4/30/15

Obamanomics driving decline in SD SNAP numbers

Tia Kafka, communications director for the South Dakota Department of Social Services, said the decrease in SNAP benefits distributed can be attributed to the state and country’s recovering economy. SNAP benefits are based on a federal formula. Eligible households are issued a monthly allotment of SNAP benefits based on the federal Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), a low-cost model diet plan. The TFP is based on National Academy of Sciences’ recommended dietary allowances. The minimum monthly benefit an eligible household may receive is $10. The maximum depends on the household size. As part of the commitment to program integrity, Kafka said, the USDA works closely with the states to ensure the accuracy of eligibility and benefit determinations. [Custer County Chronicle]
In stark contrast to his GOP successor former US Senator Tim Johnson knew how to help real South Dakotans.
USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Bruce Jones announced today that $463.8 million was invested in rural South Dakota communities from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014. Since 2009, $2.4 billion has been invested in South Dakota’s economy and of that total, $229.4 million has been secured for projects on reservations. For more information on reservation projects, see the Rural Development Report on Tribal Projects in South Dakota 2009-2014.
Read it here.

Denise Ross has a look at Senator Johnson's legacy posted at the Mitchell Daily Republic: subscription may be required.

Donate to Senator Johnson's South Dakota First PAC.

Pierre bracing for loss of federal air service subsidy


Mike Rounds can't fly home.
Recent concerns of poor service and late or canceled flights from Great Lakes Airlines have prompted Pierre officials to try and find a different air carrier as of lately. Pierre’s bid to get another airline firm, Aerodynamics Inc., to provide flights in and out of the capitol is not going to happen.
Read it here.

South Dakota's At-large Representative Republican Kristi Noem voted for an amendment that would have ended federal funding for Amtrak. A bill investing $8 billion in Amtrak's future was ultimately passed.

Recall that former GOP governor, Mike Rounds, squandered Amtrak money on an airplane for his personal use now Pierre continues to suffer Essential Air Service woes and low boarding numbers even while the legislature is in session.

Sanders expected to drive Clinton to the left; Franken for Veep?

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is a self-confirmed "Democratic Socialist."
The 73-year-old is considered a long shot but if elected, he would be the oldest person and first Jewish person to serve as commander-in-chief. He was the butt of an Obama joke at this year's White House Correspondents' dinner. "Apparently people really want to see a pot-smoking socialist in the White House," the president said. "We could get a third Obama term after all." [NPR]
A ticket with Hillary Clinton and Minnesota's Al Franken as her veep pick would be formidable against whichever clowns the GOP nominate.


Custer resident: Black Elk massacred white people

Revisionist history turned the Wounded Knee Massacre into a battle where soldiers were awarded medals of honor and peaks in the Black Hills were named after murderers like George Armstrong Custer.
Public comment hearings before the State Board of Geographic names are being held throughout the state as a result of a petition drive to change the name of Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak or something more culturally sensitive. Custer resident Leola McAfee says she doesn’t favor changing the name, but if it is changed she would like to see a more neutral name, "Black Elk was really not that much better than Harney. He also committed massacres, the only difference was he was an Indian massacring white people", said McAfee. [KOTA teevee]
Harney Peak's Lakota name is “Hinhan Kaga” or the place of owls.

The mountain was made taller than South Dakota's highest natural point, Odakota Mountain, by white people with concrete and stone. It is not the highest US point east of the Rocky Mountains, either: Guadalupe Peak in Texas is.

South Dakota: red state collapse on parade.

NM pueblo cartoonist in Pine Ridge





Pine Ridge is the second-largest reservation in the United States and the most poverty-stricken. Its death rate exceeds that of the rest of the country by 300 percent. The Rapid City Journal apologized for a headline it ran with a story about the trouble, which the paper said “signified that there was a justification for the harassment of Native American students at the … hockey game.” In February, one man was charged with disorderly conduct for his role in the attack. Ricardo Caté, a writer from Santo Domingo Pueblo whose Without Reservations cartoon series runs daily in The New Mexican, is among the group heading to Pine Ridge on Saturday. “I just happened to run across the story on Facebook. I was appalled and thought, ‘I have to draw something about this’ … to try to draw attention to this matter,” Caté said. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

Mr. Caté's work posted at Indianz

Journalists for Diversity has opened up registration for the coalition’s first regional media summit May 2.
Empower Your Lakota Story” will bring journalists from around the country for a conference centered on media literacy, multimedia training, entrepreneurial journalism and a special town hall. The event at American Horse School in Allen, South Dakota, is free and will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kevin Abourezk, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux and a higher education reporter with the Lincoln Journal Star, is the event’s keynote speaker.
Without Reservations makes readers wince, laugh and cringe sometimes over just one cartoon.

Our property abuts the Santo Domingo Pueblo.

ip images captured at the Santa Fe Indian Market.


4/29/15

Secret Service cautioned about SD law enforcement

Dear President Obama, US Secret Service:

No law enforcement agency in South Dakota can be trusted.

The South Dakota Republican Party owns the Department of Public Safely, is comprised of fringe groups, some violent, and voted to impeach the President of the United States.

Vigilance takes on a whole new meaning in a state where people of color are routinely shot without cause by a law enforcement industry with Marty Jackley at its helm.

At least one former SDGOP legislator, Don Kopp is heralding the End Days; his warnings appeared recently in a letter to the editor of the Rapid City Journal as do Betty Olson's, a sitting lawmaker.

There isn't a single officer or resident of the state who wouldn't take you down and not go to trial as a hero if such an incident, Allah forbid, take place.

Just sayin.

Iowa hates Steve King

According to court documents released to the Associated Press Dakota Dunes-based slaughter house BPI was in the business clique that raised concerns about a state official GOP Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad tried to force from office.

Using ammonia to reduce bacteria the company processes a lean, finely textured beef product that critics often call “pink slime.” BPI had a processing plant in Iowa but moved its headquarters to South Dakota to take advantage of its regressive tax structure.
Iowa voters are strongly opposed to Governor Branstad's proposal to privatize Medicaid. Just 22% of voters are in support of it, with a 52% majority against. Both Democrats (7/78) and independents (25/49) are firmly against it and even Republicans (36/26) are only narrowly in favor. Steve King is an unpopular figure on a statewide basis- only 30% of voters have a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. But he breaks even in his own district at 41/41, which has been good enough to keep getting him reelected. [Public Policy Polling]
King believes the Supreme Court of the United States has no authority to rule on marriage equality.
In a legal deposition, Branstad denied allegations levied in a lawsuit that he targeted former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey because Godfrey is gay. Branstad repeatedly defended the company’s product in the deposition, bristling when attorney Roxanne Conlin called it “pink slime.” [Associated Press]
BPI donates generously to Republican candidates like Branstad and to South Dakota's GOP delegation.
I found myself looking at my own personal ledger. And what I found, was that I owe a debt for many things. I am so far in the red, I need to start paying that tremendous debt back. Because these are debts I owe to my family for their love and support over the years. [Dan Lederman]
Sleaze and crime built Dan's business. He spent $50,000 to buy a seat in the legislature flaunting the same class throwing it away resigning after the 2015 session. No doubt his name has come up in the federal Bendagate investigation linked with his ties to human trafficking and his role in electioneering the 2014 US Senate race.

Steve King and Dan Lederman make pink slime look um um good.

4/28/15

Thune's bill to hijack prescribed fires DOA

Frank Carroll has more knowledge about forest management in his middle finger than John Thune has in his entire closet.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting interviewed Carroll who spoke about the Cold Brook Fire and how additional acres burned beyond what was prescribed is 6 times better for Wind Cave National Park than fire managers had expected.

But South Dakota's vulnerable senior senator wants to control how science fights fire with fire by introducing grandstand legislation that would hamper those efforts.
Wind Cave Chief Interpreter Tom Farrell has said the park has performed thousands of prescribed burns and successfully burned millions of acres to prevent more catastrophic wildfires. He also has said weather conditions were appropriate for a prescribed burn. [Associated Press]
In the words of one Republican:
Thune is acting like a moron. So they stop burning when it is needed and a much larger fire happens…..Let me guess: you’ll look to the feds for monetary support. [comment, Daniel Buresh]
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Federal agencies always coordinate prescribed burns with local and state officials while using weather models to optimize fuel treatment effectiveness.

Hey, John: how is heaping another layer of bureaucracy on a federal agency, whose budget is pinched already by your political party's anal retentiveness, conservative or sustainable?

Thune's bill is going nowhere.

USDA, HUD select Pine Ridge as 'Promise Zone'

Former US Senator Tim Johnson is still delivering for tribal nations trapped in South Dakota.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have pledged Pine Ridge as one of eight new "Promise Zones:"
Promise Zones are high-poverty communities in which the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other priorities identified by the community, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [Rapid City Journal]
Castro is considered a possible Clinton running mate and is attending veep school.

Jim Kent brings this news from South Dakota Public Broadcasting:
As federal checks of substantial amounts are sent out to tribal members across the country, banking institutions and local banks are preparing for their impact. Some 4,000 fractionated tracts of land on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation alone have the potential to deliver $69 million into the pockets of 8,000 tribal members. [excerpt, Kent]

Liberation theology freeing christians from consumerism, dogmatic bondage

Pope Frank is heading to Cuba and has scheduled an audience with President Barack Obama to discuss pending climate catastrophes.
Marking an end to one of the most divisive debates in Catholicism in the past 35 years, Pope Francis has officially declared the late Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero a martyr, clearing the way for eventually proclaiming him a saint. A hero to the progressive liberation theology movement in Latin America, which sought to place the Catholic Church on the side of the poor in struggles for social justice, Romero was shot to death in 1980 while saying Mass. [Crux]
It's estimated that christians slaughtered nearly 100 million indigenous since landing in the New World.

Even the Pope Emeritus decried consumerism from arguably the most decadent religious palace on Earth:
In his homily, Benedict lamented that Christmas has become an increasingly commercial celebration that obscures the simplicity of the message of Christ’s birth. -AP, Washington Post
Truthout may have said it even more succinctly:
But what if all roads to prosperity don't lead to the shopping mall, as most economists would have us believe? What if, in fact, all that shopping -- and the imperative to grow corporate profits quarter after quarter and continuously expand the economy -- was actually the root of many of the problems we face today? That's the view of a renegade but increasingly influential band of economists, who say the myth of perpetual economic growth and "the iron cage of consumerism" are the chief causes of world economic dysfunction and environmental crisis -- and the biggest obstacle to our very happiness.
In his 1964 groundbreaking work on the Plains Indians, The Sioux: Life and Customs of a Warrior Society, Royal Hassrick said, "the Sioux practiced Communism with extreme prejudice.

Capitalist indoctrination has destroyed hope in Indian Country where throughout herstory family and community have been more important than money and consumerism.



Hickey: SD racism looks like Deep South

GOP legislator, Steve Hickey wants the state to fly flags at half-mast during President Obama's visit to raise awareness of suicides in Indian Country.

Hickey spoke with KCCR Radio and is imploring the legislature to address the racial tensions between tribal nations trapped in the state and the white people who make the rules off-reservation.
From my end of the state I’ll continue to push the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation commission like the one that helped S. Africa get past the atrocities and racial tensions after apartheid. There have been 40 such commissions worldwide since the first and most famous one in S. Africa. They have gone by a variety of names. The one in Peru was called a historical clarification commission. They have worked to move societies out of a painful past and contentious present into a good future together. You can continue to be stuck and stubborn your present attitude and mindset but we are all worse off for it. My view is we need leaders who also lead the conversation and are willing to engage the public on blogs and in the press. If you want someone who sits there and goes along and does and saying nothing noteworthy please help that someone beat me this upcoming election. [comment, Rep. Steve Hickey]
The election of GOPer John Thune forced the Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place into bankruptcy.

Flouting the Indian Child Welfare Act South Dakota has been seizing thousands of American Indian children then placing them in the white foster care industry while reaping billions from the federal government.






4/27/15

Tim Johnson's efforts helped USDA rural development deliver


In stark contrast to his GOP successor former US Senator Tim Johnson knew how to help real South Dakotans.
USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Bruce Jones announced today that $463.8 million was invested in rural South Dakota communities from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014. Since 2009, $2.4 billion has been invested in South Dakota’s economy and of that total, $229.4 million has been secured for projects on reservations. For more information on reservation projects, see the Rural Development Report on Tribal Projects in South Dakota 2009-2014.
Read it here.

Denise Ross has a look at Senator Johnson's legacy posted at the Mitchell Daily Republic: subscription may be required.

Donate to Senator Johnson's South Dakota First PAC.

Photo, courtesy Northern Plains News: former Senator Tim Johnson addresses the South Dakota Democratic Convention.

NYT editorial: prosecute Bush henchmen


These are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, which defines torture as the intentional infliction of “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture. But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos.
Read it here.

Cannabis already legal in parts of South Dakota

Hey guess what the ninth most important cash crop in South Dakota is.

Brandon Ecoffey is editor of Lakota Country Times.
Over a year ago I had a conversation with former OST councilman Larry Eagle Bull Sr. about the possibility of legalizing marijuana on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. At that time we estimated that tribes would have approximately a 3 year window to establish its own industry before the rest of the country rapidly legalizes and big corporations take over production. Last week when the Wounded Knee district board passed a motion indicated that at least some in the district support legalization the debate picked up steam once again. The citizens of the Oglala Nation deserve to have a strong economy and legalized pot may be the quickest way to achieve it. [Ecoffey, posted at Indianz]
Deadwood and tribal gaming are inextricably linked. Revenue from the sales of cannabis would require a change in the state's constitution just as it was to enter gaming compacts with tribal nations. South Dakota's gaming commission could regulate off-reservation cultivation and sales.
A Senate committee approved a measure Wednesday that would allow terminally ill patients access to treatments that aren't FDA approved but have undergone some testing. Rep. Leslie Heinemann, R-Flandreau, is the prime sponsor of House Bill 1080. The bill is written to waive liability and also makes participation voluntary for patients, doctors and drug companies, Heinemann says. "When patients come see us as physicians, they're not only looking for ways to get better, they're also looking for hope," Sen. Blake Curd, R-Sioux Falls, said.
Read more at KELO teevee linked here.
The South Dakota Democratic Party supports:
10. Ongoing evidence-based research into the use of alternative medical therapies for specific patient populations.
11. The patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality and the resources to make an informed decision in one’s health care.
Addiction? After some guy named Janklow closed the brothels in Deadwood for political gain to cover up his being implicated in the death of Jancita Eagle Deer, Bill Walsh and Tom Blair pressed a five-dollar bet limit to preserve historic Deadwood because the Syndicate Building burned to the ground.

South Dakota's junior senator signaled support for Attorney General Eric Holder's drive to bring cannabis into the mainstream by voting against Lynch's confirmation to succeed Holder.

U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy believes cannabis shows medical value and supports its expanded research as medicine.

Unaffiliated or so-called 'independent' voters support legal cannabis overwhelmingly.

Racism and guns are bolstering Republican gains in the West while young people, cannabis rights advocates and Latino voters support Democratic efforts.

Tribes can do this: the South Dakota Legislature should be kept out of the cannabis loop completely unless Deadwood chooses to be the test bed off-reservation.

If the South Dakota Democratic Party is too timid to tackle legal cannabis the task should fall to the fledgling South Dakota Progress.

Montana's Park County diverting BNSF funds from dump cleanup

An email from a concerned Montanan has alerted this blog to a move by the Park County Commission to redirect funds awarded in a lawsuit that were intended to clean up soil contamination now in repose within the city's unlined landfill resulting from decades of spills by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

Local resident and a former commissioner, Larry Lahren, took out a full-page advert in the Livingston (MT) Enterprise decrying current office-holders for their actions and offering alternative proposals.

From the email exchange:
Dear Mr. Kurtz,

As a Park County resident, I am concerned about this serious issue raised by Dr. Lahren and want to raise public awareness. The landfill sits above Chicken Creek, which flows into the Yellowstone. BNSF should ask for its money back. Fifteen years have passed and the Park County Commission has failed to take any action to remediate the landfill pollution and is misappropriating the settlement outside the jury award.

There needs to be some outside pressure put on the county commission.

Sincerely,
(Name withheld)
Lahren has become a lightning rod for criticism painted as an outsider interfering in local governance. He is author of "Homeland: An archaeologist's view of Yellowstone Country's past."

The Yellowstone River and its tributaries are governed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District.

Albright, Daschle to address SDSU forum

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is a scheduled speaker at South Dakota State University as part of the second annual Daschle Dialogues. Albright is expected to be joined by former Senate Majority Leader and SDSU alum, Tom Daschle at the event slated for 13 October.

The address comes after Michelle Malkin speaks to SDSU about EB-5 abuses.

In 1993, then-U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle requested the Government Accountability Office conduct a study of Indian Health Service employment practices, specifically in the areas of salaries and recruitment programs.

Again making waves in the state, Daschle spoke in Watertown at a fundraiser for the Aspire Foundation ahead of President Obama's commencement speech for graduates of Lake Area Technical Institute.

The state's vulnerable At-large US representative blew off a roundtable in Watertown fearing charges of grandstanding.

According to one source Daschle will not accompany President Obama in Watertown.

Astute political observers are watching Daschle energizing state Democrats, American Indians and veterans ahead of a possible run against South Dakota's vulnerable senior senator who signed a mutinous letter to Iran.

Oblivious to ethics, the current GOP South Dakota governor signed a bill reversing the so-called 'Daschle Rule' that restricted candidates from appearing in multiple spots on the ballot.

4/26/15

Daugaard leadership voids leave fire departments in the lurch

Prescriptive fires should have been set weeks ago but South Dakota, suffering repeated leadership lapses, now faces red flag conditions settling over the state.
Of 337 fire departments in South Dakota, 326 were all volunteer, and six were a combination of paid and volunteer, according to a 2013 demographics study conducted by the South Dakota Fire Marshal’s Office. There were just under 7,900 volunteer firefighters, as opposed to 426 paid firefighters. The volunteer force had an average age of 42.3. A review of financial reports, however, show that many departments have needs. Some think that a program similar to one offered to Minnesota’s volunteer firefighters could be a solution. But even that can’t fully compensate for the fact that people are busier with family and work lives. [Jonathan Ellis]
Joe Lowe called South Dakota's current GOP governor, Dennis Daugaard, incompetent and uninterested in governing.

Lowe obviously believed that South Dakota's governor is not taking the ecological collapse taking place on the Black Hills seriously enough.

A trustworthy or competent US Representative would call out the failures of the Daugaard regime but making South Dakota a perpetual federal disaster area is the only way Republicans know how to pay the bills.

RCJ blasts Daugaard, Jackley on Bendagate affair

As former US Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson moves into private practice the US Department of Justice has refused to trust the state's attorney general with sensitive information in the EB-5 scandal.
It should come as no surprise when the Gov. Daugaard Administration decides not to release information concerning an EB-5 visa program that continues to be shrouded in mystery. In March, the Journal's legislative correspondent, Bob Mercer, asked the state Supreme Court to release Attorney General Marty Jackley's death report on Richard Benda, a former state department head and SDRC official who reportedly shot himself in the stomach with a shotgun while dressed in hunting gear near Lake Andes. Since Benda died in October 2013, state officials have seemingly went the extra yard to keep this program under wraps. This lack of transparency reaffirms the fact that closure in this case is not on any agenda in Pierre, which raises even more questions.
Read it here.
The Department of Justice is refusing to release records related to former cabinet secretary Richard Benda, who was at the heart of a state and federal investigation into the state's EB-5 program. The department declined the Argus Leader's request for Benda's FBI file, indicating the matter remains under investigation. The department's response to a Freedom of Information Act request said that releasing the records "could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings." Also included in the investigation was the Department of Justice's Public Integrity unit, which investigates allegations of corruption among elected and appointed government officials.​ The attorney general's office is defending itself from a lawsuit brought by journalist Bob Mercer, who is trying to force the office to release more information about the Benda investigation. The hearing is later this month. [Jonathan Ellis]
Oooops.

Hey, nutball winger, Michelle Malkin is coming to South Dakota State University invited by campus Republicans but SDGOP is scared spitless of what she's going to say.
Can we stop putting America up for sale to the most politically connected bidders yet? Where is our self-respect? Created under an obscure section of the expansionist 1990 Immigration Act, EB-5 promised bountiful economic development for the U.S. in exchange for granting permanent residency (and eventual American citizenship) to foreign investors. A few years later, Congress conjured up the idea of EB-5 “regional centers” — government-sanctioned business groups and corporate entities acting as middlemen to administer the immigrant investments and facilitate the visa peddling. One underling called it “a whole new phase of yuck.” [Michelle Malkin]
The SDGOP's culture of corruption, controlled by principals in banking and health care industries, is unravelling: with federal diligence Pierre could be soon be liberated.

No-show Noem blows off Watertown event

So much for trying to upstage President Obama.
If you were planning on attending that roundtable discussion with Congresswoman Kristi Noem in Watertown this afternoon—you can stay home. Noem has had to cancel the event. She was scheduled to talk with local business and community leaders about small business issues, taxes and health care, but a spokeswoman says she needs to remain in Washington today.
Read it here.

Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown is scheduled to host President Obama who will deliver the commencement speech for the Class of '15.
Watertown Public Schools will dismiss students early on May 8th—the day President Obama will be in town to speak to graduates of Lake Area Technical Institute. K-through-8th grade students in Watertown Public Schools, Watertown Christian and Immaculate Conception will dismiss at 1:30 with busses running at that time. To assist with the early dismissal that day, the Watertown Boys and Girls Club will host after school programs for students in grades K through 6 at each Watertown public elementary school. [KWAT Radio]
LATI has joined with Habitat for Humanity for a Watertown construction project.
2015 graduates of Lake Area Technical Institute can now sign up for tickets for Commencement Day featuring keynote speaker President Barack Obama. LATI spokeswoman LuAnn Strait says the college has set up a specific “graduate” tab on the LATI web site, Graduates need to access that site to get a ticket for themselves and up to four family members to attend the graduation ceremony. [KWAT Radio]
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle remains a popular figure among South Dakota Democrats, American Indians and veterans. He is expected to accompany Obama in Watertown and some believe he is ready to help energize the state party.

Under Obama's leadership confidence in the economy is at its highest since the Great Recession.

Democrat Matt Varilek ran a strong but unsuccessful campaign against Republican Noem in 2012. As Region 8 director for the Small Business Administration Matt Varilek has done far more for South Dakota than Kristi Noem has.
Our partner network of business experts can boost your chances of success with free and confidential one-on-one counseling, training and mentorship. Last year, these efforts helped small firms throughout the nation secure more than $4.7 billion in capital, start more than 13,500 new companies, and create and retain more than 70,000 American jobs.
Read that here.

South Dakota's current governor has turned to Varilek and the SBA after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied one in a barrage of disaster declaration requests from the red state. The governor's political party passed a resolution at their convention to impeach President Obama who appointed Varilek.

Noem has a history of flakiness and not showing up for things.

Photo: Rep. Aaron Schock and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) at the Great Wall of China last April.

4/25/15

Pheasant pharmers phucked

So, South Dakota's GOP-owned Bureau of Game, Fish and Plunder has a season on native mourning doves but none on the imported Eurasian collared dove? What a phucking surprise.

Call the uh-oh squad: South Dakota's most phamous invasive species is likely phucked by the bird phlu.
Tim Lund has owned Lake County Pheasant Hatchery for three decades. It's his passion and it's his livelihood. But the looming threat of the bird flu has taken over Tim's every thought. "It would shut me down. There'd be a farm sale here because if it took out everything, I raise a little over 30,000 birds, If it took all of them out it would put me out of business," said Tim. [KSFY teevee]
Money is time.
Imagine a dumpster full of pheasant carcasses with just the breasts cut out. That’s what my friend found after the governor’s hunt back in October, behind the processing place in Fort Pierre that handles the birds. [Kevin Woster, Outdoors in Keloland]
40 below keeps the riff-raff out: remember that old white wives' tale?

The guest list for the 2011 Governors Invitational Pheasant Slaughter reads like an earth hater's group grope. At least 1,376 birds were killed although that number doesn't include other items blasted into oblivion by that murder of Daugaardian crows.
As farmers across the Midwest have simplified the landscape and plowed up grassland to grow more corn and soybeans, habitat for pheasants, quail and other grassland birds has become increasingly scarce and their numbers are falling. In Nebraska, wild pheasant concentrations have fallen 86 percent since their peak in the 1960s. The pheasant harvest during hunting season in Iowa is off 63 percent from the highs reached in the 1970s. In areas that used to be overrun, you’ll struggle to find a pheasant now. [Grant Gerlock, Iowa Public Radio]
Chinese Ring-necked Pheasants don't eat grasshoppers but wild geese and turkeys sure do while the pesticide industry that greases Republican politicos don't give a shit about anything but profits.

Add the extirpation of apex predators, the resulting rise of mesopredators, increasing numbers of domestic dogs and cats then stir in a melange of industrial chemicals and climate change: voila! Red state collapse on parade.

Stupid phuckers.

PeeAir, South Dakota: think Wait, Wait doesn't read me?

Registration opens for “Empower Your Lakota Story” inaugural


Journalists for Diversity has opened up registration for the coalition’s first regional media summit May 2.

Empower Your Lakota Story” will bring journalists from around the country for a conference centered on media literacy, multimedia training, entrepreneurial journalism and a special town hall.
The event at American Horse School in Allen, South Dakota, is free and will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kevin Abourezk, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux and a higher education reporter with the Lincoln Journal Star, is the event’s keynote speaker. Nationally syndicated cartoonists Ricardo Caté and Lalo Alcaraz, also will attend and hold cartoon workshops for Lakota children.
Caté's syndicated cartoons appear in the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is an enrolled member of the Santo Domingo Pueblo. His art appears above courtesy: Indianz.

Attendees can register here.



Low level terrorist = South Dakota Patriot

LOW LEVEL TERRORIST FROM SOUTH DAKOTA EMBROIDERED BASEBALL CAPS.

Discover the latest Tea Party gear for South Dakota. Visit the Universal Tea Party Gear Category for personalized Tea Party gear.

4/24/15

More bird pix uploaded

Click on any image for a better look.


Here is a young red-tailed hawk giving a photographer the stinky eye.





The Scott's orioles are showy and sing sweet melodies.





These hummers are pretty early this year.



We scared the mourning dove off its nest: this native species is at risk to the larger, invasive Eurasian collared dove.

For more galleries of birds click here and here.

Rock: MLB not black enough

When serious journalists like Bob Mercer pull on the mantle of American jingoism it makes my skin crawl.
Chris Rock thinks baseball has a problem: It's not black enough. And while baseball team owners are making more money than ever, Rock said, their fan base continues to grow older and less diverse. The average age of a person who tunes into the game is 53. Of those viewers, five out of six are white. Meanwhile, little league participation is down and only 8 percent of MLB players are black. As Rock quips, "that's an average of two guys per team—and those two probably listen to Blake Shelton to keep from getting their ass kicked by their teammates." [National Journal]


Varilek outpacing Noem in bringing jobs to South Dakota

As Region 8 director for the Small Business Administration Matt Varilek has done far more for South Dakota than Kristi Noem has.
Our partner network of business experts can boost your chances of success with free and confidential one-on-one counseling, training and mentorship. Last year, these efforts helped small firms throughout the nation secure more than $4.7 billion in capital, start more than 13,500 new companies, and create and retain more than 70,000 American jobs.
Read it here.

Democrat Varilek ran a strong but unsuccessful campaign against Republican Noem in 2012.

South Dakota's current governor has turned to Varilek and the SBA after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied one in a barrage of disaster declaration requests from the red state. The governor's political party passed a resolution at their convention to impeach President Obama who appointed Varilek.


Under Rounds, Daugaard, Jackley adult and teen binge drinking off the charts


Hey, Governor Daugaard: it's time for you to pardon Bob Newland.
As the map shows, more than 30% of adults in North Dakota and South Dakota admitted to binge drinking during the previous month. Those in surrounding states had high rates of binge drinking, as well.
Read it here.

A change in Nebraska law that allows petition organizers to pay circulators by the signature, instead of by the hour has fired up cannabis rights advocates.
Supporters said they've started gathering signatures to place the issue on the November 2016 ballot. Despite significant hurdles, activists from the Omaha chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said the new petitioning law will make a difference. "It's still a mighty task, but this helps us tremendously," said Bryan Boganowski, the founder of Omaha NORML. Organizers hope to replicate the efforts of last year's successful ballot campaign to increase the minimum wage, which relied heavily on financial support from unions and wealthy Democratic donors. [Associated Press]
There is some debate in South Dakota Democratic circles about whether Bill Maher's planned appearance helps or stunts the party's chances of a resurgence or if the issue might be better advanced by the fledgling South Dakota Progress.

Cold Brook Fire expected to boost Wind Cave's tourism numbers

The Rapid City editorial board has lost its way writing drivel about what some have called the Cold Brook Fire's "roaring success."
The episode also has raised questions about Wind Cave National Park Superintendent Vidal Davila's decision to start the fire. Davila, however, has chosen not to address the matter with Black Hills residents, who are among the park's neighbors as well as taxpayers. [RCJ editorial]
The reality:
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 547,022 visitors to Wind Cave National Park in 2014 spent $52.8 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 919 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $69.8 million. Superintendent Vidal Dávila said Wind Cave National Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world. She stated that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and Wind Cave appreciates the partnership and support of neighbors and they are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities. [KCSR Radio]
In the SDGOP one hand has no idea what the other hand does. One unkindness of Republican ravens is considering language changes for a county burn ordinance that would hold the party responsible for a fuel treatment liable for damages caused if the burn escapes control even if that party is state or federal even though those entities are liable anyway.

South Dakota's vulnerable Republican senior senator wants control over the Department of Interior's science-driven prescribed burns.
Before humans began suppressing them, wildfires occurred naturally in grasslands and forests. Prescribed burns are sometimes conducted to mimic the positive natural effects of wildfires. Wind Cave officials hoped to stave off a catastrophic wildfire by burning off some of the thick, dry vegetation that wildfires feed on. [Seth Tupper]
But another Republican with an actual background in forest management calls the Cold Brook Fire a "roaring success:"
The Wind Cave fire reduced the heavy thatch of dry grass, young junipers and young pine trees that are drowning our forest everywhere, opened up much new grazing ground, increased grazing productivity for buffalo and wildlife, and will turn out to be just what the doctor ordered. [Frank Carroll]
Devils Tower National Monument cancelled a fuel treatment as dry conditions threaten a record fire season.

Of course fire managers would rather burn under April conditions than in July or August.

On the same day the Cold Brook Fire was lit ahead of forecast snow and rain land managers should have put the drip torch to every parcel of public ground in a triangle with points at Wright, Wyoming; Bismarck, North Dakota and Brush, Colorado.

Despite negative nattering from Republican nabobs 2015 is expected to be a record year for Black Hills tourism.

Watertown schools to dismiss early for Obama gala

Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown is scheduled to host President Obama who will deliver the commencement speech for the Class of '15.
Watertown Public Schools will dismiss students early on May 8th—the day President Obama will be in town to speak to graduates of Lake Area Technical Institute. K-through-8th grade students in Watertown Public Schools, Watertown Christian and Immaculate Conception will dismiss at 1:30 with busses running at that time. To assist with the early dismissal that day, the Watertown Boys and Girls Club will host after school programs for students in grades K through 6 at each Watertown public elementary school. [KWAT Radio]
LATI has joined with Habitat for Humanity for a Watertown construction project.
2015 graduates of Lake Area Technical Institute can now sign up for tickets for Commencement Day featuring keynote speaker President Barack Obama. LATI spokeswoman LuAnn Strait says the college has set up a specific “graduate” tab on the LATI web site, Graduates need to access that site to get a ticket for themselves and up to four family members to attend the graduation ceremony. [KWAT Radio]
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle remains a popular figure among South Dakota Democrats, American Indians and veterans. He is expected to accompany Obama in Watertown and some believe he is ready to help energize the state party.

Under Obama's leadership confidence in the economy is at its highest since the Great Recession.

4/23/15

Pierre flushing town after noxious session. Do I go for the obvious joke?

There must be a joke in this story somewhere.
State officials said Tuesday a Hughes County grand jury has indicted Pierre’s former longtime sewer works superintendent on 10 counts alleging he lied for more than a year in official reports about how well the city’s wastewater was treated before it was dumped into the Missouri River. [Pierre Capital Journal]
Still struggling to find a reason for people to fly into Pierre, the city's GOP mayor is calling for the town to be scrubbed down after the legislative session.
The next week and a half will bring a flurry of activity to Pierre-as part of this year’s Go Green and Clean Campaign. Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill officially started the 2015 campaign yesterday on Earth Day with an address before a group of students at Georgia Morse Middle School. After Wednesday’s talk before the middle school students, Gill said there is a lot of momentum with this year’s campaign, as several volunteers have committed to various clean-up and improvement projects. She said Pierre received a call recently from the National Cities of Service Organization which asked about the annual campaign and how the city can organize so many volunteers to help. [Dakota Radio Group]
Here is the audio of Senator Billie Sutton reflecting on the legislature as a guest on SDPB's Dakota Midday. He cites strong leadership from Sens. Bernie Hunhoff and Jason Frerichs as critical support for minority Democrats.
Senator Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says it was a disappointing finish. The road funding bill was the last spending bill that passed. It will raise taxes and fees by about fifty million dollars for road improvements. Hunhoff says that bill turned into a mess. [WNAX]
Sutton laments the virtual single-party rule in Pierre where Republicans march legislation through to a tune orchestrated by the autocratic executive branch. He also cited GOP infighting between the senate and the house as a distraction from important work in a short session.

Hunhoff spoke with voters in Rapid City today:
"What we've got to do is keep building from the grass roots, finding good candidates at the local level, whether it's city commission, school board, county commission or legislature and keep building that farm team. We've got some really really fine young leaders around the state. A lot of them don't have a lot of name recognition right now. We've got a good farm team and we just need to wait for the cycle to move through. We've got a good farm team and we just need to wait for the cycle to move through. I'm confident that South Dakota, in general, is becoming more progressive." [KEVN]
That my home state has become a chemical toilet is just one more sign of red state collapse.

Lynch to target police abuse in forces like RCPD, APD

Tim Giago sees little difference between Rapid City and Ferguson, Missouri where today Michael Brown's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against that police department.

The cop who managed 'a bunch of racists' wants to be Rapid City's mayor.

A federal judge has ruled that Christopher Capps' family can sue for wrongful death after the unarmed Lakota man was gunned down by Pennington County deputy.
Loretta Lynch, who the Senate confirmed Thursday to be the nation’s next attorney general, has said she’d make it one of her “highest priorities” to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has two tools available to reform police departments. The first is a program in which it works collaboratively with law enforcement agencies who ask for assistance to implement best practices. That program, administered by the department’s COPS office (Community Oriented Policing Services), started in 2011. The other tool is more powerful: the ability to investigate police departments for patterns or practices of misconduct, and then sue them to implement reforms. Since the DOJ first received this authority, under a law passed by Congress in 1994, it has launched at least 66 so-called “pattern or practice” investigations. [PBS Frontline]
The Albuquerque Police Department, ridiculed for its brutality and ineptitude in the award-winning series Breaking Bad, has added two more officers to the list under investigation for possible use-of-force violations.

To her credit, GOP Governor Susana Martinez signed a law aimed at ending property forfeiture and Policing for Profit.

Lynch has shown some reticence about cannabis legalization while out-going Attorney General Eric Holder sees value in not imprisoning people for its possession and enjoyment.

Tickets for Obama event open to LATI students

LATI is scheduled to host President Obama who will deliver the commencement speech for the Class of '15. Under his leadership confidence in the economy is at its highest since the Great Recession.
2015 graduates of Lake Area Technical Institute can now sign up for tickets for Commencement Day featuring keynote speaker President Barack Obama. LATI spokeswoman LuAnn Strait says the college has set up a specific “graduate” tab on the LATI web site, Graduates need to access that site to get a ticket for themselves and up to four family members to attend the graduation ceremony. [KWAT Radio]
LATI has joined with Habitat for Humanity for a Watertown construction project.

Letter: feds should investigate SD courts

Family law courts in South Dakota are disgusting, disturbing and highly abusive. The Lakota People’s Law Project was the first organization to uncover the Mette rape scandal, publishing a full investigative report in 2013. The Lakota People’s and growing voices are demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice launch a full-scale investigation into the Mette rape scandal. What that means is that judges in South Dakota know they are a protected class.
Read it here.

Cannabis company named for Floyd Red Crow Westerman

A tribal nation trapped in California will grow cannabis in a state-of-the-art building known as an “automated light-deprivation production module."
Richard Tall Bear Westerman, the CEO of Red Crow, explained why he and his partner, Rick Hill, an Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin Native and former chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), reached out to the Torres Martinez tribe in the first place: “They have a lot of land and they aren’t as successful as other California tribes. Because they are so poor, we think it is a great opportunity for them,” he said. “We want to work with tribes where we can make a real difference. It’s not just about cannabis, it’s about medicine, jobs and building communities.” Westerman is the son of Floyd Red Crow Westerman, a famous Dakota Sioux known for his accomplishments as an actor, artist, musician and political activist who died in 2007. Westerman named his cannabis company after his father. [Indian Country Today Media]
Funny. Where have i heard this before?
Some of this state’s most business-savvy Native American tribes are evaluating the risks and opportunity to grow or sell marijuana, as well as the relatively untapped potential in medical-marijuana research. What all this means for Washington is that, in time, tribes could be a major influence in legalized marijuana. They have the capital and business acumen to grow the market while keeping prices competitive, something that will appeal to some medical-marijuana patients and perhaps put a dent in the black market. For the state of Washington, getting out in front of this and working with the tribes is not only the smart thing to do, it’s imperative. [excerpt, Mark Higgins]
Oh, yeah: now i remember.

In another nod to tribes as the 51st State, Attorney General Eric Holder signaled to American Indian nations that they could begin building cannabis industries.

Hey guess what the ninth most important cash crop in South Dakota is.

Tribes can do this: the South Dakota Legislature should be kept out of the cannabis loop completely unless Deadwood chooses to be the test bed off-reservation. Addiction? After some guy named Janklow closed the brothels in Deadwood for political gain to cover up his being implicated in the death of Jancita Eagle Deer, Bill Walsh and Tom Blair pressed a five-dollar bet limit to preserve historic Deadwood because the Syndicate Building burned to the ground.

South Dakota could adopt Minnesota's medical cannabis law worthy of FDA scrutiny, legalize for adults then allow Deadwood and the tribes grow and distribute under a compact putting the gaming commission to tax and regulate.

Deadwood and tribal gaming are inextricably linked: would revenue from the sales of cannabis require a change in the state's constitution, too?
The notion that marijuana users are lazy and unproductive stoners is like most stereotypes fueled by ignorance. Part of the pitch used by states like Colorado in their campaigns for legalization was that it would attract the top talent and minds from across the country to come work in the state. For someone who has spent a significant amount of time in the Ivy League frat scene I can tell you first hand that some of the people occupying top positions in this country’s most profitable businesses indulged in the recreational use of pot from time to time. There are those who fear the danger of addiction and this is a concern but addiction is already present and we lack the funds to address it. I ask these same people to show me one person who has overdosed on marijuana, and to quote Tucker Max, “I will show you my stable of rainbow colored unicorns ridden by Leprechauns.” The time to legalize is now. [Brandon Ecoffey, posted at indianz]
Democrats are losing even more credibility with young people and American Indians. Tribes trapped in South Dakota and in other states with off-reservation properties are considering a test of cannabis law.
In what could be a first step towards legalization of marijuana on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation the Wounded Knee district passed a motion that legalizes the sale of medicinal and recreational marijuana as well as industrialized hemp. [Lakota Country Times]
Deadwood and tribal gaming are inextricably linked: revenue from the sales of cannabis would require a change in the state's constitution then be directed to raise teacher salaries and fix a crumbling infrastructure.