Archive for October 1st, 2013

by lizard

The next time I hear about or read about a Republican politician depicting environmentalists as job-killing obstructionists for using the courts to mitigate the destruction of extractive industries, I’m going to think about this government shutdown.

Let’s take Steve Daines, who decided to participate in this congressional extortion obstructionism. After helping to inflict the wound, watch Congressman Daines put on his other face for Montana’s national parks.

Steve Daines, fighting for Montana. And to think, just two weeks ago Daines was getting himself some good Missoulian in this op-ed:

Supporters of the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act have new reason to hope that action will soon be taken on this important legislation.

For one, a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee held hearings on the bill in late July. For another, the bill’s primary sponsor – U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. – says his fellow Congress members are showing a growing understanding of the FJRA and its benefits. It certainly helped increase the bill’s stature when U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., signed on as its co-sponsor in February.

Even more significantly, Montana’s sole representative in the U.S. House is showing serious interest in working with Tester on making the bill something Montana’s entire congressional delegation can support.

Montana’s newly elected Rep. Steve Daines has, admirably, kept an open mind and a listening ear, meeting with Tester often as well as hearing from Montanans with a range of opinions on the FJRA.

The act is rooted in the efforts of a diverse coalition of Montana groups to move past the longstanding gridlock that had left the state’s forests without new wilderness designations or significant timber activity for far too long. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge Partnership, the Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Project and the Three Rivers Challenge all succeeded in bringing together environmentalists and loggers, recreationists and conservationists to the same table.

Tester introduced the results of their hard work into Congress in July 2009 with the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. It would mandate logging on at least 100,000 acres of national forestland in Montana, change 370,000 acres of wilderness study areas into recreation areas and designate 667,000 acres as wilderness.

Some folks quibble that the bill doesn’t do enough to satisfy wilderness advocates. Others argue that it fails to guarantee timber projects won’t be locked up in court battles.

You can read more at the link, but you get the idea.

You can also read more about what a nice messaging-vehicle the Missoulian is for Steve Daines, but I’d read it here.

It’s fun watching a newspaper play patty-cake with a politician who is inflicting pain on its readers. Thanks, Missoulian!

Which brings up a good question, are those feeling the impacts of the government shutdown actually consumers of the Missoulian’s product? I hope the Missoulian’s editorial staff doesn’t share the sentiment that their industry’s in decline because it can’t sell newspapers to single mom’s with a panoply of baby daddies. That’s what an editor by the name of Chris Powell apparently thinks, because he said this:

Newspapers still can sell themselves to traditional households — two-parent families involved with their children, schools, churches, sports, civic groups, and such.

But newspapers cannot sell themselves to households headed by single women who have several children by different fathers, survive on welfare stipends, can hardly speak or read English, move every few months to cheat their landlords, barely know what town they’re living in, and couldn’t afford a newspaper subscription even if they could read. And such households constitute a rising share of the population.


Going back to the language of the Missoulian’s op-ed, in the last paragraph from the quote, notice the use of the word “quibble” versus the use of “argue”. Also notice which side gets which word.

Subtle, and more to the point, effective.

I think the woes of newspapers like the Missoulian may get a soon, much needed boost. Since winter is coming, and this shutdown is getting going, and the debt ceiling is right around the corner, the people losing their energy assistance (probably single moms with large litters of kids) will need newspaper to start barrel fires in the backyard, you know, for warmth, and newspaper will come in handy for starting those fires.

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