Still just a bill

We finally have a (Keystone XL Pipeline) bill!” Tweets Jane Kleeb and the Boldies.

Let’s see.

  • The environmental assessments on this project have been going on for at least three years.
  • The Boldies have been protesting the pipeline for at least a full year now.
  • There have been numerous hearings in the legislature.
  • There have been many environmental assessments by the Feds.
  • And now there have been two field hearings in Nebraska on the issue.

And only now they “have a bill”?

And that’s a bill in it’s rawest form. It’s like the one that sits on Capitol Hill with the legs and the jazz-man accent — but much less thought out.  It hasn’t gone through any committees. It hasn’t had any debate. And there are serious questions as to its Constitutionality.

In the mean time, the State Department is getting ready to make their decision about the pipe, and depending on what happens with this Finally Bill, there is a real potential for a Boyd County $150 million type mess.

Oh, and did we mention that the actual experts have already stated that the pipe would be safe over the Sandhills? We mentioned that?

Well here, let us put it in language that you are more likely to understand:

It’s a good looking route / Like the jeans in your boot.

Notice how it rhymes?  OK, we’re working on that…

[Click here to read a .pdf copy of the Bill.]


Hey, as we noted, state Senator Gwen Howard is (officially) going to battle John Ewing for the NE-2  Democrat nomination.

We pointed out that the ultra-liberal Howard could actually win in a (likely) low-turnout primary against Ewing.  But we chuckled at Nebraska Dem’s ED Jim Roger’s comment that Howard taking on Ewing shows the “ineptitude” of Terry. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Nothing to do with a super lib wanting to push out who she thinks is a weak candidate or anything.

Looking forward to some ugly splits amongst the Dems this Spring.


Here is something else going on across the 3rd District — and again, it is protest based.

Those of you in the Grand Island area may have noticed the Grand Island Independent opining on the not-so-little matter of rural post office closings. After covering a day of ‘protests’ not once, but twice, they decided to keep the story going with an editorial hammering Congressman Adrian Smith. How about this line from the GII:

Smith has been missing in action on this issue from day one and we have seen no inclination from him to roll up his sleeves and get involved.

Wow. What complete and utter crap.

As it happens, Smith…

  • Made a stink earlier this year with the Postmaster General (as did Reps. Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry);
  • Hosted a briefing for Members of Congress on the issue;
  • Has mailed a few thousand constituents about the matter; and
  • Has attended dozens of community meetings on this very issue.

That’s what is called, “getting involved”.

So digging a little deeper, this gets sort of interesting (for those of you interested in this stuff). The issue at hand is legislation authored by a Congressman from Boston. What is a Rep from an urban area doing writing bills preventing rural post offices from closing? Well, he’s not.

Turns out the sponsor is a former union boss with the Iron Workers. So he introduced a bill to ensure union postal workers get paid regardless of whether or not the Postal Service is solvent. And his bill ensures this by drawing from the same fund that pays for military retirement — defunding it to the tune of $75 billion. So if the USPS is facing a $200 billion shortfall, what exactly does $75 billion do? Not keep post offices open, that’s what.

Our understanding is that Smith has another way to go on this issue, and there are other bills in Congress to address it.

Looking forward to the media figuring that out.


We hear that Ben Nelson’s campaign is in the field polling.

Apparently his push-y questions involve:

  • His concern for seniors (…concerned they’ll not vote for him);
  • Would you still vote for Jon Bruning despite him talking about raccoons eating grapes out of a jar (which we still don’t get…); and
  • Ben wants you to believe you are just mad at him because you are mad at Obama. (Hey whatever works.)

Always keep in mind the push questions when you hear any final results.


And for those of you who, for years, have wished aloud that Hal Daub would jump off the Woodmen Tower, well you finally got your wish!


Hal and his wife recently rappelled down the Woodmen Tower to help benefit Boy Scouts of America.

Here are a few cool shots.


And thanks again to all of you who have clicked Leavenworth Street’s links before going to Amazon to buy stuff you were already going to buy (at no extra cost to you).  Looking for that special Halloween costume for you or the kiddos?  Click to your right!

Thanks for helping us buy those new super-expensive bulbs to keep the lights on!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Can’t even begin to imagine how the two state rags are going to deal with the primary between the candidates they have now. An African American Union Cop and a Senior Citizen Female social worker. The OWH is going to have to tread this lightly, not to mention the other primaries at the state level and of course the underdog incumbent POTUS crap. They Re going to make a lot of money off the backs of minorities and low income peeps, standard for those who claim to fight for the same peeps.

    Meanwhile the Dubas bill will not pass with the votes needed, will be tough to get a special session going. You will be able to see which Senators have in mind for their political future by their support for this rediculs request. The state is on shaky financial ground as it is now and a special session will cost a him of 10,000.00 a day. The state will be sued for any changes, and that will Senator Harr and Dubas taking money away from the children and the MOST vulnerable in our state. Funny thing is both Senators know any law passed would be challenged and they actually hope so as it will slow down or kill the project. Dubbas is such a hypocrit as she took the TransCanada money and had no problems getting money for the land as if it were sold not lased, and the years of production value even if only one season would be lost. Regardless of all of this the bill as is is Special legislation and won’t be passed. I would suspect it would have to be amended such that the current proposed pipeline would be grandfathered and future pipelines would need to follow the statue.

  2. SoWhat? says:

    I got called Monday evening and participated in the Nelson poll. They were really focused on testing reaction to the messages in his recent crop of ads and sentiment of Nellie vs. the announced Reps in the 2012 race. The interesting part of participating wasn’t the poll itself, since “skunk” pretty much fits the Benator IMHO. It was the woman who was doing the poll asking me afterwards if she could ask me some questions for her own information since she wasn’t from NE. She asked me if Nellie has a Dem primary challenge and, if not why not. She also asked me if the messages the poll was testing were going to be used. I told her Nellie has already been running a series of ads and has been dumping tons of money trying to reduce his huge negatives in the state. She was surprised at that info and confided that she thought the ad messages sounded pretty unconvincing to her too. Almost made wasting 10 minutes of my life taking the poll worth it just for that couple of minutes of information on the polling folks.

  3. Kortezzi says:

    Disappointed that Stenberg announced opposition yesterday to the Keystone XL’s designated route, advocating the existing old Keystone route instead. I guess he figured it’s safer to mirror Governor Dave and Senator Mike on this issue.

    Anyone who looks at a map will understand that changing the route on the Nebraska segment of the KXL is more expensive, nearly doubles the NE length of the pipe, crosses more rivers & streams, and goes through more populated areas. Siding with Jane and her crowd is pandering to people who’ve been misled by oil spill scaremongering. I had expected more from Don.

  4. Alternate Route says:

    But, if the route is changed making the pipeline longer, there will be more jobs and they will last longer!!!! Go Unions!

  5. MacDaddy says:

    It doesn’t really matter what the unicam passes, and that’s if they can get a special session together. If Obama okays it, the pipeline is going through at the behest of the federal government. If Jane and her minions want to start arguing States’ Rights against the first black President, good luck with that. That will assure that her future is limited to Hastings. Nobody in DC is going to give her a lick of support, but she can hang out with Margot Kidder, so there’s that.

    Kortezzi, I too am disappointed by Stenberg, although he has no chance to get the nomination, so it doesn’t really matter.

    Overall, Nebraskans are on a roll, and not a good one: Cornhusker Kickback, deciding vote for the hated and unconsitutional Obamacare, Warren Buffett allowing himself to be used by Obama to raise taxes (Berkshire Hathaway stock taking a beating, too), stinking it up in Madison, and a bunch of vocal NIMBYs on an issue that has national security implications.

  6. A bill of goods says:

    Just wait until group think sets in, the bill gets passed, and the State of Nebraska gets sued for billions in economic damages… that’s one way to get rid of state aid to schools and kill the NSEA!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow, so how is the language in the proposed bill not specifically targeting the Keystone pipe? I love the section which talks to “that is unusually sensitive to damage from an oil pipeline release” What is sensitive? Define that you clods.

  8. RWP says:

    People write laws like this, and then wonder why the chairman of Coca-Cola says it’s easier to do business in China than in the US. And they wonder why the company they work for just upped and left.

    It also adds well over a two year delay to the pipeline.

  9. RWP says:

    The Sierra Club was also Ken Haar’s biggest campaign donor in 2008. Followed by 3 labor unions and the Nebraska Trial Attorneys. You don’t get much more bought-and-paid-for than that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    RWP, at least with your comment you can validate an attempt to show the draft legislation was posted here on LWS. Suppose the posts took too much space up and that is why it was deleted. For the rest of you who missed it sorry.

  11. RWP says:

    Based on my cursory reading of the bill, it appears to me the purpose is to slow down the process to force TC to pull out. With all the built in delays, plus the certainty of appeals, this bill shuts down the pipeline for years, which probably means forever.

    I expect Dubas/Haar did it this way to be able to shut down the pipeline completely, while claiming they were only putting in proper safeguards on the route.

  12. Anonymous says:

    RWP- i doubt a bill gets passed even if a special session is called. But be sure the $100, 000.00+ cost of the session will be hung around the necks of those who advocate for it. It is money that won’t go to BSDC and other worthy causes. So too will any losses due to court costs, and too the lost revenue to the state. All lost because a few people won’t listen to the science and the current state of pipelines in Nebraska.

    I’m sure some senator will amend any bill that gets out of committee in such a manner to save the state the losses they would face if otherwise enacted. If this were about the hazard of the Keystone XL pipeline as proposed then there would be NO pipeline anywhere. But seeing as it is only targeting the proposed one then there is not a real sense of urgency.

    I’m surprised the people in eastern Nebraska haven’t said more about this. Think about it, the pipe line is just too evil for the sand hills but not for the Cow Capitol? More pipeline is ok? Oh and just what in the sam hill do you filter water with anyway, Sand. No way.

    This is about as Gumponian as it gets. Stupid is as Stupid Does.

  13. The Pip says:

    If the GI Fish Wrap is saying Smith is doing a bad job, then he must be doing a really bad job. He is truly a joke in the Third. You can not even get a Republican out there to praise him. He tells people what they want to hear, and they love him for it. Lets see, he sponsored a bill to have more Veterinarians, and he gave a shout out to a volleyball team. He does what he is told. We need leaders in D.C. If he is along for the ride, and doesn’t want to lead, it is time to replace him. He is one of the reasons the House has a 9-10% approval rating.

  14. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Please, please, please 3rd CD Republicans. Find someone in your own ranks to run against Adrian Smith for Congress! We Democrats deserve someone better to represent us, and most assuredly … you do too!

  15. Ivy Marie Harper says:

    It just struck me that Senator Ben Nelson’s pollster Harrison Hickman is the Billy Beane of politics.

    To that end, I’m working on a screenplay called, “MoneyPol” that uses Hickman’s own website words to illustrate precisely why the former pitchman for failed presidential candidate John Edwards (See the Today show interview where Mr. Hickman breaks into a smile after he’s asked a timeline question about Baby Quinn’s conception and the late Elizabeth Edwards’ recurrence of cancer) is so totally worth $103,000.00 thousand dollars to conduct the Good Senator’s Nebraska 2012 polling.

    From the Chevy Chase headquarters of Hickman Analytics, Inc.:

    “We do not believe in “cookie-cutter” campaigns. (duh!) We strongly believe that campaigns – and the research we provide – should tailor to the individual circumstances of the race at hand. (duh, again!) We do not recommend campaigns for the sake of how they look in a presentation. (Triple Duh!) The campaigns we devise are designed to win – according to how our clients define “winning.”

    (OMG, Did HH retain Charlie Sheen as one of his confidential “corporate” clients!) P.S. HH himself put the word “winning” in air quotes; only the ‘duhs!’ are mine.

    “Just as we best our competitors in research and experience and the kinds of races you will face, we play a significantly larger role in our campaigns. Our experience and approach to research allow us to formulate winning strategies. (See Charlie Sheen).

    P.S. Hickman Analytics, Inc. offers Honest Accurate Insight as opposed to those other annoying fellow Democratic & GOP pollsters who make up the $6 billion dollar campaign consultantcy industry who provide Dishonest Inaccurate Tripe.

    to be continued.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It would be okay to have a billion dollar campaign consulting industry if ordinary print shops and sign makers and camera men could make a good living from it.

    But what happens, obviously, is a handful of people make an obscene amount of money.

    Let’s get back to grass-roots campaigns where money and manipulation don’t make the calls. And where the emporer walks with alongside the commoner with all his clothes on!

  17. Just Sayin says:

    RWP, Brian T. Osborne, and Ivy Marie Harper: Thanks for your investigative reporting! You empower us as well to do research and not rely on media that SELECTIVELY investigate (Nancy Belch, David Sokol, Jon Bruning) and give passes to their pets (Ben Nelson, Jeff Fortenberry, NU, Nelnet, and the NU Foundation).

    Thank you, Street Sweeper and the Leavenworth St. Blog for giving us this forum!

  18. Oh Mander says:

    Obviously it’s still early, but has there been a recent tally of pros vs. cons in the unicam? All I hear about is the positions of GOPers with elections/reelections to worry about. Has anybody been keeping tallies on our term-limited locals? If the overwhelming support amongst Republicans on this blog is any indication, I’d say that this bill has a good chance of falling flat. It may not even see the light of day.

  19. anonymous says:

    Ivy Harper, I heard from a Fortenberry staffer that you OWN FAMILY sent Congressman Fortenberry a letter of apology for your unusual behavior and that none of them support you running for Congress again. I’ve heard from Democratic leaders that they’re worried you’re going to make another half-assed run for Congress and mess up their ability to recruit a real candidate.

  20. Ivy Marie Harper says:

    @ anonymous: Would that be real candidates like Sherman Yates; Stanley Krauter, and Jessica Lynn Turek (God bless them all) or Democratic ringers brought into the race so that a certain Lincoln-based company, the NU Foundation, and NU all do not have to be reminded of their misguided, unethical 2004-2007 “partnership” that netted NU nearly $25 million dollars of “unwarranted” U.S. taxpayer subsidies that came directly from the loan-soaked backs of hard-working American students and their suffering families?

    For the record, every single one of my siblings, my parents, and my extended family supported my campaign so clearly the “letter” of which you speak is fake.

    Certainly, Rep. Fortenberry’s office can spot a forgery when they see one.

  21. Yowza! says:

    Former executive director of the Nebraska Democratic Party took a strong stand in support of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline in a guest editorial printed in the Lincoln Journal Star last Sunday. That makes one wonder, how close the personal friendship with the Kleebs is holding up? Apparently not so good. But, then again, Rubin left the Democratic Party with a bootprint on his ass, his tail tucked firmly between his legs, and his pockets full of cash. It makes one wonder who he has for a sugar daddy this time?

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