Monthly Archives: December 2011

Best MT Political Posts of 2011 from Other Blogs

It’s time to honor the top political posts of 2011 from other Montana political blogs.  Here are the 2011 award winners.

Flathead Memo

Sometimes a picture says it all.   James Conner of the Flathead Memo is not just a great political writer.  He’s a top notch photographer too.   His photo of Dennis Rehberg boldly marching in the Kalispell 4th of July Parade between two fire trucks is priceless.   In spite of Rehberg’s phony attempt to appear supportive of firefighters, Rehberg’s lawyers were busy working on his frivolous lawsuit against Billings firefighters.   Rehberg sought a bailout from Billings taxpayers after his scrub brush was burned in a forest fire.



It’s great that Montana is seeing more women bloggers.  Especially women with backbone like Montanafesto.  First, she broke the Rick Hill mermaid scandal: Republican Rick Hill’s Mermaid Mistress: A Sordid Tail.

She also provided the best ever description of a campaign event.  In a comment here on the Montana Cowgirl Blog, she described Jeff Essmann’s campaign announcement for governor as “an exciting world class event.”  So funny.


From Eternity to Here

D. Gregory Smith at From Eternity to Here held the Montana Republican Party’s feet to the fire for their official platform position claiming it should be illegal to be gay in Montana.  Read Montana Republicans: Officially Homophobes And Bigots?


Left in the West

Rob Kailey at Left in the West has connections to the national online community.  He represented Montana at Netroots Nation in 2011.  His posts are a often good source of information on how the rest of the world views right wing activity in Montana. High Country Extremism is but one great example of this.


Intelligent Discontent

Pogie has posted a list of the most popular 2011 blog posts from Intelligent Discontent.  There are several great posts on the list, especially: How Eager Are Progressives to Elect Senator Rehberg?



Button Valley Bugle 

The Button Valley Bugle expressed outrage on behalf of all Montanans when it was uncovered that we were all contributing to TEA Party Republican Dennis Rehberg’s campaign for U.S. Senate–without our knowledge.  Franking my dear, you should give a damn is a great post.


Worst Political Christmas Card of the Season

There are still a few hours to go until we reach the 2012 horizon, so there is still plenty of time for some GOP candidate antics.  They would have to register high on the wackjob scale, however, to top this.

Suffice it to say, it’s been a pretty embarrassing year for Neil Livingstone and Ryan Zinke.  However, they have managed to squeeze this last humiliation in before the New Year.

This is certainly the weirdest holiday card I’ve ever seen from…well…anyone.  What says “Merry Christmas” less than Livingstone and Zinke in a sleigh with Zinke brandishing a scope sighted M-16, a dead wolf on the front of the sleigh, drone wings, hidden pistols, and an unintentional homage to Obama–a crossed out face of Osama bin Laden. And don’t forget the bag of extractive-industry-only jobs and the PhD certificates.

This is one oddball message to wrap up into a Christmas card and send to the electorate.  Presumably, the “strategy” behind this is to show that these guys ARE TOO! nutty enough to compete with Drew Turiano and Chuck Baldwin. A larger version can be seen here.


The Fundamental Difference


Jon Tester on his farm near Big Sandy, MT

Rancher–dirt farmer and butcher from one of the most rural areas in America; lost part of his hand in a meat grinder; grows organic wheat, barley, lentils, peas, millet, buckwheat, and alfalfa; works the land, fixes fence; is the only member of the US Senate who is not wealthy.


Ranchette for sale in Rehberg Subdivision

Actual Ranchette for sale now in Rehberg Subdivision

Dennis Rehberg does not being called out for who he really is.

Ranchette–inherited $50 million worth of land from parents; built condos, houses and ranchettes for people who move here from California and wear cowboy hats; gets drunk to kill time.

Gap Widens Between Congress, Constituents

The wealth of members of Congress has increased dramatically since Congressman Dennis Rehberg been in Congress, while the wealth of the average family has declined.   This puts them more out-of-touch than ever with what the average American is going through, the Washington Post reports.  Congressman Rehberg has consistently been rated one of the wealthiest members of Congress.  Jon Tester is a farmer and former music teacher.  As any Montanan can tell you, neither of those professions is high-paying.

The growing disparity between the representatives and the represented means that there is a greater distance between the economic experience of Americans and those of lawmakers.

Over the last 15 years, the average net worth of a member of the House more than doubled, the Washington Post reports, while the wealth of the average American family has declined.  The average Congressional wealth increased from $280,000 to $725,000. But Congressman Rehberg’s wealth blows these numbers out of the water.  He averaged $30 million a year until he started campaigning for the U.S. Senate, when he appeared to be attempting to write down much of his wealth. Meanwhile, the the average American’s wealth declined slightly from $20,600 to $20,500.

The result: most members of Congress are more out of touch with what average people are going through. The Washington Post also reports that the income disparity gap is correlated with increased polarization of Congress, leading to gridlock, infighting, etc.  This certainly holds true in Rehberg’s case.  He’s been at the center of the deadlock since the budget debates intensified last year.

The NY Times also reported on the income divide between Congress and the rest of us–it’s even greater for TEA Party members of Congress:

“rarely has the divide appeared so wide, or the public contrast so stark, between lawmakers and those they represent.

The freshman class of 106 members elected last year, including many Tea Party-backed Republicans, had a median net worth of $864,000 — an inflation-adjusted increase of 26 percent from the 2004 freshmen.”

Top Ten Cowgirl Blog Stories Part II

Hard to believe 2011 is almost over. As a way to celebrate the past year, the Cowgirl Blog is counting down the Top Ten Cowgirl Stories of 2011. Pasted below are #8 through #4.  Coming up next will be top posts from other blogs and as well as the top three stories.   Consider this an open thread.

# 8  Montana Republican Says Drunkenness is “Way of Life”; Opposes DUI Laws

# 7 Montana GOP Hopeful Might Have Mermaid Fetish

# 6 Schweitzer Burns GOP with Red-Hot Cattle Iron

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

# 4 Analysis: GOP’s “Get Your Women’s Health Care at Walgreens” Strategy Backfires