by Pete Talbot

“I shouldn’t say this …” Conrad Burns said. It was the only accurate statement he made all day.

He then went on to insult Indians, Wall Street occupiers and the President.

He was talking to a small tea party crowd in Billings, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity and underwritten by the billionaire Koch brothers.

I’ve been waiting for another Montana blogger to write about this (Montana Cowgirl, Pogie?) but haven’t seen a thing. Maybe Conrad’s speech was so obtuse it didn’t deserve notice. I, however, think it might because it mirrors the far-right’s rhetoric of ignorance, intolerance and racism.

Ignorance: “Burns was there to ‘expose the Obama administration’s $40 billion energy tax grab that will destroy jobs, decrease government revenues at a time of exploding national debt and make America less competitive.'”

In reality, the idea is to eliminate taxpayer-financed oil subsidies and tax breaks, and reinvest the $40 billion into social programs, green energy and job creation, according to Forcechange.com. C’mon Conrad, continued subsidies for oil companies with record-breaking profits are going to reduce the deficit, destroy jobs and make America less competitive? Well, it might give the oil companies slightly less money to employ corporate mouthpieces such as yourself.

Intolerance: On the Wall Street/Missoula/Helena/etc. occupiers, Burns said: “I feel sorry for these kids. They’re kind of spoiled. They’re down there having a hissy fit. They don’t know who they’re mad at.”

Oh, they know who they’re mad at, these spoiled kids, it’s the likes of you: politicians who push economic inequality, and advance the financial institutions responsible for a recession that’s crippling middle-class Montanans and devastating the poor.

Racism: “We got a guy in the White House (who) believes all of us should be dependent on the government,” Burns said. “I shouldn’t say this, but he wants this whole country to become like an Indian reservation.”

Conrad is on the record as a bigot: Arabs, African-Americans and now, Native Americans. Those damn Indians … and after all that the government has done for them. (R.I.P. Elouise Cobell. Please ignore Burns’ spiteful comments.)

So Conrad is still out there. He’s working for GAGE, a Leo Giacometto/Son-of-Rehberg Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, and spewing far-right rhetoric.

In these troubled times, do we really need the former Senator sowing seeds of hate, divisiveness and malice. I think not.

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  1. Turner

    Yes, Burns is an idiot.

    To another matter: Is anyone going to the Occupy event in Helena this coming Saturday? The Occupy Butte group will be there.

  2. Pogue Mahone

    HEY, ol’ cornrad is a PARAGON of the free market himself. I mean, here’s a guy who went BANKRUPT, but picked himself up by the gubmint bootstraps and actually MADE something of himself. A complete horse’s ass.

    You see, cornrad owes EVERYTHING he has to pimping for the corporations as a senator and now lobbyist.

  3. d.g.

    However, Missoula opened its arms to Mutual of Omaha (almost as evil as the Koch Brothers) and no one said a damned thing. In fact, Ellie Boldman Hill helped them with their new-image campaign by taping a personal statement. So I think we are actually wasting our time on idiot Burns. We have some deep thinking and house cleaning to do of our own. The irony of houses with windows….always a little glass to keep clear.

    • Don’t come in here and tell the writers on this blog what they should be and shouldn’t be writing about.

      WordPress is free – go get your own blog.

      This also certainly is the least of places you need to be at lecturing on “house cleaning.”

      • d.g.

        jhwygirl. You don’t like me. I am fine with that. But my comment to Peter was no more off topic or requiring a personal blog than that by “Eric” or anyone else contributing here. If you want this to be a forum that mirrors your personal opinion (singular usage intentional) then let the founders of fourandtwenty say so for you. Until then, your comments seem rote, angry, simply that of a hot-button liberal ilk and unwelcoming to this site (which frankly, flounders in a bell jar like a high debating team where every one knows what the other person will say.) If Peter wants to respond to my comment, let him. You, dear, can get YOUR own blog. Peter and many others are wasting their time gnashing their teeth over Burns and Palin and god-knows-what-next-idiot comes down the line. Let’s raise the bar here and comment on the pretenders like: Max Baucus; Ellie
        Boldman Hill, etc. shall we? Or is the club closed?

        • Pete Talbot

          OK, d.g., here’s my response to your comment: former Senator and current lobbyist Burns is now rallying the tea party with Koch-provided misinformation and the far-right message of intolerance. He’s the perfect target for a 4&20 post, IMHO.

          Ellie Hill, on the other hand, is a local legislator. So she did an interview, as did many locals, with Mutual of Omaha? What’s your point? Your personal animus toward Ms. Hill is your own problem, not mine.

          As for Baucus, if you were a regular reader of 4&20, you would have seen numerous critiques of the Senator here.

  4. The problem here is that what Senator Burns said is correct.

    The Great Leader has been busy growing the Government ever since befire he was inagurated.

    And unless you’re not from Montana, there are Indian Reservations here, and the Dems are content to keep them a permanent underclass.

    When Obama was campaigning down at Crow Agency, and made a member of the tribe, he promised them a ‘new day’ if he was elected.

    Like ‘Hope & Change’ I wonder how they’re liking that ‘New Day’.

    Or tell me Pete, maybe we should all just pretend the reservations don’t exist ? Would that be PC enough for you ?

    • Pete Talbot

      You are so wrong on so many levels. Maybe you should be a fiction writer, Eric, because you have no use for the facts.

      First, the government grew more under Bush Jr. than it has under Obama:

      ” … federal government spending under President Bush increased 2X as much as it has under President Obama,” according to Business Insider.

      You go on to say: “And unless you’re not from Montana, there are Indian Reservations here, and the Dems are content to keep them a permanent underclass.”

      It’s hard to tell what you’re trying to say here — that’s some dynamic syntax you’re using — but if any group is working to keep American Indians as a “permanent underclass,” it’s the Republicans.

      One example, Rep. Rehberg (and most other House Republicans) voting against Elouise Cobell’s Indian reparations … you know, the lawsuit against the Department of the Interior’s multi-million dollar mismanagement of Indian assets.

      And what’s with this PC crap? Every time some grave injustice is pointed out to the right wing, it counters with the trite “politically correct” defense, as if fighting against ignorance and intolerance and racism is just being PC. You guys can’t do an better than that?

      Time to give it up, buddy.

  5. But Pete – The Great Leader had a full two years with the largest majorities since the days of Truman, and what did his regime do for the Indians, despite his promises ?

    Zip, nada, nothing.

    Keep them on the Res – keep making promises, ala Schweitzer, and trick them into voting for Dems – page 63 in the Dem playbook.

    And the way President Bush was forced to grow the Government in response to 9/11 doesn’t compare to what Obama has done, Obamacare is one example, that I believe the courts will remedy shortly.

    No Pete, you are wrong about Conrad, I sat next to him at lunch a month ago, and he’s still the good man he always was. I’m glad he’s recovering from his medical issues.

    • Pete Talbot

      Well, Eric, I’ve met Conrad a few times, too. And he probably makes a nice grandfather or neighbor or something, but as a Senator he was a failure: a gaffe-prone good ol’ boy with links to some of the most corrupt characters in D.C.

      By the way, what sort of legislation would you suggest the “Great Leader” advance for American Indians? What’s your solution to the plight of reservation Indians, pray tell?

      Finally, I’m glad Conrad is recovering, too, although his latest comments to the tea party in Billings makes that claim suspect.

  6. rawr

    I’m not about to stick up for Conrad, but I do take issue with your reference to “tax-payer funded oil subsidies.” You seem to routinely trade facts for talking points. Lying about and misrepresenting facts won’t move our country forward. We need constructive debate fueled by facts and ideas. I suggest you clear up some of your commonly refered to talking points at factcheck.org. For instance, your alleged oil subsidies…http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/oil-and-gas-company-tax-breaks/




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