Governor Heineman Announces New Task Force to Study the Effectiveness of Task Forces

Dave Heineman, the state’s Republican governor, announced a new state task force to study the effectiveness of the myriad of task forces created by the governor and his predecessor Mike Johanns to delay any real action on solving Nebraska’s problems.

“No longer can my critics, like Democratic candidate David Hahn, sit back and criticize my complete lack of leadership and my inherent inability to enact any sort of practical statewide policy,” Heineman said. “This new Task Force Task Force will thoroughly investigate the effectiveness of the task forces created by me and my old boss, Mike Johanns.”

Heineman said some of the task forces the Task Force Task Force will investigate include the Water Policy Task Force, the task force investigating the overburdened case workers in Nebraska’s Health and Human Services Department, and the task force created to investigate the viability of bringing high speed broadband Internet access to rural Nebraska.

Heineman added that the Task Force Task Force will create the air of accomplishing tasks in a forceful manner while delaying the necessity for decisive action. The Task Force Task Force will also have a sub-task force designed to decide where Governor Heineman stands on various important state issues the governor has not yet revealed his standing on including immigration, the state spending lid petition and broadband Internet access for rural Nebraska.

“It’s important that the governor waits to see opinion poll results before taking any real action,” said Jangly McSpanglepants, Heineman’s appointed leader of the Task Force Task Force. “What if the Gov’ made a decision and took action before learning how popular that decision was? Anarchy, I tell you – total anarchy. And most of this stuff isn’t even our problem. Remember when the Governor said immigration was a federal issue? That means he doesn’t have to deal with it. Unless the people want him do. But if they don’t, then we don’t want to touch it. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Heineman said he won’t decide on how effective the Task Force Task Force is until a Task Force Task Force Task Force can be formed to investigate the effectiveness of the Task Force Task Force.

“As Nebraska’s by-default governor, I’ve made one thing abundantly clear: My administration is a wait-and-see administration. Eventually there will be enough waiting and enough seeing that we can see our way through the storm of waiting,” Heineman said while visiting a local proprietor of frozen confections.

When asked by the cashier if he’d prefer chocolate or vanilla, Heineman asked the cashier to keep both machines running while an Ice Cream Task Force was formed to investigate whether chocolate or vanilla was more delicious.

Meanwhile Hahn said he’s already made his own stances clear.

“We need a barrier on the Mexico border and we need the companies that take advantage of illegal immigrant workers to pay the cost of granting the workers citizenship. I’m against the state spending lid petition, as I said weeks ago, and we need to get rural Nebraska high speed Internet as soon as possible instead of sitting on our hands to appease the big telecom companies that aren’t interested in the area in the first place,” Hahn said.

When asked by the cashier whether he wanted chocolate or vanilla, Hahn requested butter brickle.


Jawohl, mein Kater!

Lovely afternoon delights courtesy of Hitlercats. My personal favorite (he's definitely going to take over the world):


And Then..

I promise you, this is not your average "take a quiz" link.

Please, I beg of you, yes, you, not to sign the spending lid petition

It is an utter shame I haven't posted in a bit of a bit. I assure you, I've barely had time to read blogs, let alone update my own.
I'm going to take a chunk of space here, however, and repost some of Kyle Michaelis's excellent political analyis. Today, he writes:

Heineman in Hiding: 17 Days and Counting

Paid, oftentimes out-of-state petitioners have now been on the prowl for more than a month in the push to get a Constitutional state govermnent spending cap onto the November ballot. The opposition has organized, challenging the petitioners at every turn with efforts to make Nebraska voters think twice before lending their signature to such an amendment.

Democratic candidate for governor David Hahn declared the petition "irresponsible butchery" weeks ago, even challenging its lead proponent first in a series of Letters to the Editor and then in a live radio debate. In today's Omaha World-Herald, even Dave Nabity - the odd man out in this spring's Republican gubernatorial primary - registered his two cents on the amendment.

But, guess who we still haven't heard from.....yup, Governor Dave Heineman.

It has been at least 17 days since the World-Herald reported:
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman had not decided if he would support the petition because he has not had time to review it in detail.

Well, I say the game is up. Heineman has had all the time he's needed to read the petition, take a look at the facts, and make a decision as to where he stands on this important issue facing the state of Nebraska. Yet, forsaking any claim to leadership, he maintains his cowardly silence because he knows this issue can cost him politically.

By speaking in favor of the petition effort, Heineman would basically be admitting that he's too incompetent and spend-happy to be trusted with the people of Nebraska's money. By opposing the effort, however, he'd be alienating the right-wing fringe whose support proved so essential to Heineman's victory in the Republican primary. Of course, he could just claim neutrality and say it's a choice to be left to the voters of Nebraska, but people would see right through that convenient line from a mile away.

Choices, choices - that's what life's about. That's what leadership's about. Still, Heineman refuses to take a side.

In a local battle between school districts this spring, Heineman was only too happy to jump in unprovoked in a brilliant (though destructive) stroke of political opportunism. But, here, where we're talking about a matter that would directly impact every function of the state government he supposedly heads, Heineman has nothing to say - at least, not until the polling data comes in clearing the way for his having an opinion or the issue just fades away by petitioners not gathering enough signatures before the July 7th deadline.

Either way, this has been a pathetic display of how Heineman operates and what he holds as his truest priority - not the interests of the state but rather his own political career.

This petition is terrible. It will ruin Nebraska. Please don't sign it. I'll sit down and tell you all about it, if you'd like.


Cox Blocks Craigslist: And You Still Haven't Called Congress about Net Neutrality?

Heard of Craigslist? They're a free classified ad listing site on the web. Apparently, Cox Communications decided to block this site through its security software. (MyDD's Matt Stoller lays it out here). Curious, because Cox has its own classified site. This is why Net Neutrality is so important. Call/e-mail now. Here, you can find information for your representative.


The Compulsion to Clap

Last night, I went to Jonathan Demme's new film, Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Though typically I'm uninterested cinematically in concert films, I was in awe of this film's ability -- at least with the audience that joined me in the theater -- to break the fourth wall. Yes, people all around me felt compelled to clap at the end of each song! The film's cutting aided in the illusion by placing the film theater audience in a sometimes perspectivally impossible yet decidedly positively aligned position with the Ryman Auditorium audience within the film. Indeed, even in the few shots from upstage cameras, though we can see the silhouettes of a few audience members against the stained-glass windows at the back of the theater, they are in total darkness and therefore don't break the simulacral auditorium that we as film goers have been forced into by Demme. Furthermore, the camera that leads us into the auditorium then sits in the orchestra seating, a fact of which we are reminded when someone in front of "us" rises for a standing ovation.
I'll admit, I was a little disappointed that this was not a documentary (a fact I did not know going into the theater). However, had the film cut back and forth from concert to interviews, I don't think the compulsion to clap would have existed as it did. So for that, I suppose I am satisfied.



I have no idea what to say about this

Young Republicans celebrate global warming with beach parties

(Thanks to Nate for this one) Little Red Aliens found in India

This man has found all the answers to life's little problems.

And, never forget, the devious tactics of Republicans:

"Parks, libraries, and swimming pools are things that the GOP's fat cat contingent, who have their own libraries and swimming pools and large properties, don't want to pay for, which is why they are always marked for cutting by GOP pols. But the party also needs to dupe many of it's own supporters who use those things into supporting them, so they often equivocate about it, or try to distract them ("The library is closing because, um, LOOK! GAYS GETTING MARRIED!!!!!")

by jmcl89 on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 06:31:48 PM PDT" (from Daily Kos)



Providence Missing Syndrome, that is.
This morning, I've been struck with some major pangs of desire for Providence. I will admit that this may be related to the Sonic Youth song Providence, and might be heightened to a level of tears by the Godspeed You! Black Emperor song Providence, which shall soon be filling my headphones.

I joined Man's Last Great Invention onstage last night armed with my 16mm projector, several reels of my own creation, and a short piece about infant development in baboons. The show was in an incredible backyard -- huge pond, lots of vegetation, a projection screen -- and there were happy, summery people of all ages milling about.

My baby brother is 20. I've been listening to a lot of Blonde Redhead. I helped with haying. I was asked to come in to work early, and now I have no idea why, since, if I have time to do this, I'm clearly not needed for other work-related things.


Reminder to Read International Presses

"Natürlich gibt es genug Leute, die im Kino genau das sehen wollen, was sie eh schon im Kopf haben. Aber ist es nicht eigentlich die Aufgabe von Kunst, eine spezielle Perspektive auf ein Thema zu öffnen? Glaubwürdigkeit alleine reicht dafür nicht aus. Die Frage, was an Bord der United 93 geschah, kann jeder Abschlussbericht beantworten; die Chance eines Spielfilms dagegen liegt genau darin, neue und ungewöhnliche Fragen zu stellen. Ist der 11. September ein Thema, zu dem es keine offenen Fragen mehr gibt? Oder sind die Fragen zu beunruhigend, weil es keine Antworten gibt? Gerade erst musste sich Steven Spielberg gegen heftige Kritik verteidigen, nachdem er in „München“ darüber reflektierte, ob Gewalt die richtige Antwort auf Terror sein kann. Greengrass dagegen will mit „Flug 93“ weder polarisieren noch anecken. Er entzieht sich einer schwierigen Debatte, indem er nichts als die „glaubhafte Wahrheit“ zeigt, und läuft damit ins Leere. Denn wie glaubhaft seine Wahrheit auch sein mag, am Ende steht ein nichts sagender Film."
Die Zeit

My translation:
Naturally, there are enough people who want to go to the movies to see what they already have imagined in their heads. But isn't it truly the duty of art to open a special perspective on a subject? Believability alone does not achieve this. The question 'what happened on united 93' can be answered by any final report; the opportunity of film, in contrast, is to be able to ask new and unusual questions. Is september 11th a subject in which there are no longer any open questions? Or are the questions too upsetting, because there are no answers? Steven Spielberg had to defend himself against heavy criticism when, in "Munich," he reflected upon whether aggression can be the proper response to terror. Greengrass [director of "United 93"], on the contrary, wants neither to polarize nor offend with "United 93." He removes himself from any difficult debate by showing nothing but the "believable truth" and therefore runs into emptiness. For no matter how believable his truth may be, at the end is a film that says nothing.