Sen. John Thune
Growing up in a small town has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on who you ask. But if you ask me, my siblings, or my dad who still lives in the house we all grew up in, there's nothing but upside.
When I'm home in South Dakota, I spend a lot of my time traveling the state to hear from farmers, ranchers, small business owners and moms and dads about the issues important to them.
Few monuments or landmarks in the United States are more iconic or offer greater patriotic symbolism than does Mount Rushmore. Beginning in 1927, Gutzon Borglum helped transform a seemingly innocuous rock face in the Black Hills into the stoic and easily recognizable faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, which millions of visitors travel each year to see. Over 14 years of hot summers and cold winters, and with the help of 400 workers using chisels, jackhammers, and dynamite, Mount Rushmore was completed 75 years ago on Oct. 31, 1941.
When South Dakotans picture opening day of pheasant season, they see unharvested corn and milo fields, sloughs, shelterbelts, and food plots lined with hunters — often friends and family, conspicuous in their bright orange clothing. Although shooting a limit of pheasants isn't the mark of a successful hunt, the allure of the "Pheasant Capital of the World" is why hunters from across the United States gather in South Dakota every third Saturday in October to participate in this world-class event and renew or create family memories and traditions.
There are many things in life over which you have no control. Kimberley and I just experienced one of them. On September 21 at 8:24 p.m., we became grandparents for the very first time. That's when Henley Joy Hargens made her debut. All we had to do was show up. Actually, it's not quite that easy. You do have to raise kids of your own. That, in and of itself, can present its own set of challenges.
The recent bombing and attempted bombings in New York and New Jersey, as well as the shopping mall attack that occurred less than 200 miles from South Dakota's eastern border, have reminded us once again that the United States isn't immune to the risk posed by radical Islamic terrorism. Sadly, we've seen these types of attacks before, both in San Bernardino and Orlando. We must remain vigilant and do everything we can to ensure potential risks are identified and eliminated, because when it comes to our national security strategy, there is no room for error.
While President Obama is just a few short months away from leaving office, there are a few items he won't be able to leave behind — like the legacy of his health care law. The president's Democratic allies in Washington would still like to view this bill as President Obama's top legislative achievement, but the truth is, this law has become a disaster.
Every mile I travel in South Dakota is another reminder that I'm lucky to call this great state home and even luckier to have the opportunity to represent the hard-working people that help make South Dakota the best place to live, work, and raise a family. It doesn't matter what season it is — winter, spring ... basketball, pheasant hunting — spending time in South Dakota is the only way to recharge and the only place to get that special dose of reality that gets me through the inside-the-beltway craziness in Washington.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the farmer in the field who harvests the crops, the manufacturer in the factory who makes the goods, or the consumer at home who relies...
August 7-13 is National Health Center Week in America, and it's a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate the health care professionals who make small community health centers across the country a reality. These physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, doctors, dentists, and others play a pivotal role in creating rural access points for South Dakotans who live in areas where the nearest hospital could be an hour or more away. The centers themselves are an important part of the community, and they help create a seamless transition to quality health care for rural patients.