The Wheels Down Politics Show – Hal Daub

(Click above to play in the browser or Direct download by clicking here, or by searchingWheels Down Politics on iTunes.)

Hal and JerryJerry Kratochvil interviews former Nebraska Congressman, Omaha Mayor and current Nebraska Regent, Hal Daub.

The two discuss the state of the two-party system in Nebraska, particularly as it affects the Nebraska Legislature. They discuss the “non-partisan” body, and Hal gives his views on whether the Unicameral should be replicated throughout the country and how it could be changed in Nebraska.

He discusses further how some Senators act in the Legislature and how it affects the body as a whole. He then gets down to the nitty-gritty and talks about how the state should affect any changes to the Medicaid system.

They then talk about some of Congressman Brad Ashford’s recent comments, saying that he supports both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush for President. Hal then gives his general thoughts on the Presidential race.

They conclude talking a little about how the University of Nebraska system could change and how certain changes would affect the system as a whole.

On the web: University of Nebraska Regent, Hal Daub
Facebook: Hal Daub
12/7/2015 OWH Midlands Voices, Hal Daub: Candidates need to talk about debt


You can find this, and all of our podcasts at and by searching Wheels Down Politics on iTunes.

Thanks for Liking us on Facebook, following us onTwitter and subscribing for our updates (up top on right)!


  1. TexasAnnie says:

    That’s the Hal Daub I remember! For a while he was my pen pal. When he was Mayor we corresponded about the lack of recreational opportunities for children with disability. And he used that very same quote he exhibited in this interview: “govt. can’t be all things to all people.” Which never failed to prompt my rebuttal: “but can govt. be anything to disabled children?”

    I was watching my city govt. and looking over the budget. I was noticing that the city was providing recreational opportunities for golf and baseball and swimming and botanical viewing and hiking and summer youth activities in community centers and new or refurbished arts facilities and, and, and…but according to Hal, city govt. could not provide recreation for ALL, only for SOME.

    And I’m guessing that’s what Hal meant when he suggested that Medicaid expansion in Nebraska should only be “selective expansion.” Because of course, govt. cannot be all things to all people, only some things and only for some people. Hal didn’t express in this interview what selected Medicaid coverage he would support, and the context was about the ACA. But in case y’all are wondering, the federal govt. has offered for quite a long time, waiver programs that enable states to maximize proceeds for medical, educational and recreational opportunities for disabled citizens. But rather than access such federal funds, Nebraska has remained miserly and long overdue in developing needed programming. (And no, Hal, your fundraising work with the Catholic church there doesn’t suffice in this regard.) So the very least able and truly most vulnerable Nebraskans are shut-ins because govt. can’t be all things to all people!

    Hal talked at length about the need for partisan competition in the Unicameral. Indeed he prefers a bicameral, but at the very least he believes Democrat and Republican Party organizations should be in control in Nebraska’s legislature. And he chided ‘Independent’ registrants. They don’t get to participate in the primary elections. (So why not have open primaries?) Hal truly appears to believe that all issues may be boiled down to a Democrat or Republican point of view. That when the compromising is done and that middle ground has been forged, enough of the ALL people will get ALL of the public goods, keeping SOME of the people forever on the margins…and that’s okay with Hal!

      • TexasAnnie says:

        Right! And for that I appreciate his, shall we say, manner.

        It was better to have it straight from him than the lying Governor, Ben Nelson. Once when I had an opportunity to take him unawares, I asked him about LB742, 1995. He blamed it on the legislature, not knowing I had done my homework. I have never respected that man since. It’s not that I can’t forgive a lie, but rather that no opportunity for amends has arisen. Nor is one likely to arise. So Ben Nelson shall forever remain in memory a snake in the grass…

      • TexasAnnie says:

        No. But I did just google it. And I think it’s great to have a place available for ALL to play. However, as I tried to express yesterday morning, usually the recreational equipment suitable for the non-disabled is useless for many with disability. So sharing may or may not work.

        Decades ago, when my daughter was quite young, we took her to Pipal Park in Omaha which was billed as a barrier-free park for disabled children. The equipment there was perfectly suited for children in wheelchairs. But when the playground became overrun with able children who enjoyed using the wheelchair swing also (a dozen or more children would stand on the wheelchair platform together as it swung) fears that they would injure themselves prompted the city to move the swing from the play area. So much for the needs of disabled children!

        I have no problem with integrating activities for children with differing ability. The problem is: all our facilities and equipment are not designed for disability and when it is suggested that we make special purchases budgeteers go nuts! So how about this ‘compromise’ I actually thought up years and years ago. And I argued this point with Hal Daub! ***No more new event centers nor public programming until the disabled are brought to equity.*** That way, the non-disabled who have had everything all along, won’t have to give up what they have always enjoyed, while the disabled catch up. But under Hal, the new, new, new public amenities for the non-disabled just kept rolling along instead.

      • bynd says:

        All play is all that and more. My grandson goes, and although I didn’t particuallry like the idea of segregating him from the “normal” kids, I now see how he thrives there rather than with the other kids. Volunter donors, volunter helpers and any one can rent the place for $75.00 I think it is.

        It comletely changed my attitude owards my grandson going there.

        PS: For any here who I drive nuts with misspelling and other issues, do not, I repeat, do not buy a smart TV with a browser expecting it to be other than a pain in the butt. My TRS 80 seemed to be a better piece of technology. Sometimes, technology does suck. I wish I had a computer back because even mirroring my phone or Ipad to the TV still isn’t the same.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Shame on you, Snoozer. Annie was only telling you to starve your own kids so Annie can get a new whatever for herself as a caregiver. Maybe a new care, a home addition, a lounge chair. Something nice. How dare you put your kids above Annie’s comfort. She’s a caregiver!

    Where is euthanasia when you need it? And I am not talking about the mentally deficient but the greedy inept normal people like Annie. She advocates for the disabled with a blindness to her own ineffectiveness. Hal Daub at least is aware of how stupidly he screwed himself by jumping on Jeb’s rickety bandwagon back when Jeb was leading. Annie isn’t mentally disabled or insane but just stupidly unaware of how unconvincingly in-altruistic her selfish opinions appear.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Anonymous, Your comment was vile. Given the obstacles the parents of handicapped children face and the limited services available to suggest selfishness on Annie’s part is the last refuge of an idiot.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        Thanx, repenting lawyer. I know who that writer is and actually worked alongside him on a few issues when I lived there. He made similar arguments to parents of non-disabled children as well. Being childless and unmarried, he takes great offense at even paying taxes for the public schools!!! And it does not work to point out that the schools are REQUIRED by the state (and federal) constitutions.

  3. repenting lawyer says:

    No one knows more about Omaha than Hal and he was a great mayor,but some of use remember the great Benson debater. Wish I had aged that well.

  4. Sparkles says:

    For some reason, Hal Daub is referred to as an “expert” on Medicaid expansion, yet he demonstrates a total failure to understand even the most basic elements of the bill that’s been introduced by Senator Campbell.

    For example, at about the 21 minute mark, Hal notes (paraphrasing);
    People are finding it’s cheap just to show up at the Emergency Room and pay cash, than purchase health insurance.

    Really Hal?
    First, your hypothetical patient can’t afford insurance, but they have in their pocket the $1233 that is the average cost of an Emergency Room visit?
    But, who pays when they take that patient from the ER to the OR and perform open heart surgery, then take him/her for a 3 week stay in the ICU followed by a week in rehab?
    Who picks up $75,000 to $100,000+ tab for THAT, Hal?
    I think we all know the answer to that.
    Let’s say it’s not a heart attack, what if the ER Doc tells patient X he/she has a kidney disorder, or epilepsy or how about cancer? Diseases that will cost many hundreds of thousands, even millions, over a lifetime.

    At roughly the 23 minute mark, Hal intones (paraphrasing):
    If they’re unemployed and if they’re uninsured, Nebraskans already have Medicaid, SSI, and an array of safety net programs to assist them.

    Hey Hal. a basic tenet of Medicaid Expansion is that it SPECIFICALLY targeted to WORKING poor. Specifically targeted to people NOT eligible for any of the programs you note.
    Roughly 70,000, WORKING Nebraskans, 73% of whom are primarily engaged in food service, construction, sales, janitorial and office support. Nebraskans who slipped through the coverage gap in the Affordable Care Act because they were ineligible for traditional Medicaid and ineligible for health insurance subsidies.
    (By the way, Medicaid expansion would very likely help provide affordable coverage to your hypothetical ER patient.)

    You’re billed as an “expert” Hal, how is it possible for you to get the most basic facts about Medicaid expansion, wrong?

    • Sparkles says:

      Studies have found that individuals and employers who are currently paying for insurance are required a pay more than $1000 additional dollars per policy, per year to help cover the cost of indigent care.

      Medicaid expansion could literally save several of Nebraska’s rural Critical Access hospitals from financial collapse. Saving hundreds of good paying jobs and in turn saving the fabric and viability of entire communities/counties in Nebraska. Something certain to effect, if only in a minor way, every Nebraskan.

      A 2015 study done by two Professor at UNK mirrors a study done by UNO Med Center in 2012, finding that “the state’s economy would conservatively avoid more than $1 billion in silent taxes, medical-related bankruptcies and unnecessary state spending in the next five years with expanded Medicaid.”
      Also, Medicaid expansion would save, create and support 47,000 good paying Nebraska jobs between 2015 and 2020.
      Expansion would generate $174.8 million in state and local taxes, more than enough to offset the cost to the state to expand Medicaid.

      The access to affordable preventative medicine and care (reducing the number of and controlling the severity of costly chronic diseases) would also lead to a healthier and more productive Nebraska citizen, cost savings and productivity gains that would benefit every Nebraskan well into the future.

      AND – your tax dollars have been paying for Medicaid expansion, for the 30 other states that have adopted it, for the last 3 years.

      • bynd says:


        Since the Feds already have the money to pay for expansion, why don’t they? Remember the Pres has a pen and phone and has changed the ACA over 35 times. And whether we pay for emergency care through money added to our insurance or we pay for the ACA through higher taxes, in the end, whcih ever road is used, WE pay for it. There is no free ride and there is no free Fed money.

        Your arguments are bogus! And if you and Obama really cared, you would pay first and argue later. But it isn’t about insurance, it is about control.

        But since you can’t answer those questions in an honest manner, why weren’t the uninsured just added to the FEHB? All would now be insured for a hell of a lot less. ACA is an unsustainable boondoggle. Your outrage would be hilarious if so many weren’t dieing or being hurt by the faux compassion libs.

      • Bluejay says:

        The way the Dems conducted their high tech lynching of a Black conservative with that liar Anita Hill.

        Watching Ginni bravely sit behind her husband made me realize I didn’t want to be in the club with the likes of Ted Kennedy.

        A complete disgrace.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bluejay, I never saw the relevance of Hill to the proceedings. Have no test of truth in he said she said situations, but agree Ginni showed great dignity.

  5. To Sparkles says:

    So medicaid expansion (welfare) costs people more that are actually paying. I do not care about hospitals bottom line. So it is safe to say that my $2,500 dollar savings promised by Obama will not be forthcoming. Shocking. Would the 1000 dollars now needed to pay for the same insurance to stimulate the economy in the same way If I would spend it on other things?

  6. Pundit says:

    Last night, a GOP governor gave the SOTU response, in which she slammed the GOP’s clear front runner, and in return she got a heap of Obama praise. It may as well been the tip of Bill’s cigar.

    From Priebus to Daub, GOP leaders put partisanship above patriotism and common sense to the point they would rather lose elections than have incumbents who cannot be owned like cattle. I know, for I have served GOP Presidents and have lived in this world of prods held by clods.

    TR formed his own party to run against his own GOP. Reagan fought the same hard heads. Abe Lincoln appointed a Democrat as his VP running mate, so much for Abe’s partisanship. Now Trump.

    They who think they lead the elephant, infest it. Its about to get purged and the worms know it.

  7. Otto Dafay says:

    You risk what you expose.

    You want to advocate bravely for something? Fine. Use yourself as example? Sign your name to the broadside? Play at being the insurgent? Go right ahead. I will be there.

    Truth is whatever I wring out of you. Years ago, via with a good racking. Today, I can do as well with a vague accusation of a civil rights violation to deprive you of job, income, home and liberty, ruin your relationships, marriage, take your children, reduce you to ashes. And that is only what can be done in my official government capacity. As whispered innuendo, I can make sure all is forfeit.

    Where did you think you are, in a free country?

    • Macdaddy says:

      Actually, if one has the correct politics, one is immune to such threats. I guess Bill Cosby doesn’t have the right politics. It can’t be the color of his skin, right?

    • Sparkles says:

      How rich.
      Under the nom de plume ‘Otto Dafay’ – who is an obscure character from a decades old Spider-Man comic book – the poster is chiding others to sign their real names to posts so they can be sought out and destroyed.

      And how will our comic book character Dr. Otto Dafay vanquish these evil “insurgents”?
      He’ll deploy the tyrannical powers of (imagined) Political Correctness back onto the minions of the PC insurgency, wreaking untold havoc on their very souls.
      An attack so devastating as to “reduce to ashes” every member of the insurgents extended family.

      THIS is what somehow passes as a sane thought process, as reasoned dialogue, within far too many of the ever more toxic right wing, hate-for-profit enclaves.
      THIS is the Frankenstein’s Monster that has been coddled, mollified and grifted for decades by the right wing infotainment industry. The Monster that is now pillaging the empire of it’s makers as it destroys a once proud political party.

      • Sparkles says:

        You welcome, Annie.

        By the way, I admire your fight for the protection of those who cannot fight for themselves.

      • bynd says:


        Having been the target of one who emailed my wife and church. Put my business name on the internet and accuse dme of horrible things. Put my personal and business phones out, I know better than to leave to much information for other to know. Oh, by the way, he was a gay, Democratic, catholic who voluntered for a lot children’s ministeries. Having talked to them, even the Catholic hierarchy wasn’t to thrilled wiht him. Got a large write up in the OWH when he passed last year. A great example of we all wear masks. So you are right. Generally speaking, it is not a good move to put even the minmumof such information on the web. Because the rest can always be discovered and used in a very malicious way.

        Besides, it doesn’t matter what name you use, unless you are willing to put proof postivie out there to verify, one really knows who you are. Except for Pro. GH.

        RL: My lawyer had a slander suit ready to go. Unfortunately, we could not find an address on him to serve the papers. Or a restraint order.

  8. Breaking the rule about cutting and pasting, but this is important

    A former SEAL Officer’s take on the recent Iran/U.S. Sailors incident:
    “I hope none of my FB friends are gullible enough to believe the strayed into Iranian waters and had mechanic problems nonsense. I rarely pull out my dusty old trident, but in this case, here goes. I was a Navy SEAL officer in the 1980s, and this kind of operation (transiting small boats in foreign waters) was our bread and butter.

    Today, these boats both not only had radar, but multiple GPS devices, including chart plotters that place your boat’s icon right on the chart. The claim by Iran that the USN boats “strayed into Iranian waters” is complete bull$h!t.

    For an open-water transit between nations, the course is studied and planned in advance by the leaders of the Riverine Squadron, with specific attention given to staying wide and clear of any hostile nation’s claimed territorial waters. The boats are given a complete mechanical check before departure, and they have sufficient fuel to accomplish their mission plus extra.

    If, for some unexplainable and rare circumstance one boat broke down, the other would tow it, that’s why two boats go on these trips and not one! It’s called “self-rescue” and it’s SOP.

    This entire situation is in my area of expertise. I can state with complete confidence that both Iran and our own State Department are lying. The boats did not enter Iranian waters. They were overtaken in international waters by Iranian patrol boats that were so superior in both speed and firepower that it became a “hands up!” situation, with automatic cannons in the 40mm to 76mm range pointed at them point-blank. Surrender, hands up, or be blown out of the water. I assume that the Iranians had an English speaker on a loudspeaker to make the demand. This takedown was no accident or coincidence, it was a planned slap across America’s face.

    Just watch. The released Sailors will be ordered not to say a word about the incident and the Iranians will have taken every GPS device, chart-plotter etc off the boats, so that we will not be able to prove exactly where our boats were taken.

    The “strayed into Iranian waters” story being put out by Iran and our groveling and appeasing State Dept. is utter and complete BS from one end to the other.” – Matt Bracken

    • Sparkles says:

      Unfounded speculation in a Facebook post from a fiction novel writer who warned a decade ago that the government had become a politically correct left wing police state and, any day now, was coming to take your guns.

      Also, if you go to that venerable web site of all things kook, Pajama’s Media, you can read Bracken’s novel conspiracy theory about Benghazi-Benghazi!!

      Finally, if you want to dip your toe into the heart of crazytown, you can go to Bracken’s blog, where he goes into great detail: “Mapping the Meta-Terrain Of Civil War Two”
      Wherein, Bracken ponders –
      “Civil War Two may begin on purely political grounds, but it will devolve into something worse.
      Does this mean that all white city-dwellers should head for the hinterland, or that dark-skinned folks living in the country should move to the city?”

      • Hardly unfounded speculation. And it is noticeable that you can’t criticize what he wrote, so you attack him personally.

        Much of it is common sense. A civilian with an iPhone can obtain their position to an accuracy of a few feet these days. The idea these guys accidentally intruded in Iranian territorial waters isn’t even worth discussing. Navigational failure, LOL.

        By the way, he was spot-on about the GPS equipment. Iran confiscated it.

      • Oracle says:

        And it is noticeable that you can’t criticize what he wrote, so you attack him personally.

        Ha ha. You do this all the time anytime a linked article happens to be on a “liberal” web site.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was in charge of observing Iran electronically from the Gulf in the 1980s. The SEAL is correct. And to that I say, “so what?” Do you expect Obama to not be Obama? He is President because GOP leaders are invested in promoting unelectable pawns. If you wish to do something useful, refocus yourself onto the fact that Omaha is the news font for Western Iowa and Iowa is the first national step toward giving America something better or perhaps even astoundingly great.

    The GOP reported that 700 Iowa Republicans voted for Obama during the 2008 caucuses. With McCain all but locked in, polls still showed upwards of 14% of Republicans supported Obama. Exit polls in Nov 2008 showed Obama with 20% of the conservative vote. In 2012, after four years of hammering Obama, Obama still got 17% of the conservative vote.

    Donald Trump is pulling 20% Democrat crossover votes right now. Yet GOP leaders hate that.
    GOP leaders habitually anoint candidates who are unprincipled, unsuccessful, stupid, or all three,

    I hope Trump rips the guts out of the elephant so it can regrow organs that aren’t so cancerous.

  10. Oracle says:

    I was in charge of observing Iran electronically from the Gulf in the 1980s…

    That was over 30 years ago. How is that experience relative to today? I’m sure nothing has changed since then.

    • Sparkles says:


      One would assume his/her electronic observations of Iran missed the numerous shipments of weapons the Reagan administration, via Israel, sold to ‘moderates’ in Iran, including –
      August 20, 1985 – 96 TOW anti-tank missiles
      September 14, 1985 – 408 more TOWs
      November 24, 1985 – 18 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles
      February 17, 1986 – 500 TOWs
      February 27, 1986 – 500 TOWs
      May 24, 1986 – 508 TOWs, 240 Hawk spare parts
      August 4, 1986 – More Hawk spares
      October 28, 1986 – 500 TOWs

      And of course, his/her electronic observations were certain to have missed all the missiles the Reagan admin bartered to Iran, in exchange for hostages.

      • Sparkles only defense is that someone shipped weapons to Iran 30 years ago.

        I’m surprised we haven’t heard about Mossadegh, or for that matter the sad story of Darius the Persian.

      • Macdaddy says:

        And all that pales in comparison to the $150 billion cash that the Nobel Peace Prize winner is going to hand Iran next week in addition to lifting sanctions so that they may get billions more every year. Oh, and developing a nuclear weapon unmolested. And long range rockets to deliver them.

        Isn’t Obama smart enough to learn from Reagan’s mistakes? We know he’s too stupid and lazy to learn from W’s mistakes but one would think that 30 years is enough time to absorb a lesson.

      • Macdaddy says:

        Wait until you see the list of weapons President Obama sent to ISIS from Libya. But you won’t care because we sold something to Spain right before the Spanish-American War.

      • Sparkles says:

        There’s nothing to defend.

        That little naval luncheon in Iran remains a topic of anguish and debate for only a handful of Obama haters in remote pockets of rage on the right.
        It’s a story that will disappear entirely from the mainstream in a few days, with the exception of it’s utility as part of the mongering of hate that is inherent to a GOP primary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.