We know how Omaha feels
Gov. Dave Heineman and Sens. Mike Johanns and Ben Nelson all think something's fishy about the selection of Barksdale Air Force Base over Offutt Air Force Base for the new Global Strike Command.
The Air Force announced last week that the new command, along with 900 new military and civilian jobs, will be going to Barksdale, in northwest Louisiana.
Johanns noted that Offutt, near Omaha, earned the top score -- 89 out of 100 possible points and eight points above the next highest scoring location -- in the Air Force's "thoughtful and comprehensive analysis" of the six different sites under consideration.
The officials called on Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to reject the recommendation and instead select Offutt Air Force base as home to the new Global Strike Command, which will consolidate control of the Air Force's nuclear-capable missiles and jet wings.
The situation should sound vaguely familiar to McCook residents, who saw the Nebraska Department of Corrections select Tecumseh as site for a new state prison in 1998 after McCook clearly won a similar competition.
We don't know what caused the state prison people to change the rules of the game when it became apparent McCook was going to win, but suspect similar forces were at play in the selection of Louisiana over Omaha. Perhaps the Obama administration saw a chance to curry favor with a state neglected by the last administration during Hurricane Katrina.
Being passed over for the prison -- during the waning days of Ben Nelson's tenure of governor and just before Mike Johanns took that office -- turned out fine for McCook, thanks to our selection as home to the Work Ethic Camp.
We hope Offutt, which is also in the running to be home to a new unit dedicated to defense of cyberspace, the 24th Air Force, has similar luck.