Noem, Daugaard screwing poorest South Dakotans

Here are a few more reasons why midterm elections are important to young voters.

Rep. Kristi Noem (earth hater-SD) wants to end environmental protections and has taken steps to gut President Obama's power to protect sensitive lands:
A coalition of more than 50 activist groups sent a letter Monday to U.S. House members urging them to kill a bill that would drastically change the 1906 Antiquities Act and the national monument designation process. The 108-year-old law allows presidents to unilaterally declare historically or environmentally significant lands national monuments. There are times when antiquities, artifacts, prehistoric fossils, public lands, ocean resources or war memorials can be at risk, said Joan Anzelmo, spokeswoman for the Coalition of the National Park Service Retirees, a group that signed the letter. “It would be insane if Congress were to ruin this act that has provided so much for the American People and the American economy,” Anzelmo said. [Kyle Roerink, Casper Star-Tribune]
Just as sage grouse protection helps to kill a Black Hills Power coal-fired plant, the latest near Gillette, Wyoming, that state's At-large representative retaliates with legislation aimed at weakening the Endangered Species Act:
In another attempt to placate their industry benefactors and burnish their Tea Party credibility, House Republicans have introduced four bills that would divert funding from protecting species and discourage citizens from helping enforce the landmark law that has prevented extinction of 99 percent of the species it protects. Under the guise of reform, the highly partisan bills introduced on Thursday by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and his allies would actually weaken the Endangered Species Act’s effectiveness and redirect scarce agency resources from species-recovery work to pointless reporting requirements. [press release, Center for Biological Diversity]
The National Park Service and the State of Montana have agreed to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to mull changes to Yellowstone's bison strategy:
The process will allow the NPS and the State to account for substantial new information and changed circumstances since the implementation of the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) began in 2001, and could result in the creation of a plan to replace the IBMP. The NPS and the State will be working within the guidelines of both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) in preparing the EIS. [press release, NPS]

Andi Zeisler was in Vermillion and spoke to the University of South Dakota's Diversity Symposium:
Zeisler's keynote presentation included on her experience with the re-appropriation of the use of "the B-word." If being an outspoken woman means being a bitch, Zeisler said she takes that as a compliment, and while some people are offended by its use, she and her coworkers choose to reappropriate the word. It is a matter of getting people to think about what they are saying when they use the word. [Megan Card, The Volante]

Ammonia pollution from agricultural sources poses larger health costs than previously estimated, according to NASA-funded research. Manure from livestock and fertilizer for crops release ammonia to the atmosphere. In the air, ammonia mixes with other emissions to form microscopic airborne particles, or particulates.

Kristi Noem and the United States House GOP voted again, for the 51st time, to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Those votes are totally worthless. Has anyone figured out how much time and tax dollars have been spent on these repeal votes? [Arlen Hanson, Letter: Don't stop health care, Aberdeen American News]

There is a misconception that by expanding Medicare, South Dakota state spending will increase. This is simply not true. Federal contributions to those newly covered under the expansion are much higher than current spending, therefore shifting much of the financial burden from the state level. Hospitals provided approximately $40 billion in uncompensated care in 2011. If we can cut that spending by almost half while providing more citizens with insurance coverage, it is shameful that South Dakota would opt out of this opportunity. The South Dakota government is sending the message that the health of its citizens is not a priority and neither is finding a solution to the national healthcare crisis. [Abby Peters, letter, Pierre Capital Journal]

The Indian health system is underfunded and third-party billing — money from private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other programs — is the only way funding will improve. Like it or not, Treaty or not, the Congress is not going to pay for Indian health through appropriations. The $6 billion budget for the Indian Health Service shows the agency collecting more than a billion dollars from Medicaid and only $90,307,000 from private insurance. [Mark Trahant, Indian Country Today]

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