What did you call me?

Dufresne-Sasse-SABNebraska Senator Ben Sasse addressed students and others at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law yesterday, and thus OWH writer Matt Hansen called him “obtuse.”

Here’s the quote, frankly without much context from Hansen:

“He’s undeniably smart. He’s undeniably ambitious. He’s undeniably obtuse and undeniably smooth at the same time. He’s undeniably himself.”

Wait, undeniably obtuse?

  1. annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.
    “he wondered if the doctor was being deliberately obtuse”

So, which of those terms he is applying to Sasse?
Is it “annoyingly insensitive”, as in he should be more sensitive to the Trump attacks?

Otherwise, as suggested on the Twitter this morning, Sasse might try to sentence Hansen to a month in solitary:

(Sure he resembles Andy Dufresne, but imagine Sasse as the angry warden here…)

Waiting for some sort of explnation from Hansen.


“Great Potatoes” is embarrassed for us

Obtuse is apparently what State Senator Burke Harr is accusing the Ricketts administration of.

As noted in the OWH, Harr is trying to rescind the sentence of every Nebraskan to have the Michigan State engorged Sower on their cars. He is making some sort of effort to Stop the Madness via legislative process, but it is not yet clear how this would or could happen.

The Gov’s office has only noted that the plates are already flying.

(By the way, I chuckled at the cartoon from Jeff Koterba today.)


Er…that was before…

A’member Bob Kerrey back in 2008 talking about Hillary Clinton (as she was running against Senator Barack Obama.)

“I like her, trust her, and have confidence in her…”

Well, that looks to have changed. Being interviewed on FOX, Kerrey now says of Hillary:

Her email scandal as “a tragic error,” said her claim that she set up the server for convenience was “false on its face,” and called her actions an attempt to “circumvent” the law.

See Kerrey’s comments here:

And here…

It would seem that Cosmic Bob is now Feelin’ the Bern.


Fool me once…

Thanks to an attentive reader who forwarded Leavenworth St. the “Ms. Brad Ashford in Alaska” story, reported earlier today.


That was one of those, if Ashford was in a bad comedy where he was playing both himself and his twin sister (à la Adam Sandler), stories.

And sure, it is all just a bad dream…until they inevitably meet at the Democrat Convention later this summer.

And you thought the GOP convo was going to be scary…



Enjoy that plastic fly in your chardonnay later this evening!

And follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like on The Facebook!


  1. Wianno85 says:

    Remember Hansen was the author of the column on John Hoich and described him at the richest man in Omaha not named Buffet. Probably the most obtuse observation in the history of the OWH

  2. Sparkles says:

    Obtuse is a perfectly appropriate descriptive for Ben Sasse and one that I agree with completely, from Miriam –
    b : difficult to comprehend : not clear or precise in thought or expression

    It’s not difficult to comprehend because it’s hyper intellectual, but because of the way Sasse assembles language and pieces together what is often disparate thought.
    I’ve stated before, if you listen closely to his spiel, he sounds a lot like Sarah Palin with a grammar checker and a pocket constitution.

    Word Salad Sasse.. gator finds you passe’
    Everybody said it was a shame..

      • Sparkles says:

        WTF don’t you understand about a direct quote from Miriam Webster?
        Can someone possibly so obtuse not to know how asinine one appears by refuting a definition quoted directly from… the dictionary?
        A bit like questioning the periodic table, no?
        “And you call yourself a Professor.. everyone knows Sr stands for Old Dude”


      • We rank this statement: mostly false.

        As typical of your far too common intellectual dishonesties, you quoted only part of the definition, and the part you quoted refers not to a person, but to an expression. It simply doesn’t apply to an obtuse *person*.

        Try telling the truth occasionally. Yes, I know it will hurt your verbosity, but that’s not actually a negative.

      • Sparkles says:

        “We rank this statement: mostly false.”

        “We”.. really?
        What a surprise, Gerard has an his imaginary friend.

      • Anonymous says:

        As an adjective, obtuse may describe any noun, including persons. So who’s the dumb ass, Gerard?

  3. Bluejay says:

    Hansen called Sasse obtuse because Hansen is a liberal and Sasse is a conservative. The notion that the media is neutral is a farce of the highest order. Simple as that.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bluejay, No one has ever suggested that opinion pieces are neutral, if Hansen is a columnist ok, news report not. In any event the 2nd meaning of obtuse, the one advanced by Sparkles is a standard description of college lecturers, which is what Sasse trained to be. Would not bother law students who are treated to obscure and incomprehensible lectures as I know from reading my evaluations. In American English it is as likely to refer to insensitivity to others rather as stupidity.
      As an aside, at least among commenters here, most of Sasse’s crictics seem to be Rs who regard him as RINO or Hagel like.

      • RL; Sparkles’ expression clearly isn’t applicable to people, but to thoughts or expressions. So it’s inappropriate to apply it to college lecturers. A college lecturer might indeed be obtuse, but only if he/she is obdurately stupid, not merely difficult to comprehend. A Nobel prizewinner in physics might be difficult to comprehend, but he/she is unlikely to be stupid, and you wouldn’t refer to the obtuse Albert Einstein.

        An example: “South Carolina Governor Releases Strangely Obtuse Statement On Black Church Shooting”

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, My sense of proper English was probably destroyed by 42 years of reading blue books or perhaps I was obtuse not observing the disinterest of the audience.

  4. Sparkles says:

    Bob Kerrey is accurate on all accounts.
    And in a poll conducted in Oct, 2015 – 79% of Democrats say they are tired of hearing about Clinton’s emails.
    No doubt 99% of Republicans want her locked in loosely tied bamboo cages and submerged in shark infested waters a few miles off the coast of Da Nang – but who gives a flying %^*$ what Republicans think – they’ve harbored a psychologically debilitating hate for the Clintons for nearly two decades, that will never change.

    Just like Republicans don’t care that it is likely George the Lesser and Dick the Dastardly could be found guilty of war crimes. Just like most Republicans don’t care that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are both serial liars and both hold policy positions would inflict tremendous harm on the economic stability, welfare and security of our nation.

    Democrats don’t care that HRC chose to skirt a few FOIA laws and some obscure, newly enacted regulations. Regulations imposed on not a single other Secretary of State in the history of our nation.
    Admittedly unsavory acts on HRC’s part, but actions that fall far short of prosecution and that harmed nobody.
    Actions which led to.. absolutely nothing. No breach of data, no disclosure of top secret information – to anyone. Not a gd thing happened that could be construed as a detriment to our nation, state or a solitary individual.

    And in case you missed it – Colin Powell and aides to Condoleezza Rice trafficked in classified information on their personal email accounts.

    • bynd says:

      So u can prove that HRCs violations of security laws hurt no one? Lesser ones have punished for less. Shouldnt HRC set the example as a real leader would? And it isn’t over yet!

      And how many are ” most” Republicans?

      You really had to go back to Oct. 2015 to find a poll favorable to HRC? That is a hundred years or more in politics.

      Do u have anything new to say instead of the same old out of control rant?

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bynd, so far no one has pointed to any criminal violations, particularly of national security law. The violations, if any, are record retention regulations Maybe it isn’t over yet, but so far you should stick to imitating Father William. Dislike of HRC is not evidence under F.R.Ev..
        Kerry may be right that the decision displayed poor judgment, but I am not impressed with Bob, a real light weight.

      • Sparkles says:

        Entertain us Gerard, google up some “Hillary as Communist Plant”, or “Hillary has Imperiled America” conspiracy horse$%& from one of your libertarian web sites.

        I’d suggest you start with your libertarian BFF David Harsanyi at The Federalist. As Editor of Human Events, he was responsible for peddling exactly that type of inane horseS%&.
        That was before he left to work for Glenn Beck’s, The Blaze.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH,There are statutes that might have been violated with appropriate evidence, but I have seen no evidence only conjecture. There maybe a case but so far only record keeping rules of less than clear application and not serious offenses.
        Issue of judgment Kerry raises is another matter. I was once party to plans to continue the natural gas industry in a nuclear war, but that was 50 years ago and we really did not see the pipelines surviving.

      • RL: you haven’t seen the evidence yet, except in the form of leaks, because the evidence hasn’t been released. We know what was in the emails, and much of it was classified, but we don’t know about intent, yet.

        As for whether these are “serious offenses”, be a good fellow and stop shifting the goalposts.

      • bynd says:


        Does Sparkles you have you on retainer?

        I accused no one of criminal activity.

        Don’t know who your Father is, but if he has anything to do with honesty, you should pay attention to your own advice.

        Release of classified info, inadvertent or not, is the same thing. Intent is not relevant.

        I have no more animosity towards HRC than for many other politicians. But the question is, why don’t you ever go after Sparkles as he attacks the ones he doesn’t like? Thus the love fest appears to be continuing. And your assumed objectivity and neutrality is suspect. Especially since you seem unable to accurately interpret what I write.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH I do not know what is in the emails, nor do you. There is a huge amount of gossip saying much bad news for HRC from Rs and much good news for HRC from Ds. I have suspended judgment in honor Stoic logic and its third value.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bynd, Sparkles is not short of critics so I do not add to the cacophony. Last time the issue came up I read through the relevant sections of USC did not notice the strict liability national security offenses. I assumed that you were referring to criminal law, perhaps erroneously, but you response about no requirement of intent is still criminal law talk The actual problem is you passion for writing on subjects you know nothing about. As to your dislike of HRC your own remarks are all the evidence I have to go on but they are compelling.
        I might note I recently agreed with you about Sasse against Sparkles, he had the decency to accept disagreement and not drag my long dead Father into the discussion.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, You actually make two assumptions, 1 that redaction was because of classification, and 2 that the documents were classified at the time they went on the server, rather than on latter examination. Not a daisy chain but perhaps a product of hope.

      • RL; you are far too uninformed about this to be worth debating. For a start, google “Clinton, on her private server, wrote 104 emails the government says are classified”

    • anon says:

      It may be that she compromised info that was so sensitive that it cannot be acknowledged, there are redacted documents. Being that others have done some of the same actions is a fair argument, but it is too, once again, Clintonesque, skirting the edges. She isn’t presidential, she is a never ending soap-opera

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what Bob Kerrey and Bud Pettigrew are doing this weekend. According to Bud Pettigrew they are inseparable.

  6. Macdaddy says:

    Ricketts IS obtuse. But then so is Hansen if he wants to wander into the world of political opinion columnist. The market for predictable liberal pap is saturated.

  7. Driver says:

    From Obtuse to Prepuce. Nebraska in the news!

    The Associated Press says Nebraska is stopping production of its widely mocked license plate after state officials learned the image “wasn’t drawn accurately”. It shows the “sower” either holding a bag of grain or grasping his incredibly huge sexual organ.

    And what is wrong with huge sex organs? Put a football helmet on the guy and its perfect. But no, Nebraska politicians want to fix our “sower” like you fixed poor rover.

    NE Republicans want the Sower to be redrawn with tiny male genitalia. NE Democrats want the Sower to have a vagina. NE State Senators want him holding a checkbook and sowing dollar bills.
    I want a license plate I can read and bicameral lawmakers who sow sense.

    If Nebraskans were honest, they’d replace the Sower atop the Unicameral with a statue of a lobotomized eunuch covering his own rump.

    • RL: this is tiresome. They most certainly have been released, redacted for the purpose of deleting classified information. In some cases, that has led to the entire email being withheld.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, Did not mean to be obtuse, but sometimes the elderly lawyer wakes up. Will wait for something definitive, not sure you will be able to say I told you so or not, but if not I will not crow.

  8. I’m sick of license plate designs, personalized license plates, and similar issues that only someone with serious time on their hands cares about.

    All state license plates should be black characters in a white background, otherwise carrying only the name of the state and possibly a registration sticker. No silly mottoes, pictures or other tomfoolery. The function, after all, is to be read, sometimes under unfavorable conditions. All of these fripperies detract from that function.

    • The Grundle King says:

      “All state license plates should be black characters in a white background, otherwise carrying only the name of the state and possibly a registration sticker.”

      HOGWASH! We the people demand license plates featuring white characters on a black background!

  9. Lil Mac says:

    RWP, I have been saying the same for years. An auto license plate is a visual distance Identification, without which you get arrested, and if unable to read is useless.

    Besides, putting a picture of a fish on your fishing license doesn’t make you a better fisherman or less apt to dynamite the pond. Just makes it harder to read the license.

  10. bynd says:


    34 years as a Federal employee and 9 as a Vice president of a Federal union. Nope, I didn’t learn anything from all those security briefings.

    • Sparkles says:

      “Nope, I didn’t learn anything from all those security briefings.,”

      Of which we’re all painfully aware.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bynd I am sure you learned a good deal, but not anything relevant to the issues here, beyond an assumption that HRC must have violate something that you think you once heard about though you point to no evidence of the violation. If you want to say HRC was not as careful with government documents as you were taught to be, ok. But you are simply assuming that classified documents were involved. Did not take me 34 years to learn not to assume the facts, it makes debate too easy.

      • bynd says:


        Tens of thousands of emails sent by the Sec. of State. Comments from the spokes person for state saying yes, some contained classified info. Yes, there were emails that contained classified info. the only question is context and if any one will pursue it.

        “Department spokesman John Kirby said 22 documents containing highly classified information will be excluded entirely from the release of Mrs. Clinton’s archive. So far, more than 1,300 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails have been redacted, with portions blocked out, due to the presence of classified information, but this is the first example of emails being entirely withheld from public release.”

        Sweeper, sorry about the cut and paste, but RL: seems unable to find this info on his own.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bynd, Fact documents are withheld does not show they were classified at time that they went on server or given scope ofFOIA search that they were on server. It has become clear your 34 years in federal service were not at Justice. If and when documents are available and analyses by a competent lawyer I will know enough to make a judgment. Patience is apparently not one of your virtues.

      • bynd says:


        The Sec. of State is unaware of what can be classified and what can not? That is a stretch that can’t be made. Especially if it contains the highest level of classification. Do you really think HRC is that stupid? If so, she should not have been SEC. of State nor is she then qualified to be Pres.

        Regardless, she is responsible for the contents of her emails and if she had gone through proper channels she wouldn’t be having these problems. Sorry RL, it doesn’t take a lawyer to understand, she broke the law, inadvertent or not. Just common sense and some briefings. Including 9 years of military briefings. Your accusations that I do not know what I am talking about not withstanding. I do. That’s why we got all those briefings. So we wouldn’t make the stupid mistakes HRC did. And quite frankly, I totally expect Obama and his minions to find a way out of this for HRC. So patience has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Just the truth. Which is not the goal of our legal system so to say wait for that system to rule is rather a waste of time.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, Never claimed knowledge of content, hardly a surprise since they have not been released. I am sure there is a ton of speculation on both sides, read a good deal but see not convincing case either way.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Bynd, your many briefings in the past told you about the contents of documents you have never seen, those on HRC’s server, and made you an expert on statutes you seem not to have read, and then you claim you are acting on common sense. Your common sense fills in the monstrous gaps in your knowledge which enables you to assume a cover up without evidence. I think your calling is science fiction about a super hero who has infused knowledge of documents he has not seen and senses conspiracy through he is power of smell, Under Bynd, with a float in the Macy’s Parade.

    • Pete says:

      34 years as a federal employee virtually guarantees that you learned nothing. I am astounded at the new levels of stupidity that I observe every time I interact with a federal employee.

      The same goes for people “working” in state government.

      I’m coming to the realization that the reason people work in government is because they know they wouldn’t last long in a place of business.

  11. DCRP Member says:

    No warm reception for Lou Ann Linehan at the Douglas County Republican convention today. There was huge applause for Lee Terry. I don’t think her giving money to Brad Ashford recently sat to well with the body.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      DRCP Member, glad Lee Terry got appropriate recognition forces fine Congressional service, odd world in which experience is vilified.

  12. bynd says:

    The Dem. Proposed NY debate and it’s acrimony only shows how much HRC is concerned about Bernie and how the Dems are starting to fall apart as the queen struggles to finish off the prince. Diversity be damned.

  13. County Chair says:

    Bud Pettigrew is the laughing stock of the NDP. He talks incessantly about his friendship with Bob Kerrey. People have gone to SCC meetings listening to Bud and bet on how many times he name drops Bob Kerrey. Once he mentioned his name 11 times in one county chairs meeting. Now that he’s running for committeeman I bet he breaks that record.

  14. repenting lawyer says:

    Sweeper On Facebook, Borchers, who found the article on Sasse generally favorable, says the word should have been abstruse. Pat seems fair and balance on the WH column and right on usage, and even under stress he does not through things, seems like a near perfect candidate of the Unicameral.

  15. bynd says:


    I don’t know how much more plain it could be. The State Dept. said she had emails on her server that had classified materials on them. Some of the material so classified they can’t even release the email, redacted or not. Twist it how you want. But, the plain language of the State Dept. release isn’t to difficult to understand. There is no doubt she sent emails with classified data on them, the only question is, what will they do. I believe your old age or love of HRC is giving you reason to deny facts.

    So all your conspiracy, lack of knowledge bunk is just that, bunk. I would also point out, since it seems you never went to the briefings I did on classified materials, it is rather caviler to dismiss them and my knowledge because of them as pretty much worthless. Do I demand you acknowledge my wisdom in the matter? Hardly. Just cut the holier than thou, I can read the law better than anyone crap.

    Your expertise is noted. Since it is not in such things as classified documents, it has it’s limitations.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bynd, I did read a text on national security law by a judge of the Military Circuit who had been GC of National Security Counsel just before I retired and did have some briefings long ago. I am not,however, claiming superior knowledge, only enough to know that I do not know if any statutes were violated. The commentary has been about equal between yes and no based on leaks. I have seen very little on the legal blogs that involved more than suggestions of what statutes might be involved, even from Volokh Conspiracy, the premier conservative legal blog. So I remain a sceptic on the issue.
      I do not know enough about gov. servers to know why HRC or prior Sec. of State have chosen to have the own servers, maybe smart or stupid, but practice seems common. Reg. have been tightened to make sure Archives get documents, and HRC may not have made timely compliance but those are public records and not security regs
      Unbalance I am not convinced of anything except that with hind sight HRC wishes she hadn’t. That is really all I have said though I have enjoyed saying it.

  16. Lil Mac says:

    I was digging into a Quinnipiac poll’s methodology and came upon something interesting that I have not heard mentioned by pollsters. At the end was “Political Philosophy” of those polled.

    Get this:

    Republican: 33% very Conservative, 31% somewhat Conservative, 34% moderate/Liberal.

    Democrat: 19% very Liberal, 25% somewhat Liberal, 53% moderate/Conservative.

    Sanders are an admitted Socialist yet doing well among Democrats most of whom call themselves “Conservative”. What is that about?

    Why do so few Democrats claim being “liberal”?

    • Sparkles says:

      Feb 29, 2016 – The Liberal Millennial Revolution – The Atlantic

      Jun 7, 2015 – Liberals Make Big Comeback in 2015, Poll Analysis Finds – WSJ

      May 28, 2015 – On social issues, Americans are more liberal than ever – Christian Science Monitor

      3 days ago – America Is Becoming More Liberal – The Atlantic

  17. Sparkles says:

    Interesting, and one would imagine conclusory –

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition Copyright © 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing –
    “Usage Note: Obtuse is sometimes used where one might expect abstruse instead, but the Usage Panel is divided on the acceptability of these usages. In our 2009 survey, 55 percent of the Usage Panel rejected obtuse meaning “recondite,” as in The reader has to struggle through dense prose and obtuse references to modern philosophers. Some 52 percent rejected the word when used to mean “indirect or oblique” in the sentence Divorce is mentioned, and there are a few obtuse references to sex. By contrast, 56 percent accepted sentences in which obtuse was used to mean “hard to follow or understand” in the phrases obtuse instructions and obtuse explanation. Perhaps the use of the word as a sophisticated synonym of stupid makes these extended derogatory uses more tolerable than they otherwise might be.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.