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Noem Year in Review: Still Not Doing Much

Rep. Kristi Noem releases a year-in-review column. She leads with her son's growth of three inches, then reels off several other "achievements" for which she deserves little if any credit.

Rep. Noem trumpets the "long-awaited" Farm Bill and says she got "so many provisions in place for South Dakota producers and consumers." Crop insurance, livestock indemnity, pine beetle eradication—she's claiming credit for socialism here. If we accept that farm socialism is good for South Dakota, Rep. Noem is ignoring the fact that she and her party denied South Dakota those benefits for the fourteen months that they delayed the farm bill over their insistence that poor people deserve less help than wealthy ag corporations.

Rep. Noem says she wrote a provision that directs $31 million to a rural water projects fund from which the long-delayed Lewis and Clark pipeline may draw. Again, socialism. Again, delay—if it's so great, Rep. Noem, why aren't you just getting it done?

Rep. Noem highlights the passage of her mostly uncontroversial Black Hills Cemetery Act. The only earth this law moves is a few more acres of the Paha Sapa that will be torn up to bury the corpses of mostly white colonizers.

Already out of things she got done, Rep. Noem turns to human trafficking. Of all the concrete actions she could take to end global slavery, Rep. Noem brags up a minor policy change, one that didn't allocate new money to police and prosecutors, didn't offer any stronger penalties for treating humans like chattel, but simply promised to stretch existing funds to make more shelters for trafficking victims available. Rep. Noem couldn't even sell that meager action to her Senate colleagues.

Rep. Noem expresses her support for government-run health care in Hot Springs, talks about a lot of talk, but can point to no achievement beyond hanging a bauble in the latest stopgap spending bill to prevent the VA from saving money in this fiscal year.

Rep. Noem touts the ABLE Act, pending legislation that would create tax-exempt private savings accounts for disability-related expenses that would not count against income/asset thresholds for various government benefits. This band-aid bill doesn't help low-income families who don't have money to contribute to savings accounts. Once again, Rep. Noem ignores the truly needy.

Rep. Kristi Noem uses a lot of shiny wrapping paper, but the boxes she puts under our tree are mostly empty.

Related Right-Wing Rage: Bob Ellis calls Rep. Noem "feckless" and longs for something other than the coming triumvirate of ineffective Republicans in South Dakota's Congressional delegation.


  1. Sam @ 2014.12.13

    Noem part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  2. WayneF 2014.12.13

    Great smile. That's about all Kristi's got going for her. Marion Rounds won't bring much to the table, either.

    Thune, Noem, and Rounds will say and do what the Koch brothers tell them to say and do in D.C. Sad that South Dakota representation has sunk so low.

  3. larry kurtz 2014.12.13

    Noem: Money Insistence Latest Fact.

  4. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.12.13

    My Democratic friends need to open their eyes and realize there is much more depth to the politics on the right. Noem, Rounds, Thune, Daugaard, etc., are not conservative Republicans, they are political opportunists. They are establishment politicians who only mouth the conservative ideological words to get elected.

  5. grudznick 2014.12.13

    Young Ms. Noem isn't that bad, but she does look better coming than going.

  6. JeniW 2014.12.13

    Dis Dak, we know that about Noem, Rounds, and Thune, unfortunately there is not much we can do about it.

    Enough people decided that is who and what they wanted for them to vote for them.

    How do we deal with them while they are in office? They are not going to consider other perspectives or opinions of those they do not agree with, so what do we do? What can we do?

  7. mike from iowa 2014.12.13

    Most important of all,she is not THAT good looking-coming or going. Couldn't you find a fluffier piece of intellectually uncurious fluff to send to DC?

  8. mike from iowa 2014.12.13

    Master Cory-you can hand out the "Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day" award to the entire South Dakota wingnut congressional delegation on Jan Ist 2015 and it will still be valid Dec 31,2015. Gives me the queasies.

  9. Joan Brown 2014.12.13

    I agree with mike from iowa, about Noem's appearance.

  10. grudznick 2014.12.13

    I, for one, disagree with mike from iowa about many things, mainly because he is from Iowa. But when it comes to Ms. Noem, he does have a sharp Iowan eye.

  11. mike from iowa 2014.12.13

    Thank you Joan and Grudz. The world will now stop revolving and I can get off and get away from wingnut skullduggery. :)

  12. grudznick 2014.12.13

    It is a bit of a droopy eye, Mr. mike from iowa, so be careful getting off the carousel.

  13. Catherine Ratliff 2014.12.14

    This business about tax-exempt accounts to pay for disability-related expenses, which would not count against receipt of SSI and veterans' pensions, is either disingenuous or truly naive. How does a disabled individual "save" money when the SSI benefit for 2015 is $733/month., and the maximum veterans' non-service-connected pension for low-income veterans who served during wartime is just over $1,000.

  14. Tim 2014.12.14

    Catherine, it looks like Noem wanted to make sure rich disabled people had a loophole they could call their own, this certainly won't do anything for most disabled, as they don't have the money for this stuff.

  15. JeniW 2014.12.14

    Catherine and Tim, inheritance, or trust fund, or life insurance benefits that parents may set up for their child who has a disability to make sure that as as child becomes an adult, and parents are no longer around to provide financial support.

    I do not know if that is the case, but some parents do plan ahead for when they will die and want to make sure that their child/adult with disabilities is well cared for.

    Some parents may set up some type of account with the siblings of the child with disabilities with the agreement that the money would be for the child/adult.

    For those with disabilities who receive assistance this program is useless. But not all individuals who have disabilities receive public assistance. Some individuals with disabilities are able to earn enough money to plan for their financial future, including being able to purchase needed equipment.

  16. Tim 2014.12.14

    Jeni, I highly doubt the SD dustbunny gives a damn about the disabled in SD, and certainly not the poor ones, she is just looking for an easy feather to poke into a very featherless hat.

  17. JeniW 2014.12.14

    I agree that she does not show much compassion for those with disabilities, I just put the idea out there as a possibility.

    There are parents/family who are able to set up a fund for their loved ones, and perhaps this fund is what would fit into that program.

    A feather in her cap, probably, just like the feather in her cap about human trafficking.

  18. Tim 2014.12.14

    Human trafficking, a very good cause, don't hear anything about it now that the election is over.

  19. Francis Schaffer 2014.12.14

    It appears to me that the main issue is credibility of candidates. Candidates need to not only identify the issues which voters actually care about, work through government to address these issues, but most importantly overcome the belief of the voters that elected representatives support the party and their banking account instead of the people.

  20. Joan Brown 2014.12.14

    I know there used to be income guidelines for how much income a family could have in order to receive disability for a disabled child. Back in the 70s we tried to get disability for our disabled daughter. My now "ex" was a cop, and we were in a SD city of about 15,000. We couldn't get disability for our daughter because his income was too high and I was a stay at home Mom. In spite of my "ex's" income being too high for that we still qualified to buy what everybody referred to as a government low income house. I have also heard that when it comes to trust funds they have to be set up a certain way and only used for certain things, otherwise if they are set up to use for actual living expenses the disabled person could lose their disability and in turn lose their medicaid. If I understood it right if the trust fund is set up the right way it can only be used for things like vacations, etc. I might be wrong about that, but it would be worth checking into.

  21. JeniW 2014.12.17

    Here is a brief up-to-date excerpt of the SAFE program:

    "But when the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill, as originally drafted, would cost $20 billion over 10 years, activists realized that not even vast sympathy for the needs of families struggling to support members with disabilities would not save it. So, reluctantly, stakeholders dialed back the scope of the bill. They agreed to limit eligibility to those 26 and younger, set a $14,000 per year cap on contributions, and limited accounts to one per person. That dropped the CBO “score” to $2 billion over 10 years."

    Here is the link:

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