Political Quick Hits

Knudsen Taken to Task for Claiming Medicaid Expansion Eligible Montanans Don’t Work

The Missoula Independent’s Dan Brooks explains Austin Knudsen’s “Sickening Stance” on Medicaid expansion.  It’s a must read.


More Disrespect for Working People

Two recent news stories paint a telling contrast between Ryan Zinke and Jon Tester.

In Jon Tester’s first days in the Senate in 2007, he stopped by and said hi to the maintenance staff, appreciated their hard work, and even got his hands dirty.

In Ryan Zinke’s first days in the Congress, he called the maintenance staff “a larger problem.”

These workers don’t just hang pictures. They move desks, fix broken chairs, and make sure the building isn’t falling apart. They keep government office spaces running. This isn’t just about Zinke’s assault on hardworking federal employees (which is bad enough), it’s about disrespecting people whose jobs are “beneath” his and calling them “bureaucracy.”

Perhaps he should let the maintenance workers hang the pictures, and take an hour or two to hire a Montanan in his DC office – which is stacked with out-of-staters and questionable hires.


Conflicts of Interest

Two Helena city commissioners appear to have put their personal interests as lobbyists over the people of Helena.  Matt Elsaesser voted against a resolution in support of Medicaid expansion citing the need to lobby right-wing lobbyists as part of his personal careers.  Mayor Jim Smith, who is also a lobbyist when not serving on the city commission, laughably cited a supposed “political risk” to the city if Helena supported Medicaid expansion.  Helena is not well served when its elected commissioners put their personal lobbying jobs and ridiculous amorphous theories over citizens.


22 Comments on "Political Quick Hits"

  1. Thank you Jon Tester for giving the American worker a thumbs up. It it time that this country recognizes the efforts of the American worker towards making our country what it is. I am tired of seeing all of the slick publications touting the entrepreneur while completely ignoring the people that these leeches rely on to make them look so successful. The worker bees in the hive are not a consumable for the privileged Mr. Zinke and Mr. Daines.

  2. You can always tell a truly naive individual by the way the cower in fear before the Montana legislature instead of speaking their minds and standing up for what’s right.

  3. Also, come on, is our mayor seriously concerned about political backlash toward city of helena from the Mt legislature or is he just smarter than Elsaesser and claiming this to cover his own fear for his lobbying coziness with the hard right- did the legislature retaliate against Helena for passing a non-discrimination ordinance ?? No. So why would they over a non binding resolution . Give me a break!

  4. Ummm……Ryan Zinke isn’t in the Senate.

  5. Knudsen’s been on the ‘gummint’ teat, where he’s received well over $700,000 in federal farm subsidies, so
    did he work for that handout? Yes, farm families work their butts off, but he should mind his own hypocrisy as he’s DRAWING public health insurance for his family but ACTIVELY fighting to DENY working Montanans any hope for medical care, whether by the ACA or Medicaid. The VAST majority of those who would get
    this ARE working, unfortunately at poverty wages, not a living wage where we should have SHARED prosperity.

  6. Oh for gosh’s sakes.
    Here’s Zinke’s problem — from the ABC story:
    “Zinke is still learning the ropes. There’s been at least one surprise so far for him. While he was hanging pictures in his office, he met two government workers assigned to help him do just that.

    “I think it’s a small, but probably reflective of a larger problem: the bureaucracy is too big,” explained Zinke.

    Pretty selective editing there, Cowgirl. Fact is, one picture-hanger is probably more than enough, just to make sure no nails go through the steam pipes. A Dem legislator probably would have wanted four.

  7. I laughed when I read that story about The Zinkster a couple days ago. So, let me get this straight ryan…you think it’s inappropriate and wasteful that the federal government has maintenance workers on staff to do things like hang pictures, move desks, etc…I think it’s inappropriate and wasteful that you chose to hang pictures rather than get to work during office hours. Office aesthetics rather than your real job? That’s why we do those things on the weekends, or evenings, ryan…not during the work day. Or we hire someone. Do you really think that it’s crazy that you’re expected to spend your time otherwise? He is SUCH a joke. Every time he opens his mouth, I throw up a little in mine. Yucky guy.

  8. In Jon Tester’s first days in the Senate in 2007, he stopped by and said hi to the maintenance staff, appreciated their hard work, and even got his hands dirty.

    It is not that you are fooled by charlatans, Cowgirl, but rather the ease with which you are fooled.

    We’ve got to study this.

  9. While the “Cowgirl” would rather make a pretty big s-t-r-e-t-c-h and focus on “picture-gate”….

    “Cowgirl” ignores some far more important substance to Montanans, the world and the future of this planet in the lead of that same article:

    “All three (Tester/Daines/Zinke) want to move forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta, Canada through Montana and the middle of the US to the Gulf Coast [where the dirty tar-sands oil would be exported overseas].”

    Man, Montana “bipartisanship” is such a beautiful thing!

    Remember folks, while the GOP is totally evil and out-of-touch on all the key issues of our time…when it comes to the environment and public lands there are real opportunities to work together, such as the Christmas Miracle ‘historic’ 449 page long public lands rider package attached to the NDAA, right Senator Tester? Right Montana Wilderness Association?

    I mean, it’s totally realistic to believe that the same GOP House that cast 551 anti-environmental votes in the past 4 years would suddenly be overcome with so much environmental and public lands joy and love. It was Christmas after all. The” Season of Giving” (more taxpayer handouts to the public lands frackers, drillers, grazers, coal companies and less science and public input). “Thank you Senator Tester.”

    “The House of Representatives will end its legislative session this week having recorded at least 234 votes against the environment in two years. According to a December 1 count by the minority staff on the Energy and Commerce committee, the House floor held 551 anti-environment votes over the four years since Republicans took control—including votes on bills and amendments that weakened Environmental Protection Agency regulations, opened lands to coal and oil, made changes to the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, approved the Keystone XL pipeline, and more. The report also includes times Republicans rejected pro-climate and environment amendments from Democrats.”

    From 12/10/14: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120508/house-floor-votes-against-environment-113th-congress

    • Something else CG missed is how Montana now ranks 30th. This is the accomplishment under successive Dem administrations in the guv chair and the SPI office. http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/2015/state-highlights/2015/01/08/montana-education-ranking.html Skipping past the manufactured nonsense over picturing hanging, shouldn’t this be where the focus should be?

      • I would not place much stock in surveys that measure the effects of the testing regime. “Education” in this country is a poorly defined term, so that measuring it is even more difficult. But judging by the ease with which the military recruits, and by which so many are sucked into the student loan trap and then after that thirty-year mortgages partisan politics … it’s not hard to guess that education institutions and teachers in this country is turning out a poor product.

        • I suppose that we should “educate’ more with the inbreeding that you seem to be so fond of as you opinions have shown.

          • Huh? You sound off-kilter.

            Our education system over time shuts down curiosity, stifles non-conformist thought, teaches kids to stay on line, sit when told to sit, ask permission to go to the bathroom, be punctual and move when the bell rings. They teach to tests. They say they don’t, but they must. If a kid shows any kind of initiative and reacts to the boredom as he should – by acting up – they drug him.

            Testing outcomes of a system like that is pointless. Measuring its effectiveness by judging common behaviors – a slow-witted and gullible population, has more meaning.

  10. I have a newsflash for you – elections have consequences, and what your seeing IS the will of Montanans.

    • Your statement is only true if the voting population is informed. And they ain’t. They are moved by the dumbest of TV ads and suggestiveness that is not even subtle. They would vote for a cartoon character.

  11. Matthew,

    I thought it was #1 pro corporate + FED + too much money in speculation
    #2 Anti-environment

    eg, Billion USD QE to Citi Corp to TransCanada
    and let environment take on the risk
    of multi pump Stations remote controlled from Calgary

    let the environment take the risk
    of no external leak/split seam detectors
    in Corporate plan/budget OK’d by FED and Stock Market.

    #1 make KXL to be a (master) Limited Partnership
    to Limit accountability/responsibility for damage to environment

    imo, global corporations subsidized by Central Banks
    are the drivers of KXL
    through the environment of peoples.

    I say that in part because mainline media compulsion to attribute to
    Pro KXL, and “Environnmentalists.”

    imo, Lots of people see lots of bad problems with KXL LP.
    Like importing dilbit to export diesel.
    Like importing dilbit into an oversupply of refinery feedstock.
    Like not knowing the identities of the minor Limited Partners.


  12. These appear to be only a couple of conflicts of interest. It’s like integrity is foolishness. There are so many conflicts lately. Should we just conclude that people just don’t care and roaming about opportunistically is what a person should do?

  13. Montana’s legislature is thick with earth haters but so far Dems lead in bill requests!

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