Tuesday Quicktakes

If I was going to write another piece on Montana connections to the Oregon Nonsense Here’s What I’d Say

The Billings Gazette is now reporting this morning on one aspect of the Montana connection to the armed takeover of Government buildings in Oregon – essentially the same one that the Cowgirl blog wrote about over the weekend. I’ll add three key pieces of information the Gazette story did not include:


  • The second Montana connection that did not appear in the version of the Gazette story posted this morning is that one of the top demands of this bunch (besides more snacksis the takeover of public lands, which is the issue being flogged to death by the Vice Chair of the Montana GOP, state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. This seems like a key piece of information, given how many times Fielder and Americans for Prosperity and the ALC have tried to force it through our state legislature, under strange circumstances. The Washington Post was among the many national news outlets to point out this key connection.


Bitterroot Star Untangles More Dark Money Connections Behind the Montana Growth Network

The Bitterroot Star has once again proved itself one of the few news outlets left that is both interested in and capable of good old fashioned investigative journalism. Star reporter Michael Howell has uncovered some additional connections behind the dark money donors behind the Montana Growth Nework, which elected TEA Partier Laurie McKinnon to the Supreme Court.  I’m not going to reveal these here, but you can go to the Star website to read about them. (Hint: It involves connections between donors and additional donations from corporate entities they control, connections no one else has made to date.)

Billings Gazette Unloads on Gianforte

Billings Gazette editor Darrell Ehrlick is correct when he writes that “residents, voters and the media cannot let Gianforte simply take a pass by not answering questions about his beliefs. How he believes is how he will govern.”

Gianforte’s donations extend far beyond what can be called “Christian charities.” They include fake medical clinics, anti-gay groups, and creationist organizations and museums.  What I have found here was only what came up with 10 minutes of googling, and it does not look good. Gianforte knows it, apparently: he’s scrubbed his wikipedia page of this stuff.  But anytime reporters try to ask about it, he suddenly claims he’s NOT actually a candidate for governor (just exploring the option), and so no, he says, he shouldn’t have to answer to the public about it. If you haven’t read the Gazette opinion, you’ll want to.

Where are they Now

Remember Ken Miller, the TEA partier and religious conservative from Laurel who once ran for Governor in the GOP primary, who became a crusader against education standards in Montana schools?  He’s announced on his Facebook page he’s got a new job.

Ken Miller Uber

Personally, I won’t be requesting a ride until they unionize. 



22 Comments on "Tuesday Quicktakes"

  1. RE: #OregonUnderAttack and Public Lands management

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if this situation actually exposes the fact that federal public lands (welfare) ranchers actually get one of the best deals on the planet (See chart)? Of course, that great deal for the corporate cowboys comes at a huge expense to the American taxpayers, a huge expensive to wildlife, fish and clean water and the overall health of these public lands ecosystems.

    And remember it’s not just the public lands ranchers who are getting a sweetheart deal. Logging, hardrock mining, fracking and oil and gas drilling and coal mining on America’s federal public lands are all heavily subsidized by the American taxpayers. And this has been going on for decades and decades.

    Of course, while some groups like the Montana Wilderness Association have been busy working with ‘timber partners’ to greatly increase industrial logging on our National Forests in Montana through political mandates attached as riders to unrelated spending or budget bills…or filling court briefs in support of clearcut logging within lynx habitat on the Kootenia National Forest (while being represented by timber industry lawyers who sued to stop implementation of the Roadless Areas Conservation Rule [Yep, MWA just did this!] many non-profit public lands groups have been trying for decades to shine a bright light on the entire current federal public lands management paradigm.

    Let’s hope the standoff ends peacefully, those breaking the law are brought to justice and that the American people finally get to see the full extent of the economic and ecological damage caused by all the mis-management of America’s public lands.

    It’s also worth remembering that just one year ago both Senator Tester and Senator Daines (who at the time was Rep Daines) greatly celebrated the so-called “Grazing ‘Improvement Act,” which was attached as a rider to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

    That public lands grazing rider represented a complete roll back of environmental law and public input into public lands grazing permit renewals. Essentially, because of that rider, public lands grazing permits are now renewed regardless of an environmental analysis, public land health conditions and regardless of the impact on wildlife, including endangered species.

    Groups like the Montana Wilderness Association didn’t raise one-single peep of protest about the public lands grazing rider at the time. They also remained silent as Senator Tester and Daines went behind closed doors and engaged in horse-trading that opened up Wilderness Study Areas near Otter Creek to development and also likely will open up more Wilderness Study Areas near the Charles Russell National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling (and fracking).

    Montana Wilderness Association also choose to remain silent as Senator Tester and Daines (again, in a back room horse-trading deal that was part of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act) gave Great Northern Properties 112 million tons of coal adjacent to the Singal Peak mine. According to MEIC, “Great Northern has been wanting this coal for years as it knows developing the coal rights on Northern Cheyenne land would be difficult, if not impossible, to develop. The coal on the Northern Cheyenne reservation was omitted from the expansion of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 1900. Now the Signal Peak coal mine that sends most of its coal overseas to Asian markets can further expand, continue to pollute water quality in the area, cause subsidence of surface owners property, and be responsible for hundreds of millions of additional tons of climate changing carbon dioxide pollution. Wilderness is not immune to the effects of climate change so should we sacrifice the climate for wilderness designation?”

    For reference, again according to MEIC, that 112 million tons of coal is approximately 3 years worth of coal production by every single coal mine in Montana.

    So while the Montana Wilderness Association, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (lead by dark money boy-wonder Land Tawney), Montana Wildlife Federation and others can fire-up the #KeepItPublic buses and hold a rally at the capital, when Senator Tester and Daines give away public lands with zero public input and zero public notice during secret “horse-trading” meetings in Washington DC these groups go limp and silent.

    Again, there’s so much that can and should be said related to the Oregon Standoff, public lands management and the politics of the west. Here’s hoping the light continues to shine on all of this. Thanks.

  2. All this is due to the fact that Angry White Men are still angry about Obama being president. So this is their outlet: The Conspiracy Scouts. Join up and have a fun weekend occupying a government wildlife refuge!

  3. They ran out of snacks and toilet paper. Apparently, planning ahead is NOT one of their skills. I say just let them sit there, with no food or beverages or heat or toilet paper until they go home.

    • That’s kind of my take on it…

      Turn off the water and electricity, block the access roads, and let them sit. When they decide to come out, charge them with trespassing and anything else that’s relevant, bill them for any damage they might have done, plus the money spent on police details, plus any lost revenue from the birdwatchers who would normally be there. If the statutes allow it, hold them without bail.

      Make the whole process as boring, bureaucratic, and totally un-heroic for them as possible.

  4. The Gazette misses a lot of news stories as the reporters that they had have sought work elsewhere with more reputable newspapers or television stations. Those of us that subscribe to our daily newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises wonder what happened to accurate reporting on the stories that affect our lives. The Billings Gazette is controlled by the advertisers and the money that they use to spend on filling our newspapers with ads instead of newsworthy print. They even stoop as low as charging the subscriber for the ads that they distribute before Black Friday sales. The only good that has come about recently is that the editor, Mr. Ehrlick, has finally grown a set of balls to insist that Mr. Gianforte come clean on his intentions and to provide transparency to his “coming out” as a candidate for Montana’s top job.

  5. Oregon Militia Asking For Snacks, Socks, Money On Facebook. Apparently they didn’t bring anything to really eat and no Warm Clothes and socks? This is why they are complete asses not milita.

    In a real emergency situation a Real soldier has enough food on him for at least a month. Apparently these weekend wannabe bad #VanilliaISIS are actually starting to get hungry and cold now. http://www.alan.com/2016/01/04/oregon-militia-asking-for-snacks-socks-money-on-facebook/#

  6. Well now, did everyone know we have our own group of land takeover patriots here in Montana who are monitoring the Oregon situation and posting regular Facebook screeds? Apparently part of the problem has to do with people watching American Idol. https://www.facebook.com/americanlandscouncilmt/posts/1665004507104829

  7. Send in cases of cheap whiskey and cases of .223 shells. How many hands of pinochle can they play before they do something stupid?

  8. Here’s a potential solution to #OregonUnderAttack and the federal public lands grazing program, which costs American taxpayers over $117 million a year…to say nothing of the tremendous cost to wildlife habitat and clean water.

    It’s a piece of federal legislation called the “Rural Economic Vitalization Act.” It would address the wasteful, environmentally damaging, and economically inefficient federal grazing policy on America’s public lands.

    This legislation would change federal law to allow ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish their permits to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service in exchange for private market compensation.

    Please contact Senator Tester, Senator Daines and Rep Zinke and ask them to support and co-sponsor the “Rural Economic Vitalization Act” (REVA).

    LINKS to Web Forms to Contact the Montana delegation:

    Tester: https://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=email_senator
    Daines: http://www.daines.senate.gov/connect/email-steve
    Zinke: https://zinke.house.gov/contact

    Here’s a LINK TO REVA: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3410/text

    And here’s a Fact Sheet about REVA: http://bit.ly/REVA_FactSheet

    Thanks to those who take action.

    Also, in addition to contacting the Montana congressional delegation it might be worth it to contact groups such as the Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Wildlife Federation, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and Montana Conservation Voters and see what’s their position on the “Rural Economic Vitalization Act.”

    • And the folks at the Oregon bird sanctuary have indicated that if this legislation passes, then they’ll go home and not have anymore of these anti-government “actions”? Or that’s not what you meant by “solution”?

      • I guess I got carried away with a hashtag and just meant that the Rural Economic Vitalization Act is a potential solution to the massive costs (ecological & economic) and problems (lost wildlife habitat/, trampled creeks/springs, weeds, etc) associated with the federal public lands grazing program.

  9. Let the militia maniacs and Army wanna-be ‘patriots’ stroke their gun barrels and freeze…….

  10. Cut off the water, CUT off their access to the MEDIA, no snacks, no electricity and let them stumble out, all of those doofus boobs and
    then ARREST them…they are NOT patriots, they’re imbeciles and misfits.

  11. If you want to know what Jennifer Fielder and her leader, Ken Ivory, think about this, see her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.fielder.522

  12. Hauser Lake Special | January 11, 2016 4:55 PM at 4:55 PM |

    Just a little photoshop fun – you know pork rinds have to be worth more than krugerrands sewn into your camo boxer shorts over there right now.

    You’d almost think Meal Team 6 was some sort of sitcom it’s so flipping funny. The right’s using this to continue the land transfer push – but it really does show the 8 yr old mentality of many on the right involved. Like my own kid they probably forgot their mittens, lunch-box and the field trip permission slip on the way out the door.

  13. So tons of snarkey malarkey is at it again!
    Pandering to snarkey malarkey’s personal delusion
    that’s it’s OK to intentionally malign and misrepresent
    a regular commenter on Cowgirl.
    Snarkey you don’t know beans about Norma!
    She’s a hard working, well trusted neighbor, who works difficult hours to provide transportation to locals.
    Snarkey malarkey you just ripped off some words that sounded cute to you, and Posted them here and at ID. What you posted here is three times untrue!!!
    Shame on your sloppy attempt of personal pander to slander!
    Shape up or ship out!

  14. Senator ‘Field Marshal’ Fielder set to replace Ken Ivory as the new CEO of the American Lands Council, and she all but endorsed the Bundy OUTLAWS in her guest editorial in the Missoulian last week. Now with her and former Senator Ken Olson at the helm of the Montana Petroleum Association, there might be some ‘interesting’ alignments and agends to get OUR PUBLIC LANDS INTO THE HANDS OF OIL, GAS, COAL and other fossil fuel extraction profiteers while we get ‘spit’ for royalties, just like the deadbeat Bundy ‘cowboy welfare’ cheats who add our debt.

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