Another week has come and gone already.
Feel free to comment on anything that’s happened.
Another week has come and gone already.
Feel free to comment on anything that’s happened.
Update: I saw this image on Twitter this afternoon, and just had to share it:
That image was sent out by Great Falls' Casey Schreiner. It's him speaking at a MDLCC event where he talked "about the importance of electing more Democrats up and down the ballot."
I think that is important, too...but I can tell from the number of people in that room that few others care. Most of the people that are there are fellow Democratic legislators or staff of the MT Democratic Party.
That's sad, as today we saw that we need more Democrats in the legislature if poor people want a chance. Right now we don't know if healthcare will pass again, and that'll have a big impact on our state.
Sadly, Democrats and their message is so boring and so off-putting that few want to hear it. Schreiner's image makes that painfully clear.
I wish Democrats in Montana would make politics exciting.
Until then, they'll have to settle for near-empty rooms.
Anyways, it's another Friday.
What’s happened around the Treasure State and around the country this week?
I’m sure the rich have enriched themselves a bit more at our expense. Lots of issues have probably been swept under the rug. And those running for office in 2020 have most likely raised a bunch of money off false promises that they’ll help you and I.
Yep, business as usual!
Care to comment on any of it? Be my guest.
Thanks for visiting Big Sky Words.
Feel free to comment on any recent stories happening across Montana.
We had some success in the legislature this week; we had some failure.
A big success was the defeat of the local option sales tax bill. This bill would hurt poor people while providing them absolutely no benefit whatsoever.
Those paying property taxes might have seen a slight decrease in the amount of tax they pay each year. The rich would have made off like bandits.
A big failure was the defeat of the legalization of marijuana bill. Montana lost tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues, all because of bunch of old white rich men don’t want people to have the personal freedom to decide what they can and can’t put into their bodies.
Another failure was Ed Buttrey’s medicaid work requirements bill. I don’t mind the requirements - I have a job and work enough and can figure out how to report.
What irks me are the millions of dollars we’ll piss away each year to create 84 new full-time positions to administer Buttrey’s big government program. It’s a shame people think he’s conservative.
In other news, the Democrats need to get their shit together.
I loved this line from Montana GOP operative Jake Eaton about Mike Cooney:
“Being a 60-year old white male who’s lived in Helena and worked for government his whole life is not really compelling,” said Eaton. “He’s the guy who has managed to be around politics for 40 years, yet nobody knows who he is.”
The biggest gift for the Montana GOP next year will be Mike Cooney running for governor.
I can’t think of anyone under 40 that’s going to get excited to see this man give a speech. Since Democrats think they’re the Party of the young, this could become problematic.
We already know Democrats can’t excite voters enough to turn them out to vote in this state, and Mike Cooney on the gubernatorial ticket next November won’t help.
Then again, not much is going to help Democrats.
Democrats in America have huge problems right now. It’s the same way in Montana.
Voters around the country just aren’t voting for them anymore. Ten years ago, Democrats controlled twice as many state legislatures as Republicans, 24 to 14.
Democrats haven’t had such lop-sided level of representation in legislatures since 1928.
When it comes to governors, Democrats have 16 seats compared to the 33 that Republicans have. Dems haven’t had it this bad in the governor’s mansion since 1920, when they had 14 seats.
I'm deeply ashamed that Democrats in America chose to talk about Russia and Trump for the past two years, and not the problems facing middle America.
I'd talk about this more, but William Skink over at RD says it best.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone that shared my last post on social media, particularly Facebook.
It wasn’t much - 25 shares or likes or whatnot - but it’s a lot more than I usually get.
I don’t focus on social media anymore. I think it’s way too anti-social. We know that when you’re active on social media, you actually communicate 33% less with friends and parents and children.
It’s been nearly 5 months now since I deleted my Facebook account.
I don’t miss it, nor do I really think about it anymore. Clearly I never needed it in the first place.
I think most Americans would be better off if they either deleted their social media accounts, or reduced their time on those accounts by 90% or more.
Most in my age range agree with me. Last year we learned that 34% of millenials are deleting social media from their lives, while 34% were taking a break.
And with that, I’ll be taking a break for the rest of the day, perhaps the weekend too.
The legislature is back in session. I don’t blame you if you didn’t know they took a week off - they’ve done so little of consequence this session that it’s easy to forget they’re even ‘working.’
Steve Bullock continues to ignore Montana in favor of presidential primary states. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks his candidacy is a joke. Bob Brigham - who worked on Bohlinger’s 2014 Senate run - had this to say:
I think he nails it. I’m sure the MT Dems will ridicule anyone that agrees with him. Talk about head-in-the-sand syndrome.
The 2020 Democratic pool of presidential candidates really is a clown car show. The National Review has an article titled just that.
The only Democrat I’d vote for if the primaries were today would be Bernie Sanders. I wouldn’t waste a vote on any of the other people running, and if they somehow get the nomination, I’ll just vote third-party.
I don’t think I’ll vote for Trump again. I’m getting tired of him. Over two years now he’s been in office and my life hasn’t changed at all. That tells me he’s not working for working Americans.
I don’t think many of the Democratic candidates will work for working Americans either.
And that’s all I have today. I’m going to continue to focus on Missoula issues over the coming weeks. I’ll also have some big news to share with you sometime next week.
I’m sorry I haven’t written much this week. I don’t have a lot of ideas and there hasn’t been anything in the news that’s really caught my eye.
That said, I do plan on researching and writing about the new water line policy in Missoula soon. This policy has homeowners paying huge new costs. These costs haven’t adequately been reported, and I don’t feel they ever will be.
You’re going to read a lot more about Missoula issues in the coming months on this site as I prepare for another City Council run. It only costs $150 to run.
Honestly, though...I don’t think you care about water lines or Missoula issues in general.
Anyways, here’s another open post Friday, where you can put your thoughts down.
The last few of these posts have had no thoughts from you at all.
February was a damn good month on this site, with some of the best articles I’ve written in months.
Sadly, you either didn’t notice or didn’t care. Probably both. You know you didn’t comment.
That’s frustrating for me, and it’s the main reason I’ll be writing a lot less in March.
You can get your news and opinions from Montana Post and Missoula Current, Sinclair and Lee.
Thanks for understanding.
Well, I guess Trump is gonna get his way and call a national emergency.
Democrats feel confident they can beat him in the courts on this one, but I’m not so sure.
You see, we’ve had presidents call 58 different national emergencies since the practice went into effect 40 years ago.
31 of those national emergencies are still in effect.
Carter called one, while Reagan and Bush didn’t declare any.
Clinton declared 6 while George W. Bush declared 11 and Obama declared 10.
Trump has called for three declarations of national emergency so far - in December 2017, September 2018 and November 2018.
Those three emergencies had to do with getting hold of the assets of human rights abusers in Myanmar; sanction on Russia for whatever they did in 2016; and one to deal with the deteriorating situation in Nicaragua.
Didn’t hear anything about those three national emergencies in the media...or the 31 that are still in effect?
Well, that wouldn’t feed into the narrative that the media wants to develop that says Trump is an idiot, the Democrats are not, and this whole mess somehow affects you.
Doesn’t affect me one iota here in Montana.
I don’t think it’s affecting you, either.
What is affecting you...things that the media might not be talking about?
This is an open post, so feel free to share your concerns.
Friday again already, eh?
I guess we could spend a few minutes talking about Bullock’s State of the State address this week.
But let’s not.
I suppose we could talk about what those legislators are doing in Helena - I’m not really sure - but again...let’s not.
Instead, here are a few things that caught my eye this week:
Starbucks’ Howard Schultz mentioned he might want to run as an Independent, saying he left the Democratic Party some time ago because they’re just moving too far to the left.
Dems pounced on Schultz, as they usually do when they feel threatened. Schultz responded that, “Well, I must be doing something right to create so much interest and backlash from the Democratic Party.”
I’ve been attacked by the Democratic Party numerous times before so know from experience that Schultz is now done with them: they’ll never accept him back.
Closer to home, the two major parties released their year-end FEC reports.
They’re large and I don’t really feel like going through them, aside to mention that the highest paid person for the Montana Democratic Party in December was Nancy Keenan, with $7,776 in pay.
The highest paid person for the Montana Republican Party was John Branham, who made $1,173 for December.
Quite a difference there, and I have to wonder why the Dems pay themselves so much when they’re not winning as much as the Republicans.
Alas, questions like that get you treated like Howard Schultz.
Altogether for 2018, the Montana Democrats raised $5.5 million to help them elect people (though mostly they just pay a dozen staffers, fly them around a bit, send them to restaurants, and pay lots of payroll taxes for them).
The Montana Republicans raised $1.5 million in 2018.
It’s not as much as the Dems, but they do have the legislature, the PSC, 5 of 6 statewide offices, and the hearts and minds of Montana citizens.
So in conclusion...
To the GOP: Good job, and keep up the good work.
To the Dems: Money doesn’t buy everything.
There’s some things in the news I have to shake my head at.
First, the terrible job by our local media yesterday.
Fox had his big announcement day, but not a single media agency in the state did a thorough job giving us the facts.
It’s sad that you learned more about Fox’s run on this site last week than you did when the official announcement came.
For instance, you learned nothing from the media about Fox and the fact that he’s being outraised by Stapleton.
There was nothing on the Galt family supporting Stapleton over Fox, nothing on Fox using Chuck Denowh’s firm the Montana Group, which was the group responsible for sinking the November tobacco initiative.
Even Mike Dennison missed these obvious tidbits that make for a much more interesting story than the Montana Group press release that all the news agencies pretty much copied and pasted.
The other disappointing bit is the fact that Trump has caved on the government shutdown.
Boy, he fucked up.
Not only did he close the government for no good reason for the past 34 days, but then he caves and reopens it without getting a single thing.
Democrats won big on this one.
Lots of people that supported Trump no longer do. We’ll look back on these 34 days as a watershed moment, when many Trump supporters finally realized that their emperor is wearing no clothes.
So much for the art of the deal, when he can’t even negotiate, has to do temper tantrums and leave the room while banging on the table, and then gets nothing.
12 years of having the #1 network show on TV, but it didn’t help him beat the Dems in a 34-day standoff.
What a loser.
Trump will lick his wounds and make it seem like he’s the winner.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and you know it and most of Trump’s supporters know it.
And with that, feel free to post your own thoughts in this open post that will take us into next week.
I ran into someone the other day and they said, ‘How come you’re not writing on your site anymore?’
“There are two main reasons,” I replied: “No one cares and nothing ever changes.”
“True,” the person replied before walking off.
Well, here we are in December, ready to close out the midterm year of 2018 and get into the off-year of 2019.
It’ll be a legislative year, something I don’t even want to think about.
Municipal elections will be gearing-up soon. Few will pay attention. Here in Missoula, many candidates will raise $5,000 or more to get elected.
Further afield, we’ll begin to see 2020 presidential candidates pop up like mushrooms after a bad rain.
Already ‘Uncle’ Joe Biden is making his intentions known, while closer to home, Tester might be muddling Bullocks’.
I have to be honest – none of it really matters to me. I haven’t been checking the news at all much, sometimes not even once a day.
I’ve moved on a bit and found other things to occupy my time. I’ve even quit smoking cigarettes. Yep, some serious life changes underway right now.
It’s a relief, in a way.
And like I said to that person I ran into…no one really cares.
So far, 283 people have visited this Montana Blog so far this month. That comes to 40 a day.
Google tells me that 60% of my visitors are male and that 28% are between the ages of 25 and 34. The second largest age group is 35- to 44-year-olds at 19%.
Of the 1,411 unique visitors to this site so far this month, just 353 of them are from Montana.
Here in the Treasure State, 85 of my visitors have come from Missoula, my largest locale.
Not a lot of people are interested in independent news and commentary from Montana. The former writers of the Missoula Independent know that – at least one of them is now leaving the state to work for an independent paper in a locale that cares about such.
Here in Montana you still have Reptile Dysfunction and Montana Post to keep you informed about things via the blogs. Missoula Current will give you a bit of Missoula news that the corporate paper and TV stations won’t.
My advice? Tune it all out and focus on what’s really important in your life, what really has an impact on you.
Politics and what politicians say and do…well, it don’t have much of an impact at all.
Have a good Christmas and New Year.