Tag Archives: Montana Tea Party

Tea Party plays defense after rejecting $6 billion in federal funds

Keith Regier is out of touch.

Keith Regier

by Cowgirl

State legislator Keith Regier, who once compared women to pregnant cattle and a fetus to an unfinished barn, has written an editorial in the Flathead Beacon that attempts to defend his party’s destruction of Access Health Montana, Bullock’s Medicaid expansion proposal to bring health care to 70,000 working poor Montanans which never made it out of the legislature.

Regier makes the Tea Party’s stock argument, which can be easily debunked.

He makes the claim that Medicaid will “worsen health outcomes” for the Montana poor.  How? He points to supposed studies that show that Medicaid patients are more likely to have surgical complications, and are statistically more likely to die, than the population as a whole.  Essentially, he is arguing that Medicaid makes you sick.

This conflates cause with correlation.  Medicaid clients are indeed less healthy than the greater population, that is true.  But it’s not that Medicaid makes you sick or that the care is somehow worse –its delivered by the same hospitals and doctors by the same standards.  It’s because of the profile of the average Medicaid enrollee.   They have likely come to the Medicaid program they are so sick that they have spent down their savings on their illness and are now eligible; or because they have been rejected by private insurance companies due to expensive pre-existing health conditions; or because they have lacked healthcare for many years until their condition has become difficult to treat.  Also, the current Medicaid population is heavy on seniors, who have more health problems than the population on the whole.

In other words, Medicaid is a repository for many of the most ill and least treated citizens.

So it is true that Medicaid enrollees are among the least healthy.  It is not caused by their enrolling in Medicaid.  This is not a difficult thing to understand, even if Regier and his Tea Party have trouble understanding it.

There are some legislators who deserve mention for having tried their best. Democrats who worked hard to bring in the new Medicaid reforms, Dave Wanzenried and Christine Kauffman and Chuck Hunter, and even some Repubs like Ed Buttrey and Alan Olson,  deserve some credit for trying to get it done.  And many executive branch employees in the governor’s office and the health and human services department–and of course the citizens’ groups and their members who did the most work.

They all understood, if nothing else, that you should try to find room for $6 billion dollars for healthcare when the federal government offers it.

They Keep Saying They Aren’t Racist, but…

by Cowgirl

One of Montana’s leading Tea Party figures has posted a photo for a device she says can lure the President.  Here it is–a Tea Party animal trap for a black person.

Here’s Olsen’s post, courtesy of the Montanafesto blog.

Yellowstone County Republican Central Committee

Jennifer Olsen is the leader of Montana’s largest TEA Party faction, the Yellowstone County Republican party in Billings.  She also leads the Yellowstone County Montana Shrugged TEA Party.

Since the Dawn of Time

The Helena City Commission  has voted unanimously to give its preliminary approval to a non-discrimination ordinance they’ve been considering for some time.  In case you missed the hearing, there were some really bizarre statements made in opposition to the idea.

To give you the flavor of who’s against ending discrimination, check out the opposition’s website.  The main argument appears to be that “our values have not changed since the dawn of time” and so we should not be changing a Helena city ordinance either.

It’s hard to calculate the myriad of ways in which this premise is flawed. There are many traditional beliefs have gone by the wayside “since the dawn of time”–and many more have been added.  For example, 14th century dwellers valued burning cats, believing they were Satan’s minions.  With all the cat burning, rats ran rampant– spreading the bubonic plague which killed 200 million people. So that value’s out.

The use of toilet paper wasn’t even around at “the dawn of time” to be valued, yet our beliefs have evolved so that TP it is now widely supported–though perhaps not by everybody if the website’s creator is to be believed.  And slavery, much used in biblical times, is now thankfully illegal. Many kinds of discrimination are now illegal too — though there is still more work to be done.

As to who is behind the opposition site, this man is already taking credit for it, as you can see from this screenshot:

The author, who calls himself only “Jim,” says he’s from Tennessee and is a teacher at an unaccredited local religious school. This is probably Helena Christian School or Last Chance Academy.  In his spare time, he hunts with Rep. Mike Miller (R-HD 84).

Jim says he attended a theological seminary but appears to have dropped out saying he “found that it wasn’t “theological” enough.”   Among the problems Jim found with the the theological school was that it had an Office of Women’s Concerns:

“as if the Bible doesn’t say enough against the role of women’s general LEADERSHIP over the local church.”

He believes that environmentalists are “evil” and that environmentalism is “a religion of human sacrifice.”  As proof of this, Jim explains that the ban on the carcinogenic chemical pesticide DDT was a government conspiracy to “exterminate” more people with malaria than Mao, Stalin, and Hitler killed combined.

If you live in Helena,  and do not want these views incorporated into your city government, do not dispair. Send an email in support of the ordinance and against a bizarre amendment (more on that later) to the city commission at publiccomments@helenamt.gov   The idea will have its next hearing on December 17th.

REALLY?! TEA Party Lawmaker: Returning Bison to Tribes Part of Communist Plot to Drive Gas to $25/gallon

TEA Partiers huddle at a GOP event, perhaps to discuss how glad they are that women aren’t present. Pictured are Eric Olsen (left), Rep. Krayton Kerns (center) and Congressman Dennis Rehberg (right)

A new conspiracy is afoot in the Big Sky, according to a TEA Party Republican state legislator.

TEA Party Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns (R-Laurel) has written on his website that returning bison to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation is part of a communist plot to “crush the Republic” and drive gas prices to $25/gallon. In case you’re one of the few people who doesn’t immediately grasp the obvious connection between bison and $25 gas, Kerns kindly explains how the plot will go down.

First, Walt Disney’s cartoon “Bambi” brainwashed the masses to the extent that “state sponsored worship of the earth and creation surpassed worship of our Creator.”

Returning wild bison to the Fort Peck reservation:

“is the second of a four step process to crush the republic and bring our populace into perfect dependence on big government—just as Karl Marx dreamed”

The third step in the Marxist plot, says Kerns, is that “bison will overpopulate” and soon “thousands” will be “ravaging” the area.

Finally, Kerns rationally concludes,

“The world’s economy will grind to a halt due to instability in the Middle East driving the price of gasoline over $25 per gallon.”

Read more about the conspiracy on Kern’s website. I’ve also got screenshots here, here, and here.

Rep. Kerns is outraged that wild, genetically pure bison have returned to tribal lands on the Great Plains. The move reunites American Indians with the iconic species that has been a fundamental part of their culture and the prairie ecosystem. I’m not sure how Kerns would explain the fact that gas prices have actually gone down since the bison were returned to Fort Peck.  

Sounding the alarm about this conspiracy will no doubt be a key component of the TEA Party’s message this fall.  How anyone could believe this stuff is a puzzle, but what the TEA Party lacks in intelligence, they more than make up in rage.    When a TEA Party candidate arrives at your door this fall to share their anger over this latest conspiracy, do not panic.  Simply hold up a book, which should make any tea baggers desirous of leaving your immediate vicinity. (It works like a crucifix on vampires.)

Rep. Kerns is the same TEA Party Republican that compared Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to a rutting bulldog.  Sandra Fluke is the woman Rush Limbaugh called a slut for asking that since Viagra is covered by insurance, so should birth control.

TEA Party Legislator: Birth Control is “Death Nail in Coffin of our Republic”

TEA Partiers huddle at a GOP event, perhaps to discuss how glad they are that few women are present. Pictured are Eric Olsen, Krayton Kerns (center) and Dennis Rehberg

The folks at the Western Ag Reporter understand that what goes on inside the mind of TEA Party Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns is important.   So important,  in fact, that his words merited front page real estate in the last edition of the paper.  This way, we can all get a peek at how a mind of this caliber thinks.  (Hint, it barely does.)

More than anything,  Krayton Kerns is angry.

He’s angry that Sandra Fluke dared to say that birth control was $1000 per year, a great expense for many.

Krayton’s idea of illustrating how angry we should be about Fluke’s statement is to wax nostalgic about his own life experiences. He tells us of a dog he knew in vet school that earned that amount each month in stud fees.

Krayton Kerns is angry because he believes that birth control is the “death nail in the coffin of our Republic.”  And, he’s angry because he believes that it was Mitt Romney who made birth control the focus of the 2012 elections.  Now, because of this, Krayton Kerns says the conservatives are “screwed.”

A PDF of the entire piece can be read here. WARNING: Reading his column means losing four minutes of your life you can never get back.

DOH! Meet the Montana TEA Party’s Keystone Kops

Rep. Tom Burnett (R-Bozeman)

The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices rejected a complaint by TEA Party Republicans this week. They claimed that their voting records on public spending and personal largesse were misrepresented by local Democrats.

The TEA Party legislature tried to shut down the state by blocking education and jobs–claiming a fake budget crisis, but the facts shows Tea Party lawmakers grabbing from the government trough.

Rep. Tom Burnett, of Bozeman, and Rep. Cleve Loney, of Great Falls, had filed a complaint against a flyer that exposed the big bump in taxpayer-funded personal compensation they gave themselves–while cutting education, jobs, and food for Montana families.   In an attempt to hide their hypocrisy from their base of low information voters, Burnett and Loney tried to claim that the campaign materials were untrue.

Cyndi Baker (left) and Rep. Cleve Loney R-Great Falls (right)

Rep. Cleve Loney (R-Great Falls) with megaphone.

Here’s where the story goes Keystone Kops.  It’s a classic case of TEA Party dysfunction and imbecility.  The law on which Burnett and Loney had tried to base their complaint–a law against misrepresenting voting records–has already been struck down in a case brought by the Tea Party-aligned Western Tradition Partnership, the OPP ruling shows.

Yeah, that’s the same Western Tradition Partnership that bought the election for idiots like Burnett and Loney. So even if the flyer was wrong (it isn’t), the very group that elected the TEA Partiers got a judge to block the law the OPP would have needed to correct the record.

Montana TEA Party Calls for Boycott of All News

The Billings Montana Shrugged TEA Party has issued a “CALL TO ACTION” today (capitalization and inexplicable quotation marks are their own.)

In an email to TEA Party members, Billings TEA Party leader Eric Olsen calls for a boycott of all news.  The TEA Party leader  says the boycott is needed because news agencies in Billings and elsewhere “are complicit in the destruction of America.”

I have challenged all news agencies in Billings as well as others across the State to report fair and balanced news.  They refuse. …They are complicit in the destruction of America.  We should cancel our subscriptions.  We should not purchase from their advertisers.  We should do a mass email campaign against all of them.  We have the power to make real change happen. Unified, as one of the largest tea party groups in America, we can make that change start right here in Yellowstone County, Montana.

There is only one news source you can trust apparently.  That news sourse is the Yellowstone County TEA Party’s public access television show, The Patriot Chronicles.  The shows are popular on YouTube–each show attracting dozens of views, as you can see from the screenshots here, here, and here.

The Patriot Chronicles IS fair and balanced.  We report you decide, just like Fox News but without their political bias. Enough said.

Well, not quite enough actually.  The very next item in the email? An invitation to the Republican Party’s Annual Fundraising Dinner.

The entire TEA Party email is pasted below the fold.

Continue reading

Farther, Faster, Racistier

Drew TurianoHow many times have you heard Republicans hold up their hands and say “Hey, we have no problem with minorities, we are against illegal immigrants.”

This may be true for some conservatives, but others use it to mask their true anti-immigrant – legal or not – views. That has become even clearer now the TEA Party arrived on the scene–its members proudly wearing the confederate flag in public ceremonies and urging white flighters to make Montana home.  This kind of thing has inspired conservatives to take off their masks and show their true faces. It ain’t a pretty site.

Meet Drew Turiano, “TEA Party Conservative Republican” candidate for Governor in the Montana Republican Primary.

Turiano apparently believes that the ideas he espouses need no longer be confined to white supremacy sites. He sent out a mass mailer this week saying (among other crazy things) that his problem is no longer only with the undocumented and the “many murderers, rapists, and thieves in that group.” Turiano urges that the target must be shifted to legal immigrants.

I can hear the GOP defending their man Turiano now, “You can’t call him a racist, he’s not saying that non-white people are bad.” No, Drew Turiano is only saying that they caused “severe damage” to our “culture, customs, neighborhoods, crime rate, English language, schools, health care system and the general economic health of America” is all.

Like Nazi candidate Shawn Stuart, Turiano proudly boasts the endorsement of the Montana Right to Life.

He’s got so many wacky positions we’ve only just tapped the surface here, so read the rest of his screed now.  He wants the message spread about him “AS FAST AS YOU CAN.”


TEA Party Emperors Wear No Clothes

Those who want to come out of the closet and admit publicly their ideological opposition to birth control for women should just do it, and stop trying to hide behind financial arguments that simply don’t add up.

Here’s the situation in Montana:

Decades of a lack of medically accurate sex education programs and affordable contraception led to a huge number of births to poor women in Montana. (41% of births are financed by Medicaid).  Our state’s teen birth rate is declining at a slower rate than the national average. In Montana, the cost to taxpayers associated with teen childbearing was estimated to be at least $18 million in 2004.

Yet with a surplus of over $300 million, one of the first things the fake fiscal conservatives in the Montana Legislature tried to cut was family planning through birth control.  The plan doesn’t hold water for anyone wanting to call her or himself a fiscal conservative. Nor for those who want to reduce abortions, which are prevented through access to birth control.

Nor can family services cuts be justified in terms of TEA party individual freedom ideology.  Even if abortion funding was at stake (it isn’t),TEA Party followers should remember the words of TEA Party heroine Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged–which they surely all read, as the Montana TEA Party Montana Shrugged named themselves after the book:

An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn). Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?

–ayn rand

Schweitzer Burns GOP with Red-Hot Cattle Iron

It was a bad day for a few hapless Republican legislators in Montana Wednesday. These young guns from the GOP, who had excitedly volunteered, upon entering the legislature, to carry some of the flagship legislation for the Tea Party, got their hind ends burned with a red-hot poker.

Indeed, their dreams of legislative glory ended in a blaze of smoke and fire on the steps of the Montana Capitol today as the Governor pulled out his branding iron and burned a giant VETO onto a pile of Tea Party bills. It is unlikely that the GOP will be able to override any of the vetoes.

Schweitzer Vetoes HB 306

Here is the raw VIDEO of the event.

Some of these right-wing idiot legislators even wandered outside as the party was getting going, not comprehending what all the smoke in the air was from until they saw their bill number on the branding board.

The bills were classic GOP crap, including: a voter suppression bill, which tried to make it harder for people register to vote; a bill to permit the use of cyanide by large gold mining companies (companies that funded many of the GOP legislators campaigns); a bill to give sheriffs authority over the federal government in terror investigations; and a bill to overturn a voter-approved initiative to allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana legally.

Here are a few more choice photos among those making the rounds on Facebook today.

Hot Veto Irons in the fire

Vetoing the Voter Suppression Bill

Another pic of the veto of the GOP's voter suppression bill

UPDATE: The event appeared on Rachel Maddow last night:

Says Maddow ” this is so much better than politics has a right to be.”  Here’s the video:

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