The Nation features Montana in its article on “Bottom-up Power.”

Marc Racicot emerges as a player in the prosecutor purge. Ochenski explains.

Baucus admits that the U.S. health system is “near collapse.” Interesting…

Much needed initiative reform passes on a bipartisan vote in the state House.

Montana Main Street blog has posed an excellent question: how to deal with the legislature’s increasing workload?

Missoula eatery denies a Saudi student serviceallegedly for racial reasons. Hubbub ensues.

Missoula city officials consider raising parking tickets fines, which are currently 2 dollars.

Between a rock and a hard place: Shane takes a look at utility regulation and doesn’t like what he sees.

Idaho ranks 54th in power in the US government, because of all those Republicans. (Check out the rankings: Baucus is 7th and Tester 83rd in the Senate; Rehberg 387th in the House. Montana is 16th overall!)

Larry LaRocco to announce his candidacy for Idaho’s Senate seat current held by Larry Craig. Julie Fanselow assesses the situation. Personally, I like Larry Grant. (The three “Larrys”? What’s up with that? What are the odds?)

Blogger Josh Wolf freed after striking a deal with prosecutors. Basically he has to turn over his tape, but he won’t have to testify in front of a grand jury. Wolf has posted the disputed video on his blog.

Now that Exxon-funded CEI admits that climate change exists and is likely caused by human activity, look for a shift in rhetoric from the nay-sayers.

Obama’s got the grassroots support and the money; Edwards has the people. Clinton’s got…panache?

The Great White Hunter Mitt Romney – the same man who said “I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life” – has hunted exactly twice.

Meanwhile, the New York Sun urges Dick Cheney to throw his hat into the presidential ring! I agree with Ezra: what an awesome idea! “Place a constant reminder of George W. Bush on the campaign trail [that] will wreck the Republican Party for a generation.”

Russ Feingold defends his bill pulling funding for the Iraq War if Bush vetoes the present bill.

Remember the claim at the heart of the Plame affair, about how Iraq had purchased uranium from Niger? The administration knew it was bogus.

Administration says it fired prosecutor David Iglesias for being an “absentee landlord” during his tenure. Because he was off fulfilling his Naval reservist obligations. Oops! It’s against the law to discriminate against members of the military…

Meanwhile, the administration crony replacing US attorney Bud Cummins – Timothy Griffin – apparently lied about his prosecutorial career.

Steve Benen analyzes Bush’s recent press conference, which he used to attack Congressional Democrats.

Digby on Grover Norquist’s claim that Bush’s base doesn’t care about Iraq; they’ll do whatever Bush wants: “So [President Bush] is not subject to normal political pressure. As Norquist says, the base will stick with him come hell or high water. (I believe it’s a mistake, however, to think it has anything to do with him personally — the base of the Republican party are authoritarians who will blindly follow their leader no matter who he is, which is why they need to be kept away from the brown shirt section of Macy’s.) This is now a mind game between the Democrats and Bush/Cheney. The Republicans in congress are nearly irrelevant except to the extent a couple of them can help get legislation passed and feed the GOP disarray. All negotiations going forward will necessarily be strategized with that in mind.”

Not that Bush would do anything scummy, like bypass the Senate to install Swiftboater Sam Fox into his ambassadorship. (Shane’s take.)

Creepy: video of Cheney lurking in the bushes during the President’s press conference.

Glenn Greenwald on big-media’s assumption that, if they say it, it must be reliable: “…do you have sufficient faith in the judgment and integrity of ABC News to rely blindly on its assessments, made in secret, about who is and is not credible when it comes to claims that could contribute to spawning a new war against Iran?” No, I don’t. Who would after the media’s stumbling on WMD?

The Nation makes a financial plea on behalf of bloggers: throw us a bone! (Man, I would love to be able to do this full time…)

South Park – literally – skewers Bill Donohue.

The British hostage crisis:

How Iran used the capture of 15 British Navy members to score points with the people of the Middle East.

The crisis displayed Ahmadinejad’s hypocrisy, and was engineered for Iran’s political gain, but now progess in the Middle East is possible.

And look at that — dialog produced results, a lesson the US government can learn.

Andrew Sullivan: “Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving. And you know who set them up to score this huge victory in the propaganda war? Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, who authorized all the abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere throughout the war….Tehran never had a better friend than George W. Bush. He has given Islamist thugs the moral highground.”

Glenn Greenwald critiques the way neo-cons wanted to handle the crisis.

Newt Gingrich, on threatening Iran if he were President: “But frankly, if you’d prefer to show the planet that you’re tiny and we’re not, we’re prepared to simply cut off your economy….” Sounds like a man who reads too many penis enlargement emails.

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