Memo-gate?

by Street Sweeper on March 24, 2014

First, a little March Madness themed Separated at Birth for ya:

Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles and Nebraska Regent Hal Daub!

Miles - Daub SAB 01

(This one worked better in our heads than in the actual photos. But if you see Miles, you can see a little young Hal Daub in his face. Glasses help. Meh…anyway…)

***

Sid Dinsdale for Senate has a couple of new radio ads up.
Hear them here:

Our Values“:

Smell Test“:

We like the “Our Values” one. Basic info and candidate speaking. We aren’t so sure about the “Smell Test” one. A few too many people speaking, and a roundabout way to say that Sid has his father’s endorsement. And the endorsement of Tom Osborne crammed in there at the end seems like they buried the lede.

Nonetheless, our guess is that people in the 3rd will be very aware of Sid Dinsdale by the time these stop running.

***

Quite the stories in “the papers” yesterday about Shane Osborn, his naval career and his Senate campaign.

We have heard from many about Osborn’s mission to China, and what he should have or shouldn’t have done regarding ditching his plane. If you are of the opinion that Osborn should have committed Hari-kari and put himself and his crew into Davey Jones’s locker, we doubt that we can convince you otherwise.

A few ways to look at it:
1) You think Osborn should have ditched in the ocean. Considering the effort he had to make just to get the plane under control, you should figure that he needed to make the decision to kill himself and his crew, because it seems unlikely he would have been able to make a controlled landing on the water.

So if that is your position, ok fine. We doubt that there are a lot of people — in or out of the military — that would or could make that decision. But if that is why you think Osborn shouldn’t be in the Senate, fine. But we don’t agree with you.

2) You think Osborn is going overboard on the whole “hero” thing, or shouldn’t talk about his mission at all, or if you’re partly in view #1, you at least don’t think he should brag about it.

This was also suggested in the article from yesterday — and they particularly cited Bob Kerrey, Chuck Hagel, Bob Dole and John McCain as examples of those who didn’t tout their military careers in campaigns.

And to this we respond, Are you freaking kidding???

Here, let us quote from the article, written by Steve Liewer of the Omaha World-Herald:

Bob Kerrey and Chuck Hagel did not highlight their combat awards in the same way during their successful runs for statewide office in Nebraska.

No?
You’re kidding, right?

Because it took us approximately 9 seconds using our Google machine to find this ad, from Bob Kerrey’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign:

For those of you who don’t want to take the time to watch the 30 second spot, you can at least see the static YouTube image above that shows…Navy SEAL Bob Kerrey! And just so you understand, it goes on to say that “Bob Kerrey put his life on the line for his country“, “he was a grunt soldier, he was a SEAL“, “he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor“, he lost part of his leg.

Oh, but those who read the Omaha fishwrap will hear:

“All these people who came back from World War II, nobody ever bragged about their experiences. This is bragging,” said Carl Lorenzen, a retired Air Force brigadier general who flew fighters in the Far East between 1966 and 1993 and later commanded the Nebraska Air National Guard. “I’ve never seen this kind of behavior from an officer in the military.”

Well, if you would like to find the history of John McCain, watch just the beginning 2-3 minutes of this McCain for President video to discover not only the dates of McCain’s specific missions, but even video of McCain being a hero on the deck of his aircraft carrier.

But, hey, maybe that is just for that pesky Vietnam generation, right?
Well, here is a Bob Dole for Senate ad from 1980:

Not only does it have multiple photos of Dole in uniform, show soldiers being carried by stretcher and describe the battle Doles was in — it has file footage from the U.S. Army!

But again, this would have taken a solid 30 to 40 seconds for the writer of the OWH story to find this sort of hidden footage. So who can blame them right?

And while we can’t seem to find any of Hagel’s campaign ad on the interwebs, we are sure the local papers and their gaggles of interns can track those down and see if by chance we ever got to see Chuck Hagel in uniform — maybe standing next to his brother — in an ad. Maybe Hagel’s campaign never did.

But, as you can see, the EXACT OPPOSITE is true for the other politicians mentioned.

We look forward to the front page retraction from your local paper.

***

But we will credit the fishwrap for the other story about Osborn.

On the one hand, we understand the frustration of Osborn with this story. Many say that standing orders were to ditch the plane. But Osborn says there are specific rules that you can (generally) land anywhere except North Korea.

So Osborn wanted to get that officially from the Pentagon. Except, presumably, that info is either classified, or they didn’t otherwise want to give it to Osborn.

So Osborn and his campaign did an end run, and presented a personal story as an official Navy memo. They even put it on “Department of the Navy” stationery.

NNNNNN

So while the info may be true — the way it is sourced is false, or at best extremely misleading.

This was extremely reckless of Osborn. There is no other good way to put it.

This does not look good for him, and frankly the campaign should expect a barrage of 3rd party ads suggesting that he is a liar.

Osborn and his campaign would be wise to get out in front of this, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Heck, in the end it could help them get their story out about what the Navy regs are for this sort of circumstance.

Osborn and his camp decided early on to make the China incident the centerpiece of their campaign. They would be wise to fix this major mistake before it gets further out of their control.

**UPDATE**
We are told that there is more to this story that will clear it up for Osborn.
We will update you whenever we hear more

***

We saw that Ben Sasse made Drudge again with his “Obama Unconstitutional” bracket. We have sort of come to realize that if Sasse makes a solid B.M. it will get a Drudge headline, a post on National Review’s “The Corner”, and a detailed description of the weight and texture by Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard.

It is a campaign. We get it.You try to make news any way you can.

But even we were a little taken aback by the local paper with a headline using the “ObamaCare nemesis” sobriquet, with a story about an announcement that Sasse hasn’t even made yet.

We like Sasse — and the other 3 GOP candidates — and think he would likely be a good Senator. But wow, we are getting a little choked by the national — and now, it seems even local — media trying to jam his every thought down our throats.

Of course we read ALL of this stuff, and we realize the average voter does not. We don’t know…maybe just a leeeeetle more subtlety?

***

Hey, here is your latest ad from an Attorney General candidate that you were dying to have:
Doug Peterson and his amazing Labs!

***

We will do our best to give you our thoughts on Governor debate from Sunday night.
We know, we know. You all skipped the basketball to watch the debate. Right?
(OK, those from the campaigns, put your hands down.)

Well, in any case, we understand that there was a debate, and we will see what we can do.

***

Sad to see the Jays and Huskers both end their seasons.

As die-hard Creighton fans for many years, we can say that was the best Creighton team we ever saw. We consider ourselves lucky that we got to see them play.

Thanks for great seasons from both teams!

{ 46 comments }

1 Anon March 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM

The most-repeated statement from the Governor debate: “I agree with what Pete said.”

2 This Is Spot On March 24, 2014 at 4:37 PM

A) The first story saying Shane should have crashed the plane and killed 23 other men is idiotic. Easy for us to say. We weren’t there. We have no right to judge.

B) The memo story is explosive and way more important than the other story. Shane had a buddy at the Pentagon fake a memo on Navy letterhead containing classified info and then handed it to a reporter as though it was real. That’s a big deal. I don’t know if it’s the end of his campaign, but it doesn’t help.

C) Sasse is a grandstander who is 100% addicted to being adored by out of state press. I’m not voting for either of these guys.

3 I agree with Pete too March 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Because his comments were SOOO general, nonspecific,and predictable (from Pete anyway) that any Republican (even a Rino) would agree.

Besides, Jon is not threatened by Pete, so he felt that he needed to help build his ego. Jon is such a nice guy.

4 Most rePete'd March 24, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Actually, Pete starting each answer with “as I travel the state” took the prize. It made me wonder if he was a preprogrammed cyborg. The Ricketts campaign might want to upgrade Pete’s software so he doesn’t come across as an extra from Star Trek.

5 Relief for the Cougar March 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM

What happened to Senator Chambers bill to discontinue the mountain lion hunts?
Sailing along then Lautenback and McCoy and Larson filed amendments to slow it down last week on final reading.
Today (Monday) they withdrew their amendments and Chambers bill passed, but not by enough votes to over ride a veto if Governor Heineman so chooses ( I bet he vetos).
Laugtenback is miffed that his bill to allow “historic” horse races will be stalled by Ernie (and now McCoy) on final reading. Also Lagutenback’s bill to permit charter schools can not get out of committee so maybe he is mad about that too.
So why the about face on LB 671? And will those Senators that did not vote put the bill over the 30 vote margin?

RFO

6 Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Dinsdale ads do a great job of showing the diversity of his background. Strong agriculture and business experience plus strong family roots in the 3rd Dist. Dinsdale comes across as genuine – good radio voice too.

7 To Anonymous Above March 24, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Sid supported Dodd Frank….No vote for him!

8 To To Anonymous Above March 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Please provide evidence to your claim. I’ve only found one source that only uses heresy to tie Dinsdale to the Dodd-Frank support. I’m genuinely curious.

9 E. Benjamin March 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM

I’ll vouch for Sid Dinsdale.

10 Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Sasse will probably get the support of all ten of the National Review’s subscribers in this state.

11 From South of the Border March 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Leave Pedro Rickets alone! He and his daddy still have plenty of money to spend. You will see! I will be here forever with Governor Pedro Rickets!! Viva Rickets!

12 Former Reader March 24, 2014 at 10:27 PM

The reporter that wrote the Osborn story has no clue about Nebraska politics. Both Hagel and Kerrey used their military and service medals in their campaigns. Bob Kerrey was the worst of the bunch. He pretended how hurt he was by the war, yet he had no problem with his campaign filling the airwaves in each and every campaign reminding the voters of him receiving the congressional medal of honor. Is Ms. Buffett telling Robyn and the gang what to write now?

13 Anon March 24, 2014 at 11:40 PM

Let’s wait for the full truth to come out on that memo, because the fact that the OWH got some kid to pee his pants isn’t particularly relevant. The memo was, in fact, an accurate assessment of the Navy’s view of the matter and was vetted. Anybody who thinks that something would have gone out on official stationery otherwise ha exactly the same degree of military service as Sasse — which is to say none. Though he has a good excuse — getting a military haircut would have destroyed those golden highlights so carefully put into his hair at the beauty salon. I wonder if he and John Edwards had their hair done at the same beauty spa in D.C.

14 Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Ms. Buffet no more dictates what is written in the Omaha World Herald than the Koch Brothers dictate what is presented on Fox News.

15 Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Anon, if you believe what you just wrote, then you are nothing but a fool. What proof do you have that the memo was “in fact, an accurate assessment of the Navy’s view of the matter and was vetted”?
Just because you repeat the lies being spread by the Osborn camp doesn’t mean that it is the truth. It only means that you are spreading lies.

16 Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Anon, have you ever seen the movie “Catch Me If You Can”? Getting one’s hands on “official” stationary isn’t all that difficult. Even a fool like you could do it, and maybe you have.

17 Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert March 24, 2014 at 11:56 PM

If I catch the little rat that’s been using my stationary, I’m going to have him keel-hauled!

18 Anonymous March 24, 2014 at 11:57 PM

Simple as that, Anon.

19 Macdaddy March 25, 2014 at 1:29 AM

Awesome ads by Dinsdale. So are farm kids today going to be able to learn those same work ethics in the summer on the farm? What’s going to happen to all the Mexican guest workers who came here illegally but will get rewarded with a green card (why would they need to vote?) in Sid Dinsdale’s and Bart McLeay’s America and free prenatal care courtesy of Nebraskan citizens due to the “generosity” of Mike Foley? What’s going to happen to them? The farmers going to clear them out every summer so high school kids can have a job? Do you get to discriminate on the basis of national origin if someone is legally here? Paging Cesar Chavez! Oh, wait. He was against illegal immigration as well.

20 Anonymous March 25, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Another vouch for Sid Dinsdale. More and more he’s becoming the clear choice in this race.

21 Interested Observer March 25, 2014 at 8:35 AM

I’ve wondered for some time if the mission that Osborn was ordered to fly was to deliberately deliver into Chinese hands specific, deliberate misinformation about our information gathering technology.

I’ve wondered if his plane was loaded with either obsolete equipment or maybe equipment that was not official Navy equipment, but was purposely designed to fool and convince, the hardware and software equivalent of gibberish.

I’ve wondered if he was specifically ordered to fly so close to the Chinese mainland that it would provoke and absolutely guarantee a Chinese response.

I’ve wondered if his plane was hit by a Chinese plane or if he hit the Chinese plane deliberately, in order to now be “damaged” and “forced” to make an emergency landing in order to successfully accomplish his mission.

I’ve wondered if his plane was “pre-damaged” to guarantee that parts of it would be knocked off in the “collision”.

I’ve wondered how many other times the U.S. Government has had these types of deliberate misinformation campaigns in the past and even now. Remember the biggest deliberate deception operation of World War II was “Fortitude”, that implied that Patton would lead the U.S. First Army’s invasion of France at Calais. The Army created inflatable tanks and trucks, fake radio messages and everything else it took to deceive the enemy. So, they’ve done it before.

22 digdeeper March 25, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Let’s get our feet back on the ground. Osborn isn’t interested in his China incident or his DFC. He’s interested in being a Senator.

Osborn acts like he wants to be called “coward”. Why would a man with the highest possible air award for peacetime, who subsequently flew combat missions in Afghanistan, want to be called coward during a campaign? Why invite ridicule of his medal?

Maybe he saw the effect of Republicans ridiculing Kerrey’s medal. Except recently as “NYC Bob”, the Bob Kerrey won every race he ever ran in Nebraska despite a constant drumbeat of Republicans saying Kerrey got the Medal of Honor for stupidly blowing off his own foot by not looking where he was going, wrecked his own SEAL op, and that he left a big pile of dead babies. Kerrey tearfully admitted to that pile of dead babies. And yet, all that his angry partisan detractors managed to do was remind voters how much they hate partisans making political hay by bashing any vet’s medals. That, and the bashing reminded voters that Bob was a SEAL, a wounded veteran, and had a medal for it. Those voters elected that Liberal as the Governor and Senator of Conservative Nebraska.

Nebraskans draw a clear line between dispassionate policy issues of the head and matters of the heart, which include Mom, Flag and Apple Pie. Tapping into that is campaign magic.

Supporters of Stothert’s and Fisher’s opponents characterized these two wives and mothers as whores. The ladies didn’t cry or deny. They said nothing. Like Kerrey, they simply let their opponents’ supporters tap into the sheer hate that most Nebraska voters have for those who stab mothers and veterans.

Osborn may be working such a strategy. All we can assess is what we see of it. The OWH is hammering him as a liar and braggart, though the “memo” doesn’t refute his DFC citation. And as Sweeper points out, Osborn isn’t less humble than other GOP vets who ran. Yet his ads are blatant. He’s pushing it. Perhaps he must. For many are vying for the spotlight. And perhaps Osborn needs the memo to make his opponents’ supporters angry enough to call him a coward and a traitor. Either Osborn is very stupid or he is very smart.

23 Gerard Harbison March 25, 2014 at 10:29 AM

IO

I don’t fly, but from what I’ve read, it is highly implausible a slower, less maneuverable aircraft could engineer a collision with a fighter. If you wanted to stage a forced landing, there would be much easier ways to do it.

24 anonymous March 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

People harp on Osborne not ditching his plane because, if he had ditched his plan, he wouldn’t be in this election. Instead Osborn and his crew lived, so that is used to prove he’s a coward and not fit for higher, public office. Is that the hidden logic I’m not getting about opposition to Osborne?

25 To the Unicameral March 25, 2014 at 12:08 PM

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 78% of Likely U.S. Voters believe everyone should be required to prove his or her citizenship before being allowed to register to vote.

26 Anonymous March 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

The problem is not whether he should have ditched his plane. It’s that this entire episode is the centerpiece of his campaign. That makes the OWH revelation that he had a friend write up a faked Navy memo extremely damaging. But if he wins the primary, most Republicans will vote for him as winning trumps ethics all of the time.

We are told that there is more to this story that will clear it up for Osborn.
This just means he needs some time to figure out an excuse.

27 Anonymous March 25, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Rasmussen? Quote a serious pollster. And I’m sure that the question didn’t mention the number of citizens who would not be allowed to vote because they didn’t have the proper ID.

28 Traveling The Same Road March 25, 2014 at 1:18 PM

IO and RFO at times sound as if they took the same class on reasoning.

29 Fremont Voter March 25, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Waiting for Sasse to explain why he supported the repeal of the Fremont Immigration ordinance

30 Drew March 25, 2014 at 2:20 PM

If you want to run a veteran as a candidate, you have to leave the military talk to others. The problem with the Osborn campaign is it has made “standing up to the Chinese” central to the campaign which was strategy doomed to begin with. The campaign was ill prepared to handle the issue. If there was no controversy over what was done with the plane, why did the Osborn campaign go so far to get the Navy memo in the first place? The Osborn campaign basically doubled their problem.

31 To Drew March 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Because of A holes like you that think he should have killed his crew. His orders allowed him land there. next I’m going to hear you say it was his fault the Chinese pilot hit his plane.

32 Drew to 31 March 25, 2014 at 2:48 PM

I have said no such thing. Veterans are the ones questioning what Osborn did. Either way, still does not justify the memo.

33 Interested Observer March 25, 2014 at 3:40 PM

It’s interesting that you can justify everything about Sasse, though . . .

34 33 has it right March 25, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Yeah, how come Sasse gets off for a slide presentation that has his picture? Osborn’s campaign asks for a memo from the pentagon, gets one, and now its their fault it wasn’t vetted?

35 Anonymous March 25, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I have defended Osborn to many people on his handling of the Chinese incident. He has lost me now with the memo. It’s very troubling to me. It shows bad personal judgement and ethics.

If this turns out to be true, he chose political expediency to sidestep military rules any former military vet should know about. He either knew the Navy would never issue a supportive memo or he just did not want to wait by properly going through the chain of command to get one.

I believe most people think he handled the plane in the right way. I still do. The memo will disappoint a lot of people. The end does not justify the mean. It is a big shot in the foot mistake that will be hard to repair the damage done.

36 Drew to 34 March 25, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Uh, do you want to talk about the fact much of the Osborn flight is still classified and not subject to public disclosure? Do you want to talk about how getting classified information from the Navy through unofficial channels may violate such classification?

As for the Sasse comparison, here is a live demonstration of the problem with the attack.

I hereby announce I am senior adviser to Street Sweeper and the Leavenworth Street blog. Now, watch Street Sweeper try to deny it!

There is a term for this. It is called LABELING. Deal with it.

37 Street Sweeper March 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Drew,
We most definitely DO deny that you are a Sr. Advisor to Leavenworth St….
…UNLESSSSSS you purchase one of those snazy t-shirts or mugs over on the right sidebar.
In which case, you can be Special Assisant (to the) Sr. Advisor of the Comments Subcommittee.
-Ed.

38 Drew to Streetsweeper March 25, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Oh, that is right, you guys promoted me to senior vice-president of Leavenworth St. How forgetful of me! By the way, where is my W2 form? (visualize sarcastic smile)

39 Anonymous March 25, 2014 at 6:38 PM

If I’m Osborn I’ve got to be throwing up in my mouth at the thought that a policy wonk who never put his rear on the line for others is questioning (through his minions and the OWH) how Obsorn handled a military incident involving 24 American lives. The gall.

40 Anonymous March 25, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Stop spinning by blaming the media and others for Osborn’s unheroic memo actions. The facts are clear in the article. It was not an opposing campaign who created it and sent it to the OWH. It was not the OWH who dug it up from the grave. Osborn voluntarily gave the memo to the OWH. The OWH reporter wanted to verify the memo source since no name was on it. Not unusual and what competent reporters should do. Osborn didn’t think about that and got caught. He sadly wrote the beginning middle and end on this article.

41 MIA March 25, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Where’s Shane Osborn?

42 Anonymous March 25, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Art 107, False Statements. If the memo isn’t materially false but rather an accurate distillation of regulations and conclusions that support the Navy’s official conclusion, which it made after the incident was investigated, that determined Osborn’s actions went beyond proper into the realm of heroism, per the award citation, then good luck getting this into court. And that leaves what? His memo write up detracts from the real medals the Navy gave him?

A few weeks ago it was “The GOP candidates are all alike on the issues”. Now this is all about Osborn’s military service. When you call a guy with a DFC and combat in Afghanistan “unheroic”, that forces voters to compare Sasse and Osborn in terms of military service. Osborn wins that comparison. This is his jug.

43 Anon March 25, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Oh gee, now we have the Lincoln paper reporting that the Ambassador to China and the Secretary of State at the time said that Osborn did the right thing and followed his orders. Osborn says that the memo was an effort to get a sanitized version of his orders into the public eye but it was poorly handled, but nobody (except for a bunch of internet tough guys) disputes that he did the right thing. So Osborn did the right thing and owns up to having not handled one aspect of it correctly.

Now, let’s see, Sasse. In 2008, Part D is a “policymaker’s dream.” HIs response now: “How dare you read what I wrote back then! I was always against Part D even when I was for it!” In 2009 his name is all over liberal Mike Leavitt’s consulting firm’s presentations on how to deal with the brave new world of Obamacare. Sasse’s response: “That was the mistake of some intern! Never mind that Leaviitt and his friends have all maxed out on his campaign and people remember being on speaking panels with me.” In 2010: “Republicans can’t block Obamacare. It’s an IMPORTANT FIRST STEP.” Sasse’s response: “You’re taking out of context what I said! Never mind that the whole article is there to read in the Fremont paper.”

Better get your big boy pants on Ben.

44 DCRP member March 25, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Shane Osborn won our “Straw Poll”. The Sasse trolls were calling our membership non-stop and still lost. We know what you did Ben on Immigration in Fremont. You sold out your neighbors for open borders

45 Swaying Interest March 26, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Dinsdale is looking more and more impressive each day.

46 Frequent Voter March 26, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Let’s talk about Doug Peterson, shall we? He is THE candidate for AG. He has the experience, maturity, and gravitas to lead the office. Good candidates, all, but Doug is by far the best choice. The dogs are nice too.

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