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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty

December 18, 2008

Here, I believe, is a fair way to look at the efforts of the Ponca Indian tribe in Nebraska to win permission to open a gambling casino in Carter Lake, Iowa:

The Ponca’s are trying to break a sort of government/tribal “treaty,” with the Indians being the treaty breakers this time.

The federal government’s acquiescence in violation of Indian rights under treaties negotiated during the settlement of the American west is a stain on our national history.  Why is it any more appropriate if today we allow an Indian tribe to violate an agreement with state and federal governments.

The record is crystal clear:  In acquiring the five acres in Carter Lake, Iowa, the Ponca Tribe assured Iowa state government, in writing, that the land was to be used for building a health clinic and not for casino gambling.  It was with this understanding that the Interior Department placed the five acres “in trust” for the Ponca tribe.

But in 2007 the tribe took the matter not back to the Interior Department but to the National Indian Gaming Commission.  (It’s not really gambling that’s involved here, you see; it’s “gaming.”)  The Gaming Commission, created for the express purpose of making it possible for Indian tribes to own gambling casinos, predictably ruled the five acres qualified as “restored land” and could be used for gambling.

(The “restored land” language would be laughable if it were not taken seriously by tribal leaders and officials of the Indian Gaming Commission.  There is no way that the land in question in Carter Lake, Iowa can be said to have been “restored” to the Ponca, whose ancestral home—and original reservation—were in northeast Nebraska, a good many miles from Carter Lake, Iowa.)

With the help—incredibly, in my opinion—of the U.S. Justice Department, the Ponca are still battling in the courts.  The tribe and the Justice Department are appealing a ruling by Federal District Judge Charles Wolle in Des Moines.  Wolle held that the National Indian Gaming Commission “was unreasoned and arbitrary in holding that the Ponca Tribe was not bound by its agreement with Iowa to have no gaming on its Carter Lake site.”

If there is any speaking with forked tongue involved in this sorry affair, it has been from tongues in the mouths of the Ponca and their allies in the United States Department of Justice.

* * *

Democrats Especially Should Be Wary
Of District-Vote Presidential Choice

A recent news story quoted a Nebraska political science professor as offering this prediction:  Barack Obama’s one electoral vote from Nebraska will help move the nation towards allocation of electoral votes by congressional districts (except for the two votes representing Senate seats which would continue to be allocated on the basis of the statewide balloting). 

I can’t resist an observation that a good deal of reasoning offered by political science professors can be discounted.  Politics, after all, is not a science.  I would rather listen to someone with experience in the political trenches.

Democratic politicians in particular might want to approach very cautiously any proposal to adopt nationwide the Nebraska and Maine system of allocating presidential electoral votes based on Congressional district balloting.


In the voting for election to the House of Representatives—that is, voting by Congressional districts—257 of the House seats were won by Democrats and 177 were won by Republicans with one seat undecided. 

The Democratic margin in Congressional district elections thus was 59% against 41% for Republicans. 

But in electoral votes, Democrat Obama received 68% and Republican John McCain received 32%--substantially more electoral votes for Obama than Democratic victories in Congressional districts and substantially fewer electoral votes for McCain than Republican victories in electoral districts.

The nationwide popular vote, incidentally, was 53% to 47% in Obama’s favor—quite a contrast to his 68% to 32% margin in electoral votes.

While something of a theoretical case, I suppose, can be made for distributing electoral votes by Congressional District results, political science professors should remember that our national governmental system was created by a coming together of states, not Congressional districts.

* * *

Let’s Call ‘Gay’ Relationships
What They Are—And Don’t Do

How about a compromise in the use of the word “gay” by American journalists? 

I will concede that it’s much easier to use “gay” in headlines, where space is limited.  The debased use of the word has become so common that readers know that the story is about lesbians and/or homosexuals.

But in the body of the news story itself, let’s return to the proper use of the English language; i.e., “homosexual,” for a sexual relationship between two males and “lesbian” for a sexual relationship between two females.

A good many lesbians and homosexuals have made clear publicly that they are happy  with their sexual orientation, so why not use an accurate name to describe it?

I’m not suggesting disapproval of these relationships, simply arguing for precise and accurate use of the language, at least by journalists.

Now as to “marriage” between lesbian or homosexuals:

I voted against the Nebraska constitutional amendment—resoundingly approved by a majority of voters eight years ago—which provides that marriage in Nebraska shall be legally recognized as being only between a man and a woman.  I felt that the amendment went too far by barring legal recognition of a civil union or some other legally binding relationship between two men or two women. 

Such civil unions could certainly be created in some sort of ceremony which the parties felt appropriate.  But I oppose legalizing the homosexual/lesbian invasion of the institution of marriage—the union of a man and a woman in a legally and hopefully morally binding relationship.

The institution of marriage has been a fundamental building block in the development of moral societies—although certainly it is not as honored as it once was.  Among other things, it recognizes that the propagation of the race will come from relations between a man and a woman—an obligation, or a reality, if you will—that doesn’t admit of the intrusion of couples who do not participate in that obligation or reality.

* * *

Another Husker Coach
Finished With 8-4 Season

Herewith a bit different slant on what I interpret as Nebraska Cornhusker football fans’ general encouragement over an 8-4 regular-season results under popular new coach Bo Pelini (count me among those encouraged fans who like Pelini):

I quizzed seveeral Husker fans—all of them enthusiastic about Pelini, including some who said they would have settled for something less than 8-4 to give Pelini a chance to turn around the Huskers’ fortunes after last year’s 5-7 result.

I asked each fan:  When was the last time the Huskers had an 8-4 season?

Each fan—some of them I had considered to be close and knowledgeable followers of the Huskers—was stumped by the question.  One asked me whether it was during the Frank Solich era.  Wrong.

Then I asked:  When was the last time the Huskers had a 9-5 season?  None of the fans had the right answer.  One said it must have been during the Tom Osborne coaching era because Osborne was so well known for seasons with a minimum of 9 victories.

Each of these fans was surprised  by the fact that the last nine-victory season was as recent as 2006 when since-fired Coach Bill Callahan’s Huskers went 9-5 and won the Big 12 North championship with victories over Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas A&M and Colorado.  (The Huskers lost the Big 12 championship game to Oklahoma, 7-21 and lost to Auburn, 14-17, in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.)

8-4 Season Ended With Win Over Michigan

The last 8-4 record was in 2005 also under Bill Callahan—a regular-season record which finished with a 30-3 win over Colorado at Boulder followed by a 32-28 victory over 20th ranked Michigan in the Alamo Bowl.

How explain the “Callahan must go” reaction after his 5-7 season when his previous two seasons had ended with 8 and 9 wins, a record that, at the start of the 5-7 season, had earned him a salary increase and a contract extension through 2011? 

Essentially, I believe, the Callahan “chemistry” was never as popular as the Pelini chemistry has proven to be.  Part of this, I believe, involved Steve Pederson (who was fired as athletic director 2 ½  months after having been given a five-year contract extension by UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman).  Pederson’s standing with too many Nebraska fans was damaged by the way he handled what I consider to have been the necessary replacement of Coach Frank Solich.  And Pederson had hired Callahan to succeed Solich.

Chancellor Perlman lucked out when Husker coaching legend Tom Osborne agreed to return as athletic director to replace Pederson. 

In firing Callahan, Osborne indicated it wasn’t just the 22 losses against 27 victories during Callahan’s four years.  A factor in his decision, he indicated, was the fact that several of the Callahan-era losses were by such wide margins.  These included a 10-70 loss to Texas Tech and 21-45 loss to Kansas State in Callahan’s first year and, in his 5-7 final year, losses of 6-41 to Missouri, 14-45 to Oklahoma State , 14-36 to Texas A&M and 39-76 to Kansas. 

In any case, I wonder if there is any parallel in college athletics history to Pederson’s and Callahan’s rapid falls from grace:  An athletic director fired 2 ½ months after he had been given a five-year contract extension and a football coach fired three months after he had been given a pay raise and a four-year contract extension. 

* * *

Clear The Way; Here Comes Caroline

How is it that Caroline Kennedy—a 51-year-old woman who has no experience in public office, an attorney who chooses not to practice law—is under serious consideration for appointment to the United States Senate?  (She would succeed Hillary Clinton when Clinton resigns to become Secretary of State.) 

It’s simple:  Caroline Kennedy is a woman and a Democrat like Clinton and, most important of all, she is a Kennedy, daughter of the popular President John F. Kennedy.  Lesser mortals might do well to get out of her way. 

Now, now, skeptics.  Remember, she is a Kennedy, part of the royal family of American politics—at least the Democratic variety of American politics.

# # #

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