Schopp Kinda Sorta Fired GEAR UP Staff—Who Should Take Over the Program?

This morning I jumped on KOTA’s report that Education Secretary Melody Schopp had fired the GEAR UP staff. Bob Mercer then reported that gubernatorial chief of staff Tony Venhuizen pointed out that Secretary Schopp technically can’t fire people who work for non-state entities like the non-profits that Mid-Central Educational Cooperative business manager Scott Westerhuis set up to handle the millions of federal dollars that the state Department of Education funneled into his Platte office to serve Native American students statewide.

Bob Mercer clarifies that both KOTA and Venhuizen were mostly right:

The KOTA TV story was substantially correct but erred on Schopp’s role. A letter from Schopp about halting the GEAR UP grant to Mid Central was read by GEAR UP director Stacy Phelps to GEAR UP employees on Tuesday. Phelps reportedly told them they were terminated. As for Venhuizen’s statement about Schopp, he was technically correct. GEAR UP now will flow the state Board of Regents in the future [Bob Mercer, “Venhuizen: Schopp Didn’t Fire SD GEAR UP Staff (w/update),” Pure Pierre Politics, 2015.09.25].

Venhuizen says the state wants GEAR UP to continue, but is moving a college prep program for middle schoolers and high schoolers to the Board of Regents’ dossier the best policy option? The Regents did conduct a fascinating and useful study in 2013, “Like Two Different Worlds,” that explored the difficulties American Indian students face in preparing for and succeeding at university. However, when the Regents asked the Legislature for funding for one measly Indian outreach coordinator, Republicans said no. The Regents have an interest in helping American Indians make it to and through university, but are the Regents best equipped to manage a program involving direct instruction for pre-university kids?

Maybe the DoE could more logically partner with the tribal colleges to run GEAR UP. Or maybe there’s a combination of expertise to be had: split the GEAR UP dollars between the tribal colleges and teachers from Teach for America. The tribal colleges asked for a mere $700K in state support this year to support their mission, but the Legislature refused. Teach for America is still doing good work for South Dakota’s Indian students, even though the Legislature defunded TfA in 2014 and refused their request for $500K this year. Four million-plus in GEAR UP dollars could go a long way toward helping both entities accomplish their missions: the tribal colleges could apply their experience with American Indian matriculators to develop plans which Teach for America instructors could execute face-to-face in their classrooms and communities.

Whether we put the Regents, the tribal colleges, Teach for America, or some combo of the three (hint!) in charge of GEAR UP, it would appear that the state, by effectively firing the current staff picked by the Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, has determined that the previous staff wasn’t getting results and someone else needs to oversee those big federal dollars to help our Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota students.


71 Responses to Schopp Kinda Sorta Fired GEAR UP Staff—Who Should Take Over the Program?

  1. mike from iowa

    Echoes of Al Haig taking over the reins of gubmint after Saint Ronnie Raygun was shot. Vice Perpetrator Hitler Weasel Bush soon put Haig in his place. Guffaw.

  2. Donald Pay

    The Regents? No. This has to come from the grassroots, and it has to be as close to the kids as it can get.

    Who is going to have the most influence? Older near peers. So, first thing is to have kids who have made it to college reach back and help keep middle and high school kids interested and understanding what they need to do to get into college. Give the money to the college kids to reach back to the high schoolers. Give money to the high schoolers to reach back to the middle schoolers. There should be no stipends given to any consultant. Give money to districts to hire effective counselors.

  3. we need to hear from Stacey Phelps and everyone involved from the top down assuring integrity of the system. did the firings silence everyone who knows?

  4. Deb Geelsdottir

    I think Don’s plan has merit. Some might say that “those Indians will just waste it.” They certainly can’t do any worse than the lily white Koch/Republican cabal have done with tax payer money.

  5. There may be no correct answer to the question.

  6. You’d think for $4.3M they would have a meaningful assessment plan. On the other hand, maybe they didn’t really want reliable assessment data?
    http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/news/local/3847620-gear-wasnt-required-track-rate-students-going-college

  7. Lars Aanning

    I can personally attest to the fact that the Board of Regents may be interested in Native Americans of South Dakota “make it to and through university” – but they are unwilling to lift a hand to help them.

    In 2002, the SD state legislature minutes contained the following:

    http://legis.state.sd.us/interim/2002/minutes/MMED1025.htm
    Legislative Research Council 25 October 2002 Pierre SD

    Concerns expressed by the review team were: 1) policy and practices concerning diversity standards—little progress has been made to date in increasing the number of Native American students and faculty in the program; 2) lack of a strong commitment to scientific inquiry among the faculty; and 3) replacement of the Lee Building.

    As of 2015, the Lee building has been replaced – and one less Native American medical student has graduated from USDSSM after being bullied out of the Yankton Campus of the medical school…

  8. I have worked both on and off reservations. The lack of a moral compass exists in both places. Integrity, morals and ethics are not intrinsically connected to skin color. I am horrified at what has taken place and appalled at how it is being handled.

  9. Indeed, it took people from many races and political viewpoints to perpetrate this fraud. I’ll say it again, the losers are the slain family members and Native American students the funds were supposed to support.

  10. The legislature is, once again, the biggest, clueless, irrelevant fool coming from this, another escapade pulled off under their noses by the administration, then apparently photoshopped and excused away. The legislature bought all the administration’s mealy-mouthed excuses over EB5, etc. It remains to be seen whether again the legislature will continue playing the fool. My money is on the continuation of the legislature’s fool role – they have it down very well.

    That raygun said, “Trust, but verify.” The SD Legislature sings the administration’s song, “Trust, nothing to see here folks, move along.”

    The fact that many legislators are attorneys, some are accountants, tends not to speak well for results, or professionalism, or professional curisosity. One has to wonder, aside from perhaps kick-backs, how they survive in apparent business practices.

    Every non-profit is audited, or the board and CEO are incompetent. Every non-profit’s tax Form 990 is public. Why, how does state government get away with being less transparent than a non-profit?

  11. If a group is to be blamed here I would give the lion’s share to the Governor’s administration. The SD legislature, with an annual 40 day working session, is by design often a rubber stamp for the Governor’s office. This imbalance was probably first (at least in the modern era) exploited by the Janklow administration, and the others have followed suit. Given that structure, and how it has been ‘utilized’ by the upper administration, I think the saying ‘a fish rots from the head first’ probably holds best here. I am not saying some of the blame should be shared by the legislature but let’s not give them too much credit, they are only in the Emerald City 1/9th of the year, and when there are pushed to approve the Governor’s agenda as quickly as possible. The Dept. of Education et al. lives, and theoretically works there 365 days a year.

  12. Past apparent corruption makes it almost a given the executive administration likely acts corruptly. The legislature is supposed to draft the laws and provide oversight, as in checks and balances, on the executive administration. Instead too often the legislature passes the administration’s law proposals and apparently grants free-passes on oversight. The legislature does a lot when not in session: committee hearings, summer studies, fact-finding, commissions studies, etc. It’s incomplete implying the legislature only works the 40-days they are in session. And the Legislative Research Council works for them year-round.

    It appears both branches are at fault. It also appears clear that republicans are incapable of governing themselves, much less the state.

  13. Mike Rounds used to say he wishes the feds would just hand over money to him without strings. Mike said nobody know better how to spend those federal dollars than we do here in South Dakota. You betcha!

    Here’s a test for a real transparency in government in this state. How about a list of all contracts where state and federal moneys are going. Include all subcontractors. Include names of anybody receiving those moneys as contractors and subcontractors, including other project-related disbursements (with names and amounts and dates of all payments).

    Let’s eliminate the mystery where state and federal moneys are going and who receives them and for how much. How can that possibly be a bad idea?

  14. Deb Geelsdottir

    96, it’s a great idea to promote transparency. That’s exactly why the Koch/Republicans will never allow it to happen.

  15. Disgusted Dakotan

    In what diluted world do people believe that all Republicans are against transparency?

    This is the same type of idiocy that partisan Republicans push about all Democrats being evil.

    The letters “R” and “D” are innocent.. people, judge those who abuse them individually and stop the ignorant stereotyping.

  16. owen reitzel

    Ok DD you’re right. then the MAJORITY of Republicans are against transparency. At least in South Dakota where those in power are Republicans.

  17. Disgusted Dakotan

    @Owen Why slime the honest everyday Republican voter who doesn’t support corruption by Republicans or Democrats? How is that helping your efforts to convince South Dakotans that they should vote for Democrats? Lambast Daugaard, his cronies, his cronies in the legislature, but realize your ignorant stereotyping of honest Republican voters hurts your cause.

  18. Can anyone tell me why the GEAR UP employees had to be fired? I don’t understand since the grant was going to be moved from MCEC to SDBOR. It’s not like the SD DOE lost the federal grant. It merely was removed from MCEC (rightfully so) and placed with another organization. Or am I missing something?

  19. mike from iowa

    You can’t expect accountability and responsibility from politicians,can you? That would onliest lead to more regulations and you know what them guys think of regs,don’t you?

  20. Ms. Dana, what I read in the papers and media seemed to indicate these people were employees of MCEC. So they had to be let go.

    If 7-11 closed, the employees don’t just get to move over to Common Sense automatically. I suppose they can apply.

  21. Even though 7-11 and Common Sense both sell Pepsi, I mean. Just because you sell Pepsi for 7-11 doesn’t mean you automatically get a job for Common Sense if Pepsi pulls the blue cans off the shelf in 7-11. You must move to where the Common Sense is, and apply. And maybe get hired.

  22. Then Casey’s will get the Pepsi contract and hire all their own new employees to sell blue cans. Everybody knows Casey’s is a good company.

  23. Disgusted Dakotan

    There are currently so many laws on the books now that the average person commits crimes often without even knowing they have violated the law. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704471504574438900830760842 Is that what we want? The average person does not have the time, nor the ability, to be aware of all the laws they are subject to. Our nation has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. While I am all for incarceration of career criminals, especially violent ones, we are seeing selective enforcement of laws.

  24. Deb Geelsdottir

    Calm down DD. I’m talking about the Koch/Republicans, not all Republicans.

  25. Deb Geelsdottir

    Oh, and tea baggers too. I’m fully aware that not all Republicans are Koch/Republicans or tea baggers.

  26. Donald Pay

    The honest, everyday Republican does support corruption. When you support, for example, efforts to “de-regulate” industries or privatize areas of government, you set up the machinery for corruption.

    How did the Enron debacle happen? By having an attitude like this: “There are currently so many laws on the books now that the average person commits crimes often without even knowing they have violated the law.” That’s a standard meme among libertarians and Republicans, and, yes, sometimes laws need to be reworked, relaxed, etc. For the most part, though, what statements like that generate is a lot of generalized know-nothing support for “reducing regulations” and “running government like a business.” And the Republican politicians and special interests take that pablum and turn it immediately into corruption, because the “honest, everyday Republican” just eats up every bullshit platitude and never really understands what is behind those words.

  27. Deb Geelsdottir

    BOOM! Donald Pay just won the argument hands down.

  28. Disgusted Dakotan

    So, everyday Democrats all support slavery that was a cornerstone of the Democratic Party? Jim Crow laws? The Confederate flag that was institutionalized by Democrats? Bill Clinton’s rapes? Anthony Weiner’s wiener photos? Joe Kennedy’s support of Hitler? The horrors that Hitler committed against the world as a result of such encouragement? How about the horrors that the Communists imposed on Vietnamese as a result of Democrats John Kerry & Jane Fonda’s efforts?

    If such logic as blaming all Republicans wins the previous argument? Then the above reciprocal idiocy? BOOM! Trumps that claimed idiotic declaration of a win.

  29. Democrats were all (redneck) Southerners at one time. Not anymore, we dumped them off on the GOP party. There goes the pro slavery argument.

  30. Donald Pay

    I’m not excluding Democrats, either. In California, it was Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican, and a Democratic legislator who pushed through energy deregulation that brought the Enron-inspired fake energy shortage that brought down a succeeding Democratic Governor, who actually was trying to correct the problem. When it comes to corruption, the special interests will work with whichever party is in power, or with both parties at the same time. But when an ideology of “limited government” is actually put in practice that’s when crime and corruption thrive.

  31. mike from iowa

    Limited gubmint=dysfunctional gubmint.

  32. mike from iowa

    Prove Clinton raped anyone,DD. Don’t forget Prescott Bush was a Hitler fancier as well. Wingnuts claimed Clinton was responsible for any number of murders and they kept a “Clinton Body Count” list to prove it,except it was another blatant lie brought to America by the party of family values.

  33. BOOM~! Donald just won the argument as to why both parties are a failure.

  34. Gramm/Leach/Clinton.

    The major forces in the destruction of a whole generation’s life savings.

  35. les-am not so sure about you. the dem party is not a failure. clintons, which ever, are far, far better than any republicans. thom hartmann has been skewering reagan for years now.

    the fossil fuel and even microsoft/apple money causes havoc when thune, noem, rounds types lack integrity. Tim johnson on the other hand, and daschle (despite his stupid slip when he was at the height of power), made some difference.

    as larry says. pick a side.

  36. Disgusted Dakotan

    Donald Pay & Iowa Mike,
    Good to see at least one of you had the sense to abandon the absurd stereotype voter registration indictment.

    The founding of the USA is on limited government ideology. When those principles were adhered to in our history, Americans in fact had more freedom. Unrestrained governments (i.e., dictatorships, monarchies, socialism/communism, etc.) have a long track record of horrific abuses and lack of freedom. Which form of un-American unlimited government are you attempting to impose on Americans? By some of your comments that Bill and Hillary are above the law, monarchy or dictatorship are implied; however, there are tinges of communism and socialism laced throughout your posts so it is a little confusing.

  37. larry kurtz

    Come back from the weeds, people and refocus on chipping away at the opacity of the offal coming from Pierre.

  38. mike from iowa

    Above the law? Oh,puhleeze! The Clintons had every single aspect of their lives and of Bill Clinton’s zippers examined under a microscope for evidence of wrong doing. What did ya find? Dumbass Dubya and Dickless Cheney,otoh, were never investigated with the over zealous passion that befalls any Democrat when stupid,f#$@ing wingnuts get subpoena power and carte blanche to make unproven accusations over and over again. Just ask Darrell-“My Brother Did It” Issa.

  39. Disgusted Dakotan

    @Jenny I imagine one has to tell themselves all kind of things in order to convince themselves they do not belong to the party responsible for:

    “In 1857, a Democratically controlled Supreme Court delivered the Dred Scott decision, declaring that blacks were not persons or citizens but instead were property and therefore had no rights.

    The 13th Amendment to abolish slavery was voted for by 100% of the Republicans in congress and by 23% of the Democrats in congress.

    Not one Democrat either in the House or the Senate voted for the 14th amendment declaring that former slaves were full citizens of the state in which they lived and were therefore entitled to all the rights and privileges of any other citizen in that state.

    Not a single one of the 56 Democrats in Congress voted for the 15th amendment that granted explicit voting rights to black Americans.

    In 1866 Democrats formed the Ku Klux Klan to pave the way for Democrats to regain control in the elections.

    George Wallace was a Democrat.

    Bull Connor was a Democrat.

    In the 19th century, Democrats prevented Black Americans from going to public school.

    In the 20th and 21st century Democrats prevented Black Americans trapped in failing schools from choosing a better school. In fact Democrats voted against the bill by 99%.

    Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, grandfather clauses, Literacy tests, white only primaries, and physical violence all came from the Democratic Party.

    Between 1882 and 1964, 4,743 individuals were lynched. 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites. Republicans often led the efforts to pass federal anti-lynching laws and Democrats successfully blocked those bills.

    Though both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were signed into law under Democrat President, Lyndon Johnson, it was the Republicans in Congress who made it possible in both cases – not to overlook the fact that the heart of both bills came from the work of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Following the Civil War, Frederick Douglass (A Republican) received Presidential appointments from Republican Presidents Ulysses Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James A. Garfield. Democratic President Grover Cleveland removed Frederick Douglas from office but Republican President Benjamin Harrison reappointed him.

    In 1789, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance that prohibited slavery in a federal territory. In 1820, the Democratic Congress passed the Missouri Compromise and reversed that earlier policy, permitting slavery in almost half of the federal territories.

    In 1850, Democrats in Congress passed the “Fugitive Slave Law”. That law required Northerners to return escaped slaves back into slavery or else pay huge fines.
    Because the “Fugitive Slave Law” allowed Free Blacks to be carried into slavery, this law was disastrous for blacks in the North; and as a consequence of the atrocious provisions of this Democratic law, some 20,000 blacks in the North left the United States and fled to Canada.
    The “Underground Railroad” reached the height of its activity during this period, helping thousands of slaves escape from slavery in the South all the way out of the United States and into Canada – simply to escape the reach of the Democrats’ Fugitive Slave Law.

    In 1854, the Democratically controlled Congress passed another law strengthening slavery: the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Even though Democrats in Congress had already expanded the federal territories in which slavery was permitted through their passage of the Missouri Compromise, they had retained a ban on slavery in the Kansas-Nebraska territory. But through the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Democrats repealed those earlier restrictions, thus allowing slavery to be introduced into parts of the new territory where it previously had been forbidden.

    In 1856, the Republican Party entered its first Presidential election, running Republican John C. Fremont against Democrat James Buchanan. In that election, the Republican Party issued its first-ever Party platform. It was a short document with only nine planks in the platform, but significantly, six of the nine planks set forth bold declarations of equality and civil rights for African Americans based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

    In 1856, the Democratic platform took a position strongly defending slavery and warned: “All efforts of the abolitionists… are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences and all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people”.

    It is worth noting that for over a century and a half, Democrats often have taken a position that some human life is disposable – as they did in the Dred Scott decision. In that instance, a black individual was not a life, it was property; and an individual could do with his property as he wished. Today, Democrats have largely taken that same position on unborn human life – that an unborn human is disposable property to do with as one wishes. African Americans were the victims of this disposable property ideology a century and a half ago, and still are today. Consider: although 12 percent of the current population is African American, almost 35 percent of all abortions are performed on African Americans. In fact, over the last decade, for every 100 African American live births, there were 53 abortions of African American babies. Democrats have encouraged this; and although black Americans are solidly pro-life with almost two-thirds opposing abortion on demand, a number of recent votes in Congress reveals that Democrats hold exactly the opposite view, with some 80 percent of congressional Democrats being almost rabidly pro-abortion and consistently voting against protections for innocent unborn human life. (Source: Fredrick Douglas Republicans)

  40. Disgusted Dakotan

    So Iowa Mike? You are okay with Clinton’s long documented predatory actions against women: http://www.albertpeia.com/oxfordassault.htm Notably missing from this long list is the publicly acknowledged victimization of then young intern Monica Lewinsky.

  41. Again, I stand by my comment.
    Dems cleaned house and racist Dems, many of which were Southerners, joined the GOP.

    The Dem party evolved for the better by endorsing and signing the Civil Rights Act.
    What matters is now and the GOP majority South of today has by far the most racist hate groups.

  42. Strom Thurmond is an historic example – racist Dem turned Dixicrat turned GOP.

  43. Disgusted Dakotan

    @Jenny Republican Dr Martin Luther King Jr would disagree with you, and so would the facts. Democratic Senators Byrd (1959-2010), Eastland (1943-1978), and Thurmond (1956-2003) led the opposition to the Civil Rights Act, and they remained long celebrated elected Democrats till recent years when they stopped running or died. There’s much more, but you get the point. So, this fanciful myth the traditionally racist Democratic Party sent all its racists to the GOP, is exactly that..

  44. Disgusted Dakotan

    You forget the vote totals, Republicans had a higher % for it than Democrats: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964#Vote_totals

    Thurmond left the Democratic Party out of spite, didn’t change who he was. And it is where Democrats created the myth the GOP was the racist party.

  45. larry kurtz

    Below the fold is a transcript of a thirteen-minute talk on the Reagan shooting. Judge suspected, as I do, that George H.W. Bush was behind that shooting, and note that when he says “the Bushy Knoll” in describing the perch from which Reagan was shot, there was huge laughter in the room.

    http://pieceofmindful.com/2014/06/25/the-reagan-assassination-attempt-1981-a-shot-from-the-bushy-knoll/

  46. larry kurtz

    Which one particular Republican spinmeister, when he wasn’t preening before political scientists, knew fully well—which was why, seven years after that interview, in his stated goal to “rip the bark off the little bastard [Michael Dukakis]” on behalf of his candidate George H.W. Bush, Atwater ran the infamous ad blaming Dukakis for an escaped Massachusetts convict, Willie Horton, “repeatedly raping” an apparently white girl.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy/

  47. Disgusted Dakotan

    @Larry, a few spin-off racists, who left the notoriously historic racist Democratic Party, does not take over the GOP no matter how much theory and speculation is used to white-wash the Democratic Party’s history. Especially when Democrats kept all the modern day racists like Byrd, Gore, etc. in Congress.

    Bottom line, the myth that the Democratic Party switched places with the GOP, gave up its racist history and adopted the Republicans’ history if freedom circa 1965, is ridicules.

  48. larry kurtz

    LBJ was a JFK assassination co-conspirator.

  49. The two Georges, Jeb and Marvin Bush are directly responsible for the events of 11 September, 2001. Why? Because the business of war is in their blood.

  50. larry kurtz

    Anyone who believes Melody Schopp isn’t part of a bigger conspiracy to hijack federal funds to grease SDGOP campaigns is delusional.

  51. mike from iowa

    The Paula Jones case was thrown out of court.Broadrick changed her story early and often. Lewinsky wasn’t a young victim,she was in a consensual relationship with Slick Willy and was victimized by her so called friends Linda Tripp and rwnj agent Lucianne Goldberg.

  52. mike from iowa

    As for the Civil Rights votes a solid majority of Democrats voted for the CRA.

  53. Disgusted Dakotan

    Iowa Mike,
    You have dozens more complaints of sexual assault to explain away, not the least of which is recent reports of his travels to pedophile island. Those litany of reports go back to his college days and cannot be ignorantly swept away as “right-wing conspiracy.”

    As solid of a Republican contingency voted for it. Unlike the litany of documented institutional racist efforts by the Democratic Party? The GOP does not have any such record.

    Serious mental gymnastics must occur to convince oneself to ignore that terrible legacy of the Democratic Party. But then again, so many talk about women’s rights when it’s convenient and defends the indefensible act of aborting a baby and then ignore such when it’s inconvenient (Clinton).

  54. mike from iowa

    I don’t have to dissect your allegations. You were the one accusing Clinton of being a rapist. Where is your proof? Many people were paid to accuse Clinton of fathering Black children and yet not a single one was ever proven. Most,if not all the accusations against Clinton were attempts to hurt his Presidency,fueled by rwnj Richard Mellon Scaife and the American Spectator.

    As for defending abortions,show me one person on here who has publicly stated they are in favor of abortions? Abortions are legal and constitutional,but I have never heard a single person claim to favor them. I,and I guess any number of others on here,favor letting a woman decide for herself whether to carry a pregnancy to term. That is not anywhere near advocating for abortions.

    As for racist wingnuts,they are all over the news. Ignore them at your own peril.

  55. owen reitzel

    The Democratic Part has evolved since those long ago KKK days.
    All you have to do is look at Bernice Sanders and yes Hillary Clinton. They’ve always supported woman’s rights as do most Democrats. In fact they support right to life for kids AFTER they’re born, unlike the Republicans who want to cut welfare programs. Look at the Republican candidates for President. Falling over themselves to see who could hurt families more.

    What case Bill Clinton ever been convicted of? Why none. So quit the revisionist history of the far right.

  56. Disgusted Dakotan

    Iowa Mike, Clearly you didn’t bother to look at the article from Capitol Hill Blue: http://www.albertpeia.com/oxfordassault.htm Which documented 11+ complaints by women over Clinton’s life, of sexual assault. That is the story of a sexual predator.

    @Owen Over a hundred years of institutional racism. When did they evolve and how? Democrats celebrate Margeret Sanger whose avocation of abortion to get rid of blacks is infamous, and yet she is celebrated yet today by Hillary and others. Was Hillary supporting women’s rights when she attacked the women who complained of her unfaithful husband’s sexual predator ways? How is that evolved? Lets not forget that Democrats are the biggest supporters of abortion, which just happens to kills 4 times as many black babies as any other http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0101.pdf

  57. Deb Geelsdottir

    Ohferpete’ssake DD. Give it up. Today’s Democratic Party is not the same party as the one of the past you keep trying to drag up. Even the 20th century Democratic Party is not the same as the 21st century party.

    The Democratic Party today is centrist. There is no Far Left. Elizabeth Warren is an example of the Democratic Left, but she has a great distance to go to reach the Far Left. What she advocates has long been American practice – stronger bank and Wall Street regulation, progressive and fair taxes, government and election transparency, fair election financing, responsive government, etc.

    Those are typical American government policies. Single payer health care is not. That is farther left, maybe even Far Left, but not by much.

  58. Disgusted Dakotan

    @Deb You get my point how ignorant it is to stereo type every Republican by the actions of a few, and that point was made in the face of documented historic institutional racism that is the Democratic Party’s past. Maybe it is “centrist” to someone on the far Left; however, “stronger bank and Wall Street regulation, progressive and fair taxes (more taxes)..fair election financing” are not “typical American government policies.” If they were? The public would be falling all over Democrats since Obama took office and that is definitely NOT the case.

  59. Disgusted Dakotan

    @Deb, Owen, Iowa Mike,

    If Left was the answer, the American people would be flocking to the Left as Democrats were at a high-water mark in 2008. They are now at the worse level in modern history: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/democratic-blues-121561

  60. Deb Geelsdottir

    DD, I’m notrying talking about today’s far right extremist setting. Historically, in the US of A 20th century, the policies I described are the norm, beginning with TR.

    There have been brief excursions into extremism throughout this country’s history. It is this brief moment which is distorting the traditional Left and traditional Right.

    My amateur opinion is that the far right, epitomized by the tea baggers, is just about done. Whenever extremists get into power they naturally reach an extreme position and soon thereafter, they are gone. That’s the nature of extremism.

    A certain level of extremism on each end of the political spectrum is a good thing because that’s how balance is maintained. That’s how centrist Democrats and centrist Republicans are kept on their toes.

    Your comments are an excellent example of extremism. Have a good time.

  61. Disgusted Dakotan

    @Deb You contradict yourself on several fronts: #1 you claim todays Democratic Party is centrist, yet you claim US rebounds from extremes? So was DNC extreme in 2008? Because USA is definitely not moving to the Left according to this: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/democratic-blues-121561

    Please show me where the TEA Party is in power and how their ideas of cutting the national debt, cutting spending, etc are “extreme” ideas.

    So the old losing the debate routine and scream “extremist!” and run for the back door? Gotcha.

  62. larry kurtz

    Teabaggers are overrunning the nut wing of the national GOP.

  63. larry kurtz

    It’s Trump against the Teabagger/Rubio/Koch establishment.

  64. larry kurtz

    Jeb is unelectable.

  65. larry kurtz

    Trump has the earth hater establishment over a barrel: he is far more of a threat as an unaffiliated candidate in the general to the earth haters than he is as the earth party’s nominee.

  66. larry kurtz

    Than he is as the earth haters party nominee, rather. Even if he wins the greatest number of earth hater votes in their primary Rubio could be nominated at the earth hater convention.

  67. DD All your stuff is just antedotal. Fact is the majority of Americans if they could just walk in and vote without having to run a gauntlet of Republican barriers against their right to vote would replace many of your repubs. But jerry mandering, cynicism and voter suppression will prevent that.

    Tit for tat about which politicans did more evil is just retoric.

    Thune is a joke n Rounds will be just as ineffective.

    The “honest, everyday republican” particularly when it comes to SD state politics continues to be the puppet of a greedy group of 1% ers hell bent on filling the bank accounts of paper thieves.

    You all scream “states rights, we know best” and fall in line when people point at Obama n say “he’s the problem”

    Obama also represents people that don’t vote and you can’t handle that.

    Lowest paid teachers in country n we will KEEP IT THAT WAY!

    Whomever is on the Republican ballot for president in western sd will win the vote. Anybody but a democrat. This is the reality of here n now DD.

    I do agree with you on one statement you made “selective enforcement of laws” no s**t sherlock. When supreme court judge Roberts backed Obamacare that is what an “honest republican” can look like. Freaked out all the repubs that expected him to follow the party line!

    Weren’t we talking about poor if not criminal use of Education funds sent to the state of South Dakota for the benefit of Native kids?

  68. Disgusted Dakotan

    I agree with you Spike, my words are an antidote..