Unbelievable: Zinke is Secretary of the Interior?

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To quote Woody Allen: “This is a travesty of a mockery of a sham.”

Continuing to pick the least qualified people to fill his cabinet, it looks like President-elect Donald Trump may choose Montana’s Rep. Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior.

Zinke’s background in managing federal lands, waterways, wildlife and fish, natural resources and National Parks consists of … nada. He was an early adapter to Trump’s campaign and it paid off. But it could still be a risky move. He’s leaving a safe U.S. House seat and hitching his wagon to an eventual falling star.

I suppose Montanans are excited by the prospect of having one of their own in a cabinet position. I’m not one of them. I’d prefer someone with a basic understanding of science as it relates to prairies and forests and wetlands. Someone who understands sustainability. Someone who won’t, despite his denials, auction off our public lands to the highest bidder. Someone who sees the value in wild, expanded, connected lands before they’re all gone.

Is there an upside? Perhaps Sen. Jon Tester is breathing a sigh of relief that he may not have Zinke as an opponent in 2018, although I think Tester would beat Zinke, especially as the Trump administration goes down in flames. It will be interesting to see if Tester votes to confirm Zinke.

Perhaps even more interesting is who the Republicans will choose as his replacement: a place holder or someone who will seriously vie for the job when a special election is held next year, and who will the Democrats choose to go after the seat?

More later as events warrant and the appointment actually materializes.

UPDATE: It appears that the governor won’t be choosing a replacement for Zinke. The U.S. Constitution trumps (no pun intended) the Montana Constitution on this matter. There will be a special election, next year, supposedly around 100 days after the Zinke resignation. This should get interesting.

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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

22 Comments

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  • As much as I would love Montana to be rid of this Californian, he would not be good for our public lands, fisheries and wildlife. He is a lackey that will sell his soul to have power (not unlike a lot of the folk he keeps company with). Let’s hope that if he is chosen, that in very short order, he is either not confirmed or removed from office when he violates our trust (and/or the Constitution or laws).

    • I’d feel more comfortable if the B.S. was in Biology, Environmental Science, Forestry …
      Oft times, those geology degrees are preludes to drilling, mining and other extractive industry gigs.

  • You are in serious “Dem denial” Eugene – since when doesn’t a GOP Congress confirm anybody the leader of their party nominates.?

    I hope Greg Gianforte steps up.

    • I hope Gianforte steps up, too, Eric. He was one of the few Republicans to lose a statewide race last time out. I don’t think Montana voters are going to change their opinion of GG in the next few months.

  • Freshman Congressman Zinke to head up the Department of Interior(DOI)?

    Remember it was Zinke who acted to block the DOI into even considering the three year trail of evidence of Coal companies underpaying Federal Royalty Taxes to take away coal. Underpaying by understating the price paid for coal contractually intended to be exported to the far side of the Pacific rim.
    Somehow our one Representative acted only to represent, and incentivise Big Coal to export coal and rip off the USA.

    Ryan Zinke was also duped to support and Vote to deny State’s Rights, also to Deny Americans Right to Know(DARK) if GMO ingredients are in commercial food.
    The H.R. 1599 Bill of 2015, may well have increased the stock value of takeover candidate Monsanto; it bought out by Bayer in 2016.
    And delayed the day of seeing affordable Made in Montana GMO grains and meats in Gocery Stores.
    Somehow our Rep voted to rip off the health of Americans made sick from GMO ingredients.

  • Well, Slinky the Barking Seal created at least ONE job already, just like he said he would. HIS OWN! From Seal to Poodle, Slinky is now in charge of Poodle Team Six! He’s a Ras Putin poodle!

    Time for Slinky to appear before a senate committee and answer a few questions, like what you knew and when you knew it. I lay you money that Slinky knew about the Russian interference, for he probably helped DESIGN it along with his little bald headed buddy neil livinstone! It’s what these little traitorous cheese balls do! Livingstone even BRAGS about affecting the elections in nearly twenty countries around the world. Real nice guy, huh?

    NO. He’s not. He’s a slime ball who looks to have now done the same thing to OUR country. Like Slinky, he’d sell out the country for a buck. Nuthin’ personal, just business!

    It’s called treason, folks. I don’t care what flag or ideology you wrap it in, guys like Slinky and his buddy are traitors! Remember, livingscam claims to have his “own CIA”. Hmm. Wonder what he did with that?

    Welcome to the modern Republican Party!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-backs-cia-view-that-russia-intervened-to-help-trump-win-election/2016/12/16/05b42c0e-c3bf-11e6-9a51-cd56ea1c2bb7_story.html?utm_term=.8148228c81a1

    p.s. Before we allow these psycho criminals to start any more wars, let’s flush them out! We deserve to know what they’ve done! This time, we can’t allow them to slaughter more innocents around the world without a helluva fight.

    • From the NY Times article:

      “The guy was brilliant,” said Neil C. Livingstone, chief executive of GlobalOptions, a risk management and security firm, who worked with Mr. Stevens in various corners of the world and Republican politics. “It takes someone else a week to figure out all the angles, but Greg would walk in and two hours later he’d say, ‘This is what’s going to happen; this is what we have to do.”‘
      Mr. Livingstone said Mr. Stevens had compiled a record of 18 victories for presidents or prime ministers in 26 elections worldwide.”

      Senate, do you job! Call the weasels in and make’em sweat! We deserve to know who was involved! I THEENK that Slinky and Livingscam can one more victory to their record!

        • Come ON, Slinky. Just admit it. You and baldy boy are up to your tighty whities in this mess! You dudes are traitors, Slinky, and you know it! I won’t stop until you’re outed! And where you belong!

          http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB117674837248471543

          And to think that we taxpayers paid for your military career. Well, the LEAST we can do now it take your pension and make you get a REAL job for once in your pathetic life!

          • Jeebus. What a web of evil slime Slinky is in!

            “According to people familiar with the matter, Mr. Sessions recently
            approached former colleagues at Justice with an unusual offer: Mr.
            Mogilevich would provide the U.S. with intelligence on Islamist terrorism if
            prosecutors opened negotiations to resolve his legal problems in the U.S.
            Federal prosecutors rejected that offer, lawyers and others familiar with
            the matter said.

            Mr. Sessions’s firm and a Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

            The Mogilevich talks were brokered by a prominent Washington security expert
            named Neil C. Livingstone, who was briefly in the news during the 1980s
            Iran-Contra scandal for his work on terrorism issues with White House aide
            Oliver North. He declined to discuss the Mogilevich talks, other than to say
            they involved “very sensitive issues.”

            Until recently, Mr. Livingstone was chief executive of GlobalOptions, a
            Washington corporate-intelligence firm he founded. Mr. Sessions sits on the
            firm’s advisory board. Most of its clients, the firm says, “operate in
            Russia and the Caribbean.”

            GlobalOptions has worked with former Soviet businessmen in the past. In
            2004, Mr. Livingstone said, lobbyists at Barbour Griffith introduced
            GlobalOptions to a Cyprus-based firm called Highrock Holdings.

            Highrock is controlled by Dimytro Firtash, a Ukrainian businessman who
            acknowledges the company’s major shareholders once included Mr.
            Mogilevich’s wife.

            In 2003-2005, Mr. Firtash brokered several billion-dollar deals between
            Gazprom and the government of Ukraine. They netted big profits for
            Highrock — and criticism from the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine at the
            time for the deals’ lack of transparency.

            Mr. Livingstone said Highrock hired GlobalOptions in 2004 to help it win
            federal safety certification for passenger jets it hoped to export to
            Central Asia.

            However, in a recent lawsuit filed by GlobalOptions against Highrock
            claiming unpaid bills, the security firm alleged that Mr. Firtash hired
            GlobalOptions for an unspecified “special operation” on behalf of a
            Ukrainian government official.

            The two sides ceased litigating the suit, which was filed in U.S. District
            Court for the District of Columbia, after the bill was paid, but the suit
            was never withdrawn.

            “We have no knowledge of a company called GlobalOptions,” a spokesman
            for Mr. Firtash said, adding that he severed his ties to Mr. Mogilevich several
            years ago. -30-”

            What the hell does Slinky have to do with Montana? Easy answer. NUTHIN’!

    • Bet that Slinky the Barking Seal, Commander of Poodle Team Six, wouldn’t even KNOW who this guy is. After all, he’s got a football degree form U of O. Too funny.

      It’s like the General saw Trump coming 2500 years ago:
      “If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.”
      ? Sun Tzu.

      What many folks don’t realize is that Sun Tzu also said, “If you see a brain dead seal poodle, CHEER his ascension to the inner circle of your enemy’s power, for you job is a whole lot easier with inbreds running the show!” Remind you of anyone we know? From Whitefish? Er, I mean Californyeeha? Who’s first name rhymes with Lyin’? A seal poodle is unpresidented in this country!

  • Oh sweet Jesus what HAVE we done? Only a venal moron like Slinky the Barking Seal, leader of Poodle Team Six, is frickin’ stoopid enuff to hitch his wagon to a turd like Drumpf!

    John Kennedy could go anywhere in the world and be received by adoring crowds. So could Clinton. And so could O’Bama. Hell, Bush had to have London shut down before his visit.

    And now, it’ll be interesting to see how Drumpf is received. He’ll get a warm welcome by the neo-nazzi crowd in Europe I’m sure.

    Sad, so sad what we’ve done. OR should say what the Zinke crowd has done! That’s all we needed was another coup. That makes at least four in my lifetime.

    And therein lies the problem with our democracy. Our democracy is predicated on a loyal opposition. The Ree Pubes have NEVER been the loyal opposition since about the end of WW II. They are simply a criminal organization. That’s why Slinky the Barking Seal fits right in! The guy is a sleaze bag. (is Zinke German for sleaze bag or cheese ball? I forget.)

    I give you Drumf’s reception from around the world. The entire freakin’ world is smarter than the inbreds in this country. Zinke’s people. I would love to see Dinke write a letter to all the state dailies singing the praises of his hero Drumpf. He owes it to us. Is it Drumpf’s penchant for grabbing those vjayjays Slinke loves? Slinky’s got some splainin’ to do. What does poodle boy love about Drumf?

    The Dems will never, ever, NEVER be effective until they figure out that they’re dealing with criminals. Think I’m kidding? Well, just think back about fifty years or so. More specifically, to 1947 and the creation of the CIA. One coup after another with no push back.

    How the world sees Drumpf and Slinky:

    http://crooksandliars.com/2016/12/congratulations-america-whole-world

    • Lefties, a piece of advice. Nazzzis like lil’ Richard Sphincter ONLY attack soft targets. In other words, folks who won’t fight back. True story. Therefore, make yourselves hard targets! If they want to get tough, YOU get tough right back. Only tougher! And I guarantee they won’t be back. Guys like Sphincter and his inbred followers at NOT invincible. I’ve been tweaking their noses for years. And I know what they are. They’re cowards.

      Oh sure, that’s not the way we want to do things. I understand perfectly. But unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. It’s more important now than ever before in my lifetime. Make yourself a hard target. And all that implies. I’m here to help you to decide how to do that. First thing is get yourself a gun. I can help. I’ve spent my entire life in shooting endeavors. I grew up with guns. I know what works and what’s right for you. But do get armed. If it gets ugly, which it probably will, you’ll be much better off being a hard target. Hopefully, the fact that you now a hard target will make the lil’ nazzzi boys think twice.

      Am I advocating violence? No. Just self-defense. We all have the right to defend ourselves against nazzzis. They are NOT nice people. And that’s our reality like it or not.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5196525f1cdf6c9ceedf401c246bffc885429d0fbc8dcfa2feef9caeddd8053a.jpg

  • Jesus. You just KNOW it’s bad when even John McCain says it’s bad. Now, let’s get that investigation started!

    First up, let’s call on Slinky the Barking Seal and his lil’ butter buddy Livingstone! I want to know what they knew and when they knew it! For this is right out of their dirty tricks play book! Them along with Roger Stone, Manafort, Oly North and others! These guys are TRATIORS! And it’s time for them to spend a long, loooong vacation in a tropical place…….LIKE GUANTAMO! Where we put traitors and terrorists!

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/they-may-destroy-democracy-mccain-rips-fellow-gopers-for-stalling-investigation-of-russia-hacks/

  • I’m old. HEY, some day you guys might be too. So bear with me. When you get old, some days it’s hard to take a good morning Drumpf. Yep. It’s hard to take a good Drumpf and wipe your Zinkenshizer. Hell, fat as I am, I can barely REACH my Zinkenshizer any more! Or Zinke for short.

    But gawd DAMM there ain’t nuthin’ like a nazzzi puke takin’ a Drumpf in public to get me motivated! I don’t bleeve I’ve EVER seen a fella take a public Drumpf like Bill O’Lielly before! And I theenk I seen sumthin’ actually hangin’ off his Zinke! Looks kinda like an alt-right Spencer! Spencer in German is Sphincter I’m told.

    And Zinkenshizer, just like the guy who follows after the elephants in a parade, was there to clean it up!

    Sad, so sad. Wake up, America. These guys are clowns. And you wanna know a secret? They are IN the frickin’ minority. We’ll win this thing with a little push back and send them back to wherever they came from!

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/oreilly-goes-full-white-nationalist-dems-want-power-taken-away-from-the-white-establishment/

    Careful though. SOME Zinkenshizer served in the military but were kicked out for criminal conduct, making them perfect for positions in the Drumpf cabinet! I mean, really, seriously, if your Zinkenshizer looks like it has some shizerheimer hangin’ off it, you just might be eligible for the Drumpenfurher cabinet! Just like the Barking Poodle!

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/oreilly-goes-full-white-nationalist-dems-want-power-taken-away-from-the-white-establishment/

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