Stuck in the middle

Word on the street is that former Alaska Governor, and Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin will endorse Donald Trump today or tomorrow.

The Ted Cruz peeps aren’t too happy about it, complaining that Trump isn’t the sort of “conservative” that Palin has endorsed in the past.

But it made one wonder where THIS politician (the one in the middle) will turn.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 12.11.21 PM

Well, not really.
We know Senator Sasse ain’t a Trump guy.

There’s probably a 99% of so chance he’s a Cruz guy.
But still…

(And Iowa Governor Terry Branstad just said, “it would be a mistake for Iowa to support” Ted Cruz. Mrrrawar!


Once again, legislation on the edge!

Democrat Heath Mello and Left Wing Republicans Kathy Campbell and ohn McCollister introduced a Medicaid expansion plan at the Capitol today.

Governor Pete Ricketts has expressed his opposition to Medicaid expansion numerous times recently.

So where does it stand politically?
Answer: Teetering on the edge!

Any proposed legislation would require 33 votes to break a (assumed) filibuster in the Unicameral.

There are 49 Senators…
(…doing math…)
…Therefore, if 17 Senators do not support the Medicaid expansion plan, and sustain the filibuster, it’s a no-go.

Well, after the Mello-Campbell-McCollister gig, a different set of Senators came forward, to OPPOSE the bill. And in their ranks they had…


And they said they have 4 more on their side.
That’s (more math…) 19!

So, they have to hold on to most all of them.
And the Medicaid Expansionists need to turn 3 of them.

And the battle of Whose Will is Stronger begins.
Or continues…


At least they’re consistent…

And just because, it is worth looking at the LJS’s Don Walton’s political column from yesterday.

As he is wont to do, once again The Don pointed to a number of votes from the 2015 legislative session to note how “independent” the legislature is.

But you know what Don never notes? The Democrats of the Legislature aren’t the least bit “independent”. As a matter of fact, they must take their marching orders directly from the the Democrat State Chair, or from Heath Mello, or from some other fat-cat Democrat in a smoky back room.

Because they march in lock step on nearly every issue, just like the band director told them to. No variation. No independent thought.

Boy, sure doesn’t seem to be what George Norris had in mind when he proposed that “non-partisan” body.

But the party Dems gotta be happy that they have good little drones…


If we can put Joe Biden on the moon…

And then, looking for the Congressional Republicans to get all clappy whenever President Obama speaks, Walton asks why Republicans couldn’t support the idea of Joe Biden curing cancer! Do Republicans LIKE cancer?????

Well, part of it is because of the inherent idiocy of the “proposal”, which is using a word that does not apply.

Does anyone think that Joe Biden is going to march down to the National Institute of Health and start peering into beakers and ordering blood samples and the like?

OK, let’s back up. Let’s say the President DID propose Biden do this…in the first year of his first term. Well, if nothing else, it might sound like Joe had a mission for the next four years, and we could measure getting Congressional approvals and funding and yadda yadda.

But in the final 12 months of his LAST term? That’s the time to focus on “cancer”, eh?

And oh by the way, WHICH “cancer” is it we are talking about? As NRO’s Kevin Williamson points out, that is a very generic term for a number of different illnesses.

“Cancer” refers to a category of diseases, one that contains hundreds of different maladies. Some of those have a great deal in common with one another, many do not. Spindle-cell breast cancer really isn’t very much at all like Hodgkin’s lymphoma; the former presents a very difficult course of treatment with a poor outlook, while the latter is so effectively treated (90 percent survival rate) that it is sometimes described as “curable,” though physicians tend to shy away from the use of that word.

That is almost like suggesting that Joe Biden is going to go out there and cure “illness”.

But ain’t it like a Democrat to suggest something sweeping, pretty much impossible, in a dumb amount of short time…and then complain when everyone else doesn’t get on board since the GOAL is so awesome.

Not everything is the “moon landing”.
(Which didn’t happen in 12 months either…)


McCoy in the chair

The Council of State Governments announced that Nebraska State Senator Beau McCoy will serve as the 2016 National Chair.

The CSG, the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government, champions excellence in governance to advance the common good.


You know what to do



  1. The Ghost of John Y says:

    When will establishment Repubicans that are friends with John McCollister put aside their personal feelings and set this guy straight. You guys are hypocrites. If a liberty person had a voting record like McCollister you would be calling for the execution of Ron Paul. If Jerry the gentle, ginger giant from gerrymanderville knows this.


    p.s. Jim McGinnis hates the constitution.


  2. jimm says:

    Your comment:
    “they must take their marching orders directly from the the Democrat State Chair, or from Heath Mello, or from some other fat-cat Democrat in a smoky back room.

    Because they march in lock step on nearly every issue, just like the band director told them to. No variation. No independent thought.”

    The exact same can be said for our Republican Party. At least try to be fully forthcoming in your comments, please.

  3. Frequent Voter says:

    jimm, jimm, jimm,

    Are you watching the same non-partisan, Unicameral Legislature as I am? The Republicans are all about independent thought! Perhaps you missed last year’s debate on, let’s see, just about every bill. The transcripts are riveting and filled with thoughts, all kinds of thoughts.

  4. Sparkles says:

    It was delightful to see today’s Lincoln Journal Star Editorial take a paddle to one of the NEGOP’s Agenda 21 nutballs. One from the clan of the tin-foil hats.

    It was even more special that the Committee Chair (a fellow Republican) is quoted to be in concurrence with the opinion of the LJS.

    The Republicans in the state legislature don’t lock arms and march in step as one, because (thankfully) most are aware that several of those arms of their fellow Republicans belong bound in straightjackets.

  5. Bluejay says:

    White House staffers have been reading Wall Street’s research on biotech. Lots of great new drugs in the pipeline. Biden will take credit for what the private sector does. Just like Obama and fracked oil. And, at the same time, the Dems will call for drug price controls for all the expensive wonder drugs NIH could never invent.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bluejay, I spent a number of years on a medical school IRB, much of the front line cancer research was NCI or medical school based. A large part of private drugs were change a radical me too drug research. Historically fed gov was a major source of drug research funding, though it is not as substantial a source now.

      • RL:
        There is no doubts that the basic research on sequencing, monoclonal antibodies, and epigenetics was funded by NIH. But the agents themselves were conceived, and brought through clinical trials by pharmaceutical companies. NIH funds drug discovery, but not drug development. The major costs are in getting approval, not initial development.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, That was my understanding, and research labs are now to seek patents and partner with private drug companies because of limits on federal funding. It was only the all one and nothing from the other approach I was challenging. Bring drugs to market is expensive, hence orphan diseases.

    • Sparkles says:

      And without the federal government, there would be no such thing as a fracked oil boom.

      Over three decades, the federal government contributed more than $100 million in research to develop fracking, and billions more in tax breaks.

      Yet another instance where “we built that”, comes with a big, fat, government (taxpayer) assist.

      • Bluejay says:


        You are wrong. A guy from Columbus, Nebraska invented fracking. He worked for either EOG or Contentential Resources.


        I can assure you that Amgen, Celgene, Gilead, Ziopharm et al are way ahead of the NIH in all matters of research.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bluejay, I not sure what your assurance is based on, but the decline in government financing does impact the existing situation. WSJ is an excellent source but it reports matters that impact stock value, not more basic research. It does very little with history or development. Do you have another source. Cancer research is very much medical school based through the various oncology groups, though my experience is a little old.In any event the history of medical and drug development very much involves government. Not the simplistic story you are telling.

      • Sparkles says:

        Nick Steinsberger’s contribution was merely a modification of the fracking fluid… In 1998, long after fracking had been or was being used by every major oil company in America.

      • Bluejay says:


        Ziopharm is an example of private industry working with the academy (MD Anderson) on several breakthrough cancer treatments. NIH has nothing to do with them as far as I know, CAR-T and Sleepng Beauty therapies will cure cancer.


        News to me. Not what Gold wrote in his book.

      • bynd says:


        But they are rapidly making up for it with the alternate energy stuff. In any case, the government contributed zilch. It is the tax payers money that paid for all of it. The government has no money. Even the stuff they print comes out of our hide eventually.

    • I think this is spot on. We are a few years away from a revolution in cancer treatment, where we can select treatments based on the precise characteristics of specific cancer cell lines, and adapt the treatments as the cancer cells evolve.

      So it’s about time for politicians to try to grab credit.

  6. Lil Mac says:

    How many times must you be run over by the Trump bus before you figure out somebody is actually driving it?

    The ultimate elegance in strategy is to win everything while appearing to have had no strategy at all. Rather than studying strategy, I recommend first do this: Quit assuming what you see is all there is.

    Magic is any causation we cannot see. When our opponent sees ten moves ahead of us, the worst thing we can do is to presume he is playing the game haphazardly as a fool.

    We are two weeks out, sans the holiday, and we can expect Trump to trigger momentum among soft votes; i.e. get Ted heading down and Don heading up. Do a point each day and the spread is huge.

    How? Maybe Sarah says she likes Donald and Terry says Ted is horrible for Iowa. Something like that. That would either be planned months ago or nobody is driving that bus and it’s all just magic.

  7. Sparkles says:

    Oh, by the way, Ricketts’ Retrogrades are going to lose the Medicaid expansion battle.

    As you’ll recall, Kintner got 17 GOP votes, and failed, in his attempt at ‘transparency’ (attempt to ramp up partisan political thuggery).
    In today’s action, Pete’s Platte Institute got even fewer GOPers (15) to attend their gathering in protest of the (widely publicized) introduction of a novel bill to expand affordable -private- insurance to Nebraska’s working poor.

  8. To sparkles says:

    It’s Kintner. Getting 15 to stand on stage in public with him means that there are 10 more who will vote with him but are too smart for the photo op.

  9. repenting lawyer says:

    Sweeper I agree that talking of cancer as , or has the statue run on that.a single disease entity is simplistic, but I thought Obama was channeling Nixon and the War on Cancer

  10. The real fun will start with the realization that we will probably be able to cure cancer, but the cure will be so expensive and take so much time that only the rich will be able to afford it. This is happening already in Britain, where some very effective but expensive anti cancer agents are not being provided by the national health service, because of cost.

    Money already gives one several extra years of life. It will soon give one a lot more years. Steve Jobs lived 8 years with a disease that usually kills in a few months. People will be setting aside a few million bucks for life extension the way they currently do for retirement. And the Democrats will continue to whine that it’s not fair.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bluejay, Impact of cuts is on younger doctors who went on a one day strike. Wonder where leavers will go since it seems like Indian docs are coming to US.

    • Sparkles says:

      I think you’re conclusion that “Democrats will continue to whine that it’s not fair.”, is in error.

      Surely you recall the shrieks, caterwauls and incoherent blubbering of the ‘death panels’ crowd.
      And of course, it’s 4 blue states (soon to be 5) that have passed Death with Dignity laws.

      I haven’t seen the poll, but it appears to we’ve tested the hypothesis that it’s the folks in the bible belt and the deep red states that would scream the loudest at the mere mention common sense rationing of care. A rationing that occurs in nearly every other nation on the planet, industrialized or not.

      One third of all Medicare costs are incurred in the final few months of life. Today’s average Medicare recipient will receive far, far more in benefits than they paid in.
      Bottom line, if you’re 92 years old, with COPD, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and glaucoma, Medicare should NOT be paying for your hip replacement, a colonoscopy, or lasik eye surgery.
      And, if while in this medical state you happen to get terminal lung cancer (after having smoked all your life) the answer should be; ‘sorry Charlie, here’s your pill, enjoy your afterlife’.
      (Of course unless Charlie’s last name is Koch. Then by all means, open the pharmacy floodgates, call in the world’s finest and funnel some of the largess toward building a new hospital wing.)

      Also, if you’re laying in a hospital bed with terminal cancer, your body wracked with intolerable pain for weeks on end, and you’re BEGGING for that pill, your request should be granted, with all due haste.

      Thankfully, as our cultures to abandon the regressive mores of largely fictional religious dogma. the option to choose death with dignity will become a more common alternative.
      An option that will bring relief to hundreds of thousands in the coming decades and save taxpayers countless billions.

      Time for folks to told they’re going to have to buck up. Take one for the Gipper.

      • Mark Andrews says:

        Woof, Sparkles. Thanks for that steaming load of shite, particularly “Thankfully, as our cultures to abandon the regressive mores of largely fictional religious dogma. the option to choose death with dignity will become a more common alternative. An option that will bring relief to hundreds of thousands in the coming decades and save taxpayers countless billions.” Ever watch “Soylent Green?”

      • Sparkles says:

        Love Soylent Green.
        That was Chuck in his prime, long before his famous appearance in Denver where he waved a gun aloft and bellowed about his “cold dead hands”. A speech given within a week of the burial of of 13 Columbine students just a few miles away and with a dozen more gunshot victims still lying in nearby hospital beds..

        But why Soylent Green? Are you saying Big Government has designs to turn old folks into.. crackers?

        Speaking of old sci-fi movies, also love Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
        Donald Sutherland’s eerie scream near the end of the movie, and the damning point of his finger as he called out an ‘other’, always conjures the image of a Tea Partier, who suddenly realizes President Obama has showed up at their rally.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Sparkles, Your kind advice to the old is much appreciated. You do not seem to take the Young Werther problem seriously, why not? In addition since the issue is life extending treatment, I find your enthusiasm for death with dignity as an answer to cost of treating the non wealthy hard to justify. A standard criticism of death with dignity is that it will be used to avoid treating the non useful poor.
        Like to meet the arthropod who will do surgery on the 92 year old you describe.

      • Sparkles says:


        Re Young Werther.
        It may be cold, but I don’t really care if people, young or old, rich or poor, fanciful or staid, choose to off themselves. Choosing to check out is kind of the ultimate expression of America’s treasured right of self determination, no?
        Doris Day comes to mind.. que sera, sera

        And the standard criticism that folks in lab coats, in a quest for government mandated fiscal austerity, will sneak in and kill the poors after a review of their credit history? I don’t buy it.
        It’s pretty clear that such a story would prove a remarkably useful political tool, to scare the bejeezus out people. But, to my knowledge, there is scant evidence to support such a claim.
        Euthanasia is a practice that has been underway for more than 30 years in countries around the world. A practice that is closely scrutinized. A practice for which numerous studies have been conducted regarding the appropriate use of life ending measures.
        Each of those studies, to my knowledge, concluding that doctors have shown zero proclivity to wantonly whack the poors.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        Sparkles, I agree that death with dignity laws are important but not because they will save money. End of life choices are important as final acts of free people. They are rational expressions of ‘self,’ and as such should not be confused with economic pursuits.

        Google: Compassion and Choices

      • Sparkles:

        All you’ve done is present a justification for what government-run health systems are already doing: rationing care, and doing it using a problematic ‘Quality-Adjusted Life Years’ metric. Ultimately what this comes down to is a bureaucrat deciding you’re not worth saving, and pulling the plug. Steven Hawking’s life is far more worth saving than yours or mine. Yes, Medicare will certainly have to do this, as will any government run system.

        The market alternative starts with the premise that health care is a commodity, just like a flat screen TV. You can set aside some bucks to extend your life, or you can spend it now and accept the vicissitudes of fate. That’s a personal choice, and I want to give people the freedom to make it.

        After all, what is the point of money, if you can’t use it to procure the most valuable commodity of all — life?

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Sparkles, You propose going well beyond death with dignity limited to cases of futility or intractable suffering or even diminished life quality. What nation has your system and where are the studies of its operation? Even very well studied Dutch necessity defense leaves room for some debate, particularly in its extension to those not competent to give consent.Notion that all objections are religious is unsound. As an expert you must be familiar with Yale Kamisar’s famous article.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, a market solution would have to limit health insurance to catastrophe coverage, other wise rationing decisions will be made by carriers. Are you willing to give up your current health plan or do you have an alternative. Once health coverage is out of the picture rationing by money, effective demand can look depressing.

    • Mark Andrews says:

      I can think of a number of people I’d have live longer than Donald Trump. Pope Francis for one. Larry Niven wrote some great science fiction short stories on the politics of life extension in the late 60s & early 70s. A more recent take on the Malthusian nightmare of eternal, physical life for all is “The Post-Mortal” by Dew Magary.

      I like how Tolkein handled the problem in the LoTR. The “gift of the elves,” as “divine” beings, was eternal life. They didn’t understand the “gift of men” which was a fixed lifespan followed by death.

      Other literature comes to mind: Dr. Faustus, Frankenstein, and A Portrait of Dorian Gray. Forward thinking writers of speculative fiction have been chewing on this stuff for a couple hundred years. Their writing should serve as a warning.

  11. The Elephant Remembers says:

    Lots of people shunning the Linehan campaign tonight. Luckily they are welcoming at the NDP’s Exon Dinner

    • Anonymous says:

      Smith was too busy raising taxes again and spending another $150 million of taxpayer money to make it to the press conference. But he will vote conservative

      • Anonymous says:

        Smith will vote conservative. Until it’s time for cloture. Then he will pull a Ben Nelson and give the deciding cloture vote. Just like he did on Death Penalty to get his tax increase. What a poser.

  12. Sparkles says:

    I see while Sarah Palin was in Ames, Iowa, incoherently babbling on in what others have translated to be an endorsement of Donald Trump, her oldest son was back at the family home in Wasilla, being loaded into the back of police car after doling out a beat-down on his girlfriend.

  13. Sparkles says:

    Two forces just came into alignment that will have a profound impact on the coming election –

    SCOTUS –
    has agreed to hear the challenge to Obama’s effort to protect millions of immigrants from deportation, allowing them to work indefinitely in the country legally (DAPA).
    Obama had asked the court to move quickly, and the court agreed. The case will be argued in April and decided by the end of June.

    PEW, new research finds –
    Hispanic millennials will account for nearly half (44%) of the record 27.3 million Hispanic eligible voters projected for 2016 – a share greater than any other racial or ethnic group of voters.

    Therefore, at the end of June, as the election really begins to heat up, hispanic voters will be reminded of, and motivated by, either; 1) their disgust that Republicans have once again made their lives more difficult, or 2) jubilated that Obama, (democrats), have made their lives better.

    • bynd says:

      RFLMAO, will you ever tell the whole truth? Millennial Hispanics have historically been the least likely to vote. And to predict their behavior in the next election is something even the experts will not do. From the same story u got your info from. You really are desperate. You’re like the gossip magazines. Who cares what Palin’s son did? Got any more garbage to spew forth?

  14. bynd says:

    According to the OWH Op ed page, Bernie Sanders states there are 29 million Americans without health insurance. According to the OMB, the best estimate is that 11.4 million will sign up for insurance for 2016. However, not all will pay their premiums so there will be less insured but more unisured. After 3 years, 3 times more uninsured than insured. And according to the experts, those who have signed up are the low hanging fruit. The rest won’t be so easy to get. Co ops failing, state exchanges failing. Trillions of dollars spent. Two major funding sources delayed or gone, cadillac policies penalty and medical gadget tax.

    And what do we get from the head lib on this site? Palin’s son. Unclever sayings, Half truths and worry about Republican candidates. If he only cared half as much about the 30 million. But alas, that doesn’t fit his agenda. It’s like a Stallone movie, they are the Expendables!

    • Sparkles says:

      I take Stallone and his aging team of mercenaries hired to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent.

      You can keep your role as the hapless, hallucinatory Martini, in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

      • bynd says:

        Sparkles and his land of Ozbama trying to escape the 30 million walking dead. Pay no attention to the old, white, bald guy behind the curtain. He is harmful only to the poor and oppressed.

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