This will be a hodgepodge post of this and that.
Posts like this never do well over time as search engines can’t really pick up their subtle nuances, frivolous flair.
Let’s just talk about some stuff that most of the rest of the world won’t understand.
I’ll be spending my Halloween in Helena this year.
It gives my mom and stepdad a chance to see my son Paul. My wife Evgenyia also had a birthday this week so we can celebrate that.
Won’t be seeing my dad or stepmom, as they’re on the Oregon Coast. Maybe I’ll see some of my aunts. I do have a lot of family in Helena, as I mentioned when I profiled the history of the Strandberg family.
When I grew up I first did trick or treating in the Helena Valley, well past Lincoln road. There used to be one main subdivision near about 2 miles past that on Montana Avenue, a few dirt roads behind it.
We lived on one of those dirt roads, Erickson Road. I never thought about it being named after Montana governor and self-appointed U.S. Senator John Erickson, but it probably was.
That was a good area to trick or treat, as was the 5th-Breckenridge-Broadway stretch of blocks around the capitol. That’s where I lived later on.
Hell, I may have even gone trick or treating around McHugh Trailer Park, as that’s where my dad’s been living for about 20 years or so.
Anyways, lots of places to trick or treat in Helena.
I’m hoping to get into the Montana Historical Society that morning. I need to do some research on Bigfoot and UFOs and cattle mutilations and Indian burial grounds.
Yeah, perfect Halloween fare.
I’ll be profiling my winter line-up of books here in another week, once I get the covers. I don’t know what the cover for “Paranormal Montana” will be, however.
Maybe that’s because the book’s not coming along that well. Actually, I’ve been sitting on it for about a month, maybe longer.
They don’t write themselves, so hopefully the Historical Society will re-energize me.
Curtis Throws Her Hat In
Someone who’s feeling re-energized is Amanda Curtis, who threw her hat back into the ring late last night.
I shared the news on my Facebook page and overnight, 10 hours, it reached 1,251 people.
Yes, people are interested in this woman running again.
And no, she’s not going for statewide office, or even national office. She’s going for the legislature, the Montana House to be exact.
What the fuck?!?
Yeah, you’re telling me she’s going for the lowest rung of the ladder? Boy, what’s she thinking?
I think it’s pretty classy, myself. Curtis could have ran for a higher office and probably could have won. I like that she’s going back to the trenches.
Well, could she have won a different office?
Melissa Romano staked out the OPI spot very early, one that many thought Curtis could naturally gravitate toward.
Denise Juneau kind of took the wind from anyone else’s sails when she announced her flirtation with the U.S. House position.
And…that’s it – what else could she have run for? Maybe a Montana Senate seat, but probably not without stepping on some toes.
I bet many feel Curtis stepped on some toes by going for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Still, didn’t we need someone to do that?
Why are we so excited about this woman?
We’re excited by Amanda Curtis because she’s a leader. She stepped up when few others wanted to.
But…that’s not true – Dirk Adams and John Bohlinger stepped up.
Yeah, but they’re old, entrenched, and not too exciting. Amanda Curtis doesn’t fit that bill.
We’ll see what happens. I expect she’ll have no difficulties raising money and I doubt she’ll have any serious competition.
To Bundle or Not to Bundle?
Steve Bullock needs to rethink his strategy.
In both 2013 and 2015 we did not pass a major infrastructure bill.
Now, you can argue that the $90 million or so we spent this year qualifies.
What we need in 2017 are 4 to 5 major infrastructure bills for 4 to 5 areas of the state. That will look like so:
Why are we doing this?
We know that legislators like to pass smaller projects so they know what they are. We also know that the governor wants us to think of ourselves as all together.
Great – but that didn’t work last time. We went too far too fast.
Let’s break ourselves down into regions, maybe that’ll work. Since we have voting blocs from those regions already, we can form coalitions.
That’s how Missoula can work with Billings to get things done.
I’d like to see the big infrastructure projects come up first actually, so we can take the largest piles of money off the table first.
That’s what we’re getting at – who’s going to have the orgy of spending that 2017 will entail.
We’ve got a $455 million surplus in the state. At the same time we have falling commodity prices and oil prices in a slump.
Let’s not forget the people that want tax cuts, nor those that feel it’s time for another rebate check.
With all those knives out it sure makes that pie a lot smaller a lot faster. Here, take a look:
Where did I get those numbers? I took them from House Bill 416’s fiscal note. The total comes to $80.2 million, though I’m probably missing something.
Actually, I’m missing a lot. Let’s add in the $335.4 million and change that accounted for most of the originally proposed 2015 Montana infrastructure from the governor’s proposed budget:
All of that together takes us to $415.6 million, effectively leaving us with a surplus of $39.4 million…if we see to all of our “needs.”
Those numbers will change a lot, but that’s a good baseline to go by.
I think we need to start thinking about this. Things are moving faster, driven by the national 2016 election cycle. I’d rather frame these issues before the media or the other party does so for me.
That’s my take on infrastructure in Montana for the 2017 Legislature. You know I’ll be discussing it a lot more in the months ahead. I hope I’m not the only one.
Slaying the Tea Party Once and For All
It’s time to get serious about doing away with an opposition that not only works against Democrats but responsible Republicans as well.
Most of the work has been done already. I’m talking about money, and the Montana GOP’s utter lack of it. Besides this, Tim Fox has turned his claws on the would-be-usurpers that tried to take him and his men down. Chris Shipp was out.
Check out the Missoula Independent for a good story on these Montana GOP blunders today. They couldn’t even make a $54,000 payroll. God, that’s pathetic.
It should be easy for the Democrats to develop a strategy to take out the hardcore assholes that keep fucking everything up.
At the same time, I tend to agree with a lot of these hardcore assholes. Spending cash on infrastructure instead of bonding is one of those things.
Bullock needs to reconcile himself, and the silent yet alienated members of his party, to this reality.
People hate debt!
That’s a serious issue for the Tea Party crowd. Sadly, Democrats continue to let it be an issue by their quiet acceptance of bad policy on the part of Bullock.
So how do you backtrack without looking like a chump?
I don’t know, it’s tough. I’d do it on a slow week before a long weekend – then pull that band-aid off quick and be done with it.
Now, aside from that, there has to be a lot more dialogue with the moderate Republicans.
Last time we were scrambling to identify the moderate Republicans during the first few days of the legislature. This time we need to identify them when we’re still in the C1 and the filing stage.
By the time those people are gearing up for the primaries we have to know. We have to defeat the hardcore Tea Parties in the primaries. That means supporting their moderate opponents.
That’s easy right now as the GOP has no money. That won’t always be the case, but even if it is, the PACs will come in and tear us to shreds. They’ll fund those hardcore candidates so they can defeat the moderates.
What do we do in the face of this?
I don’t know. If we had money I’d say fund the moderates and fund the strongest Democrat in the primary. On the latter we alienate the weaker Democrat, however, if there is one.
Well, wait a minute – what the hell are we talking about? The Montana Democratic Party should not be supporting any Democrats in the primary, and that goes doubly so for National!
Usually this isn’t a problem for legislative races. For national races it’s a cluster-fuck of epic proportions, one that breeds animosity among the candidates as well as the electorate.
Just like Bullock’s support of bonding over cash, this issue hurts the party from within, making it easier for the GOP to defeat us.
Perhaps to slay the Tea Party we first have to slay that which is in ourselves, the part that’s eating its own tail.
Speaking of eating its own tail, how about those Republicans?
Well, I wouldn’t know…besides what the talking heads tell me. Yeah, I skipped the debate.
I’m not the only one – many of us younger folks don’t have TV, and what with our crappy internet speeds here in Montana, watching the debate online is about as out of the question as heading to the moon.
One thing that’s clear is how the national media has been downplaying Trump as of late.
There have been some good observations on this from “conspiracy-minded” people. For instance:
- Is Trump the stalking horse for Hillary, one put in place by Bill before the election?
- Is Bernie yet another stalking horse for Hillary, one agreed upon so there’d be a fierce but fake competition for show?
- Was Hillary’s defeat in 2008 too much, and did it push her over the edge too far?
Do the multiple Katy Perry appearances signal that Hillary is indeed allied with the New World Order?
To answer these questions you really have to answer but one – is the game rigged?
Last time we saw Katy Perry paraded about like she is now was when she was Ishtar, Bathsheba, the whore of Babylon at the Super Bowl.
Was that game rigged?
You’re either nodding to my words or shaking your head with a scoff. It really depends on how you want to look at things.
It depends on a lot more as well, however.
- What is your station in life, and are you profiting off our current corrupt system or barely getting by?
- What news sources to you partake of, and are you getting a decent picture of the world today or just a narrow and packaged slice?
- What plans do you have for the future, the kind that depend on you sitting and doing what you’re told for another 10 to 20 years or the kind that have you making the decisions?
A lot of it is outlook, but it’s what and where you’re at in life too.
Hillary’s about at the end of her life, as is Bernie Sanders. He’ll likely be gone in the next five years, and let’s not discount a New World Order-induced heart attack when he doesn’t fall into line.
Don’t think it might not happen to Joe Biden, either. After all, he says he’ll be vocal from those sidelines. Maybe that’s not wanted.
If that sounds far-fetched go ahead and look into our former President Arthur or even Montana’s late-Senator Thomas Walsh. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was made about the latter.
Is it any wonder he was likely poisoned on a train while racing to Washington before FDR’s inauguration?
Dark times indeed.
It really depends on your outlook. I enjoy looking for “things that aren’t there,” maybe because I’m a writer. It’s fun, exhilarating, and suspenseful. It adds drama, gets people interested, and makes you wonder.
That’s a lot more fun that the usual drudgery of government. And since it is such drudgery, why are people spending so much to be a part of it, starting so soon?
These are good questions that you should be thinking about.
Well, I got a little off track on this Halloween jaunt.
Maybe I was just disguising the post, shielding it from Republicans. I imagine many of them will see a silly image, read a paragraph, and then skedaddle on to something more to their liking.
You, on the other hand, just got some ideas.
That’s what we need more of, is ideas.
Ideas are hard to come by, however, especially if you have some crappy day job that saps you.
Well, turn off the TV at night. That helps a lot. Try to read more. Look at more news. (Not the mainstream press, of course).
And take it easy on Halloween.