Friday, May 30, 2014

Annette's Having a "Debate" and You Are Not Welcome

Annette Bosworth has finally announced the when and where  and of her debate, but not the who.  Pat Powers received the announcement, but it is not posted on her Senate web page or on her Facebook pages.  

Dakota War College shares the Bosworth press release:


SOUTH DAKOTA SENATE CANDIDATE FORUM LOCATION, TIME, AND GUIDELINES ANNOUNCED 
Sioux Falls, SD, May 30, 2014– The South Dakota Senate Candidate Forum location, time, and guidelines have been announced. The forum will take place today, May 30, 2014 at the Wegner Library at 1400 W. 22nd Street in Sioux Falls, SD. The forum will begin at 2pm and is only open to the candidates and their staff. 
The forum will adhere to the following guidelines:
1. Each candidate will have a one minute opening.
2. Each candidate will submit one issue to be discussed for two minutes by each candidate.
3. Each candidate will have a two minute closing.
Who is going to be there?  Is this going to be a party of two?  She did claim that she had one person that agreed to the debate.  Any others?

Also note that no press is allowed.  Probably no audience other than staff.  No real challenging questions.  Each candidate gets to submit one topic that will be talked for two minutes by each candidate.  TWO WHOLE MINUTES!  This will really provide for more in-depth background to the candidates.  

Bosworth is right when she says that debates are fundamental to democracy and Rounds (and Daugaard) is wrong to avoid debates.  The GOP loves to talk about the free market, but are afraid of the marketplace of ideas.  However, this commercial from an echo chamber will not expand the marketplace of ideas. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't Privatize the VA Hospitals

The problems with the VA is not something that can be stopped with just removing Eric Shinseki, even though people like Rick Weiland and I think it would be an appropriate first step.  It did not take long, but the GOP are now scheming for ways to turn the care our veterans receive into a voucher system and privatize the VA.  This is a horrible, horrible, horrible idea for many different reasons.  I think it is important to look at some of the many reasons why we should not privatize the VA.

One of the reasons not to privatize the VA is that the VA is successful at many things.  The VA must handle some of the most difficult treatment cases.  The VA specializes in brain injuries, spinal injuries, treating amputations, burns, PTSD, and much more that private hospitals are able to handle.  As a poster shared with me, the VA has a better satisfaction rating than private hospitals:
The VA’s satisfaction index for inpatient care, 84, and its index for outpatient care, 82, remained consistent for the second straight year and have held steady for the past decade — a sign that, generally, VA patients are content with their health care....When compared with general satisfaction ratings of civilian hospitals, the VA results compared favorably: Under the ACSI system, civilian U.S. hospitals earned an index of 80 for inpatient customer satisfaction and 83 for outpatient care.
The acting executive director of the Disabled American's Veterans organization stated in a hearing about the inquiry into VA problems:
The simple truth is the VA is the best health care provider for veterans. In fact, the VA’s specialized services are incomparable resources that often cannot be duplicated in the private sector. 
Suzanne Gordan stated in the Boston Globe:
The VA has singular expertise in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Many injured soldiers have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with what is known as poly-trauma — PTSD plus traumatic brain injury and limb amputations. Few primary care physicians — or even specialists — have much experience treating such cases in the private sector. In fact, without the VA, vets would have trouble getting any primary care services given the serious shortage of primary care providers in this country. 
Despite the horror show of the VA expressed in the media, it seems that there are a lot of successes with the organization.  That does not mean that the wait times and the ongoing problems are not real.  They are very real and must be dealt with.  What are some of the reasons behind the incredibly long wait period for some veterans?  There is a wide mixture.  One of the key issues is a lack of support by Congress.  The National Director for National Veteran's Services with the VFW stated in the hearing:

The lack of timely care for veterans is unacceptable. The VFW certainly hopes that VA would never intentionally deny care to veterans, but there have to be reasons why care takes so long to be delivered. We know capacity is an issue. The VFW, in partnership with the Independent Budget, has highlighted for years the need to increase VA medical facility capacity. Even VA’s own 10-year Strategic Capital Investment Plan (SCIP) identifies capacity as an issue. In 2004, VA’s medical center capacity was 80 percent. It peaked at 122 percent capacity in 2010, and in 2013 capacity remained unacceptably high at 119 percent. Since FY 2010, appropriations for major construction projects have decreased from $1.2 billion annually to an FY 2014 appropriation of less than $350 million for the same account. Access to care can be directly linked to capacity. VA’s major lease authority is also placing a burden on capacity, which directly effects access. Since FY 2012, Congress has not authorized VA major medical lease authority. That is 27 facilities in 18 states, most of which should be providing direct care to veterans. 
Another issue is the red tape; however Phillip Longman testified to Congress that they established much of the red tape to limit who gets service:
Here, the Veterans Benefits Administration must accept blame for not doing a better job of streamlining administrative procedures. But in all fairness, it is Congress, and by extension the American people as a whole, who have established the laws that require most vets to prove that they have service-related disabilities before becoming eligible for VA care. 
This is the perverse root cause of the waiting time and other problems of access. Who can say if a Vietnam vet is losing his hearing due to expose to too much artillery fire, or exposure to too many Who concerts? 
We need to open up the VA and grow it, extending no-questions-asked eligibility not only to all vets but to their family members as well. This not only makes clinical sense, it also makes economic sense. So long as the VA remains one of, if not the most, cost- effective, scientifically driven, integrated health care delivery systems in the country, the more patients it treats, the better for everyone. 
So as you can see that the VA has very, very good qualities and it has some issues.  Why the push for privatization for the GOP?  One answer is simple as a commenter pointed out:  Money.
Why is there no outrage at Senator McCain, the Senator from AZ who should have been aware of what is going on at the VA there. When will there be Mandatory funding of the VA? Here is a comment that was posted on line last night to an article on Senator Burr's comments to the VSOs. Here is what is really going on:
1. Campaign Cash. Burr has received $1,156,200 in campaign cash from the Health care related companies.
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries....
2. Funnel Billions To His Campaign Contributors. Burr is on record wanting to privatize the VA, which would mean billions of dollars flowing into the hands of private health care companies.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/25/gop-lea... (Lanny Stricherz, May 27, 2014)
To me that seems as good as a reason as any.  They have heard testimony from the veteran groups that they don't want the VA privatized:

Ryan M. Gallucci, VFW
In doing so, however, we must resist any suggestion that VHA is a fundamental failure which should be dismantled in favor of an alternative model. Such suggestions not only serve to relieve VA of its responsibilities, but fail to take into account the contributions that VHA makes to veterans, their families, and the medical community as a whole. 
Carl Blake, DAV (emphasis is mine) 
And unfortunately for those clamoring for it, contract health care is not the answer to this problem. Studies have shown that contract health care providers cannot provide the same quality of care as the VA at any less cost, despite claims by some that it can. Similarly, contract care simply is not a viable option for veterans with the most complex and specialized health care needs. A veteran with a cervical spine injury whose autonomic dysreflexia was mistakenly treated as a stroke is not better served at a local outpatient clinic or the local doctor’s office closer to his or her home. Sending those individuals outside of the VA actually places their health at significant risk while abrogating VA of the responsibility to ensure timely delivery of high quality health care for our Nation’s veterans. 
GOP.  Instead of trying to scrap ad ignore a problem by screaming "PRIVATIZE IT," why don't you do the hard work and try to make it better. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bosworth Plans Debate for GOP sans Mike Rounds (probably)

Annette Bosworth has just announced that she plans to hold a debate that will be televised.  She is planning to purchase ad time and then it will be on youtube.  When asked how she will handle the debate process by one of the finest reporters from PBS.  She talked about the beauty of Youtube over televised debates.  So is it televised or not?  She also says that at least one candidate has offered to attend.  No specifics on date, place, format, or who (is anyone) will moderate.  My wife suggests that Annette get Cory Heidelberger to moderate.  That would be fun!

Bosworth and Misogyny

Annette Bosworth had a successful press conference yesterday with her adults only rambling speech.  How was it successful you may ask.  She got exactly what she wanted: attention.  She has made national press in the newspapers and even television websites.  Everyone is talking about her.  It appears she prefers the old adage that there is no bad press.  So, on that level Bosworth's press conference was a great success.  However, if it was to draw real concern to the treatment of women, especially women in power, then it was a complete failure.  

The issue of treatment of women in our society is a real concern.  You can see real issues surrounding the treatment of women everyday when you look at it.  #YesAllWomen shows real problems of the treatment of women in our world. It is wrong for you to confuse reactions to statements that you make comparing human being to animals as "woman hate speech."  It is also wrong for you use the situation in Santa Barbra as a political platform about why you should be allowed break the law, over and over.  It is wrong for you to try and connect the violent and cruel oppression of women all over this world with people questioning your unethical behavior.  

Mrs. Bosworth, you achieved what you wanted: attention, but in doing so, you have trivialized a very real and serious issue.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Everyone is Wrong When It Comes to the VA

Obama has done a poor job of preparing to handle the influx of veterans coming into the VA system.  George Bush did a horrible job in preparing the VA with enough funds and personal to handle the massive increase from the two wars he initiated.  The Republicans, including Thune, have  blocked legislation to increase funding and support for our veterans.  The Democrats were asleep at the wheel and failed to use their majority to deal with the VA crises.  

I agree with Rick Weiland in his calls for President Obama to ask for Eric Shinseki resignation, but going beyond what the GOP seems to only care about, Risk is also right in pointing fingers at basically everyone in Congress:

This week Rick called on Secretary Shinseki to resign as the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, but noted that one resignation is not nearly enough to solve the problems that our veterans face. 
Rick said: “Making changes at the top of the Department of Veterans Affairs is useless unless the culture of indifference that exists in the United States Congress is changed. Many in Congress are pointing fingers at Shinseki and the Department, but it’s not only mismanagement at the VA that has caused these outrages, it’s also the financial indifference of Congress that has caused the VA’s failure to provide care on a timely basis.
Many Senators and Representatives are faking outrage despite the fact that they knowingly have failed the needs of our veterans.  This is a fact that came out after Republican Richard Burr from North Carolina and a ranking member on the Veterans Affair Committee produced an open letter complaining that only the American Legion was willing to call for Shinseki's removal.  The other veteran services organization had something to say about the political posturing.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars pointed out:
“For years, the V.F.W. has come to Congress with hat in hand, and for years we’ve heard the same old story,” the heads of the veterans group wrote to Mr. Burr. “You can be assured, Senator, that you’ve done a superb job in showing us the error in our ways. You can also be assured that in the future, we will spend a substantial percentage of our time seeking to inform our members and our constituents of the repeated failure to act by our elected officials.”
A representative for Disable American Veterans stated:
To that sentiment, the national president and the executive director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America added, “Perhaps you should have shared with all veterans in your ‘open’ letter that you cared so much about their health care that you were not actually present during the testimony that the V.S.O. representatives provided, and you did not ask a single question.” V.S.O. stands for veterans service organizations.
Calls for a top-down review will mean nothing until you are willing to back them up.  Our country has asked a great deal from the young men and women.  It is the least we can do to say that we are willing to find the money to make sure that you get the care you need. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Daugaard Creates Career and Tech Crisis and Then Campaign's on It

Daugaard would like us to forget that he once promised to make sure that education would get the first and last dollar in Pierre under his administration:
He says he wants to make sure public education is adequately funded ... saying schools should receive the first and last dollar each budget year.
Despite what he would like us to believe, he has decreased the amount education is funded in this state in his four years.  The Governor has a video on his website discussing his great accomplishment when it comes to education in this state.  "Hey, I gutted funding for education in this state, forcing many schools to cut career and technical programs.  So now I am going to find ways to reduce access by regionalizing it and then you can trust me not to do more damage."  Okay, so that is me reading between the lines.

At ten seconds into the video he talks about the poor plights of schools that "have struggled from budget constraints."  He then points out that they have had to cut "some of the electives."  He then lists some of the classes that schools had to cut: welding classes, ag classes, health classes.  (He forgot literature classes, speech and debate programs, increased class sizes for students.)

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!  Those extensive "budget constraints" were caused by his budget!  He is the one that has de-invested in education.  I am blessed to be in a district that offers great technical/career education programs which include agriculture, wood technical, art programs, health programs; along with some great teachers in foreign languages, math, chemistry, English, and social studies.  We made it through the cuts beat up, but thanks to some wonderful administrators and school board members we got through it but had to close an elementary school to do so.

Be honest with the people Governor.  You see students as a tool for your business friends, and beyond that you would rather not have to deal with "those" teacher people.

You will have to click on the link to see the ad.  I am having a difficult time posting it on here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daugaard Starts the Lies on Education Support

Daugaard is setting the stage to really start spreading the lies when it comes to education funding.  I knew that since this is an election year, the GOP and Daugaard would try to find something to give education.  Daugaard stayed true to form on trying to do as little to support increases in education funding with a 1.6% increase, and it wasn't until Joe Lowe came on the scene that he started pushing 3%.  Now that election time is under way, Daugaard's commercial is trying to tout how he has increased funding for education!

Fact check.  In 2010, when Daugaard came into office, spending per student was at $4,805.  In 2014-2015, the funding level was at $4,781.  That is not doing more for education; that is doing less.  Under Daugaard's watch as Governor, education funding has decreased.  Remember, he wanted the 2014-2015 level to be .36% lower than what the legislature actually passed.  

I will tell you what has increased; the rainy day fund.  In 2010, Mike Rounds left South Dakota sitting on over 100 million dollars:
The state's Budget Reserve Fund has a balance of $43,398,446, and the Property Tax Reduction Fund has a balance of $63,626,269. The combination of these two funds, totaling $107,024,715, represents a combined reserve of approximately 9.5 percent of total general fund spending for FY2010.
 During Daugaard's time of "investment" in education:

He said state government finished its 2013 budget year on June 30 with a lot more cash than was previously forecast. The $24.2 million surplus was transferred to the budget reserve account as required by state law.  And, consequently, the state’s two rainy-day accounts now are at a combined record high of $158,952,076.
That is an increase of over 51 million dollars.  So funding for education decreases and the saving account increases.  That is the opposite of investing.  I encourage Joe Lowe or Susan Wismer (whoever  wins the primary) to print out Daugaard's promises from 2010 and hold him accountable for every lie he placed in it.  Especially the blueprint for education.  (It appears that Daugaard has taken down his blue print from 2010.  All you get is an error message and that those promises don't exist.  Wow, that seems very appropriate if not sad.  I hope somebody printed out a hard copy of his "promises.")

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Steve Hickey Must Be Preparing Some New Analogies

Rep. Steve Hickey must be getting really nervous.  The pastor, who along with many other Republicans in the South Dakota Legislature (which includes District 6's own Ernie Otten), tried to pass legislation that would allow for discrimination of same-sex couples.  This is the same pastor that made national news when he compared anal sex (not limited to same-sex couples) to dump trucks.  Who then proceeded to continue with his cruel and wrong-headed comments about same-sex couples in the press and on Facebook.  He did all of this in response to a challenge in the courts that is being prepared over South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriages.

He must be really sweating now.  In the last few days we have seen more and more states have same-sex marriage bans be overturned.  Places like Oregon, Idaho, Arkansas, and recently Pennsylvania have all had court rulings that have overturned the bans.  Pennsylvania's ruling comes as a shock in part because the Republican governor has decided not to fight the ruling.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday that he will not challenge a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, saying an appeal is "extremely unlikely to succeed."
 Unfortunately, I don't think we can expect to see the same common sense thinking from this current Governor:
Daugaard said Monday he expects the constitutional requirement to be challenged in court and supports state Attorney General Marty Jackley in defending it. 
“I do think it is the duty of our attorney general to defend,” Daugaard said. “I think it’s an issue that we should defend.”
We must be clear by going to the polls in November and supporting candidates (Democrat or Republican) if we want to turn back people like Governor Daugaard, Rep. Hickey, and Ernie Otten.  Support candidates that believe in the words of Justice John Jones, ruling judge on the Pennsylvania lawsuit:
"We are a better people than what these laws represent," Jones wrote. "It is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."
Until we discard those that stand in the way of equality and the protection of basic rights, we will continue to drift along in a world that is filled with hate and discrimination. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bosworth is Channeling Joan of Arc

A lot of people have made comparisons of this year's Senate candidates to different fictional characters.  We have had comparisons to the book/show Game of Thrones and Greek mythology.  Today, Dr. Annette Bosworth made it clear what real life historical figure she is channeling; Joan of Arc.  She has so many similar qualities of Joan of Arc.  She is a woman in a male dominated controlling and dominated world.  She professes to hear God speak to her and guide her on holy missions that may require the brandishing of weapons in her crusade.  She is taking on an almost impossible enemy.  

She also believes that she is being persecuted for her just cause.  If it is not Corey Heidelberger that she uses to justify her persecution complex, it must be the GOP establishment.  She has now shifted and named a new unjust persecutor (executor?); Attorney General Marty Jackley.  She held a press conference today to make it clear that she is simply a victim, and bravely facing her persecutors (although no questions, please).  

Bosworth said Jackley was investigating her for political reasons, accusing him of a "campaign against me" and trying to "derail my candidacy." 
"This sort of blatant election manipulation is an insult to the good people of South Dakota," Bosworth said at a news conference on the steps of the Minnehaha County Courthouse.
She has one more thing in common with Joan of Arc: people think she is crazy.  What are some other real historical figures that fit this years Senate candidates?



(Can you tell them apart?)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Did Mike Rounds Just Get Willie Hortoned?

It appears that the Bosworth campaign is flashing back to 1988.  They have a new attack ad going after Mike Rounds.  The ad links Mike Rounds to Joaquin Ramos, a convicted killer that murdered a mother and her unborn child and who Mike Rounds commuted his sentence when leaving office.  When I first saw the ad, all I could think of was Willie Horton.

For those that don't remember or are too young to know about Willie Horton, he was connected Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in 1988 in his race against the eventual President George Bush (senior)  The Wikipedia entry gives a brief summary of how Willie Horton was used:
On June 6, 1986, he was released as part of a weekend furlough program but did not return. On April 3, 1987 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Horton twice raped a local woman after pistol-whipping, knifing, binding, and gagging her fiancĂ©. He then stole the car belonging to the man he had assaulted. He was later shot and captured by Corporal Yusuf Muhammad (formerly named Joseph Bell) of the Prince George's County Police Department after a pursuit. On October 20, Horton was sentenced in Maryland to two consecutive life terms plus 85 years.... 
Republicans picked up the Horton issue after Dukakis clinched the nomination. In June 1988, Republican candidate George H.W. Bush seized on the Horton case, bringing it up repeatedly in campaign speeches. Bush's campaign manager, Lee Atwater, said "By the time we're finished, they're going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis' running mate."[9] 
Campaign staffer James Pinkerton returned with reams of material that Atwater told him to reduce to a 3×5 index card, telling him, "I'm giving you one thing. You can use both sides of the 3×5 card." Pinkerton discovered the furlough issue by watching the Felt Forum debate. On May 25, 1988, Republican consultants met in Paramus, New Jersey, holding a focus group of Democrats who had voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984. These focus groups convinced Atwater and the other Republican consultants that they should 'go negative' against Dukakis. Further information regarding the furlough came from aide Andrew Card, a Massachusetts native whom President George W. Bush later named as his Chief of Staff.[10]

It appears the Bosworth campaign is taking a page from Atwater's play book.  She states in a press release posted on South Dakota War College:
But Mike Round’s involvement in the tragic story of Joaquin Jack Ramos’s killing of Debbie Martines and her unborn baby in front of Martines’s children also has a deeper meaning. Even though Rounds scrambled to make amends after he began to get bad press, his commutation of Ramon’s sentence remains inexplicable to this day. Hopefully, this ad will finally bring Gov. Rounds to fully account for his actions. 
I must admit that I don't know the whole story behind the commuting of Joaquin Ramos by then Governor Mike Rounds.  It appears that he failed to do due diligence and  later regretted his actions (Kind of like inappropriate use State airplanes and oversight of the EB-5 program.)  It is the message that voters will get that will matter.  

The Willie Horton Ad


The Joaquin Ramos Ad



Monday, May 12, 2014

District 6 Legislative Members Bank Tax Payer Money for ALEC

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an organization that encourages mostly conservative republicans to sit down with corporations and business leaders to take lessons and notes about how to write legislation that supports corporations and businesses.  Even though it tries to pass itself off as an organization open to all to improve state legislation, it can be nothing than a Republican dream vacation spot.  The board of directors is made up entirely of Republicans (and only 2 women) and on the corporate side the advisory council include Exxon, Kock Brothers, PhRMA, Pfizer Inc., and AT&T. ALEC encourages our Republican legislative members to come and sit down and write legislation back in our state.  It also provides a great opportunity to network with Republican supporters.

Cory Heidelberger at Madville Times shows us how much South Dakota Republicans love support this organization.  District 6 legislative members, Ernie Otten and Issac Latterel both are asking for money when they attended the national meeting held in Washington D.C. in 2013.  Isaac Latterel wins the big spender prize.  He is hoping for another $2,048.01 for an Annual ALEC Meeting in Chicago in December.  According to my math, that is more $4,000 of taxpayer money to support his networking.  No wonder he desperately wants people to pay for for his governance.

It doesn't appear that these District 6 members will stop spending our money to go on a vacation.  Recently, the GOP made sure that more money can be funneled to ALEC.  Not every Republican seems to support this idea.
Tieszen called the inclusion of ALEC “troublesome” and said ALEC “isn’t compatible” with the three other organizations for which travel reimbursement is allowed, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the Midwestern Legislative Conference.
Craig Tieszen from Rapid City is willing to stand against the waste of our taxpayer money going to let Senator Otten and Representative Latterell hang out with big corporations and Republicans.  I guess it will be up to those of us in District 6 to make the message clear, stop using taxpayer money for your advantage and start focusing on representing the people that live here!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hickey Needs to Update His Evidence

Today on 100 Eyes with the Argus Leader, Rev. Hickey attempted to support his position of discrimination.  He continues to make the claim that he wants to give voice to those that disagree with proven science.  Maybe he would like to give credibility to those that don't believe that the earth is round?  Maybe he wants to give equal science time to people that think that the sun revolves around the earth?  The problem with claiming that we should listen to opposing voices, is that those voices should be supported with valid data, and once tested and proven wrong, we should turn away from them.

In his talk on 100 Eyes, Hickey tries to introduce evidence about the dangers of homosexual sex using a study by John R. Diggs.  Patrick Lalley thankful questioned the validity of the study and would not give Hickey traction in using the study because it had not been examined before the broadcast.  Rep. Hickey did mention the author's name (John R. Diggs, Jr.) and allowed me the opportunity to examine the source.

John R. Diggs, Jr. published a study in 2002 on the issue of homosexual sex.    The study relies on evidence and other studies taken as far back as 1978.  It turns out that many of the authors used in Diggs study have a problem with how it was used:
Diggs cites the study a second time and in more detail later in the study. But his citation of the study is a mischaracterization. The six original researchers who conducted that study have gone on record saying that religious conservatives (like Diggs) was distorting their work. The researchers who conducted the original study had plenty to say about the religious right using it to denigrate gays and lesbians.  (PDF file)
In fact the article by Alvin McEwing, gives an excellent, detailed, and evidence-based rebuttal to Diggs study.

The other issue with the Diggs study is the source himself is biased.  While I would question using a source that works for an agency that has an agenda against people of the homosexual and transgender persuasion (Member, National Advisory Council of the Family Research Council), and has spoken out against HPV, and a person that his living in part speaking to anti-gay, christian groups. In the debate world, we call that a biased source.  That would be like asking the tobacco companies to study the dangers of smoking, or the oil companies to report on risks of global warming, or Republicans to study the EB-5 scandal.  

Did you ever consider that the reason a lot of qualified doctors and scientists have not spoken out against homosexual relationships is that very few of them that are qualified actually think it is an issue?  I think I will back the ruling of the Supreme Court Supreme Court, The American Journal of Public Health that through real research that has been peer reviewed states:

It remains to be seen when other states will follow suit, but the results of this literature review strongly suggest that the legal and social recognition of same-sex marriage are likely to impart more than just symbolic support for the gay community. Embracing marriage equality through education and legislation is sound public health policy supported by evidence-based literature. Legislation to make marriage equality a reality will change, and save, lives.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

SD GOP, The Gift That Keeps on Giving...Discrimination

This week, two South Dakota made national news for their discrimination.  The week started with Senate candidate Annette Bosworth comparing people that receive food assistance with wild animals.  Then she has the audacity to play martyr and wonder why people are attacking her for what she said; blaming of course the liberal bias for something she posted.
Bosworth has tried to help harness the attention, both negative and positive, and use it to help her campaign. Thursday morning she posted multiple unrelated images along with the message, “More dishonest attacks from the left. We are being attacked by a far left wing group. Please help us get our message out by making a contribution today.”
She is of course now using this to try and increase her street conservative cred by claiming this is her burning issue that drove her to run:
Bosworth isn't backing down saying it’s the first time in this Republican primary that she's actually talking about an issue that led her to run for office. 
I thought she was worried about God and guns and that is what drove her to run.  I thought is was Obamacare that forced her to run.  I am pretty sure it was an ego that really drove her to run.  A supposed compassionate and caring doctor sees many of her patients as wild animals.  She sees our children suffering from a lack of food as wild animals, she sees many of our nations elderly as wild animals, and she is not alone.  Mike Rounds, Stace Nelson, or the GOP has not come out against this line of thinking.  

Then later in the week Representative Steve Hickey attempts to get a letter published about the dangers of anal sex in relation to gay sex and comes under fire for completely understandable reasons.  His letter is misinformed, mixed-up, and insensitive.  By trying to make sexual identification issues a disease that must be cured, and purged like a horrible horrible disease.  The medical community has been very clear on this matter.
Actually, American medical and psychological communities have spoken out vehemently and unequivocally in favor of gay and trans rights, again and again andagain and again and again and again and again. But these professionals’ unanimous endorsement of marriage equality and trans rights doesn’t convince Rep. Hickey, who knows in his heart that gender noncomforming stuff is just plain icky.
The Wire also shares the view of the American Psychology Association:
A bit of good news that might assuage Rep. Hickey's concerns: the doctors have already weighed in. In the words of the American Psychological Association, "being gay is just as healthy as being straight." The emotional distress that gay and transgender people experience is often a function of the societal pressure imposed by people like Steve Hickey. 
 While as sad and hurtful Mr. Hickey's comments are, we at least know where he stands.  Many of the GOP hold the same view, homosexuality is a disease that must be cured and wiped out.  There is no compassion or understanding of people that are different than they.  Remember that the South Dakota GOP party launched several bills to make discrimination of the LGBT community legal.  

We get it SD GOP, you don't like people that are not like you.  The message is clear.  If you are not an middle to upper class business owner that is straight, then your rights simply don't matter.  You are less than human.   

If you as a South Dakota Republican don't want this label put on you, then speak out against those in your party that would speak for you.