I'll be honest, it really kinda made me sick to watch people at Montana Netroots bending over to placate the fragile ego of Andy Hammond. He wasn't smart enough to figure out on his own that he hadn't been banned. But sadly, most of us on the left side of the aisle want so desperately to have rational disagreement that we find ourselves placating the whims of the stupid and disagreeable. Why? What is the point of that?
There are rational conservatives out there in the Montana sphere: Dave Budge (drama queen, but still pretty smart), TMM (a true conservative and rational misanthrope, how neat is that?), Geeguy (thoughtful and willing to engage without the bullshit), and Craig (a truly good human). No one has any reason to put up with the likes of Andy Hammond. He's a Republicant talking point with legs. You won't gain any karma points for taking him seriously. You'll just get a little dumber for not pointing and laughing.
I really did try to take Andrew's site seriously, just as I did Coobs' so long ago. But they really only want attack and agreement. Witness Andrew's latest screed against the obvious good:
First of all, SCHIP was created in 1997 to cover the health insurance
of children in families that were not eligible for Medicaid. The income
threshold was 200% of the poverty line, $40,300 for a family of four.
states set eligibility to be over 200% of the poverty line and fourteen
states loosely defined child to include parents, pregnant women, and
Senators Clinton and Dingle like what these
states are doing and have proposed bills that would allow states to
establish the income threshold to 400% of the poverty line, $82,600 for
a family of four and allow children to be defined to age 25.
Got a problem with state's rights much, Andrew? He calls this a problem, that people be insured . The President has proposed much the same, giving insurance companies guaranteed business and offering a safety net to those who don't qualify for Medicaid. Children need health care that their potential not be derailed. This to Andy, is bad. A fellow conservative disagrees:
Our goal should be to give every child the opportunity to become a
productive member of society -- suffering from poor health care in
childhood is a good way to ensure that they won't make it. And right
now, we can afford it -- something that may not always be the case, by
But please note, Andy doesn't argue that America should offer opportunity. Andy argues that 'librul' values are bad:
This is clearly the first attempt at socializing our health care.
No. Not even. There is nothing 'clear' about Andy's BS. Andy is terrified that a society that builds roads and has made the strongest military in the world (through socialist practice) might actually protect it's investment through its citizenry through ... collective will.
But ya' see, Andrew is all choked up about the dollars.
The cost of Clinton/Dingle would be $85 Billion over five years
compared to $25 Billion if the program were left as is. To pay for it,
expect our taxes to increase.
My God, we might spend $85 Billion over 5 years to insure a healthy new generation that will pay taxes to cover Andy's fat ass when he gets old. Let's not do that ... After all, we're only spending more than 2 Billion a week in Iraq (which is $520 Billion over 5 years). Shit'o'dear! Taxes might have to increase for people to have health care (but we'll borrow our asses off to pay for the shit in Mess-o-potamia). Andy's wailing here is inconsistent, self serving and stupid.
I'm tired of the bullshit. I'm tired of the 25%ers who still think our country is goodly because Bush would be a good guy to have a beer with ... not that he would have a beer ... being a dry drunk and all ... what are you implying!?! Andy is just one more waste of skin, a guy who wants spending but hates spending where it might actually matter. A hypocrite. I'm done with Hammond.
Not Farm Boy Ryan posted a list of GW's achievements that Ryan cribbed from somewhere (probably a White House press release). Even disregarding the fact that many of those achievements were accomplished by others, or are despicable, or stand firmly against the public will, it is good to recognize success when it's earned. So, I swell with pride in offering this chart of Bush's success in the great holy War on Terror:
It seems that the Lie Monkey, Roger Koopman, has found a new scapegoat for his ineffective tenure in the Montana House. This time it's the Governor and the Department of Transportation. Roger had hisself a letter that appeared in the Gazette today, and no doubts will grace the Comical very soon as well. In that letter, he posts grave charges that the Governor and his cronies in the MT. DOT have made Montana's highways a kill zone ... or at least they are bad for not having done what they couldn't do, and pass legislation to fix the problem.
Notice, this is the same Roger Koopman who took credit while campaigning against John Vincent for having single-handedly made MT. Highway 191 a safer drive. (Hint, it doesn't appear to be any safer, and the MT DOT are struggling to do something about what Roger supposedly already fixed.) This is the same Lie Monkey who took useless Johnny Sinrud to task because Sinrud single-handedly killed Roger's pet highway safety bill. (I guess Sinrud isn't useless after all.)
But no, the lie has now changed, and it was the Governor who killed Koopman's expensive, tax-and-spend ill-conceived bill.
Considering our "deadliest in the nation" highway status, this bill was
a no-brainer. But MDT would have none of it. While claiming they could
take most of these actions already, no one at MDT wanted to explain why
they haven't. They just wanted the Legislature to stay out of their
business. Although the House voted for the bill 59-41 on second
reading, Lynch was able to convince one committee to water the bill
down and another committee to kill it.
There you have it. The weak-kneed Sinrud was *forced* to kill Roger's pet bill by the DOT. Face it, Roger is changing his story every time he thinks that he has some new rival. Here's the boil; Roger wants the fine Montanans of Gallatin County to foist him with the mantel of Governor elect. Roger wants Brian's job in Helena, and now he has to find a way to assassinate Schweitzer's service in order that he might run for the big chair.
The facts: Koopman remains mostly clueless about dangers on Montana highways other than his pet highway 191. His beloved HB 567 would have been a huge spending project. The DOT is already proposing a much cheaper solution to the Gallatin canyon highway, reducing the speed limit. As many of the commentors to his Gazette letter point out, the problem isn't the road, it's the driver. Koopman is hustling publicity ... just as a Lie Monkey should be expected to do.
But you know what? I'm in favor of Koopman's run for Governor. I want him to run. I will even donate money if he will run for Governor. Run, Roger, Run! Please, show us all what a Lie Monkey you really are.
There's been some bitchen' that the so called "John Doe" provision got 86'd from the recent homeland security appropriation legislation. Boo Hoo. Basically, what the provision/amendment would have allowed is that anyone could accuse anyone else of terrorist activity, and be free from the consequences of civil action. For instance, if a bunch of swarthy men were on your flight, you could cost them a great deal of money by having them thrown off the plane, and then be all "Whoops? Sucks to be you."
The whole point of tort law is that if one unjustly costs another material damage than that one is libel for paying recompense to the degree of loss, and possible punitive damage. If someone slips on your sidewalk because you didn't shovel the snow, then it sucks to be you, cupcake. You screwed up. Acknowledge, take your lumps and move on. According to the John Doe provision, you can accuse anyone of anything, and skate. Don't like the fact that the angry looking guy is in the seat you want? Send him to Gitmo. Got a thing against black backpacks? Report the asshole and let *him* sort it out. You're just John Doe doing your Patridiotic duty. Right?
Screw that. Actions have consequence, sometimes legal. I'd like to be shocked that the 'party of personal responsibility' is so in favor of releasing people from anything of the kind, but I'm not. To those who support such tripe, quit being a bunch of frickin' wussies. Reporting unattended backpacks will not get you sued. Screwing with others just because you think you can ... will. And there is no socialist obligation such that I need to protect your ass from being a frightened little wimp. If you want to report the bad guys, do it. If you want my help to protect you from you being an overly scared moron, no. You're on your own.
It doesn't surprise me at all how easily Dennis Rehberg (and most federal politicians) accept credit for the work the people do. What I found rather striking, however, is the willingness of the Montana GOP to foist such noble laud upon him, when in fact he deserves none.
I was going to write about this last week, but life got in the way. In the latest MT. GOP e-brief, Iverson and company get all giggly about Dennis' big coup, with the headline "Rehberg
Scores Big Victory for Montana’s Gun Owners". Hurrah! So, what did Dennis do that so greatly served Montana? It seems that OSHA was attempting a rule change that would have made transport of, or working with, ammunition much more regulated and difficult, not to mention expensive. It takes little imagination to figure out what the nationwide response from the NRA, and most gun-owners was. There was a flurry of mail and email expressing everything from outrage to financial concern. In other words, the people spoke. I was one of those people offering public comment, and actually very proud of the fact that our voices were heard.
Imagine my deep surprise when I found out that we-the-people didn't do anything ... Dennis did. A quote from the e-brief:
Denny Rehberg, announced the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) has caved under pressure and will significantly revise its recent
proposal for new “explosives safety” regulations that caused
serious concern among gun owners. Rehberg had planned on offering an
amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations
bill which would have stopped the new OSHA rule that would have harmed
Montana’s gun shops, sporting goods stores, shippers, and ammunition
That's right folks. We didn't change this rule through public comment. Dennis did because he had a plan, and he woulda' submitted an amendment, but didn't. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for my Representatives coming down on the correct side of an issue, but taking the credit for the work of millions of the rest of us, when you haven't actually done jack-shit? I'm just not real impressed by that.
Now, the slower among us might be real impressed by Dennis' smack talk (through his mouth-piece Iverson). They might even be silly enough to claim that Dennis *forced* OSHA to back down. Which brings me the newest online media outlet for Mt. GOP talking points, the so called Hardliner. Run by a dude named 'Carter', he did indeed claim that Dennis forced an office of the executive branch to change course. That should be laugh-out-loud funny on its face, but Carter doesn't seem to get the unintentional humor of his posts.
It'll be kinda fun to watch Carter blog the e-briefs as if they have substance. But more than anything, It'll be fun to watch as Dennis continues to crown himself with achievements of others. After all, this is your GOP:
As odd as many may find it, I'm gonna link to Andy Hammond, and I ain't even gonna make fun of him.
Andy put up a post about why we have to support the war in Iraq. It really wasn't a good post, mostly your standard Neocon boilerplate. It basically posited that we have to "win" in Iraq, or we won't be able to bring peace, love, happiness and puppies to the rest of the Middle East, and the Grinch will steal Christmas. But an odd thing happened on the way to the Forum. An actual discussion took place between Ryan and I in the comments. And we didn't just end up insulting each other's genetic heritage. I have to admit, it's one of the better debates I've had since high school. If you're so inclined, check it out.
Okay, bloggers out there in the greater Montana blogotubes: What do you want?
When do you want 'em?
How do get 'em?
Uhhh, I dunno?
That's the horrible thing about blogging; in many respects, it's that we mostly do it for ourselves, but want to share that vanity with others ... the world in fact. Some reach for the most controversial stance they can to garner eyeballs. Others become egregious and awful self-promoting pinheads (yes, I'm looking at you, LaShawn Barber). Most just do what they do, and follow the "rules". Post often, at least daily, keep the content as short as possible, pray your interesting enough for links from bigger bloggers and hope that it's appreciated by others.
Many of us have discussed that things are a bit 'differnt' here in the Treasure State. As with most all we do, our blogging is tied to the geography, and often the mindset, of where we live. Montana blogging began with a strong community; and though it's fractured, frayed and pulled every which way, Montana bloggers (and those who blog about the Big Sky Country) remain fiercely proud or extremely joyful about where we live. We may not all get along, but we have at least that in common, and it's damned well worth celebrating.
Colby noticed this, and being a thoughtful kinda guy, had a idea. Why not form an association to foster what we all want (READERS!) in Montana? Why not use the power of a collective to promote Montana blogging? Well, it's happening, folks. The Association of Montana Bloggers is here. This isn't a partisan kind of thing just for political blogs, and it it isn't an exclusive 'country club' for the "in-crowd". We want what you want, promotion of Montana blog-sites, and you're all welcome to join us.
Those of you in Great Falls know what a yeoman's job that David has done in promoting the city, as well as those who write about and from it. It's time to take it state-wide. That's gonna be a hell of a lot easier with a bunch of us, than with just one or two.
More information will be coming out very soon, as well as more online meetings. Go here to follow what's proposed and planned.