with an illustrious history of bucking the GOP and tweaking the collective nose of conservatives. Plus, he was old and ungifted as an orator, and his campaign reflected that. And he was largely unable to engage the conservative base until he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate.

    Now, they’re hoping lightning strikes twice and that the GOP will send up another weak RINO, which is why the loudest drumbeats for John Huntsman are coming from the Left.

    All that aside, unless there is a miraculous, unprecedented, and unforecasted surge in hiring, the albatross of 9% unemployment is going to beat Obama worse than whomever his opponent ends up being.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I will vote for any candidate running against Obama. Given the parameters by SS I would vote for Bachman.

    As far as Terry, I have heard he is may decide to do something else in 2 yrs, hmmm what senatorial seat might be up then? Of course if Johanns decides to run again he keeps it. Just interesting.

  26. Uncle Wiggily says:

    Jeez, Sweeper … this new incarnation of you sounds like that old Johnny Carson character Art Fern, who used to hawk all kinds of “merchandise” in that “Tonight Show” bit. What’s with the wheedling for money via Amazon? Very un-Sweeper-istic, in my opinion. How long before we get our Slausens cut off? Dunno who you are these days but I’d bet a bit of the butter and egg money that you’re not the same scrivener who started this blog. The tone has changed … used to be analysis/commentary – now it’s mostly hip headlines.

    Or maybe its me …

  27. anony mommy says:

    If Scott and Jane are hitting the bars, there will soon be another on the way, alcohol makes people think impulsively. As for Bush throwing a ball, it is Warren’s company, MidAmerican Energy that invited and is hosting him. If Jane isn’t there, it’s because she wasn’t invited.

  28. UW,

    Everybody has to make a living. Sorry that it shocks your senses to click through L.St. to buy something that you were going to buy anyway on Amazon. We’ve been doing this for six years. Didn’t think it was too much to suggest. (And we’ve had the other spots up for much longer.)

    We haven’t changed L.St., though I hope the blog gets better as the years go. Maybe you’ve been reading just a tad too much of your gal Jane. But hey, apparently can’t please everyone.

    And I’m glad you find the headlines to be “hip”. We try to keep up so the kids can understand.

    And thanks for reading.

  29. curbfeeler says:

    This blog could be improved by requiring a psychiatric exam before allowing members to enter. But we could say that about Congress too.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hey, 3:13 creepy person. When you direct questions toward Street Sweeper, or toward anyone else in particular, they will answer you. That is called conversation. However, if you think the person you address is obsessed because they answer you, please see 3:22.

  31. Uncle Wiggily says:

    If you think that Jane is “my gal”, then I know you’re not the same Sweeper that I used to know and revere. Who are you and what have you done with the real Street Sweeper?

  32. UW,
    I just used the same logic pattern as you. You two are singing the same tune, so I’m just guessing that you’re chatting over recyclable decaffeinated coffee somewhere…

  33. Anonymous says:

    The best candidate for the GOP is Jefferson Davis oops i mean Rick Perry. Same type ideas different person..Or I guess that means any republican today. My bad. This is not your grand dads party any more.

  34. RWP says:

    Anonymous coward @ 5:12: Jefferson Davis was a Democrat. In fact, the Democrat Party’s mainstay has always been racial division. Your party kept slavery alive for 50 extra years beyond its expiration date, and then kept Jim Crow alive another 100. Cheap and evidence-free playing of the race card is now the third and most intellectually bankrupt variation on the same theme.

  35. NE Voter says:

    Yeah, but RWP, you forgot the part about how all that was during the bizarro world era when Democrats were conservative and the newly-born Republican party was liberal. Of course, beginning during the Brown v. Board era and later during the civil rights struggle, most of those racist old southern Democrats became Republicans and settled into the warm embrace of Nixon’s southern strategy. That’s the abbreviated story of how the south went from “blue” to “red.”

    I hope you teach your students the true history of this country.

  36. RWP says:

    Most of those old Southern Democrats became Republicans? Really? Like Robert Byrd? WIlliam Fulbright? George Wallace?

    “True history of this country?” Seriously, what would you know about that? I looked up the 19 Senate signatories of the anti Brown-vs-Board of Ed. Southern Manifesto. All were Democrats. But more significantly, all but one (Strom Thurmond) remained a Democrat until they died or retired from politics. Just one out of nineteen became a Republican. Your ‘history’ is a myth concocted by the mythmakers of your party and swallowed whole by the gullible.

    In any case, I teach Chemistry, and the only history that gets taught in my class is the history of people like J. Willard Gibbs and Gilbert Nathan Lewis.

  37. Anonymous says:

    So Sweeper, how come you don’t answer the post at 9:59AM who called you a… grubbing bastard? Is it true?

  38. RWP says:

    I just thought it was one of those Nebraska things I hadn’t figured out after 20 years here. A hot dog with lettuce is no stranger than a hamburger with cabbage. And no, I didn’t vote for the Runza.

  39. whistleblower says:

    Sweeper, your identity is at risk! When I follow you on twitter, it suggests I follow a certain lady… or people… that only certain people know…. Save yourself before you’re uncovered!

  40. time for change says:

    The list of those I would NOT vote for instead of Obama is much shorter than who I WOULD vote for. The list of those I would vote for includes Palin, Cain, Romney, as well as cans of beef stew and a nice pork shoulder.

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