Rounds' Excuses Are Starting To Show Some Holes

An AP article in this morning’s Aberdeen News looks at several other states and their execution laws and it turns out that South Dakota isn’t alone when it comes to their 2 drug procedure when performing executions.

Unlike here though, states like Oklahoma which by coincidence executed their 83rd inmate since 1990 on the same date that Governor Rounds stopped Elijah Page’s execution, use a 3 drug cocktail even though their law calls for 2.

“No one’s raised that issue here,” Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie told the Rapid City Journal.

Even Attorney General Larry Long is quoted as saying that the 2 drug law didn’t apply because Page have waived all his rights. So what was Governor Rounds excuse again? Because it being illegal doesn’t seem to have been the problem.

The illegal thing didn’t fly so his next excuse revolved around the revulsion on the part of the family if only 2 drugs were used.

Page would have died quickly, but his body could have continued to twitch for a half-hour or more, the governor said.”There would have been a lot of revulsion on the part of the family – and they don’t deserve that – and on the part of the observers and on the part of the individuals we expect to carry out the penalty who had not been trained for a two-drug execution,” Rounds said. “We would never have executed an individual in the future.”

But that excuse doesn’t fly either.

Dr. Jonathan Groner, associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, said an execution can produce a sight that witnesses find appalling but he questioned the point Rounds was trying to make.The two drugs used under South Dakota’s law would be a barbiturate that induces a coma and a muscle relaxant that paralyzes the body, each of which is sufficient to kill, he said.

“Thus, there would be no twitching,” Groner said.

Okay Mike, what’s your latest excuse?

Why don’t you just come out and tell the truth. You couldn’t make a tough decision and waited until the last minute hoping the Page would let you off the hook, and when he didn’t, you put the decision into the hands of the legislature instead.

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John Dean On Donald Rumsfeld

Glenn Greenwald writing over at firedoglake had a very interesting interview with John Dean, the author of Conservatives Without Conscience, that I would recommend everyone read. One of Dean’s comments that stood out to me dealt with Donald Rumsfeld when he first came to the Nixon White House back in 1970.

Rumsfeld came to the Nixon White House in 1970 some five months after I arrived. At the time, I asked White House chief of staff Bob Haldeman what Rummy was going to be doing. “Nothing,” Haldeman told me, explaining that they were placing him on the White House staff (giving him a sinecure) to bolster his chances to win a Senate race in IL.

In time, Haldeman — not to mention — Nixon came to distrust Rumsfeld. Many thought Nixon appointed him Ambassador to NATO as a promotion. In fact, they wanted to get him out of the White House. Haldeman called Rumsfeld “slimy” in his contemporaneous diaries, and Nixon is heard on his tapes discussing Rumsfeld in less than flattering terms.

Most ironic, given Rumsfeld’s current position on Iraq, Rumsfeld argued that Nixon should get the hell out of Vietnam. Rummy was a cut and run guy back then.

It gives an interesting perspective on how the guy that is preaching the “stay the course” line in Iraq now felt during the Vietnam War not to mention the lack of trust he earned during his early years in the Nixon Administration.

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Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin Dies In Freak Accident

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Irwin shown with his wife Terri (Australia Zoo via AP file)
Today will be a light one as far as posting goes because of the Labor Day holiday but I did want to touch on the news coming from Australia that Steve Irwin also know as the "Crocodile Hunter" was killed in a freak accident involving a stingray while filming a documentary off of Queensland.

Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called “Ocean’s Deadliest” when he swam too close to one of the animals, which have a poisonous bard on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said.
"He came on top of the stingray and the stingray’s barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said Stainton, who was on board Irwin’s boat at the time.

Irwin made it fun to watch nature documentaries and his death will surely be felt among his millions of fans. Irwin leaves behind his wife Terri, an 8 year old daughter Bindi, and a 2 year old son Bob. More about Irwin can be read here.

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Taking One For The Home Team

During their captivity, Fox News reporters Steven Centanni and Olaf Wiig, were the darlings of the right with daily updates calling on readers to pray for their release.

Once the reporters were released a strange thing happened, the right decided that because part of the conditions of their release was that Centanni and Olaf were forced at gunpoint to convert to Islam, they were now somehow traitors.

Along these lines, self-proclaimed reasonable conservative Jon Swift has an excellent tongue in cheek look at the aftermath in the conservative blogosphere.

Once the conservative blogosphere secured the release of Centanni and Wiig, however, they began to have questions about their conduct. The fact that Centanni and Wiig were Fox News journalists did not shield them from scrutiny. In fact, it meant that they were held to a higher standard than just any old kidnapping victims. While we might expect bad behavior from Reuters or Al Jazeera journalists, who because of their biased reporting are legitimate military targets, we really expect a lot more from Fox newsmen. For some, the journalists’ actions while in captivity were a “career ender.”

The full article can be read here.

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No Parking

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You’ve got to be amazed by the way they are able to park and move the numerous planes sitting on deck and still be able to launch and recover, I am and I watched it happen almost daily while at sea for over 5 years.

I took this from a RADAR platform on the USS Kitty Hawk in 1985. I’m starting to really feel old as a majority of the planes shown are no longer in active service including the A7 which actually was on it’s last legs even back in 85 soon after to be replaced by the F18.

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The Race For Governor – September Poll

[poll=7]

Now that Labor Day weekend is upon us and election silly season is ready to hit full swing, I will be continuing the monthly South Dakota Governor’s race poll that was being run over at the now defunct South Dakota Politics and Elections site.

At issue this month is whether Governor Rounds’ decision at the last minute to stay the execution of Elijah Page will affect anyone’s decision on whether or not they will be voting for him this November. When voting in this poll please feel free to comment on your thoughts on how this decision figures in your choice if at all.

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Banned

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It seems for some reason the powers that be over at Mt. Blogmore have seen fit to ban me. Not that it is a big deal as I have only posted maybe 2 or 3 general non-inflammatory comments and rarely even ever visited the site other than through my RSS reader but what bothers me is the folks that run the site have refused to even answer my emails requesting what was behind the ban. Not very South Dakota friendly of them is it…

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Practicing What You Preach

Hypocrisy isn’t an affliction that just affects the right. National Democrats have made the minimum wage one of their pet projects and the failed attempt earlier this summer is supposed to be one of the issues that they will be campaigning on for the November mid-terms. Along those lines, the Democrats might want to look at one of their own contractors which appears to not have gotten the message.

Grassroots Campaigns, a firm hired to help out with the fight against the Bush Administration in Wisconsin has in many cases paid their workers what works out to be just a little over $1 dollar an hour, well below Wisconsin’s mandated minimum wage of $6.50 per hour.

Juan Ruiz says he put in about 45 hours working at Grassroots Campaigns for five days this year, and was paid just $56. And Miles Kristan produces pay stubs for two two-week periods, during which he says he typically worked 50 hours per week. One is for $339.81, the other for $281.50. Before taxes. (For these and more, see Document Feed at The DailyPage.com.)

Not only could this end up being illegal, it sure isn’t the best way to go about making your point for the need for an increase.

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Leadership Award?

Senator George “Macaca” Allen can’t seem to get his name out of the news lately but in most cases for those seeking re-election that would be a good thing. Unfortunately for Allen though, it isn’t the kind of press that does much to help his chances. This time unlike his infamous “Macaca” comments and the pictures with him and white supremacist groups, Allen wasn’t directly responsible for the bad press.

For some reason the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund chose to award Allen their Community Leadership award which he properly decided to decline but only after an outpouring of criticism from donors to the foundation.

“The foundation told the senator that they’ve been catching a lot of static from members and some of their donors, and before it spins into a week of controversy, we just decided to decline it,” Allen spokesman John Reid said.

Now the question that really should be asked is why, with Allen’s history, was a foundation named after a prominent civil rights attorney and the first African American Supreme Court Justice be awarding this honor to him in the first place? What was Gordon Lee Baum, the Council of Conservative Citizens organizer and individual that Allen was pictured with not available?

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