Archive for the ‘John Bohlinger’ Category

by Pete Talbot

And here I thought Sen. Max Baucus was retiring from the U.S. Senate so he could spend more time in Montana with his lovely, young wife.  He’s even building a home in the Bozeman area.

It looks like I was wrong.  The blogs are awash with the news that Max will most likely be the next U.S. Ambassador to China.  I won’t link to them all — they range from kudos to criticism — and you’ve probably already read them.  Here’s the NY Times story, though.

Now China will be his legacy since tax reform is off the table and the Affordable Care Act isn’t exactly being warmly embraced.

The big question: who will be appointed by Gov. Bullock as Baucus’ place holder until the 2014 election?

Ahh, to be a fly on the wall in those smoke-filled back rooms (although not as smokey as they used to be thanks to anti-tobacco trends).  Who to pick: Lt. Gov. John Walsh, Brian Schweitzer, Pat or Carol Williams, one of our Tier-B women (Juneau, McCulloch, Lindeen)?

Now former Baucus/Obama staffer Jim Messina is being mentioned.  How the hell did he get in the mix?

And if Bullock appoints Walsh, who will he then appoint as lieutenant governor?  (Bohlinger?  That would be ironic, n’est pas?)

I’m sure all these questions were hashed out and answered many months ago by the powers that be.  The rest of us are just along for the ride.

UPDATE: It’s official.  Obama nominates Baucus for Ambassador to China position.  Max’s appointment should sail through Senate hearings.

by jhwygirl

At least go check out the online edition. Jesse Froehling has the feature this week with a profile of Lt. Governor John Bohlinger. It. Is. Fabulous. I may be not-so-secretly in love with the guy (Bohlinger), but really – it’s a great profile. Good insight into the Republican side of things, too. Must read.

Another must-read is George Ochenski’s mid-session review. He, too, isn’t very happy with the “offensive bills” running up the score against the environment. Ochenski, of course, discusses the issue much better than I ever could.

Do not miss either.

by jhwygirl

I mentioned last week that I attended the dedication of the Western Montana Veteran’s Cemetery, and how Lt. Governor John Bohlinger spoke eloquently about war and its impact on soldiers and Americans.

I had a friend request a copy of the speech, and his staff was kind enough to send it. Bohlinger’s words are definitely worthy of remembrance:

Ladies and gentlemen, honorable veterans, and fellow Montanans, thank you for your invitation to share a few words with you today. I come to you today as Montana’s Lt. Governor, but I also come to you bearing another title. It is one that I hold with great pride, as it brings honor to my name, and the life that I have led. The title is that of United States Marine Corps veteran. There are many words that can describe a veteran, but the most prominent is honor. The men and women who wear the uniform of the US Armed Forces live by the words of John F. Kennedy, who said; ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

The lessons I learned in the Marines were the lessons of discipline and commitment. When I learned to submit my will to a greater cause, I discovered that sacrificing the self for the good of the whole, was really no sacrifice at all.

While the tools and strategy of war have changed, the spirit of the American soldier has not. Their commitment to each other and to our country has remained strong as American oak. A deceptive adversary in the Middle East has uncovered a new ugliness in modern warfare. A disregard for innocent human life, and deception, make up the strategy of our opponent’s in Iraq and Afghanistan. The face of war is one not easily forgotten, and life after combat can be an unfamiliar reality for a soldier. We have witnessed increasing numbers in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst the men and women who wear the uniform. It has been said that in war, there are no unwounded soldiers. (José Narosky)

If a soldier returning to the states does not find the network of support needed to reintegrate into society, then we face the possibility of losing that connection indefinitely. Governor Schweitzer testified before congress in Washington DC this year and told them of Chris Dana, a soldier in the Montana National Guard. He told them of the lack of resources available to Chris through the Veterans’ Administration after his tour of duty. He told them of the struggle that Chris endured after returning from deployment, and of the tragic end to Chris Dana’s life. In times of war, casualties and loss of life are inevitable, but the life of Chris Dana was not taken by a stray bullet, or a roadside bomb. It was taken by neglect. Neglect to bring light to an issue that has been repeatedly overlooked for far too long.

I believe that Governor Schweitzer said it best when he stated, “The federal government does a remarkable job of converting a citizen into a warrior; I think they have an equal responsibility converting a warrior back to a citizen.”

With this comes an understanding, that support for our service men and women does not cease at the end of a tour of duty, or even after an honorable discharge. Our soldiers need to be reassured that a post-military career, and life, will permit them to enjoy the American way of life that they so diligently fought to uphold.

Veterans make up 11% of Montana’s population, the highest in the nation. We are known for our patriotism and willingness to serve our country. Governor Schweitzer, myself, and Montana’s Congressional Delegation, will continue work for our veteran community to ensure all resources and support necessary are available to men and women returning from duty.

Seven years ago today, nineteen men of a terrorist network attacked American soil and took innocent American lives. In the eyes of the leaders of al Qaeda the mission was a success. In the eyes of Americans, it was their biggest mistake.

We will never forget the day that American liberty and freedom was attacked. Our American values did not falter in 9/11’s aftermath, but were strengthened. 2,974 people died in the attacks. Another 24 are missing and presumed dead. The overwhelming majority of casualties were innocent civilians, including nationals of over 90 different countries. Let this day serve as a reminder, that there are those in the world that cannot grasp the beauty and merit of a truly free society, and have dedicated their lives to threatening our way of life. But we are Americans, united under the stars and stripes, and we will not allow those who attempt to strike fear into our hearts oppress our American way of life. Our freedoms and our liberties are not granted to us merely by the grace of God, but they are upheld by the great sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. Let this day forever remind us of that sacrifice, and to bring the highest honor to our veterans and their families.

To the veterans in attendance today, I say thank you for your service to our country and your people. It is hard to imagine what the United States of America would have endured, and continued to endure, without your service. Thank you. To my fellow Montanans, whether you have family or friends in the Armed Forces or not, I ask you this. Extend your hand of friendship to your veteran community. In one manner or another, volunteer and be a visible means of support, for these are the men and women who stand on guard to preserve the way of life we all enjoy. Do not forget that freedom comes at a price and that we all must share in the cost.

In closing, I will leave you with this thought from Elmer Davis.
~ This nation will remain the land of the free, only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~
Saepius Exertus – Often Tested
Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful
Fraters Infinitas – Brothers Forever

Thank you, God Bless America!

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