I am a retired Air Force officer. I dealt with classified documents all the time. One thing is clear about the storage of classified documents, it is governed by very specific rules and laws. If classified documents had been found in my garage, even though I had a Corvette stored there and the doors were all locked, I would have been charged with a crime, tried by military court martial and probably punished.
Who does Mr. Biden think he is? Just because he’s cooperating with the authorities (does he really have any choice, the documents have already been turned over), just because they were locked in a garage, that is not proper storage and he broke the law, plain and simple. As such he should face the same judicial process I would have been subject too.
Its amazing to me that Mr. Biden would even say something like that. His comments only show me that he has no idea what the proper procedures are for handling classified documents. It calls into question his fitness to be the president of the United States.
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John Wright, Omaha
Documents and secrets
Since it is quite obvious that we cannot trust either Trump nor Biden to safeguard our classified documents or nation’s secrets, we need a do-over and not nominate them again. Both parties should now begin taking applications for a person who is honest, trustworthy, intelligent, under the age of 70 and willing to follow through with the oath of office, “To faithfully uphold the Constitution and Laws of our country.” Any chance of that happening? Nah.
Jim Day, Omaha
Governor Jim Pillen’s proposal for revamped state funding of education does seem, as the Jan. 22 OWH relayed from attendees at his task force meetings, cautiously optimistic for improvement. But, since the general populace of Nebraska has never been able to put him on the hot seat in a public forum (campaign debates, press conferences, public meetings), it makes me wary of what else is down the pike. Is there a grand master plan to put in nebulous wording or support other legislation that allows education funding to be used for private school vouchers or introduce charter schools, possibly a statewide vote funded by Ricketts or other wealthy businessmen that pits rural vs. urban citizens against one another? Trustworthiness would improve with a governor that’s open, transparent and willing to answer the hard questions — the start of healing the political divide.
Bev Beam Hornig, Omaha
To everyone who voted in the November 2022 election in favor of Measure 432, a ballot measure to implement voter ID, it put the ball in lawmakers’ hands. I just don’t understand why people would vote in favor of a bill and not know how this will work and how it will affect everyone. Nobody could explain it because there really wasn’t a plan. If there was and it was explained, I don’t think it would’ve passed. This will now make it difficult for the elderly, college students away from home, etc., to be able to vote. Do I believe there is voter fraud in Nebraska? You bet. Everybody I vote for never gets in.
Barbara Krzemien, La Vista
I worked regularly at the polls for years. The hours were 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. In the training, held before every election, an application for an absentee ballot was included in the packet that was given to every worker. We were told that if we were not working at our own polling station, we would not have time to vote. At the time of the training, duty stations were not announced.
What will poll workers do? Will they be able to vote?
Nancy W. Huston, La Vista
Jack Stark trial
University of Nebraska Board of Regents member Jack Stark had to be relieved when his trial last week for felony witness tampering ended so quickly and with an acquittal for Mr. Stark. I assume the NU Board of Regents were also pleased that they were saved some embarrassment.
Something I have thought about since Stark was elected in 2020 was how lucky it was for Stark that he won the seat.
In the primary election that year, Millard School Board member Mike Kennedy finished ahead of Stark in the voting. Then, suddenly, Kennedy dropped out of the race, leaving Stark to run unopposed in the general election. Kennedy stated the reason he dropped out was, during the pandemic, he wanted to focus on his local schools (“Mike Kennedy withdraws from University of Nebraska Bard of Regents race”).
Stark has been closely associated with the Cornhusker football team, as has other former Huskers on the Regents: Tim Clare and Jim Pillen. I believe Pillen, now governor of Nebraska, must have been pleased Kennedy dropped out, because he donated $10,000 to Stark’s campaign.
Now the millions upon millions the Board of Regents spend on Husker football can continue unabated, because I don’t think Kennedy, an academic, would have been so quick to rubber-stamp the fortune University of Nebraska spends on football with not-so-great results.
Ricky Fulton, Omaha
Dear Congress, leave political ruts. Move off your biased butts. Raise the ceiling debt. The money has been spent. America doesn’t deserve distress. Because you refuse to solve this mess. We have had enough.
Terri Nesselrotte, Omaha
On George Santos
George Santos, where did you go to college?
Forty years ago, the conversation ends and he resigns; in disgrace but with some murky semblance of dignity. Somehow, the opposite of vanity became popular in an absurdly short amount of time. Luckily for us, there are expulsion procedures.
Throwing brashness aside and arriving closer to the point ... there is a congressman who lied about where he went to college and Republicans are too chicken to expel him because they do not want a repeat of McCarthy’s speakership debacle to become the narrative of the Republican Party for the next two years. Shameful. In 12 years of commenting privately on the manner of politics, this is only the second time I am inclined to ask just what in the world members of Congress are thinking? How obvious does a non-zero sum game across the aisle have to be?
I am a proud graduate of Tulane University that studied political science under great names like the late Dr. Langston, Clegg Ivey and a host of others, and in Nebraska have had my education scrutinized because it was the first time in modern history that Tulane was a name consistently uttered on “SportsCenter.”
Why can we not ask where George Santos went to college and move on as as a society. I know the answer, but why will no one speak it out loud? Doesn’t sell advertisements? Doesn’t fit the proper narrative?
James Frogge, Council Bluffs
Years ago, I laughed at the plan to revitalize the Omaha riverfront where the ASARCO lead refinery operated. I and many others thought this was a ridiculous waste of money that would be a complete failure. In fact, it has been a great success. Interestingly, I am seeing similar criticism about the creation of a new streetcar line. The mayor who proposed that the riverfront be developed was Hal Daub, he also proposed a streetcar line. Visionary ideas often appear crazy, only later to be proven to be genius. I sincerely hope this is the case with the new streetcar line.
Mark Weekley, Omaha
Wall of separation
While reading every official document looking for mentions of separation of church and state, Kelly Kaluza (“Church and State”) missed two key papers. Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797, and signed by President John Adams states: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion …”
On Jan. 1, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptists Association: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
Vicki Pratt, Omaha
I have written about the streetcar before but this letter is more from the standpoint of what this thing would really be and look like. I recently received a book entitled “Classic Railroad Scenes.” Almost all of the first 100 scenes are actual photos of streetcars/trolleys from the 1940s through the 1960s. These systems were built in the bustling downtown areas of cities when not everyone had at least one automobile, yet these systems no longer exist. Why?
I lived in Philadelphia in the 1960s and they still had trolleys. The photos in the book reminded me of the maze of ugly catenary wires running down the street as they will in Omaha. They will be supported by an arrangement of poles alongside one or both sides of the street. As in my photos, the tracks run down the normal traffic lane, meaning on most streets, cars are unable to pass when the trolley is stopped to pick up or discharge passengers. They do not pull over to the curb as do busses.
We were recently surprised by the revelation that MUD would incur millions of dollars of expense relocating lines for the streetcar. Streetcars do not utilize AC (alternating current) as does most everything else. They use DC (direct current) which, in itself, will require its own substantial infrastructure, including, I assume, some type of substations along the route. And by the way, has anyone on the city council ever driven on wet or ice- and snow-covered steel tracks?
Frank Blank, Omaha
Gift for the wealthy?
According to my calculation, with a salary of $1.4 million, Marcus Satterfield, the new offensive coordinator for the Huskers, would see a tax cut of $40,000 from his current tax rate of 6.84% to 3.99% while a couple with an income of $41,190 would see an increased tax bill of $200 from their 3.5% tax to the new flat tax of 3.99%. Yet, according to the governor, his proposed “flat tax” is equitable and “the fairest way I know.” Maybe we and our legislators should ask “fair for who?”
Jeff Smith, Omaha
OWH Public Pulse December 2022
Wounded veterans need suitable housing to fit their needs, Pulse writer says.
Pulse writers respond to Gov-elect Jim Pillen's top priorities for his administration.
Streetcars are expensive and have very limited utility, Pulse writers say.
Pulse writers give their thoughts on imposing religious beliefs upon others.
Pulse writer reminds us that kindness is the best gift to give.
Pulse writers question the timing of tenants forced to evacuate the Legacy Crossing apartment complex.
Pulse writer says former President Trump needs to be held accountable for his wrongs.
Pulse writer offers a solution to the local high property tax problem.
Pulse writer laments about local property tax increases in Omaha.
Pulse writer is thankful for access to palliative care.
Pulse writer does not agree with the revised policy on gender for Omaha's Catholic schools.
Pulse writer laments on the passing of Mississippi State coach Mike Leach.
Pulse writer says that the past Nebraska coaches may not be the problem with Husker football.
Ricketts tenure as Governor, and his past and present interest in serving in the U.S. Senate, is indicative of his commitment to public service and the people of Nebraska, Pulse writer says.
Pulse writer weighs in on alternatives to the streetcar plan.
Pulse writers say it is necessary to correct broadband map imperfections so that Nebraska can receive maximum federal funding.
Pulse writers give their thoughts on the application process for filling Sasse's senate seat.
Pulse writers sound off on applicants to fill Ben Sasse's seat in the U.S. Senate.
Pulse writer praises the volunteers at the Nebraska Diaper Bank.
Timely access to care is not always possible due to prior authorization policies, Pulse writer says.
Pulse writer says former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey has not been involved in the day-to-day knowledge or operation of the Democratic Party in Nebraska in recent years.
Pulse writer reminisces on the old school World-Herald paper carriers.
No collegiate athletic coach should ever be paid more than the university's highest paid teacher, Pulse writer says.
Pulse writer wants UPRR to recognize its essential workers and provide a small amount of paid sick leave for them to take care of themselves or their families.