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Dusty Encounters (and Sponsors) Cognitive Decline; DFP Gains Readers

Pat Powers notes that among the first reports from the paywalled Argus-refugee Sneve-Ellis Dakota Scout is a note that the generally well-mannered Dusty Johnson told the Sioux Falls Chamber Tuesday that some of his Congressional colleagues (Ellis’s words) “suffer from mental degradation because so many districts are not competitive.”

Snark-alation abounds, but speaking of cognitive decline, the SDGOP spin blog appears to be losing steam. In the week spanning August 26 through September 1, Pat Powers published only eleven blog posts, five of which were straight press releases from his sponsors without additional analyzation or commentary. Over the same seven days, Dakota Free Press published 25 original posts, with not one consisting solely of a cut-and-paste press release.

Quantity and quality are likely explanations for steadily increasing blog readership. Unlike the Sturgis Rally, Dakota Free Press views in August 2022 were up 5.8% from August 2021 and up 54% from the previous seven-year August average.

Sioux Valley sports fan Bruce Tucker objects to this statistic and, apparently, to this blog:

Bruce Tucker, Twitter reply to CAH, 2022.09.01.
Bruce Tucker, Twitter reply to CAH, 2022.09.01.


CA Heidelberger, Twitter reply to Bruce Tucker, 2022.09.01.
CA Heidelberger, Twitter reply to Bruce Tucker, 2022.09.01.

As for Tucker’s allegation that posts on this blog (all of them?) are “inflammatory,” well, I would suggest that I’m about as inflammatory as the “group” that drove Kristi Noem and Larry Rhoden away from Golf Addiction Tuesday was “aggressive“. I’ll also yield the floor again to President Biden, who seems to have a better grasp of what words mean:

We saw law enforcement brutally attacked on January the 6th.  We’ve seen election officials, poll workers — many of them volunteers of both parties — subjected to intimidation and death threats.  And — can you believe it? — FBI agents just doing their job as directed, facing threats to their own lives from their own fellow citizens.

On top of that, there are public figures — today, yesterday, and the day before — predicting and all but calling for mass violence and rioting in the streets.

This is inflammatory.  It’s dangerous.  It’s against the rule of law.  And we, the people, must say: This is not who we are [President Joe Biden, speech from Independence Hall, Philadelphia, 2022.09.01].

I’m not sure I’m setting any fires, but I’ll continue illuminating South Dakota’s political landscape for my apparently growing readership. Help Dusty and others resist cognitive decline—read and share Dakota Free Press!


  1. larry kurtz 2022-09-02

    Howdy Doody Dusty is simply another career politician feathering his nest with Benjamins raised with vitriol and prevarication in a failed red state where young people are fleeing for their lives. South Dakota deserves him.

  2. Hank 2022-09-02

    Thank you Cory!

  3. BobJ 2022-09-02

    Dusty just another huge disappointment.

  4. Neal 2022-09-02

    I disagree with most of your politics, but I recognize and appreciate the actual journalism that happens here. Powers isn’t half the writer and analyst you are. It’s not even a comparison.

  5. cibvet 2022-09-02

    The DFP is the only reliable source of news in SD at present.
    Thank you for what you do.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-02

    Neal, you are correct about our disagreement. I thus appreciate all the more your willingness to recognize that I offer you more food for thought than the blog that purports to align better with your political opinions. Thank you. While Powers parrots his party leaders and sponsors, I will continue to give substantive articles to discuss, debate, and, if you think you can, rebut mercilessly with counterevidence.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-02

    BobJ, I am surprised at Dusty’s insult to his fellow Congresspeople. I wonder if he’d care to name names.

  8. All Mammal 2022-09-02

    Call me El Chapo I push so much DFP on the streets.

  9. leslie 2022-09-02


    btw, big ATTABOY, Neal. Careful u don’t get CHENEY-IZED!

    Rational Republican. Now there’s a concept. I am hoping your party death spirals into extinction, for all the damage you have done. You deserve it.

  10. larry kurtz 2022-09-02

    So far the Dakota Scout reads like just another bulletin for the SDGOP. Curious whether its founders can make a go of it as just another DWC.

  11. Guy 2022-09-02

    Dusty: “…suffer from mental degradation because so many districts are not competitive.” It sounds to me like Dusty is speaking about himself.

  12. HydroGuy 2022-09-02

    Cory–the personification of TR’s “Man in the Arena”–beats the intellectually flaccid, inept PP like a rented mule. And Guy beat me to it: Dusty is projecting all over the place with that comment!

  13. Jake 2022-09-02

    Oh for the love of Pete, Dusty Johnson! You stand in front of a Chamber crowd in Sioux Falls and blather that B.S.?!!!! You, of the SD GOP fraternity, with a “lock-hold” on political power in SD (and lusting for more I might add)
    complain of your colleagues coming from some districts that have no competition!
    Oh ye who call the ‘kettle black’!! Or WOLF, WOLF! Short of the wonderful presence of Daschle, Johnson, Herseth and before them McGovern, this state has had in the last 40 yrs or so suffered from your like that follow a cry-baby like the former well-defeated former president like rats following the Pied-Piper off a cliff. Your party is giving democracy bruises and death by a thousand cuts since tRump took office and wanted to remain king for life.
    Your party needs look no further than the “Swift-boating” of Kerry and ruination of triple-amputee who ran the VA so well, that when he ran for Senate your GOP scapegoated him so badly they may as well have taken off his other limb.
    The only way Republicans win elections anymore is by restricting who can vote and and putting in Secretaries of State that ensure only those favoring the GOP can vote. For shame, GOP!

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-02

    Guy, HyrdoGuy, yeah, there’s a whole separate treatise to be written on Dusty’s self-own there. He’s in one of the least competitive House Districts in the U.S., facing no significant challenger since 2018. (Sorry, Collin Duprel and Libertarians, but you aren’t there yet.) If he’s saying that lack of competition contributes to cognitive decline, then he’d better save his own brains by donating to some Democrats in 2024!

  15. Francis Schaffer 2022-09-02

    Dusty is distracting from the moral degradation of the GOP by talking about mental degradation. The Republicans have been in mental degradation for so long how is Dusty able to see the needle move to indicate further degradation?

  16. John Dale 2022-09-03

    Plains Tribune is going gangbusters right now due to our work spreading the word about real electoral issues in SD and in other states.

    Our work taking a risk publishing information about the shots gave folks an alternative viewpoint regarding the shots and covid, which were proven right. Who knows, maybe we saved some people from covid and medical experimentation.

    I haven’t checked in awhile and try not to obsess over our traffic because I’m human and don’t want to be tempted to violate the privacy of our listeners/readers, but we receive anywhere from 15k – 40k unique visitors a month. I’m not sure how many back channels we occupy as I encourage our listeners to redistribute our MP3’s.

    At some point, we’d like to grow and acquire more licensing and expand our base. Thank you to everyone who is contributing to our tip jar, and to Cory and Pat both for allowing me to comment in good faith.

    I like lots of alternatives and sources, and frequent both of your blogs and write frequently as you know.

    I’m baffled, however, at how both DFP and DWC didn’t dig-in to readily available sources of information regarding these and other issues.

    I see a lot of newsworthy information coming from both sites, but nobody is batting 1000, and I’m also not seeing as much innovation and invention coming from you two, but that’s not damning on its face.

    Keep up the entertaining work.

    I’m on the edge of my seat at the prospect of a third Trump term.


    Now, fly my pretties .. FLY!

    Tee hee hee.

  17. ABC 2022-09-04

    We should all adopt the Arizona motto God enriches as well as Under God the People rule, SD motto too.

    It means we have all this wealth. People individually and government collectively decide how the wealth is distributed throughout society as a whole.

    So we are connected to God and God enriches us ALL, and God tells us, hey, you the people rule! So take this literally in your heart every day! So the Republicans won 2018 elections, big deal. So the Democrats are weak and unimaginative, big deal. Things change on a dime. If you don’t have a dime, then God will send you more than that!

    Be the change you want to be in your own life. Do what you want to do. You build freedom and prosperity for yourself and others! More than the R and the D “parties “ do. You do more than the R and the D parties every day, way more!

    God enriches you, the people rule. Never forget that. It is a living reality.

  18. mike from iowa 2022-09-04

    There is no kristian gawd. If there was you wouldn’t have drumpf and magats. You have the greedy ad the rest of us, imho.

  19. grudznick 2022-09-04

    Mr. mike, who is but from Iowa, is righter than right. God drowned in a bowl of cereal.

  20. Daniel Buresh 2022-09-04

    It’s not even a comparison that is worthy of debate. I rarely agree with you but your analysis is leaps and bounds ahead of the war toilet. You can’t even post “saudi” on Power’s blog without having your post blocked because he is scared of upsetting Dan Lederman. I enjoy watching the Higgins and Beals of our area make themselves out to be fools. It’s quite hilarious to watch such elementary commentators display their ignorance for party allegiance at their own expense. You live rent free in their heads and they blame all dissonance on your behalf. You should wear it as a badge of honor.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-05

    Thanks, Daniel. As with Neal, I appreciate your objective assessment amidst broader disagreement. Even if readers don’t agree with me, I want to give them challenging questions to think about and a chance to talk about Dan Lederman’s Saudi connections as well as Jamie Smith’s connections to Joe Biden (the former are better documented and more direct and lucrative than the latter).

Comments are closed.