Archive for October 31st, 2006


Forward Montana is having a Trick-or-Treat party tonight.

Matt considers the tightening of the Montana Senate race.

Jon Tester is a very bad man because he…helps his neighbors?

A Big Sandy Kossak mulls over neighbors who would throw their community under a bus to keep Burns in office.

Why? According to former Abramoff associate, “Burns’ staff ate so many free meals at Abramoff’s restaurant, people joked they would have ‘starved to death’ without the lobbyist.”

Here’s a little preview of what kind of rhetoric Montanans will have to stomach next week.

Idaho’s gubernatorial race is now listed as a toss up; and reports on the recent debate in Twin Falls.

News of the bizarre: DC insiders claim the ‘Netroots is holding them back from challenging a wide sweep of races…? I mean…er…how do you respond to something as dumb as this? Are they just trying to take credit for 2006 successes?

Ron Suskind slams Bush administration over rendition, torture.

George Allen’s staff manhandles a blogger asking the Senator a question about his sealed divorce papers.

Unfortunately for Allen the passages from this book are non-fiction.

John Kerry slips up the delivery of a joke and is hammered for “attacking the troops.” Kerry: “If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy…”

The government is now going after unmarried adults with their abstinence-only program. Why am I paying tax dollars for this bullsh*t?

Hm. Maybe this had something to do with Air America’s bankruptcy. Certainly it mirrors the reason for the departure of Missoula’s affiliate.

Glenn Greenwald over Blitzer’s surprise at having his patriotism questioned by Lynne Cheney: “No sentient person could be ‘surprised’ when Bush followers attack someone’s patriotism and accuse them of wanting The Terrorists to win. That is what they do. It is who they are. They have been doing exactly that for five years now and one could quite reasonably suggest that this has been their principal political tactic.”

You knew it was coming: Colbert on Limbaugh.

It’s hunting season in Montana, and Justin is there.

Another publication has tapped Dennis Rehberg over Monica Lindeen. This time the Billings Gazette. Again the reasoning is weak, and the criticism for Lindeen non-existent.

So, why is the Gazette backing Rehberg?


Rep. Denny Rehberg could be accused of working around the clock. He’s on the House Agriculture, Appropriations and Transportation committees, a member of the Rural Health Caucus and a founder of the Rural Education Caucus. He’s been involved in writing the multiyear highway bill that funds roadwork in Montana and across America as well a writing the multiyear farm bill that can make or break some Montana commodity growers.

Again it’s likely Rehberg will be a minority member of the House next year. And it’s not like he’s demonstrated any willingness to work with Democrats. He’s a social conservative radical who will be relegated to the role of bitter critic in a Democratic-led lower house. You think Democratic leaders will want to reward Rehberg’s years of partisan bickering with juicy appropriations?

The Gazette also bravely tried to portray Rehberg as an independent-minded lawmaker who’s not afraid to take on the President. (Yeah, I heard Rehberg claim that, too.) So…how did he oppose this President? Does he oppose torture? The current losing strategy in Iraq?

Rehberg, for example, has argued for expanded U.S. agri-trade opportunities with Cuba, which puts him at odds with the White House. And he’s defended the national country-of-origin labeling program, which has been repeatedly delayed at the behest of Texas cattlemen, packers and their White House and Capitol allies.

How courageous! Of course, if you don’t support Montana farmers and ranchers, you don’t serve public office in this state. Plus, as a rancher himself, it seems that particular legislation actually helps himself.

But what apparently put Rehberg over the top for the Gazette was Rehberg’s commitment to alternative energy and high-tech business, exemplified by his tour of the state in a biodiesel-fueled bus. Okay, I’m joking about the bus, but the reasons for which they picked Rehberg are actually the platform planks of Lindeen’s campaign. This election I’ve watched Rehberg distance himself from his record and paint himself as a Democrat – and apparently it worked on the Gazette.

But the truly odd thing is that the Gazette’s endorsement mentioned none of the issues that Montanans and Americans are passionately concerned with: health care, Iraq and national security, and corruption.

Let’s face it: the newspaper business is a business. Period. Last thing the Gazette editors and publishers want to do is say or do anything risky. Like endorse a candidate behind in the polls because of divisive issues playing out in the community. That’s a good way to lose subscribers, no matter who you back.

On the other hand, what is the media for if not that?

Posted by touchstone

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