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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"

June 25, 2008

The welcome words of praise convey basically the same message as they have for so many years—words like "Omaha is the Mecca of college sports" and "I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about coming to the College World Series in Omaha. It's rave review after rave review. They can't wait to come back."

(After such generous comments about Omaha and its hospitality, the most specific references to what the WSPN commentators seem to like about Omaha are eating places and our steaks, as in "…another one of those great Omaha restaurants…everyone raves about those Omaha steaks.")

This year, however, praise of Omaha carried across the nation on ESPN telecasts has considerably more relevance, since, as one WSPN commentator pointed out, agreement between Omaha representatives and the NCAA means that the College World Series will continue to be played in Omaha until "at least 2035. Great news for all of us."

A number of Omahans—some upfront in the negotiations, some behind the scenes—deserve special credit for successfully completing the negotiations that will have the CWS playing in a new downtown ballpark for at least 25 years starting in 2011.

Mayor Fahey worked hard for the idea of a new downtown ballpark to assure a new long-term agreement with the NCAA to keep the College World Series in Omaha. Others who deserve praise for their roles in the give-and-take negotiations which produced local agreement on a package to take to the NCAA:

Ken Stinson, chairman of Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc., Jack Diesing, Jr., president of College World Series of Omaha Inc., and certainly David Sokol, chairman of the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority board, who, with his fellow board members, after some tough negotiations, agreed to give up two Qwest Center parking lots as a site for the ballpark.

Mayor Fahey's startling post-agreement decision to try to oust Sokol from the MECA board—in apparent retaliation for Sokol's tough negotiating stance—was quickly reversed when Fahey learned that removing Sokol would jeopardize more than $40 million in private stadium-construction support from corporate leaders who sided with Sokol. Both Fahey and Sokol say that the controversy should now be put behind them and they look forward to finishing construction of the ballpark by 2011.

A lingering question, of course, is what effect Fahey's effort to oust Sokol would have on Fahey's decision on running for a third term next year.

Best bet: Fahey won't run. Indeed, he very well may not have run anyhow. But his final decision may be influenced by the fact his effort to oust Sokol might well cost him support among the city's corporate leadership.

If he decides not to seek a third term, Fahey can leave office with the satisfaction of having fought hard and ultimately successfully for a decision to build a new downtown ballpark and win a new long-term NCAA agreement to keep the College World Series in Omaha.

* * *

Bad Day For Obama
And His Image Protectors

I'm sure that a good many youths and liberals and blacks caught up in a sort of a messianic adulation of Barack Obama would disagree, but I thought the Democratic presidential candidate had a very bad day on the campaign trail last Friday.

It was remarkable, I thought, that a candidate could make so many mistakes in a single day. Among them:

- - Obama flip-flopped on the issue of public financing of the coming presidential general election campaign, saying, in effect, that he will not honor his pledge to abide by the public funds limit ($84 million to each candidate) and will spend as much on the campaign as he chooses. (One television commentator said the total could go as high as $400 to $500 million, in view of Obama's remarkable record of raising funds since he made the "public funds only" general election campaign spending pledge some months ago.)

An Obama campaign spokesman said that while Sen. John McCain will honor his commitment to spend only public campaign funds, Republicans will be aided by a variety of so-called "independent" fund-raising entities which can spread campaign propaganda so long as they don't specifically call for a vote for one candidate or the other.

Ironically, on the same CNN telecast, such a supposedly issue-oriented, candidate neutral organization used funds donated by a labor union to air an ad depicting a young mother holding a young son and implying that John McCain had suggested that the war in Iraq will go on for 100 years, concluding her anti-McCain pitch with an assertion that her son will come of military age during that period "and you can't have him, Mr. McCain."

The facts are that McCain made clear he was referring to the possibility of an American military presence in Iraq for as much as 100 years, not suggesting that the war will last that long. Critics who jumped on that statement apparently have forgotten that we have had American peacekeeping troops in Korea since 1953 and in Europe since the end of World War II in 1945.

- - Also on Friday, campaigning for Florida's electoral votes, Obama summarily rejected the idea of approving more offshore oil drilling to make the United States less dependent on foreign oil. He said relief would not come for many years and drilling would create a danger of oil spills which would stain Florida's beaches and jeopardize the state's important tourist traffic.

* * *

The Imperial "I"

The offshore oil drilling issue is properly subject to debate, but where Obama blundered, in my opinion, was with the flat assertion that as president, "I" will allow no additional offshore drilling. The truth is that the offshore drilling is restricted by Congressional action. Congress, not President "I" Obama, will make the decision as to whether to change federal policy.

It was not the first time that Obama has used a sort of imperial "I" to pledge changes that he could propose but could not put into effect by presidential edict.

- - Also Friday, addressing tax policy, Obama said he would propose that 95% of federal taxpayers each receive a $1,000 tax reduction.

In a federal tax system based largely on a graduated income tax, with the tax increasing as the taxpayer's income increases, a proposal for a flat $1,000 reduction for 95% of federal taxpayers is a ridiculous excuse for a carefully-constructed revision of federal tax policy.

- - Also on Friday, speaking to what he may have thought was a closed fund-raising session, Obama said Republicans would attempt to depict him as a candidate to be feared. The fear factor would include, he said, raising the race issue by suggesting that one reason for opposing him is because he is black.

This immediately raised questions and comments as to whether Obama himself, with such a statement, is responsible for focusing on race as a campaign issue.

The truth, of course, is that race has been an issue in play since the day Obama announced his candidacy—an issue subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, used as an argument for improving America's image at home and around the world by electing our first black president.

* * *

Candidacy Itself Raises Race Issue

In some of his primary contests with Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama received the support of some 90% of black voters. And a recent Democratic voter registration drive in Louisiana concentrated on largely black neighborhoods.

Understandably, the Democratic Party will make every effort to turn out as many black voters as possible in November. That makes race an issue, period.

- - Another Obama gaffe last Friday was somewhere between laughable and scary. (CNN's Wolf Blitzer had what seemed to me a subtle smile on his face every time he referred to it.)

This was the unveiling of a seal which apparently was designed to, among other things, hang on the speaker's rostrum at Obama rallies.

The new campaign symbol is clearly a knockoff, as the saying goes, of the official seal of the President of the United States. It is circular and has a border of blue (although a lighter shade than that on the official presidential seal). At the top of Obama's seal are the words "OBAMA for AMERICA." In the center is an eagle very similar to that in the presidential seal.

Instead of the presidential seal's "e pluribus unum" ("one from many," an indication of the states coming together to form a union), Obama's seal designers have included the Latin words "Vero Possumus," which was explained as Latin for something like "Yes, we can do it."

A recent news story said the Obama campaign organization was taking tighter control of the way his campaign projects his image. If the presidential seal caper is an example of controlling Obama's image-projection, Republicans should hope for more of the same.

* * *

Tornado Shelters Best Policy

Some quick takes:

- - A tip of my columnist's cap to Omaha-based Alegent Health for being ranked No. 1 in the United States among 121 health care systems including four or more hospitals.

The rankings by the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement had the 21-hospital Mayo Foundation of Minnesota ranked 2nd and the Florida-based Memorial Healthcare System 3rd.

Alegent is a nine-hospital system in Nebraska and Iowa and oversees numerous clinics.

- - I join in the praise of the Boys Scouts at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch for their courageous response when a tornado struck, taking four lives and injuring 48 others. But I think that a policy which has tornado shelters at other Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps should be followed without exception at all youth summer camps in "tornado country." I hope this will be the decision as the Little Sioux camp is rebuilt.

* * *

Gore Endorsement Hardly Big News

Continuing my occasional critique of news media performance:

One of the sillier reactions to former Vice President Al Gore's endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was a local TV newsreader's comment that this was "a huge endorsement" for Obama.

I don't know how much Gore's endorsement will prove to mean to Obama come November, but my hunch is that the impact will be more miniscule than huge.

Then there was the Associated Press report that golfer Tiger Woods was playing in the U.S. Open "with unbearable pain."

Tiger won while playing with an injured left leg which unfortunately will require surgery keeping him off the circuit for the rest of this year. But Tiger's pain was hardly "unbearable," since Tiger was obviously courageously bearing it.

* * *

Today's finale, a touch of news-media humor from "Newseum," a book of cartoons from The New Yorker magazine. The book was published in conjunction with the 2007 opening, in downtown Washington, of the Newseum. The 14-gallery, 15-theater museum tells the story of the news media, past and present, with emphasis on the importance of the freedom-of-the-press protections for press and public enshrined in the First Amendment. The Newseum's operations are funded by the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation.

cartoon of dog's sleeping. One dog says It's been moved that we adjourn for an afternoon nap. Is there a second?

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