Posts Tagged ‘politics’

GOP Plans Health Care Repeal Grandstanding

Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 7:59 am
By: Cory Allen Heidelberger
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Representative-Elect Kristi Noem will get her first chance to grandstand on her campaign promise to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act next week. Noem’s GOP bosses will bring the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” to a vote next Wednesday, January 12. The repeal bill is two pages long, compared to the couple-thousand-page health reform is seeks to undo… proof that any idiot can shout No! but that coming up with a real solution for a complicated problem takes some work.

Of course, the Republicans are making their symbolic repeal bill even simpler by ignoring their own rules: the Republicans are exempting health reform repeal from the requirement that the House pay for every bit of legislation it passes. Remember: if Speaker Boehner could slip 13 Democratic Senators and President Obama a mickey and get them to approve the repeal, they’d have to pay back $130 billion in savings over the next decade. Repealing PPACA will also put the states several billion dollars further in the hole. Thanks for the kind thoughts, Kristi!

Also not on Noem’s agenda: any vote to reject her own government health insurance. Come on, Kristi: if government shouldn’t be involved in my health coverage, it shouldn’t be involved in yours. Your fellow freshman Congressman Joe Walsh from Illinois is heeding the call to consistency; your Tea Party friends think you should too!

Madville Times Top Ten of 2010: What Readers Said

Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 7:53 am
By: Cory Allen Heidelberger
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There are many ways to determine an annual “Top Stories List.” In the blogosphere, one useful measure is the amount of conversation provoked by a story. So here’s my list of the this year’s big conversation starters, as measured by number of comments, here on the Madville Times:

  1. Full-Reserve Banking? My Cousin Must Be Kidding…: Didn’t expect that, did you? My wingnut cousin Aaron (who works in finance and should know better… unless he’s in with Glenn Beck on trying to push gold prices) proposed requiring banks to maintain full reserves instead of doing what George Bailey and every other banker does: loan your savings out to borrowers who want to build homes and business. A host of other interested parties joined in to explain why the free market has rejected this economy-crashing system.
  2. Christians, Get with the Program: Ditch Creationism for Real Science: I noted some more theologically inclined writers’ position what the church should stop fretting over creationism and embrace evolution.
  3. Want Nazi Tactics? See Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Law: mention Arizona, immigration, and fascism, and you’re sure to get people talking.
  4. Gordon Howie, Please Quit: Retiring State Senator Gordon Howie failed to get his health care reform nullification act through the Legislature. He then failed to gather enough signatures to place it on the general election ballot. He kept flogging the issue, thinking it would propel him to victory in the June gubernatorial primary. No such luck.
  5. Brothers’ Keepers: Cognitive Dissonance in American Health Care: We Americans pay for our health care almost entirely through the collective means of insurance. Yet we reject efforts to use the most effective, inclusive collective health insurance system possible, a nationwide risk pool created through single-payer or a strong public option. I still don’t get it.
  6. President Obama: “Government Is Us”: Our President said that to graduates at the University of Michigan. I’ve been saying that readers here from the start. The Tea Party still doesn’t get it.
  7. Dog Bites Man; Bob Ellis Wrong; Howie Is Teabagger: Various conservatives preferred to bog us down in a debate over an obscene term that Gordon Howie and other Tea Party sign-wavers publicly embraced.
  8. Gordon Howie Campaigning to Stop Deportation of God: Howie slurped up all sorts of my bandwidth, here by manufacturing the false issue of God’s imminent expulsion from South Dakota.
  9. KELO Editorializes, Says God Exists: Fortunately, our liberal media asserted that, even after Howie’s defeat at the polls, the Deity was still among us.
  10. Religion and Politics: Engaging the Beast Versus Becoming the Beast: Legislative candidate Pastor Steve Hickey got me thinking more about the proper role of pastors and religion in politics. Pastor Hickey led off the comments by assuring us he seeks no theocracy or oppression of atheists like me. With the good pastor now ascending (take a moment… think about that) to the State House to make laws amidst a Republican supermajority, I will be watching to hold him to that word.

Honorable Mentions: a few stories didn’t draw quite as many comments per post but did draw lots of comments over several separate posts as the stories developed.

  1. The Madison Central School District new gym and high school renovation plan has elicited a great deal of discussion, including details of the MHS video tour, practical alternatives to put more priority on academics and arts, and concerns that the school’s early voting scheme bends if not breaks state election laws.
  2. The Blog Control Acts, HB 1277 and HB 1278, proposed in the State Legislature in February got bloggers riled up and speaking out on both sides of the issue. Mr. Epp and I and many others debated the extent of the First Amendment.
  3. Kristi Noem and her supporters dissembled and spun her way to South Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat, while South Dakota Dems wreslted with finding the right balance between defending and challenging our Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Eyeball to Eyeball on $$ Bill – Donks Blink!

Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 11:37 pm
By: RadioActive Chief
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Senate Dem leader drops nearly $1.3T spending bill

Democrats controlling the Senate have abandoned a 1,924-page catchall spending measure that’s laced with homestate pet projects known as earmarks and that would have provided another $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave up on the nearly $1.3 trillion bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for the bill pulled back their support.

GOP leader Mitch McConnell threw his weight against the bill in recent days, saying it was in his words “unbelievable” that Democrats would try to muscle through in just a few days legislation that usually takes months to debate.

Reid said he would work with McConnell to produce a short-term funding bill to keep the government running into early next year.

This came after McConnell offered a 1 page continuing resolution in place of Dusty Harry’s $1.3T fiscal cluster-____:

McConnell: Dems Using “Christmas Break As An Inducement” To Pass Omnibus

See the linked video for McConnell’s statement on this.

“I would hope that it would make sense on a bipartisan basis, this one-page continuing resolution on Feb 18th as an alternative to this 2,000-page monstrosity that spends a half a billion dollars a page,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

One would like to say that Dusty Harry Reid finally accidentally stumbled across a figment of reason, but more realistically he caught a vision of gathering pitchforks and torches, and came to a belated realization of what it was that happened on the first Tuesday of last month.

This HAD to happen…otherwise the whole next year’s budget, including funding of Obamacare would have been locked in, and seriously handicapped the reform efforts of the incoming Congress, thus effectively overturning the whole point of the last election’s results.

Merry Christmas!

Democracy Invaded: Corporations = Borg!

Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 8:24 am
By: Cory Allen Heidelberger
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Enterprise vs Walmart-BorgI agree with Mr. Gebhart that blizzards have their merits. I also see merit in his link to an article that declares (in counsel’s words) “We are politically powerless because of an alien life form“—i.e., the lifeless, soulless, hive-mind collectives known as corporations, which America granted personhood in the 19th century:

We are now living in a global state that has been structured for the benefit of non-human entities with non-human goals. They have enormous media reach, which they use to distract attention from threats to their own survival. They also have an enormous ability to support litigation against public participation, except in the very limited circumstances where such action is forbidden. Individual atomized humans are thus either co-opted by these entities (you can live very nicely as a CEO or a politician, as long as you don’t bite the feeding hand) or steamrollered if they try to resist.

In short, we are living in the aftermath of an alien invasion [Charlie Stross, “Invaders from Mars,” Charlie’s Diary, 2010.12.10].

Tea Party, if you really are the resistance, it’s corporations who have co-opted the Constitution and established totalitarianism. Fight the real power!

Yes to Tony Dean Grassland, No to Ranch Socialism

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:48 am
By: Cory Allen Heidelberger
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Mr. Kurtz brings to my attention commentary on another good bill Thune and the Republicans are holding hostage for the sake of more tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%. Well-traveled George Wuerthner at New West observes that S. 3310, the Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act, would preserve our swiftly dwindling native prairie. Wuether also finds it ironic that a bill bearing Tony Dean’s name would (contrary to Kristi Noem’s willfull ignorance) protect existing grazing rights:

America has very little of its native prairie in any protected status. Most of the plains have been carved up by till farming, and the rest is grazed by livestock. Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act would correct this by designating 48,000 acres as wilderness in the Indian Creek, Red Shirt and Chalk Hills areas of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland on the borders of Badlands NP. Walking these vast open breathing spaces reminds me of being on the vastness of tundra in Alaska. It’s a sense of freedom that is more difficult to experience in more forested terrain. As with any designated wilderness, livestock grazing will continue. This is particularly ironic since Tony Dean, who was an outdoor writer in South Dakota, railed against welfare ranchers and their impact on the state for decades. However language could be inserted into the legislation to permit buyouts of grazing privileges so that eventually bison, not cattle, will be grazing these lands [George Wuerthner, “Omnibus Wilderness Bill Likely,” New West, 2010.11.29].

Welfare ranchers? Did Tony Dean say that?

Well, he let Sam Hurst say it on his website, and in reference to this very land:

Welfare Ranchers on Public Lands,” Tony Dean Outdoors, 2006]

Dean himself called the no-bid grazing leases on public lands “welfare ranching” in this article. Neither Hurst nor Dean was advocating eco-socialism. They argue for ending subsidies and letting the free market rule.

The Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act would create a unique national grasslands wilderness. It’s a good idea. So is ending the market-skewing, deficit-widening subsidy to a handful of ranchers who plea for socialism. Why don’t John Thune and Kristi Noem

GOP South Looks Sort of Like South Dakota

Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 10:11 am
By: RadioActive Chief
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Democratic South finally falls

Once upon a time, the South was known as the “Solid South” for the Donkey Party and “yellow-dog Democrats” kept it that way. (The name came from a proudly stated determination that they would vote for a yellow dog, if it was on the Democratic ballot.)

Times have changed, and this report on the current situation shows a real similarity between what’s happening in the south and the current condition of party politics in SOUTH Dakota.

For Democrats in the South, the most ominous part of a disastrous year may not be what happened on Election Day but what has happened in the weeks since. After suffering a historic rout — in which nearly every white Deep South Democrat in the U.S. House was defeated and Republicans took over or gained seats in legislatures across the region — the party’s ranks in Dixie have thinned even further.

THe gory details of what’s happening in Dixie have some resemblance to events in SD:

In Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama, Democratic state legislators have become Republicans, concluding that there is no future in the party that once dominated the so-called Solid South.

Hmmm. Nygaard’s jump in the SD Senate comes readily to mind.

The realignment in the South has resulted in more similarity to SD – with the GOP in control of both houses of the legislatures…in many cases for the first time since the post-Civil War reconstruction ended in the 1870’s.

The losses and party switching, one former Southern Democratic governor noted, “leave us with little bench for upcoming and future elections. There’s little reason to be optimistic in my region,…We can opportunistically pick up statewides every now and then, but building a sustainable party program isn’t in the cards.

Looks like the situation of the SD Donkeys at this point. While the benefits of a vigorous “loyal opposition” certainly are worth talking about…there is no entitlement for any party to hold power, win elections, etc. At some point, a pattern of overwhelming defeat HAS to be a big clue that there is a lack of situational awareness, and that there is a major disconnect between the afflicted party and the voters.

If any party continues to advocate and stand for policies and principles that the sovereign voters decide they want no part of, then what else could be expected than a pattern of electoral defeat and political stagnation. In the here and now, as long as the Democratic Party continues, like a stubborn donkey to adhere to the failed liberal-progressive paradigm, they will continue their slide, and IMHO, will deserve nothing more.

Meanwhile, if the Republicans assume they now have a license to play “politics as usual” and turn away from principles, they can easily end up in the same political dust-bin as the Democrats. Time will tell.

Where’s the Thune Buzz?

Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 7:52 am
By: Cory Allen Heidelberger
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Tom Jensen summarizes 18 state-level polls on 2012 GOP presidential possibilities and finds significant enthusiasm for John Thune’s potential bid… in Washington, D.C.:

The interest in a John Thune 2012 bid is pretty clearly confined to inside the Beltway—he averaged less than 1% across these 18 polls. He never got a level of support higher than 2% and the number of states where he got that—5—was smaller than the number of states where he registered at 0%—6. He will almost literally have risen from nothing if he somehow snags his party’s nomination [Tom Jensen, “Wrapping up the 2012 GOP Polls,” Public Policy Polling, 2010.11.16].

Let’s see… add South Dakota, and that’s six whole electoral votes. That’s almost as good as Alf Landon. Still barely blipping… maybe it’s time to declare Kristi Noem his running mate.

AG Jackley: No Crime in Rez Chili, Daugaard Soup

Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:25 am
By: Cory Allen Heidelberger
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The latest news from Pierre: there is no news… at least not in the “Food for Votes” scandal the Republicans tried to manufacture last month. Attorney General Marty Jackley has ruled that the chili feeds sponsored by Democrats on three South Dakota Indian reservations in conjunction with get-out-the-vote efforts were not crimes, just as the Democrats said. AG Jackley has said the same about allegations the Dems responded with about similar Republican events that handed out food and encouraged people to vote GOP.

Jackley takes pains to encourage concerned parties to seek redress from the Legislature or even from civil courts. But the plain fact is this: there’s no crime to prosecute, contrary to a whole month of distracting non-policy sturm und drang from the GOP.

I’m just relieved that I can still get some free soup from Dennis in 2014.

Cap and Trade Not Ballot Box Poison

Posted: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:49 am
By: Cory Allen Heidelberger
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Heartland Consumer Power District’s Mike McDowell wags his finger at Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and any other Congressmen thinking of taking advantage of the lame-duck session to “enact policies rejected by the voters on November 3rd [sic].” McDowell’s warning carries the hint that he includes cap and trade in that batch of “rejected” policies.

Mr. McDowell’s queasiness about cap and trade, that really effective policy that was part of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, was not rejected by the electorate last week. The bill never made it to a vote in our laggardly Senate, but in the House, 80% of the Democrats who voted for ACESA won re-election. 27 out of 43 Democrats—63%—who voted no on ACESA lost last week. Only one of eight House Republicans who voted with Nancy Pelosi for cap and trade was beaten at the ballot box, and that was Delaware’s Mike Castle, who lost the Senate primary to Christine O’Donnell… which worked out nicely for Democrats and other reasonable people.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was one of those Democratic nays. So was Dennis Kucinich. But Herseth Sandlin the Blue Dog lost, while Kucinich the fire-breathing liberal won. Go figure… and keep that in mind, candidates-in-waiting, as you think about whether you want to run in 2012 as an “Independent (democrat)” or a just plain “Democrat.”

By the way, conservatives, instead of gambling on your extreme best-case scenario that the scientific consensus is wrong, climate change isn’t happening, and oil will last forever, why not be real conservatives and join the Dems in this lame-duck session to pass serious climate change and energy security legislation?

B.O. Continues to Show Poor Situational Awareness

Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 9:25 am
By: RadioActive Chief
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Obama acknowledges his message didn’t get through

This is SO wrong! (Explanation follows.)

President Barack Obama is acknowledging in the wake of this week’s election rout that he hasn’t been able to successfully promote his economic-rescue message to anxious Americans.

Obama says in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that he “stopped paying attention” to the leadership style he displayed during his run for the presidency.

Typical liberalism: style trumps substance darned near every time!

Obama also said he recognizes now that “leadership is not just legislation,”…

Real world translation: B.S. isn’t the same as reality.

,,,and that “it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone….

LIncoln said something about this…oh yeah, the bit about not fooling all the people all the time!

And making an argument that people can understand.”

Real message: “You stupid people are just too dense to appreciate and accept the sheer genius of the Obamunist fundamental transformation that I’M trying to bless you with.”

“And I think that – we haven’t always been successful at that,…”

DUH! Lipstick on a pig still gives you a pig.

…he said. “And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine closely as I go forward.”

One starts to doubt that there is the ability for enough “examination” to break through and achieve some accurate situational awareness: We GOT it, B.O! Your message came through loud and CLEAR, and we DO understand it…but we’re not buying it, at all, at all!