Here are 45 seconds of video that everybody who lives in Montana needs to watch. I’ll let it speak for itself. Please discuss.
“prove that Obama is eligible to hold the office he usurped in 2008, or take him off the ballot.”
Alas, Wagner’s letter is the last thing Montana Republicans need right now. They swept the legislature in 2010 in a whirlwind of Tea Party hysteria, only to be utterly humiliated by Wagner and his crowd of Tea Party loons as they coopted the legislature and began passing crazy legislation, calling for an end to the United Nations and a reversion to the gold standard. It eventually proved such disaster for the GOP that the moderate Republicans fled the scene, and voted with Governor Schweitzer and the Democrats.
Schweitzer, meanwhile, had a field day kicking Wagner and his right-wing pals in the ribs. He even staged an event on the lawn of the Capitol building, where he pulled out a red hot cattle iron that said “VETO” and used it to “brand” a few crazy bills, Wagner’s among them. Rachel Maddow did a funny segment on it, highly recommended.
And there’s an even larger problem for the Montana GOP, a dark cloud on the horizon. If Jon Tester wins his race for the US Senate, there is a good chance that for the first time in history, Montana will not have a single state-wide Republican officeholder. Right now, the state’s at-large congressman, Dennis Rehberg, is the last GOP statewide politician, and he’s chosen to give up his house seat to challenge Tester for the Senate. All of the other nine state-wide politicians in Montana are Democrats, even though just over half of the state remains solidly and strongly conservative (Gore and Kerry got 33 and 36 percent in Montana respectively; Obama got 46, but its unlikely he’ll get much over 43 this time around.)
And with the continued antics of nutcases like Bob Wagner, Democrats have a bright future in Big Sky Country.
Lee State Bureau reporter Mike Dennison reported this weekend on the workings of the supercommittee tasked with finding ways to fix the federal budget. Or rather he tried to:
I’d like to tell you, with some degree of certainty, which side is more to blame for the failure this week of the deficit-cutting “supercommittee,” which included Montana Sen. Max Baucus.
But I can’t, because the panel inexplicably conducted most of its business in secret.
There is a compelling and fundamental right on behalf of all citizens to have access to vital information relating to the deliberations of publicly elected officials to cuts $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.
That’s why the Montana Cowgirl Blog uncovered the secret transcripts of the debt panel proceedings, which are presented here for your edification. As you can see, the transcripts reveal just how heavily the U.S. Senate relies on ancient tradition, logic and most importantly, precedent. Many of its current rules, procedures, and traditions even draw inspiration from the dealings of ancient Rome. I hope you draw as much inspiration and confidence from these passages as I have.
DEFICIT SUPERCOMMITTEE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT
Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas (Republican and committee co-chair): I call this meeting to order. Twelve buzzards appeared around lunchtime last Tuesday, and, as provided for in Senate Rule 2837B-2, a surprise visit by more than eight buzzards signifies that it is time to commence our work.
Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan (Republican): Thank you gentleman for the opportunity to address the body.
Aide: Reminds Upton that there is also a woman present.
Upton: (Waves hand dismissively, continues.) When I was last home in Michegan in 1994, I witnessed two eagles dueling over a dead goat. This portends ill for the continuation of the Bush tax cuts.
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana (Democrat). Aside, to an Aide: How many goats do we have in Montana?
Aide: leaves to fetch graphing calculator, returns with a printout.
Baucus: I vote no.
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona (Republican): We must increase military spending by at least double the amount of any revenue increases we make. This is partially to fight terrorists who want to harm our freedom, but mostly because I saw three meteors strike the moon at dawn.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts (Democrat): I disagree. When meteors strike the moon that signifies an unhappy parent, meaning we must not cut Medicare and Social Security.
Kyl: No it doesn’t.
Kerry: Yes it does.
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (Republican): We must consult the Oracle to clarify this matter before proceeding further. Lets adjourn for three weeks. This work is very tiring.
Every Republican candidate in Montana is walking around saying that the problem is the Democrats’ spending and taxes in Helena. Of course, anybody who actually informs themselves in a smart way knows that this is the complete opposite of reality. Montanans waited for thirty years for tax cuts and spending reduction from Republicans who talked a big game, before Dems finally took over and did it, and returned a nice rebate check to every homeowner and have reduced spending so efficiently that the Wall Street Journal, the right-wing rag, has credited them for it.
But you wouldn’t know it by reading the Billings Gazette, because it’s owned and run by conservatives. As an example, let’s look at a headline and article today about a recent issue.
To review, here is John Kerry’s Goose-gate coverage in 2004 in the Gazette. Not an unfair article at all. It calls him out for what he was, a wealthy urban ivy-leaguer trying to burnish his “regular guy” credentials, not to mention a terrible campaigner.
Flash forward to Roy Brown’s identical blunder, a 2006 goose hunting photo, all decked out in camoflauge. At the time he took the photos he had not ever hunted in Montana, at least not as far back as license records go, which is 1989, and probably further.
Knowing that the press would not cover this, a Democratic group called Values, Energy and Growth PAC brought Roy’s fraudulent photo to the attention of voters by running TV ads and mail. And here is how it was all covered in today’s Gazette: with the headline, “Dems paid for attack ads, fliers.”
And of course, it doesn’t even mention the TV commercial, nor the incriminating goose photos, nor the fact that Roy never hunted or fished until he needed some “gun crowd” photos produced on the eve of his run for Governor.
Rather, the story in the Gazette is all about how a Democratic Party-funded group went after poor Roy. In a previous about negative mail in the Van Dyk/Brown race, the Gazette quoted Roy as saying that negative mail was making his wife cry.
Worse, there is little discussion in today’s article of the fact that the GOP is doing exactly the same thing to Kendall Van Dyk, under the direction of several GOP veteran operatives and their shady groups called “Montana Business Leadership PAC” and “Jobs for Montana PAC” and “Better Government PAC”.
What is especially troubling about this lack of fair coverage is that Roy is walking around Billings saying that Montana democrats are “spending and taxing too much”, which is the complete opposite of reality. Just ask Denny Rehberg and Newt Gingrich, who are on record crediting the current administration for miraculous fiscal restraint, enabled by legislation that Democrats in the legislature presented to the Governor, not to mention the help of a full slate of Democratic state-wide officials who cut their own budgets too.
Not a single article in the Gazette has addressed this basic “taxing and spending” lie that underlies Roy’s entire campaign, and that underlies also the third-party campaigns against Kendall Van Dyk by the GOP and its associated conservative groups, and that also underlies the entire GOP legislative campaign around the state this season.
We are all getting goosed by the Billings Gazette.
Matt Gouras, Associated Press, has done a profile of Cowgirl, citing my blog as having an “uncanny knack” for getting the inside scoop! Sorry for you GOPers who don’t know how to set up a blog to receive tips or use Google.
Under discussion in his piece–in fact the reason he wrote the piece–is the “controversy” about the “Man v. Man Purse” dueling photos. Gouras uses the article to ask rhetorically whether it “crossed the line” and said I was “under fire” from liberals (I guess one or two people qualifies as an entire movement for Gouras, but not to the rest of the world.) As my fellow blogger and activist ally D. Gregory Smith who blogs at From Eternity to Here and Bilerico.com says:
Cowgirl has never presented herself as anything other than an ally in the struggle for LGBT Montanan’s rights. She’s entitled to a little tongue-in-cheek humor as far as I’m concerned.
But whatever, the fact is that Jamee Greer is an amazing organizer. I’ve praised his work in the past and appreciated the kind words and information he’s provided to this blog time and again. I am sincerely sorry to offend him, and have greatly appreciated all the comments on my post on Roy Brown.
Given what Tea Party candidates around the state are doing and saying (in Whitefish they are hanging around with Militia members and Nazi apologists; in Bozeman they are calling gays beastialists, in Helena they are distorting the truth about health and tolerance, in Red Lodge they are making vulgar slurs, and the GOP platform calls for imprisoning gay citizens), I’m planning to continue to fight hate from here on out.
Actually, the most salient part of Man-Purse-gate is what happened a week after the photos were posted: a TV commercial aired, revealing that Roy Brown never hunted in Montana until he ran for Governor and went out and bought a hunting license to help his political career, posing for an idiotic photo with a bunch of dead geese, a la John Kerry in 2004. (See below.) So it potentially takes on more relevance now, and perhaps vindicates the original purpose in my talking about a man purse, which was that Roy is an urban landlord, not a rugged outdoorsman. Sexual orientation had nothing to do with it.
And as for the likelihood that Roy and his geese get the same front-page coverage as Kerry’s geese (Kerry’s goosegate was front page material in the days before the 2004 election), my guess is that the Gazette will not cover Roy’s goosegate at all, simply because this time it’s a Republican, not a Democrat, who is eating goose.
Here is the story that the Billings Gazette ran when John Kerry made an ass of himself a few days before the election in 2004, going out and getting a photo-op with a few dead geese. Remind you of anyone we know?
This article will be enjoyed by all. Pay particular attention to the Cheney quote,
“The second amendment is about more than just a photo op,”;
…the reporter’s own assertion that Kerry was using the occasion as part of
“a long fight against an elite image”;
and the part where the reporter points out that nobody saw him shoot the goose.