Archive for December 22nd, 2010

Missoula Moth

By Duganz

Last night on Twitter I asked if anyone would want to recreate The Moth here in Missoula. I figured I’d get two or three replies, mostly just people asking what I was talking about. But actually the response has been overwhelmingly good.

So far City Council badass Stacey Rye has signed on, as have local reporters Beth Saboe (KPAX), Keila Szpaller (Missoulian). I’m betting those three ladies have some great stories (hopefully not all concerning Dick Haines). And plenty of other people have said they’d love to come and at least watch the show, so that’s good news.

For those of you who don’t know what The Moth is, it’s a NewYork venue where people get up and tell stories to a live audience. Sounds easy, right? It should be.

Anyway, we’re trying to get a venue and a PA for the whole deal, but here’s what you need to know to take part:

  • Think of a story (any story) you could tell to a group of people in 10 minutes
  • The story can’t be something you’ve  workshopped, or read elsewhere; we’re looking for raw story
  • Write it out if you must, or make notes–whatever it takes for you to be able to tell it
  • Poems work… Kind of… You can read a poem, but only if you’re doing so as part of the story
  • Email me at

This whole deal is still in its infancy, but it could become a really great thing if enough people take part–so get on it Missoula!


by lizard

As the president scores some lame duck points, our state republicans are positioned to translate the national GOP corporate hype machine into actual legislative goals. Inevitably it will boil down to slashing taxes, which means killing state revenue, which means pushing local municipalities to make painful cuts in local programs.

All evidence that cutting taxes has the worst stimulative effect will fall on deaf ears. It has been disastrous nationally, so of course it needs to implemented locally.

Our continued economic malaise will be touted as the reason to put more money in the pockets of Montanans, but what never gets properly articulated is how we have gotten to this national nadir.

Allow Pam Martens at Counterpunch to illuminate a mind-numbing number that ALL of us should try to wrap our heads around:

On December 1, the Fed was forced to release details of 21,000 funding transactions it made during the financial crisis, naming names and dollar amounts. Disclosure was due to a provision sparked by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The voluminous data dump from the notoriously secret Fed shows just how deeply the Federal Reserve stepped into the shoes of Wall Street and, as the crisis grew and the normal channels of lending froze, the Fed effectively replaced Wall Street and money centers banks in terms of financing.

The Fed has thus far reported, without even disclosing specifics of its lending from its discount window, which it continues to draw a dark curtain around, that it supplied, in total, more than $9 trillion to Wall Street firms, commercial banks, foreign banks, corporations and some highly questionable off balance sheet entities. (Much smaller amounts were outstanding at any one time.)

A careful review of these data makes it highly likely the GAO will be releasing some startling findings come next July 2011. That’s when the American people will have a much clearer picture of how the Federal Reserve shoveled taxpayer money to Wall Street by the trillions. As a result of Senator Sanders’ legislative efforts, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is to complete an audit by next summer of the Fed’s lending programs during the financial crisis.

Our state republicans need to be very clear about how their proposed policies will help Montanans. Will cutting business taxes really translate into new jobs? What kind of industries do we want to support in this state? Is bending over and taking it with big rigs for a few flag waving jobs really worth turning our back on being good stewards of our scenic roadways? Is hurrying through reactive legislation to hobble or kill medical marijuana a good idea? How do we keep Montanans from losing their homes in the great real estate crisis that, according to some experts, is far from being over?

I sincerely hope our state legislators can focus on creating constructive legislative goals to help the majority of Montanans that are hurting right now because, well, that’s their job.

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