Friday, I’m in love…

Before we fly into Federal Friday, first a few fine facts on…uh…other stuff.

***

Amember those Ben Nelson campaign ads that were about Ben Nelson, looked like this…

…starred Ben Nelson, were specifically approved by Ben Nelson and had Ben Nelson’s name all over them?
But Ben claimed that they weren’t actually campaign ads at all?  They were really “issue” ads?

Yeah, well the three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission all agreed that Nelson’s argument smells about as good as that skunk he talks about.

Said Democrat Commissioner Ellen Weintraub :

“For me, there’s no way to get around the conclusion, therefore that this is a fully coordinated communication with candidates who are running for reelection and it is for the purpose of enhancing their electoral prospects.”

And to anyone who has watched Nelson’s ad: Well, duh!

But the other half of the Commission decided that the Democrat’s plan to get rid of these ads was over the top, so they decided to do nothing.

From the deciding vote on ObamaCare, to the Cornhusker Kickback, to defining what it means to violate the spirit of the FEC regulations. That’s Ben Nelson everybody!!!

***

And hopping back to our discussion yesterday…Governor Dave Heineman noted, as we figured he would, that he will hang on to that $5 million check from the Feds to create a Health Insurance Exchange, until the Supremes decide if the ObamaCare requirement is Constitutional.

You may remember that Ben Nelson — the deciding vote on ObamaCare, which created this mess in the first place — was complaining that Heineman should give the money back. And Heineman ended that discussion quickly noting without Nelson’s vote on ObamaCare, none of this would even be discussed.

But, of course, that was not even the best nugget of Don Walton’s LJS story.

It was this:

Asked whether he continues to encounter requests from national Republican leaders that he reconsider his decision to reject a 2012 Senate race, Heineman said:

“There are national Republicans and Nebraska Republicans who encourage me to run for the Senate almost every day.

“I continue to tell them no,” the governor said.

We are picturing a supporter standing outside the Governor’s McMansion, in the rain, wearing a trench coat, holding up a huge radio playing “In Your Eyes“.   Intoxicating stuff.

***

Yesterday or the day before was “World AIDS Day.”  Big story in Warren’s OWH.  Showing people holding signs.  Talking about people spreading “awareness”.  People going to Africa, and such.

But a couple of things that caught our attention:

In Nebraska and Iowa, the number of AIDS deaths are down since the early 2000s but can vary from year to year. The number of new HIV infections has generally continued to increase or remain steady.

So that tells us that people’s habits haven’t really changed at all.  But what HAS changed are…the drugs.

You know, the drugs.  The multi-part cocktails that have turned AIDS from a death sentence into Magic Johnson’s not-that-big-a-deal affliction.

And yet no where in that whole story is a mention of the incredible, life saving, world changing contribution from Drug Companies — BIG PHARMA — to turn that death sentence into a common malady.

Seems to us like that has been the biggest factor of anything.

Just something to think about.

***

OK, since we started this, we will keep it going:

It looks like, for Iowa anyway, it is going to be coming down to this battle:

Mitt or Newt.

(And if you think that’s bad, just for the 2048 Election where your choices will be Justin, Cassidy or Zach.)

Let’s frame it right there anyway.  Because unless you have a really strong argument for why another candidate is going to float to the top, it really seems to finally be between those two.

Who do you like?  Who’s going to win?  And, well…why?

Dive in. The water’s…eh…luke cold-ish.

***

And the final day of Cyber Monday Week on Amazon.com!
Oh sure there will continue to be deals right up to Festivus, or whatever holiday you celebrate. But the really exciting ones are happening NOW!
So click through our Amazon.com links, and when you purchase, a little anonymous love will flow back our way — at no extra cost to you.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, yeah?

48 comments

  1. TexasAnnie says:

    Well thanx for the link to the LJS article w/attendant explanatory articles, Street Sweeper. I responded to the story about the health insurance exchanges at the other venerable Nebraska blog before reading the LJS stories and wish I had acted in reverse!

    So I’ll pose my question properly at this blog:
    Are y’all ready to pay for another special session? Looks like that’s coming…
    Rich Pahls and Heineman don’t need to do anything but PLAN for the exchange NOW.
    No legislating necessary during the regular session!

  2. A bit of a catch-22, Annie. If the legislature spends the whole short session on putting together an exchange, and SCOTUS decides that it’s unconstitutional…then they’ve wasted the taxpayer’s money. However, if they don’t work on the exchange this session, and Obamacare is upheld in SCOTUS, then yeah…they’ll probably need to do a special session…again spending more taxpayer money. But at least with the latter option, we can be a little more assured that the money isn’t wasted.

  3. Ex-Military says:

    I was always told to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. The Legislature should take up Insurance Exchanges this session. It is not a waste of taxpayer dollars, they are already paid to be there.

  4. JC says:

    I’ll take your challenge on the Iowa Caucuses Sweeper. I don’t think it’s a Romney vs. Gingrich scenario, I’d say it’s more a three-way race between Romney, Gingrich, and Ron Paul. Paul has some of the most dedicated supporters out there, he is leading or tied for first in several of the most recent polls, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has even said “Ron Paul has got probably the best organization and has a very loyal following. He’s got more yard signs and bumper stickers than anybody else,” and when it’s freezing cold on the Iowa caucuses it’ll go to whoever has the best ground game and most enthusiastic support, and that is Ron Paul, one insider has already said “if there is a snowstorm, Paul wins” . Gingrich didn’t even open a campaign headquarters in Iowa until Wednesday, and Romney hasn’t been there much either, while Paul came within a percentage point of winning the Ames Straw Poll in August and has been putting a heavy emphasis on Iowa, he even already has TV and radio ads up over there, several of which are hitting Romney and Gingrich extremely hard for being unprincipled flip-floppers.

    Anywho, sorry for the novel, but I think I made a good case that it is at least a three-way race, ir not a two man race between Paul and Gingrich, I’ll admit Romney seems to have a lock in New Hampshire, but even there Paul has been polling a strong second place there, I wouldn’t count Paul out yet, especially in Iowa.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “It looks like, for Iowa anyway, it is going to be coming down to this battle:

    Mitt or Newt.”

    Add in Ron and Herman, and you have a 1960’s rock quartet in the making.

  6. JC (and everyone else),
    1) If you put links in your comment it will AUTOMATICALLY NOT POST. So I took the added hassle of taking out the links and reposting it for you, mainly b/c you obviously took so much time and effort to write your comment.
    2) Unfortunately, you are wrong. Ron Paul is not in this race and never has been. I realize there are lots of Paul-ies out there, and they can be loud. Doesn’t mean he can win the nomination. He won’t. Move on.
    3) Thanks for taking the time to write, in any case.
    -SS

  7. JC says:

    Sweeper,

    Thanks for taking the time to repost, I apologize for adding the links, I was not aware it prevent the post from being put up.

    And you’re question wasn’t about the nomination, it was about Iowa, and polls show he can win Iowa, so I made the case he can win Iowa because he can. And I would reserve judgment on who can win and who can’t until some actual votes are cast, although I would note that polls indicate independents (the folks who actually decide the elections) prefer Paul over any other GOP candidate and over the President. And considering how bad the economy is and how Republicans want to pretend to be a fiscal conservatives these days, I would figure they would go with someone who predicted the economic crisis a full 6 years before it happened and understands why it happened and how we can get out of it, instead of a bunch of other candidates who didn’t see it coming and who have changed positions as frequently as the weather changes in Nebraska. And be aware that if Paul doesn’t win the nomination, there is a substantial block of voters who will not vote for anyone else, and certainly not for Romney or Gingrich who are ideologically identitcal to Obama on the things that count, war, monetary policy, the bailouts, etc. Even if the group is not big, they may have a tougher time than is curently estimated.

    Anyway, thank you for your time, and you’re welcome for taking the time to write, I always enjoy coming to the blog.

  8. JC,

    Ah, ok, sorry for the confusion. I really meant the whole nom, not just Iowa. You never know what the Iowegians are going to do. Their record of picking the final nom isn’t that great.

    But in any case, yes Paul has supporters. And whether those supporters support the final nominee is neither here nor there. (Though I’d suggest that if they don’t support the final GOP nominee, what’s Paul doing running as a Republican anyway?)

    But if you follow that Paul can’t/won’t win the nomination — and I think in your heart of hearts you DO follow — who do you think DOES win it?
    SS

  9. Smart person says:

    JC is right about Iowa. Neither Newt nor mitt has a ground game there, and you need a ground game to win Iowa caucus. Mitt does have organization in NH, SC, Florida, and beyond…therefore Mitt wins. Newt is a great debater, but he has maxed out on his debate support. When January hits it becomes a campaign, and Mitt has been gearing his campaign organization for a lot longer than Newt. Newt’s strategy was to capture earned media to rally support – and he has done so. But that support has not translated into a campaign apparatus, and you don’t put a statewide campaign together in a matter of months…let alone several statewide campaigns, let alone a national Presidential campaign.

  10. JC says:

    First to your question of why he is running as a Republican, probably because that is the easiest way to get his ideas out there, and Republicans are more receptive to his free market ideas are than Democrats, and he ran as a Libertarian before recognizes that the electoral structure is so biased to the two-party system it is nearly impossible to get any traction. And his supporters won’t support the nominee if they don’t agree with whoever the nominee is, and I can assure you, if it is anyone but Ron Paul–or Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico who has been slighted by not being invited to debates or even included on polls upon which debate selection is determined, but that’s another issue–they will not vote for the nominee and will go third party or write in Ron Paul.

    Anyway, your second question, if it is not Ron Paul then I really am not sure, I would say Romney but he botched that interview with Bret Baier and seems to have hit his support ceiling at around 25%. If the potential anti-Romneys (Bachmann, Santorum, Cain, Perry) quickly–say after Iowa and New Hampshire–and coalesce around Gingrich, then I would say Gingrich will win. I still hold out hope that the anti-Romney bloc will go for Paul, but anyway, if that bloc consolidates around a candidate early, whether Paul, Gingrich, whoever, then the anti-Romney will win. If the anti-Romneys stick it out over a long period of time and divide the vote into March and April, then I’ll put my money on Romney.

    So I guess my answer is, see who is still in after the Nevada primaries, from there I think it will be clear. Sorry for posting such long posts, I need to get better at this blog commenting thing, sorry.

  11. Anonymostly says:

    I don’t want any of the current cast of candidates. I wanted Liz Cheney to run. She would have been my first choice. And, if not Liz, then Lizzie. From here on LS. She rocks. You hear that Lizzie? Imma write your name in on my ballot. (And then I’ll write “Cheney” right after it.)

    Seriously, Liz Cheney was the only one going around saying, in a very articulate way, what I wanted the Republican candidates to say. Haven’t seen her on TV in awhile, but she is bright, very articulate, very strong on issues, great resume. And she’s not running. The heck.

  12. Anonymostly says:

    War on Drugs has been no more of a failure than the War on Poverty.

    But, yes, Liz Cheney. You’re obviously not a Republican, so I’ll get the same reaction from you no matter whom I suggest. So, let me put it to you this way:

    1. She’s smarter than Barack Obama;
    2. She’s FAR more articulate when speaking extemporaneously than Barack Obama;
    3. She’s much better read than Barack Obama and has a much better command of the issues;
    4. She has a far more impressive resume right now than Barack Obama had when he announced his candidacy for the POTUS.

    As far as the Republican field:

    1. She’s a real conservative who can attack Obama on healthcare, so she’d get the nod from me over Romney;
    2. She’s so much better informed than Michelle Bachman and is able to not only articulate but also defend her principles, so she gets the nod over Bachman;
    3. Ditto the above for Rick Perry;
    4. She doesn’t have the negative baggage that Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich have, so she’d get the nod over them as well.

    I think she’s awesome and, if she had run, I would have proudly voted for her.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Here are some interesting numbers from Influence Explorer that put both the Presidential and the NE Senate races in perspective. Newt has a lot of hot air, but not many seem to be putting their money where his mouth is. Nelson has benefitted from millions in advertising paid for by his party and the PACs while Bruning has been pretty well MIA.

    Greatest dollar amounts from the current election cycle:
    Barack Obama – $23,051,950
    Mitt Romney – $17,065,855
    Ben Nelson – $1,736,499
    Jon Bruning – $1,129,094
    Newt Gingrich – $1,125,665

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just to be clear, HIV/AIDS continues to be a very big deal to the millions of infected people who either cannot afford or cannot access the antiretrovirals (and even to those who can).

  15. Some Thoughts says:

    Actually, you would have researchers from both private and public universities to thank for developing the most widely-used and effective HIV drug therapies.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The NEGOP is holding a state central committee meting via telephone now. An informal poll put Ginngrich way out front along with Romney and Paul. Kind of an interesting meeting as there is no distracting side bars:-)

  17. She's back!!!!! says:

    “Some will try to say because we passed two bills last month in our state that everything is fine in Nebraska,” she said. “I’m here to tell you everything is not fine.”

  18. Kortezzi says:

    Leavenworth Street Lizzie for US Senate
    YES!

    Ben trembles at the thought…and heads back to the studio to make more “issue ads”…

  19. Lil Mac says:

    If you look closely at that ad photo of Ben Nelson, you will see him at his most alluring. That is how he seduces voters. He grabs them with his sheer animal presence. Just look at how he cocks his head slightly down, staring at you with those languid eyes from under those manly brows, with that pouting little grin, as if to say, “Come on, voters, you know you want me.”

    Look behind him. It actually says, “Be Nelson”. That’s it exactly.

  20. Anonymostly says:

    “Just to be clear, HIV/AIDS continues to be a very big deal to the millions of infected people who either cannot afford or cannot access the antiretrovirals (and even to those who can).”
    Really? What’s the infection rate looking like in this country?

    How much does battling AIDS cost taxpayers? How much do we spend combating the spread of HPV? Or fighting the consequences of the spread of HPV?

  21. Well, the Cain choo-choo got derailed, but not before its conductor, Herman, managed to soak a few more dollars out of those that believed in him. Now he can take those millions and do with them pretty much as he likes, so long as he doesn’t spend it on “personal” expenses. He’ll probably put those dollars into a PAC that will pay him, and a roundhouse full of his compadres, to “influence” politics in one way or another. They’ll be able to travel all over the country, first class of course, stay in nice hotels, eat in the best restaurants, and set up ever more fools that will pay the philanderer to lecture them on his “ideals.”

    This is probably what would be in store for Ben Nelson, should he decide to do the right thing and NOT run for reelection in 2012. He could take the millions he’s raised for his reelection candidacy and just use it to make the remainder of his life even cushier. Hell, Jim Exon has been financing Nebraska political opinion and candidates from beyond the grave for years! These leftover campaign funds are what keep these ex-politicos in the gravy long after they’ve faded from the public view.

    I think we need a law that demands that all leftover campaign funds, for any federal office, go directly to the U.S. Treasury to defray our national debt. Good luck getting “our” representatives in Washington to even discuss such a plan!

    Now cue the music (Speak Softly Love) for my stalker.

  22. Anonymostly,
    Seriously? You’re asking how much battling AIDS costs the taxpayers? During the Christmas season? Haven’t you been visited by the ghosts yet?
    I would much rather our government spend a few more millions on AIDS research, and providing care to those misfortunate ones that have contracted it, than I would see more money being thrown down the bottomless pit in Afghanistan just so the bozos running that country can continue to treat the women there as cattle, and forcing rape victims to marry their rapists.
    We have spent far more developing weapon systems to kill our fellow humans than we have on saving human lives in this country.

  23. Anonymous says:

    BTO shouldn’t you be at the NDP central committee meeting today? Oh wait I forgot you’ve been removed and outcasted.

  24. Breaking News says:

    Brian T. Osborn also has admitted a 13 year ongoing consensual relationship with Herman Cain. BTO stated that the allure of godfather’s pizza was too appealing as both the spokesman in godfather’s pizza commercials and BTO share a point of commonality. They were both in the Sicilian Mafia.

  25. Anonymous says:

    So if Heineman gets in the Senate race, who gets out? Stenberg isn’t going anywhere. Bruning already got out once for someone else. Pat Flynn? Doubt it. The only one I see deferring to the Governor is Deb Fischer. Would this end up being a nasty Primary?

  26. Speaking of the NDP State Central Committee …

    Did they ACCOMPLISH anything today, other than consume the free donuts? Did they give the usual rubber stamp to the Executive Committee, or defer any more decisions to the Executive Committee because they were incapable of doing the job they were elected to do, which is representing their constituencies? Did they decide to go ahead with the stupid caucus plan, even though there will only be ONE candidate? Did they approve all the expenditures for Ben Nelson’s campaign … ahem, cough, cough … issues ads that said they were already approved by the SCC?

    Did they do ANYTHING constructive at all? Democrats in this state want to know.

  27. Lizzie says:

    Hey Sweeps! I have a new moniker apparently, or an add-on, rather. I’ll have things monogrammed “LSL” from now on.

    #31 – that made me throw up a little. Ditto for you BTO at #34

  28. Some Thoughts says:

    Anonymostly, unlike with HIV, we do have private industry (namely, Merck) to thank for coming up with an HPV vaccine. So that’s what has been doing about it. Stopping the spread of HPV means spreading the simple truth that condoms don’t protect you against things like HPV.

    Sweeper is also wrong to conclude that behaviors haven’t changed when a number of new cases remain stable. If behaviors hadn’t changed, we’d actually expect that number to be much higher.

  29. Lil Mac says:

    The most Shoplifted Holiday Season Items: Filet mignon, Jameson’s whiskey, electric toothbrushes, iPhone 4, Gillette Mach 4, Axe, and Polo Ralph Lauren. Americans aren’t poaching venison to feed their kids. Our driving need is for luxury items and hygiene aids. In America, life and death power is laid in the hands of federal leaders who mostly were too lazy to serve a day in uniform, elected by people too lazy to brush their teeth manually.

    Better news. Among the 100 SADDEST US CITIES (based on suicide rates, antidepressant usage, unemployment and reported levels of sadness), St. Petersburg FL is the saddest city, followed by 15 others that all rated a miserable “F” score in Saddness. Only five happy cities were rated A or A+; Honolulu, Manchester NH, Fargo and OMAHA NE, with LINCOLN NE following at “A-“. Out of 100 cities, Omaha is 4th and Lincoln 11th least sad. So, don’t worry, Nebraskans, you ARE happy!

    Of course, people who sit in a corner and drool in their shoe are happy too. Life is short. Drool on.

  30. TexasAnnie says:

    JC above was prophetic! Ron Paul came in second place (ahead of Mitt) in the Iowa poll results released this morning!!!

  31. Matt Pinkerton says:

    Does anyone have Spencer Zimmerman’s phone number. We have invited all the other Senate candidates to speak at the Omaha YR except him so far.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Spencer Zimmerman is a joke, and talking about him on here like he’s a real candidate is a drag.

    Matt, go find a new hobby. Go get Spencer involved in a legislative race or school board race or something where he can be taken seriously. He’s ruining his brand name long term, when he does become practical and decide to run for a race he has a shot at people will remember him as the crazy guy who ran in ’12.

  33. Matt Pinkerton says:

    We want all candidates to speak at Omaha YR because it allows our voters to make an informed decision. Spencer has just as much chance as any other candidate and he was in the Air Force.

    Please help me get a hold of him. We are having Deb Fisher this Tuesday. You do not need to make a reservation because it is a very big room.

  34. Lizzie says:

    The Shark! She has been jumped! Thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A “BOLD Nebraska” Failure on a Grand National Scale’ by Omaha Conservative Joe Herring at examiner. Quoting Mr. Herring’s report on Ms. JF’ing Kleeb’s “testimony:”

    “Unsurprisingly, her middle-school rhetoric failed to impress the committee, causing one Congressman to summarily dismiss her ramblings with a curt, “I am reserving the balance of my time Ms. Kleeb.” For the uninitiated, this is Congress-speak for “shut-up, I’m done listening to you.”‘

    Hahahahahahaha!! Janiepants – so in over her head!

    Then I saw Jazz Shaw at Hotair also weighed in on the Janester’s congressional committee “testimony” with: “Pipeline Opponents’ Confusion Makes for “Testy” Hearing” Apparently and not surprisingly, he thinks she came off as a total idiot. Thank you, Dear Lord, the veil has been rent and Jane’s crooked game is finally being seen for what it is. The comments at Hotair are rich.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Stenberg’s camp needs some Catholic input. They picked a major Holy Day, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, for their 100th Birthday Party for Reagan with Ed Meese. Plenty of people will be attending evening Mass.

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