Herseth Sandlin Liberal?

After quoting from Jim Geraghty (who lays out a few challenges for Representative Herseth Sandlin), Andrew Roth sums things up:

Herseth-Sandlin’s record is far worse when you cast the net out wider.  She also voted for card check, a $300 billion bailout for Fannie and Freddie, for SCHIP, for Obama’s budget, for a massive increase in the national debt limit, for the FY10 Omnibus, for Davis-Bacon requirements, and for countless earmarks (like Rangel’s “Monument to Me” and the South Carolina Aquarium) .

She has also voted against a handful of free trade agreements, against offshore drilling, against a bill that would stop Fannie/Freddie from borrowing from the Treasury, and against permanent repeal of the Death Tax.

I could go on…but you get the point.  She’s liberal.  South Dakota voters are not.

What remains to be seen is whether she can parlay the general good will which she seemingly still has with those voters into overlooking her rather obvious lack of applied Blue Dog credentials.

Is Obamacare Constitutionally Supported? A Constitutional Law Professor Answers–Part 3

I forgot to follow up with this on the day appointed, but here it is anyway–a few days late, but none the worse for wear in the meantime. Here is the beginning of Joerg Knipprath’s third missive on HCR and its constitutionality:

Having addressed the substantive constitutional arguments over Obama/Reid/PelosiCare, I want to consider some institutional factors that might influence the outcome of the challenge by the state attorneys-general or by anyone else who hopes to derail this “road to serfdom” through litigation. It is difficult to predict how the courts will react to these suits. There is a general aversion on the part of courts to intervene in matters of complex social policy. The courts are institutionally and politically ill-equipped to second-guess the political branches on responses to this type of question. They do not have the requisite ability to gather and evaluate evidence and to decide the best way to balance competing societal interests. Such issues are also generally seen as involving matters of public policy, not constitutional law. Involvement by the courts in such policy disputes is likely to trigger a hostile political reaction against the judiciary as constituting a serious breach of the separation of powers.

Please go read it all.

The Unfuture of Wind Power Generation

Wind power is (and will continue to remain) a hot topic here in the South Dakota. However, as I’ve noted in this space on several occasions, it seems as though we are wasting our energy by considering it a viable alternative. I’m not the only one who has noticed this:

Wind power, like nuclear power, has incorrectly been described as a key part of the solution to electric generation in the USA. T Boone Pickens, the famous wildcatter, had a plan to develop large wind generating plans across the central US. Back in mid-2009 he folded his tent, noting that there wasn’t any prospect of building transmission lines to bring wind power from where the wind is best to the cities where the demand resides, as I noted here. Anyone remotely familiar with the actual capabilities of financing transmission nowadays knew it was a fools errand, since routing a transmission line literally takes over a decade of permitting and routing is often very inefficient, such as in this case.

Since ancient times, production has only been one part of the equation for a successful sale. The other part is getting to market. Wind power generation is making some progress with production (as we maximise the efficiencies of the wind turbine technology) but the “getting to market” is proving very difficult and will continue to be the dealbreaker unless and until someone can figure out a way to cheaply and safely upgrade a whole lot of existing grid–and expand the grid at the same time.

John Thune Chance of Upgrading in 2012 As Seen Via the WaPo

The Washington Post is ruminating on John Thune’s probability of trying for the top slot in 2012:

Today’s candidate filing deadline in South Dakota marks the start of serious talk about Sen. John Thune‘s potential presidential campaign in 2012.

John ThuneThe Thune forces have been loathe to discuss his potential 2012 candidacy while there was still a possibility — albeit it a VERY slim one — that he could draw a serious Democratic challenge for his re-election race this fall.

But, privately, those close to Thune acknowledge that he has been receiving considerable encouragement to run and is likely to take a hard look at a national bid. Those same sources caution, however, that he remains entirely undecided and his decision will be heavily shaped by what he hears and sees in the coming months. (They also note that Thune will keep an eye closely on South Dakota to ensure he doesn’t repeat the mistakes of then Sen. George Allen in 2006.)

Thune will likely focus on building out an issue portfolio via his chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee — the  committee released a report on Iran this morning — with a specific focus on spending and debt issues. (Thune has been an outspoken opponent of the Troubled Asset Relief Program almost since its inception — although he did vote for the bill.)

He will also likely begin to do more for candidates running for office in 2010 via his Heartland Values PAC — a process that will allow him to visit key early primary and caucus states to gauge support.

The rest of the article looks at his strengths and weaknesses as a possible candidate. Go read it (and get up to date on what the inside-the-beltway folks think of Thune).

United Breaks Guitars Part 3 Is Now Ready

I enjoyed parts 1 and 2 of this musical saga. Now, the third part is available. It is embedded below for your viewing enjoyment.

One would think that after all of the press which this single incident caused United that the company might stand up and take notice and actually change some things. Of course, we are talking about a large company with a lot of momentum–so change can be very difficult. Nonetheless, I wish the airline (and Dave Carroll) the best of future endeavors.

Truth Has No Expiration Date

At the same time, each falsehood does have an expiration date (or dates). While one could be picky about some of the following list (and parse the very syllables to see if alternate meanings could be derived) it stands as a monument to the following truth:

Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.

Here then, is the beginning of the list of statements/promises which our President has made, along with the negations of those very same statements:


STATEMENT: “We’ve got a philosophical difference, which we’ve debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don’t have it is not because they don’t want it but because they can’t afford it.” Barack Obama, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate, February 21, 2008.

EXPIRATION DATE: On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the individual mandate into law.


STATEMENT: “These negotiations will be on C-SPAN, and so the public will be part of the conversation and will see the decisions that are being made.” January 20, 2008, and seven other times.

EXPIRATION DATE: Throughout the summer, fall, and winter of 2009 and 2010; when John McCain asked about it during the health care summit February 26, Obama dismissed the issue by declaring, “the campaign is over, John.”


STATEMENT: “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” (multiple times on the campaign trail)

EXPIRATION DATE: Broken multiple times, including the raised taxes on tobacco, a new tax on indoor tanning salons, but most prominently on February 11, 2010: “President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.”

Go read the entire list.

Morning Shots | March 30, 2010

National Guard homecomings today and tomorrow. (KELO) What changes a year overseas has wrought for these folks.

Six inches of the white stuff for Black Hills. (KOTA) Because it’s not really spring until it’s summer.

Second armed robbery in Sioux Falls in one week. (KSFY) I guess the money’s no longer in banks.

Legislators override several of governor’s vetoes. (Argus Leader) Doesn’t seem like folks are serious about the budget yet.

Senator Johnson Invisible?

Mr. Reitzel sends in a letter to the Argus Leader. It is reproduced here in its entirety:

I’m writing this letter to encourage Steve Hildebrand to run against Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

We need someone in Washington who will work with President Obama and not against him. We already have Sen. John Thune for that job.

We need a true progressive and not a so-called Blue Dog Democrat who is nothing more than a fence sitter.

We need a Democrat with ideals who isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right and be progressive. Not someone who is timid.

We need someone who will fight for those who can’t. Like the 40 million Americans who don’t have health insurance. We don’t need a Blue Dog Democrat who gets her orders from the insurance industry.

I hope other South Dakota Democrats stand up and encourage Hildebrand to run as well.

You will notice that Senator Thune and Representative Herseth Sandlin are both called out as lacking in “progressive” areas. However, you will also note that Senator Johnson is not mentioned by name. Is the writer leaving him out on purpose–as having nothing to do with the representative’s seat? If so, then why mention Thune? Or, is Johnson the “timid” one referenced in the section about being “right and … progressive?” Or, as the title of this post intimates, has Senator Johnson simply become invisible?

It would also appear that the writer does not believe that Dr. Weiland (who recently declared himself as the Herseth Sandlin challenger) is a “Democrat with ideals.”

All of that aside, I would encourage Mr. Hildebrand to run–if for entirely different reasons than those stated above.