Get elected via Twitter with this one simple trick

I was on Omaha’s KPTM FOX 42 last night, talking about Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse’s Twitter Storm from Sunday night.

See it here:

Exciting stuff (though I’m not sure I went as far as saying “Twitter could win the next election” as anchor Monte Torres reports). TV interviews are always interesting because you chat for 10- 15 minutes, then they reduce all that down to about 8 seconds of speaking. But whaddaya gonna do? That’s the nature of the medium.

In any case KPTM reporter Laura Berry was great to work with (via Skype!) and she asked excellent questions, delving into the subject.

Now I just need a better HD webcam, and some powder on my…nose for the closeup.

As for Senator Sasse, his late-night Tweets about the Speaker got him articles in the Washington Post, Politico, Breitbart, Roll Call, not to mention the local fishwraps.

He has yet to make his maiden speech on the Senate floor — apparently hoping to make the biggest splash possible. But he says he will be MORE outspoken soon.

Maybe even more than 140 characters at a time…


TV Marching Orders

Let’s take a trip to Grand Island, where they had their Harvest of Harmony parade over the weekend.

Couple notes about the Hall County Democrats’ entry (featured by the local Democrats above)…

1) Funny stuff with their Bernie Sanders look-alike marching with a “Bernie 2016” sign. He’s Bernie Sander’s doppelgänger — at least from a distance.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.15.41 AM


2) Then there’s the guy marching next to “Bernie”. The on-air talent with NTV exclaims, “Ohmigoodness! Justin! NTV’s own Associate Producer.”

Justin Simmons 01


That would be, as near as one can tell here, NTV Associate Producer, Justin Simmons.

Justin Simmons 02

Justin, by his Facebook page, and association with the Hall County Democrats looks to be a true-blue Bernie Sanders fan:

Justin Simmons 03

Which is fine.
Except usually, once one takes a gig in the media, the partisan political activity ends.

Which of course, it never really does.
No one thinks Chris Matthews or Bill O’Reilly — or let’s say their producers — are non-partisan. But it would be unusual for any of them to actually be MARCHING for a particular candidate.

Justin seems to be a young guy, and maybe he’s new.
But it does seem a little unusual for a news guy to be out marching for the local Socialist.


Yankee Doodling

And as the Yankees take on the Astros in the Wild Card playoff tonight, Pinstripes homer Don Walton is up to his old tricks in his column.

Don finishes up, like he usually does, extolling his Yankees, this time, writing…

“Yanks v. Cubs World Series. Nothing could be more fun or better for baseball.”

Especially if you’re a Yankees or Cubs fan.

Now, Cubs, I’ll grant him. They’ve had the drought, and the Billy Goat and have taken over the whining that the Red Sox fans hoarded for so many years. I have no problem with them winning the Pennant. And if it was actually them up against the Damn Yankees, then everyone outside of the New York and St. Louis metros would probably root for them.

But, let’s get back to…the freaking Yankees.

No Don. Having the Yankees in is NOT the best thing for baseball.
Having the team that spends more than any other team and has dominated the scene is NOT the best.

Unless…you are a Yankees fan, of course.

Which dovetails nicely with what Don wrote in his column just a few paragraphs above that.

Don moans about the “partisan gridlock” in Congress where they “can’t get anything done”.

Well, if the President would stop vetoing all of the bills that Congress passes, they could get LOTS done.

Oh but wait, that would mean a Republican agenda would pass. Gee, why do those darn Republicans foul things up so much by passing things the President doesn’t like!

Oh, and can’t we all just wonder how Don would feel about those awesome “progressive reforms” that the legislature passed, had they instead been “conservative reforms”.

Heck, that would be tantamount to the Houston Astros beating the Yankees!

See, it’s all based on one’s perspective…

(Oh, and GO ROYALS!!!)


  1. Citizens United Much? says:

    Let me get this straight, you have no problems with corporations and special interests spending unlimited amounts of money on elections, but you have a problem with a private citizen marching in a parade on his own free time?

  2. Edward R. Murrow They Ain't says:

    CitizensUnited: Maybe Justin’s journalistic training at Central Community College didn’t prep him for standard journalistic ethics (oxymoron?) but typically as a journalist, print or broadcast, one does not display their political leanings. It’s part of what you give up to be a credible journalist. His counterpart, the News Anchor covering the parade, also made a faux paus. Why she blurted out excitedly, “There’s Justin! Our Associate News Producer!” duh, I don’t know. Maybe Journalism Schools are no longer teaching ethics. If said News Anchor knew that political leanings should not be displayed she would have done NTV a favor by not noting Justin was walking in support of Bernie and presumeably the Dem Party. You’re in the 3rd District here! It wasn’t even a Republican candidate! Even so, NTV should be giving some remedial training oh, right about now, to its entire staff on how not to appear to be choosing sides when your job is to objectively report the news. What a screw-up. It also explains a lot about NTV’s lovefest with Jane Kleeb if they don’t even know they’re supposed to remain neutral.

  3. Suggestion for Sweeper says:

    Speaking of Nebraska’s 3rd district….

    Will you please conduct a Wheels Down Politics Show interview with Marvin “Butch” Hughes?

    Pretty please!

  4. Sparkles says:

    From the post:
    “Well, if the President would stop vetoing all of the bills that Congress passes, they could get LOTS done.”

    Again, the nonsensical whining about vetoes.
    How about we step out of the looney narrative of right wing land, and take a peek at the truth of the alleged Obama veto-mania, shall we?
    Total Number of Vetoes by President –
    Ronald Reagan = 78 total vetoes (percent vetoes overridden = 23%)
    George H.W. = 44 total vetoes (percent vetoes overridden = 2%)
    Bill Clinton = 37 total vetoes (percent vetoes overridden = 6%)
    George The Lesser = 12 total vetoes (percent vetoes overridden = 36%)
    Barack Obama = 4 total vetoes (percent vetoes overridden = 0%)

    Imagine that.

    4 vetoes, all sustained.

    A remarkable accomplishment, especially when one factors in that no other President in history has been forced to contend with – from the very night of his inauguration forward – the toxic levels the extremist, anti-government obstructionism that has been served up by our Tea-addled Congress.

  5. Ricky says:

    The Great President Obama is a LOT more popular than the GOP House or GOP Senate.
    They have opposed everything the Great Mr Obama has tried to accomplish. Good thing the ACA passed so lots of people can get medical insurance that could not before.
    Also you forgot to mention that Mr Walton in his column wondered about the mayorship of Omaha and how well Stothert has done. Well by any measure she is a total disaster. Thanks a lot GOP!
    And, most Nebraskans are rooting against the Cubs, because of their Tea Party owners, the Ricketts.
    And most Omahan’s are rooting against the Royals, after they screwed Omaha by moving their AAA team to the boonies.

    ricky from omaha

  6. bynd says:

    Wow, did Icky Ricky just get back from a smokeation in Colorado?

    Again, the nonsensical whining about vetoes.

    Sparkles, how many vetoes did Reid save Obama from? Especially since he never passed a budget in his term as majority leader.

    Ricky, unlike you’re limited mental capacity, most sports fans separate their sports from politics. Doesn’t matter who owns them, but whether or not they win. And how long has it been since the Cubs were in the playoffs? Don’t know but Cubs fans love the Ricketts.

    Let’s see the bond ratings of Omaha have stabilized. It is on numerous top ten places to live. Evidently it is only your neighborhood that sucks and that would be because of a do nothing neighbor like you who let’s the weeds grow and the paint peel while you howl at the moon. Obama a great president, I hear you like warts and hemorrhoids also.

  7. “A remarkable accomplishment, especially when one factors in that no other President in history has been forced to contend with – from the very night of his inauguration forward – the toxic levels the extremist, anti-government obstructionism that has been served up by our Tea-addled Congress.”

    Sparkles usual addled, dishonest partisanship. Obama hasn’t used his veto much because Harry Reid’s incessant use of the filibuster has prevented most of the bills he would veto from getting to his desk.

  8. repentinglawyer says:

    Prof GH, You make a filibuster seem extraordinary, the realities are that under current rules 60 votes are required to pass legislation. You have not been along long enough to remember old Jimmy Stewart type filibusters, but they are gone. When parties are cooperating 60 works, when as now cross aisle cooperation does not exist the Rs do not have a majority except in name. Same with Ds for most of the earlier years of Obama. Does make veto count irrelevant.
    Bynd your comment hardly demonstrate a powerful intelligence at work, my kids use to argue like you do, but they were teenagers.

  9. Sparkles says:

    Thanks Gerard.
    Thanks for even more proof of epistemic closure.
    Your claim is wholly untethered from reality.

    Let’s examine your claim of the filibuster-gone-wild by those dirty Dems, shall we? It’s a bit tricky, but it can be easily done.
    It’s difficult to count filibusters because there’s no official process behind them. A senator doesn’t need to file an official form announcing his intention to filibuster. He can just mention it offhand to the majority leader’s office. Then the majority leader, knowing that bringing the bill to the floor will require facing a time-consuming delay, may choose to hold the bill. The result is a bill killed by a filibuster that there’s no way to count.
    The closest thing we have to a count of filibusters is a count of cloture votes to break filibusters; those actually do need to be officially filed, and the Senate keeps a public tally.
    The story told by cloture motions is striking: between 1917 and 1970, senators filed fewer than 60 motions to break a filibuster. Between 2009 and 2015 alone, they filed more than 500.

    Filibusters (and their accompanying clotures motions) can only be enacted in the Senate, and, as would make sense, filibusters are almost always a tactic employed by the minority party in the Senate.
    Therefore, if we examine cloture motions filed by the minority party in Senate, we’ll know exactly who it is that is obstructing government.
    Here ya go –
    114th Congress – 2015-2017; Senate Minority = D – # of Cloture Motions filed/invoked = 56 / 25
    113th Congress – 2013-2015; Senate Minority = R – # of Cloture Motions filed/invoked = 253 / 187
    112th Congress – 2011-2013; -Senate Minority = R – # of Cloture Motions filed/invoked = 115 / 41
    111th Congress – 2009-2011; Senate Minority = R – # of Cloture Motions filed/invoked = 137 / 63
    110th Congress – 2007-2009; Senate Minority = R – # of Cloture Motions filed/invoked = 139 / 61
    109th Congress – 2005-2007; Senate Minority = D – # of Cloture Motions filed/invoked = 68 / 34
    108th Congress – 2003-2007; Senate Minority = D – # of Cloture Motions filed/invoked = 62 / 12

    Imagine that.

  10. bynd says:

    bynd says: but repentinglawyer: you took the time and brainpower, which it appears you can ill afford to squander, to respond.

    But who is arguing?

  11. bynd says:

    113th Congress, 253 cloture motions filed out of 3020 bills. That would be .084%. That’s your definition of obstructionism?

  12. repentinglawyer says:

    Bynd, I did not argue with you, I mocked you. Curious about why you are both so insecure and nasty. Perhaps a bad case of ego inflation with little to be inflated about.

  13. Lil Mac says:

    One bad Tweet can indeed kill your campaign, unless you cultivate an image of kneejerk over-the-top rhetoric. A safety device of sorts? Why not?

    I saw Trump speak at length about Obama playing the race card without ever mentioning the word “black”. That struck me as presence of mind from what seems random fluidity. Sasse’s Tweet has a random feel about it too but its was targeting and using the current of iconoclasm running through electoral politics today.

    Presence of mind and stratagem that competitors cannot see, is the job. We don’t elect platforms but rather a person to deal executively with matters neither they nor we can predict. Whatever they promise to do is instantly modified or cancelled the second they are sworn in. Who, after all, promised how he’d deal with 9-11, Benghazi, the Crimea and ISIS before such things existed? A USA Chief Executive candidate who cannot handle tweeting himself to death in an instant, shouldn’t have his finger on a nuclear trigger that has us all one instant away from Armageddon.

    Abe Lincoln said he didn’t run events but events ran him. Too bloody true. He was an inexperienced terribly bad manager who ineptly stumbled and waffled the Civil War into ten times longer and a thousand times more bloody than it needed to be, because the clod learned on the job the hard way, one bad Tweet after another.

  14. repentinglawyer says:

    The debate about who is doing the obstructing misses the point. The changed Senate Rules and the divisive politics means each side is doing what you would expect in the Senate. If you need 60 votes, and neither side has that many and if the traditional “Advise and Consent” Senate is no more, then any hot button issue is going nowhere. The current Majority Leader does what he can without 60 votes and is treated by a lot ofRs as a failure. Reed sees no reason to make the life of the majority easier and why should he? People on both sides want compromises from the other side, but the big tent parties with overlap that produced compromise are gone. That is reality.
    Sasse has acted like a Senator not a Presidential candidate. Might thrill the base if he was as bombastic as Cruz and Rubio, but would not change the Senate or impact legislation.

  15. Sparkles says:

    A flurry of activity (a few new bills and a number of non-binding resolutions) in the final weeks of 2014 allowed the Tealusional 113th Congress to pass a total of 297 new laws, just squeaking ahead of the 284 laws passed during the Tealirious 112th Congress, which will retain its title as the least productive Congress in modern history.

    Never in modern history has our nation suffered such wholesale incompetence and abject dereliction of duty than that which we’ve been forced to endure under a Republican controlled, Boehner lead House.

    And the likely new Speaker of House, will not only be the least experienced ever to attain the office, he will likely be the only ‘Speaker’ ever elected who is incapable of stringing together a coherent sentence.

  16. bynd says:


    The argument part was not about you. But you made it about you. Whatever.

    You knock me and then turn around and do basically the same thing you knock/mock me for. How disingenuous.

    Oracle: The only one to keep Sparkles honest this time and yes I missed a decimal point. Thanks for the correction. But it seems you folks love to pick on the minutia while missing the big picture.

    As too the opinion of arguing like children. Isn’t disagreement the reason for the postings? I can only wish that I were as wise as a repentinglawyer, but I wasn’t blessed with being like them. So I’ll just keep muddling through as best I can.

    By the way, when will you guys apply your standards to the others who deserve(?) it? In any case, if one can’t take it one shouldn’t be here, I think I’ll stick around for a while:)

  17. bynd says:

    Sparkles: You don’t like republican leadership in the house or Senate but wish for them to continue electing the same type of person. Insanity: to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome.

    Reid didn’t even put forth a budget bill for 7 years. Point: They are all the same. Different sides of the same coin. Only zealot partisans truly believe their side is better than the other. It is zealot partisans that have created the system we have today.

    Your system is perfectly made for the results you get. All those who have voted over the years are responsible for the current system. You help make it. Embrace your creation.

  18. Sparkles says:


    Re your statement:
    “People on both sides want compromises from the other side, but the big tent parties with overlap that produced compromise are gone. That is reality.”

    I agree the big tent parties that served our nation well are a relic of history.
    But, I believe an objective analysis of ample evidence will prove that compromise is in fact not a victim of “both sides”.
    Neither the Democratic party nor President Obama have ceased to continually seek and offer reasoned compromise.

    Two of our nations most respected political scientists (Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein), from two of our nations most prominent think tanks (left and right) have recently covered this topic in great detail.
    A synopsis of their conclusion, was featured in the April 27, 2012 – Washington Post:
    “We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

    The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

    And for all who will no doubt howl – “what do you expect liberals to say” –
    Professor Norman Ornstein is a political scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute – a right leaning/neoconservative think tank headed by Ben Sasse’s choice for Speaker of the House, Arthur Brooks!
    (AEI is also home to John Bolton, Lynne Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz etc..)

    Professor Mann is a respected political scientist and a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the left leaning Brookings Institution.

    The book length version of their scholarly conclusion is titled:
    “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism”

  19. repentinglawyer says:

    Sparkles, Read the book, but my 60 years tops their 40, though they might be right at the moment. WhenI first started studying Poli Sci standard scholarship wanted clearly demarcated ideological parties and mocked the then standard party system. They got what they wanted. So much for political science. The Constitution was not designed for the type of parties in parliamentary systems. In truth it was not really designed for parties. I am doubtful that the Ds are that much less driven by passion or that they different in that regard from the Rs.
    I think my analysis is descriptive, Bynd is a little correct, age has diminished by power to give answers. But then I remember when the Unicameral real was nonpartisan and nobody cared what party the Mayor of Big O belonged to.

  20. Oracle says:

    bynd, the point is .084% is virtually zero, but 8.4% means that 1/12 of bills are being “obstructed”. I do understand math fairly well.

  21. bynd says:

    Point is not, virtually zero! If 1/12 of a street was blocked would you turn around and go back home? If 1/12 of artery is blocked, the cardiologist won’t take action. (only at 70% and above.) The point, 1/12 of bills being held up in the Senate because of the filing of cloture against them is NOT obstructionism as Sparkles, or any one, would have you believe. what did rl say about children?

  22. repentinglawyer says:

    My understanding is that cloture petitions are not often filed, if 60 votes not there that is it. They are mainly used to force minority to vote on matters that might embarrass them, or occasionally in hope of cloture with votes from other side. Hardly relevant on issue of obstruction, which is in the eye of the viewer.
    Not sure old days were better but Bob Kerr won a pony for me, so I will bask in nostalgia.

  23. Clearly too Stupid for Words says:

    It is easy to have so few Vetoes as President. The Leader of the Senate refuses to allow a Vote on anything you disagree with. When you spend 6 years of your 8 letting your Minnion in the Senate protect you, life is easy.

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