1. Dennis Rehberg finally did release his labor, health and education spending bill from his Appropriations subcommittee–the last one released this year. It’s so late that it won’t receive discussion on the House floor.A couple of positives did emerge: we should probably thank the Tester campaign for forcing Rehberg to fund community health centers, Pell Grants, and Head Start, though none of those would receive inflationary increases under the Rehberg proposal.
Otherwise, the proposed budget is a political and social disaster. Democrats won’t support it; TEA Party allies think it doesn’t cut enough, and Rehberg added a dozen riders to the bill without consulting with the rest of the committee.
It would cut over $2 billion from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, as well “programs that improve our schools and combat child abuse, substance abuse, elder abuse, mental health issues, teen pregnancy and domestic violence,” according to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.
2. I wrote a lengthy piece last night about the absurdity of the Missoulian devoting another 1,000 words to the Dennis Rehberg Jesus circus sideshow, but the one sure thing I’ve learned about blogging is that media criticism doesn’t accomplish anything. Suffice it to say that while newspapers are certainly correct to argue that new advertising paradigms do threaten their business model, they probably shouldn’t overlook the quality of their product and mission of their institutions. Mr. Scott, the author of at least five pieces on the Whitefish Jesus, is an excellent writer. Would it be too much to ask that he use that skill on something other than the politically manufactured controversy of “cerulean-blue epoxy Big Mountain Jesus”?
3. On the subject of media, Montana readers were treated to another example of Dustin Hurst’s complete disregard for the basic principle of journalism that news stories should cover factual events, not provide a platform for uninformed supposition. His latest piece about Jon Tester offers a number of assertions about health care that lack factual backing and defy logic. When did news reporting become parroting the parts of an AP story you like and then making up the rest?
4. Montana bloggers Gregg Smith and Dave Budge have launched the Montana Regulation Project, dedicating to “yank[ing] regulation back by the scruff of its neck for the benefit of citizens.” While I’m disinclined to believe that regulations are stifling the Montana economy, I’ll certainly follow their work, for no other reason than the fact that I have been asking conservatives for years to specifically identify the kind of regulations that Rick Hill keeps pretending are responsible for every economic ill the state faces.
5. While I certainly understand the impact cancer can have on family members, I’m entirely at a loss to understand Denny Rehberg’s bizarre response to Jon Tester’s hard-hitting ad about community health centers? Are we to believe that the mother of the 14th richest member of Congress needed government assistance at a community health center for her care? Are we to assume that Rehberg couldn’t find anyone else willing to go on camera to defend him? It’s little wonder that national Republicans are concerned about the race the Rehberg team is running.