Right-wing radicals love conspiracies. They believe the federal government is poisoning them with Chemtrails and Smart Dust. They believe Montana’s CSKT Water Compact is an Agenda 21 government conspiracy to put them into crowded housing units in California. They forget that the California liberals can’t stand them and would rather have them stay in Montana. Right-wing radicals are as freaking nutty as the radical left-wing radicals who believe our carbon dioxide emissions drive climate change. It doesn’t. – Ed
Archives for May 2015
Americans elected Obama twice because Romney “was not good enough” for the Very Conservative Evangelicals. As a result, they let Obama continue to turn America into a welfare state like France. – Ed
“The fix was in,” has become the rallying cry of Montana’s extremists and, as such, it represents their efforts to engage and energize the small minority of Montanans who believe they share the same nihilistic views. As rhetoric and sound bites go, it is an interesting choice.
First, it implies that the forces arrayed against them were so powerful and nefarious that they should be lauded for their failed efforts to “hold the line” and excused for their preordained defeat at the hands of such an overpowering and malignant opposition.
Second, it conveniently characterizes those legislators who were responsible for the defeat of their extreme agenda as treacherous, self-serving, and even treasonous.
There is a certain amount of irony, and a generous portion of duplicity, in this attempt to explain the failure of the extremists’ cause. The phrase brings several questions to mind.
By what measure of personal responsibility did it become acceptable to blame others for failure? Perhaps the extremists should reexamine the story they are trying to sell in light of their supposed affection for this cornerstone of their idealism? [Read more…]
The 2015 Legislature is a couple of weeks behind us, and the Governor has finished making his vetoes. Several people have now asked me what I felt we actually accomplished in Helena this spring.
Despite what you may have heard in the media, or from the rhetoric of the special interests, I think the fact is that the 64th session accomplished more than most people realize. Oh, we had some heated high-profile debates, and some unique discussions about procedural rules that made interesting headlines; but many of those sensationalized stories had very little to do with the less exciting areas where most of us were actually spending the bulk of our time.
With over 500 different bills and resolutions passed, and thousands of line items in the two-year, 4½ billion dollar budget , it is hard to give a brief summary; but I have picked out a few of the highlights that I felt were the most significant. The list of accomplishments below is no more than my own compilation. Any other Legislator might very well choose to make a completely different list, but this gives you at least one Senator’s take. [Read more…]
Now that the Legislature has wrapped up, I will try to give a bit of a re-cap of the 64th session. First I would like to extend my deep appreciation for your gracious support while I was serving this session. I cannot tell you how many people sent cards, emails and thoughtful notes, and although we did not always agree, I always appreciated hearing from you.
Overall, I am very pleased with the 64th session. Our district definitely had more wins than losses. The biggest win was passing the HELP Act. I am frustrated that media continues to call this Medicaid expansion because its not. In fact, Montana’s plan is the most conservative plan any state has passed and may not be approved by the federal government. It was a collaborative effort spearheaded by Republicans. The HELP Act provides a means for folks caught between Medicaid and the Affordable Healthcare Act to obtain private insurance. It’s far from an entitlement program and I am grateful it passed.
Passage of the Trace Act, or dark money bill, was another win for our district. We witnessed first-hand during this session the full effects of dark money groups’ influence when Americans for Prosperity targeted our district. It was more apparent to me this session more than ever, that we need to reel in dark money groups if we are to maintain integrity in our election process. The bill won’t stop some of the dark money groups from participating but we will at least now know who they are and most importantly who’s funding them. [Read more…]
by Attorney Hertha Lund
There she goes again. Catherine Vandemoer’s recent column illustrates why Montanans should not trust someone to practice law without a license, who needs to build a citizens’ group for her income. Ms. Vandemoer’s constant mistruths and self-serving rantings have been very bad for Montana agriculture.
In her recent rant, Ms. Vandemoer questioned whether the CSKT Compact actually passed. She based her question on a recent suit filed by the Flathead Joint Board of Control (“FJBC”) against the entire Legislature, the Governor, and the Attorney General of Montana. The FJBC argues language in the CSKT Compact is a violation of the State Constitution prohibition on waiving sovereign immunity.
However, the FJBC and Ms. Vandemoer have it all backwards. The Compact’s waiver of sovereign immunity is completely the opposite of what the Constitution prohibits. Instead of granting immunity, which is prohibited, the Compact waives sovereign immunity vis-à-vis the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The State of Montana, the federal government, and the Tribes are all sovereign. In other words, these entities cannot be sued in court unless they waive their immunity and agree to allow suit.
For example: The state cannot be sued in federal court or Tribal court under the Eleventh Amendment and related court decisions. The federal government cannot be sued in state court. Correspondingly, the Tribes cannot be sued in state or federal court. [Read more…]
Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick, bill sponsor Sen. Chas Vincent, and Tribal Chairman Vernon Finley watch Montana Governor Steve Bullock sign SB 262. SB 262 is the water use agreement, or Compact, between Montana, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and federal government. (Photo by Billings Gazette, May 6, 2015)
Next, the Tribal Council must approve the Compact and the Montana Water Court must issue a final water rights decree that includes the water rights quantified by the Compact.
Compact opponents now have their opportunity to file their lawsuits against the Compact.
After the Compact survives all appeals, then the US Congress must approve the Compact. So final approval can still take years to complete.
by Mary Kay Barton, Master Resource
Industrial wind is a net loser, economically, environmentally, technically and civilly. Let’s examine how.
New York State has some of the highest electricity rates in the U.S., a whopping 53 percent above the national average, in large part due to throwing hundreds of billions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars into the wind. High electricity costs drive people and businesses out and ultimately hurt the poor the most.
Why destroy entire towns, when just one 450 megawatt gas-fired combined cycle generating unit located at New York City (where the power is needed in New York state) operating at only 60 percent of capacity, would provide more electricity than all of the wind factories in the state combined — at about a quarter of the capital costs, and without all the negative civil, economic, environmental, human health and property value impacts of industrial wind factories, or all the additional transmission lines to New York City.
The Institute for Energy Research tallied the numbers and found that each wind job costs $11.45 million, plus more than four jobs lost elsewhere in the economy; and all while wind is subsidized over 52 times more than conventional fossil fuels on a unit of production basis.
According to AWEA, there are approximately 45,100 industrial wind turbines in the U.S. today. They are remotely sited, far removed from urban centers where the power is needed, and necessitate the addition of a spider web of new transmission lines (at ratepayers’ expense), which will exponentially add to the needless bird deaths being caused by turbines themselves. Additionally, sprawling industrial wind factories cause massive habitat fragmentation, which is cited as one of the main reasons for species decline worldwide.
Studies show there are MILLIONS of birds and bats being slaughtered annually by these giant “Cuisinarts of the sky” (as a Sierra official dubbed IWTs in a moment of candor). (See: www.SaveTheEaglesInternational.org)
Because wind provides no capacity value, or firm capacity (specified amounts of power on demand), wind cannot replace our reliable, dispatchable baseload generators. Thus, wind needs constant “shadow capacity” from our reliable, conventional generators and, therefore, locks us into dependence on fossil fuels, while failing to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The list of accidents, blade failures (throwing debris over ½ mile), fires (10X more than previous wind industry claims), and more, is updated quarterly. [Read more…]
by Dr. Ed Berry
Yesterday, Jim White of Kalispell, Montana, and his friend, Dane Wigington, released a personal attack on my professional credibility.
Clearly, White and Wigington were not pleased with my article “Chemtrail Delusions vs Scientific Method” where I revealed their idiocy about chemtrails.
We climate scientists are used to personal attacks by leftwing wackos. Now, Jim White proves rightwing radical tea party wackos are as irrational as leftwing wackos.
White’s and Wigington’s mockery
White’s and Wigington’s ad hominem attack on me mocks America’s national defense. It mocks my past participation in America’s defense. It mocks true atmospheric science. It mocks your and my search for truth.
What their attack does not do is show my article about chemtrails is incorrect. No. They think their personal attack on me proves my article is wrong. They thereby reveal they are morons.
Wigington’s attack reveals nothing new about me. Everything he uses about me he stole from my website here and here. Wigington simply interjects and intertwines his own delusional beliefs about climate and America’s national defense with his extracts from my bio.
Wigington is not even clear about what parts of his page are his and what parts he stole from me. And, like all yellow-bellied, know-nothing radicals, Wigington is afraid to put his own name on his work. But for White’s email (below), no one would know who wrote this attack on me.
Why Jim White thinks Wigington is a climate expert.