Thursday, December 30, 2010

Havre High School Roof Collapses

The recent heavy snow in Hill County has found at least one victim today as a large section of the roof at Havre High School collapsed under the snow load. Luckily school was still on break for the Christmas holidays.

Interestingly the former flat roof at the High School was modified to the pitched slope they now have by the school board’s favored out of town premier contractor Dick Anderson Construction just a few years ago. It appears there was a slight design flaw someplace.

I will post further details as the damage is assessed. With less that 3 days until the January 3rd back to school deadline school officials will have to be scrambling to make sure the school is safe for occupancy.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Refrigerator Give-Away

Everybody is certainly aware of the “Energy Star” rebate program offered to consumers to entice them to upgrade their old inefficient appliances. The state even hosts a page on their website where you can easily apply for a rebate from the Montana Appliance Rebate Program. While the benefit of this rebate program is debatable what can be truly labeled as “government waste” is the Montana Department of Health and Human Service’s recent purchase of 114 “energy star” refrigerators for the tidy sum of $64,000 of your taxpayer dollars. According to a recent article at the Montana Watchdog the refrigerators were given to “certain applicants that met the agency’s qualifications”. Thank you Mr. Montana taxpayer for so graciously providing these new refrigerators at the average cost of over $561 each not to mention the undisclosed bureaucratic administration costs of overseeing this newly implemented “entitlement”

The legislature convenes on January 3rd and it may just be high-time to call Representatives Hansen and Warburton to demand that they give some in-depth scrutiny to the Department of Health and Human Services budget. It is time for the over burdened taxpayers to start paying attention to the systematic waste of our hard earned tax dollars.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Forest Jobs you Say?

Last week as the infamous pork filled earmark laden Omnibus spending bill gasped for its last breath  so too went the Tester so called Montana Forest Jobs initiative. When the news of the original “Montana Forest Jobs and Restoration Initiative” first came to light over a year ago I personally thought that Senator “No Earmarks Ever” Tester was on the right track. What I didn’t know at the time was that the language and provisions of this bill was agreed upon by a small group of Tester lovers in one of those smoke filled backrooms similar to those “deals” for which he berated Senator Burns.

Interestingly the very liberals that paraded around supporting Sir Tester in his election campaign are now blowing the whistle on his antics. George Ochenski has written some details over at the Missoula Independent and if you want to hear what a former cheerleader for Tester thinks you don’t want to miss this article.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TSA Colossal Failures

While TSA workers were busy checking for liquids and groping airline customers a Houston businessman walked on a plane and flew undetected to his destination with a loaded Glock 44 he had forgotten was in his carryon.  This is the full report from ABC news.

What I find interesting is the fact that the TSA regularly conducts tests of the screening process and know that they are failing miserably at their jobs yet nothing improves. Inconvenience to passengers increases and when questioned about these “tests” the only response given by the TSA is that the results are “classified”

Anyone else notice the slowly eroding liberty in our country?

States with lowest Taxes Excel in Growth

The Washington Examiner published some interesting information about the 2010 Census, the reapportionment of House seats and the correlation of electoral votes. The shining star seems to be Texas which had an increase in population of over 21% in the last decade.

Here is a short excerpt from Michael Barone, the political analyst that wrote the article;
This leads to a second point, which is that growth tends to be stronger where taxes are lower. Seven of the nine states that do not levy an income tax grew faster than the national average. The other two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, had the fastest growth in their regions, the Midwest and New England.

Altogether, 35 percent of the nation's total population growth occurred in these nine non-taxing states, which accounted for just 19 percent of total population at the beginning of the decade.
Perhaps the Montana legislature should look at the facts and actually do some over-haul of our state tax system?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saving You from TSA Nudies

Senator Tester didn’t do much for us during the Healthcare fiasco, or the earmark ban, or anything else for that matter but at least he is now making an effort to protect us from the gropers.  This report is from KFBB

Poor Senator Tester

Our beloved Senator “No Earmarks Ever” Tester was the liberals dream come true only a short 5 years ago. He was not only aided in his election effort by people such as Pelosi and Reid but he was hailed by liberal bloggers such as Markos Moulitsas over at the DAILY KOS as the “real thing”. Markos loved him so much he even contributed $1,500 to his campaign and praised him daily in his blog.

Fifteen-hundred bucks just doesn't buy the kind of loyalty it used to and on saturday Markos had this to say about his good buddy Jon-Boy;
To me, he is the Blanche Lincoln of 2012 -- the Democrat I will most be happy to see go down in defeat. And he will. Nothing guarantees a Republican victory more than trying to pretend to be one of them.
Funny thing is………………………… I had also noticed that “No Earmarks Ever” Tester started pretending he was a Republican just hours after the Democrats were handed their collective butts on November 2nd. Is there anyone left that loves you Jon?

How did they vote?

You can see every vote your Congressional delegation makes thanks to a data base published by the Washington Post

Friday, December 17, 2010

Montana Chamber Poll Results

A poll authorized by the Montana Chamber of Commerce breaks down what the average Joes in Montana think about the following issues

The number one economic concern was unemployment. Contrary to popular belief the majority of Montanans want to see more oil, gas, coal and mining development. Two-thirds of the folks polled are disgusted with the uncontrolled medical marijuana laws. School funding is ranked as satisfactory according to 47% of those polled while 38% would like to see increases.

Not surprisingly, 63% want the President Obama replaced and 60% “disapprove” of the federal healthcare reform bill.

Keep watch beginning in January to see if our state-wide elected officials even bother to take into consideration the “thoughts of us average Joes”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Montana Term Limits Referendum

House District 33 Representative Kris Hansen
   Only eighteen days until the legislature convenes and all ready the out of state lobbying interests are hard at work trying to influence Montana politics. I have been repeatedly hearing radio ads bemoaning the fact that newly elected District 33 Representative Kris Hansen has introduced a bill to repeal term limits. The group running the ads is called U.S. Term Limits and is based in Fairfax Virginia and they are claiming that Ms. Hansen has introduced this bill strictly as a “self-serving” way to keep herself in office for multiple terms. What these facts twisting out of stators are failing to mention is that Ms. Hansen has introduced this legislation to be placed on the ballot as a referendum to be voted on by the Montana electorate.

Montana’s original term-limit law was passed in 1992 and limits State House members to four -two year terms and the State Senate members to two- four year terms. Since the passage of the term limit law what has been happening is that the legislature is heavily weighted with leadership that has no historical experience so in essence the lobbyists are running our government. Is that really what the citizens of Montana want? The term limit bill was designed to get rid of the career politicians but what it does allow is for a person termed out in the House to then run for the Senate so technically the career minded folk can in reality serve for 16 years. I fail to see how our so called term limits serve any purpose other than giving the lobbyists and special interest groups more say in how the State operates. While it is arguable that some term limit law is needed the one we have now is too short to allow for qualified experienced people to retain their seats.

I admire a newly elected house member like Ms. Hansen that will get to work the very first session to correct the deficiencies she sees in the way the State does business. In addition to the term limit bill Ms. Hansen has also introduced bills to correct problems with annexation, youth court sentencing guidelines, public disclosure, State income tax, school election laws and etc-etc. Beware of what you read in our biased newspapers and advertisements run by lobbying groups. Take the time to follow the bills yourself by checking on the Montana Legislative Website which is updated as the session progresses.

Or better yet – contact information is available on the legislative website so you can contact each of our representative and senators yourself if you have an opinion about any of the proposed bills.

Havre High needs some Renovations

Anxious to start the demolition and build all new
I find it quite ironic that less than 2 weeks after we all have scrimped, borrowed, and begged enough to pay our ever increasing local property taxes (of which 65% go to fund our schools) we are hearing that the school board is working on plans for a major renovation on the high-school building. Wednesday’s Havre Daily “News” reported that school board heard a report from a consulting engineering firm about re-hab work at the high school which could end up with a price tag of 1.7 million dollars. Of course as soon as this dollar figure was disclosed to the board that first thing that popped into their collective heads was the thought of just forsaking everything and working towards building a NEW high school building. After all, the poor dilapidated building is 50 years old. Not to be out spent, the next thought brought to the table was the elementary school buildings which are even older than the high school. I recall we had to pass a mill levy increase just a few months ago just too barely make it thru the year but the economic times are certainly better now that we have all that Obama stimulating going on around the country.

I will be the first to dare say it out-loud -- Let’s just bull-doze all the school buildings and start over, after all there seems to be a never ending supply of property owners that we could tax into oblivion to fund all these lofty projects.

GO PONIES (let’s get a new luxury coach for the team also)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tax on"Sugary" Drinks

Betsy Hands - Democrat - Missoula
Here we go again. The 62nd legislative session hasn’t even begun and here comes House Democrat Betsy Hands from Missoula with a bill that will again attempt to tax soda pop. According to Montana Watchdog Ms. Hands says that the bill could generate  100 million dollars in tax per year which could possibly be used to subsidize Medicaid and Medicare. To make this tax more tolerable to the consumers Hands says it could be collected by the distributers of these evil sugary products.

Of course Hands fails to mention that the distributers will indeed pass this tax on to the consumers as well as an additional fee for collecting the tax and dealing with another paperwork burden.

Betsy Hands first served in the legislature in 2007 and carried mostly environmental type bills last session including the “Global Warming Solutions Act”, a bill to regulate mercury thermostats, motorcycle helmet laws and the like. If you have an opinion to share with Ms. Hands you may contact her at  or call your local representatives to alert them to be on watch for this ridiculous excuse to raise our taxes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Forced Healthcare Ruled Unconstitutional

A Virginia Federal Judge has ruled that “forcing” a citizen to participate in nationalized healthcare is unconstitutional.  Judge Henry Hudson said it is “all about liberty”  Here is the full report from ABC News.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Havre Two-Hour Parking

Mayor Tim finally made an “executive” decision today and decided it was high time the City enforced the two-hour parking ordinance downtown. Mayor Tim sent uniformed officers to all the businesses downtown with a letter from the Chief of Police demanding that downtown business owners and employees no longer break the two-hour parking law. City ordinance provides that violators can be subjected to up to a $300 dollar fine.

Some downtown business owners had previously taken it upon themselves to place “customer only” parking signs in front of their businesses only to be obnoxiously told by a public works uppity-up that they had to remove them as all streets are public and they were violating city ordinance. Apparently this is a stepped up attempt by City Hall to drive what is left of down-town business people out to the mall or elsewhere. Interestingly, this will be one of the few ordinances that are actually enforced in our city limits if they indeed do follow through with this action. A scan of the letter is attached below.

It appears those down town business owners shouldn’t have gone to City Hall to complain about that proposed business license. Look out boys ------------- I hear they are issuing the officers new Jack Boots and they will be keeping an eye on you.

Anyone else notice that City Hall excluded themselves from this directive? I guess if you want free all-day unlimited parking you will have to walk to work from over at City Hall. I also noticed that they “suggest” in their letter that “All businesses should report such violations to the Police Department” - Yep.......turn in your buddy. Yet another tactic copied directly from the Jack Booted Thugs Training Manual. I predict that, like all our local ordinances, enforcement will be selective or non-existent.

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Billion Dollar Man

Will President Obama be the nation’s first Billion dollar man? Chris Cillizza, a staff writer for the Washington Post predicts that the Obama reelection campaign could very likely raise over one Billion dollars for the 2012 presidential race. Mr. Cillizza points to the following facts;
First, he collected $750 million while running as a senator. He'll now be running as a president, which should allow him to clean up financially to an even greater extent, thanks to the power of incumbency.

Second, the continued development and maturation of Internet fundraising over the past four years means that the $500 million - yes, you read that right - that Obama raised online in 2008 could well be topped in 2012, noted Ben Ginsberg, a top Republican lawyer who served as an adviser to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential bid.
Considering that the opposition candidate will have to raise a like amount to even hope to unseat an incumbent president this will be a squandering of cash at unprecedented levels. The picture shows 10 million $100 bills stacked on 12 pallets. No wonder these candidates are out of touch with reality.

It may just be time for some election finance reform.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ethanol ----- Why are we still promoting it?

Ethanol decreases mileage – Increases fuels costs – and is subsidized by taxpayers. Why do we continue to beat this dead horse? Here is a very informative article in The Hill’s Congress Blog

What do you think should be done about ethanol?

Merry Christmas Earmarks?

Sorry for the lapse in posts. I have been somewhat out of touch as I have sometime in the last number of years “grown old” and have been inflicted with that desire to go someplace warm with the little woman this time of year as the air temperatures drop and my enthusiasm wanes.

As I have begun browsing that pile of unread newspapers by my easy chair the first pattern I have noticed is that our wonderful Senator “No Earmarks Ever” Tester has been repeatedly stating over the past couple of weeks in various news stories that he really wasn’t against all earmarks like he said in his 2006 campaign but that he was only against those lacking “transparency” Jon-boy is now saying that Montana “desperately needs” these earmarks and that the call for a earmark moratorium by Congressman Rehberg and those naughty republicans is all political grandstanding. Uh……….you mean grandstanding such as saying catch phrases like Jack Abramoff –Culture of Corruption – No Earmarks Ever – and the like Senator?

I am not necessarily against the “proper” use of earmarks but I fail to see how we will ever get to the point where this magic “transparency” Mr. “No Earmarks Ever” Tester is now proclaiming to be the “fix” will work. Take a look at this article in the Huffington Post with the headline “Obama-GOP Tax cut Bill Turning into ‘Christmas Tree’ Tinseled with Gifts for lobbyists, Lawmakers” and you will see that every vote has a price. While I agree that the actual earmarks themselves make up less than one per-cent of the budget they are the grease that lubricates the vote for large obscene spending bills.

The bill talked about in this Huffington Post article was to extend the Bush tax cuts. Ironically it is now being called an Obama tax-cut bill but it really doesn’t cut any taxes but rather extends the Bush tax-cut for another two years. Without passage of this extension we would in reality see tax increases. (Why do the newspapers erroneously title these stories as “tax-cuts”?) You can plainly see by this article that millions upon millions of dollars have been ‘earmarked” unto this tax bill for everything from ethanol subsidies to wasteful grants for experimental solar power. Without earmarks these same subsidies would have to be brought to congress to be voted upon by their own merits instead of simply being the grease that lubricates the real screwing being given to the tax-payers.

It’s time to call your congressional delegation and tell them to vote to eliminate the legality of ALL earmarks………………….. Forever!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Be Happy Gas is only Three Bucks

Isn’t this great? The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. interior Department has designated 187,000 square miles of offshore sea ice in Alaska as a “Critical Habitat” for Polar Bears. Drilling was to commence this next summer. Only a year or so ago they were saying this was all political rhetoric and telling those people about to be thrown out of work in Alaska “not to worry” - kind of like they have been telling the ranchers around Malta about the proposed National Monument .

I will continue to get that warm fuzzy feeling about the anti-drilling crowd and these lame-brain government workers every time I pull my car in to gas up with $3.00 gas. Apparently no one has learned anything from the election results just a mere 4 weeks ago

Time to vote some more of the bums out!