Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Governor Dave's choice

In a recent story regarding the bill in the Nebraska legislature that would provide prenatal health services for pregnant illegal immigrants, Governor Dave Heineman said
...he arrived at his position for “policy” rather than political reasons...
While we understand the statement, it is of course not true. Because not considering politics in your decision, is a political decision in itself -- when you're in politics.

In other words, every decision the Governor makes in his job has political implications, whether he wants them to or not. Same goes with nearly every elected spot there is. That's just the way it works.

So let's examine the Governor's stance on LB 1110 (did KFAB sponsor this bill?) and what it means.


The Governor has said his view of the bill is based on the following reasons:
(Btw, this was in an OWH article that is no longer up on their site. Wth?)
    1) A year ago, the Legislature gave 44-0 approval to LB 403, which bars giving state-funded benefits to illegal immigrants. Granting prenatal benefits to illegal immigrants turns that law upside down, he said. “Did you mean it last year?” he asked of lawmakers. 
    2) Thirty-five states don't provide such aid to mothers. 
    3) Spending between $6 million and $7 million over the next 2¼ years to cover prenatal services for illegal immigrants takes money from other state priorities, such as K-12 education. 
    4) He is skeptical of claims that spending money on prenatal services will save money later. One group estimated that $800 in prenatal services would save $2,300 in health care costs during a child's first year. Heineman said he hasn't heard one doctor say that the state could reduce services if the bill were passed.
Of these, it's really number 1, that we believe hits the issue for him.

Number 2 doesn't matter. Number 3, while maybe true, doesn't really hit it either. This isn't a budget issue. And number 4 addresses the other side's argument, which isn't really his argument.

So for Governor Dave it gets down to: Nebraska taxpayers should not give further services to illegal immigrants.

The Pro sides states, "well, the kid born is going to be a citizen, so why not?" (By the way, it always kills us when the Pro-Choice people make this argument, but it mysteriously disappears when the actual abortion issue surfaces...but we digress.)

While this is true, it begs the raises another question though, right? Why is the illegal immigrant mother in the U.S. in the first place? If she goes back to her home in Sweden before the baby is born, then the baby isn't an American because he received prenatal care in the U.S.

So Heineman's standpoint is, again, Nebraska should not knowingly give illegal immigrants tax payer services, which would be an incentive for more illegal immigrants to come to Nebraska.  (And we add the "knowingly" to toss away the argument that "they are already using other services -- roads, police protection, water fountains -- so why not one more?")


The argument for the bill (opposing Heineman) is: The mother is going to have a baby here. If it helps the baby why not give it essentially the same assistance before it is born that you will give it after it is born? If the baby would be a citizen, and therefore qualify for public assistance post natal, then providing the same assistance prenatal shouldn't be that big of a leap.

That argument is almost immediately followed by the one that says if you provide prenatal care now, you will save money down the road for future problems after birth. Nearly every group is stating this, though Heineman seems to be asking for the proof. (This would seem to be pretty easy to chart since there are states on both sides of this law.)

The full-on Pro Life position is that care for the unborn should be given, no matter the immigrant status. They are essentially saying that it doesn't matter if the unborn baby is an illegal immigrant (and for argument's sake, you would have to say that an UNborn child is an illegal, right?). You should support life and providing prenatal care does that.


So now the politics of it all.

Heineman has a bit of a sticky situation on this almost automatically. Many say that he beat Tom Osborne back in the 2006 Republican Primary based on the immigration issue.

Osborne was in favor of giving in-state college tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants. Heineman was against it, essentially saying that illegal immigrants shouldn't be rewarded for the unlawful act of border jumping. Osborne said that those children shouldn't be "hurt" because of the sins of their parents. Arguably Osborne lost the Primary based on this position.

And when you look at it, the questions on LB1110 are very similar at the core.

Should (unborn) children who didn't make the choice of where to "live", get the benefits of living in Nebraska as if they had been there legally?

Let's go back to the assumption that an UNborn child (in this situation) is an illegal immigrant, until they are born. So the argument that you can either pay now or pay later is really an economics issue. It was the same issue on the college tuition argument, i.e., "Wouldn't you rather have an educated illegal immigrant, than a non-educated one?" (One facet of that argument anyway.)

But that, again, jumped the gun of, "Are you OK with illegal immigrants being here, or the concept that such a law may attract more illegal immigrants?"

Of course, the strictly Pro Life position of Nebraska Right to Life and others is that this can be a life or death issue so screw the issue of where they're from.

This is the most compelling argument, and anti-LB1110 response seems to be that illegal immigrants can get the aid elsewhere if they have to. In the end they say, Nebraska taxes shouldn't be paying for this, no matter how noble it may be.


And Heineman? Well, this pits him against one of his main constituencies, the Pro Life groups. Does Heineman lose their support over this? Hmm.

As far as their support goes -- if he is considering this -- he could estimate that Pro Lifers are generally more conservative, and those who are more conservative are generally against providing services to illegal immigrants. So he may figure that where those groups have a split of opinion, they will give him a pass.

He also may figure that his opponent in the 2010 Governor's race isn't going to topple him on this issue, so he should stick to his guns on the basic principle of no additional services to illegals.

But...what about 2012? If he is up against Ben Nelson -- could Nebraska Right to Life sit it out over their beef with both Heineman and Nelson? Could that cost Heineman the election at that point? Maybe, maybe not. (Frankly 2012 is too far away to read, but it could in theory become an interesting question.)


So would Heineman have had anything to lose politically by going the other way on this issue?  Couldn't he have been pro-LB 1110?

He could have made a conservative argument that it is a Pro Life issue and an economics issue and then hoped that the illegal immigration forces couldn't stir up too much dust on it anyway.

Sure he could have then been labeled a hypocrite by the anti-illegal groups, but would their denial of support have affected Heineman? Who are they going to go with? Lakers? Nelson? And would it matter?

Of course Heineman may get to have his cake and eat it too. He may have a whip count that says the bill is going to pass over his veto.  In that case he can say that he is against providing incentives for illegal immigrants to come to Nebraska, but as Governor will carry out his duties to direct those to provide prenatal care as per the law. And then hope that the issue subsides.

Don't know how that would sit with the Right to Life folks, but it's an interesting side note.


So does Heineman win or lose?

Well, he can easily say he is being consistent with his previous positions on illegal immigration. And he can point to his other Pro Life stances as well as argue that the Pro Life position isn't the overarching one here. Or he can count on the fact that this is a bill that splits conservatives, but in the end, he is the only conservative around for the next two big elections.

Make no mistake, this is a bit of a hairy political decision for Dave Heineman.

The question is, does this spider have legs?


As the comment board rages on this one, here is what we ask:

1) While you will no doubt want to argue the merits of the bill, please also try to give your opinion of the political ramifications involved. That is still the gist of this blog.

2) As always, try to keep it clean, not personal, don't copy and paste from other sources, and no links please.

3) And to steal from Jim Rome, please, Have a take and don't suck.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm indeed a sticky wicket.

It will be interesting to see how the Legislature deals with this.

GeosUser said...

This is a case where basic logic is inline with good public policy...and the politics in NE. That is, illegal immigrants are not eligible for taxpayer funded services. When a pregnant woman applying for medicaid-funded prenatal care is identified, she should be detained, reported to ICE, processed by ICE and deported...along with her unborn baby. If Nebraska Right To Life, the Catholic Bishops, OWH,, want illegal immigrants to have free prenatal care, then they should actively and aggressively promote/support charities that do so. If using taxpayer dollars, collected through the police power of the state, are used to fund services for illegal aliens then why aren't the above groups also lobbying to double/triple/quadruple both the state sales and income taxes so we can provide free taxpayer funded prenatal care in NE and everywhere else? What's next after LB110 if it passes and survives a veto? People are already leaving NE because taxes are too high. Just how much more incentive do you think an even higher percentage will need to follow?

Street Sweeper said... do you think Heineman and/or everyone else fares politically in all of this?

Right Wing Professor said...

Why is the illegal immigrant mother in the U.S. in the first place? If she goes back to her home in Sweden before the baby is born, then the baby isn't an American because he received prenatal care in the U.S.

That's a no brainer. Sweden has socialized health care. We've been hearing for a year that socialized health care is vastly superior to our own health care system. If we didn't deport the mother immediately to Sweden, we'd be doing the mother and her unborn child a grave injury.

By the way, I know we're discussing Swedes here, but did you know Mexico also has a universal public health care system?

Right Wing Professor said...

I don't think it will hurt Heineman. In 2012, the state's financial situation will be no better, and possibly worse, than today. If he says the bill is (1) encouraging illegal immigration and (2) a budget buster, it will be a winning issue for him.

Bud said...

I am a democrat. And I believe if Tom Osborne would have been elected instead of the curret guy; at least we would have a honest man who cares about people has our leader and not how many votes making decisions would cost or get him. So lets do what you super right wingers want arrest these mothers when they ask for help and send them back! Do it. Send these people back to their mother country no matter where it is. So if some one has to go back to Red China and live in that type of environment so be it. Don't give any one a chance at the "good life and freedom" I just don't have the stomach for it. I doubt our state legislature will either. Why not just force people to have manditory abortion if they need help in taking care of a baby.

Right Wing Professor said...


I have students who want to return to 'Red China'. It's their home, and they like it. Don't be such a bigot.

NE Voter said...

To Geo and the other "Deport them All" supporters.

Up or Down Vote: With anywhere from 15,000,000 to 25,000,000 undocumented immigrants in the U.S., will you support a tax increase to fund and maintain the massive new beaurocracy that would be created to support the "deport them all" program.

For starters, this new agency would need:

- Thousands of new government employees

- Massive new spending on vehicles; aircraft; etc.

- Massive new spending on detention and transport centers.

- The list goes on and on.

If America has the courage to actually confront its immigration problem, it will do what Tip O'Neill and Reagan did -- A form of amnesty.

Because the problem has been ignored for 25 years (Reagan's amnesty), some path to citizenship/amnesty is the only practical solution.

As for Tinyman's dilemma, he'll take his chances with NRL and hope for the veto/override combo.

Sadly, the seriousness of the problem is overshadowed by the Governor's petty expediencies.

GeosUser said...

As I've explained elsewhere, if the majority of illegal aliens come here for jobs and the jobs for them go away, guess what they will do? Right, they will probably self deport if they can't avail themselves of taxpayer funded social services. Governor Heineman is not only making a smart political move by not supporting this proposal but he's also doing the right thing on behalf of the taxpayers of NE. Tom White, Gwen Howard, won't suffer at all for the attempt as they are just flacking for their nanny state liberal/progressive base of voters...which is also a smart political move for them unless they have an opponent who is willing and able to effectively beat them over the head with this issue during their next campaign...if they aren't term limited out.

Julie Schmit-Albin said...

I think what drives people nuts is why can't DHHS (already a portal of entry for services) talk to ICE to get the process rolling on those that they know to be illegal? Why can't the Governor support prenatal services for these babies as long as they are here while reiterating that DHHS (and any other State agency that comes in contact with illegal aliens) will do whatever it needs to do to see that folks get sent through the proper channels if they are here illegally? Politically? Maybe NRL PAC just sits out the Governor's race. I know LB 1110 will be part of our PAC discussions this month, I just don't know how much weight our Board will give it. Will it be a deal-breaker like cloning? Don't know until our Board talks. It does appear that the Governor feels the anti-immigration crowd is so massive and organized that any political cover he would gain by hanging with the pro-life position would be trumped by the backlash he would receive from the anti-immigration crowd. I didn't know there was an organized "movement" for anti-immigration unless you count random Tea Parties, etc. Wonder if those folks want to come out en masse on a cold day in January at the Capitol to provide politicians a forum? Just sayin'...

Pro-Life Voter said...

Pro Life means pro life. End of discussion. As President Bush would say, your are either with us or against us. It is that simple. This issue is black and white. There is no grey area.

If he does not support the cause on this issue, he is no different than planned parenthood or any of the other pro choice organizations, pro-life until it requires some sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Governor Dave is prolife for pregnant illegals, mother and child should live happily together in their country of origin.

macdaddy said...

Pro-life means pro-life. That's about as meaningless a statement as there is. I hesitate to comment on this because this is a tempest in a teapot. This is the only thing that the Democrats have to try to bring Heineman's numbers down and so that's why we're seeing all these letters to the editor. This will not hurt Heineman's numbers and in fact may improve them. If NERTL wants to ding Heineman over this issue, so be it. After working to get Senator Nelson re-elected, they don't have a whole lot of street cred.

Anonymous said...

For years the Republicans have been claiming to be "pro-life" and you would believe that they cared about the unborn and that they really believed that life began at conception etc. Yet when they are given the opportunity to actually do something. They don't. Yes Heineman can have a list of rather pathetica alibis that some might actually buy. However, at the end of the day he really believes "life begins at conception and ends when he needs an excuse to pander to the anti-immigrant crowd."
You notice that Dave is not really doing anything else about immigration like going after the businesses that hire them and essentially encourage illegal immigration. No he will beat himself in the chest tell you about how tough he is on immigration and that will be all that he needs to do quell Geosuser and his anti-immigrant crowd.
Frankly, this exposes Heineman for the fraud he has always been. He conforms perfectly to the sterotype of a valueless pol who has no principles except what will get him elected.
Interesting you mentioned Sweden in your example. If the "illegal immigrant were from Sweden I don't think race-baiters would be that concerned about them."

Nick H. said...

To all those who say Heineman isn't being "pro life", where does being pro life end?

How much free stuff do illegal immigrants get in order to be "pro life"? Through childbirth? Through high school? Through college? Through unemployment? Through retirement? Through the funeral home?

I've always respected the pols who say, "I'm anti-abortion" and leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

This is not a pro-life issue. The choice is not free prenatal care or an abortion. If prenatal care is denied here, these parents can access to care elsewhere. Like their home country. Or Canada.

The pro-life issue is a red herring.

Anonymous said...

Let's face the facts. The Gov. is neither prolife or anti illegal alien. He's pro Dave Heineman. For him the debate over when life starts has nothing to do with birth or conception. He knows that life starts when an individual registeres to vote. That even leaves out most 18, 19, and 20 something year olds.

The Gov. has weighed his options on this debate carefully. The real question is where is the bigger voting block. Is it the anti abortion nut jobs or the anti illegal alien nut jobs? Obviously he has determined that the folks that hate Hispanics out number the folkes who want to take over every womans womb.

Java Joe said...

So SS is calling the Gov a liar. I think that is the headline of the post.

The Gov. knows that immigration will be his best route to beat Nelson in 2012. So put into this sticky decision he wants to show that he hates immigrants more than he loves fetuses. And I would assume that Slick Dave already has a deal struck with NRTL that was cut long before he came out with his position.

This was a calculated smart decision by a very good politician. Lousy governor but the guy really knows how to get elected.

Street Sweeper said...

Funny stuff Joe. (I bet you're not even from Java...)

Java Joe said...

Mick -
Actually I grew up on the mean streets of south Java. Luckily we had socialized medicine men.

And yes all my papers are in order.

Street Sweeper said...

Mick? (Jagger?) That's the latest rumor huh? Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Political ramifications? If the pro life movement wishes to make a case, he handed them one for use. You can't be on one side then flip to the other no matter how much you try to spin it as a good thing. It's either or. Ask Ben Nelson.

Anonymous said...

Ne voter is absolutely right. Require all unspent money on all those "shovel ready projects" that haven't broken ground yet to be returned to the Federal Government so that it can all be spent to hire a thousand government workers and purchase a bunch of planes, trains and automobiles to deport every single illegal immigrant that shows up in a medical facility that receives or requests government funds for payment of services.

Problem, Nancy Pelosi and her gang actually made it impermissible to ask if someone is in this country illegally when they are asking for government assistance. Just look at the application for free and reduced lunch in the public school system.

They can either leave their child here to be raised as an American with a family friend or they can take that child that was born in America back home with them and he or she can come back to America at the age of 18. They can build a life and apply to sponsor their mother and father that sacrificed everything to make their child a U.S. citizen.

BlahBlahBlah said...

I don't think this issue will hurt him against EBN in 2012. This issue isn't as front and center as Health Care and the dem agenda in Washington. Obama will be the big issue in 2012. Heineman will tie Ben to Obama/Pelosi. Thats what the election will be about. Besides, after what Ben did to the Right to Lifers, they sure as hell aren't endorsing him again. They may sit out the election, but I don't think Gov Dave will have to worry about Ben getting the endorsement over him.

But if I had to wager some money, I don't think ben will run again in 2012. He'll see the writing on the wall and retire.

One Out In The Third. said...

This is not a pro-life issue. Illegals knowingly walk into a clinic and they now from the get-go Medicaid is there for them and aren't afraid to ask for it. Medicaid is corrupt and broke...Medicare is corrupt and broke and one of the top ten exports out of the U.S. is American dollars to Mexico.

It's time for illegals to (1) be rounded up and sent home and (2) to be responsible for the safety of protection of their children. And in my book the same applies to the trash here legally that knowingly milk the system.

Studies show that if illegals were Americans would see a 3 percent increase in pay.

Medicaid is broke...Medicare is broke and neither work. And the "progressives" want a government controlled health care program for the rest of us. What the hell is wrong with this picture?

Anonymous said...

Off the subject, but news out tonight is that Lee Terry is being targeted by the Dems with their Red to Blue campaign for what's his bucket running against him.

Brian T. Osborn said...


If we took the pro-life issue to its logical conclusion we would be executing all women that have abortions along with the doctors and nurses that do the procedure. After all, isn't the argument that it is "murder?"

If we really wanted to extirpate the illegal aliens and return them to from whence they came, we'd be imprisoning the managers and CEOs of the corporations that bring them here by the busload. Anybody here have the cojones to carry through on that?

As for Gov. Dave, he's just trying to balance his lust for campaign funds from the corporations and the ├╝ber-wealthy with an appeal to the baser instincts of the unwashed masses that control the ballot boxes. Nothing new there, most politicians are more concerned with that than they are in doing the "right" thing.

Anonymous said...

The issue will be how the Senators deal with the issue. Of course the Pro-Choice people will be out in force trying to get the Gov and the newer Senators to make an offhand comment. Either way it will get stink on all who have to deal with it.

Sen. Pankonin already came out against the bill, so let's see how it hurts him in his bid for re-election.

As far as the Gov goes he will be okay.

Right Wing Professor said...

Seems to me, if you really wanted to preserve the health of unborn children, you'd take the $10 million or whatever and send it to Medecins sans Frontieres, who would provide prenatal care overseas to many more women than are covered by the present bill. And that would remove any incentive to illegally immigrate.

Of course, you wouldn't be helping fill the pews of local Catholic churches, or the voter rolls of any local pols.

Bud said...

One out in the third said that wages would go up 3% if you got rid of the illegals. What goofy person thought up that idea. 1. Those jobs are the type that most Americans don't even think about doing any more. They are paid way below the average no matter if ilegalls do them or if Americans do them. Except that you got few Americans doing them. 2. I doubt if there are very many High School kids in Nebraska dreaming about doing stoop labor. I don't know of one person who is an American Citizen who wants to do that type of work. Does any one know of some one ? 3. Why would the large corporations want to encourage paying larger wages when they can get it cheaper? 4. Lets say your right those wages would go up, if you got rid of the illegals. The Corporations would howl untill the cows came in over this. Then some one would want an union. Well we know what you right wingers think about a Union. Then would come benefits and health insurance. Geez real wages and fair working conditions. That is way to much for the rich to want to happen. Have you ever relly wondered who really wants illegals in this country? 5. That the one time we had an amnesty bill it was during the 1980's and a GOP President wanted it. Then just a few years ago Junior wanted one also. You right wingers better not tick off your base and get the RICH mad at you.

Eric said...


If we took the pro-choice issue to its logical conclusion we would be growing organs in fetuses to use in transplants. After all, isn't the argument that a woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body?

Anonymous said...

When a nation is invaded, why would it want to provide maternity care lady invaders?

Brian T. Osborn said...


What are you smoking and where can I get some? Never heard THAT one before, I'd hate to think where you pulled it out of.

I might go one step further. If we castrated all men that impregnated women by coercion, intimidation, rape, or "exercising their matrimonial rights (rape by another name)" we would probably solve 99% of the reasons why abortions become necessary in the first place.

I believe that so long as men are deciding what women should be doing with their bodies, then women should have some say about how men are using theirs. If we get to control their reproductive organs, they should, as a matter of fairness, be able to control ours.

If we are going to return to the Stone Ages, and deprive women of the right they have today of terminating an unwanted pregnancy, then we must also ensure that the child that results is supported, at least financially, by whatever male donated the DNA. With today's technology, that would be extremely easy to prove in a court of law.

Now, by support, I don't mean just the minimum amount as is required today, I mean also paying reparations to the mother for all the added burden of caring for the child to adulthood. If a man doesn't help with diapers, driving the kid to school and being there for their basketball games, helping with homework, etc., then he should also have to pay the going rate to the mother for her services rendered over the lifetime of the child. That wouldn't leave these guys that like to "sow their wild oats" much wiggle room, now would it?

I'm certain that the true conservatives in Sweeper's readership will have to agree with me 100% on this, since it adheres to their oft stated principle of personal responsibility. Right?

Is Gov. Dave willing to go that far? After all, the rule of law MUST prevail.

Eric said...


I don't understand. Are you saying that a woman who wants to grow a fetus inside of her for the purpose of donating the organs shouldn't be allowed to do what she wants with her own body? That sounds awfully oppressive and misogynistic to me.

One Out In The Third said...


Caught you leading off first base a little. In Grand Island at least...most of the illegal population...if illegals attend church...are congregating in spring-up store front churches in the slums downtown and whereever there is a vacant 7-11. Sure there is a presence in the Catholic Church but not to the degree you are implying.

Store front churches are a bane to the people wanting to provide taverns for the newly arrived due to zoning they all congregate in one bar on the east side of town where we usually read about a weekly knifing or shooting. The one-bar concept is probably a good saves wear and tear on police cars and is centrally located with the police station and county jail.

Anonymous said...


Leavenworth's strict no-link policy will not allow you will have to fire up your browser of choice and look for the Borjas Report or Study.

A high power economics professor did a study in Arizona a few years back showing how removing illegals would result in increased wages for legal citizens. If you think illegals are keeping costs might want to reconsider...bought a pound of hamburger lately?

One Out In The Third said...


The world famous "anonymous" has not started his/her own blog. I forgot to type in my monicker. Sorry to confuse everyone.

Anonymous said...

Get out from under your rock. Lee Terry has been a target of the DCCC and the DNC since he got elected. They have always viewed his seat as blue, which is why they spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions, trying to prove it in 2008.

The numbers are close, but it is still Nebraska and we take care of our own no matter how the feds try to "help us out".

The DCCC spent a ton on Esch (which was really all about Obama). The DNC and the Obama Machine spent 4 tons on bleeding the red out of us until we were blue.

It almost worked, but Pelosi, Nelson and a weak Obama ended that pipe dream for the Dems in Nebraska during the last 15 months.

White will fight, mostly because he is a mean SOB, but partly because the national pols will egg him on.

Not everyone that picks a fight ends up winning though, do they.

Shoe Salesman said...


do you really think that most illegal immirants come to the states for pre-natal care??

GeoUser - how, exactly, do we "get rid of the jobs"? Isn't that cutting off our nose to spite our face? have you thought beyond your bigotry to consider the ecnomic impact of "getting rid of jobs"? I do have a solution for you - a very effective way to eliminate jobs would be to put Republicans in charge in Washington again! Wasn't it the Bush Administration that set the policies that lead us to 10% unemployment??
I know, I know, you're gonna say we got to ten percent unemployment when Obama was president. But this president's policies haven't had time to work yet - after all it took eight years of irresponsible economic and budget policy to get us here and eight years of looking the other way on immigration to get to 11 million or 20 million people. Oh right, there were no budget deficits before Obama. He created them all during his inauguration speech right?

On topic: Heineman will pay no ploitical price for his anti-life position becasue NE RTL is in bed with the governor. In fact, I hope they are using birth control becasue there wont be any public funds to abort any accidental love child (thanks, by the way to Ben Nelson). As long as NE RTL continues to be bought and sold by the Republican Party, the gov could perform abortions in his office and be priased by those wingnuts for "saving the life of the mother."

Sweeper, is that the longest post ever? and, why no photo credit. It looks like it was taken by someone very close to the governor, know what I mean?

Uncle Wiggily said...

"While this is true, it begs the question though, right?"

Aarrgghh ... et tu, Sweeper?

Properly understood, ‘begging the question’ is a logical fallacy (also known as petitio principii, or “assuming the initial point“) wherein the proposition to be proved is assumed or contained, either implicitly or explicitly, in the original premise. It does not and never has meant "raise the question". Ever. Never. Period.

See my post over at the Notebook entitled "Begging your pardon ..."

OK ... I will now straighten my skirts, get down off my soapbox, and carry on.

Street Sweeper said...

OK, I always hated that phrase anyway, so I'll edit. Just for you. But that begs the question: Why are you still kicking your dog?
(Or is that a non-sequitur? I can never be sure...)

Street Sweeper said...

Shoey at 9:53,

Photo taken off the interwebs via my pal Google, and slightly cropped and shopped. With a little due diligence you could find it too.

And just so you and a few others can sleep peacefully at night: I don't use three initials, nor does anyone associated with this blog. Know what I mean?


Anonymous said...

Who's RightWingMassa?

Jamie said...

Shoe Salesman,

I'm confused about how you think the NERTL is essentially a subsidiary of the NEGOP... I mean, the RTL ED came out and said when she got the job she's making it apparent she won't be their lackey. Not to mention she's come out and said she opposes The Governor's stance on this issue...

Anonymous said...

SS and others don't get the pro-choice position. While we support a mother's right to choose, that includes the choice to keep the child and carry it to term. LB 1110 is a bill that everyone can get behind because it's morally right to do. Punishing the 100% dependent child for being in the wrong womb is just plain wrong. If you really want to tackle the illegal immigration issue, you have to go after the source of the problem: employers. As long as it's more cost effective to hire them and pay fines on occassion, illegals will continue to be recruited to this state. Too bad Johanns kicked the feds out when they tried to do Operation Vanguard - with Heineman's support. But Con Agra didn't like being targeted, so Mike and Dave whined and squealed until they got the big bad federal government to leave. Until big employers are targeted and the market is dried up for illegals to find jobs, they will continue to come. And as long as Republicans turn a blind eye to that practice, it is the duty of of all moral citizens to ensure that every child - including those mother has chosen to carry to term - should have a right to healthy start in life. Any position short of that is souless and immoral.

Brian T. Osborn said...

Eric 7:33,

You're putting words in my mouth. I did NOT say that, now did I? I just assumed your logic was stimulated by over-consumption of God's herbal delights. Your attempt to buttress your argument by continuing along those lines has convinced me I was correct.

I no more want a woman deciding what I can do with MY body, than I want to decide what she can do with HERS. What we decide, by mutual consent, to do is another matter altogether.

What I DID say was that we should hold the fathers of those "unwanted" children responsible should the current law change, thus requiring them to be brought to full term. It still takes two to tango, and BOTH parents should be responsible for any life that is created ... until that child is an adult.

As for the use of organs for transplant. I am an organ donor. If you aren't you should be. I honestly never heard of such a thing as children being conceived for the purpose of organ donation, except maybe as a plot line for Grey's Anatomy. But then, we all know those Hollywood screenwriters enjoy a bowl of Maui Wowee from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:58PM: That's not a bucket. That's a bonafide float looking for a parade.

Eric said...


I am an organ donor as well.

So as long as we agree that this is perfectly within the pro-choice ethic, where is the outrage that women are not allowed to grow hearts, livers, etc. for the purpose of organ donation? After all, there are lives to be saved!

Eric said...


Thanks for pointing that out. Every time I read such a statement, it's like nails on a chalkboard. Given that this is Street Sweeper's bully pulpit, I didn't want to be the one doing the bullying.

Jamie said...


First of all, it used to be illegal to have abortions. That's what led to Roe v. Wade. That's why pro-lifers want it, uh, repealed.

Second of all, it's a lot harder to link CEOs and whatnot to importing illegal aliens. They do get in trouble for hiring them, but it's much easier to go after the illegals themselves.

Third of all, can you blame the Governor for going after campaign money? If he's getting funds from both corporations and individual donors, doesn't that mean he's probably doing what his constituents want?

Brian T. Osborn said...


Some of the more recent developments in the field of tissue generation indicate that we are on the cusp of having the capability of growing spare parts within the bodies of males, females, and in glorified petri dishes.

Will the organs grown in an extra corporeal manner be considered "life" and require the protections afforded by law? Or will they have all the legal status of a half-eaten Big Mac, much as the current "spare" in-vitro fertilized eggs do?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes BTO your comments hit dead center.

Brian T. Osborn said...


1st: You are correct ... abortions "used to be illegal." It used to be illegal for blacks to drink from the same water fountain as whites. It used to be illegal for women to vote.

2nd: It may be harder to nail down CEOs for their responsibilities, but I differ on whether the "trouble" they get into is sufficient. If it were, they wouldn't be doing it, would they? As for it being "easier" to round up the illegals ... well, yes, they are easier to catch. However, it costs us a LOT of money to round up tens of thousands of illegals and run them through the legal process of returning them to their countries of origin. Think of all the law enforcement, jails, courts, publicly funded attorneys, welfare, family services, etc., that it takes to process them back out of the country. I believe locking up a FEW CEOs would have a far greater impact, and a greatly diminished cost.

3rd: Can "I" blame the Gov. (or any other politician) for going after the campaign money? I'm happy to answer that one. Why, yes I can, and no, I don't believe that the constant pursuit of ever increasing campaign funds is what his constituents hired him to do. Nebraska would be far better off if Gov. H. spent more time worrying about governing Nebraska, and less about getting re-elected.

macdaddy said...

Anon 11:03: you may want to check the newspaper, because Obama is now in charge of enforcing immigration law. I'm pretty sure he's a Democrat. As for the Republicans not enforcing when Bush was in the White House, well, Bush's position was identical to Obama's and he was hammered by the Right for being pro-amnesty. Very reluctantly, he made INS start enforcing the law and so they started doing work-place raids and got e-Verify rolling. I'm pretty sure that some of those raids were here in Nebraska. Did you miss those? How many workplace raids has Obama carried out? None. How many will he carry out? None. How many CEOs will he go after on this issue? None.

Jamie said...

Well, just because the legality of a certain act changes doesn't mean that it's not it's change for the better. While I obviously agree with the examples you provided, you seem like the type of guy who would disagree with SCOTUS' recent ban on the regulation of corporations' campaign contributions.

On the second point, I can't disagree with you. The Governor, and others with power equal to his, should set an example by further punishing the executives of companies who hire illegal immigrants, if it is evident that they knowingly had a say in it. However, I imagine multi-million dollar housing corporations aren't the ones who actually higher them. I imagine it's the lower-level management that does that.

My point on you saying the Governor is doing this simply for campaign contributions... Why would constituents and other donors contribute to his campaign if they disagreed with his policies? He is one of the most popular elected officials in the country. He didn't do that by whoring himself to special interests. Not to mention, why would he care about his campaign? Who does he have to spend his money against? Christopher Geary in the primary? Mark Lakers in the general? C'mon.

Too Bad said...

Where is Dave's neck? Sweeper--why are so hot and bothered about how he fares politically in all this? He'll be ok. He'll just keep on doing his ah-shucks Dave thing, gracing and empowering the world with his leadership capabilities.

I agree with Bud--Tom Osborne would have made a fine and creative and inspiring governor. He has shown through his thoughtful actions the importance of mentoring youth and what a difference it makes, for one thing. What was Dave's platform--anybody remember? It's too bad good old Dave came through with the anti-immigration bs to summon the racists forth for some politically polite and acceptable activism at the ballot box. He should be ashamed of himself, but obviously he's not.

He should also be ashamed of himself for politicizing the office of Nebraska State Treasurer in the first place--the roots of his perennial candidate status. SENATOR Heineman??! Why in the world would the People want that. . . Wake up, Nebraska!

Oh and by the way--as BTO has subtly pointed out, this is really not a pro-life issue. It's really not an immigration issue, either. . . At it's heart, it's MISOGYNIST bull$%&*. This state--and this country--does not respect the women who live here.

Street Sweeper said...

Why are we discussing the political ramifications of the Governor's position?


I don't know, but as soon as I come up with a reason, I'll be sure to put it in the title of our blog.

Thanks for reading (some of it anyway...)!

Right Wing Professor said...

Tom Osborne would have made a fine and creative and inspiring governor. He has shown through his thoughtful actions the importance of mentoring youth and what a difference it makes, for one thing

Please, not after I just ate lunch.

Yeah, I remember his 'mentoring' of Lawrence Phillips, insisting poor old LP was not a thug and jackass, just a bit misunderstood. Last I heard LP was serving a thirty one year term for about his nineteenth assault on a woman.

TO was as cynical as any other winning football coach. In TO's case, though, he slopped on an extra coating of piety for good measure.

Brian T. Osborn said...


Moi? Disagree with SCOTUS about whether a board room full of faceless, overpaid scoundrels should have the same status, or even more-so, as my neighbor? Abso-freakin'-lutely!! The very existence of democracy, depends on it. (You know, one man - one vote, equal before the law, "We the people ..." and all that "democratic" stuff.)

I am sensing that you find the recent SCOTUS decision all just fine and dandy. If you're not a billionaire you are then, quite simply put, a fool.

As for Nebraskans plying Gov. Dave with campaign funds ... I see it as just one more way that my fellow citizens seem, all too often, to go against their own best interests.

Too Bad said...

Sweeps, I read ALL of your post. . . It's pretty damn long and thoughtful. . . I just think that when it comes to Dave, it doesn't matter. He is a consummate politician, partly because he so deftly pulls off the ah-shucks factor. And he manages to run for office 24/7 while leaving the Legislature to clean up the mess.

RWP, as for Lawrence Phillips: He was a troubled young man. If he's in prison now, he belongs there. You fault TO for trying to help him?

Right Wing Professor said...

Too Bad:

LP helped TO win a couple of national championships. What exactly did TO do for LP, other than continue to play him while charges against him for dragging his ex-girlfriend downstairs by her hair were still pending?

I mean, since you seem so concerned about misogyny...

Julie Schmit-Albin said...

Clever, Shoe, (a/k/a Nelson spokesperson) but I doubt the Governor is too enamored with us these days. Again, I remember the in-state tuition for kids of illegal aliens was a key issue for the Governor in his win over T.O. but I would maintain that Nebraska Right to Life PAC's sole endorsement of the Governor over T.O. was nothing to sneeze at and had a part in his 2006 victory. I don't recall any masses or groundswell of anti-immigration groups organized behind the Governor in 2006 (not to mention a sole endorsement) so I can only surmise that the larger body of GOP and Independent voters poll very high in the "no" to all things illegal immigration category. I don't know why the Governor doesn't go for a win-win here: take care of the babies while at the same time publically issuing an edict to all state agencies to ramp up their reporting of illegals. Or, as has been mentioned, how about going after the businesses that rely on cheap labor. It's just not flying in the pro-life community for the Governor to sound harsh and uncaring towards a certain segment of unborn babies. We truly don't want a break with the Governor but we have our own principles to stand on. We diligently try to avoid providing political cover at the expense of our issue though at times it may seem that way to some.

Too Bad said...

Right Wing Prof,
I honestly don't know what TO did for LP, other than try to provide him with the kind of father-figure support and familial connection (through the FB team) and male mentorship that he probably needed and craved. Is it TO's fault he couldn't be helped? At least he made the effort. Whether it was so cynical or not is a fair question. . . I remember the whole Bernard Goldberg investigation etc. I'm not saying TO's a saint, but his mentorship program has made and continues to make a difference in the lives of thousands of kids. What will Dave's legacy be?
As for misogamy, domestic violence and the attention (lack of, that is--except for the incidents of black FB players committing it) paid to it is certainly a despicable indicator of its prevalence in this state and country. The most telling indicator, however, continues to be Uterus As Political Bargaining Chip.

Too Bad said...

misogyny, of course--not misogamy. Sheesh

Anonymous said...

McDaddy, Yes, immigration law mainly is at the federal level. Yes Bush was week. But many states (ask the border states especially) enact further laws to further enforce immigration laws.

But the situation I spoke of at 11:03AM was Operation Vanguard. That was an Op started under President Clinton. Johanns, as Gov, went after the Feds when they came into the state and started focusing on the meat packing plants. Johanns' big donors cried because it was costing them production time because many of their worker were running from the feds. Boo Hoo. The reason it started was there was evidence of these same companies going down south of the border and recruiting illegals to come back over and work for them for wages much lower than Americans would work for. So, Johanns who's sidekick was Heiny, made enough of a stink to get the feds back out.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of immigration, go look at the LJS and the article about 17 people arrested in Beatrice. Feds are doing something with what they have at least. If they went more after the employers, we'd see costs over time for these situations go down and more jobs available for Americans.

Brian T. Osborn said...

I'm just curious. Does anyone know how many tax dollars are spent, on average, deporting an illegal alien from our state, and what percentages of that total is derived from local, state, and federal dollars?

I know that, in order to lock up ever more illegal aliens, our current sheriff, when he came into office, lobbied heavily for our county to build a new detention facility. At the time, he claimed it would turn a profit, since we'd be housing IAs from other counties.

Of course the total cost would be difficult to ascertain, given all the social costs that aren't directly factored into the calculation. Let us assume our local police department arrests an IA then contacts the U.S.I.C.E. From that moment on, there will be the costs of incarcerating the IA, probably having to hire an attorney to defend him through several appeals, then once convicted, paying for the transportation to return him home with an accompanying guard. Meanwhile, his family is without a breadwinner, so landlords are not being paid for their rent, hospitals are having their emergency rooms used rather than the waiting room, the kids might be turning to a life of crime in order to merely survive, and the employer has one less person doing the work which means he's probably making less money, and therefore paying fewer taxes needed to defray the expenses for all that other stuff.

Get my point? It is a vicious circle.

Now, if the only person we arrested was the CEO of the company that hired the IA, the company would fire the S.O.B. and hire someone that is very unlikely to get caught doing the same thing. Without jobs available for IAs here, they would either go to other places, or stay home and try to change the situation in their own back yard. That could mean, for example, that Mexico could soon find itself embroiled in a civil war, probably resulting in our next door neighbor becoming a hotbed of Marxist revolutionaries. Cool, huh?

As for the argument that the CEO might not know this was happening ... it would sure behoove the CEOs to keep up on what is going on the businesses they run, wouldn't it? Isn't that why they get paid the BIG bucks? I see it rather like the Captain of a ship. A seaman might have had the helm while the skipper slept, and crashed the vessel onto the reef, but it is the ship's commanding officer that is ultimately responsible.

Shoe Salesman said...

Clever? What is clever is your dodging of your responsibility to hold Heine's feet to the fire as you did Nelson. Saw over on NNN that your lame ass excuse is that you need to wait for a NE RTL board meeting before you could do or say anything against Deficit Dave. But, you had a press release attacking Ben Nelson within minutes of him hanging up on you. If that isn't the clearest evidence yet that you are nothing but a mouthpiece for the Republican Party I don't know what would be.
With Nelson you are free to blast away, board meeting be damned. With the governor, yo can put off any accountability until folks comfortably forget about it.

Jamie, does that answer your question?

RightWing Massa = RWP - for his defense of Lonoytunes Rep. Massa the groping congressman and his condoning of adult male tickle fights. Maybe this moniker would be better: Tickle me RWP!

Anonymous said...

As a staunch conservative, I voted for Governor Dave in 2006 in both the Primary and General Election. I will continue to do so, as I appreciate his current stance on LB 1110.

That said, I am a HUGE Husker Football fan and I cannot let RWP's inaccurate statements go unanswered. At 2:24 p.m. he stated,

"What exactly did TO do for LP, other than continue to play him while charges against him for dragging his ex-girlfriend downstairs by her hair were still pending?"

The record will show:

• LP was SUSPENDED FROM THE TEAM for the aforementioned despicable behavior following the Michigan State game in early September 1995. The first on-field action LP saw following that was TWO MONTHS later, after the Huskers played our toughest (highest ranked) regular season opponents, CU and KSU.

• During his suspension, LP had to accomplish a number of things in order to have an opportunity to potentially play again. This included getting behavioral treatment at the highly respected Menninger Clinic in Kansas. (If TO kicked LP off the team, how would he get the help he obviously needed?)

• Following the completion of everything TO asked of LP regarding his treatment for anger management, only THEN did LP see limited [mop-up] playing time versus ISU in November.

Yes, LP, played in the National Championship game versus Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators, but when a team thoroughly dominates their opponent in every phase of the game as NU did (final score: NU 62 - FL 24) can you honestly say LP was necessary to secure that victory? Puh-lease! Don't forget that Ahman Green, Damon Benning, and Clester Johnson were RB's on that 1995 team and each excelled behind our awesome "Pipeline."

Most times I say "amen" to your posts, RWP, as I am in full agreement with you. This time, however, your rhetorical statement about TO begged for a reply from someone who watched those events unfold.

Anonymous said...

Early comments in this blog have said that President Obama has done nothing to stop the illegal alien problem. I ask you to read todays OWH. You can see that. The current President's administratiion has done a lot more than the previous one. The GOP talks the talk but Democrats walk the walk.

Julie Schmit-Albin said...

Shoe: We are in an election cycle. That said, of course our PAC has to make any determination on how much weight LB 1110's votes/actions will have on our endorsements and thus, how we treat the Governor's position on this. Senator Nelson's months-long, "strong abortion language is what I need" play on the national stage which ended in compromise with Harry Reid (panned by every major national pro-life lobbying group) did not require a Board vote. It was pretty cut and dried. This was the biggie, he had given us and NRLC access to language and when the final crunch came, we were left out. I did consult with others prior to issuing our "Ben Betrayed Us" press release on Dec. 19th but it sure wasn't anyone in the GOP. I realize you think we are hypocrites if we don't condemn the Governor's position on LB 1110 and withhold an endorsement over it. You and other detractors have conveniently forgotten that we gave Sen. Nelson a sole endorsement in 2006 despite his having voted against us on the Mexico City overseas funding policy a couple times. Will LB 1110 be the Governor's "Mexico City" or will our Board decide we've had one too many abandonments of late and hold him to a higher standard than we held Sen. Nelson to in 2006? I don't know. Guess you will just have to see how this is weighed by our entire PAC Board.

macdaddy said...

Anon 7:13: I stand corrected about Obama not doing anything about deporting illegal immigrants. I see that he has. That's awesome. I wonder if La Raza is aware of that. But if you'll notice, deportations increased every year under Bush as well. Having said that, both Bush and Obama are pro-amnesty. They make no secret of that. The difference is that Bush got push-back from the Republican Congress. When Obama starts pushing for amnesty, like he's said he will, he will get approval from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat Congress. In the meantime, though, Obama is doing a much more effective job of getting rid of illegal immigrants by keeping the economy in the crapper.

Anonymous said...

Here's a solution that is a win-win for everybody. Let's arrest these illegal mothers and throw them in jail where they recieve free prenatal care.

Eric said...


Just because children at early stages of development are treated as half-eaten Big Macs doesn't mean it's right.

Brian T. Osborn said...

Anon 3:44,

Since many of those IA mothers will have other children at home, I have to ask, "How many of those children will you host in YOUR home as a foster parent while their mother goes through the legal process, which could result in her being detained for several months?" Otherwise, your win-win solution provides a victory only for, perhaps the unborn child, and all the xenophobes out there.

Brian T. Osborn said...


I agree, it is MUCH better to bring those children to full term so that they can starve to death for want of a half-eaten Big Mac, which is more than a lot of right wingers would want them to have. They only care about the UN-born.

Eric said...

Sorry Brian, I don't buy the whole premise that life is only worthwhile because it is a mechanism to have pleasant experiences. Human life has inherent dignity.

I realize that that's not a popular belief. Somewhere near half the country is keen on mercy killing whenever pain > pleasure, and another half treats foreigners as some kind of sub-human class of "illegals." In this instance, Dave Heineman has the distinction of being in the wrong half both times.

Brian T. Osborn said...


Wherever did you get the idea that I support such a premise as you have stated? Have you not been reading what I have been writing? Put down the bong and have someone read my comments to you in a strong, clear voice.

Right Wing Professor said...


I had no idea that conservatives now advocate we deal with violent criminals by sending them to the Menninger Clinic for 'behavioral treatment'.

Makes you wonder why lock people up at all.

Anonymous said...


You [sarcastically?] asked what TO did for LP and then falsely accused him of playing LP while charges were pending. I answered your question and if the truth hurts, take it up with Dr. Tom. While this forum is an appropriate place for rhetoric, political or otherwise, readers deserve the facts, as well.

Oh, and yes, convicted criminals should be sentenced appropriately. My response never offered an opinion on the treatment LP received professionally OR from Coach Osborne. Please reread it.


Eric said...


I assume this is meant to be sarcastic:

it is MUCH better to bring those children to full term so that they can starve to death

You're not intending to imply here that death is better than suffering?

Brian T. Osborn said...

Eric, of course it was sarcastic. Would expect any less from me?

Brian T. Osborn said...

Eric, just look at my icon. It states: "Sarcasm, it's just another free service that I offer."