Tagged: Montana Birther Bill

Posted: June 18, 2013 at 5:54 am

Noted Birther Wins First Prize for “Best Editorials”

This is not a joke.

The Montana Newspaper Association has awarded Frank Miele, the top editor at the Flathead Daily Inter Lake and a frequent contributor of arch-conservative birther editorials which he pens under his own name, first place in the “Best Editorials” category.

Meile is most famous for having written an impassioned, roughly 2,000 word piece defending the birther-nut Bob Wagner and his birther bill, and firing back at Anderson Cooper on whose show Wagner appeared during the 2011 legislative session.

Miele sees Wagner’s birther bill as eminently reasonable and necessary, and he was outraged at what he saw as Cooper’s shameful and biased treatment of Wagner. In Miele’s view, the CNN interview was an “ambush…by a left-wing extremist”, with Cooper doing nothing other than trying to insinuate that Wagner “has a vendetta against President Obama — when in fact the law would be applied equally to all candidates, and would neither target nor favor Obama.”

Rather than print multiple excerpts, I will suggest that you read the full idiotic column to fully appreciate it, but I warn you that you will shudder to think that on a daily basis, this man is the arbiter and shaper of the majority of print-news that is consumed by voters in the Flathead Valley.  And there is one juicy plum, toward the end of Miele’s editorial rant, which I will definitely print here.  This must have made even a good percentage of Republican readers cringe:

“If you want to take the time to research this, you will see that there is considerable reason to believe that in 1961 it would have been possible to register the birth of a baby even if he was not born in Hawaii.”

And so, even though I don’t like to say I-told-you-so, it is important that I do so here.  When you all read here, back during the 2010 campaign, that the reporting in the Flathead Valley was all very pro-Republican and candidates like Derek Skees were getting free rides because the media up there were suppressing evidence of their extremism, now you know what I was talking about. The Daily Inter Lake’s political coverage must be presumed to be Fake Flathead News, all the way.

And while Miele wrote his editorial because he wanted us all to believe that it is Anderson Cooper, not Bob Wagner, who is the nut-job, in fact it is Miele and the ownership of the Daily Inter Lake who allows him to run the paper, who are the nuts-jobs.

From time to time I hear rumors of progressives with deep pockets who are sniffing around the state, trying to gage the market for a new daily newspaper, statewide, that would combat the right wing rags.  The Flathead Valley should be their number one target.

Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

How to Dispose of a Tea Party Imbecile, For Good

Bye Bye, Birther

Bob Wagner, Montana Republican LegislatorLast week, we saw the demise of a right wing lunatic.

You may remember Bob Wagner, the Montana state legislator, for his appearance on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 in which he defended his special birther bill which would have forbidden President Obama from appearing on the Montana ballot in 2012.

Wagner was indeed riding high two years ago, swept into office on the 2010 Tea Party wave and happily making an ass of himself in the Montana legilsature, going on national talk shows with his nutty ideas, speaking at Tea Part rallies, sponsoring crazy bills (in addition to his birther bill, he tried to reintroduce the Gold Standard), and generally being an ass.  But Wagner did not know that he would walk into a trap, in which he would be ensared and hoisted and which would end his political career. He would be unable to chew his leg off to free himself.

Like a good Tea Partier, Wagner voted against every single appropriation of money put forward by the legislature, including a bill that arrived on Governor Brian Schweitzer’s desk last April which contained grant money for local communities (including Wagner’s district), for things like sewer upgrades, fire department repairs, and the like.

Schweitzer–who is known to enjoy mixing it up with right-wingers–saw an angle.  He noticed that Wagner had voted against the bill.  So, Schweitzer used his “line item veto” power and selectively crossed out the funds that would have gone to Wagner’s district.  Schweitzer did this to several legislators who voted against the grant bill, stating as he deleted the items that if Wagner and others voted against the bill, then their constituents must not have expressed much interest in getting the money.

Montana Representative "Birther" Bob WagnerBut as you might expect, community leaders in Wagner’s district hadn’t even been aware that Wagner had voted against it.  For when he voted against the bill, Wagner had been on a frolic of his own, and not representing the interests of his district.  Wagner figured that the bill would pass anyway, and so he could flex his Tea Party biceps while knowing that Democrats and moderate Republicans would turn in sufficient votes so that the grant bill would survive.

But he hadn’t counted on Schweitzer calling out his bullshit.

When the folks in Wagner’s district learned of Wagner’s vote and of the consequent loss of funds, they were outraged.  Wagner then tried to save face by suing Schweitzer, claiming that the item veto had been illegal.  Well, that didn’t go over very well with the Tea Partiers who reside in Wagner’s district, because they don’t think Government should ever spend money at all.

So Wagner ended up in the headlines, first proudly decrying government spending, then being revealed as having denied his district important funds, and finally suing the Governor to try to get more government spending for his district.

Alas, caught in these crosscurrents, the flimsy hypocrite Wagner was beaten last week in his GOP primary, by a Republican moderate (or at least what passes for a moderate in Madison County, Montana) who used all of these points against him very skillfully and vocally.

Goodbye, Birther Bob.

Posted: March 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

Top Editor at the Flathead Daily Inter Lake is a Birther

And that’s no joke. Frank Miele, the top editor at the Flathead Daily Inter Lake and a frequent contributor of arch-conservative editorials which he pens under his own name, has just written an impassioned, roughly 2,000 word piece defending the birther-nut Bob Wagner and his birther bill, and firing back at Anderson Cooper on whose show Wagner appeared a few weeks ago.

Miele sees Wagner’s birther bill as eminently reasonable and necessary, and he is outraged at what he sees as Cooper’s shameful and biased treatment of Wagner. In Miele’s view, the CNN interview was an “ambush…by a left-wing extremist”, with Cooper doing nothing other than trying to insinuate that Wagner “has a vendetta against President Obama — when in fact the law would be applied equally to all candidates, and would neither target nor favor Obama.”

Rather than print multiple excerpts, I will suggest that you read the full idiotic column to fully appreciate it, but I warn you that you will shudder to think that on a daily basis, this man is the arbiter and shaper of the majority of print-news that is consumed by voters in the Flathead Valley.  And there is one juicy plum, toward the end of Miele’s editorial rant, which I will definitely print here.  This must have made even a good percentage of Republican readers cringe:

“If you want to take the time to research this, you will see that there is considerable reason to believe that in 1961 it would have been possible to register the birth of a baby even if he was not born in Hawaii.”

And so, even though I don’t like to say I-told-you-so, it is important that I do so here.  When you all read here, back during the 2010 campaign, that the reporting in the Flathead Valley was all very pro-Republican and candidates like Derek Skees were getting free rides because the media up there were suppressing evidence of their extremism, now you know what I was talking about. The Daily Interlake’s political coverage must be presumed to be Fake Flathead News, all the way.

And while Miele wrote his editorial because he wanted us all to believe that it is Anderson Cooper, not Bob Wagner, who is the nut-job, in fact it is Miele and the ownership of the Daily Interlake who allows him to run the paper, who are the nuts-jobs.

From time to time I hear rumors of progressives with deep pockets who are sniffing around the state, trying to gage the market for a new daily newspaper, statewide, that would combat the right wing rags.  The Flathead Valley should be their number one target.

Posted: February 17, 2011 at 7:04 am

Nutjob Bills in the Montana Legislature

For your reading pleasure, here are some of the major pieces of legislation that have been put forward by the Tea Party Republicans who are now in control of the legislature.  This is not a joke. These are real bills, and they are currently taking priority in the Montana legislature.  Enjoy.

Welcome to the land of nutters, the Montana Legislature.

1.  Legalize hunting with hand-thrown spear (Senate Bill 112)

2.  Create fully-armed militia in every town (House Bill 278)

3.  Allow legislators to carry weapons in the Capitol (Senate Bill 279)

4.  Create an 11 person panel with authority to nullify all federal laws (House Bill 382)

5   Allow guns in schools (House Bill 558)

6.  Eliminate educational requirements for persons seeking job of State Superintendent of Schools (HB 154)

7.  Lift nuclear ban for purpose of building a nuclear reactor in the Flathead Valley (House Bill 326)

8.  Withdraw the United States of America from the United Nations (Senate Joint Resolution 2)

9.  Eliminate all state incentives for developing wind power (House Bill 244)

10. Omit Barack Obama’s name from the 2012, ballot because his father was born outside of America (House Bill 205)(this guy was on CNN this week)

11. Compulsory marriage counseling for people seeking a divorce (House Bill 438)

12. Give sheriffs authority over the federal government in terror investigations (Senate Bill 114)

13. Legalize hunting with silencers (House Bill 174)

14. Lift the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons in bars, churches and banks (House Bill 384)

15. Eliminate law that requires landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors (House Bill 354)

16. Require the federal government to prove in court that the National Parks were lawfully aquired. (House Bill 506)

17. Officially designate the “Code of the West” as the “Code of Montana” (Senate Bill 216)

UPDATE: 18.  Declare that global warming is good. (House Bill 549)

h/t RastaMon for this photo.

Posted: February 16, 2011 at 5:23 am

Montana Birther Nut Lawmaker Becomes National Joke on CNN

Look no further for proof that the actions of the current legislature are making Montana a national joke than this video.  (Once again, Montana newspaper editors missed out on a great story.)  You really must watch as Anderson Cooper schools TEA Party Lawmaker Bob Wagner (R-Harrison) on his birther bill for a look at how our TEA Party legislators represent Montana to the rest of America.

And a note to the rest of the nation, this legislator is but one of many who have proposed outrageous, unconstitutional, extreme and pointless legislation in Montana.  If you’ve found this story, you’ve only scratched the surface.

Posted: February 3, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Where is the Discussion of Montana’s Birther Bill?

How Stupid are these people?I know I’m not the only one that is astounded at the lack of media coverage of the crazy behavior of some of Montana’s Republicans.

For example, where is all the coverage on the birther bill heard recently in the Montana legislature?

Thankfully, the Flathead Memo has a great analysis. UPDATE: So does CNN. Montana newspapers got scooped.

Posted: January 26, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Nutwatch: An Analysis

Montana’s TEA Partiers seem obsessed with making Montana into the mecca for right-wing nutters.

The legislature is no exception.   The same day that the state TEA Party Republicans pushed a radical Arizona-style immigration law, they embraced the “birther” conspiracy about President Barack Obama. The Flathead Beacon reported today that state House TEA Party Republican Bob Wagner (R-Harrison) has introduced a birther bill would require Obama and any future federal candidate to show her birth certificate to order to be included on the ballot in the presidential election.

But the birther bill could potentially backfire against the Montana GOP if the public comes to believe that such nutty extremism drives their whole agenda. While the TEA Party wing of the MT GOP has yet to explicitly link its birther bill with the anti-immigration, black helicopter, anti-UN, anti-victims of domestic violence, anti-Indian, anti-vaccine and other conspiracy theory based legislation, it seems clear that all of these initiatives spring from the same desire to play to the right-wing base. The same GOP lawmakers are behind most of the proposals, after all.

By the way, isn’t the fact that Obama’s “illegal” human (as the Helena IR would write) status old news by now? How is Rep. Wagner just now getting around to pandering to the crazies about this? He just likes the Constitution you say?  Sure, he loves it. He loves it so much he chopped it up into pieces, put it in the blender, and freebased it with a little baking soda.

But these bills won’t improve the lives the state’s crackpot conspiracy theorists and TEA party ralliers-nor will they create higher paying jobs or attract innovative businesses to Montana. They will simply humiliate the legislators who’ve endorsed the measures by making them (and our state) the laughingstocks of the nation-a task they set out upon achieving even before they were elected. The birther bill–and the other black helicopter, Area 51-level conspiracy, racist, sexist and fundi bills–are all forms of reactionary hysteria, but much of this legislation could actually cause profound substantive harm to Montana residents.

The more these ideas are linked, the better.