Funny how the Argus Leader seems to only cover votes made by Democrats that increase government spending, and today on a Republican who votes to not increase government spending. Here is the opening paragraph:
South Dakota Sen. John Thune refused to go along with a bipartisan plan to expand a federal-state program that provides health insurance to 6 million low-income children.
Later in the report we find this detail:
Most states, such as South Dakota, now cover children whose families earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty limit, or $41,000 a year for a family of four. Under the Senate bill, states would be allowed to raise the income limit to 300 percent of poverty, or $62,000, if they so chose.
So what the Argus Leader called "low-income children" in the opening paragraph live in households that make between $41,000 to $62,000. Isn’t it also funny that when the Republicans vote for tax cuts for these families, the Democrats call it tax cuts for the wealthy? ANd the Drive-by media is all too happy to promote that Marxist ideology.
Another lesson on how the Drive-by media helps the far-left Democrats promote their socialism in a very intellectually dishonest way.
Even though they sit on opposite sides of the aisle, Senator John Thune is very much in Senator Tim Johnson's corner.
Thune was in Iraq on a fact finding mission when he heard the news concerning Johnson's health. Thune returned home from Iraq this week. He immediately paid a visit to Senator Johnson's wife, Barbara to find out how his colleague is doing.
Republican Thune doesn't always agree with Democrat Johnson on issues, but is angry that some people are more worried about the balance of power in Washington than Johnson's health.
"I'm very troubled by the way this has been covered by the national press, it really is almost beneath the level of professionalism you'd expect," said Thune.
Thune met with Senator Johnson's wife, Barb as soon as he returned home from Iraq.
"They had a very good day yesterday, she was upbeat, family is in good spirits and everybody is hopeful, prayerful of support and I think they are very encouraged by his progress and we all want to see him make a complete full and speedy recovery," said Thune.
Thune says any talk of replacing Johnson should stop.
"All this is speculation and hype that the national media has applied to the situation it's very disturbing in my opinion," said Thune.
Thune says he, Johnson and congresswoman Stephanie Herseth have always had a good working relationship and he doesn't see that changing because of Johnson's health.
"My expectation is Senator Johnson will be back in the saddle, on the job so to speak, soon, but clearly our state will be well represented as a delegation we work very well together he's got a very capable staff, they work closely with my staff and we'll continue to do that, it's worked well in the past and it'll work well in the future."
I certainly agree with Senator Thune. And since he was in Iraq when this came down, he may not know that it was more than just the "National" media that immediately gbegan seculating about the balance of power in the US Seante. Todd Epp posted an Argus Leader we site report dated 12/13/2006 3:05PM that had this excerpt:
South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson said that under state law, the governor would be responsible for filling a U.S. Senate vacancy.
"If there is a vacancy in that office, the governor appoints a replacement who serves until the next general election," Nelson said.
Nelson said state law is silent on the issue of whether an office holder is incapacitated. The law only has a stipulation for a "vacancy."
Todd responded with this:
Um, let’s wait and see before we pull the sheet over our senior Senator. In the meantime, let’s drop our partisanship for a day or two (which I am going to do) and hope and pray for Sen. Johnson’s recovery and for his family. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious.
Since I’ve been asked this question by members of the media and others, here’s how vacancies for U.S. House and U.S. Senate are filled under S.D. law. There are different processes for each.
So it was not just the National Media, but also the pro-Democrat Argus Leader and Democrat activist Todd Epp who also jumped on the speculation band wagon regarding the balance of power.
I posted a WorldNetDaily report that contained this reaction by Tom DeLay when he was asked to speculate:
"Let's just keep him in our prayers and hope that he's going to be all right," former House Speaker Tom DeLay told host Neal Cavuto on the Fox News Channel.
Asked about why a senator's health is getting the scrutiny it does, DeLay said: "Because this town is so eat-up with power. That's all they think about. It doesn't matter [the subject]. You go and ask somebody for a cup of coffee, they question why you asked. There must be an ulterior motive to you asking somebody for a cup of coffee in this town. It's a pretty mean town."
I guess this helps demonstrate the moral values of conservatives versus the lust for power of the far-left proponents of secular humanism. The humanists are not always humane, which is also obvious from the their pro-abortion position.
That is a sub-title in today’s David Kranz column [have not found link yet]:
I am not sure this is a great resume item, but two South Dakota politicians were "honored" by Washingtonian Magazine.
Its annual "Best and Worst" in Washington usually ignites plenty of conversation.
It might be said we cornered the market in the "hunks and babes" category.
Chuck Raasch, national political editor for Gannett News Service [Kranz forgot to inform his readers of the Gannett connection to the Argus Leader], writes: "There must be something in that South Dakota water. The Mount Rushmore state…claims both the Senate "hunk" and the house "babe." It was a bipartisan sweep in the magazine’s September issue: Rep. Stephanie Herseth D-S.D., unseated Rep. Bono, R-Calif., for the title of House "babe", while Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., edged out Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for the title of Senate "hunk".
What was skin deep was David Kranz’s depth of reporting. He did not mention that Thune also came in second for "Just Plain Nice".
David Kranz goes after John Thune in his column today:
The controversy surrounding Sen. John Thune's remarks to a group of reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., continued Sunday, and it was John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who came to Thune's defense.
During his "Meet the Press" interview, host Tim Russert raised the issue, focusing on published comments in which Thune suggested Republicans distance themselves from President Bush on the Iraq War. Thune responded last week on a Fox radio station, saying his remarks were taken out of context.
In a transcript of the program, Russert says, "John Thune, the senator from South Dakota, Republican, who's in line to become the man who is in charge of keeping the Republicans in the majority in the Senate in the next election cycle, offered this observation, according to The Associated Press: 'If I were running in the state this year, you obviously don't embrace the president and his agenda.' He said the Iraq War is Bush's biggest problem. 'The first thing I'd do is acknowledge that there have been mistakes made,' he said."
Bolton responded this way: "Well, first of all, Senator Thune called me a couple of days ago, very concerned that his remarks had been mischaracterized. He expressed..."
Russert interrupted: "Wait, wait. We called The Associated Press. They stand by the story."
Said Bolton: "I understand."
Russert: "The Hill newspaper, another reporter in the same news conference, headlined, 'Senator Thune advises distancing the president from Iraq.' So if both reporters got it wrong, what are the chances of that?"
Bolton: "I'm telling you what Senator Thune called to tell me, which is that he was chagrined at the way his remarks were characterized and that he is a supporter of the president and his agenda."
First off, it was White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten who was on Meet The Press, not John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
More importantly, The Hill did back up the AP account. Here is some analysis from Mount Blogmore by Denise Ross:
However, there is a mitigating factor here.
Thune’s quote as reported in The Hill:
"You don’t obviously embrace at every opportunity the president or his agenda," Thune said.
Thune’s quote as reported by the AP’s Mary Clare Jalonick:
"If I were running in the state this year, you obviously don’t embrace the president and his agenda," he said.
Clearly Thune did not completely reject the agenda of President Bush. Rightly he said you do not embrace "at every opportunity".
John Thune is again a victim of the drive-by media where the truth is discarded in order to attack conservatives.
Washington, DC - Senator John Thune today voted in favor of an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would prohibit funds appropriated under this measure from being used to confiscate lawfully possessed firearms based on the existence of a declaration or state of emergency. Senator Thune is a cosponsor of the amendment, offered by Senator David Vitter (R-LA).
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last year-with no way of reaching police or making emergency calls-many residents in the affected regions legally armed themselves to protect their families and homes from the ensuing chaos and civil disorder. The then-New Orleans Police Superintendent, however, ordered his officers to confiscate all firearms, claiming this authority under a state emergency powers law. According to various reports, military and law enforcement officials from several states confiscated guns from New Orleans residents.
"For more than 200 years, the Second Amendment has given law-abiding Americans a sense of security in knowing they can defend themselves and their families when their safety is in jeopardy," Thune said. "This freedom couldn't be more essential than in emergency or chaotic situations, such as natural or major disasters, when law enforcement officials are unable to be reached and American families are in harm's way. Today's amendment strengthens the Second Amendment and protects the men and women who legally rely on it to defend themselves when their personal safety is at stake."
The Vitter Amendment passed by a vote of 84 to 16.
The Bush tax cuts has taken America out of the Clinton recession and is now crating jobs by the millions. The booming economy certainly should be an important issue in the 2006 electin cycle. This week congress voted to extend those tax cuts, but the South Dakota MSM is not reporting that Stephanie Herseth and Tim Johnson voted against extending the tax cuts. The only report I found was from the Black Hills Portal:
Senator John Thune (R-SD) today voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, a tax relief package that would prevent major tax hikes on American families and small businesses. The package would ensure that current tax rates do not increase and would extend reduced rates on capital gains and dividends, so more Americans can invest and save for their retirements and children’s education.
"Passage of today’s tax relief package is a tremendous victory for South Dakota families, seniors and small businesses," Thune said. "Continuing the economic growth and job creation spurred by Republican-led tax relief in 2001, 2003 and 2004, today’s tax relief package will protect all Americans from major tax hikes and provide them with even lower rates when investing and saving for their future.
"Today’s package will extend relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax for all Americans—an outdated and burdensome tax that was created 30 years ago under different economic conditions. It will also strengthen small businesses by preventing their expensing limit from shrinking in 2008, and instead, extending that limit. Extending the expensing limit will greatly benefit small businesses, a key job provider and driving force in our nation’s economic growth.
"With 32 straight months of job growth, 5.3 million jobs created since August 2003, and homeownership at a record high, tax relief has proven to go hand-in-hand with a strong and prospering economy. Today’s vote divided those who support the economic policies that have led to this tremendous growth from those who would rather raise taxes.I am committed to continuing tax relief and sending as many tax dollars as possible back into the pockets of hard-working South Dakotans, not Uncle Sam."
Among other provisions, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act will do the following:
· Extend alternative minimum tax relief for an additional year;
· Extend the increased limit on small business expensing through the end of 2009;
· Extend the lower tax rate on dividend income through 2010; and
· Extend the lower tax rate on capital gains income through 2010.
The U.S. economy is growing at record speed as a result of Republican-led tax cuts:
· The U.S. economy bounded ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 4.8 percent pace, the fastest growth rate in 2.5 years. The economy has been growing for 17 straight quarters, and the average growth last year was 3.5%.
· 211,000 jobs were created in March, 2.1 million jobs over the past 12 months, and more than 5.1 million since August 2003.
· The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7% -- lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
· Led by strong home values and a steadily rising stock market, household wealth is at an all-time high, reaching $52.1 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2005.
· Homeownership remains very close to its all-time high of more than 69 percent in early 2005.
The Argus Leader has been a champion of those politicians who bring home South Dakota’s bacon. But that was before a Republican approved spending like a drunken socialist:
In one day, Republican John Thune publicly expressed concern that fellow senators had bloated an emergency spending bill to help pay for war efforts and hurricane relief with funding requests for unrelated projects. Then he turned around and voted against proposals that would have trimmed costs.
Thune, who considers himself a fiscal conservative, remains committed to keeping costs down, said Jessica Ferguson, a Thune spokeswoman.
Senators have not finished working on the bill, she said, adding that they will have a number of chances to vote on amendments before a final vote.
But then there was an unsuccessful amendment to remove $6 million fro sugarcane in Hawaii. Thune voted for the spending cut, But Tim Johnson to keep the spending.
Earlier, Johnson also voted with Thune to table an amendment that would have returned the bill to the President’s proposal. Facts the Argus Leader did not want to ruin a good story.
Yes, I am unhappy that John Thune has decided he needs to join the Democrats and spend like a drunken socialist in order to get re-elected. But what he doesn’t understand is that the Democrats and their MSM outlets will not give him the same credit that they give themselves.
South Dakota Senator John Thune was evacuated from the Russell Summit Office Building in Washington, D.C. around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night. A hazardous material alarm detected a biological nerve agent in the air in the building.
KELOLAND News has spoken with Thune’s staff who says the Senator and his staffers are okay. They were quicklymoved to a safe zone inside a garage next to the office building.
Latest reports, as of 7:22 p.m. are that the Senator and his staff are being asked to remain in the safe zone for another 30 minutes while a tests of the air inside the building is completed.
With their successful effort to save Ellsworth Air Force Base still fresh in community memory, city economic development officials are preparing to make a similar push to attract a 700-job U.S. Air Force financial servicing center to the base.
Encouraged by a letter last week from Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce and members of the Ellsworth Task Force who worked with the state's congressional delegation on Ellsworth are organizing to make a pitch for the financial servicing center. An official announcement on the next phase of that work is expected this week.