Saturday, November 30, 2013

Webster County Early Market Beef Weigh-in December 8

     4-H and FFA members have undoubtedly already found or will be looking for calves for the early Webster County Market Beef Weigh-in which will be held at the sale barn in Blue Hill (Blue Hill Livestock).  The early date is set for Sunday, December 8.  Because there will be just one early weigh-in this year it will start about 9:30 am and will go till 3:30 pm.  The inclement weather back-up day is December 15. Incidentally the regular weigh-in date is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, January 26 - also in Blue Hill.

     We also want to remind our market beef exhibitors that all 4-H and FFA tags must be put in before or at weigh-in to be valid.  Make sure that you get your tags from your FFA advisor in advance of the weigh-in or that they are in attendance at weigh-in to put them in. Our office will have the 4-H tags and will try to get some FFA tags to have on hand. NOTE: Please remember that the livestock ID/affidavit sheets need to be filled out and signed prior to or at weigh-in and are not to be taken home.   

     Exhibitors may download an affidavit from the Webster County UNL Extension website which can be found at:  or if you prefer pick one up from your 4-H leader, FFA advisor or our office. We will also have some on hand at the weigh-in, but having them done before hand really speeds up the weigh-in process. We will also once again be putting Electronic Identification or EID’s in the ears of all market beef.  If your family has their own EID, that is acceptable.

     Exhibitors who plan to show at either the 2014 Nebraska State Fair and/or Ak-Sar-Ben must have a DNA sample taken and they must be sent in with the ID/affidavit sheet for each animal that may be going. We will collect DNA hair samples during the weigh-in for all market beef that may be nominated for either the Nebraska State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben. All beef that will be exhibited at the Nebraska State Fair will also need to eventually be tested for BVD-PI.

     If any beef exhibitor would like guidance on how to pick out the right size of calf for fair, please contact the Webster County UNL Extension office for suggestions at 402-746-3417 or email You can also find a document on this on our website as listed above and/or in the last Webster County 4-H newsletter.


     Producers, or anyone interested in marketing livestock or crops, should plan to attend a short educational seminar and lunch to learn more about how futures and options can work in their operation. A Livestock and Crops Futures Education Meeting will be held at the Blue Hill Community Center on Monday, December 9th in Blue Hill, NE starting at 11:00 am.  It includes a free meal  directly following the program --at which time we will try to answer any questions anyone has concerning the seminar or other marketing questions. We may even get a glimpse at what experts think is in the future. 

     It has been relatively easy to market our livestock and crops the last couple of years; however, we are entering a challenging time for marketing our commodities with the uncertainty of cash markets, new Farm Bill and the weather. This meeting will help give you an understanding of futures and using the futures for marketing your grain and livestock.  It won’t take a lot of your time and you even get a free meal out of it.  Please plan on joining us for the educational seminar and lunch and learn how futures and options can work in your farming/marketing operation.  We would ask that you RSVP by noon Friday, December 6th as it will help us in preparing materials and lunch.  However, walk-ins are welcome. Please contact Carol at the UNL Extension Office at 402-746-3417 or email or to reserve your spot. 

     UNL Extension in Webster County is joining with AgWest Commodities out of Holdrege, NE in conducting the seminar which will include the following topics:  Producer marketing using cash and futures contracts; In-depth look at how options can work for you; Opportunities to enhance basis and carry strategies; and Utilizing breakeven/cash flow tools. Please join us in Blue Hill for this marketing advantage seminar on Monday, December 9.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Rep Adrian Smith


International trade is a critical factor in the success of Nebraska producers, manufacturers, and consumers.  Expanding trade and opening new markets for American goods and products benefits our economy and has proven to be an area of bipartisan agreement
We have made substantial progress in recent years in removing barriers to trade, but there is much work to be done.  Last year, trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama went into effect, and Nebraskans are already seeing the benefits.  We are in the early stages of negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union, which the President announced earlier this year.
We are also moving forward with negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade agreement between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.  Together these nations represent a market of nearly 800 million people and a combined GDP of $27.5 trillion, or about 40 percent of the global economy.
TPP would help strengthen existing investment relationships and create new opportunities.  Nearly half of all Nebraska exports already are bound for TPP counties, and more than 100,000 jobs in Nebraska are supported by trade with these nations.  More than 100 companies based in TPP countries have investments in Nebraska.
Last week, TPP negotiators met in Salt Lake City.  Progress is being reported and another round of talks is scheduled for next month in Singapore.  I am hopeful the negotiations will conclude in the near future and we will have an agreement which can be accepted by Congress and by the other 11 nations.
Congress could approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to maintain Congressional authority and put forward a framework for negotiations.  TPA, which was last reauthorized in 2002, gives the U.S. leverage in negotiations by incentivizing every country to come to the table with their best offer.  Congress approved the previously mentioned agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama under a previous TPA which is now expired.  The global marketplace has changed dramatically since 2002, and our negotiation tactics must change with it.
As a member of the Committee on Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee and the Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus, I am committed to getting Nebraska products fair treatment in the international market.  We must continue to address tariff and non-tariff barriers and promote enforceable, science-based regulatory systems.
The rest of the world is not waiting for the United States to strike high level trade deals.  At a time when our economy is still struggling, expanding trade and boosting exports is one of the few issues where Republicans and Democrats have found common ground.  I hope we will not miss this opportunity to boost our economy, create jobs, and benefit consumers at home and abroad.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Debating Defense

Sen. Fischer

Recently, the United States Senate began consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act. This legislation has been passed each year for the past 51 years to set spending priorities and policy for our military.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I voted to advance the current bill in May. At that time, I mentioned some outstanding issues that still needed attention through floor debate and amendments, including overall spending levels. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to allow an open amendment process. After a week on the Senate floor, senators have debated and voted on just one issue.
While I believe a robust amendment process is important, it is especially necessary now as new security challenges have emerged since the Committee adopted the legislation. For example, the United States is now working with other nations to dispose of Syria’s chemical weapons. The Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, on which I serve as Ranking Member, oversees the Department of Defense’s (DoD) efforts to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. We’ve been working on modifying the defense bill to allow DoD, which has great expertise in dismantling these weapons, to help remove the threat posed by Syria’s chemical stockpiles.
My colleagues and I also offered amendments directly related to STRATCOM’s mission, including future nuclear arms reductions and treaty compliance. Moreover, the NSA’s surveillance programs, Iran sanctions, and U.S. foreign policy toward Egypt and Pakistan are all worthy of debate.
I’m proud to report that the Committee did include a series of historic reforms to combat sexual assault in our military. The current bill provides victims with a Special Victims Counsel to make certain they are receiving unbiased, independent legal advice. It strips commanders of the ability to overturn jury convictions and makes retaliation against victims a crime. It also requires dishonorable discharge or dismissal for those convicted of sexual assault and provides critical civilian oversight.
The Committee also adopted a measure I offered with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to heighten the caliber of DoD sexual assault prevention officers and it passed an amendment I cosponsored with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to bolster victims’ rights – a critical, but sometimes overshadowed area of this debate.
Despite these significant changes, I joined Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) in introducing a new amendment to make the bill even stronger. Our bipartisan proposal allows victims greater input in prosecutions, eliminates the use of the “good soldier” defense in most cases, and extends protections to military service academies.
Much attention has also been paid to another proposal to remove sexual assault offences from the military chain of command. Senator McCaskill, a former sex crimes prosecutor, described this approach as “seductively simple,” as it is a politically popular approach. Its simplicity, however, cloaks a host of complex policy problems.
In addition to technical concerns, I do not agree with the underlying goal of removing commanders from the military justice system. We know that commanders pursue courts- martial when their legal advisors recommend against doing so. We know, based on the experiences of our allies, that removing commanders from the judicial process does not achieve the desired results. And we know that commanders have risen to the challenge in the past to confront contentious issues within their units, including integration.
These facts lead me to conclude that the changes in this bill, combined with the reforms included within our amendment, will best serve the interests of victims and punish those responsible.  The Senate adjourned without reaching an agreement on how to proceed with amendments, putting ultimate passage of this critical legislation in jeopardy. As I mentioned, there are plenty of good ideas worth debating and voting on – we just need a chance to legislate. I’m tired of watching time wasted, and I am eager to get to work on these important issues.
Thank you for participating in the democratic process, and I’ll visit with you again next week.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Dec. 2: South Central Cattlemen Showdown, Steer Placement, Real Cattle Co. West, Grafton, NE 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Dec. 3-5: Range Beef Cow Symposium (RBCS), Rushmore Convention Center, Rapid City, SD
Dec. 4: Webster County UNL Extension Board Meeting, Webster County Courthouse, Red Cloud, NE 7:00 pm.
Dec. 4-6: Nebraska Cattlemen Convention & Trade Show, Younes Conference Center, Kearney, NE
Dec. 5: Webster County Greenery Workshop, Webster County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, Contact Carol Kumke 402-746-3417
Dec. 6-7: Omaha Ag Outlook, Embassy Suites Old Market, 555 S. 10th St., Omaha, Ne 
Dec. 7: Webster County Greenery Workshop, Webster County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, Contact Carol Kumke 402-746-3417
Dec. 7: Western Sustainable Ag Crops and Livestock Conference, Ogallala, NE
Dec. 8: Webster County 4-H and FFA Market Beef Weigh-In, Blue Hill Livestock Sale Barn, Blue Hill, NE  9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Dec. 8-10: Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, Younes Conference Center, Kearney, NE
Dec. 9: Grain and Livestock Marketing Tips Lunch Meeting, Blue Hill Comm Center, 11:00 am,  or AgWest, Holdrege
Dec. 9: Positioning Your Business for Agriculture’s Next Decade” Featuring Dr. David Kohl, Bruning Opera House - Bruning, NE at 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 10: Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease Workshop, York, 4-H Building, York Co. Fairgrounds, 6:30 p.m. Call 402-362-5508.
Dec. 10-12: Nebraska Power Farming Show - Lincoln, Neb.
Dec. 11: Webster County Youth Council Meeting, Webster County Fairgrounds – Exhibit Hall, Bladen, NE 7:30 pm
Dec. 11: Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease Workshop, Hastings, Adams Co. Fairgrounds, 6:30 p.m. Call 402-461-7209.
Dec. 12: Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease Workshop, Fairbury, North Room, Jefferson Co. Fairgrounds Building, 1 p.m. Call 402-729-3487.
Dec. 12: Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease Workshop, Kearney, Buffalo Co. Fairgrounds, 6:30 p.m. Call 308-234-1235.
Dec. 12: Large Animal Mortality Composting Workshop, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Curtis, NE
Dec. 13: Kansas Beef Expo Snow Angels Show and Sale, Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS
Dec. 13-16: Kansas Beef Expo, Market and Breeding Beef Show, Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson, KS
Dec. 13-14: Nebraska Alpha Gamma Rho Winter Preview Beef Show, On Line Registration:
Dec. 17: West Central UNL Extension Professional Day, West Central Research and Education Center, North Platte, NE
Dec. 18: Economic Benefits & Costs of Cover Crops upon Cash Crops, Livestock & Soil Health!  UNL Kimmel Center, NE City 402-274-4755
Dec. 19: Nebraska Soybean Day and Machinery Expo, 8:30-2:30, Saunders County Fairgrounds in Wahoo,
Dec. 25: Christmas Day
Jan. 7-9: The Nebraska Turf Conference, Lavista, NE  See   for more info
Jan. 9: Crop Production Clinic, Adams County Fairgrounds, Hastings, NE  Registration 8:00-8:45 am or on line,
Jan. 9: Fremont Corn Exposition, NE Christensen Field Multi-Purpose Building, Fremont, NE
Jan. 11-26: National Western Junior Stock Show, Denver, Co  
Jan. 14: Crop Production Clinic, Younes Conference Center,  Kearney, NE  Registration 8:00-8:45 am or on line,
Jan. 15: Crop Production Clinic, The Auditorium, York, NE  Registration 8:00-8:45 am or on line,
Jan. 16: Crop Production Clinic, Beatrice Country Club, Beatrice, NE  Registration 8:00-8:45 am or on line,
Jan. 20-21: Cover Your Acres Conference, Oberlin, KS
Jan. 21-23: Young Cattlemen's Conference,   Bonita @402-450-0223 or 329-6273 email
Jan. 22: Basic Prescribed Burn Workshop, UNL Extension, College Park, Grand Island, NE 9:00 am  Ryan at 308-750-2652
Jan. 23: Basic Prescribed Burn Workshop, Lancaster Co. UNL Extension, Lincoln, NE 9:00 am   Jake at 308-730-1750
Jan. 25: Lemke Cattle Company Bull Sale, 1757 Road 2500, Lawrence, NE Randy & Leslie Lemke,  402-756-7090
Jan. 28: 2014 Farmers and Ranchers Partners in Progress - Cow/Calf College, 9:30 am USDA-MARC & GPVEC, Clay Center, NE 402-469-0357
Jan. 28-29: No-till On the Plains Winter Conference, Bicentenntial Center, Salina, KS  
Feb. 6: NACEB (Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards) Annual Winter Meeting, Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln, NE
Feb. 8-9: UNL Horsin’ Around Clinic, UNL East Campus, Ani Sci Bldg,
Feb. 8: South Central Cattlemen Association Valentine’s Banquet, TBA Jamie Watts, 402-984-0177 or
Feb. 10: Registration for Nebraska Cattlemen Classic Junior Show and Judging Contest due.
Feb. 11: Center Pivot Irrigation Management Short Course, Clay County Extension Office, 402-472-1637
Feb. 15-23:  Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic, Buffalo County Fair Grounds, Kearney,  Contact: Ronette Bush Heinrich
Feb. 20-21: 2014 Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference, Holiday Inn Convention Center, Kearney
Feb. 22:  NE Cattlemen’s Classic Jr. Show Check In, Buffalo Co. Fair Grounds, Kearney,
Feb. 22: NE Cattlemen’s Classic Junior All-Beef Judging Contest, Buffalo Co. Fairgrounds, Kearney, Registration 7:30 am - 
Feb. 23:  Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic Junior Show, 8:00 a.m., Buffalo County Fair Grounds, Kearney NE
Feb. 26: TC Ranch Annual Production Sale, 12:30 pm TC Ranch, Franklin, NE Contact: Dru Uden 308-470-0740,
Feb. 28: Cornstalk Grazing: Influence on Corn Yield, Soil, Water and Livestock, Water Resources Field Lab at Brule,
Mar. 1: UNL Block & Bridle Big Red Beef Show, State Fair/Fonner Park, Grand Island, NE Contact   308-571-0206
Mar. 1: 4-H Horse Stampede, UNL East Campus Ani Sci Building, Lincoln, NE
Mar. 4: S&S Herefords, Annual Sale, Schutte Ranch, Guide Rock, 1:00 pm Contact Ron Schutte or Wilson Alber 
Mar. 5-6: Governor’s Ag Conference, Holiday Inn in Kearney, NE  Contact
Mar. 9: 4-M Angus Angus Bull Sale, Brandon and Kami Meyer, Blue Hill, NE
Mar. 15:  ID sheets for Home Bred & Raised Heifers due in Extension Office, 
Mar. 18: Red Cloud Farm and Home Exposition, TBA, Red Cloud Comm. Center, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Contact Red Cloud Chamber of Commerce
Mar. 25:  All Market Beef ID sheets are due in Extension Office, 
Apr. 5: Burt County Beef Preview, Burt County Fairgrounds , Oakland, NE
Apr. 9-11: Nebraska State FFA Convention/Ag Ed Contests, Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln, NE 
Apr. 12: Seward Calf Classic, Seward County Fairgrounds, Seward, NE.
NOTE: If you received this email by mistake and/or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please contact  the writer or respond to this email with that request.  For further information on these or other topics contact D.A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County office in Red Cloud, Nebraska  (402) 746-3417,  or email to:


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     I am sitting here on the day before Thanksgiving with images in my mind of turkey with all the fixings and of course, all of the other foods that are certain to grace the many tables across this great land. I certainly hope I don’t short out my keyboard as I salivate, just thinking of what may lie ahead for my gullet. I am wondering what topic or issue I could discuss this week and as I read through tons of material, sifting for something that I can get my mind around and be of use to those that read my musings I couldn’t help but wonder if we should perhaps take a peek back at the history of Thanksgiving. So let’s take a step back in time and see how much remember from the lessons we got as students cutting out construction paper turkeys, Pilgrim hats, Cornucopias and other symbols we have used to portray this special time of year.
     As I recall my history lessons, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast in 1621 which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in this country. Historians don’t know the exact date, but place it sometime between September 21 and November 9. That harvest meal became a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration and likely lasted more than one day, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. We as American’s take credit for this tradition but I think we need to look at where it originated. Native American groups throughout the Americas organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America. The Pilgrims actually joined in with something that had been going on long before they came to America.
     Even though we look traditionally look at the Plymouth Colonies, many historians however suggest that earlier European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Berkeley Plantation, Virginia may have actually been the first. At this site near the Charles River in December of 1619, a group of British settlers led by Captain John Woodlief knelt in prayer and pledged "Thanksgiving" to God for their healthy arrival after a long voyage across the Atlantic. This event has been acknowledged by some scholars and writers as the official first Thanksgiving among European settlers on record, two years before the Pilgrims. The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years and grew in importance and culture. During the American Revolution (late 1770's) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.
     The Thanksgiving meal is remarkably consistent in its elements: the turkey, the stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Barring ethical, health, or religious objections, it is pretty much the same meal for everyone, across latitudes and longitudes, and through the years of their lives. We stick with the basics and simply change the seasonings. But what about that first Thanksgiving in the fall of 1621, when British settlers hosted the first documented harvest celebration? What did they eat, and how similar is it to the traditional American Thanksgiving meal? My inquiring mind needed to know.
     From all accounts the main wild game hunted at that time was the native deer and large fowl, so my guess is that venison was a major ingredient, as well as pheasants, geese, and duck. Turkeys are a possibility, but were not a common food in that time. Pilgrims grew onions and herbs. Cranberries and currants would have been growing wild in the area, and watercress may have still been available if the hard frosts had held off, but there’s no record of them having been served. In fact, the meal was probably quite meat-heavy (That still works for me). Likewise, walnuts, chestnuts, and beechnuts were abundant, as were sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichoke). Since they were close to the ocean, shellfish were common, so they probably played a part, as did beans, pumpkins, squashes, and corn (served in the form of bread or porridge), thanks to the Wampanoags. What didn’t they have at the first Thanksgiving? Potatoes (white or sweet), bread stuffing or pie (wheat flour was rare), sugar, and definitely not grandma’s green bean and French-fried onion ring casserole or Aunt Eileen’s pecan pie.
     Whether at Plymouth, Berkeley Plantation, throughout the Americas and even across the world, celebrations of thanks have held great meaning and importance over time. The legacy of thanks, and particularly of the feast, have survived the centuries as people throughout the United States gather family, friends, and enormous amounts of food for their yearly Thanksgiving meal. The traditions are important but the gathering of harvest and of family and friends – priceless!  
     I sometimes wonder how many of us bypass the thoughts of food, family, football and friends and actually contemplate what we are really thankful for. I am certain we all will have different takes on what we are most thankful for. It may be the upbringing that makes us all unique in our own way.  It may be where we live, or the people that we associate on a daily basis. It may be for material things, or perhaps for things more spiritual. It may be the lives we live, or the country in which we are blessed to live. One thing is for sure, we do have many things that make this Thanksgiving time meaningful. We all are blessed in so many ways, even if we sometimes don’t take time to think about those blessings and bounties. Please take the time to count those blessings and thank your family, friends and God for providing you what you do have!

   The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: 

Highway Work Moves Forward

Governor Dave Heineman


Throughout our warm months in Nebraska, you have likely seen several projects underway to keep Nebraska travelers moving safely through our state. Today, I’d like to highlight a few recent projects.
In early November, Interstate 80 became six lanes from Omaha to Lincoln. This important highway improvement project took many years to build and in November, the project was completed.
A new bridge over the Loup River south of Fullerton was also opened in November. In September a new bridge across the Missouri River in Rulo was opened to traffic. The Kearney Bypass Interchange opened in August and the Platte River Bridge south of Fremont opened in July.
Summer and fall improvement projects on Interstate 80, from Paxton to Sutherland, from North Platte to Maxwell, and Henderson to Waco, and on Highway 20 near Wood Lake and Nenzel all have been completed.
Other projects like Highway 23 at Curtis and Moorefield will be completed in the coming months. Numerous other projects let to contract just this fall are underway and will be completed in the upcoming months.
During the next five years, the State Department of Roads will also work on the following projects:
  • The Heartland Expressway, widening Highway 385 from the junction of Link 62A, just south of Angora to Alliance;
  • The Wahoo Bypass;
  • The Kearney East Bypass;
  • Widening Highway 133 from Blair to Omaha to 4-lanes;
  • Widening Highway 30 from Schuyler to Fremont to 4-lanes; and
  • Widening Highway 6 near Hastings to 5-lanes.
In addition to the above mentioned major highway projects, the Department of Roads will be dedicated to routine maintenance projects all across the state.
There are eight highway districts across Nebraska and Department of Roads employees are involved in providing assistance whenever necessary. Winter operations are a major focus during the inclement season of snow, ice, freezing winds and temperatures. The crews will be out with plows, trucks and deicing materials throughout the changing Nebraska weather.
Please, be alert to snow removal equipment if you must travel in a snowstorm.

You are encouraged to “Know before you go.”  That means call 511 or click onto for the latest road and travel conditions.  NDOR’s Mobile Traveler at provides text links to cameras, weather links and the latest NDOR tweets.
I want to thank the Department of Roads for their leadership and all of our public and private partners throughout Nebraska for the cooperation and collaboration in the development of these roads projects.

- Dave Heineman
    Governor of Nebraska

Blue Hill couple flown to Lincoln

A Cecil and June Shaw were flown to Lincoln after a one car rollover accident Tuesday morning  2 miles North Ayr..
The incident occurred around 8:45 am on Highway 281 just south of Sundown Road.
Cecil Shaw, 76, was driving the 2006 Ford Taurus.  He was northbound on 281 when He lost control and  went  into the east ditch and rolled after becoming airborne but landed on its wheels.
Cecil and his wife June 75, sustained both head they were taken to Mary Lanning Healthcare before being flown to a Lincoln hospital. .
Both passengers were wearing seatbelts.
The Nebraska State Patrol  investigated the accident.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blue Hill Scores well in Statewide education Assessments.

The Governor of Nebraska shared the results of the statewide reading, math, science and writing assessment results for class C-1, C - 2, and smaller high schools.
This data allows parents, citizens, school boards, superintendents, principals, teachers and elected officials to compare results from one district to another in order to improve student and school academic achievement performance.
The top scores are as follows:
Class C-1 AuburnPierceGordon-Rushville
 Ord** Gordon-Rushville Fillmore Central
   Syracuse**Syracuse  Fairbury***
  Fairbury WaynePierce***
Class C-2 North Bend Crofton Crofton
 Thayer CentralOakland-Craig  Blue Hill
  Yutan  Blue Hill   Elmwood-Murdock**
 Battle Creek  Centennial***  Kimball**
 Crofton   Louisville*** Cambridge
  West Holt*** 
Smaller Schools Bertrand*   Bloomfield* Bertrand*
 Creek Valley*Leigh*Bloomfield*
 Bancroft-Rosalie** Creighton  Franklin*
 Bloomfield**  Kenesaw*** Leigh*
 KenesawLoomis*** Loomis*
*tied for first
**tied for third
***tied for fourth
The Governor  congratulated Crofton for scoring first again this year in math and science. "That’s an outstanding achievement." he said. 
Regarding the reading assessment, 22 Class C-1 schools, 23 Class C-2 schools and 36 smaller schools had a higher score in 2013 than they did in 2010.
Regarding the math assessment, 24 Class C-1 schools, 27 Class C-2 schools and 43 smaller schools had a higher score in 2013 than they did in 2011 which was the first year of the math assessment. Bloomfield has had a perfect score on the math assessment all three years.
Regarding the science assessment, this was the second year for the test and 28 of 39 Class C-1 schools, 29 of 41 Class C-2 schools and 39 of 59 smaller schools improved their scores in 2013.  The Governor said he considers that excellent progress. Bertrand and Stuart have had a perfect score on the science assessment in both 2012 and 2013.
The Governor thanked the school districts for the increased emphasis that they have placed on academic achievement. "It is making a difference" He said.

Use Caution When Shopping Online

According to the National Retail Federation, online shoppers are expected to spend more than $82 billion this holiday season. While this modern convenience can save time and money, you must take care to avoid hidden hazards. Being aware of website security features and following a few user guidelines will help ensure you have a safe online shopping experience. 
You may be tempted to ignore a site’s privacy policy, but it’s worth your time to take a few minutes to read it. The privacy policy should tell you what personal information is being gathered and how it will be used. If you don’t feel comfortable with the terms, shop elsewhere. 
Shop with companies you know and trust. However, be wary of pop-up solicitations while you shop on popular websites. The pop-ups aren’t necessarily connected to the web page you are visiting – treat them as unsolicited messages and close them. 
Not all online retail sites are created equal. Before you begin the process of checking-out, look for indicators the site is secure before entering personal information. 
At check-out, the name of the URL (web address) should be preceded by the letters https. A closed padlock or key icon should appear on the browser’s status bar. These signs let you know your information will be encrypted. 
Don’t complete a transaction on an open or public Wi-Fi network.  
Before You Log-Off 
When finishing a transaction, it’s important to print and save receipts and records of your online transactions. Don’t allow sites to store your credit card information. And, always log out after your shopping session. 
Remember - never give personal information to sites linked from unsolicited emails or unsolicited pop-ups. 
For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Office website at, call our Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 727-6432 or follow us on Twitter @AGBruning.

Bruning Lauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Review Religious LIberty Challenges to Affordable Care Act

LINCOLN – Attorney General Jon Bruning today commended the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review two religious liberty challenges to the federal Affordable Care Act. Nebraska was part of a group of states that filed an amicus brief in support of the challenges to the Act’s rule that requires employers to offer health insurance coverage for services such as abortion-inducing drugs. 
“The deeply held beliefs of millions of Americans are flagrantly violated by this rule,” said Bruning. “Religious liberty is guaranteed under our nation’s Constitution. This decision is a victory for all of us fighting to protect that right.”   The high court has consolidated two religious liberty cases for review, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. The cases will likely be scheduled for oral argument in March 2014.

President Approves Federal Disaster Declaration for October Blizzard, Floods, and Tornadoes in Nebraska


(Lincoln, Neb.) Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman received notification today from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials that President Barack Obama approved a request for a presidential disaster declaration for parts of Nebraska impacted by severe storms, winter storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred in nine Nebraska counties, Oct. 2-6.
The president, through FEMA, issued a public assistance declaration that provides assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities in the following counties:
Adams, Dawes, Dixon, Howard, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Thurston and Wayne counties.
The declaration includes federal funding on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties in the state.
“Nebraskans appreciate approval of public assistance funding for the October 2013 storms,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “This will assist in the recovery process following storms that caused millions of dollars in damage in the state.”
The disaster declaration allows federal emergency funding to be used in providing assistance to state and local governmental agencies and some nonprofit organizations.
“This will help our local communities recover some of the costs associated with responding to the emergency situations and rebuilding public infrastructure damaged by this disaster,” said Al Berndt, assistant director of Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. “NEMA will work closely with local governments to help speed up the recovery process.”
NEMA’s preliminary damage estimates to public infrastructure exceed $3 million, with the most severe impacts to electrical infrastructure, roads and bridges, along with extensive tree damage in the panhandle.
Eligible costs include removal of storm debris, emergency protective measures and repair or replacement of disaster-damaged roads, bridges, public buildings, critical facilities, such as water, sewer and power systems, and other public facilities.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Torey Kranau to Serve on ALS Student Symposium Committee:

(Hastings, Neb.) – Each year, select Hastings College students plan and implement a multi-day lecture series with the intent of sparking campus discussions on timely topics. Service on the committee, known as the Artist Lecture Series (ALS) Student Symposium Committee, is considered an honor at the college. The students, with guidance from faculty advisors, are responsible for all aspects of the event, allowing students who excel in the classroom and demonstrate leadership potential to build real-world experience in negotiating with speakers, planning logistics, fundraising, developing communication plans and working as a team.
In preparation for the 2014-2015 symposium on food, the following students have been selected to serve on the ALS Student Symposium Committee:
Blake Bowland, a junior from Tekamah, Neb.
Megan Brausam, a junior from Acton, Calif.
 Ellie Clinch, a junior from Lincoln, Neb.
 Anna Griggs, a freshman from Centennial, Colo.
 Mark Gueswell, a freshman from Windsor, Colo.
 Torey Kranau, a sophomore from Blue Hill, Neb.
 Creighton Leif, a junior from Concordia, Kan.
 Isaac Mertens, a sophomore from Juniata, Neb.
 Aaron Pierce, a sophomore from Cozad, Neb.
 Felix Proessl, a sophomore from Weiden, Germany
 Sarabeth Swift, a junior from Grand Island, Neb.
 Abbey Tiell, a freshman from Denver, Colo.
 The faculty advisors for the 2014-2015 ALS Student Symposium are Dr. Liz Frombgen, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Douglas Kinnear, Chair of the Business and Economics Department and Professor of Economics.
Founded in 1882, Hastings College is a private, four-year liberal arts institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With 64 majors in 32 areas of study and 12 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “America’s Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, a “Best in the Midwest

Agriculture Update

Rep. Adrian Smith
This week, Nebraskans are busy preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, to celebrate with family and friends the many gifts with which we are blessed as Americans.  Thanks in part to the efficiency and effectiveness of our agriculture producers, your Thanksgiving feast may cost slightly less this year.  The American Farm Bureau reports an average Thanksgiving meal for ten people, will cost $49.04, a decrease from last year.
Nebraska’s producers continue to feed the world while facing several obstacles and great uncertainty.  Congress has yet to pass a new long-term Farm Bill.  Last month, the House appointed conferees to negotiate and resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.  Hopefully, the conference committee is able to agree on a final product which can pass both the House and Senate before the end of the year.
Progress on the Farm Bill has been uneven and at times frustrating.  I appreciate the patience of Nebraska’s agriculture producers and their feedback as we continue working to get this priority done.
Another source of uncertainty for Nebraska’s producers has been the debate about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a program expanded in 2007 to promote energy independence and increase consumer choice.  This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed scaling back the amount of renewable fuels blended into gasoline for 2014.  The proposal is not final, and I encourage stakeholders to take advantage of the upcoming comment period to make their voices heard.
I am hopeful EPA’s final decision will be based on sound science and recognize alternative fuels can help diversify our energy portfolio, which is a smart strategy for our security and our economy.  The biofuels and biotechnology industries have made significant progress developing value-added uses for feedstocks and federal policy should not undermine innovation.
Finally, Nebraska producers have faced several natural obstacles including last year’s drought and wildfires, and this year’s floods.  Most recently, several areas of the Third District were impacted by a series of storms in early October which resulted in flooding, tornados, and an early winter storm which killed livestock and heavily damaged the northern panhandle.
I have toured the damage of the tornados in Wayne, and met with local officials and ranchers in northwest Nebraska.   During these visits, I saw not only the destruction, but also the resilience and willingness of Nebraskans to come together to help their neighbors.
I applaud the work of state and local officials, including the Farm Service Agency, which responded quickly by extending low-interest loans to producers, and other state entities involved in helping communities rebuild.  We know there is more to be done, however, and a new Farm Bill would reauthorize livestock disaster assistance.  I also recently joined the rest of Nebraska delegation in calling on President Obama to quickly approve Governor Heineman’s request for a major disaster declaration to make additional federal assistance available to impacted areas.
While Nebraska’s producers will continue to innovate, increase efficiency, and grow our economy, we must remove barriers to their future success.  I remain committed to addressing the uncertainty created by both policy and nature, and thankful for the resourcefulness and resilience of our producers. 

Johanns Supports Chalenge of NLRB "Recess" Appointments in the Supreme Court


 WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today joined 44 of his Senate colleagues in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in a challenge (NLRB v. Noel Canning) of the constitutionality of President Obama’s so-called “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January 2012.

“This brief reaffirms what Republicans and lower courts have been saying all along: President Obama’s so-called ‘recess’ appointments are an aggressive power-grab that flies in the face of our Constitution. The President’s power is not limitless and Americans are tired of the Administration’s relentless overreach; this case is an important reminder of that.”
Since making these so-called “recess” appointments, three lower courts have ruled that they are unconstitutional. In addition to filing previous amicus briefs in support of challenging these “appointments,” Johanns has previously sent letters to NLRB “appointees,” insisting they step down following the lower-court rulings.
The suit is being brought by Noel Canning, a family-owned business in Washington State. The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up the case in January 2014.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Duane A. Lienemann
UNL Extension Educator

     When I was teaching agriculture education in the high school ranks I loved challenging my students with topics that could be a little controversial or perhaps even obscure. I would even present a premise that would force the students off dead center and make them respond or at least ask questions or challenge me. It seems that last week’s column served that same purpose.  I was amazed at the number of emails, comments and questions I received. I will have to say that the response was overwhelmingly positive but there were a couple that thought I shouldn’t even bring the topic up and that I must be a huge supporter of big ag, factory farms, chemical companies; and I am against organic or natural food producers and no-till methods; and that I don’t care about the consumer and their families --only farmers.
     I am of course a big supporter of agriculture, and I, my family and my friends are all consumers - so yes I do care.  I will have to admit that I have problems with people referring to our family farmers as “factory farms”. I am not on the payroll of big chemical companies, and I am definitely not against farmers who produce organic or natural foods.  In fact I think there is a place for all kinds of production of food - God knows we need it and will especially need it in the years to come when we are destined to help feed, clothe and provide energy for 9 billion people who will inhabit the earth by 2050. I do believe that it is counterproductive and just wrong to denigrate recognized safe agricultural practices of others who think differently than you. I believe that we need choices for our consumers. I also believe that we need biotechnology in the mix to help us along that path. I think it behooves all of us to figure out what’s true and what isn’t in the debate about our food supply.
     Unfortunately “debate” is a nice name for what is transpiring concerning genetic engineering and genetic modification. Sometimes it’s more like a melee, a meme-driven, name-calling free-for-all. Hackles, hair and voices are raised. You can envision rotten fruit being thrown. And all kinds of things pass for fact. It’s not just genetic modification. We’re arguing about organic or natural vs conventional, honeybees, chemicals, factory crop farms, factory livestock farms and feedlots, superfish, aquaculture, yields, antibiotics, pesticides, monocrops, soil and water. We hear things like “Frankenfood” used often, which conjures up the thought of monsters we were scared of as kids. Some of these things can be as polarizing as the most difficult social issues; there’s as deep a schism in the food community as there is in Congress. On one side, there’s the insistence that biotech is a great way to help feed a growing population, and the reluctance to admit the shortcomings of agriculture. On the other side, it’s just the opposite. Big Ag is evil incarnate and factory farms are the scourge of the earth – and we must eliminate both. Sometimes we cannot see the forest because of one tree. The consumer is the one that loses!
     The challenge is that, too often, real facts are hard to find; evidence has a maddening way of being equivocal. Look at any current issue, scientific or other, and you can cherry-pick evidence to support the position you happen to like. It is a lot like the division we see with politics quite honestly. I don’t believe that this divide in agriculture is healthy for our industry or our consumers. I believe there is an element of people or organizations who disregard science for the furthering of their own agenda and it has nothing to do with human health. My guess is that is more about ideology and their own bottom line. I believe that there are concerned people who run with false science or talking points or take up a cause without studying it thoroughly. What is sad is that we do need the food and fiber and will need bio-technology to provide what we need in the future. I hope people are industrious and curious enough to study both sides of issues and then use true science to decide.
     Humans have been genetically modifying food for millennia via the process of artificial selection, selective genetics and hybridization. Biotechnology simply opens new opportunities and allows the modification process to occur quickly and far more accurately. Think of golden rice with high amounts of carotene or Vitamin A for so many people worldwide that depend on rice for food. Think of insulin that so many diabetics depend on that is made available because of genetic modification and insertion of human DNA carrying human insulin genes into bacterium.  Or the plus to our farmers with Bt crops and Round-up ready corn and soybeans that have allowed us to drastically cut back on tillage, pesticides and water. Think of the advantages we have created in higher yields and many dry-land farmers love the drought resistant gene corn.  All brought to us by genetically modifying what nature has already provided for the benefit of producer and consumer.  It is not just the producer who benefits it is the consumer who receives a bountiful and safe food at the lowest price in the world.
     The fear of "foreign" genes being inserted into GMOs is misplaced in my opinion. If you think about it crops are grown in soil, which contains millions of species of bacteria. Thus our food, including organic food, is covered with bacteria. Yet nobody thinks twice about this foreign DNA that we regularly consume on a daily basis. Oh I know there are some stumbling blocks like Round-up Resistant weeds that are becoming a collateral problem as are some beneficial insects that succumb to Bt technology. Or the way that farming is increasingly practiced now -- where one or two crops are grown on huge swaths of land -- biological diversity is sacrificed for short-term profits. It along with high commodity prices has also resulted in the loss of a lot of native pasture land which I think we will come to regret.  I just encourage people to study the science of GMO’s and avoid the discourse on blogs and internet posting where they just look at one side of the issue. Please offer up thanks for all our bounty and enjoy that turkey and other foods that are likely genetically modified, which as such has been safely consumed for many years - without incident or proven health calamity.  Happy Thanksgiving ever one! 

   The preceding information comes from the research and personal observations of the writer which may or may not reflect the views of UNL or UNL Extension. For more further information on these or other topics contact D. A. Lienemann, UNL Extension Educator for Webster County in Red Cloud, (402) 746-3417 or email to: or go to the website at: 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Much to Be Thankful For

Deb Fischer
Senator Deb Fischer
         Nebraskans have a lot on their minds these days. They face challenges expanding their businesses and providing for their families. They are anxious about the future of their healthcare, and they don’t have time to waste on broken government websites. Young people are struggling to find good-paying jobs, while our senior citizens worry the next generation may not be better off than the last.
I share these worries, and I’ve been focusing my efforts on finding constructive solutions to these ongoing problems. Despite the uncertainty and anxiety felt by so many middle class families, it’s important that we still pause and give thanks for our nation’s many blessings. Thanksgiving is that day set aside each year for family, friends, and loved ones to gather and express this gratitude.
This year, I am particularly grateful for our brave men and women in uniform, who sacrifice every day so we can continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I’ve had the privilege of traveling twice to the Middle East to meet these heroes and thank them on behalf of all Nebraskans for their service.
I am also thankful for the enduring resilient spirit embodied by our citizens who continue to strive for progress, despite broader economic challenges. We are a nation of builders, creators, and leaders whose ingenuity, knowledge, and hard work have engineered innovative breakthroughs in science and technology. Their work has revolutionized our country and our way of life for generations.
As we recognize these extraordinary blessings, we also acknowledge the many gifts present in our local communities. Nebraskans are incredibly fortunate to enjoy “the Good Life.” Our state takes great pride in smart fiscal policies, engaged citizens, and thriving local businesses. Our people are hardworking. We get up early to work farms and ranches, man the factories, and run our businesses. Despite our strong work ethic, we are people with perspective, and we give back.
Nebraskans are thankful for the strength of our agriculture economy, which has led to expanded exports and record harvests. This past fiscal year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported record-high exports of more than $140 billion. These historically high numbers are good news for producers and all members of our agriculture industry who provide food and fiber for the nation and the world. And so as we gather around our Thanksgiving dinner tables, let us also give thanks for the hard work of farmers and ranchers who helped supply the food we share.
This year, we have an opportunity to show appreciation for another great asset of our local communities: small businesses. Small businesses account for 64 percent of all new jobs and nearly half of all private sector jobs nationwide. A powerful driver behind job growth, small businesses’ success is critical to our nation’s economic recovery.
As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I cosponsored a resolution designating November 30, 2013, as “Small Business Saturday.” The purpose of this national movement is to encourage patrons to shop at local businesses and promote awareness of the importance of these businesses and their unique products to our economy.
It’s no coincidence this day also falls on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” I know many will be braving the crowds or surfing the web in search of thoughtful gifts for family and friends. I hope Nebraskans will take part in this national effort to support our local, independent businesses and the key role they play in growing our communities and our economy.
I wish all Nebraskans a Happy Thanksgiving, and I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your United States Senator. It is my honor and great privilege, for which I thank God each day.
Thank you for taking part in our democratic process, and I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Johanns: Reid's action Muzzles Voices of Nebraskans in Senate

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to change Senate rules on certain nominations, a move commonly referred to as the “nuclear option,” shuts out the voices of Americans represented by the minority party. The action is widely recognized as an effort to change the national conversation about the failures of Obamacare.

“Senator Reid’s action bears striking resemblance to another action taken by his party – the passage of Obamacare,” Johanns said. “Both were forced through on a party-line vote and both trampled the opinions of every American represented by the Senate minority. We’ve already seen the consequences of Obamacare and, mark my words, Sen. Reid’s actions will carry disastrous consequences as well.
“We’re talking about lifetime appointments to the bench, and this change will allow the most radical of nominees to be confirmed. This is about Senate Democrats issuing a gag order on the voices of the minority, just to direct attention away from the disastrous health care law.”
Reid’s action allows the Senate to confirm presidential nominations, regardless of how controversial or how much time has been allowed to review their qualifications, without any input from the minority. Reid promised in July that he would not change Senate rules to allow a simple majority vote to confirm judicial nominations.
Despite Reid’s claims that Republicans are obstructing the Senate’s role of advice and consent, the Obama Administration has enjoyed a 99 percent confirmation rate of lower court justices. This year, the Senate has confirmed 38 lower court nominations, compared with only 14 confirmations at this time during the fifth year of the George W. Bush Administration.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nebraska State Fair Fan,

Just in time for the holidays comes a perfect stocking stuffer for everyone on your Christmas list.   Now you can buy Nebraska State Fair Admission Tickets at pre-sale pricing.  Adult pricing is just $7.00, which is 30% off regular gate admission.
Go to and click "Go" underneath "Buy Tickets Online" to reserve your 2014 Nebraska State Fair Tickets.
And please—forward this email to others on your list to take advantage of special pricing for this special time of year. Hurry because this offer ends December 25.
Wishing you the very best this holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Johanns Shares More Obamacare Stories from Nebraska


WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today shared stories from three Nebraskans who have expressed frustration regarding how Obamacare has impacted them.
Johanns posted an Obamacare comment form on his Senate website for Nebraskans to share how the law has affected them. More than one thousand Nebraskans have written about the law’s impact, the vast majority of whom relayed information about increased premiums and cancelled plans.
Here's a video of Johanns' remarks on the Senate Floor.  Click on the links in the transcript below to jump to video of the individual stories.

Transcript of Johanns’ prepared remarks
I come to the floor today to discuss the reports I’ve heard from Nebraskans about the President’s health care law.
Senators have been quoting facts, figures, and reports about the negative effects of this law since the debate began in 2009.
But no amount of facts and figures can be as illustrative as real life stories from our home towns and our Main Streets. 
These personal stories are powerful examples of what the reports have been saying all along and why we must stand with the American people and repeal this law. 
Deb from Kearney:
Like millions of other Americans, her family’s insurance plan has been cancelled. New premiums for her family of four increased 133%. Their plan pays for maternity coverage even though they no longer need it, because the law mandates it. Deb said, “Obama needs to call it like it is.  This is not the affordable health care act”
Jennifer from Madison:
She is a two-time cancer survivor. Jennifer shared that last year she spent a fair amount of time evaluating health care plans, and she picked a plan that made sense for her family.  Recently, she learned that her current plan would no longer be available because of the health care law’s new requirements.  She described her new plan option: “My deductible is going up, my co-insurance is going up, and my premium is almost doubling”  She went on to say, “I think it is an insult to hard working, responsible people like myself to require me to pay for coverage of all these additional services”
Hannah from Lincoln:
This 25-year-old is seeing massive increases as well. Her monthly premium is increasing by about 160%, and her annual deductible is more than doubling to over $6-thousand dollars. She explains, “I'm healthy and active--I love long-distance running--and I rarely get sick.  This is impossible for my budget.  I feel like Obama is punishing those of us who have graduated college and are working hard trying to make a life for ourselves.  We’re starting our families, building businesses, launching our careers, and trying to give back to our communities however we can.  Now Obamacare is devastating the American dream of an entire generation.”
These Nebraskans are understandably frustrated.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about this law and the President’s promises. 
Over the course of the last four years, none of his promises have centered on American families like these who are losing plans they like…or who are paying more for their coverage. 
And none of his promises indicated that young people like Hannah’s costs would skyrocket.
In fact, his promises signaled just the opposite – people could keep their plans and pay less.
But these consequences aren’t happening by accident.  They’re central pillars of the President’s law.  
The law mandated coverage standards for health insurance plans and forced people into policies that meet those mandates.    
What’s the result? A law that drives up costs and eliminates choices…it’s motivated by the principle that government knows best.  
It’s saying the health insurance that you freely chose is an inferior plan, and government must protect you from your own decision-making. 
This is not what the American people want.  And they have spoken loud and clear, especially in recent weeks as the realities of this law have set in. 
The frustrating part is that the President’s announcement last week that Americans can supposedly keep their plans was provoked – not by the devastating stories of millions of Americans – but by members of his own party who want to get reelected.
This is too little, too late. 
In 2010, the Administration’s own rule on this subject showed as many as 80% of small business plans and 69% of all business plans will lose their grandfathered status.
I went to the Senate floor at the time to warn about it.
Everyone on this side of the aisle voted to cancel this ill-advised Obamacare regulation; everyone on that side of the aisle voted to let this destructive rule go forward. 
Taking action three years ago would have been a thoughtful step to try to avoid these disastrous consequences. 
But a surprise announcement with essentially 45 days to undue three years of Obamacare damage is not a serious effort. 
If you are five touchdowns behind, you can’t wait until one minute left to start playing.   
Let’s face it -- President Obama’s announcement last week was not a policy solution, it was a political fix.
Once again, he has sidestepped Congress and the legislative process to unilaterally enact a temporary delay of one of his signature law’s major provisions. 
And let me emphasize that word temporary. 
Even if you believe that insurance companies and every insurance commissioner in all 50 states can undo all the planning they have done to comply with Obamacare in the next 45 days, our citizens will be right back in the same boat at this time next year. 
The cancellation policies will again be printed, the replacement Obamacare-approved policies will reveal skyrocketing prices, and our citizens will be right back in the same lurch. 
The time for temporary fixes that simply shift the blame or delay the pain until after the election are over.
While I will fight to eliminate this law’s most burdensome provisions, the truth is that changes to this law create an avalanche of consequences. 
Its provisions are so interconnected and ill-fated that no amount of tweaking will provide long-term solutions for American families and businesses. 
I believe full repeal is the only real answer for American families. 
Congress can take a stand so millions of Americans can keep their doctors and the plans they like. 
We don’t need a 27-hundred page law and a trillion dollars in taxes to address the cost of health care or to help individuals with pre-existing conditions. 
Americans are demanding what they didn’t get in 2010 and since this law passed: transparency and thoughtful steps toward a better, more efficient, and lower-cost health care system. 
They want leaders who recognize we’re not on the right track and it’s time to reverse course. 
I believe a critical moment is upon us.  I hope we seize it instead of hiding behind more phony short-term fixes and broken promises.

Text Message Scam Uses Local Area Code to Target Nebraskans

LINCOLN – Attorney General Bruning issued a consumer alert for Nebraskans to be wary of scam text messages from ALERT@bankaccount that instruct receivers to call (402) 817-4153 to reactivate a suspended debit card. The Attorney General’s Office has received 7 reports of this scam in the Lincoln and Omaha area today, mostly from Verizon customers. 
“Personal information like bank, debit or credit card numbers should never be given to unknown people or businesses,” said Bruning. “And, don’t be fooled by local area codes – those numbers could be routed anywhere.” 
Calls to the number provided in the scam texts route to an automated system claiming to be a “credit union center” with 24-hour activation services. Callers are instructed to input their debit card number for reactivation. Once a scammer has access to a consumer’s account information, it can be used to make fraudulent purchases or withdraw money from the account. 
Nebraskans who have responded to this scam are encouraged to use a trusted number to contact debit card issuers immediately. In addition, notification should be filed with the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. 
For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division at or 800-727-6432.