Skip to comments.The shambles in South Dakota (MICHELLE MALKIN)
Posted on 10/22/2002 9:30:39 PM PDT by Sabertooth
Michelle Malkin (archive)
October 23, 2002
The shambles in South Dakota
"You've got an economy that is in shambles," complains Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, whose party is now hounding President Bush for neglecting America's poor, the disenfranchised, the elderly and the unemployed.
Well, Tom Daschle certainly knows about economic shambles and neglect. Look at his home state.
Take the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which, along with several other reservations, is now being investigated by state and federal authorities because of criminal allegations of massive voter fraud tied to local Democrat Party operatives.
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation sits in Shannon County, located in the southwest corner of Tom Daschle's South Dakota. It is the second-poorest U.S. county in the nation, according to the Census Bureau. The unemployment rate hovers around 75 to 85 percent. More than 60 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty level; per capita income is just under $6,300. The reservation is a magnet for mooches because federal time limits on welfare benefits don't apply at Pine Ridge.
Here where cradle-to-grave socialism, the Democrats' fantasy state, is realized, more than half the reservation's adults battle addiction and disease. Alcoholism, diabetes and malnutrition are rampant. Life expectancy on the reservation is 48 years old for men and 52 for women. That's the shortest life expectancy for a community anywhere in the Western Hemisphere outside Haiti, according to The Wall Street Journal. The infant mortality rate is the nation's highest, at about three times the national average.
Former President Clinton waltzed through Pine Ridge on a lip-biting tour with Tom Daschle and then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo in 1999. "You have suffered from neglect, and you know that doesn't work. You have also suffered from the tyranny of patronizing, inadequately funded government programs, and you know that doesn't work," Clinton thundered in a speech promising to create "new markets" for the poor and clean up the squalor in Tom Daschle's South Dakota.
But the Democrats' grand housing construction and revitalization scheme for Pine Ridge, which made for nice glossy brochures and promotional videos, fell short. Tribal leaders grumbled about being exploited for Democratic political gain. Three years later, Tom Daschle is Senate majority leader -- and the 5,000-square mile reservation, second-largest in the nation, still has no banks, motels or movie theaters.
Thirty-nine percent of the homes on the Pine Ridge reservation have no electricity. Many lack basic plumbing. Public housing units are so overcrowded and scarce that many homeless families often take to tents or cars for shelter. In fact, the plight of the Pine Ridge reservation is so infamous that churches in other states solicit donations of used wood-burning stoves to bring to the residents during harsh winters. Without basic insulation or central heating in their homes, many Indians on Pine Ridge use their ovens to heat their homes.
Tom Daschle has been in public office in South Dakota since 1978, when he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served there until 1986, and then moved on to the U.S. Senate, where he has wielded power for three terms. By all accounts, Daschle owes his Senate seat to Native American voters who helped provide him with a razor-thin edge in his initial Senate bid. Now, he is leaning on those perpetually impoverished Native Americans across the state (dead or alive) to keep him in power and protect his protege, junior Sen. Tim Johnson, who is locked in a tight battle with GOP Rep. John Thune.
While his destitute constituents on Pine Ridge huddle around their ovens for heat and drink in despair, Tom Daschle says he can do better for America's economy. Have you seen what he has done for South Dakota lately?
Contact Michelle Malkin | Read her biography
©2002 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
I've driven through parts of the reservation and talked to some of the locals. Its bad. All the men seemed to be recovering alcoholics and they were quick to tell me all about it.
Soul Mates: The Meltdown Continues
Tom Daschle calls Dick Gephardt
his "partner and soul mate" in the
afterglow of his mid-week meltdown.
This is too good...
Week of 9-23-2002
As I understand it, the British Labour Party is divided between those in favour of war with Iraq and those opposed to it. In the US Democratic Party, it's more complicated:.
Faction A is anti-war but trying hard not to have to say so between now and election day in November.
Faction B was pro-war when it was Bill Clinton in charge but anti-war now there's a Republican rallying the troops.
Faction C can go either way but huffily insists that to ask them to express an opinion would be to "politicise" the war.
Faction D can't quite figure which position alienates least of their supporters and so articulates a whole all-you-can-eat salad bar of conflicting positions and then, in a weird postmodern touch, ostentatiously agonises over the "inherent risks" in each of them.
Faction E thinks the priority right now should be to sit around holding inquiries into why the administration failed to act on what it knew about al-Qa'eda before they killed thousands of Americans. To act on what we know about Saddam before he kills thousands of Americans would be an unnecessary distraction from the important work of investigating why we didn't act last time round.
Taken as a whole, the 50 Democratic senators' current positions on Iraq forms the all-time record multiple-contortionist pretzel display. But a week ago they showed signs of finally remembering the First Rule of Holes: when you're in one, stop digging. Instead of talking about why they don't want to talk about Iraq, they correctly figured that the easiest thing would be to give Bush some qualified, perfunctory support and hastily change the subject to something more favourable, such as the allegedly collapsing economy.
But then Al Gore rose from the dead......
< snip >
Five weeks till election day and the Democratic Party's doing a dandy impression of one of those incompetent suicide bombers who accidentally self-detonates before he gets on the bus.
Really? Then why is she criticizing the fact that there are no movie theatres and the like? She is blaming Daschle for being ineffective and for failing to get the conveniences of modern society installed on the reservation.
Yeah, she's criticizing that there's unending welfare but this is just a means to and end. The Indians would do well to be left alone. They are not a prize to be won by republicans and democrats.
... after he promised that he could deliver them.
The point being, government can't give anyone anything without taking more from someone else and skimming off the top for their efforts. Once the big government types, like Daschle, make a promise like that, they either don't deliver or they rip someone else off.
What's wrong with pointing out the Democrats' failures to deliver on hollow promises?
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