Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thinking Twenty-Ten

So there's a new ad by the DNC (and actual ad buy related to it, or just a YouTube vid? Hmm....).

And the national Dems want you to know that Lee Terry is doing a crackerjack job.

No? Oh, well. Watch for yourself:

For those of you who don't want to bother, the spot makes these claims:

"Republicans want to end Medicare!"
"Congressman Lee Terry: No Friend of Seniors"


We weren't going to even post this worthless spot, because its so obsequious (we're pulling out Roget's on this one).

But this ad should really be a learning tool for all pols who pay attention:

Claims like these are silly, ineffectual, unbelieveable, and may even work the other way.

Why (you are shouting)?

Because no rational voter believes this. See, the Dems here are convinced that you, Old Person, are so gullible that if it's on TV it must be true. But what has happened instead is that because you make these ridiculous claims (Republicans want to end Social Security! Republicans hate children! Republicans want you to live on the street!), pretty soon all anyone hears is another cry of "Wolf!!!".

So people will read the rest of the story. What did Lee really vote for here? Oh, to cut the President's bloated budget? And it didn't pass because the House Dems just want to spend more of your tax money? Got it.

See, that was easy, huh? Rinse Repeat.


Oh, and Tom White is going to "officially" announce his candidacy tomorrow. No word yet as to whether the OWH or LJS can find a more flattering photo of him.


The new Nebraska Watchdog website is up -- run by Joe Jordan, produced by Joe Jordan and, reporting live, Joe Jordan.

(Well, actually Joseph Fenton Jordan, according to his YouTube site).

This is the new endeavor by Pete Ricketts and the non-profit Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. In the initial page, you can see stories about MECA, Pete Festersen, and an on-camera interview with Matt Sakalosky, among others.

The site also has a blog up by Jordan, though it's not too apparent how different this is from the rest of the stories.

Freed up from the TV parameters, it would seem that Jordan can give a little more time for some straight opinion points -- that P.J. Morgan could use a seat on the County Board as a stepping stone for a freed-up Omaha Mayor's office; that a lack of any Dems to run for state offices will free up Dem money for Tom White's attacks on Lee Terry. (A point that WE were going to make today. DAMN YOU Jordan!!!)

It is not clear how often Jordan will be updating the site -- Daily? Weekly? Or if there will be other features. But we've enjoyed Joe Jordan's work in the past and hopefully it will be a new source for you and for us on a continuing basis.


Is it...ALIVE?

Fresh from our update on Friday about possible Nebraska State Treasurer candidates we get this one from our sources:

Scott Kleeb. Oh yeah.

If the blogging gods are listening, please note that we will be sacrificing a Runza on the altar this afternoon.


Oh and remember how Omahans voted to not let the Qwest Center be paid for raising property taxes? And remember how Mayoral candidate Jim Suttle promised to lower your property taxes?

Well, we're told (though this is, ahem, on background with no on the record verification, so hey, this could be 100% rumor) that Councilman Jerram and Mayor Suttle have come to an agreement:

Jerram is going to pull the satellite ordinance leaving a $2,000,000 gap. Suttle WILL NOT veto the budget. The Council then has no further say since there is no veto for them to override.

The gap will automatically be filled with property tax increases per the City Charter, resulting in an increase of just over 4 cents.

And then everyone gets to yell, "Whadn't my fault!!"


Anonymous said...


On topic: Jim Vokal will be the guest speaker tonight (Tues) at the Omaha Young Republicans meeting. 6:30 social hour 7:00 meeting at DJ's Dugout 114th and Dodge. I'm sure this budget discussion will come up. Come with questions!!

Right Wing Professor said...

The LJS ran the story of White's announcement with the 'unflattering' photo. I mean, assuming it is unflattering. Maybe it's the best he can do.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! Not a good photo of Tom Boy. And, the Lee Terry ad is the kind of stuff voters will patently reject as trash. When will the parties get a grip on their venom and start doing real ads instead of hack jobs from political hacks out East? Too bad for Lee. Too bad for Tom.

And, while we are on image. For being an attorney, who in God's name taught Jerram how to hold the attention span of a gnat? Every time the camera rolls, he gives the impression he is less than
credible with his idle babblings.

NE Voter said...


Is that the same Jim Vokal who spent eight years on the City Council as a lapdog, but has been a self-styled "watchdog" the past four months?

I hope a young Repub asks him a question or three about what specific actions he took to solve Omaha's budget woes May 2001 to May 2009.

Some "watchdog."

Anonymous said...

Yeh, it's the same Jim Vokal who incurred 25k in attorney's fees fighting the NADC because they tried to tell him he was wrong. Granted, he was found innocent, but what a great conservative use of funds. Would those be campaign funds from others to use for election purposes rather than CYA purposes or private funds to bail ole Jimmy out. So much for fiscal responsibility with other's money either way.

Anonymous said...

"...granted he was found innocent..."

Kind of an important point, no?

Oh mander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow, self censorship? What well behaved children we are today.

Just because I like beating a dead horse, to the City Council and in front of the Liquor Commission is where Jerram does most of his work. Oh, and if he makes "house calls" to his clients, that would be a chair or a barstool he sits on, then, wouldn't it? Therefore, I am guessing he does not need great communication skills, just the ability to BS.

As for the Terry schmere. At least the DNC knows that Lee Terry is a part of the Republican Party Congressional Leadership, it's more than the local Democrat Party knows. Did you see that lineup of mugshots? I wish I ran with a crowd that powerful!

BTW, my granny didn't believe that load of crap, but I did have to show my dad the actual House Congressional Resolution 85 Vote 191 on 4/2/09 to prove to him that it had nothing to do with canceling his soon to be golden ticket to quality healthcare.

BTW, I found it by Googling it exactly the way it was written in the ad. Thanks DNC-oh, and Paulie Johnson, bff to Tommie Boy White, you just reminded 3 voters why they appreciate Congressman Terry so much.

Anonymous said...

Lee Terry part of the Republican Party Congressional leadership?????

Bwahahahahaha! He's about as far down the totem pole of leadership and seniority that you can get! Even after being there for 6 (too many!) terms!

Nate E said...

The national Dems feel that Terry is in trouble, and with good reason. His winning percentage has gone down each subsequest election and NE02 went blue for prez last time around. And scary ads do work on the general public, how many idiots out there still believe that Obama wants to pull the plug on grandma?

I doubt P.J. Morgan could ever be mayor again. I would never vote for someone for elected office when they quit that office prior.

Anonymous said...

Nate E--we've heard/seen that all before. The DCCC came in w/a million bucks in attack stuff against Terry and he still won. That in a bad political year for Republicans. Think 2010 is gonna be a bad year again for the GOP? Try for the Dems.

I bet the DCCC only does token stuff against Terry--they'll probably have to defend 50 incumbent D seats from takeover.

Anonymous said...

Innocence does trump insatiable ego at no cost, no?

Kyle Michaelis said...

Why would "no rational voter" believe that Lee Terry wants to end Medicare? Just a few months ago, Terry and 136 other House Republicans specifically voted for a budget that would have privatized and ultimately ended Medicare.

Rational voters aren't being asked to believe anything. This "ridiculus claim" you're so eager to dismiss is a simple statement of fact. Nothing "silly," "ineffectual," or "unbelieveable" about it.

Nate E said...

Lee Terry was only saved because the Repubs came in with a million $ of their own to attack Esch. Without that its a Democrat seat in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please tell me why OUR taxdollars were spent to help fund Terry Moore's Septemberfest Carnival?

Hello, Douglas County Commissioners?

Kathy Kelley?
Tom Cavanaugh?
Steve Walker?

Anyone awake?

Do you really think taxpayers want to help pay for such a lame event in this recession?

Is it the role of government to help prop up such an event?

Street Sweeper said...

Well, Kyle,

Let me put it in terms you and your gang might understand:

Your argument is bullshit.

Here's what they voted on:

"An amendment in the nature of a substitute numbered 4 printed in House Report 111-73 which seeks to spend $4.8 trillion less than the President's budget over 10 years; sets spending levels which are 20.7% of GDP; freezes non-defense/non- veterans spending; borrows $3.6 trillion less than the President's budget over 10 years; seeks to hold debt to 65% of GDP; and puts forward a long-term budget to bring debt under control. The substitute also seeks to permanently extend 2001 and 2003 tax relief; permanently fix the Alternative Minimum Tax; create 2.1 million more jobs than the Democrats' budget; suspend capital gains taxes through 2010; and reduce the corporate tax rate to 25% from the current 35%. The amendment also seeks to provide $5 billion over the President's budget for Defense; $540 million over the President's budget for Veterans; to save $50 billion annually for war or unmet defense needs; and provide for health and retirement security by reforming programs to ensure they provide benefits for future beneficiaries."

Gee. Shockingly nothing about eliminating Medicare. Oh, I'm sure your pals at the DNC will try to conjure some plan about the "reform" terms into "Attacking Seniors!"

But of course, Rep. Terry has voted to strengthen Medicare during his entire Congressional career. So of course the generic ad's claims are ridiculous, unbelievable and not worthy of consideration.

But hey, I see that you ate it all up and saw it as the silver bullet of the campaign!

Good luck and all that.

Thanks for reading, and please, come again.


Nate E said...

"But of course, Rep. Terry has voted to strengthen Medicare during his entire Congressional career."

I didn't know Terry was in favor of government run health care,this new development is interesting...

Anonymous said...

Lee Terry is not popular in mid-Omaha

Kyle Michaelis said...


The website of the House Republicans explains that, under their budget:

"When those who are currently aged 54 years and younger turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, they will receive a premium subsidy from the government to purchase a Medicare-approved health plan of their choice"....

This is the privatization of Medicare. It is the end of Medicare, and Lee Terry voted for it. While Republicans would have kept the name "Medicare" on a radically different program, their idea of it wouldn't have kept faith with America's seniors.

This isn't the "silver bullet" of the 2010 campaign. This is just one more instance of Lee Terry voting lock-step with Republican leadership rather than defending the interests of 2nd District voters. The only thing that's really telling about this particular vote is your own unwillingness to defend the right-wing ideology that motivated it.

Street Sweeper said...

Well, let's see: If it's "Medicare approved", that means Medicare must still be around to approve it.

And Medicare is strengthened.

Which makes Lee a "Friend of Seniors".

I'm glad we all agree on this.

Anonymous said...

SS - Medicare would not exist as it does today. It would expand Medicare Advantage, which costs more in tax dollars and is bringing private insurers into to run Medicare. The subsidies would not cover the costs of getting the private insurance. If it went the way of MA today, it would cost, at minimum at least 18% more per participant. But the result would be that more and more would lose their insurance.

Terry wanted to do the same thing for "reform" of the entire system. It's just giving subsidies to insurance companies.

In short - it would end Medicare.

Anonymous said...

Per Sec. 301 of the Republican preposed alternative:

Legislation shall be enacted that:...

Preserves the current Medicare program for individuals 55 and older. For those under 55, the resolution gradually converts the current Medicare program into one in which Medicare beneficiaries receive a premium support payment--equivalent to 100 percent of the cost of the Medicare benefit--to purchase health coverage from a menu of Medicare-approved plans, similar to options available to Members of Congress. The premium support payment is risk-adjusted to increase with age and health status, and income-related so low-income seniors receive extra support. Premiums continue to be based on an all-beneficiary average, so the phasing of the younger population into the new program will not increase premiums for the population continuing in the existing program.

Translation: the amount given to everyone will be what is set per person for Medicare, but there is nothing that is set forth in any way that controls the amounts that insurance companies will be able to charge the participants. Any difference will have to be made up by the individuals, and if they are poor, they are SOL.

And that is what Lee Terry voted for.

Anonymous said...

The reason Lee Terry's margin of victory has been narrowing is that fewer Republicans are voting for him in each election. You can see that if you look at other R vs. D races vote totals on the same ballot. So Tom White, author of the no age limit child safe haven law, is the next Dem that's sure to unseat Lee??? He's about one step above your unemployed trust fund, no longer Democrat candidate the last 2 times around. Lee needs to be more concerned about winning the Republican primary if Matt Sakalosky's gains more traction.

NE Voter said...


Septemberfest receives taxpayer support for the same reason your taxpayer dollars go to:

River City Roundup

Henry Doorly Zoo

Josylyn Art Museum

Strategic Air and Space Museum

As my grandfather used to say, "Them that got, get."

Get it?

Anonymous said...

This Sakalosky guy is spending all his time running around yelling, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling". No one wants to hear that and it is not constructive to the debate.

This guy considers himself an expert in the healthcare world? All he does is collect checks from big hospital corporations that have taken money from the federal government to bring their patient records into the 21st Century. Just about anyone in the 25 to 35 year old age bracket can do the same thing, unfortunately, they are too busy waiting tables to pay their student loans, to be able to start a business from scratch. Believe me, you can have a whole different life if you aren't pulled back with 10 years of student loans, most people could probably afford a house payment if not for all the debt incurred during college.

As far as the medicare thing goes? Have you not noticed how many people this Summer told you that they do not want government run healthcare? They want to pick their own plan. Pay attention to the polling. Securing medicare for current, and close to retirement seniors is exactly what the plan you posted as being owned by the Republicans does (I have not researched this, I am only going on your honest posting in your post). I am over 40 and barring any health emergency, I intend for my husband and I to work well into our 70's (with, hopefully, lots of vacations in between). I am not bothered by a change in the way medicare is administered.

Heck, Members of Congress are suppose to have the best healthcare in the world, why wouldn't I want to buy into that?

As for Midtown? Thank goodness Barrett's Barleycorn isn't in West O'!

Anonymous said...

And, just to be clear, which Party risked (and some say lost) their Majority to pass the Prescription Drug Benefit for Seniors?

The Republicans stood up for Seniors that were in need, the Democrats spent millions of dollars in negative PR advertising trying to ensure its failure.

The only thing that failed was the Democrats attempts to discredit an assistance program for a group of citizens LEAST able to increase their income in the face of higher costs. It's not like my 87 year old grandma can just pick up a couple of extra shifts a month to pay for new medicine for a new ailment.

Then again, maybe the doctors just prescribe more medicine because it is easier than actually testing to determine the reason for the ailment. Sound familiar? Thanks for the talking points Mr. President.

Anonymous said...

Nate--the total GOP ind. $$$ was $500k. The total Dem ind. $$$ was $1 mil--twice as much.

Watch the DCCC make only a token effort for White this time.

Anonymous said...

Dogless County Bored also voted our tax dollars to fund the Mexican Independence Day parade. Can ANYONE explain THAT?!!

Anonymous said...


What hasn't been said about this one vote is it would spend $4.8 trillion less over 10 years than Obama/Dem budgets.

We could use more people to vote like that. Keep up the good work, Lee!

Anonymous said...

Democrats are hoping at the very least that Tom White can damage Lee Terry and give him a competitive race. Democrats believe this will set them up for the ultimate victory in 2012 when Obama will be back on the ballot and increase Democratic turnout numbers dramatically. As well, the 2nd Dist could be refigured by then to cut off more Republican parts of Bellevue.

Either way: Lee Terry will be out in 2010 or 2012

I can't wait!

Six(Now Eight) Dollar Parker said...

I hope you Hal Daub lovers remember that the person who said we would never have to use tax dollars for the Qwest Center while the City was issuing general obligation bonds quaranteed by the tax revenues of the city was none other than Hal Daub.You can't blame Suttle for this one. It's in the bond indentures. I for one am still glad we have the Qwest Center. It's still the convention center that is the drain.

One Out In The Third said...

One a side note...Why is it every time I call Senator Nelson's office in Kearney...it goes right to an answering machine?

Does he have caller ID and screening software in a computer that just sends me to his answering machine because he knows I am going to leave him an earful re: Obamacare...Cap and Trade...Card Check?

Maybe he should use some of his stimulus earmarks to hire someone to answer his phones? Boost the Kearney economy a little. Maybe he could use some of that turkey restoration money he wants to spend to hire someone? He must be killing them left and right out on his farm.

The funny thing is after I don't leave a message and hang up I get a return call about 10 minutes later.

Here...try his Kearney #... 308-293-5818 and see for yourself. While you are at it...let him know how you feel about present day issues.

I get the feeling he is caving in to Obamacare...he wants a "trigger option" built into the plan which in other words says he is ready to vote for some form of Obamacare just to get the monkey off his back.

Nelson even said it will be his decision which way to vote...I thought he represented his constituents? If it makes any difference Senator...a rousing majority out here in the Third (over 90 percent in Adrian Smith's conference call vote) say no to Obamacare in any way...shape or form...all you have to do is listen.

Anonymous said...

One in the third--

same thing w/Tom White's office except the call is switched to his law firm in Omaha. People think he's on the job in Lincoln but he's not.

Anonymous said...

Why would he be in Lincoln?
Session is out and due to a couple of inventions such as cell phones and the internet, he can be in touch with people even when they're in different cities. It's fascinating stuff. A state senator who has nothing better to do in September than hang around the Capitol is a state senator who doesn't need to make their own living. I'm glad White actually works in the "off-season".

Right Wing Professor said...

Medicare was partially privatized in 1997, with the creation of Medicare Advantage (a.k.a.Medicare Part C). (Hmm, who was prez. in 1997?). 19% of Medicare recipients are enrolled in this plan, all voluntarily. And of course Medicare Part D always has been private, with a government subsidy.

Right Wing Professor said...

Translation: the amount given to everyone will be what is set per person for Medicare, but there is nothing that is set forth in any way that controls the amounts that insurance companies will be able to charge the participants. Any difference will have to be made up by the individuals, and if they are poor, they are SOL.

That's how Medicare Advantage currently works. That is what Bill Clinton signed into law. The poor are so SOL they disproportionately join Medicare Advantage over regular Medicare A+B.

Don't you guys ever read about the subject you're so anxious to share your opinions of?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:44--here's a radical concept--the senator's staff are in the office in the Capitol working for the district, and not out campaigning for another office. How about that?

All the other offices are functioning in the non-session, why not White's?

Anonymous said...

Tom White is in it to win it!

Anonymous said...

Just like Hillary!

GeosUser said...

Obama may be on the 2012 ballot but he's likely to face the same fate as Jimmy Carter...losing in a landslide. If inflation is up, interest rates are up, deficits are still the rule and unemployment is 5% or more...bye bye Obama along with Dem majorities in both the House and Senate. Tom White can ride that wave all the way back to at his law office.

Anonymous said...

OOITT - Nelson’s office is a mobile office in Kearney, in that one staff is assigned to the area and there is no physical office. You call that person directly. They respond as soon as they can. If you want a physical office, Nelson’s main office is in Lincoln, or you can call DC. The advantage is that the person goes to you, rather than requiring people to go to the office for help in the rural areas. It results in better, more personalized contact, and has been successful across the country in rural areas. He’s done this from the start of his first term. It also saves money on rent and staffing of a physical office.

Anonymous said...

Where is White's Leg Office staff. I thought all State Senators got 2 staff members? Why don't they answer phones? Aren't they paid to be full time, not part time while in session.

Is it legal for his law office to take information from citizens in need of State of Nebraska assistance? What do they do with all the contact information? Does the Law office keep a database that they are putting all these constituents into to later contact about legal services they may not even need? Do they get forwarded to his Congressional Campaign staff to be harassed into supporting him?

This is wrong.

Anonymous said...

The major issues with MA came under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (Denny Hastert‘s bill). Again, under a majority of Republican rule. That really brough about the problems with MA. It was passed with only 16 Democrats voting for it in the House, and 43 Republicans joined by 11 Democrats in the Senate. That bill further limited MA, not only putting out more money, but allowing the same limitations and rejections the private insurers do now for traditional plans, and limiting the coverage that is provided by traditional Medicare.

The plan never lived up to the Republican promise. They were supposed to operate more efficiently and curtail the explosive growth of Medicare spending because, the thinking went, the private sector could do anything better than federal bureaucrats, and for less money. MA insurers charge the government more money, not less, requiring a taxpayer subsidy that averages $1,138 more per person on top of what traditional Medicare pays providers. MA plans also tend to limit the doctors that seniors can see, just as traditional insurers do, and if the person goes “out-of-network“, payment can be rejected. The GAO has also found that MA members pay higher co-pays when in the hospital.

Since 2003, there has been over $44 Billion in extra spending to MA plans that would not have occurred under traditional Medicare. A recent examination by the Associated Press found that "profits at the insurers offering Medicare Advantage have far outpaced expectations, and their expenses to treat clients have been far lower than projected."

But it’s the Republicans, and Lee Terry, that would like to see this kind of plan expand out to everyone. So if you want less coverage for twice the price, Lee Terry is your guy. That means you want to end Medicare as we know it and let the private insurance companies take over, doing what they do to everyone else now.

Anonymous said...

Funny that White would accuse Congressman Terry of not working with Democrats to get the job done.

Wasn't Lee Terry just voted one of the top 10 Republicans the Democrats on Capitol Hill like to work with?

Also, wasn't White the guy that refused to listen to a Republican fellow State Senator when he was being advised to put an age limit in the Nebraska Safe Haven Law? Thus, embarrassing Nebraska across the nation.

White is well known to be one of the biggest Party hacks in the Legislature. This just goes to show that the Dems don't care what their candidate believes in just as long as they're willing to where the D of the Party around their neck. Didn't that Covalt guy say the same thing about Esch the other day? He didn't care what he said about the Democrat Party, he just wanted him to come home to him?

Pathetic and full of hypocrisy!

Anonymous said...

Tom White will win because;

He's a moderate Democrat - pro-business, pro-life, anti-tax

The 2nd District is becoming more blue

The National Dems will pump money into the race

There is no real excitement and passion for Lee Terry. He's boring, he's been in the House FOREVER (thanks for breaking your term limits pledge Lee) and has not accomplished anything of significance.

We will reject David Boomer's negative, smear-tactics and gutter attack politics this time

Lee Terry has an primary opponent who will take up
precious time and resources

White 51%
Terry 49%

Anonymous said...

Good one 1:45 pm. Plus, Tom is eye candy. Lee is....well...Lee is.

Street Sweeper said...

"Tom is eye candy"???

And that comment, in a nutshell, sums up the Dem's myopia on the subject of Tom White.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sweeper. You're sweet, too.

Street Sweeper said...

Here's suma that eye-candy baby. Oh yeah, and here's a little more. Yeah, you know it.

Right Wing Professor said...

Looks like somebody left the eye-candy in a hot car for a few hours.

Anonymous said...

I've lost track of this discussion.

Anonymous said...

best eye-candy candidates;

Amanda McGill, Kim Robak, Jane Flemming-Kleeb, all Democrats ~ We win! Democrats are better!

Anonymous said...

Lee Terry certainly won't win any beauty contests any time soon.

L said...

He looks like a frankenstein-ed cross between Stephen King and Al Franken, no?

Oh mander said...

OK, not defending the ad, and obviously I'm entering the conversation late, but I'm siding w/ Kyle on this.

The description of the ammendment that SS provided is not possible. How could a freeze on domestic spending at a time when a record number of seniors are entering the Medicare system possibly "provide for health and retirement security by reforming programs to ensure they provide benefits for future beneficiaries."????

Street Sweeper said...

I don't think anyone claimed that Lee is "eye candy".

...Though glad to see that the Dems here would vote for say, Sarah Palin over a Barbara Mikulski.

Oh, and no more links please kids, or I will delete.

(Basically I don't want to have to police every link put up. Sorry, that's the deal.)

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry I brought up eye candy. Come on if he were a Republican, he'd be....well...he wouldn't be a Republican.

One Out On The Third said...

Look at what the "eye candy" approach got Scott Kleeb. Like I said...look what it got Scott Kleeb.

I look better hung over than White looks sober. We call it "rode hard and put up wet" out here in the Third.