Mansfield Metcalf Preview

The Democrats’ big night is coming up tomorrow.  It’s a fun-filled evening to be had by the liberal faithful, listening to politicians make speeches (as we know, everyone’s favorite Saturday night pastime in Helena.)

It’s actually a good night for Dems because they control all five statewide elected positions and also both U.S. Senate seats. Denny Rehberg is the last man standing and even he might get knocked off next fall by Jon Tester.

There have been some interesting guests over the last few years, Senators and Governors and, of course, Hillary and Barack in ’08, both of whom brought the house down.  This year’s guest speaker is not a politician however. It is Tammy Duckworth, wounded in combat and now in a wheelchair, brought in for the occasion by Jon Tester, no doubt, who works hard on Vets issues.

This is a purposeful and smart move by the Dems, at a time when the GOP-controlled legislature is cutting services for Veterans. The GOP has been relentless in cutting services like these, and even tried to close a Vets’ home in Columbia Falls before being shamed into restoring the funding today  (though the other Vet services are still scheduled to be axed).

Of course, if Tammy Duckworth is interested in knowing what at least one Tea Party legislator thinks of people in wheelchairs who are in need of Government support, somebody should show her a copy of the e-mail message (below the fold) from James Knox to a disabled constituent who was asking Knox to please restore funding for disabled. Knox responded to him by calling him a whiner.

The buzz, though, is going to be about whether Steve Bullock will dive into the Governor’s race.  He’s raising money into an account that can serve as either a Governor or AG campaign fund.  Dave Wanzenried, a progressive state senator from Missoula, has already announced, as has Shannon Augare, state senator from Browning.  But the primary is generally considered by pundits to be Bullock’s to win if he runs.  Wanzenreid and Bullock are holding fundraisers this weekend.

And then of course there is always excitement when the three heavyweights–Schweitzer Tester and Baucus–are in the room together.  There is always a healthy amount of testosterone when the three papa grizzlies are in the same area, and are in heat, looking for love (from the Democratic Base.)  Sadly for prognosticators, there hasn’t been much speculation lately about these three, in terms of who is running for what, and against whom, and when.   The GOP seems to have grown tired of trying to plant rumors that they are all running against each other.

There is, however, a surprising editorial in the IR that ran last week and which I thought would have gotten more discussion on the blog here.  A few weeks ago, Schweitzer cut a deal to get the Nature Conservancy to put up private funding, $10 million or so, for protecting the drainage area of the North Fork of the Flathead river, a huge swath of wilderness on the west slope of Glacier National Park.  The Helena IR heaped a pile of praise on Schweitzer for brokering what had seemed like an impossible agreement only a year ago, and the editorial also (somewhat surprisingly), blasted the Congressional delegation for failing to deliver.  The IR neglected to distinguish between Tester and Baucus, who have at least been on the right side of this issue, and Rehberg, who has never even showed that he even cares about it at all.

Nevertheless, if you see a big grin on Schweitzer’s face at MM, you will know why.

The Knox letter calling Montanans with disabilities “whiners” is below the fold.

—— Forwarded Message
From: “Rep. James Knox” <>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 06:30:30 -0700
To: Travis Hoffman <email removed>
Subject: RE: You’re Invited to Join Us:  Our Lives, Our Homes, Our Communities, A Rally to Restore Human Services

Really? I believe many of us want to see more cuts. We have a budget crisis and plenty of citizens who want the State to be fiscally responsible but not at their expense. SO I ask where should we make the cuts. I personally have asked everyone who emailed me expressing not to cut their program or position, where should we cut? No one has responded with anything other than just don’t cut my program. Well regardless of what we cut someone will be effected. The other option is to raise taxes. This to me is not a solution I will vote for or support.

So come but know it will not have any effect on those who pledged to reduce spending. We have more cuts planned as our duty and promise to those who elected us. I find this “whining” attitude part of the problem. [emphasis mine] Did you know there was only one group that came before the legislature and said “we can get by with less”? It was the one group that clearly knows sacrifice, the Veterans! Hats off to them, but everyone else said you cannot cut our budget.

I ran pledging to reduce State government and spending. This promise will be fulfilled or at least voted for by myself. Simply we do not have the money to write checks that will eventually bounce. Everyone has to get by with less. This includes these programs you hold dear.

Thank you,

Rep. James Knox
“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible” – George Washington

HELENA ADDRESS:Capitol BuildingPO Box 200400Helena, Montana 59620-0400Phone: (406)-444-4800COMMITTEES:State AdministrationFederal Relations, Energy & TelecommunicationsLocal GovernmentHOME ADDRESS:[removed]

James Knox Email


53 Comments on "Mansfield Metcalf Preview"

  1. Lt. Col (Ret., Army) Rich Liebert | March 11, 2011 10:33 PM at 10:33 PM |

    Speaking of the Bible Mr. Knox, the Lord has folks like you in mind when it comes to the less fortunate, as noted in Proverbs and the Gospels. I wonder what he would tell a wounded veteran of Afghanistan about his Tea Bagger friends wanting to privatize (just like privatizing in the military, and another reason defense spending is bloated and obscenely ineffective) the state’s veteran home in Columbia Falls, and Senator Zinke (US Navy, retire, Commander) defended the home, saying the ‘veterans EARNED their beds, so what have you EARNED Mr. Knox?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 11, 2011 10:48 PM at 10:48 PM |

      For the record, I know Rich Liebert. He is a good man who did GREAT work on preventing the construction of the coal fired plant here in GF. Rich is a hero in my book.

      But I must ask Rich, maybe he knows. Did the Round Mound of Knoxious Pounds, Jumbo Jimmy Knoxious ever actually SERVE in the military??? I’m thinkin’ no. I mean, even in the FAT BOY program, Jumbo Jimmy wouldn’t make it!

      I really, really, REALLY want to attend this upcoming event. Why? I can’t WAIT to hear the guv! Nobody kicks ass like Schweitzer!

      And really, with the outing of the Kocks and Dopey Reeburp, you just KNOW that it’s gonna be FUN AS HELL to kick some Pubbie ass tomorrow night!

      Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow, we’re gonna kick some Pubbie ass REAL good!

  2. Is Knox another one of those phony Chickenhawks?
    Rodger S., USN

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 11, 2011 10:52 PM at 10:52 PM |

      Here’s the

    • Phony Chickenhawk? You mean like a NAVY guy who was never in country, and never within 5000 miles of the coast of Vietnam even? Tell us your creds hero.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 12, 2011 1:05 PM at 1:05 PM |

        Did you earn a bed, billy? Jumbo Jimmy DIDN’T! And if he says he did, he’s a JumboLIar! (Hey, didn’t Hank sing a song bout that?) Are you a JumboLIar, billy boy? Did you earn a bed, dude, as Sen. Zinke asked of Knoxious? Or are you like Jumbo Jimmy, who JUST used his hated GUBMINT health insurance to treat his heart attack?!

        You see, billy, it’s DISGUSTING to me to have MY tax dollars go to Jumbo INSTEAD of to VETS! Can you understand that?

        • Amen Knox and his ilk should not be able to get government health care and by doing so they are hypocrits.

          • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 12, 2011 9:50 PM at 9:50 PM |

            You wanna hear sumthin’ funny? Even BIRTHER BOB has that hated gubmint health care as quoted in the GF Spitoon this a.m. And ‘course, Birther Bob said that this is the very FIRST time in his blubber butted life that he ever even HAD health care!

            Now, I ask the forum in all seriouness, who in the freakin’ HELL, other than Blubber Butted Birther Bob, has never had need for health care in Montana?

            Blubber Butt Bob, have you really NEVER been SICK, you fat, overweight, gross, abdomius dufus?

            Well, I’m thinkin’ that you’re a fatassed LIAR! Look, tubby, you’re a walking heart attack just waiting to happen! And now, we gotta SUPPORT your lazy arse when that happens!

            I seen you in the vids, Bobby. It AIN’T a matter of if, just WHEN! You and Jumbo Jimmy Knoxious could be twins! The Fat Brothers! Why shoud WE, the taxpayers of Montana, pay for what’s surely coming to your giNORmous butt?

            Birther Bob, REJECT your health, you hypocrite! Be a MAN, dude! DON’T hide your fat butt in our tax money! You can do it, Birther!

      • @ Bill;
        No, I mean like Rush Lardbaugh, who dodged the draft with a medical deferment for a PIMPLE ON HIS ASS (while someone else died in his place, face down in the mud in ‘Nam); and then years later, after he became a multi-millionaire pretending to be a patriot, publicly LIED and said his deferment was for a “football knee.”

        THAT kind of phony Chickenhawk.

  3. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 11, 2011 10:58 PM at 10:58 PM |

    Sorry bout that. I read the Round Mound of Knoxious Pound’s e-mail and I FREAKED!

    So, one more time. Here’s the deal you fatassed, lardbutted, outta state, piece of no good teawankin’, never served, DOG SHIT!

    As a taxpayer, Jumbo Jimmy, I would MUCH rather have MY tax money going to pay for my FELLOW veterans who actually SERVED in war than to pay for a heart attack, artery-clogged, lazy, draft-dodgin’, cowardly, tea soaked, blubberin’, tubberin’, FAT tub-o-shit like YOURSELF, dude!

    Get it, Jumbo Jimmy? GOT IT!

  4. Its’ kind of discouraging knowing that, as bad as Republicans are, our only other choice is Democrats. They’re like unflavored yogurt.

  5. When did Augare announce? I must have missed that one…

  6. I plan to go, but I really hope the other speakers keep it short. I’m interested in hearing Duckworth, Tester, and Schweitzer speak, but a whole list of other minor politicians who always demand a platform gets really long and boring. Sorry, I like all of our democrats, but no one can stand 4 hours of speeches.

    • Tester now has about 18 months to convince you that he’s not the mealy mouther who sold you out these last four years. It’s not a referendum on him. It’s about you. Have you got a brain. Does it function?

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 12, 2011 9:10 PM at 9:10 PM |

        Yes but, Dopey Reeburp is STILL the greater of the two evils. I still prefer mealy to fascism any day at this point in my life because to be quite honest, I do NOT see ANY benefits from fascism from these greedy bastards. Unfortunately, many people in this country apparently DO seem to see some benefits from fascism. I’m not sure what that might be. Early Rapture maybe? I dunno.

        I’ve always been of the mind that as LONG as we’re getting something for our taxes, it ain’t so bad. But ferchrissakes, just GIVIN’ it to the Big Kocks who took in a cool NINE BILLION last year is just flatassed DUMB! I mean SERIOUS dumb! Teabagger dumb! Hell, Wendy WARPBURPIN’ dumb! It don’t GET much dumber than that!

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 12, 2011 9:15 PM at 9:15 PM |

          As the Kock brothers continue their attack on unions, working people, teachers, the poor, women, the elderly, the sick and infirm, children, and ALL people in this country who are NOT good fascist, Bircher billionaires who HATE democracy, they took in a wee bit of change last year. Check it out. No WONDER that they think they can buy Wisconsin and Michigan.

        • It’s classic good-cop-bad cop, Larry. Yes, the Republicans push the envelope, are authoritarians and fearful all at once. But have you noticed that during the whole time that the Democrats had huge majorities in the Senate and House and the presidency, that they didn’t fight for us?

          People say it’s a bad system, but we’re stuck with it. We need to fight for better voting systems at the local level, to eliminate winner-take-all and free people from having to vote D or R with no other viable choice.

          And, if you notice in Wisconsin, that all happened without Democrats. Sure, the 14 tried, but the only power that kept them in Illinois was the protesters. That’s all that propelled FDR – power of organization below him. It’s not about parties, but unity of purpose. Right now, our best hope is labor organizing, and did you notice that the Democrats did not even introduce EFCA when they were in power?

          By the way, Wisconsin/Minnesota.ND and parts of Montana were the location of the old Farmer/Labor Party. It appears to be re-emerging.

          • They did not have a HUGE majority in the Senate, the Republicans filibustered over 400 bills from the House – did not even let them be debated with the rule of 60

            • That only went on with Democrat complicity, Lynn. All of the Bush agenda was carried through the senate with a maximum of 55 votes, if memory serves, maybe only 53. Harry Reid and others focused your attention on the mean old Republicans and the filibuster to distract you from the fact at that they were not fighting for you. They have countless weapons at their disposal to get bills passed, including bargaining, threats, persuasion, logrolling, loss of benefits to Republican districts, presidential persuasion, publicity, and not the least, cleverness. They used none of them. They were complicit.

              • Agreed we need more Bernie Sanders and less “Corporate Owned Dems” I. E Ben Nelson, Dodd, Max
                As Senator Tester put it this weekend no more millionares

      • Here’s a question, Mark. You have two employees at your business. One is absolutely atrocious, and the other doesn’t seem to get things right either. Would you promote the atrocious one to try to teach the mediocre one a lesson? That’s a pretty gutsy management strategy.

        • Bad analogy. You’re a good employee, and have two supervisors. One’s an asshole, the other a weasel. Who do you suck up to?


          • The government is our employee, not our employer-so the employee analogy is more valid.

          • In your analogy, Tester would be the weasel, yes? It only works if Tester has done a bunch a things he claimed he wouldn’t. He hasn’t, but then you have political ADD so I doubt you’d notice.

            Beyond that, George3 is right. But if you’d like to have your analogy make sense in the “big picture”, try this. You have two supervisors, both favored by the CEO. One is abusive, and one won’t help you beyond what it takes to keep his job. You have the chance to get one of them fired over the objection of the CEO? Who do you choose?

            • Yeah, Tester is a weasel. Lotta beef on the hoof with this one, but he’s a weasel. You Dems are so submissive! Did you enjoy it when he called you an extremist?

              Here’s a better analogy: Assume that we have two parties, but both draw their financing from the same source. The financiers fear the rise of a second party, and so allow one a longer leash when running for office. However, once elections are over, both parties pursue the same policies.

              Given a choice to vote in this analogy, I choose “neither.” This makes as much sense as choosing either.

              Now if you want to talk about local offices like Mayor or dog catcher, yes, we often get better people with Democrats.

              See now, Obama has sold out the Libyans and Bradley Manning this week, and Hillary fired a guy who said something true. Great week for you Dems, eh?

              • Yeah, Tester is a weasel.

                You blew it right there, given my comment. Reassert what you can’t support and then run like the wind with your dirty diaper flapping about your butt …

                Good job, Mark.

                • All right, you simpleton: People are elected to high office based on advertising presentations and promises to constituencies. For Democrats, they need to appeal to the progressives. So Tester mined this base in Montana, using Matt Singer, Jay Stevens and many others, to leave the impressive that he held progressive views.

                  Once elected, he has many tools at his disposal to validate this impression, among them the ability to cast meaningless votes. So he, like Baucus, might leave a string of votes behind him, none of which affected legislation, which allows outfits like MCV and others, to say that he has a “liberal” voting record. This is all perception management.

                  What has been the thrust of Tester’s activities? How has he used his power as senator? He is working with the very same forces that Conrad Burns worked with, trying to break the deadlock in the Montana wilderness debate and allow powerful corporate interests access to the commons. There is no difference in what Tester is doing and what Burns did.

                  The other factor that allows Tester to succeed in pushign a right wing agenda, besides vote-dipping, is confirmation bias, or the desire of his supporters to believe in him despite evidence. So you are easily swayed by the voting record, and easily ignore his right wing activities because that is what you find emotionally satisfying. So you actually work with him to cloak him, unknowingly of course.

                  When I say that Tester is a weasel, it’s a blog statement, as most blog readers, like you, are unsophisticated in regards to politics. The statement reduces very complex political maneuvering down to a personality issue. Tester is a poltiician, either right wing or a sold-out liberal. In the first case, he is not a weasel, and like Scott Walker, just an operative. In the second he is.

                  Pick ’em. It’s more explanation than you deserve. Since you are an authoritarian, it follows that you are capable of neither introspective or grasping of nuance, so it is wasted. Perhaps others will benefit.

                  • Blah blah blah. I love the bluster though. I imagine your eyes getting wide and your pinched little face turning red as you blather about how your assumptions just must be true. They Must DAMMIT!

                    Wrong again, Mark. You keep wailing about conformation bias while you’re soaking in it. See, unlike you, I actually listened to the man, instead of those voices you have in your head. I know what he said he’d do, and he’s pretty much done those things. He’s not ‘right-wing’. He’s a Montana Democrat, a creature you have no understanding of at all.

                    Now cinch up that diaper; you’re getting crap on the walls.

                    • You are one who comes along behind the parade to sweep up the shit. CB on steroids. Never wrong. Incapable of reflection, unable to deal with nuance.

                      Right wing authoritarian on the “left”, or a wild card. I much prefer quisling.

                    • Poor Mark.

                      You are one who comes along behind the parade to sweep up the shit.

                      No, I manage information services at a not-for-profit bookstore that serves about 15,000 of Montana’s good people in any given year. And you? Do try again.

                      CB on steroids. Never wrong. Incapable of reflection

                      Funny that. You were challenged to actually provide evidence of what you hail as fact. Not only couldn’t you do that, but you blame me for your failure. That would be epic lack of self-awareness. Facts may have a liberal bias, but they don’t have a delusional one. You create a scenario about Jon Tester in your head and look for evidence that supports your fantasy. Look to the facts, Mark. In this case, I am right. Jon Tester is not a weasel. He is a good Montana Senator. It really is you who are having a tantrum that you don’t get the Democrat hate cookie you so desire. Wahh is you.

  7. Allow me to add one more prediction to this list. The only person talking about health care reform will be Lindeen, as Tester and Baucus have (wisely) bagged discussion this disaster in public. Of course, there might be a legislator or two who haven’t yet gotten the message…god I hope we don’t have legislators speaking. Is there an agenda anywhere?

  8. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 12, 2011 12:50 PM at 12:50 PM |

    Weee doggies! We’s gonna run them there infeedells right outta OUR country! Fer the granchillen! Why, they’s homos, libruls, dark people, (even one in the WHITE house!) and demoncrats just a’TRYIN’ to take our freedumbs from us! We ain’t’a gonna LOW that!


    We gots Jaysus, and we’s got a holy hornet’s nest in our shorts just STIRRIN’ up the fightin’ holy spirit in us! We done HEARD the call o JAYSUS!

    Say it loud and say it PROUD!


  9. Or amybe you’re a vet like kralj who hung around saigon for 6 months and though the bad bush was between the hookers legs.

  10. I didn’t expect a TEA bagge like Bill to respect Vets or women, but it still angers me to reaf this kind of garbage. Shame on you Bill.

  11. Lt. Col (Ret., Army) Rich Liebert | March 12, 2011 4:13 PM at 4:13 PM |

    I’m curious if Rep. Knox has the LEGISLATOR health-care plan, and did that provide for him when he had an unfortunate heart-attack? I think all legislators who vilify the federal health-care reform and voted for ‘secession/nullification’ should GIVE UP their benefits if they TRULY followed the courage of their convictions…….in the meantime let’s go publish some ‘Cowboy Code’ comic books so we can raise money to fund the state veterans home…….

  12. Might strikes me as the key word in your post, cowbabe.

  13. First I need to say that I find the sophomoric name-calling approach to any serious discussion to be disheartening. I mean really, didn’t we learn about name calling in grade school?

    Having said that, now I need to express my outrage at the comments found in the message from Rep. Knox. To suggest that advocates for crucial social service budgets are anything but dedicated, self-sacrificing citizens is not helpful. I think it reflects that Mr. Knox does not have the vision to look in more appropriate plces to save cash. Instead, I would like to see him consider the best source of addressing the state budget, that being ending corporate welfare to major oil companies. Both ConocoPhillips and Exxonmobile have challenged their tax bill within the last year, to the detriment of all public services, especially schools. According to “Think Progress”, “The former CEO of Shell Oil, John Hoffmeister, recently said Big Oil doesn’t need subsidies “in face of sustained high oil prices.” From 2005 to 2009, the largest oil companies have made a combined $485 billion in profits. Why, then, are we loath to require Big Oil to pay its fair share of tax revenue, without subsidies. And just as an aside I would like to point out that Exxonmobile buys 130,082,000 barrels of crude oil from the Saudis, at inflated prices, and passes on that cost to American Consumers. ConocoPhillips-to its credit-imports no Saudi oil.

    • I agree the prevalence of insulting others who comment rather than debating the argument is a disincentive to commenting.

      • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 13, 2011 4:29 PM at 4:29 PM |

        Sorry, but I don’t recall people who post here being insulted. I insult public figures who DESERVE it. Can you maybe point to commenters who were insulted?

        I guess my point is that if you can’t take the criticism for extreme nuttiness, don’t run for office in the first place. Or at LEAST don’t refer to women as cattle, and don’t introduce extremely wacko bills. Hey, if it makes the national comedy circuit, you can DAMN SURE bet it’s gonna make the blogs! Spears? Militias? Birthers?? and on and on. I’m sorry, but not ALL of us in Montana drink tea!

        But I personally try to never insult another commenter. You’re right. We shouldn’t attempt to discourage someone from posting their opinion.

  14. Back in the days when we had to draft our soldiers, I thought veterans deserved just about all that a grateful nation could do for them; but now that mercenaries are used to steal resources from barefoot peasants, I’m not certain veterans’ benefits are the new third rail for cowardly politicians.

  15. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 12, 2011 8:38 PM at 8:38 PM |

    As the reactors in Japan melt down, I wonder if the Derek the Skeester is STILL proposing his grand idea of bringing nuke plants to Montana? Hey, if global WARMING is good for Montana, maybe a leetle radiation is too! Ya never know! Teawanker science is all bout jobs!….even if you never live to get one! What a bunch’a friggin’ buffoons!

  16. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | March 13, 2011 9:53 AM at 9:53 AM |

    I LIKE this Denny. Did he miss anything? I didn’t think so.

  17. Best speeches of the night: Duckworth, Schweitzer, and Tester. Tester seems to have found a new voice and a new confidence, and I like it. His line about the Senate already having plenty of millionaires and only one farmer was so true.

    Least favorite speeches: Lindeen and Juneau. Both went on about insider policy details that don’t mean much to the average person, a sure way to bore. I would be interested in what others think. – Ed

  18. Tester was on target! Great speech! Needed a 5 hour energy when Denise NO-NO (Juneau) rambled on. Overall the M & M this year was medicore at best. Would liek to see the next M & M away from the fairgrounds. Bring it tbak to the Civic center.

  19. I like it at the Fair Grounds because it is less clausterphobic. I liked the food this year, but there were too many speakers. Why does every minor official have to taje the mic? I think we should limit it to the tier A electeds nd keynote and let the rest sit it out, maybe do introductions or something. Its not like anyone rememebers anything any of then said anyway.

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