- We need Congressional term limits. Actually, the Glenn Beckers themselves may disagree on this one. Ben Elliott voiced support for this idea and won some nods. Others suggested it takes too much effort to amend the Constitution. I suggest term limits are crass elitism: if you think you're smart enough to see that the incumbent is corrupt but that the general electorate isn't and that you thus need to impose a rule from above to limit choices at the ballot box for the electorate's own good, you're an elitist.
- John Thune should answer his own phone calls. Madison neighbor Jerry Heckenliable takes the position that a United States Senator who has 1000-page bills to read does not need any staff to respond to the phone calls of 800,000 constituents or carry out any other functions. In other words, Jerry wants Jon Lauck fired. So do I... but I intend to achieve that end by voting John Thune out of office in 2010, not by the absurd assertion that Senators need no bureaucrats (a.k.a., support staff) helping them do their jobs. ON what planet does Jerry get his news?
- Tim Johnson is disabled and should resign. Oh. Planet Mean, I guess. Jerry H. said this to me with a bit more bitterness than I find comfortable. Hmm, let's see: this year, Senator Johnson has missed 12 Senate votes (4.4%), all during a four-day period at the beginning of May.
- We need to get the government out of Social Security. No, Jerry, Social Security as a specific program and a general principle, is exactly what we build governments to handle.
- Bills in Congress are written by college-graduate staffers who've been told exactly what to write by their Marxist professors. No, Sibby, bills are written by corporate lobbyists acting as anarcho-capitalist tools.
- Brown is a good color for political t-shirts. Does no one in Madison understand marketing? Brown shirts don't stand out. Brown shirts are also an invitation to blog mockery. You might as well hang a piñata and hand me the stick. (The Sioux Falls Glenn Beckers at least went with red.)
- "I hate politics." Madison Glenn Beck fan club organizer Jason Bjorklund all-caps-shouted this in his big MDL ad. Jason, you're doing politics right now. That's a good thing, an admirable thing. Keep at it.
- Health insurance should be like car insurance. Jason didn't get to finish this thought—there were a lot of conversations brewing last night!—but he's wrong. Health care is not auto repair. People are not cars. Different rules of economics and morality apply.
- The Founding Fathers started with a model that gave more power to the states. Actually, that statement by itself is correct. As a states' rights argument, it's ill-chosen. That starting system was called the Articles of Confederation. It didn't work. The Founding Fathers scrapped that plan in favor of a stronger federal system... something Glenn Beck's ancestors likely would have called a dangerous step toward fascism... had the word actually existed in 1787.
- Montana has all the shale oil America needs. Yeah, and Mars has a lot of iron, but I'm not seeing the business model yet. Capitalists aren't stupid. If they wouldn't go broke drilling and transporting the Bakken shale oil, Exxon et al. would already be there in full force. Evidently the Bakken shale oil, which might have recoverable reserves equal to maybe twenty year, maybe less than one year of U.S. oil consumption, won't get pumped until oil prices jump back above $100 a barrel, the kind of prices that pushed Bjorklund to shutter his trucking business last year.
Guest column: Bob Mercer’s important role in Pierre - This guest column was written by Noel Hamiel, a retired editor and publisher of numerous South Dakota newspapers, including Yankton and Mitchell newspapers...
7 hours ago