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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

"AT LAST: TALK OF PREVENTION
JOINS MOURNING OVER KILLINGS"
- 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.

First, a reminder:

Attractive, hardbound copies of “Life With Marian”—a book which a good many readers have said they would be interested in owning—are still available for purchase (for $22.50) at The Bookworm in Countryside Village.  If more convenient, you can now also send a check payable to Harold W. Andersen for $26.66 (includes tax and postage) and mail to me at P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, NE, 68127.  A copy will be sent by return mail.

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

April 23, 2009

When does a political office seeker—or at least his campaign—deserve to be described as “two-faced”?

It seems to me the question logically suggests itself when you analyze the strategy which Jim Suttle used in the campaign which won the nomination (lagging fewer than a thousand votes behind former Mayor Hal Daub) in the recent primary to pick the two nominees for next month’s general election to choose the new mayor of Omaha.

My dictionary defines “two-faced” as “deceitful” and lists among the synonyms:  “devious, dishonest.”  Let me describe Suttle’s campaign strategy and leave it up to you to decide whether any of those adjectives fit. 

In the campaign message which he spread broadly throughout the city, Suttle concentrated on a well-done television message which stressed what he described as his 30 years experience in business.  (Suttle was not explicit about his business experience.)

But it was quite another image which Jim Suttle presented to potential voters in northeast Omaha, the area where 15 paid, fulltime Obama campaign staff members worked successfully for weeks to register and get to the polls a substantially increased number of voters in support of the first major-party black nominee for president. 

In northeast Omaha, Suttle’s campaign tactics were to identify himself as a Democrat and tie himself, in effect, to the coattails of the Obama-generated voter registration increases in an area of Omaha where the voter turnout had customarily been well below the city average.

In late mailings (I’ve seen examples of three of them) which didn’t come to light until after the primary voting, Suttle stressed the fact that he is a Democrat, a member of the same party as the new president.  One of the mailings included a picture of Obama and this language:  “As President Obama works to restore the national economy, we need a Democratic Mayor.”

On one of the other mailings was a picture of a shirt-sleeved Suttle accompanied by the description “Your Democratic Candidate for Mayor.”   The reverse side included some of the typical campaign pitches that all political candidates use but included also a picture of Obama and a pledge to “work with Obama Administration in fighting for Omaha’s share of stimulus dollars.”

You decide.  Does one campaign message aimed at the entire city and another campaign intensively targeted at only one part of the city make Jim Suttle’s primary campaign two-faced?  If so, would any of the following definitions and synonyms fairly apply?  “Deceitful” or “devious” or “dishonest”?

Some, of course, might say that the better description is “clever” or “smart” or “just politics.”

There is, of course, the question of the propriety of so emphasizing a party label (you do that when your party has more available voters than the other candidate’s) when supposedly the voters are electing a mayor to serve on a nonpartisan basis.

But the appropriate way to election Omaha’s mayors—free of significant if not decisive party involvement—may have become only an impractical ideal.  An ideal replaced by a reality which this year raises an interesting question:

Will Omaha voters next month be asked to choose between Republican Hal Daub and what might be called a Democratic Suttle/Obama ticket?

* * *

No, UNL Does Not Sponsor
‘Full Complement’ Of Sports Teams

Once again we encounter an erroneous description of the combination of athletic teams which the University of Nebraska at Lincoln sponsors in intercollegiate competition.

A sports commentator who is customarily long on opinion and short on research has written that UNL continues to field a “full complement of sports.”

Baloney.

UNL continues to support a lopsided complement of intercollegiate sports—certainly not “full” so far as men’s teams are concerned.  Consider: 

UNL offers scholarship-supported intercollegiate athletic competition for a total of 19 teams.  In five sports, only women’s teams are supported (swimming, soccer, volleyball, riflery and bowling).

In only two sports (football and wrestling) are there men’s-only Husker teams—for obvious reasons.

There are no women’s intercollegiate athletic programs which compare with football, and female high school wrestlers have not reached the numbers where all-female wrestling teams are even close to reality—if, indeed, they will ever be.

In every sport in which men’s and women’s teams are fielded by UNL, more scholarships are allocated to women athletes than to men.  For example, twelve gymnastic scholarships compared 6.2 for male gymnasts; 18 women’s track and field scholarships compared to 12.6 scholarships for the men’s team.

Perhaps the best—or worst—examples of discrimination in favor of women athletes: 

UNL supports women’s soccer (with 14 scholarships) and swimming (also with 14 scholarships) and does not sponsor men’s teams in either soccer or swimming.  This despite the fact that a good number of Nebraska high schools have quality, spirited competition among high school male soccer and swimming teams. 

One of the ironies of the “full complement of sports” supposedly offered by UNL is the fact that among men’s and women’s intercollegiate team members there are typically so few Nebraskans.  Worst example:  On the 10-member roster of the women’s tennis team, there is not a single Nebraskan.  There are four from Germany, two from Sweden and one from Finland.  (In tennis, UNL offers eight scholarships for the women’s team and 4 ½ scholarships for the men’s team.)

Not Required to Discriminate Against Men

The sad truth is that UNL administrators for years have misinterpreted what Title IX of the Federal Civil Rights Act requires.  Title IX says simply that at any school receiving federal aid for any program, there shall be no discrimination among students based on gender. 

It does not—repeat NOT—require preferential treatment for female athletes in order to offset the substantial number of football scholarships for which women obviously can’t qualify.

In interpreting Title IX, federal officials and the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association have chosen to push universities to field more women’s teams than men’s teams to offset the football scholarship numbers (84 per Division I team). 

But the feds and NCAA rule-makers made something of a bow to reality by allowing this exception: 

A school can be held to be in compliance with the regulations if its women’s athletic program is meeting the expressed desires of female athletes capable of collegiate athletic competition in a sport where there is such competition between schools. 

Rather than taking advantage of this sensible exception, schools like UNL have gone out to recruit female athletes in order to add to their student bodies females capable of intercollegiate competition. 

The result has not been meeting the skill level and desires of a typical cross section of the student body but rather nationwide and worldwide recruitment to find female athletes to come to Nebraska to compete in sports—five of them—in which UNL supports no teams for male athletes. 

* * *

Again, Not ‘Death Row’
But Rather ‘Longevity Row’

As regular readers will perhaps remember, I have come to be an opponent of the death penalty, based not on what might be called moral grounds but rather on the fact that it is impossible to assure that the death penalty is uniformly applied within a given state or, certainly, on a national basis. 

Given the same basic crime scenario, there can be no assurance of uniformity in the murder trial that follows.  Different defendants, different victims, different defense attorneys, different prosecutors, different judges and, certainly, different jurors, make it literally impossible to assure uniform murder trial results.  Remember, too, that several states, including Iowa, don’t authorize the death penalty.

Then there is the fact that so-called “death rows”—at least in states like Nebraska—could more accurately be called “longevity rows,” in view of the time lag between the crime and the sentencing and the (if ever) execution.

If “justice delayed is justice denied,” there is a tremendous amount of delayed justice piled up on so-called “death rows” across the nation.  (In Nebraska, for example, 11 prisoners are on “death row,” theoretically awaiting execution for a total of 115 years, ranging from 2 years in one case to 29 years in another.) 

This “justice delayed/justice denied” argument came to mind yet again when I saw a recent news item from Walla Walla, Washington reporting that four designated executioners had resigned, apparently worried that their names would become public as a result of litigation over whether lethal injections constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

One of the four prisoners supposedly awaiting execution in Washington was convicted of a torture slaying 18 years ago.  That’s right—18 years ago.  (Interestingly, the victim was 22-year-old Holly Washa of Ogallala, Nebraska.)

* * *

Pelosi Helps Biden Look Better

There are a couple of ways to look at the fact that Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada are leaders of the Democratic majorities in the United States Congress. 

One way of evaluating the Pelosi/Reid team is as an example of the Congressional seniority system at work and what questionable results it sometimes produces.  (Don’t forget that Rep. Charles Rangel of New York continues as chairman of the powerful House, Ways and Means Committee while under investigation for possible violation of ethics standards.)

Another way of evaluating Pelosi and Reid as Congressional leaders:  If you don’t want President Obama’s multi-faceted $3.6 trillion 10-year tax and spending budget plans to move through Congress expeditiously and largely intact, you should be grateful that Democratic Congressional leadership is in such inept hands as those of Pelosi and Reid.

Incidentally, Pelosi is one of the reasons that I look more kindly on Vice President Joe Biden these days.  I believe Biden is performing better as Vice President than a good many people had anticipated.  Then there is an important added factor in evaluating Biden and wishing him as well as President Obama continued good health:

As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is figuratively only two heartbeats away from the White House, since the House Speaker is next in line for the presidency if vacancies occur in the presidency and vice presidency. 

Herewith a fervent wish for long life for President Obama and Vice President Biden.

# # #

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