Thursday, July 31, 2014

Are You Human?: A Littel Reminder That Being Alive Means Being Flawed

I think I'll play this on the first day of school for my "Oh my God if I don't get an A I'll never get into the right college and die an old cat person in a house featured on Hoarders!" students.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Post Wherein I Try To Help Both Jason Gant And Angelia Schultz

South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant has shown once again that he's a partisan hack not a statesman.

When Independent gubernatorial candidate Michael Myers charged that Gant refused his request to replace Caitlin Collier, his original choice to be his running mate as a candidate for lieutenant governor, with Lora Hubbel, because "[t]he secretary of state is used as a party to advance the interest of the dominant party," Gant called the charge "absurd and pathetic" and a "sad attempt of publicity,”

Were he even a D- level leader, Gant would have responded to the charge with something simple:
"I'll just repeat what I said before. Nothing in the law allows Mr. Myers to replace his original choice. I hope the South Dakota legislature uses the upcoming session to change the law to ensure that Independents receive the same treatment as Republicans and Democrats." 
Instead, he made a churlish response that does nothing but give credence to Myers's claim that Gant is a "a hit man for the Republican machine in Pierre."

Meanwhile, Angelia Schultz, the South Dakota Democrats nominee for Secretary of State should have issued a press release and used social media to criticize Gant's surly responses. The statement could have been rather short.
Although I support and will be voting for Susan Wismer, I agree with Mr. Myers's that an Independent candidate should be on a level playing field with major party candidates. The only sad and pathetic part of today's events is Mr. Gant's belittling of the Myers campaign's efforts to achieve fair treatment. When I am elected as the next South Dakota Secretary of State, I will do everything in my power to run the office in a non-partisan manner.
The worst thing that could happen to Schultz would be that Dick Wadhams would use his trite phrase generator to tell her to stop playing politics,

Tweet Of The Day: Fox News Reports 110% Of American Oppose Obama

I didn't vote for Barack Obama in 2012, but I didn't think everyone, and I must repeat EVERYONE, disapproves of the job he's doing. Actually, more Americans than actually exist oppose Obama's policies. I don't know how that lack of support can be possible, but Fox News has the numbers: 110% of Americans oppose or strongly oppose Obama's performance on the job.

Follow the link for clarification.

The Weiland Campaign's Sisyphean Task

Rick Weiland has released a pair of well-done new ads. They reinforce a major campaign theme that big money is bad for politics, and they show Weiland as a happy prairie populist warrior. Well done and fun should be a winning formula

And yet, Weiland still faces a long, uphill path to victory. Cory Heidelberger tweets that the Weiland campaign today released poll that showed Weiland within 10 points of Mike Rounds. That's much closer than other recent polls.

A lot of things have to happen for Weiland to catch Mike Rounds

If all things stay as they are now, Weiland needs to get two out of every three of the undecided voters. I really don't know if that feat is possible for any Democrat in South Dakota. Mike Rounds is not going to bleed voters. He is going to get some undecided to swing his way on name recognition alone. He may get some Gordon Howie and Larry Pressler voters to return to the GOP fold as well

Further, Pressler and Howie can't take any of the undecideds who would otherwise vote for Weiland. Howie may have peaked, but Pressler may still win some of the undecideds to his column. The Weiland campaign has to see every undecided that goes to Pressler as going to Rounds. It's one more vote that they need but won't get.

Perhaps a perfect storm will happen. A scandal may stick to Rounds. Pressler may withdraw and endorse Weiland, but in late July 2014 those occurrences are as unlikely as the mythological Sisyphus being able to get the boulder to sit still on top of the hill.

South Dakota Republicans Key Part Of White House Scam

That's the logical conclusion based on the facts at hand. During their convention, South Dakota Republicans passed a resolution supporting impeaching President Obama. John Boehner calls that idea a "scam."
“No, no, no, no,” Congressman Greg Walden, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Politico when asked whether the House would initiate impeachment proceedings. Boehner told reporters on Tuesday that there were “no plans” to remove Obama, calling the idea “a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
Let's deconstruct this situation a bit more. South Dakota Republicans believe Obama to be feckless, but the Republican Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the person who will become President should something happen to both Obama and Vice-President Biden, has said they got duped by White House Democrats.

If Boehner is correct and South Dakota Republicans have been played by someone they consider inept, what does that say about their political skills? It's unlikely that all those who voted for impeachment are all political ne'er-do-wells.

If the South Dakota Republican party is not full of incompetents, and their electoral success suggests that they are not, how did they get fooled by a person they consider beneath contempt? Could it be that they are willing participants in the "scam"? If that's the case, then the whole right wing of the South Dakota GOP is filled with RINOs. It's a wicked web one weaves when one first plans to deceive.

Next time you talk with a South Dakota Republican, ask him or her about impeachment. If the person support it, he or she is a RINOs willing taking part in “a scam started by Democrats at the White House.” Don't take my word for it, take Speaker of the House John Boehner's.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quotation Of The Day: Are Angry Conservatives Really Conservative Edition?

Andrew Sullivan looks for "a conservatism of joy." In his quest, he quotes Aaron Taylor who remembers Michael Oakeshott who asserted that conservatism is “not a creed or a doctrine, but a disposition":
The real foes of conservatism are not socialism and liberalism, but the reactionary and innovating mentalities. Neither the reactionary nor the innovator share the joie de vivre of the conservative mind—its natural inclination to rejoice in and savor what is. They are restless and tormented if things are not in a state of perpetual flux, if “progress” is not being made either backward toward an imagined age of innocence, or forward toward an imagined age of future liberation. If nothing is changing, then nothing is happening. Reactionaries and innovators eschew what Oakeshott calls the conservative mind’s “cool and critical” attitude toward change, advocating instead a radical overhaul of society and its refashioning in the image of a golden age which is either imagined to have existed in the past or lusted after as a possible future.[italics in original]
"[C]ool and critical" over angry and unthinking? What would Bob Ellis, the angriest man in the South Dakota blogosphere say?

In South Dakota Politics The Enemy Of My Enemy Is Likely My Enemy's Enemy

Tara Volesky hopes that I and everyone else will support Independent candidate for lieutenant-governor Lora Hubbel because Hubbel fights the GOP establishment. I don't like established churches or political oligarchies. I'm not sanguine about South Dakota being a single-party state. The ruling clique has far too many Mayberry Machiavellis in its number. More importantly, South Dakota gets an F from the Center for Public Integrity and is the eighth most corrupt state according to an Indiana University study.

Lee Stranahan has promised South Dakotans "better media." Stranahan claims the improved coverage will happen because he is "going to keep it real about the REAL ISSUES facing South Dakota." It's disheartening to know that South Dakota has fewer statehouse reporters.than any other state. Further, South Dakota's television news departments do more press release reading than actual journalism.

I should, therefore, wholeheartedly rejoice because an "advocate" like Hubbel and an intrepid "reporter" like Stranahan are in South Dakota. And yet, there exists a strong feeling that, in this case, the enemy of my enemy is . . . something other than an ally.

To date, Stranahan seems to write about only two subjects; neither involve improving South Dakota's political news coverage. First, he serves as the chief apologist for Chad Haber's and Annette Bosworth's efforts to lead as many as possible down a political rabbit hole to a bizarre wonderland that makes Lewis Carroll's look pedestrian. (Much of Stranahan's concern in the Mette rape case has been connected to Attorney General Marty Jackley's prosecution of Annette Bosworth.) Second, he reprimands the two leading South Dakota political blogs, Madville Times and Dakota War College, for criticizing Haber and BosworthLike Sibby before him, Stranahan seems particularly fixated on Madville's Cory Heidelberger. With all due respect to DWC's Pat Powers and Heidelberger, far more South Dakotas get their political news from KELO or KSFY than from Madville and DWC, a fact Stranahan blithely ignores.

A single-party state that is gaining infamy for having too few reporters and too much corruption is hardly on its way to becoming Utopia. The political leadership and those who have failed in their watchdog capacity deserve censure. On the other hand, Hubbel has a history of being a political bomb thrower with an uncertain aim, and Stranahan seems to share that tendency. Their histrionics will only cause collateral damage and damn by association those who expose corruption and champion carefully formulated reform efforts.

Giving someone the choice of supporting the political status quo or supporting a political reality envisioned by Stranahan or Hubbel, is like giving someone the choice to killed by a firing squad or lethal injection. The end result is the same. Given the available options, I'll opt for remaining politically displaced.