The UK Independent has published a piece in today's edition headlined "The Complete Guide to the Dakotas" which I enjoyed reading.
To determine whether a newspaper has an agenda, it's important to pay attention to the news it does NOT publish as well as to the news it does publish. With that in mind, I direct you to the discovery of the latest bias event at the Argus Leader uncovered by the Daschle v. Thune blog. While newspapers around the state (Rapid City Journal, Mitchell Daily Republic, Yankton Press & Dakotan) ran an AP story in today's editions about John Thune's efforts to attract the Native American vote, the AL editors made what is to my mind a transparently conscious decision not to publish the story. Just as appalling is the fact that the AL has not yet reported that Native American activist Russell Means is campaigning for John Thune.
Recently, I had a conversation about local politics with a Native American acquaintence of mine who is an informed observer of the South Dakota political scene. He was surprised to hear that Russell Means is a Thune supporter, and hadn't heard that information at all. I think this is compelling anecdotal evidence of how effective it is for the AL to ignore news that might positively affect John Thune's campaign.
Clearly, as the Daschle v. Thune blog notes, the AL's willful bias is distorting the democratic process.
UPDATE: John Fund at the Wall Street Journal notes Russell Means' comments in the AP story cited above:
Senator Tom Daschle, the Senate Minority Leader, is worried that the overwhelming support that American Indians in South Dakota have given Democrats won't be automatic in his re-election race this year. Republicans are stepping up outreach on the reservations and have won the support of Indian activist and actor Russell Means. He's been telling tribal leaders that the Democratic Party have established a system that makes Indians beholden to the federal government -- with Sen. Daschle one of the primary beneficiaries. "I mean it's pure communism and it's an abject failure. Just like it was in the Soviet Union. It's failure. You've created a dictatorship by the Bureau of Indian Affairs," Mr. Means told the Associated Press.
Mr. Daschle responds that the federal government has an obligation to help the Indians because "we have Third World conditions" on the reservations. His choice of words is drawing heat in some parts of South Dakota. "It's a similar reaction to what would happen if Trent Lott said that about the South Bronx or Watts," says one South Dakota observer.
The blog "Dimmy Karras" takes a dim view of the intemperate remarks made by South Dakota Democratic Party executive board member Ben Hanten posted on Daily Kos regarding Stephanie Herseth's support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Excerpt from the "Dimmy Karras" blog:
Don't these people realize some moderate South Dakota voters might take umbrage at the Herseth campaign popularizing such a caricature of their state in seeking donations from a national liberal web site? Do they think no one in South Dakota can pull up Daily Kos on a web browser, or that their opponent won't seize on these remarks? Perhaps they've already weighed these risks and decided the need to raise money over the Internet is large enough to put this statement out anyway. It must be awfully difficult to be a progressive running in a state like South Dakota. (I also enjoyed the part about Herseth having to mend fences with South Dakota's gays--all five of them.)
UPDATE: Randy Dockendorf at the Yankton Press & Dakotan has a piece in today's edition about Ben Hanten headlined "Local Democrat reflects youth movement."
The February 28th issue of National Journal made headlines with its report that John Kerry was the most liberal Senator in the country.
The finding was the result of the annual rating of member of Congress, an exercise the publication has performed since 1981. This year, editors of the weekly magazine selected 62 votes in the Senate to rate, ranking each vote as conservative or liberal on a scale of one (lowest) to three (highest).
And what about South Dakota?
Despite facing a tough re-election, Sen. Tom Daschle actually became more liberal in 2003 than the year before!
In 2002, Daschle's composite liberal rating was 69.0; that is, he was more liberal than 69 percent of his fellow Senators. In 2003, his rating was 79.8, nearly an 11 percent jump.
Again, the score reveals that Daschle was more liberal than nearly 80 percent of his colleagues. South Dakota values?
Breaking the analysis down into three categories, Daschle is ranked:
- More liberal than 82 percent of his Senate colleagues on economic issues.
- More liberal than 68 percent of his Senate colleagues on social issues.
- More liberal than 79 percent of his Senate colleagues on foreign policy issues.
The magazine also lists Daschle and Sen. Tim Johnson as one of the "home-state twins" of the same party, that is, a pair of Senators whose votes were closely aligned. Johnson's composite liberal score in 2003 was 81.2.
This isn't a hard story to write. After all, the National Journal has done all the work. Why hasn't this analysis been reported in South Dakota?
I'm a newly installed contributor for the blog "Oh, That Liberal Media," tasked with bringing more national attention to the shenanigans of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. A warm thank you to Stefan Sharkansky for the opportunity.
Daily Kos posts a fascinating message sent by an executive board member of the South Dakota Democratic Party regarding Stephanie Herseth's support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. (Thanks to reader Cory Skluzak for the item.)
The Daschle v. Thune blog notes that political analyst Stuart Rothenberg had the following to say about Tom Daschle yesterday, during a "Live Online" segment at the Washington Post:
Arlington, Va.: Is there any incumbent Senator of either party who would be a good bet to be defeated this time around?
Stuart Rothenberg: Only two are really vulnerable at this point: Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who was appointed to her seat by her daddy, and Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) who has a terrific opponent in John Thune and has lost the "clout" issue that saved his SD Democratic colleague, Tim Johnson, in 2002.
Ed Schultz, the North Dakota radio personality touted as the liberal Rush Limbaugh, appeared on NBC's Today show on Tuesday. The Media Reseach Center has details. Excerpt:
Can you imagine the Today show running a promotional segment about Rush Limbaugh in 1988, months after he launched his national show, but when it was only carried by a few stations? That never happened, but on Tuesday, Today dedicated a 7:30am half hour segment to a glowing look at liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, whom Katie Couric claimed is “shaking up the industry,” though he began a national show, which is not carried by any significant station nor in any major city, barely two months ago. Couric touted him as “the man being called the liberals' answer to Rush Limbaugh."
The Daschle v. Thune blog notes that Sturgis, South Dakota is a "mecca" for gun manufacturers, as a 1999 piece in the Wall Street Journal, headlined "High Plains Drifter: In the Besieged World Of Gun Manufacturers, Geography Is Destiny; Galena Inc. Found a Haven In Tiny Sturgis, S.D., 'A Place That Wanted Us'" reports. Excerpt from the WSJ piece:
David Small and James Keith like nothing better than gabbing about guns, browsing in gun stores, and blasting shooting-range targets.
Three years ago, the businessmen buddies decided to turn their hobby into a moneymaking enterprise. Though neither had any firearm-industry experience, they bought the remains of a dwindling California pistol manufacturer....
Their new company, Galena Industries Inc., got under way near Los Angeles in mid-1998. But it wasn't a propitious moment to enter the gun trade.
Within four months, cities and counties began a coordinated campaign of suing firearm manufacturers. Making matters worse, California enacted tough new gun-company regulations in 1998 that would apply to Galena....
But the pair decided to make a go of it. Even though the established company whose assets Galena bought has been named in some of the municipal lawsuits, Messrs. Small and Keith believe they have legally insulated themselves from liability. And in response to California's hostility to gun companies, the pair
decided to shop for a more hospitable locale.
To their delight, a posse of towns in Western and Plains states responded, jostling to offer financial incentives. The eventual winner was tiny Sturgis, which, it turns out, has become something of a gun-company haven here in South Dakota's rugged Black Hills. Galena's rebirth indicates both how determined
many people in the gun business are to survive in the face of legal peril and how drastically geography can shape attitudes toward those who produce firearms.
Ads for John Thune have begun to appear on Instapundit, with the exhortation to "STOP Daschle's obstructionism!" Will David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, report on this development?
Senator Diane Feinstein recently was quoted as saying the following about Tom Daschle in The Hill:
“I don’t think Tom has ever let his responsibility to his state diminish his leadership position.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she had secured a “commitment” from Daschle not to go to conference unless he received assurance that the assault-weapons ban would remain in the final bill.
I've received several complaints about unacceptably slow load times for my blog. Typepad, the platform I use for my blog, is undergoing some changes, which are causing the problem. Hopefully, this will be fixed very soon.
This obituary appeared in last Saturday's edition of the Washington Post:
Gladys Norbeck Sabin, 99, a former Senate staff member and school volunteer, died of pneumonia Feb. 26 at her home in Washington.
Mrs. Sabin was born in Platte, S.D., and graduated from the University of South Dakota. She came to Washington in 1929 to work for her uncle, Peter Norbeck (R), a former South Dakota governor and U.S. senator who was the main political patron and fundraiser for the creation of Mount Rushmore.
Family stories say Mrs. Sabin, who worked with her uncle on the memorial while it was under construction, swung over one of the presidents' noses in a chair sling.
She married in 1932 and resigned her Capitol Hill job to raise a family. She was a volunteer at Sidwell Friends School and a member of the sorority PEO.
Her husband of 60 years, Samuel H. Sabin, died in 1992.
Survivors include three children, Suzanne Sabin Melchior of San Francisco, James N. Sabin of Washington and Sandra Sabin Rhodes of St. Louis; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Stephanie Herseth, the Democratic candidate for South Dakota's at large House seat, has managed to alienate some of her most exuberant supporters with her views on the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The Daschle v. Thune blog has more.
Ed Schultz, the North Dakota radio personality touted as the liberal Rush Limbaugh, gets vivisected by Hugh Hewitt:
The panel was an interesting exercise in quick wit, with Neal Boortz, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and me put opposite Alan Colmes, Tom Leykis, a fellow named just "Lionel," and the great new hope of the left, Ed Schultz. If it was a fight, they'd have stopped it, and if the FCC fined non-sequitors, Schultz would be bankrupt.
In the post immediately below, I questioned Tom Daschle's expertise as an historian. More evidence of Daschle's tenuous grasp of the subject can be gleaned from his recent book, Like No Other Time. Excerpt from page 13 of the book:
The Roosevelts--both Theodore and Franklin--had drawn their own lines in the sand back in the 1920s and 1930s, aggressively creating government programs and institutions to respond in an unprecedented way to the needs of the American people.
“I have not found an occasion in all of history that the President has made an appointment during a recess of a judge that had actually been rejected by a vote of the Senate.”