Category Archives: Opinion

Credit for AG Jackley Where Credit is Due

This is a follow-up to my previous post about AG Jackley’s Legalized Extortion bill.  My original article was written just after Senate Bill 25 had passed the Senate with little opposition.  At that time, the bill appeared to be well on its way to the Governor’s office.  Then, something unexpected happened.

When the bill came up for consideration in house committee, Jackley offered an amendment to the bill such that it would only be applicable to felony arrests.  In short, Jackley listened to the concerns expressed by the bill’s opponents, and then attempted to balance those concerns with the needs of the proponents. read more

Noem dials back rhetoric on refugees (just barely)

Over the last few days, Kristi Noem has been sponsoring some Trump inspired  fear and anger campaign ads to goat people into signing up for her campaign’s mailing list.  The first up from two days ago:

In it, I see the Northeastern United States, a passenger jet pointed downward, and a masked Middle Eastern fighter.  It’s clearly aimed at portraying refugees as terrorists and eliciting memories of Sept 11, 2001.

Today, there’s an updated ad:

Now we see the entire country, no more Middle Eastern fighter, and the airplane is no longer pointed to the ground.  Why the change?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Perhaps Noem realized that refugees are actually the victims of terrorism. read more

Obamacare is a big brown turd. Noem wants to replace it with a big green turd.

For years, Kristi Noem has been campaigning against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); primarily due to the ever increasing cost of insurance.  And now that Republicans finally have the majority to get things done, they’re squandering that opportunity by attempting to replace it with more of the same.

Health care costs were rapidly increasing even before Obamacare, and it’s the ever increasing cost of health care that is hurting South Dakotans.  Obamacare tried and failed to stem the rising cost of insurance, and I just don’t see how the Republican plan will be any different. read more

AG Jackley’s Legalized Extortion Bill

At the request of Attorney General Jackley, Senate Bill 25 would make any criminal booking photograph a public record.  AG Marty Jackley says of the bill:

“The release of criminal booking photographs to the public will result in greater transparency in the criminal process, enhance public safety, and will further assist the media and the public in the proper identification of individuals in the criminal   process,”

The facts of the matter, are that this bill is full of unintended consequences: read more

Will the real John Thune please step forward?

Though I am a life long Republican, I’m not a big fan of John Thune.   I tend to prefer the more constitutionally aligned Republican’s such as Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul.  I think of Thune as a Surveillance State Republican.  He’s happy to give up our Fourth Amendment rights when anyone in an intelligence agency says it might help stop a terrorist.  I fear rattle snakes, mountain lions, and cows more than I fear terrorists, and I’d just as soon keep my constitutional rights. read more

Noem pushes for affirmative action, I solve the budget problem.

Over the past several weeks, Rep Noem has been touting her sponsorship of the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2016.  There were some aspects of the press release that annoyed me, but I ignored it like everybody else.  (It garnered zero comments over at Dakota War College).  But then it showed up in my facebook feed, and in my local newspaper.  My annoyance boiled over and I decided to dust off the blog.

So what’s not to like?  Here’s what annoyed me…

This bill isn’t needed.  American society is already recognizing the importance of women without this bill.  Recall Hillary Clinton?  As Secretary of State, she was our nation’s top diplomat.  Later this year, Clinton will likely become our nation’s President.  Additionally, the United Nations Security Council has already adopted seven resolutions over the years that address the same issues.  Noem’s bill is unnecessary, duplicative, and adds additional cost and bureaucracy to an already inefficient government. read more

TPP and a Farmer’s Right to Repair

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will make permanent nonsensical laws which prevent farmers from actually owning their farm equipment, and turn farmers that that diagnose, repair, and/or modify their farm equipment into criminals.

First, some background.  TPP is a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries.  The stated goal of the agreement is to,

“promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in our countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.” read more

On Republican Leadership

One year ago, Senator John Thune penned an op-ed where he stated that,

“Under Republican control, the Senate will get back to work, returning to regular order, which means bills will be considered out in the open in committees before coming to the Senate floor, and all senators, regardless of party, will have a chance to propose and debate amendments.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t follow the Senate that closely, but here’s what I’ve observed this past year: read more

Thune and Rounds Kill Privacy As We Know It

Senators Rounds and Thune dealt a severe blow to consumer privacy when they helped to pass Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) on Oct 27th 2015.  From Senator Round’s press release,

The bipartisan cyber security bill we passed in the Senate today will help protect Americans from such cyber-attacks by allowing companies to share information about cyber-threats to prevent other businesses from falling victim to similar threats. It does so while protecting Americans’ private information from being shared and is 100 percent voluntary. read more

Senators Thune and Rounds Embrace Playground Politics

Defying all logic, both Senators Thune and Rounds voted to renew the Patriot Act as is without changes.  The Patriot Act was set to sunset on June 1st, 2015.  Though the Patriot Act had been renewed in the past, this time was different.  In May 2013, Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified documents to several journalists which shed light on how the Patriot Act was being actually being used.  One of the most startling revelations was that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been collecting the phone records of virtually every American on a daily basis. This gave rise to a number of developments: read more