Sunday, January 29, 2017

Scripture And Song For The Week: Proverbs 28 Edition

Proverbs 28

10 Whoever leads the upright along an evil path
    will fall into their own trap,
    but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.
11 The rich are wise in their own eyes;
    one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation;
    but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.
13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
14 Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
    but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
    is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.


Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Political Predictions: South Dakota Politics Edition

I suppose I should start the year by resolving to return to regular posting, but I would prefer to make resolutions that I can keep. Instead, I offer the following humble predictions for the upcoming legislative session.

1. More time will be spent discussing bathrooms than the budget. There's a 27% chance that the solution will be to close down every indoor school bathroom and construct single hole outhouses near every school building. In that eventuality, the student to outhouse ratio will likely be 14.5 to 1.

2. The number of resolutions using the following format will increase over last session.
Whereas: We, the sponsors of this legislation, are supporters of all that is right, holy, just, not to mention fair, And
Whereas: We, the sponsors of this legislation, are supported by God, angels, and cute puppies, And
Whereas: Those who oppose this legislation are obviously unholy, godless heathens who don't deserve to be considered Americans.
Now, Therefore Be It Resolved: That everything the sponsors of this legislation do or say or propose be viewed as good until the end of time.
And Be It Further Resolved: Everything that those who oppose this resolution do or say or propose be viewed as abhorrently evil and an existential threat to the American Republic.
3. Governor Dennis Daugaard will not formally endorse the Republican he favors to succeed him. The two, however, will develop a secret handshake.

4. With Bob Mercer being MIA, there's a 41 percent chance more than half of South Dakotans will forget the legislative session is occurring.

5. Most legislation that passes will be partially plagiarized from sample legislation provided by lobbyists.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Minor Musing: Mayor Mike Huether Independent Edition

South Dakota's two biggest political blogs are devoting many posts to Mayor Mike Huether's decision to leave the Democratic Party. They and their commentators seem to be adequately analyzing how Huether's decision will effect South Dakota Democrats and which statewide race he will enter.

I take it as a given that Huether will enter a statewide race, but there's one question that I would like answered. Huether has a functional political skill set or he would not have been elected Sioux Falls mayor. To the best of my knowledge, the first rule of politics is have the money folk lined up before any formal candidacy announcement. That fact prompts one simple question: did a big name donor demand this change as a condition for financial support?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quotation Of The Day: The Future Of American Evangelicalism Edition

From Alan Jacobs:
There’s a lot of talk about Trump dominating the evangelical vote, but most of the enthusiasm for him came from people who call themselves evangelicals but don’t go to church. Church-going evangelicals stayed home in large numbers. However: people who call themselves evangelicals but don’t go to church are the future of American evangelicalism.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Minor And Somewhat Silly Musing About The Twilight Zone And Changes In The Political Landscape

I freely admit the following is silly. The nation, however, seems to be entering Rod Serling territory, so, "Picture if you will, . . ."

Donald Trump has appointed Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon as his "chief strategist and senior counselor." The post doesn't require Senate approval, so Mr. Bannon will serve at Mr. Trump's pleasure.

There is a tenuous but interesting South Dakota connection to Bannon. Lee Stranahan, a strong supporter of erstwhile United States Senate candidate Annette Bosworth throughout her fraught candidacy, is a reporter with Breitbart.

Donald Trump has also appointed Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff. I'm guessing, and I am certainly willing to be corrected, that Priebus would be the chief intermediary South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard would talk with should the governor require assistance from the Oval Office.

Here's where the Twilight Zone music starts going. Daugaard distanced himself from Trump during the latter stages of the campaign. Assuming all phones are working properly, has American politics come to the place where Bosworth can call Stranahan who can call Bannon who will talk to Trump on her behalf before the White House switchboard will connect Daugaard to Priebus and have Priebus present Daugaard's request to Trump?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Post Election Essay Test

First, I want to apologize to the folks whose comments were hung up in comment moderation purgatory, I have not been very attentive to this blog. I have no excuse for much of the summer. Lately, however, I have been trying to keep up with young'uns learning about China, qualified immunity, the Internet of Things, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, The Grapes of Wrath, excerpts from the Aeneid, and a bunch of Norse mythology. I will do my best to keep the post free of Ragnarok references.

Please answer all of the following in complete sentences and provide concrete details to support your answers.

Question 1: As of this writing, Donald Trump has won the electoral votes necessary to be elected President, but Hillary Clinton is leading in the popular vote. Paul Ryan has claimed that Donald Trump has a mandate to lead. What mandate does losing the popular vote provide?

Question 2: Part 1: Given his desire to "open up libel laws, has Donald Trump provided any assurances that he will actively work to protect the entirety of the First and Fourth amendments? Part 2: Is there any evidence that Mr. Trump knows what an ex post facto law is or that such laws are blatantly unconstitutional?

Question 3: This one is for my evangelical brothers and sisters. In your efforts to keep Hillary Clinton, a woman frequently viewed as Jezebel, out of the Oval Office, what assurances can you give that you have not elected Rehoboam?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Will Adult Republicans Ever Speak Up?

I'm not politically correct. I certainly use profanity more than most, and I am better capable than most of explaining how a certain short guttural verb that begins with "F" can be used in its participle forms as both an adjective and a noun in the same sentence.

On the other hand, I try hard to draw the line at using terms that demean entire groups of people. I also doubt that any human is "standard" I expect people seeking higher office and those who support them to adhere to both standards.

Apparently Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, one of his more vocal supporters, don't share that belief. My Twitter feed is full of photos of the following excerpt from Coulter's book which I found re-produced here:
Trump denied knowing that Serge was disabled, and demanded an apology, saying that anyone could see his imitation was of a flustered, frightened reporter, not a disabled person. It’s true that Trump was not mimicking any mannerisms that Serge has. He doesn’t jerk around or flail his arms. He’s not retarded. He sits calmly, but if you look at his wrists, you’ll see they are curved in. That’s not the imitation Trump was doing—he was doing a standard retard, waving his arms and sounding stupid: “’Ahhh, I don’t know what I said—ahhh, I don’t remember!’ He’s going, ‘Ahhh, I don’t remember, maybe that’s what I said!’” [emphasis mine]
If any Republican needs help in their efforts to explain to Coulter and Trump that "retard" should be used only as a verb and that no human is "standard," leave a comment and I'll be happy to use a short guttural verb in all its forms to explain it.