Scandals, Monsanto, and Pirates Raiding the Treasure State

by lizard

I guess six months into the second term means it’s scandal time, and Obama has a twofer with the IRS thing and the AP snooping thing—really a three-fer if you count the blazing phoenix of Benghazi.

Scandal, scandal, scandal. How to respond? For Democrats, there are at least a few handy-dandy talking points from Media Matters Action Network regarding the AP thing.

Meanwhile, Monsanto scores big at the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman infringed Monsanto’s patent for genetically modified soybeans when he bought some of those seeds from a local grain elevator and used them for a second, late-season crop.

In a lawsuit, Monsanto argued that Bowman, a man in his 70s who has farmed the same land for most of the past four decades, violated the contract he signed when he initially bought the seeds in the spring. The contract stated that none of the harvest from the first batch of seeds, known as Roundup Ready because they are resistant to the weed-killing chemical of the same name, could be saved for replanting.

The CIA turfing with State and the DOJ spying on AP and IRS going after conservative 501(c)(4)s, so much fun fodder for the pundits.

And as those scandals feed headlines, corporate ownership of our food supply is strengthened.

Speaking of ownership, and closer to home, Ochenski’s column yesterday is a must read: Pirates raiding the Treasure State.

Big money can be persistent. But where are the Big Rigs?


  1. Thanks for the tip regarding Ochenski’s Op-Ed.


  2. Conservatives are using the AP fiasco to attack Holder.

    Even though this might not have been his fault at all, he is still a great P.O.S., perhaps the worst in the Obama administration.

  3. Big Swede

    Regarding the scandals.

    The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
    — President Barack H. Obama, First Inaugural Address, January 21, 2009

  4. lizard19

    here’s a comment responding to Ochenski’s piece:

    What’s funny, or not so funny is if you look at James Cox Kennedy profile, You would believe that he is the leading conservationist in the planet. on the board of ducks Unlimited, served as Chairman of the Colorado Division of Wildlife Commission and others. He has an agenda, As do his other FRIENDS who are buying up Montana’s lands. Slowly they will win, their deep pockets are buying our legislature and our courts. See the Wilks Family, See the Koch holdings around Dillon. Whats a few Million when they have Billions. This decision will make it to their Federal supreme court and our public access will be toast. Their Big Money will out last the non profit organizations that rely on donations for there existence.

    • JC

      “Their Big Money will out last the non profit organizations that rely on donations for there existence.”

      Or, as in the case of Sun Oil Company (Sunoco, i.e., founded and ran by members of the Pew family), that accumulated wealth may be used to start and capitalize a foundation (Pew, i.e.) that uses its influence on other foundations (EGA, Environmental Grantmaker Association, i.e.) with granting and donor-directed funding (“contract expenses”) supplied to nonprofits (“contractors” like MWA, NWF, TU, etc. i.e.) to control their agendas, do Pew/Sunoco’s business and assure that they take no real actions to derail the efforts of the land barons (i.e. push legislation like Jon Testers Logging Bill, and label those opposed as extremists).

      Accumulated wealth passed on to future generations in the form of Foundation assistance coercion is the ultimate form of legacy that the rich wealth extractors can create. Done correctly (and using Sunoco and Pew as an example) individuals like the Kochs, the Buffets, et al. can achieve some measure of immortality, as far as their policy directives and ideological “public benefit” philanthropy is concerned.

      So much more on this topic. Stay tuned…

      • Matthew Koehler

        Great points JC.

        According to Guidestar, the Pew Foundation’s Campaign for America’s Wilderness hired the Montana Wilderness Association as an “Independent Contractor” in 2009 to the tune of $304,500.00.

        Keep in mind, this wasn’t a donation or a contribution, but this was hiring MWA as an official “Independent Contractor.”

        Anyone can document this fact for themselves by looking at the official tax return 990 document here:

        Click to access 2010-412045255-06748c1d-9.pdf

        Go to Page 7 under “Independent Contractors” and you’ll see the $304,500 contract to the Montana Wilderness Association for 2009 clearly listed. Unfortunately, the tax returns for 2010, 2011 and 2012 haven’t been posted on Guidestar yet, but you can bet that the Pew Foundation hired Montana Wilderness Association as an “Independent Contractor” in those years too.

        Also, for what it’s worth, the Montana Wilderness Association’s official 990 tax return for 2010 lists only $7,664 in lobbying expenses for the period 10/1/10 to 9/30/11. I call a tremendous amount of unethical BS on that one, especially as MWA listed over $1,000,000.00 in expenses during the same time period. Source:

        Honestly, with all of the fancy, expensive newspaper ads, radio spots, TV ads, one-sided dog-n-pony shows, canned letters to the editors (coordinated by MWA staffers) and other lobbying efforts to clearly supporting Senator Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (and asking other members of the public and other politicians to support the FJRA) during the past few years, MWA claims that during 2011 less than .7% of their $1,000,000.00 in expenses was spent on lobbying? That’s simply impossible.

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