Pristine briefs

First, bummer about Tom Becka, our favorite “woodpecker on crack” (as a caller once named him) getting the pink slip from KFAB. Apparently it is 100% based on budget cuts, and the parting has been amicable.
(And you know it’s a big deal when the OWH actually recognizes in print that other media outlets exist in the state. Who knew?)

Tom has hashed through all the big issues in politics in Omaha and Nebraska and we will miss not hearing him via the KFAB blowtorch. We wish him the best and look forward to hearing him again soon.

And as a commenter noted, our post title yesterday (“Killing the radio star“), was purely a Buggles reference to the number of videos we had up, as opposed to anything related to Becka.


Omaha attorney Dave Domina has kindly sent his $.02 to the Legislature regarding their authority to affect siting of the Keystone XL Pipeline. And, oh yeah, he was hired for this by Bold Nebraska. So have any idea where his memo might be coming down on the issue? This comes on the heels of the Sierra Club’s lawyer saying the same thing. Gee, we wonder what Occupy Wall Street’s lawyers think???

Domina begins,

The area to be crossed includes the pristine Ogallala aquifer and the fragile Nebraska Sandhills.

And no, Domina surprisingly wasn’t sending a travel brochure to state Senators.

Here’s the deal: IS there an argument that can be made that a state can put the pipeline anywhere it wants? Sure, you can make that argument. But would the legislation stand up to the Commerce clause IN COURT. Place your bets on that, kiddos.

Because if that’s OK, then you could have South Dakota say the pipe has to end south of Rapid City and Nebraska say it has to begin north of Norfolk. Then what do you do? You can’t connect them by Wi-Fi. The Feds have to determine an interstate route, not the states.

Of course absent from this legaleze is any discussion of SHOULD you change the route. You know, beyond using the words “pristine”, “fragile”, “treasure” or “precious”…

So you can bet the Boldies and their lawyer are telling the legislature, “Yeah, pass some laws! Damn the consequences in court!” Because if it has to go to court, the better chance it gets bogged down, and the better chance TransCanada says, “Screw it, we’ll sell to China.

Just remember readers: The Bold Nebraska website says, “Yes you can stop the pipeline”. It doesn’t say, “You can move the pipeline.” Always keep in mind their real motives.


Oh, and guess what network will be covering the Special Session next week. CNBC? Nah. CNN? Nope. Vs? Probably not.

It would be…Al Jazeera! Gosh, wonder why the Ted Turners of the Muslim world are apparently covering the goings-on in a little midwestern state?

Hmm. Have to think about that one for a while.


And we shared the Herman Cain video yesterday of his smoking campaign manager (as in “a cigarette”, not “super attractive”). But that ad has NOTHING on this other one from the former Godfather’s CEO’s camp. It is must-see TV:

You could say that Cain’s campaign is….ehhhh…unconventional…


  1. ricky says:

    Hard to shed any tears for Mr Becka, the guy who helped move along the recall-Suttle election that cost our city more than 300,000 dollars. Hopefully Gary Sadlemyer will be the next to go, having moved KFAB so far to the right it stinks.
    Maybe NABITY will give Mr Becka a job, or maybe he can go to work for the Omaha Fire Fighters Union? Well perhaps if Mr Becka was in a union he would have had some protection from getting fired for no reason, if that is really true which I doubt.
    Probably Karma got to Becka.

    ricky from omaha

  2. Polly Tics says:

    Ricky, I suspect Mr. Becka worked under a performance contract that was simply not renewed by Clear Channel. He may have already been part of a union but that union isn’t going to protect him if a contract is not renewed by the employer.

    What is more disappointing is that while Scott Vorhees may be replacing him for a while, it would seem that KFAB may have to go the route of plugging in some national show. Now, I listen to them to, but, I’d rather get a local perspective on issues. Whether you agree or not with his views, at least he talked about stuff that people in Eastern Nebraska could get interested in and react to.

    Oh well, back to the only local radio left (virtually) sports talk radio. Rumor has it that there is a big game in Lincoln this weekend and that the Creighton Bluejays are getting votes in top 25 polls. Could be a good fall/winter tater….

  3. Anonymous says:

    By calling our precious Sandhills “sand hills” and calling our precious wetlands “wet land”, you try to make them sound like unproductive swamps and useless sand dunes with an uncultivatable veneer of soil that makes them good for nothing but grazing goats, etc.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Budget” is one of the lamest excuses for getting rid of one of Omaha’s broadcast jewels. Becka did more to draw attention to this city’s politics as well as the state than all the other media sources combined. He tackled touch questions and fired up those that sat on their couches likes lumps to descend on city hall or take action. His charitable work was beyond reproach and the man lived his job with pure passion. So? It makes no sense to me that Clear Channel would opt for just another
    canned show with the same ole boring tune that treats listeners like sheep.

    And Ricky? I suspect that if he was singlehandedly responsible for the recall of this city’s mayor it worked to improve a tone deaf “leader” that at the very least has improved by having the actual threat of removal remind him he should listen to those he serves instead of paying and bussing in the homeless to vote. How sick was that?

    Oh my we bitch and complain about anyone who dares to speak of corporations in a bad way, but here he have an example of a bonehead move reduced to a “budget cut.” excuse at high level. I have to wonder what the fat cats at the top cut from their administrative budget to become lean and fiscally mean.

    As for Gary Sadlemyer moving his cheese to the right? How would you know Ricky if you weren’t listening? He just well be out there on the right limb of the tree, but what have you done lately to balance the dialogue. Never knew Gary not to pay attention to those who voiced their opinion good bad, right or left or just way out there somewhere pissing in the wind whacked.

  5. Dave domina... says:

    I know this guy and I will be shocked if he, or his elitist wife has ever been out to the 3rd. This guy hates republicans and it comes as no shock he is in bed with the bold folks.

    Now, who do we get to thank for opening our state up for another costly lawsuit…..

  6. Thom E. Nezbite says:

    This commercial is obviously taken from the Tom Nesbitt ‘Nebraska Stander’ commercial on youtube. Here comes another Nesbitt lawsuit.

  7. anonymous says:

    Becka is an idiot. Omaha radio just got better. Vorhees is funny and talented and not neurotic and angry. KFAB will save money and see its ratings rise, just watch.

  8. Oh Mander says:

    Herman should fire his entire marketing team. “Unconventional” is a nice way of saying unstatesmanlike. This is an ad campaign for the presidency, not car insurance. Sexual innuendo and cheap shots from a D-list celebrity aren’t going to cut it. And still with the creepy smile?!

  9. Polly Tics says:

    Annoymous at 11:37 a.m….so, removing one of the top rated talk shows from the airwaves will help ratings? You MUST be a consultant for Clear Channel.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If you think the use of “precious” is grating, I submit that Jane’s “protect our precious land and water” is over the top. Especially when Jane says “our” when she is always referencing someone’s else’s land. Urp!

  11. Anonymostly says:

    Mander, I loved it. I have a feeling Cain will be saying things I want someone running against Obama to say. Obama is a poseur. He’s a mealy-mouthed little weasel. He’s inauthentic in just about every way. NO ONE ELSE would have been given the kind of pass the media gave him in the 2008 election cycle.

    He’s never *done* anything. He had no experience. He had no credentials. Media interviewers lobbed him nothing but softballs. He committed all kinds of gaffes that got virtually no media play. If a conservative would have had the kind of ties to a religious leader who’d made the types of inflammatory statements that Jeremiah Wright made, the media would have skewered him or her.

    This country is a great country. The world *needs* a strong America. I don’t need (speaking of unstatesmanlike) the President of MY United States going around the world apologizing for this great nation. We have nothing to apologize to the world for! (And while we’re on the subject of statesmanship, you think going on the Tonight Show or the Daily Show is statesmanlike?)

    Obama made all kinds of promises that he’s never kept and he’s so far out of his depth on matters of substance, especially as they relate to the economy, that it’s truly a danger having him occupy the Oval Office. His “jobs saved or created” claim is so patently hollow that it couldn’t withstand any close scrutiny at all but the media have been loathe to call him on it. And I think Herman Cain will.

    Cain may not win the nomination but, if he does, I think he could blow Obama out of the water. Compared to that slickly packaged empty suit who currently occupies the White House, Cain is like a breath of fresh air. If he wins the GOP nomination, I can’t wait to watch the Presidential debates. Fasten your seatbelt Mr. Obama. You’re in for a bumpy ride.

  12. Eating Healthy with Jane says:

    Hey folks. Looks like people are seeing my way there in Lincoln. Since it seems my opinion sways a lot of republicans these days, maybe I should take Tom Becka’s job. I love being in front of a microphone and who is more opinionated than I. Plus I think I can bring a new demographic to the audience by talking about some of my new healthy eating recipes. Plus on the days I’m gone I can have Mike Boyle fill in for me. He had a successful radio career on KKAR. Gotta run guys, got to go to Pep Boys to get some Motor oil. My child needs it for her Halloween costume this year. Can you guess what she is going as?

  13. Oh Mander says:

    Anonymostly – Of course you loved it. Your post clearly shows that you’d love anything that criticizes that “mealy-mouthed little weasel,” whatever that means. At this point, Herman Cain is not trying to beat Barack Obama – he is trying to beat Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul. To do so he needs to prove that he is best equipped of the four to beat Obama in the general election and the best person to be president. History has proven that at the end of the day, primary voters on either side of the aisle go for the statesmen, not the people that lob the best insults or resort to gimmicks to grab your attention. This ad portays Cain as anything but a statesman, and he’d be wise to take his campaign in a different direction now that he has everyone’s attention. While this style may energize the Obama haters such as yourself, it comes off as petty, and I think it could prove to be a turn off to those looking for an adult on the ballot.

  14. Kortezzi says:

    I’ll miss Becka. He showed a lot of guts taking on Suttle & the fire / police union guys for their sweetheart dealing. He also stood up to the Omaha Public Schools board & bureaucrats and didn’t accept their excuses for lousy student test scores.
    Underneath that comedian’s skin was a pretty fearless and very hard working guy. Sure hope he lands on his feet.

  15. Bill O'Really says:

    Kortezzi, It would be a good thing if Becka landed on his feet for once, after all the times he obviously landed on his head.

  16. Anonymostly says:

    Mander, you don’t seem to have very good political instincts. At all. The guy who wins this primary is the guy who energizes the base. And no one gets real energized watching Perry and Romney trade potshots at each other. Cain has absolutely the right idea. You say of course I liked it because I’m an Obama hater. Well, guess what I have in common with most of the rest of the primary voters. Perry isn’t the (political) enemy. Obama and his policies and his operatives are.

  17. RWP says:

    Here’s where the hired sharks’ opinion goes off the rails; the assumption that safety and routing are separate issues. They’re not. The more river crossings, for example, the greater the safety risk. The State Department acknowledged this by comparing the safety risks of alternate routes in the EIS, and finding the TC route was safest. If the state does it’s own comparison,and comes to a different conclusion, that’s a direct conflict with the Feds, and under the Supremacy clause, the Feds preempt. Game, set and match.

  18. Oh Mander says:

    Anonymostly – Apparently your instincts are telling you that not only could Cain win the nomination with the current media campaign that he’s running, but that he could beat Obama. My instincts are telling me that Cain cannot win the nomination, and even if he does, he cannot win the general election. Not even close. We’ll see which one of us has the better political instincts.

  19. Anonymostly says:

    Mander, you suggest that Cain fire his entire marketing team even though he’s risen meteorically in the Republican field to basically take the lead in national polls. I’d say what he’s doing is obviously working and gives him as much chance as anything to win the nomination. Going after Obama and making commercials that get people talking about him sure isn’t going to hurt him. Yeah, I’d say my political instincts — while maybe not great — are better than yours.

    Yeah, quit doing that which is obviously working. You’re frickin’ brilliant, Mander.

  20. Oh Mander says:

    We’ll see. He is a businessman trying to make it in a politicians’ world, and while the idea of a non-politican president in itself is appealing, I just don’t see this working out for him. If he wants to be the president, he needs to demonstrate that despite his lack of political savvy, he can still present himself as a political mind. History agrees with me. Do you really think that the next president of the United States will be Herman Cain, or are you just trying to win an argument?

    His “meteoric” rise in the polls is a reflection of the strength of other options presented to GOP primary voters, not his marketing campaign. These commercials aren’t “obviously working,” they are simply a side show while your political cohort continues to demonstrate that they aren’t buying what Mitt Romney is selling.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A month from now Cain is a footnote of history. Next to get a rise is Newt. Eventually it is Mit vs right wing Rick. Rick wins he has the money. He then takes on Obama. He will be smashed by Obama. America does not want another dumb ass in the White House.

  22. NE Voter says:

    I agree with Anon @ 8:10.

    I’ve been saying all summer/fall that Perry will be the nominee. Flip Flopney’s history will make him anathema to the Repub primary voters, though Karl Rove and the Repub establishment will prop him up (while attacking Perry) as best they can. Flopney really does come off as an odd guy who does not naturally connect with people. To be fair, Perry has been a disaster in the debates.

    Consider: Since 1968, every Repblican elected to the presidency has been from either Texas or California. Ford doesn’t count because he was not elected to the office. History is powerful in these matters.

    If Romeny somehow wins the nomination, he will lose both Michigan and Massachusets, his “home” states.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Anon 8:10- you are so right. We can’t afford another dumb ass in the White house, Obama has used up all the dumb ass this country could afford in just 2 years. Now the country is on dumb ass debt for at least 100 years:-)

  24. FPS says:

    The Cain video is as Stupid as the people it might appeal to but it’s still Stupid! What is scary is the Sneer Smile that Cain gives at the end which says, “if you dumb F’s believe this crap, you’ll believe anything!” Or “Just how dumb is the GOP base anyway!” Not funny at all, & I’m afraid Cain is just another GOP Con man out to suck working Americans bone dry!! Go 99%!!

  25. Icon says:

    The Cain video is as Stupid as the people it might appeal to but it’s still Stupid! What is scary is the Sneer Smile that Cain gives at the end which says, “if you dumb F’s believe this crap, you’ll believe anything!” Or “Just how dumb is the GOP base anyway!” Not funny at all, & I’m afraid Cain is just another GOP Con man out to suck working Americans bone dry!! Go 99%!!

  26. MacDaddy says:

    I’m going to have to side with Oh Mander on this one. The Yellow Roses ad is to get you to vote for who exactly? The douche in the ad wants you to vote for Cain. Who’s the target audience? Jerks?

    This ad missed on all counts. Cain can be funny. I’d love to have a beer with him. But he also needs to be classy. He wants to be President of the United States of America. In the words of Joe Biden, that’s a BFD. I think people are supporting him despite the ads. If he wants to run an unconventional campaign, he just needs to look at his resume: a businessman who has never held elected office. That’s plenty unconventional. If we wanted another clown in office, well, we already got ol’ Jug-ears.

  27. Some Thoughts says:

    Not sure why everyone is so down on Cain. He served honorably in the military, got a master’s degree in Computer Science (before it became the trend), and has a stellar business resume. People may joke about Godfather’s, but the stuff he did at other companies was even more impressive. The man knows how to grow a profitable business. In addition, he sat on the board of the Federal Reserve in KC. So although his ads may be a joke, he himself is not a joke. I think he’s the frontrunner precisely because the other candidates have been so lacking in substance and conviction. Cain has both.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Cain is a perfect example of the Peter Principle. He took lots of credit for Godfather’s turnaround, but like many CEOs, he was just a cheerleader while his underlings did the real work. He’s an ignorant joke not ready for prime time.

  29. Some Thoughts says:

    What’s the evidence of that, exactly? And how do you account for his management successes at Burger King, Coke, and at Pillsbury before he took over Godfather’s? He has business talent, and he’s a mathematician, and he’s a computer expert. I find it a breath of fresh air that someone with this set of skills might decide to go into politics, since usually we get lawyers, lawyers, and more lawyers.

  30. Ditto says:

    Some Thought’s thoughts. Sick of the same old, got to be an attorney or career politician to get elected. Obama proved anyone really can become President. Why not Cain? He actually has real life experience unlike the boy organizer from Chicago.

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