Archive for January 27th, 2008

by Rebecca Schmitz

Once again, one of the nicest people in Montana politics has been treated shabbily–by his own party. Even though he’s currently on his honeymoon in China, I hope someone told Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger about this latest snub before it occurred.

John McCain unexpectedly gave chairmanship of his Montana campaign to former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Saturday. The position had belonged to Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger for four weeks.

There’s something ironic about the Republican champion of campaign finance reform handing the reins of his Montana campaign to a lobbyist who, in the past, was one of the biggest recipients of K Street’s largesse. Huh. I guess that old saying is true: opposites attract. Nevertheless, the Governor’s office is taking the high road on this one.

“John is honored to support McCain and is also happy to see former senator Burns jump on board,” said Sarah Elliott, a spokeswoman for the governor.

It’s nice to see someone rising about the tawdry pettiness that has characterized Montana–and party–politics over the past year. The spectacle of our state’s Republicans treating Bohlinger so ungenerously over the past several months is the perfect follow-up to the childish behavior of the the 2007 Legislature (for which Legislators would like to blame everyone but themselves). When Executive Director Chris Wilcox refused to allow him to attend the party’s convention last summer, pretending tickets weren’t available, it was a pathetic nadir in Montana partisan politics. Because Wilcox, Erik Iverson and other GOP officials are determined to engage in a kind of behavior not seen since high school, I have some advice for our Lieutenant Governor straight out of those tedious four years: find another clique, Mr. Bohlinger. The jocks don’t want you to eat lunch at their cafeteria table anymore.

***UPDATE***

Our liberal and conservative friends agree: the level of discourse between Bohlinger and the GOP is getting increasingly bizarre. The party’s behavior has regressed from high school to second grade. Now the message isn’t “f*ck you” so much as “neener neener neener”.

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by jhwygirl

The check is in the mail, right? Whoa-hooo! Yipee-ki-yeah! Right?

Wrong.

At least that’s what I was thinking when the idea of passing out a “stimulus check” was first being tossed around…$300….$800….and now, where it sits at $600. “It’s a bailout of lazy fat mortgage lenders who didn’t do their job right in the first place,” is what I told friends. No different than the bailout of Chrysler or bankruptcy ‘reform’ – which, wait a minute, wasn’t that bankruptcy ‘reform’ enough back in 2005? And now we’re at it again?! You gotta be kidding me.

1.26 million foreclosures in 2006, 2 million foreclosures in 2007, and 1.5 million more people projected to lose their homes in 2008. 100,000 in housing-related industries are projected to lose their jobs in 2008 and, get this, an estimated 100 sub-prime mortgage companies may go under. Hear the numbers enough and they’re drilled into your head.

Lovely.

I’m not alone. Spend enough time watching CNN or MSNBC or Fox News, or listening to talk radio on either side of the aisle (I get a few channels of that, being that I not only get the local stuff, but I also have Sirius), and you realize that there are a whole hell of a lot of people mad that they’ll be sent a check. I’m one of them.

I don’t deny that getting some extra cash won’t be nice – and that if they are going to do so, perhaps it should be sent to everyone – like the ones who really need it – but sending out cash as part of a stimulus package doesn’t do much more than put a band-aid on a much larger problem.

Which is the banking industry run amok.

So while congress is busy putting lipstick on a pig, maybe someone up there in the decadent halls of congress should utter the word “regulation.” Sure sounds a lot better than “bailout.” But that’s just me. Maybe bailout after bailout is a palatable thing for the masses.

Look, I’m no economic Einstein here, but it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure all this out. That check is a payoff in hopes that the common man doesn’t do a whole rewrite of the legislative and executive branch this November. I’d rather see a stimulus package that included reform and regulation of the people that put us here in the first place, and some cash thrown into aging infrastructure across the United States. That’s a fair start, no?

….and what will I do with my $600? I’m thinking I’m just going to put it under the mattress. Because that is exactly what they don’t want me to do with it.




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