Yuge week

makeOn this blustery Monday morning after Christmas, but before New Years…

A few links with that coffee…


Two out of Three?

Don Walton of the LJS points out that it is unlikely that Nebraska’s apportionment in the House of Representatives will be shrunk from 3 to 2, based on census estimates.

In case you weren’t watching, this is a pretty big deal.

It was sort of assumed — maybe just pessimistically — that this would be the likely result, and end up matching the 3rd and 1st District reps in a showdown.

Don points out that it wouldn’t necessarily have pitted Jeff Fortenberry against Adrian Smith, but that seemed to be the CV. But Don notes something I hadn’t really considered:

Would redistricting attempt to create one urban House seat and one rural seat? Or would it place Lincoln and Omaha in separate districts counter-balanced by rural areas?

It obviously would be easier to bury Lincoln than Omaha in a rural-dominated district.

It would be interesting to see some of the scenarios. One could imagine a crazy gerrymandered district, I suppose. But in general, I don’t think you’d find many “greater Nebraska” residents who would want to be lumped in with Omaha.

I always have to remind my Omaha friends that many west of Lincoln think of Omaha as a combo of inner Detroit, mixed with the Bronx and a dusting of Gomorrah‎.


I know! Fax everyone!

The Don also credits the Governor and Speaker for their idea of mailing postcards to everyone to let them know of any property tax discounts they may be receiving.

As I stated before, while this is a hefty expense — $200K? — it is a shrewd political move, likely. The expense will get buried (probably) and people get notified that the government is “giving” them money.

In the past, Nebraska government officials decided against sending this type of notification — based on the expense — and paid politically.

All that being said…postcards? Really?

It’s the Year 2000 or thereabouts. Is that really the only way to let people know about their taxes? The email system doesn’t work? The Twitters and Facebooks and the rest of the internets?

I don’t know about you, but I want almost NOTHING to come to me by mail. I don’t want a printed receipt, a printed ticket or anything else sitting on my desk, in my wallet or frankly making me walk to the mailbox. (It’s not just laziness. The dog insists on making every trip, which then turns into an extended bathroom break…)

Granted in 1980, maybe that was the only way, but nowadays? Two hundred clams DOES seem like a waste of money when there could and should be better, cheaper methods for this sort of notification.


You’ll wish you’d been there.

As noted before, The Donald is on his way to Council Bluffs (if the weather doesn’t keep him away).

His “sexism” feud with Hillary has cranked up a few notches, and he just posted this on the Twitter:

It will be interesting to see if he just unloads on Hillary the whole time, and ignores the rest of the GOP field. That would be very Trump-like — looking past the initial Primary sale, into the General.

Unless he has another big rally in store this week, this could be the one that the newsies talk about over the New Year.

Doors open at 4:30pm at Council Bluffs’ Mid America Center. (Main event at 6:30pm.)

Hold onto your “Make America Great Again” hat.



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  1. Lil Mac says:

    It turns out, Hillary is a soft target. At one word, Trump deftly shifted Hillary from a powerful former Secretary of State with a bad record, to a powerless weak wife of a profligate impeached womanizer. Is it any wonder that that CNN/ORC shows Trump at 36 and Reuters shows him at 39?

    The GOP will very soon do an about face and love Trump. But right now, they are still pissed off. For Trump has caused every donated GOP dollar to be wasted and he did that on a $700K shoestring. GOP donors are so angry they fail to see this fiscal genius. As Trump pivots towards the Democrats, however, Republicans will be delighted. Besides, his support is measurably under polled.

    Pollsters find that voters with more to lose don’t like admitting they are for Trump. Imagine I am a wealthy educated GOP executive who is for Trump and I see my RNC Chairman go bat-shit crazy and condemn him, our own frontrunner. I don’t need Chairman Priebus egging my Regency home or whatever else crazy people do.

    Trump constantly polls 10 pts lower in V-pls than onlines where respondents feel safer. Whether that is due to embarrassment, paranoia or Reince standing on your front lawn with his hair on fire, the effect is measurable and constant. Trump is probably already in the 50s and rising.

    Don’t fret. If you hated what Donald did to your GOP pony, you will love what he does to the Democrat nag.

    • TexasAnnie says:

      It looks like your predictions about Trump have proved successful so far Lil Mac. But I do not believe he can beat Hillary. We are nearing 1/3 registration as ‘Independent’ in this country. Many voters have already left the GOP and I don’t think it’s because they were wanting somebody like Trump!

      But even if he were elected, I do not believe he would/could do what he’s saying he’ll do while on the campaign trail. We have laws prohibiting the excesses of his egomania. And we have a very wealthy ruling class (the 1%) able to simply buy the government they want.

      • The Grundle King says:

        “We have laws prohibiting the excesses of … egomania.”

        Yeah, and look how well they’ve reigned in the current CiC.

  2. Sparkles says:

    Your interpretation of Don Walton’s comment re the tax relief postcards as giving “credit” (i.e. commendation) for a ‘shrewd political tactic’ on behalf of the Gov, is.. interesting.

    Quoting Mr. Walton:
    “Second, it could make it easier to forego any dramatic increases in additional property tax relief in 2016 at a time when state government is under some fiscal pressure.”

    It seems clear Mr. Walton is pointing out that Pete’s crass political move (which has been widely panned in all public opinion pieces) will in fact make Pete’s professed raison d’etre, property tax relief, much more difficult to achieve.

    • “Sparkles”,
      I am not sure how you could see it any other way.
      In the 1st point, Walton notes that the postcards show the voters, “they heard them and responded”.
      The 2nd point is that since the numbers have changed, and additional tax relief, though wanted, would be difficult to put through, NOT putting it through will now be “easier”.
      Don has been a Pete-fan for a while now. Not sure why you’d think he’d change.

    • TexasAnnie says:

      I can’t imagine that the people (who actually pay both property and state income tax) want to pay more income tax in exchange for a little property tax relief. I know y’all are accustomed to income tax, and indeed, families such as mine who were brought to Nebraska to shore up the income tax (LB775: [read your legislative transcripts!!!] — really got screwed because we didn’t have a state income tax before our arrival there) well, we did save your butts back when your ag economy failed. But now you’re asking those same families to double down and replace all the income tax revenue granted to corporate welfare AND supplant property tax too!

  3. Sparkles says:

    What are the odds that during today’s appearance in CouncilTuckey, The Donald will address yesterday’s scathing Editorial by the publisher of the notably conservative New Hampshire Union Leader.
    Just a few lines from the Editorial:

    “Trump has shown himself to be a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of President of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up protesters in his crowds.”

    “On Feb. 9, we trust New Hampshire Republicans will send “Biff Trump” back to somewhere — anywhere but on the road to the most important elective office in the United States at a most crucial time for this nation.”

    • Sparkles,
      For a New Year’s resolution, I’m going to “suggest” you lay off the cut-and-paste function in your comments. I am usually much more strict on this — as it is noted in the Comments rules.
      Please come up with your own take, rather than, “Here is what some editorial said. Wonder if he’ll comment on THAT!!!”

      p.s. Note that “suggest” is in quotes.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, what deep philosophical position is held by Trump and his followers, or is a crude blowhard a philosopher if an R?

      • Reader says:

        [Editorial] lacks obvious conclusion: Natural home for [Trump] is Democrat party.
        Inference: Democrats lack political philosophy.

        Inquiry: Does the Republican candidate [crude blowhard] have a political philosophy?
        Conclusion: NO [see Editorial].

        Premiss: Democrats lack political philosophy.
        Premiss: Yet, Democrats publish political philosophy.
        Conclusion: Gerard is a Jerk!

    • repenting lawyer says:

      ProfGH, Subtle point probably missed but the Trump folks think they are in the right party and you are welcome to them. Maybe without knowing it they are following Carl Schmitt’s concept of enmity.

      • Sparkles says:


        You really, really have to watch the newly released NetFlix documentary series “Making a Murderer”.

        It is an account of truly remarkable judicial malfeasance.
        A story very likely to stand as the worst indictment of the criminal justice system in modern American history.
        A documentary that is about to shake a nation.

      • RL; two groups that are solidly Democratic — black Protestants and hispanic Catholics — score consistently lowest, according to Pew, on tests of both general and political knowledge. You are part of the rump that puts ignorance over the top in Presidential elections. So let’s not get into a pissing contest about whose supporters are dumber.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nowhere in the US Constitution does it mention “philosophy” or even “dignity”. It mentions “executive” seven times. — “The executive Power shall be vested in a President…”

    Our President is the USA’s Chief Executive; the national CEO. And you guys want a Philosopher in Chief? Others want Mr Dignity in Chief. I think I know what you want. You want a demigod to worship and respect. Well screw that. Grow up.

    Do you pick your attorney or physician by his philosophy or her dignity? A USA Chief Executive’s job is to first be an able chief executive. Americans have a bad habit of overlooking that.

    Walter Bagehot noticed a problem with the U.S. system of government. Whereas in England, he argued, ceremony is separate from substance (the dignity people crave in a figurehead king is kept separate from the gritty political temporary executives who hold the power of government), in America, we Americans have both roles assigned to our POTUS. A US President is our dignity figurehead and our gritty political chief executive. That causes problems. Yet, when you think about it, this is only a problem if we are stupid enough to keep hoping the Presidency is a form of royal office, a magical job that can turn a feckless do nothing like Obama into adept executive.

    Geo Washington started all this worshipful pomp. That was fine until today where immediate problems require we have an executive who isn’t a philosopher but a real executive who can out executive all other executives.

    • Anonymous says:

      ..feckless do nothing like Obama..

      All this means is that he’s not doing things you want, but doing things you don’t want! Your statement flies directly in the face of reality.

      • Sparkles says:

        According to a newly released Gallup survey, the Most Admired Man In The World, FOR THE EIGHTH TIME, by a yuuge margin.. Barack Hussein Obama.

        And the Most Admired Woman in the World, for a record 20th time.. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

        The far right has carved out a truly bizarre little world of their own, totally devoid of fact or reason.
        Donald Trump represents a final frenetic wail as Roger Ailes’ ruthlessly grifted Great Stoopid leaps into the dark chasm that is the final resting place of the GOP.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Amazing. Out of all that you cherry pick Obama? Obama is done. The Bushes were screwy too. Especially Junior. He ham-fistedly destabilized the middle east. But Obama then stupidly left the vacuum into which Islamic State grew. Happy now? Does that make you feel better? Can we get back to the future of America and not worry about how much money you wasted putting that idiot surfer back into office against a cranky dwarf and wooden Mitt?

    I was talking about voters not focusing on what’s important. Thanks for proving my point.

  6. Mark Andrews says:

    And not one word about loss of a House seat, which, as Sweeper points out, is a big deal. Not sure what to do about it. Stop the slow loss of rural population that’s been going on for a century now? Not likely.

    It’d be good to see the NE congressional delegation and, I don’t know, somebody in NE politics capable of long-term thinking, planning for this change.

    • Reader says:

      Now why would it matter if Nebraska sank down to two representatives?
      But if it did, two rural-minded reps would be better than one rural and one urban.
      This is so because Nebraska offers little other than agricultural adventures.

  7. Anonymous says:

    We can get at least Congressional seats if we count all the Nebraskans who are eligible to vote in Mexican elections.

    Viva Grande Roho!

  8. Macdaddy says:

    When was the GOP going to mention all the ways that Bill Clinton has literally abused women before during and after his Presidency? If Jeb! was the nominee, then never. More than likely even Ted Cruz would let Slick Willie skate not to mention the little woman, Hillary, who has enabled the abuse as well as done her fair share. Likewise would Whitewater, the cattle futures, Rose law firm billing records, FBI file-gate, the White House travel office, all the foreign campaign donations, selling the Lincoln bedroom, violating the sunshine laws during her failed attempt at Hillarycare, as well as getting fired by the Democrats who were investigating Watergate. All those things would remain buried except for Donald Trump. The other candidates should take notice. Donald Trump is teaching a master class on how to go for the jugular.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you talking about the womanizer, Clinton? Didn’t he get the economy humming and leave money in the bank for Bush to squander on needless wars? And wasn’t he the fellow that delivered welfare reform in exchange for the EITC? As for me and mine, we’d rather a womanizer than a warmonger.

      • The Grundle King says:

        So, Clinton invented the internet (not Al Gore), and we shouldn’t go after terrorists who attack us…got it.

    • Mark Andrews says:

      “Donald Trump is teaching a master class on how to go for the jugular.” There’s always a bigger bully. Not Clinton or Bush though. We haven’t begun to see just how low & mean politics can get. A refreshing return to American political roots.

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