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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos?

February 7, 2008

Some hip-shot 1 a.m. reactions to news reports of “Super Tuesday” presidential primary election results:

What a contrast there was in the style—and, I believe, in the substance—of Sen. Barack Obama’s reaction as he maintained his position as a serious challenger for the Democratic nomination, and the reaction of Sen. John McCain, who solidified his position as frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

In his usual self-confident, egocentric and frequently emotional oratorical style, Obama told a national television audience and a crowd of his supporters in his home state of Illinois (the only large-population state which he carried Tuesday) a long list of the things which would be accomplished “when I’m president.” He used language like “We are the we have been waiting for” and “We are the hope of the future,” both for the United States and for the world.

Obama’s egocentric approach contrasted sharply with the remarks of Sen. John McCain, who said he was pleased that Tuesday’s victories in eight states—California, New York, Massachusetts and Missouri among them—confirmed that he has moved from underdog to frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

Lou Dobbs, one of the biggest egos practicing television commentary, opined that the contest for the Republican nomination is “still a three-man race,” including McCain, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Other commentators said Huckabee had done well for himself Tuesday, winning five southern states, but clearly isn’t a serious contender for the presidential nomination. A couple of commentators opined that the appeal of Huckabee, a former television evangelist, to the evangelical right might make him an attractive vice presidential running mate with McCain. (My reaction: Huckabee has a pleasant speaking style and seems to have given up the idea that he can wisecrack his way into the White House, but his right-wing political views certainly wouldn’t appeal to moderates, a significant number of whom Republicans must attract if they are to be successful in November.)

Ending on a very personal note: Over recent months, when people have asked me what I would like to see replace George Bush in the White House, I’ve replied that among the Democratic candidates I prefer Hillary Clinton but that my first choice would be John McCain, although I thought he was too old to win approval of the majority of the voters. (McCain will be 73 on the day a new president takes office.) One friend responded that, at 84, I should show more respect for senior citizens. (I prefer to refer to us as “mature citizens.”)

* * *

Oprah Qualified to Pick a President?

The flood of pre-Super Tuesday endorsements, especially for Obama or Clinton, seemed to me to finally reach the point of, “Who cares?” But to me perhaps the two most interesting aspects of the endorsements were these:

The news media’s slant towards Obama, evident in a number of ways, resulted in headlines and news stories stressing John F. Kennedy family members’ endorsement of Obama, with considerably less attention to endorsements of Hillary Clinton by an almost equal number of members of the family of John Kennedy’s brother, Robert.

The other aspect of the endorsements which I considered noteworthy was Oprah Winfrey going on the stump in support of Obama.

Winfrey’s enthusiastic high-profile support of a fellow black (can anyone imagine Winfrey campaigning for a white candidate in a contest involving a black?) helps build an image of Obama deserving support as being a credible black candidate with a chance of being elected president rather than an image of a credible candidate who happens to be black.

A candidate embraced by some vocal supporters primarily because he is black is less likely to appeal to a great many whites and Hispanics whose votes could be decisive, in my opinion.

Final thought (for today) on endorsements: Lane Filler of the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal was right on target when he wrote:

“What is the theory behind the celebrity endorsement? How uncertain would you have to be to let your vote hinge on the opinion of Harry Belafonte (pro-Edwards) or porn star Jenna Jameson, who says she likes Clinton?”

* * *

Put All of Omaha First
In CWS Ballpark Talks

In case you might have been wondering, let me assure you that there are members other than David Sokol on the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority board of directors.

To date, in the controversy over whether one of the Qwest Center parking lots might be converted into a site for a new downtown ballpark—part of the vitally-important civic effort to assure that the College World Series remains in Omaha for up to 20 or 25 years—MECA chairman David Sokol has done all the public commenting in support of MECA’s objections to losing a Qwest Center parking lot.

Perhaps the MECA board has agreed to let chairman Sokol do all the talking. But there are other civic leaders on the MECA. One hopes that they at least are listening to the arguments for continued discussion—and I don’t mean angry discussion—between the MECA board and Mayor Fahey’s committee which is seeking a solution which will: result in “the road to Omaha” continuing to be the goal of every college baseball team in America.

Over the past half century, Omaha’s image of a friendly, attractive city has grown nationwide as a result of the way Omahans have played the role of splendid hosts to the College World Series.

One would hope that all members of the MECA board will support continued discussions in an effort to reach an agreement that will keep the College World Series in Omaha for a good many years to come—an agreement which all parties, no matter their negotiating base, can support in good faith.

Those other MECA board members are Terry Moore, president of the Omaha Federation of Labor; Hal Daub, attorney and normally an outspoken public official who has served Omaha well as mayor and the state and country well as Second District Representative in Congress; Gail Werner-Robertson, founder and CEO of GWR Wealth Management, LLC; and David Kramer, an Omaha attorney and former state chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party.

* * *

Some Things the Legislature
Won’t—and Shouldn’t—Do

Speaking of prospects for reaching a reasonable accommodation between various local interests in finding for the best way to assure that the College World Series will remain in Omaha for a good many years:

No one should expect the Legislature to enter the controversy on the side of those who think the right answer is to spend up to $80 million to renovate the traditional College World Series home, Rosenblatt Stadium.

Senator John Synowiecki, whose South Omaha district includes Rosenblatt Stadium, has introduced a bill which would inject the Legislature to the College World Series site controversy by appropriating $20 million to help pay for renovation of Rosenblatt. Forget it.

The Legislature has enough problems of statewide impact to become involved in a controversy over an issue which has primary importance to the Omaha metropolitan area.

There are, of course, a number of other “non-starters” among the more than four hundred new bills introduced in a session which is limited to 60 legislative days. Among the bills which, I believe, surely aren’t going anywhere.

Omaha Senator Mike Friend’s bill which would violate the spirit if not the letter of Nebraska’s “right to work” state constitutional amendment won’t pass legislative muster. Friend’s LB936 would require employees who choose not to be represented by a labor union to pay a “fair share representation contribution.” The theory is that non-union employees benefit from the wages and working conditions negotiated by union representatives.

The facts are that the union has not been able to convince such non-union members that membership in a union is worth their joining. The power of the state legislature simply should not be evoked to force non-union members to subsidize a union they have chosen not to join.

Another bill likely to go nowhere is Senator DiAnna Schimek’s LB824, which would require “a gender balance” on all appointive boards, commissions, committees and councils of state government.

Senator Schimek is this year finishing 20 years of service in the Legisalture. She has served conscientiously and capably. But as to “gender equity” requirements, why not just let the governor and other appointing authorities choose the most qualified available appointees instead of enforcing “gender equity” which may or may not better serve the public interest?

Another bill that I believe has no chance of passage—because there is no reason for its passage—is LB1050, introduced by Senator Phillip Erdman of Bayard. The bill would create something called the “Game and Parks Commission Advisory Board.”

The advisory board would consist of eight members whose districts would parallel those of the eight members of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The advisory board would meet quarterly and advise the Game and Parks commissioners on the way they discharge their statutory duties.

The commission now appoints a chief executive who is officially called the secretary but is customarily referred to as the director. LB1050 would change the title from “secretary” to “director” and provide that the director shall be appointed by the governor. The secretary/director is now appointed by the Game and Parks commissioners.

This proposed administrative monstrosity doesn’t have a change. One wonders why this and other obvious “non-starters” are introduced in a session which clearly has much more important business to deal with

* * *

Raimondo Bid a Non-Starter?

Still on the subject of “non-starters,” I would say that Tony Raimondo’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate falls into that category of things that just aren’t going to end in success.

Over the years, I have written about a political phenomenon which I have named “Politicus Incurabilis.” Sometimes it goes into remission, sometime it appears and strikes relatively late in life, as in the case of Raimondo, highly respected Columbus businessman who had been a lifelong Republican and now has filed for the Democratic nomination for United States senator.

Raimondo, a likeable fellow with impressive credentials in the business field, faces a possible Democratic primary contest with Scott Kleeb, who ran a respectable campaign for Third District congressman in 2006, and, if he survives the primary a general election contest with former Gov. Mike Johanns, predictably Republican senatorial nominee.

After either the primary or the general election, Tony Raimondo’s late-developing case of Politicus Incurabilis should go into remission.

* * *

He Will Love Huskers ‘4EVR’

You and I have seen all manner of fanaticism—caps, jackets, t-shirts, license plates, whatever—when it comes to ways that Nebraskans express their support—well, most of the time—for their beloved Cornhusker football team.

But I hadn’t seen or heard a pledge of eternal, everlasting devotion more emphatically and publicly displayed than this license plate which I encountered the other day:

“4EVR 4NU”

# # #

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