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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Our new policy is to make my column available early each Wednesday.

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.

Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins

January 2, 2008

After a two-page detailed newspaper account of Bo Pelini’s childhood and the fellow athletes and coaches he grew up with in Youngstown, Ohio, and the countless earlier Lincoln-based stories about the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ new head football coach, I think I know as much as I need to know about Bo Pelini’s past and present life.

And I’ve seen countless pictures of Pelini—everything from white shirt and tie and business suit when he as his family were introduced to the news media in Lincoln, to Pelini in his coaching attire as defensive coordinator for Louisiana State. (I would venture a guess that in the past month or so in Nebraska, the circulation of Pelini’s image in total numbers runs second only to that of George Washington.)

While making clear that I support Pelini’s choice as Husker head coach, I think it’s time now to concentrate on the future, particularly on the season starting next August 30.

I think, incidentally, that the massive buildup may prove unfair to Pelini and Husker Athletic Director Tom Osborne who hired Pelini. A Bob Devaney-like first-season reversal of Husker football fortunes is a possibility but not a likelihood, I would think.

Pelini will, I think, make progress in 2008 and beyond. But the odds are against reaching the dominant position which the Husker program achieved in the Devaney/Osborne era.

A number of well-informed observers have said that the days are gone when the Nebraska Cornhuskers or any other team can frequently be undefeated contenders for the national championship or finish almost every year among—or close to—the top 10. A straw in that particular wind may be the fact that the two teams contending for this year’s national championship, LSU and Ohio State, enter their game January 7 with one defeat each.

In the case of all five of Nebraska’s national championships in the Devaney/Osborne era, the Huskers were undefeated (although Devaney’s 1970 team had one tie, 21-21 at USC).

In addition to his three undefeated national championship teams, two of Osborne’s teams went into national championship games undefeated but lost 31-30 to Miami in 1973 and 18-16 to Florida State in 1993.

So the slope has grown steeper. But for the sportswriters and coaches whose votes determine the weekly rankings, and for the fans who will react in despair or delight, the ultimate bottom line remains the same: Show us the Ws, Bo and Tom, show us the Ws.

* * *

John Edwards’ Desperate Demagoguery

I had just listened to one of former Senator John Edwards’ desperate, keep-me-in-the-presidential-running TV commercials decrying “corporate greed” when I came across a World-Herald story detailing what two major corporations did this holiday season—a story which makes a bad political joke of Edwards’ politically-inspired indictment of “greedy corporations.” The story started:

“ConAgra Foods, Inc. said Tuesday that it is donating 35 truckloads of its products, valued at $1 million, and is matching donations to America’s Second Harvest, which has more than 200 member food banks across the country.

“Omaha-based ConAgra joined Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in the holiday effort. Wal-Mart is donating 50 truckloads of foods and grocery products also valued at $1 million.

“Since 1999, ConAgra has donated more than $20 million and 145 million pounds of food to America’s Second Harvest. The company also has funded the startup of more than 250 Kids Cafes, which serve free meals to children and has purchased 160 trucks for food banks.

“In Omaha, ConAgra set up an ice skating rink at its downtown headquarters. Admission cost $5. The $33,723 in proceeds went to the Nebraska Food Bank Network. ConAgra also donated $100,000 to the Nebraska Food Bank, and nearly 2,400 pounds of food was collected on the company’s campus.”

At about the same time I read that Omaha’s “Building Bright Futures” effort to offer scholarships to every qualifying low-income high school graduate will be headed by an outstandingly successful businessman and outstandingly generous philanthropists, Walter Scott, Jr., retired chief executive of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. A good deal of Scott’s wealth was generated from his position of leadership of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc., an Omaha-headquartered corporation renowned for its “non-greedy” support of a variety of worthy causes.

The Building Bright Futures initiative will be funded in significant part by contributions from generous corporations.

* * *

Welcome Back, Boys Town

I welcome back the traditional name of one of America’s great child welfare organizations. Gender equity was taken a public relations step too far when officials at Boys Town a few years ago decided to adopt the name “Girls and Boys Town.”

So it’s “Boys Town” again, with recognition that the program includes girls by changing the traditional symbol of a youngster with a younger brother on his back to a youngster with a girl on his back, presumably his sister. Presumably the classic line, “He ain’t heavy, Father. He’s my brother” will change now to, “She ain’t heavy, Father. She’s my sister.”

Along with a return to the name under which the program became world famous and attracted a great deal of money in philanthropic support, board chairman Ken Stinson and Boys Town Director Rev. Steven Boes made it clear that the Boys Town program will continue to look for new ways to serve children who need help.

From now on, Boes said, Boys Town will try to serve more children in their own homes, instead of treating them on Boys Town campuses. Such family programs will be offered in Nebraska, Rhode Island and California. Boys Town currently works with about 1,000 western Iowa families.

A happy sign that this remarkable Omaha-headquartered organization will blend tradition and innovative new programs in a way that continues to enhance what that proud Boys Town name means in terms of service to the less fortunate.

* * *

Roll the Dice for Obama?

It’s been interesting to watch Frank Rich, the most liberal and consistently the most vicious of The New York Times stable of liberal columnists, edge closer to outright endorsement of Illinois Senator Barack Obama for election as president of the United States.

In one recent Sunday column, Rich suggested that electing Obama, a black, would be “the most direct shot” to answer politicians “who are trying to divide the country by faith, ethnicity, sexuality and race.” So Americans may simply see a vote for Obama “as a vote for faith in America itself,” Rich opined.

In his next weekly column Rich argued that experience isn’t necessarily of importance for a president, especially the experience Hillary Clinton would bring to the presidency. Rather than looking for an experienced candidate, Rich suggested, Americans are “not just willing but eager to roll the dice” in favor of a promise of change (Obama’s pitch, of course). It would, at least, make for an interesting political crap game but I question whether a majority of Ameircans are willing to buy “trust me, I’ll change things for the better” campaign promises.

* * *

Wisecracks as Path to the Presidency?

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a glib former TV evangelist, sometimes seems to be trying to wisecrack his way into the White House.

On a radio talk show, for example, the Republican presidential candidate addressed the subject of foreign policy with these words:

“I may not be the expert that some are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night,” a play on the line used in a Holiday Inn Express TV ad campaign.

Such use of humor in response to issue-oriented questions invites response in kind from Huckabee’s news media critics. The funniest—and perhaps the most telling—media retaliation which I have seen was a cartoon in the Dayton, Ohio Daily News.

The cartoon showed a couple in front of a TV screen on which a Huckabee ad—he is running as a Christian religious fundamentalist—is followed by an image of a manger from which this message is emanating: “I’m baby Jesus, and I approve this message.”

# # #

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