Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I'm Not Influential

So apparently the South Dakota Blogosphere has been abuzz lately over some out-of-state blog-thing. The reason for all the excitement is because this Blognetnews site decided to rank the most influential South Dakota blogs. Here's their list:

1. South Dakota War College
2. DakotaWomen
3. Typos and tribulations
4. Haggard News
5. Straight Talk
6. Badlands Blue
7. Sibby Online
8. Mount Blogmore
9. Northern Valley Beacon
10. robbinsdale radical
11. Madville Times
12. S.D. Watch
13. A South Dakota Moderate
14. Left Dakota Right Dakota South Dakota
15. South Dakota Politics
16. SouthDakotaMac
17. New Yankton
18. Hog House Blog
19. Rant-a-Bit by Scott Hudson

Now did anything about that list seem jaw-droppingly odd to you? If your first thought was "How did Sibby rank so high?" you're close.

I am astonished that this run-down dump of a blog ranked #4. Seriously, how did I rank that high? I barely post anymore and lately most of my posts have been about Canton. How does that make me influential?

I guess Canton was in the news a bit last week, what with the election for the nine new city commissioners. So maybe I had a lot of traffic even though I didn't post anything? But I checked and it said I didn't even get over 200 visitors that week.

So I'm calling shenanigans on's "rankings." (Except for the first two) I also find it hilarious that their rankings disclaimer says "BlogNetNews' Blogosphere Influence Rating combines a variety of data sets to determine which blogs are most powerfully influencing the direction of the South Dakota political blogosphere."

And I think these rankings will be interesting to watch. It looks like they update them once in a while. At least that's my assumption for why New Yankton and Hog House Blog have numbers after them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sen. Johnson Comes Home!

I'm greatly looking forward to seeing Sen. Tim Johnson at the Sioux Falls Convention Center this afternoon. It's wonderful that he's recovered enough to come see his constinuants.

Also, I saw a cartoon in the Argus today that summed up exactly how I feel. It was from local cartoonist Jason Folkerts. I hope Jason doesn't mind, but I wanted to put his cartoon up here because it's such a great piece.

Update: You can view the cartoon here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Quote of the Week - John McCain on Daily Show

"I'd close Guantanamo Bay and I'd declare that we never torture another person in American custody."

That was said by Sen. John McCain when he appeared on Comedy Central's The Daily Show on Thursday. It was during a discussion of how Republicans seem like they're appearing tough for their base in the debates. And Jon Stewart brought up Mitt Romney's "double Guantanamo" quote.

When McCain said that, I actually stood up and applauded along with the audience. And McCain went on to discuss how he believes the people who support this torture policy must think that reality works just like it does on the TV show 24.

Why can't other Republicans understand that torture isn't an American value? If I didn't disagree with McCain on Iraq, I would vote for him just based on his policy about torture. Even still, I really hope he stays in the race as long as possible to show the other Republicans why they need to be against torture.

Anyway, that was an excellent interview with McCain. It reminded me of the fun guy we used to see before he started courting the right wing of the Republican party. I miss that McCain, so it was good to see him again. And if I've done it right, you should be able to see the interview below. Check it out:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Democratic Candidates Debate GLBT Issues Tonight

Tonight, the Democratic presidential candidates and planning to do a live debate about issues important to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans. The debate will be on the LOGO network and on this website. It's being called "Visible Vote 08."

I'm looking forward to watching this debate. I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends and most of them feel excluded from the political process. But look at what happened in Massachusetts back in June. Several gay and lesbian couples talked with some state legislators and that was all it took to make they realize it's wrong to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

This debate will show that GLBT Americans have a voice and a right to speak up for what they want out of this country. I'm glad to see these presidential candidates listening to this group.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ted Klaudt: It Just Keeps Getting Worse

New evidence has turned up in the case against former state legislator Ted Klaudt. Authorities explored his laptop and found evidence that he was an internet predator.
They accuse Klaudt of using the name "studman" in one conversation to ask a
14-year-old girl to send webcam pictures of herself. Investigators say Klaudt
also used the name "thephotoman," pretending to be a 21-year-old modeling agent.
With that, he allegedly asked a 15-year-old girl to send him photos so she could
star in a pornographic movie.

The investigator who lays out this information in an affidavit says an
18-year-old woman he interviewed backs up this evidence. She says Klaudt offered
to take photos of her using sex toys in order to build a modeling portfolio, and
to do the same for her 16-year-old sister.

It's like this case has stepped into Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" series all of a sudden. This whole things just keeps getting worse and worse and sicker and sicker.

Klaudt will be in court later this month. I wonder if he'll still plead "not guilty" if this evidence leads to more charges against him. We'll see.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

New Mission to Mars Launched

I'm very excited to see a new mission to the planet Mars. I'm glad the setbacks haven't deterred NASA from trying to study it.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- A robotic dirt and ice digger blasted off
Saturday on a 422 million-mile journey to Mars that NASA hopes will culminate
next spring in the first landing within the red planet's arctic circle.

The unmanned Delta II rocket carrying the Phoenix Mars Lander rose from its
seaside pad at 5:26 a.m., exactly on time, and hurtled through the clear moonlit
sky. It was easily visible for nearly five minutes, a bright orange speck in a
spray of stars.

If all goes as planned... the spacecraft will set down on the Martian
arctic plains on May 25, 2008. It will then spend three months scooping up soil
and ice, and analyzing the samples in minuscule ovens and mixing bowls.

I'm excited to see what this probe will find. I'm very curious about how much water is on the poles and if any evidence of life can be found.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter: More Thoughts on Snape

With a little under two hours before people can get their hands on the seventh Harry Potter book (legally), I thought I would go into some more speculation about what might happen to Professor Snape.

* * Warning: I'll be talking about previous HP books * *

Okay, last month I was talking about how I think Snape really didn't want to kill Dumbledore, but did so to spare Draco from doing the deed. Since then I've reread book 6 in anticipation of the release of book 7. And I completely forgot about the Unbreakable Vow that Snape made with Draco's mother. Narcissa. One part of the vow is that Narcissa wants Snape to complete Draco's task if he can't... probably because she's worried that Voldermort would kill Draco if he failed. And we find out that Draco's task is to kill Dumbledore.

So maybe Snape had no choice but to kill Dumbledore, because he was bound to by the Unbreakable Vow? And I'm guessing that Snape told Dumbledore about it, which was why he seemed to be pleading for Snape to kill him. Both of them knew it was the only way to protect Draco.

And I don't think Snape wanted to do this. He hesitated when making that part of the Vow. He also had a look of disgust when he realized what he had to do.

So that's my theory. I've seen other theories out there as well. My SD blogging buddy, PP, takes a more hardline view with murder equalling life in Azkaban. And that's completely reasonable. I can definitely see where he's coming from. Especially since we've learned that Snape is connected to the deaths of all of Harry's parental figures.
  1. Told Voldemort the prophecy that led him to killing Harry's parents.
  2. Teased Sirius to about being stuck in the Order's headquarters while everone else was fighting, which is one of the reasons Sirius joined the fight at the Ministry.
  3. Killed Dumbledore with the Avada Kedavra curse.
But we'll see what twists Rowling throws at us. I'm still holding out hope that Snape will redeem himself.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Haggard Heroes of the Week: Congress!

This week, the House of Representatives voted to start withdrawing troops from Iraq.

It's about time!

Of course President Bush will veto it, because he doesn't seem to care how many troops he sends to their death in this pointless, immoral war. But at least Congressional Democrats care about our troops enough to bring them home to their families.

And our very own Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin voted for this resolution. Good for her! That's why South Dakotans voted for her last year (and it helped that her opponent was worthless).

So thank you, Rep. Herseth, for doing what you were sent to Congress to do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Death Penalty Supporters Are Rude

Last Thursday, the Argus Leader published an article about Sue Merritt, a woman who has been standing out of 41st Street protesting Elijah Page's upcoming execution. She's just a nice lady who's passionate about this issue. She stands out there for 25 minutes a day and doesn't bother anyone.

So why is she getting such hostility?

She hates the feeling of vulnerability as she stands there with her sign,
only the top of her face visible. She cringed when a passing driver shouted out
a profane remark. She feels enormous relief when her 25-minute protest


One day her thoughts were interrupted by a young woman who shouted "I'd
like to blow your (expletive) head off with a (expletive) gun."

Let's break that down, shall we? That girl likes the death penalty so much that she wants to shoot someone in the head just because they are against the death penalty. Wow.

Now I'm not implying that all death penalty supporters are like that girl. But what she yelled in relation to this issue just confuses me.

As for me, I'm still on the fence about the death penalty. I see good points on both sides of the debate, so right now it's hard for me to come down on one side or the other. We'll see what happens tonight if Page is executed.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fred Thompson Law & Order Marathon

God Bless the USA Network. First they give us awesome shows like Monk and The 4400. And today they are capitalizing on Fred Thompson's future run for President. All day they've been showing reruns of the Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent versions of the Law & Order franchise. And all the episodes have on thing in common: Fred Thompson appears.

Now Thompson is a regular on the original Law & Order, but he has apparently made a lot of appearances on the other shows as well. I had the day off, so I've had this marathon on in the background while I do other things.

Good stuff.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Haggard Hero of the Week: Dr. Donald Messer

There was an interesting story in the Argus about a former Sioux Falls pastor. He has dedicated his life to helping the people around the world who are suffering from hunger and AIDS.

As a student at Dakota Wesleyan University, 46 years ago, Donald Messer spent his junior year in India where he helped at a leprosy clinic.

In 1995, he returned to India, where he learned the once-dreaded disease of leprosy had been replaced by something even more feared: AIDS.

A friend from college days, now a doctor in India, shared a puzzlement. When he worked with lepers, he told Messer, the church was in the forefront. With AIDS, the church wanted nothing to do with the victims it labeled as immoral.

"I had to deliver the bad theological news that that's the way it is everywhere in the world, that's the way the church has responded typically because the church can't deal with human sexuality," Messer said.

Read the whole article, it's very interesting. I've always been taught that we're supposed to follow Christ's teachings and one of the biggest things he taught us was to help the sick. So I'm surprised that some Christians seem to ignore the plight of people suffering from AIDS.

It shouldn't matter how someone got sick. What should matter is that they are suffering and we are supposed to do what we can to help them.

So God Bless Dr. Messer for his wonderful work.

Massachusetts Votes to Protect Equality

The Massachusetts state legislature just voted to turn down a proposed ban on gay marriage.

(CBS) BOSTON Massachusetts lawmakers have blocked a proposed constitutional
amendment banning gay marriage from reaching voters.

The 45-151 vote means Massachusetts remains the only state in the nation to
allow same-sex couples to marry. The question needed the approval of 50 of 200
lawmakers in consecutive sessions to advance to the 2008 ballot. It got the
first approval at the end of last session in January with 62 votes.

It's a stunning victory for gay marriage advocates and a devastating blow
to efforts to reverse a historic 2003 court ruling legalizing same-sex

As the tally was announced, the halls of the Statehouse erupted in cheers
and applause from supporters of gay marriage gathered outside the House
chambers."We're proud of our state today, and we applaud the Legislature for
showing that Massachusetts is strongly behind fairness," said Lee Swislow,
executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

"Equality for gay and lesbian citizens has enriched our state, made our
communities stronger, and our families happier," Swislow said. "The vote today
was the triumph of time, experience, and understanding over fear and

A complaint I see from the anti-gay marriage side is that this move won't allow the people of Mass. to have their say. But I believe they did. Last November, the citizens of Massachusetts voted a lot of anti-gay marriage legislators out of office and replaced them with pro-gay marriage ones. Plus, they voted in a pro-gay marriage governor. So today's vote actually reflected the will of the voters.

And I ran across an interesting story about one of the legislators who changed his mind for the 2nd vote and voted against the ban. Apparently he was being pulled in two directions:

In one corner of Representative Paul Kujawski's mind is the Rev. Michael
Roy, a friend and confidant who stood by the lawmaker after he was arrested for
drunken driving three years ago and who is urging him to continue supporting a
proposed ban on same-sex marriage to preserve the sanctity of heterosexual

In the other corner are Sharon and Deb, a lesbian couple from Kujawski's
district who recently met him and hope to change his mind. They told him how
hard it was to come out to their conservative Catholic families and community
and how winning the right to marry, after more than 20 years together, seemed to
solidify their union.

Right there is proof that gays being allowed to marry is a positive thing. And here's more:

Rep. Paul Kujawski, D-Webster, also changed his vote. Kujawski said he
voted against the proposed referendum today after he met with many same-sex
couples and concluded they want the freedom to enjoy life with one another, just
like traditional couples.

"They didn't ask to be born that way," Kujawski said. "They are who
they are."

And finally I wanted to point out a quote from Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

“Today’s vote is a reaffirmation of Massachusetts’ proud record of choosing
equality over discrimination. For the past three years, loving and committed
same-sex couples have enjoyed the equal right to marry in Massachusetts. Despite
the doomsday predictions of opponents of equality, the sky hasn’t fallen, and no
one’s marriage has been threatened. To the contrary, the institution of marriage
has been strengthened as same-sex couples and their families have enjoyed the
equal rights and protections they deserve under Massachusetts law. The
Legislature’s action ensures that they will continue to enjoy those equal rights
and protections.”
So congragulations for the Mass. state legislature for coting to protect marriage freedom. God Bless America!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tom Daschle and Bill Frist Team Up to Fight Poverty

Our state's former senator, Tom Daschle, is in the news again. This time, he's teaming up with former Republican senator Bill Frist with the ONE Vote '08 campaign.

WASHINGTON, June 11 — Two former Senate leaders who were once fierce adversaries, Bill Frist and Tom Daschle, joined together Monday to promote a bipartisan effort to make global poverty a central issue of the 2008 presidential race.

“It is in the strategic and national interest of the United States of America,” said Mr. Frist, a Republican and former Senate majority leader from Tennessee. “People do not go to war with people who save their children’s lives.”

Both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will be asked to sign a pledge in the fall saying they will offer proposals to fight H.I.V./AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, improve children’s health in other ways, increase access to education, provide access to clean water and reduce by half the number of people who suffer from hunger.

“Through the extraordinary challenge we now have, it is incumbent upon all of us to recognize that this must be a key part of American foreign policy,” said Mr. Daschle, a Democrat and former Senate majority leader from South Dakota.

It's very cool to see both Daschle and Frist come together and use their political clout for a common cause. It's also nice that they are bringing together people from both sides of the political spectrum. I've seen liberal and conservative bloggers discussing a meeting/conference call they've had recently with Daschle, Frist, the ONE Campaign and Ben Affleck. Both sides seem to be very receptive to the idea, which is also nice to see.

ONE Vote '08 is supporting a 5-goal plan that they want the presidential candidates to support:

5 Achievable Goals

1. Save 15,000 lives a day by fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,
three of the world's most devastating diseases.
2. Prevent 5.4 million young children from dying each year from
poverty-related illnesses and 400,000 women from dying in childbirth each
3. Provide free access to primary education for 77 million out-of-school
children with a special emphasis on girls.
4. Improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations by, for example,
providing access to clean water for 450 million people and basic sanitation to
more than 700 million people.
5. Reduce by half the number of people in the world who suffer from hunger,
resulting in 300 million "fewer" hungry people each year.

I think this is really great and I look forward to hearing more from Daschle and this campaign.

Fred Thompson vs. Al Gore in 2008?

It amuses me that with all the candidates already in the race to become president, people still want to bring in more. Fred Thompson and Al Gore have been in the Top 5 list of candidates for months and they're not even in the race (though Thompson is making motions in that direction).

And what does it say about the current crop of candidates when outsiders are polling better than some of them? What does it say about Sen. Sam Brownback when people think Thompson is a better conservative than he is?

If Al Gore and Fred Thompson ultimately end up with the nominations, I will laugh. That would make all these debates 18 months before the election pretty useless if none of those candidates are going to get the nomination.

I Agree With Ken Blanchard

I'm in complete agreement with a post Prof. Ken Blanchard made today on the South Dakota Politics blog.

I agree with him that Severus Snape, from the Harry Potter books, is not evil. Like Blanchard said, Snape is a "son of a bitch." And he has no problem abusing his position to get revenge for all the pain Harry's dad caused him in the past. But while he may be a jerk, that doesn't make him evil.

A reoccurring theme throughout the books is that whenever something bad happens at Hogwarts, Harry and his friends always assume Snape was involved. They were always proven incorrect, but that was all set up for the end of the sixth book. Now it appears that Snape truly has gone to the dark side. But has he really?

Blanchard also talks about Dumbledore's pleading with Snape. But he wasn't pleading with Snape to spare him. He was pleading for him to do something. What was that something? Maybe he was supposed to spare Draco Malfoy from becoming a murderer? Maybe it's about something that hasn't happened yet? Whatever it is, we'll find out in Book 7 next month.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Thoughts on the Democratic Debate

I decided not to live blog tonight's Democratic Party debate in New Hampshire. I was busy doing something else, but I had the debate on in the background. So I thought I would just post some thoughts I had as the debate was happening. (And I might try live blogging again for the Republican debate... because it's fun to tease them live).


1.) During the audience question segment, four teachers and a student asked questions but none asked about education. Gov. Richardson finally brought up education during the final seconds of the debate... but that was it? To me, education is a very important issue. I want to know what these candidate plan to do to fix the education system (especially the damage from No Child Left Behind). I know Iraq is the main focus, but I hope they'll discuss education in upcoming debates.

2.) All the candidates want to get rid of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Great! That's very good to hear.

3.) Mike Gravel is a crazy, old coot. He at least made the evening somewhat entertaining.

4.) Larry King is an on-the-floor reporter for the aftermath? Wow, it seems weird to see him away from his desk.

5.) I continue to like Barak Obama. He's a smart guy and makes a lot of good, well-thought-out points. I like that he fleshed out his idea of rolling back President Bush's tax cuts for the rich. He did a great job with that.

6.) Hilary Clinton had a couple of great jokes tonight. They came when she was talking about President Bush's failure of diplomacy. She mentioned that every once in a while, Bush will send Condi Rice around to other countries on diplomatic missions, but she doubts they have any substance to them. And then she mentioned Vice President Dick Cheney going on diplomatic missions and how that is "hardly diplomatic" in her view. That made me chuckle.

7.) The candidates kept hammering the idea that the Iraq War is President Bush's war and how he doesn't care about public opinion or how many American lives his war destroys. That's going to continue to be their best strategy.

8.) Joe Bidon raised some interesting points, especially when it came to his vote for the Iraq spending bill last month.

9.) Health care was almost as big of an issue as the Iraq war in this debate. That was interesting. I wasn't listening close enough to remember which candidate has which position, but they all seemed to be interested in giving health insurance to those who need it. Richardson had some interesting ideas that he seems to have already experimented with in New Mexico.

10.) Also interesting was the discussion of the VA hospitals and how they get a much better deal on medication than other hospitals do.

11.) One of the commentators in the aftermath discussion mentioned that he though Hillary Clinton looked "presidential." And they mention that the other candidates seem to be looking to her for leadership. Interesting.

12.) Obama brought up how President Bush let Osama Bin Laden get away because he let himself get distracted by going to Iraq (a country that had nothing to do with Bin Laden's attack on 9/11). Good to hear.

Those are my thoughts right now. I'll probably think of some more after I sleep on it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Still No Presidential Disaster Declairation

Last week Governor Rounds asked President Bush to sign a declaration of disaster for 22 South Dakota counties that were hit hard by storms and tornadoes earlier this month. At the time, I had my doubts because the President has shown very little desire to do anything for the people of South Dakota. So it's been a week... and still nothing. Rounds got desperate and has started giving state aid to those counties, but it's not enough.

And one of the most annoying parts of this story is that FEMA is just sitting there doing nothing. Why wait for the president's go ahead when there are people they could be helping now?

And, worst of all, those areas are being hit by storms again. President Bush may be happy just twiddling his thumbs while people suffer, but at least Rounds is doing something.

-- UPDATE --

Keloland News just reported that President Bush has allowed disaster money for 10 of the 22 counties Rounds hoped to get aid for. And it's limited to help for individuals only. So thank you, Mr. President, for this meager, barely-adequate support.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tonight's Republican Presidential Debate

I'm going to attempt blogging about tonight's Republican Presidential debate live. I'm going to start with the 11 PM Central showing (I couldn't miss House and Law & Order: SVU). I've never blogged live before, so this should be an interesting experience.

Yes, I'm going to be watching Fox News. No, I don't expect I'll enjoy the experience. Yes, I'll probably wash my ears out with soap and pray that watching Fox News won't have a harmful effect on my eternal soul. Yes, I'll probably get flack about this from my buddies at SDWC (some of the commenters there).

I'll start the live blogging when the debate starts in an hour...


Okay it's almost 11 so here I go!

I flip over to Fox News and it seems I'm a bit early. There's a group of men I don't know talking about the debate. Wait, a couple of them seem familiar. Maybe I saw them being mocked on The Daily Show or something.

"South Carolina Gamecocks." Heh. (Yes, I know I'm 5-years-old.)

Okay, introductions. McCain. Someone I don't care about. Guiliani. Other people I don't care about. Romney. Got it.

First question is about Iraq. Interesting that they're getting the elephant in the room out of the way. McCain answers first. The more he talks about his views of the Iraq War, the more I die a little inside. Where's the McCain from 2000? I'd vote for that McCain, but not this one.

Brownback supported the Iraq Study Group? Wow. Though I disagree with him on something. He said it's "one party for the war and one party against the war." Actually it's one party for the war and the rest of the entire freakin' country against the war.

Jeez, even Guliani is getting on the pro-war Republican party line? The Republicans just don't want to win the election do they?

I like Ron Paul. If I was a Republican, I'd definately be Libertarian. I like what he's saying about the war. Unfortunately, the Republican Party likes to exclude anyone who isn't on the extreme right, so I don't think he has much chance.

Increase the troop levels to 300,000 won't help things now. They would've helped if we went in with that many. One of the mistakes they made was not bringing enough troops to be able to rebuild what they destroyed. So the Iraqis lives so long without basic utilities that there's no chance of them supporting out continued presense there.

New topic: Taxes

Ah, taxes. There's nothing these candidates love more than talking about what taxes they want to cut. Bush talked about tax cuts too, but that didn't stp him from getting the national deficit to its highest levels ever.

Huckabee's ideas are interesting. I like that he's thinking about the lower class in his tax plan.

Sigh. Yes, McCain, Republicans did lose the 2006 election because of the war in Iraq. You're dumb.

Guliani talks about his fiscal conservatism. That's a good card to play.

Attention Brownback: South Dakota also produces ethanol. Jerk. But I do like that he's talking about energy alternatives. It seems like a lot of Republicans are turning away from the Big Oil industries and going for alternatives now. That's nice to see.

Does anyone else think Tommy Thompson looks like a robot?

Ron Paul wants to get rid of the needless beuracracy of Homeland Security. I like that. That agency is one of the things that screwed up Katrina.

The moderators are jerks. It would be nice if they would stop kissing up to the GOP and actually try to ask non-biased questions. Oh wait, this is Fox News. Nevermind.

You're right, guy whose name I can't remember, the Republicans have lost the mantle of fiscal responsibility. Y'know why? They were in power and power corrupts.

Break time!

Live blogging is complicated. I feel like I'm missing half of what happens when I'm typing. Also, I bet my spelling is horrible. I'll make sure I do spell check at the end.

They're back! Short break.

Ah, now we're getting to abortion. Let's watch the fur fly!

In the MSNBC debate, the candidates didn't really attack each other. But now they are. This should be fun.

Way to go Rudy! Turn the abortion debate onto fiscal responsibility and small government. That's my boy!

Ooooo! McCain talks about working with the Democrats on issues important to this country. That's good. For too long the Republicans have said "Screw you Dems, we're in the majority so we can do whatever we want." That was especially seen in President Bush. Hopefully the next president will be willing to work with the other side to do what they're supposed to do: actually help people.

Dang, Romney sucks. How was he governor of Mass. for as long as he was?

New Topic: abortion and stem cells

Thompson knows a little bit about stem cells. Though I disagree with him about adult stem cells being as good as embryonic.

Whoo-hoo! Guliani just related abortion to keeping government out of people's lives. He's in favor of reducing abortions through ways other than bans. I agree with that.

Wow. Hackabee relates supporting a woman's right to choose to Islamist suicide bombers. That is idiotic.

And now it's Brownback's turn to blow smoke up everyone's butt.

A moderator just brought up the idea that illigal abortions will return if Roe is overturned. Interesing. Unfortunately Romney isn't addressing the question. Too bad, it was an interesting thought.

New topic: Illigal immigration

It's not an issue I care about very much. Is Tancre-whoever the goto guy on the issue? I think he's brought it up a couple times tonight.

McCain talks about his experience working with Congress and the Bush administration. Good strategy. It shows he's an active part in imporant issues... even though he has one of the highest rates of absense from the Senate this year.

Everyone is talking about "securing the border." How? More fenses that don't work?

Guliani is talking about his stength in security issues. That will be good for him. Though I'm not sure I like the idea of a national ID card.

Is that San Diego fence better than oher fences? Because most don't work. But a guy just said that his San Diego fence worked. I should look into that to see what's up.

New topic: Foreign policy

Ron Paul says the Republican Party used to be anti-war. Really? They must've forgotten Christ's teachings on peace in the last 6 years.

Whoa! Ron Paul just killed his campaign by saying we invited the 9/11 attack. He has an interesting point, but it's not going to play well with the Republican Party. Just look at how the other candidates jumped on him Yikes!

What the heck is up with South Carolina's love for the confederate flag? I lack the context of it, but isn't it a symbol for one of the mistakes of this country's past?

New topic: Global warming

Huh. Tancrewhoever talks about reducing carbon emissions. That's good.

New tpic: Hypothetical terrorist attack

McCain talks about the horrors of torture. Good for him. He says it will harms how the world views our country.

Hmm... Romney wants to double Guantonimo and deny the prisoners there their rights. That's potentially dangerous.

Mr. Roboto (Thompson) basically just says what we should've done in Iraq.

Brownback says "Screw the UN and how the world see us. Who cares if it will hurt our foreign policy?"

Good point McCain. If we torture people, what happens to our troops when they are captured? That could put our troops in danger of being tortured.

Tanwhoever mentions Jack Bauer. He can save us all in a terrist attack. Fact.

New topic: Minorities

Traditionally a weak area for Republicans. Why are there no minorities runing for President as a Republican? Does Romney count?

Other topics

Romney supports No Child Left Behind? I have a lot of friends who are teachers and they all say it's a failure.

Debate ends

Now some guys named Hanity and Combs are going to discuss the debate.

Heh. McCain said "changes position every other year." Take that Romney!

Yeah, Ron Paul lampooned himself with his 9/11 remark. Too bad because he had some good ideas.

Guliani seemed to come out on top with his discussion on the war on terror and security issues. He also talks about adoptions as a way of reducing abortions. That's good, but I would also point out other programs to help women facing unwanted pregnancies.

McCain keeps talking about how retired members of the military are against any form of torture. And he brings up the fact that waterboarding started at the Spanish Inquisition. ("No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" - Monty Python) McCain just won't give up on his support for the Iraq War. That's going to hurt him.

Romney on campaign finance reform: The only reason he doesn't like it is because before the McCain Feingold thingy the Republicans had a fundraising advantage. That's an extremely naive way of looking at campaign finance. The system was broken and corrupt. It shouldn't matter if your party can exploit the broken system, because it still needs to be fixed.

"Enhanced Interigation Techniques." That's a lame way of trying to get around the torture issue. How far would Romney go with his "enhanced interigation techinques?" There's a line there that you can't cross and a lot of Republicans don't seem to care about crossing it.

Ron Paul is coming in first in Fox News' text poll. It could be the libertarian bent that you usually see in internet polls (though this isn't an internet poll) or it could be that his profile has increased because of what happened tonight. Interesting.

Everyone is saying how good the moderators and format were... could this be just because of Republical-controlled Fox News was doing the debate?

Huckabee is talking now so I've flipped over to watch Futurama on Cartoon Network. "Look Bender, this has nothing to do with you." "That's impossible!" Heh.

Brownback is coming in last on the Fox News poll. I like seeing that.

Tanwhoever is useless. I don't expect him to last much longer.

"Acting like a moron won't bring your dog back." "Then all hope is lost!" Oh sorry, I switched over to Futurama again.

Brownback didn't get a chance to shine tonight. And he's coming off like a one-issue candidate. If South Dakotans learned anything from Bruce Whalen, it's that a candidate can't win on just an anti-abortion campaign. Also, Brownback just dodged a question about whether or not to prosecute doctors who proform abortions and/or the women who get abortions. There seems to be a lot of differing opinions about this in the pro-life movement. If they could, I imagine they would prosecute both, but that's not a popular idea with the public. So they're sticking with just prosecuting doctors. And Brownback wouldn't give a straight answer.

Mr. Roboto (Thompson) is up now. He's not as bad as some of the other candidates, but I don't think he'll last much longer.

"Windmills do not work that way!" Heh. Yeah, I've given up on the post-debate coverage. Oh, wait, here's Ron Paul. I want to listen to him.

Aw, Ron Paul is pro-life. I still like him, but now I'm wary. I liked how one of the Hanity and Combs guys questioned him about Libertarianism and how it fits with taking away a woman's right to choose. Interesting. Wow. Ron Paul is really getting into it with those guys. Arguing so much he didn't seem to care that they were out of time. For an old guy, he sure has spunk!

Well it's over now. So how did they all do?

Guiliani - Definately won the debate. He was more confident in his abortion answers this time and he got high marks with his discussions of security, 9/11 and the war on terror. And he got the major applause of the night. Nothing happened tonight to change my opinion that Rudy is the best chance the Republicans have of winning against the Democratic Party.

McCain - He had a pretty good night too, though his still has an uphill battle if he wants to continue running on this pro-Iraq War strategy. Also, I really liked what he said about torture.

Romney - Meh. I think he lost ground and a lot of his answers were dumb.

Ron Paul - I love this guy. He's got spunk and some good ideas. The 9/11 remark could be troublesome, but right now it appears to be getting him more press. He definately stood out. Can you say the same about Tanwhoever and the guy who I can't remember his name?

Brownback - Like I said before, he won't get far as a one-issue candidate. The others are leaving him in the dust.

Huckabee - I find him very annoying.

Mr. Roboto - He looked nervous all night. I think he's going to be one of the first to drop out.

Tanwhoever - Totally uninteresting as a canidate.

Guy whose name I can't remember and Some other guy - They can't stand out. I don't even remember who they are, and I just got done watching them debate.

So, that was an interesting experience trying to love blog the debate. I don't really think I like doing it because I miss stuff while I'm typing. Though I may try it again for the nest Dems debate. Now I shall leave you with one more Futurama quote:

"Look, I love life andit's pleasures as much as anyone here. Except perhaps you, HedonismBot. But we need to be shut off! Especially you, Hedonism Bot."

"I apologize for nothing!"

Rounds Asks Bush for Disaster Relief

It's been reported that Governor Mike Rounds is asking for a "presidential disaster declaration for homes and businesses in a dozen South Dakota counties hit by storms and flooding May 4-5."

I'm very interested in the response he'll get. It has always seemed like President Bush doesn't care about South Dakota. He just thanks us for our electoral votes and then ignores us for four years. For example, he has actively opposed giving South Dakota any drought relief (going so far as to threaten to veto Iraq spending bills that incude drought relief funds). And while he visited Kansas when a tornado wiped out Greensburg, I have yet to see him acknowledge the parts of South Dakota that were also hit with tornadoes and flooding because of that storm.

We're part of this country too, Mr. President. How about some help?

Jerry Falwell

Jerry Falwell passed away this morning.

His family is in my prayers.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hunt is Going Down

I haven't done any serious posting for months. But I just had to pop up again to see Rep. Roger Hunt get what's coming to him.

And I love seeing that even his fellow Republicans are against him in this case. Attorney General Larry Long and Secretary of State Chris Nelson are saying Hunt created Promising Futures to get around the law.

And Nelson had a great quote about this in the Rapid City Journal:

The state says Hunt must disclose the donor because a state law says any
"natural person or ballot question committee" involved in a ballot measure must
file a campaign-finance report. Another law defines ballot question
committee as two or more people who raise or contribute money for the purpose of
passing or defeating ballot measures.

Hunt maintains that he is the sole officer in Promising Future, and it does
not have to file campaign-finance reports because it does not fit the definition
of a ballot-question committee.

But the Promising Future articles of incorporation that Hunt filed with the
secretary of state indicate that one of the purposes of the firm is "education
of the public concerning ballot issues."

Asked about that, Nelson said only: "Bingo."

Hahahahahaha! Chris Nelson made a funny!

Good, ol', honest Roger Hunt must've known about that two-person rule. So he formed a one-person company to get around it. The problem is that the money still came from someone who isn't him. That's two people.

The Argus is covering the trial on their blog, so I'll probably be posting follow ups. This'll be fun!

UPDATE: Apparently one of Hunt's main arguments is that the two-person rule I mentioned doesn't apply in this case.

Let's count:

Roger Hunt + Donor = 1 Person?

Now I was never that great at math in school, but that doesn't seem right to me.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Word Verification

Well after almost one year of blogging, it seems like the spam programs have finally found me. So I'm activating the word verification feature. It's a pain, I agree, but I refuse to be a pawn in the internet spam wars.