Archive for July 14th, 2008

by jhwygirl

That’s all.

by Pete Talbot

(Here are some tidbits gleaned from weekend newspapers, a magazine, some websites and emails. This post’s headline is to be sung to the tune of Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” as performed by Johnny Cash.)

First, a little humor from Sunday’s Pearls Before Swine comic strip. It’s for all of us bloggers who sometimes take ourselves a little too seriously.

Both Jay at LiTW and jhwygirl here at 4&20 are promoting an ActBlue site via this link. Your donations in these critical Montana House races can make all the difference. For example, I received this email from a progressive friend in Miles City (yes, there are progressives in Miles City): “We need to raise more money for Bill McChesney…his opponent is a wealthy ranch/real estater with ambitions akin to Taylor Brown.” This race in HD 40 pits incumbent Democrat McChesney against Republican Jeff Harding.

Missoula County Democrats are holding their summer picnic. Here’s the skinny: “Tuesday, July 15, 6:00 p.m. in Bonner Park in Missoula and all are invited. This is great opportunity to get together with your fellow Democrats over a burger and a beverage, hear some short political speeches and generally have a good time. Local and statewide candidates will all be taking part in the festivities. The Democrats are providing the main course of grilled meat or vegi. Wayne Fairchild of Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures ( is providing the equipment and his guides will be doing the grilling. We are asking attendees to bring a side dish if their last name starts A – K. A salad if name starts with L – R and a desert for those whose names start with S – Z. We will be providing the rest. If you don’t have time to bring a dish to pass, come on anyway. We’ll have plenty of food. This is not a fundraiser although a donation of 5 – 10 dollars would be appreciated to cover the costs of food and beverages.”

Right below the pop-up food ad on the Missoulian’s website, there’s a story about Mayor John Engen, headlined: “Svelte mayor kisses 102 pounds goodbye.” I’m not sure if “svelte” is the word but congratulations, Mr. Mayor. Keep up the good work.

Harper’s magazine has a superb article called “The Wrecking Crew” with the subtitle “How a gang of right-wing con men destroyed Washington and made a killing.” It stars our old friend Jack Abramhoff and is a litany of malfeasance and corruption. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go to the library or buy a copy of Harper’s because you can’t read the story online, but it’s well worth the effort. Or, here’s a link if you want a subscription.

Sadly, there’s this news out of Afghanistan. The op-eds, letters and pundits say we’re winning the war in Iraq — that remains to be seen. For now, we’re losing ground in Afghanistan, which was our first mission. We have international support in Afghanistan yet there’s no solution in sight. The sooner we can disentangle from this mess, and let the locals decide their fate, the better. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have given their all.

by jhwygirl

It’s a phrase I used to hear (and say) all the time. I am a diehard fan. I bleed Black-and-Gold.

So when McCain was in the Steel Curtain town last week giving an interview to one of the local news stations, and he went on with a story about how, as a POW in Vietnam, he used to recite the defensive line of the Steelers when being interrogated by his captors, I was deeply offended.

He’s flip-flopped about his campaign financing and I’ve not written nary a word. He’s flip-flopped on off-shore drilling, and I’ve kept my commenting to a minimum (this one post included a reference). He’s flip-flopped on Social Security privatization, on defense spending, on balancing the budget, his thoughts on the media’s treatment of Hillary, the estate tax, FISA, the Everglades, divestment in South Africa, how to fight job losses in Michigan and investigation into the failed levees during Hurricane Katrina – and all of those were in the space of just 10 days – and it’s merited not a word from me.

Here’s an even longer list from The Carpetbagger Report.

But flip-flopping, in Pittsburgh, to saying he recited the Steelers defensive lineup when for the last 35 years (and considering he also wrote it into his autobiography) is an affront to not only Steeler fans, but to one (other) fine team, the Green Bay Packers.

Besides that – the Steelers pretty much sucked in the late 60’s. Here’s the view from Pittsburgh.

For God’s sake, man – you are a war hero, and I mean that will all sincerity and respect. Do you really have to pander for votes by lying about something like that? Did ya think no one would notice?

Seriously. My own candidate is flip-floppin’. Ya’all do it. I can ignore a lot. But using my Steelers for political gain? You’ve gone too far.

by jhwygirl

I noticed KPAX covered DEQ’s – or should I say Montana’s – woes in last night’s 10 o’clock news coverage. Good for them. ‘Bout time some local media start taking notice over these environmental issues. KPAX is underrated, I think. They do the very best fire coverage, and they catch some stuff that you won’t see on KECI.

If you missed my last post on DEQ, DEQ in Disgrace, you need to go back and read it. Like the title above says, there is only so much I can fit into one post.

With that being said, here are two items I missed:

Four conservation groups are suing DEQ to stop the Rock Creek Mine, a silver-and-copper mine proposed for the Cabinet Wilderness. DEQ is saying that no water quality permit needs to be issued, and the groups are saying that it endangers sensitive bull trout. DEQ attorney John North declined to comment, while Revett Minerals Inc. Vice-President Carson Rife says that the suit is “baseless.” This apparently isn’t the first lawsuit to stop the mine – according to the Billings Gazette, “lawsuits are piling up.”

Two other environmental groups filed suit against the DEQ earlier this month (gee, isn’t it only the 14th!?), charging that and air quality permit issued for a coal-fired plant in Great Falls isn’t limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The plant is being developed by Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission. Pete did a previous post on this very plant here.

That’s a tough one, folks. I hate coal – I think we should be moving far away from carbon-based fuels, and, besides that, isn’t there a whole bunch of wind up there in Great Falls? The plant, though, will be owned and operated right here in Montana. The electricity it generates will be used here. BUT, DEQ does have a job to do. Air and water, guys – DO YOUR JOB. GET IT RIGHT. If you had, you wouldn’t be getting sued. At the very least, you’d of involved the public enough that you wouldn’t be sitting in this situation.

Beyond that, isn’t Great Falls going to get a coal gasification plant up there by the air base? That would be exempt from any state rules – and hell, it might even be exempt under federal regulatory authority. Coal plants are bad ju-ju for the lungs, folks. It’s no wonder people in Great Falls are speaking out.

Speaking of speaking out: Electric City Weblog, BTW, has been doing some excellent stuff on this issue, right out of ground central, the City of Great Falls.

That’s the short of it…I’m going to have to go back and retag all my old posts on water quality and septic permits and gravel pits with “DEQ” – 4&20 is turning into a DEQ clearinghouse.

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