Baucus Begins 2014 Campaign

Max Baucus has purchased $25,000 of radio ads that will air in the next weeks as Tax Day approaches, highlighting his role in the federal payroll tax cut, the Billings Gazette reported. Pundits are saying that this is the beginning of his re-election bid, and that he must start early to recover from his healthcare hangover.

Baucus has selected an interesting person to vouch for him in the radio ads.   It is Dean Folkvord, owner of the Wheat Montana company.  In the last decade or so, Folkvord has been a major supporter of the Right Wing, having made financial contributions to the Montana Republican Party, Bob Brown (2004), Roy Brown (2008), Todd Reier (2002), Scott Sales (2006), Art Whittich (2008), Pat Davison (2004), Cindy Younkin (2004), Duane Grimes (2004 and 2008), Roy Brown and Steve Daines (2008), Tim Fox (2008), and Rick Hill and Jon Sonju (2012).


166 Comments on "Baucus Begins 2014 Campaign"

  1. Max, Max, Max! Quite a slap in the face to his alleged BFF Jon Tester by making the 2012 elections all about Max. Max has always been insecure about his place in the party to the point of making ridiculous claims (like bragging about donating millions to party bank accounts, while the facts as reported on the Follow The Money website show otherwise), and his absolute panic about how beloved Pat Williams and Brian Schweitzer are with the rank-and-file. Max’s neediness will damage Jon Tester’s bid for reelection. Unbelievably selfish.

  2. Hmmmm … Is Baucus being jettisoned by the party as flotsam? Since this blog is essentially an issue-free zone, and the writers are in-camp and probably payrolled, it appears that the way is being cleared for another Democrat whose right wing credentials have not been so exposed as Max’s? If KG does not make the House, is she the going to be our Maxine?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | April 3, 2012 7:46 AM at 7:46 AM |

      Maybe we’ll choose one of your THIRD party candidates! Are you the next Raphy, Buttinski?? BHWHAHAHAHAAA! Next vacation you take, try reality land, dude!

    • I suppose if you are lecturing me on reality I should reconsider the nature of reality and join a drug-based music culture. If you take two men side by side, Max and,” and asked which one was highly principled and had a positive effect on American culture over his life and which one sucked on the tits of power and could hardly frame a thought … you’d not know the answer.

      Please chuck your caps key. You don’t know how annoying at is?

      • Max and “Raphy” – damned autocorrect.

        • Chuck yer auto-upchuck, toke.

        • Technically challenged – is it in settings? Can I do that?

          • Go to settings and look for: getting laid more often, smoke more bongs, convert to Malbec, and lighten up.

          • You have no idea the good life we have over here in the light of day. Abandon the swamp of party politics, sir, and your life will get better, your mind and wits will sharpen, you too will get laid regularly and can spot looking for dates online.

            • It’s not impossible that Max will have a contender in the Dem primary. Move back to Montana and run on your record, Markie Poo.

              • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 1:08 PM at 1:08 PM |

                He Wont come back to Montana, Hes a Colorado troll now! One of the first questions he’d have to answer is why he did business without a Business license, or why MSCPA – Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants never heard of him.

              • Using your real name? Where did you find your courage? Are you going to start using your brain anytime soon?

                And you actually called the Montana Society of CPA’s? Did you also call the AICPA? I belonged to each group briefly, back in the 80’s, but they are basically restraint-of-trade type outfits. I’m not a big joiner of things.

                If you want to know about me, you need to call the state licensing agency, and my license was 2184 and learn a little bit about what you are talking about and fyvm.

                • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 6:15 PM at 6:15 PM |

                  1980’s? Really? According to records I dug up on you already, you moved down to that part of Colorado around the last part of 2008. That’s thirty years without a DBA License for Montana? Try again? But thanks for the number I will check it out!

                  • We moved to CO in 8/09′, Boulder. We joined the left wing conspiracy to worship the devil and turn all women into lesbians. We were somewhere Arounf 3-5% successful. With the lesbian part.

  3. I wish Baucus would have spent the effort to help Jon Tester Like he promised instead of trying to focus the attention on himself. He could have made an ad for Tester or also Bullock!

  4. Ingemar Johannson | April 3, 2012 9:10 AM at 9:10 AM |

    I heard the ad yesterday and immediately thought we’re going to need that tax break to pay for higher health care premiums.

    • Baucus is pretending this is about his campaign, but in reality it is probably because only 30 percent of Montanans approve of the job he’s doing. Schweitzer will easily defeat him, insurance lobby cash or no.

    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 1:19 PM at 1:19 PM |

      Trust me Ingy you wont be having higher premiums, that’s not what the individual mandate was all about. Nice try muddying the waters Though.

      Havre Voter isn’t it odd he is even running! I was under the impression by news paper accounts, in the past he was thinking of retiring. This would unforgivably, be a bad move for our Party.

      I think we need someone new as well. Personally, I think the guy is alright, but somewhere along the way, he lost his backbone…. Maybe Schweitzer isn’t running for senate though, maybe he is thinking of running higher!

      • Michael,

        Please show me what in the ACA prevents your premiums to go up – even if the individual mandate is enacted. Is there process in the ACA that limits either premium costs, the risk assessed by the insurance companies or the cost of actual health care?

        This is the fantasy that the ACA is built on and one of the primary reasons I think it should be reworked or repealed in favor of a better law. There is not a single economist that can point out what in the ACA will guarentee static or lower premium rates. The idea is based in many assumptions – assumptions that have not been proven accurate or even logical.

        Ingy is not “muddying the waters”. This has been a consistant complaint from both sides of the aisle since the enactment of the ACA. The removal of the public option effectively killed the only concrete method that the bill could have addressed the rising costs.

        • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 2:04 PM at 2:04 PM |

          Simple enough request! The answer is Massachusetts!

          Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was a key architect of Massachusetts’s ambitious health reform effort and consulted extensively with the Obama administration and Congress during the development of the Affordable Care Act.

          This is the guy who put Romneycare into action, and knows how it is working now. These are his arguments after watching over Massachusetts for 6 years:

          The enormous success of health-care reform in the almost six years since its passage in Massachusetts can make us more confident. Mass has covered about two-thirds of uninsured Massachusetts residents, and have lowered the premiums in the non-group market by half relative to national premium trends. And Mass have done so with broad public support.

          Moreover, this reform succeeded without interfering with the employer-sponsored insurance market that works for most of our residents: employer-sponsored insurance coverage has actually risen in Massachusetts, while falling sharply nationally, and the premiums for employer-sponsored insurance rose no faster in Massachusetts than they did nationally.

          There have been a variety of complaints about the individual mandate, but they are unfounded. It is important to remember that the vast majority of Americans will be unaffected by the mandate because they are already covered; indeed, when individuals are informed of this fact, public support for the mandate almost doubles.

          Moreover, no one will be forced to buy insurance that they cannot afford in the ACA; the mandate includes an “affordability exemption” that excludes any individual who cannot find insurance for less than 8% of their income. In Massachusetts they have a similar exemption and we have had no public outcry about the mandate and only a very small number of appeals of mandate penalties.

          Finally, some claim that the mandate is unconstitutional. While this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, the vast majority of legal scholars who have weighed in on this topic, both liberal and conservative, have said that this is a laughable argument. Former Reagan Solicitor General Charles Fried went so far as to state that he would “eat his [kangaroo skin] hat” if the mandate is found unconstitutional.

          All individuals will require health care at some point in their lives, and that health care will most often be unaffordable for the typical family. Even if families can’t pay for their health care, however, hospitals are required by law to deliver it, and those costs (amounting to more than $40 billion per year) are passed on in the form of higher insurance premiums. Moreover, by choosing to be uninsured until they are sick, healthy uninsured individuals impose higher costs on all those who buy insurance. Therefore, the decision to remain uninsured clearly impacts interstate commerce and can be regulated under the Constitution’s commerce clause.

          Exerpts taken from:

          I gotta go with someone who has seen this working successfully, already. The working Model is already a screaming success, and we would be flat stupid to do otherwise. Remember what Ash said, commenting on the health care debate at this Blog? The only state she would be inclined to move back to in the USA, from Canada was Massachusetts!

          Living, in Yonkers, NY for the last couple of years, before coming back here, I can tell you, We know on the east coast that Massachusetts healthcare, is fast becoming the nations finest and cheapest! It is always in the conversation of where we would like to go in New York as a state, for health care.

          • A couple of problems with your answer –

            1) Insurance companies cannot operate across state lines. This has been a problem both for the federal reaction to the ACA and in Montana. Because of this, there is a great deal of data to suggest that what happened in Mass (a market already somewhat controlled by existing state statute) will not apply to other states.

            2) One of the key arguments to the individual mandate in the ACA is that it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to mandate this type and scope of action across state lines. As such, the constitutionality of the Mass law again does not apply. I am not saying that the ACA is unconstitutional. In fact, I believe from a strictly legal aspect, based on other precidence that it is. My opinion is useless, though, because I am not one of the nine justices tasked with determining it’s constitutionality.

            3) Since insurance companies are regulated at the state level, there is NO mandate that they have to follow preventing them from increasing premiums. In fact, since the passage of the ACA, insurance premiums have increased over 12% in two years. Moreover, the enactment of the restriction against gender bias as well as other higher risk clients all but demands in actuarial increase in premiums. Nothing in your responce shows any method by which premiums are prevented, regulated or capped. I personally think it is insanity to think to assume that premiums won’t rise without some mechanism to prevent it.

            Moreover, and this was also not addressed in your responce, is the simple fact that Mass is a small area with a fairly consistant and predictable market. This is hardly the case with other areas of the US (Montana being a perfect example). Nor is there anything in the ACA to limit, slow down or even address actual health care costs – which is the primary driver for increasing premiums.

            I applaud Mass current experience with their health care plan if, indeed, it is working as the author claims. I do not see the coelation you are trying to draw, though. Logically, it can’t operate the same when the very conditions it is based on are not the same.

            Moreover, there is nothing in the Mass law that addresses the unfunded balloon that is medicare/medicaid (nor should there be given that these are federal programs).

            • Ingemar Johannson | April 3, 2012 3:16 PM at 3:16 PM |

              Insurance premiums went up immediately upon the passage of Max’s bill.


              • Ingy, stop trying to help me.. your “help” is less than effective.

                Many problems with your link –

                1) The link in question was entirely subjective, biased and story driven rather than fact driven. Many “reports” of rising insurance premium rates were debunked and proven to be overstated. Further, at the time this post was written, there was not coelation possible with the ACA. Only after examining the universal general trend of increasing premiums (with respect to what actual health care costs did over the same period) can a general statement be made. The data was simply not available at the time.

                2) It should be pointed out (and I do freely admit it, BTW) that my characterization of the rise in premium costs being due to the passage of the ACA is entirely supported by data, not confirmed causal fact. It seems the only conclusion based on the disparity between the rate at which insurance premiums increased VS the rate at which membership increased and the rate at which actual health care costs increased. Given that those two factors do not justify the rate at which premiums increased, I can only conclude that the insurance companies are padding their cash assets against the time when they have to accept a higher risk based on the particulars of the ACA. This conclusion has NOT been empirically proven, though.

                • Btw, if you ever want to debate health insurance, I’ve got some pedigree and will take you on in detail. I think you’ve got Kailey-expertise, steak and no sizzle. Time and place your call. I will smoke your sorry ass.

                  • As has already been pointed out, I have already invited debate by asking Cowgirl to start the open thread on the subject. I have no interest or intention of spending any time at your piss poor excuse for a site.

                    Further, I have no faith that you would debate in the classical sense of the word. You have shown no interest in traditional debate and would be unable to follow even the most basic debate rules.

                    I have “debated” with you ad nausium on the pages of this blog and it has shown me three things –

                    A) You are delusional and continually misrepresent even your own words. When this is pointed out, you simply retreat into insult and denial. This is not condusive to any kind of reasonable debate.

                    B) “Debating” you would be pointless. You would only claim victory regardless of the outcome and since your’s is the only opinion you even acknowledge, it would be to no purpose. I prefer to spend my time in constructive pursuits and I do not see “debating” an idiot as a constructive pursuit.

                    C) I have already made my position on health care plain and I have provided evidence to back up my position. You have already attempted to debate that position unsuccessfully.

                    • The main reason such a debate would be pointless is that Mark has no intention of actually debating ‘Health Care’. What he wants is to debate the evil of Democrats, how the ACA is greatest tragedy in the history of American policy and how stupid the rest of the world is for simply not agreeing with him.

                      The fact is, Moorcat, most of his complaints about the ACA are offered as coincidental to his main point about the banal evil and stupidity of Democrats. In truth, most of his actual complaints with the policy/legislation are ones you have agreed with and discussed here, just as I have in the past. Unless we accept the ‘nuance’ that this “topic” is only the one he hides his true intent behind, then there is really very little for either of us to debate with him.

                    • But the important point is that you won’t debate me. That’s no surprise.

                      We all know how I regard Democrats, but I’ve also cut quite a few teeth in the insurance game going all the way back to Hillarycare. I have a good grasp of the nature of the beast, the concept of enclosure, the need for universality, and the nature of a divided house – how health insurance companies have deep conflicts of interest in attempting to serve both investors and clients – what is good for one is bad for the other. For that reason, “Obamacare” (in reality, “Romneycare”, or better yet, “AHIPcare”, as it was AHIP that wrote the bill, probalby in MA too) cannot possibly succeed, as it has turned the entire business over to the private insurance industry without regulation or cost control.

                      Indeed Democrats sold us out massively, and the debate was a scripted stage play. But the bottom line here is that you do not want to debate me because it is easier for you to say you’d kick my ass without having to ball up. This is fairly predictable behavior on your part.

                    • it is easier for you to say you’d kick my ass

                      Actually, Tokarski, no one ever said that. What was said is that it would be pointless to ‘debate’ you. Since you’ve made my point very clear by agreeing with everything I said you’d really want to debate, the only reason you can’t see such effort as pointless is that you are truly delusional.

                    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 4:53 PM at 4:53 PM |

                      Your right Moorecat! He has no intention to stay on topic and has already proved it here on cowgirls blog. I went all the way back to the beginning of September 2010 so far, and I see another blogger, Named “Problem bear” Mentioning he gutted Tolarski from his blog on September 4, because He believes Mark was destroying his readership with all his antics.

                      I am beginning to see how goofy this guy will go, to disturb threads with random BS and name calling! Man I salute all the commentors on this blog who stayed with it. The archives of this Cowgirls site confirms what the Kaileys were saying about Mark all along!

                  • P.S. If you haven’t noticed, I have already gone back to ignoring you. This was done on the recommendation of my wife. She pointed out that the never ending arguments with your delusional ideas and attacks detracts from the important discussions being had here. It is far easier to ignore your prattle when people do not respond to it. She is correct. The only reason I responded to your demand for a debate is that others have commented and I owe it to them to give a responce.

                    • No! I had not noticed you were ignoring me.

                      I am not “delusional,” I respond in kind to people, and your brother set the tone by attacks on me that you joined in on. I don’t know you, don’t care about you, don’t get any sense of depth or breadth out of you. So do ignore me. Please.

                    • Tokarski, you are like the stereotype of the pyscho SO.

                      Ignore me! Debate me!
                      Ignore me! Debate me!
                      Ignore me! Debate me!

                      I hate You! Don’t leave me! I hate You! Don’t leave me! I hate You! Don’t leave me! I hate You! Don’t leave me!

                      Yup, dude. You’re pretty fucking delusional.

                • Oops! “sizzle and no steak” it should be, and yes, this time it is a Sierra Nevada Torpedo that did that to me. Kind of an inappropriate mistake.

                  • He’s debating it right here, asshole. And if one beer does that to you, one can only surmise how many times you’ve posted comments drunk.

                    • He’s showcasing in a safe environ, typical no-ball zone Kailey behavior. I want him one-on-one where I don’t have to deal with the two Monty’s, Norma and Kralzy. I’ll skin him alive. You too, I’ll let you in for a day, Rod.p

                      My place, balls only, bring it on. I’ll take on both Kaileys. I’ll feast on shriveled oysters, the 4.0 philosophy major and the nuclear sub guy who talked of that creepy feeling he got when the ship was groaning during battle,meaning that he fought in WWII and is now 94.

                      Bring it on boys. There are three of us, one of us not at all worried about this encounter.

                    • Quit begging for attention, Tokarski. It’s unseemly.

                    • Mark, there needs to be a debate referee and an independent judge(s). Are you willing to put your balls on the line in such a setting with 3rd party involvement controlling who is declared the winner?

                    • Craig: I am in, 100%. Make it happen!

                    • Mark, there is no way I could make that happen. My suggestion would be for you to ask Don P to host it at his blog and have him referee. Choice of judge(s) is up to you guys.

                    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 7:05 PM at 7:05 PM |

                      If we are gonna get to use someone like Don P at his Blog, for a debate, or even cowgirl here……. I am in!

                      As Soon as I stop laughing that is!

                    • Once again Michael you demonstrate you are quite the fool. The challenge is from Mark to Moorcat and Rob. There is no “we” that includes you.

                    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 10:50 PM at 10:50 PM |

                      Too bad! It would have been fun!

                  • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 6:18 PM at 6:18 PM |

                    A One Beer man Bhaw Ha ha Ha Ha!

                  • actually, that link was a little better. The biased commentary aside (their conclusions were inflammatory and not supported by the data), the data they did present was consistant with the data collected by other sources. Further, the data was collected over a far more significant period of time.

        • ACA is supposed to mandate 80-85% of the preminium is spent on actual care.

          • That was controversial, and supposedly AHIP did not like it, but they were already at 80% and so didn’t much care about it. It did allow Obama to appear to be standing them down.

            Back in the 1990’s before all of the NFP’s were privatized, the payout was closer to 90%, Anf if we were a civilized country, it would be more like 97%. That we argue about 80 or 85 is testimony to the control that AHIP has over the two parties.

  5. Cowgirl, look at little closer, this guy also donated to Rehberg, John McCain, and ten thousand dollars to the Montana Republican Party in 2006 to help knock off Tester. Baucus is his week’s biggest douchebag.

  6. Geez, Max, the new wifey needs more money? Haven’t you gotten rich enough off the backs of the poor workin’ folk of Montana? I think you need your noggin knocked again, maybe you will remember who you are supposed to represent. I worked three of your campaigns, hauled your signs all over the state, handed out your bullshit flyers, donated money, all on my own nickle. I think it is time that you come back to Montana for good.
    Go Tester!

  7. As I see it, this is Baucus’s inherent problem. Deep down, he has no true democratic principles. The national labor movement can’t stand him and has openly made it known that they would support an opponent in a 2014 primary. And the famous episode at the Missoulian Editorial Board, when a young Baucus was asking the editors’ advice on whether to run as a Democrat or Republican–that was proof, then and now, of his political DNA. As was his hugging George Bush in 2002, acting as Bush’s point man for the Bush Tax Cuts. Now he has a Republican A–hole, who tried to bring down Tester, Schweitzer and many other Dems, get on TV and praise Baucus. Douchebag is the correct word, Cowgirl. Spot-on post.

    • I don’t think that Baucus is a Republican, I think that Baucus has lost touch of the people he represents. He has been in Washington as long as I have been able to vote (longer than I care to admit). He has lost the fire he once had and he is no longer the young, idealist Representative we sent to Washington to fight for us decades ago.

      I think his donations to various campaigns represent an “establishment” mentality rather than a Republican mentality. He is not the obstructionist that most Republicans in office are. He is willing to step up and do things and he is willing to fight for the things he wishes to accomplish. The problem is that many of the things he proposes and fights for are NOT the will of those he represents. Health Care Reform was supported by the supermajority of Montana voters. Supporting Health Care Reform was a mandate for our Representatives at the time – a mandate that Tester and Baucus acted on. Sadly Baucus’s idea for reform was not dictated by what the majority of his constituants wanted. His proposal was written to be an insurance company bailout by the very people it was “designed” to regulate. This shows that Baucus has lost sight of his constituancy.

      Baucus is set up to lose the election if someone steps up with even partial name recognition (Schweitzer comes to mind). If no established candidate (like Schweitzer) steps up to challenge him, he is likely to win because he has become somewhat of an establishment for Montana voters. This is the power of incumbancy. Baucus knows this as well as I do. He obviously wants to stay in Congress so he is attempting to minimize the damage his ACA has done. We will have to wait and see who steps up to challenge him in 2014.

    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 1:24 PM at 1:24 PM |

      He ran to the right, with the other blue-dogs! Agreed!

      • BM.. that argument has failed the Republicans and has resulted in moderates like me looking hard and fast at Democratic Candidates. Do you really want to make the same mistake? “Blue dogs”, “RHINOS” – they are simply deragatory words to describe people that do not hold to an arbitrary “purity” standard that you, yourself set. Fact is, the majority of people in the US are more centralist. Holding constructive conversations with “Blue Dogs” and “Rhinos” will likely result in policy views that appeal to the majority of Americans. Ostrisizing them like the Republicans have done is probably not healthy for the “Purists” in your party.

        • No, that argument didn’t ‘fail’ the Republicans at all. It worked exactly to spec. It was the dirty secret behind Reagan’s 11th Commandment. See, it’s very easy to speak ill of other Republicans if they aren’t really Republicans. The net effect is that the country has moved ever rightward since 1980. It’s still working to this day, with moderate Republicans falling to tea people right and – well- more right in 2010. That’s why Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican is retiring rather than face the wrath of the right.

          In 2000, Dumbya defeated McCain in primary based in large part to Rovian tricks showing McCain to be a ‘maverick’, with some liberal sensibilities (for instance, a softness of attitude towards persons of color.) As someone who has liberal sensibilities, it is hard for me to imagine a person more rightwing than John McCain this side of Ron Paul. In 2008, McCain was the ‘true’ Republican, that party having rejected the RHINO actions of Dumbya. He lost the general in part because of the amazing popularity of Obama, but also because his running mate was a darling of the farther rightwing, showing him to be a little too lefty for Republican tastes. No, the purity argument hasn’t failed the Republicans at all.

          Purity of purpose (ideology) has little to do with policy, and can blind people to what is actually being done. The Republicants have been unbelievably successful at that. Dumbya got reelected in 2004 in large part because he was the guy most ‘good people’ would like to have a beer with. His policies set the conditions for country wide failure, something that escaped complete notice until it actually happened. The Democrats, on the other hand, have never been able to woo the left into their brand with ideology. Most on the left actually do care about policy over purity of purpose (despite the whining of some.) Unfortunately, that’s putting the cart before the horse among a polity that wants the ‘purpose’ first.

          • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 4:53 PM at 4:53 PM |

            Moorcat acts like “Blue dog Democrats” was a republican dirty word. It was a Democratic label, certain Democrats labeled themselves as… Not republicans! Its an actual caucus in the Democratic party! The Blue Dog Coalition, commonly known as the Blue Dogs, is a group of United States Congressional Representatives from the Democratic Party who identify themselves as moderates. Max fits that mold now. Thats not a slam, it is his voting record that proves it!

            There is a pretty darn good explanation Moorcat of Blue dogs on Wikipedia. We Democrats use labels in lieu of complete difinitions. We also know, the good the bad the ugly of labels themselves. Trust me, we always try to use the better labels, but we don’t have much time for the word salads in life, we would rather be working at getting things done.

            • Michael, Moorcat doesn’t “act” like anything. This is a website. Writing is not acting.

              And whether you know it or not, you just agreed with Moorcat. Regardless of its origins, ‘Blue Dog’ is a derogatory label among self-described leftward Democrats, exactly as ‘RINO’ is a derogatory label among Republicants. ‘Blue Dog’ = ‘DINO’. Do you disagree?

              • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 7:55 PM at 7:55 PM |

                No, I do not think so, Dino is not Blue Dog! the only thing I feel that makes the two interconnected is they are derived of and by the word Democrat.

                The Democratic Party has a number of multi-issue caucuses within the party which promote positions on the issues in question that might differ from the Democratic platform. Blue dog caucus are conservative by nature on fiscal issues, no matter what they entail,even health care and banking issues, not generally social issues.

                I realize those differences in The National Stonewall Democrats, or the Democratic Black caucus, or the Democratic womens caucus etc. as well!

                Dino is more of a slur, someone who says he is a democrat but isn’t in any form. I Didn’t attribute that to Max. I attributed him a “Blue dog.” its more attuned to him being with the blue dogs on the issues.

            • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 6:03 PM at 6:03 PM |

              Moorcat, No one knows labels better then I and my brother,and our sister do. We are all only half white. We look white to our other half, and we look different, to some whites. Growing up, we have been called every bad label, horrible people on both sides of the color spectrum have chosen to fling our way! I have watched my mother cry, often because she loves us dearly and cannot understand the hate!

              She genuinely likes all people, and she raised us to that same standard. I follow that, but I do not condemn all labels in life. It is a part of the culture,( some of it sad choices, by sad people) that makes it easier for the regular human to decide the issues within their lives.

              Not every man, seeks the knowledge we do on as Democrats on this blog. Not every man can overcome his fear of others because of the color of his skin, Ideas, or the actions that later……..dictate a Label!

              Example: My mom taught me, is that the fear of color is an animal instinct. Most Americans have learned, as a majority of humans to overcome ( Though not all). I know she has told you all, that for many years, she trained Racehorses. She also had a couple of Ponies, regular horses, that were there specifically to calm racehorses, and lead them to and from to the racetrack, from the barn.

              One of her ponies was mostly white( Tony, a Pinto ). Every time her barn received a new horse to train, the new horse would shy at this particular pony frighted by the color, some would even bolt away from it. Over time most horses would lose this fear, but not all!

              Tony, was a very trustworthy pony. Something Mom would never think twice of getting rid of, He was invaluable to her training style, an honorable and predictable steed. Most other trainers wouldn’t keep such a pony in the barn, they knew it meant extra work. Mom considered Tony a bond of trust…the majority of her Racing stock came to trust him with their lives daily, as she did. Sometimes, if a horse in her barn lost a rider on the track, they would gallop back to Tony riderless to be caught, because they knew Tony, with all his differences from the other ponies, meant safety.

              It proved to me, it was that same way for people, around other people of color, race creed and gender. I couldn’t discount it on lack of intelligence either, because even with some of the racehorses, who feared the white pony, they still trained well to become great runners, and were easy to work with as long as the bay pony escorted them instead. Tony was a gift in understanding how diversity can work for me, with the majority of people today.

              There will always be bad Labels, about people, from others who cannot understand past their fear. I understand it, and work past it daily. I’ll still stick with the better labels Bud, just less to explain, and I might once in a while use the less nice ones were pertinent myself. Because that is what regular people trust to use in conversation, it is just the way life usually is!

              • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | April 3, 2012 7:36 PM at 7:36 PM |

                Thank you for that post, Micheal. I really enjoyed it. Our diversity in this country IS our strength! I have always believed that. We are different. And THAT is what makes me patriotic! I have YET to hear from one of these dinks that show up here occasionally as to what they “love” about America. They call themselves “patriots”, but they can NEVER answer the question as to just WHAT they love about America! You see, they cannot say. They’re morons.

                But I can say without a blink what I love about America! And one of those things is our DIVERSITY! O’bama looks like America! And the inbreds can’t stand that.

                The other thing I love is our land. It’s a part of me. As Steinbeck said of the Okies, “they are the land”. As he said of the bankers, “the land was them”!

                We are the land. It’s in our soul. We are Native Americans in that sense, although I aknowledge with deference that they have been here for ten thousand years. I’m just happy that they allow me to share their land with them as equals!

  8. Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 4:29 PM at 4:29 PM |

    Ah Geez Moorcat, Lets talk about those mandates no one else talks about first that kind of blow a whole in your theory of how the government cant impose them:

    ♦ One mandate affects just about everybody: Workers must pay a tax to finance Medicare, which collects about $200 billion a year.It’s right on your W-2 form, line 6, “Medicare tax withheld.” Workers must pay it even if they don’t have health insurance. Employees of a company get to split the tax with their employer. The self-employed owe the full amount, 2.9 percent of earnings.

    ♦ Social Security is a mandate. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy raised the matter during oral arguments last week.

    Ginsburg brought up Social Security as an example, likening it to a government old-age annuity that everyone is forced to purchase.

    “It just seems very strange to me that there’s no question we can have a Social Security system (despite) all the people who say: ‘I’m being forced to pay for something I don’t want,”‘ she said.

    “There’s something very odd about that, that the government can take over the whole thing and we all say, ‘Oh, yes that’s fine,’ but if the government wants to … preserve private insurers, it can’t do that.”

    Kennedy mused that Congress could have created a Medicare-style program for the uninsured, run exclusively by the government without the involvement of private insurers.

    ♦ Most of the mandates apply to providers such as hospitals and insurers. For example, a 1990s law requires health plans to cover at least a 48-hour hospital stay for new mothers and their babies.

    ♦ Cobra is a mandate, so is other title X Laws

    ♦ Unemployment insurance is a mandate

    ♦ The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)[1] is a U.S. Act of Congress passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay.

    ♦ Labels must be on all food products, and explain the ingredients inside the packaging!

    This argument does justify federal government action under the Commerce Clause because it shows that the mandate does have broad, interstate consequences on the economy. No one disputes that Congress can enact laws to carry out powers enumerated in the Constitution or necessary and proper to effectuate those powers. Among the enumerated powers: “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

    The Supreme court has stressed on numerous cases involving commerce, that Congress needs only a “rational basis” for concluding that economic activity might affect interstate commerce, and even Justice Kennedy’s somewhat stricter standard of a “tangible link to commerce” based on “empirical demonstration” seems readily met here. I think the court will uphold this, or ask for small changes that might improve health care more, but I do not think it will strike it down. Limiting Congress’s power to legislate under the commerce clause could have Disastrous far-reaching, and unintended, consequences beyond health care.

    • I am not sure why you want to make me into your theoretical enemy but maybe you missed the part where I said I think the mandate is within legal precedent? The problem here, is that you have no more effect on what the Surpreme Court decides than I do. Regardless of what you or I think, the Supreme Court will decided what they decide. I am not sure who you are trying to justify the constitutionality to, but you are targeting the wrong person.

      BTW, if you really want to justify it, read the legal justification written by the Harvard Law Review. The cases referenced and the rational they present if pretty direct and pretty shows where this mandate would be constitutional.

  9. Max happens to have broad support from a diverse section of Montana voters including business leaders, and that’s what is needed in a Senator, as opposed to showmen who talk lots, but accomplish little.

    • Yes he does, but 1) you set a false opposition. 2) You assert that’s what needed in a Senator with absolutely no support for the assertion.

    • @Doe:
      Seems to me that Schweitzer has accomplished plenty. Big surplus, Triple A bond rating, big energy development, smart health reforms for the state that are good for patients rather than insurance companies, many good conservation measures signed (and bad ones vetoed), and a serious routing of the Republicans, to the point where nobody is left but angry Tea Partiers or a few moderates who keep quiet. Max has on his record the Bush Tax cuts and APACA, and the very small-time payroll tax cut. I don’t think you want to start comparing records.

      • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 6:25 PM at 6:25 PM |

        Ah I think the guy is being groomed for President myself. I dont really see him in Max’s spot… so who do you think besides Brian as a Democrat can fill those shoes? I can bet you it might be a woman!

    • Doe, I fail to see how courting the right wing will help Max win a primary. Case in point: John Morrison. He had more money, more Republican donors, and lost big in the primary.

    • All of this is speculation. There has been no indication that Schweitzer will run against Baucus. While it is now obvious that Baucus will run, who will run against him is a question mark.

      That is an important distinction to make, too. Given Baucus’s established popularity, it might be difficult to find someone to topple him if Schweitzer doesn’t run.

    • He doesn’t have “broad support” he has the support of Republicans. His approval rating is at 38%, which means this is the percentage of people who think he is doing a good job. Less than half does not equal “broad.”

      • Case in point, yesterday’s question of the day from the Great Falls Tribune:

        “Are you glad that Max Baucus has elected to run for U.S. Senate again?”

        32% said “Yes” and 68% said “No.” (500 particants)

  10. The choice of running as a Democrat or Republican is usually dictated by the makeup of the district. Baucus ran for House when Metcalf and Mansfield were in office and the New Deal Democrats were still alive. It was a no-brainer, and he styled his public persona based on that image.

    The weird thing about Baucus is what a shallow man he is. He can’t defend himself, can’t debate an opponent, can’t think on his feet, and yet he has been in office for decades. He’s a plutocrat, a representative of the 1%, and has relied on staff and the media to hide his true sad self. And he wins, year in and out. He had one good opponent, and his staff found a photo of the guy in long hair and beads. He’s surrounded by staff who are smarter than him. .

    What more need be said about our politics than to have such a weasel hold office for decades? Will you Democrats ever apologize for this guy? We all know what he is. We only wait for your party to man up and say to us with a straight face: “Yeah, we totally punked you.”

    • You actually think a proven tax-thief like Taylor was a good opponent? You must be drunker than anyone thought.

      • Larry Williams I think was his name. He was good and a smooth talker. Max was up against a real human being. He stuttered and stammered and Williams was ahead in the polls and then Maxine’s staff found photos of Williams in beads during his late-60’s UM days, and Boys Town Max won.

        I’ll take beads over Boys Town any day, free thinkers overu little men in suits.

        Be proud Democrats. Even though Max can’t speak or think, he never let his hair grow long!

        • Mark is right about the Larry Williams-in-love-beads-and-long-hair photo. The unions mailed it to tens of thousands of their members (the mines, mills and plants were still open, which meant the state had a high union density). What the A.F.L.-C.I.O. did always made the news and Jim Murray had a knack of stirring up the s**t, so the flier promptly made the newspaper, which spread the picture to thousands of more Montanans. News reporting was more lively back then (the era between the Copper Collar chokehold and today’s Corporate Collar news), which made articles more interesting to read and sold more newspapers. The next U.S. Senate election saw Larry Williams challenge John Melcher, and lose. If memory serves, Williams had written a financial advice book where he called workers “drones”, which Murray gleefully shared with his members. Larry Williams later fathered the most marvelous actor, his daughter Michelle Williams, and for that he’s a winner.

          • I’ll be damned!

          • Thanks for the exposition, OldTimey. 2 things though: 1) It sounds a helluva lot more like the unions brought down Williams as opposed to “Maxine’s staff”. (For the record, Tokarski, feminizing an opponent as a form of insult is as sexist as hell.) If it was the unions, then I’m kinda all for it. 2) Nothing in your exposition actually shows that Williams was a “good opponent” as Mark has claimed.

            Now I’m certain that Tokarski will bluster that I’m just defending Baucus. I’m not. But I’m not going to support Mark’s rewrite of history, either.

            • You are indeed, and again, you do not understand politics. When there is to be a smear, the candidates will always delegate the job to outsiders so as to be able to maintain plausible deniability. That’s all that the unions did for Max – his dirty work.

              • Few things cracked me up more in the Clinton years than how a wingnut could, in one breath, claim that Bill and Hillary Clinton could orchestrate murder, organize a takeover of the government, run vast conspiracies and yet they were stupid incompetent liberal poopy-heads.

                In this simple thread of this post, Tokarski is claiming that Baucus is a bumbling fool, “stammering”, “shallow”, “can’t think on his feet”, “surrounded by staff who are smarter than him”, but yet Baucus orchestrated an effort of Montana’s dominant unions to “do his dirty work”. Welcome to lefty wingnutville, Tokarski – population, you.

                • He does stammer, can’t think on his feet, but I’ve speculated as to why – he is in a position where whenever he talks in public, he has to tell lies. I’ve seen him smooth and even a bit funny, as when he arrested the doctors who were protesting his Potemkin hearings, he did not stutter, and even caused a hearty laugh among his colleagues.

                  I think my brother was at Boys State with him – Max was tagged early on as a leader, which is the problem of aristocracy – wasting too much education on shallow people. Think of it as the Carolyn Kennedy (or George W. Bush) Syndrome.

                  “Surrounded by staff who are smarter than him” is key. Burns had good staff too, always protecting him from himself.

                  They delegated it to the unions, and it is not uncommon in politics, like done every day by everyone! Good grief – isn’t politics your specialty?

            • In the same manner, by the way, the 1988 Bush campaign delegated the release of the Willie Horton ad to a private group. Politics 101 – plausible deniability.

    • Perhaps Baucus got wind of the latest poll showing Rehberg again leading Tester and decided Montana needed at least one Dem senator:

      An April 2 poll of 500 likely Montana voters again shows Congressman Denny Rehberg a few points ahead of incumbent Democrat Jon Tester in the race for the U.S. Senate.

      The poll, commissioned by Rasmussen Reports, shows Rehberg with 47 percent of likely voters and Tester taking 44 percent. Another 6 percent support another candidate and 3 percent are unsure.

      The race is one of the hottest in the nation as the Democratic Senate majority hangs in the balance. The Fix, an influential Washington Post blog, recently labeled Tester’s seat as the fifth most likely to change party hands when voters go to the polls in November.

      The Fix author Aaron Blake wrote that the Senate contest will be close and could depend on a single factor.

      “Assuming neither man makes any major mistakes, this race will come down to a simple question: Has Tester established enough of an independent identity with voters in the state to avoid being morphed into a President Obama clone by Republican ad makers?” Blake wrote in his March 16 analysis of hotly contested Senate races.

      Note, poll results continue to be within the margin of error. As to Tester being able to differentiate himself from Obama, Tester’s vote in favor of Obamacare was huge! The latest machinations by Obama attacking the Supreme Ct. don’t bode well for Obama’s key supporters.

      Obama’s assault on “an unelected group of people” stopped me cold. Because, as the former constitutional law professor certainly understands, it is the essence of our governmental system to vest in the court the ultimate power to decide the meaning of the constitution. Even if, as the president said, it means overturning “a duly constituted and passed law.”

      Of course, acts of Congress are entitled to judicial deference and a presumption of constitutionality. The decision to declare a statute unconstitutional, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1927, is “the gravest and most delicate duty that this court is called on to perform.”

      But the president went too far in asserting that it “would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step” for the court to overturn “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” That’s what courts have done since Marbury v. Madison. The size of the congressional majority is of no constitutional significance. We give the ultimate authority to decide constitutional questions to “a group of unelected people” precisely to insulate them from public opinion.

      I would lament a ruling striking down the individual mandate, but I would not denounce it as conservative justices run amok. Listening to the arguments and reading the transcript, the justices struck me as a group wrestling with a legitimate, even difficult, constitutional question. For the president to imply that the only explanation for a constitutional conclusion contrary to his own would be out-of-control conservative justices does the court a disservice.

      • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 6:32 PM at 6:32 PM |

        Another Poll from a Conservative Pollster…… Really? 500 people chosen in what Red part of the state bud, the last polls they did centered in Great falls, and this is only likely voters, not registered. Really? Doesnt even explain how they did the polling?

        Pretty sad don’t you think?

        • What’s sad is how you make a fool out of yourself. Montana Watchdog only reference the poll. Here is the information anyone could have found with limited effort:

          Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg still maintains a very narrow advantage over Democratic incumbent Jon Tester in Montana’s closely contested U.S. Senate race.

          The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Montana Voters shows Rehberg with 47% support to Tester’s 44%. Six percent (6%) like some other candidate in the race, and three percent are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

          This Montana survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted on April 2, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

      • I have said it before and I will say it again. Anyone that puts a lot of faith in polls at this point is setting themselves up for a major disappointment. Arguing polls is like arguing whether Batman can kick Capt America’s Butt in a fist fight.

        • Well he can!!!!

          As to polls they are mere data points. That’s why I look at RCP to provide a cross section over time. When the polls don’t provide a spread beyond the margin of error, not much can be made out of it except to see if there is any momentum. The polls regarding Rehberg and Tester show NO movement. That’s not good for Tester for him not being able to sell himself versus Rehberg since Tester is the incumbent. So why does his sales pitch fail after 6 years of crafting a campaign message? Some might point to his important votes in support of Obama’s agenda. On The Issues rates him this way:


          Being left of moderate and a key supporter of Obama doesn’t match the majority of Montanans.

          • Craig, I would argue what you said from two perspectives –

            A) No movement actually is worse for Rehberg than it is for Tester. Rehberg has been a fixture as the House Representative for Montana. He has given that up for a shot at Tester’s positioin. Tester is the incumbant, and traditionally, the incumbant will always have the slight advantage. If I were in the Rehberg camp, I would definitely be worried about no movement in the polls – especially given that Tester ran his very first ad last week and Rehberg has been actively campaigning for months.

            B) I do not buy that 1) the republican attempt to tie Tester to Obama will work and 2) that tying Tester to Obama will be as painful for Tester as you think it will be. The ACA will pass or fail with the Supreme Court. Either way, there is little indication that it will be a painful issue for either Republicans or Democrats. Even the national pundits of both sides doubt that the ACA will help or hinder either party. Since that is the only potentially painful tie that the Republicans can make, I think you are making more out of that meme than is really there.

            C) Tester has inarguably done more for Veterans than any other Senator from Montana before him. Tester can catagorically point to concrete accomplishment (and it should be pointed out that he promised BEFORE being elected to do these things). These accomplishments were enacted by HIM. He is not taking credit for other people’s work like a certain Congressman that wants his job, and he can show actual results. Hate him all you want, Craig, but I would avoid trashing on him in the presence of Veterans.. Tester is kind of a hero to most of us.

            • To suggest I have or would ever trash Tester in the presence of veterans is beneath you.

              By the way the word “hate” is an emotional expression popular with your ilk. I don’t have any strong emotions towards either candidate. I tend to make analytical decisions when voting and leave emotion out of it.

              • Let me be equally clear.

                For the most part, I tend to approach politics from a position of dispassionate pragmatism. Tester is a notable exception and one that I am more than happy to explain.

                As Rob pointed out years ago when Tester was first running against Burns, Tester shares a lot of similarities to Cinncinitus – a true citizen legislator. This was an intriguing idea at the time but I was not sure I bought into the argument.

                Then I had a chance to actually meet Tester. Like Rob, I now completely agree that Tester does embody the very idea of a citizen legislator. Since this is the very basis that the founding fathers envisioned when they set down their ideas of representative government on paper, I could not help but become at least somewhat passionate about this Representative.

                Now we have the wisdom of six years of experience with Tester. We have seen that he is a Representative of the People of Montana, not a party, not a demigog, not a fake. He votes the will of the people even when that will goes counter to the views and wishes of his party’s purists. He take critisism from them on a constant basis but he enjoys popularity BECAUSE he represents the will of the majority of Montanans. Look at the critisisms the Republicans are leveling at him. They are not focusing in his accomplishments or failures. They – like you, Craig – are focusing on trying to tie him to the (supposed) failures of the President of the United States. This should be telling to anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

                I am certainly not dispassionate when it comes to Senator Tester, nor do I apologize for being so. Senator Tester would be my pick regardless of which party he was running for or which office he is running for. He is an honorable, hard working man that has a proven track record of standing up as a representative of the people he was elected to represent.

                • Good for you Moorcat to have such clarity. No sarcasm.

                  As to tying him to Obama failures, I have absolutely no sway with anyone on that. However, I do take note that it may be his undoing.

                  • We disagree on that. I do not think it will be his undoing, and might, in fact aid him in his bid for re-election. Here is why –

                    You have consistantly stated that you believe that President Obama is a complete failure. I understand why you would take that position but it does bely certain facts.

                    1) Try as you might, there is one clear issue that will resound with Montana Voters. A bullet was put through the head of one Osama Bin Ladin. President Obama was instrumental in that event. This is beyond the ability of anyone to deny without lying because these facts are a matter of public record, they are also well known.

                    2) The ACA – try as you might – will not be as bad an issue for either Obama or Tester as you think. Just look at the discussion we just had on the issue. It might surprise you to know that STILL more than 50% of the state wants to see health care reform.

                    3) To convince people that Tester’s ties to President Obama is a reason to vote against Tester, you have to first prove that President Obama is bad. With the racists, that is wasted effort because they would never have voted for Tester in the first place. With the hardcore, religious fanatics in the right wing, again, this is wasted effort as they would never have voted for Tester (or Obama) in the first place. Where you have to focus your attention is at the more centralist members of the Republican party and the independants. They will not be convinced with any partisan laden misdirection. You will need to produce actual facts and logical argument, and I am not convinced that you (or anyone) can do so without a great deal of misdirection. I do not believe that President Obama has been a “great” president, but I also do not believe that he has been a bad president. It is my objective assessment that attempting to tie Tester to Obama will backfire badly.

            • I never said that I think you would trash Tester in the presence of a veteran, just that it would not be a good idea.

              You are correct, hate was a little over the top for you. There are other commentors here where that term would be more appropriate.

              I am kind of curious, though. Which candidate DO you support and why?

              • I’m waiting to see the cards turned up on the table. I’m waiting until the middle of October. I don’t want to have to deal with changing my mind. I want to have free reins to make an objective decision. Much to come out between now and then. Only the parties and the politicians want us to commit now.

                However, what did Tester do to prevent Tricare increases?

                • Craig, from a strictly dispassionate point of view, I would have to call “bullshit”. You are continually attempting to critisize Tester while you defend Rheberg. The statement that you are “waiting” to choose till October does not fit well with your already expressed preference.

                  As far as “preventing” Tricare premium increases, Tester had little to no say over that increase. It is similar to criticizing President Obama for the silliness that comes out of Congress. There are things he can do and things he can’t do. That said, Tester did make a number of statements about his displeasure over the increases. This issue is simple misdirection aimed at people that know little to nothing about the situation.

                  • Moorcat, you would be hard pressed to find where I have mounted a defense of Rehberg. Yes, he and I do share some positions and I have written about some of the extremely warped silly attacks upon him, but that doesn’t mean I defended him as a person or a politician.

                    As to Tricare, didn’t Tester introduce a measure to raise the dependent age from 24 to 26 and boast about what he did? As to addressing Tricare costs, you ask what could he have done. Well, that begins with taking a STAND! He could have spoken out against the increase especially since civilian govt employees did not have their premiums increased. He could have spoken out against that fundamental unfairness to stress active and retired military while exempting civilians from the same burden.

                    • First, I will admit to having no idea what the hell you are refering to in your assersions posed as questions. The information I have about the situation came from my active duty military son. Could you post a link or two so that I can at least respond your “questions”?

                      Second, Tester has no direct control over Tricare policies. This is a function of how Tricare is run. He can suggest policies (and from the standpoint of Congress’s ability to control the military budget) he can effect certain parts of Tricare coverage, but he cannot effect many of the tricare policies by waving a magic wand.

                      As far as your defense of Rheberg, you have already admitted to how you have defended Rheberg – you have attacked those people who have posted comments critiscizing the man (whether they deserved to be attacked or not) and you have often posted where you have supported his policies. What you haven’t done is posted any critisisms of the man, like you constantly do with Tester. You have never taken a stance against anything the man has ever done. This indicates a preference as strongly as you constant critizism and link campaign against Tester.

                      Now understand, I don’t critisize you for your support of the Republican Candidate. I really don’t. You make it clear from the get go that you are a Republican and you will support the elections of Republican. Your dedication to your party is actually admirable (even if I disagree with it). What isn’t admirable is your attempt to convince anyone that your bias doesn’t exist.

                    • One other thing… If you are honestly suggesting that public employee contributions have not increased or that benefits haven’t changed for public employees (outside of the military), I would hastily rethink that stance as it is in direct opposition of the facts. Please remember that my wife is a Federal Employee.

                    • I moved the conversation down below to allow for more comprehesive replies but it should be noted that the second link you provide A) does not support your assersion and is confusing as it seems to contradict itself. I will look for more information on this.

                      I haven’t read the first link but the title itself indicates both it’s bias and it’s lack of actually addressing anything with Tricare. The budget for tricare (and some of it’s policies) are set by Congress, not the president.

  11. Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 6:52 PM at 6:52 PM |

    Really Craig now I am a fooll, because no where in the article does it point to standard polling procedures:

    Sampling Issue
    Probability sampling is the fundamental basis for all survey research.

    The basic principle: A randomly selected, small percent of a population of people that can represent the attitudes,
    opinions, or projected behavior of all of the people, if the sample is selected correctly…. You’d have Started with a list of all
    household telephone numbers in Montana, plus make half of the Telephone numbers cell phones.

    Ages: Did they ask a random sample of all ages that can vote? or was it just the same buzzards they always ask around Great falls.

    Political preferences: Did they ask equally half dems, or independents and half republicans? the Polling doesn’t say.

    Come on dude I see a ton of bias in this poll already!

    • Yes Michael, you are quite the fool, like getting tangled up commenting under two different blog subscriber names and posting a “dog ate my homework” type phony excuse.

      Montana Watchdog referenced the poll as Rasmussen’s. All you had to do was go to Rasmussen and find out the details.

      • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 3, 2012 7:21 PM at 7:21 PM |

        SO I cant have a conversation on the issue at hand with you because, it is easier for you to deflect from the truth, then answer my questions?

        You’d rather make a rather harmless mistake by me, a monstrosity ….. I admitted the mistake before anyone else did, about using my moms computer, and forgetting to clear out the preferences on the browser before hitting the return key? Really? Your gonna be this juvenile?

        Come on man, I was told your were better then Mark is, as a person? Is that not true also?

        It was a sloppy poll, just admit it, and stop with the name calling!

        • Michael that’s rich coming from you to “stop with the name calling!” After all you have done that again makes you look quite the fool.

          As to the poll, show me one that produces results outside of the margin of error that favors Tester. If you wish to whine about the Montana Watchdog article showing Rehberg leading Tester, leave your comment here: I’m sure they will be impressed.

          • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | April 3, 2012 10:46 PM at 10:46 PM |

            Craig, if the sampling is skewed… the margin of error wont at all be correct! You didn’t answer Michaels question, and no matter how you spin it, Micheal was pointing about the poll you originally posted!

            What if I told you Pulse Opinion Research is automation software.The survey costs anyone, off the streets $1500 dollars for 500 phone calls, and polling questions is conducted using automated phone calls. Other wise known as robocalls. It is not a true poll, and the automated phone calls are almost exclusively done to land lines.

            I don’t know about you, but I dont answer robocalls at home, neither do most people they just hang up, secondly most young adults that age don’t own a land line, they own a cell phone. Michaels right here! If it is 500 calls for 1500 dollars, the Poll could be off horribly and you wouldn’t know it…. Would you?

    • Also, Rasmussen is but one. RCP has polls that go back over a year up to the present:

      Again, none of these polls show a result outside the margin of error.

      • I’m becoming more-and-more skeptical of polls. Why? The cell phone. Polls almost always use land line phones. What percentage of under-30s do you think have land lines? 40-45%? Now I’m not saying that everyone under 30 leans left but that segment is certainly under represented in polling. I’ll even bet that the majority of folks with land lines are white, older homeowners, middle-income and up. A pretty safe demographic for the right.

        • Hi, Pete, it is nice to see you chiming in.

          I agree with your reasoning but more important, I see polling as being skewed this year simply because people are not sure What to believe. The partisan divide has gotten larger and larger and the number of people feeling like they have been left behind (by both parties) is also getting larger. This inserts a level of uncertainty that I personally don’t think any of the pollsters can reasonably predict. I would much rather discuss facts than I would polls today. I think everyone is better served.

        • Rasmussen tends to poll likely voters most of whom have land lines.

        • This is how Rasmussen reaches those that have no land lines:

          To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel.

          After the surveys are completed, the raw data is processed through a weighting program to insure that the sample reflects the overall population in terms of age, race, gender, political party, and other factors. The processing step is required because different segments of the population answer the phone in different ways. For example, women answer the phone more than men, older people are home more and answer more than younger people, and rural residents typically answer the phone more frequently than urban residents.

          For surveys of all adults, the population targets are determined by census bureau data.

          For political surveys, census bureau data provides a starting point and a series of screening questions are used to determine likely voters. The questions involve voting history, interest in the current campaign, and likely voting intentions.

          Rasmussen Reports determines its partisan weighting targets through a dynamic weighting system that takes into account the state’s voting history, national trends, and recent polling in a particular state or geographic area.

          • Thank you Dr. Science. Get to work, Dems!

          • Thanks for the info, Craig, but this tells me nothing:

            “To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel.”

            What online survey tool? And randomly selected participants? (That’s like me going down to Charlie’s Bar and asking every third person, which, by the way I’ve done.) What demographically diverse panel?

            Anyway, I’m sure those Rasmussen folks are great statisticians and all but that’s a boatload of double talk up there.

            • They poll people with landlines and those gullible enough to click on the links promising a free applebees gift certificate for clicking on a survey.

            • Pete, the way to judge a pollster is by history… also if they are still in business of selling a crystal gall gaze.

              • This very assertion is why I think polling will be fairly inaccurate this year. The very rules of the game have changed enough that the results will be skewed. I prefer to rely on things other than crystal ball gazing.

                One indication that should have many people worried is where average people – by demographic roles – are spending thier money. I am not talking about the Koch’s, Kennedys or Soro’s, but the average working class Americans. This will be a strong indicator of where the votes will go.

                • “During March, 36.4% of Americans considered themselves Republicans while 33.4% were Democrats.

                  For the GOP, that’s a gain of 0.4% from a month ago. Democrats gained a full percentage point from February.” Rasmussen.

              • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 4:34 PM at 4:34 PM |

                Not so fast there Craig, Rasmussen has proven Bias for The GOP Countless times:


                “Independent Pollster” Scott Rasmussen Headlines Republican Fundraisers

                Nate Silver, a statistician and author of The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog, told Media Matters that pollsters with partisan leanings can and do produce unbiased polls, but Rasmussen’s polls have shown they “have a Republican bias.”

                Silver added of Rasmussen Reports: “It’s easy to demonstrate statistically that their polls have a Republican bias. I mean ‘bias’ in the way statisticians use the term, meaning that they consistently miss in one direction. … I don’t think people should pay very much attention to Rasmussen polls unless they are prepared to make a mental adjustment for this bias (i.e. add a few points to the Democratic candidate). I also haven’t really seen any evidence yet that Rasmussen is interested in correcting it. At best, they seem to be competing on the basis of quantity rather than quality.”

                • Michael, I try to help you but you refuse to use it. Once again I refer you to

                  Look up who PPP(Public Policy Polling) is and ask yourself why there is only a 1 point difference between their polls and Rassmussen.

                  • “help me, Spock.”

                    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 4:59 PM at 4:59 PM |

                      Beam me up Scotty, the republican Natives are spear chucking!

                    • MIchael PPP is a DEMOCRATIC polling firm. Nice bigoted reference about spear chucking. How lizard of you.

                    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 5:18 PM at 5:18 PM |

                      You Know, I know a thing or two about Bigotry… I would have Hoped, you didn’t go there… making me a racist against blacks, when half of me genetically is Black? Really? I am the one who is low?

                      So are you also going to tell me that white republican male legislators didn’t want to be able to hunt with spears, and never wrote a bill regarding spear hunting in the last legislative session? Are you gonna tell another whopper? Just saying man, Your pretty crude for a guy who says he’s knows Americans?

                    • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 5:24 PM at 5:24 PM |

                      So you are going to use poll from PPP that were done in November Last year to make your arguement dude and you want you to agree with you?????? Really? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh NO!

                    • An atl-atl is not a spear and it doesn’t throw a spear. Again you look the fool revealing your ignorance.

                      Calling me a “spear chucker” is bigoted reference and has nothing to do with the debate regarding the atl-atl.

                    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | April 4, 2012 5:38 PM at 5:38 PM |

                      Wholly wizzlenuts Craig,

                      Are you taking two polls, almost 5 months apart, and saying they are the same? And expecting Michael to agree with you? Is this your argument?


                    • Norma, first I hope your Mother is recovering. I sympathize with your situation more than you can know. Putting politics aside we are not that much different.

                      As to the polls I have said they haven’t moved outside the margin of error in over a year. I have also said that the difference between Rasmussen and PPP is but 1 percentage point. So when Michael attacks Rasmussen I have asked him to ‘splain the results similarities between PPP and Rasmussen.

                    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | April 4, 2012 5:48 PM at 5:48 PM |

                      Go On… Deflect dude! Deflect your lungs out…. and while your changing the name of the equipment to back-peddle your butt away from your former comment… what does an ATLATL help the user chuck?


                      Try an apology next time!

                    • I do NOT want to get in the middle of this shitstorm, but Craig probably read your “spear chucker” argument the same way I did – as a reference to the Republican backed legislation last year to allow Atlatl hunting. If that was not your intent, then the bigoted argument stands as “spearchucker” is a derogatory racial slurs against blacks. Take your pick.

                    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | April 4, 2012 6:00 PM at 6:00 PM |


                      Side by side comparisons need side by side data!

                      Same dates, same kinds of people, same kinds of questioning. That’s standard for polling scientific data! 5 month is 5 months. A lot of things happen to people in the last 5 months, You do not know, and neither do I, who these questions were asked too, what questions were asked, What part of the state was selected at, for two different polling groups!

                      Therefore it is only your Opinion in the end, you are asking me to believe. I will allow you your opinion, but I will not agree with it!


                    • Norma, an atl-atl throws a dart. If you don’t believe me ask the worlds foremost authority, Bob Perkins:

             P.O. Box 797, Manhattan, MT 59741, (406) 284-3307

                    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | April 4, 2012 7:11 PM at 7:11 PM |

                      Craig, You accused my Step son of making a racist comment! Whites call atl-atl spear-chiucking:


                      but my stepson can’t say it cause its racist??? Amazing!

                      Some Montanans might not be ready for race conversations Yet,

                    • Norma, this is my last comment here tonight as I am feeling quite poorly.

                      I said you son made a bigoted remark as he called me a “Native spear chucker.” Why capitalize native other than to make a specific derogatory reference? Need I point out the difference in calling an activity “spear chucking” and calling someone a “Native spear chucker” or can you figure it out for yourself? Since your son is 30 years old, I suggest you let him fight his own battles.

                    • Norma Duffy AKA ILIKEWOODS | April 4, 2012 8:11 PM at 8:11 PM |

                      Sorry mark, Thats not what he said what he said was exactly,” the republican Natives are spear chucking”

                      1) he is a Democrat!
                      2) he is Half black

                      Sounds more to me that he was worried about the aim of the republicans then, in making a racist remark!

                      What you are saying is fairly disingenuous to me, and I think it takes another white who grew up watching this doublespeak, and speaks against it that seems to carry more weight.

                  • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 5:08 PM at 5:08 PM |

                    Rasmussen been framing his polling to appeal to a conservative audience for years!

                    all the Data I find on Rasmussen Polling are from critics of note, who say, that the practice of screening for only those voters regarded as most likely to head to the polls potentially weeds out younger and minority voters — who would be more likely to favor Democrats than Republicans.

                    Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist, said there was “huge concern right now” that Rasmussen was polling a universe of largely conservative-minded voters.

                    Sorry you not helping me Just Republicans!

                    • blah, blah blah…… yada, yada, yada… Explain why PPP, a DEMOCRATIC polling firm, has results within 1 point of Rasmussen.

            • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 4:22 PM at 4:22 PM |

              Look so far with all the info, I have dug up, Rasmussan, Fow News, and Pulse are pretty darn close now, might as well call them partners. Im Sorry, I just do not consider Pulse, to be a a middle of the road pollster. non partial poller.

              Using likely voters, instead of registered ones, not using cell phones, asking partison questions. UMMMMMMMMM NAH, not right!

  12. Looks like Governor Brian Schweitzer is getting to “fighting” weight. Go take a gander at the photos in this morning’s (April 4) Missoulian. Wonder if that means a healthier lifestyle for the Good Guv, or is he conditioning for the future?

    • The Gov’s at the top of his game. I see his name thrown around as a future Presidential or VP pic for 2016. Personally, I’d like to see him wipe the floor with Max. In industry sell out vs. a guy who isn’t afraid to stand up to the right wing–outsmarting them at every turn. A guy who gives speeches to an empty senate chamber to pretend to be a progressive vs a guy who does the right thing with gusto.

  13. I am moving a conversation between Craig and I down here because my responce will be lengthy and it will be easier to read here. Craig and I were discussing Jon Tester’s bid for re-election and during the course of that discussion, Craig made some assersions (posed as questions) in an attempt to discredit Tester’s support for Veterans. There are many aspects of this conversation that need to be clarified.

    First, while both Craig and I know what we are referring to when we discuss “Tricare”, many of those following the discussion may not. In fact, the very existance of Tricare and how it is managed is at the core of the assersions that Craig has made.

    Tricare (for those that are not familiar with the system) is the current “Civilian component” of the Military Health care system. In my day as an active duty military member it was called Champus (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services ), and it primarily provided health coverage for Dependants of Military members in the civilian world. Most medical care for active duty members were provided on base by the Military Health Care system. Today, the focus has changed and most of the health care for active duty military members is now provided by Tricare.

    Tricare, while under the direction of the Department of Defense, is built on the civilian Health Insurance model. In my day, Tricare (Champus) covered almost all expenses similar to the Military Health Care system. In fact, when my son was born, the only out of pocket expense we had was for the toothbrush given to my wife during her hospital stay. Since my son was born in a Military hospital, much of the delivery was handled by the Military Health Care system. When my daughter was born (at St Pat’s Hospital in Missoula), that delivery was covered by Champus, and again, my out of pocket expenses were under 10$.

    This has radically changed, and the health care system used by current active duty military members and their dependants are much more in line with either a civilain insurance company or medicare. Premiums are deducted from the military member’s paycheck and doctor visits include co-pays and out of pocket expenses. In my day, there were no “premiums” (this was one of the benefits for serving your country) and out of pocket expenses were minimal.

    Tricare is run like a civilian insurance company and many of the elements of this insurance are “outsourced”. As such, while it is easy to say that the Department of Defense can do anything it wants with Tricare, the reality of the situation is far different. Many aspects of Tricare (including the actual cost of the civilian health care received) is out of the control of the Dept of Defense.

    Like a civilian plan, military members can choose the level of coverage they recieve. There are multiple plans available, each with their own set of rules and premiums. Further, the coverage for dependant children has been a bone of contention for years. There is one plan that allows coverage until a child reaches a certain age, there is another plan that allows a college age dependant to be included with the active duty military member’s coverage and certain “special purpose” programs. It is actually quite complicated (so much so that I actually had to do some research before even beginning to comment even though my son is currently a Tricare member).

    Craigs assersions are vague enough that I really don’t know how to reply. Until such time as I can see the situations he is referencing, I will pass them off as unsubstanciated attacks against Tester. What I won’t do is allow him to assert that Tester has control over Tricare or that Tricare is – in anyway – an easy fix. Sadly, by going to a civilian medical insurance model, many active duty members and their dependants are having the same issues with health care that the civilian families are facing. Further, the reliance on tricare has reduced the availability of the more comprehensive care that active duty members themselves can get.

    One of Craig’s assersions have be directly addressed, though, without a need for him to define the situation he is refering to. Craig asked –

    “He [Tester] could have spoken out against that fundamental unfairness to stress active and retired military while exempting civilians from the same burden.”

    In this statement, Craig makes a logical falacy argument. He attempts to equate Tricare with the benefits and insurance offered to civilian federal employees and that is just silly for the following reasons –

    1) Tricare and it’s management is set by the Department of Defense. As I pointed out above, there are aspects of that system that Tester (as a member of the Armed Forces Committee) has some pull over, there are many aspects of that system that are out of his touch in reality because they are handled by civilian contractors and the invariable contracts that stem from that hybrid system. It should also be pointed out that ANY changes to the Tricare system have to be made at dates and times specifically dictated by those contracts.

    2) Federal Employees are not covered by a federally run system like tricare. Federal Employees (like their private sector counterparts) select from a range of coverages provided by non-public companies. These selections usually consist of HMOS, choices like BC/BS etc. That selection is negotiated State by State because of the rules dictating that an insurance company cannot work across statelines. Further, while the government has some say in an employee’s contribution to that insurance, they do have absolute control and that contribution changes from Federal Job to Federal Job. More importantly (and this is the kicker), that percentage of contribution is NOT set by the Armed Services Committee. Tester has zero control over it. Suggesting that Tester does is just silly.

    The rest of the assersion made by Craig will have to wait until he posts some background for them.

    • First, I want to say up front that the more I read about Tricare, the more pissed off I get. I will try to contain my anger over a system that often leads to military members stressing over health care costs when those costs should be a function of service to their country as they were in my day.

      Second, I want to say “Thank You” to Craig for pointing out yet one more reason to admire and support Senator Tester.

      As expected, the Great Falls Tribune Article was not only poorly written, it was completely inaccurate. I will forgive Craig for mis-representing the situation because the article supports his mis-representation.

      The article Craig quotes –
      claims that Senator Tester was instrumental in pushing through the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2011 (true). It goes on to say “It extended health coverage for young adults to 26, but only under private insurance. It didn’t cover dependents whose parents receive government-provided health care, like Tricare.” This statement is patently false and I have no idea where the author of the article got that idea.

      The preceading article from Tricare’s own site, is proof positive that the change is beneficial to military dependants and is, in fact, Tricare coverage for dependants to 26. Further, it should be noted that (as reported in both the Trib article and on Tricare’s website, this brings Tricare coverage in keeping with the provisions contained in the ACA.

    • The second link that Craig posted was in a word, rediculous. Shame on you, Craig. The misconceptions and propoganda on that site are beyond even what I would expect from you and reminiscent of what Ingy would post. I am not sure what arguments you are attempting to support by posting that link, but I doubt that you actually even read the majority of that site (at least I would like to think that you wouldn’t have posted it had you read it)

      Let me take a WAG (Wild Ass Guess for those that don’t know) and assume that you were attempting to connect Tricare to the insurance provided for civilian defense contractors (essencially, civilian Federal Employees). If that is the case, I have already addressed that. The insurance provided to federal workers is a function of the department they work in, the level at which they work and the negotiated private insurance companies that are supplying the insurance. Trying to draw a parrallel with Tricare is rediculous and you know it (assuming that you know anything about tricare – I grant that is an assumption and I may be wrong).

      • Moorcat, I feel no shame whatsoever as that link points to another where the claim was made. That claim has been repeated in various venues. Read more here:

        Again, my point is that Tester could have gone on record and taken a Stand against the Tricare increase before it happened. Instead he seems to have stood by silent, acquiescing in the Tricare change, except to boast about the age increase for dependents.

        • OK, Craig, let me make this as clear as I can. Any link you provide that starts out with a statement blaming President Obama for increasing health care costs for military members is going to be disregarded out of hand. President Obama has no authority to make changes in Tricare. NONE. That is a fuction of Congress. Do you have ANY main stream or unbiased links to prove your point?

          Second, I cannot find a single article that even describes this situation that isn’t a propaganda site. I refuse to engage on this issue based on questionable information. I don’t know what the “increase” you refer to was based on and I certainly do not know what Tester’s responce was.

          It is also quite possible that if there was an increase in premiums, it was to pay for the increase in risk held by the insurance company that is underwriting Tricare. Again, I simply don’t know and the rediculously biased links you are posting are not helping your argument.

          • Have it your way, but there would be NO Tricare increase that didn’t meet with Obama’s approval. They wouldn’t dare!!!!

            But let’s move on to another issue regarding Tester, the EPA. Today I saw where the Mine Workers Union expressed great upset:

            The coal industry will suffer the same fate as Osama bin Laden under new climate regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the head of the United Mine Workers of America said this week.

            “The Navy SEALs shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington,” Cecil Roberts, president of the powerful union, said during an interview Tuesday on the West Virginia radio show MetroNews Talkline.

            Roberts blasted Jackson, the EPA administrator, over the proposed regulations, which would limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. Opponents of the regulations, including Roberts, say the new rules would be the death knell of the coal industry.

            As I recall Montana has a coal mining industry. What happens next? As recall the Montana Farm Bureau blasted Tester over his support for the EPA regulation of CO2.

            • Craig, your first statement is impossible to substanciate and completely uncalled for. Are you honestly trying to convince me that Tester is President Obama’s robot? Please… you are better than that.

              As far as your misdirection, I won’t respond to it tonight (and may not respond at all depending on my schedule tomorrow. What it proves is that – incapable of backing up your original, unsubstanciated assertions against Tester, you are attempting to move the bar to try to find something else to stick to Tester.

              In doing so, you have already proven my original point – you cannot and will not be logical or objective in this discussion. This comes as no surprise to me, but it might be to others. It does make me sad, though, because I honestly thought that you were NOT necessarily a partisan follower. I have no issue with people that disagree due to ideological differences as long as they are honest and open minded. I do have a problem with someone that claims an open minded and objective view without actually being open minded or objective.

            • I would also point out that, instead of even acknowledging that the assersions you made were false (and I have provided fact based information that proves them false), you not only refuse to admit the assersions were false, you attempt to make more false assersions. This convinces me that you have no interest in the truth – only to smear Tester with invective and lies.

              For someone to claim an objective and logical view of politics (even given a specific bias which you freely admit) and then to show – by action – that your statements are without logic, or objectivity, you invalidate most of your future arguements.

              I have openly defended you because I honestly believed that you were a rational, logical and objective person. I thought I understood your partisan bias and I thought that you could reasonably discussion a given situation. I never expected you to support Tester the way I do, but I did expect you to acknowledge a specious argument when it was catagorically proven to be specious.

        • By way of example why is Dem Senator Webb able to say:

          I have said many times that I believe, whether there is a specific contractual obligation or not, when someone has served a full military career, we have to provide them lifetime medical care. Do you agree? That kind of defines the struggle we’re all having here.”

          but Tester can’t find the words?

        • Here is another example:


          WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to abandon his budget plan to increase the cost of health care for veterans enrolled with TRICARE. Rehberg urged the President to re-think his budget priorities and stop looking for budget cuts among veterans who have earned their benefits. In Montana, there are currently 34,427 TRICARE recipients, many of whom would face increases under President Obama’s budget.

          “Some of President Obama’s allies in Congress are trying to say his budget protected veterans’ benefits. But the details tell a much different story. And once veterans groups had a chance to read what was being proposed, they rightfully sounded the alarm,” said Rehberg. “For Montana’s vets, higher fees, higher taxes and lower benefits all have the same impact on a fixed budget. It’s just wrong to ask these men and women to get by with less while we’re dumping billions into brand new government programs that we simply can’t afford. We owe it to our veterans to make good on the commitments we’ve already made. These veterans earned their benefits, and I’m going to fight for them the way they fought for us.”

          Where is Tester’s letter????

          • Well, Son, I am disappoint.

            As Moorcat pointed out, Congress is responsible for controlling the purse-strings of the Country. If Dennis wants to fight someone over how money is spent, then he’s fighting himself. And as per usual when it comes to veterans, he claimed that he will fight against something he will in the end vote for.

            Tester’s letter was never written because Jon Tester isn’t a lying full-of-shit idiot like Dennis Rehberg.

          • Michael Searalika AKA Backwoods Monty | April 4, 2012 4:39 PM at 4:39 PM |

            Geez Moorcat is right! For A man who says, he doesn’t know who he is gonna vote for yet… you spend a lot of time defending Rehberg?

  14. Rob, what BS. Tester didn’t write a letter asking Obama to oppose the Tricare increases because he didn’t want to challenge the boss on one of his important issues. Dem senator Jim Webb is not running for re-election and stated from his heart:

    I have said many times that I believe, whether there is a specific contractual obligation or not, when someone has served a full military career, we have to provide them lifetime medical care. Do you agree? That kind of defines the struggle we’re all having here.”

    • Craig, you are not arguing logically. First you are asking us to justify a position that A) we have no way of knowing is even true and B) attempting to argue that Tester should have taken an action because you have personal knowledge of someone else taking a position.

      I have no idea what Tester’s take is on the supposed premium increase. In fact, I cannot find anything about the premium increase at all (the exception being the enactment that increased the age of dependant care – that act increased the number of choices for programs so it is possible you are refering to a higher level program with higher premium costs). If you are refering to the advanced programs for tricare, your argument is specious. The member cost of basic care did NOT increase.

      As far as the words from Senator Webb, it might surprise you to know that I agree wholeheartedly with him. Look at it from my point of view. If I had retired from active service after 25 years (2003) the following would have been true –

      A) the free healthcare at retirement that existed when I enlisted was gone.

      B) the benefits available to me at retirement age would have been less than half of what they were when I enlisted.

      C) While the money for retirement would have been more than when I enlisted, if you take into consideration retirement and the required fee for getting health care, the end result is actually less money than it was at my enlistment.

      I could go on, but I am fairly sure you get the idea. What person would NOT be incensed by the deplorable way (and the perception that the word of the Government has been broken)?

      Now here is the important part so pay attention. My anger (and don’t think for a second that it doesn’t exist) and Sen Webb’s opinion MEANS NOTHING. Yep, nothing. It will not change anything is completely unproductive (except maybe to raise the consciousness of others to the problem). Tester to rail against the existing system would be equally unproductive.

      Tester ran on the platform to change specific inequities when he ran for office. He addressed those inequities. He also addressed inequities that no one was even aware of. What I do NOT expect of him to make useless political gestures. I am sorry that it must take those for you to even consider him “principaled”. Justapose those against Rheberg’s political gestures and complete lack of actual work. Once again, you have helped to prove my point.

  15. Max’s self-centered, survivalist political actions — putting his message on the air in a way that sucks oxygen from fellow MT Dem Jon Tester — is consistent with what he’s done for his entire career. Apparently you do not survive 38 years unless you callously disregard anyone but yourself. Makes me think of two things: 1) this is typical Washington DC stuff — Max sells himself for money and uses that money to buy his way back into the Senate so he can continue to sell himself, and the viscious circle goes on and on and on; and 2)”Can’t Buy Me Love” is not just an Elvis Presley song, it is the new anthem for Max — this effort isn’t going to help.

  16. It’s important to remember that Senator Baucus camp can donate to the Tester campaign.

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