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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Freshman President Learning
Some Political Realities?

June 18, 2009

President Obama’s on-the-job-training continues.

The latest lesson was indicated in these words in a Washington Post story this week:

“The White House has become increasingly concerned that President Barack Obama’s spending plans—which would require $9 trillion in government borrowing over the next decade—could become a political liability that defines the 2010 mid-term elections.”

And there is Democratic Party concern that increasing public disapproval of Obama’s economic performance (a recent poll showed that fewer than half of those polled approved of how he is handling the deficit and controlling federal spending) could mean political trouble for Obama and the Democratic Party well beyond next year’s Congressional elections. 

Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee, said of Obama’s 10-year spending plans: 

“The second five years is where we’re on a completely unsustainable course.  People know we have an overall situation here that doesn’t add up.”

Part of those spending plans, of course, is Obama’s costly proposal to overhaul the nation’s medical care system.  Expanding medical insurance to cover all Americans would, for example, cost an estimated $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.  The cost would involve politically unpopular tax increases ranging from a tax on alcoholic beverages to limiting tax exemption for health insurance benefits. 

There are also ill-defined proposals to make the nation’s medical care system more efficient.  In this connection, it seems to me, some of Obama’s rhetoric goes beyond criticizing doctors and hospitals to actually insulting them.  Consider this language in his weekly radio address last Saturday: 

“And if doctors have incentives to provide the best care instead of more care, we can help Americans avoid the unnecessary hospital stays, treatments and tests that drive up costs.”

To suggest that doctors and hospitals are prolonging patient stays and offering unnecessary treatments in order to generate more money is, it seems to me, clearly insulting unless Obama can offer detailed, substantive and comprehensive evidence to support this extremely serious accusation.  A few “horror stories” are not comprehensive evidence.

Loose talk like that in last Saturday’s radio address won’t help Democrats avoid the 2010 Congressional election problems about which the White House is, understandably, reported to be increasingly concerned.

* * *

New Mayor’s Car No Big Deal

Haven’t we wasted enough journalistic time and space on the trivial matter of the annual cost of new mayor Jim Suttle’s lease of a “green” (low carbon emissions) 2009 Dodge Durango hybrid SUV?

Frankly, I lost interest in the story when I read that the initial cost was $15,717 a year, a $2,157 increase over what former Mayor Mike Fahey paid to lease a 2008 Chrysler Aspen SUV.

Subsequent stories, as I recall, indicated Suttle had negotiated a slight reduction in the cost.

Much ado about practically nothing, it seems to this taxpayer. 

* * *

Annual Joint Decisions
Proper For Osborne Tenure

Is Tom Osborne now free to serve as University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic director as long as he wants—possibly for “many more years” as approvingly suggested by one journalistic commentator? 

The answer, I’m told, is definitely no.

A contract which expired at the end of 2010 has been replaced by an understanding that the question of continuation will be decided annually in a discussion between Osborne and UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman.

Osborne, 72, can, of course, be expected to continue beyond 2010—perhaps well beyond—or there would have been no point in replacing his contract with a new year-by-year agreement.

Giving any executive sole discretion as to whether he will or won’t continue as the years go by is a serious mistake. 

In athletics or academics or any other field of endeavor, there is always the risk that executives are poor judges of how age has affected their abilities.  And the prospect of indefinite continuing CEO service hardly encourages promising potential replacement to stick around.

So the new Osborne-Perlman agreement appears to be good news both for Osborne and the UNL athletic program so as long as Osborne and Perlman agree, annually, that it serves the university’s best interests. 

* * *

Rasmussen, Like Osborne,
Is Appropriately Honored

Speaking of athletic directors, how appropriate that Creighton University’s new fitness center will be named for longtime Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen.

Just as it was so appropriate that the impressive new facilities at the north end of UNL’s Memorial Stadium be named for Tom and Nancy Osborne.

Like Osborne, Bruce Rasmussen has been a class act.

Rasmussen has been at Creighton for nearly 30 years as a coach and administrator.  He has been athletic director for the past 15 years.  (The Rasmussen Center will include a 150 x 200 foot synthetic turf playing surface that will be used for intramurals as well as the school’s athletic teams, a two-lane suspended running track, a climbing wall and workout areas which will include weight equipment.)

The Rasmussen Center is another example of the remarkable generosity of Omahans Bill and Ruth Scott.  Their gifts have made possible major improvements on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as well as the Creighton campus.  (An anonymous gift of $12 million is also involved in the Creighton project.)

* * *

No Reason For Jon Bruning
To Enter This Abortion Fight

One would think that Attorney General Jon Bruning wold be much more careful in choosing his language when criticizing a Nebraska doctor who is conscientiously practicing medicine within the clear limits of state and federal law. 

(There is also the basic question of whether, as Attorney General, Bruning had any business publicly involving himself in the matter at all.)

It is especially inappropriate for the state’s chief legal officer to use viciously vituperative language in criticizing a Nebraskan who is performing medical procedures—late-term abortions—with which Bruning disagrees but which are lawful. 

Dr. Leroy Carhart, who operates an abortion clinic in Bellevue, said he would fill a medical services gap created by the murder of a Topeka doctor who specialized in legal late term abortions.

Carhart made clear that he would perform late-term abortions only if expert medical opinion is that the “fetus is not viable.” 

Bruning said Carhart is “a sick individual” and Bruning is sorry that Carhart lives in Nebraska and is indeed sorry he lives anywhere in America.

Dr. Carhart’s quiet, praiseworthy response to Bruning’s outburst:  “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I have always followed the law.”

* * *

Meet Samantha The Chihuahua,
Take-Charge Addition To The Family

I’m always glad to hear from readers, including comments on some of the weightier topics I address.  But over the years, the topics which have drawn the most enthusiastic reader comment are those human-interest items dealing with such things as Marian and our dogs.

So let me close today by introducing you to a very interesting canine addition to our extended family.

* * *

For four recent days, our Prairie Avenue household lived happily under the influence of a one-year-old, five-pound dominatrix.

Her name is Samantha, she is a long-haired Chihuahua who, when not taking her show on the road, runs the Denver household of our daughter, Nancy, and her three sons. 

Nancy’s family acquired Samantha to provide companionship for their Bichon, Rookie.  Sammy immediately took charge, scampering around the house, sometimes barking, sometimes leaping into laps for a face-licking session, flapping her big ears backward and forward, big eyes seemingly alert to everything that was going on.

Rookie was delighted with his new companion.  So were Nancy and her sons—Jack, 16, James, 13 and Grant, 8. 

During her four days in Omaha, Sammy had no problem taking charge of our three-cocker household.  Dogs and adults alike enjoyed the show.

The story almost had an unhappy ending when both Samantha and Rookie took off from our front yard.  Samantha nearly disappeared at high speed down Davenport Street west of our home.

Grant took off in hot pursuit and ran Sammy down after a scary minute or two.  Rookie followed along as Grant and Sammy returned. 

We thought it appropriate to finish today with a picture of Sammy and Grant, her hot-pursuit retriever.

 

# # #

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