- I see that the Montana ski season started off slowly, though with all the snow we’re having in Missoula this morning, I think that’ll change.
- Still, Helena’s Great Divide had 200 people show up to the opening of their new 2,000-foot-long trail.
- Anyways, four major ski areas haven’t announced an opening date yet, while four others are doing so this week or next.
- Moving on…Montana’s $100 million a year sugar industry is set to have another great year.
- Over in North Dakota the stage has been set for a major and likely violent protest on December 5 over the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- The US is preparing for war in space by setting up a $25 billion a year federal Space Command program with 38,000 employees spread across 134 locations.
- Black Friday brick and mortar store sales were down 5% while internet sales were up substantially, nearly 22%. Overall, sales were down 1% this year. Interestingly, a third of the $3.4 billion in online sales were made on mobile phones.
- Businesses are sitting on about $1.9 trillion in cash, our national debt is at 77% of our annual output, and total consumer debt is about $12 trillion.
- Cincinnati voters recently passed a $15 million “expansion of universal preschool for about 6,000 children,” which covers “the vast majority of citywide demand for services.”
- Maine and Arizona recently passed $12 minimum wage laws while Washington State has gone to $13.50.
- 658 million vacation days were left unused in 2015, which has created a $272 billion liability on company balance sheets.
- 41% of Americans took 10-19 days off last year while 28% took less and 5% took none. Also, 37% of men are working 50 hours a week or more.
I woke up around 5 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep.
It was the same problem I was having last week – thinking of politics.
So I tossed and turned for a bit and then around 6 I just decided to get up.
Things on my mind were:
- Why couldn’t Democrats find a candidate to run against Republican Andrea Bennett for State Auditor in 1988?
- How’d Governor Stan Stephens rack up a $73 million revenue shortfall by August 1991, and why’d he think this justified him announcing for a second term?
- Was Stephens’ January 18, 1992, medical collapse just a staged stunt?
- Was the February 16, 1992, Chuck Johnson story about Rehberg calling Racicot pure BS?
- What would have happened had Jim Waltermire not died on April 8, 1992?
- How rampant was Waltermire’s corruption in the Secretary of State’s office, and did such GOP corruption continue?
- What role did the Christian Coalition play in the 1992 election, and not just Ralph Reed’s speech against Pat Williams?
- Why did the Christian Coalition of Montana transform into the Montana Family Coalition in 2001?
- How many more Richard Dasen’s are out there, keeping our meth trade going with their unbridled need for sex?
- When will Montana Democrats get their act together following another year of losses?
Those were just a few thoughts going through my head.
Yep, just a few thoughts. I doubt many more Montanans were thinking of them.
And honestly, another thought was, ‘how long should I keep writing on this site…does it really matter?’
I think we go through stages of thought like that quite frequently.
Montana Democrats go through them.
“We were out in the wilderness, lost, and trying to figure out why we were lost,” Democratic consultant Bill Lombardi said of the disastrous turn of events Democrats found themselves in following the 1992 Montana elections.
That year saw them lose the House, the Senate, and the Governor’s Office.
“Montana’s numbers had shifted by the early 1990s,” we’re told in Laura Flanders’ book, Blue Grit.
As a result, “a whole lot of traditional Democratic voters (women, blue-collar workers, low-income urban dwellers) had dropped out of the process or abandoned the state, or the Democratic Party altogether.”
Why is that?
Flanders tells us that “the reasons were partly demographics: working-class miners and timber industry workers had moved out; middle-class retirees and urban whites in flight from the coasts had moved in.”
With groups like the Christian Coalition moving in, Montana Democrats “had to figure out how to communicate more effectively about” what they stood for."
The state’s Democrat’s “conducted their own internal review of the state party’s infrastructure. The party held a statewide retreat and launched…an ‘offensive’ that entailed the then-unusual practice of Democratic elected officials actually meeting with one another on a regular basis and with outsiders.”
“For the first time in the state party’s history, Democratic leaders of the legislature met regularly with statewide officials and local party activists.”
Lombardi credits this years-long process with netting Montana Democrats their impressive 2004 wins.
A big reason for those wins was Brian Schweitzer, someone that bucked the Party.
“Schweitzer goes out of his way to play down that he is a Democrat,” Flanders says. He “opposed NAFTA and took his message directly to Montana family farmers, who’d been feeling the brunt of not-so-free, actually ‘corporatized’ trade.”
Trump had an anti-NAFTA message in 2016 as well. It’s why millions of Americans voted for him.
A lot of people are still in denial about that win, however.
We probably shouldn’t talk about it.
So that’s it.
Have a good Monday and enjoy the last days of November. It’ll be December soon. Most news will get buried as concerns over shopping take precedence.
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Flanders, Laura. Blue Grit: Making Impossible, Improbable, and Inspirational Political Change in America. Penguin Books: New York, 2007. p 67-71.