President Trump, new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at odds over budget–President Trump’s administration is looking to take a hacksaw to the Department of the Interior’s budget and the incoming Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is “not happy” about it.
According to reports from E&E News, the new administration is looking to cut 10 percent from Interior’s annual budget, which translates into a $1.3 billion reduction from last year’s $13.3 billion budget. The Interior Department?—?which is already spread razor thin?—?does everything from overseeing America’s parks and managing endangered wildlife to balancing the multiple critical uses of the more than 500 million acres of American-owned lands. medium.com
Blog Series: Who Has the Most to Lose With a Capped System | Montana Budget and Policy Center–As Montana sees diminishing contributions from the federal government, our state will have to pick up an increasingly larger share of costs. This could put a significant strain on the state’s budget, making it likely that at some point the state will have to reduce benefits. As the state’s share of Medicaid costs grows, Montana would be faced with difficult decisions to limit Medicaid costs moving forward, including: (i) cuts to the level of benefits under Medicaid; (ii) cuts to the number of Montanans enrolled in Medicaid; and/or (iii) cuts to Medicaid payments made to doctors, hospitals and other providers. All of these options will hurt Montana families trying to access Medicaid coverage. www.montanabudget.org
Representative Commander Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, a career – Combat!–Zinke ends his career as a congressman having sponsored no bills that actually became law. That’s not so unusual for a freshman representative. What set him apart was his flair for the dramatic—his ability to present a wild caricature of Montana values while, again, not actually expressing those values in the form of legislation. But who cares about influencing the US government when your representative used to be a Navy SEAL? Sure, he missed 80 of 99 House votes after he was nominated for Interior. Combat!
FightAmongstYourselves–Understanding and valuing other points of view is how we get stronger, and our movement gets more representative of all of us. Diversity is one of the things we say we are fighting for, right? We can approach issues from lots of perspectives – and when we do that, we connect with one another on a whole range of other issues. Common Sense Under the Big Sky
Daylight Saving Time repeal bill hearing set for Tuesday–Taking Montana out of time sync with the nation and neighboring states is a serious proposal that merits serious discussion. Thus far, however, the legislature’s approach has been frivolous and irresponsible. The bill’s proponents are trying to ram it through the legislature, evidently fearing that extended discussion of the issue will reveal just how popular daylight saving time is. www.flatheadmemo.com
There’s a Prosecutor Vacancy in Montana. Is Art Wittich on the Short List?–Former Majority Leader in the Montana Senate and former member of the Montana House of Representatives. Art is said to be licking his wounds after being convicted last year of three counts of violating state campaign finance law. Those convictions are under appeal. www.logicosity.com
A Love Letter to Wild Places–By the time I was in seventh grade, when my family decided to hike, backpack, horseback ride, and raft every inch between my back door and Yellowstone National Park, my soul had already begun to tangle itself up in Montana’s wild places. The vast majority of this trip bobbed and weaved through the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area. My soul had already tied knots to this state, but this trip is when I shackled my heart to Montana with steel chains. wildmontana.org
The Apocalypse is Now (Guest Post)–This is especially galling when the person who costumes himself in the uniform is a self-avowed draft dodger who used “bone spurs” in his heels to avoid service in Vietnam. GOP readers will quickly note that Bill Clinton also avoided the draft but was more than happy to parade around in military regalia. Point. George Bush did so too after avoiding Vietnam service in a sneakier way. But at least Clinton was more up front about his willingness to avoid the draft for a war he did not support or believe in. Trump has pretended like the Rich Kid Military Academy was just like real service and he really could not go because of his medical issues. Bone spurs in his little pedicured feet… please. mtcowgirl.com
Trump’s SCOTUS nominee is no friend to working people–As a Tenth Circuit judge, Gorsuch joined the majority in the original Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius, arguing that for-profit corporations are people and have a right to exercise their religious beliefs under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. His ruling – narrowly upheld by the Supreme Court – meant that Hobby Lobby won the “freedom” to deny female employees birth control coverage. The last thing we need is a Supreme Court justice who believes that corporations are people with more rights than women. People\
Al Capone’s Vault–But with all this nomination business, Elsie Arntzen is hoping to catch a break since there’s no media focus on her. Then again, what is there to focus on? Wasn’t there some dustup about ACT reporting and then an investigation that wasn’t really an investigation? Wasn’t that all supposed to end last week? ghosttomjoad.com