Positioning for the new year

I mentioned in the morning links that the OWH wrote a Sunday feature comparing the legislative styles of Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse.

Maybe they are just trying to stir things up, but it was an different way to go with the two Republicans from Nebraska.

On the completely FWIW side, I did note this:

In the Sunday morning edition, the front page, below the fold, article looked like this:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 12.32.40 PM

But the online version looked like this:

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 9.37.49 AM

Why the transpositioning of the photos?

Was that a choice? Were they trying to be “fair”? What’s at work there? Anything?

Interesting, simply in the fact that most subscribers probably don’t even read the article. Does it matter which one is first?

Maybe not. Probably not.

Still, I wonder how many staffers noticed this…


Scary New Year!

Deena Winter of Nebraska Watchdog is gone (from the state), but not forgotten.

In a year-end summary on the national Watchdog website of the Scariest People of 2015, she gets her Husker on by listing a couple Nebraskans for the list:
State Senator Ernie Chambers and Hitchcock County Assessor Marlene Bedore.

For Bedore she notes,

(State Property Tax Administrator Ruth) Sorensen released her conclusion that Bedore lowered property values for campaign supporters and associates. She recommended a year’s probation, 14 corrective measures and five educational courses.

Of the properties reviewed by the state Revenue Department, 92 percent of the owners who were associated with Bedore saw a drop in property value.

(Not real sure how this makes Bedore “scary”, but it’s their theme, so I’ll let ’em run with it.)

As for Chambers? She talks about the ISIS and Death Penalty vote stuff.

But Winter concludes

He is brilliant, but has accomplished little to help his poverty-stricken, crime-ridden district in north Omaha. Rarely does he introduce legislation; most of his talent is spent blocking bills.

Now when was the last time you heard someone in the local press say THAT?


It’s a Family Affair

Pat Borchers, who is running for the Beau McCoy’s retiring seat in the Legislature (West O and Elkhorn) will be putting up his fundraising numbers soon.

We have word that he raised around $77K in 2015, with around $60K COH.

As of this writing, a speculated opponent, former Chuck Hagel Chief of Staff, Lou Ann Linehan, has not officially entered the race. It was thought that she would get in with Pete Ricketts lieutenant Jessica Flanagain as her consultant.

But with Flanagain officially in the Governor’s office, that would likely have to change (right??).

But it would be a different twist if she runs while her daughter pushes a high-profile state agenda (Charter schools) while she is also running for Legislature. Her daughter, Katie Linehan, was joined by State Senator Bob Krist and others announcing their “Educate Nebraska” initiative for expanded private education — also a pet-issue of the Governor’s.

No word yet on Lou Ann’s run. But it will be interesting to see if and/or how this affects it.



In case you haven’t seen it, here is Donald Trump’s new TV ad:

I was surprised they used the line, “…until we figure out what’s going on.

I definitely caught my attention, but not in a good way.

Scott Adams, who is one of the few analysts who predicted Trump’s rise and continuing height in the polls, argues that Trump uses this line in the ad very specifically and effectively, using the “high ground maneuver”:

The high ground is that this is a complicated topic full of disagreement about just about everything except that the risk is greater than zero. So Trump says the one thing that everyone can agree: Collectively, we need to better understand our enemies. But in the short term, let’s lock the front door while we figure it out.

Who disagrees with that way of thinking? In other words, first you apply the tourniquet, then you figure out why the car crashed. You don’t do those things in the other order.

That’s the high ground maneuver. He moved the focus from the weeds – where everyone disagrees – to the high ground where everyone agrees.

Read the rest of Adams’ post, and his blog where he extensively discusses Trump’s communication prowess.


Tin Cup

I want to thank all of you who have been Liking Leavenworth St. on The Facebook and Following on the Twitter.

It’s one of those little things that helps this site, but it also makes it much easier for you.  You get immediately notified every time there is a new post up.

And on Twitter, I routinely post news articles and mini-items throughout the day and night. (You can see a running tally of my Twittered items up on the right.) You get yourself some Leavenworth St. snacks throughout the day and night.

In any case, you’re awesome, and I thank you for taking the time to do that little thing that benefits us both!

(And hey, it’s someone’s Tin/Aluminum anniversary coming up in a few weeks…)



  1. Sparkles says:

    Speaking of scary new year..
    I wonder if the members of the right wing Y’allQaeda terrorist network that seized the federal wildlife refuge in Oregon are promised 72 virgins?

    • Sparkles says:

      But, might be hard to starve them out. I see they’ve taken to Facebook and Twitter asking people to send them supplies or snacks.
      One would assume their donations of Ding-Dongs, Vanilla Wafers and Country Time Lemonade will arrive via the U.S. Postal Service.

      How about we build a big fence around the building they’ve occupied (maybe get Mexico to pay for it), then jam all incoming/outgoing electronic signals, thus insuring the morons can neither be seen nor heard from. Then simply sit back and wait for them to raise their Gadsden flag of surrender.
      No Press, no Phone, no Facebook, no Twitter, no WorldNutDaily and no TeeVee.
      I give ’em three days, or until this weeks edition of Duck Dynasty is scheduled to air.

      Speaking of snacks.. I wonder if Vanilla Wafers might become the official snack food for Murica’s new VanillaISIS.

      • Mark Andrews says:

        You’re too nice, Sparkles.

        Throw an actual cordon around these knuckleheads. Nobody & nothing goes in or out. Shut off the power, gas, water & sewer and wait. A time-honored way of controlling animals is through hunger.

        The worst parts of recent riots and insurrection is raising the bar to sedition. Sorry, play time is over.

      • Bro says:

        You sang a much different tune when rioters took over the streets of major cities.

        Those rioters, btw actually harmed people and property while the dimwits in Oregon have done neither.

      • The Grundle King says:

        Oh, come on now Sparkles…in the spirit of the Baltimore protests, we just need to give these folks their space to vent their frustration. I’ll bet they haven’t even looted one shoe or jewelry store.

        In all seriousness though, this whole takeover thing is completely absurd and should be stopped. But what the federal government has done to the Hammond family is far worse than anything these yahoos are doing. Even if a person accepts the argument (apparently supported only by a nephew of questionable mental stability) that the Hammonds set a SMALL grass fire (less than 1/4 of a section) to cover up poaching, five years in prison is an absurd sentence considering that, A) the forest was already on fire, and B) people don’t even get 5 years in prison for killing bald eagles.

        The father and son served their sentences as ordered by the court, and should have never been re-sentenced. By all appearances, they were thrown back in prison so that they’d never be able to raise the remaining money needed to pay their fines, and the federal government (with first right of refusal) will finally get the land that they’ve been coming after for decades.

      • Anonymous says:

        GK, the reason that the two were sent back to prison was that the sentencing judge illegally ignored the required minimum sentences that was required for the crime they were convicted of. If one is fine with minimum required sentences for the black guy selling crack cocaine, then one needs to be consistent in this case.

      • The Grundle King says:

        “If one is fine with minimum required sentences for the black guy selling crack cocaine, then one needs to be consistent in this case.”

        Firstly, you don’t know that I’m fine with that…and it’s racist of you to assume that only black guys sell cocaine, and that only black guys get hit with mandatory minimum sentences when caught selling cocaine.

        And if you’re going to spout off about consistency, then shouldn’t that apply to you, as well? If you oppose such mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, shouldn’t you also oppose them even when those who are hit with such sentences are *gasp* white conservatives?

  2. Sparkles says:

    I’ll give Trump credit for one thing; consistency.
    Few can sustain the long con as consistently and effectively as The Don.

    PolitiFact just honored The Don’s new ad with a “Pants On Fire” award.

    Apparently, while the ad’s foreboding narration reitterates the (nonsensical) pledge:
    “He’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”
    The video simultaneously shows a grainy image of people running across a dry stream bed – 5,000 miles away – near the outskirts of a small Spanish village a short distance from the Moroccan coast.

    Trump is cranking the GOP, Grifting Obtuse People, to levels never before witnessed.
    And in a field of Grifter luminaries such as Gingrich, Palin, Huckabee, Cain, Bachmann, Cruz, etc.. that’s truly saying something.

    • anon says:

      Grifters? And this doesn’t apply to the Clinton’s. Remind us again of your credibility that you were a long time republican

      • Sparkles says:

        I still know most of the words to the song, In a Yugo (as sung to the Elvis classic, In the Ghetto)
        And, I know them honestly, because I was a DittoHead for nearly two decades.

        I’m a fan of William F. Buckley, have been since I was a youth.

        I was a dues paying, card carrying member of the NRA for 15 years.

        The Right and the NRA left me, I didn’t leave them.

        Sure Bill Clinton was, and is a bit smarmy, but he was and is one smart motherfr. He knew how to make the trains run. He’s already viewed by political scholars as one of America’s greatest Presidents.
        And Hillary is almost impossible to like, but for the objective viewer, her knowledge, skill and sheer force of will are impossible not to admire. And, she’s even smarter than Bill.
        She’s the most qualified person on the planet to be POTUS.

        Also, the right’s obsession with the Clintons will only serve to insure a GOP POTUS defeat.
        The right wing noise machine’s total fabrication of myriad faux Clinton scandals, all of which will all be drug out and hammered ad nauseum for the next 10 months, will once again serve to repulse mainstream Americans.

      • The Grundle King says:


        You say ‘the right left you, you didn’t leave it’, then go on to say that Hillary Clinton (of all people) is the most qualified person to be POTUS.

        Those two sentiments are contradictory.

  3. Lil Mac says:

    The Iowa Straw poll (1979-2011) preceded the Iowa Caucus by six months. It was such a poor predictor and egregious waste of time and money that in spring 2015, all the GOP candidates refused to take part and the Straw Poll folded. Good riddance. — For what it is worth, the Iowa State Fair (August 2015) ran a straw poll and found Trump and Sanders most popular.

    The Iowa GOP Caucus has a similarly poor record of predicting the nomination and presidency. Only once in 4 decades did Iowa pick a contender who ended up President. Half the time, Iowa cannot even pick their own party’s national nominee. The last two were losers Santorum and Huckabee.

    Initially, Trump called Iowa a waste of time. Yet perception is everything and Iowa is the first primary. So Trump is spending 1 million per week on ads from now to the Iowa Caucus. A total of $4 million. (Ricketts spent 14 million losing to Ben Nelson.) Trump lacks ground game in Iowa and is said to suffer as a result. Well, maybe. Maybe not.

    Whereas the Iowa Democratic caucus is public and your party chairman can slash your tires if you vote wrong, the Iowa GOP caucus is secret. Iowans show up, sort of like they did at the state fair, and vote secretly. Since Trump is iconoclastic, that may help Trump. Besides, research shows white males consistently under poll for Trump by 20 pts while everyone generally (when not polled secretly) under polls by 10 pts. The effect is so far consistent.

    It is my guess that Trump’s internal polling shows him winning Iowa if he presses it. It is his own money he is spending, so he isn’t throwing it away out of political correctness.

    By winning Iowa, that should winnow the field to Trump’s benefit. Since Trump is already shifting toward Hillary, we can be sure he feels he has Iowa fairly solid. But we shall see.

    • Oracle says:

      It is his own money he is spending…

      Another Trump lie that you and most other Republicans are falling for, hook, line and sinker.

      Just google “trump financing own campaign” for a dose of reality. Trump knows that few bother to confirm what he says, so he’ll say anything that helps him get elected, whether true or not.

      • bynd says:

        Yes with two Democtatic Senators, 4 out 5 Congress men are Democrat and the Democrats have held both chambers since 2012. I doubt those men are real gun toten men. More like men with the name sparkles. But yes the sheep still run scared. And not just becaused they are being fleeced:)

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bynd, Those who grabbed the facility are not from Oregon, and, in any event, this is Burns, not Western Oregon. I suspect guns are common.

  4. TexasAnnie says:

    Street Sweeper:
    The Hitchcock County Assessor Marlene Bedore story is scary because when people in positions of authority abuse that authority and almost get away with it, we all lose our rightful justice and liberty. Perhaps you are indifferent, but I am afraid of losing my justice and liberty. It seems to be creeping around at all levels of government! And of course the whole point of the Watchdog website is to keep an eye on our justice and liberty…

  5. TexasAnnie says:

    Well I just spent a half hour back-tracking OWH articles about potential action on reducing property taxes there. It seems a supercommittee of Revenue & Education members has been meeting since August. And of course Ricketts too is drawing up plans of reducing property taxes. Some interesting ideas have been suggested, some with a stated goal of shifting cost of K-12 from property to income and sales taxes. Now while I believe that policy would be constitutionally sound (Art. VII, Sec. 1, Neb. Const.) I can’t imagine that the people of about seven counties will be willing to carry the others. Have y’all considered the effect of relying on state revenue (income, sales & misc. taxes) for funding this state obligation (public education)?

  6. That's rich says:

    This year, the Elephant Remembers dinner features an irrelevant “Presidential” “candidate” and an irrelevant one term former Governor who hasn’t served in 25 years.


    • Sparkles says:

      Mike Huckabee is, quite literally, an amoral con artist.
      Google it. His litany of cons and fundamentalist hucksterism are all quite well documented.

      Why don’t the members of the DCRP step forward and demand their local leaders refrain from embarrassing the group?

      Why do you allow this to be done in the name of your party?

  7. Lil Mac says:

    Oracle, in voters’ eyes it is indeed Trump’s own money he is spending; else it be GOP money, else Priebus wouldn’t have condemned his own GOP front runner, Trump. THAT tells voters the GOP cannot own Trump, from the GOP’s own national chairman’s lips.

    Trump turns millions into billions. He wipes his butt with money. Do you think voters don’t know that?

    In case you haven’t noticed, Trump is smart. He sets up the narrative, draws opponents into it, and then lets voters reach the apropos conclusion. Trump knows that people trust their own conclusions that come from watching others who are trying to hit Trump smack themselves. That is convincing.

    Priebus convinced voters that Trump isn’t owned by the GOP. Hillary convinced voters she really is stupid by calling Trump a “sexist” while she asks her uber-sexist husband to pimp for her on the stump. Jeb convinced voters he’s an idiot for denying the state in Mexico where his own in-laws live, just as Carly convinced voters her sexist defense of Rosy O’Donnell is irrationally impolitic, just as Carson convinced voters that hitting momma with a claw hammer is creepy. Maybe Cruz will convince voters that him having the worst attendance record in the Senate means he’s insincere. Trump gets voters to conclude these things on their own. He’s not making his opponents stupid. They come that way.

    No one is falling for Trump. He earns his support by getting idiots who attack him to pull down their own pants, and that include the dopey douchebag to whom you donated.

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