Semi-automatic for the people

Unicameral watchers! Let us get this clear, OK?

If you suggest that the Nebraska Legislature is continuing to operate the same way, simply because they have always been doing it that way…

1) You will be publicly chastised by the Speaker from the floor. More specifically, you’ll be told, “If you don’t like being in the body, leave. Get out.”
2) Have multiple stories written in the press
3) Mocked by the OWH’s editorial cartoonist


If you suggest, like State Senator Ernie Chambers did, that “if you were a white guy” that you would get your “semi-automatic weapon and come down here and mow everybody down”…

(Hear the whole audio, here.)

And by “come down here” that would be to the floor of the Legislature…

Oh, well hey, that’s cool!
I mean, as Speaker Hadley suggested immediately afterwards, “What could I do?”

[Note: The “What could I do?” quote is from Zach Pluhacek’s story in the Lincoln Journal-Star. Zach was offended that this link was omitted earlier, because he works for a “real media outlet”. We will note this the next time the LJS or OWH refers to a Leavenworth St. story as “in the blogs”.]

Right, because far be it for anyone to suggest that what Senator Chambers had said was going beyond the pale.

Here’s a little “thought experiment” for you readers:

What if State Senator Bill Kinter, the malest, whitest guy in the Legislature (OK, the mantle for “whitest” is actually about a 10-way tie, but follow me…) went on the floor and said…

“If I were a BLACK guy, I’d grab my machine gun and wipe you all out.
Thankfully, I’m a WHITE, peaceful man, and wouldn’t do that.”

Now just how quickly would his head be called for on a silver platter by the newspapers and every Democrat from coast to coast?

A few seconds, or a few milliseconds?

So where are you Omaha World-Herald?
Where are you Lincoln Journal-Star?

Or should we assume by your silence that you are cool with what Chambers said?

Go a few feet out of that legislative chamber and many would consider that a terroristic threat.

Back during the death penalty debate, the OWH chastised a Facebook message from Kintner, because, the OWH said, such a debate (even though Kintner wasn’t speaking in the Legislature) must be “sincere, sober, thoughtful and respectful.”

Looking forward to hearing from the OWH about which of those adjectives describe Senator Chambers’ semi-automatic weapon threat.

But Speaker Hadley DID, sort of, address the issue in the Legislature today.

He said that “words matter” and with all the gun violence in the world Senators need to be responsible in what they say in the Legislature.

The Speaker then received a standing ovation for his comments.

Senator Chambers then responded by going after gun rights advocates. He defended his comments and talked about the outrage his comments provoke.

And finally, he vowed to keep making his points in how he saw fit.


Looks like the ball is on your court, Fourth Estate.



The LJS’ Don Walton wrote yesterday about a poll that was distributed around the legislature about favorability, taxes and a few other issues.

Then he also mentioned a poll question about Governor Ricketts and former Governor Dave Heineman.

Many were confused about this “poll”.
Because it is actually 2 different polls from 2 different pollsters.

The first was one commissioned by State Senator John Kuehn, ostensibly about a proposed “Right to Farm” amendment.

But the poll only hit that issue as the last question.

Here were the others, broken down by Congressional District:

Q: Favorable/unfavorable

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.13.44 AM


Q: What issue is most important to you?

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.13.57 AM


Q: Which tax should state government prioritize for tax relief?

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.14.16 AM


Q: Nebraska voters could be asked to vote on an amendment to the state constitution protecting the rights of farmers and ranchers and preventing the Legislature and environmental groups from imposing restrictions on crop and livestock production. If the election were held today, would you vote for or against a Right to Farm amendment?

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.14.25 AM


Ricketts, Fortenberry and Smith all generally have great numbers.

Note that Ashford’s Fav/UnFav are under 50% in his district, with 30% “unknown”. That should perk up the ears of the various national observers to note over 50% view Ashford as either UNfavorable, or are still thinking about it. And that the 2nd is still very much a swing district.

The “top issues” among people are terribly surprising.

And they are focused on property tax relief.

That Right to Farm thing, frankly, still seems neither fish nor fowl.

Look at that question: Should farmers and ranchers be allowed to do their jobs? Uh, well yes. Overwhelmingly Nebraskans agree that farmers and ranchers should be allowed to do their jobs.

But what would be the effect of such an amendment, from any which way? Probably debatable no matter what percentage think the amendment is a good idea.


The other poll

So separate out that poll — done by pollster — with the other one reported — done by Long River Research.

The Long River poll was a live-person call (i.e., they don’t have to file a transcript with the Public Service Commission) and asked a favorability question about Governor Ricketts and former Governor Heineman, along with some other more generic issues such as abortion, taxes and Medicaid expansion.

Now the immediate response from one person who received the call was, Does this mean a Heineman challenge to Ricketts in 2018?


Well, Don Walton notes that the poll “was not commissioned by anyone associated with the former governor, a close associate said.”

So who would be asking about that, if not Heineman’s peeps?

Well, could it be someone with Walking Around Money to blow on random political things? Someone to whom dropping large amounts of cash out the window is negligible? Someone verrrrrrrry paranoid about a primary challenge from Dave Heineman?

It’s a crazy world.
Someone oughta sell tickets.
Shoot, I’d buy one.
Say, that ‘minds me…


The Godfather’s blessing

With the Ricketts family going nose to nose with Donald Trump, look who has stepped up to defend the Rickettses…

Democrat Chicago Mayor — the Godfather — Rahm Emanuel.

The Donald responded to the recent Ricketts family spending on ads against him by saying that the Ricketts were doing a very poor job running the Cubs (of all things, probably the worst retort he could have come up with).

Emanuel then came to the family’s defense. More or less.

He noted that he has disagreed with the Ricketts family on Chicago Cubs issues, such as tax-payer supported improvements for Wrigley Field. But he then went on to call them “examples of good corporate citizens,” which is probably as good as you’ll get out of Emanuel.

Still looking forward to Round 3 of the Ricketts-Trump battle.
(And one local observer thinks Governor Ricketts will put himself up as a late-round alternative at the GOP Convention in Cleveland. So there ya have it…)

What is most likely Trump’s problem with the Ricketts family is that Tom Ricketts was Separated at Birth from Ted Cruz…

Tom Ricketts


Because it’s the talk of Nebraska politics…

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  1. The Grundle King says:

    Hadley’s response is weak tea. If he wants to maintain a modicum of sanity within the Unicam, then a censure vote is required for Chamber’s disgusting comments.

    Responsible senators, from BOTH sides of the ‘non-partisan’ aisle, should all recognize that rhetoric such as this has no place in ANY legislative chamber, and serves no purpose but to further polarize discussions. If they wouldn’t censure him for calling police officers terrorists, surely they can muster enough backbone to censure him for this.

    Wait…nah. I’m giving those cowards way too much credit.

  2. Proper Response says:

    It’s interesting that Ernie’s racist rant happened about the same time as the issue with Millard School Board member Paul Meyer’s outburst condemning atheists to a “Hole in hell” at Millard’s board meeting. Speaker Hadley once again showed no leadership on the issue, yet Millard’s Board President, Mike Kennedy resolved the matter quite skillfully and sent a clear message as to what is proper. We need more Republican leaders like this. Murante should be Speaker next year. He can do the job

  3. Monmouth poll, released today. Q. Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be President? Yes 27%, no 68%. Republicans were evenly split 48% 48%

    Hillary, to same question: Yes, 54%, No 42%

    Interestingly, in the same poll, Gary Johnson scores 11% in a three-way, although 75% of voters have never heard of him. And Johnson or another libertarian is guaranteed to be on the ballot in most/all states.

    Unelectable. Doomed. And he’ll drag the GOP down with him.

    • DUH says:

      From 2003-2007, America has a Republican President, a Republican majority House, and a Republican majority Senate.

      Then 2008 happened, followed by the rise of Radical Islamic Terrorism (arguably blow-back from Bush’s nation-building schemes in the Middle East).

      My point? The GOP has been in the mud ever since. Both Obama’s two-terms and the rise of Trump can be directly attributed to Republican failures from 2003-2007.

  4. Sparkles says:

    I watched the Legislature debate Sen. Morfeld’s LGBT job protections bill.
    It was a debate that made me ashamed for my state and offended by the rubes who are elected to run it.
    I saw Sen Chambers makes those comments.

    Not an eye batted, not a Senator looked up from whatever busy work in which they were engaged. And of those whose turn it was to speak immediately after Sen Chambers , not a tone modulated, not a mention made, Republican or Democrat.

    It wasn’t until after the lunch recess that Sen Kintner – apparently informed by someone else that he’s supposed to be offended – spoke to Sen Chambers remarks and asked the Speaker to step forward and publicly address them.
    The Speaker chose to sit silent, as did everyone else in the chamber, in body in unison, at ease and unmoved.

    A non-event.

    • I testified at a Unicameral committee hearing on ‘diversity scholarships’ at U Nebraska. So did a fellow libertarian. We were both given 5 minutes. Then Chambers spoke (it was during his Unicam hiatus). He spoke for 35 minutes, without interruption from the chair. During the tirade, he offered to punch me and my colleague in the nose.

      I wanted to confront him in the corridor afterwards and tell him he could take a swing, but I couldn’t get close, He was cosying up to the members of the committee.

      Ernie can do any damn thing he likes, and the legislature will let him.

    • The Grundle King says:

      So the rest of the Senate was asleep when Chambers was spouting off…so what? If imagine that most of the true conservatives tune him out on a regular basis, and the rest air there quietly lest they provoke his wrath. Is the Unicam not the people’s chamber? Are not we plebs allowed to voice righteous outrage over such an outrageous wrong?

    • repenting lawyer says:

      ProfGH, On facebook Ernie is complaining that the Speaker rebuked him and was given a standing ovation, where is double standard in that.

    • Sparkles says:

      If anyone in our state saw Tom Osborne walking down the middle of O street with a machete hanging from his belt, not a soul would hesitate for even a second to approach him and shake his hand.

      If anyone in our state saw Bo Pelini…

      Respect is earned, character is acknowledged.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, Appreciate the reference to Aristophanes. White man means white man, but it is surrounded by other words. If he said white man lawyer he would not be referring to you, if he said white man who is a chemist that would not be a reference to me. If he said he does not respect retired white men who were lawyers, my feeling might be hurt, but we are a small group hardly a race, and if you and the king did not rush to my defense I would not feel you were failing the team.Even if we expand the reference from white male legislatures, which I think is the reference, the group of white male owners is semi-automatic gun owners hardly constitutes a race, particularly one that has been mocked and isolated and to make fun of them is hardly a big deal.

  5. repenting lawyer says:

    Sweeper, At this point you have regularly reported you views on Chambers with amens from the choir. Who are you trying to convince? On the other hand, unless it was a Kintner impersonator, about San Francisco were homophobic to the point of derangement. May if you would criticize your sicko others might criticism Chambers. Givenj how easily Kintner appears to become uncomfortable, one might wonder if he should go around armed.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      My typing hampered by eyes as prior comment proves. I want to add that Chamber remark was silly, not sure racist, I do not think Ernie believes all whites have automatic weapons, rather he was mocking the armed members of the Legislative posse, who happened to be white. Knitter’s comment was off the charts, surely can not believe Chambers was encouraging white members of the body to massacre anyone. He has been too protective of the rights of GLBT to ever suggest that.

      • The Grundle King says:

        If he meant to mock white Senators, he should have said that. But it would still be racist.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        The Grundle King, since Ernie regularly posts the substance of his remarks on Facebook you really do not need the Sweeper to keep you upset by Ernie, and you could use the unhappy faces to comment.

      • The Grundle King says:

        I’d be interested to see if you could find a judge that would allow you to clarify your points on Facebook after having said something in the courtroom that was ‘misinterpreted’.

        I saw Ernie’s comments yesterday…so Sweeper’s post was not news to me. Rest assured that I can stay informed all by myself, and form my opinions like a big boy, too.

      • anon says:

        Ernie asked if anyone believed he would really commit that act, but he would be, as has been, the fist(or maybe GH) if Trump said it would take it for face value. When he replied he mostly told them to suck it.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        The Grundle King, I did not know that white members of the Unicameral with automatic weapons were a separate race. Reassured to know that they are not my racial kin, clearly only the armed white race in the Legislature is in decline.

      • The Grundle King says:

        Okay, I’ll play along. Did Ernie say that he would come in and mow people if he was a “white senator”, or if he was “a white guy”? I only ask because white guys are, in fact, a demographic defined by race.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        The Grundle King, in context the reference clearlywas to Senators, not lawyering just the pragmatics of English.

      • The Grundle King says:

        “…in context the reference clearly was to Senators,…”

        That is to say, in YOUR OPINION of the context. But you see, I don’t need to buy your version of the context, and seeing as how you probably can’t read Ernie’s mind, your opinion of what he ‘really meant’ is no more valid than mine.

        And in my opinion, when he said “white guys” he meant males who are white. The great thing about my opinion is that it most clearly reflects the words he actually said.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Grundle king, if you insist on trying to speak a private language no one will understand you, give english a try.

      • He”s speaking the same language I am, RL. In what cloud cuckoo land does ‘white guy” not mean “white man’?

        You’re not his lawyer. You don’t have to take a tire-iron to the blithering obvious to defend him.

  6. Sparkles says:

    The poll is interesting.

    The Number 1 issue in NE-3 and tied for #1 in NE-2 = Healthcare.
    Clearly, our state senators now have this same information.
    It will interesting in the coming weeks watching the NEGOP continue to trot out their haggard lies and misinformation related to the expansion of medicare to 90.000+ of Nebraska’s largely working poor.
    Having grown up in Kintner Kountry, I know the culture of the NE3 and NE2 farm families. I know they are relieved to now have access to healthcare, pre-conditions included, from someone other than their local smiling Farm Bureau agent. Of course Obama Derangement Syndrome precludes any of these families from admitting their happiness. And NE Farm Bureau fought tooth and nail to hold on to their fat slice of the pie. Happy or not, the farmers still gather to spew hate of our President over a steaming cup of morning joe at Grandma Glady’s Donut & Diner.

    Equally interesting from the poll –
    Pro-Life and Family Issues, ranks 7th in NE1, 8th in NE2 and 6th NE3.
    Immigration, ranks 6th in both 1 and 2, falling off to 8th in NE3 (where industry and big ag rely on low-moderate wage immigrant labor to keep the Quarterly conference calls cheery and upbeat).

    From these numbers, one would think banging on social issues, complaining about immigrants and denying affordable access to healthcare is a losing proposition for Nebraska’s Republicans.
    Yet Richey Rickett’s has shockingly high approval numbers while actively fighting against the very things voters most care about, and for the things for which most voters could give two flips.

    So when all of you are done trying to figure out the GOP contagion that allows Trump (and Cruz) the GOP nod – maybe you could turn your attention to the insanity within our own borders.
    What’s the Matter with Kansas?

    Bottom line – there’s something seriously wrong with our educational system.
    We’re a nation that is, in large part, incapable of critical thought.

    • bynd says:

      Until you know why healthcare is a concern, your conjectures are just that. Maybe they are concerned about the price. Maybe they are concerned by the deductibles. Since premiums are going up 18% in the state and deductibles are growing also, that would seem to be the issue(s).

      Yes Sparkles, you prove your own point about the education system. How clever!

      Looks like more hysteria and hate from the left.

      • Sparkles says:

        Your wrong bynd, what a shocker.

        As of October, 2015 –
        On average, premiums have risen by about 5.8 percent a year since Obama took office, compared to 13.2 percent in the nine years before Obama.
        But of course you wouldn’t know that. You’ve mentioned working for the government all your life as well as receiving care from the VA, so you’ve never written a check for health insurance premium.

        And the NE2 and NE3 farm families we’re talking about –
        The 2012 Census of Agriculture (USDA data) shows the average age of the principle operator of a family farm to be 58.3 years old.

        Now I know this means nothing to many of you. For teachers, government employees, lifetime military members or even those who work for certain corporations, you’ve had virtually no meaningful interaction with the health insurance marketplace.
        I’m not saying you didn’t earn it, but your healthcare came with your job. For teachers and government employees, when the cost of your healthcare went up (an avg of 13.2 percent/yr for the 9 years prior to Obama), the taxpayer picked up the tab, along with the expense of your annual raise, and for many, the increased funding required to keep your pension solvent.
        For those with Corporation X, some of you felt the pinch, especially in the last decade or so, as GW made it possible that 10’s of millions of you to lost your jobs, greedy corporate owners stepping up to take advantage by squeezing ever more from their remaining workforce because – supply/demand – you’re a cog.
        Still, many with Corp Y were effected only marginally, because your employer picked up a lions share of the increasing expense – of course an expense subsidized by the federal government (taxpayers) helping offset the cost of your health insurance.

        Some of us, small business owners, farmers and others, have had to go out onto the private market every year, for decades, to buy insurance for ourselves and our families.
        Some of us with little leverage and no subsidization know what it feels like to see that 13.2% average increase arrive in the mailbox every years
        Some of us know what it feels like to have your insurance company tell you, ‘sorry, although we reaped handsome profits from you and your family for 15 years, you had XYZ ailment last year and we now perceive you to be too great risk and will no longer sell you insurance, at any cost’.
        Others know what it feels like to have them not say this, but instead send out a renewal notice in which the premium escalated to a degree making it unaffordable for all but the most wildly successful business or farm family.

        Farm families know this story, they’ve lived it also.
        And demographically, farm families suffer more health maladies and are a greater risk of personal injury than their urban peers. So they’ve born every lash and strike by health insurance companies over the decades.
        Were it not for Obamacare, many of Nebraska’s farm families would right now be without insurance because there is simply no way they could afford it, even if it were available to them. And with the pre-conditions inherent in an avg age of 58.3, a large swath of Nebraska’s farmers wouldn’t even have the option to purchase insurance.
        And as health insurance policies lapsed across the plains, rural hospital doors were certain to close.

        I know why healthcare is the number 1 issue with NE3 and NE2.

        I also know that no matter how deep I bury you in common sense and facts, bynd, you’ll remain the clueless troll you are.

      • bynd says:


        All that wonderful ranting and you didn’t disprove my point. But once again, confirmed your statement on education. I do hope you feel better though. Unlike you in your liberal only world, l like to expand out to many and what you have to save is certainly true of you and your world. Now prove your assumption of what “concerned about healthcare” means, please.

      • It will be a surprise to no one here that Sparkles’ numbers are made-up shite. 2000-2009, US per capita expenditures increased at an average annual rate of 5.9%, not 13.2%. Anyone with even a tenuous grasp of reality would know a 13.2% annual increase over 9 years would be impossible; It would require per capita expenditures to more than triple over 9 years.

        If anyone would like to check, the Medicare/Medicaid actuary office compiles the numbers

      • Sparkles says:

        You’re going to have to do better than a vague reference to Medicare/Medicaid actuary tables that may or may not have relevance to the reality of health insurances costs of Joe and Jane Lunchpail.

        My numbers are from an Oct, 25, 2015 PoltiFact analysis. An analysis relying on numbers taken directly from the leading study of family premiums, an independent, nonpartisan study published annually since 1999 by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. The gold standard of studies that tracks the the cost of health premiums for workers and their employers.
        (google – Trump: Obamacare health care premiums ‘going up 35, 45, 55 percent’)

        And to buttress my claim, a second independent analysis by nonpartisan foundation the Commonwealth Fund, found employer-sponsored health insurance premiums grew more slowly in 31 states and the District of Columbia between 2010 and 2013 — after the passage of Obamacare — compared with 2003 to 2010
        (google – State Trends in the Cost of Employer Health Insurance Coverage, 2003-2013)

        And thank you Harbison, for proving my point that you (teachers, govt employees, etc..) have only a tangential relationship with health insurance. You state:
        “Anyone with even a tenuous grasp of reality would know a 13.2% annual increase over 9 years would be impossible;”..

        Really? Again, from Kaiser, numbers as of Aug 2013 –
        “Health insurance premiums have risen 196 percent since 1999”.

        But of course you wouldn’t know that. Totally oblivious to what’s been going on for for two decades behind that scenes of that little plastic card you carry around in your wallet.

        Farmers feel the pain of that 196%, each and every month when they sit down to cut a check for their insurance premium. A monthly check that grants them the privilege of carrying around a $17,545 plastic card (avg family premium 20015) with a $6500 individual and $13,000 family deductible. .

        Ranchers know the pain of that 196%. increase.

        Small business owners know that 196% increase.

        Private contractors know the pain that 196% increase.

  7. Ricky says:

    Mr Ricketts has a 60 per cent approval rating? That right there shows you the worth of that poll.
    Mr Ricketts has got to be the most unpopular pol in the state.
    Just look at social media, the comments to stories in the LJS and OWH. There is no mistaking that Mr Ricketts is an extremely unliked guy.

    • The Grundle King says:

      Ricky, just because a few unhinged folks like yourself feel the need to spout your disdain does not mean he’s universally disliked.

    • bynd says:

      Many times we see the saying, you can’t make this stuff up. In Ricky’s case, that is all he does. More evidence that Sparkles take on Nebraska education is spot on. At least for the left in their own little universe. 100% believe Ricky has a crush on Pete.

  8. Macdaddy says:

    Chambers is the troll of the unicam. Unfortunately, some people listen to him. He’s too chicken s*** to do this himself, but he’s more than happy for others to commit violence. In the meantime, his fellow Senators wet their pants every time he opens his mouth.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Macdaddy, which white persons with semi-automatic weapons do you think Ernie will inspire to shoot up the Unicameral. The only near threat he made was to throw law books and he left to avoid the temptation.

      • bynd says:

        Ironic, because of the district he represents, that Ernie talks about white guys with automatic guns. Even more ironic since I don’t believe any in the current attacks in Europe were white either. It must really gall Ernie that not only have whites polluted his blood, the fact would be that the first humans were probably black or of African descent and if any one’s blood was polluted, it would be whites.

        Ernie has long lived past his usefulness for his district, if ever he had any. He needs to let the new younger blood in. Those who understand a lot more than he does. Narcissism, the damage it does is costing a lot of lives.

  9. Anon says:

    New topic, a question I’ve not seen asked or answered.

    I do not advocate violence, engage in it, recommend or tolerate it, against anyone, except in extremis – personal self-defense.

    That said, what are the odds Trump will be assassinated? No one deserves this, no matter how awful they are perceived to be. I hate to say that in this day & age somebody is probably thinking about this. Not just ISIS, either. We have plenty of All-American crazies right here at home.

  10. bynd says:


    It is a good rule of thumb, that if some one accuses you of something on blogs like this, it is fairly certain it is because they do it. As in your case were like to accuse people of going to extreme political sites to get their information. I would say that is an accurate assumption of your sources.

    Also your figures. You accuse me of making of them up. Honestly, if I don’t read it in a reputable source, I don’t use them. Unlike you, who seems to pull them out of your arse. Maybe if you spent less time in the extreme sites trying to validate your extreme views, you would find more of the information you think is false. Yes healthcare rates are going up 18% in Nebraska. Yes, deductibles are going up also.

    As they say on The X files, the truth is out there. But you need to get your head out of your partisan agenda to find the truth.

    And by the way, I wasn’t drafted into the service in 1971, I volunteered before my number was even picked. When the controllers got fired in 1981, I was there to cross the picket lines of my ex military friends and once again, serve my country. You tie your horse to the wagon you want to and reap the consequences of that decision. If you made a bad one, that’s on you, not me. My good fortune has nothing to do with your crappy fortune. So no, I have no qualms or embarrassment about where I am and what I have. It’s called personal responsibility. You should try it and except you are where you are because of the decisions YOU made. Just like everyone else.

    Keep your pity party to yourself. I really don’t want to be involved. Try the truth once in a while. the truth will set you free.

  11. Lock n Load says:

    Ernie is ignorant. It is impossible to “mow down” people with a “semi-automatic” weapon.

    You can mow a yard with an “automatic” lawn mower but “semi-automatic” lawn trimming means you do it with a scissors, one snip at a time. “Semi-automatics” don’t mow. “Automatics” are machine guns that mow; and if hand held those “automatic” weapons are “assault rifles”.

    The first “automatic” (machine gun) was the 1862 Gatling gun. It mowed. The first “semi-automatic” (one pull/one shot) firearm were German revolver rifles in the late 1500s; 450 years ago.

    Ernie may have been thinking AK-47, but he referred to a rifle type from the Three Musketeers era.

    Ernie is dumb. Yet Ernie isn’t defending the Second Amendment. If anyone needs to be precise in language, it must be the issue’s defenders.

    If you think this word precision isn’t important, remember that gay marriage began normalization 30 years ago with “homosexual” being engineered into “gay”. And “wealth sharing” is in fact theft. And every “assault rifle” in the USA is already illegal, except for the ones Obama sold to drug lords.

  12. repenting lawyer says:

    Lock n Load, Chambers was making a rather stupid joke not giving a lecture on the history of firearms.The 2nd Amendment is not relevant to this discussion. Homosexual morphed into gays so we could separately discuss lesbians, and you ought to let the Pope know your views on wealth sharing, he like most of the Christian tradition does not equate it with theft.

  13. TexasAnnie says:

    I see Ernie got y’all hot under the collar!
    Sparkles I relish reading what you’ve got to say because your style is soooo dramatic. And you manage to make salient points without all the ad hominem attacks so prevalent at this blog. The point you made above concerning the contrast between those with and without insurance prompts me to tell a little of my family’s experience.

    When we were brought to Nebraska to shore up Nebraska’s tax base in 1989 (for Grundle King: see legislative transcripts before accusing me of hyperbole) our corporate sponsor continued our insurance policy in our new location. Now I don’t know if it’s because I had lived elsewhere, or if I’m simply endowed with better ‘critical thinking’ skills than the average Nebraskan, but it didn’t take me long to realize that the insurance industry of Nebraska had very effectively disqualified therapeutic techniques in the medical setting. And even though we entered the state with prescriptions for PT, OT, Speech and Hydrotherapy for our very significantly disabled child, we were told by her new doctors that we would get all the therapy she needs “in the public school system.”

    And what was it that the school system offered? Therapists who fill out government forms but don’t actually get down on the floor and touch the subject being “treated.” Naturally, I found a means of securing private therapists to perform medically-needed therapy in my home. And I took the next step and demanded that the school district hire my child’s private therapists in the school setting just as soon as I was able to make my case that the school “therapy” being offered denied federal law. No lawsuit was necessary; just the demonstrable facts.

    Then I started poking around the state and discovered that some children with disability, provided for by the same insurance carrier, were also being denied medically-needed therapy. Now I’m not going to claim that I started a revolution there, but perhaps I did! By the time our family left the state sixteen years later, medically-needed therapy was being prescribed so routinely by forward thinking doctors, that my daughter’s early, single-practitioner, in-home therapists had developed their own clinical practices!

    But there was still the problem of those dependent upon the state for medically-needed therapy: the impoverished children with disability on CHIP, and the state wards. So I started going to the unicam and telling what I had experienced and witnessed. To my great surprise, I learned that the unicam SERVES the insurance industry. Call me a fool it you will, but yes, I was surprised even to an extent that it changed ME. Upon discovering that the unicam was giving “tax incentives” to corporations for providing medical insurance to some, while withholding medical care for others, including those in state custody, I knew I had to get myself and my daughter out of Nebraska.

    Now it’s at this juncture, Sparkles, that you and I likely disagree. You have expressed empathy for those dependent upon the insurance marketplace, especially farmers. But the farmers get reduced property-tax rates, which affects public school spending, which affects the delivery of special education services. Believe me, I spent some time out in western Nebraska following education committee hearings and securing ballot access for the Libertarian Party a few times. And the farmers are no more likely to admit, than JS-A, that the TRULY most vulnerable of Nebraska are the wards of the state with disability.

    The farmers wanted to keep their single room schools, even simply as placeholders if no students presented themselves to the schoolhouse door, funded by the generous income tax being waged upon those of us brought to the state to shore up the tax base. Even now, the income taxpayers of Nebraska must supplant the property tax! So I’m not sympathetic to the farmers plight, which is not to say I don’t believe they deserve quality school and quality healthcare. Sure they do, just as soon as they get off the govt. dole…

    • Sparkles says:

      Thank you for the kind words and for sharing a slice of real world struggle with us Annie. Struggles with a rapacious and rigged insurance industry that has colluded for decades with politicians in the fleecing of hard working Nebraskans for decades. A collusion the ACA has attempted to address, but an effort that requires much more work and the cooperation of two fully engaged political parties (just as every major undertaking in the history of American has required).
      And, I concur re the rich government subsidies for so long enjoyed by the incessantly moaning, bitching farmer class.
      My family nor I were farmers, but growing up in a small farming community I was a strong, capable farm hand from the time I was old enough to hold shovel and throw a bale of hay, ’til the time I left for college. (back when we used to ‘put up’ hay). I know their world well.

      And I know your struggles with a handicapped child much more than you might imagine. I’m fortunate that my daughter, although spending much of her early childhood in a hospital and now confined to a wheelchair because of spina bifida, has a bright mind and a beautiful, indefatigable spirit.
      Also, my first two years out of college I worked with what used to be called Region V services here in southeast Nebraska. I worked with a vocational rehabilitation workshop where we attempted to teach a variety of skills, social, vocational, etc.., that would permit the handicapped to pursue as normal a life and vocation as possible.
      Our clients ran the gamut, from mild to severely handicapped. I was blessed that my later challenges with my daughter were minimal compared to yours, but I indeed am familiar with what is required – 24/7/365 – to care for a severely handicapped individual.
      God Bless You Annie, you’re a Saint.

  14. TexasAnnie says:

    Good Grief!!! You know exactly what I’m talkin’ about. Thank-you for sharing your history. Our daughter lives with us and will do so indefinitely (that is, ’til we’re dead cause we’ve arranged for her permanent residence here). We’re able to afford to do this because we don’t have a state income tax, reasonable property and sales taxes, and being retired, a lower federal tax obligation. We built this place to ultimately serve as a private group home ’cause we don’t want our daughter falling under the control of the State of Texas. We could not have made these preparations for our daughter in Nebraska.

    Do I know you? Possibly from the education community?

    • Sparkles says:

      No Annie, I don’t think we know one another. I’ve never been a member of the education community.
      I graduated from UNL in ’83 and worked with Region V for only 2 years, ’til late ’85.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        Well I had imagined that you are not a Nebraska native, and that your sudden appearance and presence on this blog signals an active advocacy for Medicaid expansion there.

        IF you accomplish that, come on down to Texas and help us here!

  15. Avatar says:

    Ha! The best part is that Kuehn had to admit on the floor he spent 2 grand on this political poll – before his bill (a meaningless, shamelessly pandering legal mess that even the Farm Bureau wouldn’t touch) went down in flames. Wonder who really paid for the poll and who set it up for him? Who do these wanna-be big shot clowns think they’re fooling?

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