Alas, as he so often does, Powers confuses plural and singular. He asserts that the CFPB’s rules have aroused “widespread opposition.” Yet he cites only “one of the voices”, millionaire publisher Steve Forbes, whose October 5 Facebook post responds to the payday lending rules but focuses more on the generic rich man’s critique of the CFPB:
Read that last line: giving payday lenders more rope to hang consumers means allowing “the American people… to take control of their financial futures again”? Ha! What part of “debt trap” and “predatory lending” don’t you understand, Mr. Forbes?
But Forbes is the only person Powers cites in a post that headlined “a lot of people”. And Forbes says nothing to substantiate that there are “a lot of people” agreeing with him, only an unnamed survey that says nearly half of Americans struggle with finances (psst—they struggle even more when payday lenders take advantage of them!). Evidently, all the Benjamin Franklins in Forbes’s pocket count as “a lot of people” supporting his view.
Powers misuses the plural frequently, trying to falsely bolster a one-off claim (notice that when I say something happens multiple times, I provide multiple links to support that claim). I could say many people are saying that Pat should stop manufacturing pluralities to justify his singular observations. But I won’t. I’m saying it myself. We’ll see how many people join the comment section to agree or disagree.
Pat Powers sifts through the October federal campaign finance reports from our U.S. House candidates and finds Shantel Krebs outraising Dusty Johnson by 12% during fair season but still trailing Johnson’s war chest by 11%. Powers also notes Tim Bjorkman’s first haul—only five figures, $74K.
Powers does not note his own partial presence in Johnson’s FEC filings. The SDGOP spin blogger donated early to Team Dusty ($300 on November 14, 2016, the day Powers first teased Johnson’s candidacy and two days before the campaign hit the press), and Johnson twice-plus-returned the favor by buying Pat’s campaign stickers ($743.37 to Dakota Campaign on August 2, 2017). But oddly, Johnson has not reported how much he has spent to occupy space on the SDGOP spin blog with his cheerful little logo.
The FEC expects that candidates report fees paid to place such communications on another person’s website. Other federal officials have reported such fees:
Candidate then, now Senator Mike Rounds: $29,628.39 in the 2014 cycle for direct mail, signs, and advertising, $9,000 of which comes in easy round figures that look like the general fees for web ads rather than the specific to-the-penny amounts for X number of printed materials.
Maybe Powers is providing Dusty free ad space, but whether that counts as volunteer activity exempt from FEC reporting requirements is questionable… especially since Dusty’s ad says it was paid for. The reports from our current federal officeholders show they’ve paid Powers significant money for that electronic ad space and reported said expenses for all to see. Dusty, check with your well-paid compliance staff, and make sure they tack your receipts from Powers onto your next amended FEC report!
This is the same Pat Powers who has been stunningly silent about the performance and character of his party’s most recent Presidential candidate, now occupying the White House, whose published statements and daily behavior are less professional, less moral, and less respectful than things Harvey Weinstein has done on mic.
I contend that anyone still standing by Donald Trump has forfeited any authority to advise political candidates on proper behavior.
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.
You may not have noticed, because, despite all the attention Ellis says his website got him (links by Limbaugh, USA Today, BBC; interviews with NPR, Newsweek, NBC, BBC… really?), Ellis appears never to have entered into South Dakota’s mainstream consciousness. I chose not to include his American Clarion RSS feed or the Dakota Voice feed that preceded it in my South Dakota Blogosphere ticker in my blog sidebar because Ellis usually strayed from actual South Dakota news to focus on recycled rants from the national arch-right third-tier media. Ellis’s most recent content reflects that bias toward far-flung rhetoric with no connection to South Dakota. Prior to his farewell, Ellis’s six most recent posts pop up in his National feed…and tellingly, five of those articles drew zero comments, while the sixth drew one. His South Dakota feed shows only five posts between March 24 and May 10, and one deals with a presentation on “How to Speak Communist” and another is about World War II history. Ellis put up a lot of videos of legislative crackerbarrels but not much analysis. Ellis offers nothing about nonmeandered waters, nothing about our gubernatorial candidates, and nothing that doesn’t fit his paradigm of guns, patriotism, and the evils of liberalism. If you wanted to keep up with South Dakota politics, you didn’t read American Clarion.
Ellis uses the word whore four times in his article to blast the fellow conservatives whom he feels have sold out their professed values. Yet right next to that blistering critique is Ellis’s sidebar filled with clickbait ads with busty women promising better results than Viagra in stiffening one’s willie, plus a Biblical cure for body fat.
Whoring? Takes one to know one, Bob.
Ellis been offering the same tired recitations of extremist right-wing fantasies for over a decade. The critique I offered of his exertions in 2007 remains valid—he and fellow conservative warriors against the evil Left (like Steve Sibson, long lost in anti-Heidelberger obsession) are missing the real corporate fascist threat to their professed religious values:
Bob and Sibby aren’t completely wrong. There is a vast secular, globalist threat to Christianity and family values, perpetrated by amoral agents devoted only to increasing their own power. it’s called global corporate capitalism. Corporations have no God, no morality. Corporations care by design and duty for nothing but increased profits. They don’t care what god you worship or what country you live in: they just want your money, your labor, and your loyalty/slavery [CA Heidelberger, “Bob Ellis and Steve Sibson: Deluded Tools of the Plutocracy,” Madville Times, 2007.12.28].
Ellis makes no mention of his conservative competitor Pat Powers (we should say ally, but Ellis would surely lump Powers in with the whoring RINOs he sees corrupting his party and country). Powers says less about Ellis than I do, dismissing him as “bitter,” sarcastically calling Ellis’s swansong as a “gracious exit,” but chickening out of a complete analysis, response, or fare-the-well.
I’d encourage you–one of that remnant of people who is still dedicated to what is right–to stay informed (as I will be) by patronizing good sources of information that won’t whore out their values, that won’t water down the truth to curry favor with feckless betrayers of what we believe in, that will tell the truth even when it costs them. Here in South Dakota, a continuing source is the Right Side; I wish there were more, but the Right has become so corrupted here that most of the good people have beaten into silence or seduced into joining the dark side. Nationally, you can find the straight stuff at places like RedState and Resurgent. Don’t waste your time on “Right” wing propaganda sites (that use to be reliable) like Breitbart, Drudge and Fox News. And now that Rush Limbaugh can no longer be relied on to stand for conservatism, Steve Deace is my go-to guy on a daily basis (and in addition to hard-hitting conservatism, Deace brings to the table what Rush Limbaugh never did: the life-transforming Truth of a Biblical worldview) [Bob Ellis, “The Final American Clarion Article,” American Clarion, 2017.06.01].
The only South Dakota blog Ellis finds worth mentioning is Gordon Howie’s Right Side. I like Gordon. I’ve sat down and done blogvideos with Gordon. I’ve had fun interacting with Gordon, whose legislative experience seems to help him keep at least one toe in the world of practical South Dakota politics. But for the most part, Gordon’s blogging is a fluffier-puffierrevival tent version of Bob’s, dwelling on generic anti-Left hollerings that reinforce prejudices rather than informing readers about what’s happening in South Dakota. (That, and he fell for Annette Bosworth. Gordon, Gordon, Gordon….) That lack of South Dakota-specific information is why Right Side won’t be popping into my sidebar feeds… and why, like most of the soon-to-be deleted content on the now-defunct American Clarion, most posts on Right Side go without comment. If you want a blog to last, you have to write something worth talking about. That’s why Bob Ellis is gone and why almost no South Dakotans will notice.
Business tax rates would be more affordable and products made here would no longer be taxed at higher rates than products made overseas, which is similar to other “border adjustment” policies used by over 160 countries. However, the Border Adjustment tax stands as one of the most contentious parts of the House Blueprint, with some in the Senate standing against it.
We covered this same bad argument in March, when Pat was struggling to protect his sponsor Rep. Kristi Noem from fellow conservatives Club for Growth’s clever TV attacks on her support for the Border Adjustment Tax. Pat, Kristi, and the House GOP are advocating a new tax that will cost middle-class families $1,700 a year in increased prices on imported goods. All Pat’s squawking about the other provisions in the House GOP tax package that will save average families $4,600 a year does not change the fact that refusing to enact the Border Adjustment Tax will leave another $1,700 in the average family’s pockets.
Pat wants a new tax, the Border Adjustment Tax. Impose that tax, and we’ll have less money in our pockets than we would have otherwise.
So for the five of you readers who care about this tiff, let us turn to Powers’s Wednesday post (the only thing he wrote that day) responding to my analysis of the McGovern Day muddle and my recommendation that South Dakota Democrats focus on grassroots activism rather than further internal power struggles. What you’ll find, if you bother (and I really don’t recommend bothering, even though I’m about to), is that, much like what happens when Trump opens his mouth, Powers’s critiques of me are really exercises in Republican projection of their own insecurity and shame.
First, pictures. Powers keeps running a picture of me borrowed from KELO-TV in 2001. Powers seems to find this photo unflattering. He could more accurately portray my fall from youthful beauty by updating his photo box with any number of recent, publicly available photos:
Heck, even the fall 2016 photo he ran of me on my campaign bike to great chortlage and mockery more accurately depicts me in my current state than his old TV file photo:
But old photos are par for the course for Pat and his GOP pals. How old is Senator Mike Rounds’s Twitter profile photo?
Now to the headline: “Democrat Mouthpiece Finally Breaks News Blackout on Failed Democrat Party Revolt.”
The adjective is Democratic. Responsible writers do not write Democrat Party any more than they would Republic Party.
“News Blackout”? This from a Republican political blogger who, according to his own search engine, hasn’t mentioned the Republican President since March 20. When information about the snap election push became public, I discussed it a fair amount on these pages, because I wanted to offer analysis that people on all sides of the tussle could use to make their decisions. When that push failed, I took eleven days to talk to Democrats who attended McGovern Day, to read other responses, and to think about the next best course of action for the party. That’s not a news blackout; that’s thoughtful deliberation.
For someone who pretends to understand me, Pat Powers really doesn’t know me at all. Ann Tornberg has known me for 30 years. If she has an “inner circle”, she has yet to place me in it. But Ann can tell you, as can anyone else who knows me, that I have never really given a hoot about getting into anyone’s “inner circle”. Unlike Pat Powers, whose entire blogging career reads like one long fawning to atone for his past political gaffes and get back into the good graces of the Republican rich and powerful, I am my own man. I appreciate my friends, I respect their trust, but I do not chase favor. I report facts, I analyze and opine, and I let others throw whichever chips, poker or buffalo, they see fit.
But autism-advocate Powers apparently can’t bring himself to violate his Dear Leader principles. While Donald Trump lit the White House blue yesterday evening for Autism Awareness Day, he has lit up autism advocates with his apparent misunderstanding of autism. Yet Powers has not raised his voice alongside his fellow autism advocates to point out his President’s errors.
Cure? Believe it or not, that’s not the right word to use with autism advocates:
President Trump’s proclamation pledges that his administration will encourage “innovation that will lead to new treatments and cures for autism.” Such a goal is widely outside the consensus of the self-advocate community, which has long since concluded that the concept of a “cure” for autism is profoundly unethical and leads to dangerous and even deadly consequences for autistic people. It is also out of line with the consensus of the scientific community, which has recognized the idea of cure as scientifically implausible. Research towards “cure” does not help autistic people or our families, and after decades of protest from autistic people, the public has begun to realize that a world without autistic people is not an ethical or desirable goal. The Trump administration’s attempt to revive the idea of cure is a dangerous fringe position [Autistic Self Advocacy Network, statement, 2017.04.01].
It’s not surprising that Trump is still looking for a “solution” to autism. I doubt he’s spent much time talking to autistic adults, or learning more about their support needs. That would require a willingness to accept a different worldview, and I’ve yet to see that from Trump. But by focusing on autism as something to prevent, treat, or cure, Trump is doing kids like mine a disservice, and reinforcing the idea that who they are isn’t good enough [Jody Allard, “The New President’s Ignorance about Autism Is Dangerous for Kids Like Mine,” CafeMom, 2017.02.15].
While celebrating socialist policies supporting his autism advocacy, Powers has noted that claiming that autism is increasing due to vaccines is “crazytalk“. Yet Powers has ignored his President’s peddling of exactly that crazytalk. In February, at a White House meeting with fellow no-clue-itarian Betsy DeVos, Trump referred to the “horrible… tremendous amount of increase” in autism. That statement is bunk:
Trump is broadcasting a very inaccurate and misleading claim about autism — one that you often hear from the Kennedys and Wakefields of the world, but which experts flatly disagree with. Purveyors of this claim often point out that autism rates have increased significantly since the early 1990s, but as Steve Silberman, an autism expert and the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, told Science of Us, that has to do with diagnostic criteria and awareness, not the prevalence of the condition itself.
Trump is now using the highest office in the country to broadcast language and falsehoods that run counter to the conscientious autism advocacy of people like Powers… yet Powers remains silent on the damage the pulpit bully is doing.
Come on, Pat: I wasn’t afraid to say President Obama was wrong on issues that are near and dear to my heart, like education, or when he didn’t push hard enough for liberal priorities, like single-payer health insurance or a public option. You can do it, too, Pat: you can say, “Trump is wrong: autism doesn’t need a cure; it needs more science, more understanding… and more socialism!”
The SDGOP spin machine is really working hard to deflect the Club for Growth’s criticism of Rep. Kristi Noem for not firmly opposing the Trumpy Border Adjustment Tax. Club for Growth claims that Smoot-Hawley measure would cost middle-class families $1,700 a year in increased prices on imported goods.
But Pat, Grover, Republicans, your response does not challenge the thesis of the Club for Growth position. Whether the Border Adjustment Tax is part of a larger tax-cut package or a standalone plan, passage of the BAT means average families will have $1,700 less in their pockets at the end of the year than they would if Kristi would just say, “BAT is bad,” right?
Democrats, if Ravnsborg is the SDGOP’s only offering for Attorney General, your chances of winning the Attorney General’s seat in 2018 just increased 50%. Any smart, articulate young Dem with a law degree can easily outshine Ravnsborg on the campaign trail and in debates. Let’s start recruiting!
Less than two weeks after lawbreaking Saudi agent Lederman wrests the SDGOP chair from sitting chair and mainline SDGOP pick Pam Roberts, Ravnsborg announces his bid for a nomination that will be decided at the Lederman-controlled 2018 SDGOP convention.