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Bush Lied - Check Out This Video of Katrina Briefing

I can't wait to see what Limbaugh and Hannity have to say about THIS

What does it take to impeach this guy? Oh, yeah…

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David Hahn on Rural Nebraska

Hear Democratic candidate David Hahn's thoughts on rural issues affecting Nebraska. The Center for Rural Affairs Gubernatorial Candidate Forum will be broadcast this evening on Nebraska Public Radio, FM 91.1, from 6:30 -- 8:30 pm.

Find out more about David at his website, www.HahnForNebraska.org.

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Open Thread

The Rapture is not an exit strategy…

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The Hawk's Still Flying

In case you missed the article in today's World Herald:

_"...The committee's senior Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, accused the Bush administration of disregarding the Exon-Florio law by not conducting more than a standard review of the proposed sale. Levin noted that the company is from a country with possible links to terrorists."_

Senator Nelson also weighed in on the issue:

_"The sale of port operations is a national security matter in the post-9/11 United States, and the American people need to know that we aren't outsourcing their safety," Nelson said._

Former Exon Aide Chris McLean said it best: "I always think of Senator Exon as a national security hawk."

"The hawk's still flying."

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The Futures Market: Nebraska

Check out the National Journal's list of rising stars in Nebraska politics -- Democrats and Republicans. What do you think? Anyone who isn't on the list that should be, or on the list that shouldn't be?

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GOP "People Power"

So, the Republican Party's idea of "people power" is at last revealed -- if their candidates have enough people on the payroll, they need hardly even recognize their growing disconnect with Nebraska voters and Nebraska values (the sort you live by, not sell yourself with). This philosophy was on full display Monday night at a Republican candidate forum in Seward where there were as many office-seekers and political operatives in attendance as actual voters.

The Omaha World-Herald reports:

The political candidates and their staffs nearly outnumbered potential voters Monday at a Republican forum that attracted hopefuls for governor and the Senate.

About 25 voters were wooed by about 13 candidates, most of whom arrived with a staff member or a spouse and came early to work the crowd at the Seward Civic Center.

The candidates chatted up as many voters as they could find, while their assistants handed out stickers and pamphlets…..

Monday's forum included those vying for legislative and other state government posts….

Former Attorney General Don Stenberg, Omaha attorney David Kramer and Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts are running for the GOP [U.S. Senate] nomination. The victor will run against Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson in the fall.

Stenberg told the crowd that "radical environmentalists" had for too long dictated America's energy policy. He vowed that he would support drilling in the Arctic and the building of more ethanol plants.

Ricketts emphasized his support for President Bush and the war in Iraq. "We must win the global war on terror, and that means completing our mission in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

Kramer said he would try to visit all 93 counties each year if elected. "I don't think you can live in Washington, D.C., and represent Nebraska," he said.

Still, on that issue of quantity, it's worth pondering where the voters of Seward were during the GOP's attempted but failed invasion of their town. "American Idol" wasn't on, so there goes that excuse.

Of course, it's still early in the election cycle, but the weak response this event generated seems to raise some legitimate concerns that, minus the opportunity to shake Tom Osborne's hand, the Nebraska Republican Party isn't offering voters much in the way of excitement or ideas. And, let's face it, meeting Osborne the politician is substantially less inspiring than meeting the Coach of old.

These elements are not aided by the realization quickly dawning upon voters that the Republican Party has simply turned its back on rural communities such as Seward. To devastating plant closings in Northeast Nebraska, Republican politicians offer no solutions but more tax incentives for big business, the sort of which had already failed to protect some 1,500 hard-working Nebraska families. Meanwhile, the quality and accessibilty of rural health care is left to dwindle as what was supposedly a prescription drug benefit for senior citizens is more accurately revealed as government subsidization of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

It's not a record to be proud of -- "No Child Left Untested" burdening our schools, candidates violating election laws in crude and calculating fashion, the specter of corporate farming taking hold with hardly a peep from those elected officials who've sworn to uphold the constitution prohibiting it. No, even as a Republican, I'd be a tad too disgusted at these mounting failures to answer even the most cordial GOP invite.

All this amounts to a definite opportunity for our proud Democratic candidates as they take their respective messages of hope and reform door-to-door, coffee-to-barbershop all over the state.

And my advice for those Republicans running with no one else to blame for an agenda that long-ago ceased serving the best interests of Nebraska -- invest in more yes-men and campaign staffers. Voters may not be as susceptible to the old stand-by attacks as they have been in years prior. They are not buying the same old Republican promises that have been so quickly forgotten with each new election over the last decade. But, that's no reason to be talking to an empty room. After all, we all get by with a little help from our friends -- even if they are bought, paid for, and tell you only what you want to hear in the FOX News manner to which Republicans have become so accustomed and dependent.

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Supporting Our Candidates

We here at the NDP want to recognize a county party that is leading the way in supporting the great candidates we have running across the state. Sunday night, the Saunders County Democratic Party was the first county party to donate to Maxine Moul's campaign when they presented her with a $500 check. The party worked hard to raise the money, and many people at the meeting wrote additional checks to Maxine's campaign.

The hard work of the Saunders County Democrats has not gone unnoticed and will hopefully encourage other county parties to do the same for other candidates. Your generosity will help get Democrats elected in November.

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Salt Valley Sally

The anger of Democrats is the New Black, and it suits three groups of folks perfectly: Republican strategists, slacker journalists and fundraising careerists.

Republican strategists want to paint the Democrats as angry because anger is so unattractive. Though the Republican leadership has fueled and exploited Angry Man Politics with its famous wedge issues (abortion and guns, for two), any fool can see how tired Americans are growing of being angry and afraid. Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney limit exposure to real journalists and the public generally, because both have tempers, and the camera catches the bone-deep ugliness behind the eyes of this administration. Paint the Democrats as angry, Karl Rove and Andrew Card are thinking, and they'll BECOME angry, angry and scary. And disoriented. The Democrats will start to eat their own!

Slacker journalists like the angle because they thought of it. Every major paper in the U.S. has run the Angry Democrats story in various forms several times over the past few weeks. Going back to Howard Dean's yelp, this is a non-story that works on the principle of the hors d'oevre--tiny tasty bites that leave people wanting more and another drink to go with.

Liberal fundraisers live by Democratic anger. The Wonder Kids at MoveOn.org just passed around a "survey" last week asking, "Who's up for targeting right of center Democrats?" (This survey is of course non-scientific, as responders are entirely self-selected.) 84% of responders said go for it. MoveOn.org already has most of the responders' credit card numbers on file--that's how a person gets to BE a survey participant--and I reckon they will have raised a half million dollars or more by now towards the goal of unseating Rep. Henry Cullar (D-TX).

Cullar may well be worth targeting, IF the voters in that district are inclined to elect someone more progressive. His personal style is said to be mocking and surly, and he votes against his own party often enough to make MoveOn.org mad.

But Democrats have bigger fish to fry. 2006 can be THE year things start to turn around for this country, but only if the Democrats can manage two things--party unity and winning and holding seats in Congress.

All the rest--sending a message by punishing Democrats for not being liberal enough or not passing some lefty litmus test--is kid stuff and counterproductive. Anger among Democrats towards Democrats in so-called red states looks a lot like the classic midlife crisis--a lifetime of buyer's remorse for not moving to San Francisco or New York or Canada when you had the chance.

The serious Democrats I know, the kind of folks who get things done, in the community and in the party, are more sad than angry right now. They FEEL anger--towards the state of the nation and the state of the world--but the truth is, real grown ups don't get MAD. That's a perk enjoyed legitimately only by children, and it's one of the things we give up for adult perks, like sex and voting, neither of which is much good done in anger.

The Bush Administration and this Republican Congress together seem intent on a reckless, even apocalyptic course. I blame in part Republican exploitation of the religious right, which I believe creates apocalyptic words and images, and therefore apocalyptic thinking and doing, at home and abroad. The language of apocalypse is understood perfectly in translation by radical Islamists, fueling the worldwide culture war that has people dying in the street over CARTOONS.

Anger will not win the midterm elections. Bridge-builders like Barak Obama and, yes, Ben Nelson are the future. The national Republican leadership is spinning out of control, like the world's biggest and most dangerous dysfunctional family. We need ADULTS in Washington, not to kick ass but to ACT like adults, with an adult seriousness of purpose and an adult sense of responsibility equal to the tremendous mess that must begin to be set to rights.

The world, much less this country, cannot afford for Democrats to **** (supply your four letter word of choice) up in the midterm elections or to **** around. The Bush administration may be coming to pieces before our eyes, yet these people can and mean to do a lot of mischief yet--on the war, on the budget deficit, on the TRADE deficit, on the environment, on Gulf Coast reconstruction, on energy, on the farm bill, on Social Security, on the health insurance industry, on immigration, on the poor.

Anger is about personality, not policy, but it is policy that will determine the course of this century, when the personalities are all gone to the next world. Thanks to the foresight of the Founding Fathers, there is one thing in THIS world that can now put a brake on the Bush administration, but only one--a Democratic Congress.

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President's Day Open Thread

Come on Mr. Gale--sunshine is the best disinfectant

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Electile Dysfunction

We've got a big problem and we need your help to solve it.

Earlier today, I testified at a public hearing in the Unicameral on the rules and regulations for satellite voting. Partisan Republicans have cooked up the current scheme: it will boost Republican turnout in Lincoln and set a dangerous precedent for elections to come.

Satellite voting is the process of designating convenient, accessible locations where citizens may vote in the weeks leading up to Election Day. We're in favor of it, but we want it done right. It shouldn't be a handout from Republican election officials to their Party.

The controversy hinges around the site selection process. Currently, the regulations do not provide for any citizen input in the site selection process. The Nebraska Democratic Party has been advocating making the site selection process transparent and fair. It should take into account the socioeconomic, racial, and partisan diversity of each community that utilizes it.

However, we've been told directly by a high-level election official that "that just isn't going to happen." Instead, the Republican Election Commissioner (appointed by the Republican Governor) proposes sites to the Republican Secretary of State for approval.

Because Lancaster County may be the first county to use this program, we've been studying the effects it will have in the Capital City. The Bennett Martin Library is the largest and most-used public library in Lancaster County, because it is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Lincoln. Unfortunately, the Republicans told us that they didn't want to select Bennett Martin. Instead, they're planning on selecting three libraries in neighborhoods where Republicans outnumber Democrats, by almost two to one.

This is a big deal. In Omaha, it would be the equivalent of putting all Douglas County voting locations in Ralston, Millard, and Elkhorn, and nothing east of 72nd Street.

Just when we thought the Republicans couldn't go any further, they have. Now they're resorting to backroom, partisan politics to decide something as important as where people vote.

It's an outrage, and we won't stand for it.

Here's the bottom line: If we don't tell them to stop, they might just get away with this. It's up to each of us--as Nebraskans--to voice our concerns and then spread the word.

Even Secretary of State Gale admitted that "[i]f there is too much controversy about it, then the Lancaster County Election Commissioner and all of us will decide let's postpone it…"

Secretary of State Gale works for you -- the taxpayer. Let him know what you think about this partisan scheme:

john.gale@sos.ne.gov

If you want to, forward a copy of what you send him to us at info@nebraskademocrats.org and we'll post the best ones on the website.

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