USA Today: Obama coming to SD? Meh.

There’s a great column by Joseph Bottum in USA today on the unusual level of indifference that most of South Dakota is treating President Obama’s visit with.

It’s an unexcitement matched by the general reaction of the state. Part of that is cultural. “This is the Midwest,” explains Mary Bibby, a longtime Republican activist from Brookings, S.D. “What’s to get excited about?”


“Locally, having a president visit is a big deal,” notes Lee Schoenbeck, one of Watertown’s representatives in the legislature. Still, although he offered the bland comment deliberately to avoid controversy, that diminishing qualifier “locally” adds, yet again, a curious sense of indifference to the presidential descent on the state this week.

Even Bernie Hunhoff, founding editor of South Dakota Magazine and an enduring Democratic figure in the state, couldn’t find much to say in praise of the visit. “Watertown is the right place for the president to shine light on workforce development,” he began — before launching into a diatribe about the failure of Washington to address the “150-year-old problem in South Dakota that was directly created by Washington.

Read it all here.

Noem recognizes national day of prayer in email to constituents

From Congresswoman Noem:


Today, I join millions across the nation in prayer and thanksgiving for the abundant blessings found within our great state and nation. I hope you’ll join me and my family in praying for those most in need, and for a future of prosperity and happiness for friends, neighbors, and loved ones.

National Day of Prayer

I am honored to serve you in Congress, and to have your support.

Have a blessed day.



Another oil train derailment which didn’t have to happen.

From the Associated Press:

A train that derailed and caught fire early Wednesday in rural North Dakota was hauling crude from the state’s oil patch, but it wasn’t immediately known whether it had been treated under new state rules aimed at reducing the volatility of oil from the region.


The train had 109 cars, 107 with crude oil and two buffer cars between the tankers and engine that were loaded with sand, BNSF said. It was unclear how many derailed. There was no immediate word on the cause.

Since 2006, the U.S. and Canada have seen at least 24 oil train accidents involving a fire, derailment or significant amount of fuel spilled, according to federal accident records reviewed by The Associated Press. The derailment Wednesday was the fifth this year and comes less than a week after the Department of Transportation announced a rule to toughen construction standards for tens of thousands of tank cars that haul oil and other flammable liquids.

Read it all here.

And if we had a better oil pipeline infrastructure, would it have happened at all?

Rounds Questions FWS on Aggressive Confrontation Tactics

Rounds Questions FWS on Aggressive Confrontation Tactics

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today questioned Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe about the agency’s aggressive techniques used to intimidate landowners regarding land easements. During the hearing, Rounds cited a letter he received from a South Dakota farmer who reports encountering an aggressive FWS agent he feels was using intimidation tactics regarding Waterfowl Management Rights despite proactively enacting conservation measures on his land for decades.

“I’m particularly troubled that taxpayer dollars are funding this type of truly aggressive approach to citizens who are voluntarily and proactively enacting conservation measures on their own land, as they have been doing for generations,” said Rounds.


Slick Rick Weiland promising Initiated Measure this month. But nothing seems to have been filed yet.

Losing US Senate Candidate Slick Rick Weiland is out shilling for money again for his organization “”  And in the latest edition of his “Send me money” e-mail, Weiland claims he’s going to introduce an initiated measure in South Dakota:


One of our favorite cartoonists is “Tom Tomorrow” who, once a week, delivers a cartoon that brilliantly satirizes current events, and was just nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. You can visit his website here:, and be sure and visit Daily Kos on Mondays for his weekly cartoon.

Between the tragedy continuing to unfold in Baltimore, the gridlock and disarray of Congress, it sort of feels like our country is slowly coming apart at the seams.  People feel a sense of hopelessness and abandonment.

What happened yesterday, with the Senate passing their 10 year budget blueprint, the first joint congressional budget plan in six years is certainly worth a comment or two.

This new budget cuts 4.2 trillion dollars from benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps; it kicks 27 million people off of Obamacare and Medicaid, cuts Pell Grants, slices $600 billion from school lunch programs, nutritional assistance for poor mothers, and tax credits for the working poor.
Hmmmmm. It gets worse….

Medicaid is slated to become a block grant program to the states. Medicare will be turned into a voucher program to buy private health insurance policies. Obamacare will be repealed – not replaced, and there will be more tax cuts for wealthy.

As President Clinton was so fond of saying – “Give me a break!”

Balancing the federal budget on the backs of those who can least afford it is a cowardly act, one perpetrated by the powerful and privileged who have rigged our politics and now own our politicians and our government.

How about some tax fairness for starters by requiring that corporations pay their fare share of taxes? Repeal the tax law that allows them to hide their profits in offshore bank accounts before you start cutting food stamps and education? You can read about here: its call “Inversion.”

With Republican control of the House and the Senate, and a Presidential election around the corner, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

While the political process has been bought and paid for by ‘big money,’ TakeItBack.Org has a plan to fight back, to use populist ballot initiatives in the 24 states that allow them.

We will send a message, starting in South Dakota, that “We The People” have had enough! How? By passing our ‘anti-corruption/big money’ initiative which will be released at the end of the month and, when passed, will be proof that the public is mad as hell, pure and simple, and that we are not going to take it anymore.

Please contribute and join us in making this pledge: that working together, using direct democracy, we will take our country back, one state at a time!

Yes, I've disabled this functionality. If you're foolish enough to give ding-dong your money, you can find another place to do it.

Paid for in part by TakeItBack.Org-Political Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions to TakeItBack.Org are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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P.O. Box 20‌17 Sio‌ux Falls, SD 57‌101

So, Slick Rick claims that “We will send a message, starting in South Dakota, that “We The People” have had enough! How? By passing our ‘anti-corruption/big money’ initiative which will be released at the end of the month and, when passed, will be proof that the public is mad as hell, pure and simple, and that we are not going to take it anymore.”

And don’t forget to send him money. Which seems to be a common thread in all the e-mails he’s sending.

If Weiland is going to release this ballot measure at the end of the month, that would assume that he’s  done their pre-clearance of the initiated measure through the Legislative Research Council and Attorney General. In the middle of all this fundraising.

But if you look at the Secretary of State’s web site on ballot measures, what do you see regarding what Weiland is proposing?  Nothing. No state ballot measure group. Nothing on potential ballot measures.

I’m double checking, just in case something hasn’t been posted yet. But barring that, I’m not thinking we’re going to see anything from Weiland this month. Outside of more fundraising e-mails.

Gov. Daugaard To Appoint Fiegen To District 25 State Senate Seat

Gov. Daugaard To Appoint Fiegen To District 25 State Senate Seat

fiegenPIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that he will appoint Scott Fiegen of Dell Rapids to the vacant seat in the state Senate representing District 25. Fiegen will succeed Sen. Tim Rave, who resigned earlier this year.

“Scott Fiegen is a leader in his community, and the voters of Dell Rapids have expressed their confidence in him many times,” said Gov. Daugaard. “I thank him for taking on this new role as a state senator, and I am confident he will serve District 25 well.”

Fiegen currently serves as the mayor of Dell Rapids. After serving as a city alderman from 1998 to 2001, he served as mayor from 2001 to 2007 and returned to the office in 2009. He works as director of software engineering for Meta Payment Systems in Sioux Falls.

“I am thankful for the confidence Gov. Daugaard has placed in me,” said Fiegen. “I am excited for this new opportunity and look forward to working for the people of District 25 and the state of South Dakota.”

Fiegen and his wife, Teri, have two grown children. They have been actively involved in their community and attend St. Mary Catholic Church in Dell Rapids.

The appointment is effective immediately. Fiegen will serve the remainder of Sen. Rave’s term, which expires after the 2016 general election. District 25 includes north and east Minnehaha County, including the cities of Dell Rapids, Baltic, Garretson, Colton, Lyons, Valley Springs and Rowena. It also includes the area in eastern Sioux Falls near South Sycamore Avenue and East 26th Street.



Thune Blasts Long-Eared Bat ESA Listing at EPW Committee Hearing

Thune Blasts Long-Eared Bat ESA Listing at EPW Committee Hearing

“…Once again we have a federal agency that is throwing aside common sense and listening to special interest groups that based on their actions, do not have the best interests of the people of this country in mind.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) sharply criticized the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) misguided decision to address the decline of the northern long-eared bat population by listing the bat as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Although not a member of the EPW Committee, Thune was invited to speak at today’s hearing by the committee chairman to point out that the northern long-eared bat’s declining population is due to disease, not loss of habitat, and to express his strong opposition to the FWS action.

Update – That IS a malware infection. And KDLT not serving up porn at all.

I’m going to research this issue a bit more, but apparently there is an “ad choice” virus that can appear on the right hand side of the screen…

In my case this morning, the unusual thing is that (such as in the Unicef and naughtier ads), it appears in-line with other images, and seeming is superimposing itself on top of where the advertisements usually appear. In fact, it appears in-line directly below the disclaimer KDLT uses to note things would be an “advertisement”


If that’s the case – wow. That’s devious and tremendously deceptive. I went down to the website code trying to find the source. And, I run several anti-virus & anti-spam programs, and none of them caught it.

This one piques my curiosity. I’ll let you know what I find after I do some more digging.

Update – This one blew me away.  The ads from a less questionable place appeared in the place of the legitimate advertisements on KDLT.   It isn’t doing it on other websites I can find at the moment. Just KDLT where their pre-existing advertisements are. I question if it’s based on ad dimensions, or targets the brand of ads they use.

In fact, legitimate ads load for an instant – and then are replaced by the bad ads, although, thankfully nothing as graphic as I had in my face this morning.

And it happened despite being a safe surfer, and regularly scanning.  A good lesson to always be wary.

KCCR News: Trial date set for the other petition scofflaw

From KCCR News, information on the trial date for the person in trouble for monkeying with their petitions who isn’t Annette Bosworth:

The once independent candidate for U.S. Senate, 34 year old Clayton Walker is facing nine felony charges related to his election petitions. He’s accused of fabricating names and addresses on the sworn documents, which placed him on the Senate ballot as an independent until being kicked off after a challenge.


In the Hughes County Courtroom Tuesday afternoon during a status hearing, Presiding Judge John Brown issued jury selection in this case to begin July 20th of 2015 in Hughes County. Jury selection will be done that Monday, and they will commence on the 22nd of July at 12:00 or 1:00 P.M. for the minimum three day trial.


Read it here.

Gordon Howie questions if Muslims should be allowed to occupy public office in America. Bill of Rights, anyone?

There are days I wonder why I have Gordon Howie’s blog in the feed on the right, as I read his latest manifesto advocating discrimination and bigotry?

Should Muslims be allowed to occupy public office in America?

The very question itself will bring accusations of racism, bigotry and prejudice.  I can handle that.


At a time when radical Islam openly screams “death to America”, and most Muslims are noticeably silent when it comes to condemning that agenda, can our country really afford to trust Muslim-Americans with the sacred responsibility of preserving and protecting our freedom and Christian heritage?

I, for one, need to have some reassurance.

Read it here.

Clearly, he recognizes that his question might “bring accusations of racism, bigotry and prejudice.” Well, no kidding. Because the very question is IS UTTERLY RACIST, BIGOTED and PREJUDICIAL.

Why is Gordon Howie utterly full of s**t past his shoes this morning?

There are a few pieces of paper kept in a vault across the country that would disagree quite strongly with him. Collectively, they’re called the US Constitution, and in particular I point you to a couple of passages contained within the Bill of Rights.

The First Amendment, guaranteeing the free exercise of religion: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Fourteenth Amendment, providing equal protection under the law: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction there of, are citizens of the United States and of the State where in they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

What those passages mean are that there is no “one” religion that is held above any other, and conversely, no law prohibiting the practice of a particular religion. And when it comes to the free exercise of that religion, no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Meaning you can’t be punished for exercising your religion, even Islam, as Howie is directly advocating for.

When Howie asks “Should Muslims be allowed to occupy public office in America?” and claims he needs “some reassurance” to consider that notion, he is directly expressing the same mentality that gave rise to literacy tests to discourage black voting, and other “jim crow” laws to discourage civil participation.

Gordon might be starting with Muslims, but how long until he extends that to Jews, Catholics, and other religions he disagrees with?

You know what they say about the road to hell, which he seems to be heading down. Once you start down that slippery path, we’re all in a lot of trouble.