Friday, February 25, 2011

Noem Has Hit The Big Time

It hasn't taken long for Kristi Noem to hit the big time of GOP bullshitters being called out for their less than honest talking points. Noem was taken to task yesterday when she tweeted on the just released CBO report on the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the last quarter of 2010. What the report actually showed was an increase in costs of $7 billion over the November report's estimates, a boost in GDP, an improvement in unemployment, and an increase of between 1.3 and 3.5 million jobs during the last quarter yet this is what Noem tweeted:











John Boehner must be ecstatic, it appears he is the proud parent of a popular new questionable talking point parrot...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nebraska Resurrects And Enhances Bill That Would Make Killing Abortion Providers Justifiable

South Dakota's legislature shelved their version of justifying the murder of abortion providers last week but apparently our neighbors to the south, Nebraska, decided to bring it back. And their bill allows for anyone to claim justifiable homicide when killing abortion providers.
Last week, South Dakota's legislature shelved a bill, introduced by Republican state Rep. Phil Jensen, which would have allowed the use of the "justifiable homicide" defense for killings intended to prevent harm to a fetus. Now a nearly identical bill is being considered in neighboring Nebraska, where on Wednesday the state legislature held a hearing on the measure.

The legislation, LB 232, was introduced by state Sen. Mark Christensen, a devout Christian and die-hard abortion foe who is opposed to the prodedure even in the case of rape. Unlike its South Dakota counterpart, which would have allowed only a pregnant woman, her husband, her parents, or her children to commit "justifiable homicide" in defense of her fetus, the Nebraska bill would apply to any third party.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thune Not Running For POTUS

Not surprisingly, our junior Senator John Thune has decided that he will not be running for the Presidency. In his press release, Thune gives a myriad of reasons for his decision including being able to best serve South Dakota but strangely missing is his real reason for not running.

He didn't want to get his ass whooped in the primaries...

Any numbers one chooses to cite shows that he would have gotten trounced and would have been lucky to make it out of the first couple of primaries. CPAC polling as well as the latest New Hampshire straw poll had Thune listed so low that he was all but a footnote not even rising to crazy wingnut Michele Bachmann levels. No way Thune sees these numbers as anything but what they are, the end of a Presidential run.

Thune's choice not to run is not the result of any revelation from his prayers or because of any desire to better serve South Dakota. Thune isn't running because his golden boy image would have been severely tarnished by the trouncing he would have experienced.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finally Some Truth On Fox News

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words and here it is, finally some truth makes it onto the Fox News Channel.



Via

Thursday, February 17, 2011

EAS Funding Side Effects

I know the cut, cut, cut, mentality is all the rage these days in Washington and one of the programs being looked at is the Essential Air Service funding that provides subsidies to allow commercial air service out of smaller cities across the country. The program provides approximately $200 million (or about $182 per passenger) at 140 airports including Watertown ($1.3 Million) and Huron ($1.7 Million) here in South Dakota. These subsidies are often the only thing allowing these smaller cities to provide commercial air service.

Looking at just the numbers there is some obvious problems with how the program is being run. When you see airports like Ely, Nevada getting $5,223 per passenger it is no wonder that the suddenly cost conscious are looking to trim the fat. What you aren't hearing though is some of the possible side effects of completely gutting the program.

If we just look at South Dakota for example. Huron is served by Great Lakes Airlines, and Watertown by Mesaba Airlines, companies whose business model relies on providing small aircraft to service rural airports, most of which rely on EAS funding. Shuttering the EAS program would likely put Great Lakes out of business and possibly Mesaba as well. As our local tea partiers would say, no big deal, if they can't make it without government help then they don't deserve to be in business anyways right?

Of course there is one small problem with that logic. With no Mesaba or Great Lakes Airlines, Aberdeen and Pierre also lose as those carriers are the only ones serving those cities meaning that while EAS funding only directly subsidizes Huron and Watertown, South Dakota could lose so much more. How many state capitols do you know of that don't have commercial air service and how hard will it be to sell our cheap slave labor to out of state businesses when they have to fly into Sioux Falls or Rapid City and then drive 200 miles to get to the top secret Governors hunt?

Our economy is in a world of hurt highlighted by loads of wasteful spending and the EAS program is no exception. Cutting it out completely and saving $200 million right off the bat might look good now, but remember every action usually comes with a reaction and in South Dakota it could be more than we bargained for.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Senate Follows House In Extending Patriot Act Spy Provisions

Both of South Dakota's Senators followed House member Kristi Noem and voted last night to extend  three controversial Patriot Act spy measures that were set to expire in a few weeks. Tim Johnson and John Thune concluded that our 4th Amendment wasn't important and voted to allow our government to continue the following Constitutionally challenged activities:

• “Roving wiretap” provision that allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court (for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.

• The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.

• The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

As for our fearless leader Barack Obama coming to the rescue by not signing this? Not going to happen as he is on record wanting these provisions extended as well.

The Silence Is Deafening

A full 24 hours after the House voted to extend the spy on Americans portion of the Patriot Act, not one Republican blog in the state that I am aware of even mentioned the story in passing (or Dem blog that I can see). I just love the constant rhetoric from the Reich Wing on protecting our freedoms at all costs but when it comes down to actually doing so, silence.

So Ms Noem, how do you reconcile the fact that you along with 274 of your cohorts in the House have chosen to vote against the very principles you claim to hold so dear? Even worse, how does Michele Bachmann who just a few weeks ago decreed that her colleagues be able to cite the specific passage in the Constitution that validates any bill before the House, explain away her obvious hypocrisy?

Bueller, Bueller...

HB1171: Giving Purpose To Our Concealed Carry Laws

Only in South Dakota...
A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of "justifiable homicide" to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state's GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state's legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person "while resisting an attempt to harm" that person's unborn child or the unborn child of that person's spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman's father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.

At least our state GOP is good at something (it sure isn't passing a budget). With their attempt to use astrology to explain global warming last year to this year's attempt to legalize murder, we are becoming the laughing stock of the country. Move over Texas, here we come!

Monday, February 14, 2011

House Renews The Dilution Of The 4th Amendment

While the tea party concerns themselves with the Hawaiian birth certificate of Barack Obama and John Boehner sends 450 million in pork back to his district while railing about overspending, our 4th Amendment rights get trampled on once again.

The House today voted 275 - 144 to extend provisions of the Patriot Act that among other things provides for the following:
• The “roving wiretap” provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court, without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.

• The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.

• The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.
Isn't it nice to know that our Congress (Kristi Noem included) have their priorities straight.