Sunday, April 30, 2006

President Bush's Disregard for Laws

Ever wonder why President Bush has signed every single piece of legislation that comes to him, even if he disagrees with it? Apparently, he thinks he's free to ignore any law he wants.

This is what he does: First he signs a bill, then gathers the bill's sponsors and supporters for a photo-op, and then writes a signing statement about that bill giving special instructions on how the bureaucracy is to carry out he law. This way, if he disagrees with a particular bill, he can give instructions saying he doesn't have to follow it.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.


Far more than any predecessor, Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone as the head of the executive branch or the commander in chief of the military.
This shows that our President has no respect for the other two branches of government.

Here are some examples of laws the President has signed and the signing statements he included with them:

Dec. 30, 2005: US interrogators cannot torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Bush's signing statement: The president, as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

Dec. 17: The new national intelligence director shall recruit and train women and minorities to be spies, analysts, and translators in order to ensure diversity in the intelligence community.

Bush's signing statement: The executive branch shall construe the law in a manner consistent with a constitutional clause guaranteeing ''equal protection" for all. (In 2003, the Bush administration argued against race-conscious affirmative-action programs in a Supreme Court case. The court rejected Bush's view.)
And my personal favorite:

Nov. 6, 2003: US officials in Iraq cannot prevent an inspector general for the Coalition Provisional Authority from carrying out any investigation. The inspector general must tell Congress if officials refuse to cooperate with his inquiries.

Bush's signing statement: The inspector general ''shall refrain" from investigating anything involving sensitive plans, intelligence, national security, or anything already being investigated by the Pentagon. The inspector cannot tell Congress anything if the president decides that disclosing the information would impair foreign relations, national security, or executive branch operations.
So President Bush believes he has the right to pretty much do anything he wants to. Doesn't that send a shiver down your spine?

Update: I was reading through some blogs on this topic and came across one the make some great points. This quote is from a blog called Unclaimed Territory.

It is not uncommon for a President to refrain from executing a law which he believes, and states, is unconstitutional. Other Presidents have invoked that doctrine, although Bush has done so far more aggressively and frequently. But what is uncommon - what is entirely unprecedented - is that the administration's theories of its own power arrogate unto itself not just the right to refrain from enforcing such laws, but to act in violation of those laws, to engage in the very conduct which those laws criminalize, and they do so secretly and deceitfully, after signing the law and pretending that they are engaged in the democratic process. That is why the President has never bothered to veto a law -- why bother to veto laws when you have the power to violate them at will?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Worst President Ever?

Rolling Stone has an article comparing President Bush to the worst presidents in our history. The article was written by one of American's "leading historians." It's really good but also really long so I'm not going to post much of it here. But I will post my favorite part of the article:

How does any president's reputation sink so low? The reasons are best understood as the reverse of those that produce presidential greatness. In almost every survey of historians dating back to the 1940s, three presidents have emerged as supreme successes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. These were the men who guided the nation through what historians consider its greatest crises: the founding era after the ratification of the Constitution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and Second World War. Presented with arduous, at times seemingly impossible circumstances, they rallied the nation, governed brilliantly and left the republic more secure than when they entered office.

Calamitous presidents, faced with enormous difficulties -- Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Hoover and now Bush -- have divided the nation, governed erratically and left the nation worse off. In each case, different factors contributed to the failure: disastrous domestic policies, foreign-policy blunders and military setbacks, executive misconduct, crises of credibility and public trust. Bush, however, is one of the rarities in presidential history: He has not only stumbled badly in every one of these key areas, he has also displayed a weakness common among the greatest presidential failures -- an unswerving adherence to a simplistic ideology that abjures deviation from dogma as heresy, thus preventing any pragmatic adjustment to changing realities. Repeatedly, Bush has undone himself, a failing revealed in each major area of presidential performance.

National Anthem en Español

I just heard about this today. A music producer has put together a version of the "Star-Spangled Banner" in Spanish. He brought together a bunch of musicians from several nationalities and did it like a "We Are the World" compilation. Part of the proceeds will go to the National Capital Immigration Coalition.

You can listen to some of "Nuestro Himno" here.

I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I think it's a fun idea. Most of the people who came to this country were not English speakers. I'd kind of like to see the National Anthem in many languages to represent the true cultural diversity of America. Not only Spanish, but also German, Arabic, French, Japanese, Zulu (or other African dialects), Norwegian (mostly for those around here) and on and on. And while there is an American Sign Language version for translators, I'd like to see a special version made especially for deaf culture. I've seen some beautiful poetry in Sign and I think someone could make a great version with those elements.

But back the the Spanish song: I was worried that it would have too many pop music influence and not be as "classic" sounding as a national anthem should. But I think they did a pretty good job. I'm not fluent in Spanish so I can't truly appreciate it, but it sounds good.

And I like that this song can be used as a language tool. I hear a lot of people saying that immigrants should be required to learn English. Well, okay, but how about giving them a hand? This could be helpful to those Spanish-speaking people trying to learn English.

What I thought was weird about the whole thing was that this project was started by a British producer. Why, of all people, would someone from England do this? People should be more angry about that then the Spanish translation.

There was one criticism of the song that I agreed with. There was a quote in the article I linked to at the beginning that was interesting:

A remix to be released in June will contain several lines in English that condemn U.S. immigration laws. Among them: "These kids have no parents, cause all of these mean laws ... let's not start a war with all these hard workers, they can't help where they were born."

Bryanna Bevens of Hanford, Calif., who writes for the immigration-focused Web magazine, said the remix particularly upset her.

"It's very whiny. If you want to say all those things, by all means, put them on your poster board, but don't put them on the national anthem," she said.
Political commentary and criticism is inappropriate for a national anthem. The song in its current form is fine.

Finally, I have a few points to make about the national reaction to this.

1.) President Bush's stance on the song is kind of funny. I remember him throwing several Spanish words into his past speeches because, I'm guessing, that he was trying to court the Hispanic vote. But I wonder if coming out against this song will have any backlash against him?

2.) Sen. Lamar Alexander wants to introduce a Senate resolution to give "senators an opportunity to remind the country why we sing our national anthem in English." What a tool. That really seems a bit much to me. It's fine that you don't like it, but don't try to harm a person's free speech rights just because you don't like something.

3.) The extremely negative national reaction strikes me as xenophobic and isolationist. Someone should tell them that a true American National Anthem would actually have to be in a Native American language, like Lakota Sioux, not English.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

School Shooting Threat at Eagle Butte

I heard that the schools in Eagle Butte, SD, on the Cheyenne Reservation, were semi-locked down today because of a school shooting threat.

Someone received an e-mail that had the threat in it and told the school officials. Then there were police at the school and the word spread to the parents who then came to pick up their kids. It wasn't exactly a lock-down, but from what I hear it was still nightmarish.

Apparently, this e-mail threat was from Minnesota. The theory is that whomever sent it accidentally sent it to everyone in his or her e-mail address book.

I'll update this when I find out more information.

Halverson vs. Munson: Final Tally

I thought of a few things I could've added to my last tally post, but it's a moot point now.

Final Round

Munson wins the April 25th run-off election.

1 point for Munson

But... he won with only 51% of the vote.

1 point for Halverson

Final Tally

Halverson = 8
Munson = 6

This was one of the most interesting elections I've seen (though I'm a young'un). Munson was rocked with scandals, announced he wasn't running for re-election, allowed a large group of candidates to enter the race (many of whom said they wouldn't have run against Munson), then re-entered the race with a handicap. And then he went on to not only get the highest percentage of votes in the first election, but also win the run-off. It was an extremely bizarre series of events for an election. Also weird was that his opponent was a close friend of his.

I just find this whole thing fascinating. Sometimes you just have to sit back and watch the fun that life produces.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

SD School Consider Lawsuit Against Poor State Funding

KELOland news is reporting that 46 South Dakota school districts are considering a lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit would be over the funding that the legislature and governor gave them this year.

Forty-six school districts in South Dakota have agreed to provide money for a lawsuit against the state over school funding.

A decision on whether to file the lawsuit will be made by the South Dakota Coalition of Schools, which lobbies for small school districts.

A study that was done last year indicates that South Dakota schools need an extra 133 million dollars a year.

Governor Rounds proposed a three percent increase in school funding for the next year, or an extra six million dollars, but the Legislature tacked eight million dollars more on top of that.

Some education officials, however, say that is still far short of the mark.
So South Dakota schools need an extra $133 million per year and the best the legistlature could do was a lousy one-time-only $8 million? Looks like they were so busy trying to protect the unborn that that they didn't have time to care for the already born.

Both our governor and our current legislature have dropped the ball with education. We need legislators and a governor who actually do care about education in this state.

Halverson vs. Munson: Round by Round

I thought it would be fun to tally up the score between Bruce Halverson and Dave Munson. Here we go!

Round One

Munson initially said he wasn't running for mayor. He went so far as to talk his friend, Bruce Halverson, into running (which resulted in some of his PAC money go to Halverson as well). But then he changed his mind and entered the race. I've never heard of an incumbent giving themselves a handicap like that before. And it kind of made him a flip-flopper.

1 point for Halverson

But it did show that Munson has a lot of support.

1 point for Munson

Round Two

Halverson was the first candidate to get commercials on the air. His strategy was to get his name out there so people will know who he is. Plus the commercials were nice.

"Vote for my dad. He's great!"

1 point for Halverson

Round Three

For some dumb reason the Argus Leader released the political party affiliations of all 11 candidates for mayor. I don't think political parties should matter in a mayoral race, but I'll use it for this tally anyway.

Munson - Republican
Halverson - Independent

1 point for Halverson

Round Four

Debating the issues before the first election was hard, I imagine. A lot of the candidates were pretty much saying the same thing in regards to issues like the Lewis and Clark project.


Round Five

The first election. Munson got a higher percentage of votes than Halverson did.

1 point for Munson

Round Six

Halverson is in a tough spot because he has to criticize his friend Munson about his failures as a mayor.

1 point for Halverson

While doing so, he keeps saying that Munson is "a good man."

1 point for Munson

Round Seven

Both candidates favor building a new events center. Munson wants it built downtown even though practically everyone in Sioux Falls disagrees with him.

1 point for Halverson

Round Eight

Munson keeps the focus on his successes during his time as mayor. Good strategy.

1 point for Munson

Round Nine

An article comes out saying that Halverson raised $64 million for Augustana... $14 million (over 25%) more than their goal. The implication was strong that he can do the same for Sioux Falls.

1 point for Halverson

Round Ten

Both candidates begin an aggressive ad campaign with commercials on TV and radio. Both have pretty good commercials.


Yesterday I heard a Munson ad on the radio where he had an Augustana graduate supporting him. That made me laugh.

1 point for Munson

Round Eleven

Lately there has been an anonymous poster, claiming to be from Augie, going around the blogs and trashing Halverson. He/She is annoying and possibly works for the Munson campaign.

1 point for Halverson


Halverson = 7
Munson = 5

I probably forgot a few things, but it's not like this was a scientific poll. I'll do a final tally when the election results are in.

Happy voting!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Why Bruce Halverson Will Be a Great Mayor

I think Bruce Halverson, as the mayor of Sioux Falls, will be able to bring a whole new level of economic prosperity to the city.

Last week, The Argus Leader reported that Augustana College has raised $64 million over Halverson's term as president. One of a college president's jobs is to raise money for the college. And Halverson did so with flying colors.

The money has already been put to use by building the Center for Western Studies and the Center of Visual Arts, which they are building right now. And as a previous Augie student, let me tell you that the Visual Arts center was sorely needed. A lot of the art classes were in this run-down army barracks. I was always scared that the building would fall down on me any minute. But now they're going to have a state-of-the-art building, because of these funds.

The overall goal of the fundraising drive, which began when Halverson took office, was to raise $50 million by this July. But they were able to raise an extra $14 million with Halverson's help.

Now think what will happen if Halverson can do the same thing for the city of Sioux Falls?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Augie Students Support Halverson

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Well no crap, Brainiac. Are you going to announce that the sky is blue as well?" Just hear me out.

The Augustana student newspaper, The Mirror, asked several students their opinion on Bruce Halverson running for Sioux Falls mayor. Most of them are, naturally, positive about it. But what I thought was interesting what that a lot of their responses mentioned how this could help both Augie and the Sioux Falls community.

"I think it's great recognition for Augie. It shows that our administrators not only care about the Augustana community, but also the entire Sioux Falls community," [Maren] Gilbertson said.
And others think Halverson can do the same good things for Sioux Falls that he did for Augie.

But, anyway, I thought it was interesting to see what Augie students thought of this election.

Oh, and this just in: It turns out the sky is blue.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Liberal Bias

Every few days, a new letter pops up in the Argus Leader letters to the editor section about how the Argus is "too liberal." Each letter usually has a specific concern that they are complaining about, whether it's the perception of too many "liberal" letters or the editorial cartoons are "too liberal" or something of that sort.

And those letters always make me laugh. And I love that most of the letters claiming a "liberal bias" in the Argus talk about wanting commentary/letter selection to be more balanced. The reason I find that humorous is because I seriously doubt those letter writers are really hoping for balance. I think the people who shout "liberal bias" are hoping for the media to go the other way and become biased towards conservative opinion. If that happens I would bet good money that those same people would not write any more letters hoping for "balance."

The funniest part of those letters appearing in this newspaper is that the Argus normally leans more to the right than other newspapers. So the people writing those letters aren't happy with a newspaper that is only kind of conservative. They want it to go all the way into crazy Rightwing world.

And that's the funny part.

Best Quote Ever About the Religious Right

I ran across something as I was researching some topics I want to discuss on this blog. It was a quote that happened during a Maryland state Senate committee hearing about a proposed amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages.

This quote is from Jamie Raskin, a college professor of constitutional law. He was at the hearing to offer testimony against the amendment. During the debate, he got into a verbal battle with Republican state senator Nancy Jacobs, a supporter of the amendment. At one point in the debate, Senator Jacobs said:
"As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God - that is my belief. For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principals."

And Raskin's reply was:
"People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

And apparently there was applause when he said that.

Raskin's quote sums up what's wrong with the Religious Right's crusade. They are so intent on making their interpretation of the Bible into law that they will trample all over the Constitution to do it.

There's some interesting comments here and here about it. Apparently it's not exactly a new quote.

And yes I know this quote is over a month old. But I thinkk it's good enough to be mentioned over and over and over again.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

SD Municipal Elections '06

Interesting night.

For the first hour, it looked like Bruce Halverson and Vernon Brown would be fighting over the second SF mayor run-off spot. But then Halverson pulled ahead and stayed there the rest of the night. And, of course, current mayor Dave Munson came out with the most votes. I find this turn of events kind of funny. When Munson dropped out of the race, he talked Halverson into running for mayor. This also led to Halverson getting a lot of the money Munson would've if he hadn't dropped out. Then, to everyone's surprise, Munson re-entered the race. So, it's interesting that he decided to run against a candidate that he basically sponsored.

And now they will have to continue to run against each other. They're friends with each other, so I bet it's going to be hard for them to run against one another. But, being that they are friends, I hope to see a very low amount of mudslinging.

I was surprised that Darrin Smith only managed 4th place. I figured he'd at least get 3rd or maybe compete with Halverson for 2nd.

Janoct Ajda's turnout is about what I expected. He went into this trying for a word-of-mouth campaign. That's almost impossible to start yourself. Word-of-mouth only works when the voters start it. It's too bad, because I liked a lot of the things he said.

And finally there's Dan Christopherson. I called it! After constantly telling people not to vote for him, I knew he would still get some votes since his name was still on the ballot. I guessed it would be between 0.5% and 2% of the vote. And he ended up with 0.72%. I was amused by that.

It was kind of good to see Gary Aguiar lose the Brookings mayoral election, after the news came out of the help he solicited from his students. Not cool.

The only other election I followed was the one for Canton commissioner. I wasn't thrilled with the results because of some rumors I've heard... but I'll hold of judgment until I see what Michele Magnuson does in office. One thing that was troubling was a lot of people in Canton had been saying that we needed "new blood on the commission" or "a woman's voice." But if they didn't like what was going on with the commission, why didn't they show up to any of the meetings to discuss the issues? Whatever.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Matthew Antonitis

While the votes are being tallied up, I just wanted to take a second and talk about Matthew Antonitis.

I know he's only 19 and he showed a lack of experience in some of his comments (like in this article), but I like him. What I like about him is the commercials he did. They were hilarious!

They were on really late at night because I'm sure that time slot is really cheap for buying commercials. I even saw one of his commercials on during Saturday Night Live. That might not have been a bad strategy (especially to get younger voters) if it would've been combined with some commercials on during regular day-light hours.

But the commercials themselves were the interesting part. It was mostly a video of him standing in front of a blue-ish background. Then they would cut away to nothing and put a word or phrase on the screen, like "Crime." Then Matthew would come back on and say a sweeping generalization like "I'm against it." That formula repeated three or four times and that was the commercial.

I couldn't stop laughing the first time I saw it.

I really hope he runs again in a couple years. Sometimes, elections need to be a little more fun.

Get Out The Vote

This is a reminder for everyone to go out and vote today. In municipal elections, your vote carries a lot of weight. Especially in small towns. So go out and voice your opinion for mayor, city council, city commission and/or school board.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Will Dan Christopherson Get Votes?

Dan Christopherson has billed himself as the "get out the vote" candidate in the Sioux Falls mayoral election. He wants people to turn out tomorrow and vote... just not for him. Now am I wrong in thinking that most people who go that route drop out before the election? But Dan's name is on the ballot.

So I'm wondering how many people will vote for him tomorrow.

I know he's been telling people not to vote for him, but he's entertaining and a lot of people really like him. And he used to be a popular radio personality in Sioux Falls. I'm betting that despite Dan's telling people not to vote for him, there will be some people that do. So, once again, I wonder how many people will vote for him tomorrow.

I'm guessing somewhere between 0.5% - 2%.

President Bush and Declassifying Info

Most everyone knows about the new scandal that Scooter Libby is claiming the President Bush authorized him to leak classified information in order to counteract a critic of the Iraq war. A couple questions have come up that I would really like to see addressed:

1.) If the President was within his rights to declassify that information, then why didn't he come right out and say it was him? What was the point of making it seem like they were upset about the leak if it came from the President?

2.) What was the point of revealing Valerie Plame's name?

Anyone have a guess?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

New SD Blog! - No on Amendment E

I have greatly enjoyed reading the discussions about the J.A.I.L. movement's Amendment E that have taken place at South Dakota War College and A Progressive on the Prairie.

And now both of them are teaming up on a blog dedicated to that topic. Joy! Tim and PP are fighting the good fight and I wholeheartedly support them. I look forward to reading this new blog often.

No on Amendment E

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bruce Halverson for Mayor

I think Bruce Halverson is the best candidate to be the mayor of Sioux Falls.

I was attending Augustana College when Bruce took over the role of president. The students got to know him as a cool guy who was fun and personable. And he was always happy to do fun stuff like play a role in the annual Vikings Varieties show. It's safe to say we all liked him immediately.

Bruce and his family quickly became a fixture around campus. He, his wife Nancy and their son Cole would regularly eat meals with the students in the Commons. We always felt that Bruce had our best interests at heart.

Bruce worked hard to financially stabilize Augie. He made hard decisions to make everything run smoothly. With the financial stability came several new building projects Augie desperately needed, most notably the upcoming new art building (replacing the old, run-down barracks they use now).

He weathered several crises among Augie's population of students. From a Fred Phelps protest that had the student body up in arms to a difficult dispute between the campus LGBT groups and some strongly conservative students.

His theatre background shows that he cares for arts and culture. The possibility of improving areas of art and culture in Sioux Falls is a big plus.

He's a non-partisan independent, so he's not seeking the mayor's office as a stepping stone to a higher political office. He's seeking the office because he actually wants to be mayor which is the way it should be.

I think those are all qualities that make for a great mayor.

From a Q&A in the Argus Leader:
Question: Why should somebody vote for you as mayor?

Answer: There are several issues. First, our city needs a new nonpartisan voice to represent it. We, as you know, have had some dissension and mild upheaval in the City Council and mayor's relationship, and I think also with the rest of City Hall as well.

I'm a person whose only goal is to help the city be a finer place to live. I'm nonpartisan, I'm an independent voice for the betterment of the city.

Secondly, I'm the only candidate who really has extensive executive experience. It's one thing to be a legislator or City Council person where you make policy decisions, but you don't have to enact those, and you don't have to make sure the budget balances, and you don't have to make the day-to-day decisions.

For my entire life, I've been a person who has had to make those kinds of decisions. And now I represent an institution that has over 400 employees and a multimillion dollar budget. We have all the same kinds of issues, although not as large in terms of facilities, parking infrastructure and constituencies.

The mayor's job is not a place to have on-the-job training. Somebody needs to come in the door who understands how to make organizations work.

Thirdly, we have lots of issues in the city that need attention, whether it's the Lewis & Clark project for water, the quality of life issues in terms of maintaining the strength of downtown, the cultural life of this city, enhancing the schools, making sure we support the city employees we have and the good jobs that they do, bringing the whole quality of life together in a way that will continue to enhance the business climate and the residential climate in Sioux Falls.

Fourth, I think I'm a person who listens. I hear what the citizens say. I want to go out and find out what they say, so that we can develop a unified voice to make Sioux Falls a progressive city and continue the fine record we have.
He's the only one of the Sioux Falls mayoral candidates with the experience that matches the responsibilities of a mayor. His success at Augie shows that he can be a successful mayor.

So when you go to the polls on Tuesday, vote for the candidate who is best for Sioux Falls. Vote for Bruce Halverson.

And who could say no to those commercials with Cole saying, "Vote for my dad. He's great!"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Haggard Hero of the Week: Pastor Scott Bush

This week I want to spotlight someone who had a really good idea. Not an idea that they came up with to make money, but an idea that truly helps people.

Pastor Scott Bush got this idea while serving a tour of duty as an Army chaplain in Iraq:
Bush saw how the soldiers around him missed their children, and he realized many children don't see their deployed parents for great lengths of time. Bush started thinking about how the men and women in Iraq could be connected to their children across the miles.

Bush soon had the idea of having soldiers read a book to their children, record it on DVD, then send the DVD home along with the book.
With the help of Gina Jones, a member of Bush's church, they are sending hundreds of books to Iraq so soldiers can record those DVDs for their children.

This shows what people can accomplish when they work together to improve the lives of people in difficult situations.

I Miss John McCain

What happened to the John McCain I used to know and respect?

Before South Dakota's abortion ban, I considered myself a moderate independent (though I did lean left on some issues). I used to think McCain was the spokesman for moderates, the true majority party in the United States. I loved all his appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart because he was funny, likeable and said a lot of things I agreed with. I loved that he wasn't afraid to call out the President when he did stupid things and I loved that he called Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance" because that's what they are. My hope was that, if he did run from President in 2008, he could finally eliminate the Religious Right's stranglehold which is killing our country.

Lately, it seems like he's been trying to appeal to the Republican base in order to look better as a possible presidential candidate for 2008. He all but confirmed that on The Daily Show last night. I can kind of see his point if he feels he has a good amount of support from moderates and now wants to appeal to people who haven't supported him in the past. What politician wouldn't want to do that? But it's a shame that he has to show people like Jerry Falwell any form of support.

He may not have officially changed any of his past positions, but he's starting to make his supporters believe otherwise.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Rounds for President

Today I stumbled upon my old future vision goggles. I haven't used them since I learned about next year's religion wars. But I turned them on again because I was curious about Governor Rounds' future political career. I thought they were going to show me whether or not he wins the governor's race this November, but the goggles instead showed me January 20, 2033 as Rounds is sworn in as the 48th President of the United States of America.

Rounds will apparently have a fruitful career. It will look bleak at first as he loses the 2006 race for SD's governor. But after a controversy causes Sen. Thune to resign in 2007, Rounds fills the seat and remains there for several terms. He will gain prominence in the Senate when he is instrumental in granting statehood to Mexico, cementing US control of North America. This will help give him a large voter pool in time to announce his candidacy for President in 2032.

South Dakotans were surprised that Rounds eventually wins. They never thought South Dakota would have two presidents in the same century, as President Tom Daschle already served two terms. Celebrations were held all across the state except on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where Cecilia Fire Thunder is trying to get the Oglala Sioux Nation to secede from the United States.

The very first bill to pass across President Rounds' desk will be a controversial bill barely passed in the Senate with a 52-51 vote. The bill will seek to establish a fifth branch of our federal government that would allow a committee of representatives from Alpha Centari to oversee the other four branches. Similar laws have already passed in China and East Iraq. Many thought the President would veto it the minute it got the the recently rebuilt While House, but he signed it into law. "I don't agree that this legislation is the best way to run our country, but I've heard from several people who have said, 'How do you know unless you try?' And I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords."

After seeing those events in my future goggles, I wept for several hours and then destroyed the goggles.

Disclaimer: This blog post was an April Fool's joke. No harm meant. Please don't sue me.