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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory?

May 8, 2008

Tuesday’s split decision—Barack Obama wins North Carolina easily, Hillary Clinton squeezes out a very narrow victory in Indiana—had one group of journalistic commentators taking this look down the road facing Obama:

Mark Halperin of Time Magazine said Obama seems to be “stumbling, tripping across the finish line” in winning his Democratic presidential nomination battle with Clinton.  Halperin pointed out that the Tuesday election results offered fresh evidence that Obama is “still having trouble attracting (Clinton’s) voters” to support him in a November showdown with McCain.

(A polling-place-exit sample of voters’ opinions Tuesday indicated that 70% of Obama’s voters would support Clinton in the November balloting but a significantly smaller percentage—59%--of Clinton voters indicated they would support Obama against McCain.)

Speaking on the Charlie Rose late-night talk show, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, a black, said Obama still faces “a huge issue” in explaining his 20-year relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, from whom Obama is trying hard to distance himself after earlier describing him as his friend and pastor and spiritual advisor for 20 years.  Wright has been making national news recently, of course, with statements like, “God damn America” and suggesting that the United States government may have developed the AIDS virus as a means of reducing the numbers of black Americans.

“The race issue could be a killer in November,” Herbert said.

Herbert also said that Obama has to move from generalities to specifics, such as coming up with an economic program that deals with job creation.

Al Hunt, former Wall Street Journal columnist, now Washington managing editor for Bloomberg News said the split between Obama and Clinton is getting worse as the Democratic presidential primary campaign drags on.  Hunt also said:  “Obama needs to address where (he) wants to take the economy, what you’re going to do about jobs…Obama hasn’t done that.” 

Since Clinton is lagging and needed a strong two-state showing in Tuesday’s balloting, the North Carolina/Indiana results can, of course, be regarded as a victory for Obama.

But the commentators’ appraisals quoted above brought to my mind a famous quote from Pyrrhus, King of Epirus after a third century B.C. battle in which he had won a costly victory over a Roman army.  Pyrrhus is reputed to have said:

“One more such victory and I am lost.”

Whether Obama’s victories in primaries, caucuses and among super delegates will turn out to have been “Pyrrhic,” only time will tell.  But there surely is a strong hint of potential trouble ahead in the most recent Gallup poll which showed that among those polled, McCain clearly leads Obama among voters with high school educations and is tied with Obama among the college-educated.

* * *

Good News: Gas Guzzlers Targeted

A welcome headline:  “New cars will have to use less gas.”

The subhead read:  “The government will mandate average fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.”

As I wrote recently, increased fuel efficiency has great importance as a means of both reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing air pollution which results from automotive exhaust fumes.

Now let’s get on with building more nuclear-fueled electricity-generating plants and expanding the capacity of existing plants. 

If France, for a prime example, can safely use nuclear power to generate more than 80% of its electricity needs, there is no reason to let a relative handful of anti-nuclear activists dictate this country’s policy in regard to nuclear energy.

* * *

“The Sports Babe” Scores Again

With the first pitch at 2:35 p.m. Saturday, April 12, my roommate grasped again her version of a holy grail—a record of having seen a game in every current major league baseball park.

We had waited 90 minutes for rain to let up enough to allow play to proceed in the new Washington National Stadium in downtown Washington.  Marian’s attendance at the game between the Washington Nationals and the visiting Atlanta Braves meant that she was again current in her record of having attended a game in each of the current major league ballparks.

There are 30 such ballparks now.  But since major league franchises have been added in four cities since Marian began her quest, and since a number of new stadiums have been built to replace older ballparks, Marian has had to visit a total of 49 major league parks in order to continue her record—first achieved in 1991 in Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia—of having seen a game in each of the ballparks currently in play.

We cheered for the home team, but in vain.  The Washington Nationals were down, 4-0, before they came to bat in the bottom of the first inning.  They ultimately lost, 10-2.

Attending a game with Marian—sometimes good-naturedly referred to as “The Sports Babe” by admiring male friends—is like a class in Baseball 101.  Her first-inning comments about three of the Washington National players:

“They got him from the Mets.”

“He won the first game this season with a homerun in the bottom of the 9th.”

And in regard to a third Washington National player:  “He played for the Yankees.  He’s 6’4” and weighs 240 pounds.”

We reminisced a bit about some of the ballparks we had visited together, including the since-replaced stadium in Cleveland.  Marian’s description:  “It was huge.  It was the one that WPA built.”

We agreed that Washington National Stadium is a very attractive venue, including an essential requirement for any ballpark these days—an attractive concessions concourse. 

To me one of the highlights of the day at the ballpark was the fact that the National Anthem was sung, strongly and with no gasping for breath, by a baritone.  None of those western country or rock band females who think they have to change the tune and tempo to show the screeching power of their voices and haven’t learned breath control so that the microphone doesn’t pick up a gasp for air after every high note.

* * *

Help! I’m Stuck in a Pothole!

Just after reading of Governor Heineman’s veto of a state gasoline tax increase of 1.2 cents a gallon, I started on my way to the office over a stretch of street which had as many potholes as a World War I battlefield.

I recalled that a portion of the state gasoline tax is earmarked for use on city streets and county roads.  This didn’t, of course, help lower my level of disapproval (I was about to say “indignation”) of the governor’s veto.

The story ended reasonably happily.  The Legislature overrode Heineman’s veto of the miniscule increase in the price of gasoline.  And the potholes were filled before someone drowned in one or had to call a tow truck.

* * *

Tiger Loses; Golf Is The Winner

Considering Tiger Woods’ less-than-impressive performance in the recent Masters tournament, can we at least temporarily set aside consideration of whether we should simply rename the game from “golf” to “Tiger”?

I’m only about half-kidding.  Story after story and telecast after telecast have concentrated not on a total golf tournament but on whether Tiger is winning or, if he is losing, how many strokes he is behind.

The buildup to the recent Masters tournament and the coverage of that tournament provide prime examples of what I’m talking about.  The pre-Masters issue of Golf Digest magazine, for one example, had a cover which showed Tiger, clad in black, hands on hips, legs apart as if he were some colossus astride the golf world. 

Inside the magazine were 10 pages with text and pictures as to how Tiger plays his irons.  (If there had been discussion of how Tiger plays his woods, might we have seen his explanation of the fact that on too frequent occasions, it appears Tiger hasn’t the slightest idea where his drives are going?)

In its major advance story on the Masters tournament, The Wall Street Journal had a full page of text and pictures offering readers a chance to “test your knowledge of the Masters and a certain well-known golfer’s achievements there.”

During the tournament itself, the Sunday New York Times sports section had a page-wide color picture of Tiger hitting an iron.  The picture carried this caption:  “Woods Refuses to Fade Away.”  Tiger was six strokes behind the leader when that headline was written.

There was a much smaller half-column-wide picture of Trevor Immelman of South Africa going into Sunday’s final round with that six-stroke lead on Tiger.  Immelman ultimately won by three strokes, shooting a 75 Sunday while Tiger stayed at five under with a mediocre even-par round.

To its credit, The Washington Post Sunday edition featured a large color picture of Immelman under a headline which read:  “Immelman Hangs In There,” which he did in Sunday’s final round.

Bottom line:  Perhaps we can at least temporarily continue to call the game “golf” instead of “Tiger.”

# # #

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