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Don Walton: Socialism, impeachment drama and Husker woes

Don Walton: Socialism, impeachment drama and Husker woes


Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (from left), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and Sen. Deb Fischer listen to remarks during an unveiling ceremony of a statue of Ponca Chief Standing Bear in Statuary Hall in September.

Gov. Pete Ricketts' Republican fundraising warning about "the creep of socialism in Nebraska" sparks another reminder of how Nebraska has chosen to follow its own path.

This is the only state in the nation with an all-public power electric system and some people might describe that departure from the private sector as socialism.

Nebraskans chose it as the most effective way of delivering nonprofit electric power throughout a rural state.

And Nebraska, of course, has the only nonpartisan, one-house legislature in the country.

A single house naturally gets most of the attention, but it is the nonpartisan aspect that allows voters to ignore party and partisanship if they wish and frees senators to vote without party control or institutional dictate.

In Washington, they talk about the Republican Senate and the Democratic House.

In Nebraska, it's the people's Legislature.

The other Washington — George — made it clear in his Farewell Address that he would have approved of that.

* * *

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry hosted events in Lincoln and Bellevue this past week for veterans who were invited to record the stories of their military service to be preserved by the Library of Congress.

"Whether they saw battle, whether they cooked, cleaned, ran a computer system or served our country in another way, every moment of a veteran's service is important and meaningful to us all," Lincoln's congressman says.

"It is why we are so committed to preserving their stories for their families, friends and our grateful nation," he said.

The initiative is part of the Veterans History Project, a special program of the Library of Congress.

The Lincoln event was held at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.

"What a remarkable day!" Fortenberry said when it was done.

"Our veterans once again affirmed how great our country is and still can be."

* * *

As the world turns:

* These are the strong ones, the bold ones at a tense moment of testing: Three women. Marie Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

* "Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that presidents are not kings," Judge Jackson wrote in rejecting the president's claim of power to prevent his aides from responding to congressional subpoenas.

* This is a drama unfolding and worth watching: A bit of Goldfinger, a lot of Godfather. A guy named Igor. A consigliere on the loose with his own agenda and an insurance policy in his back pocket or locked in his safe.

* And everyone watching his or her back, with an eye out for Brutus or Bolton, now that Gordon Sondland in self-defense has implicated everyone. What's not to like about that plot with all its moving parts?

* Everyone in power or in authority in Washington probably is going to be tested and counted sometime in the near future. There may be some sleepless nights. And probably should be.

* Best guess: surprises lie ahead. They always do. This plot doesn't have an ending yet.

* * *

Finishing up:

* Civic Nebraska has decided to intervene in Attorney General Doug Peterson's constitutional challenge to the appointment of county election officials in Nebraska's largest counties. The state constitution intends for those county officials to be elected, Civic Nebraska argues.

* Husker post-mortem: It's so much harder to get it back here than at Texas, USC, Florida State.

* And next year's schedule is a minefield, ending with Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

* Random thought: A disappointing Husker football season, or outlook, could help spur more students to graduate on time.

* Pitchers and catchers report in 71 days.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSdon


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