Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dennis Daugaard Quotation of the Day (Manpower)

Dennis Daugaard has come up with some wonderful plans that have completely flopped in his four years.  One such plan was to pay an out of state company to find workers to come to South Dakota.  Instead of using the money to support developing workers here in South Dakota through stronger education funding, Daugaard went with a plan he claimed would bring in a thousand workers...

An initiative by Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard that was intended to draw 1,000 workers to the state has come up far short. 
Daugaard announced the New South Dakotans initiative in January 2012 and predicted the effect would be “enormous,” the Argus Leader reported. 
“Those 1,000 families will add more than $120 million to our gross state product, put hundreds of children into our schools, and pay millions of dollars in state taxes,” Daugaard said in the State of the State address at the time. 
Daugaard told lawmakers this week that he would sharply scale back the program after only about 100 employees had come to South Dakota – at a cost to taxpayers of about $1 million.
The effect was "enormous" Mr. Daugaard.   An "enormous" waste of money.  I wonder what impact that money could have had as small business loans or increasing funding for high school tech programs or in affordable housing so that South Dakota workers could afford to find a place to live.  Just a thought.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dennis Daugaard Quotation of the Day (NBP Style)

Dennis Daugaard wants you to think he is a whiz when it comes to managing South Dakota money.  Maybe this little quotation about the doling out of millions of South Dakota taxpayer funds into Northern Beef Packer plant despite the fact he could see it struggling for a long time.  (Insert face into palm)
Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Friday he does not believe the state’s financial support for the now-defunct Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen, S.D., was a mistake. 
I think that was the right decision,” Daugaard said. 
Northern Beef Packers, a beef-processing plant, opened in 2012 but closed after only a few months of business and declared bankruptcy. Daugaard, a Republican, said he was aware of the beef plant’s struggles even before he took office in 2011. 
That was something you could see coming for a long time,” Daugaard said.

Now that is some financial wisdom!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mike Rounds Quotation of the Day (Fly-By Edition)

We know that Mike Rounds likes to spend most of his time flying to places outside of the South Dakota.  He has always loved to fly planes, especially the state's planes.  Here is the Mike Rounds quotation of him trying to explain why it is okay for him to spend over $700,000 from 2008-2010 while asking other agencies to make cut backs:
"I fly. I don't drive because there's not enough time in the day to get to the multiple locations I do," Rounds said. "You can't do it without an aircraft. You never would be able to get the job done."
It is impossible to drive around South Dakota to deal with the needs of South Dakotans?  It seems that Rick Weiland is doing just find in driving around and meeting with South Dakotans versus flying to Washington D.C. and Texas all the time.

This was also during a time the South Dakota schools had to start canceling travel and other agencies were forced to cut out travel at his request.  Mike didn't think that this should apply to him:
Rounds asked state agencies to limit travel costs in late 2008 after the recession dragged on state finances. He has flown less frequently since then, but said he hasn't made a concerted effort to cut back. Instead, he believes he has flown less because there have been fewer National Guard deployment and welcome-home ceremonies, and fewer companies have wanted to talk about expanding to South Dakota since the recession hit. (Emphasis is mine)
That is your hypocritical Senate candidate, Mike Rounds, for you. 

Dennis Daugaard Quotation of the Day

You may remember this little gem of a quotation by Governor Daugaard declaring South Dakota voters ignorant and unable to handle complex issues like forcing a bad idea of merit pay on our schools:
But when you look at the next three issues on the back of the ballot, the governor's pleasure turns to disappointment. South Dakota voters rejected them by a vote of nearly two to one. 
"I think it showed a little voter fatigue on the ballot when you have that many measures, some with great complexity. It's bound to happen," Daugaard said. 
Daugaard believes the ballots were long and the issues too complex so by the time voters got to the back side of the ballot, they were in a hurry and the mood to vote "no." 
"The voters don't have time to dig into and understand the facts that bare upon an informed decision and so when voters don't have that time then most are included to say, 'Well, I don't have time to dig into this and so I'm going to vote no,'" Daugaard said. (Emphasis is mine, words are Dennis Daugaard's) 
I hope we can prove Daugaard wrong when it comes to voting this November.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mike Rounds Quotation of the Day

Pat Powers tries to dig for something controversial about the Susan Wismer's announcement for Lieutenant Governor, Susy Blake.  He offers a random quotation from a 2012 issue of the Aberdeen American News which is not a direct quotation but a paraphrase from the newspaper.  To offer a counterbalance about the lead person running for Senator and Governor, I will be offering some quotations of the GOP candidates.  Let's see who has more interesting things to say.

I start with Mike Rounds on the EB-5 scandal from the Rapid City Journal: 

Former Gov. Mike Rounds offered an enthusiastic defense Wednesday of the state's now-shuttered immigrant investor program known as EB-5. 
Rounds, a Republican running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tim Johnson, discussed the issue with the Journal after speaking at a luncheon for the Family Heritage Alliance at the Bethel Assembly in Rapid City. 
"Personally, I hope they continue the EB-5 program," Rounds, 59, said. "Because it's one more tool available. We don't exactly have a lot of capital in South Dakota." (emphasis is mine)
Notice his support of EB-5 is in direct quotations.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Now Thune Is Worried About Education Funding (So I Guess He Will Be Voting for Susan Wismer for Governor).

John Thune doubles down on a new bogey man for Obamacare.  Mike Rounds is trying the whole Grandma and Grandpa are going to be hurt by Obamacare lie, and got called out on it.  It appears that John Thune is going for a new scare tactic: protect the poor schools.  That is correct; you read it here.  John Thune wants to protect schools from having to make funding cuts.

Thune states that he is extremely worried about us coaches, English teachers, and FFA programs:
South Dakota students stay busy with a multitude of activities offered in our school districts. From track and drama club, to FFA and volleyball, extracurricular activities provide students with opportunities to learn teamwork, leadership, and life skills outside the classroom. Of course none of these would be possible without the coaches, teachers, and faculty advisors who work with these students. Many South Dakota teachers wear multiple hats; the math teacher is also the gymnastics coach and the English teacher is the play director. Retaining quality teachers and offering students the opportunity to participate in outside activities are important to a well-rounded education. 
I am sure that if you check his voting record on bills that would increase funding for such programs, you will find him always supporting education, right?
Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. 
Voted NO on $52M for "21st century community learning centers".
To increase appropriations for after-school programs through 21st century community learning centers. Voting YES would increase funding by $51.9 million for after school programs run by the 21st century community learning centers and would decrease funding by $51.9 million for salaries and expenses in the Department of Labor. 
Voted NO on $5B for grants to local educational agencies.
To provide an additional $5 billion for title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Voting YES would provide:

  • $2.5 billion for targeting grants to local educational agencies
  • $2.5 billion for education finance incentive grants  
Voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. 
Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget Resolution that would adjust education funding while still reducing the deficit by $5.4 billion. A YES vote would:
  • Restore education program cuts slated for vocational education, adult education, GEAR UP, and TRIO.
  • Increase the maximum Pell Grant scholarship to $4,500 immediately.
  • Increases future math and science teacher student loan forgiveness to $23,000.
  • Pay for the education funding by closing $10.8 billion in corporate tax loopholes.
Okay, so maybe he has had a change of heart.  I tried pulling up the exact text of the bill he has offered and unfortunately the text is unavailable right now.  

If his new love for providing quality funding for education is real, then I am sure that he will be casting a vote for Susan Wismer in this year's election.  The one person that did the most harm to education in our state was Dennis Daugaard when he gutted education and blamed it on Mike Rounds.  Then has made sure to keep it at a level below when he got into office.  I have been in education for more than 15 years and work with teachers that have been teaching for more than 35 years.  The Daugaard administration has created one of the worst atmospheres for anyone in the education field (even more than Janklow).

By the way Senator Thune, here is another way that you can help schools.  Tell Daugaard to expand Medicare.  Students are stronger and more able to learn when they are healthy and they can afford to see a doctor for that cough instead of bring sickness to the school and missing several more days of class.  

I am also sure that you will support increased funding for special education from the federal government, since it is horribly lacking.

Thanks again for your support for Susan Wismer, Senator Thune!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Because I am a Populist

On the sixth of June, Rick Weiland made the #1 Trenders on social media according to the Ed Report on MSNBC.  During the interview, Ed asked several questions to Rounds to try and find out who exactly he was (since he doesn't seem to really understand the situation).  He became clear that he runs on expanding Medicare for all to join if they want.  He also tried to get Rick to defend Rounds label of "Liberal."  He asks, "Are you a liberal?  Do you run from that term or do you embrace it?"  Rick's answer was a great answer: "I am a Populist, Ed.  I always have been."  

The Democratic Party in South Dakota has got to fully embrace populism.  Make this the focus of our growth and get out to the people to help them grow.  I was happy as a student in Minnesota to be able to be a member of the DFL.  The slogan for this year's Democratic convention is "WE are South Dakota."  they explain in their e-mail blast leading up to the convention
While Republicans defend tax breaks for out of state corporations and education cuts for our kids, Democrats are united in the fight to reward all hard working South Dakotans with an honest wage, ensure South Dakotans have access to affordable healthcare, and to give our kids  education they need for a fair shot at the middle class.
I believe that Rick's style of Populism campaign is the Democrats best chance to win in November.  People must be placed before the interest of big business.  That is the biggest difference you will see between the two parties.  The GOP stands for defending business and the economic interests of the business and elite.  The Democrats must be clear that they stand for the people first.  If you are wavering on who support this year, ask yourself who talks about protecting big business first and who talks about supporting the middle and lower class.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Primary Post Mortem

The primary elections are over, two people have been charged with criminal misdoings, and a lot of people are excited over what has to be one of the strangest primary seasons in my middle-aged life.  (Okay, maybe excited is the wrong adjective.)  I know many people have begun the review of the primary entrails, but I would like to offer a few ideas for political junkies to think about before turning on Fox News or MSNBC.

The GOP Senate Primary in several NUT shells.  

Mike Rounds won and fairly big.  This is the headline that the Mike Rounds will publicly display.  "Look, the vast majority of Republicans love me," he will say.  However, he needs to remember that he only received 55% of the 31.9% of the Republicans that cared to show up.  The means he really can only claim that about 17% of the Republicans vocally support him despite spending over 2 million on this race and has been in the running since November of 2013.

Mike Rounds was running against a hyper-polarizing candidate in Stace Nelson, a guy that people could only remember and knew for his bull commercial in Larry Rhoden, a doctor that stopped practicing medicine and has now been arrested on multiple counts of fraud and perjury, and some guy from Yankton that may or may not be part of a grand conspiracy.  Taking into account all of this, Mike Round still only received 17.5% of the registered Republican votes.  

This should give the Rick Weiland campaign some hope.  Rick will not be able to outspend his opponent, but there are 13,000 people that bothered to vote for Stace Nelson, that will probably stay home or vote for Howie.  

Congrats to Wismer, but there needs to be a lot more work.

Susan Wismer beat Joe Lowe rather convincingly; more than I would have predicted.  With almost 11% points more than Joe, Susan can fill confident and strong in the run-up with Daugaard, right?  Sadly, no.  

While the Republican primary numbers were somewhat low, the Democratic numbers are anemic.  The Democratic turnout was at only 17.3%.  (When you look at the SOS website, you will see 11%, but that includes Independents.  The 17.3% is taking only Democrats into the calculation.)  While there is no way to tell how many independents showed up, if you take just the number of Democrats registered in our state (175,125) and assume very few independents actually voted, you can see troubles for the Dems.  Less than 20% of the Democrats registered bothered to vote.  This is a serious problem.  If a the number of independents did vote, then it means that even a smaller percentage of Democrats actually came out and voted.

I will admit that I voted for Joe.  Representative Wismer was lacking a little in personality and specific focus during the various debates viewed on-line.  I figured that if Joe was going to win, he needed to drive more people to the polls on Tuesday.  This would be a good thing.  Start getting the Democrats that are still breathing to find a little passion.  Obviously, this did not occur.  Too many Democrats were sitting at home and many probably had no idea that there was a primary going on a couple of days ago.

If Susan Wismer wants to hope to break 35%, she is going to need to start doing what Weiland is doing and begin hitting the highways looking for independent voters.  I hope that Mrs. Wismer will start practicing strong language on the campaign trail.  Every time she speaks about Daugaard, there cannot be weak statments of "I am not sure what we can do about that."  She must offer clear, bold, and focused attacks followed by concrete plans.  

Primaries should be about getting the base excited about the parties opportunities for success.  A good hard fought primary should increase the number of voters that are driven to support his or her candidate.  Neither victor can claim that after the primaries.  Mike Rounds may get some of Larry Roden's supporters to rally around him.  That guy from Yankton may be able to talk the few people that voted for him to "like Mike."  He will not get many Nelson supporters or Bosworth voters.  

And for Wismer, she needs to find a way to get the Democrats to actually show up.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fallacies and Gun Control

I have been thinking about doing this blog for  while more as a study of how fallacies are used in everyday argumentation.  After seeing Dr. Bosworth's video on the need to arm women against all the misogynistic liberals, I felt that now would be as good a time as any.

A fallacy is a error in the logical reasoning process.  Both sides of the gun control debate use fallacies and they lead to bad debate.

Here are some common fallacies used.  

Slippery Slope: The slippery slope argument takes an event (or one that may happen) and jumps to a future inevitable consequence.  

Anti-gun Control Example:  If we enact background checks on guns, then it will lead to the ban of all weapons and the end of democracy.  

Poisoning The Well:  This fallacy occurs when you attempt to discredit what a person may later claim by presenting unfavorable information about the person.

Anti-gun Control Example: Obama is a commie that wants to be the next Hitler and take away all of our weapons.  Whenever he speaks about the need for gun-control, he is just preparing us to be controlled by the UN.

False Dilemma: Also known as black and white thinking, this fallacy occurs when you claim that either X or Y is true, but both can not be true.  

Anti-gun Control Example: If you don't support guns for everyone at every time, you must support the total ban on guns and our basic rights.

Straw Man Fallacy: A person creates an exaggerated position instead of the actual position presented by another.  

Anti-gun Control Example: People that support background checks simply want to see people to not be armed against murders and killers.

Special Pleading: This occurs when a person applies a certain standard to others in a circumstance, but exempt themselves from the circumstance without adequate justification.

Annette Bosworth Example: Mike Rounds must be open and honest with the citizens about the scandals that occurred when he was in office.  I am not going to talk about the land raffle scandal, the not paying of employees, or falsifying petitions because I am a woman fighting the establishment GOP political system and am attacked by the liberal media.  (okay, this is not an anti-gun control, but it fits.)