Monday, March 21, 2005
"Unsung Hero of 2004 Campaign," by Raider, Argus v. Thune, 19 March 2005, http://argusvthune.blogspot.com/2005/03/unsung-hero-of-2004-campaign.html.
"Herseth ID Program," by John Lauck, South Dakota Politics, 20 March 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week11/index.html#a0004026005.
"Herseth ID Program," by Chad M. Shuldt, Clean Cut Kid, 21 March 2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/03/21/herseth-id-program.
"The comments about a 'virus' definitely are suspicious," by Dan, Clean Cut Kid, 21 March 2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/03/21/herseth-id-program.
"** Exclusive ** DCCC Sources Confirm: Herseth Approved "Masking" Plan," by Raider, Argus v. Thune, 21 March 2005, http://argusvthune.blogspot.com/2005/03/exclusive-dccc-sources-confirm-herseth.html.
"Covering Her Right Flank," by Jon Schaff, South Dakota Politics, 21 March 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week12/index.html#a0004031162.
The news broke.. did Representative Herseth (D-SD) unleash a virus against Senator Daschle (D-SD)?
Herseth instructed Cari to initiate a complicated computer subterfuge on the Daschle Voter ID program. Using a cryptic formula developed by a Cari staffer - the Herseth campaign downloaded a "virus" into the South Dakota Democratic voter turnout program that "masked" Thune/Herseth voters as Daschle/Herseth voters.
CCK was very dubirous
Before I go further, readers of this site need to understand I worked for Senator Daschle during the 2004 campaign. In fact, I managed the computer program that is being discussed. I knew exactly how many Daschle IDs were on that file from hour to hour as results from the field were being data entered into the system. The field staff, who had responsibility for a given area or county, were well aware of how many voters they had ID’d as Daschle supporters — they had to because they were responsible for reporting their numbers nightly. We took this very seriously — to the extreme. Accountability was the mantra of the field program. Add to this the fact the organizers were always running new lists, calling and knocking their voters every night. We talked to voters so much, the organizers literally had personal relationships with them — if a block of voters suddenly shifted allegiences, it would not have gone unnoticed.
With that said, there were constant checks in place on the data itself. Server logs were reviewed daily — sometimes spending up hours tracking down suspicious activity, and talking to the users in question when necessary. When something looked out of place, we reconstructed the situation and were able to verify that nothing out of the ordinary was happening. The scrutiny placed on activity increased exponentially as Election Day neared.
The bottom line here is that what some are saying is simply not true. If what is being written were true, there would have been a sudden “jump” in the number of ID’d Daschle supporters on the voter file — this never happened. It would have raised eyebrows late in the campaign for a myriad of reasons. The field staff would have asked questions about why it had happened because of their obsession with their own numbers and meeting their goal. When management looked at their daily reports, they would have noticed the shift right away; and everyone one would have been skeptical because we knew what our capacity for IDing new supporters was.
as was I
The comments about a “virus” definitely are suspicious. Similar to claims about “hacking” in Congressional computers. Probably someone did something, and they are describing it with a a scary-sounding, tangentially related, but incorrect word to an ignorant public.
Now, instead of "virus," it's called "masking" -- but what does that mean??
Washington D.C. sources close to DCCC Mastermind Peter Cari - confirm that Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) personally approved the computer software "masking" program that allowed resources dedicated to the re-election of former Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-SD) to turn out Thune/Herseth voters.
In the rising storm of controversy - sources say Herseth was stinging from her experience in 2002 where operatives running Sen. Tim Johnson's (D-SD) GOTV turned out scores of Johnson/Janklow voters. Herseth vowed this would never happen again.
Herseth feud with Daschle goes back...
Another insider says that Herseth was angry in 2002 when the Johnson campaign, run by the same folks who ran the 2004 Daschle campaign, refused to get out Herseth/Thune voters in order to save Johnson's hide by 500 votes. Perhaps this time, Herseth wasn't taking any chances.
Possibly because Herseth is a Republican?
Stephanie Herseth voted "Yea" on the bill staying the death of Terry Schiavo.
Update: More on South Dakota Politics. Now it's
In addition, we also have a Thune-Daschle-undecided ID for each of those 20,000 people (who are either supportive of Stephanie or undecided). DCCC apparently sold to the Daschle campaign the positive Daschle IDs. But, our data also includes approximately 7,000 probable ticket-splitters (Thune-Herseth). We have not shared this data with the Daschle campaign. My puzzle is to figure out how to utilize those 7,000 ticket-splitters without sharing them with the Daschle campaign. I may upload them onto the Daschle database – but with a cryptic tag.
Friday, March 18, 2005
"S.D. Governor OKs Anti-Abortion Bills," by Joe Kafka, Associated Press, 17 March 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&u=/ap/20050317/ap_on_re_us/sdakota_abortion_laws&printer=1 (from South Dakota Politics).
Great, great, great news.
Gov. Mike Rounds signed a series of anti-abortion bills, including one that requires doctors to tell women the procedure ends the lives of humans, his office announced Thursday.
The bill-signings further tighten state abortion restrictions that some characterize as among the toughest in the nation.
One of the four new laws requires doctors to inform pregnant women, in writing and in person, no later than two hours before an abortion that the procedure ends the lives of humans and terminates the constitutional relationship women have with their fetuses.
Women also must be told that some women die during abortions and the procedure can lead to later depression and other problems.
Rounds, a Republican elected in 2002, also signed a bill that will automatically ban most abortions in South Dakota if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses its 1973 Roe decision and gives states authority to prohibit abortion. The only exceptions would be cases where a woman's life is in danger. Doctors who perform illegal abortions could receive up to two years in prison.
A fourth new law establishes a state task force to study the history of abortion since 1973 and to see if other laws need changing. Abortion opponents said science, medicine and technology have changed considerably since the Roe v. Wade decision.
Governor Mike Rounds: South Dakota's Abolitionist.
And to think I voted against the guy...
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
"Box Elder, South Dakota's Next Ghost Town?," by Seth Hahn, Clean Cut Kid, 16 March 2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/03/16/box-elder-south-dakotas-next-ghost-town/.
The word "patriotism" comes from the Greek word "patrios" -- Fatherland. In Latin, "patrios" became "patria." Patria" is commonly translated as "one's country," as in the poem, "Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori" (It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country). But "fatherland" is still a better translation. If the land is a father, then all males of the land are brothers: the patria is also a fratria -- the Fatherland is a Brotherland. Not brothers in the biological sense, nor in the sense that I love Aaron and Rob as brothers, but nonetheless real brothers. Fellow citizens are brothers in the land.
The attacks of September 11th did not target South Dakota, and it is very unlikely that further al-Qaeda attacks would. But South Dakotans still have obligations to protect their brothers in New York and every other place where our enemies may attack. Only a terrible man would sacrifice his brothers' safety for a small gain. Like the ancient traitors who opened city gates to enemy intruders, a man who steals his brothers' security for silver is a failure.
Then why is new Clean Cut Kid Seth Hahn implying that Daschle was such a man?
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has just nominated former Nevada Congressman James Bilbray to the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC). As Minority Leader, Reid has the privilege of selecting one of the nine-person commission. The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that defense experts say that “nation still has 25 percent more military base capacity than needed and $7 billion more might be saved.”
While this means that Nellis Air Force Base and Fallon Naval Air Station are safe, Ellsworth’s future, and the economic well-being of Western South Dakota are not so certain. State officials have recently “launched an all-out campaign to keep the base open” in an attempt to keep the $267 million in annual revenue that Ellsworth brings to the area.
It sure would be nice to have the Senate Minority Leader campaigning for us.
I would say it would be nice to have fratriots who love their brothers campaigning for the safety of us all.
In a comment, "Charley" says the same thing less poetically
Instead of our selfish, knee-jerk efforts to save Ellsworth as we bitch about the deficit and/or taxes we should look at whether or not it even makes sense to continue the base in SD.
Update: Seth continues his realistic attack on soldiers. Now, who does that remind me of in this book...?
Monday, March 07, 2005
"Signing Off," by Chad M. Shuldt, Clean Cut Kid, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/03/06/signing-off/, 6 March 2005.
Since I started blogging, I have used Clean Cut Kid as a resource. From speed limits to agriwelfare to abortion, he was a realiable source of Democrat partisan news from the
Sunshine Mount Rushmore State.
His farewell post:
I am taking a (temporary or permanent — yet TBD) hiatus from daily writing on this site. I’ve taken a new job that involves politics and I will be working with different candidates and issues around the country. This would limit my ability to post on said candidates and issues, so I believe the best thing is for me to walk away and figure out how this fits together.
The new job, of course, will take up considerable time; leaving precious little of it to spend with my wife and three kids. I think I’d rather be spending that time with them than my computer screen.
I am considering farming out the site to someone who may be interested in writing here. It is a “somewhat” established blog — four months — with a strong traffic pattern established (averaging nearly 2000 unique visitors daily). If you or someone you know is interested, please send me an email with a writing sample. I will be upfront and say that I would prefer to turn the keys over to someone with a similar political bent.
This has been fun, and a great learning experience. I’ve also met a huge number of people through email conversations rooted from the site. I will continue to be in touch with you. And this is also not to say I will never be back here or anywhere else.
Under Chad, CCK was The Coyote State's own MyDD. They had the same strengths: timely updates on political news and everything affecting the strengths of the parties. They both had the same weaknesses. Both favored personal attacks. Likewise, both were harmed by their lack of ideology. While it is important not to be ideologically bigoted, CCK and MyDD both reflexively took the anti-Bush / anti-Republican side of an issue with very little thought.
But I checked CCK every day. I still do, hoping he will have "just one more" post. The Chinese Ringneck Pheasant State will miss Clean Cut Kid.
"Sen. Tim Johnson is over $40,000 in debt," by Raider, Argus v. Thune, http://argusvthune.blogspot.com/2005/03/sen-tim-johnson-is-over-40000-in-debt.html, 6 March 2005 (from South Dakota Politics).
Maybe Tim Johnson's pseudonym is Fiscal M. Prudence?
Gov. Rounds inner circle have been circulating some interesting FEC information. While Thune sits on a war chest of over $1.6 million (and is the process of raising more funds for like minded candidates) - the state's senior Senator seems to have run into a little cash flow problem. View the FEC records here ( http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/cancomsrs/?_04+S6SD00051) it is 75 pages long - but to save time just look at the summary page of $15,000 in cash on hand and $64,000 in debts.
Some simple math...
Johnson typically starts slow with fundraising as Daschle has always been there to turn on the spigot as Johnson would draft of his fundraising machine. Rounds inner circle points out that Johnson will need to raise $110,000 a day for the next 3.5 years to raise Daschle like numbers. No one from Rounds inner circle will go on the record - but they are not shy about pointing this out.
Given the super-popularity of Mike Rounds, and Tim's history as Tom's today, is there any doubt we will soon have Senator Rounds?
The history of financially wasteful midwestern Senators implies Tim might not even bother to run....
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
"Janklow on Daschle," by Chad M. Schuldt, Clean Cut Kid, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/03/03/janklow-on-daschle/, 3 March 2005.
I've blogged on the symbosis of Republican ex-Rep/Gov/AG Bill Janklow and Democrat ex-Senator Tom Daschle.
Well, Bill purchased a two page peon to Tom in the Sioux Falls Shopping News, a paper hand-delivered to about every house in the Sioux Empire. The first paragraph implicitly compares Bill to Mark Anthony and Tom to Julius Caesar.
Until Janklow's felon-status lapses in a few years he's out of local politics, and Tom's probably out for good.
But they keep haunting me!
Saturday, February 19, 2005
"New Bill May Raise Speed Limit On 4-Lanes," by Randy Dockendorf, Yankton Press & Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/stories/021805/community_20050218025.shtml, 18 February 2005 (from Clean Cut Kid).
Great news. And for once I agree with CCK.
Highway 50 motorists will be able to kick up their legal speed to 70 miles per hour between Yankton and Vermillion under a legislative bill headed to Gov. Mike Rounds' desk.
Senate Bill 208, which passed the Senate 29-3, received House approval Wednesday by a 66-2 vote. The bill raises the current 65 mph speed limit to 70 miles an hour where posted for divided four-lane rural highways on the state trunk system.
The governor's office has not received the bill and does not comment on legislation before receiving and acting upon it, said Rounds spokesman Mark Johnston. The bill, if passed, takes effect July 1.
"Usually, it takes two days for it to come down to the governor's desk. He will consider it next week sometime," Johnston said. "He has five (working) days once it is delivered to sign the bill or return it for further action."
Five stretches which meet the bill's criteria include:
* Highway 50 between Yankton and Vermillion
* Highway 12 from Aberdeen to I-29
* Highway 37 from Huron to Mitchell
* Highway 79 from Rapid City to the Nebraska border
* Highway 83 from Pierre to Vivian (I-90)
The article continues on with talk of the (non) issue of safety. These rural four lanes are basically abandoned. South Dakota's highway construction bills are 80% picked up by the federal government, so we've had a lot of overbuilding. Some of this is crooken politics (Aberdeen is Daschle's hometown), part is vote buying (the Rapid City road is technically the "NAFTA Highway"), part are just roads that seemed like a good idea.
On most South Dakota highways the speed limit is a joke, and it is good the laws are being liberalized once again.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
"War, terror and Internet era: Rumsfeld stresses 'new realities'," AFP, http://www.turkishpress.com/world/news.asp?id=050213053638.xrov0yys.xml, 13 February 2005 (from Roth Report).
"Hometowns embrace returning troops: Field artillery unit home without a scratch," by Peter Harriman, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050213/NEWS/502130314/1001, 13 February 2005.
This was the payoff for Sgt. Gerry Tracy.
Riding in the crook of his arm, clutching a tiny U.S. flag, 14-month-old Tim Tracy looked comfortable enough to make this a permanent mode of transportation.
"This is as good as it gets," said his father.
The toddler perched there for most of the next hour. He was there when Tracy stood to answer roll in the crowded high school gym with a sharp "Here, First Sergeant."
And even if Tracy and the other 82 members of Battery A, 2nd Battalion of the 147th Field Artillery of the South Dakota Army National Guard had not been showered with repeated compliments on their devotion to duty, resourcefulness and competence during the past year, Tracy still would have known he had accomplished a great thing simply by returning from Iraq to his wife, Lexi, and their son.
Little triumphs of reunion like this bloomed all across northeast South Dakota on a bright February Saturday that felt like spring as the three batteries of the 2/147th F.A. were welcomed home and deactivated.
I am thankful that the guardsmen returned from Iraq safely. I thank them for your efforts. I have friends and mentors who are in Iraq or the Guard.
But field artillery seems very last-war. We have a National Guard designed to fight a land war in Germany. In the 1990s it was rejustified as a National Guard designed to fight conventional wars in Iraq and North Korea at the same time.
The world the 147th field artillery was built for is gone. A 147th System Administrator force, built for national building and 4GW struggles, would be useful. This would be designed so that we never lose a 4GW conflict, like Vietnam, Lebanon, or Somalia again.
A 147th Superempowered Individuals force or 147th Leviathan force would be useful. This latter force would be designed to get inside the enemy's decision loop, winning battles before the enemy knows they began. This would be the army that destroys the DPRK in a sneak attack and hedges against a PLA attack on Taiwan.
Some Defense Secretaries would be too bureaucratic to push for this military future worth creating. Not Donald Rumsfeld
But at the annual Munich security conference this weekend, the controversial US defense secretary mounted a passionate argument for his conviction that the Internet and other modern means of communication have magnified the value of the most powerful weapon of all: information.
"Bloggers and hackers and chat rooms!" Rumsfeld exclaimed Saturday during a question-and-answer session with defense and security officials and experts from around the world. "E-mails and cell phones with global reach!"
The United States has "an executive branch of government that really is still organized for the industrial age, not the information age. We have an enemy, these terrorists, that don't have democracies ... and are able to turn on a dime.
In the 2000 campaign, Bush promised to "skip a generation" of military equipment. After abandoning crusader cannons and comanche helicopter, Bush and Rumsfeld are not focusing on building the next generation.
Good for us.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
"In Ms Mankiller's Footsteps," The Economist, http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=3599569, 27 January 2005.
My home state was ethnically cleansed twice. First, working as native allies of the United States Department of the Army, Sioux tribes swept in from the south-east. Dislocating the Ojibwe, Mandan, and all other Indian nations in the region they killed everyone could find. Literally. There is a monument in South Dakota to an Ojibwe was run down by Sioux warriors. They physically ran him to his death on horseback.
Later, after Sioux Falls, Medary, and Bon Homme were founded, the white settlers felt the blowback. Medary and Bon Homme would never be resurrected, while Sioux Falls would be refounded around an army fort.
The Sioux Wars lasted generations, and peace was earned in stages. The Great Sioux Nation was internally split, and the split is most rememberd on how they pronounced the word "friend." Most said "dakota" or "nakota," while a minority prounced it "lakota."
The Army followed the same paths as the Sioux did nearly a century before. They first encountered Dakota tribes who had settled in the rich farmland of modern Minnesota and Nebraska. A agrarian economy is a peace-loving one. Both sides had economic interests in a civil settlement, and after not-insignificant fighting this was achieved. Dakota received reservations in Minnesota and Nebraska where they farmed and the tribes generally ran their own schools. Despite the cultural shocks, these Dakota generally have the same or higher standard of living than their white neighbors.
The remaining Dakota tribes, and most Nakota people, were not farmers. Eastern Dakota Territory had much poor soil than Minnesota and Nebraska, and the D/Nakota tribesfamilies lived a hunter-gatherer existence. It was D/Nakota Warriors who massacred the judge and his family whose monument I passed every day going to work, and the D/Nakota successfully threw Bon Homme and Medary to the ashheap of history.
Intensive Army operations removed the D/Nakota threat. While reservations were generally on poor or bizarrely sized land, farming was possible. Today these Dakota are noted for their beadwork, and D/Nakota are generally integrated into the surrounding society.
The Lakota fought bitterly, and they lost bitterly. Like all 4GW forces they fought "unfairly." More than any enemy in history, the U.S. destroyed their capacity to make war. Or make business. Or make anything. The Lakota had a warrior culture was which annihilated. Nightmarish schools destroyed the Lakota language and emasculated lakota youth. An education centered on war was replaced on one focused on student rape. A violent patriarchal society was humiliatingly replaced with a suppine matriarchal one. "Hell land" reservations was unable to support cattle or crops. The government subsidized tribes just enough so that every Lakota male had enough cash to buy liquor. The Lakota are not "recovering" from the war or the peace. They are suffering the consequences of a fourth generation war gone horribly awry.
In that context...
The Sioux Indians are famous for their warrior chieftains, such as Sitting Bull. Hence the significance of the recent inauguration of the first woman ever to head the Oglala Sioux. In December, Cecilia Fire Thunder, a 58-year-old former welfare recipient, lobbyist and community organiser, took office on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. She was chosen over Russell Means, a famous figure in the national Indian movement.
In a ceremony filled with tradition, from ritual dancing to speeches in the Lakota language, Ms Fire Thunder was installed as chairwoman (sadly, her official title) of a 46,000-member tribe based on one of America's largest reservations. “The spirits of my ancestors made a decision for me to run,” she says. “I asked for their guidance and their permission, and I was chosen by the people.”
The American Indian College Fund says two-thirds of students at tribal colleges nationwide are female. At Oglala Lakota College, on the Pine Ridge reservation, the figure tops 70%. There, the average student is a 30-year-old woman with two or three children. Tom Short Bull, the president of the Oglala Lakota, laments the shortage of male students, though he wonders “even if we did train them for a position, what jobs would they go into?”
Indeed, Ms Fire Thunder has a challenge on her hands. The jobless rate at Pine Ridge is 85%. Alcoholism and domestic abuse are common. Most of the money coming into the tribe is from federal grants of one sort or another. Ms Fire Thunder, who sees herself as a chief executive—albeit with spiritual guidance from the elders—is busy trimming budgets and asking for PowerPoint presentations from every department.
The article generally conflates the terrible problems suffered by the Lakota with the everyday problems most tribes experience. The article's real lesson is unstated: a 4GW war permanently by an industrialized society against a violent opponent if the society is prepared to permanently destroy the enemy's culture. Whether this is advisable, or moral, is a story for another time.
Update: I was wrong to characterize any part of the Indian Wars as a fourth-generation war. It was a Pre-Modern War.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
"Another Year at the Federal Trough: Farm Subsidies for the Rich, Famous, and Elected Jumped Again in 2002," by Brian M. Riedl, Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg1763.cfm, 24 May 2004 (from Instapundit through Sibby Online).
Bush's effort to cut agriwelfare farm subsidies is heroic. If successful it will prevent a small number of agriwelfare queens from eroding natural liberty and trampling on our trade partners.
With agricultural programs designed to target large and profitable farms rather than family farmers, it should come as no surprise that farm subsidies in 2002 were distributed overwhelmingly to large growers and agribusinesses--including a number of Fortune 500 companies. Chart 2 shows that the top 10 percent of recipients received 65 percent of all farm subsidies in 2002. At the other end, the bottom 80 percent of recipients (including most family farmers) received just 19 percent of all farm subsidies.
Some beneficiariesof farm subsidies include...
# David Rockefeller, the former chairman of Chase Manhattan and grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, who received 99 times more subsidies than the median farmer;
# Scottie Pippen, professional basketball star, who received 39 times more subsidies than the median farmer;
# Ted Turner, the 25th wealthiest man in America, who received 38 times more subsidies than the median farmer; and
# Kenneth Lay, the ousted Enron CEO and multi-millionaire, who received 3 times more subsidies than the median farmer.
Taking farm subsidies on at the same time as Social Security is brave. I wish President Bush luck.