The one who smelt it…

We questioned yesterday why the Public Policy Polling folks did not have a Favorable/Unfavorable or matchup numbers for Ben Nelson.

Well, that would be because they published them the next day.

So, let us take a look:

Nelson Job Performance
Approve 36%
Disapprove 55%
Not sure 9%

(We note parenthetically here, that for Nelson they give “Job Approval” where for all his potential GOP opponents, they give “Favorabilty”. That is not exactly apples-to-apples for comparison sake. Though we do get matchup numbers, so maybe it is a wash. But still, something to think about from the self-identified Democrat polling firm.)

Back in February, Nelson’s Approval was at 39% and his disapproval at 50% And that was before the national Democrats poured over $600,000 in TV and radio ads into Nebraska. And his numbers go down?

Gee, wonder why there are still rumors that he may not run.

But there are those that still see a glimmer of hope for Nelson’s reelection. These are based on…


The matchups:

Ben Nelson 42%
Jon Bruning 46%
Undecided 12%

Ben Nelson 41%
Don Stenberg 44%
Undecided 15%

Ben Nelson 41%
Deb Fischer 39%
Undecided 20%

Now some want to point to the numbers that show Nelson closer to Bruning and Stenberg now than he was in February and claim some sort of early victory for Nellie.

To that we say, pffffph. (It’s in the dictionary.)

Nelson gets glowing press from the Nebraska MSM outlets.
He has had nonstop ads on TV.

In the mean time, Bruning has been getting hammered in the media, any time Stenberg’s name comes up it mentions that he lost to Nelson, and hardly anyone has heard of Deb Fischer.

Yet Nelson is still losing to Bruning and Stenberg, and only barely beats Fischer with a full 20% undecided. And the Dems want to cheer about this?

We will just say now that we heard a rumor yesterday about another possible entrant to the Senate race. Full and utter rumor. But with these kinds of numbers for Nelson, who has been spending like crazy already, we are not surprised to hear about all of those who think he can be beat.


And on to Nelson and his ubiquitous ads.

The Nebraska GOP filed a complaint against Nelson stating,

The Federal Election Act of 1971, as amended, states that the maximum coordinated spending limit between a political party committee and a Nebraska Senate candidate cannot exceed $240,600. However, according to public records the NDSCC and Ben Nelson have spent at least $458,625 in coordinated television campaign advertisements, which is a clear violation of the law.

And Nelson’s response (we paraphrase)?

Well, those ads, where I’m standing there talking to the camera, with my name plastered in the background, talking about my record as Governor and the way I’ve voted? Yeah, those aren’t really campaign ads. Those are issue ads. So those don’t count.

He and his manager Paul Johnson are kidding, right?

Well, we have gotten word that a certain liberal northeast newspaper, (not to be confused with the York News Times) may do an analysis of Nelson’s response.

Their gist: If Nelson can do this, then what is to stop American Crossroads or any other 527 from shooting an ad with the candidate and call it an issue ad to get around the FEC guidelines? The contention is that what Nelson has done here is either highly illegal or will turn the whole system of coordination on its head.

Well, Nelson is right about one thing: Something DOES smell here…


The “Occupy Wall Street” protesters likely heard about Steve Jobs’s death on their iPhones that they bought at the Apple store, via their provider, AT&T. And just guessing, but they probably revere the guy who owned about $2 billion worth of Apple stock and had a private corporate plane at his disposal.

We throw that out as we marvel at the “Occupy Wall Street” hordes — of which there is some sort of an “Occupy Omaha” fringe as well, believe it or not. (May we suggest just cutting to the chase and occupying the corner of 55th and Farnam?)

But you really want to know why the “kids” are marching and chanting and banging on drums with their friends, even though they really don’t know why?

First, let us hit that note. They DON’T know why. We keep hearing some goofball, “we must understand their rage!” support to stop capitalism or some such. Oh, shut up. Herman Cain put it very well saying, “If you’re not rich, blame yourself.” We’d love to know the percentage of those protesters who are college educated.

But have you gotten a load of their “demands”? Holy crap. Are they even slightly serious?

(We’ll give ‘em point #10 and being slightly sensible, but in these days not sure if it is even doable.)

[Oh wait, now they are saying those are just one guy’s demands and that, in fact, they have no demands.  Huh.  Then what am I supposed to do again?]

Anyway, here is the reason there are so many people taking part in these protests:

They’re fun.

You get to go with your friends and march and bang on drums and chant the same chants with everyone else and forget about your day to day drab problems and feel like you are part of something.

And you know who else does this exact, same, thing?

Football fans.

(The Occupiers are probably doing some sort of equivalent to tailgating as well, but there are probably soy-dogs and a bike involved.)

But the difference is that football fans, after the game, are content to go home (and maybe bitch about the refs on a comment board). And while they are a little nutty (right?), no one is expecting the world to change when their team beats the crap out of Ohio State (for example).

Some are able to separate their entertainment from their reality. And others occupy Wall Street.

And H/T to the RWP for this particularly fine tribute to Jobs.


And you REALLY want to stick it to the man?! Next time you buy something on Amazon, click through Leavenworth Street’s link, and little love will float L.St.’s way — at no extra cost to you! Dude! (We aren’t really sure who “The Man” is here, but well, just click. And thanks!)


  1. SoWhat? says:

    Here’s an ad suggestion for the eventual Rep candidate who runs against the Benator. Use the “Nebraskans can smell a skunk” phrase and an actor dressed like the Benator who turns around and has the skunk stripes in hair and clothing. You don’t need to say anything else.

  2. Hilarious says:

    That list of demands is hilarious!! Do they really think these things through? $20 minimum hourly wage? really? even for someone flipping burgers, taking money at a toll booth, washing cars, etc. If they do that, my current wage would need to go up about $16 to make it equitable. I went to college for crying out loud, I should make more! And free college for people? How about free college for the lazy bums that fail classes, change their majors 12 times and spend 8 years in college. Should they get a free ride the whole time? Abolish all debts?!?!? HOW DO YOU PAY THE WORKERS ON A HOME IF YOUR MORTGAGE IS WIPED CLEAN?

  3. Anonymous says:

    And on the SS link about the “demands”
    Admin note: This is not an official list of demands. This is a forum post submitted by a single user and hyped by irresponsible news/commentary agencies like Fox News and This content was not published by the collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly. There is NO official list of demands.
    But it’s so much more fun to take someone’s list and post it as representative of an entire group. Straight from the Republican playbook.

  4. @ anon 9:50, whether all those demands represent the entire group or not is somewhat beside the point…because each one of those demands represents a portion of the group. And as SS pointed out, all but one of those demands are ridiculous, meaning just about the entire group is ridiculous.

  5. 9:50,
    A couple things: 1) when I posted that, there was no disclaimer on the demands. 2) As I updated in the post before your comment, OK, so they have no demands? What is it I am supposed to do then, as an observer? What is “Wall St.” (which I would note, is just a street), supposed to change? Nothing? Just a big party in lower Manhattan then, yeah?
    OK, got it.

  6. RWP says:

    One other thing about Jobs. Neither of his adopted parents went to college. And he quit Reed College after 6 months because he wasn’t getting much out of it, and he realized his working-class parents couldn’t afford private school tuition. He returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposit to pay for food. Then he went to work for Atari, hitch-hiked across India, and built electronics with Steve Wozniak.

    The Wall Street Whiners instead are taking out massive college loans to pay for a lately useless education, and then squat in a public park to complain about their lives. Heck, if you’ve got nothing better to do than that, go bum around India.

  7. Hilarious says:

    That disclaimer was not there when I first looked at it either. But, it’s a good read LOL And I never saw it on

  8. MacDaddy says:

    Whatever “demands” they have is entirely irrelevant. OWS is a front group for Obama’s re-election. George Soros is currently funding whatever start-up costs they have and it’s being run out of Obama’s re-election campaign. I stated this on yesterday’s post, but the entire thing is straight out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, Obama’s true Bible.

    Doubt me? Why haven’t you heard a single criticism of Obama among the protestors? Why has no one pointed out Obama’s obvious crony capitalism? Why are the unions showing up? Unions don’t go anywhere without orders and yet here they are. Why did Obama endorse OWS in his press conference today?

    The whole thing would be entertaining if it weren’t such a waste of time and taxpayer money in addition to decimating the small businesses that had the misfortune of being located in the area.

  9. Brian T. Osborn says:

    DEB FISCHER. There, now EVERYONE has heard about Deb Fischer.

    If the NDP SCC is paying for these annoying ads that interrupt the pleasure of my vegging out in front of the TV are ISSUES ads, then why is Ben Nelson doing them? Should they have the face of Jim Rogers, Vic Covalt or some other Nebraskan that represents the PARTY, and not the office of an elected representative? Shouldn’t they be promoting the ideals and principles delineated in the NDP Platform, as concocted by Nebraska’s DEMOCRATS, rather than providing propaganda for the Benator?

  10. Lil Mac says:

    Don’t let Nelson’s ratings convince you he will retire. If he thought like other people, he might. But if he thought like other people, he’d not be where he is. Nebr is a major-but-pseudo GOP state and no one understands the mind of its GOP voters better than Ben Nelson.

    Nelson barely made into the Governor’s office and also barely into the Senate, but in both cases he was easily reelected. After six years in the ultra-partisan US Senate, in 2006, Nelson shrugged off 14 million GOP/Ricketts dollars to take 96% of Dems, 73% of Inds, and 42% of Rep votes. Nelson got over 4 out of 10 Republicans. Biggest win since Republican Ed Zorinsky turned Democrat to run for Hruska’s seat. Like Ed, Ben sticks the Democrat stuff in Nebraska GOP voters’ rumps and leaves Husker Republicans begging for more.

    We aren’t talking about the few who vote in GOP primaries but rather the majority of GOP general voters who think more like independents. Nelson seems to understand that GOP majority better than the NRP does. He for sure isn’t hamstrung by pesky principles. And he doesn’t have to pander to his own local few like the GOP candidates must pander to their own.

    Sure Bruning is leading. But his greatest enemies are GOP primary voters who will demand he be to them what makes him unelectable to more average voters in November. Nelson knows this.

    Don’t count Nellie as dead unless you see the political stake driven in one side and out the other.

  11. MacDaddy says:

    BTW, the New York City General Assembly, the group that organized OWS has a list of grievances that is pretty much standard language for every brain dead progressive/liberal/anarchist discussion held on every college campus for the last 50 years. Yawn.

    I find it amusing that they want to be Occupiers. That’s a dirty word in progressive circles. Just goes to show their level of desperation. Sweeper, the individual idiots that are wandering around NYC may be having a good time, but the people behind this are deadly serious. Obama is playing with fire here. Mobs can get unpredictable. The 99.99% of the rest of the country has very little patience with a bunch of rich, white college kids whining about the oppression inherent in the system. It’s game over if things start getting out of hand.

  12. MacDaddy says:

    The phrase “jumped the shark” has jumped the shark. But, heeeeyyyyyyy, there are worse things to be known for than being able to water ski without ruining your leather jacket.

  13. Some Thoughts says:

    Job Approval makes sense when the poll seeks information about the Senate race. Since Nelson is the incumbent, it doesn’t make sense to ask that about the GOP candidates. And general favorability might be different from Job Approval in Nelson’s case, so the latter is more important.

    Occupy Wall Street is obvious liberal talk-loud and do-nothing idiocy. However, if you’re not rich, it’s your own fault? How many of the people who comment on this site are actually “rich”? Not just upper middle class, or comfy by Nebraska standards, but rich? I’m better off than most, but I’m not rich by any stretch, and there the anti-Wall-streeters have a point. Unless you’re one of those people who buys into the private hedge fund, or owns plenty shares of BRK.A, you’re with the rest of us little people, and the fact is that we’re all getting the short end. Have been for a few decades now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The OWS is really helping the GOP. Oh and if you want to protest the big money makers here in Omaha be sure to visit Warren and his mini me Wally Wietz, just a couple of old Lib money makers……

  15. Anonymous says:

    Who else likes to bang drums and whine? The Boldies. Good thing they’re too tied up with the pipeline right now. Expect to see them push Occupy Omaha before it’s over though.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If you are so dense you don’t know who Deb Fischer is after being on this board you must be either a operative for opposition, or a member of the boldies.

    Anybody notice how Sen Ken Haar was iced out of the talks with the Speaker and TransCanada? The look on his face was priceless, like some bad granola was playing through the system.

  17. RWP says:

    Anybody notice how Sen Ken Haar was iced out of the talks with the Speaker and TransCanada?

    That’s because Haar represents the Sierra Club, not Nebraskans. He wants to stop the pipeline, period, not find a compromise route.

    I think the talks were to see if they could get some sort of limited rerouting that would give legislators cover to say they’d done something, while not holding up the process or driving up the costs inordinately

  18. Oh Mander says:

    Mac – I have seen very few references to politicians or political parties, and the ones I have seen are very critical. Though there is no single message and no single spokesman for the group, the purpose of OWS is to voice frustration about the growing gap between the rich and poor and the policies that allow it to happen, not to re-elect/elect a specific rich man or promote a specific party of rich individuals. The idea that these people are motivated by their desire to see Obama re-elected is ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as collectively referring to this group as “a bunch of rich white college kids.”

  19. Kortezzi says:

    To Oh Mander:

    You say “the purpose of Occupy Wall Street is to voice frustration about the growing gap between the rich and poor”.

    No, the purpose of this group is to practice for the riots in November 2012 when Obama is defeated!

    They probably won’t riot here in Omaha. But if they try to “Occupy Leavenworth Street”, I am quite ready to counterprotest. I’ll have plenty of Lysol and Purell on hand, in case they get too close.

  20. MacDaddy says:

    Oh Mander, Oh Mander, Oh Mander. Funny how the message of OWS is the exact same poll-tested message that Obama has been preaching all summer.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Flood is going to out manuever the Janiacs. They won’t know what hit them till it’s long over. This should be good.

  22. Some interesting comments below the now infamous ‘list’, to be sure. Here’s a brief sampling:

    “Demand fourteen: Ban all firearms in America except for loyalty proven police and military. Create a 30 day turn in amnesty period, else face life in prison. … Put any owner of an assault weapon in re-education camps. We cannot get the capitalists and Christians to do our will until we disarm them.”

    “Materialism isn’t the way. If the world was fair, every person would live in a very small house with only our basic needs met. All we need is each other. We can have a good time in life by holding hands, celebrating our cultures and embracing our differences. We don’t need money. Down with the financial system!”

    “Prohobid the intereset”

    There’s also a bunch of commenters adding their own demands…funny that I never noticed Palestinian statehood.

  23. Oh Mander says:

    I understand that there is overlap, but a center-left politician (and very wealthy man) like Obama is hardly a poster child for this movement. And implying that the protesters are rioting shills for Obama is no more fair than saying that all Tea Partiers are racist Glenn Beck fans. But if you must continue to pigeon hole these people, I’d go with pacifist Nader voters. Either way, your disdain for all things liberal and the slant of big business-controlled media is leading to broad, misguided generalizations.

  24. RWP says:

    Adbusters, the self described anarchists and neo-luddites who initiated Occupy Wall Street, are heavily funded by Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s Tides Foundation. That’s a pretty substantial connection to the Democratc Party.

  25. Brian T. Osborne-Waters says:

    It is settled minimum wage is now 75k annually with a spa pass. we will pay for it by taxing thousandaires

  26. Anonymous says:

    Obama is so not near the center. But come 2012 Obama will be very much in the center along with Ben Nelson, as they are FLUSHED out of the system in a very large, messy, and loud movement:-) Then there will be about 60 days of travel and such with Obama’s senior aides. Sometime in late Jan to early Feb there will be a nice economic recovery and some very interesting developments on the many inquiries into the DOJ, EPA, DHS, and other agencies. Right about now would be a great time to invest in shreeding companies…………

  27. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Testa di Cazzo @ 9:12 PM & 10:14 PM,
    Please use your daddy’s name, if you know it, not mine (even if misspelled.) Thank you.

  28. Scott Lautenbaugh says:

    I’m waiting for some of my colleagues in the Legislature — and, of course, the good, “non-partisan” folks at Common Cause (you know, that one guy)– to come down hard on Ben Nelson for his apparent end-run around the restrictions in the federal election act. After all, they were shocked– SHOCKED– that a group like Americans for Prosperity could come into NE in 2010, conceal it’s identity by operating under the clever name “Americans for Prosperity” (?), and run voter education ads which didn’t require state spending disclosures. There was outrage! Now? Well . . . . Meh?

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