Veeps and Byes and Polls

pence-ia01The day-after take on the Veep debate last night seems to be…whatever your media outlet of choice wants it to be.

For instance CNN had themselves a focus group which they queried after the debate. That focus group was in …Richmond, Virginia.

Oh, did you note that Democrat VP candidate Tim Kaine is a Senator from Virginia?
And was Governor of Virginia?
And was Mayor of Richmond?

While we’re at it, why don’t we ask the Richmond focus group who they favor when the Richmond Spiders play Texas Tech in December. Those would be some interesting hot-takes!

While the calm and sober Mike Pence is generally seen as the victor, some say that he went too soft on Hillary, and should have been more of an attack-dog like Tim Kaine. Apparently the Hillary-team talking point was that Pence showed he’s running for President in 2020.

But another way to look at it is that Pence did exactly what the Trump camp needed: a view of a team that can be calm and collected when it wants to be. There is an outlook that “undecideds” want to have confidence that Donald Trump isn’t an out-of-control maniac, and that Pence demeanor is exactly what was ordered.

Now the #NeverTrump crowd is also crowing that Mike Pence is perfect because he can sell the conservative message and sells it in a calm, sensible package.

Which means that this year he is perfect…for #2. For all the pundits who keeps clamoring, “if we had just nominated Candidate X in the GOP primary, we’d be KILLING Hillary!”, it is as if they missed the entire primary season.

Yes, Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker were great, conservative Governors. But they were also a couple of the first to drop out. Part of the mentality of the GOP electorate was/is, “You’ve fooled us too many times with the milquetoast candidates and we’re not going to take it anymore!” So, yes, they’re burning down the house, in many ways, with Trump. And they know it’s a risk. But it is one that they’re willing to take.

And that IS a big part of the election. Are things bad enough in the U.S. and the world that we need the radical change that Trump seems to offer — even with all of his flaws? Or are things just fine, and we should stick with life-long government employee Hillary Clinton — with her massive amount of flaws?

No matter who wins, there is a chance the GOP could swing back the other way and run with a Mike Pence type — or Pence himself. That would be standard strategy of the party.

But not this year.


Bye Week Summit

Well, with a Bye-Week, you thought the anthem-kneeling controversy would die down. But no!

The McMansion summit between Michael Rose-Ivey and Pete Ricketts is forthcoming and will likely be covered by the unencumbered Nebraska media like a Husker Spring Game.

So in the lead-up, Governor Ricketts has issued a new statement about what he thinks of the protest.

Here it is, in full:

From Presidential debates to football fields, America is having a discussion about injustice. We are an imperfect country. There is no doubt America has a checkered history with how we have treated individuals of various races and ethnicities. And there is no doubt social injustice and bigotry still exist.

However, America is a nation founded on high ideals which are enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The notion that our flag represents the imperfections of a flawed country rather than the high ideals of equality and liberty is misguided.

I am encouraged to see young people expressing their opinions on the issues facing our nation and exercising their First Amendment rights. While I respect their right to protest, by choosing not to stand during our national anthem they caused pain to the families of veterans who fought and died to ensure they enjoy that right.

In our 240-year history, America has defended our freedoms and maintained the ideal that “all men are created equal.” Our flag represents equality and liberty, not bigotry and injustice. More importantly, it represents the supreme sacrifice of countless Americans who gave their lives to defend those ideals.

As a private citizen and now as Nebraska’s Governor, I have participated in honor flights for combat veterans who fought in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. This summer when I attended an event with the wives of Vietnam Combat Veterans, I acknowledged that many of their husbands didn’t experience the appreciation they deserved for fighting for our country. I expressed our collective debt of gratitude to those who dedicate themselves to military service.

I regularly express our collective debt of gratitude at send-off ceremonies for the Nebraska National Guard where our troops are being deployed overseas. For many of them, it is not their first deployment.

Our troops go around the world under the banner of the American Flag to protect our freedoms and relieve suffering and oppression. For this reason, I believe that just because the First Amendment protects the right of individuals to protest our flag, it doesn’t mean they ought to do so.

In 1799 in his last public speech before his death Patrick Henry said, “Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”

In this spirit, I suggest that there is an opportunity for us to stand together against injustice and bigotry in a manner that doesn’t divide us, and doesn’t dishonor the sacrifices of others.

Some in the media, it seems, are already taking issue with concept of, “The notion that our flag represents the imperfections of a flawed country rather than the high ideals of equality and liberty is misguided.

It is “an interesting take”, in the sense that some would say that the flag “represents EVERYTHING about America, warts and all.” Others — as Ricketts does here — would argue that the flag represents the highest standards that America is based upon.

It’s probably a loaded statement, either way.

There is a perfectly good argument that it is both. But, let’s face it, the flag is not the point of the players’ protest. Rose-Ivey in particular has said that he is kneeling to raise awareness of police shootings of black Americans.

He has said he loves his country, will respect its laws…and everything else in the Little League Pledge.

But it isn’t clear that Rose-Ivey has suggested that the flag “represents the imperfections of a flawed country“. It is more like, “Doing this will REALLY get a rise out of everyone, and then they’ll ask why I’m doing it, and then I’ll get their attention for the issue that I’m concerned about!”

Which gets back to the “point” being made. Rose-Ivey and his fellow players have gotten our attention. And they’ve told us what it is they’re concerned about.

But there has been a genuine lack of proposals for remedying the injustices that they see — and are asking everyone to look at.

We’re looking. Now what?



Leavenworth St. has been alerted by a citizen with a phone that there is POLLING going on in the 2nd District.

Hopefully you will be alerted soon with new info on who’s thinking what.

You will be kept abreast of the situation.



How else can you stay updated on the talk of Nebraska politics?

By following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Liking Leavenworth St. on The Facebook! Because you want to be in the know, and you want it easy and you want it now!




  1. Zoe Life Communications says:

    Ian Swanson lists his career as founder/CEO of “Zoe Life Communications” but when I google them nothing comes up. Ian, did you make up a fake company just to inflate your resume and lie to voters? Can you name one client that “Zoe Life Communications” has ever had?

  2. Millennial voter says:

    Sweeper, to go along with your Virginia conspiracy, did you know that the debate took place at storied Norwood University in Farmville, Virginia?!?

  3. Ricky says:

    Day by day, hour after hour the Republicans in Nebraska and elsewhere are looking more and more like dopes when they support the awful Donald Trump for President.
    I wonder what Mommy and Daddy Ricketts are thinking giving millions to Trump when he, among many other things, wants to sleep with his own daughter.
    Maybe Ricketts and Trump have so much in common that’s why they get along. Trump manages to lose a billion dollars in one year, and Ricketts managed to lose two large corporations headquarters in Nebraska in one year. Birds of a feather. I thought being a “businessman” is what we need in elected officals?
    Guess not.

    Ricky from Omaha

    • Anonymous says:

      You’d have a point, Ricky, if businesses, their boards and shareholders gave a flying you-know-what about politicians. They don’t, of course. Stothert and Ricketts are as in the dark as the rest of us re/what captains of industry do, so they can’t take credit or blame when a company does or doesn’t do anything.

      As for Ricketts, the only thing I want to know about him is who his replacement will be. Like nature, politics abhors a vacuum, and that’s what we have as a governor right now in Nebraska, a hairless, empty skull. Perfect for Halloween.

    • bynd says:


      For as bad as they may be. You folks can not find anyone to beat them. So now you know how bad you and yours are to keep getting whipped by such as them. It would appear you are one the greatest losers of all.

    • bynd says:

      Ricky, day by day and hour by hour 1500 innocent babies are slaughtered. A man, not to mention a man of integrity, would find such things deplorable. So it seems, you are neither a man nor one of integrity. And the antithesis of what we need as leadership. The scary clown around here as always been you.
      So it would seem, Ricky and insurgents who slaughter innocents, birds of a feather. We don’t need either.

  4. Matt says:

    If anyone’s dishonoring the sacrifices of others, it’s Ricketts by mocking a citizen’s exercise of the rights they fought to protect.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ricky, since you brought it up. Hillary holds her serial girl abuser/rapist husband’s pants while he has sex with young women and then allows that man to sit with his own daughter. She won’t divorce the creep. You accuse Republicans of incest but not Hillary and Bill? You fool.

    Bill Clinton admits putting cigars into vaginas at work! And you don’t find that a bit abnormal? And you don’t fear for his daughter? Should one fear for yours then?

    Ricky, your way of expressing your politics is disgusting. Shame on you.

  6. The Grundle King says:

    “We’re looking. Now what?”

    What…that isn’t clear already?

    REPARATIONS!!! Because if history has taught us anything, it’s that throwing a ton of cash at a problem ALWAYS solves it.

  7. Sparkles says:

    I find Gov Ricketts letter childishly detached from history, and reality.

    The Gov. (or someone) writes:
    “The notion that our flag represents the imperfections of a flawed country rather than the high ideals of equality and liberty is misguided.”

    The notion that your position, or money allows you to impose your principles on another and instruct them on how they are to believe, is misguided.

    You state –
    In our 240-year history, America has defended our freedoms and maintained the ideal that “all men are created equal.”

    Really? You’re of course referring to the Declaration of Independence, penned in 1776.
    The 13th amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865.
    Black men and women and children remained slaves for 89 years after the ‘ideal’ of all men being created equal was put to paper.
    It was the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention that our esteemed founding fathers, in order to benefit slave holders, agreed upon the Three-Fifths Compromise.
    It was 1921 when 300 black people in Tulsa were slaughtered, by white people, in the Tulsa riots. More than 800 more admitted to hospitals and 6,000 black residents arrested and detained.
    And it took the Civil Rights Act of 1964 before US labor law outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
    188 years after those exceptional Americans deemed all men to be created equal.

    You continue –
    More importantly, it represents the supreme sacrifice of countless Americans who gave their lives to defend those ideals.

    That would be the very same supreme sacrifice given to defend the 1st Amendment rights of these young men to peacefully protest.

    Your letter continues –
    I believe that just because the First Amendment protects the right of individuals to protest our flag, it doesn’t mean they ought to do so.

    Good for you. You have the right to believe anything you choose.
    30% of Americans believe Bigfoot is real.
    40% of Trump voters think that ACORN (which hasn’t existed in years) will steal the election for Clinton.
    I believe that when we die, we’re food for worms. My grandson believes in the tooth fairy and more recently believes Killer Clowns are on the loose in our city.
    None of these beliefs have anything to do with First amendment rights or the experience growing up as young black man.
    It was only a few months ago that U.S. Senator Tim Scott (SC) shared with his colleagues that In the course of the last year he was pulled over seven times by law enforcement. Another time, a Capitol Police officer demanded that Scott show him his ID because the special pin on Scott’s suit jacket ― a pin assigned to United States senators ― evidently wasn’t enough.

    Finally, you share with us –
    Patrick Henry said, “Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall..

    Patrick Henry also said:
    “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.”

    • TexasAnnie says:

      Well you took that letter apart piece by piece and demonstrated how ineffective platitudes really are. But I do think your governor has a valid point about what the flag represents. It is a symbol substituting for our history in it’s entirety. The good and the bad. Rather than dictating what the flag represents to the reader, he appears to be writing about universal meanings we are all taught to understand.

      Don’t you agree, Sparkles, that up from slavery (circa 1776) our history has continuously demonstrated movement toward rather than away from equality?

      • Sparkles says:

        our history has continuously demonstrated movement toward rather than away from equality?

        I absolutely agree, TA.

        And Michel Rose-Ivey along with his teammates are exemplary representatives of exactly that – our continued advancement toward greater equality.
        Their peaceful protest has been remarkably successful in it’s goal – a goal of calling attention to the missteps in our shared journey and to remind us of our need to more openly and universally engage in conversation on how to better become a more perfect union.

        Also, I’m under no allusion that Gov Ricketts’ letter was meant to advance the conversation.
        As you rightly pointed out, his letter if filled with nothing but platitudes. Platitudes aimed at appeasing a specific audience of voters.

        I do think your governor has a valid point about what the flag represents.

        I’ve always been of the opinion that the meaning of the flag as unique as is every American.
        I’m certain my interpretation is different from that of a migrant worker from Mexico, or a young transfer student from India, a refugee from Azerbaijan or a Lost Boy from Sudan, a slave being unloaded from a ship in the port Charleston in 1823, or an Eastern European Jew arriving at Ellis Island in 1945.
        And I’m certain the flag means something different to me, a small town Nebraska farm kid with loving parents and a blessed childhood, than it does to a black youth who grew up in poverty, raised only by a mother and who witnessed more strife and violence in a weekend than I did in my first 30 years of life.

      • bynd says:

        318.9 million unique meanings for the flag.

        Which means it doesn’t stand for:
        “Give me your tired, your poor,
        Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
        The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
        Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
        I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

        Your uniqueness means it actually stands for nothing because you believe it stands for everything. Does it stand for white supremacy, homophobia, intolerance, racism, sexism and all the other isms?

        From the book “Our Flag” published in 1989 by the House of Representatives…

        “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”

        The 50 stars represents the 50 states and 13 stripes represent 13 colonies.

        Also this from a book about the flag published in 1977 by the House of Representatives…

        “The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”

        Can you make it mean what you want it to? Of course. But then, that means nothing to anyone else.

        But the best part is, if you don’t like what it stands for officially, you can make your own little flag.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        I hope you come back and read this, Sparkles.
        I was referring to the old philosophical argument about universals and particulars. I’m reading the governor’s (no doubt purchased) statement as a reference to any universal meaning(s) about the flag. Protesting displays of the flag may be provocative BECAUSE they challenge universal meanings; but they do not displace universal meanings. And in the case of the American flag, universal meaningfulness is far more important and relevant than any particular ideation about the flag.

        It’s the ‘thing’ about a thing that makes it ‘that’ thing. Wish I had gotten back to you yesterday. You often provoke my response…

      • Sparkles says:


        As always, a very thoughtful and highly relevant response.
        I understand your point about a universal meaning, without which there can be no protest.
        You’re so consistently on point in your philosophical ‘take’ on subjects. Yours is a viewpoint I appreciate and admire.
        Thank goodness these topics are rarely black and white (no pun intended). The enlightenment is always found when stumbling around in the gray.

  8. Ricky says:

    Does anybody find it ironic that Regent Daub does not want students to speak out, using their first amendment rights, but Daub uses his position of Regent to push Ricketts death penalty nonsense.
    Daub is listed as a coalition member and has his photo and UN Regent as a caption on their web site.
    Shame on you Daub I call for your resignation.
    Ricky from District 6

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