Independence_12x8_150resIf you didn’t listen to yesterday’s podcast of The Wheels Down Politics Show, let’s just say you aren’t one of those, “in the know”.

Of course as former State Senator/smartass Scott Lautenbaugh pointed out, “J.L. Spray and the GOP Rules Committee Controversy” is probably the worst of J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts series. (Though “Scott Lautenbaugh and the Petition That Wouldn’t Leave” is still highly suggested.)

Nonetheless, as the Rules Committee meetings, and the Convention itself, approaches, you are warned that you may be left out of the conversation, say, if you were gathering with others to consume pancakes at a park on Monday morning.

If you form a blank stare when others ask your thoughts on Curly Haugland and Kendall Unruh, then you should…nay NEED… to listen to the podcast with J.L. Spray.

And even if you’re not a Pancake Eater, you still want to be one of the ones who can discuss the issues intelligently.



Speaking of the Convention, Senator Ben Sasse still questions whether Donald Trump will wrap things up in Cleveland.

He told Brent Martin of the Nebraska Radio Network that he doesn’t think either Hillary or Trump is a lock, saying,

“I don’t actually believe that it’s yet resolved,” and then noting, “I’m not meaning to make any news or say anything provocative, I’m just saying there’s a lot of historical contingency here that we don’t yet know.”

One would assume he’s referring to the Haugland and Unruh proposals — or possibly a Hillary indictment on the Dem side.

But you can listen yourself to the podcast to see whether J.L. Spray agrees with that assessment, at least on the GOP side.

In the mean time, Sasse is still the go-to guy for any discussion of #NeverTrump.



The Public Policy Polling poll that I referred to — and was polled in — is now up.

You can find nearly all of the questions here, though they did leave out the final ones regarding employee-owned businesses and their relation to baseball, hot dogs and apple pie (seriously).

The one that everyone is talking about, and that I referenced on the Twitter, is:

If the choices for President were Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, and a Giant Meteor hitting the earth which would you choose?

Hillary Clinton 43%
Donald Trump 38%
Giant Meteor hitting the earth 13%
Not sure 7%

Some things to note on that poll…

If it’s just Hillary vs Donald:

Hillary Clinton 48%
Donald Trump 44%
Not sure 7%

But if you add in the Libertarian and Green candidates:

Hillary Clinton 45%
Donald Trump 41%
Gary Johnson 5%
Jill Stein 2%
Undecided 7%

And then if you just ask, Republican vs Democrat:

Democrat 45%
Republican 44%
Not sure 11%

They list the Margin of Error here as 3.4%, so one would think you’re looking at nearly a statistical dead heat.

Of course if you add in SMOD, it’s really all over with anyway…


Gill it up

Depending on whether there will be a post here on Monday, I will share with you, once again, one of my favorite stories from Stephen Ambrose’s book, Undaunted Courage, about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

In this excellent telling of the exploration by Lewis and Clark, Ambrose gives the following description of July 4, 1804:

On July 4, the men ushered in the day with a firing of the cannon.

At noon, the party pulled ashore at the mouth of a creek of some fifteen yards wide, “coming out of an extensive Prarie” on the left (west) side. As they ate, the captains questioned the voyagers. No, they knew no name for the creek.

The captains thereupon named it, their second experience in bestowing a name. They called it Independence Creek.

The expedition pulled over for the night at the site of an old Kansas Indian town. “We Camped in the plain,” Clark wrote, “one of the most butifull Plains I ever Saw, open & butifully diversified with hills & wallies all presenting themselves to the river covered with grass and a few scattering trees, a handsom Creek meandering thro.”

The captains ordered an extra gill distributed.

As they sipped their portions, they took in their surroundings and were quite overwhelmed. The country was covered with a sweet and nourishing grass, interspersed with copses of trees “Spreding ther lofty branchs over Pools Springs or Brooks of fine water. Groops of Shrubs covered with the most delicious froot is to be seen in every direction, and nature appears to have exerted herself to butify the Senery by the variety of flours Delicately and highly flavered raised above the Grass, which Strikes and profumes the Sensation, and amuses the mind.”

At sunset, the men again fired the cannon.

It was the first-ever Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi River.

As you fire up the grill, watch the parades go by and kick back with your favorite beverage while watching the rockets’ red glare, remember Lewis and Clark and their crew.

Out on the midwest plains they too fired their cannons, had an extra gill of whiskey, and admired the beauty of the land.

Perfect way to celebrate America.


Early and often

Don’t forget to follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook, all long-weekend long!


  1. Bluejay says:


    If only they could have made a little more progress. First Fourth west of the Mississippi would then have been in Nebraska.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think Sasse has no intention of running for re-election in 2020. He has catapaulted himself onto the national stage with several entities that have plenty of money to further his personal goals. His hat is in the ring for bigger things in 2020, as bizarre and self-serving as that might be. In the meantime, he should put a cork in it. He’s exhausted his 15 minutes for this election cycle.

  3. Bluejay says:

    Poll was good for one thing. We learned that thirteen percent are unserious about the most important election since RWR victory.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve been able to vote since 2000 and every election they always say that this is “THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIME”. Can it with the hyperbole please.

  4. Sparkles says:

    And a quarter century after the remarkable expedition of Lewis and Clark, Alexis de Tocqueville would describe a burgeoning nation –

    “It is the Americans themselves who daily quit the spots which gave them birth, to acquire extensive domains in a remote region. Thus the European leaves his cottage for the transatlantic shores, and the American, who is born on that very coast, plunges in his turn into the wilds of central America. This double emigration is incessant; it begins in the middle of Europe, it crosses the Atlantic Ocean, and it advances over the solitudes of the New World. Millions of men are marching at once towards the same horizon; their language, their religion, their manners differ; their object is the same. Fortune has been promised to them somewhere in the West, and to the West they go to find it.”

  5. Henry Robert says:

    Today was Jim Flowers’ last day. There is a rumor going around that he may be looking at running for mayor of Omaha. An exploratory committee may be forming around December.

  6. drunk for the duration says:

    Happy July 2nd. Independence Day! — American Independence was voted on and passed on July 2, 1776. The written declaration wasn’t signed until August 2nd. Of course, a draft of the declaration was dated “July 4th” but that is like celebrating your wedding anniversary on the day your marriage license was typed.

    Washington and Adams said our national birthday is July 2nd but they weren’t as drunk as We the People.

    America was born drunk. Our colonies grew out of Europe’s addiction to tobacco. Our Revolution started over our addiction to caffeine in tea. Geo. Washington made his fortune in brandy. The Whiskey Rebellion was his first test as President. Taxation? Sure. But you can only tax what people are eager to buy and use. Americans love being drunk. It is what binds us as a nation.

    If you are sober enough to care which day is Independence Day, you need to swallow more Spirits of ’76.

  7. bynd says:

    The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

    Alexis De Tocqueville

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