Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hagel:The Next Chapter and other stories

by Ryan Anderson
Unfortunately little is moving me towards a full blown rant today, so let's take a quick look back on some of the headlines we might've missed:

*Washington Whispers reports that Senator Hagel is hard at work on his new book, America:The Next Chapter, "a collection of practical—and reportedly nonpartisan—policy prescriptions" due for release early next year (as the article helpfully points out, that's around the time of the Iowa caucuses). Quote Hagel's publisher:
He's said over and over again that this book is his legacy ... it's what is most important to him right now."
Now I'm not one to cast doubt on the power of the written word -believe it or not, at times I've even fancied myself a writer. But Senator Hagel isn't a blogger or a columnist, he's a public servant, and one would think his legacy might be built around that service. The man's been in the Senate for a decade now... did that not seem to him the proper forum for introducing these "nonpartisan policy prescriptions"?

*Now this is old news, but it's worth noting that NE-03's Adrian Smith was one of only 39 Congressman to vote against tougher penalties for people who promote animal fights. As Smith Watch noted (in a much more timely fashion):
To vote against this bill was, as I said, essentially Smith saying he hates your dog. I can’t even begin to imagine the reasoning behind voting against such a bill!
*Yesterday was Lincoln's first general election mayoral debate. Svoboda, desperate to overcome an abysmal primary showing, tried to address the median care controversy with a mea culpa ("That’s accountability, people"). It seems both candidates remained pretty positive.

*The Grand Island Independent favors an outright ban on the death penalty:
That public safety can be assured with a life in prison sentence rather than the death penalty, that millions of dollars are spent without benefits to the public can and should convince us to consider the abolition of this law in Nebraska.
Now that's another inexcusably old story, but considering this issue will almost certainly dribble into next year's session it's a nice reminder that it isn't the fringe opinions of some Omaha liberals driving this debate. A minority opinion it may be, but it's a growing and sizable minority. A mainstream opinion that will no longer be ignored. The Unicameral's thoughtful consideration of this issue was an outstanding triumph for all of us who desire a true political dialogue in this reddest of red states. Let's keep up the good work, fellas.

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