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.