So we fired up the Leavenworth St. RV and headed out to the State Fair on Monday afternoon. We were in the back, throwing back Jolt Colas, and singing the song, “Are ya lookin’ for fun? A fun affair! Come on down and join in the fun! The Nebraska State Fairrrrr!”
So we roll into the Devaney Center for the big debate, and the night-guard informs us that 1) the Debate isn’t there and 2) they moved the fair to Grand Island 5 or 6 years ago, or some such.
Well, not to be deterred, we high-tailed it to the nearest Starbucks (keeping a low profile from the lurking Don Walton) and fired up the iPad to watch the debate on the OWH Live Stream.
Well after whacking the side of the Apple product a number of times, still nothing happened.
So we sulked back to the L.St. HQ and watched the Twitter feed of various pundits and hangers-on complaining.*
So what’s a blog to do? Well, we did the next best thing and listened to it the next day.
And even though it is now news staler than a toasted waffle behind the trash can, if WE had to sit through that miserable “debate”, you can bet YOU’RE going to see us write about it.
So, here’s the thing. You know there’s a Republican and a Democrat running, right? OK fine. But then why were there 6 people up on the stage? SIX!
There was the guy who started out and continued throughout that Global Warming is the number one threat to humanity and that’s why he was there. Then there’s the Tax the Hell Outta Wall St. guy. Then there’s the We All Need to Go Back to the Bible guy. And there’s the guy who’s got some money and could have probably made the GOP primary interesting, but is trying to end run it all, but won’t. Finally there was Democrat Dave “The Lawyer” Domina and Republican Ben “You Really Think I’m Going to Blow This?” Sasse.
So we pretty much spent most of the time trying to figure out everyone’s accent.
Look, we have a hard enough time with Governor Heineman and Congressman Terry’s accents, that we usually just throw up our hands. Sasse seems to possibly have some sort of adenoid issue. But it took us a while to figure out Dave Domina’s voice, and we think we nailed it: It’s the guy who Elaine (on Seinfeld) meets on the subway who is really into the TV Guide. (Ironically, the same actor also played the in-house lawyer on Scrubs.)
Now you can fight me on this (and be wrong), but a big part of this is just the rep Domina, as the multi-multi-Million Dollar Super Attorney, has given himself. So you expect this booming Clarence Darrow voice to come out. Instead it’s this sort of wobbly pitch. Juries must like it. We dunno.
Anyway, other than that it was just the usual, “What is your view, in 3 parts, with a four sub-part response, regarding ObamaCare as it relates to veterans and the corn borer? You have 60 seconds.”
Times six. (SIX!!!)
Anyway, here were the highlights:
Dave Domina is a BIG defender of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Dave Domina thinks there needs to be MUCH more government regulation on beef.
Dave Domina thinks if we just had ONE MORE awesome lawyer in Congress, ObamaCare would be awesome.
Oh, and Domina thinks that he has experience to be a Senator.
You know, because he’s a lawyer.
(As opposed to the only guy in the race who did actually work in Congress, as a Chief of Staff.)
The other funny one was when Domina went on and on about how he knows more about farming and ranching than any of the other candidates (including the one that actually has the Nebraska Farm Bureau endorsement) because his family includes a bunch of farmers.
And then Jim Jenkins popped in and noted that he’s the only rancher of the bunch.
That would have been the one time we regretted not seeing Domina’s face.
Then they had this part where a candidate could challenge another candidate, one time, by throwing a “red flag”. (Clearly the organizers were getting a little too jacked for football season.)
And the participants pretty much tried to flag Ben Sasse every time.
But here’s the thing: At this point, candidates, do you REALLY think you’re going to outsmart or outwit Sasse, or somehow leave him speechless? The guy is never off-message! And if you DO try to quiz him, he’s a walking Wikipedia.
Put it this way: Back in the “Who wants to be a Millionaire” days, you WISHED Ben Sasse was your lifeline.
But that’s not to say Sasse was 100% innocent in this debate.
Sasse put a Sophomore from University of Nebraska Kearney in the hospital during the debate, when the 20 year-old unfortunately had the word “Blessed” in his dorm debate-drinking game. After the 8th shot of Jäger, the young man had to have his stomach pumped.
Let’s be a little more careful next time.
And we’re afraid that we have to call out Jeff Rudolph, President of the Nebraska Cattlemen, for this doozy of a question:
“Tell us about the role of agriculture in Nebraska.”
Um, Jeff, we’re sorry, but your interrogatories have been revoked for the remainder of the campaign.
We know you’re not a journalist, but we hope you understand.
The anti-pipeline gang is having themselves a hoe-down to gin up support for keeping people out of work who would otherwise be building the Keystone XL Pipeline. Oh, and they also want to prevent expanding energy solutions. And don’t forget that they are pro-fostering bad science and NIMBYism.
And now they’ve got Neil Young and Willie Nelson helping them!
You remember Willie from him pretty much not singing anymore (sorry Willie, but talking through songs doesn’t cut it) and Neil from such favorites as “This Note’s For You!“ where he single-handedly demolished advertising in the music world.
(And two things on that Neil song and video, which took aim at Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston:
1) Is there any doubt that if Neil made a similar video today, he would immediately be called a racist for singling out two black performers, along with a pit bull terrier? We don’t remember that occurring at the time — everyone thought Neil was so edgy for going after Pepsi, Coke, Miller and Bud. We remember some of the discussion about making fun of the on-fire Michael Jackson. But in the internet age no doubt Neil would have had the R word thrown at him.
2) Neil’s line, “I don’t sing for no politicians…” is cute. If he doesn’t think he’ll be singing for maaaaannny Democrat politicians’ personal political agenda with the pipeline, he needs to take another look at just why this thing is taking place in Nebraska. And as we all know, it doesn’t have anything to do with “landowners’ rights.”)
Hey look, I love old Neil. Harvest is on my iPhone right now, and the riff and composition on something like Alabama is just awesome.
But a great many of his lyrics just suck. Heck, even the classic Alabama concludes with this clunker:
What are you doing Alabama?
You got the rest of the union to help you along
What’s going wrong?
Well, if that didn’t stop segregation, we don’t know what did.
So we’re sure Neil and Willie are dreaming up some zingers for the Keystone that will just get the Boldies’ tie dye’s all sweaty and jived. (“Don’t want you oil on our land! And keep it out of the Sand…hills!)
But the Lee Terry for Congress team took it a step further and made a list of those songs they HOPE to hear from Willie and Neil:
On September 27th, the night of the Neil Young and Willie Nelson Keystone XL Concert, Congressman Lee Terry will be in Memorial Stadium singing Hail Varsity alongside thousands of Husker fans as Nebraska takes on Illinois for homecoming. Since he’ll miss the Keystone XL sing along, today he released his Top Ten song requests for Neil Young and Willie Nelson at their Keystone XL concert with a posting on Buzzfeed. The tracks titles chosen by Congressman Terry speak to the benefits and challenges the Keystone XL Pipeline has faced over the last six years and the list includes suggestions to whom the songs could be dedicated:
10. “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Willie Nelson). But what’s not so funny is the time that has slipped away since the Keystone XL application was first submitted over 2,168 days ago.
9. “Helpless” (Neil Young). There are tens of thousands of jobs that could be created if the president were to approve the permit to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. These workers are sitting on the sidelines, helpless until President Obama signs the permit for them to go to work.
8. “Why Do I Have to Choose?” (Willie Nelson). This song is dedicated to President Obama who is having trouble choosing between appeasing the anti-energy activists and supporting the thousands of union workers who are depending on the pipeline for a job.
7. “Walk On” (Neil Young). Neil Young concludes this musical hit with the words, “But sooner or later, it all gets real.” Well, sooner rather than later, the American economy will feel the real effects of not building the Keystone XL Pipeline.
6. “A Moment Isn’t Very Long” (Willie Nelson). True, a moment isn’t very long, but the wait for this pipeline certainly is. The American people have waited almost six years for the president to make a decision, making this an awfully long moment in history.
5. “The Scientist” (Willie Nelson). This song is dedicated to all of the scientists who have studied the pipeline and created over 22,000 pages of reviews that say the Keystone XL Pipeline will produce no significant impact on climate change. A special mention goes to the team of scientists at the State Department who wrote the Final Environmental Impact Statement that said without building the Keystone XL Pipeline we would see an increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 28-42%.
4. “For What Its Worth” (Neil Young). Speaking of the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, it says the Keystone XL Pipeline is worth $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States; 17 out of 27 counties will see an increase in property tax revenues of at least 10 percent totaling approximately $55.6 million for local governments. This song goes out to the lost economic benefits caused by these needless delays.
3. “Sitting There in Limbo” (Willie Nelson). After nearly six years, 22,000 pages of studies, and a definitive report that says Keystone XL will not have any significant impact on carbon emissions, this song is dedicated to the pipeline itself.
2. “On the Road Again” (Willie Nelson). This song is dedicated to the carbon footprint left by anti-Keystone activists who drive from protest to protest all across the heartland.
1. “Happy Birthday” (Willie Nelson and Neil Young). While no, they haven’t previously recorded this track, it would only be appropriate after the six-year anniversary of the Keystone XL application on September 19th that these two stars sing a happy belated birthday in honor of this critical job-creating project.
The only thing we would point out is that no one really sings, “Hail Varsity”, unless they’re belting out, “We DON’T know the words, (buhbuhbuh-BUH), we don’t know the WORDS (buh-buh-buh)…”
Looking forward to the Huskers!
(And of course, on Labor Day, remember all of those laborers who would have liked to have been working on the pipeline 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 years ago, but can’t.)