Rise and Resist

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionsists, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me- there was no one left to speak for me

Martin Niemoller

Few would need to Google the passage to understand its meaning or its origin.  But just in case, and to save you the time, it was written by a Nazi concentration camp survivor who initially supported Adolf Hitler’s ascent to power.  Niemoller realized his mistake when Hitler placed nationalism and the state above all else, including faith.  He was arrested for forming a group of clergyman who opposed the new leader and spent eight years in two different camps.  Niemoller chose to rise and resist.  And it was too late.

On January 21, 2017 millions of the world’s people chose to rise and resist.  Millions felt these words whether they knew them or not and millions took to the streets in peace.  America has a new president who has chosen his own message and delivery through a controlled press, selected journalists, hired audience, shut down phone lines and contact with the White House and now ‘alternative facts’.  We are at the edge of what Niemoller saw in 1937.  Maybe it seems extreme to compare the current mental, emotional, political, and economic state of the US to a 1937 Germany.  After all, we are not suffering massive inflation and unemployment rates over 20 percent.  Or maybe in terms of the propaganda

 

the-tragically-powerful-story-behind-the-lone-german-who-refused-to-give-hitler-the-nazi-salute1

August Landmesser refused to do the “Sieg Heil” salute during a Nazi rally at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg on June 13, 1936.

machine, we are in the same place as a German nation on January 30, 1933, and have been for the last ten years.  Maybe if there were millions who marched, millions who were not drawn in by the awe of nationalism, promises of a world power revived, blind obedience to a ruling party who ministered by threats which later grew to become violence and murder, millions would have lived.  What if they had chose to rise and resist instead?

History is written with the bones of passive fear,  intimidation and in the end attempts of wholesale genocide.  The Turks, Nazis, Russians, Khmers Rouge.  Central America, Rwanda, Bosnia, Iraq, Middle East, African Continent.  We here in the US should not be so quick to presume innocence from any acts of genocide, bear in mind our own march across the continent and the native peoples who stood in the way of westward expansion.  But what if millions had risen and resisted rather than stood by consoling themselves behind closed doors because they were not a Socialist, a Trade Unionist or a Jew?

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Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters confront bulldozers working on the Dakota Access Pipeline near Cannon Ball, N.D., on September 3.  (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

Millions should be listening to the messages of nationalism, paying attention to the divide and conquer tactics of a new administration and prepare to rise and resist.  Millions should be dispelling the lies, the alternate facts and pushing back against the growing deceptions.  Millions should continue on with what was started last Saturday and never let up again, because we shouldn’t ever be in this place again.   Some two days since the Women’s March, Trump is set to give the green light to Dakota Access and the Keystone pipeline.  Camps of resistance stand in the way.  Will millions form a human shield?  Millions should…but will they?

 

A more timely thought: ‘When they kick at your front door, How you gonna come?’ (The Clash)  Or will you stand alone at your door because you were not a Socialist, or a Trade Unionist, or  Jew?

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

 

 

Ma Joad Would Be Proud

19632721Across the nation millions are on the move with dignity and grace.  Montana, once again, showed its greatness with some 10,000 women, children, men and dogs converging peacefully on the grounds of the Montana State Capitol.  There was no vandalism, no rioting, no blindside punches and no calls to violence.  Only calls to resist, organize, agitate and remain vigilant.

It was truly a beautiful sight to behold; women of all ages, children dressed for a day in the cold and snow, men in proud support, tribal members in full regalia, LGBT, all races, veterans, Labs, German Sheperds and mutts.  A sea of pink hats, signs, mittens snow pants and rosy cheeks.  What was missing?  Counter protestors, subversive instigators and agitators.  A true peaceful event in the spirt of the first amendment of United States Constitution.  Be proud Montana, this is who you are and who you have always been.

To the organizers, drivers, set up crew, clean up crew, sponsors and anyone else who put this march together here in Montana and across the nation, and most importantly to those who showed up, a most heartfelt and tearful thank you.  You have brought inspiration and renewed spirit.16179371_10158180736770038_4979733659942610095_o

Today must mark a crossing of the line of no return and we must all put our shoulders to the cause.  Today ‘The Donald’ and his followers must feel the fear of a disturbance in the force.

TGTJ

‘Maybe all women got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

 

An Oath, A Ball, And Some Shame

donald-trump-angry-reuters-3801An Oath.  January 20, 2009. There were tears of joy and speechless smiles that expressed the hope of the day and of the future. January 20, 2017. There will be tears of joy and speechless smiles that express the hope of the day and the future.  America has turned on its axis.  Eight years ago half the nation stared blankly at the other half in disbelief that it was actually happening.  Today, half the nation stares blankly at the other half in disbelief that this is actually happening.  Astonishing but true.  Donald Trump is to be sworn in as the President of the United States of America.  No amount of consternation over his conflicts of interests, lack of tax returns, tweets or tiny roaming hands will stop it.  He will need to self destruct on his own and one half will need to wait and regroup.  We have elected a narcissistic megalomaniac such as the world has not seen in more than half a century.  Whether any of us want to admit it or not, Trump was elected by ‘our’ hand and will only fall when ‘we’ come to terms with our own faults and inactions.  It is a herculean task, however, and as half the nation proved, it can be done.

‘Don’t waste time mourning, 0rganize!’  Joe Hill

A Ball.  Meanwhile, closer to home, Governor Bullock has already taken the oath and there is to be a celebratory ball.  An second term inaugural ball.  A quick look at the score card, again.  Montana voters cast their ballots for Trump (R), Zinke (R), Bullock (D), Fox (R), Arntzen (R), Rosendale (R), Stapleton (R), Montana Senate 32/50 (R), Montana House 59/100 (R). The only victory belongs to Bullock.  Yet we should celebrate.  If we can buy ball ticketsnero-6781911 we have money we didn’t give to Jenuea, if we can buy a ball gown we have money we didn’t give Romano, if we can donate to a ball we have money we didn’t give Laslovich.  If any of that is the case, then the defeat hangs around our neck as much as it does the party that abandoned them.  A gala ball.  An analogy.  When the British evacuated at Dunkirk they did not celebrate.  They gave thanks at having escaped, healed, took assessment of what was left, developed alliances, consolidated resources, grew stronger and defended themselves from the threat above. They, along with their allies, quietly and deliberately prepared to deliver a devastating blow.  Democrats should be quietly giving thanks for what they did salvage in this election and put the money away for 2018.

‘We must be very careful not to assign deliverance the attributes of victory.’  Winston Churchill

Some Shame.  Like Hillary Clinton, the Executive Director of the Democratic Party disappeared after the election and has made rare appearances since.  A few of those fleeting glimpses are canned video clips made from her office at party headquarters.  In the true spirit of her catholic school upbringing, Keenan delivers a healthy dose of old school shame to you and anyone else watching.  ‘Is this what you voted for?’ Now don’t you just feel awful about what you’ve done?  Well you should.  Now she should ask ‘and how many of you have I converted and brought back into the democratic fold?’  The likely answer, none.  Much like her strategy through the election, this won’t work and will only further alienate a disenfranchised base.  After all, and like it or not, this is what the majority voted for.  It’s high time the ‘principals’ of the party take a look at that threat from above, the resources they have left and prepare for tomorrow.  That tomorrow will take new and bold leadership that is willing to listen to the base with an open mind and the idea that a lesson is to be learned which will allow the results to change.  Keenan isn’t watching, Keenan isn’t listening, Keenan is only talking.

‘Where there is no vision, there is no hope.’  George Washington Carver

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

1/435

sigh1It’s a process that’ll end fair and square.  Nothing to see here, move along.  D and R hopefuls (read underdogs) and golden children (read moneyed) continue to circle in hopes of a delegate ‘vote’ in the coming months to become THEIR party’s  candidate and hopefully join that esteemed club in WDC.  There are no surprising revelations in this post, just watching the grass grow like everyone else and wondering what will take root.

Each party has assured its supporters that their candidate will be chosen by a majority vote of their respective delegates.  If you truly believe that, there may be stock investment options in a wall down south.

As you know, on the ‘D’ side there are four names that are now common in the mix: Curtis, McCarthy, Quist, Schreiner.  That’s not to say there aren’t others or there won’t be others, it just seems safe to say that looks like the pack, so to speak.  In fact, there’s talk of Zeno Baucus.  He carries the name, the readymade war chest and daddy’s baggage.  A proverbial kiss of death.

From the ‘R’s we have: Buttrey, Gianforte, Rosendale (maybe), Sales, Zolnikov.  Again, nothing new here.  Rosendale has proven his electability in a statewide race and Montana voters don’t seem to mind that an original idea and a cold glass of water would put the rifleman in a coma.  Meanwhile, Gainforte has already demonstrated what a lot of money can do for a campaign, while his strongest opponent, Buttrey, carries the odious stigma of sponsoring a bi-partisan Medicaid expansion bill in 2015.

If you believe everything you read and watch on the screen it looks like a Quist/Gianforte decision.

Quist was quietly roaming the halls of the Montana State Capitol last week, cowboy boots, jeans, western shirt, hands in his pockets and signature hat.  He looked more like a wandering visitor than a confident candidate.  Meanwhile, the other three are hard at work and involved in the legislative process.  The trio are on the move, smiling and invested in the here and now.  They would bring a sense of energy and change to the D party.  We just can’t have that. They are also missing the blessing of former Governor Schweitzer.  But keep in mind that Schweitzer’s last prized pony was Larry Jent.

The same could be said for the other side.  Gainforte has managed to splash onto the news by catching Mike Dennison’s attention.  While Rosendale and Zolnikov haven’t been as present in their enthusiasm, Buttrey and Sales are, shall we say, politely expressing their frustrations with the backroom dealing by their party as well.  To be fair, Sales and Buttrey too are knee deep in Montana’s legislative process and don’t have the luxury to roam the state for ‘votes’.  Sales and Buttrey.  Pachyderm vs rino. We, or rather Jeff Essman, can’t have that either.  Especially with his attachment to Gianforte.

Again, nothing new here, nothing exciting.  That can be said for the entire affair.  Zinke made his move and left a man on board in more ways than one.  The Commander abandoned the ship as Montana’s lone representative in Congress with one parting middle finger by voting to allow for an easier sale of public lands.

A Gianforte/Quist election could be interesting to watch.  Then again it’s already lacking energy and orginality.  A quick look at Gianforte and Quist’s websites will tell you that.  The ‘formontana’ is , yawn, catchy, yawn, after all, who’s not ‘formontana’?knight-medieval-531

For the rest of you in the race, take heart.  It’s 1 seat in 435.  A body that spent it’s time voting to repeal a health care law over and over and over and over and over.  To use the overused analogy, cockroaches are more popular than Congress.  The only mistake you made was not seeking the blessing and anointment of the party elite rather than the party delegates who think they will make this decision.

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

 

 

The Pot’s Calling the Kettle Black

Helena woke up Sunday morning to a fresh, clean blanket of snow on the ground and a steaming pile of schtuff on the editorial page of the Helena Independent Record.  Senators Scott Sales and Fred Thomas have some idea that they are both in a positon to mind the budget and the state bank account.  A quick trip to the past is in order.

In 2012 Sales’ wife, Sandra, was prosecuted for embezzlement from, in case you’ve been living in a cave, her elderly mother.  Sales claims to not have noticed the additional $20,000 to $45,000 flowing through his household income.  An honest oversight no doubt.  And then there was his more recent admission of guilt in a case filed against him for his involvement with dark money group Western Tradition Partnership.  Don’t think too harshly of him, he did say he regretted being involved…after he was caught.

In 1997 Thomas, aka Dr. Deregulation, carried SB 390, which by most accounts, has cost Montanans more than it has saved them and cost them in more ways than one.  If you’ve been paying a power bill504acfa8d7372-preview-620 in Montana since ’97 you could ask yourself if you’re better off some 20 years later.  If you held stock in  the Montana Power Company you can ask what the value of those certificates are today- as a piece of history on Ebay.  If you’re the widowed pensioner of a retired Montana Power Company employee you could ask how Thomas and deregulation led  you to the world of public assistance.  But we shouldn’t blame Thomas entirely.  Lots of folks jumped on the band wagon: energy profiteers, Republican legislators, a hand full of Democratic legislators and the Montana AFL-CIO led by then Executive Secretary Don Judge.

We should feel comfortable and trust these two to lead ‘the ship’ out of the ‘storm’.  If that’s the case, then you also believe a Helena snowplow will be along any minute now.

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

 

 

 

Attack Of The Gas Tax

‘Bullock cuts budget and lays off Troopers.’  ‘Fox cries foul.’  The average Montana citizen has no idea what is really going on here and probably won’t unless they happen to know a guy gaspump1who knows a guy who heard from a guy that to undo all of this there will need to be an increase in the gas tax.

Bullock’s 10% cut to MHP represents what has become a loss of oil and gas revenue that few pay any attention to, unless you manage the budget of the State of Montana or get to come to Helena for 90 days every other year and learn what that revenue means to certain agencies in state government.  The Department of Transportation will experience the same agency reduction as MHP unless gas taxes are increased.  Of course the highway worker changing road signs isn’t quite as popular as the Trooper rolling along in a Dodge Charger.

Loss of gas and oil revenues.  That seems like a legitimate explanation, but why the yellow flag from Fox?  Something as simple as a phone call could have solved the surprise factor: ‘Hey Tim, it’s Steve.  We’re going to be pretty short on cash down the road here so we’ll have to make some tough decisions on your budget proposal.’  Seven digits on a phone. Didn’t happen.  No wonder Fox feels burned.  Or is there something more here?

Of course there is and it’s pretty simple.  Bullock doesn’t want to be the Governor who raises taxes. Fox doesn’t want to be the future candidate for Governor who pushed for an increase in taxes.  So re-elected Bullock buries deep cuts in his budget for both MHP and Transportation.  Re-elected Fox finds those cuts and plays the ‘we’ll lose Troopers’ card.  So far it’s a reasonable game of political chess between the two.  It’s not so reasonable to those pawns on the board that represent Bullock’s former employees from his time as AG and Fox’s current employees who would like to feel the sense of security that they’ll still be able to make the house payment and put food on the table.

1951-xmas-humbug-scrooge1The posturing hardly seems like Bullock’s style given his past four years where he could often be heard introducing himself with ‘And I’m a public employee.’ or the 2013 mantra ‘Let’s govern and take care of the people of Montana.’  Actually, this seems a bit more like a past Governor whose footprint still exists on the second floor in the budget director’s office.

As for Fox, he seems to be leaving out a few key details on his end.  For instance, the proposed reduction is within the Highway Patrol Division, however, there is no mandate that he must cut Trooper positions.  And in fact, the majority of those 27 positions are vacant and have been vacant for some time to meet vacancy savings imposed by the 2015 Legislature.

In the end this comes down to who will get to wear the badge of having suggested an increase in the gas tax.  Democrat Bullock who will need to spend his time paving the way for the next Democratic candidate for Governor.  Or will it be Fox, who will continue his work as AG and likely poise himself for a 2020 Republican run for Governor.  In that effort each face obstacles.  Fox will need to fend off a far right challenger.  Bullock will need to find and groom a successor.

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

 

 

 

Grabbed by the Short Hairs

For slightly over half of the voting electorate this Thanksgiving promises to be anything but as they continue to gag on the bitter vetch of an impending Trump presidency. Not since the election of Andrew Jackson have the American people have elected a non-establishment candidate as president of the United States. The pundits began talking about the turnout of the white working class long before election and the discussions continue as the “establishment” attempts to figure out what the hell happened. In fact, what happened is very easy to define. The “working class,” because more than just white people elected Donald Trump president, figuratively grabbed the “establishment” by the short hairs!

A large part of the establishment especially for the Democratic Party has and remains the established leadership of organized labor. Since the 1930s rarely has labor strayed from the side of Democrats and as a consequence we constantly hear how together they created the middleclass and ushered in a period of prosperity heretofore never seen or replicated. And then the wheels came off the bus.

bayonenetThe Democratic Party became the party of every special interest regardless of the impact on working class America and “killed their populist soul”. Party bosses and union bosses, firmly joined at the hip, continued to tout the undeniable and unbreakable bond between the two. Meanwhile, the Republican Party played a long game tapping into the cult of masculinity that carries strains of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian little “d” democracy that any man could and should rise on his own merits. It’s a message that still resonates strongly among the working class, union and non-union.

By the time Montana held its primary in June Clinton was already the presumptive nominee but she still lost to Sanders by almost 10,000 votes. Union leadership in Montana followed the lead of their nationals endorsing Clinton well before the primary with the same old tired saw, “it isn’t perfect but better than the alternative.” At the same Trump garnered almost as many votes as Clinton and Sanders combined. The writing was on the wall despite dire warnings about the demise of organized labor under a Trump presidency.

animal-farm-poster-st4-for-webNow that the American working class has the attention of the party elites it will be interesting to see how they react. The Republican leadership in congress will only have two years to prove their worth before the mid-term elections. In the meantime, Democrats will need to roll up their sleeves and acknowledge that class, not ethnicity, is very much a part of the groundswell of discontent among workers—white collar, blue collar, union, non-union, pink, or precariat—workers matter. And unions, they need to pay attention to their base or Trump and his minions will finish the unraveling of organized labor that began with Reagan.  This isn’t your daddy’s industrial union anymore.

The soul of America rests on who wins the battle for the working class. Let’s just hope working class America is “man” enough to take their medicine…four years of President Donald J. Trump.

T-Bone Slim – “Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack.”

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Wash, rinse, repeat is the same old mantra of the Montana Democratic Party.

The 2016 election cycle dredged up the repetition of all the same old tricks, same old props, and worst of all, the same old players trying to sell the same old believers a worn out message.  Montana Democrats had a similar opportunity as those working the national agenda: continue down the path of established monotony and defeat or break away from pat_on_the_back1the loop and embrace a future of change.  But to change requires self awareness and most of all, courage.  The Democratic Party, on a national and state level, has once again proven it lacks both.

The failure of the party is today and much worse the failure of the party is tomorrow. That failure is in between the lines of a message of defeat.  In reality, Steve Bullock may very well have had the road plowed for him by Tim Fox as moderate Republicans playing the long-game were willing to see four more years of Bullock then a nice eight year stretch of control of the Executive and Legislative branches under presumptive nominee Tim Fox.  For some reason the Democratic Party , the party of the people, fails to grasp the concept of the long-game and continues trumpeting the worth of a goalie at the expense of not playing any offense.

Instead, resources were squandered on Denise Juneau in an unquestionably ill fated race where the choir was consistently spoon-fed the notion that this race was a dead heat when in fact it was dead on arrival.  This is in no way meant to be disparaging of Denise Juneau as a viable candidate.  She has earned her stripes in two state-wide races proving she can win in Montana, but pant-suit nation just doesn’t/didn’t resonate for most Montanans. We can only hope that she is not done in or with Montana politics.

Perhaps the most devastating losses in the Tier B elections occurred with the defeat of Jesse Laslovich for State Auditor and Melissa Romano for Superintendent of Public instruction.  Both of these candidates represent the future of the Democratic Party in Montana.  Their loss will reverberate through the political strata of the Montana Democratic Party but those affected most will be the citizens of Montana.  Had either of these two prevailed, they may well have pulled the other across the line.  Instead, Montana’s Tier B races were a disaster and the effects have created the opportunity to permanently change Montana to a state unrecognizable from today’s beauty and grandeur.

It is difficult to expand on George Ochenski’s  accurate depiction of what’s gone wrong and without naming names, who’s to blame.  The Party establishment is to blame.  The stench and decay of November 8th still overpowers anyone within 100 miles of Helena. Shaking out the sheets, as Ochenski suggests, just won’t do.  It’s time to clear and then raze the house.  The Party has done us no favors and  has left us with a bleak future.  As the saying goes ‘when you’re in a hole, stop digging’.  Today’s party leaders can lug the guts to the neighbor room.  The courageous will embrace the future and take over without you.

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

The Chump and Trump

It’s a sad time for Larry Jent.  Last week he was trounced by Attorney General Tim Fox in a 228461debate on Face the State and then this week a recorded interview with Enhancing Montana’s Wildlife & Habitat was posted.  Some thirteen or so minutes into that interview Jent accuses the Montana Public Employees Association and organized labor, the Montana AFL-CIO, of being the root cause for the lack of qualified game wardens in Montana.

It’s difficult to believe that someone with Jent’s intelligence and background could make a statement that accuses a labor organization of being too ‘…wedded to the collective bargaining process…’.  Larry, collective bargaining is the very process for which unions exist.  Perhaps reading this slowly would help- workers band together to form a collective bargaining unit (aka a union) and then workers collectively bargain.  To say the two are wedded would somehow insinuate that one could ever exist without the other or that somewhere in time the two existed separately.  Make no mistake, Jent has clearly been fuming for some time for not being endorsed by Montana’s labor unions.  Jent managed to invite himself to speak to the excutive board of Montana AFL-CIO and left without an endorsement.  And why should he have expected it?  After all he did enter the race at the very last minute on the very last day and by his own admission, at the urging of former Governor Brian Schweitzer.  To simplify again, running for the office wasn’t even his own idea.

Jent alludes to and refers to two legislative sessions in the interview.  The 2005 session in which House Bill 35 was passed and created a  new pay mechanism for Montana Highway Patrol officers.  Some quick research showed that the bill had the blessing of the attorney general, governor and the union.  By all accounts Jent championed the bill and followed his script well.  In fact, his website touts the bill signing with all of the players pictured.  He’s obviously proud of the work he did. Unfortunately, and much like his claims to have saved the public employee retirement system on Face the State, he believes he single handedly saved the Montana Highway Patrol from going out of business.

The ‘Stay At Home Attorney General’ candidate made a vague reference to House Bill 313 that was a stand alone pay increase just for game wardens and the MPEA during the 2011 session.  What he doesn’t point out is that this bill had no support, was poorly planned and executed by Montana Game Warden’s Association.  Apparently “Larry-Come-Lately” Jent missed the wild west days of every state agency bringing its own pay plan  to the legislature before former Governor Marc Racicot put an end to the nonsense.  donald-trump3The MPEA and MEA-MFT had already reached a pay agreement with the Schweitzer administration, that had overwhelmingly support from the members, and could not support a rogue pay bill. In the labor world this would be called an unfair labor practice.  Maybe that’s just too wedded for Larry. The game wardens and the Montana Public Employees Association have since gone their separate ways and the game wardens have now joined the ranks of the esteemed Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).  The same FOP that recently endorsed Donald Trump, that paragon of Gilded Age excess and anti-union rhetoric.

Larry was for many years considered a class act and a reliable legislator who was willing toimg_5823 carry bills.  Like many legislators, he needed to be reminded of what he was working on and kept in a lane to get to the end of the process.  He treated people with respect and was in turn treated with respect.  Perhaps the strings that are directing him in this ill fated race for AG are too tight or perhaps not tight enough.    You’re better than this Larry and it’s not too late to finish this race with dignity and your self-respect still intact.

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’

 

The Marcus Daly Shotgun

It has to be impossible for Greg Gianforte to make this kind of Freudian slip again during his now spirally campaign, but we can all hope he will for the sake of entertainment.  During an interview with Montana Public Radio at his latest campaign stunt Gianforte was asked what kind of gun he was using and responded ‘It’s a Marcus Daly over under’.  In fact, Gianforte was shooting a Charles Daly over and under, his trusty all around gun.  It’s hard to tell which model he’s trying to impress the average Montanan with, however, he may have wanted to opt for a different brand.  Charles Daly shotguns are made in Turkey and probably have the finger prints of Muslims all over them.  But that and the fact that it’s imported aren’t really the point.

img_5534

Susan, be sure to thank the guy in the KC shirt for holding my beer so I wouldn’t drop my spiffy gun.

The idiocy here is the continued grasping of the vetoes by Governor Bullock relating to ‘pro gun’ legislation in the past two legislative sessions.  While it would be important to understand the specifics of each bill it may be more valuable to understand just how some legislation passes ‘along party lines’.  Particularly when there is a veto pen (or brand) waiting at the legislative factory doors when such garbage law is dumped.  Seasoned and sensible legislators understand that they have to maintain some level of standing within their party to move their own bills when the time comes. Sticking to a party line on bills that are destined for the big V is a safe and logical way to do just that.  To believe that all Republican legislators who voted in favor of bizarre ‘gun bills’ were actually in favor of such bills is pure ignorance of what actually takes place during those 90 days every other year.

House Bill 240 is a prime example and one of the six bills the Republican Party and atf-drunk-redneck-alocohol-guns-for-web1Gianforte have been trotting out as Bullock is labeled as anti Second Amendment.  HB 240 would have prohibited the Board of Regents and the Montana University System from ‘…regulating or restricting the possession of firearms on university property…’.  Fortunately, and to date, Montana has not had to mourn the tragedy of a campus shooting and will hopefully continue to avoid the national spotlight thanks to Governor Bullock refusing to sign such a moronic bill. College freshman should leave their firearms back home and stick to keg stands, beer bongs and visits to the ER for alcohol poisoning.  Perhaps there is a ‘liberal’ open carry policy at Gianforte’s Petra Acedemy.

Gianforte has aligned himself with the likes of Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting untitledSports Association and enjoys his endorsement by the National Rifle Association.  A rhetorical question here, how is an ‘A’ rating from the NRA possible without having done anything but engage in his usual promise of anything they ask?   Sounds a bit like an NRA participation medal presented by Marbut himself.

To paraphrase:  It’s been four years of Steve Bullock and all I got was to keep my guns and health care.’

TGTJ

‘Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’