We're Watching You

Watching youFor some reason I don’t think the folks over at TransCanada are too worried but KELO is reporting on a sternly worded letter sent to them by the South Dakota PUC. In the letter the PUC basically told TransCanada that they are being watched in response to the number of complaints of unfair treatment by those in the path of the proposed Keystone Pipeline.

The Public Utilities Commission has written a letter to a top official of the company that plans to build a crude oil pipeline across eastern South Dakota to let the firm know the regulatory agency is watching.

The three-member PUC can’t influence how the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline handles land deals, but commissioners are warning that they’re keeping tabs.

When TransCanada first conceived their Keystone Pipeline project and saw that it would run a full 200 miles plus through South Dakota they must have been salivating. Eminent domain, already a sore spot for many is even more troublesome in South Dakota and TransCanada is exploiting the South Dakota laws in the courts by going after land from landowners that aren’t being as co-operative as TransCanada would like. While court involvement in eminent domain cases is not uncommon, the fact they can do this even before they have final approval from the PUC makes it that much more of a head turner for those involved.

Public Utilities Commission Chairman Dusty Johnson says he has heard the concerns of landowners who are already getting these condemnation papers. They say they don’t understand how TransCanada can take them to court before the PUC has given the company approval to build the pipeline in the state. But Johnson says they leave that process up to the courts.

Johnson says, “That’s not something we talk about with TransCanada they’re not asking our advice. If they did we might have told them to do something different but we’ve got our process to work and the circuit court has their process to work through.”

TransCanadaSo now South Dakota landowners are being forced to fight condemnation in court on a project that hasn’t even been approved yet and if for some reason the project gets denied by the PUC, they will be out any costs associated with fighting it for no reason. But at least they can thank the state for our questionable eminent domain laws and the PUC for putting the fear of God into TransCanada with their “letter”. And for those that say this could backfire on TransCanada from a public relations standpoint, I somehow doubt they are too worried considering that the courts will probably give them what pissed off landowners won’t.

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This Is Just Too Easy

Ann Coulter has a new book out so get ready for the BS to follow. Her first episode of diarrhea of the mouth is already here.

If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.

There you have it, the next GOP strategy from Coulter. Why does anyone give this woman a public stage?

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Think Again?

Despite what some of those “in the know” on the right will tell you, the threatened 3rd party run by the leaders of the Religious Right could have a big impact on the GOP if they were to carry out their threats to blackball a Giuliani presidential nomination. Powerline’s John Hinderaker thinks that in fact it is silly (emphasis mine).

The idea that this group of 50 can put up a new candidate who will have a significant impact on the process at this point is even sillier than the idea of a third-party candidate who will “irrevocably split the GOP.”

It’s possible that a group of social conservatives could support a fringe third-party candidate–Gary Bauer, say, as the nominee of the Constitution Party–and it’s certain that a few social conservatives would stay home if the Republicans nominate Giuliani or, perhaps, Romney or McCain. That number would be about equal, in my opinion, to the number of anti-war zealots who would stay home rather than vote for Hillary Clinton.

Contrary to the assumption of many liberals, religious conservatives (a group in which I include myself) are not stupid. As President, Rudy Giuliani would nominate judges who will support rather than usurp the Constitution. That’s the only significant role the President plays with respect to social issues. James Dobson et al. wish that they controlled the Republican Party, and Salon wishes they controlled it, too. But they don’t.

Just maybe Mr. Hinderaker might want to rethink his position after the latest Rasmussen poll. According to that poll, a 3rd party anti-abortion candidate could pull as many as 27% of the GOP voters away from Giuliani which would tip the balance in favor of the Democrats, in this case Hillary Clinton 46-30%. So maybe you (and the religious conservatives) aren’t as smart as you profess them to be, or maybe some liberals are actually smarter than you give them credit for being. My guess is it is a little bit of both but either way James Dobson and the rest of the religious conservatives he represents and their one issue crusade are providing us with a great service…putting a democrat in the White House.

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The Ultimate ChickenHawk

The right loves Rush Limbaugh, every word he says is the gospel for many and watch out for the wrath of those blind followers when anyone has anything whatsoever bad to say about the guy. Enter the latest Limbaugh controversy, his “phony soldier[s]” comments that have gotten him into a verbal war with a veterans group, Media Matters for America and several members in Congress.

My RSS reader is full of posts of those defending Rush and either trying to explain why he said it or outright denying that he ever did. But either way, the question needs to be asked why is someone that never served a day in his life and who was able to avoid the draft and hence not have to serve in our last unpopular war because of a completely correctable pilonidal cyst even commenting on the patriotism of someone that had the guts to serve voluntarily? If anything Rush would qualify as a “phony” more than anyone that ever volunteered to protect his right to be the drug addicted obnoxious blowhard he is.

Maybe in the future it would be more appropriate for Rush to actually have a quality before he decides to call out someone for supposedly not having it?

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Do You Know Us? We're A Baseball Team

Cleveland Indians

Up until 1995 most Cleveland Indians fans only had the movie Major League to fall back on when they wanted to reminisce about playoff baseball. From 1995 to 2001 the Tribe dominated the AL Central and made 2 appearances in the World Series.

Today the Indians begin their latest quest to win their first championship since 1948 against the hated Yankees. So here’s wishing C.C., Travis, Victor, Grady, et al good luck tonight in game 1. Go Tribe, a win would be an excellent birthday present!

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Silly Me I Thought It Was About The Kids

President Bush did what he vowed to do today when he went behind closed doors and put his veto pen to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Democrats were quick to react.

Democrats unleashed a stream of harsh rhetoric Wednesday after President Bush vetoed a bipartisan bill expanding a popular children’s health insurance program, gearing up for a battle to both improve their chances of winning a veto override and score political points against Republicans who oppose the expansion.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decried Mr. Bush’s action as a “heartless veto.”

“Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people,” Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement. “By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America.”

Of course Bush says he wants a compromise on this legislation and immediately offered to meet with Congressional leaders to work on some sort of middle ground between the $5 billion increase Bush wants and the $35 billion Democrats want.

At first I figured that the 2 sides would get together and start working right away or at a minimum I expected the Senate to quickly schedule a vote to override the veto as they have the numbers and then work on getting the votes in the House. But when I saw that they were going to wait until sometime in November at the earliest the light bulb in my head went off. The Bush veto along with fairly strong bi-partisan support is actually a blessing in disguise for the Democrats. All throughout the process it was touted as being for the children but now all of a sudden it has become a silver bullet for use in the 2008 elections.

Democrats now have as many as 8 vulnerable Republicans on record voting against children’s health with scores of campaign ads surely to follow, it’s already starting here with ads touting the benefits of SCHIP being run by Stephanie Herseth Sandlin that ask us to call and thank her for caring about our kids seemingly every time you turn on the TV. I can imagine that Republicans that voted against this bill will be seeing sick underprivileged kids being paraded around the TV sets in their districts to gather votes for their opponents very shortly as well.

SCHIP is a very important program for the health of our children and even President Bush believes it should be expanded at least somewhat. Democrats wanted us to believe that their $35 billion increase was for the best interest of our kids though it now seems that the $35 billion was more of a number that worked to their political advantage. The Dems had no problem giving Bush another $190 Billion for his war in the Middle East even after promising they wouldn’t so how about finally doing something worthwhile for a change and make President Bush an offer he can’t refuse.

Kissing ButtUPDATE: Will John McCain ever get his nose removed from George Bush’s backside? I do hear that doctors have a procedure for that now.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN Wednesday he agrees with President Bush’s veto of legislation expanding a children’s health insurance program, saying the bill provided a “phony smoke and mirrors way of paying for it.”

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God Hates Fags

Note: This is not my line but instead is the byline of the the church’s own website “www.godhatesfags.com/main/index.html” (sorry no live link will be given to these nuts) and was used as the title of this post to show just how out of touch these people are.

Religious wacko Fred Phelps’ wingnuts from the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) were scheduled to be in South Dakota to protest at the funeral this morning of Huron soldier Zachary Tomczak who was killed last week in Iraq. For those not familiar with the Christian radical group Phelps started, they are known for picketing at the funerals of those killed in Iraq because they believe the deaths are God’s vengeance for our country’s perceived indifference to the “homosexual lifestyle”.

I haven’t heard any word yet on how many of the WBC zealots showed up but luckily South Dakota had already passed a law forbidding protests within 1000 feet of a funeral service which should keep them at arms length (though no where near far enough) from the honoring of a man that gave his life for our country. I do also hope that a few local folks were around to give any protesters vile enough to actually show up exactly the reception they deserve.

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Fuzzy Thune Logic

As President Bush prepares to veto the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP as early as tomorrow, I came across an interesting quote from our illustrious junior Senator, John Thune. As you may or may not be aware Thune is against expanding the program because he says that it would cover people that make too much money. But another excuse he offered during the Senate debate is what caught my eye.

“Low-cost, efficient states such as South Dakota… end up subsidizing higher costs in inefficient states,” complained Thune during the Senate debate.

You mean sort of like low population, low tax revenue generating states getting more from the federal government than they put in? I am sure our gas tax revenues easily cover all the construction on on our roadways each year and are not in any way subsidized from tax revenue generated in other states…

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Funding Without Strings Part 2

Funding The War PollNot only are the Democrats not keeping the promises that put them in office, they are also ignoring the views of their constituents. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 69% think that Congress should at least reduce the money spent in Iraq and to more heavily challenge the president over Iraq.

Part of the displeasure with Congress stems from the stalemate between Democrats and the White House over Iraq policy. Most Americans do not believe Congress has gone far enough in opposing the war, with liberal Democrats especially critical of their party’s failure to force the president into a significant change in policy.

Note to Democrats: Pandering to your base only continues to work if you promote their agenda. Breaking promises can get you thrown out of office just as quickly as making them got you there in the first place and yes I do realize that you don’t have the votes to get a lot accomplished. But I also know you are in a position to prevent some things from happening including the ability to stop giving the president a blank check for Iraq which you have so far decided not to use.

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The Democrat's Plan For Getting Out Of Iraq, Keep Funding Without Strings

Democrats swept their way into the majority in Congress last year mainly by promising to get us out of Iraq. So how’s that working?

Thwarted in efforts to bring troops home from Iraq, Senate Democrats on Monday helped pass a defense policy bill authorizing another $150 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nothing like a total lack of backbone from the party in the majority.

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