Showing posts from March 11, 2007

Political items - the Nesselhuf Hackey Sack

I had one of my friends get this to me - I'm now a proud owner of the "official" Ben "B.J." Nesselhuf campaign hackey sack.

It's one of those rotten campaign items that would cause me to absolutely bitch at a candidate if they ever bought and distributed them because of it's frivolous nature and limited impact..

But hey, it's still pretty cool.

Conservative? Then you must go read this.

A crying Reagan on the cover of time magazine, and the story within is a must read:
These are gloomy and uncertain days for conservatives, who — except for the eight-year Clinton interregnum — have dominated political power and thought in this country since Reagan rode in from the West. Their tradition goes back even further, to Founding Fathers who believed that people should do things for themselves and who shook off a monarchy in their conviction that Big Government is more to be feared than encouraged. The Boston Tea Party, as Reagan used to point out, was an antitax initiative. and... Giuliani's lead in the early polls doesn't necessarily mean the Republican race is getting any closer to the kind of early coronation the party usually manages to engineer. A New York Times/CBS News poll out this week found that nearly 6 out of 10 Republican primary voters who responded said they were unsatisfied with the choice of candidates running for the party's nomination; by compar…

The Irish in America, and an Irish lady in Watertown in honor of St. Patrick's Day

As St. Patrick's day is impending, I find myself thinking about my heritage and the legacy of the Irish in America. Here's just a few facts for those of you who were wondering:

The 2000 United State Census reports 30,528,492 persons claiming Irish ancestry, 10.8% of the total American population. This is over 7 times the population of Ireland itself, which was 4 million in the year 2003.

Irish-Americans are the largest ancestral group in Washington DC, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

Here is a complete breakdown of the Irish-American population, by state

StateIrish-American population Irish-Americans as a percentage of total population

Updates at the SDWC

I've been noticing for quite some time that my links on the right are about as dated as my musical tastes, so I took some time to delete the departed websites such as my favorite, GutzonBorglum online, and not so favorites such as SD Radicals, and I've added some to the blogroll that I've long had added in the webfeeds.

So, you'll notice that the Hog House Blog, Dakota Women, Coat Hangers at Dawn, the Argus' Voices blog, and another one or two have a home on the right of the page to go along with the one on the left.

And, I have my fingers crossed. I successfully added the Radioactive Chief's website to the RSS feed aggregator for the first time in a year or so. Hopefully the chief will keep us updated on conservatism in Moody County.

The nanny staters aren't giving up yet.

According to KELO and the Argus Voices blog, the nanny staters are going to make another run at telling everyone how they're supposed to live their lives.

Good god, I hope we have a few Republicans left in the legislature to let this veto stand:
This year the South Dakota legislature tried to close that gap with a booster seat law, requiring all kids use them until they're at least 80 pounds or 57 inches tall.

Governor Mike Rounds vetoed that bill, saying the highway patrol would have to bring along scales to check children's weights and parents would have to bring along birth certificates to prove their age.


Willadsen was shocked by the governor's veto.

Willadsen says, "When it's evident almost 60 percent of injuries and fatalities could be prevented by having a booster seat, it seems like a no-brainer to me. We need to have this. Kids don't get a vote. Kids can't say I need to be in a booster seat. "

Supporters of the booster seat bill need 10 v…

Prospective political consultants, hang out your shingles here

If you're noticing a slight change on the right, I've opened up a place for those who help with campaigns for money to hang out their shingles as we enter into the municipal and school board campaign season.

If you're interested in posting your ad under the SD Political Consulting Marketplace section, and more notably, posting it on a website read by roughtly 1000 politically oriented people daily, drop me a note at for more details.

You don't even need a website - I can direct the ad to your e-mail address.

Get in touch with me, and I can have your ad up within hours.

Has anyone heard about this? The Smithsonian and their exclusive contract with Showtime

I'm listening to Fox & Friends, and catching some of the chatter, and I just heard about the Smithsonian signing an exclusive contract with Showtime networks. Apparently Fox has been denied a permit to shoot in the Smithsonian for their "war stories" program because of this exclusive agreement.

The New York Times has more details:
As the recent coupling between the Smithsonian Institution and Showtime Networks continues to roil the documentary film world, more than 215 filmmakers, television executives and academics have signed a letter demanding that the Smithsonian, a publicly financed museum, not only reveal financial details of the joint venture but also abandon it. and...The uproar was set off last month when Showtime and the Smithsonian announced the creation of Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture for original television programming on scientific, cultural and historical subjects whose first service would be an on-demand cable channel beginning this December. …

Denise Ross hates closed caucuses, but the SDNA chief thinks they're ok.

Over at the Aberdeen American News website, they've posted an associated press story by Chet Brokaw that has Hog House Blogger Denise Ross complaining about closed caucuses, and Dave Bordewyk, general manager of the South Dakota Newspaper Association saying they're ok:
For an hour or so before each day's floor session, the lawmakers in each chamber meet in separate, private party caucuses to discuss bills, strategies and other issues.And in the final days of a legislative session, the lawmakers frequently will stop public debate and disappear into private caucus meetings, said Denise Ross, a former reporter for the Rapid City Journal. The legislators then reappear and decide the fate of the year's most important bills, she said.and...Ross, who covered the Legislature for six years, said she objects because lawmakers hold closed meetings in the Capitol, the most public of all buildings in South Dakota.and..

Dave Bordewyk, general manager of the South Dakota Newspaper Asso…

There's something missing in that whole Shaw/Schumacher arrangement.

If you've been watching the rough and tumble action in Rapid City's mayoral race as it has played out on this website, in the Rapid City Weekly, the Rapid City Journal, and on Mt. Blogmore, I don't need to bore you with an extended explanation.

The short synopsis is that there were initial discussions and planning between Schumacher and Kooiker for a race against Jim Shaw as early as last summer, with Schumacher reserving a mayoral related internet address on Sam's behalf. Recently, Rapid City businessman Doug Hamilton dangled a big wad of cash (reportedly $35k) for Schumacher to jump horses mid-stride over to the Shaw campaign, and telling people that he's not "a Judas" - he's just doing it to secure his daughter's future.

And, of course Mayor Shaw is trying to keep himself out of all of this political back and forth.

But there's a few more twists and turns to all of this.

Go back to last year, and if you start poking around the Rapid City contes…

Governor to appear on Fox & Friends

Set your clocks. Governor Rounds is appearing on the national TV program Fox & Friends tomorrow AM between 7 and 7:30.

Rapid City Journal has big story on Schumacher/Shaw connection

The Rapid City Journal has a big front page, above the fold story on Rapid City businessman Doug Hamilton paying Rapid City Councilman Mike Schumacher to run Mayor Jim Shaw's campaign. Despite the fact that Shaw says nobody is running his campaign.

The Headline? Schumacher to Support Shaw: Local businessman offers alderman money to help re-elect mayor:
Schumacher confirmed that he has been offered an undisclosed amount of money by Doug Hamilton, a local businessman and Shaw supporter, to help Shaw get re-elected.

Negotiations are ongoing, according to Schumacher, and he hasn’t been hired to do anything for Shaw’s campaign yet. Part of the negotiation is determining just how much of a role Schumacher would have in Shaw’s campaign — whether he would be campaign manager, a campaign consultant or something else.


Schumacher would not say how much money he has been offered but indicated it was enough to take care of his daughter’s future. The offer also led him to re-evaluate who sho…

What are the odds?

Linesmaker, an offshore betting website recently noted that they're taking bets on the odds for 2008 presidential candidates. What are they projecting for candidates (despite it probably being illegal to use in South Dakota)?

2008 US Presidential OddsTeamOddsHillary Clinton1-1Al Gore5-1John McCain5-1George Allen Jr10-1Rudy Giuliani5-2Sam Brownback10-1Bill Richardson12-1Mark Warner15-1Mitt Romney10-1Mike Huckabee20-1Evan Bayh20-1Chuck Hagel22-1Colin Powell25-1Joe Biden30-1Bill Frist100-1John Edwards8-1Newt Gingrich40-1Tom Vilsack40-1Russ Feingold40-1Barack Obama6-1Rick Santorum50-1Tom Tancredo50-1Mike Gravel50-1Tom Ridge50-1Tom Daschle50-1Bill Owens50-1Bob Kerrey50-1John Kerry50-1George Pataki50-1Condoleezza Rice30-1Gary Locke70-1Dick Gephardt75-1Wesley Clark20-1Dick Cheney75-1Howard Dean75-1Alberto Gonzales75-1Bob Ehrlich75-1Charles Schumer75-1Harold Ford Jr75-1Jack Kemp75-1Jeb Bush100-1Jay Rockefeller100-1Ralph Nader100-1Paul Bremmer150-1Joe Lieberman150-1Bob Graham150-1Michael Bl…

Herseth's new committee considered junket central with $1 Million to blow

As was widely reported last month, the associated press notes that the Global Warming committee that Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth to is being considered for re-titling by one fellow democrat as "the committee on world travel and junkets" by a fellow Democrat:
"We should probably name it the committee on world travel and junkets," said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which overseas the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency. "We're just empowering a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs to go around and make speeches and make commitments that will be very difficult to honor," said Dingell, a champion of the auto industry, which could be required to producing cleaner-burning and more fuel efficient vehicles.Read all of that here at
That could prove to be a troublesome issue for Herseth, as it was one of the few issues that opponents used against then Co…

Tim Johnson on the mend

US Senator Tim Johnson's office has released several photographs - the first since his medical event - along with a statement from his office:
Johnson Thanks South Dakotans

March 13, 2007
Doctors Say Johnson Continues to Progress

Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) continues to make encouraging and steady progress in his recovery.

"I want to thank the people of South Dakota and all of our dear friends for their support and prayers. This has been an unexpected journey and there is a long road in front of me. I am determined and focused on my recovery, and I look forward to returning to the Senate on behalf of South Dakota," said Senator Johnson.

The medical staff at the rehabilitation center has informed the Johnsons that the Senator continues to progress as expected. The attending physician states, "Senator Johnson is making significant and regular gains. He is doing very well cognitively. We are focusing on standing and balance training as the foundation upon …

Different views on the Car seat veto. And a little Catholic bigotry thrown in to boot.

Two newspapers had different views on the car seat veto this past week.

The Watertown Public Opinion noted:

"We see the common sense in the Governor's take on this issue. It's still a basic safety issue, and it is good advice which doesn't necessarily make good legislation.

And then there was the opposing view from the Mitchell Daily Republic:
Gov. Mike Rounds makes a good point in vetoing the bill that would require booster seats for children aged 5-8.Rounds, in rejecting the legislation, said the law would be difficult to enforce and “unworkable” for large families.

Though Rounds is Roman Catholic, you don’t have to be of that faith to appreciate the special challenges that booster seats present....


In the end, we would favor the bill, despite the enforcement difficulties that the governor outlines. We would do so for this reason: If adults must buckle up, and infants must be strapped in, why would we place a lesser value on children ages 5-8?

Lawmakers should overri…

Credit where credit is due

I was looking at some of last week's legislative columns when I stumbled across this candidate for quote of the week from Republican Representative Gary Jerke:
"I am having a great deal of difficulty justifying all these bills in that the government is getting more and more involved in decisions about our very being. We need less government in our lives, not more."I did a little research to see if we could test his commitment to less government, and in a several year review of the legislation he's sponsored (both prime sponsored, and otherwise), I have to give Representative Jerke credit. His record of sponsorship is not only good, I'd call it exemplary.

But then I get to a couple of his votes. On House Bill 1189, the Republican sponsored car seat bill, he voted to put 5-7 year olds in car seats when the Governor says it goes way too far. But, to his favor, he voted against SB 196, (banning smoking in bars on the precept it was to save the children who hang out in …

Don't forget to check out the new blog, And fellow bloggers, feel free to contribute.

South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli (Dist. 35) at Rapid City Cracker Barrel Feb. 2007.
Picture copyright Dakota Voice and Bob Ellis;

Don't forget the SD Blogosphere Photo Repository over at

I've tried to send SD bloggers e-mails to join, and I know I've missed several, so if you want to contribute, drop me a note, and I'm happy to add you - Republican, Democrat and other.

I might need a counselor after that one.

My flight back to Pierre this morning was the ultimate in subsidized travel as I was the sole traveler between Brookings and Pierre at $29 one way. I somehow doubt that covered the two pilot's hourly wage.

The only bad part was "you know you're in for it" when you're the lone ranger through the terminal, and they're training a new airport security guy. Apparently they decided that this early morning traveler got to be the guinea pig for "new guy's" screening practice. Ugh.

It's not like flying the other way. From Pierre to Brookings, I barely get a second look as I get on board (and I'm not complaining). But this morning, I got everything except a prison shower and delousing.

It's bad enough that I have to take my shoes off every time I'm through this terminal. But this AM, it was the full wanding and pat down. Even though it stopped short of a full cavity search, I found myself wondering if they had counselors available afterward…

Meade County Lincoln Day Dinner and lions on the rise

I had a note from reader Aaron Lorenzen who attended the Meade County Republican Lincoln Day dinner just the other night which was keynoted by new GFP Secretary Jeff Vonk who gave a talk on elk and mountain lions. Above, you see Senators Ken McNenny and Dennis Schmidt who were in attendance.

Speaking of mountain lions, I see from the Kevin Woster article in the Rapid City Journal that their numbers are going up, with lion deaths up 16 from the previous years.

While the "lion loonies" say it shows that the population is being pressured, GFP officials say it shows there's plenty of them out there:
Dr. Sharon Seneczko, a Custer veterinarian who heads the Black Hills Mountain Lion Foundation, said it was troubling to see such a substantial increase in the mortality outside the sport-hunting season — from 27 in 2005 to 40 in 2006.

“To me, it shows that we have much human-caused mortality — predominantly from traps, cars and the taking of lions (by GF&P) because of problems,” …

South Dakota Chastity Balls in the News

(Hat tip to CCK)

ABC News has a story on South Dakota Chastity Balls, and how Leslee Unruh is helping to drive the demand across the nation:
Thousands of girls have taken purity vows at this kind of event since the
first ball was thrown in 1998 by Generations of Light, a popular Christian
ministry in Colorado Springs.

Last year, South Dakota's Abstinence Clearinghouse run by Leslee Unruh,
a major association of the purity movement, received requests to send out 700
"Purity Ball Planner" booklets.

These balls are the latest trend in the national abstinence movement,
which began in the 1980s as a grassroots effort from the Christian community in
response to high rates of sexually transmitted diseases.

Read it all here.

As I'd written on it before, it’s one of those things that makes some fathers (such as I) squirm. Going to a dance for purposes of discussing intimacy in days past had absolutely nothing to do with any female relatives whatsoever.

Would they say “thank you for honori…

RC Weekly Editorial Cartoon

Go check out this hilarious (or tragic, depending on your viewpoint) cartoon on the Rapid City Mayoral Race controversy over at the Rapid City Weekly News.

Is Fred Thompson going to be holding the conservative banner?

I was going to write this AM that I wanted to hear more about a Fred Thompson candidacy, but then I see that SDP beat me to the punch. Apparently we agree on the issue that we need a straight talking conservative.

Rudy? Bleaugh. I'm sure he's a nice man (Just ask one of his previous wives), but he's not for me. McCain hasn't tripped my trigger, either. Any of the other Republicans don't seem like they're coming out of the gate with enough "oomph" to successfully battle a Hillary or Obama.

I had toyed with the idea that Newt could be the standard bearer, but let's face it. He brings a lot of baggage. With a Thompson candidacy, we get conservative positions in a very publicly recognizeable candidate.

This one may bear watching.

Global warming according to Herseth?

Congress Daily is noting that Congresswoman Herseth has been named by Speaker Pelosi to a special global warming panel:
House leaders today chose dueling rosters to fill a new global warming and energy independence panel, underscoring skepticism that the panel will serve as little more than a mouthpiece for opposing views in the global warming debate. The Democratic line-up includes two freshmen and members with mostly strong environmental credentials. and... Speaker Pelosi issued a statement saying the panel Democrats "are outstanding for their creativity, diversity of experience, and knowledge of energy and global warming issues."

The seven other Democrats on the panel received an average score from the League of Conservation Voters last Congress of roughly 84 percent. The other Democratic panelists are Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Jay Inslee of Washington, John Larson of Connecticut, Hilda Solis of California, Stephanie Hersethof South Dakota and Emanuel Cleaver of…