Noem Urges USDA & HHS to Base Food Guidelines on Nutrition, Not an Environmental Age

Noem Urges USDA & HHS to Base Food Guidelines on Nutrition, Not an Environmental Agenda

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Washington, D.C. – In a letter to the Secretaries of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) Tuesday, Reps. Kristi Noem, Vicki Hartzler and more than 65 other Members of Congress urged the agencies to base upcoming food guidelines on nutrition factors, not an environmental agenda.  The congressional attention was sparked after the administration revealed it was taking a food’s carbon footprint into account when developing recommendations for new dietary guidelines – the first time such considerations have been made in U.S. history.

“The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council has no business entering into environmental activism,” said Noem.  “The new environmentally friendly nutrition guidelines would largely leave meat – especially beef – out of what is considered to be a healthy dietary pattern.  This is not based on the work of nutritionists or epidemiologists, but the belief that the carbon footprint left by animals is too large.  It’s a misguided approach to nutrition that undermines the trust folks put into these recommendations.”

Every five years, USDA and HHS review the dietary guidelines for American food consumption. The new report recommends what should be included in the final dietary guidelines that will be issued later this year.  Once approved, the guidelines will be used as an educational tool and to help develop federal nutrition policy.  Today’s letter raises concerns that the report exceeds its Scope of Work by straying from purely nutritional evidence and venturing into areas like sustainability and tax policy.  It also highlights concerns that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council, which is responsible for drafting the proposed guidelines, may have subjectively hand-picked data to support pre-determined conclusions when making dietary recommendations for the report.

“The USDA is currently accepting public comments on these new guidelines and I encourage you to participate,” continued Noem.  “Just visit and submit a comment by midnight on April 8, 2015.”

Scroll down for a full copy of the letter.

March 31, 2015

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, D.C.  20250

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

Dear Secretaries Vilsack and Burwell:

We are writing today to express our sincere disappointment with the recent report issued by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) and certain recommendations for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).  The DGA play a critical role as the scientific basis for federal nutrition policy development and form the basis of Federal nutrition policy, education, outreach, and food assistance programs used by consumers, industry, nutrition educators, and health professionals. Therefore, it is essential that the DGA be based on sound nutrition science and not stray into other areas outside of this specific discipline.

However, after reviewing the DGAC report that was released February 19, 2015, we believe that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee greatly exceeded their scope in developing recommendations for the Secretaries of USDA and HHS to the detriment of the American diet. It is the responsibility of the Secretaries to ensure that this advisory committee stay focused on nutritional recommendations and not the wider policy realm of sustainability and tax policy, in which members of this committee had neither expertise, evidence, nor charter.

We are disappointed with reports from observers that the approach of the 2015 DGAC suggests studies were either selected or excluded to support pre-determined conclusions.  For example, the DGAC’s recommendation on lean red meat directly contradicts years of peer reviewed scientific research on the benefits of lean red meat as a high quality source of protein in a healthy diet.  It is crucial for HHS and the USDA to recognize the need for flexibility in the American diet that reflects the diverse population of this country.

It is extremely difficult to reverse or change public policy, once enacted, without causing consumer confusion. Inaccurate and conflicting dietary guidance messages are detrimental to consumer understanding of nutrition and the ability to build healthy diets. At a time when consumers are already subjected to conflicting and often contradictory nutrition and health information, providing the public with science-based, realistic and achievable information is more likely to contribute to improved public health outcomes.

We encourage you to focus the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines based on a “preponderance” of current scientific and medical knowledge and to ensure that the 2015 DGA are irrefutably science-based, consistent with advice from other federal agencies, and are communicated in terms easily understood by the public.


Top 5 places for Obama to visit in SD

Since South Dakota is soon to be the only state left on Obama’s bucket list, which may inflict us with a visit from the most unpopular president in modern history, a reader offered us a list of the top 5 places that the President should visit:

Top Five Places Obama Should Visit in South Dakota

The press is reporting that as of later this week, South Dakota will be the only state left for President Obama to visit during his presidency. We offer the following top five destinations for the President’s consideration:

1. Belle Fourche Sale Barn. It would likely serve President Obama well to spend some time around West River ranchers who know a thing or two about supply and demand, small businesses and hard work.

2. A ditch. (Or is it a navigable waterway?) Any Ditch in Eastern South Dakota. A few hours examining ditches East River might prove to be an enlightening experience if it helps change the President’s mind on the misguided EPA ‘Waters of the United States’ rule.

3. Mitchell Gun Show. Perhaps an afternoon mixing and mingling with a room full of freedom-loving, responsible gun owners would do the President some good.

4. Big Stone Power Plant. Another real life example of the President’s runaway regulatory regime that does nothing but increase the cost of doing business. The proposed EPA carbon rule will increase energy costs and hit energy-intensive states like South Dakota especially hard. He should see the plants, like Big Stone, that his rule will impact.

5. Walleye Fishing. According to the new book by former aide, Reggie Love, President Obama hates walleye. The only way to get the President to appreciate this delicacy is to head up to West Whitlock for a day of walleye fishing.

Lee Schoenbeck’s column from the Argus Leader – Killing a fifty percent tax increase

Lee Schoenbeck sent this along for sharing with our readers, but asked that we not share until it appeared in the Argus. So, now that it’s been in , here you go:

Representative: We Made The Right Decision Killing a Fifty Percent Tax Increase

As I was cleaning my bird cage, I noticed Stu Whitney’s column attacking legislators for not supporting a 50% increase in the city sales tax. He attributed the House of Representatives’ decision, the South Dakota People’s House, to being under the influence of the Koch brothers. I don’t know the Koch brothers, but I understand their name is pronounced the same as Coke. To that extent, I have seen legislators influenced by them, usually in the Diet Coke ideation late in the afternoon debates!

On the other hand, I can think of at least five more likely reasons a majority of House members, and particularly the Sioux Falls House members you singled out, rejected this large tax increase.

First, while it may not be readily apparent from the Minnesota Avenue window-view, a lot of South Dakotans are blue collar folks that work hard, and struggle to pay their bills week-to-week. A fifty percent increase in the city sales tax means something in their lives, and it doesn’t end there. This same session, that same People’ House also killed in floor debate a proposal to take the limits off of those same blue collar folk’s property taxes. You see, there are more people, groups and ways looking to spend the citizen’s hard earned dollars, than your average citizen can probably tolerate. I’m sure they appreciate the attention, but prefer to make their own family decisions about how to allocate their resources.

Second, I was a little surprised by the way you fell for the old snake oil sales line about it being an optional tax. The first penny sales tax was an “optional” tax, all cities imposed and we now pay. The second penny sales tax came later as an “optional” sales tax now imposed by all cities and paid by all of our families. This new third “optional” tax would be as surely imposed, and eventually broadened, as has every other piece of the city sales tax in our state. Dr Oyos used to warn us at Augie that “those who ignore history, are doomed to relive it”.

Third, the sales tax puts South Dakota retailers at a competitive disadvantage to their internet competitors. Every time the sales tax is raised, attention needs to be paid to the consequences for the small businesses that line our main streets, fund our little leagues, and provide jobs in our communities. If the U.S. Congress ever gets out of the pocket of the Googles, Amazons, and Microsofts of this world, and let’s the state’s fix it, state legislators wouldn’t be the front-line protection in this battle.

Fourth, the line of folks with ideas for the use of the people’s money in Pierre is not a short one. Legislators need to bring the spine to the job that allows them to stand strong in the face of so many good, and some not so good, demands on their citizen’s funds. Appropriations triage is not for the faint of heart. A new tax increase is a draw on those same resources – it takes the people’s finite, and hard-earned resources.

Finally, even a casual reader of the Argus Leader would be aware that we have funding challenges for education in South Dakota. Competitive salaries to attract and retain qualified educators in the k-12 world, and funds to keep tuition affordable in the technical school and regential system will come with a cost – a big one. The only realistic option on the table is some form of a sales tax for some period of time. As they say: “Sweat Pea, you can’t ride a horse with your butt in two different saddles”. Either you’re going to provide funds for your Mayor’s favorite projects, or your going to look to the critical needs of educating our citizenry. Realistically, you have to pick, and there’s a chance that your local legislators understand that math – and we’re looking down the road to next session for the good of our South Dakota families.

So Stu, while we in the ESD world were not disappointed to see you promoted from the sports page, from the heart I tell you, I prefer it when your ruminating stays closer to home. After all, the Mayor Mike – Kermit fights have at least a few more good years of ink in them.

 Lee Schoenbeck is a mechanic’s kid, rookie House member, and country lawyer from near Watertown, SD



That’s a campaign slogan you don’t often see…

Caught this in tonight’s paper. I can’t recall the last time I noticed “Rock On” used as a campaign slogan…


But then again, that’s the first candidate photo with dark sunglasses I’ve run across. As well as a one wearing a “poor-boy” cap in their campaign photo, as they stare off to the side.

(Does the Rock-on thing that mean they could start playing Motley Crue and Metallica at City Council meetings?)

Governor Daugaard: Sen. Lederman Resigns; Governor Invites Public Input

Sen. Lederman Resigns; Governor Invites Public Input

daugaard2PIERRE, S.D. – State Sen. Dan Lederman has resigned his seat in the South Dakota State Senate. Lederman, a Dakota Dunes Republican, also serves as assistant majority leader.

“Dan Lederman has been a vigorous advocate for his constituents and for South Dakota,” said Gov. Daugaard. “He will certainly be missed, and I wish the best to him and his family.”

Lederman has served in the state Senate since 2011, after serving one term in the state House. He was elected assistant majority leader in 2013.

Lederman represents District 16, which includes all of the Union County, and southern and eastern portions of Lincoln County, including the cities of Worthing, Canton, Beresford and Hudson.

His resignation was effective after the adjournment of the legislative session today.

Lederman’s resignation creates a vacancy that will be filled by gubernatorial appointment. The Governor is asking the public to nominate candidates to fill the position.

Those wishing to be considered for the appointment, or to offer nominations, should contact Grace Kessler in the Office of the Governor at 605-773-3661. Nominations should include the candidate’s name, current address, telephone number and relevant background information.

Gov. Daugaard expects to name an appointee by late spring or early summer.


That’s got to be the funniest thing I’ve read today. Liberal Dems mewling that Ann should get the Lederman seat.

God bless goofy liberal Cory Heidelberger for the laugh-out-loud comment of the day.

Today’s silly statement is in reference to Dan Lederman’s resignation this afternoon from the South Dakota State Legislature. Apparently, Cory has his panties in a twist because as he pronounces today, with Dan Lederman’s resignation, the Governor should just give Ann Tornberg the State Senate seat:

How about we leave the composition of the Legislature as much in the form the voters asked for ..and finally give the job the the highest-turnover district in the state to the woman who has sought the job and won solid votes two elections in a row, Ann Tornberg?

Read that here.

So, the Governor should just give the seat to a candidate who “won solid votes two elections in a row, Ann Tornberg.”   Damn. That’s funny.

The fact of the matter is that Tornberg lost three elections in a row, by five percentage points in 2010, 1 point in 2012, and in the latest election, by a margin of 12%, in a 56% to 44% rout. Somehow, I wouldn’t consider those “Solid” votes.  In fact, her latest contest underlined the fact that a majority of voters in her district don’t want to see her in office, and have rejected her again, and again. And a third time.

That’s advice from taxpayers that the Governor is well justified in heeding – that they don’t want to be represented by one of the state’s biggest supporters of President Obama.

Unfortunately, this simply follows a common thread among Democrats. They can’t find good candidates, so they want to use loopholes to try to get people into the office. Take the opposition by their party’s liberal wing to Senate Bill 69 for instance.

Liberal Democrats are organizing to contest the election reform bill that was passed by the legislature to fix petition deadlines to facilitate military voting, to put all political parties on a level playing field in terms of the number of signatures gathered, and – here’s the part they really hate – it tightly restricts filing “placeholder” candidates – who have no intention of running or serving – that are only ran by political parties to allow more time to find a better candidate.

During the time when the bill was being amended, Democrats, via Bernie Hunhoff, tried a nakedly partisan attempt to give Democratic Party bosses an avenue to hand-pick candidates for the ballot, bypassing the petition process entirely.

Hunhoff complained that it’s hard to find good candidates… so his answer was to have them picked out of party headquarters?

Nice try.

In fact, it was such a nice try, it encouraged legislators to go the opposite way, removing many of the loopholes Dems regularly had to employ instead of building their party apparatus. And Democrats are scratching their heads trying to figure out how they’re going run people for office this next election, hoping people may care about their plight enough to endorse a referral.

So, with both the end of session, and Lederman’s resignation, let opposition complain and yowl. If Democrats want to capture legislative seats, maybe they should try to be an actual political party.

Because as they’re finding out, it does little good to demand that losers be appointed, as well as try to have Democrat Party bosses in Sioux Falls pick the candidates.

Rounds Announces South Dakota Photo Contest

Rounds Announces South Dakota Photo Contest

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today announced his office is hosting a photo contest. He is seeking photos from across the state that highlight the unique scenery and landscape South Dakota has to offer. The top photo submissions will be featured on Rounds’ social media pages and website.

“From rolling hills and canyons to fertile river beds and prairies, our state has some of the most unique and diverse landscape in the country,” said Rounds. “I look forward to showcasing some of South Dakota’s natural beauty and sharing your work with others.”

Photo submissions, along with the photographers name, hometown and a brief description of the picture can be sent to [email protected]. By submitting a photo, the photographer grants permission to use the photo online.


Lederman withdraws from state legislature, recommends Bolin as his replacement.

State Senator Dan Lederman surprised his colleagues today, and decided that it’s his time to spend more time on the homefront, and – while not withdrawing from public life – he’s taking a knee, and for now, withdrawing from the legislature:

Dan Lederman File Photo 2012I’m announcing my retirement from the South Dakota State Senate, effective immediately.

I’m proud to have served in the State Legislature for 7 years, accomplishing much for the people who sent me to represent them in both the House and the Senate.  I cherish the friendships I made, the opportunities for learning, and the good we were able to do.

But, I also have to balance that against the many nights and months my family was left at home, and my wife was forced to do double duty as a parent.  It’s balanced against every dance recital I missed for my young daughters.  Every parent/teacher conference.  Every opportunity to go fishing with my son.  The campaigns could be fun, family affairs, but when it results in me, their father and husband, living apart in a hotel for weeks on end, that isn’t a reward.

One of the major pieces of legislation I championed during my time in the legislaturefamphoto was the “Shared Parenting Act,” which allowed for more balance in determining parental custody rights in cases of divorce.  If I can stand in the legislature and ask for more time and balance in families broken by divorce, it’s incumbent upon me to be part of a complete and balanced family all the time, not just during certain months the legislature isn’t in session.

At the end of our lives, if we’re truly blessed, we will be surrounded by family and loved ones as we slip from the bonds of this existence.

As nice as they can be, if we’re only surrounded by lobbyists bearing donuts and fruit baskets, then there might be a problem!

Read it all here.

In his farewell message, Lederman also recommended that the Governor appoint State Rep Jim Bolin as his replacement when the Governor decides to appoint.

Congratulations and thanks to Dan for his many years of service to South Dakota.

Press Release: State Will Not Seek the Death Penalty for Alexander Salgado

State Will Not Seek the Death Penalty for Alexander Salgado

PIERRE – Attorney General Marty Jackley and Hanson County State’s Attorney Jim Davies announce today that in the interest of justice and based upon the totality of circumstances in the case, that it will not be their intent to file a Notice to Seek the Death Penalty and breach of agreement in the Alexander Salgado case. Alexander Salgado and Maricela Diaz, a juvenile at the time, were both arrested in November of 2009 for luring Jasmine Guevana to a remote location in rural Hanson County where they stabbed her, cut her throat and then set her car on fire while she was in the trunk.

“I and the State’s Attorney were present when Alexander Salgado entered the plea agreement and provided the horrific details of how he and Maricela Diaz murdered a 16-year-old little girl. Upon reviewing Salgado’s recent trial testimony, it is my opinion that he has failed to satisfy even the most basic conditions of his plea agreement. However, based upon all of the circumstances, including discussions with Jasmine’s family members and the State’s Attorney, I do not believe it is in the interest of justice or South Dakota to move forward with the death penalty particularly in light of the fact that Salgado is presently serving a mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole. I struggle to believe that Jasmine’s family will ever find closure, but I hope that the completion of these trial matters will allow them to begin to heal,” said Jackley.

On November 24, 2009, Alexander Salgado (20), from Fort Wayne Indiana/Dereo Mexico, was indicted for the murder of 16-year-old Jasmine Guevana. On July 12, 2010, the State provided notice of its intent to seek the death penalty. Salgado plead guilty to second degree murder on August 30, 2010, and is currently serving a life sentence without parole at the South Dakota Penitentiary. As a condition of his plea agreement, the state withdrew its Notice of Death Penalty and Salgado set forth detailed factual bases regarding his and Diaz involvement in the murder of Jasmine. Defendant further acknowledged “that any misrepresentation or omission made during the course of Defendants debriefings and cooperation with law enforcement may result in revocation of this agreement at the State’s discretion.”

During the recent trial of his co-defendant Diaz, it is the State’s position that Salgado failed to adhere to the simple conditions and requirements of the plea agreement, said testimony being of public record. At her trial, Diaz was convicted of first degree murder. On March 27, 2015, Diaz was sentenced to serve 80 years for first degree murder and 50 years for kidnapping to run concurrently.

Articles refute ProPublica article accusing consultants of misdeeds. In fact, they point out how they were trying to prevent them.

I had mentioned this article a few days ago, which appears on Huffington Post, as well as ProPublica:, where it claims

Founded in May of last year, Vote2ReduceDebt raised its nearly $3 million almost entirely from Davis, and spent just about all of it. Its filings with the Federal Election Commission list ads, phone banks and rallies for candidates in tight races, including Joni Ernst in Iowa and Cory Gardner in Colorado.


Patrick Davis, 47, was a one-time political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a professorial type who has worked on dozens of national and local campaigns. Hill, also 47, is a gregarious Fort Worth native known in the trucking industry for inventing a trailer that dries peanuts during transport.

The allegations of fraud started in dueling memos that went to the older Davis and the group’s board of directors. Hill claimed Patrick Davis was faking expense reports and trying to award contracts to phantom companies. Davis’ camp said Hill was hatching a plan to defraud the oilman out of $4 million, and alleged the PAC’s attorney may have been in on a cover-up.

But not so fast. Since that article came out, at least two articles have been written with an opposing point of view, which completely contradicts what the ProPublica Article notes, and accuses ProPublica of being a Soros funded venture. :

Appears that with background, which Pro Publica  conveniently chose to leave out, Federici was upset because she had been blowing the whistle on corruption and had been ignored.   Things got a lil dicey after Patrick Davis and Italia had blown the whistle on the NASCAR dream and there were concerns that the legitimate work that Person to Person PAC had done on behalf of V2RD had been ignored at best or lied about behind the scenes.

So  after Randy disclosed this plan to Federici and Davis, Federici contacted multiple law firms and got opinions about how to unravel Randy’s plan. On June 25 Cleta Mitchell and Federici took the information to the PAC’s counsel Chris Gober. Rather than act upon the information presented in an impartial or even-handed way, Gober was in no hurry to bring the info to the board, and did not try to set a board meeting for Patrick to present the information. In an effort to get the info to the board and Mr. Ken Davis and to bypass Gober, Patrick Davis wrote an affidavit and emailed it to the board.

Read that here.

Which side do you believe? Go ahead and read them both, and let us know.