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Top Ten Madville Times Stories of 2012: Commenters’ Choice!

Dairy, death, guns, rape, religion, and Mike Knudson... poor Mike's wondering, "How'd I get in with this crowd?"

One metric of good blogging is the number of comments one draws. That metric doesn't always square with my judgment: I write some stories that I think are great (stay tuned for those in my personal top ten!) but which hardly draw a response from you dear readers. I dash off other stories that I think won't draw much attention, and you readers blow them up into 100-plus-comment free-for-alls. Such surprises are among the pleasures of blogging.

So, by comment totals as of Christmas Eve, out of over 1300 blog posts this year, here are the ten Madville Times stories you found most worth your commentary in 2012:

10. Nelson, Tornow Help Hanson County Anti-CAFO Forces Win in Court (159 comments): The mainstream GOP's bête noire, Rep. Stace Nelson, joined fellow conservative R. Shawn Tornow to help Hanson County folks turn back a 7000-head that threatened to slurp up their water. I celebrated Republicans doing the work of Democrats and fighting for sensible environmental policy... but the Hanson County folks may be more motivated by dislike of the immigrants who staff such dairies. Whatever the motivations, Nelson and Tornow won on procedure, arguing that the county didn't follow its own conditional use permit rules.

8 (tie!). Secession: Crime Against Constitution and Union (175): After Barack Hussein Obama won four more years as President, a brief furor arose among some cranky, unpatriotic conservatives who would rather destroy America than stick with it when they lose an election. South Dakotans didn't get as worked up about seceding as folks in other states, but you commenters did!

8 (tie!). Paranoia Afoot: Liss Calls for Purge of Marxist Infiltrators (175): One-term Republican legislator Brian Liss said Marxists have infiltrated the Republican Party. Liss called for purging Marxists from every American institution. Top commenter: Joe McCarthy.

7. President Barack Obama: Rape Is Rape… and Men Shouldn’t Rule Women’s Bodies (181): We took our own shots at the campaign-killing kerfuffle over Missouri Congressman Todd Akin's concept of "legitimate rape."

6. Rep. Betty Olson Wants Armed French Teachers in Your School (211): I resisted posting about the Connecticut school shooting for four days. But then Rep. Betty Olson drew me in with her proposal to let me and my fellow educators carry guns in our classrooms. Big conversation across multiple posts ensued. Worth noting: on top of the big discussion here on the blog, when I asked my Facebook followers whether I should carry a gun in the classroom, I drew 80 comments from a wide variety of friends with widely differing opinions.

5. Randazzo, SD Gun Owners Target Knudson for “Full Support” of 2nd Amendment (236): Surprisingly, this July gun post drew more comments than the any single gun post following the Connecticut shooting. District 12 Democratic House candidate Mike Knudson expressed his "full support" of the Second Amendment, and the gun lobby still attacked him.

4. Santorum Supports Telling Non-Christians to Leave America (247): The man who came in second in the Republican Presidential primary race said non-Christians should leave the United States. Rick Santorum and Brian Liss both express the unhealthy exclusivity of the conservative Republican agenda.

3. Thune, GOP Reject Universal Human Rights for Johnson, Others with Disabilities (259): This post about partisan politics leading Republicans to abdicate our nation's moral leadership on equality for folks with disabilities embarrassed our nation and outraged readers. With Senate icon Bob Dole watching from his wheelchair, Republicans rejected a U.N. treaty that would hold all nations to our standard of inclusivity and accommodation, mostly because of paranoia sown by Rick Santorum about the U.N. sending black helicopters to take kids away from home-school parents.

2. District 12 Democrat Knudson Gets Five Notable Non-Family GOP Endorsements (306): You sure thought Mike Knudson was worth talking about! In October, Knudson release a campaign flyer with endorsements from his dad Dave and five other notable South Dakota Republicans. But Knudson and District 12-mate Susan Randall still got beat by veteran GOP legislators Manny Steele and Hal Wick.

1. Tina Curl’s Fundraising Misguided, Exaggerated; We’ll Call When Moeller’s Dead (322): In the best example of how the Madville Times is no liberal echo chamber, I caught all sorts of heck for suggesting that Tina Curl and her unemployed husband might make better use of their time and other people's money in looking for work and taking care of themselves than taking an arduous road trip across the country to watch us kill her daughter's smirking killer. They came; we killed; not much good was done for anyone.

Right or wrong, agree or disagree, I appreciate your willingness, dear readers, to read the posts you find here daily, to really think about them, and to contribute to our public wisdom. These conversations matter. I look forward to more of them in 2013.


  1. Dougal 2012.12.27

    Without question, 2012 was Madville's banner year and it was also the year Madville became South Dakota's most essential political blog. One hell of a year and a disastrous one if you're a normal person who self-identifies as a Republican. The GOP has hit the wall nationally, and in South Dakota, it is a humiliating eyesore ... but still dominant.

    Congratulations Cory for showing what a number 1 political blog should look like and function! May 2013 and 2014 be even better!

  2. Bill Fleming 2012.12.27

    Thank you for creating and maintaining this space, Cory. As per Dougal, you've set the new standard for SD political discourse online. Best to you and yours for the season and the coming year.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.12.27

    there is a great disturbance in the force. we need solutions and we need them now or the american experiment will fail.

  4. mike 2012.12.27

    Great blogging Cory! I look forward to your top ten list. It has to be better than the list Dakota War College is putting out there. (where is Stan on that list?)
    That blog reads like it's sold out to a political party or candidate these days and Powers is just the guy doing what he's told.
    Thankfully in success you have continued to offer your honest commentary and not sold out like the former #1 political blog in SD.

  5. Dougal 2012.12.27

    Brother Bill, thank you for the compliment, although I disagree. Yours are always the most thoughtful and brightest "parries and thrusts" in verbal jousts on this and other blogs.

  6. oldguy 2012.12.27

    Good year Cory. I enjoy reading both sides of a issues. Keep up the good work

  7. Joan 2012.12.27

    It amazes me how many people don't know what the original intent of the Second Amendment was.

  8. Dougal 2012.12.27

    Um, are you referring to the right to use a 30-round clip and constable killer balls in our Founding Fathers' flintlocks?

  9. grudznick 2012.12.27

    Mr. H's list is indisputable, as he put no thought into it and just went with a count of posts. I think that's a fine and reasonable method of arriving at his top 10.

    What it shows is that you libbies posted more about some unknown Democrat candidate for a minor state office WHO LOST than you did about Messrs. Nelson and Gant who made far far more news in the real media this year.

    That's Messrs. Stace Nelson and Jason Gant. Giants in politics. Giants in blogging. #1 on your radio tubes.

  10. Jana 2012.12.27

    This is a great political site and I'm guessing the momentum Cory has built over the last year will continue to grow. Add to that the insight and wit of some of our favorite guests and it's become the "de rigueur" must read for South Dakota and national politics.

    Safe travels Cory. Thanks for going above and beyond as a teacher and a blogger!

  11. grudznick 2012.12.27

    I say Mr. H's site is the #1 blogging site.

  12. grudznick 2012.12.27

    The #1 blogging site in South Dakota I mean.

  13. grudznick 2012.12.27

    I am glad to blog onto his site and help his metric. Mr. H is among the most swell of fellows when it comes to blogging and nobody can contest that.

  14. Jana 2012.12.27

    Keep the accolades for Cory coming.

    It's funny that 7 out of the 10 top stories were about Republicans being batsh*t crazy or just plain mean.

    While were on the subject of's one that highlights the craziest GOP bills. Yeah, for once South Dakota Republicans didn't make the list...ooops, might have inspired another astrology bill or maybe even given Betty Olson a new goal in life...sorry. Although I do think the making it legal to shoot a doctor who performs abortions legal should have made the list.

    Here they are:

    1. Outlawing the dollar.
    2. Striking the words ‘sea level rise.’
    3. Banning ‘Sharia Law.’
    4. Defining life as beginning before conception.
    5. Allowing citizens to shoot at cops.
    6. Zeroing out foreign aid.
    7. Creationism in schools.
    8. Promoting discrimination on military bases.

  15. Jana 2012.12.28

    I love lists...even grocery lists.

    Here's another on the obstruction, inspired by just plain old meanness, greed and lust for power, that the GOP blocked in 2012.

    1. A minimum wage increase
    2. Campaign finance transparency.
    3. The Buffett Rule
    4. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act
    5. U.N. treaty to protect the equal rights of the disabled
    6. The Paycheck Fairness Act

    I would also add blocking the Violence Against Women Act to the list. Kristi might want to explain this one to all the smart women of South Dakota.

  16. Jana 2012.12.28

    Oh wow...when I said "plain old meanness, greed and lust for power" I just described the "raison d'être" of the GOP.

  17. Stan Adelstein 2013.01.03

    I had not seen your piece about Santorum until just now. Funny what you said about a few of my least favorite SD delegate candidates. Here I what I sent to the Washington Post last June 8, in answer to their careful analysis of Santorum's appeal.

    My letter to the Washington Post:

    This article is accurate, though overlook a historical similarity. Adolph Hitler promised the same kind of National restoration of the past.

    I was elected to the 8th position on the Romney slate, through statewide caucuses. Final representation will be determined, from 1st to 22nd , based on % (over 20), each Presidential Candidate receives in the June primary.

    I was somewhat alarmed by the first 5 names elected to the Santorum slate! I have, unfortunately, had frequent dealings with each of them. If this was Germany of the 1930s, they would all be wearing “brown shirts.” Just South Dakota?

    Stanford Adelstein, SD State Senator, Dist 32

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