Some photos NET News intern Johnnie Adcox took at the Nebraska Capitol. The Legislature’s natural resources committee was holding a hearing today on special session LB1, a bill introduced by Sen. Annette Dubas of District 34 that would give the Nebraska Public Service Commission authority to approve or disapprove proposed pipeline routes.

For more, tune into NET Radio at 5:30 p.m. central for Fred Knapp’s report from the Capitol, or listen online.

On Oil and Water

It’s not very often that I speak up about things, but over the last few months, I’ve become more aware of the current hot-topic in Nebraska: whether or not Transcanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline should be built through our state, or if the current planned route should be shifted away from the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer.  If you’ve never heard of either, the Sandhills are a mixture of prairie and sand dunes located in north central Nebraska.  As an ecosystem, it's surprisingly difficult to reclaim.

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The Ogallala Aquifer is basically a large shallow underground lake - one of the largest in the world.  For people in Nebraska and many other states, it is an invaluable resource of water.

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The problem?  TransCanada is currently seeking approval from the U.S. State Department to build a pipeline through the U.S., towards a Texas refinery.  Many people have concerns, however, of potential contamination to the aquifer if a leak from the proposed pipeline were ever to occur.  The Keystone 1 Pipeline has already experienced spills within the first year of operation.

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While the U.S. State Department has the finally say in allowing the pipeline to be built, individual states retain the right to regulate where the pipeline is built.  While Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has voiced his disapproval of the pipeline, he has not called a special session of the Nebraska Legislature (unicameral) to address the issue.  Currently, a few state senators are trying to get enough votes to convene in a special session, but to do that, they need 33 of the 49 senators to approve a special session.  See the article below for more details:


If you live in Nebraska and want the legislature to address the issue, contact your state senator!

Apologies for quite possibly the longest post ever.

So what exactly IS a special session?
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Earlier this week, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman called for a special session of the state legislature to discuss the legislation that might affect the route of the  proposed Keystone XL Pipeline – though back in August, he wasn’t real hot on the idea.

It’s not clear whether enough senators have shifted their views on the pipeline to make action possible, or whether the governor simply wants to be able to say he tried.

We’ll learn more when the session convenes next Tuesday.

But what IS a “special session”? Here’s a quick FAQ, using information from the Nebraska Legislature’s website.

  • When are regular vs. special sessions held? A regular session convenes and adjourns annually, starting on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January. Therefore, the next regular session begins Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. A “special” session can be convened at any time outside the normal session by the governor or two-thirds (33 members) of the legislature.

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Politics 1 - Note 2

Consensual and Majoritarian Democracies

- Ideal Types (Authoritarian)
- Westminister
- Consensual Model
- The American Model

“No country is every truly something.”
Normally no country has a policy which is exactly matching their ideals.

Cleavage - The Space in-between

Workers    |    Capitalist
French      |    Finnish
Jewish      |     Catholic

Concentration of Executive Power (West Minister)

- First-past-the-post system (Plurality)
- One party dominates
- Bare majority cabinets
- Coalitions are rare
- Strong opposition

More votes does not always mean that you will win more seats in parliment.

Pluralism: Many independent groups, usually quite small.
Unicameral Legislature:  Only one Chamber

The ‘House of Lords’ can only delay the release of a law for up to one month till a year.

*Homogenous - People belonging to one culture/race/religion. 

The fuck is up with Bicameral Parliments.

I don’t see the need. It’s twice the overhead at least, slows down legislation and generally contributes to bigger government.

If you give up all pretence of representation, equality or democracy, I can understand how having a lower house for the people then an upper house for the states or the Lords is you know, 1 rule for them, 1 rule for us.

But I don’t get it.

My thoughts on my Ideal Parliament

The Romanian Parliament voted against the new referendum initiated by the country’s president Traian Basescu, which called for a smaller, 300-seat and single chamber Parliament. There were 191 votes against and 123 votes for the referendum, while 69 MPs chose to abstain. This came after the commissions in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies had given a green light to the proposal, with only 3 votes against and 3 abstentions. The recent vote in the Parliament however is not decisive, and the country’s president can still call the referendum, but the law makes it mandatory for him to consult the parliament. The President can decide what to ask in the referendum and what issues to submit to public vote, via a presidential decree. Romanian president Traian Basescu recently said that he has started the procedure to organize a new referendum, where people would again decide on having a single chamber Parliament and a maximum of 300 MPs. A similar referendum was organized in 2009, when the majority of those who voted were in favor of a smaller Parliament. Should the referendum be organized, it would be another expensive vote coming soon after last year’s referendum on whether to suspend the country’s president, which ended up invalidated. The country spent some EUR 22 million, or more or less EUR 1 per Romanian citizen, to organize the 2012 referendum. President Traian Basescu recently said the new referendum would start only after the new referendum law and the new Constitution are passed by Parliament, if indeed the result in 2009 is not be respected. (via Romanian Parliament says No to referendum to shrink its size, but president can continue process | Romania-Insider.com)

From the Omaha World-Herald (find more legislative coverage, including our daily Capitol update, here):

49 senators, 49 tax-relief ideas

When state senators knock on constituents’ doors, the top complaint they get is that property taxes are too high.

And the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures seem to back up the grumbling: Nebraska ranks significantly higher in property taxes, as a percentage of personal income, than income taxes.

So why is Gov. Dave Heineman aiming his new tax-cutting plan on individual and corporate income taxes and the inheritance tax, and not on those much-griped-about property taxes?

Proponents say the reason is that those taxes are much easier to reduce; that such cuts can more greatly transform Nebraska’s image into a low-tax state.

“The question is ‘Where do you get the biggest bang for your buck?’” said State Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue.

Democrats immediately jumped on the Republican governor’s plan as misdirected, giving too much to the wealthy and corporations and not enough to the poor and middle class …

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What do YOU think about taxes in Nebraska? How would you change current taxation policies? Tell us your thoughts.

New Session of the Nebraska Unicameral Begins.

New members of the Nebraska Unicameral were sworn in today, marking the beginning of the new session on the Nebraska Legislature, the 103rd Legislature to be exact.  If you haven’t paid attention to Legislative news in Nebraska before, the beginning of a new session is always a good time to start! Laws passed in the Unicameral affect you just as much as laws passed by Congress or your local City Council…..

read more at Progressive Oasis

Update on special session bills proposed so far:

Here’s a recap of what the special session of the Nebraska Unicameral has been up to since it began Nov. 1; any bills still in the committee when the special session adjourns are effectively killed:

LB1 – Would let the Public Service Commission make decisions regarding pipeline routes; also would change eminent domain laws (see LB3). Will be debated tomorrow (Thursday) in the full legislature.

LB2 – Provides funding for the special session. Guaranteed to pass.

LB3 – Would make adjustments to Nebraska’s eminent domain laws so that oil/natural gas companies couldn’t employ it until they had the necessary permits; this basic premise is also contained in LB1. Bill is not likely to advance from the Judiciary Committee.

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Taiwan's new parliament inaugurated

Taipei, Feb 1 (IANS) Taiwan on Monday inaugurated its new parliament, in which the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) holds an absolute majority, putting an end to over 60 years of legislative control by the nationalist Kuomintang party (KMT).

The lawmakers elected in the country’s January 16 elections were sworn-in and elected the DPP’s Su Jia-chyuan as the new speaker, to replace the KMT’s Wang Jin-pyng, who was president of the Legislative Yuan, or the Taiwanese unicameral legislature, for more than 17 years, EFE news reported.

The KMT’s strength, which has gone down from its previous count of 64 seats to just 35 in the 113-seat legislature, was dealt a harsh blow by voters in the latest elections in which the DPP won 68 seats, while the New Power Party got five, the People First Party three, and two seats were won by Independent candidates.

The DPP’s absolute majority will let it carry out its plans of legislative, judicial, economic and social reform, as pledged by president-elect Tsai Ing-wen.

The DPP will give priority to the supervisory legislation of cross-strait agreements with China and has asked the KMT-led government to suspend plans of a goods’ trade agreement with China, membership in the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, and entry of Chinese capital into the integrated circuit design industry, said DPP lawmaker Lin Shu-fen.

The new Taiwanese parliament has 43 women and 70 men. Among those 113 members, 27 are Ph.D. holders and 58 have Master’s degrees, and the average age of the lawmakers is 50 years.

The legislature will begin debating at the end of the month, after the holidays of the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 8.

A new premier, the hitherto acting Premier Simon Chang, and the entire government also took oaths of office, following the tradition of government renewal after elections.

3 Day Cardiac Unicameral legislature Plan - Whether In preparation for Surgery Or For Life A Slim down Plan That Works

The 3 Day Cardiac Diet was supposedly developed by the Birmingham Hospital in Alabama, though the hospital does not admit its role in the origin in reference to the plan. The 3 day cardiac diet has moreover been attributed to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and the Mayo Delivery room in Minnesota.

The story is that the 3 International date line Mesogastric Diet was designed for patients who needed to lose up to 10 lbs weight quickly terribly management could have surgery.

The 3 Quarter Duodenal Council of state has edge playbill plans for hot luncheon, lunch and buffet supper for three days. Each day is limited to all over 800 calories. Minute some claim that there is a special €chemical posture,€ ever so of the weight loss welfare is likely obtained by the finite calorie revenue. Also, there are very seldom carbs on the reduce which leads to wet blanket loss.

You should drink six to complement cups of water a day on the program to speed digestion.

Tuna is the featured protein on the 3 day Cardiac diet. 1\2 cup of tuna is prescribed on the chiefly two days, and on the final prime, you will increase that to 1 obituary. Variety and nutrition is provided with small to medium sized portions of buttermilk, eggs, crackers, vegetables, grapefruit, banana, and toast. Coffee, tea, or low-salt diet soda take charge escort meals barring water should hold the beverage as respects choice outside in regard to mealtime.

Some nutritionists express concerns about the secret levels with respect to calories and lack in point of a full range of nutritional options. However, considering that the diet lasts only 3 days, these are not dispositive.

Get following the 3 day cardiac diet will likely feel hunger pangs and assume lower energy levels. This is especially true by the third day. But, keep invasive mind that the camarilla is of limited continuity and you should be fine unless ethical self have endurance based physical feats as far as perform.

Your body may start in consideration of recognize that only a limited eatables supply is available when you eat only 3 small meals a day. It may go into to change by reducing transubstantiation and energy levels in conserve fat counterfeit. This can certainly make it harder so as to elude weight and place the body belowstairs additional stress.

The 3 Day Cardiac diet is not suitable for long in relation to dieting. Accommodated to 3 days you need to start across a prom that offers several qualification and more calories.

The 3 Second Cardiac Diet provides proscribed calories and nutrients for its intended duration. Your groundling can handle a fast for 3 days, terrifically you certainly stir handle a restricted calorie diet. Anywise, the diet is not a long conditions solution to your foul up management concerns.

If you need to lose a picayunish pounds in a short dipody of time, the 3 pregnant moment cardiac diet can help towards get you there. If you are weakening to succumb those €last 5 pounds€ and nothing on earth further seems to live untwisting, try the 3 daytide cardiac borough council. In any event follow it up with a sensible carnivorous plan.

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