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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race

October 16, 2008

It started with an egregiously untrue allegation. 

I wonder now where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-financed big bucks television advertising campaign will go in the next round of ads seeking to elect Democrat Jim Esch with a blitz of eleventh-hour television ads targeting incumbent Republican Second Congressional District Representative Lee Terry, also of Omaha. 

The ad campaign started out on the political low road with an assertion that Terry wants to “privatize” Social Security.  This is simply untrue. 

No candidate of any stature in either party over a good many years has favored “privatizing” the Social Security program by replacing it with a program in which the money raised by Social Security taxes would be invested in stocks and bonds. 

The first round of anti-Terry, pro-Esch ads predictably suggested that “privatizing” Social Security would bring into play the influence of the financial bogeyman of the moment, “Wall Street.”   In the ads, of course, Esch declares that he would protect Social Security.

The farthest that any political figure that I’m aware of has gone in the direction of alleged “privatizing” of Social Security is a willingness to consider this possibility: 

Any American covered by the Social Security system would be given the option of having the government invest, in his or her behalf, a relatively small portion of Social Security tax money in a securities fund which would be professionally managed.  The idea is that the return at retirement could be greater, fueled by growth in stock values.

As far as Representative Terry has gone was to indicate he would be willing to consider such a limited-private-investment possibility—a far cry from the Esch-approved charge that Terry favors “privatizing” Social Security.

The irony in all of this Democratic demagoguery—it has shown up also in the Obama campaign—is that the idea of an individual voluntarily deciding to have a relatively small percentage of his Social Security taxes invested in stocks and bonds was first brought to widespread public attention by one of the Democratic Party’s most respected liberals, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York. 

It is particularly ironic as an issue raised by Democrats in a Nebraska election.  While he was still a prominent Nebraska Democrat, then-Senator Bob Kerrey spoke favorably of Moynihan’s idea, which another Nebraska Democrat, Jim Esch, is now seeking to distort to his political advantage.

* * *

Former College Athlete Improves
UN Law School Student Mix?

In responding to a report that the University of Nebraska College of Law discriminates against white applicants for admission, Dean Steve Willborn didn’t help build a case for the University’s discrimination-in-the-name-of-affirmative-action policies. 

The news account which I saw didn’t indicate that Willborn denied the charge of discrimination but rather gave reasons which he said justified it.

The report, released last week by the Virginia-based Center for Equal Opportunity, says that a minority student with a score of 150 on the standard law school entrance exam has a markedly higher chance of admission to the UN College of Law than does a white student with that score.

Law College officials didn’t deny preferential treatment of minority applicants but said that there are only six black students in the current first-year law class of 146.  The officials said the Law College also gives preference to rural Nebraskans, those who speak two languages and applicants involved in music and art.  The story did not indicate that the school officials offered any justification for these various preferences.

Dean Willborn said:  “We can better discuss foreign affairs if we admit students from other countries.  We can better discuss sports law if we admit a college athlete.  And we can better discuss race-based police practices if we admit African-Americans.

“We cheat all our students if we aren’t allowed to take these sorts of things into consideration.”

Music, Arts Background Help Law Student?

Willborn didn’t make clear how law students are “cheated” if their numbers do not include, for example, a student who has been a college athlete or students who have been involved in music and arts.

One might argue that a single former college athlete in the student body would not contribute a great deal to discussions of sports law or question how black students can facilitate discussion of “race-based police practices” unless they are screened to make sure that they have firsthand knowledge of such practices.

The thought occurs that visiting lecturers might bring an even broader perspective to foreign affairs and race-based police practices than would foreign or black students admitted in preference to white students. 

The report on College of Law admission policies prompted NU officials to speak in defense of other affirmative action programs which are designed for black students. 

The dean of the University of Nebraska-Omaha Business School said that if Nebraska voters on November 4 approve the proposed constitutional amendment banning preferences based on race, sex, color or ethnicity, a UNO program that pairs black students with local business people, would need to be altered or ended.

Some UNL Faculty Favor The Amendment

Gerard Harbison, a UNL chemistry professor, an opponent of race-based affirmative action, said simple solutions are available to save the programs that university leaders say are in danger.  For example, Harbison said, UNO’s mentoring program could be expanded to include both low-income white and minority students.

Other university officials, while opposing the constitutional amendment, have said, like Professor Haribson, that programs could be altered or replaced in ways that would allow the university to work towards the same objectives.  UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman, for example, while opposing the constitutional amendment, has said that even if the proposed amendment is adopted, ways will be found to promote “diversity” on the Lincoln campus.

In the run-up to the November 4 voting, I would think university administrators would hope that there is less talk of giving Law College applicants (or recruits?) preferential treatment because they are involved in music and art or have been college athletes.

* * *

CNN Can Indeed Be Trusted –
To Slant The News, That Is

Another of my occasional news media critiques:

I wouldn’t be as critical of Cable News Network if it weren’t for the incessantly-repeated “CNN, the most trusted name in news.”

CNN can, in a sense, indeed be trusted—trusted to slant the news to the left in a irresponsibly high percentage of the time.

Prime example is CNN’s continuing “360” feature, presided over rather smugly by commentator Anderson Cooper.  The name is supposed to suggest coverage of an issue from all sides, comparable to the 360 degrees in a circle.  I would say the results of alleged “360 degree” coverage indicate that CNN commentators don’t know much about geometry.  Frequently the so-called circle is seriously one-sided, aimed at Anderson Cooper’s target of choice.

Currently Cooper is revealing, one at a time, 10 targets of choice.  As prosecutor, judge and jury, CNN is creating a “10 most wanted” list of business executives and lawmakers “who got us into the current economic mess.”

The CNN “rogues gallery” started with an American Insurance Group (AIG) executive.  The “indictment” included these words:  “For sheer greed and gall, it’s hard to beat the executives of AIG.”

AIG did indeed perform massively irresponsibly, and billions of dollars of federal money are being poured into the company to keep it afloat.  But if you are going to make a strong case against AIG, you have to go a great deal farther than did CNN, self-described as “the only news channel that gives you all sides.” 

The only “side” of the AIG story dealt with a relatively trivial matter—the fact that shortly after the first infusion of billions of Federal dollars to prop up the company, AIG went ahead with a $400,000-plus outing at a deluxe California resort rewarding high-producing sales executives in a sales production competition which had started months before the economic crash. 

All you heard in CNN’s indictment of AIG was language like this from Cooper:  “They are spending your money on facials and spas for sales people…”  (And this from Barack Obama:  “They went on a $400,000 junket.  They should repay the money and these executives should be fired.”)

And this is giving you 360-degree coverage of all sides of the AIG story?

Joe Biden Has Difficulty
Getting Up From Kitchen Table

The Joe Biden/Sarah Palin vice presidential candidate debate left me with the impression that Senator Biden is practicing what might be described as “kitchen table” politics.

As he has done on other occasions along the campaign trail, Biden made repeated reference to the problems which working class Americans worry about in discussions around “the kitchen table.”  This, of course, is consistent with Biden’s repeated references to the fact he grew up in a working class neighborhood. 

It was ironic that on the same day that Biden indicated to the debate audience that “kitchen table” concerns are at play in “my neighborhood,” The New York Times had a front-page story which carried this headline:  “An Everyman on the Trail, Biden Enjoys Senator’s Perks at Home.”

The Times story included an overhead shot of Biden’s 6,800 square-foot Colonial-style beach-front house, purchased in 1966 for $350,000. 

One would assume that there aren’t very many working class people gathered around kitchen tables in Biden’s neighborhood, his comments to the contrary notwithstanding.

* * *

No Andersen family dog story to end today’s column.

Instead, another cartoon from that delightful book of dog cartoons (titled “They Moved My Bowl”) by New Yorker cartoonist Charles Barsotti.

# # #

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