Load those phrases

Apropos of nothing, I think I figured out what the train in the state seal is supposed to represent...
Apropos of nothing, I think I figured out what the train in the state seal is supposed to represent…

“The reason Congress blocks laws is because they want to win elections.”
– President Barack Obama, 1/5/2016.

It is always telling to see how a statement is posed to understand the true intent of the speaker.

For instance, above, the President frames it in the old, “How long have you been beating your wife?” sense.

“Congress blocks laws…”

Hmm, with all that pen and phone stuff, apparently the President has forgotten that Congress PASSES laws. They don’t “block” them. I suppose you could say certain Members block “bills”. But then again, this President had both houses of Congress on his side when he started his term — and loads of political capital. And he spent it on the bloated ObamaCare.

Now he pretends that he is making some sort of great stride on gun legislation by stepping OVER Congress.

Well, at least one Member spoke out.
Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer immediately gave her thoughts on the President’s pen and phone routine:

“The president’s executive actions would not have stopped any of the recent mass shootings, nor do they address the root causes of violent crime.

Instead, these executive actions infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.

Our constitution was not meant to be altered by an exercise of presidential prerogative; it can only be done by the will of the people.

I will fight this flagrant expansion of executive power and continue to protect the Second Amendment rights of our citizens.”

So it’s always interesting.

The jackasses will respond, “Oh Fischer wants more mass shootings!”


No, Fischer, and others like her believe that there is a set of rules we have chosen to live by (it’s called the Constitution). And if we want to change those rules we absolutely can change them.

But it ain’t by “executive order”.

Oh, and last time I checked, Senator Fischer isn’t up for election.

You really, really want X, Y or Z gun control?
Awesome, put it through Congress.
Congress won’t act?
Fine, convince the American people to make them act.
Congress can’t make the changes you want?
Rock n’ roll, call a Constitutional Convention, and change the things you want.

It’s that easy.

So friends, just because you WANT a million dollars, doesn’t mean that any plan you have to get it is a good one.


Sen. Sasse:

“The President should be bigger than the condescending rhetoric and political cynicism we saw today. Sadly, President Obama is demonizing law-abiding gun owners and undermining the legislative process. This approach will not end heartbreaking tragedies but it will poison public discourse.”

Rep. Smith:

“At a time when we should be focusing our efforts on combating radical Islamic terrorism, treating mental illness, and enforcing laws already on the books, the administration is choosing instead to unilaterally push forward with dangerous violations of Americans’ constitutional rights. The President’s executive actions to restrict gun ownership target law-abiding citizens and subvert the will of Congress. As an unwavering supporter of the Second Amendment, I will continue to stand against this unprecedented overreach and protect the fundamental right to bear arms.”


Let’s look at this at the State level…

So, local-er case in point.

Martha Stoddard of the OWH writes:

“Opponents have thwarted three past attempts to extend publicly funded health coverage to more low-income Nebraskans.”

So says Stoddard of the plans to expand Medicaid in Nebraska.

So that’s what “opponents” did, eh?

Well, if you call them “opponents”, that’s one way.
I’m guessing that many of those who voted against X bill want to help low-income Nebraskans. But because they don’t agree with X plan, doesn’t mean they are “opponents” to health coverage.

It does mean that they think a certain plan is unsustainable, unfair and eventually unworkable for the state.

As Governor Ricketts gets quoted…

“It will cost taxpayers millions and expose Nebraskans to unreasonable financial risk,” the governor said. “Federal spending is out of control, and we cannot count on federal funding over the long term.”

But if you call him and those on that side of the argument, “opponents of health coverage” it makes them sound much more evil.

And the Fourth Estate continues to chip-chip-away for their pet issues.


I do also like the Trust-Ted thing at the end…

Yesterday Donald Trump put out his new TV ad, focusing on illegal immigration.

Today Ted Cruz put out a new one, and while it probably won’t get the free-play that Trump’s did, it is still pretty clever:

Of course, the problem with Cruz’s ad is that it is TOO clever. Yes, we get it: If illegal immigrants were taking the white collar jobs, the press would make it a much bigger issue.

But then we have to think about it a little. So the Press is at fault here? OK. So the Media and Lawyers are the ones who should receive our wrath? But no, not really. It’s really for illegal immigrants who are not actually taking white collar jobs, but we should pay more attention to it.

But really it’s the Media.

OK, but I still think the visuals are funny.


Ask not what your school board can do for you…

With all the discussion about whether 6th graders should be discussing gender reassignment in OPS (really?), some of you may have missed the “news” out of the Millard School Board last night.

Mike Kennedy was elected President of the Millard School Board, after 50 ballots.


Well, in any case, to learn more about Kennedy and his thoughts on such issues as the Nebraska Learning Community, Charter Schools, testing of kids, accountability of schools, national standards and other issues, listen to my podcast interview with him from a few months back.

My guess is Kennedy, and maybe others on the Millard Board, will be involved in the Charter Schools discussion that will be coming soon to the state and legislature.

Take it eaaaasy

It is always a trick to put up new posts at a very specific time each day.

So you know how you get around wondering when Leavenworth St. has been updated? SUBSCRIBE!

Just click up on the top right, and you’ll get an email whenever a new post goes up.

Or if email ain’t your bag, Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook, or Follow us on the Twitter, and you’ll get the same immediate updates.

Couldn’t be easier!

(Oh, and tell your friends!)


  1. Sparkles says:

    Regarding your mockery of Obama’s claim that “Congress blocks laws”.

    You are of course correct that Obama had the support of both houses for two years, the 111th Congress, from 1/2009 -12/22/2010.
    During that time Congress enacted 385 laws. (2 Presidential vetoes)

    Then, Republicans took control of the House to begin the 112th Congress (1/2011)
    The 112th Congress enacted 284 laws (0 vetoes)
    The 113th Congress enacted 296 laws (0 vetoes)

    The 112th and 113th are -officially- the least productive Congresses in American history.

    Congress blocks laws.

    And Obama’s meager effort related to gun control is simply, 1) – an attempt to close the “gun show loophole”, 2) – increasing the efficiency of an existing background check system and 3) – better funding mental health initiatives.
    Pretty tame stuff, and stuff that happens to have overwhelming public support.
    Polls show 89% of Americans, 84% of gun owners and 81% of Republican gun owners support “universal” background checks.. universal, as in, gun shows.

    The real question is;
    Why are Deb Fischer and the Republicans in Congress so vehemently opposed to enacting sensible solutions supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people?

      • Sparkles says:

        “..because Harry Reid filibusters”

        That’s, sort of, funny.

        Please recall, the 11th Congress, is the only one in which Democrats controlled both the house and senate.
        Well, in order for the 111th to achieve the enactment of 385 laws (a below avg. number by historical standards) they were required to break more filibusters than any Senate in recorded history.

        The recent (since Obama’s election) Republican abuse of the filibuster is unprecedented in American history.

      • The GOP were only placed in a position to filibuster from 2010, when they took 41 seats in the Senate, and end 2012, when they took it over. In that time they were filibustering both bills and nominations. Since 2012, the Democrats have been filibustering only bills.

        Is it possible for Sparkles to post anything without twisting the facts?

    • The Grundle King says:

      Harry Reid is particularly effective blocking BILLS, so I can understand why you’d have a beef with him. But if it doesn’t make it through Congress and off the President’s desk with a signature, it’s not a law, therefore Congress can’t block laws. They can fail to pass bills, which is often a good thing considering the ridiculous myriad of laws that already exists in this country…but they cannot block “laws”.

      As far as Obama’s gun…err, people control efforts, they still fail to address the criminal violence problem, and instead focus on people doing commerce. The “gun show loophole” is such an absurd misnomer, it would be laughable if it weren’t repeated ad nauseum.

      I am not “in the business” of selling firearms. In fact, I cannot recall actually selling a firearm. But say I decide to part with one of my shotguns…I could go to a gun show and sell it to an interested buyer without performing a background check. But for that matter, I could simply place an in the paper, or ask around with my friends, and sell it to someone without a background check. That’s called a ‘private party’ sale. Engaging in 1 or 2 private party sales doesn’t mean someone is “in the business” of selling firearms…and with no concrete definition of what it takes to be “in the business” of selling firearms, this new administrative action adds more complication that clarity.

      FWIW, if I were to conduct I private party sale, I’d likely ask to see a NE handgun purchase permit, or a CCW permit, just to make sure the buyer isn’t a criminal. And the vast, vast majority internet gun sales typically involve shipping the weapon to a federally-licensed dealer, and paying that dealer for the transfer paperwork and the NICS background check they will perform to make sure you’re not a criminal.

      The loony left has concocted this crazy idea that there are just tons and tons of unregulated firearm sales happening at gun shows and the internet, when the truth is that I’ve seen very few private party sales at guns shows, and the vast majority of internet sales involve a background check. As an add-on to this crazy idea, they somehow seem to think that the background checks will stop something…nay, anything bad from happening. All one has to do to dispel that notion is look at the fact that the notable mass shooters either passed background checks, or broke other already-existing laws to obtain their weapons. More layers of bureaucracy won’t stop anything.

      What MIGHT have an impact, though, is if our wondrous federal government…which seems to be currently preoccupied in railroading western U.S. ranchers…would prosecute people who break the gun laws we already have. Prosecute felons who attempt to purchase firearms and fail background checks…put them in prison for 5 years and see if maybe they learn their lesson this time. Prosecute people who lie on their ATF firearm purchase applications. Increase the punishment for people who commit violent crimes with firearms, as well as those who are found to be selling weapons to felons.

      If the Senate Democrats, as well as the Comedian in Chief, would focus their energy and efforts on THOSE measures, and not on bogus crap like this, perhaps Congress could pass a few more BILLS here and there.

      • Sparkles says:

        If the universe of gun owners/sellers shared your ethics, there wouldn’t be a problem to address.
        But that’s simply not the case.
        There are hundreds of online gun sellers and thousands of gun show vendors, all with varying scruples. Just one online site, Armslist (a play on the name Craiglist) facilitates hundreds of thousands of private gun sales every year.
        A site on which individuals consistently sell 100 or more guns every year, not a single one with an accompanying background check.
        There are also countless, easily established ‘trusts’ and ‘corporations’ under which guns are purchased. ‘Trusts’ established with the specific intent of skirting background checks.

        And you’re missing much of the backstory on the Hammonds (Burns, OR)
        They’ve been threatening the lives of federal employees for decades. Their also a remarkably oddball lot. You can google the police report of child abuse at the hands of the Hammond elders. Police reports including pictures of the wounds, intentionally inflicted, by literally sanding on the chest of one of their teens.
        Also, as opposed to a small collective of anti-government libertarians, the countless millions who live in fire ravaged western states aren’t as indulgent of those who casually set fire to wilderness preserves.

      • bynd says:


        I tried to sell a pellett rifle this spring. No online or other paper media would let me list it. Includes Craigs List and the BUY SELL TRADE sites. So I’m not sure how many private sales there are except through guns site that let you advertise them there. Which looked daunting enough, I gave up.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Sweeper, I am confused, I would have thought not enacting laws was a part of the Legislative Power. Getting elected is one of many reasons for individual member action both when they favor or oppose. Hardly surprising even without public choice theory. Obama’s over broad statement is preaching to the choir.

    • bynd says:

      Sparkles: Only a looney tunes zealot would gauge the effectiviness of a legislative body by the number of bills passed. The numbers you give, as usual, mean absolutely nothing with out more context. Evidently the context refutes your point since you didn’t give it.

    • Pete says:

      Please Sparkles, for the love of God, explain the gun show loophole to me.
      I’ll wait.

      And don’t BS, because I own four guns purchased at gun shows.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      ProfGH, This conversation is a repeat, so I have seen it before. Reid is doing what a minority leader would do with the 60 vote Senate. Maybe most people still think its the Mr Smith Goes to Washington Senate but they do not bring in the beds any more. Mike Mansfield changed that. Obama does not have to veto because bills he would veto are anathema to current Ds in Senate and can not pass in 60 vote Senate where there is no cross over middle. Does make veto comparisons irrelevant because of more ideological parties in Senate.

  2. repenting lawyer says:

    Are our Senators saying what Obama did violates 2nd Amendment, so that Congress could not do it? If so we are entitled to some explanation beyond mere assertion. Neither seems to be making a separation of powers argument.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      I mean pure separation of power argument. I have some sympathy with separation of powers position. At this point 2nd Amendment has become almost devoid of content in the hands of some of its friends. As an aside, there is now a case on knives, Washington S. Ct., 5-4 knives not within 2nd Am. or State provision

  3. Sparkles says:

    Breaking news –
    New research finds that hospital stays by uninsured patients declined by 50% in the first two quarters of 2014 in states that expanded Medicaid availability.

    A 50% reduction in outstanding debt from patients who previously could not have paid their bills.
    Of course this financial boon is limited to the 31 states who’ve embraced medicaid expansion.

    So there remains thousands of hospitals throughout 19 red states that have turned down medicaid expansion that continue to suffer these losses. Losses incurred even though their citizens are paying to support medicaid expansion for the rest of the nation. The hospitals now suffering the greatest financial crisis are small, rural hospitals in sparsely populated, non-expansion states.

    Ah, but all’s well in Richey Ricketts’ Nebraska.
    After all, the good folks of Pender and Neligh, Ogallala and Ord, Benkelman and Valentine, they don’t need life saving care within a few hours drive. They’ll just wait til the weekend when they can make it to the city. Or maybe catch a quick flight to a specialist in Chicago.
    And of course those Mom & Pop diners, the town mechanic, grocery stores and small town clothing boutiques don’t really need the support from the good paying jobs over at the hospital. When the hospital administrator signs that final paycheck and the hospital doors close for the last time, the good rural folk will surely just start up some of business on that internet thingy.
    Maybe selling photographs of boarded up shop windows and decaying homes.

    • bynd says:


      The Feds have the money to insure all of these folks right now. Why don’t they? And please spare us the “not part of the medicaid law” baloney. The Prese refuses to insure these folks for political gain. So much for humane Pres.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone else notice the post on Facebook by Mike Kennedy announcing he was just elected president of the Millard School Board is full of punctuation and grammar errors? Argh.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not kidding. If you’re announcing you were just elected to a position of overseeing thousands of kids’ education, think a little before you post. It’s not that hard.

    • You have to be kidding says:

      Kennedy has been on the Millard Board for 4 terms and has run the district well. I don’t think we parents that overwhelmingly voted for him in the last election care about commas in his facebook posts. What we care about is that he and the Board made Millard a top notch district. Mike Kennedy pushed for Nebraska’s first Early College program that has kids earning both their HS diploma and their Associates from Metro in 4 years. It’s a huge savings for the taxpayers and the parents

  6. I buy my underwear at Kmart says:

    Trump is throwing in on Ted Cruz being born in Canada. – “Shades of the Obama birther nonsense”, you say. “McCain was born in Panama” you say.

    McCain was born on a US Naval Base to serving US parents. Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and alien father on US soil. Ted Cruz was born to an American mother in Canada. She wasn’t serving the USA there. And Ted’s father was a Cuban who chose not to become an American but rather a Canadian citizen, inside Canada.

    Does that legal sense? Maybe not in the dry atmosphere of this blog. But as some here have pointed out, Iowa Caucus voters are “Walmart people” who show up at political meetings with campaign stickers on their foreheads. And if anything ought to be apparent by now, Trump doesn’t waste his time doing anything useless to his purpose.

    Look at Ted Cruz’ ad. He, a born Canadian, is instructing Americans on immigration. If a Canadian Bacon Cuban Sandwich Ted Cruz will be swallowed anywhere, it will be in Iowa caucuses.

    And why not? If Lee H. Oswald had escaped to Moscow, his soviet raised son would be as eligible as Ted Cruz is today to run for POTUS. — Hell, let’s all don forehead stickers! It the nauseous raucous caucus for us! We can stop at Walmart on the way…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good call, Sweeper, Cruz’s ad is vapid. Tries to be intelligent but is in fact stupid.

    At the 1992 national debate semifinals, clever Ted gave his opponents the choice of topic, they ran out the clock making the audience laugh at Ted, who lost his cool and the debate. In Nov 2015, at a presidential debate, Cruz was unable to name all five government agencies he himself said he would abolish. Known for filibustering skills, Cruz has the third worse attendance record in the entire Senate. He does no actual work. He is an egotist like the rest but also stupid. How will that play to Iowa voters? And you cannot blame that on Trump. Cruz is a stupid prick.

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