Daines Checked Out the Polls, Voted to Reopen Government -- Temporarily
On October 16, the Senate and House voted to fund the government, but only temporarily. Early this year, Steve Daines and other extreme House Republicans will again probably threaten to shut the government down. Meanwhile, the economy will just scrape by, uncertain about what's to come.
According to Standard and Poors, the sixteen-day Republican temper-tantrum cost the economy about $24 billion. Its human cost is harder to measure.
The shut-down was not, as some news outlets wanted us believe, the fault of both Republicans and Democrats.
It was solely the fault of Republican Party extremists.
Its origin was a FreedomWorks campaign launched just after the re-election of President Obama in 2012. FreedomWorks is one of several far-right groups funded by the billionaire Koch brothers.
On their website, FreedomWorks has the following: "Harry Reid and his Democrats will have no incentive to compromise unless they know the Republicans are willing to take a hard stance -- even allowing the government to be shut down, if necessary."
On August 21st, a letter (written by a congressman from North Carolina who believes President Obama was born in Kenya) was sent to the Republican congressional leadership. It was signed by 80 of the most extreme House members, including Steve Daines. The letter urged the leadership to work toward FreedomWorks' goal of a government shut-down.
The Billionaire Koch Brothers: Steve Daines' Heroes and Financial Backers
The Koch Brothers-inspired letter read, in part, "We should continue our efforts to repeal Obamacare in its entirety this year, next year, and until we are successful. We urge you [Boehner and Canter] to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriation bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress including any continuing appropriations bill."
Daines, one of the radical 80 who signed the letter leading to the shut-down, looked at the polls showing his Tea Party sinking in popularity (now 25% favorable) and voted to reopen the government.
In a statement to the press after the vote, Daines said that, despite his reluctant vote to re-open the government, he will continue to fight to "repeal Obamacare." So look for him to work with other Teabaggers to create another crisis in January.
Scary-Funny Republican Quotes
Ted Cruz on "compromise": "It is the view of every Republican in this body [the Senate], and indeed every Republican in the House, that Obamacare should be entirely and completely repealed. Nonetheless, the House started with a compromise of saying not repealing Obamacare but simply that it should be defunded."
Michele Bachmann on the House, with God's help, "repealing" Obamacare: "I think before [Obama's] second term is over, we're going to see a miracle before our eyes. I believe God is going to answer our prayers and we'll be freed from the yoke of Obamacare. I believe that's going to happen and we saw step one last week with the repeal of Obamacare in the House."
Larry Klayman, Tea Party hero, speaking at the Ted Cruz-led veterans rally on October 13: "I call upon all of you to wage a second American non-violent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands out."
Dillon City Council to Take Up Anti-Bias Ordinance
Responding to a concern raised by a Dillon resident on February 19, the City Council has begun work on a possible ordinance protecting LGBT people against discriminatory actions by private employers, businesses, and landlords.
LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Dillon may model its ordinance on the one recently passed in Butte. The matter is currently in the hand of the Council's Judicial Committee. There will be several weeks of discussion within this committee before the issue if available for public commentary.
Let's hope the idea of "justice for all" prevails.
Jefferson-Obama Dinner a Great Success
Friday night's Jefferson-Obama Dinner at the Elks Lodge drew a large crowd who were treated to a wide range of speakers and entertainment by the Butte gospel-bluegrass-labor songs group "Sunday Best" (shown above).
Presentations by Lt. Governor Angela McClean, State Auditor Monica Lindeen, and Tara Jensen of the Healthy Montana Initiative clarified the role of the Affordable Care Law in Montana and stressed the need to expand Medicaid in the state through a ballot initiative. Petitions were circulated at the dinner.
Senator John Walsh was unable to attend. But his two Democratic opponents -- Dirk Adams and John Bohlinger -- spoke, both making compelling arguments for their candidacies.
John Driscoll introduced himself to the crowd, explained his bare-bones campaign, and urged voters to consider him for congress instead of the far better financed John Lewis, who was also unable to attend.
Norma Duffy explained her reasons for running for House District 72 (Beaverhead County), chief among them her eagerness to resist the far-right-wing ideology currently dominating the State Legislature.
Norma Duffy to Run for HD 72
We need to thank Norma Duffy of Dillon for again stepping forward to run for House District 72 (Beaverhead County). She ran unsuccessfully for this seat in 2012.