Catching up


Rep. Lee Terry sent out this email Wednesday evening soliciting money for his reelection campaign. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are willing to do anything to take his 2nd District seat away from him?  Apparently not. As of yet, Democrats have failed to finish the first step: Finding a candidate. Potential opponents still have another couple of weeks to file the formal paperwork with the secretary of state’s office, but it looks like Terry will skate through 2014.  

*** Third District House candidate Tom Brewer has completed treatment for leukemia and is returning to the campaign trail, according to KCSR in Chardon. Brewer has a meet and greet scheduled Sunday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Praire Pines in Chadron.

*** Mark your calendars now: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has proclaimed the week of February 24 Stop Government Abuse Week. Cantor says House Republicans will be bringing a package of legislation to reign in President Obama’s ability to issue executive orders and regulatory guidance to federal agencies. Cantor says the Obama administration “is threatening people’s liberty and their hard-earned paychecks.”

Republicans have been ramping up the fear campaign since the State of the Union Address, when the president announced he would sign an executive order raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska’s 3rd District went after it full-force last week in a column in The Business Farmer. Smith suggested that Obama would use an executive order to impose gun control, and said it represents a “dangerous shift in power.”


So, once again, we present this chart on the use of executive orders, showing Obama to have issued the smallest number of executive orders since President Cleveland.

Presidential Executive Orders


Debt ceiling passed, tidbits from the trail

SnowpacolypseFrustrated Americans may have learned the secret to motivating legislators to act quickly in Washington this week: Snow.

Eager to leave town ahead of a snowstorm, a “clean” debt ceiling bill was passed without any of the showmanship that stalled the debt ceiling hike last fall. It passed the House on Tuesday 221-201 and the Senate on Wednesday on a vote of 55-43.

The entire Nebraska delegation to Washington voted against extending the debt ceiling. The legislation, which is now headed for President Obama’s signature, suspends the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015, well past the November mid-term elections. The U.S. was expected to hit the current debt ceiling on Feb. 27.

Also on Wednesday, the Senate passed legislation that would repeal the 1 percent cut in military retirement pay for working-age retirees. Lengthy, expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have boosted military benefits to the point that they consume more than half of the American defense budget. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon and Hill leaders are seeking ways to cut benefits, but heavy lobbying by veterans’ groups has stymied attempts at reform.

Bank executive and Nebraska Senate candidate Sid Dinsdale has opened a campaign office in Lincoln in the Candy Factory, 201 N. Eighth St. in the Haymarket. Dinsdale is an Elkhorn resident and chairman of Pinnacle Bancorp. His campaign website describes him as anti-Obamacare, anti-debt, pro-Keystone Pipeline and  secure-the-borders-first on immigration reform.

Republican wordmeister Frank Luntz would be proud of Republican Senate candidate Shane Osborn. In an interview with Brent Martin of the Nebraska Radio Network, Osborn remembered to use the word “bill” to describe Obamacare. Last year, with the launch of Obamacare looming, Republicans began referring to the Affordable Care Act as a bill, despite the fact that it had been law for nearly four years. Osborn also remembered to suggest that President Obama was a lawless dictator for delaying the employer mandate again.