Saturday, January 17, 2004

More Daschle negative hypocrisy
The Washington Post has a report regarding the partisan divide in Congress, which has this excerpt from Daschle:

Democrats blame Bush and his Republican allies in Congress. "President Bush said he wanted to change the tone in Washington, and I think he has: I think it's gotten worse," Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) has said. "I think it's more acrimonious, I think it's more confrontational, I think it's far more bitterly partisan, and I think he has a big share of the responsibility for the fact that it is what it is."

This is why Daschle has little clout. When things are bad he blames Republicans, when things are good he credits Democrats. When Bill Clinton lied to Americans, Daschle refused to blame the Democrat. When prescription drug coverage is added to Medicare for the first time ever, Daschle refuses to give Republicans credit. Instead he goes on the campaign trail in South Dakota, putting senior citizens in a bad mode with his negative propaganda.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Daschle resorts to negative name-calling
The Rapid City Journal published an AP story where Daschle accuses President Bush of putting out propaganda regarding the recently passed Medicare prescription drug coverage. Here is an excerpt:

WASHINGTON - Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle accused the Bush administration on Wednesday of sending seniors propaganda rather than explanations about changes in the Medicare program.

Daschle was reacting to a two-page fact sheet that Health and Human Services Department officials said would be the basis of a letter sent to 40 million older and disabled Americans who participate in the government health insurance program.

The two-page fact sheet provides the same facts that Daschle presented in Mitchell Tuesday, but in a positive manner. As stated yesterday in a Mitchell Daily Republic editorial and my 1/13/04 post titled, “Daschle selling snake oil”, it is Daschle who is spreading negative propaganda by attacking American drug companies, AARP, and now the President. Why isn’t the Argus Leader calling this negative campaigning?

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Sibby screened out of Straight Talk
Last night I called into the Argus on Air segment of Straight Talk. I had no plans to call in, but Randell Beck bragged about how quickly the Argus Leader corrects their mistakes. I quickly grabbed the phone, called in, and gave my first name and told the screener that I wanted to discuss the mistake Randell Beck made in his June column regarding Linda Daschle’s role in the Boeing tanker scandal. I was told I was the first caller and would be on hold for a second. I never did got on.

The mistake Randell Beck made was exposed by Jason of South Dakota Politics with a bombshell post made on 9/18/03 that provided the Lobbying Report linking Linda Daschle to the Boeing tanker deal. The report clearly shows that Randell Beck was incorrect when he stated that Linda Daschle only lobbied on commercial issues for Boeing.

I have sent a copy of the Linda Daschle Lobbying Report to Randell Beck and he has not answered that letter or emails. I have posted a letter to the editor published by the Argus Leader that censored my reference to that 6/15/03 Randell Beck column containing the mistake. Also in that post is my 12/10/03 unsuccessful attempt to get Randell Beck to admit the mistake on Straight Talk.

So that is why I attempted to confront Randell Beck when he made the outrageous claim that the Argus Leader quickly corrects its mistakes.

I emailed both Greg Belfrage and Randell Beck about not being allowed on the program to expose Beck’s folly. Beck’s reply immediately blamed Belfrage. Greg took full responsibility in a very honest email. If Randell Beck continues to refuse to admit his mistake, why should he allow me to confront Beck a second time?

Greg made the comment last night that many distrust the media more than the government. Because of his honest reply, I still trust and respect Greg Belfrage.

Randell Beck has completely lost credibility. I again emailed Beck demanding that he deal with the Boeing scandal. Again…he did not respond. It is media people like Randell Beck that cause people to distrust media.
MDR says Daschle is wrong
The Mitchell Daily Republic published an editorial today titled, “Daschle wrong on Medicare vote”:

Question: Are South Dakotans better off with or without the Medicare bill passed by Congress?
Answer: Better off.
Despite its flaws, the new law advances coverage for seniors, rural hospitals, and the poor.
It’s not anywhere near perfect, but it’s a starting point. Which is why Sens. Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson erred in voting against the bill when Congress passed it last session.
Daschle was in Mitchell Tuesday to discuss the measure and, as expected, many senior citizens chimed in when the senator identified its shortcomings.
We can identify with the elderly and others who want less expensive prescription drugs. And, who wouldn’t want more comprehensive Medicare coverage for all aspects of health care? Why shouldn’t we be able to purchase cheaper drugs from Canada instead of paying higher and sometimes exorbitant charges for the same drugs in this country?
Our point is, though, that expanding and improving Medicare coverage for senior citizens and others has been on Congress’s agenda for decades. It never happened - until last year.
So, the legitimate questions Sen. Daschle must confront as he goes about his business of seeking re-election are:
1. If the bill was such a boon to South Dakota hospitals – as he and others note – then why not vote for the bill instead of against it?
2. Prescription drug costs need to be addressed, but you can’t address what you don’t have. Opponents of the Medicare measure, including Daschle, should be happy that others were perceptive enough to vote in support of it, knowing that it’s better to have something than nothing.
3. The gap in the plan that allows seniors to buy coverage for prescription drugs - once the $2,250 level is reached - is a legitimate issue. But it should not be overlooked that the new law for the first time allows seniors to buy coverage for their prescription drugs beginning in 2006. That, and the fact that 75 percent of the drug bills are covered up to $2,250, was a significant advance compared to what seniors had before - which was nothing.
We agree with Sen. Daschle that the measure needs work. However, most if not all of the measure’s deficiencies would require a huge infusion of federal tax dollars. It’s simply not economically feasible to underwrite the total cost of medical care in one fell swoop. Nor is it fair to condemn the measure’s limitations on one hand and be critical of the Bush administration on the other for federal budget deficits.
The new Medicare law, despite its many shortcomings, does help South Dakota citizens and hospitals.
It’s a start.

Daschle continues his negative campaign
The Argus Leader has a report on Tom Daschle’s negative campaign against the Medicare Prescription Drug plan that was presented in Sioux Falls yesterday. It was the same campaign that he presented in Mitchell on Tuesday. I doubt the Argus Leader editorial board will be pointing out the negativity. They also will not be calling Dasche's plan "socialized medicine", which is what it truely is.

UPDATE:Here is a link to yesterday's New York Times report on the Democrats plan to socialize health care in America.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Daschle selling snake oil
Before Prescription drugs there were snake oil salesman. After thinking about Daschle’s anti-Prescription Drug medicare presentation in Mitchell today, I realized he was selling snake oil.

What I mean is that Daschle only presented half the story. First he said the premiums would be $35 per month resulting in a $470 annual cost. There is a $250 deductable with a 25% co-pay between $250 and $2,250.

Dacshle presented what happens under the plan with $500 in Prescription Drug bills. The $420 premium, plus the $250 deductible, plus the 25% of $250 co-pay creates a total cost of $732.50 which is 46.5% higher than the cost of the drugs. The crowd was shaking there heads.

Next Daschle explains that there is no coverage between $2250 and $5,100 (the doughnut hole). So he shows a person with $5,100 in drug bills will pay $4,020 out of his own pocket or 78.8%. Daschle described the coverage as minuscule. The crowd became more restless.

That is where he stops. He doesn’t fully explain the 95% coverage the plan covers for anything over $5,100! 95%!!!

So, what happens if you look at the benefit to one who has a $1,000 monthly Prescription Drug need. Of the $12,000 in annual costs, only $4,365 will be out of pocket. This is only 36.4%. The total benefit is $7,635!

Why didn’t Daschle provide the last fact? No doubt his purpose was to con the senior citizens into a negative mindset about a benefit he did not vote for. How pathetic! How partisan! How dare he use fear and half-truths to gain votes. It was sad to see the people leave in such a down mode, with Daschle laughing as he gained praise from the useful idiots you blindly believed his con game because it was the Democratic thing to do.

Please email me if you know of the next place and time this guy plans on selling his snake oil. We need some people there to defend the truth.

UPDATE: The report in the Mitchell Daily Republic states that the coverage above $5,100 is 91% instead of the 95% that was stated in the Black Hills Pioneer report. If the 91% figure is correct, then a person with $12,000 in drug bills will pay in $4,641 instead of the $4,365 figure that I used above. Regardless, Daschle failed to present this plan after the meat of the benefits kick in.
Tom Daschle in Mitchell, SD
Tom Daschle was in Mitchell, SD today attacking the Prescription Drug plan that was just passed at the City’s Senior Citizen Center. He bemoaned the drug company lobbyists who he claimed wrote the bill. What he did not mention was this:

For the past several years, drug giant Schering-Plough also has enlisted an army of Washington insiders to lobby Congress, including former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker (R-TN), former Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste, former Gore fundraiser Peter Knight, former Senator Dennis DeConcini (R-AZ), and Linda Daschle, wife of then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). (Linda Daschle, however, lobbied only in the House, not the Senate.)

(Emphasis added)

Argus Leader has long history of dirty politics
Jeff Gannon of Talon News has a report that includes this excerpt regarding the Argus Leader:

South Dakota's largest newspaper, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, ran an editorial last week urging both sides to "keep the Senate election clean," but conceded in an article two days later that "analysts expect the nastiest ever South Dakota campaign". Ironically, the Argus Leader itself was chastised in 1990 by the New York Times and The Hill, a Washington, DC-based political newspaper, for its "vituperative" attacks against Republican incumbent Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD).

Monday, January 12, 2004

Where is Daschle’s clout
Wesley Clark’s web site has a link showing Tom Daschle was privately supporting Wesley Clark. With all his clout, a public endorsement by Daschle should take Clark over the top. (Just kidding)

Email to David Kranz
At 1PM today I sent David Kranz this email:

"I couple of times last year your column brought up Tony Dean running for the House as a Democrat. Now, only Herseth is on the wagon for the Democrats. I think the readers of the Argus would like to know what happened to TOny Dean."

I have yet to receive any response. The two columns are here and here.

David Kranz promotes nasty Senate Race
David Kranz’s 1/11/2004 column was titled, “Analysts expect nastiest ever South Dakota campaign”. Kranz never identified those political analysts. Could it be that he was the only source?

As I argued previously, it will be Kranz digging up the dirt in 2004, just like he did in 2002…then making sure Thune, and/or his supporters, gets the blame for the tone.

This pro-Daschle column ended with this:

“As the race nears the starting point, history has a reminder. The Republican Party is dominant in registration. But ever since 1960 with two U.S. senators serving, there have been 48 years of Democratic senators and 38 years of Republican senators. It is an equal-opportunity job.”

Prior to that he promoted a Daschle campaign point:

“They will showcase Republicans who will say South Dakota is 50th in so many things so they they[Dave…you used two ‘they’s] can't imagine voting Daschle out when he was in a position to help them, help their state."

What Kranz will never point out is that after four decades of far-left George McGovern and now Tom Daschle…perhaps dependency on big government caused the 50th in everything situation for South Dakota. Increasing the $1.60 South Dakota receives from DC for every dollar we send, should be nothing a true Republican would be proud of.
My first 2004 editorial
My first 2004 editorial ran in the Mitchell Daily Republic on 1/10/2004. Since it wasn't put online, I am presenting it here:

To the Editor of The Daily Republic:

On page nine of your 12/31/03 issue was a Babe Winkelman column that attacked President Bush for siding with agriculture interests by planning to remove isolated wetlands from the protections of the Clean Water Act. He mentioned a leaked document that was reported in a November 2003 Los Angeles Times story.

A full two weeks before Winkelman’s column ran, it was widely reported that President Bush had abandoned the above mentioned plan because of his commitment “to achieve a goal of no net loss of wetlands” and that these waters “function as nature’s kidneys”. Not only was it reported in the Los Angeles Times, it also was reported by John Heilprin of the Associated Press. Yet Winkelman continues his partisan attack on the President.

Winkelman, along with Tony Dean, are part of a small group of sportsman journalists who use the power of the press to mislead outdoor enthusiasts. On 1/15/2003 this paper ran another Winkelman column defending Tony Dean from the boycott that was the consequence of his misleading of South Dakotans on Tim Johnson’s position regarding the Second Amendment during the 2002 Senate race. What I found out later was that Dan Nelson, who is now at Delta Waterfowl, was the one who actually wrote that column.

In the upcoming 2004 election cycle, no one should believe a word coming out these extremists. From personal experience I have learned the truth doesn’t manner to them. They only care about their own narrow interest, which is at the expense of those who want to retain their property and gun rights. No doubt they will be supporting the wolf in sheep’s clothing…Tom Daschle.

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