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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

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.

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort
In The Political Gutter

July 9, 2009

The score won’t be known for 16 months (November, 2010) but, as a Sunday World-Herald story put it, “Games on!” in the contest for the Second Congressional District seat held for six terms by Rep. Lee Terry, Omaha Republican.

The campaign started, in the political gutter, last week with radio ads, paid for by the Democratic Congressional campaign committee, irresponsibly implying that Terry does not support funding for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and providing support for military families.

Later in the week, State Sen. Tom White, Omaha Democrat, announced plans to start raising money for an expected challenge to Terry for the Second District seat. 

White, who had said last week that he agreed with the thrust of the Democratic radio ads, said Democrats need to capitalize on President Barack Obama’s winning an electoral vote in the Second Congressional district last November. 

White indicated he believes that the interest generated in Omaha by Obama’s campaign would have a carryover effect benefiting him in a challenge to Terry.  (The Obama campaign sent in more than 10 organizers who worked for several weeks to encourage Democratic registration and voting, especially in northeast Omaha with its heavy concentration of black voters.)

Randy Adkins, on the political science faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said it could be tough to activate the Democratic base next year, especially since Obama will not be at the top of the ticket. 

But State Senator White said he believes he is the candidate who best woos non-partisan voters as an anti-abortion, pro-death penalty politician.  He said he thinks his political “profile” fits the Second Congressional District pretty well.

I hadn’t been aware that non-partisan—that is, independent—voters are generally anti-abortion and pro-death penalty.  In fact, I would think exactly the opposite, but perhaps Senator White reads the political tealeaves better than I.

I also wonder what action White believes Congress is likely to take in regard to abortions and the death penalty, subjects which are normally considered to be in the province of state legislatures. 

* * *

Palin Resigns, Liberal Commentators
Try To Make The Most Of It

Elsewhere on the political news scene:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made headlines with the news that she will resign this month, during what, in my opinion, were some preposterous journalistic reactions.

The New York Times, for example, said the news of her resignation “shocked Republicans nationwide.”  The story did not indicate how The Times determined that Republicans nationwide were shocked.  I would venture a guess that a good many Republicans didn’t give a tinker’s dam.

As to speculation that Palin might be preparing for a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.  I believe she would be a nuisance, a minor distraction, nothing more.

Predictably, Times columnist Sam Tanenhaus interpreted Palin’s decision as an indication of Republican Party division and asked this judgmental question:

“How did so organized a party come apart so swiftly?  One explanation is that it hasn’t been swift at all.  The Republicans have been in decline for some time—and in recent years, even in disarray.”

As I opined in this space recently, I don’t believe the party is “on the ropes,” as a prominent television commentator recently declared, or is “coming apart” as Sam Tanenhaus of The New York Times opined. 

I also wrote recently that if there is anything that liberal national television and print commentators can do to put the party “on the ropes,” they will do their best to bring that result about.

* * *

Government By Mob Pressure?
Columnist Friedman Should Know Better

It was with a touch of sadness and surprise that I read a recent column by Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Friedman, whom I have praised in the past as offering the best-reasoned liberal opinion, offered usually without the suggestion that those who disagree with him are mentally depraved. 

But consider the conclusion of a recent column by Friedman on the subject of federal “cap and trade” legislation designed to, over time, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air from coal-burning industries.

Friedman ended the column with this cry for young Americans to demand that Congress enact substantially more stringent carbon emission controls than are currently being contemplated:

“Attention all young Americans.  Your climate future is being decided right now in the cloakrooms of the Capitol, where the coal lobby holds huge sway.  You want to make a difference?  Then get out of Facebook and into somebody’s face.  Get a million people on the Washington Mall calling for a price on carbon.  That will get the Senate’s attention.  Play hardball or don’t play at all.”

Government by mob pressure should, it seems to me, not be advocated by a Pulitzer Prize winner columnist or by anybody else, for that matter.

* * *

Big Brother Knows What’s Best For You

A recent news story reported that Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of $1,000 under a health care bill unveiled by key Senate Democrats.

To fine people for not taking supposed advantage of a benefit which the Federal government is imposing on them—how would you describe it:  Bizarre?  Lunatic?  Frightening?  Let’s settle on frightening, as an indication of how far some Democratic leaders are willing to go in forcing citizens to take advantage of what Big Brother is trying to impose in supposed social welfare benefits. 

One aspect of the proposal might qualify for the lunatic label:  The fines would be collected through the income tax system. 

Have the sponsors of the proposal considered the possibility—if not the likelihood—that a good many of the people not buying the “affordable medical coverage” might be lower-income persons among the many millions of Americans who pay no income taxes at all and who simply couldn’t afford to pay a thousand dollar fine whether through the income tax system or any other way?

And, incidentally but importantly, who would have the job of deciding what is “affordable” medical coverage?

* * *

Lots Of Class On Display
At Wimbledon Last Sunday

There was a good deal of real class demonstrated on the Center Court at Wimbledon last Sunday. 

Certainly class in the level of play by both America’s Omaha-born Andy Roddick and Switzerland’s Roger Federer.  And certainly class demonstrated by Federer after he had taken the all-time lead in number of victories in the four “Grand Slam” tennis championships (British, American, French and Australian) with a five-set victory, including a 16-14 fifth set which was the longest final set in Grand Slam history.

In his comments to TV interviewer John McEnroe, Federer spoke of the defeat being “a tough moment for Andy.”  He said also that it is “cruel sometimes that you don’t have draws.” 

There was class, also, in the presence of America’s Pete Sampras, who watched the end of the record of 14 Grand Slam wins which Sampras and Federer had shared. 

Roddick’s disappointment was shared by a good many Americans, of course, but that disappointment must have been nothing compared to what British fans felt when Roddick last Friday upset their favorite son, Andy Murray of Scotland. 

English Love This Scotsman

The British, after all, haven’t even had a finalist in the Wimbledon men’s singles championship match since 1936, when Fred Perry of England won the last of his three consecutive titles.  A TV commentator said there was even talk that Queen Elizabeth herself might show up for the Sunday match if Murray had defeated Roddick and become the first British finalist in 73 years.

There’s a certain irony in the enthusiastic English support for Andy Murray. 

Murray is a Scotsman.  Scotland is a part of Great Britain by force of arms, pulled kicking and screaming into the British Empire in the 18th Century after long years of bloody resistance.

But there’s that 73-year drouth, and the English are willing to cheer  now for a Scot.  After all, he’s a Brit, isn’t he?

But Do Scots Love The English?

The Scottish-British breach is not fully healed, as evidenced by observation which I have experienced. 

Some 10 years ago, I was staying in a hotel in Scotland near the Loch Lomond Golf Club.  On my way to a table in the bar, I had to pass in front of a booth of beer-drinking Scotsmen watching a televised broadcast of a soccer match between England and Germany.

“Who are you for?” I asked the TV viewers.  “Germany, of course,” one of the Scots promptly replied.

Another example of Scots’ feeling towards the English.  While the Loch Lomond was under development, the course designer, American golfer Tom Weiskopf was surveying one of the holes early one morning when he became bogged down in a swampy area alongside the fairway.

Weiskopf was rescued by Scottish workmen, one of whom is reported to have said:  “It’s a good thing you’re a Yank.  If you had been English, we’d have let you drown.”

But now English Wimbledon hopes ride on a surly young Scot, whose semi-final defeat was followed by comments noting that he finished with more aces, more winners and more unforced errors than Roddick.

Hardly classy comments from an upset four-set loser.

* * *

$3,580 Annual Cost Increase Doesn’t Excite Me

Count me among those not upset by—or very interested in—how much the cost of the Dodge Durango Hybrid leased for Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle’s use exceeds the cost of the car leased for his predecessor, Mike Fahey.

In the latest news story on the cost of Suttle’s car lease, as I interpret the figures, we learn that a four-year lease for Suttle’s car will cost a total of $56,000, compared to a four-year cost of $40,670 for Fahey’s car lease.

I calculate that means the Suttle lease will cost $3,580 more in each of the four years.

With the city facing the possibility of layoffs and a wage freeze, and with a $500-million shortfall in the police and fire pension fund waiting to be dealt with, I decline to get exercised over a $3,580 annual increase on the cost of a car lease.

# # #

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