Monthly Archives: July 2010

Area 51, Montana

As the T.E.A. Party/Eric Olsen’s campaign against the city of Billings possibly banning cell phones (he believes the UN is involved) takes shape (largely in the form of email forwards) it has at last become clear why Congressman Denny Rehberg is a natural fit in the Tea Party a.k.a. Conspiracy Caucus.

A brief examination of Rehberg’s and the Tea Party’s shared obsession with conspiracies allegedy aimed at Montana are no doubt what drew our Congressman to join the tin hat brigade.

Now that the Montana Shrugged Tea Party has gone big time with a member of congress in its ranks, let’s hope they don’t forget about the conspiracies outside the “Magic City.”  After all, there are other conspiracies that need exposing too:

  • Conservationists are at the center of a vast federal land grab conspiracy targeting Montana–and have been since the conception of the idea of The Buffalo Commons.
  • Mind controlling bar codes are secretly used to sneak Canadians across the border into Montana illegally using non-motorized trails.  Rehberg claims in press releases to be co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus, but according to the caucus’ website it is led by Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Representative John McHugh (R-NY). There’s another conspiracy in there somewhere. Our Congressman wouldn’t just make things up.
  • The Helena smoking ban caused the decommissioning of Malmstrom missiles.
  • Members of Congress from competing states secretly orchestrated the No New Earmarks pledge in an attempt to destroy Montana’s “envy of the world” quality of life.
  • Charges of poaching by Rehberg State Director Randy Vogel were actually trumped up by the people who faked the Apollo 11 landings–people who are employed under the Witness Protection Program at the Montana FWP.
  • The state legislature’s approval of and funding for more time at kindergarten is a communist plot to support abortion, teach evolution, and indoctrinate children into the so-called ‘gay agenda.’
  • The firefighters of Billings secretly met with ATF officials from Waco, TX before causing scrub brush on Rehberg’s Ranch Estates LLC to burn.
  • The Montana fast food chain Taco Beat makes fat white people impotent, wait, or is it the other way around…Montana Tea Party sign.  Does Rehberg believe in this conspiracy too?

Anyone know any others? The truth is out there…

The worst newspaper in Montana, if not the west

The Dillonite Daily, Montana's worst newspaper?Back in the day in Dillon, Montana, a group of misfits grown bored with scratching their initials into rocks and trees were sitting around behind the potato cellar and came up with an idea. This wasn’t just any idea, it was an idea that would serve as a detriment to the lives thousands of people for years to come. This bold club of 40-watters decided to start a local newspaper. Having been scornful and afraid of intelligent people all their lives, the citizens decided that they would publish stories so awful that no intelligent life form would ever want to read them.  (That is, unless they were forced to because it was the only paper in town and therefore the only way to get their window-cleaning coupons and determine what was playing at the local cinema.)

Anyway, this would be their revenge on society. So they began copying and pasting and printing stories about the happenings in the community, but with their own petty attempts to be funny at the expense of others, omissions, and typographical and grammatical errors. (Check the car wash “article” in the link below.) This led to much confusion about what was really going on in the community. It made the people who didn’t mind retaining a brain cell or two look bad, but there was nothing to be done.

Fast forward to the modern era. The paper is still printing, but it is even more worthless now. What kind of “daily” paper has a website so outdated that it only posts updates of the current edition once every three or four months?  What kind of paper looks this crappy?  What kind of newspaper prints a hodgepodge of the most racist elements from Pat Buchanan scribblings from over the years and tries to pass it off as a coherent article?  (Would love to link to this but it will probably be a few months before it appears on the web. Check back in November.  Here’s a low quality cell phone pic for now. And here are a couple of samples of the Buchanan crazy that the “article” includes in the amalgamation.)Does the Dillonite Daily think this is news, or do they just hate us?

I ask you Dillonite Daily, what did the citizens of Dillon do to deserve such drivel to be continued to be foisted upon them in the coffee shop? You’ve had your revenge.  It’s time to end this.

UPDATE: A reader kindly sent another link to the Daily Dillonite, this link does not have every edition, but it does have more recent awfulness for our perusal.

No teeth, no blog

I have gotten numerous e-mails lately asking me who I am. Rumors of all types flying around.

From what I can tell, a few Republicans are angry about the fact that I display videos of Rehberg saying stupid things, that I post excerpts of Wikipedia and Facebook entries by Republican candidates who are barely literate, and that I post news stories and other factual information (along with my own opinions about it all, of course) about Right Wing Nut Job lunatics running for various offices across the land.

I get the sense that Republicans seem to believe that I have some sort of special access to this information, when in fact it is all out on the web for anyone to find, and blog about.  My readers are also generous with their juicy tips, for which I am grateful.

Unfortunately, Republicans, when you are barely able to read, when you carry misspelled signs to hoodless, plain-clothes klan rallies, and when the closest thing to news consumption in your world is listening to Glenn Beck or watching a video on Breitbart, you and your partisans might not understand the rudiments of composing a legible blog nor the technology necessary to prove your conspiracies. I do feel for you guys.

There is something seriously wrong with people unwilling to hear criticism.  Actions to suppress criticism imply to me an insecurity or worse a recognition that the positions being criticized cannot truly be well defended.  And if Dennis Rehberg and his fan club, who really do not seem to be acting with the best interest of Montanans in mind, can with impunity act through others to attempt to destroy and silence his critics, there is yet another threat to our freedom of expression, which means a real threat to the free democracy our Constitution (listen up teabaggers!) was supposed to ensure us.

MT GOP’s latest “attack” is really defense for Rehberg in disguise (oh, and bereft of merit)

bowen greenwoodWe know that Montana Republican Party Director Bowen Greenwood is a career political operative who rose up to be an acolyte of political failure Brad Johnson, one of a very few incumbents ever to be ousted rather than termed. We know that Greenwood, the candidate, couldn’t win his own Republican primary.  We know that isn’t why he was hired.

When the higher-ups decided that a number of Republican staffers were not using their jobs to discredit Democrats and protect Republicans, it had them outed and replaced by men like Greenwood who were not so committed to higher ideals.  Greenwood won his spurs with the party by manufacturing political attacks on Democrats, first for Brad Johnson and then for Republican legislators during the 2009 session and now for the party.

That’s part of why his recent cries of “sabotage” after a call to ask Rehberg the tough questions at a public listening session ring so hollow.

But there is something more important we must deconstruct here and that is legend of the so-called “listening” done by Dennis Rehberg.  Just like one sees when Rehberg takes a vote, Rehberg’s faux town hall meetings, tweets, Facebook garbage, and this waste of our money is just Rehberg following the national Republican Party’s guide lines.  He’s all for putting on the appearance of being part of a Democracy as part of a strategy to keep his power, but taking seriously input from his constituents? No. Not that translates into any evident action.

Yes, Rehberg is the master of the superfluous and spam-ish “online outreach”  that conceals lack of concern for constituents’ needs and views and lack of action for Montana in the Congress.  Those who sign up as Rehberg supporters get online push polls designed more to persuade readers that Rehberg is right than give them a say in his votes.  Even if he did write the questions in an unbiased manner, they only go to his supporter list anyway so…what is the point?

Rehberg has stated publicly in Tea Party interviews that he uses automated “Robo-calls” to generate turnout at the listening sessions.  Anyone know someone of the progressive persuasion who has ever gotten such a call?

Unfortunately, even those that get into the meetings and are allowed to ask important and tough questions may not get an answer from Rehberg.  And even if Rehberg does answer, it’s likely that what Rehberg says won’t even make it into the news reports the next day.

That’s why I think this response from the GOP is completely out of touch.  This is an obvious and clumsy attempt to protect their top elected official from tough questions like this from Montanans who want their only member of Congress to hear from a variety of viewpoints and to be held accountable for his votes and actions by those who elected him.

These citizens do their fellow Montanans a favor by passing on information about events at which Rehberg might appear.  Mr. Rehberg  is supposed to be working for us.

Poaching trial of Dennis Rehberg state director set for Aug 11, 12

Hot on the heels of Rehberg’s lawsuit against firefighters, the poaching trial of Rehberg State Director Randy Vogel is on the court docket in Virginia City, MT, August 11-12.  The trial is especially important in this case because, as Roll Call reported following a House ethics committee inquiry into the matter in April:

The House ethics committee voted Wednesday not to investigate an aide to Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) who is accused of illegally killing an elk, deferring to a pending state trial on the matter.

Indeed, according to Roll Call, the ethics committee found that Rehberg has not removed Vogel from the position of state director, rather, Vogel:

is on leave without pay pending the outcome of the trial, the ethics committee report states.

Rehberg’s website does not list anyone in the position of state director, nor has his office has made announcement of a replacement. Though Vogel’s attorney claim that he insisted Vogel take the leave “to focus on the trial,” according to Vogel’s Linkedin account he is currently selling insurance.

I do believe this incident, in a cumulative effect, will drag Rehberg down in a significant way, coming as it does not just on on the heels of the firefighter lawsuit scandal but also in the context of the Flathead boat wreck incident.  It’s a big enough story so that it will continue to roll out and embarass the Congressman, and Vogel, as we now see,  is going to try to protect his own ass, not Rehberg’s.

Vogel requested a full jury trial, the kind the media loves.  That’s not the action of someone who is trying to quietly sweep his misdeeds under the rug to protect his boss.  Vogel, a former state legislator himself, may believe he has his own political future to protect.    In the aftermath of the boating wreck, the Rehberg spin machine was pretty effective, proving again that Republicans seem to be generally better at that stuff than Dems.  But again, as time passes the facts of the accident, not the post-accident spin, is what will be indelible.

What’s behind the strange confessions?

Corey "Negro Caucus Joke" Stapleton is Running for Governor???Corey Stapleton stated on his recently launched Wikipedia page that he suffered from a Childhood Addiction.  He has since removed this item, you can see the screenshot of his edits here.

This is a strange term that I don’t believe I have ever heard in politics, nor anywhere else.  I am sure there is such a thing, but it sounds very rare and a quick Googling of the terms “Childhood Addiction” or “Child Addict” reveals almost nothing at all.  I don’t think he means “Peter Pan Syndrome” or addiction to being a child, because the word he uses is the plural “addictions.”  The only things you can find are that glue sniffing and inhaling of nitrous oxide canisters (known as huffing) have been shown to cause serious physical dependence among children who do that sort of thing too much.  Is this what Stapleton was referring to?

I am interested to know whether the term “Childhood Addiction” is not something that he is using as a euphemism for substance abuse as a teen or young adult, because that would be a little slippery.  You are not a “child” when you are a teenager, and although I have no personal objection to someone being a candidate for office just because they suffered an alcohol or drug problem as a teenager, still he should be honest about it if that’s in fact what it was.  Second, when an announcement of candidacy comes a ridiculous two-and-a-half years prior to an election, and is accompanied by an offhanded mention of a strange-sounding issue in one’s past, it is often a very intentional thing.  It is a way of giving publicity to something now, so it gets less publicity later. It’s why Obama, for example, talked about cocaine use in his book he wrote several years before running for president.

Finally, I feel strange having to reason all of this out on “paper,” especially when I already invited Stapleton to elaborate in a previous post.  Corey, can you simply explain to us what it is?



Kudos to Tester for urging Coast Guard to consider MT company, technology to help with oil spill clean-up

Kudos to Montana Senator Jon Tester for urging the U.S. Coast Guard to use home-grown Montana technology to help clean up some of the oil spilled in the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  In a press release, Tester said that a Montana company that uses floating islands made of recycled materials and microbes that eat pollutants could be part of the clean-up solution:

“Floating Islands is a Montana success story that ought to be a part of the equation as we look for new, innovative ways to address polluted water in the Gulf of Mexico and across the world,” Tester said. “Montana is home to a lot of great ideas and brilliant minds. They’re doing good work, creating good jobs and making the world a better place for our kids and grandkids.”

KULR-8 Billings has the story and video here. It’s great to see our Senator promoting Montana’s green businesses across the nation.

Shadow Group connected to Sinrud fined in CO, Leaves CO taxpayers on the hook for improper activity fines

Scott SalesJohn Sinrud of BelgradeEmbattled former Montana legislator John Sinrud’s Western Tradition Partnership has been targeting pro-conservation candidates in both parties for the last few years, and specializes in nasty (and potentially illegal) campaign tactics.   Sinrud, a former Belgrade legislator, has been previously identified in connection with the shadow group in the Montana press. Correction: I had earlier written that former Speaker of the House Scott Sales was someone behind this group. That was incorrect.  Sales was among those endorsed/backed by the group.  Now, the shadow group is making headlines in other states for their tactics.  The Colorado Independent has the story, including how the group was
formed by Montana political activists but registered to GOP operative Scott Shires in Aurora, Colo. That group denies advocating for any particular candidate in any particular race, insisting its campaign surveys legally gauge for the voters where candidates stand on the issues.
Shires has been fined and censured by Colorado officials in past elections, including the 2008 Garfield County commissioners’ races, which saw Democrats targeted by the oil and gas industry. Shires’ Colorado League of Taxpayers was fined $7,150 for spending $2,400 on mailers in that race without filing proper electioneering reports with the Colorado Secretary of State.
Nearly two years later, Shires still hasn’t paid his fine. “At this point, collections hasn’t been able to get that money yet,” Secretary of State spokesman Rich Coolidge said.

This could get interesting

Martin KidstonAn excellent debut by Martin Kidston, the new Democratic Party communications person, thanking Denny Rehberg for his recent declaration that Brian Schweitzer has done a good job as Governor. This is the type of work that the party should be producing on a regular basis, and we can look forward to Martin’s future creations.  And good job by Jim Elliott and Dave Benson for bringing the soldier/writer aboard.

Interesting how Rehberg hurriedly joined the Tea Party Caucus on the day after his comments about Schweitzer came out.

Thought: I wonder what the various right-wing nut-job voters such as tea-baggers, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, black helicopter-ers, or other skinhead-types, birthers, truthers, followers of the baby caucus et. al would think about a campaign mailing from Mike Fellows, the Libertarian party congressional candidate running right of Rehberg, imploring right-wingers not to sell out to a Schweitzer-worshipping Republican like the RINO Rehberg?

NEW VIDEO: Rehberg tries to have it both ways on GOP/Tea Party Takeover

By now, you’ve heard that Representative Denny Rehberg, R-MT, has added another caucus besides the Congressional Baby Caucus and the Small Brewers Caucus to his belt. (Is it wise for Rehberg to so be so public about a caucus for alcohol?) ***UPDATE: Chuck Johnson has the local story here.

Anyway, I was surprised to learn that he had joined the  Tea Party Caucus given his past statements to Montana Tea Party members in Bozeman, MT earlier this year.

The troubling Rehberg statement is below:

REHBERG: “I purposely have not gone to the tea party events themselves because I don’t want this, first of all, to draw attention to me as opposed to you all. Because then it becomes an issue and that’s not the point. So my people have always been there and readily available.  I send letters, I send my crew are all there. I just, this is too important. You know, when people say, ‘Is the Republican Party going to try to absorb the tea party movement?’ well I hope not. It’s not a matter of absorption, because the Tea Party movement is more than just republicans it’s republicans, democrats, and independents. It’s disaffected voters who care enough about the direction the county is heading and it. It surpasses labels.”

The problem with trying to have it both ways has already been well outlined by pundits.  Presumably, this kind of co-opting of the Tea Party was supposed to be kept under wraps.  MSNBC’s First Read has Trent Lott’s statement that:

““As soon as [Tea Partiers] get here, we need to co-opt them,” but that he still has “faith in the visceral judgment of the American people” that the Tea Party will not be elected in large enough numbers to threaten non-Tea Party Republicans.

The reason for the secrecy? Institutionalizing the Tea Party will lead to its undoing (and then Repubs can’t co-opt it, get it) More from First Read:

In fact, one of the only mentions today of the Tea Party caucus is one of concern, from NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, whose piece “Institutionalizing the Tea” suggests that the very organization of the Tea Party could lead to its undoing.