Good Move by Ben Nelson: Refuses Pay During Shutdown


nelson.jpgSenator Ben Nelson frustrates the political left more than President Obama — which is a lot (lately). That said, Senator Nelson is doing exactly the right thing and refusing his pay during the likely government shut down.
Why is this important? As Foreign Policy magazine commentator Josh Rogin pointed out at “The Cable,” Members of Congress will continue to be paid during a government shutdown while their scheduling assistants, and chiefs of staff, and IT operators, and legislative correspondents — who deal with more than most others in the office — and constituency support staff, as well as the janitors, elevator operators, clerks, restaurant staff, and just about everyone else will be ‘volunteering’ their time should they decide to keep any portion of the government’s heart beating.
Rogin also learned that U.S. soldiers will not be paid. This gives ‘cease fire’ a whole new dimension.
Federal employees can’t even use their blackberries. Washington, DC’s trash collection will not take place — so if you have a spare bag or two, you might find the home of a favorite House Member or Senator and share your uncollected waste.
But big kudos to Senator Nelson for doing the right thing — and saying that while Congress postures and pontificates and goes derelict on its responsibilities — he’ll stand with the regular folks whose lives are upended by this stunt and not take a paycheck.
Here is Senator Ben Nelson’s statement:

Not Appropriate When Nebraskans Will Feel Hardship from Closure

April 7, 2011 – Today, Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson said that because the fast-approaching government shutdown will cause hardship for Nebraskans and the economy, he won’t accept a salary if a shutdown occurs.
“Washington hasn’t passed a budget for months and now we’re likely to see a government shutdown that will cause hardship for Nebraska families and businesses, jobs and economic growth,” said Senator Nelson. “It’s frustrating that a common sense solution has been blocked by partisan games and political agendas.
“My view is that Congress cannot force a shut down that stops tax returns, delays passport processing and road construction, and jeopardizes pay for our troops, while members of Congress are paid in full.
“My offices will close. I won’t accept a Senate salary during a shut down. If retroactive pay is later approved, I’ll direct my part to the U.S. Treasury,” said Nelson.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve Nebraskans in the Senate and I don’t think it’s appropriate to be paid when many Nebraskans will feel the consequences of Washington failing to do its job.”

Other Senators and House Members should follow suit.
And it would be quite a statement — and probably popular — if President Obama did the same.
— Steve Clemons


31 comments on “Good Move by Ben Nelson: Refuses Pay During Shutdown

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh my, did I let it slip that “regular guy” Nelson is worth 16 million bucks, and has spent his career as a closet Republican???
    Naughty me.


  2. Paul Norheim says:

    Well, it’s your rules, Steve (I personally don’t mind the “vulgarity” of POA’s posts).
    But while you’re at it, I’ve seen many comments that in my view are much worse recently – among them one by the
    CONSISTENTLY rule breaking Bill Pearlman at the “Khamis assasinated” thread, that is more offensive than most of the
    stuff POA posts here. I’ve never seen Pearlman even try to follow the rules you’ve set (which POA actually does, i.e.
    “trying”), not to mention being “constructive”.
    “Posted by Bill Pearlman, Apr 06 2011, 5:52PM – Link
    Its just too bad Goldstone isn’t part Japanese. Then he would do the right thing and kill himself.”
    That’s a typical Pearlman; atypical only in the sense that his ad hominem usually is directed against you as a host, or
    fellow commenters. But his comments are always obnoxious.
    BTW, as far as I can see, most of the rule breaking comments tend to appear on I/P related threads, while most of the
    rule following comments appear on economy-related threads. To the extent that you still feel you have to monitor the
    blog, I suggest you focus on the I/P threads – that would spare you a lot of time.


  3. DonS says:

    Computers/the net/technology open a realm to potential greater ‘democratic’ involvement — levels the playing field so to speak with everyone more or less scrambling to best the other guy in utilization of technology. Learning curves in the new fields are somewhat open to all who choose to participate. In this respect I too fear that the powers that be, as POA alludes, the controllers of major investment and political power will continue to attempt to reduce the availability and power that progressive (if not downright revolutionary) critics now seek to leverage.
    As to the new generations being reared on technology, one wonders how ’rounded’ can their upbringing and ‘education’ be, or compensate, for the ultra powerful and distorting perceptions that might come via computerized information gathering — at the very least it tends to be hypnotic. I imagine it takes a unique individual, as well as unique caregivers and teachers to place technology within a context that is well rounded, that includes physical activity, and that nurtures a variety of modes of mental activity not fed through the computer. I’m just guessing but, if nothing else, the speed of information access and transfer is an area that differs between computer-generated and non computer-generated modes. How this might and will relate to the development of human mentation capabilities, who knows?
    Surely we have been made aware that humans in general utilize only a minute percentage of their mental capacity. So it seems obvious that there is a lot of room for continued acceleration of absorbing computer-generated possibilities. But I don’t think that answers the questions that exist about the effect of immersion in electronic media for those without a grounding in the pre-computer era. Or even for those with such grounding. As an analogy, some of the evidence from the affects of video games, I believe, has not been encouraging.
    And Paul, like your experience, when on vacation I pretty easily titrate my exposure to the computer without much problem (although Warren. did worry about my being on lie at all rather than out absorbing ‘culture’; and he had a point). But then, I like to observe my use of the computer in a variety of settings as a reminder, and a question of just how I am related to it, to others, and to the world. And I do try to keep it as a question, because I know I value other modes of activity very much (music, walking, cycling, etc.), but it’s not that hard to become out of balance — and what I seem to be constantly struggling for is balance.


  4. Steve Clemons says:

    There has been concern expressed by some about the tenor of comments again. I have deleted comments about which there are complaints. The rules here are simple. Stay constructive, civil, passionate is cool — but lots of vulgarity and ad hominem attacks knocks what you wrote off the page. I have zero interest in playing hall monitor – and I have zero interests in self-righteous posturing by people who want to test my limits and boundaries. Not enough time in my day to worry about that. But the purging of comments that don’t follow these simple rules will continue.
    Thanks to those who set a good example and don’t engage in blog road rage. All best, steve clemons


  5. Paul Norheim says:

    Interesting discussion re. addiction. Although I recognize what you’re saying, POA, regarding limited
    media options and distortions of facts, the “fact finding drive” you’re describing (and which your
    and Questions’ search for facts regarding the catastrophe in Japan in recent weeks is a good
    example of), is only a part of it, albeit an important, vital one. I doubt that this fact finding urge is
    the crucial factor among those average students covered by the study I linked to. But yes, this is a
    vital aspect in a society in crisis (with heavy media manipulation and distortions, for example) , or,
    say, in autocracies – like we’ve seen in Middle East and North African countries recently.
    It seems, however, more and more obvious that mankind as such is going through a dramatic
    change that goes even deeper than politics through this new connectedness that accellerated, say
    10-15 years ago for most of us in the “Western” world. As DonS put it: “There seems little question
    to me that the influence of technology on behavior, brain function, thinking modes, and other stuff,
    must be very real, and the consequences open to anyone’s guess.” In philosophical terminology,
    that is not only a change with political consequences, or an anthropological change with social and
    behavioral implications – but an “ontological” change, meaning a change at the core of our being as
    Someone should study “us” here at TWN – commenters and host – before it’s too late. I’m not
    joking. I would assume that the average age of the commenters here is around Steve’s age, and
    mine – around 50. This means that we are among the last generations deeply involved in old
    technology – books, printed news, radio, TV – and now deeply involved in this new connectedness.
    We still remember the old times and can compare – those who are now 23, using their mobiles and
    PCs and iPads as extensions of themselves have nothing else to compare it to.
    Speaking of myself: although I got my hotmail address in 1999 (while traveling), and once in a while
    browsed the internet just before the turn of the century, I got my own broadband connected PC as
    late as summer 2005, and have been using it heavily since then. I’m not using my mobile much,
    neither for talking or sms, so my connectedness consists basically of my PC and browser. This
    means that I’ve been “connected for 5 1/2 years. And lived a disconnected, analog life for 44 years.
    As you may imagine, I’ve all my life been an avid, almost omnivorous reader. I read newspapers
    from the whole political spectrum, and often foreign papers and magazines as well. I read lots of
    whole books and articles, but also just parts of books, that made me curious about another one,
    and after reading two and a half chapters of that one, this lead me to a third one, and so on. And in
    some ways, this is a low speed version of the use of internet, following links wherever they (and
    your curiosity) may lead you.
    Point? I feel that in many ways, the internet works as a speedy, and highly efficient extension of my
    modus operandi in my “analog”, paper-depended world.
    Another thing I notice personally, is that whenever I am on vacation in Ethiopia (usually for 4-8
    weeks), I am mostly off line, and I am fine with it. No cold turkey, no withdrawal symptoms at all. So
    perhaps it’s more a question of habit and context, and less “ontological” after all? (What about you
    in Provence, DonS). I don’t know…


  6. questions says:

    The thing with “deceive” — as in Fox News deceives — is that it’s more mutual than that.
    Fox News certainly makes up facts, presents other facts in a clearly inadequate context, plays up emotional content, creates anxiety…. BUT it does so for a completely willing and receptive audience.
    The Foxed people I know were already foxy before Fox was Fox.
    The tendencies are there, the society creates space for their expression and their impact on the world. But the tendencies really do seem to be there at the beginning.
    (Here I go again) — Plato has this one down. The structure of the Republic is to describe a city in which only good things can happen, in which no improper falsehood can take over, in which all tyrants are stopped before they become tyrants. There is censorship of all poetry and music, rigorous training from the get go, eugenics to make sure that only the best breed with the best to produce the best. Lots of social control all over the place.
    And by the end of the book, it’s clear that all our tendencies towards tyranny, greed, selfishness, stupidity, poor thinking, an inability to go from concrete experiences to the abstractions behind them, an inability to deal with metaphor, an obsession with sex and power and wild, animalistic behavior — it’s all there anyway. No society can ever really get rid of the Fox side of us, the appetites and love of honor, because we all have those appetites.
    When we have them under control, it’s only for a little while, and then BAM! there we go again.
    So, though I blame Fox for a lot of things, the fact is that it feeds what is already in us.
    This is not to say that those things should be fed, or that Fox is somehow a worthy enterprise, but rather to spread the blame a little to the people who don’t study Plato well enough to see what he’s really saying about us.
    We’re fucked.
    We will eat our children.
    We will not understand the abstract truths we need.
    Plato is said to have burned all of his tragedies after his teacher, Socrates, was put to death as a political prisoner in 399 BCE.
    The Republic is a tragedy. Probably the best book that was ever written.
    We will eat our children even while swearing that we would never do such a thing.


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Is it technology, or real information that we are “addicted” to???
    For myself, the technology instilled an awareness of a previously unrecognized void in my ability to discern events in the world around me on a real time basis. I know from past experience with computer breakdowns that my frustration was a deep sense of being “in the dark”, isolated from the world beyond my immediate sphere.
    Really, once, we all were similiar to the Fox News herd, the pre internet times sentenced us to a very narrowly focused perception of the world around us. We were at the mercy of a media we now know was lying to us with impunity, presenting us with a carefully crafted picture that was rarely based in anything beyond the agendas of governmental and corporate interests.
    If you spend anytime speaking with “conservative” and staunch RW citizens in middle America, (which I do alot of, being in the trades in a highly conservative area), you find they are reliant on a very scripted and tightly controlled media narrative. Limbaugh, Fox, Hannity, RW talk radio, all structured and organized to sell political ideologies, candidates, policies, and agendas. Yet, to talk to the Fox News junkies, they fervently believe that they are tuning into “News” when they tune their TVs to Fox. Frankly, the left has nothing to match it. Nor will they anytime soon, because the right recognizes the danger of such an eventuality, and works very hard to prevent it.
    The bottom line is, if we really want “knowledge”, or actual “news” we have to seek it out, tap a myriad of sources, sort out our findings, then draw the best conclusion we can based on our research. These maggots in DC, or in the much touted “Fourth Estate” are NOT going to offer us knowledge through our media, because knowledge is power. And power, in the hands of “the people”, terrifies Washington DC and the special interests they fellate at the people’s expense. The efforts to bury PBS, ongoing efforts to gain greater control of the internet, the constant stream of demonizing rhetoric about the “Fairness Doctrine”, public whippings like we saw Rather and Thomas subjected to, all are efforts to staunch your ability to acquire real knowledge about the world around you.
    Take our computers away, you take away our access to the “truth”, or, at least the ability to push representations of the truth through our own mental filters, and draw conclusions based OUR OWN research about what is trustworthy, and what is not. This technology is a tremendous threat to the propaganda machine, and you can rest assured major efforts are being expended on trying to find a way to filter and control what is accessable to us over the internet.
    The trick, for the maggots, will be to find a way to control the information available over the internet, yet maintain our delusion that we are finding real “news”. If you doubt they can do this, all you need do is look how perfectly Fox News has managed to decieve a huge segment of our population for many years now.


  8. DonS says:

    “Why the fuck should some fucking Ohio congressman tell DC they have to have a voucher program, they can’t spend their own fucking money on abortion services for low income DC residents?” (questions)
    The general answer is because Congress continues to treat DC like their own private plantation, play toy, and the like.
    Re the vouchers, the story ends “The scholarship program is opposed by Norton and Mayor Vincent Gray, but backed by City Council Chairman Kwame Brown and former mayors Anthony Williams and Marion Barry.”. So the politics, or maybe more accurately, the payoffs, are not entirely clear.
    On the restriction to abortion services rider, this seems a clear example of the Congressional masters whipping the poor folk on social issues in the one lace they can do so with virtually absolute control. Makes ’em feel good I guess to get those master-slave genes exercised, as well as the misogynistic ones.
    On Paul’s comment about addiction and technology, you may remember I spent a lot of years as a counselor specializing in addiction, I opined about it a lot, but hadn’t been aware of hard data documenting physical and psychological withdrawal (tolerance and withdrawal being some of the diagnostic requirements to establish a true addiction versus, say, mere abuse. Obviously got the tolerance side covered, since being wired in 24/7 seems to be the norm). Still gets a little sticky comparing substance addictions and other addictions — some people just wont go there (like ‘power and control’, fuck-the-little-guy addictions: the masters of the universe see those behaviors as purely functional).
    I’d be interested in the actual study data, and may check it out further. Regardless of the classification as formal addiction or not, there seems little question to me that the influence of technology on behavior, brain function, thinking modes, and other stuff, must be very real, and the consequences open to anyone’s guess.
    As I used to analogize when clients wanted to quibble over the definition of an alcoholic; if there are severe consequences in multiple life areas, you might as well consider yourself one (alcoholic). Fact is most negative consequences of [substance] abuse occur to individuals [and their families] who are not formally considered addicts.
    One funny little remark from the story was the girl who said she had itching like a ‘crackhead’ (some describe it as like bugs crawling over the skin) . . . how would she know if not . . .


  9. questions says:

    As if there weren’t enough to worry about:
    The blooming seasons of many many plants have been meticulously recorded for many many many years.
    Blooming times are shifting for plants. The shift in bloom times affects those critters that eat the plants, and in turn affects those critters that eat the critters that eat the plants that are no longer blooming on schedule.
    “Season creep” — creepy.
    And of course, what Republican is going to be policy-enabled enough to do anything complex about a complex problem?
    Better to sit and watch Fox and freak out about all the lazy people. Oh, and cut taxes. Now there’s a solution a Repub can campaign on!


  10. questions says:

    (meant, page 150 or so…)


  11. questions says:

    According to a commenter on TPM, the one-l Michele voted against the deal!
    So she talks it up to save her presidential aspirations, and then she votes against it… to save her presidential aspirations.
    You know, it’s hard out there to be a ‘pub!
    You cannot make happy both the baseness of the base and the rest of the party at the same time.
    What a shame the electorate hasn’t exiled the entire mess that is the Republican Party.
    There’s no coherence, there’s no good policy, no understanding of anything more simple than “cut taxes now” or “drill here, drill now” — simple, frightened, ignorant, selfish, Hobbesian.
    Only, by page 15 or so, Hobbes has a civil society forming out of all the selfishness and fear.
    Seems like the Tea Party hasn’t gotten to the civil society part of history yet.
    They’re probably still riding around on dinosaurs.


  12. questions says:

    And back on topic, here’s what the deal is:
    “The spending deal agreed to Friday night to avert a government shutdown includes a provision banning the District from spending its own funds to provide abortions to low-income women as well as funding to continue a controversial school voucher program.
    The inclusion of the abortion policy


  13. questions says:

    What do our brains look like “off” TWN?
    The cravings! The pain. That horrible time when the comments were off for a day or three. And the delay/moderation time? INTOLERABLE!
    It’ll be in the OED next year.


  14. Paul Norheim says:

    Being off topic, here’s an interesting study about being technologically connected – it’s about youngsters, but I guess it’s
    somewhat familiar for the bunch of outraged, outside-the-beltway retirees commenting at TWN as well:
    “Student ‘addiction’ to technology ‘similar to drug cravings’, study finds.
    Withdrawal symptoms experienced by young people deprived of gadgets and technology is compared to those felt by
    drug addicts or smokers going


  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Ok, now that the shutdown was avoided (congrats America!), and Senator Nelson avoided temporary
    “ordinary folks” status (congrats Nelson!), this may perhaps be considered as an open thread?
    For those who haven’t read it, here is Roger Cohen at NYT on Goldstone:


  16. rc says:

    POA, have you seen Peter Sandman’s Risk Communication model?
    “Risk = Hazard + Outrage”
    You’re working in the Outrage domain.
    Sandman has a whole scale for the outrage vector:
    “In the mid-1980s I coined the formula


  17. questions says:

    They trade off spending cuts as if they were marbles.
    A billion here, a policy rider there…..
    How much does a rider go for, anyway?


  18. questions says:

    And this from the same link as above:
    “Almost all regulation will shut down, so there isn


  19. questions says:

    And this:
    “The critical people work without pay. If I were running a part of the White House, which I was, and I had people that had officially been deemed critical and essential, I could then ask those people to come to work. Now, they could say no because they


  20. questions says:

    On the shutdown of the gov’t:
    (h/t naked capitalism)
    The costs involved in getting ready for a possible shutdown as noted by one person e-mailing the Wash Monthly.
    All websites will be down, servers unplugged, some kind of message will be displayed.
    The level of uncertainty (wasn’t that the Repub cri de coeur during the PPACA debate) is significant for absolutely every firm that does any business with the gov. If you have funding, if you have a Blackberry, if you have an office, a website, a contract, a truck, a building…anything with the gov’t — you have no idea if you’ll be allowed to perform on Monday.
    All so that the [Wonkette] Tea Party can bitch and moan about birth control, STI/STD tests, and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.
    They’re out for blood, these Tea Partiers. And they will cost the country plenty.
    It isn’t a budget thing, it’s politics. It’s making the collar counties around Milwaukee feel better about their whiteness and flightness and Tea Partyness and it makes them feel that their tax money is finally going to a good cause — shutting down the thing they both hate and need.
    Unbelievable what difficulties these [Wonkettes] can cause. And many don’t care. They seem to be enjoying themselves.
    Here’s hoping Obama’s clean hands on this one really are clean enough that he doesn’t get way slammed in the polls. So far, the coverage I’ve seen seems to focus on Congress, but then I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio. And I’ve deleted HuffPo from my life, so I won’t even get Dr. Ozzo’s opinion about the link between autism and government shut downs and how that all is related to adequate intake of vitamin D or whatever AOLianna thinks is newsworthy.
    The base will be fired up. Let’s hope the rest of us are suitably disgusted.


  21. DonS says:

    Should POA ‘calm down’? This blog is, or should be about policy, not personalities. But at times it turns out to be a little of both. A number of years ago I suggested to POA that he take it a bit easy, out of concern for his heart, but he informed me “the old ticker’s just fine” (this was before I figured out he is about 10 years younger than me). Actually I believe, overall, POA has ‘calmed down’ some, which is neither an endorsement nor a criticism.
    That all said, there is a disconnect between political realities and the practical realities of life in the USA that many of us feel. Some politicians, maybe even most (though I doubt it) may be well intended in the sense of believing they are really working to better the life of the average American, not acting out unholy dramas as wholly owned representatives of interests that control the wealth and power that ultimately controls the political outcomes.
    For my part, the results of political activity seem increasingly destructive to the possibility of an environment in which citizens can thrive. In order to keep my own limited grasp on sanity, I need to periodically remind myself that politicians and politics represent only a segment of life, albeit one controlling inordinately the external and, to some extent, the internal environment of my life.
    POA’s colorful way of expressing the overall disconnect between politics/politicians which is apparent to many of us (even though I do not agree with him on some specific issues) can hardly be inappropriate when one considers the magnitude of the problem, IMO.
    Though I may agree with this politician or that politician on a given stance or issue at a given time, it’s pretty rare and does little to assuage the overall sense of betrayal and futility I sense being acted out.
    How indeed can one take seriously quibbles about which deck chair should go where, or have respect for the penny pinching ways that social programs must justify their existence (though I’m all for efficiency), while the fabric and soul of the nation is being destroyed in out=of-control and accelerating militarism and security statism? Clean air, clean water, rights of privacy over one’s own body, freedom from bigotry and dictation by religious radicals?
    Whichever scoundrels and/or cowards are individually or corporately responsible for shifting the so-called Overton window to include those who promote and pander to these money grubbing neanderthals and their dupes with their ‘ideas’, ‘issues’, etc, deserve no contextual respect. In that respect, POA’s expressions are hardly off the charts.
    And Ben Nelson’s ‘principled’ move to reject salary — need we be reminded in his duplicity in the health care war — while one tiny nano gesture within a universe of sludge, can only be commendable in the most relativistic sense.


  22. Don Bacon says:

    U.S. citizens’ disapproval of Congress — 70.4% (RCP ave).
    The clowns in the Senate are owned by the banks, said Senator Durgin, who ought to know. Large matters like a worsening economy, housing problems and wars just go on and on, without any meaningful senate debate.
    The president says its time for another war? No problem, let him do it and don’t make a peep until it’s put-on-a-show time.
    Presidents are allowed to conduct national business with executive agreements, many of them classified, and the senate plays no part as it should according to the Constitution. Recent wars are a prime example of congressional, and particularly senate, inactivity.
    So praising them for grandstanding over their personal finances is a charade. Shut the congress down — might as well.


  23. Caitlyn says:

    I think Nelson’s move is the correct one, though it should be the
    norm and not an exception.
    I have two follow up questions regarding the actions of members
    on the hill, particularly those new house members who claim to
    be somewhat financially limited:
    First, how many are planning on foregoing their own salary
    during the shutdown? If they do, are they really foregoing salary,
    or just waiting until the shutdown is over so they can pick up the
    Second, and this is related to a broader issue, for the
    congressmen who take pride in foregoing rental of local
    accommodations here in Washington, do they count the use of
    their offices as their local residence (that is, in sleeping in their
    office) as non-financial compensation, report it to the IRS on
    their tax fillings and include it in their income tax calculation?


  24. rc says:

    Perhaps one should add the following wise counsel — of which, I note, to my knowledge, POA has not transgressed at least two out of the three avoidances.
    “Best of the lot is the long essay ” ‘Lars Porsena,’ * or the Future of Swearing and Improper Language.” “Keep obscene or indecent language as a last resort,” warns an ancient but sensible Chinese handbook on swearing etiquette. “Avoid reflections on the chastity of your opponent’s female relations or on any physical infirmity from which he may be suffering. Once you have gone so far it is impossible to retrace your steps and resort to minor forms of vituperation. Never shout … Be calm . . . Begin with a great show of courtesy . . .”,9171,812196,00.html


  25. quadrilateral astronomical incandescent son of a bitch says:

    POA and the art of free speech.
    Every court needs one and DC has POA. He


  26. Don Bacon says:

    “Obama administration experts say”
    * Debt
    The federal debt is out of control. The defecit in February was a record $222 billion. That’s a DAILY deficit of almost $8 billion.
    — out of control
    * Jobs
    Feb 24, 2009:
    Obama: It’s an agenda that begins with jobs. (Applause.) . . ., I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law. (Applause.)
    Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.
    the facts: unemployment doubled [2007-2010] for every industry, every occupation, every state.
    –currently 8.8% official, 18% actual
    * War
    Operation Enduring Freedom
    FY11….119.4 (requested)
    –more war, and now Libya
    *Economy (GDP)
    2008 14441.4
    2009 14119
    2010 14508.2
    — essentially flat


  27. DakotabornKansan says:
  28. a says:

    @PissedOffAmerican. Please calm yourself when writing on here. Some of us enjoy political commentary without needless emotional explosions or language like what you use on here.
    Please bring it down a notch for all of us on here…


  29. Don Bacon says:

    By the way, Ben Nelson is a great example of why there’s no difference between a Democrat and a Republican. None whatsoever. Memories of Arlen Specter who went from R to D to avoid losing — and still lost! Ben may go the other way some day, depending on ethanol politics.
    So inquiring minds want to know: Why does Ben call himself a Democrat? It must have something to do with facts that ordinary folks aren’t privy to.
    Ben’s strongly pro-life and also strongly pro-military, no conflict. Okay, a conflict that kills a few here and there, but none in Nebraska where Ben is known for the Obamacare


  30. DonS says:

    Too many examples of the pathetic level of our political discourse. Keeps the head spinning.
    If this is democracy, it’s another reminder of the sickness of politicians and the evil the money and power controlling class wreck on their way to self gratification.


  31. Don Bacon says:

    Ben Nelson is not a regular folk, he’s something better, is being suggested. But I’m partial to Ed Abbey’s take on the subject. “What’s the difference between a whore and a congressman? A congressman makes more money” he said.
    I guess that Edward Abbey, bless his heart, wasn’t invited to many Washington parties.


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