The Impression That I Get

First Class Brad 01You only get one shot at a first impression, right?

Well, if that is the case, Nebraska 2nd District Congressman-elect Brad Ashford started out looking unorganized at best and probably flaky at worst at the gathering of Freshman Congresspersons to choose their new House Office Building Congressional offices. In any case, it isn’t as one would have hoped to be portrayed on the first move at the Congressional orientation.

Ashford is already running in circles trying to explain the whole matter. A mini-shock went around the room of the gathered frosh and their staff as Ashford was a no-show at the office picking meeting. (An Arkansas reporter Tweeted, “New members abuzz“.)

Ashford HAD been there earlier when he picked #11 out of 57 for the choice on offices. But after the break to view the potential digs, Ashford, and apparently his staffers, were not present when #11 was called and time ran out.

So the OWH’s JoeMorton tweeted that Ashford said, “Oh I don’t care if I end up on the 5th floor with no elevator access! I’ll get more exercise (har har har).” Well, except that Morton later reported that Ashford’s staffer DID show up, albeit late, and asked to pick, before being told they had been relegated to #57, after missing.

We noted yesterday that the Cannon 5th floor offices are notorious for being tiny, having almost no meeting space, and being a bit disheveled across from storage “cages”.

And then Ashford ended up getting a 1st floor office.

Well, so much for that “extra exercise” Ashford wanted. And we can only imagine what those 1st floor digs are like if they come in behind the 5th floor “Freshman dorm”.


Yet, many will declare — and by “many”, we mean “many Ashford supporters” — that none of this means anything. Who caaaaares where your office is? (Well, if Ashford really didn’t care, why did he show up in the picking process in the first place?)

But Ashford keeps talking about all of those 50 buddies he is going to make, and even as a Frosh in the minority, how he is going to move some mountains in the new Congress.

Which is fine. Except a move like that, in front of ALL of your new colleagues, right after Roll Call listed you as a possible one-and-doner, doesn’t exactly instill more confidence from all those new pals of yours.


And this just in.

We are told that on their way back to Eppley Airfield, Congressman Lee Terry and Congressman-elect Brad Ashford were on the same flight.

Except that while Terry is flying Coach, the new watchman of the purse-string for the 2nd District…

First Class, baby.

(Wonder if he’ll go with the prime rib or the wasabi encrusted salmon?)

(And our MAIN question: What color is that sweater? Orange? Salmon? Persimmon? Help us out here.)


And hey about that Roll Call story

They went ahead and listed those THEY think are possible contenders in a 2016 GOP Primary.
Included were:

  • Former Omaha City Councilman Dan Welch, who lost a bid for mayor of Omaha in 2013.
  • Current Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, the first woman elected to that office.
  • Attorney Bryan Slone, who lost a bid for governor in the Cornhusker State.
  • State Sen. Beau McCoy, who also ran an unsuccessful bid for governor in Nebraska.
  • Omaha City Councilwoman Aimee Melton.
  • Chip Maxwell, a tea party Republican who toyed with an independent bid in 2014, already announced his intention to run.

All of whom we mentioned right after the election as well.
And we noted, just a little wryly, that we were aware that some of those individuals really have no intention of running.

We felt that way about Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert — though we included her anyway as the 500 lb Gorilla who would arguably have right of first refusal. She confirmed very soon after that she does not have any interest in the gig. We get it.

We tossed in Mike Kennedy’s name as well, but he has assured us that he is not into it.

But all those above from Roll Call?
Sure, why not?

A few that we think — and hear — are taking a very hard look at it (beyond those who have already announced):

  • Bryan Slone
  • Shane Osborn (though not for certain)
  • Dan Welch
  • John Murante

Which isn’t to say that the others we listed AREN’T interested, but we hear things off and on, and are sharing with you.

The list will be changing and flexing and receding and who knows what it will look like in 6 or 8 months.
But in a coming election year, when there are no statewide races, this one will likely slurp up most of the political oxygen.


President Obama said numerous times that it would be outside of his Constitutional powers to enact Immigration Reform. So we are only slightly surprised that he is going to announce that he is circumnavigating Congress to push something through that is arguably against the will of the people.

But of course, that never stopped him before. Remember all of the Republicans he got to go with him on the unpopular ObamaCare initiative?

No? Oh, yeah, the number was zero.

So what a giant surprise to learn, as we noted on the Twitter the other day, that ObamaCare premiums are going up across the country. Deena Winter at Watchdog put together a nice piece explaining how Nebraska rates are going up (oh, unless you want to more than double your deductible to $5,000).

The NYT put together an interactive map showing just how much, on average, ObamaCare rates will be rising across the country. (Click to engage.)

Obamacare Rates Rising - NYT Map 01

And the USAToday did an investigative piece about how OabamaCare is the cause for many rural hospitals closing, and patients (in the Georgia example they give) having to drive 40 miles to the nearest hospital.

Expect to hear more and more of this in the coming months.
And be on the look-out for more answers to these questions — as opposed to just the questions.

Things will get a little topsy turvy.
And that ain’t a bad thing.


  1. Hesdeadjim says:

    Ashford is going to be the butt of many jokes on the Hill. Such a shame that we should go from one Rep. who was good but had chronic foot-in-mouth to another Rep. who shows signs of dementia and is a chronic flip-flopper.

    speaking of chronic, I wonder what Dave Domina is up to.

  2. Ricky says:

    Not surprised at the Office Gate story, not that it means anything. What a bunch of sour grapes yet again and here is a news flash; there will be no re-count and Mr Ashford will be sworn in early next year. As far as Brad’s chances in 2016, who knows, but it is too early to tell, but if a candidate is vulnerable usually it’s in the first time he runs for re-election.
    And as far as those candidates for the House in 2016; Ms Stothert; I hope she does run, then somebody will ask her to list her accomplishments, and she won’t be able to name anything, other than she is electable as a woman in the GOP who has people to give her money.
    Somebody running against Omaha’s mayor might point out how the bond rating keeps dropping since she took over, the Wendy’s, the Crossroads mall blunder, the paying of Mark McQueen hundreds of thousands of dollars to get bad deals with the city;s unions, the slippery streets, etc.
    Also I will note surprisingly I saw one of those candidates mentioned drinking in the middle of the afternoon playing keno at a west Omaha Pub recently. Not a good sign.
    I don’t know much about Slone, but he might be a good candidate.
    Also Mr Ashford might get primary-ed, or he might not run for re-election.
    But for heaven’s sake let us give him a chance and support the guy.

    ricky ricky ricky

    from from from


  3. Lighten Up says:

    “I saw one of those candidates mentioned drinking in the middle of the afternoon playing keno at a west Omaha Pub recently”

    Why do you hate fun, Ricky?

  4. Transportation Police says:

    I assume Lee Terry was flying in the cheep seats to save money to pay for that nice house. He just lost that high paying job and cash is probably going to be tight for a while.

    Brad Ashford just got a huge pay increase. He might just be enjoying his new found wealth a little. Don’t rule out the possibility that the airline gave Brad an upgrade. Passing out perks to politicians is considered good business. If it’s a choice between giving the prime seat to a lame duck has-been and a newbie who is going to be there for a couple of years the newbie gets it every time.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @ transportation police

    Your logic is flawed. Terry will have no problem finding a well paying gig (or two) when he is out. He probably already has something lined up. Not to mention the cost of flights are typically covered by the office and it’s not like Congressman Terry has to worry about coming in under budget.

    My guess is that Ashford cries about knee room in economy class and always flies first class. He is 6’4″ you know.

  6. Lil Mac says:

    The USA has a border that some say President Obama refuses to enforce. The USA has existing immigration laws some say Obama continues to violate. Tonight Obama announces his plans regardless of Congress.

    Obama’s WH news release says “The actions I’m taking are…. lawful.”

    “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

  7. Macdaddy says:

    Obama is determined to go down as the worst and most hated President in history. Unemployment rate just jumped 10 points…among African-Americans.

  8. WOW says:


    Lee Terry doesn’t ever learn.

    First he went out kicking and screaming when Ashford took his seat in Congress. Now he’s pissed that Ashford got his seat on a flight back to Omaha.

  9. Great Choices says:

    The good news is we have so many great choices for so many offices. Melton or Osborn would be great choices for CD #2. Murante should run for speaker, in his next term. Chip Should run for the Unicameral again and take out Sara Howard.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Truman’s Ghost, you are ill-informed about Truman. Harry Truman was beloved by the people and hated by the press whom he loathed. But race? Truman racially integrated the US Armed Forces. He came from the second most corrupt political machine after Chicago but Blacks did a better under Harry Truman. MacDaddy didn’t dump on Truman. You did. If the unemployment rate for Blacks has jumped again under Obama, it has jumped again under Obama. MacDaddy offered facts. You didn’t refute those facts.

    Obama’s actions are inexplicable to many, including the Democrats in Congress who call him a jerk for his speech last night. Both of Obama’s parents hated US success, but it is a minor difference whether he is falling short of helping the USA or falling short of destroying it. He’s still falling short. He purports to help and that results in a dozen scandals. He “helps” Ferguson, he “helps” healthcare, and so on, and yet the situations get worse. Perhaps we cannot say that everything he touches turns to dung but a great deal of it does.

    As for Ricky’s accusations of “sour grapes” does that also apply to Roll Call calling Ashford a one term wonder? The guy showed up and pulls his pants down in front of the class. Duh.

    Ricky called Ashford a directionless dickhead when Ashford was a Republican. So Ashford being a directionless dickhead as a Democrat shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

  11. Macdaddy says:

    If you want to know why I didn’t vote for Lee Terry, watch the Republicans sit on their hands in response to Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional (his words) amnesty.

  12. Thanks says:

    According to the map posted Douglas County will experience a 1.1% increase in health insurance costs. When inflation is factored in, that is actually a decline in cost. #ThanksObama

    Some area of Nebraska are hit very hard unnecessarily since we refuse to expand medicaid #ThanksHeineman

  13. I can’t wait until the next Republican president gets to pick and choose what laws to enforce. Punitive corporate taxes? Capital gains tax? Affirmative action? Well, if Congress won’t eliminate them, we now know what to do!

  14. Anonymous says:

    So # 15, you voted against Lee Terry because you expected a Democrat POTUS tyrant to crush the US Constitution, while you knew and still know that Republicans, with Lee Terry or without Lee Terry, will do nothing to stop it. What the hell does that mean?

    Voting against Terry means you voted for someone else, otherwise you’d not have voted at all. What then exactly did you think your picked person as 1 of 435 members of Congress would do? We get your drift ala Republicans likely are not going to impeach an Obama for this. Democrats increasingly dislike him and would find Biden refreshing perhaps. But what does that have to do with Lee Terry?

    We assumed you voted against Terry because Ricky paid you. Brad certainly appreciates your efforts, inadvertent as they may have been, on Brad’s behalf.

    So you took a stand on principle. Great. I don’t mind prying Terry out of there after he broke his own promise to quit. That is fair. But don’t make whatever is wrong with the entire GOP in Congress Lee Terry’s fault, if only because whipping a dead horse doesn’t get us any farther down the road. With Brad Ashford in there you in fact have zero voice in Congress. You voted against having it. So enjoy your principles. They can keep you warm on the long cold nights ahead.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What Brad Ashford doesn’t understand is that many of us who voted for him were not voting FOR him, we were voting AGAINST Lee Terry.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s called prosecutorial discretion. You won’t find it in a Chemistry book. Both liberal and conservative legal scholars—as opposed to TV talking heads and other professional rabble-rousers—agree that Obama has the authority to reshape immigration enforcement in nearly any way he wants.

  17. Macdaddy says:

    #21, I left that race blank. As I stated many, many times on LS, I refuse to go along with the charade that is the Republican Congressional leadership. I guess Terry should have listened to me. I gave him months and months to make a difference and he either ignored me or was ineffective. The bonus is that I get to spend the next 2 years making fun of Ashford. I think they should do a reality show on him.

  18. Macdaddy says:

    #25, Obama himself said 22 different times he didn’t have that authority and he’s a Constitutional law professor. What changed? He’s desperate to keep others kissing his butt.

  19. Ricky says:

    Just wondering why Senator John Murante gets mentioned for a leadership post in the Legislature or a candidate for the U S House.
    Other than being a son in law to Big Fred and owner of the pizza place I guess what has the guy done?
    He has a resume that says he has a bachelors degree from UNL.
    Is he a favorite of some monied GOP big shots like Jim Vokal or what?
    Do not understand the push for Murante. Can anybody explain that to me?


  20. Anonymous says:

    Obama has insulted my naturalization certificate. Why did I legally become an American? I could have simply snuck in. And why then did I serve America in the US military, when criminal US draft dodgers were exonerated by President Carter? And why did I scrimp and save for my car and house when greedy CEO’s and greedy average Americans irresponsibly bought what they knew they cannot afford and yet they were bailed out by Bush and even more so by Obama?

    Every criminal exonerated by modern presidents isn’t some 1776 American under the British heel. They are expedients seeking something for nothing, avoiding responsibility, running away or sneaking in, breaking law. People don’t change. These people are human garbage, a cancer on society that our government feeds.

    These are not like the Ferguson residents carrying a picket sign but rather those who take advantage by robbing a store. Criminals whom you have to exonerate are bad people. Obama says they show up in our home in order to better themselves. Hell, all burglars are in your home to better themselves. Those who exonerate criminals are dangerously bad leaders.

  21. Lil Mac says:

    MD, I agree that bashing Brad will happen. All who seek power deserve that same accountability. However, unlike the aforementioned whipping of a dead horse (#21), Ashford is now so utterly politically emasculated by being a House Democrat with an unpopular Democratic President, in a House where the minority has even less flaccid power than a Senate minority, with an incoming class of GOP House winners only 17 of whom won by less than double digits, means Ashford is irrelevant.

    Brad can pull down his pants or find the cure for cancer. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t matter.

    Ashford isn’t just a dead horse. He is its bloated putrid carcass. If you are going to bash that, I recommend use a very long stick.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dan Welch? You’ve got to be kidding. He ran a horrible mayoral campaign and his inflated ego still thinks they remember him from his city council run so he’s either too lazy, arrogant or cheap to do it the winning way. Dead horse meat.

  23. cornhuckster says:

    First of all. fire Pelini. We went to Wisconsin as #16, we started the Minnesota game as #23 and Minnesota as #25. Now we are something like #99. Pelini thinks the team is doing just fine.

    Second of all, fire Pelini again. He needs to be fired twice. And if that doesn’t take, fire him a few more times.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Nebraskans keep accepting TO’s toenail clippings, planting them, watering them, and then hope they grown into a coach. Time to end the Osborne era and start fresh.

  25. Husker Bob says:

    As a condition to approving the University’s budget request, Governor Ricketts should insist that Ben Sasse is the new President of the University and head football coach at UNL so he can turn both programs around. Then Ricketts can appoint Sasse’s replacement.

  26. Shane Osborn LOL says:

    I sure hope Shane Osborn runs for congress in 2016, not only will his divorce be a hot topic, but also his buddy forging an “official document” from the pentagon.

  27. Osborne on Pelini says:

    “Well golly that was another game today which did not go the way Husker fans wanted.
    When I spent most of my time as a Congressman stabbing Steve Pederson and Bill Callahan in the back, I sure thought my return as AD at Nebraska would have a better outcome than Crazy BO.
    How was I supposed to know Pelini was a bully with a foul mouth? Our pastor does not approve.
    And all that money our booster friends spent buying out Stevie P’s contract and all the other coaches I felt like firing when I was AD. I got a kick out of telling people to get lost.
    Anyway, I don’t think my legacy at Nebraska is tarnished; I have been told by influential regent boosters everything is just fine on that front.
    I just hope BO stops using the F word: it bothers Nancy.
    Well gotta go well past my bedtime”.

    Tommy From Lincoln

  28. Anonymous says:

    Fire Pelini and impeach Obama. Both pretty much for the same reasons, which includes each one’s daily spoken and unspoken “I dare you to fire me” crap.


  29. Word Of Caution says:

    Anyone who decides they’re going to run against Ashford in 2016 before he’s even taken the oath of office is a fool. The conclusion voters will come to is that those early anti Ashford types are part of the problem not part of the solution.

    When you start bitching before there’s anything to bitch about it’s pretty much proof that your just a chronic bitcher.

  30. Caution this says:

    To be precise, no one ever runs “against” anyone. They all run “for” the job, which is why Ashford ran as a Republican and as a Independent and as a Democrat for various offices. No candidate wants to replace any incumbent just to leave that seat empty or filled by another.

    The “bitching” you bemoan began with Roll Call listing only five Congressmen as vulnerable before they are sworn in. Brad topped the list. Roll Call is a nonpartisan newser published in DC about Congress. If you see that as “bitching” perhaps its love. Brad in running shorts is extremely attractive. But, honey, you must realize that right now in DC, Brad is a minor office fiasco doofus. There is always a chance that he isn’t politically retarded. Maybe he’s brilliant. If Brad is a great Congressman he will be reelected. But currently the top Congressional newspaper thinks he’s toast before he’s even baked.

  31. Word Of Caution says:

    @ Caution this,

    First; Roll Call didn’t say “Brad topped the list. ” They placed him first because they listed their picks in alphabetical order.

    Second; Roll Call said Ashford would probably be vulnerable in 2016. They didn’t suggest it would be wise for a challenger to jump into the race before Ashford takes office.

    Third; The number of people in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District who read Roll Call regularly probably comes in in the lower range of double digits.

    Fourth; Vulnerable is not the same thing as “toast.”

    Fifth; It’s very unbecoming when you distribute sour grapes and try to justify it by misquoting and spinning an obscure piece from Roll Call.

  32. Cornish Game Hen says:

    It seems to me there are a few occasions in your life where you might spring for first-class, for instance, a honeymoon trip, or something like that. I’d also venture a guess that being newly elected to Congress falls into that category. Cut the guy a break.

  33. Chuckie Hagel goes under the bus. Mmm, that schadenfreude is almost too intense. Better add a little soda.

    Seriously, how bad do you have to be to be fired from by Obama for INCOMPETENCE? Incompetence is the Obama administration’s lifeblood.

  34. Interested Observer says:

    Given the record of the Obama Administration, I would humorously suggest maybe Hagel was fired for COMPETENCE, since he hasn’t been doing nearly as bad of a job as all of the rest of Obama’s team for the last 6 years.

  35. Interested Observer says:

    I would respectfully suggest that you might want to be just a little bit careful with that whole schadenfreude thing so it doesn’t come back to haunt you.

  36. Macdaddy says:

    I’ve almost got strange new respect for Hagel. If RWP is right then Hagel took incompetence to a whol’ ‘nother level and one has to admire that kind of skill. On the other hand, if IO is right, then Hagel was probably the only non-hack in the administration. Either way, this is going to blow up in Obama’s face.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Other than a couple gender identity BS policies enacted in the last two years, I haven’t thought Hagel did a bad job. In fact I think we should be proud as Nebraskans at how well he has performed, all things considered.

  38. Interested Observer says:

    The New York Times said about Hagel:

    “He raised the ire of the White House in August as the administration was ramping up its strategy to fight the Islamic State, directly contradicting the president, who months before had likened the Sunni militant group to a junior varsity basketball squad. Mr. Hagel, facing reporters in his now-familiar role next to General Dempsey, called the Islamic State an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” adding, “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.” White House officials later said they viewed those comments as unhelpful, although the administration still appears to be struggling to define just how large is the threat posed by the Islamic State.”

    It looks to me that he was originally brought in to be the yes-man and to shrink the Pentagon. Now the White House is saying that he did that job, but now Obama is changing the Secretary of Defense’s job description and now Hagel is not qualified for the new requirements.

    Bottom line is that Hagel contradicted Obama, Hagel proved he was right and Obama fired him for it. At least, that’s the way it looks to me, anyway.

  39. Interested Observer says:

    Macdaddy, would you agree with me that basically Obama has not done anything right or even made a good decision yet?

  40. Lil Mac says:

    Hagel quit Reagan as undersecretary of the VA over agent orange. The shrapnel he carries effects his outlook on every matter. You can disagree with his loyalties and principles but they are what he acts on and far more so than do most in power. IO’s assessment seems valid.

    I would add that when Hagel said that both Hagel and Obama had “learned a lot over the years from Vice President Biden”; Biden being a college serial plagiarist and a bona fide idiot; it is I hard to see how that was just dry humor. To what end? It seemed more like an oblique jab, that in in political arenas and on TV was tantamount to a punch in the eye. Both Hagel and Obama, he said, have “learned much from” Biden. There is a lot more left unsaid.

    Obama and Biden were on each side of Hagel as if to make sure he read the script correctly. But can them keep him from writing a best seller?

  41. Macdaddy says:

    IO, I think Obama has made many correct decisions. He does pretty well with his NCAA tournament picks, he consistently chooses the right club, and you cannot argue with his choice of vacation spots. With the exception of his mom jeans, his fashion choices are usually spot on, and whenever the news reports on his diet, I start salivating. All his other choices suck.

  42. Hagel knew what he was getting into. He lobbied for the job. He allowed himself to be used to provide legitimacy for a clown show.

    IMO the GOP should refuse to confirm a successor. Let Chuck stew in his own juice until 2017.

  43. Best quip so far, from IMHO the best contemporary conservative writer (and that’s high praise, because there are so many I like)

    Kevin Williamson: Obama “no time for sergeants”

    If you even get it, you’re old. Even older than me, probably. Back in Blighty, we only got it as reruns.

  44. Macdaddy says:

    Obama picked the guy for reasons nobody could fathom. He’s a pretty lousy judge of character, but then he’s in good company, i.e., 50% of American voters in 2008 and 2012.

  45. Tiger says:

    Obamacare has been a financial boon to hospitals. When everyone is insured, hospitals collect on previously uncollectible bills. Hard to believe that it’s Obamacare that’s closing hospitals, rather than the natural market forces that have led to the closing of many small, rural hospitals over the last 30 years. Some Georgians are 40 miles away from a hospital? Some Nebraskans live MORE than 40 miles from a hospital. At least Georgians aren’t likely to freeze to death waiting for an ambulance.

  46. Ihaveadream says:

    How exactly are the human scum of Ferguson MO different from the human scum that is Hillbillies? I mean, you need an interpreter to understand both Ghetto Blacks and Honey Boo Boo and yet we are forced to respect Black Ebonics while we may freely ridicule Hillbilly bad English.

    The comparison is uncanny. — Ignorant, unemployed, inarticulate, drug abusing, drug making, drug selling, anti-government-yet-government-dependent, criminally violent, gun carrying, expedient people who do not defer rewards, do not save, do not try, but instead go to church and rock back and forth while screaming their love to Jesus whom they hope will buy them a new car. That is lily white Hillbillies and Ferguson Blacks. The difference is, nobody respects Hillbillies.

    Why would our government and our media respect Blacks for being this way? Why the expectation and social subsidization of Black failure as a norm just for being Black?

    We can crap on White bums as much as we want. We can pity Hillbillies or we can be disgusted by them. When they run a meth lab or moonshine still and commit burglary and arson, they are felons and we say so. But when drugged out Ferguson Blacks burn down a store and take a laptop for themselves they are officially by government and media deemed “protesters”. Why the coddling, if not for some profiting from Blacks being a permanent under class. And that’s not the Conservatives who get no Black votes, nor the White or Black businessmen who lose business during riots.

    I am in mixed race marriage. It is in my interest that everyone ignore race. But Obama has made it worse. His supporters cite his “race speech” as his finest moment. He promised to cure the racial divide. Yet in his book he wrote that Americans can “NEVER rise above race”. He is a liar. If aware he is lying, a man bent on hurting America. If unaware he’s lying, a psychopath.

    Obama is the anti-MLK.

    Liberals keep expecting him to heal what he said he believes must be eternally divided, and Conservatives keep expecting him to not want America to suffer. And those who suffer most are Americans who share with Rev. Martin L. King’s his dream. .

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