Circular Logic?

According to Brendan Minter from the WSJ, same sex marriage is behind the increase in out-of-wedlock births in the US.

Although advocates of same-sex marriage will deny there is any connection to extending the institution to gay couples, a recent report released by the National Center for Health Statistics reveals why this debate is worth having now. The study found that although teen pregnancy rates are dropping, the number of out-of-wedlock births in America has been steadily rising since the 1990s. It seems women in their 20s and 30s are having children without getting married first. Last year the proportion of births that are illegitimate reached an all time high of 37%, or 1.5 million children.

So let me get this straight (no pun intended), couples of the same sex who are physically unable to procreate are responsible for the increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births? I always thought it was caused by heterosexual couples that had children without getting married, silly me…

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Legislators Meet With Sutton Investigator

Legislators now know exactly what the Attorney General knows in regards to the sexual misconduct investigation of State Senator Dan Sutton.

Sen. Ed Olson, R-Mitchell, chairman of the Legislature’s Executive Board, said Sioux Falls lawyer Jim McMahon told the committee what he has learned from criminal-investigation records that were subpoenaed from the attorney general’s office. The panel also talked about what direction the probe will take in the future, Olson said.

Now that everybody knows everything (except the residents of South Dakota) it will be interesting to see how the legislators decide to proceed. Given the time the Attorney General has had to investigate and the fact that no charges have been filed, it appears that they don’t have enough to prosecute Sutton in Criminal court.

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For Your Flying Pleasure

ct80Readers here may or may not remember that I had gone to Boston for a week last month for training on a new piece of screening equipment. In this mornings Argus there is a story on this new piece of baggage screening equipment that will be installed in the next few weeks at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.
The CT-80 is a CT imaging scanner similar to what is used in the medical field that will be used to scan your checked baggage for explosives and will replace many of the current Explosive Trace Detection units that the TSA currently uses.
What will this mean for the flying public? If you’ve ever flown and found one of those nice little notes from the TSA letting you know they had opened and inspected your luggage you would have discovered that your bag was one of the as many as 60 percent of the bags that receive closer inspection by the TSA. This machine will make that unnecessary. With the TSA not having to perform that many open bag inspections, your wait in the check-in line should be significantly shortened.
What does this mean to me and why am I writing about it? Well as someone that has worked in the electronics field for almost 25 years, it is still cool to get a chance to work on the latest technology out there and this unit definitely fits into that category.

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Chalk One Up For Separation Of Church And State

The Supreme Court has dealt a blow to the religious conservatives when it refused to hear a Maine case filed on the behalf of 8 Maine families by the Institute for Justice. The case seeked to overturn a law that prevents the use of state funds to send students to private religious schools.

Last April, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that restrictions on tuition vouchers are a valid, constitutional enactment. The court said the state attorney general and the legislature were motivated by a desire to respect and comply with the Constitution rather than any religious hostility.

Also taking a hit was President Bush’s brother Jeb and Bush’s home state of Texas which both filed papers in the case saying that the Maine law is unconstitutionally discriminating against religion.

I would suspect we will see more cases like this being refused or upheld by the SCOTUS especially now that President Bush’s attempt to stack the court with conservative judges took a big hit when the Democrats took control of the House.

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Exercise In Futility

Mike Mills of Sioux Falls has had enough of the Bush Administration and he wants everybody to know.

He is collecting signatures on a petition that calls for President Bush to be impeached.

“I don’t expect anything to come of it,” he acknowledged. “I just feel compelled to make these people know they don’t speak for me,” he said of the president and vice president.

I know how you feel Mike, but maybe you should consider doing what I did instead, start your own blog, it would have the same effect (none) but it does make you feel better…

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Johnson Looks Tough To Beat

The latest SurveyUSA job approval rankings have been release and Tim Johnson continues to hover around the top 10 of all US Senators coming in at number 10 this month. John Thune by the way came in at 61 percent which was good for 42nd place.

Knowing what it’s like to be around 70 percent, Governor Rounds might want to think real hard about leaving the cushy new Governor’s mansion for a run at Johnson in 2008 if in fact the rumors are correct. Just ask Jack Billion and Bruce Whalen what it’s like to run against a popular incumbent in this state (Sorry Tom, I said popular).

On a similar note to being popular, Chad over at CCK has a piece on the Stephanie Herseth article in Esquire that highlights something the extremely popular Herseth might want to re-consider if she wishes to stay that way.

[Herseth is] part of the small group of conservative Democrats who continue to support the war in Iraq. “This is one of those things where I’ve made myself available to work with the administration,” she says. “I’m just not looking to make this partisan. Not only will I lose support among my constituency if I do that, but I just don’t think it’s going to get us where we need to be.”

I’m sorry, partisanship has nothing to do with this Ms. Herseth, it’s called being on the wrong side of the issue all together. Have you looked at the polls? Your current position could give whomever decides to run against you next time around more ammunition than the just the “pro-life” issue that Whalen continually zeroed in on exclusively this time, especially if things continue to worsen in the next couple of years which seems likely considering Bush’s current stance.

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Turkey Day And Football Drive By

Just a quick drive by today to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately one of the things the sdmoderate household won’t be able to give thanks for is watching tonights game since Mediacom doesn’t carry the NFL network, though you couldn’t tell by what they charge, so I will have plenty of time this evening to do the dishes and let my dinner digest. Those whom are lucky enough to see the game, enjoy…

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Would Herseth Actually Consider This?

Dave Kranz begins the speculation for the upcoming 2008 and 2010 elections in a piece in this mornings Argus Leader.

Much of Kranz’ speculation in the article revolves around the Governor’s chair and includes possible candidates and situations including the idea that Mike Rounds might run against Tim Johnson in 2008. That idea has been floating around for months and had even been publicized during the just completed election cycle.

Rounds has tried to downplay this speculation going as far as saying he has just participated in his last run for public office but many in South Dakota’s GOP are already floating the idea of Dennis Daugaard, the current Lt. Governor, taking over for Rounds and then running as the incumbent in 2010. This scenario has been debated at length but what is really interesting is the names being floated around on the Democratic side.

The obvious name is Scott Heidepriem, whose party switch and meteoric rise to Democratic Senate leader has many thinking his next major task would be a run for governor. The other name which would surprise me is Stephanie Herseth. Kranz plays up the 3 generational card noting that her grandfather was governor and her father came close to winning that job and believes that she would be willing to be the next Herseth to make a run in 2010.

I have no doubt that Herseth would be an excellent candidate for the Democrats but I have a hard time believing she would be willing to give up a so far very successful US House career to take a stab at a state job. Most politicians aspire to move up the political ladder and I would think if Herseth wished to change job titles, US Senator would be more her style.

Bill Janklow went that route and the speculation is that Mike Rounds is looking to make that move as well. Would family history be enough to steer Herseth towards Pierre in the not to distant future? I wouldn’t think so but there must be something to the rumor as her name keeps popping up. Is it a possibility, or is it just wishful thinking on the part of South Dakota Democrats who haven’t seen anyone from the party in the governor’s mansion in quite awhile? I guess time will tell.

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Worst Newspaper

With the recent grumblings by Mike Rounds over his treatment by the Argus Leader which has now gotten to the point of being almost childish on both sides, former South Dakotan John Hinderaker over at Powerline is asking his readers which US newspaper is America’s worst.

Is Rounds a Poweline reader? If so I would be willing to bet that the Argus would get his nomination.

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