CBO is promising a preliminary assessment of Cassidy-Graham by early next week. CBO says they’ll have some deficit estimates and “qualitative information” about effects but will need “several weeks” more to give supportable numbers deficits, number of people insured, and premiums.
The Legislature’s Ag Land Assessment Task Force heard received a report Monday from the Department of Revenue on 2018 land assessments. That report shows that 2018 cropland productivity values are booming in northwestern South Dakota, dropping along the Missouri River and in much of the rest of West River, and showing single-digit growth on the wet side of the 100th Meridian:
Remember, we’re not taxing farmers and ranchers on what they are actually producing. We’re taxing ag producers based on South Dakota State University’s calculation of what they could make if they put their land to its highest and best use.
Meanwhile, the President of the United States just threatened to “totally destroy” an entire nation and in literally the next breath called the ruler of that nation a playground nickname. Welcome to Presidency by a five-year-old.. or a madman.
Even if comments of this sort can be discounted as unprofessional and insensitive but not aimed at incitement, the silence of many other Republicans shows a disturbing unwillingness to condemn political violence from persons associated with the party’s electoral base. After the Trump administration’s difficultly in denouncing Nazism and white supremacy, one must wonder whether Mr. Trump and his supporters simply do not understand the consequences advocating or failing to condemn violence, or if they simply do not care because it would work in their favor [Frank O. Bowman, “A Comment on Roger Stone’s Predictions (or Are They Threats?) of Violence,” Impeachable Offenses, 2017.09.20].
Bubbling under the surface of many Trumpist backers’ words seems to be a hair-trigger desire to start throwing punches. We must watch closely any political speakers who fan that simmering desire for violence and promote all the more vigorously the right of citizens to speak, to protest, and to pursue remedies to injustice through due process of law.
Rep. Lynne DiSanto was supposed to speak next Wednesday at the second annual “Power of Purple,” an event hosted by Working Against Violence, Inc., at the Dahl Fine Art Center to “bring community support, awareness, and education on the topic of domestic violence.”
We are aware of the posting by Representative Lynne DiSanto and are meeting as a staff tomorrow to discuss the situation and seek another speaker. WAVI doesn’t condone violence of any kind. Thank you for your comments and concerns [Working Against Violence, Inc., Facebook post, 2017.09.19].
A Republican legislator is being held accountable for her inappropriate statements. How remarkable!
As I noted earlier, it’s not something I would have posted on social media. (The last things I posted were that I bought Shania Twain tickets, a picture of Thune Staffer Ben Ready, and a meme over the unending Garth Brooks posts we’re now being subjected to).
This month he whined and moaned about Shantel Krebs’s apparent decision to block him from her Facebook page. For thinking online postings aren’t worth getting worked up over, Powers sure cries if he’s not able to access those postings to take easy potshots at candidates he doesn’t like.
Once again, Pat Powers needs to pick a lane. The easier lane would be to acknowledge that our words matter, online and off, and that the folks (including her former employer, Keller Williams) who are upset with Rep. DiSanto’s casual endorsement of violence against protesters are at least as justified in calling DiSanto to task as Powers is in spotlighting the social media activities of other public figures.
A racist kook kills and injures fellow citizens with his car, and Rep. Lynne DiSanto jokes that “we can all support” that movement. One may reasonably contend that DiSanto’s statement was inappropriate. DiSanto seems to think so: she has removed the post instead of standing by it. Her majority leader Rep. Lee Qualm (R-21/Platte) also thinks the post was inappropriate:
“Obviously I think she wishes she had not put it out there, but she was quick to pull it down and it seems like one of those things you do without putting much though into it.”
Perhaps Qualm represents on fading thread of conscience and responsible use of words in the party of DiSanto, Tapio, and Trump.
Faintly, Faintly Related: Back during Session, Rep. DiSanto held out against Senate Bill 176, Governor Dennis Daugaard’s watered-down effort to quash public protest. Rep. DiSanto ultimately rolled over for the Governor on the final vote on the conference committee version of the bill.
Update 21:25 CDT: Lynne DiSanto (listed there under her hyphenated Hix-DiSanto nom de sales) had a profile page on the Keller Williams website as one of their realtors… or at least Google Cache says she did on September 10:
Google Cache also shares DiSanto’s realtor Facebook page, which is also inaccessible tonight.
The removal DiSanto’s realtor web pages sparks me to revisit another comment Majority leader Qualm made to Ferguson:
DiSanto is set to again serve as majority whip during the 2018 legislative session unless she opts to step down from the elected position, said Republican House Majority Leader Lee Qualm [Ferguson, reprinted now in USA Today, 2017.09.19 20:17 EDT].
That the Majority Leader even mentions the possibility that his whip might opt to step down suggests Qualm may already be thinking of joining Keller Williams in distancing his organization from DiSanto’s thoughtless online comment.
Update 21:28 CDT: DiSanto gives Seth Tupper the classic “I’m sorry if you were offended” non-apology:
“I am sorry if people took offense to it and perceived my message in any way insinuating support or condoning people being hit by cars,” DiSanto said. “I perceived it differently. I perceived it as encouraging people to stay out of the street” [Seth Tupper, “Rep. DiSanto Slammed for Facebook Post About Protesters,” Rapid City Journal, 2017.09.19].
Yet even Rep. DiSanto acknowledges the context that makes her statement inappropriate:
DiSanto said she failed to consider examples of violence against protesters when she shared her Facebook post.
“That was a lack of judgment on my part to not take that into consideration, the highly charged political environment that we’re in,” she said [Tupper, 2017.09.19].
Think before you post—that shouldn’t be a hard rule to follow… especially for an individual elected to vote on the laws that govern our fair state.
The Legislative Research Council just issued the July and August reports on Medical Services Data and Trends, which tell us how much South Dakota and Uncle Sam are spending on Medicaid and for how many South Dakotans. Total enrollment in Medicaid, child Medicaid, and CHIP dropped 1.7% from March to July, then bounced back a bit (half a percentage point) in August, but remains below the 12-month average of 119,424—about 14% of South Dakotans getting their health coverage from government.
62,824 South Dakotans used those government-financed health care services at a cost of $79.1 million. That’s 9% higher than the twelve-month average of $72.6 million. Uncle Sam covers nearly 62% of that bill and the $1.03 billion we’ve budgeted for all Medicaid services this fiscal year.
In the sheer coincidence department, in the eight fiscal years from FY2002 to FY2009, the years we may describe as the Bush II economy, the average yearly rate of increase in Medicaid enrollments in South Dakota was 4.37%. From FY2010 to FY2017, the years we may describe as the Obama economy, Medicaid enrollments increased at an average yearly rate of 1.81%. The highest enrollment increases under each President happened immediately post-recession: 10.42% in FY2002 and 6.20% in FY2010.
This health care brought to you and tens of thousands of your neighbors by your government and by taxpayers like you. Well done, citizens!
“We’ve got universal health care provided. It’s just in a very inefficient and ineffective way. It’s very expensive with very poor outcomes,” Bjorkman said. “Our system is so out of whack that it costs an atrocious amount of money while still leaving millions of people with tiny access to healthcare.”
To that end, Bjorkman indicated he intends to push for universal health care, but he’s not going to just sign up for any proposal. That was evident at the meeting when Bjorkman expressed skepticism at Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., vision of Medicare-for-all formally proposed earlier Wednesday, and supported by several potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees.
Particularly, Bjorkman doesn’t want to commit to that proposal without knowing what the financial impact is.
“I’ve seen no numbers at all. I think that’s very important,” Bjorkman said. “I’m not prepared to take that leap from what little we know of it.”
I understand that our Democrat candidates are trying to sound like moderate men of the people among a right-skewed, Trump-loving electorate. But we also need some statesmen to point out that when we offer plans with bipartisan support, the radicals in charge of the Republican Party, Congress, and the White House torpedo it. Democratic candidates should definitely praise the men and women of good faith on the other side of the aisle and look for opportunities for everyone to work together, but they should also swing big wood at the partisan screwballs on the other side who are standing in the way of such practical cooperation.
Even if we want bipartisanship, we need to replace a good chunk of Republican partisans with honest Democrats who want to solve problems, not create more problems for regular Americans.
That Sioux Falls paper reports that political scamster, convicted felon, and potentially defrocked doctor Annette Bosworth and her underemployed husband Chad Haber face another lawsuit from another employee who claims they didn’t pay him for his labor:
Mitchell Olson says he was hired by the Dr. Annette Bosworth Legal Defense Fund in June 2016 as a consultant. He was paid $4,000 a month from the fund, working primarily from the home of Bosworth and her husband, Chad Haber, who is also named in the lawsuit. Olson said he wasn’t paid for work he performed in May, June and July of this year. He says he is owed $24,000 for work that included scripts and video for movies [Jonathan Ellis, “Former Consultant Sues Annette Bosworth Legal Defense Fund,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.09.18].
The plan centers around block-granting billions of dollars in Obamacare taxes that currently fund states’ Medicaid expansions and individual health insurance subsidies. The money would be funneled through the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, a long-standing block grant to provide care for low- and moderate-income children.
The block-grant formula would generally redistribute money away from states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and spread them across the country, boosting the amount of federal money headed to states — largely controlled by Republicans — that refused to expand Medicaid.
Cassidy, in rejecting criticism of the proposal as “partisan,” said Democratic senators from purple states where Republican governors or legislatures blocked Medicaid expansion — a list that includes Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana — should back the plan because of the increased money [Bryn Stole, “Cassidy, Graham Unveil Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Bill,” Tribune News Service via Governing, 2017.09.15].
Senator John Thune said last week that passage of Graham-Cassidy is unlikely. Senator Mike Rounds shares that pessimism but says he likes the original concept. Don’t let them get fooled by any promises of more money and freedom for South Dakota. Get back on the phone and fax and tell your Senators that they still haven’t come up with a health care plan that improves on the status quo.