Thune To Keep His "Perfect Record"

Even though John Thune has come out and said that he thinks that the proposed abortion ban is too restrictive, the Rapid City Journal is reporting that he still plans to vote in favor of it’s passage.

“Although the Legislature took a different approach, I will vote for it because it would reduce the number of abortions and advance our common goal of protecting the unborn,” Thune said.

He goes on to stress that he has a perfect record in Congress on voting for pro-life issues.

“As a member of Congress, I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record,” Thune said. “I have consistently supported a ban on abortion with the exceptions of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger. I will continue to fight in Congress for the unborn and to promote a culture of life.”

So now Thune gets the best of both worlds, he has publicly addressed the concerns felt by many that the ban is too restrictive but can still tell his Conservative base that voted for it anyway. Sounds like he has been taking lessons from our illustrious Governor…

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How Many People Have To Speak Out Before The Kool Aid Starts Tasting Sour?

Sour Kool AidThat is the question that needs to be asked to those that consistently defend George Bush and his policies on the “War on Terror”. Bob Woodward’s book, State of Denial is just the latest in an ever growing list of sources that have come out with accusations that the Administration has lied to the American public.
Excerpts from Woodward’s latest book are now coming out and has been the case for the most part, the Administration isn’t presented in the most favorable light.
Woodward writes that there has been a vast difference between what the White House and the Pentagon knew about the situation in Iraq and what they have been saying publicly. In memos, reports and internal debates, administration officials have voiced their concerns about the conduct of the war, even while Bush and Cabinet members such as Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have insisted that the war was going well.
Woodward goes on to describe much more in a WaPo article scheduled to be printed tomorrow that continues the unflattering commentary on Donald Rumsfeld and highlights the fact that even though the administration continues to talk about how things are just peachy in Iraq the reality is that attacks are increasing to 800-900 a week with even more escalation predicted in 2007.
Now I know we have heard this all before and I am sure the Bush apologists will dismiss Woodward’s book as just more Bush bashing in the name of making a buck as they did with many of the other books on the subject but Woodward is just joining a growing list of detractors including some from Bush’s own Administration that include former Chief of Staff Andy Card and former Secretary of State Colin Powell among others.
Sooner or later you would think the mounting evidence of lies and deception would sour the taste of the Kool Aid that the Bush supporters are drinking but then again blind faith is a powerful force.

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So Much For That GOP "Safe Seat"

Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley has resigned “effective immediately” only hours after being confronted over emails he sent to a 16 year old Capitol page.

Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.

Foley’s House seat had been considered “safe” for the GOP in November but I think that you can now consider it wide open after this…

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Common Ground

All 90 Democratic candidates for the South Dakota legislature agreed to a platform to help take back seats in this Novembers election. The plan called “Common Ground” details several talking points including:

* Require state vehicles to use ethanol and biodiesel fuels.
* Provide grants and loans for small businesses.
* Set up tax-free zones for new businesses.
* Raise the minimum wage.
* Conduct a full audit of state government.
* Provide more openness in campaigns and state government.

If you noticed as I did, there isn’t one talking point that would attempt to legislate someones personal life.

“Legislative sessions focused on divisive social issues do not solve the state’s education, economic development and health care challenges,” it states.

Pretty novel concept, concentrate on concrete issues facing everyone and avoiding the social ones that the state has no business getting involved in.

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Johnson Crosses Party Lines And Votes With Thune To Authorize Torture

The Senate today approved the bill that would allow President Bush to authorize certain forms of torture when interrogating terror suspects by a vote of 65-34. The bill also bars detainees from going to federal court to protest their detention and treatment — a right referred to as “habeas corpus.”

The vote was mainly along party lines with the exception of 12 Democrats including Tim Johnson voting for passage of the bill.

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SDSU Student Association Comes Out Against Amendement E

I am quite sure that Bill Stegmeier and the rest of the J.A.I.L.er’s aren’t shaking in their collective boots over this but I found the op-ed piece in SDSU’s student paper interesting just the same.

First off as I said it was on op-ed piece and the majority of the article is spent ripping the Student Association for not taking a stand on anything including the death penalty and more recently on the battle that the student paper had with SDSU’s Board of Regents over the open forum with the SDSU’s presidential candidates.

The interesting part comes into play with the fact that even though the Student Association seemingly has a problem taking a stand on any issue, they had no problem coming out against Amendment E.

“It’s just garbage legislation,” said Sam Nelson, an at-large senator.

Well said Sam…

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Healy Picks Up National Endorsement

From the email inbox:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Campaign for a National Majority Endorses Bryce Healy for Commissioner for School and Public Lands in the State of South Dakota

PIERRE (Sept. 28, 2006) – As the highly contentious battle for control of Congress reaches its peak in the coming weeks, the futures of both parties are being decided to much less fanfare in smaller statewide executive races across the nation. In South Dakota, the race for Commissioner for School and Public Lands could very well produce the Democratic candidate for the 2010 gubernatorial election. Bryce Healy, the incumbent and a broadly popular Democrat in a very “red” state, is seeking a second term managing the School Trust Fund that he grew over 11 percent during his first term and its 800,000+ acres of public land. On Monday, Campaign for a National Majority officially endorsed Mr. Healy in the 2006 South Dakota Commissioner for School and Public Lands race.

“Bryce Healy is exactly the kind of competent, honest candidate we want to support,” said John Sheehan, Director of Research for Campaign for a National Majority, a pragmatic political action committee that supports Democratic candidates for state executive and mayoral offices across the country. “With a strong record of success in his position, he has earned the respect and support of people on both sides of the aisle. His future looks very bright and we are thrilled to be supporting him,” continued Sheehan. The organization began their research looking at over 400 candidates in 170 races, contacting over 100 journalists, state Democratic officials and academics and spending nearly 1,200 hours in the process before selecting their 2006 endorsements.

“I’m proud to be endorsed by an organization that carefully examines the entire universe of races taking place across the country,” said Bryce Healy. “CNM cares not only about the direction of the Democratic Party, but they also recognize what’s best for individual states as well,” continued Healy. “With so many organizations taking a monolithic approach to Democratic politics, CNM stands out as a group that recognizes that the Democratic Party has both national values and local aims.”

While South Dakota has been a Republican stronghold for some time now, there is general dissatisfaction with the government over specific issues such as the method for allocating school funding and the lack of health coverage in the state. Bryce Healy’s management of the School Trust Fund and the lands in it, as well as his moderate positions on social issues, have made him widely popular in the state. For those reasons, in addition to his bi-partisan appeal, Healy is often mentioned in the same breath as Stephanie Herseth and Tim Johnson, two other successful and popular South Dakota Democrats, as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2010. With the collective clout and potential in that group, South Dakota would be well-positioned for its first Democratic Governor in over 30 years should Governor Mike Rounds be re-elected in 2006.

About Campaign for a National Majority
Campaign for a National Majority is a pragmatic political action committee that supports Democratic candidates for state executive and mayoral offices across the country. Our candidates are viable in tough races, and show promise as contenders for progressively higher offices. Our goal is to build a “farm team” of Democrats who can win statewide and national elections. It is no secret that governors consistently make the best presidential candidates. Their experience as State Executives prepares them for higher leadership and encourages them to articulate innovative policies and messages. The best governors are typically elected from other State Executive offices, like lieutenant governor or attorney general. CNM is focused on achieving clear results by winning races for Democrats, starting with state elections. To learn more about CNM, you can visit us at: www.nationalmajority.org/.

Looks like some in the Democratic Party are already planning for 2010. Good luck Bryce in your run against Jarrod Johnson and as Jack Billion is discovering, it is never too early to start getting some name recognition when it comes to running for office in our predominantly “red state” as a Democrat.

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Even Thune Realizes The Ban Goes Too Far

John Thune is quoted in today’s Argus as saying the proposed ban on abortions in South Dakota goes too far.

“I have made my position pretty clear on the life issue. … If you look at my record in Congress, you can look at votes and see I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record,” Thune said.

Thune acknowledged his own view differs from the new state law, which makes no provisions for abortions following rape or incest or to protect the health of the mother.

Thune says he supports an abortion ban but with those exceptions.

I have said several times as have many pro-life supporters, the South Dakota legislature has shot themselves in the foot by going to the extremes when they decided not to have the rape and incest exceptions. So I wonder when the far-righties will be calling the normally very vocal pro-life supporter Thune pro-death as they have done with Tim Johnson after he came out against the ban or is that a label reserved exclusively for Democrats?

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"Our Future Is Grim"

GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave from Colorado believes that there is only one “important issue that we face today” and that we could face a grim future.

So you would think that she is worried about the “war on terror” or some other conflict we are facing abroad, but if if thought that you would be wrong. Musgrave’s dire predictions are in fact related to the bill she is sponsoring in the House that would ban gay marriage.

Musgrave declared that gay marriage “is the most important issue that we face today.” She told the audience that “when you’re in a cultural war like this, you have to respond with equal and hopefully greater force if you want to win,” and warned that the “future is grim” if gay marriage is not banned.

You just have to love those far right-wing conservative priorities…

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Can't Discredit The Message So Go After The Messenger

In the wake of the Bush Administration’s release yesterday of the synopsis of the classified NIE report, reaction has been swift and as can be expected varied depending on who is doing the reporting.

The Left feels that even the miniscule 3 plus page summary declassified out of the 30 page report backs up the assertion being made after the initial leak that the invasion in Iraq has managed only to increase the number of radical terrorists hell bent on the destruction of America. The paragraph in the summary that tends to back up that assertion does appear prominently in that report.

“The Iraq conflict has become the ’cause celebre’ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.”

Of course on the Right, most pretty much ignore that paragraph and instead concentrate on other bullets in the report or in a few instances they attempt to discredit the report itself. A case in point is the reaction by a blogger over at South Dakota Politics. Jason Heppler, instead of addressing that paragraph directly, states the obvious when he quotes other conservatives such as Andrew McCarthy, Glenn Reynolds and John Hinderaker.

Jihadists hate us because they hate us, not because of Iraq.

While most of that statement is quite true, he fails to address the more damning implication that the invasion of Iraq has made more of the “Jihadists that hate us” than had existed before the invasion. The NIE report is documenting that while there were plenty of militants that wanted to do us harm before we invaded, the act of the invasion itself has radicalized many more and instead Heppler concludes that from the only 3 pages released that those in our intelligence service who wrote the report and then leaked a portion of it should be summarily fired for producing a “a meaningless document full of empty bureaucratic twaddle.

Now the full report could in fact be the “meaningless document full of empty bureaucratic twaddle.” as Heppler so eloquently states but one would wonder how anyone could honestly come to that conclusion based on only 10 percent of it being made public?

The main criticism of the Bush policies regarding the tangible results of the invasion of Iraq coming from the NIE report appear to be confirmed by it’s release but as is usually the case in politics when someone attempts to discredit a political agenda, the party under attack goes after the messenger instead of the message.

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