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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gut Check for Conservatives: Support Obama's Defund of Lewis and Clark

Here's more federal money for Dr. R. Blake Curd to send back to Washington: funding for the Lewis and Clark water system. President Barack Obama is proposing "just" $2 million for the water project in his FY 2011 budget. That's a lot to you and me, but L&C project chief Tory Larson says that "won't even keep the lights on."

Essentially, according to Larson, the President is defunding this project and saving Uncle Sam and you the taxpayer money. But I guarantee my conservative neighbors who run my fair city and its economic development organs will soon be begging our Congressional delegation to pour more federal money into Lewis and Clark to run that big water pipe up to Madison.

So to my Glenn Beck-lovin' neighbors, I pose this question: Jason, Linda, Neal, cousin Aaron, where do you stand on this specific project? Is this federal spending acceptable? Or do we thank the President for cutting the appropriation, ask him to cut further, and build our own water system with local money?


  1. It's hard to tell if this defunding of Lewis & Clark, which so many cities have pre-paid their participation in, is a stab at our soaring Senator John Thune or a knock at our Blue Dog Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, both of which have rankled Obama, his staff, Pelosi and Reid. You would think our senior Senator Tim Johnson would have clout and Obama's ear to fight hard for Lewis & Clark funding, and try to overcome the budget games that have been going on since January 2009.

    One wonders how President Bush got so many things passed with a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, while President Obama seems to struggle while holding a majority.

  2. Actually, Argus said Obama's original funding request was the same last year. Seems unlikely that the same request this year would be a unique jab at anyone in the SD delegation. But I could be wrong.

    Difference with Bush: Dems were willing to put partisanship aside to get the country's business done on various important issues. Today's Republicans are committed to putting party over country and destroying Obama. GOP is madder about Obama's honest election than Dems were about W's Supreme Court win. Fascinating.

    But the real question: are Madison's and South Dakota's Republicans willing to reject this federal money for the sake of reducing that awful deficit?

  3. America first and place South Dakota high on the list of federal grants. We need to take care of our land and projects, most of our "wasted" tax dollars goes overseas to nations and leaders we have no control over.

    Taking federal, state and local money for these projects is nothing to be ashamed of.

  4. GoldMan-

    Earmarks don't work that way. Each congress person is allocated so many dollars strictly based on seniority. No one messes with anyone else's portion because it would lead to all of it being put into the press, which none of them want.

    Also, in terms of Obama getting things passed, he tried to form a bipartisan consensus. Though, at this point that strategy looks like a mistake. It's more politically beneficial for the republicans to stop EVERYTHING going forward than to pass legislation that is good for the country.

    Thad Wasson-

    You assertion is completely false unless you have a very strange definition of "wasted". For example, 0.2% of the total federal budget last year went to foreign aid.

    Now, if you are a republican, you absolutely should have a problem with taking federal money for local projects. South Dakota takes 2 dollars for every dollar it puts into the federal government now. That is welfare which all good republicans should oppose on principle. Right?

  5. Our largest budget item is the military. The two wars we have going on right now have not been paid for, in fact, they are off the books for the time being. There is about a trillion spent that I believe could be managed better with other nations picking up their own military tab instead of the U.S. providing their defense.

    The town of Summerset is applying for a federal grant to control flooding. Summerset is located in Meade County, home of the largest concentration of Republicans in the state of S.D. It is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is an issue of who gets our tax dollars, and today we have to compete with foreign nations to keep our own money.

  6. Tony: Please show documentation of Obama's attempt at bipartisan consensus, because I have not seen an ounce of bipartisan attempt by his administration, especially on healthcare reform. Republicans have been shut out consistently in his first term, especially in the House.

    And I need to question how seniority is helping us with Lewis and Clark when Sen. Tim Johnson is the most senior. Where's the bacon for this important water project?

  7. Goldman-

    The most obvious example is the health care debate. Did you once hear him call for (while the democrats had the majority) the republican position to be ignored? To their and our detriment, he and the democrats engaged the republicans and continuously reduced the scope of plan to meet republican demands.

    Another less talked about issue has been his change of stance on our overseas wars. During his campaign, he had very specific draw down of forces plans. However, now in office he has taken the advice of McCain and other republicans and altered his draw down plans. I'm certainly not in favor of this change, most democrats are not, but he has taken advice of the republican minority that are still pro-war and have come to a compromise.

    With regards to where is the bacon, each senator only gets so much. He obviously has prioritized his allotment elsewhere. I haven't looked in great detail at the pork that is coming to SD from this year's budget so I can't say where his priories were this year. But also, don't forget that this is pork. An import water project in your mind may not be in his or one of his staffers.

    My guess would that social welfare programs are getting a boost with this budget though.

  8. Wrong, Tony; the present administration did NOT engage the Republicans or listen to their ideas or include any of them. Most of the plan was done behind closed doors with NO Rep input. Obama cannot separate himself from the way Reid and Pelosi handled this. They changed the bill in order to get support from their own Dem legislators, not the Reps who weren't going to vote for it anyway.

    I believe that once he was elected and truly in the know on the war issues he had no other choice but to do what he has been doing. I don't think the Reps had anything to do with his decision to still be in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He has not shown any desire for bipartisanship, as demonstrated by one of his first phrases after winning when he stated at a televised meeting "We won."

    If he truly was interested in creating bipartisanship, his State of the Union offered him the perfect opportunnity, but he could not bring himself to do that even then. He is still in the blame game, not in working together.

    Linda McIntyre

  9. Obama finally got tired of ousted Republicans not listening, making demands, and reminded them the Democrats won. He didn't describe it as a mandate and say: "I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style." That was the "decider" that got us in to this huge mess.

    To be fair, Cory has made a great effort to allow anyone to make comments in moderation.

  10. You asked me this:

    So to my Glenn Beck-lovin' neighbors, I pose this question: Jason, Linda, Neal, cousin Aaron, where do you stand on this specific project? Is this federal spending acceptable? Or do we thank the President for cutting the appropriation, ask him to cut further, and build our own water system with local money?

    Hey Cory, maybe instead of asking the selected few “Glenn-Beck lovin’ neighbors” you should ask our neighbors in other states what their position is on a water project in SD. In fact I bet the people in Florida who are getting that awesome turtle tunnel feel the same way about our water project as I do about their turtle tunnel.

    If this water project was SOOO important I think the people of SD would get it done, with out Fed help. You know, Timmy J could of just held off on the health care vote and probably could of got the whole thing paid for, just like the woman from Louisiana. (I'm sure Tim is much more honorable then her thats why he didn't)

    Cory also I find this very interesting, you want open debate then I see this from Steve Sibson on his site? http://sibbyonline.blogs.com/sibbyonline/2010/02/cory-heidelberger-must-very-very-afraid-of-me.html

    I guess it’s like the open debate (on CSPAN) they had on health care reform, open debate unless you disagree then they just shut you out. Cory is just following what his fellow progressives are doing in DC.

    Aaron Heidelberger


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