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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama

May 14, 2009

As if Barack Obama didn’t have enough challenges to face—including especially the increasing success of Taliban extremists and Al-Qaeda terrorists in creating new bases along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border—there come now fresh pressures from liberals who supported his campaign for the presidency. 

The message seems to be, “It’s payoff time, Mr. President.”  Time, for example, to appoint a woman to fill the coming vacancy on the United States Supreme Court. 

Time also to give some kind of recognition to “gays.”  (That, of course, is the language they use when referring to homosexuals and lesbians.  The New York Times pointed out that two of those being mentioned as a possible Supreme Court appointee are openly “gay.”)

Time also to give presidential support to the so-called “hate crime” bill which would impose heavier penalties if it can be proven that a crime was motivated by, for example, racial or religious hatred. 

And time to put White House support behind the same-sex marriage movement.

The cumulative total of such special interest pleadings seems to me to contribute to what might be called “the splintering of America” by yielding to special-interest groups rather than following presidential policy which brings the American people together, as much as is possible under liberal Democratic Washington leadership, in support of policies on which the majority of the American people agree.

Policies like opposition to same-sex marriage.  (The only available evidence, through actions of state legislatures across the country and in public opinion polls, is that the majority of the American people don’t approve of same-sex marriages.) 

Policies like dropping the idea of prosecuting Bush administration officials for approving “enhanced interrogations” of prisoners (some call it brutality or torture) in an effort to elicit information which could help protect Americans from death by terrorism.  There is simply no evidence that the majority of the American people want Obama to lend his support to prosecution of such officials.

“Al-Qaeda A Unique Enemy”

For reasoned, principled rejection of the pro-prosecution arguments, the president could turn to a recent piece by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who does not let his liberal views obscure a rational approach to controversial issues.

Friedman approved Obama’s initial rejection of prosecution (there have been signs Obama may have wavered in that initial stance).  A Friedman column included this language:

“…Al-Qaeda truly was a unique enemy, and the post-9/11 era a deeply confounding war in a variety of ways…Al-Qaeda was undeterred by normal means.”

The Friedman column concluded:

“…So, yes, people among us who went over the line may go unpunished, because we still have enemies who respect no lines at all.  In such an ugly war, you do your best.”

So non-prosecution is a policy which a liberal like Tom Friedman—more balanced, more rational than a good many of those on the left—can live with.  But as to how the majority of the American people feel about the prosecution issue, President Obama, and especially the Congressional liberals who are unwilling to let the prosecution issue go, should read also the views of an outspoken black columnist, Thomas Sowell, who recently wrote:

“We have already turned loose dozens of captured terrorists, who have resumed their terrorism.  Why?  Because they’ve been given ‘rights’ that exist neither in our laws nor under international law.”

Further thoughts from Sowell:

“We don’t need to risk American lives to prove that we are nicer than they are…Squeamishness is neither law nor morality.  And moral exhibitionism is beneath contempt when it sacrifices the safety of those who live within the law for the sake of self-satisfied preening, whether in editorial offices or in the White House.”

As Afghan/Pakistan Crisis Worsens,
Especially Poor Time to Push Special Interests

The liberal pressure on Obama to follow the liberal line with decisions contrary to the wishes of a majority of Americans comes at a most unfortunate time—a potential distraction from more significant issues which confront the president.

Trouble looming for Obama in Afghanistan was suggested some weeks ago in a story in The New York Times which began with this headline:

“OBAMA’S WAR.  Fearing Another Quagmire.”

The opening paragraphs raised this question:  “Can President Obama succeed in that long-lamented ‘graveyard of empire’—a place that has crushed foreign occupiers for more than 2,000 years?”

Between the headline and that opening paragraph were famous lines from British writer Rudyard Kipling, who wrote in 1892 on the subject of British intervention in Afghanistan.  One of Kipling’s pieces included this language:

“When you’re wounded and left
            on Afghanistan’s plains

And the women come out
            to cut up what remains

Jest roll to your rifle and blow
            out your brains

An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.”

Among recent headlines:

“U.S. analysts foresee Pakistan splintering into terror havens.”

“United Militants Threaten Pakistan’s Populous Heart.”

“Pakistani Peace Deal Gives New Clout To Taliban Rebels.”

Success in Afghanistan and Pakistan, surely a goal worthy of broad support, and resolution of a multitude of important domestic issues (some of them created unnecessarily by Obama himself) constitute an agenda to which certainly should not be added special-interest issues in which there is simply no evidence of widespread public support.

* * *

Struggling Yankees Worth
Paying $1,250 To Watch?

It isn’t exactly a bargain yet, but those $2,500 “suite seats” behind home plate and the dugouts in the new Yankee Stadium have been trimmed in price, for an obvious reason:  Hardly anybody was buying tickets for them.

The new price is hardly a bargain--$1,250.

Still a very pricey—and very unfavorable—contrast to the way the Toronto Blue Jays, for example, are reacting to the economic recession’s potential impact on fan attendance.

The Blue Jays are offering “Messin’ With Recession” games with ticket prices as low as $5 and hotdogs for $1.

In Toronto, at least, it still appears possible for a father to take two kids to the ballpark without applying for government aid. 

* * *

Big Nanny Government
Again Tops Common Sense

Suppose you had a service which you offered to the general public and experience over time demonstrated clearly that one segment of the public made greater use of that service, imposing a higher percentage of costs than do other classes of users.

Wouldn’t it be both economically realistic and fair if you charged the high-cost segment of your customers more than another sector which generates less cost?

The answer, of course, is that what makes economic sense doesn’t make political sense, so you have Congressional liberals pushing for legislation which would end the practice of charging higher insurance premiums to women than to men for the same kind of coverage.

Insurance executives point out that women ages 19-55 tend to generate more health care costs than men of the same age because they typically use more health care, especially in the childbearing years.  Women are more likely to visit doctors, to get regular checkups, to take prescription medications and to have certain chronic illnesses.

So the insurance industry charged more for coverage of women than comparable coverage for men. 

This economic common sense would not, of course, satisfy liberals like Senator John Kerry, Democrat from Massachusetts, who told an insurance industry spokesman:  “The disparity between women and men in the individual insurance market is just plain wrong and it has to change.”

Under that kind of pressure, the industry is agreeing to charge men and women the same premiums despite the disparity in cost to the insurance companies. 

Once again, Big Nanny government policy prevails over common sense.

* * *

Arts Groups Adjust To Realty

To their credit, Omaha performing arts organizations are making realistic if painful accommodations to the realities of the economic recession (some are calling it a crisis, the worst in decades). 

The Omaha Community Playhouse, Opera Omaha and the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, for example, have made, unhappily but realistically, the decision to cut their performance cloth to fit the reduced financial pattern which is the unfortunate but totally predicable result of current economic conditions. 

When a generously-endowed cultural institution like the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has to make substantial reductions in staff and other operating costs—and when the investment portfolios of other arts supporters are dramatically reduced like the Getty’s—the clearly realistic course for arts groups across the country is to tighten their budgets, be grateful for the continuing support and do their best to weather the storm by offering a reduced but still important contribution to the culture of a community.
                                                                       
Speaking of support of the arts:

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