Saturday, July 15, 2017

Omaha Police Dept. helicopter cop warns "foreign" car owners to buy American, then admits he drives a VW

After unambiguously admitting that OPD profiles drivers of foreign cars (How dumb is that, ACLU?) the cop backpedaled and said it was all satire and irony.
     Coulda fooled us.
     Also, Officer Friendly actually drives a VW himself. Hope it's a model made in Chattanooga...
     Recently the Omaha Police Department found itself in hot water for raising $5,000 for a Catholic High School by letting it raffle off a ride in the police helicopter, a stunt that didn't sit well with Common Cause.
     AKSARBENT, for its part, has some advice, too. Don't go on ridealongs with the Omaha Police Department if you know what's good for you. 

Millions of "foreign" cars sold by Honda, Nissan, VW and Toyota are built in U.S. factories and plenty of "American" cars are not made in this country.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Two clever videos, from Apple and Alan

The World-Herald visits Glur's Tavern, oldest continuously-run U.S. bar west of the Missouri,
and its tiara-wearing buck

Supposedly, no western bar has been serving drinks longer than Glur's Tavern in Columbus, named after its second owner and open since 1876.
     Sarah Baker Hansen, wife of fellow World-Herald writer Matthew Hansen, profiled the place. There's a video at the link above, too.
     By means of comparison, the legendary cowboy bar, The Mint, in Sheridan, Wyoming, only dates back to 1907. And the Mint doesn't have a stuffed buck wearing a tiara, although it is the bar that inspired Annie Prouxl to write her short story, Brokeback Mountain.

Nebraska Lottery:
8th in administrative costs, 27th in payouts

According to 2015 U.S. Census figures (the latest available) Nebraska ranks eighth in administrative costs among the 43 states which run lotteries : 12% of players' money ($18 million).
     In payouts, Nebraska was 27th, paying out 63% of player's money (nearly 150 million) in prizes (almost $95 million.)
     Jill Marshall was acting Nebraska Lottery Director during 2015. Brian Rockey was appointed Director as of July 1, 2016 after having worked for International Game Technology (IGT, formerly known as GTECH), the primary contractor for the Nebraska Lottery.
     Although Nebraska, unlike neighboring Kansas, does not allow prizes to be claimed "anonymously" (meaning the lottery will not release the winner's name), they can be claimed by a trust or LLC designed to hide the identity of the beneficiary. This happened in 2014.
     The rule: 602.03 A prize claim shall be entered in the name of an individual person or legal entity. If the prize claimed exceeds five hundred dollars ($500) the person or entity shall also furnish a tax identification number, a social security number for individuals and a federal employer identification number (FEIN) for all other persons.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cockeyed: The Onion hilariously reviews Spider-Man: Homecoming

After AKSARBENT saw the first Spider-Man, we couldn't figure out why, after outfitting Toby Maguire with a spandex suit, the film's producers then squandered tens of millions more on special effects.  But we probably weren't the target demographic for the film.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Voter Supression: Top NE Republicans mute on law broken by Trump Commission seeking NE voter data

Article here
     So far, John Gale, Nebraska's lame duck Secretary of State, Nebraska's Attorney General, Doug Peterson and Gale's would-be successor, Bob Evnen, all Republicans, have been uniformly mute on the fact that Kris Kobach, the principal architect of voter suppression in the USA, apparently broke federal law in requesting details on every Nebraska registered voter (the same kind of data Russia tried to hack last year) on behalf of Donald Trump's so-called "Voter Integrity Commission" chaired by Mike Pence and run by Kobach.
     From The Hill:
     Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, information requests from agencies and other federal entities are supposed to first be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).
     This 1980 law requires federal agencies to seek public input, including through a comment period, before a request for information. A 1995 amendment extended OIRA’s authority to include not only requests for information for the government, but also requests for information to the public.
     The law also requires that agencies justify their requests for public information, specify how it will be used and provide assurances that data will be protected. The law also obliges the agencies to estimate how many hours it will take entities to respond.
     It does not appear that the commission submitted its request to OIRA before sending a letter to states asking for voter information.
     Experts say the failure to do so would be significant, since states would be under no obligation to respond to requests that violate federal law.
     “If the commission gets heavy-handed with them, it seems to me that the states are within their right to say, 'No, we don’t have to respond because you didn’t go through [OIRA],'” said Susan Dudley, a former OIRA administrator who is now director of the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University.
     The commission did not immediately respond to questions about whether it had submitted its request through OIRA.
     And that's not all. Yesterday, according to CNN, "The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law called on the Justice Department to investigate whether Kobach violated the Hatch Act, a 1939 law intended to keep federal employees from directly supporting candidates, accusing him of using his role on the presidential commission to promote his campaign and solicit contributions."
     Kobach's voter supression machinations have resulted in four ACLU lawsuits, so far, and he has lost every one.
Blind, deaf and mute on vote suppression masquerading as "ballot integrity": GOP Secretary of State
candidate Bob Evnen, GOP Secretary of State John Gale and Attorney General Doug Peterson
     The Washington Post has reported that  "Kobach was fined $1,000 on Friday by a federal magistrate judge for “patently misleading representations” he made to the court about the contents of a document he was photographed taking into a November meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump."
     Six Nebraska state senators have written a letter to John Gale requesting that he reject the "request." They are Sens. Kate Bolz, Adam Morfeld, Matt Hansen and Anna Wishart of Lincoln; and Sens. Sara Howard and John McCollister of Omaha.
     Even though the Secretaries of State of 45 states have weighed in on Trump, Nebraska's GOP Secretary of State (John Gale) has said, nothing, the GOP candidate running to replace him (Bob Evnen) has been mute, and Nebraska's GOP Attorney General (Doug Peterson) is similarly paralyzed.
     Tweets about this issue have accused the office of Nebraska's Secretary of State of demanding names and phone numbers of callers before addressing (or, more specifically, not answering) their questions. We called, and found this to be true.