Rumor Mill & Sausage Factory

Rumor Central:

There is a rumor floating around like a kite in a hurricane that says one of Governor Pete Ricketts’ top personal kitchen cabinet members is on their way out.

The Mill is not really certain if it is amicable or pressured or voluntary or not. And, of course, The Mill hasn’t definitively confirmed any of it (and it could all change in a heartbeat…). (And Deena Winter tweeted that she has been told that all is still in flux…)

As these things go, this would be somewhat of a big deal that could have implications for the Governor and others down the road.

Watch this space, and, more than likely, see the newsies for the official scoop.


Doing the Dems work for them

As you saw in the morning update, State Senators Beau McCoy and Heath Mello were going at it on the Twitter over Medicaid expansion.

This comes on the heels of State Senator John McCollister proposing Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, and Mello piggybacking on it.

But McCoy jumped on the idea immediately — and serendipitously, concurred with a Wall Street Journal story this morning under the headline, “Medicaid Expansion Is Proving to Be a Bad Bargain for States– New ObamaCare enrollees and costs have exceeded estimates and threaten to swamp budgets.

(And here’s a follow-up by National Review, that is not behind a paywall.)

Without diving into the hairiness of the proposal and countercharges, let’s just say that the concept will not plow through the legislature without some heavy pushback.

And any Senator — or citizen — who has an interest in this should be put on notice about how things operated in the last session when the Dems had an idea or two with a few “Republicans” joining them.

And on that note, there’s the Larry David-level comedic stylings of the LJS’s Don Walton who calls McCollister a, “conservative Republican.”


He’s the “conservative” who voted for an increase in the gas tax, against Winner-Take-All, for DREAMer driver’s licenses, for the gas tax, for repealing mandatory sentences, and for repealing the death penalty, to name but a few.

One can’t control how he registers with the party — though Don is constantly telling us how the Unicameral is non-partisan anyway, so it’s unclear why he yanks out this label. But enough with the pretense that someone with McCollister’s voting record can be called a “conservative”.

I guess we will see if Republican leaders will be able to withstand this one.


Top Ten List

From late last week, Democrat Congressman Brad Ashford made the national news again.

He is STILL atop (alphabetically, at least) Roll Call’s Top 10 most vulnerable members list.

Though Ashford has been making a stand-up effort to portray himself as an even-keeled Democrapublican, he got rid of any pretense of that by voting for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.

Shame. Ashford could have stepped up his “non-partisan” game. Instead he just keeps playing Democrat ball in Washington.


Dumplings and Kraut today…

On the eve of the Republican debate in Milwaukee, National Review’s Charles Krauthammer has a great column on how the GOP essentially stepped on their own…applause lines in the aftermath of the CNBC debacle.

The CNBC debate was a gift for the GOP, so unadorned a demonstration of liberal condescension, hostility, and arrogance that the rest of the media — their ideological cover exposed — were forced to denounce and ridicule their ham-handed colleagues.

What happened then? Instead of quitting while they were ahead, the Republicans plunged into a week of meetings and statements, whining and complaining, bouncing around a series of demands, including control of the kind of questions that may or may not be asked at future debates.

CNBC produced the best night of the entire campaign season for the GOP. And yet some Republicans were determined to turn it into another theater of their civil war against the GOP “establishment.”

Now with the debate moderated by FOX, it will be interesting to see who can step up their game, beyond complaining about the media.

And consider as well that there are now only 8 on the main stage, with Christie and Huckabee relegated to the undercard — and Lindsey and Pataki kicked out altogether!

We can talk more about it tomorrow, but you can whet your whistle here today as well.


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  1. Sparkles says:

    For a Koch-free, informative and balanced analysis of the cost to states of Medicaid expansion, an October 14, 2015 Forbes article titled: “Ohio Governor John Kasich’s Medicaid Expansion: Successful Governance Is Very Hard Work”

    An article written by Robert Laszewski:
    “No one has a greater knowledge of the Washington health policy scene than Bob Laszewski—political, economic, social, and straight merit dimensions. Bob also has uncanny forecasting powers. And he calls the shots exactly as he sees them, unusual for Washington.”—John McLaughlin, The McLaughlin Group

    “I have known no one with a better grasp of what’s going on in Washington than Bob Laszewski—and no one who is more fair, honest, and less partisan.”—C. Everett Koop, M.D. (Republican, appointed by Ronny Raygun)

    Bob Laszewski was named the Washington Post’s Wonkblog “Pundit of the Year” for 2013 for “one of the most accurate and public accounts” detailing the first few months of the Obamacare rollout.

    And, regarding Sen McCollister’s conservative cred – from the web site of Pete Rickett’s own Platte Institute, Febr 16th, 2009:
    John S. McCollister has been named the new Executive Director of the Platte Institute for Economic Research.
    McCollister, who has a distinguished record of public service lasting over 30 years,..

    • So the article says that ObamaCare amounted to little more than an expansion of the Medicaid program. It’s vastly increased state Medicaid spending (and the federal debt, but it doesn’t mention that!). And to counter this it uses the usual liberal mantra that you can’t let 600,000 not have Medicaid. Why?

      Nobody doubts that you can create a temporarily highly popular program by borrowing and spending large amounts of money. Sooner or later, though, you have to pay the bill.

  2. Decline & fall of the GOP says:

    It’s sad to watch life long conservatives being attacked by a bunch of right wing extremists that have placed a strangle hold on the GOP. Someone should get a grip on reality and realize that radical anti-government extremism is NOT conservative. At what point did anarchism cross over from being an extremist philosophy to being a litmus test for conservatives?

    • Sparkles says:

      A remarkable statistic – the mortality rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education increased markedly between 1999 and 2013.

      If anyone cares to ponder the true depth to which anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-government extremism has brought our once great nation, read conservative columnist Ross Douthat’s piece in the Sunday NYT titled: The Dying of the Whites.

      William F. Buckley’s conservative party of intellect, reason and accomplishment is dead.
      Words can not express how sick and tired I am of the contagion brought forth on our nation by a grifting right wing entertainment complex. A collective few who, at any cost to humanity, serve themselves and the very, very wealthy through the dissemination of misinformation, fear and hatred.

      • White men have become the n!@#$%s of modern society. They can collectively be accused of every past historical crime. They are the subjected to endemic discrimination. The single common theme of nearly every TV sitcom is smart shrew wife dealing with mindless idiot husband. Excellence is no longer celebrated, unless it’s black excellence, or women’s excellence, or gay excellence, or transgender excellence. I don’t blame them for being depressed, suicidal, and given to drinking too much.

        I get through it with a sense of humor and ingrained deep contempt for creatures like yourself. Plus I have money, a wife I love, and grandkids. Many of these poor buggers have none of the above.

      • Oracle says:

        Plus I have money, a wife I love, and grandkids. Many of these poor buggers have none of the above.
        GH, you are one arrogant b**t*rd! How do you even have a clue? Are you omniscient?

      • Sparkles says:


        I also have a beautiful wife, children and a grandchild. They are the reason I find it imperative to push back against the anti-intellectualism, anti-science, anti-governance of the radical right.
        Which brings to mind these words:

        “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

        The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”

        – Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

      • The Grundle King says:

        What’s amazing, Sparkles, is that you (ostensibly) read that piece from Sagan, and came to the conclusion that it only applies to conservatives. What was it that Oracle was saying about arrogance?

    • repentinglawyer says:

      Prof G H, I got to many of my ideas about Conservatives from Roger Scruton, and I know he did not write the book on charter parties or invent the man on the Clapham Omnibus.{silly legal trivia}.

  3. Macdaddy says:

    Wow, Sparkles, you just described the leadership of the Democrats perfectly: “A collective few who, at any cost to humanity, serve themselves and the very, very wealthy…”

    Al Gore: worth over $100 million thanks to government contracts, lobbying, and government policies
    Hillary Clinton: her “foundation” has collected over a billion dollars from defenders of human rights, especially women’s rights, like Saudi Arabia. In SA, if you are a woman, you have the right to be beaten for driving a car.
    Solyndra: democrat-owned, taxpayers fleeced
    Obamacare website: same
    Obamacare: aka, Insurance Company feast
    Terry McAuliffe: millions from the taxpayers for a gravel parking lot
    Nancy Pelosi: lots of goodies for her husband’s businesses
    Harry Reid: don’t even get me started
    Barack Obama: you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  4. Ricky says:

    Ashford is not endangered very much if at all if the GOP can not find a credible opponent for him.
    The retired general who has never ran for office is not a threat, nor is Chip Maxwell Smart.
    So, unless some noteworthy candidate from the Repubs steps up, Brad will win again.
    And if he gets two terms in he could probably stay as long as he likes in the House.


    • Anon says:

      The way it is turning out, your buddy Stothert is a credible alternative to Ashford, with her restaurant tax pledge to spending and fees, just your type of politician

  5. To repenting says:

    McCollister has the poorest rating for conservatives regardless of ranking. He voted for medicaid, against winner take all, for tax increases, against manadatory minimums, against voter ID. ect ect what you say to a room with a bunch of conservative blue hairs versus how you vote matters. He is no conservative

    • The Grundle King says:

      Indeed, because Trump can say what he wants with quite literally NO repercussions that would have any substantive effect on him…not too many people find themselves in such position.

  6. Meanwhile, to our immediate southeast, the State University system president was just forced out by a small group of ‘striking’ football players, and a group of loud, aggressive hoodlums, many of whom were not students, whose modus operandi was to intimidate the campus, and assault student reporters trying to record their actions. Oh yes, and spread likely-concocted claims of racial epithets.

    It really is civilization versus the Left.

      • Good luck hiring a new chancellor and president, with all the qualified candidates knowing they hold their jobs at the pleasure of the football team. If I were Harvey, I’d double the budget for recruiting in Missouri. A lot of normal, hardworking college students don’t want their campus to be a re-creation of Berkeley in the mid 60’s. We could be their sane alternative.

    • Macdaddy says:

      Mizzou will have no shortage of applicants. You can’t swing a dead cat in higher education without hitting some administrator who speaks fluent victimese.

  7. Sparkles:

    I am not a member of the socially conservative right. And the yahoos, the anti-intellectuals, are now almost exclusively on the Left. Carl Sagan is dead a long time. I’m sorry your brain was frozen, 30 years ago. What can we do to thaw it out?

    • repentinglawyer says:

      Prof GH, Are you not really a neoliberal in a Country that has peculiar customs of usage of the terms liberal and conservative with some old guy gummy thrown in? Do not see much Burke in your comments.

    • repentinglawyer says:

      Be kind to Prof GH in identifying with other white males. Usual Irish American response is we suffered more and were really slaves. He probably missed that by not going to AOH communion breakfasts, and since we Irish saved civilization, he isa appropriate defender of Western Culture.

      • About a fifth of the population starved to death 1845-1848, and many of the rest emigrated. The population of the island was reduced by over half.

        We weren’t slaves. We weren’t allowed to marry; we were dispossessed if we converted to Catholicism; inheritance rules were manipulated to divide the sizes of landholdings each generation until the farms weren’t viable any more (a major contributor to the Famine). Of course we could not vote or be publicly employed. It’s actually a major problem when you’re doing 18th century Irish genealogy; because of the penal laws, there are no records. The only way I can identify my 4th-great grandfather is he was counted in a religious census designed to keep track of the Papists.

        I’m glad you find it all amusing.

  8. Ed Stevens says:


    Reminds me of a Friday Afternoon Club I used to belong to a long time ago … before I cast off the evils of intemperance. We called ourselves the “MAMIWAMs” – (Middle Aged Middle Income White American Males) – and our motto was “It’s ALL our fault”. I had no idea at the time just how prescient the concept of the group was ….

    • TexasAnnie says:

      MAMIWAMs? You know, I bet it was all your fault! I bet you were neglecting your families and civil responsibilities while sitting around drinking your courage. I bet your were plotting tax evasion, boasting misogyny, and berating your betters. And y’all probably thought YOU were the victims of the social organization you failed to perfect! But you were wrong. You are the victims of the society you VOTED into being…

  9. bynd says:

    Has anyone else noticed that Sparkles spends the vast majority of her time knocking Repubs. and hardly any time on good specifics of the Dems? The thing is Sparkles, as bad the Repubs maybe, the answer is not the Dems.

    Notice Mr. Sagan didn’t identify the left or right?

    B. Clinton was most admired because those polled were males between 20 and 35 who had a cigar and didn’t know what to do with it until he lead the way. Now that is leadership, isn’t that right ladies?

      • The Grundle King says:

        Right….because right after Al Gore invented the internet, Bill Clinton invented the dot-com…and bubbly spoils were shared by all…well, some anyway.

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