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Don Walton: Lincoln assault weapon sales pitch arrives in mailboxes

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The release of the Colorado Springs shooter's name sparked a horrifying realization for Xavier Kraus.

"On sale now! 

"Assault weapons. High-capacity magazines," shouts a flyer that arrives in my mail box just as the latest mass shooting abruptly and violently ends the lives of six innocent Americans inside a Walmart in Virginia. 

This time it was a pistol purchased hours before the shooting. 

"You can purchase a firearm in under 2 minutes," says the Lincoln-area gun store that mailed the ad, suggesting that guns are a weapon for protection against rising violent crime.

"Ammo is always in stock.

"Buying a gun is easy!"

That says it all. 

                                                     *   *   *

Husker football is done for the season and preparing to welcome its fourth head coach since Bo Pelini self-destructed in 2014 after compiling a 67-27 record and competing in bowl games every year. 

Seems like a very long time ago.

Starting over in Lincoln once again.

Sounds like a Garth Brooks song.

Bob Devaney was not considered to be a big-time hire when he came to Lincoln from Wyoming in 1962, but he performed a coaching miracle, turning Husker football around in his first year from 3-6-1 under Bill Jennings in 1961 to 9-2.

We need another lightning bolt.

Welcome to Lincoln, Matt Rhule.

And thank you, Mickey Joseph, for leading the Huskers to the beginning of the road back.  Hope you stay.

                                           *   *   *

A Thomas Friedman column reminds us of Al Gore's 2000 concession after the U.S. Supreme Court abruptly decided to end the belabored Florida election recount, effectively assumed the role of the Electoral College and declared George W. Bush to be the next president.

While noting that "I strongly disagree with the court's decision," Gore said: "This is America and we put country before party; we will stand together behind our new president."

Before issuing that statement, Gore called Bush to congratulate him and wish him well.

It's 22 years later and look how we have changed.

                                                *   *   *

Finishing up:

* A divided Congress, like the one that will convene in January, would work just fine if its members put country, not party, first.  The problem, of course, is they don't and that sad fact is more obvious all the time.

* When Gov. Pete Ricketts moves on to the Senate in January, four of the five members of the Nebraska congressional delegation will have come out of state government in Lincoln. Governor-elect Jim Pillen will appoint a new senator to succeed Sen. Ben Sasse.

* Four governors have moved to the Senate since 1970: Jim Exon, Bob Kerrey, Ben Nelson, Mike Johanns. Exon served three terms; Kerrey and Nelson two; Johanns one. All left the Senate at a time of their choosing. 

* Big issues in the approaching legislative session are likely to include possible changes in the state school aid formula, abortion policy, implementation of the constitutional amendment requiring voter photo ID, workforce development and the breadth and depth of approaching state tax cuts with the focus always on property taxes.  And, of course, there will be more.

* A big revenue surplus will pave the way to tax cuts, but it also provides a path to opportunities.  And there's room in this large surplus for both.  

Don Walton: Bush urged immigration reform 16 years ago in Omaha
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Don Walton: Sasse drama in Florida approaches resolution

* Who will be chosen to lead the Appropriations Committee and the Judiciary Committee now, with Sens. John Stinner and Steve Lathrop departing in January from leadership of those two key committees? Big and influential shoes to fill.

* It's hard to imagine going through, and perhaps even surviving, a Nebraska winter without heat and in the dark and even without adequate access to drinking water. There's a brutish aspect to the Russian war being waged against civilians in Ukraine.

* While e pluribus unum may be our national motto, it would appear that Donald Trump, who runs the clock with court filings, might prefer "justice delayed is justice denied."

* Thought-provoking Washington Post interview with Paul Ryan, who sees reforms in Medicare, Social Security and other health care entitlements ahead: "We want a social contract, we want a social safety net, but we want upward mobility and fast economic growth." That debate is going to ignite a firestorm.

* They sure do vote often in Georgia. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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