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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry

August 6, 2009

Some Democratic spokesmen like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their allies continue to stretch the truth or deal in outright lies as they conduct a no-holds-barred campaign against the private health insurance industry during the August Congressional recess. 

House Speaker Pelosi promised a “drumbeat across America” to counter what she termed a “shock and awe, carpet-bombing by the health and insurance industry to perpetuate the status quo.”

It is simply a lie to continue to charge that the private health insurance industry is seeking “to perpetuate the status quo” and is unwilling to improve its coverage by, for one thing, ending the practice of refusing coverage for pre-existing health conditions.  This should now be a non-issue, but, for example, in a new “Louise and Harry” television ad promoting the Obama federal health insurance plan, Louise tells Harry that Americans need good coverage, to which Harry adds, “Even if they have a pre-existing condition.”

This kind of deceitful trashing of the private health insurance industry continues on even though refusing coverage for pre-existing condition is no longer an issue and private insurance companies have also promised other reforms, such as cresting and overseeing a basic, no-frills plan for the uninsured.

One would hope—and I would think one is entitled to expect—that the liberal crusaders for change should promote what they consider the positives of the Obama plan rather than concentrate on bashing private industry plans. 

The burden of proof should be on those who want to create a federal health insurance bureaucracy.  The liberal crusaders should try to answer at least the most fundamental of the multitude of questions which are raised by the 1,000-page Congressional federal health care authorization bill with its 10-year, trillion dollar price tag. 

There is a touch of humor here and there in the debate, as in a remark by David Axelrod, a senior advisor to Obama.  Axelrod said that today buyers of health insurance from private companies lack protection against the judgments of insurance company “bureaucrats.” 

Is Axelrod seriously suggesting that federal government “bureaucrats” would not be making judgments in connection with a new federal health insurance plan?  I’m reminded of the old bit of political satire which goes like this:  “I’m from the federal government, and I’m here to help you.”

* * *

Disturbing Picture: Paid Staffers
Organizing Pro-Obama House Calls Nationwide

Disturbing questions occur—disturbing to me, at least—when I consider the lengths to which President Obama is willing to go to have his way in regard to the health insurance issue.  Consider:

Obama staffers, presumably paid from campaign funds which Obama and the Democratic National Committee have raised, are actually going door to door in Omaha and other communities around the nation to campaign for the Obama national health insurance plan.

And television ads, funded by the Democratic National Committee and liberal “public interest” groups, are appearing frequently in targeted markets, including states like Nebraska where Democrat Senator Ben Nelson hasn’t agreed to all aspects of the president’s 10-year trillion-dollar (one estimate has the cost going as high as $1.5 trillion) health insurance proposal.

Paid workers going door-to-door to promote a specific Presidential proposal?  I’ve been reporting and commenting on political affairs for some 60 years, and I can’t recall anything remotely comparable.

Is it simply ambition?  Or a sense of presidential omniscience or what might be called the messiah complex?  “I have a special mission to lead this country in the direction that I decide is best, and why don’t the people understand this?”

The questions seem to me to be legitimate—and troubling.  Consider that Obama is the least-experienced president to take office in at least the last half century.  Consider also that he is trying to reform, it sometimes seems, everything that he thinks needs to be reformed, and do it in a matter of months. 

Incidentally, not helping Obama in his crusade was the fact that the hired staff member organizing a door-to-door campaign across Nebraska refused to give the number of paid employees in Nebraska to help him in his effort to blanket the state with house calls promoting not only Obama’s health care proposals but also his proposals for education and energy.

There are plans to hit all 435 Congressional districts in the United States with similar campaigns through the efforts of an Obama-supporter political machine called “Organizing for America.”  One wonders if it might not more accurately be named “Organizing for Barack Obama’s America.”

* * *

Nebraskan Helps AARP
Pull Off Publicity Coup

Some representatives of the American Association of Retired Persons—including some Nebraskans—pretty clearly haven’t retired from playing clever politics.

The AARP managed to put a Nebraskan and her problem with a present health insurance industry policy in a spotlight at a town hall meeting on health care at AARP headquarters in Washington with President Obama in attendance.

With an AARP moderator in charge of recognizing those who would direct their comments to the president, the AARP was able to assure that Nebraskan Jeanie Zink-Wythers, who lives near Fairmont, Nebraska  would be recognized and given a chance to tell Obama that her husband had been turned down for health insurance because of a pre-existing heart condition and had to enroll in a $900 a month high-risk insurance pool.

“That’s tough,” Obama interjected.  “You are a prime candidate for the health care exchange that I just described”—a federally supervised national public health insurance program.  (Obama, of course, didn’t mention that private health insurance companies have agreed to several reforms, including dropping the policy of denying coverage for re-existing medical problems.)

Obama came back to the Zink-Wythers case a couple of times during the town hall meeting and mentioned her yet again in his closing remarks, saying the Zink-Wythers case is an example of the current system not working very well.

Not only did the AARP’s spotlighting the Zink-Wythers case provide fodder for Obama.  It also produced front-page coverage in The Omaha World-Herald (with a color picture of Zink-Wythers which she was happy to supply to the newspaper).  It also may have added to the pressure on Senator Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat whom the Democratic National Committee is pressuring with a flood of television advertising.

Nelson, you see, recognizes that he is representing all of the people of Nebraska, where his moderate/conservative approach to Congressional issues better represents the interests and desires of Nebraskans than would marching in lockstep in support of Barack Obama.

* * *

Obama’s Remarks And White House Beer Party
Didn’t Do Anything To Improve Race Relations

The column today deals in large measure with President Obama and people working for him or supporting him.  I believe this is almost inevitable when the man seems to show up anywhere and everywhere he can draw a crowd and garner attention from always-available news media.

A recent example is coverage which started with his foot-in-the-mouth remark about that incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

When asked about the incident involving an eminent Harvard faculty member and a Cambridge police sergeant, Obama started his response with a statement that he didn’t know all the facts.  He should have stopped right there.  But he went on to say the Cambridge police had “acted stupidly,” a direct insult to Sgt. James Crowley, who arrested Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Obama realized he had blundered and apologized, sort of, to Sgt. Crowley.  Again, he should have stopped right there.  But instead he went on with the loony idea of inviting both the sergeant and the professor to the White House for a beer.  So further news media accounts of what was already beginning to create a negative reaction to the continuing complaint that blacks are consistently discriminated against by police as a result of so-called racial profiling. 

Remember that it was Professor Gates, a black, who raised the racial issue in connection with his being questioned by Sgt. Crowley.  Remember, too, that Gates demanded to have Sgt. Crowley’s name and badge number, with the implicit threat being that he was going to report Sgt. Crowley to his superiors. 

In other words, if there was a heated confrontation, Gates surely started it.  After all, Sgt. Crowley was responding to a 911 call in regard to a possible breaking and entering case and there was simply no evidence that he was targeting Gates because Gates is a black.

Was it necessary to finally handcuff Gates and book him for disorderly conduct?  Of course not.  But to suggest that the whole unfortunate incident provided a “teachable moment” about racial profiling, as President Obama suggested, was unfair to Sgt. Crowley and certainly didn’t do anything to improve the cause of race relations.

* * *

More Good ‘Stay Young’ Advice
From A Baseball Legend

In this space recently, regular readers will recall, I quoted the late, great, baseball pitcher Satchell Paige as giving this advice for staying young: 

“Don’t look back.  Something might be gaining on you.”

This is perhaps the most often quoted of Satchell’s explanation of how he was able to continue pitching major league baseball in his mid-40s.  (He had a 12-10 win/loss record for the St. Louis Browns at age 46 in 1952.)

Satchell’s reputation as a sort of homespun philosopher led to publication of a book carrying his name and entitled “How to Stay Young.”  A few nuggets of advice from Satchell’s book even made it to the pages of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.  The nuggets of Satchell’s staying-young-advice reprinted in Bartlett’s:

“Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.  If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.  Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.  Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society.  The social ramble ain’t restful.  Avoid running at all times.  Don’t look back.  Something might be gaining on you.”

# # #

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