Archive for February 20th, 2011

Their Plan

by lizard

Robert Reich has articulated a compelling breakdown of the Republican plan to use their tea-party trojan horse victory last November to make a three-pronged attack on Americans.

The whole piece is below the fold, and it’s a must read. But I think the concluding question Reich leaves the reader with is key, and might be helpful to consider while reading his analysis, so here it is:

What is the Democratic strategy to counter this and reclaim America for the rest of us? Continue Reading »

by jhwygirl

This post has and is being updated.

Why brave the ice and snow and cold alone – MEA-MFT is sponsoring buses to Helena, leaving from Missoula. Meet at the Adam’s Center at 8 a.m. Buses will return to Missoula by 5:30 p.m.
There are car pools being organized out of Butte, sponsored by MEA-MFT. I am working on more specific information.
There is a bus being organized by people in Deerlodge, which is apparently a rather organic situation – so I don’t have anyone there I can get specifics from on it – – but if you are in Deerlodge, contact a teacher or a prison employee or a union worker. They’ll know.
There are vans and car pools coming from Bozeman. Some are scheduled for 8, and they are currently working on possibilities for later departures. Still working on more specifics, but I have been told that you can call Morgan Smith at 773-515-4093 for info or to offer rides.
The Montana Organizing Project, a statewide coalition of non-profit organizations, churches, unions, and small business groups has put together a training session for Monday being held in concert with the Gathering at the Capital. M.O.P. members will spend the morning learning about how the legislature works, attending hearings, and visiting with legislators. They will then join the Rally to Save Public Services & Education at 2:00 (see below). CONTACT: Molly Moody, 406-529-8497
Pro-Choice Montana will also be holding a mini-training session also – in concert with the Gathering at the Capital. This legislative session, has proven challenging for reproductive rights as we face a record number of anti-choice attacks at the Capitol. It is important that we stand up against extremism and demonstrate that Montanans do not support bills that would jeopardize the health of our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. You must register for this training. Contact or email me at hotmail.

I will update this if and as I get info on other rides being offered across the state. If you have info, please below.

Did anyone catch Gov. Schweitzer on CNN this afternoon?

by jhwygirl

Wulfgar! at Left in the West gets the hat tip on this one.

From Friday’s hearings, detailed in several posts below. Watch Superstar State Representative Ellie Hill (HD-94) take on the Montana’s Christian Taliban’s Reverend Harris Himes.

Rep. Hill? THANK YOU.

This is a civilized society. It seems that some of the GOP running these committees forgets these things. Every statement does not fall under “free speech” and inciting violence is not anything that should be tolerated.

And Rep. Ken Peterson, of Billings? 10 minutes is not a public hearing.

You represent ALL, not just those than elected you. You are a disgrace to the state bar (if you hold it); a disgrace to the House Judiciary; and a disgrace to the Montana Legislature.

And pulling for seventeen executive actions in House Judicary on Monday morning, in less than 4 hours? That leaves no time for meaningful discussion between legislators – but that’s exactly what you want now, isn’t it?

You are a disgrace to democracy.

by problembear

Montana- are you as mad as i am?

watch live streaming of democracy rising in wisconsin here

What has the tea party done for you?

  • prevented real health insurance reform and allowed insurance cartels to monopolize our health care delivery system so that the average annual out of pocket cost of health insurance by both employers and employees for the average four person family is now over $1119.89 per month.what is important to remember is that this figure doesn’t even count the amount of the deductible and co-pays most families really pay for this insurance. when you combine the avg premium with the avg deductible and co-pay, americans and their employers pay in excess of $15,500.00 per year.
  • Canadians pay out of pocket only $104.00 per month for a four person family only $1248.00 per year. no deductible and no co-pay.

next time some poor gullible tea party person buttonholes you and explains the benefits of their corporate master serving agenda, please remind them of what the tea party has done for us regarding health insurance reform. and i don’t care what happens to the piece of cowardly Baucus-sausage that made it through congress under the guise of health care reform a couple of years ago. that legislation turned its back on the 70% of americans that wanted singlepayer like canada or at least public option insurance to break up the monopoly of our private health insurers. it’s dead to most americans.

the tea party has already destroyed delayed our best chance at affordable health care in this country.  and now they are setting out to destroy women’s rights, schools, labor laws, laws that protect us from corporate greed like pollution, extinction of species, and even deny modern scientific principles in furtherance of extremist religious beliefs. they promote racism and hatred toward everyone not born white, male and (ostensibly) straight in the usa.

it is time to write the epitaph to this party in 2012 and even sooner by recalling the candidates who won office on their people-hating corporate serving platforms. the volcano is erupting within lower and middle class americans in answer to the greedy misguided goals of the tea party. can you feel it america?

i doubt if the people who voted for these idiots realized just how far they would go to make it hard on middle class families in america to afford the very basics while granting tax cuts to the very wealthiest 5% of americans.

i figure they have cost too much already. america’s middle class cannot afford the tea party anymore. it is time to rise up and demand to be heard above the corporate flack-jackals who run this sound machine for the benefit of the wealthy and start thinking about ways to create better jobs and make the things families really need like health insurance more affordable for them instead of more profitable for the corporate sponsors of the tea party. please remember this when the tea party attacks american democracy………

an injury to one is an injury to all.


There is a great blog post over at the Economist highlighting an academic paper that studied the responsiveness of legislation and policies to the wishes of different income groups.  Basically, government policies are very responsive to the opinions of the richest members of society, and almost completely ignore the opinions of the lower income groups.

But… we all pretty much already knew this.  but its still worth a read.

by Pete Talbot

Of course, with his excellent taxpayer paid health care, he’d get state-of-the-art treatment.  If, however, he was a lower or middle-class man or woman seeking affordable treatment in Montana, his options would be limited.  Whether it was an STD or some other reproductive health issue, or just some condoms, considering the bill he and his congressional cohorts passed, he can forget about Planned Parenthood.

It’s called the Pence Amendment, named after a very nasty little Republican representative from Indiana named Mike Pence.  It’s an attack on Title X family planning and specifically Planned Parenthood. The vote was 240-185, pretty much along party lines.

Here’s a synopsis from Montana Planned Parenthood’s CEO, Stacy James:

In attacking Planned Parenthood, the House Republican leadership including Representative Rehberg, has launched an outrageous assault on the thousands of Montanans who rely on our local clinics for primary and preventive health care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, family planning visits, birth control, HIV testing, and more.

I suppose that the representatives voting for this bill thought they were targeting abortion providers.  But by restricting access to sex education and birth control, they’re actually increasing the chance that an abortion will be needed.

And Rehberg is leading the pack in this assault on Montana families, particularly woman who don’t have high-end health care plans like Denny.  More STDs and abortions, fewer cancer screenings, less access to birth control, the end of sex education for teens; thanks Denny.


All of the revolts are led by young men and women, many of whom are novices at political activism. All use modern tools, like social-networking sites on the Internet and texting over mobile phones, to organize and amplify their protests.

That statement could easily apply to the wave of Tea Party success just as it applies to the Arab revolts sweeping the Middle East.  And while most Tea Partiers might not be young, but rather old white people, are their aims really that different?  Both groups aim to achieve regime change, believe that their voices haven’t been heard and that the current government policies don’t take account of their opinions, and are angered over joblessness and economic forces beyond their control.

Yet the media, us bloggers included, tend to treat the two groups very differently.   We have been cheerleaders for one group; calling them “courageous” and “heroes” while “applauding” the “chains being thrown off.”  For the other group?  Well… the second group gets called “crazy,” “unbalanced,” “lunatics,” “domestic terrorists,” and even had their name  mocked in a myriad of semi-witty ways.

Conservatives are generally the opposite, cheerleading for the Tea Party as they “take back their America” while questioning how the situation in Egypt and the broader Middle East will end up ass-raping American interests.

Certainly this is one of the better examples of how identification politics can affect a person’s world view.  Don’t both conservatives and progressives champion the ideals of democracy, free speech, and personal choice?  But here is a good example of how the same ideals viewed through a different lens creates two different outcomes.  How do you get “freedom fighter” vs “lunatic fringe” from two situations exhibiting essentially the same motives, tools, and aims?

Obviously, from the progressive point of view the Tea Party is a rabble of seemingly angry, underbred, uneducated, elderly rednecks.  Because of this, we can look down on them, we dismiss their ideas, we deride their movement, and sarcastically and cynically comment on every Tea Party action or wrong step.  We are ever vigilant to the slightest faux pas, paying too much attention to the unimportant details because we feel threatened by their success and can’t yet understand nor formulate an effective counter to their rapid rise.

Better to try and tear them down what they say then to have real legislation that addresses the underlying issues fomenting the Tea Party’s strengths.

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