Archive for July 19th, 2009

by jhwygirl

(With a hat tip to Wil_M…)

I’ll be waiting for the outcry from the right.

Fox News “strategic analyst” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters was on Fox News today, spewing garbage about 23 year old Bowie Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho. I won’t go through all the crap he was spewing, but let’s just say that this guy is a jackass and a disgrace.

A cursory google shows this jackass to be a darling of the loonies – here and here….and if you really want to get disgusted, just take a breeze over this garbage.

I really need to add a “jackass” category

by JC

Governor Schweitzer was on C-SPAN this morning eviscerating Congressional attempts to reform health care. HuffPo’s Ben Stein reported on his remarks:

“The second problem we have is that one of the least effective programs in terms of health care, in the history of this country, is something called Medicaid… Now Medicaid is a system that isn’t working, almost everyone agrees. But what Congress intends to do is increase the number [of people] on Medicaid so they could do it for the cheap. It is not working for anybody.”

Not working for anybody? Really? How about all of the poor people who rely on Medicaid as their only avenue to get any form of comprehensive health care? Works for them just fine. How about all of them people that voted for SCHIP and Medicaid expansions last fall? They liked it just fine.

Now what is happening in Congress right now, things that disturb us as governors, is first they are looking at the rules and one of the proposals would be that the way we are going to pay for a portion of this health care is we will turn to the states and ask them to bond, to pay for some of the health care. They want to do some financial trickery, simply stated, we can’t afford what we are doing today so we will get the states to borrow some money. Well we are not going to do that, because it is going to hurt our bond rating. We as states, we have as prizes our bond rating and this would tend to decrease our bond rating. By the way, the federal government, if Congress wants to have a health care program, then they need to pay for it. They can’t dump it back on the states.”

“If Congress want to have a health care program”??? Doesn’t almost 3/4 of Americans want health care reform? And if Montana (and other states) had a real health care plan, Congress wouldn’t have to act.

So our prized bond rating is more important than bringing health care reform to Montana and its nearly 20% uninsured population? Maybe its time for Brian to start thinking about retirement and heading home to rope up some ponies.

Gotta better plan Brian? Or have you just turned into one of them naysayers. If ya got some cards, ya better lay em out on the table. A few years ago you were singing a different tune, as you proposed a Medicaid waiver to expand coverage to the poor (or was that just some “must get reelected” happyspeak?):

As Governor of the state of Montana, I am focused on ensuring affordable and accessible health care is a reality for all Montanans with special concern for our citizens that are the last and have the least… approximately 19% of Montanans are uninsured. This level is unacceptable to me.

And you didn’t raise any concerns about Medicaid when the Stimulus Act sent $60 million to the state to help out with Medicaid for the newly unemployed and/or uninsured. What gives?

Update: Schweitzer’s interview on C-SPAN has been posted. Another notable quote: “What we need Congress to do is cost control.” I guess the good guv is calling for price controls? To be fair to Brian, he comes out supporting a public option, and looks to Canada’s system favorably, saying that Montanans would trade our system for theirs in a heartbeat.

by jhwygirl

And so it appears that is exactly what the lawsuiters are thinking with this past Monday’s op-ed in the Missoulian, what with the first paragraph:

A June 18 guest column contains inadequacies we would like to address. None of the signors of the June 16 guest column ever said to scrap Title 20. In fact, at the June 17 Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, we publicly stated that fact. We all agree that Missoula needs an updated, more coherent document. Some of us who were on council and some of those who are no longer voted for a rewrite of the municipal code, not a rezoning of the entire city. Big difference.

Sounds a bit overly defensive to me….

It continues: “No one is arguing that Office of Planning and Grants staff held many meetings and tried to reach out to the citizens,” and “It is not our claim that the efforts to update the ordinance is illegal,” and “The fact that the city attorney wrote six legal opinions still does not get us there.”

They attempt to justify the lawsuit that they’ve filed:

Some council members asked for a second opinion to get clarification as to whether Title 20 was a rezoning of the city. We were refused and stonewalled. At the March 3 Planning Board meeting, some members also called for a second opinion so all their hard work would not end in a lawsuit. The Planning Board did approve its version of the rezone unanimously, with three members absent.

Seriously? Not only do they have Nugent’s 6 opinions, they’ve got the opinion of attorney Alan McCormick (who hasn’t exactly been friendly to some of city council’s decisions) and even the Missoula Building Industry Association’s attorney kicked in with some sort of an opinion, too, that the rewrite wasn’t a rezoning.

Methinks that cracks are appearing in some of the curmudgeon’s re-elections…which is why the “clarifying” op-ed appeared on Monday.

Hear the laughs? I do.

The Republican’s have Teabaggers, Missoulians have Lawsuiters.

Ward 6 councilor Ed Childers summed it up pretty well at this past Monday’s weekly public hearing (and I’m working off of memory here) – that the ones that have filed the lawsuit and the ones that have been critical of it simply don’t understand zoning – and that the very potentially unfortunate thing of it is that it may result in a scraping of Title 20 because the level of remediation it seeks. That contact to each and every landowner in the city informing them, specifically, of how the re-write will affect them, specifically – is an impracticable and extremely costly mitigation.

And somewhere in there Childers mentioned the consultant’s cost of (what I think was) $250,000.

(Title 19 is our current code, Title 20 being the re-write.)

Pretty spot on – I’ve watched Renee Mitchell, week after week after week after month calling for people to come to the meetings; saying it was an upzoning (accessory dwelling units, which currently exist all over – including the university district); and saying that it increased heights of buildings (patently false).

Mitchell has all the trepidation of a 98-year old woman navigating an unpaved parking lot with a walker. She’d rather not go there, and so she is attempting to find any way possible to do exactly that.

The source of her pleas and Wilkins’ and Hendrickson’s and Haines’ and Hellegaard’s – let’s be real here – is based on what they have all clearly been seeing: That the public was in support of the zoning rewrite. Renee (and others) don’t like that – and so, for them, it was easier to ignore that reality and instead act as if this whole rewrite process was going on in some sort of vacuum.

– and you know how ignorant Missoulians are to what is going on in zoning, right? /snark

Have any of these malcontents (Ward 2’s John Hendrickson, Ward 5’s Renee Mitchell and Dick Haines, and Ward 4’s Lyn Hellegaard and Jon Wilkins) bothered to check out that big ole’ 5 inch think zoning book that OPG’s planner Jen Gress carries with her to each Planning and Annexation Committee hearing each week? It’s right there across the table from them. Every week. That is the current zoning book that OPG has to work with – filled with interpretations, it is result of an outdated and poorly written Title 19. That 5 inch thick book represents the murkiness that is Missoula’s current zoning code. That 5 inch thick book represents uncertainty for neighborhoods and builders and businesses.

It’s unreal that these city councilors have taken us in this direction.

And let’s be clear, here – Hendrickson didn’t sign on to this thing because he’s running for re-election. Hendrickson had tried for months trying to round up support in his neighborhood against the zoning rewrite – he tried to get people to sign that anonymous petition – and he got no where.

It was politically expedient for Hendrickson to attempt to remove himself from the lawsuit, but people aren’t buying it. Which is clear by his signature this week on the first post-lawsuit-filing op-ed.

Haines, who’s also running for re-election, at least had the guts to stick to his convictions, miscalculated as they are.

Wilkins, I suspect, isn’t a lawsuit type of guy – but he has signed on to the recent editorial, along with the previous one to which they were seeking to clarify.

Wait – did these guys and gals just want to clarify that which they previously wrote? Rewrite their past inadequate column?


Hypocrites that are going to stagnate this city, perpetuating uncertainty for neighborhoods and business.

Hypocrites that are going to cost Missoulians over a year of lost OPG staff time, significant community investment in time and involvement – and a cool $250,000 in the process.

Not to mention the staff and attorney time it’s going to take to defend this thing. Hell, I bet the city’s insurance that kicks in to help defend these kinds of things is going to end up costing us more, too.

Pro-business fiscal conservatives my ass.

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