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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Dem Lynch Mob Might
Hang President’s Hopes

July 16, 2009

Some Congressional Democrats seem to have formed a figurative lynch mob in search of a way to bring former Vice President Dick Cheney in front of a Congressional investigating committee and, hopefully, before a federal judge charged with law violation.

The risk—which the mob seems to be unaware of or is willing to take—is that they will stir such bitter, time-consuming controversy that they do serious damage to Democratic President Barack Obama’s campaign for quick action on his economic and social welfare goals with strong bipartisan support in Congress and in the voting public generally. 

Leading Democrats continue to demand investigation of why, under Chaney’s orders, the story of the never-adopted possible “highly classified” counter terrorism project was never reported to Congress.

The appropriate response is simple:

As widely reported, the “highly classified” counterterrorism program—which involved the possibility of hit squads assigned to assassinate top al Qaeda leaders—was discussed as a possibility but never formalized and adopted as a program which required disclosure to the appropriate Congressional committees. 

Democratic Congressinal leaders might well yield to the wisdom in an old saying:   “Let the dead past bury its dead.”  If they don’t, the figurative grave they’re preparing for Dick Cheney may wind up instead filled with their fellow Democrat Barack Obama’s hopes for prompt, bipartisan approval of his ambitious economic and social welfare reforms.

* * *

Speaking of Obama’s desire and plans to remake America as quickly as he can, an interesting coincidence: 

On the same day an Obama appointee to the United States Supreme Court (a “wise Latina” to use her self-description) was testifying before a Senate Committee which is certain to recommend Senate approval of appointment of the Hispanic female, Obama was announcing the appointment of a black woman doctor to become Surgeon General.

Dr. Regina M. Benjamin practices in a small town in Alabama.  She has served as president of the Alabama Medical Association, the first African-American woman to be president of a state medical society. 

Final paragraphs of a New York Times story telling of Benjamin’s appointment noted that she is a Catholic.  Obama administration officials did not answer questions about her views on abortion.  A nurse who has worked with her told The Times that Benjamin routinely prescribed birth control pills.  The use of such pills is contrary to Catholic Church doctrine.

* * *

Amazing, Amusing, or Surprising?
These Items Are At Least Interesting

My recent perusal of a variety of newspapers turned up a number of items to which I’m not sure whether the reaction should be amazement or amusement or perhaps a combination of both.

First item:  Al Neuharth, longtime friend and founder of the newspaper USA Today for which he continues to write a weekly column, said in that column recently that Senator John McCain of Arizona ran the worst major presidential campaign since Democrat George McGovern in 1972.  Then followed Neuharth’s amazing/amusing suggestion: 

The Republican Party “might be better off” if McCain followed the example of his vice presidential running mate, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, who recently announced resignation as governor of Alaska, “and abandon his Arizona U.S. Senate seat.”  Neuharth’s reasoning, if you could call it that:  “New GOP faces are more likely to go places.”  If that’s the case, why stop with a McCain resignation?

Another amazing/amusing example: 

In a New York Times opinion piece, a Harvard law professor and a Columbia University law professor argued the black firefighters’ side of the case in the much-publicized New Haven, Connecticut controversy.  The United States Supreme Court recently found in favor of the white firefighters, who scored higher than blacks in a promotion test.

The Harvard and Columbia professors seemed to be arguing that race relations in New Haven would be improved if black firefighters saved white citizens, thus promoting “cross-racial harmony under stress.”

Then there was the advertisement for a “new medicine”—an ad which I’m not sure should have appeared in print without considerable editing.  The ad claimed that the medicine was “based on an 88-year-old theory by Albert Einstein” and can “help almost every health problem ever experienced by a human being.” 

I’m not suggesting it should be in the amazing/amusing category, but I ran across another item which raised the question of labeling.  It referred to an organization named “Hispanics For A Fair Judiciary.”  That name could perhaps be placed in the “deceptive labeling” or at least “questionable labeling” category.  A more accurate name, I would think, would be “Hispanics for Appointment of Hispanic Judges.”

In what I would say is a candidate for the “surprising” category (at least it was surprising to me) was Pope Benedict XVI’s recent plug for labor unions.  His reasoning:  Without stable work, people lose hope and tend not to get married and have children.  (He didn’t explain his opinion that labor unions promote stable work.)

This was the first time I had heard of a linkage of labor unions and the Catholic Church’s policy of promoting marriage and propagation of children.

This may be long-established and well-publicized Catholic policy.  In any case, surprising or not, I thought the Pope’s endorsement needed more explanation.

* * *

Who Is Laying That Propaganda On Us?

Normally I’m not one who says, “There ought to be a law.”

But I wonder if the Federal Communications Commission might not well adopt a requirement that what I suppose are being self described as “public service messages” must carry at either the start of the message—preferably at the start—a statement as to the sponsor of the statement; i.e., who’s paying for this message.

Recently I’ve seen an ad—featuring a good old boy wearing a baseball cap—clearly designed to promote the sale of windmills to generate electricity.  The program ends with a brief flash of lettering as to the sponsorship.  I’ve tried several times to catch the wording, but it has always disappeared before I get more than two or three words into it.  I think this is part of the ploy; i.e., to make people think that these are simply public service announcements, educational in nature, with no one expecting to make any money or perhaps political gain from them.

A similar brief notice—even briefer—appears in small type at the bottom of an emotional ad depicting people in serious medical trouble because they don’t have health insurance.

Again, the clear intent is to mask the sponsorship—or at least minimize the chance that you can learn sponsorship by speed reading the small type at the conclusion of the message.

A requirement for fuller—and slower—disclosure of sponsorship would be comparable to what is required of political advertising—or at least some political advertising.  “I’m John McCain and I approve this ad”—that sort of thing, with a requirement that the linkage of the ad and sponsor should start the ad—and perhaps end it—so that people will know who is laying the message (the propaganda?) on them.

* * *

“Right To Life” Advocates
Shouldn’t Misrepresent Roe v. Wade

Cal Thomas is far from my favorite syndicated newspaper columnist, especially when he starts a column, as he did recently, with a flat falsehood like this:

“Put aside the question of whether a distinctive Catholic institute like Notre Dame should award an honorary degree to a man who stands against any restrictions on abortion.”

Thomas was referring, of course, to the controversy over Notre Dame inviting President Obama to be its commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree.

Thomas would have to search very, very hard, I believe, to find a single public figure who “stands against any restrictions on abortion.”  Certainly that is not President Obama’s position. 

One wonders if Thomas has ever read the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which is the landmark decision regarding the legality of a woman’s right to an abortion.  Roe v. Wade provides as follows:

During the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s privacy right is strongest and the state may not regulate abortion for any reason; during the second trimester, the state may regulate abortion only to protect the health of the woman; during the third trimester, the state may regulate or prohibit abortion to promote its interest in the potential life of the fetus, except where abortion is necessary to preserve the woman’s life or health.

President Obama and any other “pro-choice” public figure that I am aware of goes no further than endorsing the state of the law as defined by the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.

That, Cal Thomas and other right-to-life extremists, is not a position of opposition to “any restrictions on abortion.”

* * *

My Shareholder’s Request To CEO’s:
No Smooth Talk, Tell Me Stock Prospects

The “Oracle of Omaha,” good friend Warren Buffett, makes headline news with almost anything he says, it seems.  A recent example was the prominence given to his statement that a chief executive’s word choice in his annual report to shareholders directly relates to the credibility and reputation of the CEO’s company.

Buffett, of course, puts a great deal of effort into his annual report to shareholders.  He mixes humor with wisdom as he reports to his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. 

But I submit that the great majority of people who hold shares in a variety of stocks oftentime have those shares held by stockbrokers.  The annual reports don’t even come to the shareholders.

And as to those who do read CEO reports—certainly not a universal habit among stockowners—I would argue that more attention is paid to the company’s financial results than to the CEO’s choice of words.

Give me an appealing stock price over a CEO’s appealing language every time.

* * *

Well-Intended Surprises Can Be Disappointing

Marian and I years ago adopted what a special longtime friend, Sally Campbell of Lincoln, told us she used when she was serving her husband Jack, another special longtime friend, a meal from the family freezer.

Sally said she called the meal a “freezer surprise.”

So Marian has been serving me “freezer surprises”—everything from tasty leftovers to those frozen dinners you buy at the supermarket—for a good many years.

The results have been good, although the other evening a less-than-usually-tasty “surprise” prompted me to observe to Marian:  “You know, sometimes a freezer surprise can turn out to be a freezer disappointment.”

Marian, good natured soul that she is, took no offense, joined me in laughter and continues to serve me “freezer surprises” from time to time.

# # #

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