Thursday, May 09, 2024

Wirehaired Pointer

In a story that has grown old (as I have), South Dakota governor Kristi

Noem has been on a media blitz for the past week promoting her new book “No Going Back,” though the governor has been bombarded with questions surrounding her decision to kill her 14-month-old dog, as detailed in the book. Noem has faced condemnation from both sides of the aisle after The Guardian reported that she writes in the book that she “hated” the “aggressive” dog, who she says ruined a pheasant hunt and attacked her neighbor’s chickens.

When backlash to the story first surfaced, Noem openly talked about and defended her decision to kill her dog, saying that “South Dakota law states that dogs who attack and kill livestock can be put down” and that she “chose the safety” of her children. Now, it seems Noem has grown tired of defending her decision and claims that people are upset because “the fake news” twisted her story.

At the beginning of the controversy,  the shocked indignation of the people of the greatest superpower in world history was captured when Inside Edition noted "this story is leaving the entire nation pretty well aghast."

The horrified response to Cricket's demise

 was reflected in the Fox News- Fox News! interview in which Stuart Varney pressed Noem on the dog story, when she finally responded

“Enough, Stuart. This interview is ridiculous, which you are doing right now,” Noem said. “So you need to stop. It is OK. It is. Let’s talk about some real topics that Americans care about.”

Well, that was a buzzkill. For better or for worse- by which I mean for the worst- that is a topic which Americans care about. Inside Edition, perhaps the expert in all things trivial, stated that more than half of households own one or more dogs, and shooting them to death is not a pleasant thought.

Yet, Noem was on to something, even though her remark was made only for self-interest. Of more significance regarding the governor of South Dakota is the story behind the story when on Election Day of 2022 South Dakota voters

approved the expansion of Medicaid health insurance to tens of thousands of low-income residents through a constitutional amendment.

The majority vote to support Constitutional Amendment D removes South Dakota from a list of 12 states that have not expanded eligibility for the government health insurance program to people earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level — currently about $18,800 for an individual or $38,300 for a family of four.

The Republican-controlled Legislature had declined to expand Medicaid eligibility under the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act, and Gov. Kristi Noem has opposed the idea.

The argument from Noem and other opponents of expansion, according to Politico at the time, had been that "the proposal would be costly to the state in the future, would force the state to raise taxes and would discourage able-bodied adults from securing well-paying jobs with benefits." And so they would have refused $110 million from the federal government in order to avoid giving health care to South Dakotans, although

Under the American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed in 2021, Congress incentivized states to expand Medicaid by having the federal government cover an extra 5 percent of the costs of the program — on top of covering 90 percent of costs for the newly eligible population.

Forty-nine states, including South Dakota, are required to balance their operating budget. Free money is hard to turn down, which the legislature and Governor Noem were satisfied to do.

Were Kristi Noem a man, she'd be recognized as a creep- Medicaid opponent (until passed by voters), goat killer, former adulteress (Corey Lewandowski? really?), hypocrite, liar, Trump bootlicker. But she was, probably still is, a serious contender to be a vice-presidential nominee, and the controversy over shooting her a dog probably says more about us than it does for her.


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