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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’
Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago

July 15, 2010

The Nebraska Democratic Party obviously has a major problem, and it didn’t begin two weeks ago when the party’s nominee for governor dropped out of the race.

The facts are, of course, that the Democratic nominee was a political unknown—evidence that the party’s problem began earlier when the party was unable to recruit a credible gubernatorial candidate or any candidate at all for attorney general or auditor.

I offer this opinion with more than a little sadness.  The two-party system has served this nation, Nebraska included, very well over the years.  True, Nebraska has elected more Republicans than Democrats to state and national office. 

But the state’s political history over the past century has included the names of Democrats like Senator Gilbert M. Hitchcock and, more recently, Senators Ed Zorinsky, Jim Exon, Bob Kerrey and Ben Nelson. 

And the governorship has been won by Democrats like Charles W. Bryan and Roy Cochran in the 1920s and 1930s, Ralph Brooks in 1959-60 and in the past 50 years by Frank Morrison and Kerrey and Exon and Nelson. 

And congressmen the caliber of Harry Coffee of Chadron, Don McGinley of Ogallala and Peter Hoagland and John Cavanaugh of Omaha were Democrats who served well.

But in this election year, it’s clear that the Nebraska Democratic Party’s continuing problem didn’t start two weeks ago.  Even if the party’s gubernatorial nominee had stayed on the ballot, the party would have been left without nominees for two other of the five major state offices—attorney general and auditor. 

So if Nebraska Democrats fail to find a candidate to be nominated at their state convention the weekend of July 23, it would mean that the party could find no candidates at all, much less credible candidates, for three of the five state government elective offices. 

Next week, an apparently forgotten lesson from history:  The year Nebraska Democrats nominated a bus boy for governor.

* * *

Loyal Dem Sounds Note Of Hope
But How Practical Is It?

A note of optimism was sounded last week by a well-known Nebraska Democrat, Dick Fellman, in a long “Midlands Voices” column in The World-Herald.

Fellman said there has been little party-building since the days of Jim Exon “back in the 1970s and ‘80s.”  Yet, wrote the former state senator, chairman of the Douglas County Board and Congressional nominee in 1966, “there is no reason why a strong Democratic candidate won’t step forward for the governor’s office.” 

Fellman who currently teaches in the political science department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said Republican Governor Dave Heineman faces “many difficult challenges.”  Then he offered two arguments which, he said, could be used effectively against Heineman by a Democratic nominee:

First, Heineman could be challenged to promise that he would serve out the entire four-year term. 

Heineman would be foolish to make such a promise, thereby foreclosing a 2012 try, of course, for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Ben Nelson. 

Heineman’s entirely predictable declination of a challenge to make a full-four-year-term promise could then be used effectively against him, in Fellman’s reasoning.

Is it possible that Fellman has forgotten that Ben Nelson made such a promise in the middle of his second term as governor, then broke his word and ran for the Senate when Jim Exon decided not to seek another term?  Nelson was soundly defeated by Republican Chuck Hagel. 

If Democrat Ben Nelson decided that a full-four-year pledge proved to be an unreasonable restriction, how could a Democratic candidate now justify trying to extract such a pledge from a Republican governor?

Heineman Position Might Kill Potential Presidents?

The second major issue which, Fellman argued, could be used against Heineman was his refusal to allocate public funds for prenatal treatment of pregnant illegal immigrants.  This issue flared up briefly but subsided quickly when the pregnant illegal immigrants were offered prenatal treatment financed by other sources. 

In promoting the use of the prenatal care issue against Heineman, Fellman offered what seems to me to be a bizarre argument:

Since the children born to illegal immigrant mothers become United States citizens “eligible to serve as President of the United States, how can we not provide medical care?”  This seems to me to be a suggestion that Heineman’s position on prenatal care has the potential of killing a future president or presidents, sort of an in-the-womb assassination.  That’s an argument that I think Dick Fellman might better have left out.

Then there is the question of the political practicality of focusing on an illegal immigrant issue at a time when an increasing number of Americans are not thinking in terms of making life  more comfortable for people who are in this country illegally.

* * *

More Memorial Stadium Seats
Can Threaten NU Sellout Record

I have sympathy for my friends in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic department as they consider the question of possibly increasing the seating capacity of Memorial Stadium. 

A poll of a large sample of current ticket holders found strong support for more seats for Husker football fans but also strong opposition to seating expansion if it threatened the end of the 47-year-old tradition of every Husker home game being a sell-out.

This fan’s opinion:  You can’t have it both ways.  Significant stadium expansion not inevitably but very likely would jeopardize the stadium sell- out record.  There is an inescapable relationship between the difficulty in obtaining a relatively scarce popular commodity and the public’s desire to be among those fortunate enough to get their hands on that scarce commodity—in this case, Husker football tickets.

At what size would Memorial Stadium seating capacity make fans not eager enough to buy every available ticket?  Think Western Kentucky, Troy or Nichols State and whether the stadium would continue to be sold out for such early-season patsies. 

Incidentally, I wish journalists would stop saying the numbers which the UNL Athletic Department releases for every home game represent people sitting in the stadium.  They don’t. 

The numbers include the total of tickets sold for that game.  The Athletic Department total carefully refers not to capacity crowds but to tickets sold. 

No one, including supposedly knowledgeable journalists who write about the Huskers all the time, knows exactly how many people are watching each game in Memorial Stadium. 

* * *

A Wish (Forlorn?) That American Media
Be More Careful In Use Of Numbers

In furtherance of my self-assigned responsibility for pointing out some of the errors which come to my attention, either electronically or in print:

A recent ad for an auto insurance company gets your attention with this statement:  “Every day an average of 11 teens die in car crashes.”

No way.  What they had meant to convey was the fact that if you took the totals of all teens who die each year in car crashes and divide it by 365, you would get an average, but that average wouldn’t occur “every day.” 

A news story said a record crowd estimated at 80,000 turned out for the annual Memorial Park free Fourth of July concert and fireworks show.  But no mention of who made the estimate and on what the estimate was based.  Beware such unsubstantiated crowd estimates.

A newspaper commentary referred to the brave conduct of President James Madison’s wife, Dolley, during the British invasion of our nation during the War of 1812.  But the commentator misspelled the name as “Dolly.”  “Dolley” is such an unusual spelling that you might think it would have stuck in the memories of students of American history.

* * *

What’s A Fellow To Do When Dog
Waits For A Morsel Of Food?

For those who say they particularly enjoy columns which end with something about Marian and/or our two cocker spaniels: 

For years now, through a succession of cocker spaniels, it has been traditional that either two or three dogs currently beloved members of the family sit patiently beside me while I eat breakfast in our garden room, waiting for the customary bite or two of whatever I may be having for breakfast.

Charlotte, our six-year-old, has become very strongly attached to the tradition.  The other day Marian headed up to her favorite spot beside the swimming pool, accompanied as is usual by Charlotte and her eight-year-old “sister” Claire.  But Charlotte somehow noticed or just took a chance that I might be still at the garden room table and came back from the pool to stand patiently outside the garden room door, looking plaintively/hungrily at me. 

I had finished breakfast two hours before as Charlotte might have remembered, but perhaps she thought I was having lunch.  Whatever, she continued to sit at the door until I let her in, and she immediately began scouting all around the table, looking for the smallest morsel she might find.

No morsels, but Charlotte stayed with me, perhaps in anticipation of lunch, which included a peanut butter sandwich, a small portion of which I did indeed share with her. 

What else is a fellow to do when a beloved canine member of the family sits looking up at you with quiet confidence? 

# # #

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