There’s just so much to talk about!
And hey – we’ve been doing a lot of talking on this site this week.
In fact, I think it’s one of the best weeks for content this site has seen in some time.
Here’s what we put up:
7 posts already this week, most dealing with the House race or Missoula’s finances.
I called this the ‘follow the money’ week on the site, as I intent to use a lot of these posts later on.
Many will be promoted to get the word out to Missoulians about the terrible course their city is on.
Others will be used to highlight spending problems with MT campaigns.
It’s that last one that’s caused the most fuss.
Dems Shoot the Messenger
I wrote a post titled that back in September.
Mainly, if you say anything critical about them or what they’re doing, they take it personally and attack you.
This is almost always done anonymously.
And it does nothing.
I guess it could make the attacker feel good, but it does nothing to address what the messenger is trying to say.
In this week’s case, it’s the terrible spending priorities of Rob Quist.
You can look at the dates on those expenditures and see that he was spending money on all the wrong things very, very early.
I mean, $36,000 was given to a D.C. firm for voter modeling at least a week before any kind of TV ads appeared.
The most effective thing that Rob’s spent money on is his Facebook advertising, which won him the nomination.
Most of that spending started in February.
That was smart spending.
Giving $7,500 to D.C.’s Mothership Strategies for pretty much the same thing – “digital media” – is not smart spending.
Now, if you’re an out-of-state staffer that wants to up your profile in the political circles and make friends doing so, then spending that way is smart.
If you’re an old guy trying to win his first election, it’s not.
Folks, politicians will only be held accountable while running for office.
Once elected they don’t give a shit what you say or think – they’re in.
So now’s the time to make a fuss over what you don’t like. It won’t matter later.
Now remember…these are my opinions.
We live in America, where those can be freely expressed.
Of course you’re free to attack me for saying those things, but what good will that do?
Personally, when I see someone attacked for what they said I want to figure out what they said and why they’re being attacked.
Maybe that’s the case with this site – people begin to wonder what’s so bad, when all I’m doing is looking at public reports.
I get about 1,200 unique visitors a day, and my Quist spending article has received about 350 clicks/views so far.
If you want to worry about that, go right ahead.
Continue to attack the symptoms, not the cause.
Dem Native Policy Blowback
Sure, he might have moved here when he was 1-year-old, but that doesn’t matter.
We know it doesn’t matter because that’s official MT Democratic Party Policy:
“The Congressman is so desperate for ties to Montana that he’s confused the facts and himself.
The problem? Daines was actually born in southern California.
The Montana Democratic Party said a simple release of Daines’ birth certificate will clear up any confusion for Montanans.
“No matter what generation Congressman Daines claims to be, he’s a stranger to both the facts and Montana values – and Montanans deserve the truth,” said Bryce Bennett, a fifth generation Montanan. “Montanans can’t afford a Washington politician who thinks he can get away with fooling the people he’s supposed to represent.”’
The good news for West is that Steve also moved to Montana when he was 1, and now he’s a senator.
So there’s hope, Dan, despite what your own Party is telling you.
Personally, as we get more and more out-of-state folks moving here and retiring here, we should reconsider this nativist policy.
James Conner over at Flathead Memo is a big proponent of this change, has been for over a year now.
This nativist rhetoric actually turns voters away from Democrats now.
Alas, Dems can’t change this policy with Gianforte and Daines still in politics.
It’s one of the few attacks they think actually work, despite Daines never losing to the Dems in 3 races now and despite Gianforte coming back after his previous loss.
Time for a new playbook, MT Dems?
That depends on where you live.
If it’s in Helena then you probably think the Sixth Street Helena Bubble needs a raise.
Time to dig a hole and throw dirt on ‘em – they’re dead.
Oh, it might take some time for the staff layoffs to start, but they will. We of course won’t hear about them as the Missoulian sure won’t report it (spoiler: the Indy is the Missoulian now).
I suspect Dan Brooks will be one of the first to go. Writing an 800-word, snarky column once a week isn’t something Lee Enterprises is going to want to pay for.
I could be wrong in that, but I don’t think I am.
Nearly everyone was upset.
Several former reporters from Lee newspapers around the state made comments saying the staff layoffs will start, no matter what Lee says.
Deep down, I think most of the Indy staff knows this.
A lot of the comments talked about the blow to independent news and journalism that this sale portends.
Several people listed the Missoula Current and how they’ll go there now.
That’s really good for Martin Kidston. I expect April will be one of his best fundraising months ever.
And that was it.
No mention of my site. No mention of Reptile Dysfunction.
I guess we’re not independent news.
Maybe people just don’t know about us, or just don’t care. They sure learned about Missoula Current quick, but despite both my site and Travis Mateer’s site being around years before that site, we get no attention.
So that’s frustrating.
But what can you do?
I figure you have two choices:
Quit or keep going.
Health Care Pay Raises
Yep, we don’t need to raise taxes to give healthcare workers a raise.
The money was there all along!
Can you believe that?
I mean, Democrats said we needed to raise taxes on cigarettes to get that money.
But we always had the money.
My, that legislature…always trying to pull a fast one!
Getting Off Easy
For one thing, we didn’t see a lot of those tax increases that Dems wanted.
Thank God the GOP has the legislature right now! I never thought I’d say that, but it saves me money.
I was shaking my head when I saw the infrastructure deal, too.
It’s $157 million, nearly all of it in cash. In fact, it’s being called the “cash bill.”
Gosh, imagine if the legislature would have taken the reins in 2015.
We’d have had a similar bill, mostly with cash. But Bullock had to have his way so the state went 2 years without (well, we did pass $92 million in infrastructure in 2015).
This time we had lots of competing infrastructure bills, but since Dems can’t win in rural areas, the GOP had the legislature and they got their agenda through.
That’s cash-only infrastructure.
Again, we had the money for it. It was just lying around.
Bullock is of course pissed that he and his banker buddies don’t have their $300 million surplus.
$200 million just ain’t enough for our governor.
Oh well. Let him complain, or try some kind of amendatory veto.
That’ll go about as far as the mail-in ballot issue went.
Tester’s Cool $2 Mil
Many seem to think we don’t have one until next year.
At least that’s the impression I get when I see that Tester has raised $2 million so far for his reelection efforts.
That puts him up to $3.2 million in cash on hand.
Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.
Meanwhile Rob Quist continues to twist in the wind, burdened by low donations, no national support, and a staff of crooks that’s only out to benefit themselves.
(Remember, Quist gets paid $2,000 in salary but his campaign manager gets $3,400 and his 10 staffers together get $22,500...a month!).
I wouldn’t vote for Jon Tester if you paid me.
Maybe he used to be a good person. Now he’s just another corrupt D.C. politician that’ll do anything to hang onto power.
I told you last June that the city had $88 million in debt.
That’s long-term bonding obligations, for the most part.
Now we have the water company and I’m sure that debt is set to double.
I’m digging through the 372-page Missoula 2017 budget right now, finding out where the money goes and where it comes from.
I’ll keep you posted.
The Pence Tour
- South Korea
Yeah, helluva 'whirlwind.'
Personally, I think he should go to North Korea and talk.
It’s a lot better then war.
I guess Pence doesn’t care about that. It won’t be his sons dying over there for nothing – it’ll be the sons of impoverished people in West Virginia, Texas, Georgia and Montana.
Rural folk that care about their country and what it used to represent.
Mike Pence only cares about working for the globalists to further their agenda of a one-world government with no freedoms and no hope.
When I first heard about this tour it was just another sign to me that Trump was no longer in charge of anything besides his golf game.
Trump Loses Power
Yes, the shadow government has fully taken control.
Why do I say this?
- The bombings in Syria
- The frosting of US-Russia relations
- Steve Bannon’s out
- Jared Kushner’s in
- The non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
- Anti-North Korean rhetoric and exercises
- More US troops in Somalia
I’m sure there are some things I’m missing, but you get the idea.
Suddenly America is no longer the priority. Making war overseas is.
Many of us suspect that the incoming president is taken down to the White House bunker and shown the video of how Kennedy was really killed.
That sets him straight right away as to his reality, and who’s truly in charge.
Remember Trump sitting so pensively and thoughtfully before giving his inauguration speech?
A few minutes before he’d learned the truth.
He kept up a good show for the past 3 months, but now it’s over.
Now the true powers are coming to the fore, and by God, they want war.
American people and American jobs and American needs will have to wait.
It’s what the ruling elite wants now.
And as you know, all they’ve ever wanted was their play-both-sides, profit-making wars.
God help us.
Easter & MT Religion
I’ve got a 5-year-old so it’s pretty much the Easter bunny and chocolate.
When I tell him that Jesus died and came back from the dead, he doesn’t really know what I’m talking about.
That stuff isn’t important anymore. Consumerism is.
And what is the religious situation like in Montana today?
Historically, Montana has been a Catholic state. In 1960, for instance, 74% of Montanans could be identified as Catholic.
This was mainly due to all the miners but also because of the state’s fur trapping and missionary heritage. This subsided considerably as the decades wore on the people came and went from Montana.
By the 1970s Catholics were still dominant, but church attendance had fallen to 50% or lower. Episcopal denominations really fell off, going from fourth position to eighth.
Today it’s figured that 38% of Montanans are affiliated with one religion or another. That roughly comes out to:
- 13% Catholic
- 6% Lutheran
- 5% Mormon
- 5.3% “another Christian faith”
- 1.9% Methodist
- 0.09% Jewish
- 0.09% “an eastern faith”
- 0.03% Muslim
Nationally, about 49% of Americans are affiliated with a religion.
- 19% are Catholic
- 9% are Baptist
- 5.5% are “other Christian:
- 4% are Methodist
- 2% are Lutheran
- 2% are Mormon
- 1.8% are Pentecostal
- 1.6% are Presbyterian
- 0.8% are Muslim
- 0.7% are Jewish
- 0.6% are Episcopalian
- 0.5% are “Eastern”
So in the span of about 50 years, Catholics in Montana have seen their numbers fall by 61%.
Sociologist Robert Putnam tells us that church membership slumped by 10% between the 1960s and the 1990s. In 1967 2% of Americans said they had “no religion” but by the 1990s that’d risen to 11%.
In 2015 Pew Research asked 35,000 Americans about their religious beliefs.
They found that 89% of people believe in God, down from 92% in 2007. Those that are “absolutely certain” that God exists fell from 71% to 63% during that time.
Those that consider themselves “religiously unaffiliated” rose from 16% in 2007 to 23% in 2015.
Interesting stuff. You can read more in my sixth volume of Montana history:
A Reader Poll
The main reason is that no one cares.
That’s what 4 to 5 votes tells me, and that at a time when a hundred or more people are reading the article.
Anyways, it’s another poll on what you’d like to read.