It must be YOU!

flat-plateThe “race” for Speaker is still fluid in the House, as of this writing.

But in the mean time, Rep. Adrian Smith had this to say about Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who dropped out of the running:

“I have great respect for Kevin and all he has done for our Republican Conference as Majority Leader. As we proceed in the House Speaker election process, I hope Republicans can come together in support of another conservative candidate and move forward as a united body committed to governing our country.”

Will that candidate be Rep., and former Vice-Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan? No word yet. It certainly seems like he could bring the House Republicans together…for a couple minutes anyway.

The way Ryan is playing it, it reminded me of this scene from Gladiator:

(I’ll take other examples of movies where the lead character didn’t want the job, and the other character says, “That’s why it HAS to be you!” I feel like that’s a movie cliché…)



Back in April it was noted here that the ObamaCare rules would change the definition of a small group market for businesses from 1-50 employees to 1-100 employees in 2016.

Senator Deb Fischer and Reps Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith and even Brad Ashford all signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, known as the PACE Act to change the law and give states the flexibility to determine the size of their small-group market instead of being forced into the national standard.

And the President signed it yesterday.

Chip chip chip.


A Fischer endorsement?

Speaking of Senator Deb Fischer, she had her weekly press-call yesterday and when asked about Jeff Fortenberry’s endorsement of Carly Fiorina, noted that she is still considering an endorsement of her own.

FWIW, when I asked the same thing of Sen. Joni Ernst, she pretty categorically said she would NOT endorse anyone before the Iowa Caucuses. Of course Fischer and Ernst are in a little different situations with the caucuses and primaries, but Fischer did NOT rule out endorsing.

Still interesting, especially as the field winnows…


I did it so you don’t have to

Yes, just out of duty, I read Ernie’s SIXTEEN PAGE “poem”. (You wanna talk about a punishment that is both cruel AND unusual…)

It starts like this:

WASHINGTON [the state], as far as I know,
Is famed for neither forests nor lakes;

OK, beyond the pedantics of the “poem”, just something to pass along to the Senator: Seattle sits ON a lake. It’s called…”Lake Washington”.

And, FWIW, the whole state has so much forest, that it’s known as “The Evergreen State.”

And you can imagine how the rest of the verse goes from there…

Now I will give Senator Chambers some credit for cleverness on one item: He added an illustration of Corrections Director Scott Frakes to the poem, and added an item in four different sections (essentially giving him the hangman’s mask).

It went like this:


I suppose that’s sort of the definition of “gallows humor”…


Laffering all the way…

An FYI that the Free Market Forum put on by Hillsdale College will be at the Omaha Hilton next Thursday through Saturday (with Friday being the main day).

They have quite the list of speakers, but the feature is probably economist Art Laffer (of the “Laffer Curve“) at the Friday noon Luncheon.

See the schedule, list of speakers and other pertinent info here.


…and Go Huskers!

Spread the word about Leavenworth St.- the talk of Nebraska politics to your friends (and enemies) because that’s how this site grows: from you.

Thank you for reading, commenting, listening to and supporting Leavenworth St!


  1. Sparkles says:

    Art F’ing Laffer.

    Art Laffer, the supply side “brains” behind the current implosion of Kansas’ economy.

    And for the record; Art’s noted ‘Laffer Curve’, flatlined decades ago:
    Numerous leading economists have rejected the viewpoint that the Laffer Curve’s postulation of increased tax revenue through a rate cut applies to current federal US income taxes in the medium term. When asked whether a “cut in federal income tax rates in the US right now would raise taxable income enough so that the annual total tax revenue would be higher within five years than without the tax cut,” 96% of economists surveyed in 2012 disagreed.

    Of course, just as with climate change, we’re all aware that the concurrence of 96% of experts in the field means nothing to the modern day, fact-averse GOP.

    There has never been any evidence to support strong supply-side claims about the marvels of tax cuts and the horrors of tax increases.
    Laffer’s been proven wrong at virtually every turn in his career.
    He hasn’t been taken seriously by leading economists for decades.

  2. Lil Mac says:

    This Speaker selection is a surprise, unusually public, and happening when GOP iconoclasm is at an all-time high in the presidential race. This is no time to assume being in Congress is any sort of a plus. Ryan is however fit. A double dose of demure and another week ought to do it for him.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What seemed at first a useless sop to Kevin by Adrian isn’t perhaps so useless. After all, McCarthy is still the Majority Leader and about now Kevin probably feels like he needs a friend. That is going to prove useful for Adrian.

    On the other hand, there’s Fort’s endorsement of Carly “don’t wrinkle my horse face” Fiorina.

  4. Lil Mac says:

    You want me to tell you more? That seems a little masochistic. But, sure, happy to oblige.

    It was in 1789, with the selection of the Rev. Congressman Fredrick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as House Speaker. Why? I suppose the Congressmen who voted for Fred thought he was fair but I’m only guessing.

    If you are referring to it not being a “plus” at this precise moment to be a member of Congress and to be seen to avidly crave the Speakership, I think that stands. We cannot assume an automatic plus.

    Speaker selection is usually worked out ahead of time behind closed doors. And of course Ryan is known by the Congressmen he serves with. So of course being a Congressman is to his benefit. But he is also well known to the public, and this is suddenly not a closed door deal but it is eclipsing, at least for the moment, the most garish GOP presidential primary we have ever seen. And that public scrutiny is extraordinarily iconoclastic. The top three GOP candidates are all GOP Irregulars and even we here are so off-the-rail that we have been talking about Speakers coming from beyond the Congress. Who has ever even mentioned that possibility before now?

    Americans usually hate Congress and politicians but they also usually have far more goodwill for the individual politician, That isn’t true in today’s GOP electoral environment where GOP governors like Perry and Walker have been crushed while GOP irregulars like Trump, Carson and Fiorina are uplifted. This is no time for anyone to assume business as usual; especially for one being considered for what is suddenly a very public Speaker selection.

    The fact that we are even entertaining the idea of a non-Congressman being in the role of Speaker is itself greatly unusual and shows just how much this iconoclasm has permeated the public since Trump struck the nerve of Americans blindly swallowing BS ala PC. Today everyone seems to be not-apologizing in a frenzy of rude-truth, often not even looking to see if their core truth is really true, Its an approximation of honesty that I find sort of funny. — When anyone rouses to discover themselves standing there naked, They will put on a lampshade if that’s the closest thing within reach.

    Paul Ryan isn’t playing coy. He is dealing carefully with a powerful and unusual dynamic that has already killed the political ambitions of his Wisconsin buddy Scott Walker.

    Frankly, I like the shake up. Too many Americans are sleepwalking. That’s not healthy.

  5. Ed Stevens says:

    Here’s a quick “how-to” for neophyte L-Street visitors:

    1. Click on the L-Street icon, then go have a pizza and a couple of cool ones while your computer screen quits bouncing around from a zillion or so auto-ads, pop-ups, etc. Note that this is a good thing – it means the site is very, very popular.

    2. If you choose to peruse the comment section, and you have even minimal regard for qualities such as clarity, critical thinking skills, or coherent commentary, be sure to skip any comment(s) that begin with “Sparkles”, “Ricky”, or “Texas Annie” (there will be LOTS of them).

    3. After reading, order something from Amazon.

    4. Repeat P.R.N.

  6. Ricky says:

    Ernie is the greatest! I think OPS should teach Senator Chambers poetry and prose in grade school classes all over Omaha.
    And in the unlikely event that the Death Penalty comes up for a vote and passes, the great Chambers will bring it up again in the legislature and pass it again!
    Also why does the city of Omaha want to give 90 million dollars to Rod Yates to develop Crossroads Mall? I’ll do it for nothing!
    I went there while growing up and it was fine then. Got built with no public funds. So the point is Senator Chambers will not allow legislation to pass that would enable Yates to get even more money for this stalled project.

    ricky from west omaha

  7. Lil Mac says:

    Political scientists are about as scientific as phrenologists.

    Any “science” that tries to measure human group behavior without first understanding how one human mind works, fails to grasp that a human can only see an approximation of what is real and that our imperatives to act are evolved short cuts that usually work –usually– genetically so on the savanna millennia ago and adaptably so next November in a voting booth.

    The good news is that while technology changes rapidly, we haven’t. The gut-feeling versus rationality post-primate mix that prompts us to choose to follow any leader, works today in Washington DC about as poorly or as well as it worked on the savannah.

    Pick a big mouthed leader who never led anything and your tribe’s demise shouldn’t be surprising.

  8. Who is Ed Stevens? says:

    I heard that name before. Isn’t he Hal Daub’s chauffeur? No wait Heineman’s chauffeur. No that was McCoy.
    Ed Stevens is … I heard that name before. Some GOP stalwart or something.


  9. bynd says:

    Ricketts Fulton,

    So where was Ernie when they passed LB 775? Writing poetry in is office.

    Ernie will be term limited out again before he can by law bring it up in the legislature. Maybe you should try thinking instead of just shooting off your mouth. Oh yeah, that would take original thought on your part which isn’t possilbe.


    Name one economists who has been right and all the others agree with them. Anyone who thinks they can predict human nature, especially on a national or global level, hasn’t been born nor will they ever be.

  10. The Eye Ball says:

    Sparkles , you do not know what you are talking about. Kansas did not follow the prescription of supply side economics. When people like you spout your ignorance, I know there is no point in debating you. The point of supply side economics is reduce the government’s take of the economy because government can not adjust to economic circumstances compared to the private economy.

  11. repentinglawyer says:

    The Eye Ball, your definition of supply-side is defensible but eccentric, the name was originally give to Laffer’s theory with his curve. It was a theory that taxes could become so much a burden that people cut back on work so that a cut in taxes would actually produce more revenue through increased work. No evidence that theoretical point has ever been reached in recorded history. You definition assumes all tasks are better performed by the private sector and that as much revenue as possible should , therefore, remain in private hands. One answer might be tell it to the Marines, national defense is an example of a public good, where private provision would produce market failure. More generally your view is not economics, it is a quasi religion.
    Bynd we all draw supply and demand curves the way Marshall did, nearly all economists acccept Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage. Give up exaggeration.
    Little Mac, vast exaggeration of the scope of genetic determinism. In addition human groups are not that difficult to predict, particularly biologically, witness drug tests, problem is knowledge is probalistic, while Warren Buffet and Joe Dimaggio are real.

  12. repentinglawyer says:

    Little Mac by drug tests I was speaking of tests of efficacy and safety. Also a little curious as to how you give so much respect to evolutionary psychology, most of which is just charming just so stories, while at the same time teating A.J. Ayer’s early work with such respect.

  13. bynd says:

    RL: “We” A lawyer and voodoo economist? So what you are saying is that all institutions of higher learning teach the same theory and principles of economics. That the folks on the Fed board always agree.

    And you accuse me of exaggeration.

  14. repentinglawyer says:

    Bynd, perfect example, I never suggested the level of agreement you suggested. I know there are huge policy disagreements among economists, but not on everything. Your response to modest criticism is to be insulting and to create a silly Aunt Sally and attribute her to me. The we on Marshall encompassed me because it includes anyone who has done any micro. You must do morello control your narcissistic rage.

  15. bynd says:

    Maybe you should find a different way to deliver your message. You get what you give. And what you believe to be true about your deliver is not relevant. It is how it is perceived. You disagree with the point or try to change it, I still have the option to argue the point. But you can always leave names out of it.

    As to mellow, one of the best times one can have is swapping spit on the internet!

    Once again, check your advice against your own actions. Or as they say, right back atch ya! lol

  16. TexasAnnie says:

    repentinglawyer: A. J. Ayer was a logical positivist. He had much to say about knowledge and truth. I don’t recall much of his writing; it’s been more than forty years since I read any of it! But I do recall that logical positivism was contemporaneous with existentialism (at least in my survey course) and that we (the class) all liked existentialism better because it was a better fit with how we actually behaved (as humans, that is). My question to you, and Lil Mac perhaps, is wherein you find Lil Mac’s “respect” for Ayer? And here’s an immediate reason why: So many contributors to L. St. write “crap” that they heard on the news. So. Wherein is truth?

  17. TexasAnnie says:

    bynd: During passage of LB775 Ernie was filibustering.

    You really should read the many, many (new ones coming out just about every legislative session) economic development tax law transcripts. While I lived there it was Chambers, Raikes and Wickersham who led the defense(s) against tax subsidies. One could always count on that trio. Wickersham and Raikes were thoughtful and gave respectful points of disagreement. Chambers was bombastic.

  18. Lil Mac says:

    repentinglawyer at 6:25 pm you said: “Little Mac by drug tests I was speaking of tests of efficacy and safety. Also a little curious as to how you give so much respect to evolutionary psychology, most of which is just charming just so stories, while at the same time teating A.J. Ayer’s early work with such respect.”

    Dear repentinglawyer. Do you pay attention to anything other than your own words?

    I was answering Texas Annie who asked me to “tell us more” about Paul Ryan’s situation and she answered with another question, “Thank-you Lil Mac. Are you a dreaded political SCIENTIST?” So I answered her about that. You however assumed I was talking to you.

    When a wag enters and room and shouts “hey stupid”, we all should hope that we don’t in a spasm of kneejerk indignation stand up, turn around, and indignantly ask, “Are you talking to me?” Yet such presence of mind isn’t necessary when all of this is written down in a readable blog.

    Had you simply read other than your own words here, you would have seen that my comments were not part of your conversation. So be it. Such is human nature. We never learn from our successes but from our screw ups. Congratulations. Of course, it takes some humility for that learning to stick. And that’s perhaps doubtful with people who only pay attention to their own words.

  19. Sparkles says:

    In 1998, in the first edition of his best-selling economics textbook, Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw — very much a Republican, and later chairman of George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers — famously wrote about the damage done by “charlatans and cranks.”
    In particular, he highlighted the role of “a small group of economists” who “advised presidential candidate Ronald Reagan that “broad-based income tax cuts would have such large supply-side effects that the tax cuts would raise tax revenue.”

    Chief among that “small group of economists” was none other than Art Laffer.

    Mankiw went on to say:
    “I did not find such a claim credible, based on the available evidence. I never have, and I still don’t.”

  20. Sparkles says:

    Art Laffer penned delusions from a ‘Commentary’ in the June 11, 2009 WSJ:
    Due to “panic-driven monetary policies” .. “We can expect rapidly rising prices and much, much higher interest rates over the next four or five years, and a concomitant deleterious impact on output and employment not unlike the late 1970s.”

    Sorry Art, what we got instead was low inflation, record-low interest rates and a 5.1% unemployment rate, approaching the lowest in nearly 40 years.
    In fact, the longest uninterrupted stretch of private sector job creation in our history.

    Yet, unfathomably, Art Laffer is given voice by right wing organizations like Hillsdale College and ALEC. An man who is demonstrably wrong in almost every prediction he’s ever made, is promoted as the Golden Child of right wing economic theory.

  21. repentinglawyer says:

    Texas Annie, Little Mac takes an approach to knowledge in his comment that reduces non traditional science other than evolutionary psychology to pseudo knowledge. It is a simplified version of Ayer’s theory of confirmation by scientific method as the only source of truth, which was his version of logical positivism.
    Little Mac, I took your remarks, which were public, seriously. My apology. Still think my question is valid.

  22. repentinglawyer says:

    Bynd In this instance I did not think I had any other message than there isa lot economists agree about despite differences of school. Younger right that graduate eco departments tend to different approaches to subject. As to spiting on the neat, it does make retirement easier, I just think you may enjoy it too much. I will try harder.

  23. The Eye Ball says:

    Sparkles, now you are talking about monetary policy and that is a separate issue unto it self but his point is still valid. With the record low interest rates, everything is in record debt territory.

    As for the unemployment, you ignore the shrinkage in the labor market. Unemployment is only going “down” because more and more people have given up seeking a job. The proof is in the record number of people who have moved home back with their parents.

  24. Lil Mac says:

    You are a lawyer unrepentant. Nothing can be more honest than that, except if you perhaps honestly called yourself that. No matter, you behave so. Keeping up the image. Good.

    Moving on…

    Every profession and academic area that seeks to predict or manipulate human outcomes is in the same pool of diseased political correctness in which we all swim. And that includes those who most study the human mind that is at the core of such understanding.

    Consider S. Heine, a Trump-like psychologist who dares to suggest the field of Psychology isn’t the study of the human mind but rather the study of one specific kind; that of college undergrads in the US, UK and AU, who are the subjects of most Psych studies, and who are also western, educated, industrial, rich, and democratic; qualities that apply to less than 15% of the world’s population. Psychology is the study of the minds of western college kids because that is what it measures and we don’t know how close or far that is from reality.

    This rude truth makes other Psychologists angry. They denounce Heine like party pundits and media denounce Trump. They don’t care if it is true. They demand respect despite being wrong. And they dance around it when caught being wrong, quite unrepentant for being so.

  25. Sparkles says:


    I’m pointing out that in addition to being proven wrong (time and time again) regarding economic theory, Laffer is also proven clueless when it comes to monetary policy.

    Yet, he remains the toast of the town in wingerland.

  26. “Art Laffer, the supply side “brains” behind the current implosion of Kansas’ economy.”

    I’m not sure I can cope with all of Sparkles’ garbage, but here’s one small clean up. Projected 2016 per capita GDP growth for Kansas is 2.8%. For Nebraska, it’s 2.4%. We could use some of that implosion.

    For 2015, the relevant numbers were 1.7% and 1.1%.

  27. repentinglawyer says:

    Little Mac, I am sure political correctness has anything to do with the issue I raised, but I doubt its reality. You are right that academics like other groups tend to be driven by convention and what is publishable I am not sure that is not also true in natural sciences, paradigms and their shifts. It is certainly true in medicine where local differences in practice patterns tend to be adhered to when long out of date. An area where political correctness cannot be the explanation You give an example where you think habit is defeating truth, which show a faith in reason and argument inconsistent with your prior statement. I am still confused by your affection for evolutionary psychology, unless you use an ability to annoy what you see as the pc crowd as a test of truth.

  28. Sparkles says:


    I’m sure GDP may in fact tick up slightly in the future for Kansas, of course one has to take into consideration:

    June 7, 2015 –
    “Kansas Senate passes $471 million tax increase, the largest in state history”

    And on June 12, 2015, the Washington Post followed up with a story on Kansas’s continued financial debacle, titled:
    “Poor families in Kansas would pay even more in taxes under a bill the state House passed Friday.”

  29. Anonymous says:

    So GH, you pulled numbers off of the usgovernmentspending dot com web site. I can’t find any place that backs up these numbers. And they somehow believe they can calculate state growth through 2020 (Kansas 2.3%, Nebraska 2.2%). Are you just accepting this web site at face value, or can you back up these numbers?

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