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Thune Says Congress Made Commitment to Lewis & Clark Water; Why Not ObamaCare?

Senator John Thune met with Madison's power elites yesterday at the Heartland Consumer Power District office. Read closely Chuck Clement's summary of the Senator's position on funding the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System:

Thune noted that LCRWS was a project that had received congressional authorization from its beginnings, making it a commitment for Congress to complete. He said it was a disservice to the states and communities in not providing adequate funding, comparing recent federal support to "having the federal government pull the rug out" in completing the project [Chuck Clement, "Thune Hears Complaints About Federal Policies," Madison Daily Leader, 2013.08.06].

Hmmm... what if I used exactly the same words to discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Congress authorized the PPACA from its beginnings. Congress thus has a commitment to complete it, right, Senator Thune? To have the federal government "pull the rug out," as Senator Thune himself has proposed, would be a terrible disservice to the states and communities counting on adequate funding of the PPACA.

This example demonstrates that, on the Lewis and Clark project, Senator Thune is not espousing some noble commitment to principle. He's trying to make Lewis and Clark sound like something other than what it is: a pork-barrel project for his voters that contradicts all of his Republican talking points about deficit control and smaller government.


  1. rollin potter 2013.08.06

    Mr.thune is supposed to be such a rising star and have so much politcal power in washington and sits on this committee and that committee, why don't he use some of that power and those committees to get some funding for lewis and clark? Sen. Franken is the only one i have ever heard of trying to help them out!!!!!!! Thune is nothing but all talk and no action!!!Really, what has he ever did for south dakota but fly into and out of the airport twice a week?

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.06

    There's the thing, Rollin: a good Democrat like Senator Franken can fight hard for government spending on public works without contradicting the basic ideas on which he campaigns. If Senator Thune just comes out and says, "Government spending on public works is good!" he'll remind South Dakotans that, deep down, we're all Democrats.

  3. Rick 2013.08.06

    The mouth from the other side of Thune's face begs for the pork to come home to South Dakota. Too bad he made such a convincing argument against earmarks and overspending to his Tea Party pals. Thune and Noem need to go home and stay there. South Dakota needs to send fighters to D.C. to get our state's fair share of that federal pie ... unless you've got a better way to pay for all this stuff!

  4. Jana 2013.08.06

    Maybe John would like to tell us the virtues of spending taxpayer money on this project...even when it might not be consistent with the ideology he preaches.

    I picture a reporter going through John's on-the-record quotes on federal spending and asking how those on-the-record quotes are different than his support for Lewis & Clark. Then in my wildest dreams I actually see a reporter asking a follow up question that calls out his hypocrisy...

    Then it gets crazy and I try and picture John asked why he let the L&C project twist in the wind for so long when he is the #3 guy of the obstructionist party.

    Headline reads...John Thune sticks up for Pork Barrel spending in South Dakota...shudder...

  5. Rick 2013.08.06

    I share your dream, but as far as finding a straight up reporter in South Dakota who's not a puppet of the Chamber and has a spine, good luck. After this fictional reporter compares statements on spending for pork, she or he can run Thune's remarks about being obstructive with the President of the United States and holding back progress. It would be interesting to hear what the spray tan beanpole has to say.

  6. Jana 2013.08.06

    Then just for fun...the reporter could contact all of agents that sell crop insurance and ask them to disclose who they donated to and how much they personally profited.


    But then it gets weird...they compare how much those agents made to how much it would cost to set up satellite voting know...just to give the story context.

  7. Donald Pay 2013.08.06

    Anyone who remembers the Oahe Irrigation Project fights hears the distant echos in Thune's position of the nonsense arguments made then for that project. Forget about the nonsense of "Congressional authorization" and the right to federal largesse. It's a bullshit argument.

    The issue is and always has been the health of the public and economic benefits of clean water. That was the reason for the Lewis and Clark project. Thune forgets that the people in Congress who authorized the project are mostly long gone. For these large projects, Congress needs to be continually educated. Franken seems to understand that.

    Some correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the problems is that Lewis and Clark was mostly a local government-led effort, as opposed to grassroots led, like WEB.

  8. Winston 2013.08.06

    Thune is demonstrating the same old song and dance that the GOP have been orchestrating in South Dakota for years, including Thune himself.

    I remember when Senator Abdnor (whose campaign Thune worked on in 1980 as a member of his Field Team) was elected to the Senate in 1980, then in the early days of the Reagan Adminstration, Reagan, Stockman, and Abdnor all advocated the defunding of the Small Business Administration, but fortunately for Abdnor and Thune they failed in their defunding attempt. Because six years later, after Daschle beat Abdnor, Reagan then appointed Abdnor to head the SBA with Thune at his side.

  9. John 2013.08.06

    Well the broke clock tells the correct time: Thune and Obama agree we need to spend more on infrastructure. hahahahaha

  10. Michael Black 2013.08.07

    Obamacare months behind in testing IT data security: government

    The missed deadlines have pushed the government's decision on whether information technology security is up to snuff to exactly one day before that crucial date, the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general said in a report.

    As a result, experts say, the exchanges might open with security flaws...

    The most likely serious security breach would be identity theft, in which a hacker steals the social security numbers and other information people provide when signing up for insurance.

  11. Michael Black 2013.08.07

    Cory, having clean water is not a pork barrel project.

  12. PNR 2013.08.07

    I'm just trying to get my head around the notion of a congressional commitment.

    It's been said that prostitution is the oldest profession, and the second-oldest profession - politics - is very much like the first. So isn't a commitment from Congress rather like a promise of undying love from a hooker?

  13. interested party 2013.08.07

    so jesus was a prostitute, too?

  14. interested party 2013.08.07

    He committed treason against the Romans so they tried him and crucified him: Edward Snowden likely to face a similar fate if returned to his home district.

  15. interested party 2013.08.07

    Hey Pastor: prove that multiple military inoculations and immunizations are not linked to suicide rates among service personnel.

  16. Michael Black 2013.08.07

    Cory, it sure would be nice if you would get people to use their real names instead letting anonymous people rant.

  17. PNR 2013.08.07

    Um, i.p., do you just have thing for non sequiturs and silly questions?

    But, 1) No, Jesus was not a prostitute and neither was he a politician; 2) He did not commit treason against the Romans nor was he convicted of doing so - at least, not by the accounts we have of his trial; 3) I have no idea where you are coming from on this one, but if you wish to respond to matters I post on my blog, do it on my blog - don't gum up the conversation on Cory's with non sequiturs having no bearing on the discussion here.

  18. PNR 2013.08.07

    If you're going to Huffington Post for your theology and history, well, that rather explains a lot.

    I can see why you avoid trying to comment on moderated blogs - moderation escapes you. But I guess I'll let Cory decide whether it is appropriate to comment on his blog concerning unrelated posts on another.

  19. interested party 2013.08.07

    It all ntersects with Cory's post on political prostitution, Sen. Thune's relationship with the military/industrial complex, your comment affirming Cory's position and your post holding harmless the harm of going into harm's way.

  20. interested party 2013.08.07

    Your first comment added nothing to the discussion except an attack on democracy: it will trigger me every time.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.08

    PNR, I agree that Thune's concept of a Congressional commitment is specious. Congress is as free to change its mind as the general public. Thune could support repealing the Lewis and Clark authorization as a deficit-reduction measure as easily as he supports repeal of the PPACA.

  22. [moderated by CAH] 2013.08.08

    Just spoke ...[editor's note: somebody is trying to sockpuppet me, using different bogus handles and not replying to my emails for commenter ID confirmation. The name box is for identification, not editorializing. Use your name, and be consistent.]

  23. PNR 2013.08.08

    i.p. - I never said going into harm's way was harmless. Apparently you didn't score too well in reading comprehension.

  24. interested party 2013.08.08

    So, prove that multiple military inoculations and immunizations are not linked to suicide rates among service personnel.

  25. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.08.08

    Oh IP. 'Prove that it's not?' C'mon, prove that it Is.

    Trying to prove the negative is like Michelle Bachman wanting proof that global warming is not a natural phenomenon.

    Sometimes I agree with your statements, but not this one.

  26. interested party 2013.08.08

    Besides Gulf War Syndrome there numerous studies showing that clusters of disorders are linked to batteries of shots given to GIs prior to deployments. Will bomb you with links, Deb, when I get back from town.

  27. David L. Newquist 2013.08.08

    While in the House, John Thune opposed Lewis Clark. Not until he had Curt Hohn, the manager of WEB water, who pointed out that Thune did not belong to any rural water or agricultural caucuses, did Thune begin to take an interest.

  28. David L. Newquist 2013.08.08

    had Curt an opponent.

  29. PNR 2013.08.09

    Correlation, i.p., is not causation. And even the claim of correlation is tenuous at best (I've seen all the hysterical conspiracy mongering stuff already, so don't bother me with the links - just a different version of the "proof" that 9/11 was an inside job, or the latest flare-up in the Middle East proves Revelations or Nostradamus or Dan Brown, or the "grassy knoll," and a host of other such things).

    Anyway, I got all those shots before deploying (several times, in fact), as did everyone else in my unit. The only one that ever bothered me was the flu shot - got the flu every time I got the shot.

    And this has next to nothing to do with either this post of Cory's or the post on my own blog that apparently got your dander up.

Comments are closed.