Down the Road to the Lincoln County Lincoln/Reagan Denim and Diamonds Dinner

patnsydI was planning on making a jaunt to USD today to see my daughter in the parade. Until she said something about parents not coming.

Somehow, I think it was her intention to have fun as a 21 year old. Given her participation in Strollers, I think that might be a mandate.

About that time, it so happened that a friend asked me if I could go to tonight’s Lincoln County Lincoln/Reagan Denim and Diamonds Dinner in his stead. So, what’s a Republican to do? I packed up my daughter who happens to be the State Vice Chair of the Teenage Republicans, and we hit the road!

Here’s rare visual proof that I’m not driving like a bat out of hades down the Interstate and blogging over my phone. I left that to my #4, keeping both eyes, and at least one hand on the wheel at all times.

I arrived, and like most dinners,  it’s old home week.

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Here, Jason Ravnsborg and Jim Bolin enjoy each other’s company at a table.

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State Senator Ernie Otten tells the tables where to start the procession to the chow line. I’m not sure why, but I ended up being last.

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Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and Senator Phyllis Heinemann chat for a moment by the Water Cooler.

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Chris Nelson and Marty Jackley help to honor Representative Arch Beal for his service to the Lincoln Co GOP.

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Ryan Brunner gives an update on the Office of School & Lands…. and then keeps going back to watch the SDSU/NDSU game for some reason . :)

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Mark Mickelson stands up to see who is bidding so darned high on that limited edition Reagan print.

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Senator/Auctioneer David Omdahl is calling out the bids, and helping to raise money for the cause.

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Senator Phyllis Heinemann and newly minted State Senator Bill Shorma watch the program.

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Lincoln County GOP Chair Betty Otten gives an emotional farewell to the crowd.

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And Argus Leader Political Reporter Dana Ferguson gets to experience her first South Dakota Lincoln Day Dinner. We’ll see if she’s still enthused after another 20-30 chicken dinners.

(Although, Trust me – there’s a county up north that serves home-cooked prime rib that can’t be beat!)

Will the modern SDDP accept Stephanie Herseth Sandlin as a candidate? Maybe. But I doubt it.

Kevin Woster is over on his KELO blog opining this afternoon that, on the basis of a discussion with one Democrat who fought against her previously, that all her moderate stances and blue-dogging will be forgiven by state Democrats if she decides to run for Governor:

The Democrats who abandoned Stephanie Herseth Sandlin during her 2010 reelection run for the U.S. House are ready to support her, probably with some vigor, if she runs for governor in 2018.

I talked to one this morning, a long-time, hard-line, difficult-to-please Democrat who turned away from Herseth Sandlin in a big way in 2010 because “I couldn’t tell the difference between her and John Boehner.”

and…

I asked the obvious: “Will the money be there, too?”

Yes. Yes, it will be.

Several Democrats who have been sailing along on the SHS Disaffected say they will come to political port if she runs. They like her chances, a lot, in a head-to-head against Kristi Noem for the governor’s chair.

Read it all here.

Kevin may get that from one Democrat, but I don’t believe it can be applied across the board.  State Democrats have purged moderates from their midst. So, there’s little chance they’re going to ask them to come back.

Remember when they went after Jim Abbot as a Democrat in Name only?  That was only the beginning. They moved hard against Herseth in 2010 with a Kevin Weiland as a protest candidate who almost jumped in (and it helped to set up Herseth Sandlin’s) fall from grace.

Most recently is the end run the Daschle/Weiland people made around Herseth Sandlin. They had a very competitive challenger who could have gotten into the US Senate race against Mike Rounds.  And they sunk her. They absolutely sabotaged her by getting into the race. And she walked away.

Each of these incidents is evidence that more and more, year by year, the hard-left liberal wing has taken over more and more of the state Democratic party.  You have long time Democrats such as Ryan Maher, Eldon Nygaard, and most recently Dale Hargens who felt they had no place, and that they were better off leaving as their party moved farther and farther to the left.

Not to mention the fact that there has also been a corresponding dwindling of the number of Democrat elected officials, candidates, and voters.

Are there a few old timers who might welcome the Herseth name back on the ballot? Sure. There are always a few. But by and large, its doubtful that the support will be there from the liberal faction that has taken over the state Democratic party.

Their sole quest is for ideological purity. And to drive their party into the ground.

After the memorial service on Monday, Please join the procession to Rapid City for Governor Walter Dale Miller.

wdmI just had a note from the family of Walter Dale Miller.

As you know by now, the former Governor will be lying in State in the State Capitol on Monday. Governor Dennis Daugaard notes in his column this week “The State Capitol memorial service on October 5th coincides with Walter Dale Miller’s ninetieth birthday. That day is a time for all South Dakotans to say “thanks.”

Public viewing will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT on Monday, Oct. 5, as former Gov. Walter Dale Miller lies in state at the South Dakota Capitol. Those wishing to pay their respects may enter the Capitol Building via the north doors (parking lot side).

The ceremony will conclude with members of the Highway Patrol carrying the casket down the front steps of the Capitol. As the procession exits the Capitol, there will be a 21-gun salute and taps.

Former Gov. Miller’s funeral service has been set for Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. MDT at the Calvary Lutheran Church, 5311 Sheridan Lake Rd., Rapid City.  Burial will follow at Viewfield Cemetery, near Miller’s Meade County ranch.

A memorial ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Pat Miller, and the rest of the extended Miller family will be gathering after the events of the day in front of the Capitol Building Monday, at 5pm.  Family and friends and others who want to honor the Governor are invited to travel in a group from the South Dakota State Capitol to follow Governor Miller to Rapid City. 

The family would like to invite anybody interested to caravan with them to Rapid City that evening.

If going to Rapid City is not possible-anyone and everyone is welcome to follow them out of the Pierre/Ft.Pierre area for as long as they please.

Also, they tell me Walt always took Highway 14, so they will be taking this route to Rapid City. It is also an opportunity for those communities along the way to have a chance to pay their respects.

They asked me to help get the word out, so be sure to pass this message on. Post it on Facebook, twitter, and everywhere you can to spread the word.

Obama EPA’s Smog Overreach Bad for Business, Workers

thuneheadernew John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressObama EPA’s Smog Overreach Bad for Business, Workers

Most Expensive EPA Regulation in U.S. History

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today denounced the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of a final rule to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, or smog. The new standard would be set at an unprecedented 70 parts-per-billion (ppb), down from the 75 ppb standard set in 2008, and is projected to increase energy prices, curb job growth, and hinder economic development.

“Time and time again, this administration has shown complete disregard for American workers and their families. The stricter smog standard – previously estimated to be the most expensive EPA regulation in history – will have widespread implications, raising energy prices and stunting economic growth and opportunity across the country.” said Thune. “At a time when our economy needs relief from regulatory overreach, the Obama EPA has once again dealt a devastating blow to job creators and hard-working Americans.”

Counties that exceed the ground-level ozone standard are considered non-attainment areas and will be subjected to stiff federal penalties, increased business costs, restrictions on infrastructure investment, and lost highway dollars. Areas in marginal attainment will face steep challenges in attracting new economic development.

On March 17, 2015, Thune and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced the bipartisan Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act (S. 751), which would stem the economic harm from a lower ozone standard by requiring the EPA to focus on the worst areas for air quality before lowering the ground-level ozone standard. Thune and Manchin’s bill would also require the EPA to consider the costs and feasibility of the lower standard, which the EPA currently does not consider. Finally, the bill would prohibit the EPA from using unreliable modeling to expand non-attainment areas to many rural counties that otherwise would not be impacted by the expensive regulation.

In 2008, the permitted level of ground-level ozone or smog was lowered from 84 ppb to the current 75 ppb. Currently, 227 counties in 27 states are considered in non-attainment with the 75 ppb standard. The CASE Act would require 85 percent of areas currently not meeting the 75 ppb standard to meet compliance before the EPA could lower it further.

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Noem, Matsui, Frankel, Brooks Lead House Women in Commemorating 25th Anniversary of NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health

noem press header kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Noem, Matsui, Frankel, Brooks Lead House Women in Commemorating 25th Anniversary of NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswomen Kristi Noem (R-SD), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Susan Brooks (R-IN) along with 78 other female members of the House today introduced a bipartisan resolution to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health.  Noem and Matsui serve as Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Congressional Women’s Caucus. Frankel and Brooks serve as the Caucus’ Vice Co-Chairs.

“Introducing gender-specific medical research may be one of the most meaningful advancements we’ve made in women’s health in my lifetime,” said Noem. “As a result of the research, we’ve taken tremendous steps toward finding a cure for breast and cervical cancers, we’ve learned more about how medications work in women, and we’ve saved women’s lives.  I am pleased to join my female colleagues on both sides of the aisle in celebrating this important anniversary.”

“Today, disparities between males and females in clinical research is becoming a thing of the past, thanks in large part to the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health,” said Matsui.  “Women must be included in scientific studies in order to advance cures and treatments for diseases that impact women or impact them differently. Our population is aging and women are living longer, which means a higher likelihood of diseases linked to aging such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and chronic conditions.  Including women in research within these areas is critical.  We are celebrating this anniversary today to both recognize the important achievements we’ve made these past 25 years and to reflect on the work that still needs to be done.”

“So many lives have been saved in the 25 years since this office was established, including the women who are spared the diagnosis of breast cancer, the children of HIV-positive mothers who are born healthy, and the mothers and daughters who are protected from HPV and cervical cancer,” Frankel said. “This anniversary is a celebration of life, and we look forward to many more decades of groundbreaking, lifesaving research.”

“Twenty-five years ago, clinical trials and research were often conducted without female participants. Now, not only are women present in clinical trials, but gender-specific research is regularly conducted to learn more about the full spectrum of women’s health,” Brooks said. “I am very pleased to join female colleagues in celebrating this important milestone.”

The Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) has made significant progress in developing and implementing policies to ensure the inclusion of women in NIH clinical research. The Office’s research efforts benefit all individuals with diseases and disorders studied by researchers, including men, women, older and younger adults, children and minority populations. ORWH-supported research has dramatically increased understanding of the importance of gender-specific research and has spurred policy change and programs focused on the health of girls, women and their families.

Today, more than half of participants in NIH-funded clinical trials are women. The ORWH now works in partnership with NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers to ensure that women’s health research continues to be a part of the scientific framework at NIH and throughout the scientific community.

The language, which was introduced by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), passed in the Senate earlier this year.

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What did you think of the school shooting yesterday? How could the “arming the schools law” have affected it?

We can kibbutz over the school shooting that happened in Harrisburg yesterday, because thankfully, there was no loss of life. But very easily, it could have gone badly. Very badly.

Reports note there was a child in the school office at the same time this all occurred, and the event was quickly ended when two school administrators tackled the child shooter.

Would having armed staff in the office or teachers armed as allowed under recently passed state law helped the situation? Or would it have gone far worst, fast?

 

Gov. Miller To Lie in State in Capitol

Gov. Miller To Lie in State in Capitol

PIERRE, S.D. – Plans are pending for former Gov. Walter Dale Miller to lie in state at the Rotunda of the Capitol Building on Monday morning, Oct. 5, with a memorial service to follow. 

Public viewing will be allowed from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT on Monday. The memorial ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. More details will be released later this week.

Arrangements for Gov. Miller’s funeral in Rapid City are still pending.

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Thune, GOP leadership not interested in shutdown.

From politico, South Dakota’s senior US senator, John Thune, would not appear to be interested in a government shutdown. And Senate GOP leadership just out maneuvered Ted Cruz in preventing it.

“We had to be prepared,” said John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Senate Republican. “He’s running for national office. He’s got a different endgame than we do. There are things we have to do here. We’ve got to fund the government every year.”

By moving to quarantine Cruz from the rest of the conference over the past three months, the majority leader demonstrated that he’s learned the lessons of the Cruz-backed government shutdown in 2013 and the Texas senator’s rogue strategy last winter that helped Democrats confirm a raft of judges in the lame duck session. In doing so, McConnell cemented his position atop the Senate GOP, dashing any hopes among House Republicans, or conservative activists, that his future might be in doubt.

Read it all here.

These comments were also echoed by the Senator on MSNBC on September 21st, according to Newsmax:

Shutting down the government is not the answer to stopping Planned Parenthood, Sen. John Thune said Monday, pointing out that President Barack Obama will veto legislation that does away with the organization’s funding.

“I think there’s a better way to do this,” the South Dakota Republican, who chairs the Senate Republican Conference, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “I think we’re going to get an opportunity not only to continue to fund the government, but to put something on the president’s desk that would redirect funding from Planned Parenthood to community centers.”

A government shutdown, Thune continued, would end “badly for our party,” and Republicans would bear the brunt of the blame.

Read it all here.

Does standing firmly against a government shutdown solidify Thune’s position for the fall 2016 election? What do you think?

Senate Committee Chairmen Urge Administration to Immediately Adopt Stage Two Modifications for Electronic Health Records Program, Make Rules for Stage Three Final No Sooner Than 2017

thuneheadernewSenate Committee Chairmen Urge Administration to Immediately Adopt Stage Two Modifications for Electronic Health Records Program, Make Rules for Stage Three Final No Sooner Than 2017

Chairmen Thune, Alexander make their request as a bipartisan group of 116 House members urge a “pause” in stage three rulemaking

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two Senate committee chairmen, U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), urged the administration to immediately adopt stage two modifications for the federal government’s program to require doctors and hospitals to create electronic health records systems and make the rules for stage three final no sooner than January 1, 2017.

The chairmen’s call comes as a bipartisan group of 96 Republicans and 20 Democrats in the House of Representatives in a separate letter to the administration urged it to “pause” the process of making stage three rules final.

“The government, doctors, and hospitals need time to do [stage three] right,” said the chairmen, and warned against moving too fast.

In a letter sent yesterday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Thune, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, wrote, “Patients need an interoperable system that enables doctors and hospitals to share their electronic health records, but the government, doctors, and hospitals need time to do it right.

“To date, taxpayers have invested $30 billion to encourage electronic health records adoption. While all hospitals and most physicians met the requirements of the first stage of the meaningful use program, stage two requirements are so complex that only about 12 percent of eligible physicians and 40 percent of eligible hospitals have been able to comply. … The modified stage two rule will enable more providers to comply with the government’s requirements. It should be adopted immediately to give physicians and hospitals time to adapt to these huge changes.”

They continued, “If the department does not delay making final the stage three rules and instead proceeds before it can measure the impact of the modified stage two rule, it will be a missed opportunity to build support among providers.”

The Senate Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal agency tasked with providing the tools needed to test health information technology to help ensure it is functioning properly before being released to the public, and the Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the meaningful use program. The Senate Health Committee has jurisdiction over the administration’s program that certifies that health information technology has met the necessary requirements to participate in the meaningful use program.

Full text of the letter can be found below:

The Honorable Sylvia Burwell
Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Dear Secretary Burwell,

We write to request that the department delay until no sooner than January 1, 2017, making final rules for stage three of the meaningful use program, and then phase in stage three requirements at a rate that reflects how successfully the program is being implemented. In addition, we ask that the modified rule proposed for stage two of the program be adopted immediately. These actions will help most doctors and hospitals to comply with the government’s requirements.

Patients need an interoperable system that enables doctors and hospitals to share their electronic health records, but the government, doctors, and hospitals need time to do it right.  To date, taxpayers have invested $30 billion to encourage electronic health records adoption. While all hospitals and most physicians met the requirements of the first stage of the meaningful use program, stage two requirements are so complex that only about 12 percent of eligible physicians and 40 percent of eligible hospitals have been able to comply. This year alone, 257,000 physicians have seen a 1 percent reduction in their Medicare reimbursements and 200 hospitals stand to see an even greater reduction.  The modified stage two rule will enable more providers to comply with the government’s requirements.  It should be adopted immediately to give physicians and hospitals time to adapt to these huge changes.

If the department does not delay making final the stage three rules and instead proceeds before it can measure the impact of the modified stage two rule, it will be a missed opportunity to build support among providers.  Pausing the stage three rules will also enable the department to ensure its final rules align with the new payment models created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which created the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

For many years, our constituents have contacted us about their frustrations with the implementation of the meaningful use program.  We respectfully request that you delay making final the stage three rules and immediately adopt the modifications to the stage two rule.  We look forward to your response

Sincerely,

 

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