Various & Sundry for the Weekend

by jhwygirl

Please consider this an open thread.

The City of Billings is now publishing its city council’s emails.

Was the housing market stabilized or is it being propped up? That’s the gist of this NYTimes article:

“The choice we appear to be making is trying to modify our way out of this, which has the effect of lengthening the crisis,” said Kevin Katari, managing member of Watershed Asset Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund. “We have simply slowed the foreclosure pipeline, with people staying in houses they are ultimately not going to be able to afford anyway.”

Mr. Katari contends that banks have been using temporary loan modifications under the Obama plan as justification to avoid an honest accounting of the mortgage losses still on their books. Only after banks are forced to acknowledge losses and the real estate market absorbs a now pent-up surge of foreclosed properties will housing prices drop to levels at which enough Americans can afford to buy, he argues.

The Missoulian’s Native people and news blog, The Buffalo Post puts out an amazing amount of information on issues that never make mainstream news. Recent snowstorms have caused tremendous strains on the poorest region in the United States – the Pine Ridge Reservation. People there live in abject poverty (I’ve been there). Housing conditions are horrible. With blown-in roads, there is great concern over meeting the basic necessities of heat and food. If you want to help, there are a variety of posts there with links to organizations coordinating relief efforts.

At some point this past week I got interested in just, exactly, what the penalties were in Montana for DUI. This site explained the difference in potential penalties for first offense, second, third…and so on. Repeat offenses really aren’t that harsh – factor in ysuspended sentences, pleas that allow work release, allowances during license suspensions for work – I mean, for many it’s probably not much more than a major inconvenience for a chunk of time. And that’s if they stick to the conditions.

There are currently 15 people in the Missoula County Detention Center on felony charges of 4th time DUI offense.

Your dog’s carbon footprint is that of two Toyota Land Cruisers. The cat? A small Volkswagen. Even a goldfish has one – equivalent to that of two cell phones.

On the other hand…

Button Valley directs us to this story in truthout, that expounds on the green sustainable hypocrisy that is Governor Schweitzer along with AG Steve Bullock, SoS Linda McCulloch and Auditor Monica Lindeen.

2.6 billions tons of CO2 in the Otter Creek coal, and, come to think of it, the Gov’s got two dogs, doesn’t he? Boy – that’s gonna take a lot of carbon credits.

And speaking of carbon footprints….

Rehberg kicked off the 2010 election season with a nice booklet mailing recently telling Montanans that he doesn’t work for big oil – that he works for us. Whatever. Just because he says it doesn’t make it true – between his top 20 industries that donated to his 2008 re-election, along with the PAC $$ he got, Montanans are keenly aware of just who Denny’s working for.


  1. Big Swede

    Accepting money from oil companies or any other natural resource development industries have little or no effect on a candidates popularity with the voters who put them in office.

    The small amount of voters who despise “greasy” money will never be important to Denny’s re-election or his eventual rise to the senatorial level.

    • JC

      Um, BS, that’s BS. John Melcher was defeated in large part because of the amount of oil money he took from both in state, and out of state oil companies.

      There were active campaigns targeting Melcher for his cozy relationships with big oil. I remember that MTN kept running an image of Melcher standing in front of a banner at a protest rally, depicting him in cahoots with oil. They ran it statewide at the top of their news shows in the lead in, every day for a few months in the run up to the election.

      Melcher lost by only 13,000 votes.

      • Big Swede

        That’s debatable, all I saw was Melcher’s stupid cow ad, maybe Conrad knew that an targeted oil ad in liberal land would have some kind of effect.

        But really, he was beat by a non native son Burns. You can’t say a Repub. is not taking money or will be sympathetic to the oil industry.

        Denny lately has taken their money and run, run into high favorables and near landslides.

      • Big Swede

        And another thing, we just had 4 out of 5 Dems approve Otter Creek. Are you saying they’ll be a negative backlash, voters remorse? BS, they know the eco fringe is a non issue.

    • You are agreeing that Denny operates on “greasy” money?

      Man, time and time again you surprise me, Big Swede – time and time again.

  2. Big Swede

    Open, OK how “bout this one.

    Ya know things are getting bad when Tom Hayden scrapes off the Obama bumper sticker.

    “It’s time to strip the Obama sticker off my car. Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan is the last in a string of disappointments. His flip-flopping acceptance of the military coup in Honduras has squandered the trust of Latin America. His Wall Street bailout leaves the poor, the unemployed, minorities and college students on their own. And now comes the Afghanistan-Pakistan decision to escalate the stalemate, which risks his domestic agenda, his Democratic base, and possibly even his presidency…”

    • JC

      It’s only bad if you care about what Tom Hayden thinks. When did you start caring what he thinks?

      Or have you started to use liberal values to determine what’s good or bad? Who’s naughty or nice? A little concern trollish of you, don’t you think?

    • klemz

      Paris Hilton defriended Obama on FB. A sign of a populist backlash to be sure.

      • JC

        I wonder what is happening to the OFA email list? I’ve had to unsubscribe 3 times to the beg letters and self-congratulatory nonsense they’ve been sending out lately.

        Could a populist backlash dedicated to an OFA unsubscribe movement could put fear in the Obama back rooms?

        “Mitch Stewart and Natalie Foster: Thanks, but no thanks.”

    • Tom Hayden merely sees through the crap, which in this country at this time is almost like being an oracle.

      This fitful debate about the relative merits of Democrats and Republicans is a tribute to an education system and reinforcing media that has trained you all to think within narrow parameters and to never, ever allow yourself even modestly high expectations. Swede is proud of the fact that Denny takes bribes, JC frowns on Tom Hayden saying something painfully obviously true.

      • Big Swede

        “Swede is proud of the fact that Denny takes bribes”

        Not exactly, I proud that this is a non issue with MT voters, R’s or D’s.

      • The fact that we finance our politicians with private bribes was better stated in the words immediately preceding those you cited:

        This fitful debate about the relative merits of Democrats and Republicans is a tribute to an education system and reinforcing media that has trained you all to think within narrow parameters and to never, ever allow yourself even modestly high expectations.

        You only said what I said a little more pithily. Well done.

      • JC

        What frown? ;-)

  3. problembear

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  4. Pronghorn

    thoughts on The Second Coming

    –one of my favorite (dark) poems. I read it at my neighborhood book club meeting when we were to bring a poem to share. It was met with pretty much stony silence, I mean, kind of a downer for book club, or they didn’t know what to make of it.

    I have a Peanuts strip that I cut out years ago–Linus, as catcher, walks up to Charlie Brown on the pitcher’s mound and says, “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” He turns and walks away. Last panel: Charlie says, “When catchers get hit with too many foul balls, they get a little weird.” OK, so that’s how I felt at book club.

    The Second Coming applied to the Iraq war

  5. Pogo Possum

    “….funny like i’m a clown? do i amuse you?” Problem Bear

    I wasn’t laughing at you PBear. I was laughing at Big Swede’s comment about Che Guevara wearing a Tom Hayden T-shirt. That is a photo I would love to have. Anyone have Photoshop?

    I clicked the “Reply” tab under Big Swede’s comment and it somehow appeared under your comment.

    I agree with a much earlier comment by Klemz about hating the tab function on this forum. It is frustrating.

    My apologies for disturbing a peaceful winter’s hibernation.

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