What to do next…

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 1.58.41 PMThere has been a lot of talk in the past few days about the strategy that Senators Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz have put out for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Within hours of Scalia’s death, Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell said that there would be NO votes on replacing Scalia until after a new President takes office.

Senator Ted Cruz went on TV and said that there was no reason for the Senate to provide any additional advice and consent, because they were advising the President NOT to nominate anyone to replace Scalia.

There seems to be this overriding feeling that Republicans must play super-hardball. Republicans feel they must show that they won’t take any guff, that this is the mountain they will die on (as many have demanded). And it seems that much of this is a show of just how conservative they are to the Tea Party types and others who have demanded a backbone.

And it is true that many have demanded that.
But not necessarily in this fashion.

People complain that candidates do one thing and then end up voting another way as office holders.  Their complaints are real. We hear about changing the tax code, and abolishing departments, and fixing this that or the other program.

And it never, ever happens.

So Senator are  presented with an easy issue: not letting a liberal in to replace one of the most brilliant legal minds ever to grace the Court.

But McConnell and Cruz and others have it wrong.

Conservatives and Tea Partiers (whom ever they are these days) and Trump voters and all other types of Republicans aren’t looking for McConnell and Cruz to STOP a vote.

They are simply looking for them to vote CORRECTLY.

So LET the President have his nomination.
LET the person come before the Judiciary Committee.
LET the process work.

And then…VOTE RIGHT.
After they’ve withstood the cackles of MSNBC and the harsh words from Chris Matthews and the President calling them unreasonable and a Republican or two chipping away from the pressure…

That is what the people are clamoring for.
They don’t want games. And they don’t promises Senators won’t keep.
They want to hear them argue their side, then stick with it.

Sure there will be Democrats who will bombard Republicans, and many other who will lick their chops at defeating them. But a simple response that this person whom the President nominated does not meet the standard for replacing Antonin Scalia, will do.

And then vote correctly.
Really shouldn’t be that hard.


Endorsin’ Bacon

Retired Brigadier General Don Bacon continues to rack up the endorsements.

Yesterday he added former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Tomorrow he will add Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning, Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis, and FireGuard President Bob Sorensen.

Bacon has quite the list working. It will be interesting to see him put them into action.



How does a filibuster work in the Nebraska legislature?

Here is NTV’s Fred Knapp to explain it all to you in two and a half minutes:


A quick summary on Security

Senators Ben Sasse and Joni Ernst (of Iowa) returned from the Munich (Germany) Security Conference recently.

They followed that up by writing an Op-Ed where they spell out six observations regarding future security.

An excerpt:

Russia is in effect “weaponizing” emigration to advance its geopolitical goals. This is no accident.

The Russians — and Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is increasingly a Russian and Iranian puppet dictator — deliberately bomb civilians, causing them to flee, thus killing would-be internal fighters and taxing would-be external opposition. They essentially have the ability to dial up and dial down refugee exodus pacing. This produces havoc in the receiving nations of Europe. That is not accidental.

The whole piece is short, and interesting, and you should read.


Prayers for Nick

As I have shared numerous times, I am a big Creighton Bluejays basketball fan — I was going to games before I was born, and have been going and watching and listening ever since.

One of the best things about the modern times is that we can now see pretty much every game on TV, even if we can’t be there in person. One of the best things that has happened to Creighton basketball has been former Creighton player Nick Bahe on many of the Big East broadcast teams (along with his radio time as well).

Nick announced on his radio show today that he has been undergoing diagnosis and treatment for a thymus problem, a tumor, and will be finding out in the next few days if the problems go beyond that, i.e. cancer.

Nick is the brand new father of a baby-girl (and did a Creighton game the day after). Nick’s knowledge of the game, joy of the game and joy of life have only increased my enjoyment of the games.

You can hear Nick’s emotional announcement he made today on his health issues, here:

Please help me in wishing Nick and his family the best, giving them our thoughts and prayers, and in looking forward most importantly to his speedy return to health and to his return to the basketball sidelines.


…and because they’re our Future…

I have been told that a full Poli Sci class of upperclassmen (AND women!) at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln had…NEVER HEARD OF LEAVENWORTH ST!!!

Would you be a dear and pass Leavenworth St. along to the college kid of your choice? You probably know one. Just pass it along, ask them to read and pass it along to another of their friends or classmates.

Please do so, because this next generation really needs to be in on what you are reading, and get a clue on the talk of Nebraska politics.

Thanks, and then Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook, follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and subscribe (up top on the right!).

(And if you’re on Reddit, or one of those, please share there as well.)


  1. Bluejay says:

    1. Nick Bahe is the BEST college basketball color guy in the game now. He will call the Final Four some day. Hope he has a speedy recover.

    2. Bacon is just promising pork. Big government Republican. Spend and spend for cronies.

  2. Sparkles says:

    Re your comment:
    People complain that candidates do one thing and then end up voting another way as office holders. Their complaints are real. We hear about changing the tax code, and abolishing departments,…

    And it never, ever happens.

    That’s the very same lament Kintner shared with in his Monkey business.

    Of course it never happens.
    And one of the most knowledge politicians on the planet, steeped in all things Republican politics, has called bull$%& on the whole game of Republicans promising it will happen.
    John Boehner spent 24 years in Congress, holding every leadership seat possible including Speaker of the House. In his first interview after resigning, he went on national T.V. and stated:
    “We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things they know — they know! — are never going to happen,”.
    Boehner is only one of the many veteran GOP members who over the last several years have stepped forward to call b.s. on the malpractice and harmful dysfunction of their own party.

    • bynd says:


      Still in lala land I see. Why don’t you tell us about the Great Dem party that delivers and votes for everything they promise? Why don’t you EVER talk about your party and it’s position? Are you afraid of that conversation also?

      By the way, rumor is, Bohner will run as a Dem and win handily. Such a man of honor and integrity. He’ll fit right in with the Dems, won’t he.

      Or we could look at it this way. Bohner had enough self worth to quit before he got booted out. Something Pelosi and Reid didn’t have and couldn’t do.

  3. Lil Mac says:

    Sweeper wisely describes the proper Senate response to Obama’s next SCOTUS appointment. Let the Constitution work! Ever since Trump showed up, GOP leaders sans brains are trying to grow balls. McConnell’s (and Boehner’s) problem was never the rule book but their own lack of fortitude.

    Yet brains are also needed, as Trump’s “Whack a Bush” strategy clearly suggests.

    Trump smacking Bushes is a win-win among GOP voters who have spent the last year proving they hate GOP leaders being stupid; all kinds of stupid in all sorts of roles. RNC Chmn pushing unelectable candidates, a GOP Congress folding to Obama, Roberts playing SCOTUS lefty, and a pair of Bushes who “won” two wars in Iraq, which is today more dangerous than ever.

    GOP voters embrace GOP principles but they are giving GOP leaders the middle finger. Trump, Carson, Fiorina and Cruz combine to over 60%; all outsiders or GOP bashers. The poster child for the regulars is Jeb. Just as Hillary is more of Monica’s story, so too Jeb is more of the Bushes in Iraq.

    GHWB was kicked out of office after one term because he let Saddam get away. Later GWB was forced by 911 to hit Afghanistan but on a WMD pretext cleaned up his father’s legacy by efficiently ousting Saddam. Yet GWB pissed that all away by trying to turn Muslims into Ohio voters. — I lived over there. Voting is anathema to Allah who demands you submit to His will and not your own by voting. Islam requires a strongman (King, Pasha, General, Imam, or Ayatollah) because Islam won’t allow church and state to be separate or reason to prevail. — Trump and 70% of US voters understand this. Most GOP voters understand it. The Bushes do not. And while Obama is a dimwit, BHO killed Osama, which was GWB’s job, and that doesn’t help the GOP brand.

    We have thousands of war dead over a dozen years and it wasn’t a Clinton or an Obama who “won” those two Iraq wars in what is now Islamic State. It was two Bushes.

    Sure, Obama didn’t help. But GOP voters grasp that they cannot fix Democrats, so they are fixing the GOP’s leadership. And there is plenty all around there that needs fixing.

  4. repenting lawyer says:

    Sweeper, Given how little attention is paid legal history in Law Schools and in Con Law, in particular , are you really sure Scalia was as brilliant as Story, or Strong, or Miller, who was also a doctor, or Brandeis or Sutherland or Jackson. Scalia was remarkable, but in a law professor way. Even if that is now the fashion, I am not sure it is much of a yard stick to apply to the past.
    Given that there are several recently confirmed Court of Appeals Judges who had substantial Republican support and are of moderate disposition, we will see if this sabot the Court or hostility to Obama.

    • NE Voter says:

      Agree, Professor. Scalia was a most colorful and (at times) entertaining writer, and certainly a larger-than-life personality. But Originalism itself is simply bunk, though certainly fun to apply for analysis in that law school kind of way.

      Yes, Scalia cut a powerful, symbolic figure to those on the right; but his impact lives in his humorous dissents, rather than in a body of persuasive majority opinions.

      I would have loved to had a slice of pizza with Scalia. But if I had to choose, I’d pick coffee with Learned Hand when it comes to scholarship, analytical prowess, jurisprudence and judgment.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        NE Voter, I agree that cScalia could not make his originalism work in most cases, the level of generality problem and the paucity of data left the method arbitrary and easily manipulated. It does work in the defendant’s rights cases where he usable to build a kind of original model of criminal procedure, though we now have police, automobiles and all manner of other things that make one wonder about the direct relevance of his model. I suspect a lot of the problem with originalism of the Scalia approach is it really requires very knowledgeable historians of English and Colonial law and politics, but its audience is lawyers who know next to nothing about these matters another folks who know even less.
        L. Hand has been my hero since I read his lectures about the platonic governors in high school. Actually spent an evening listening to one of his close friends reminisce about him.

      • Sparkles says:

        The most even handed and concise synopsis of the Scalia’s body of work I’ve read to date was posted this morning at Ten Miles Square:
        “How Antonin Scalia Punched Down”, by Ohio State Univ. Law Professor Peter Shane.

        Praise where praise is due, critique and criticism where rightfully merited.

    • NE Voter says:

      Yes. And the other silly and most problematic element of Scalia’s originalism is the rejection of legislative history in analyzing statutes in dispute. So on the one hand, Scalia’s approach demands both thorough knowledge of long-ago history (which certainly has great value) and a willful blindness to the often very recent history informing the enactment of law.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        NE Voter, As someone who had to learn and teach the rules on the use of legislative history I share yourdislinke of this aspect Scalia’s work. However, the Public Choice Theory he borrowed is true, Legislatures knowing the rules do salt the record, and these nuggets can be used to contradict the language and purpose of the statute. Some of the labor law opinions of the Warren Court are like this. But these were avoidable misuses of history. However the extreme distrust of legislative history is probably here to stay. His rejection of the phrase “original intent” and preference for the idea it was the understanding of the State Ratification Conventions that were determinative lead him to ignore much of the Founders’ discussion, though he did like the AntiFederalists.

  5. Sweeper; your country-club milquetoast Republican side is showing. There is ample precedent (Schumer in 2007; the Dems in 1960) for refusing to consider a nomination. It would be far harder for the lapdog press the sustain interest in Republican inertia than it would to portray the inevitable leftist nominee as a fine human being and moderate (compared with Lenin).

    Nope, defense in depth is required. First refuse to take up the nomination. If they force the GOP to do that, then refuse to discharge it from committee. Then slow-walk Senate consideration. Then, finally, filibuster. Only at that point should there be an up-or-down vote.

  6. Anonymous says:

    As the rhetoric heats up among professional newsmen in this race, in an effort to make news more interesting, It is clear that many political reporters have never taken a class in civics.

    I’d like to count the university degrees in this blog and compare that to the average member of our Fourth Estate with their associates degrees in typewriter repair.

    • anon says:

      I don’t know if you mean print and just men, but some of the ladies at Fox have pretty good resumes. Take Kelly and Maddow, what does it mean?

  7. Rick Schuetz says:

    Bacon is a failed candidate. Few donors are throwing good money after bad. The Roll Call change to “Lean Dem” was the death knell. Even Gov Pete and the other congressmen acknowledge this and stood alongside Ashford for today’s Offutt photo opp – but Bacon is not sharpest tool in the shed and is too dense to get the message. The R nominee is entering the race at the midnight hour – if he/she can be convinced to do so (last I heard this afternoon, it’s a lock).

  8. Reader who knows better says:

    Are you kidding Sweeps? Why would a self-respecting student waste time at this site? All that goes on here is ridicule and insult. Students need to practice thinking objectively and creatively. And hopefully, they will emerge from their closeted thinking labs able to discuss differing opinions without becoming hostile.

  9. perspective says:

    Without becoming hostile? That’s your measure of freedom? Slaves aren’t hostile. Free people are all hostile… and FreeDOM is simply keeping it bloodless by voting.

    Bring on the hostility and justify zero violence,

    As for thinking objectively, good luck with your Human Race full of monkey brains that have only been doing long division for a few thousand years. Political Science? Psychology? Try Animal Husbandry.

    Student’s in a leftwing Political Science class who haven’t heard of Leavenworth Street Blog have a good chance of ending up in a different Leavenworth. Its a goal. They can have Hillary as a guest speaker.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Anon at 10:32. Yes, I meant newsmen like one refers to mankind, people. News females are just as bad as news males. Megyn Kelly is a fair example because her face blackens in hate when she mentions Trump. She speaks of Trump voters like Goebbels spoke of Jews.

    Walter Cronkite was very partisan but you could never tell it. Schools of journalism forever taught dispassionate reporting, keeping opinion out of news. However, modern schools teach budding journalists to editorialize their opinions into their news stories. not like a responsible Fourth Estate deserving constitutional protection, but more like they were hawking snake oil or selling shoes.

    My university degrees are all with honors. But don’t get me wrong. I know an econ professor who lost his house to a mortgage company. Degrees are certificates of regurgitation. Not a bad thing but what we really learn is by being shot at, dumped, recovering and surviving. I have been through newsworthy events. Most newspaper and media people have not. They edit invisibly and report news without often having done anything newsworthy themselves. Inserting their vapid opinion into their news stories off the Opinion Pages results is an inaccurate mash of a bad story mixed with a useless opinion.

    In a Republic, voters need dry accurate information. They can add the passion on their own.

  11. The Eye Ball says:

    Sweeper, you miss just how contentious President Obama is. If he was a normal president, things would proceed normally. However, President Obama has antagonized EVERYONE! There is a reason Emanuel and Hagel left the White House as well as many others. There is a reason the Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down Obama’s orders in a 9-0 vote of unanimity. Democrats have politicized the SCOTUS ever since FDR. Remember Bork?

    There is one other matter. No one trusts this President to make the decisions he makes. It is why Democrats lost the House and lost the Senate and are stuck with Hillary and Sanders as candidates.

    Finally, a third of US Senators are out campaigning for re-election. They know it does not matter how they vote on a nominee, the political polarization is so great, they will be harmed by such vote. So take it for what it is.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      EyeBall, FDR lost the Court packing fight another is a large debate as to whether Robert’s switch had anything to do with the packing plan. Appointees of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson have been all over the judicial spectrum. Roe’s after effect has been the political confirmation process. If we are to remember Bork, we should remember his political campaign for the job, particularly in the Indian LR article and a couple of his dissents and then his effort to run away from those positions. His narrow originalist reading of the 1st Amendment is totally opposed to Scalia’s, makes you wonder about the neutrality of the originalist approach. His effort to turn Senator Sherman into a neoclassical economist was just silly. Yes we should remember Bork.

      • Oracle says:

        BS, GH. The same Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Scalia. Bork’s appellate court history indicated that his decisions were based not on a consistent philosophy, but rather on who the parties were. He was also overtly political.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, and Oracle, I agree with you both. The Bork appointment changed the character of the debate, a lot of fault on both sides, and the bitterness spilled over to the Court of Appeals and even the DCs. John Johnson Parker was probably the first, but that was long ago.

      • Yes indeed, Horricle. That’s why Ted Kennedy launch his vicious and false ideological attack on Bork; because of his partisan appellate court decisions.

        Er, care to cite one?

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, Without F2d, I do not recall case names but a couple of Bork’s dissents were notorious at the time. Bork ran for the job like a political candidate and then tried to retreat at the confirmation hearing. After Bork the WH pursued a different strategy.
        Ted speech was over the top since it assumed Bork could not only cause Roe but that a lot of other odd legislation would be passed. Speech was not a model of fairness, but I think Bork asked for.Do appreciate that after seeing a game at Memorial Stadium he said he finally understood what a civil religion wasNotice you do not mention Indian article which could have eliminate free speech and press from all non political speech if followed.

      • Oracle says:

        GH, you have to look at his entire body of work, so your request to name one instance is irrelevant. And I agree with RL that Ted’s speech was “over the top” so it’s not much of an argument for your position. Just as the many insane utterances from Republican presidential candidates prove nothing other than their insanity.

    • Sparkles says:

      “you miss just how contentious President Obama is”.

      It’s remarkable how impenetrable the bubble in which so many have sequestered themselves.

      Let’s say, if only briefly, we acquaint ourselves with the facts.
      Presidential approval ratings, respective Februarys of their final year in office:
      Reagan 52/36/10
      GHWB 38/50/10
      Clinton 56/39/3
      GWB 32/62/5
      Obama 48/48/4
      (really makes you long for another Bush in office, no?)

      Average approval rating of all Presidents in the 29th Quarter (Gallup) = 47%

      Again, Gallup, Most respected Man in World –
      President Barack Obama, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

      Gallup, Most Respected Woman in the World –
      Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

      • Probably because they’ve never heard of most of the other candidates. Obama ‘s best was 30%, and he’s currently 17%. Somewhat underwhelming. Hillary’s high was 21%, and her low is 12%. Same comment. And after all, when Oprah gets 8%, you see the general mentality.

      • bynd says:

        “We asked one head of state, What single lesson would you like us to report back to our boss, our constituents? The reply: Get us a US president who will know that the US needs to lead. We need you. All the freedom-loving nations of the world need you.”


  12. most admired says:

    Sparkles forgot to mention Trump is also third in a dead tie with pope francis. Trump also beats out bill gates dalai lama and bill clinton. Sparkles do you think we are too stupid to use our Google machines?

    • Sparkles says:

      My refutation was specific to the false meme propagated by The Eye Ball. A false claim that our President can be considered, by any rational means, exceptionally contentious.
      The facts I quoted are highly relevant to serving that end.

      And to be clear, there is not a single poster on this site I would consider ‘stupid’. In fact, I believe most are quite intelligent. We all see the world through different eyes, shaped by differing experiences.

      Congratulations on being a gifted googler.

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