Are we going Gaga?

Is the country headed downhill like a handcart headed for, well, you know?

Some people think so. Of course, that has been the case for decades. But New York Times columnist Bob Herbert uses some stats to make a sharp point on our intellectual decline:

“We read less and less and write like barbarians. We’ve increasingly turned our backs on the very idea of hard-won excellence while flinging open the doors to decadence and decline. No wonder Lady Gaga and Snooki from “Jersey Shore” are cultural heroes.”

Here’s a link:

More bad polling data for Herseth Sandlin

New from Rasmussen Reports:

Republican Kristi Noem again passes the 50% mark of support this month against incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin in the race for South Dakota’s only House seat.

The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Noem picking up 51% support against Herseth-Sandlin, who receives 42% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

The latest numbers mark an improvement for the Republican challenger from the 49% to 44% lead she held in July. The month before, right after her Republican Primary win, Noem, a member of the state House of Representatives, jumped out to a 53% to 41% lead over Herseth-Sandlin.

Rasmussen’s hyphenation of Herseth Sandlin’s name doesn’t lend much credibility to the data. You’d think they could look it up and see that she doesn’t use the hyphen.

Rounds about done … or not?

Gov. Mike Rounds came to The Daily Republic to talk about battling the budget, working with the Legislature and his future in business and politics.

As he told us, he hasn’t close any doors and will "never say never."

What is his future? A race for the House, the Senate or a return to the governor’s office? 

Here’s a look at our visit with the state’s 31st governor:

And there’s more to come this weekend.

House race gains more attention

There’s more national focus on the South Dakota House race between Rep. Stephanie Herseth, the Democratic incumbent, and state Rep. Kristi Noem, her Republican challenger.

This piece by Stuart Rothenberg of the CG-Roll Call Group, the corporate head of publications including the venerated Congressional Quarterly and the political newspaper Roll Call, looks at three Democrats who may struggle to win re-election in November. Herseth Sandlin is one of them.

The race, with the unique angle of two women running against each other, will assuredly continue to gain attention from outside our borders. Part of the reason is because it’s viewed as "the ‘hottest’ race of the year," Rothenberg writes while admitting the politically incorrect nature of such a comment.

I don’t remember anyone commenting on George McGovern and Jim Abdnor’s wholesome looks and South Dakota-ish wardrobes in their 1980 Senate race. In case you don’t remember that one, the three-term Democratic incumbent, McGovern. was unseated by the Republican challenger Abdnor in a year marked by a tidal wave of GOP success.

Here’s Rothenberg’s column:

SHS ready to rumble

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and state Rep. Kristi Noem will take part in five joint appearances, including The Daily Republic’s Aug. 28 debate at the Corn Palace as well as four candidate forums, also known as joint press conferences.

SHS released a schedule today:

I’m pleased to announce that I have confirmed my participation in five debates and forums in the coming weeks.

*Congressional Candidate Forum facilitated by the League of Women Voters at the Sioux Empire Fair in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, August 11

*U.S. House Forum at the Associated School Boards of SD and School Administrators of SD at their convention in Sioux Falls on Friday, August 13

*Congressional Candidate Forum on South Dakota Agriculture at Dakotafest in Mitchell on Tuesday, August 17

*Mitchell Daily Republic-Corn Palace Debate in Mitchell on Saturday, August 28

*Candidate’s Forum hosted by ACE, SDCGA, East River Electric Power Cooperative and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of SD at the State Fair in Huron on Sunday, September 5

Want to show your support for S4SD at a debate or forum? Text “S4SD” to 38703 (standard messaging rates apply) and we will be in touch with you. You can also call our campaign office at 605-332-1901.

If you’re not able to join us for these events, I anticipate participating in more forums and debates throughout the campaign and will be sure to let you know. I look forward to talking about my about my strong record of standing up for South Dakota in Congress, and I hope to see you soon!