Archive for September 8th, 2009

by JC

In case you don’t understand what Max is saying, here is a transcript. Read along!:

“I’m just hopeful that when the president gives his statement tomorrow night that that’s going to help move the ball forward, and very expeditiously. Because we, the rubber is starting to meet the road here. We’re gonna have to start fishing or cut the bait pretty soon and I made that very, very clear to the group. And, um, so, on the one hand I want to work get a solution, and on the other hand I want to make it clear that we’re just not going to dally, we’re not going to dawdle…”

Hope that’s all crystal clear.

And this is the guy who was supposed to reform our health care system?

by JC

“The reason that I have a lot of friends is ’cause I got to give away money.”

Taxpayer money, that is.

Well, it was only a matter of time until the truth outs. The above quote is from Liz Fowler, one time Baucus staffer, then Wellpoint VP, whom Baucus hired on last year as “Senior Counsel to the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.”

For those who may not recognize Wellpoint, they are the Blue Cross overlord for over 35 million people–the larget insurer in America. Here’s the outing:

Take a look at the document properties of the pdf that ew links to above. The author is Liz Fowler. The Liz Fowler who was vice president for public policy and external affairs for Wellpoint, the nation’s second-largest health-insurance company, until she re-joined Baucus’ staff in Feb. 2008. She had done an earlier stint with Baucus from 2000-2005.

It seems that the pdf that Baucus just released with his 18 page framework for health insurance ‘reform’ lists Liz Fowler as the author.

Liz Fowler, as some know, was the staffer that left Baucus’ office in 2005 to pursue a stint at Wellpoint. Whereupon she returned and was tasked with pushing current reform efforts through the Senate Finance committee.

This is an egregious example of the revolving door in D.C. that is emblematic of the corrupt, corporate, big money morass that has become known as our current Congress. Not only does our senior Senator wash himself in corporate and lobbyist health care dollars, he takes on one of their own to write his legislation for him, and to assist with a backdoor PR campaign to push Congress in his direction.

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by jhwygirl

Had to read this in the Clark Fork Journal, given that there is nary a mention of this on the Missoula County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) webpage, nor the Boards and Commissions page.

Two unexpired seats need filled immediately for the Lolo Community Council. These seats are all the more important given that the Lolo Regional Plan is in the updating stages (the current one was approved in 2002). The intent behind the update as I hear it is to impose zoning in the area once the plan is updated, much like the Seeley Lake Regional Plan, which is running several months behind schedule.

Application for appointment to either of the two seats – which would go to special election in 2010 and 2012, respectively – closes Friday, September 18th. You can download the application off of the website. For more information call 258-3432 or 258-4877.

Good planning and zoning is important for this fast-growing area of Missoula county. Citizens who are willing to openly look at the issues and seek well-written planning documents can help ensure that Missoula and the Lolo area grows responsibly.

If not you, think of others you know in the Lolo community that would be good for these important volunteer positions.

Let’s not forget the gravel pit issues of not too long ago. Or the sprawling new subdivisions – approved in the name of affordable housing (yeah, right) that are popping up like leafy spurge and spotted knapweed along the highway 12 corridor. This important watershed is being poked and punched with exempt wells, dropping water flows to Lolo Creek each and every year.

The emergency zoning to stop the gravel pit? That was extended into its second year this past May – which means that some sort of zoning regulation regarding gravel pits needs to be in place prior to its second year expiration.

There’s lots of stuff in these pages regarding gravel pits.

Which makes the fact that the Seeley Lake Regional Plan is running behind schedule all the more important. May 2010 will be here so soon, we’ll all be wondering where 2009 went.

Lolo residents need to pay attention to these deadlines, and need to remain not only pro-active in this process, but pro-active with the BCC, ensuring that they don’t get caught with a too-old plan and no easy route towards zoning and land use planning of the area come May of next year.

The regional plan update is the first step in seeking resolution to the uncertainty of unzoned land.

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