And So It Begins

This is depressing. Kristi Noem hasn’t even taken office yet, and she’s already defending home-grown pork as “stimulus”:

Newly Elected Congresswoman Kristi Noem of South Dakota says that ethanol subsidies are important to her state and the nation.

Speaking on the Scott Hennen Show Noem says “Ethanol has been very good to South Dakota.” She said that this is not the time to repeal the subsidy “when you look at taking away that subsidy it is the wrong decision.”

She says that supporting the ethanol industry with subsidy promotes investment and continued hiring “In the long run it will get the economy back on track faster.”

Will someone please give this woman an economics lesson? And you can bet she’ll trade her vote for others’ votes to keep the subsidies coming. This is why both parties are the party of big government.

28 thoughts on “And So It Begins”

  1. Saddening. Boehner is bad news too – he appointed “curly bulb” Upton to head an energy committee and some Porkmeister from Kentucky for some other committee.

    I never trusted him – he was a big spender over the last 10 years and his new-found “tea” religion sounded pretty fakey to me.

    The work is not done yet

  2. Pork is bad because it is a payoff to ‘special interests’ but my constituents aren’ t special interests, their good people. I know gambling is for suckers but I have a system. Socialism has failed in the past because we let the wrong people run things. Yada Yada.

  3. Repeating the mantra… a free press… an educated public… a free press(actually doing its job)… an educated public.

    All it takes for evil to triumph…

  4. John Hinderaker at “Power Line” blog says, “…she captures just the right tone for the incoming Republican Congress.” A new election, new pols, more of the same. The “ruling class” will prevail.

  5. I’m very depressed. Worse, some of the bigger Right Wing blogs like Powerline are praising her as a real voice for Conservatism. “She’s good”, Powerline says.

    Unreal. That bill is a disgrace. The Republicans totally capitulated. They could have held Obama to the fire for tax cuts instead of this pork filled keep-things-the-way-they-are crap.
    Looks like it may be over. We’ll know by the first few weeks of January whether the elections are going to change things. But so far, Boehner and Co. along with Noem are looking really, really bad.

  6. When the GOP snatched her up for a committee immediately upon her win, I knew she was willing to play ball with the good ole boys. Come on, South Dakota, find another REAL Tea Party candidate to run in ’12. Make Kristi one term.

  7. It’s only depressing if you expected the job to be done in a single election. Noem will simply have to be ousted 2 years from now to reinforce the message that subsidies are a thing of the past.

    When you’re sick, you take a course of antibiotics before the sickness is purged. A single dose isn’t enough.

  8. Look, no one is going to be able to get elected in South Dakota unless they support corn subsidies and farm subsidies in general. Thats just the way it is. Its a small farm state with a limited economy. Corn prices and the weather are the 2 main topics of conversation. Its how people make a living. They are good people who work hard. Grow up. Whats good about Kristi Noem is that she is not going to support Obamacare or higher spending overall. She is a reliable vote against higher taxes. If you’re going to beat ethanol subsidies you have to do it with votes from more urban areas.

  9. Almost everyone that runs for Congress owes specific people and interests big time. This is why winning politicians manage to collect so much more money than losing ones.

    She may have no choice.

  10. Naturally, the Liberals are having a field day with this. The irony is that she is technically doing what they want and their running to their local papers to laugh and hurl disgusting insults at the TEA Party members who got her into power. Then they insult her. Go figure. The Left just doesn’t get it. They think we’re going to cheer her on now that it’s OUR pork. Quite the opposite. There are a lot of pissed off people on the Right who want to know why Boehner and Company are ignoring them not even two months out of the elections. I’ll say it again. The Conservatives better shape up REAL FAST, like January 2nd FAST or it’s going to be a nasty two years for a lot of them, followed by trips back home to look for new jobs.

  11. Don’t give up too quickly! The idea is to continue to try to persuade the newly-elected ones who need persuasion. If you succeed, you’ve won a valuable ally and friend. If you don’t, then there will be time to work on a replacement. For now, keep reminding them that “no means no” — over and over again.

    Don’t give up, don’t call them names. Communicate. Persuade. Work. The best way to defeat an enemy is to make him — or her — a friend.

  12. If the GOP took the Tea Party’s revolt seriously, they would be doing their darnedest to relegate porkers to wings. That they’re putting big earmarkers in positions of power and privelege shows that they haven’t learned a damned thing.

    Time for this generation’s Ross Perot, although this time a true Tea Party style candidate has a legitimate shot.

  13. Kristi Noem was never a genuine tea party candidate. She was an establishment plant, she was promoted to upstage and denigrate Palin and keep Tea Party in its proper place. Remember genuine leaders like Bachmann were bypassed but this unknown was given some leadership position, so that the establishment could crow they have given tea party some consideration

  14. I don’t know what to think about this. She was elected to represent the people of her state and she has done so. I think we need to wait and see how she votes on other issues before considering her a negative. What would be the point of throwing her out? The next person would be sure to do the same.

    Rather than demand that representatives not represent their states to the best of their ability, I think the tea party should focus on legislation that will change the system so that the Kristi Noems simply don’t have such options available to them.

    Don’t blame those who use the system. Fix the system so it can’t be used.

  15. That’s nothing, I can top that. Our Gov-elect, Rick Scott, now is touring the State oinking it up for the G-Damned Orlando-Tampa bullet train BS. Another one termer shaping up.

  16. Oh calm down. Folks, keep in mind two things: (1) pork is a symbolic issue. An important symbol, yes, but substantively if you chopped out every single bit of pork in the budget, the spend-a-thon numbers would barely budge; and (2) do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. As others have pointed out, the woman needs to get elected in her state, and re-elected. I’m sure Senator-elect O’Donnell (R-DE) could tell you how important that is. Wait and see how she votes on the big issues, and overall.

    Or take some advice from St. Paul: hate the sin, not the sinner. Wait to see if she’s a good conservative Congressman with a few flaws, or a complete disaster.

    Also: the reason she probably scored good committee assignments from the R leadership is because she’s new and took over a D seat. So, first, they want to encourage that kind of behavior among other R candidates pondering a run in 2012, and, second, they want to give her a bit more power so she has a better chance of being re-elected.

    Part of the problem with being a new Representative is that your only real job in Washington is to listen and learn and vote on bills, almost all of which are prepared for you by the leadership and the opposition’s leadership. Your chance to do something other than say yea or nay is damn limited, until you climb up in seniority. And yet, people from your state, particularly if they have elected you to replace somebody, and even more so if they have elected you to replace someone from the opposite party, are impatiently expecting you to do something. Running for re-election on the platform that you’ve listened well, learned the ropes, and learned a lot about how Washington works — so next time you might get something done — is not a winning message. Both the committee assignments and the pork are very likely efforts to let Noem be able to say in 2014 to her constituents that’s she’s “done something” for South Dakota.

  17. Mary and others,

    Earmarks and other forms of pork, like the ethanol scam, are a gateway drug.
    There is no fundamental difference between taking taxpayer money for ObamaCare and taking taxpayer money for ethanol producers.
    If South Dakota wheat farmers can’t make it without a ridiculous environmental/green subsidy, all that it means is that there are too many people growing wheat. How much longer will you be willing to pay people to grow too much wheat?
    Noem needs a primary challenge. Starting now.

  18. May have lost one battle, but we can still win the war. The corn pork ethanol industry dies if either 1) the Gore oxygenate mandate that forces consumers to buy ethanol gets killed or 2) if the cap on the percentage of the ethanol that can come from the Caribbean Basin Initiative countries gets lifted. Weaken the dam of regulations and tariffs that hold back cheaper fuel alternatives and the resulting flood of competition will kill corn ethanol faster than you can say Iowa Caucus.

  19. An earmark MUST corrupt the process because its very presence means, at a minimum, that one member, at least, is voting for the bill for a reason, no matter how noble, that has nothing to do with the actual purpose of that bill.

    It is actually possible, with 435 earmarks in a bill, for NO ONE to be voting based on its actual purpose- all with the best intentions.

    Ban ’em or be primaried.

  20. Carl,

    Earmark pork is not symbolic. It’s the coin of bribery. Members of congress bribe each other with it. It makes it simple….if you vote for my bill, I’ll see to it that you get that $50 million for the movie theater dedicated in your name.

    It would be better if they couldn’t so easily tack a bribe onto a bill.

  21. It’s the coin of bribery. Members of congress bribe each other with it.

    So? What you’re describing is the horse-trading that goes on in politics. It’s how stuff gets done. I’m not that exercised about it, as a means because, as I said, it doesn’t total up to very much. So my judgment is restricted to the ends. Are these “bribes” used to accomplish some major most excellent goal? Then it’s OK with me. If $50 million in “bribes” had been enough to defeat Obamacare or the GM bailout, I’d’ve called it money well spent.

    In short, I view pork with the same neutral viewpoint I view “assault” guns. They can both be used to damaging effect — or to save lives, essentially. It’s the end result that I care about mostly. (Which is not to say I disapprove of citizens disapproving of pork on principle. They should do that. Congressmen should feel like pork is something to be embarassed about, to be offered and accepted in the dead of night. A little swilling at the public trough is necessary to keep them going, but when they get brazen about it, it’s a problem.)

  22. Not all battles are won with hostile rhetoric. Take note of what she said and watch. Politicians operate in the public sphere; everything they say must be lies to assure or deceive. She could be insincere, assuring dependents that she’s reliable, but once in DC voting differently, or seeming to vote reliably while working to abolish subsidies. Wouldn’t be the first time a politician has been two-faced; perhaps she’ll be two-faced for good instead of evil.

  23. Carl,

    Brazen about it? You mean like the Louisiana purchase? Or the Cornhusker kickback? That was pretty brazen.

    And who is to say that the major bill for which the bribes are given, is *good*? Obamacare? Are you happy that Obamacare was passed? If not, do you imagine it would have passed without bribery? I think there’s an excellent chance it may not have passed.

    And if a bill cannot pass on its merits, but only because of bribery, how good is the bill? How much does that bill reflect the will of the people?

    And then there’s the fact that these add-ons can be used as poison pills to prevent “stuff getting done”.

    And just because that’s “how stuff gets done” doesn’t mean that’s the best way to get stuff done.

    Earmarks occlude transparency because you no longer know why your rep is voting for a bill. Is it because he/she believes in the bill? Or because they got bribed? And what representative is going to tell you in a town hall meeting:

    “Oh yeah well I voted for obamacare even though I know you all hate it, but look at what I got in return? $150 million for a bridge to nowhere. I voted for it because they bought my vote – cuz I thought you’d rather have this nice bridge.”

    I’m for a massive change to the rules on how “stuff gets done”. For example:

    1) no earmarks

    2) One topic bills. No christmas tree-like adornment of bribe NOR the ability to inject poison pills.

    You keep harping on the low dollars of earmarks as if that’s the issue. That’s a straw man. Everyone agrees it’s not a dollars issue. So you can stop harping on that now.

  24. The Congress has been assimilating populist political movements like the Tea Party for over two centuries so why such surprise? Resistance is futile 🙂

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