Archive for April 16th, 2009

by jhwygirl

Unbelievable the lives SB425 has – this thing was stalled in House FWP since the 8th of April – a blast out to the House floor attempt was made on Tuesday and failed – and a second blast was made today, which was successful.

Unbelievable.

Button Valley Bugle has really taken the lead on this ridiculous, foolhardy and ultimately costly to the taxpayers bill, and that link takes you to the most recent post, Devious Doin’s Walleye Welfare Is Back.

In its current state, this bill is nothing but a cover-up for an FWP boondoggle:

FWP agreed, when the hatchery was proposed in 1999, that it was not needed. They agreed to have it built only because proponents assured everyone that it could be run with funds from a warm water license stamp and would use no general license revenue. The hatchery was vastly overbuilt and now they want to repudiate that agreement and give the hatchery access to “revenue in the general license account or any federal funding available to the department.”

We’ve hit Walleye Welfare a couple of times here, too.

SB425 is on the House floor tomorrow, people. You can call the Session Information Desk at 406-444-4800 to leave a message for as many as five legislators per call. Phone lines open at 7:30 a.m. Your message will be delivered directly to the legislators. The TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number is 406-444-4462.

Locally, I see Bill Nooney voted to bring this out for a vote. Nice to know that Nooney is ready to raise fishing licensing fees for his constituents in an effort to subsidize a warm water fish hatchery.

Here is a list of how everyone voted on the blast.

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by Pete Talbot

(As usual, jhwygirl beat me to the punch here. I have some additional links and comments, though, on the petition drive.)

Please, before signing the anonymous petition that’s spreading fear and misinformation about Missoula’s zoning rewrite, get the facts. Here is an information sheet from the Office of Planning and Grants. Here’s the petition (note the clever graphic of the small boy mowing the lawn while a skyscraper is erected in his backyard). Fact One: no person or group is taking responsibility for the petition. That should be a clue.

One of the comments on the Missoula City listserve was this:

Bob (Jaffe, Ward 3 Councilman), I suggest the petition is nothing more than politics-as-usual…and has little to do with the proposed zoning code. Roger (Millar, of OPG) and OPG and Duncan Associates needn’t spend time and energy in responding.

There’s an election coming up. Wedge issues are being formed. The petition is quite explicit about who’s being set up as targets: “Mayor Engen, city planners, and City Council members who advocate greater density.” Those who sign the petition are simply being asked (a) to invest themselves into political positions and (b) to provide contact information to political campaigns.

This statement is very accurate, but I’d also suggest that whoever is circulating this petition believes that the zoning rewrite is the death knell for neighborhoods and is trying to get others just as scared. OPG, the mayor’s office and council should respond.

In her post, jhwygirl poses the question as to whether the anonymous petition is violating campaign law. I’m no lawyer (collective sigh of relief) but I’ve been involved in a few campaigns. At this point, since the petition isn’t aimed at a candidate or issue that’s on any ballot, I’d say no. However, if it is used as an organizing tool to raise money, elect or defeat candidates, or sway opinion on a ballot issue in the upcoming municipal elections, then whoever is behind the petition would need to file as a political action committee.

by Bob Gentry

This piece is cross-posted from Left in the West. We’re happy to have it. – j-girl

In response to a 5 year old Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU, today the US Department of Justice released four memos generated during the Bush years by US DOJ Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) attorneys. The OLC is a component of the Justice Department created to provide “objective” legal advice to the AG and to resolve legal disputes among federal agencies. Each of these memos was directed to the attention of John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, and provided “legal opinions” regarding a few questions he had.

Here are the memos:

August 1, 2002, Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, Interrogation of al Qaeda Operative, by Jay S. Bybee

May 10, 2005, Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, by Steven Bradbury

May 10, 2005, Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, by Steven Bradbury

May 30, 2005 Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, by Steven Bradbury

I’ve read parts of all of them and all I could stomach of the August 1, 2002 memo by the Honorable Jay S. Bybee (now a Bush appointed 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge). I was on the verge of retching, not so much because of the graphic content of the memos, but because of the macabre torture of the rule of law set forth in every sterile sentence of these redacted memos. They are, quite simply, red hot insanity.

The August 2002 memo was written in response to questions from Rizzo about 10 techniques used on Abu Zubaydah. In short, Bybee lays out the questions from Rizzo, describes the 10 techniques, and then decides that none of them constitutes torture. If the subject weren’t so tragic, parts of the memo would be hilarious. Lucky for them that no judge had to decide whether the memo was an accurate statement of the law.

Whoops, the author is now a federal judge.
Continue Reading »

by Pete Talbot

Not really. But Ward 3 Councilman Bob Jaffe employed his wry wit to kick off a serious discussion of Missoula’s marijuana laws.

This morning we started the day at 8:00 am with alcohol and marijuana. First we approved the purchase of a bunch of field sobriety kits, motorcycle and in-car video camera systems, and funding for the underage drinking prevention program … “

Jaffe then went on to explain that Initiative 2, which was passed by Missoula voters in 2006 and was meant to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a low priority for law enforcement, didn’t affect city (or university) police.

And he gave a well-reasoned explanation as to why this initiative should also apply to city law enforcement. First, his entire comment is below the fold. Second, at the end of his comment, he has a cool map you can click on that shows how Missoula’s precincts voted on this initiative. Third, and I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, if you’re interested in Missoula politics, you have to subscribe to this site (which covers city council committee meetings and other city business).

Continue Reading »

Montana massacre

by Pete Talbot

“Ripped from today’s headlines,” as they like to say on those television teases for Law and Order.

I was cruising Left in the West when one of the ads on its home page caught my attention. I always thought I was immune to website advertising but I guess those ads really do work.

Anyway, the headline said, “Massacre in Montana,” so I had to click on it. Turns out it was a promo for a recently published book. The ad had a slick little trailer, too, that looked like a real TV news story.

The book is about a group of terrorists who take over an exclusive ski resort named the ‘Jefferson Club’ (gosh, I wonder where the author got the idea for that) and then hold AIG/Bernie Madoff-type executives hostage.

Not sure who the bad guys are. Guess I’ll have to buy the book.




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