Archive for April 2nd, 2007

Links…

Ed Kemmick on the GOP’s weird obsession with Brian Schweitzer.

The Good Guv’s tax-break plan for alternative energy development derailed by Senate Republicans and Jim Eliot, D-Trout Creek.

Health and Human Services budget augmented by Senate Dems and GOPers.

Senate Republicans help restore the state’s education budget.

Legislature about to kick millions in state money to billionaire Tom Siebel’s Montana Meth Project. Not crazy about this decision: do we even know if the project works?

Climate change legislation tabled by House Republican nay-sayers.

Drunk driver and Republican Rep. Scott Boggio repents.

MH’s Sunday links on Judy Martz, health insurance, Hardin’s new detention facility, the bad self-defense House bill, and that c*cksucker, James Cox Kennedy. I found myself nodding, yes, yes, yes.

Matt Singer reminds us who was responsible for the recent and crappy Medicare bill.

Tainted wheat gluten that caused pet food recall have entered the human food supply. FDA: *crickets*

The SCOTUS decides that, indeed, the EPA does have the right to regulate carbon dioxide emission from cars, a “rebuke to the Bush administration.”

Business as well as liberals want universal health care. That makes sense; business – especially small business — shouldn’t shoulder the burden of health coverage for their employers.

Tommy Thompson, former Wisconsin governor, enters the Republican presidential primary fray. Why not? It’s wide open right now.

And if Fred Thompson throws his hat into the ring, any re-run of “Law & Order” in which he appears would have to be put on ice.

Shelly Lewis comments on John McCain’s recent Iraq stunt, in which he tied up US military personnel and material in order to prove he could take a stroll to a Bagdhad marketplace, by gum! What an *sshat. (And the market came under sniper fire today.)

Take it from somebody who should know, military victory is not possible in Iraq.

Meanwhile, General Petraeus allies himself with the Republican Party. This should not happen. In fact it’s quite creepy, given the authoritarian tendencies of the administration.

Prosecutor purge is political, report shows: “No other administration in contemporary times has had such a clear pattern of filling chief prosecutors’ jobs with its own staff members, said experts on U.S. attorney’s offices.”

And a long-time Justice officials says Bush administration – unlike any other in his 35 years – politicized the department.

Attorney General…Orrin Hatch? Erk!

Wow. Here’s a scandal that seems to sum up the Bush administration: a government contractor that failed its task (a $1-billion-a-year reading program) has been hired to evaluate the program. Seriously. Although the article is dated April 1…hm…

The latest White House strategy in smearing a political dissident: they hint about his personal life to the DC press corps. Classy.

Um, remember those administration claims that North Korea was enrichening uranium? Oops.

An old friend of Dick Cheney denounces the administration. On Bush: “Think Dan Quayle with cowboy boots.” On Cheney: “A vice president in control is bad enough. Worse yet is a vice president out of control.”

America, this is your Republican Party: “That is the modern Republican Party. Its base, its ruling factions, simply do not believe in our most basic Constitutional guarantees.”

It’s a shame, really, that posts like this are necessary to remind us on which legal and political philosophies our country is based on.

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by Jay Stevens

Montana Headlines responded to my rant about national security and progressive values the other day, and he wrote a fair post that deserves a measured response.

First, MH took some offense at my dumping the Iraq War and its failures in the laps of conservatives:

Around here, given a choice between tax cuts and a war in Iraq, we would have chosen the former, every time, from day one. We would choose border control, domestic fiscal responsibility, stabilization of Social Security, efforts to preserve small farmers, ranchers, and businessmen, or any number of conservative domestic priorities over foreign military interventions. And we are hardly alone, since as we have noted before, there has long been what we call a “war gap” in the Republican party.

He’s right, of course. There are many conservatives who were, and are, against the war. Of course, in my post I consistently wrote that “conservative lawmakers” supported the war, under-equipped the troops, left them hanging dry upon their return, and continue to screech for lower taxes and against the draft, when increased taxes and a general conscription might have carried the day. (We’ll never know, of course.)

I stand by that statement. While MH would have chosen lower taxes over the war, a war happened and conservative lawmakers chose lower taxes, almost exclusively benefiting the wealthiest among us, while remaining mum on the piling evidence that the administration was grossly mishandling the operation. That’s well documented, and that’s how you lose wars.

As for the other criticism – for example, that Tester is not against the war enough, well, I’m happy he supported the recent vote for specific timetables. I don’t ever recall that Jon called for an immediate and complete withdrawal from Iraq during his candidacy. In fact, Jon was always vague on Iraq, calling for a “new strategy” that would bring our troops home. That’s exactly what he voted for. We’ll see where he stands on the Feingold/Reid bill, eh? So far it seems Jon’s been a team player in the Democratic strategy on Iraq. Considering he’s the lowest ranked Senator and that the Senate is pretty much evenly split on Iraq, I don’t see any other stance he could take.

As for the war being “illegal,” I think if you examine the Iraqi War Resolution, you won’t find much text supporting the current operation. Also, I believe that Iraq wasn’t a “continuing threat” to the United States at the time, that the administration was duplicitous in its case demonstrating that threat, and that, therefore, the basis of the resolution did not exist at the time of the invasion. Plus, I think Congress needs to declare war in a case where a threat wasn’t imminent (as it clearly was not in this case), as required by the Constitution. I don’t see anywhere in the Constitution that allows the Congress to abrogate its power, even voluntarily.

As for Malstrom…I don’t necessarily believe ICBMs are outdated, especially with the growing threat of a new militirized and p*ssed off Russia and a growing China. Maybe the 50 being yanked were outdated – which would be a good thing to get rid of, if they were – but who’s to say? As for getting a new mission to Malstrom, that’s really up to our senior Senator, Max Baucus, who has strings to pull.

As for above-ground testing and tactical nukes – I’d argue that their proliferation isn’t necessarily commensurate with a strong national defense, but in fact quite the opposite, especially in today’s unstable world. That is to say, that issue is moot, IMHO. In any case, it seemed a hasty add-on on MH’s part to stick the issue into the debate in order to uphold his prejudice against Tester. (Not a bad thing – I do it all the time – just a little awkward.) And tactical nukes could probably earn its own post.

Jon’s certainly had the bull’s eye pasted on his back, and a lot of folks are out to get him. I’m not sure why; he seems perfectly suited to representing the state’s best interests, even if we all can quibble over the details. Wouldn’t you rather have an honest fiscally conservative ranching Democrat serving Montana than a corrupt, spendthrift Republican?




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