Debating PayGo

Happy Friday afternoon!

I hope you find this post while balancing on an uneven bar stool and trying to wipe Buffalo Wing sauce off of your smartphone, while on your 3rd smart cocktail or macrobrew (we’re in a down economy, ya know!).


Don Stenberg has a new web video up.

And by “web video” we mean, literally, shot with an iPhone and posted on the YouTubes. See it here:

We kind of like these short spots talking about whatever… mainly because it gives us something to post here. But, come on Don and Dan. A camera phone vid? You know, you can really go whole hog and shoot it using a Canon point-and-click digital camera and improve the quality about a 3000%. And then you can go outside, use natural lighting and improve it another 1000%.

“Low budget” doesn’t have to mean “cheap”.

(We chuckled when one emailer said “The only thing missing in this thing is him screaming ‘Watch me!’ at the end. It took us a while to get it…)


We want to say that we have appreciated all of the input on the healthcare issue that has dominated the last few posts. It is not only a confusing and debatable issue, but also one fraught with emotion and vitriol (and you just can’t argue with a word like “fraught”).

On that note (more or less) we would like to say a few words about the “Pay-Go” issue that has become intertwined with all things budget and taxes in Washington:

We hate the term “PayGo”. And when we say “hate”, we are fully aware that we are in danger of disobedience of the Omaha City Council resolution outlawing hate. We don’t care. We have hate in our souls!

Why? Because it doesn’t help anything! Is there a real problem with the term, “Pay as you go“? Everyone uses it. Everyone understands it. And it is only four words!

It is not as if it was, “Pay for the outstanding debt you may or may not have accumulated in the prior quarterly terms by advancing certain funds towards eliminating said debt or payment shortcomings on the forward time that may…go.” Turn THAT in to Pay-Go? Fine. But “Pay as you go” works perfectly, and there is no reason to turn it into the moronic PayGo, any more than the Huffington Post needed to become the “HuffPo.”

Otherwise we really do not have a strong opinion on “Pay As You Go”, other than it seems like a wonderful idea that no one in Washington ever has or will go through with.

Feel free to bloviate (or is that boliviate?) on it. (And call it “PayGo” at your own peril…)


For you party animals out there, Congressman Lee Terry is having his campaign kick-off this Sunday at 1:30pm at the German-American Society on 120th just south of Center.

There will be giant pretzels, an oom-pah band and kegs of Spatten flowing!*


You know what gets people really fired up here on Leavenworth Street?
Unicameral races!

So because it’s only getting later on this Friday afternoon, we are just going to start yelping things, and let you, the Commenters, carry the ball.
With that…

Chambers vs Council!
Hilgers vs Haar!
Howard vs Davis!

As far as we know those are not schools playing in bracket-buster games this weekend.
But you can never be too sure.

*OK, probably not. But one can hope…


  1. Macdaddy says:

    Pay-go is as meaningful as the social security lock box, “nobody messes with Joe”, and Obama’s continued pledge to cut the deficit in half.

  2. Kortezzi says:

    Stenberg IS cheap. And proud of it! I bet Bruning made this video for him, holding Don’s phone.

    In NE District 9, there’s also a woman named Erica Fish running against Vernon Davis and Sara Howard. Fish is a Republican like Davis. But I can discern little of her views, since her website is all platitudes. Vernon’s isn’t much beyond platitudes either, either. But Sara is surely as far left as her mother, and probably worse, since she’s a lawyer who went to (gag) Smith College!

    Pay-Go has been a joke for a long time. Until we have a balanced budget amendment, it always will be. Remember the Graham-Rudman automatic cuts? Those sure worked out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Gee Don–that ad makes me want to put down my bag of Cheetos, get off the couch and run to volunteer my heart out after emptying my pockets of cash for your U.S. SENATE campaign. For the sake of advertising people everywhere—please don’t try this at home. Oh yeah….you already did.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The GOP has a very decent chance to win Douglas County Clerk and Register of Deeds…if we had any candidates for those offices

  5. apissedoffjose says:

    6:00, I hope you wrong. You are kidding, right? You say the DCRP hasn’t any Republicans that have filed for Douglas County Clerk ($107K) or for Register of Deeds ($97K)?

    Didn’t I just hear that the DCRP is bitching points of public policy with the Republican Governor? That’s not the Party’s job. But filling up the GOP election ticket is. If the DCRP Chairman wants to play at being an incumbent, here’s his chance. He can quit being chairman and run for Clerk or Deeds, or he better damn will find Republicans who will. That’s a chairman’s job.

    I cannot stand incumbents who ignore their duty to lead on public policy while they focus on party matters like a chairman. But I also cannot stand chairmen who ignore their own party duties while they play at being an incumbent. And that applies to Democrats, Republicans, any party.

    If you want to do the other guys’ job, then run for it, or else shut the **** up and do your own job.

  6. Jay says:

    I actually can appreciate Don’s video, even with the lower quality. At least he knows that to connect with voters he doesn’t need fancy videos. I say keep it up.

  7. J.B.E. says:

    He is being a true conservative. He is a good steward of his campaign funds just as he will be of taxpayer funds! No need for flashy videos it is the message that counts!

  8. I’ll step in here, since we made the original point:
    Videos = good.
    Homemade videos = fine.
    iPhone video = a step down from “America’s funniest home…”
    “David after Dentist” was higher quality.
    This is the manager’s job.

    Have a weekend, and thanks for reading AND commenting!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Davis has lived in the district for years, nor a Chicago plant
    Hilgers is smart,funded and not Haar
    Council has the audacity to live in her district earnie hasn’t for years

  10. I live in the LD 9 (Midtown) area and I’m really glad to see Vernon Davis run. He’s done a lot for the community, which can be seen in his work at Salvation Army Volunteer Corp and the Food Bank. He’s a great friend, Vernon will represent us well!

    I also had a chance to talk to Mike Hilgers, tonight. Another great candidate, I can see why the incumbent is looking scared. Hilgers will be a great asset in the State Legislature.

    This is going to be an exciting year!

  11. The Elephant Remembers says:

    It seems Arlene Steier pulled off a great event for the DCRP. I know Scott Peterson wants to take credit, but we all know who filled the seats.

  12. Elephant Remembers 2 says:

    The next Mayor of Omaha had throngs of people asking if she was running. I think Nabity doesn’t have a chance if Stothert runs.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ernie needs to be wary of his legislative past, let alone of where he actually lives. The Omaha World Herald is too most likely incompetent to perform real journalism. Paul Hammel, along with just about every other sentient reporter, knows Earnie hangs out at the end of Jack Pine st in Bellevue with is former AA. Ernie shops at the Bakers on 36th & 370. But do you think the OWH has the stones to do anything about it? Guess only time will tell.

  14. RWP says:

    I actually feel bad for Brenda Council. I abhor her politics, but she’s been an active, visible senator over the last four years. She’s been at least as effective as Ernie ever was, and there’s no reason for this challenge other than Chambers’ overweening egotism.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how the religious leaders in Council’s district are going to treat Ernie? It isn’t like Ernie has blasphemed at every opportunity he has had. Ernie may well have limited the passage of some bills, but look at the learning community? What Ernie did in the case of the LC is to use selective interference, and that is almost as damning an example of his hypocrisy than what he accuses others of. Ernie is a racist, he is pugnacious, pompous, and none to shy to parade his arrogance. Not to mention he still needs to explain why he feels it’s okay to not live in his district!

    The liberals love Ernie because they carry guilt, and are less than effective in the legislative body. I hope Ernie has paid attention to the bill Sen Avery has proposed and is on select file where he can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors committed while in the “PURSUIT” of office!

  16. Ernie vs. Council says:

    I heard an interesting comment a few months ago about Ernie Chambers and Brenda Council. They said that the difference between them was:

    Brenda Council actually got a few things done and Ernie Chambers kept everyone from getting anything done.

  17. HuskerBlueJay says:

    I think Brenda will win by a big margin. Ernie is so 1960’s. North Omaha won’t be helped by a Black Panther-like militant that is out of style. Brenda will stand up for “the downtrotten” but also knows how to build coalitions, has business/corporate experience to attract investment and jobs. She won’t offend the majority of the state everything she opens her mouth unlike Ernie. Many Democrats are hoping this contest will generate a bigger north omaha African-American turnout, I don’t think it will. I think a lot of people will be surprised by the margin of victory Brendan will enjoy. Its a new time, people would rather see a Corey Booker instead of a Huey Netwon.

  18. To Some Thoughts says:

    I don’t think When Nancy and Barbara attended Smith 60 and 70 years ago Smith taught the following Courses: Unnatural Women: Mothers that Kill, Queer Black Studies: An Introduction, Documenting Lesbian Lives, GLBT History & Politics, and Queer Resistences (these are actual courses that were offered at Smith) Howard is a whack job just like her mother!

  19. To: To Some Thoughts,
    Ms. Howard, unlike yourself, at least got a post 6th-grade education. Sixty or Seventy years ago Smith College, like many others, probably had classes for women such as “How To Catch a Wealthy Husband, 101” – “How to Raise Dysfunctional Children 101” and “Corporate Kleptomania 101.” Your mother raised a fool. So tell us … how does that make you fit to be judging anyone else?

  20. Lil Mac says:

    Sweeper, you say it is a manager’s job to make a non-crappy video. That is true. And we aren’t talking about Don’s manager borrowing a studio and mixer board to make something slick, but simply borrowing a home video camera from any of Don’s neighbors to make a non-crappy video. But Don could have done that too. Which brings us to this point; Don is in charge.

    Don can buy a video camera or borrow one but he didn’t. So we must assume Don likes and wanted this kind of video. He must think it makes him look thrifty. And that means Don equates looking crappy with appearing thrifty.

    To Don’s supporters who are used to thrifty Don looking crappy, this video is just fine. To others it helps explain why Don has been beaten more than an old rug.

  21. Personally, I like Brenda Council, and I believe she has done a fine job as a State Legislator. I must admit, however, that I do miss having Ernie Chambers in the Unicameral. Mr. Chambers performed an outstanding duty by educating his fellow legislative representatives in the finer arts of how they were supposed to be doing their jobs. Those that learned from him became very effective members of that body and were thus more capable of representing the people that sent them to Lincoln to do their work. I always enjoyed watching Mr. Chambers on NET as he expertly “schooled” his companions in the Norris Legislative Chamber during one of his “classes” on procedures.
    If Ernie Chambers were still doing that job in our Legislature, perhaps MY representative there, Sen. Tom Carlson, would not be proposing a change to extend the term limits that my fellow Nebraskan’s imposed on him and his colleagues. He claims there isn’t enough time to “learn” the job. The problem isn’t that they don’t have time to learn, it is that they don’t have a demanding teacher like Mr. Chambers to teach them the requisite skills.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see you back, Mr. Osborne. You make reading Leavenworth Street more entertaining but it is too bad you’re not fighting for our side.

  23. No Council Fan but... says:

    I am no Brenda Council fan but if the voters in her district have one iota of common sense they will keep her in that seat. Council has been able to work with other legislators to have legislation passed that actually helps her district. She has built trust and partnerships that could finally help that district in bigger ways if she serves another term

    BTO has some good points about what Ernie took his role to be when he was serving. However, he forgot about actually doing anything meaningful and lasting for his district. The guy served 36 years and had so much power, he should have certainly been able to lift his district up. Unfortunately, it was the opposite.

  24. John says:

    I think Ernie will win, perhaps easily, I do not think there is a way to measure how this will come out.
    Speculation at it’s finest, W-H and talking heads will have to tread lightly

  25. Voter who wants choices says:

    Ms. Council is a far superior legislator that Chambers ever was. She deserves to be re-elected. The commentor above who claimed Chambers did an outstanding job must not understand what a JOKE he was to the state of Nebraska. Forget teaching procedure, we need to get things done!! Save his rhetoric for the classroom on “How to be an obstacle by wearing a sweatshirt”. Maybe it would be taught in Bellevue.
    Howard vs. FISH. Sorry Vernon-J, I don’t see your qualifications. Erica Fish gets my vote so far. But March 1 is less than two weeks away……who else is out there??
    Haar needs to go away. His association with the Sierra Club and their blinded position leaves little room for negotiation.

  26. Kortezzi says:

    C’mon, Ernie C will trounce Brenda! She has no chance, zero. North Omaha loves Ernie, because he hates nearly everyone in Nebraska who is white. The majority of voters in North Omaha feel the same way, and that’s why they’ll send Ernie back to the Legislature.
    It won’t help North Omaha one bit in terms of economic development, jobs, crime, housing, or anything else. But they’ll get to hear Ernie stick it to whitey on Channel 22 all year long, and he’ll oblige.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Vernon is the only one in the race who is actually known in the district. Unlike the other two who have just landed in the district. Of course it will be important to see who goes forward from the primary.

  28. I don’t believe that Mr. Chambers is, or ever was, a “joke.” The people of his district thought well enough of him to send him back to the legislature, again and again, to be their paladin. I have no doubt that Ms. Council is a formidable representative, and some will consider her a “superior” legislator, but when it comes to representation, I think his legacy speaks for itself.
    White Nebraskans were so fed up with Chambers’ tactics that they shot themselves in their own feet by instituting term limits just to rid themselves of him. Some will say that Mr. Chambers is “racist” and appeals to the biases of those who live in North Omaha. What needs to be asked is why those biases might exist in the first place.

  29. Rachel Williams says:

    I like Stenberg and like his videos. It’s good that he’s trying to reach out to voters. Just because it’s not high tech doesn’t mean it can’t be effective.

  30. Bryan Baumgart says:

    Wow! I’m shocked and appalled at the cowardice on this site! A website based on an anonymous blogger who allows anonymous posts filled with cowardly personal attacks and cheap shots! I like to think Nebraskans are made up of higher moral character than this!

  31. Et tu, Bryan?
    Last time I checked, you were the guy who had what, 10 comments, in the past 4 days?
    Now, you’re suddenly shocked and appalled, huh?
    We’ve been around for six years, providing commentary and a forum for others to talk politics.
    If your sensibilities are offended by the style this site has had — for the past six years — please feel free to ignite your high moral character and click somewhere else to get your information and express your opinions.

  32. TexasAnnie says:

    So now your Governor caves in to UNMC! Is his new-found respect for the proposed cancer center’s “jobs creation” and “multiplier effect” his idea of PayGo? Will “multi-year support” (over the next biennium, HA!) from the state COST Nebraska taxpayers, -OR- will the construction jobs YIELD revenue to the state? And what of the public-private partnership being panned? Will the public absorb the COST while the private partners enjoy the PROFIT? Further, does this mean that the “middle-class tax cut” being panned by your Governor will fizzle?

    I’ve seen these “economic development” schemes played out too many times in your Unicameral. They rarely, if ever, yield the economic benefit promised. Case in point is your Omaha convention center (underway at the time I packed up to leave & what’s it’s name now?). It’s original “economic plan” has been altered by your legislature, and proposals for further state support come every new legislative session. Was the original plan bogus? And how come the City of Omaha has been brought to it’s knees trying to finance that boondoggle?

    When will Omahans and Nebraskans learn? NEVER!

  33. Bryan Baumgart says:

    My legal name and identity is on each and every post I’ve made. Real men don’t hide behind an anonymous name and make personal attacks. That’s easy, juvenile and pathetic.

  34. Yes Bryan, we are all very impressed by your manliness. We are sure you don’t eat quiche either.

    But you are still welcome to continue commenting here, even though you have your dress up over your head about how this site operates.

    Thanks for reading.

  35. Bryan Baumgart says:

    Still waiting on your retraction of Gov. Heineman’s stance you falsely reported AND attacked the DCRP on! Or is factual reporting not how this site operates?

    btw…I understand you received a response from the DCRP that you have yet to post?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Bryan- Dude chill. If you have an issue then do as Sweeper said, go. Otherwise why don’t you treat us to some of your wisdom and calmly present your case? Right now you are starting to sound like a typical liberal, you use the same tactics and language you damn others for using. Don’t you see it is childish and hypocritical? So again feel free to do what you want but know you are setting the Blog world record for becoming inconsequential.


  37. Bryan,

    I quoted the Governor directly from his State of the State. You can feel free to parse what he said in that speech.

    And please unbunch your undies, as I am currently writing a post on the subject of the DCRP Chair’s comments . (Though since you are “shocked and appalled” at this site, I guess I’m surprised that you’re still reading…)


  38. Bryan Baumgart says:

    You only quoted what supported your factually inaccurate representation of Gov. Heineman’s stance. Point being…your claim that the Governor supported implementation of the State Health Exchanges (which he did/does NOT) and your attack on the DCRP for what you claimed was a contradictory stance was completely inaccurate. A credibly news site wishing to remain relevant would man up and print a retraction and a public apology. I won’t hold my breath.

  39. Bryan, while I agree that people who wish to be taken seriously would sign with their real names, as do you, RWP and myself, I really think you need to chill out. As a guest of this blog you knew what you were getting into when you entered the door.
    You’re being like the guy that enters a biker bar, knowing full well that it is a biker bar, but still sits down, orders a drink, and starts bad-mouthing the clientele. Then you wonder why you find yourself waking up in the alley with your teeth shoved up your ass.
    Hell’s bells! Even many newspapers allow people to sign their letters to the editor anonymously. And, when was the last time you heard a talk-radio host ask for an ID before allowing anyone to rant on their program?
    Even though I am an avowed lefty, Sweeper has proven more welcoming to my rants here on Leavenworth Street than the reception I got over on that blog that egotistically proclaims to be “Nebraska’s online voice for progressive political change.”
    If you’re going to join in the conversation in this neighborhood, you need to develop some calluses on that sensitive hide of yours.

  40. Oh, and by the way … Bryan … this is a BLOG – not a credible news site. Sweeper can post whatever he likes here, the respondents can write whatever they like in return, and if you don’t like any of it, you can lump it.

  41. makesense says:

    Which is more cowardly, juvenile and pathetic? To blog anomalously or to use a ridiculous pseudonym that you swear is real? Either way, such is infinitely wiser than using one’s own name in something as transitory as a blog. That would mean anyone, from the casual vandal to the criminally insane, could look you up and stalk you and your kids at your house. Nobody is that irresponsible.

    If you want to risk yourself, put on a uniform or file for office. There are people here who have been burgled, shot at, their children’s lives threatened, over political speech. But if you don’t believe such gestapo tactics happen in Nebraska politics, I can’t help you rise from your reckless naiveté. You can lie down in the middle of I-80 thinking such is courage but it isn’t.

    This is an opinion forum. It’s not like you are announcing a run for office or a cure for cancer. You are just offering an opinion on policy. And if your logic, reasons and facts cannot make your opinion more valuable than hogwash, adding your real name to that won’t boost its value to the community. By the same token, if your opinion makes good sense, it doesn’t make more sense with your name tacked to it.

  42. Lil Mac says:

    BTO, you are 100% correct about the nature of opinion, anonomity and names. And 9:51 suggests the message means more than the messenger. Well it certainly should. Wouldn’t it be nice if elections and lawmaking and governance were that way too? Its all a beauty contest for egos. But policy is public stuff that impacts everybody. If there is one place where what we think should matter more than who we are it is in politics. But its the exact opposite.

  43. Bryan,

    From the LJS

    Gov. Dave Heineman has said he would like to see the law repealed, but the state would move forward at least with planning and designing a system “to protect Nebraska from a federal takeover” if the law survives a court test.

    Thanks for reading.

  44. RWP says:

    That would mean anyone, from the casual vandal to the criminally insane, could look you up and stalk you and your kids at your house. Nobody is that irresponsible.

    A leftist blogger started posting details about my family and address on the LJS website, ostensibly to prove that it was irresponsible for me to post under my real name, with people like him around.

    Arguing that other people should post anonymously because if they don’t, you’ll start harassing their family, is an interesting argument.

  45. Anonymostly says:

    So, the “pay-go” part of the above post, sweeps, I assume was directed at me since I’m the one who brought it up in the immediately preceding thread (and since I also used the word “bloviating” in the post in which I mentioned Obama’s pay-go promise.) If you don’t like the word “pay-go” that’s fine with me. I was just calling it what the President called it and, recall, it was one of the few semi-specific promises he made during his campaign. It was a promise he made repeatedly. And if you don’t like the term pay-go, we can always say “deficit neutral” instead because that was the substance of the promise — that all legislation during his administration would be deficit neutral — which the president has entirely disregarded after getting elected. Shocker, I know.

    Instead, he’s bloviated (bloviate really is a word and very descriptive of the President in this regard) incessantly about making sure the rich pay their fair share. And I’ll ask the question again since Dennis didn’t answer it previously, but what is the rich’s “fair share” when the bottom half pay basically nothing and suck up most entitlement benefits?

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