Published Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 4:04 pm
The Public Pulse, February 28

Hagel archives should be open

I am writing in response to the Feb. 23 article, “UNO keeps Hagel Senate archive closed, for now.” As a student leader for the University of Nebraska (acting chairman of the Nebraska Federation of College Republicans), I find it absolutely appalling that our university’s leaders would deny access to essential information when the U.S. Senate needed to make such an important decision.

This information was even more vital to this particular nomination due to Chuck Hagel’s tendency toward “political evolution” at best and politically advantageous flip-flopping at worst. Who is the real Chuck Hagel? Which version of Chuck Hagel will end up as secretary of defense?

When a nominee spends a substantial portion of the confirmation hearing apologizing for his past statements, as Hagel recently did, it is crucial that our elected officials are given the means to discover who that person truly is. They must have access to any and all relevant information to fully accomplish this task.

Within UNO’s archives sits the largest stockpile of information on Sen. Hagel in the world. It is the university’s duty to our nation to make that information accessible. Withholding the information makes the university complicit in whatever Hagel does not want the world to know, at least until after his confirmation.

John-Robert Bloom, Lincoln

Fischer anti-Hagel all the way

So newly minted U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer voted four times against Chuck Hagel — in committee, twice against allowing the Senate vote to confirm him and finally against his confirmation as defense secretary. I will remember these votes by Sen. Fischer.

It will be interesting to see if Hagel proves to be a capable secretary of defense, or if the senator’s concerns prove to have been valid or mostly just plain partisan.

William S. Nelson, Omaha

Drivers, start your budget cuts

President Barack Obama has predicted gloom and doom because of the so-called sequester. He talked about airports being backed up because of cut services, military pay being held up, pensions and Medicare payments being late and on and on.

I’ll believe the powers that be are getting serious when I no longer see Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 race car sponsored by the National Guard and the Top Fuel dragster driven by Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher sponsored by the U.S. Army. I realize these two sponsorships are a drop in the bucket, but there’s got to be a start somewhere.

The last thing that should be touched is active-duty military payrolls.

Ken Krzycki, Papillion

GOP favors wealthy over others

As struggling families of this country watch their standards of living decline as jobs are shipped overseas, with rising prices, skyrocketing health care costs and jobs without pensions, what is the Republican Party’s solution?

Cut Medicare and Social Security, while making sure the wealthy and well-connected continue to reap record profits and pay low taxes. America, you are being duped.

Steve Jones, Omaha

Approve pipeline to aid economy

If the president is serious about his State of the Union promise to “grow the middle class,” he needs to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL is a clear win-win for consumers and producers. Construction of the pipeline would create thousands of jobs.

A chief criticism is that it would contribute to global climate change. But the truth is that burning all of the pipeline’s deliveries would have no measurable effect on global climate, according to official climate models.

Critics also claim the pipeline would damage an aquifer in Nebraska. But Keystone’s planned pathway has been specifically rerouted to avoid such an outcome. And the pipeline has been fully approved by the relevant Nebraska authorities.

Ironically, blocking the pipeline promises to increase, not decrease, global carbon emissions. If Canada cannot sell its tar-sands oil to be refined in the United States, it will market the oil to China. And China’s refineries generate significantly higher volumes of emissions than American refineries do.

The Obama administration should stand up to those special-interest groups more concerned with fundraising than good global citizenship. America’s middle class should truly come first.

Robert L. Bradley Jr., Houston

CEO, Institute for Energy Research

PAC says it did ask Nebraskans

A Feb. 22 World-Herald editorial ignores what many Nebraska Republicans actually think about Jeff Fortenberry’s record.

Before the Senate Conservatives Fund took a position against Congressman Fortenberry’s potential bid for the U.S. Senate, we asked our members in Nebraska what they thought. Here are a few of their comments:

“He has been part of the problem,” Duane Meyer, Lincoln.

“He can’t be relied on to support conservative positions,” Michael Godfrey, Omaha.

“He is not a conservative and doesn’t get that we need to stop spending money we don’t have,” Jean Kruse, Farwell, Neb.

“He goes along with the old-guard Republicans,” Pat Freese, Lincoln.

“His ranking is weakest of all the Nebraska congressmen,” Andrew Sullivan, Omaha.

“I asked Fortenberry where in the Constitution was the authority for earmark spending. His reply was the General Welfare Clause. This is not the thinking of a fiscal conservative,” Tim Young, Malcolm, Neb.

“He’s your typical establishment Republican who screams his conservatism at the top of his lungs in Nebraska, but then goes to Washington and sells us down the river,” Bob Fletcher, Valentine, Neb.

The World-Herald should take its own advice and listen to Nebraska Republicans before it supports Fortenberry’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Matt Hoskins, Alexandria, Va.

Executive director

Senate Conservatives Fund

Bloody well right on Tarantino

I want to thank and commend Bob Fischbach for excellently explaining (Feb. 21 World-Herald) why I refuse to buy tickets to Quentin Tarantino films and why I mute anything having to do with awards for him.

He should not be encouraged, and Mr. Fischbach did a beautiful job of writing why.

Gary Luckert, Omaha

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