All I want for Christmas…

For those of you who don’t read the LJS, U.S. Senator Ben Nelson told The Don Walton that he would decide whether or not to run for re-election around Christmastime.

NEGOP ED Jordan McGrain quickly responded that the last time Nelson made a major decision in the December Holiday season, we ended up with ObamaCare.

Snort.

Nelson gave the regular notes about whether or not he would run — needs to talk to his family, has to decide whether or not he can contribute in that super-partisan Senate, etc.

But National Journal’s Hotline was pretty down on Nelson’s likelihood of running again.

They noted where Nelson said,

“I’m not trying to drag this out,” the two-term Democratic senator said. “There is no theater involved in this.

“It’s more that I just don’t want to be a candidate any longer than I need to be or (it’s more difficult) to do the job I’m elected to do.”

Hotline notes:

Still, an incumbent who says publicly they don’t want to be a candidate is cause for any party strategist to bash their head against a wall in frustration. It’s worse for Democrats; there’s virtually no party bench in Nebraska, and if Nelson decides to retire, he’ll effectively hand the seat to the winner of the state Republican primary.

And the Washington Post’s The Fix is pretty down on Nelson too, Tweeting:

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, call your office.

But we dunno.

On the one hand we won’t be surprised if Nelson decides he doesn’t want to go down a loser.  Frankly, that’s the main thing we would see in his decision — if he does not see any way to win against any of the candidates (ya hear that Spencer Zimmerman?).

On the other hand, Nelson and the party have been spending a butt-load of cash on this non-campaign, and everything is pretty much in place for a run.

But maybe the point of that is that the party has been the one spending the cash.  They are trying to keep him in the race, and filling his honey pot of campaign cash with free ads. Are they really the ones pushing Nelson’s candidacy right now? Could be.

But, like the present under the tree, we will have to wait until Christmas to find out what’s inside. And hopefully it is not another Cornhusker Kickback…

***

And wait, weren’t all of those Nelson spots “issue ads”, and not “campaign ads”?

Says The Don Walton:

“Nelson … has blanketed the state with a series of TV ads paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee…”

Glad Don agrees with us there.

***

We are thinking about going down to a vacant lot downtown and lighting an open fire.
Wonder if anyone will care, and let us just hang out there.

We are the 53%.

***

Also, please join us in sending prayers and support for Rod Krogh, aide to Senator Bob Krist, and his family.  Rod was involved in a very bad traffic accident last week.  See 10/11’s report here.

31 comments

  1. In all of Ben Nelson’s recent campaign ads (yes, Sweeper, I agree with Don Walton on that point) he has stated how “independent” he is, and how he alone stands against both Democrats and Republicans. I suggest that whatever Ben Nelson decides, he stand alone, as an Independent.
    I would also suggest that both the DSCC and the NDP quit claiming to be the ones financing all of Sen. Nelson’s campaign ads, since he brags in his television ads about how he consistently takes a stand against both Republicans and DEMOCRATS! I don’t believe that Julius Caesar told Brutus, “E tu, Brute? Hic est picunia.” as his pal twisted his pugio into his trapezius.

  2. I agree with Brian…unless the Benator starts airing ads funded out of his own pocket and refuses contributions from the DSCC, there’s no way folks are going to believe he’ll take any meaningful stands against the Democratic party.

    Then again, it wouldn’t matter either way, as there’s a slim-to-no chance that any left-leaners would vote for any Nelson opponent in the general election, so he might as well stay on the gravy train because it’s not like it’s actually going to cost him any votes, and getting off said gravy train isn’t suddenly going to bring any conservatives over to his side, either.

    Do us all a favor, Ben. Pack your bags and move in with your old buddy Bob Kerrey. Then you can safely bash your former constituents from half a continent away.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I love how clever the folks pushing the ‘53%’ meme think they are, while disregarding the fact that the ‘47%’ still pay a disproportionate share of their income in FICA, sales and excise taxes, and property taxes – both direct and indirect. Not to mention that the ‘47%’ has grown in recent years because of two things: (1) the recession and (2) Republicans have been pretty good at pushing a number of tax credits and deductions that reduce or eliminate individuals’ federal income tax burden.

    The alleged 43%-53% dichotomy is a diversion from the real problem: an indisputable fact that there is a yawning opportunity and wealth gap in this country. People are working harder to make ends meet while struggling to get by and simply stay afloat.

  4. Dennis says:

    I would bet anybody here one tall, cold drink that Nelson will run for re-election. All of this speculation by Republicans that Nelson isn’t in the race is just wishful thinking. IMO, the Nebraska GOP is slowly beginning to realize that they have a weak field who can’t beat Nelson and they’re hoping against hope that Nelson won’t run for re-election.

  5. The Pip says:

    So what are our choices? A Senator who seems to do a few things that confuse everyone, or a Republican who will do nothing but collect pensions, benefits, and do nothing? With the exception to Sen. Mike, why hasn’t anyone else publicly voiced an opinion on the pipeline? Does the Third District even have representation? Nebraska should be getting tired of its career politicians.

    With a 10% approval rating, Congress is showing its colors. If only 10% of my customers were satisifed with the products and service my business provides, I wouldn’t be around very long. No wonder our country is heading in the direction it is. It is time to do what is best for the country, not what is best for the parties.

  6. RWP says:

    I love how clever the folks pushing the ’53%’ meme think they are, while disregarding the fact that the ’47%’ still pay a disproportionate share of their income in FICA, sales and excise taxes, and property taxes – both direct and indirect

    No, they don’t. If you add in all taxes including FICA, the US tax system is still steadily progressive. And FICA and local taxes don’t help defend the country and don’t pay for federal agencies.

    The alleged 43%-53% dichotomy is a diversion from the real problem: an indisputable fact that there is a yawning opportunity and wealth gap in this country.

    Math is hard.

    This is like the gay marriage debate. How does another person being wealthy adversely affect your quality of life? Other than the envy you feel, of course.

  7. Anonymous says:

    RWP writes: How does another person being wealthy adversely affect your quality of life?
    Open your eyes! Right now absent productivity gains the economy is basically a zero-sum game. So if the wealthy rig the system to retain more of the country’s wealth, there is less for the 99%. It’s pretty evident that the economy stays tanked because those in the middle class can no longer afford to buy like they used to.

  8. Slow ride says:

    Silly people. You all struggle for some sense of purpose. Just relax, take a breath, and enjoy what you have. Live, pay some taxes, and pass on. That’s just about all you can do. If you have family, love on them, if you have friends too, bonus. Whether Nelson runs or doesn’t run what are you going to do? Go out vote, maybe put up a sign in the yard etc. Just be sure to not put what little time you have all in one subject. Be daring and let it go until election day, then do what you feel you need to do and go back to living your life. It doesn’t have to be all about politics, money, etc. Sure a bit is to be expected but all of this, really.

  9. Mike says:

    If Ben Nelson decides not run run, then we beat him in December. If that’s the case, then I look forward to winning again next November.

  10. RWP says:

    Right now absent productivity gains the economy is basically a zero-sum game. So if the wealthy rig the system to retain more of the country’s wealth, there is less for the 99%. /I>

    If I lost two pounds yesterday, and my neighbor gained two pounds, does this mean he took a two pound bite out of me?

    Stupid logic, isn’t it?

    It’s pretty evident that the economy stays tanked because those in the middle class can no longer afford to buy like they used to.

    No, it’s not evident at all.

  11. RWP says:

    Let me try that again

    Right now absent productivity gains the economy is basically a zero-sum game. So if the wealthy rig the system to retain more of the country’s wealth, there is less for the 99%.

    If I lost two pounds yesterday, and my neighbor gained two pounds, does this mean he took a two pound bite out of me?

    Stupid logic, isn’t it?

    It’s pretty evident that the economy stays tanked because those in the middle class can no longer afford to buy like they used to.

    No, it’s not evident at all.

  12. Anonymous says:

    RWP, you simply have no comprehension of economics. Maybe you are brilliant in chemistry, but your arrogance in all other fields is not justified. Don’t you have a class to teach?

  13. To Johnathan says:

    Uh, so you are saying that FICA is paid at a disproportionate share? Nice try there Socialist. FICA is supposed to be paid in for the benefits a person will receive in their lifetime. Actually they should pay more than the 8% they pay. Also Johnathan who pays the other half of the FICA? Yup those greedy capitalist reporters. Now go delouse your self and get a bath.

  14. As long as them that’s got gets says:

    The ‘53%’ folks try to make the case that the ‘47%’ pay nothing, and that’s anything but the case. That’s the very simple point.

    Of course wealthy folks being wealthy doesn’t impact someone else’s quality of life. A snarky comment about math being hard, however, sidesteps the reality that real wages haven’t kept up with inflation.

    Each year middle and lower income Americans take home wages that cover less and less of health care, education, housing, and transportation costs. It’s not about envy. People simply want to make ends meet and have access to some semblance of opportunity and stability in their life. You can call that envy, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    At the end of the day, better wages and broader access to the aforementioned essentials means a stronger, more affluent community for everyone. Of course folks here are going to differ on how we get there, but at the end of the day this has never been a policy blog. It’s a party cheerleading / gossip blog.

    Which reminds me, have you heard what Don Stenburg said / what Jane’s wearing / which satellites a councilman wants to tax? Oh, my!

  15. That'd be really great says:

    Oh, man. Ms. Bachmann wants to repeal Medicaid and Medicare – wouldn’t that be great?

    It’d be swell just like the denial of public prenatal care to pregnant mothers. Why pay $800 for all prenatal coverage when you can pay thousands of dollars a day for a baby’s stay in the NICU, a lifetime of health complications, an unhealthy start to life *and* have the uncompensated care picked up by hikes on private insurance premiums. It’s a win-win!

    We’d really be better off, you know. I remember when my aunt received a cancer diagnosis when she was 68. Medicare helped cover most of her treatment expenses, but unfortunately she survived and died a few years ago at the age of 84. We could’ve just got all of that out of the way, let her die and bury her a hell of a lot sooner. Talk about a win-win down the drain.

  16. RWP says:

    Taught this morning, 12:58. You should have sat in and learned about the use of superoperators to calculate the quantum mechanics of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy under conditions of chemical exchange.

    (Took the first half hour just to say that)

    Now I’m working on the fifth edition of a well known textbook to which I’ve been added as a new author, while in the background I’m recrystallizing a standard sample for an engineer who’s building a new explosive detector for TSA. That OK with you? Tax money well enough spent, or should I also be juggling and playing the piano?

  17. Anonymous says:

    @ “To Jonathon”

    The Social Security portion of FICA is by design paid at a disproportionate rate due to the cap placed on wages subject to taxation. Social Security taxes are witheld from the first $106,800.00 of your gross income at a current rate of 4.2% (down from 6.2% due to a component of the recent stimulus package). That means that anyone making $0 – $106,800.00 a year pays 4.2% of their income in Social Security taxes. Someone that makes more than that will only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,800.00 (a max. of $4,485.60), meaning a lower percentage of their total income will be witheld for FICA taxes.

    The disproportionate rate is much more apparent in our current capital gains tax system. Someone who derrives their entire income from capital gains (e.g. traders, fund managers, etc.) pay an effective income tax rate of just 15% while the rest of us pay 35-40%.

    PS – Please look up the definition of Socialist. You might be surprised by what you find.

  18. RWP says:

    Each year middle and lower income Americans take home wages that cover less and less of health care, education, housing, and transportation costs.

    Median income for families increased from $35,353 to $60,088 1990 – 2009. Average expenditures increased from $28,381 to $49,067. Expenditures were 80.3% of income in 1990, 81.6% in 2009. Not that much of a change, and it’s largely due to family disintegration. Married couple family income increased from $39,895 to $71,627, so expenditures as a percent of income went from 71.1% to 68.5%.

    Two parent families, in other words, did better in 2009, in a recession, than they were doing in 1990. And one should also consider that a huge part of the expenditure increase was housing, which also represents an increase in equity.

  19. Joseph says:

    Sweeper: I think the most important things in the Walton story was this little diddy,

    “One of the considerations he always raises in discussions with his family about his political future is the issue of “leaving a bigger estate or legacy,” Nelson said.

    It’s one thing to have that in the back of your mind, but to say it out loud is either really sloppy or a nod that he might be leaning against running.

  20. Kortezzi says:

    Nelson will run. He will not leave the field and allow the GOP to claim he was scared he would lose.

    As far as the 53% and the 47% – – it’s not a diversion, it’s plain old IRS data. The whole 99% vs. 1% thing is the diversion, and it’s pure class envy.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I hope the Occupy Lincoln folks have a cozy evening. I also home someone is filming them with a digital camera so there are great pics of them to pass around and do some background checking on them. Some questions to be asked and hopefully answered would be; Who are they, where do they live, are they students (if so is this a class project of what school), do they have jobs and if so are they using vacation (if not fire them and their supervisors), are they on unemployment if so how and when are they making the attempt to secure work in a state with ~4% unemployment. All such great and wonderful questions. Oh and then if they are using power from a state building I hope the legislature cuts any funding to Lincoln as they obviously have enough funding to take care of not only the occupy peeps, but their hungry and homeless to boot. Such a tangled web.

  22. halfnelson says:

    A Democrat here says it is wishful thinking for Republicans to speculate that Nelson won’t run for reelection. Maybe so. But what the hell has that to do with Nelson himself saying, “I just don’t want to be a candidate any longer than I need to be.”

    Nelson is speculating about whether Nelson wants to run for reelection. If you as a Democrat are sure Nelson will run, then you are betting that your own Democrat incumbent is lying to you. Conversely, if Nelson is being honest, then it isn’t Republicans who are paying Ben’s bills with that mountain of Democrat dollars Ben is wasting. Sure it’d be easier for the GOP if Nelson quit, and easier for Nelson if GOP contenders all quit. But if Nelson is honest about not being sure he wants to run, after he wasted more donated Dem dollars than any other Dem is getting, that is a Democrat not a Republican problem.

    The “speculation” that counts is Ben speculating out loud. And even then, his own Democrat supporters have trouble betting whether he is lying or simply screwing his own donors. That is what he does to the people he likes. The rest get less.

  23. SoWhat? says:

    Senator Skunk has no worries when it comes to leaving a larger estate. He’s on the top of the list of members whose personal wealth has skyrocketed while they are serving in “public office”.

    Here’s a tax increase I’d be happy to support. Let’s tax as income the value of public union members health and retirement benefits where the exceed the average benefit values in the private sector. It isn’t “fair” that they don’t pay taxes on all that extra income.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Millionaire Nelson talking to the press about needing more money than the Senate pays, while Democrats pour tons of money into his campaign, is him telling Democrat leaders that if he is to risk going down in flames, he demands a lot more insurance covering his ass.

    Losing an election is a lousy segue into corporate power. He can bail out but Democrats cannot bailout on him. Nelson has in the past voiced his desire to be President. That’s not changed. What has changed is his ability to squeeze his own because he makes himself necessary as an unprincipled swing. He isn’t loyal but calculatingly expedient and good at maximizing his advantage,

  25. Anonymous says:

    Actually the best the GOP can hope for is for Nelson to stay in the race for as long as possible. By him not declaring one way or the other he is freezing up dollars any other candidate could secure. It also makes it less likely dollars will pour into the new opponent this late in the game. So Ben is helping the GOP, as if they needed it. However, the way the Gov is acting who knows whats up.

    Speaking of the Gov, wow is Sen Langemier really thinking the best move for the state is to put the ball back into the Gov’s court? The debate on the floor is going to an interesting exercise for future policy makers in the future. It looks more to be a game of hot potato than leadership. I suppose you get what you pay for in this case.

    Speaking of getting what you pay for, Sen Avery’s bill is a real piece of policy……. not. What a pile of you know what. Oh well it will all make for some great theater. Congratulations Governor you have single handidly ensured Nebraska will stay in the same light as the Nelson Cornhusker Kickback. What a huge pair you have for making the tough decision for a special session AND NOT have a bill of you own.

  26. Macdaddy says:

    I told you guys a year and a half ago that Nelson would not run. The signs that he won’t are as obvious as the bulbous nose on the Benator’s face.

  27. If Nelson doesn’t want to be a candidate any longer than he as to be, he truly has a strange way of showing it…what with running all those early campaign…err, “issue” ads for the past several months.

  28. Some Thoughts says:

    Of course Nelson is going to run! Are you kidding me? I’m just trying to figure out why so much speculation goes on here that he won’t–is it actually wishful thinking, or what? Of course he is going to run. He’s fundraising all the time, and not for some substitute candidate. What actually makes anyone think he’s not running? Actual evidence?

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