Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Bridges of Madison County (and a Tea Party Imbecile)

Montana Representative "Birther" Bob WagnerRepublican Bob Wagner, legislator from Madison County and a half-literate rube Tea Partier who likes to draw national attention to himself, is in the news again.

You will recall that as a legislator, he sponsored a “birther bill” to prevent Obama from being legally allowed to run for president in 2012. He even appeared on Anderson Cooper 360, but forgot to rehearse answers to basic questions and ended up humiliating himself in front of a national audience and turning the Montana GOP into a national joke.

Now, Wagner has outdone himself. A while back, the Governor line-item-vetoed some money the legislature made available for Wagner’s district, for local projects lie bridges and water treatment. Why? Because Wagner voted against the funding. Presumably, if a legislator doesn’t want money for his district, it is because his constituents have expressed to him that they don’t want it either. So Schweitzer figured if the folks in Madison county didn’t want the funds, why not save the money and keep the budget balanced? So he used a line-item veto to delete the funding.

But it turns out that Wagner’s constituents aren’t too happy. They were banking on the funds for a local project. So it appears that when Wagner voted against the funding, he was not voting the wishes of his district but was rather on some sort of frolic of his own.

Indeed, it seems that Tea Partiers were voting against any and all funding and spending of any kind during the legislature, as a matter of principal, while quietly hoping that the votes of more moderate legislators would be enough to pass the funding.

So now, The Madisonian reports, Wagner’s constituents have sued Schweitzer to try to get their money, claiming that he had no authority to veto the spending. Several other Tea Party legislators did the same thing as Wagner, and now these imbeciles, like Wagner, are also feeling heat from local officials in their districts.

You gotta love these guys. One wonders if these legislators, who apparently enjoy saying one thing when they are in their districts, but doing another when they are in Helena, will be invited back for another term.

Trampling on Our Rights

This week’s must read is a guest editorial in the Bozeman Chronicle by Blaine County Commissioner Vic Miller.   The well-written piece explains how Congressman Rehberg’s federal land grab bill amounts to trampling our rights to declare a police state over Glacier National Park, Indian reservations, and a vast swath of public lands. Commissioner Miller says:

it is exactly the kind of Big Government Montanans don’t tolerate. All of us should be up in arms over the prospect of this bill. It infringes on our constitutional rights in the name of freedom – much like the controversial REAL ID Act. In fact, this bill builds off of REAL ID.

Commissioner Miller knows what he’s talking about, he runs a county on the Hi-Line and deals with border issues as part of his job.   Don’t miss the piece on this bill up at Intelligent Discontent either.


Right Wing Pastor Caught Filching Victim Out of Life Savings

A Montana pastor renowned for his bigoted attacks on women and gays will be arrested for setting up fake companies to steal hundreds of thousands from a local man, the Missoulian reports.  Pastor Harris Himes is facing several felonies for theft and fraud.

Himes, who is from Hamilton, is leading the effort to pass a statewide abortion ban in Montana.  He lobbied heavily in the legislature for bills to repeal the ban against discrimination against gays, and tired to pass bills to eliminate Montana’s constitutional right to privacy. During the 2011 legislative session, he even told legislators that he believes gay people should be put to death.  Himes partnered with Republican nutjobs like Bob Wagner and Derek Skees to back outrageous proposals like the birther bill, among others.

Himes and another right-wing pastor who conspired with him in the scam lured the victim to an abandoned building in Mexico that they had claimed was the site of their “investment” and then left him.  This looks pretty bad.  Presumably when you steal money from a gringo and leave him in the middle of Mexico, you’re hoping he doesn’t make it back state-side to turn you in.

The scam was shut down by Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen.


In its ever-delusional idea of its own moral authority, Montana Roman Catholic Bishops are hosting a conference on “abortion, ‘assisted-suicide’ and euthanasia,” the AP reports today.

As you probably already know, 34 Montanans have recently filed a lawsuit against the diocese in Helena over sexual abuse that they say they suffered at the hands of clergy in Western Montana.

The Bishops seem incredibly eager to either change the subject away from the abuse allegations—or perhaps to ignore it.

Here’s the problem.  Where are the overtures by the Bishops to work with these people to heal what the Church has done to them? Why is it a priority for the Bishops to go after the right of terminally ill Montanans? These are people who are in pain to choose to die in their own time and their own way.  Why is it okay to insert themselves into the bedrooms and doctors’ offices of Montana women–forcing them to bear children against their will…but not to fix what the years and years of wreckage to the lives of those they’ve hurt?

Today, a second child sex abuse lawsuit was filed against the Helena Diocese.

This Year’s Worst Political Ad

This is so random, so bizarre. It’s best just to watch.

After watching this, I can’t decide if TEA Party Republican state legislator Derek Skees is running for a statewide office (charged with regulating the insurance industry), or launching a pro-wrestling career. You be the judge.