June 10, 2021
The Nebraska Legislature ended its 2021 session a week or so ago and I noticed an article about the session that interested me.
It seems that almost 700 Bills had been introduced into the session this year. Not all were passed, but that seemed to me to be a lot. Can it be that there is so much wrong with how we handle the business of the state that it took almost 700 attempts to change, or correct, how we govern ourselves?
One of the good things I think we have here in Nebraska is the limit we have placed on the length of each Legislative session. 90 days one year and 60 days the following year. And, if memory serves me correctly, years ago the Legislature met only every other year.
I realize there are “things” out there that need improvement, but having a state legislature meet all year long in an attempt to correct them, may not be the best answer.
Since I started with a note on a little bit of the Legislative process we have here in Nebraska I’m going to continue with the National legislative process.
Most of what follows comes from an article written by Mr. George Will.
I have read Mr. Will’s articles for many years and in general, while I don’t always agree with him, I do respect what he says. Last week he wrote about the Democrat’s first legislative attempt of the current government. It is called: “For the People Act.” (FTP)
In general terms, the 800 plus page bill would change the way most states conduct election. The federal government would control the election process in all states. Right now the U. S. Constitution gives the right to control elections to State governments.
A couple of changes the Liberals would like to see changed across the nation:
* FTP would compel states to count mail ballots received ten days after the election. It would also give voters ten additional days to correct mistakes on mailed ballots. (How does one ‘correct’ a ballot?)
* FTP proposes to give federal government employees paid Election Days off.
* FTP wants to expand regulation of “electioneering communication” to include any communication that mentions a federal official, even if only to urge support for a policy, not influence an election.
Many people suspect this attempt by Liberals to change America’s voting system is in direct contradiction to the U. S. Constitution that give election control to the states. Mr. Will cites several statistics questioning why a change is needed. They are:
* In 2020, 73 percent of voters cast their ballots before Election Day.
* Almost 44 percent of Florida ballots were cast by mail, and that state’s tabulation was completed on election night.
* Forty-three states allow early voting . . . why is there a ‘need’ to give federal workers a day off work to vote? New Hampshire has no mail-in voting, and requires voter IDs and in-person voter registration, it has been among the top five states in voter turnout in the five previous presidential elections.
“For The People” seems to be “For The Liberals” and would do nothing to help insure a more fair election, beside the fact it appears to be an illegal attempt to control elections.
Technology . . . One of my least favorite subjects, but one I like to talk about. This week, two items:
* First off: Ethanol . . . the chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board recently released the following figures concerning the ethanol industry in America.
I bring this up because I remember many people who were so strongly against the ethanol idea when it got started 20 to 25 years ago.
I’m not sure I understand all of the technical facts, but consider: * A 2021 Harvard study compared gas and ethanol, proving ethanol’s carbon intensity score is 46 percent lower than gasoline’s. * One unit of energy invested in corn ethanol production results in 2.3 units of usable energy in the form of ethanol. * The amount of thermal energy required to make a gallon of ethanol has fallen 36 percent since 1995. At the same time, producers are squeezing 12 percent more ethanol out of every bushel. * The ingredients that ethanol replaces in gasoline are the most expensive, toxic, cancerous and carbon/energy-intense to refine. * Ethanol is responsible for displacing 2 million barrels of imported oil each year and removing the equivalent of 20 million cars from the road.
* Secondly: Communications: Have you been watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers Baseball Team? As I write this, they are getting ready to play the championship game of their Regional Tournament against the Number One team in the nation. This is their fourth game and all have been on TV. The TV channel that showed the games was changed Sunday night and as we were looking for it, we got a call from Wisconsin. Nancy’s brothers were boating on a lake and thought they would check in with sister. We told them what we were doing and they informed us what channel to look for, as they got the information off their cell phone. Couldn’t do that 30 years ago.
Earlier in the week, in a conversation with another brother living in Arizona we find out that his wife had recently driven to Wisconsin to visit family. However, on the way she realized she made a wrong turn someplace. She called her husband and he found the solution to her problem on his home computer in Arizona and related what correction she needed to do. Couldn’t do that 30 years ago either.
Technology . . . can be used for good, or for bad.
Go Big Red . . .