Thursday tchotchkes: Quist, Gianforte, Schweitzer and Sinclair TV

A little experiment

During the most recent Rob Quist/Greg Gianforte debate, there was a climate change question. Quist offered an analogy of what the Earth might be like if burning fossil fuels continues unabated.

I challenge you (climate change skeptics) to go into your garage, start your car and see what happens.

While perhaps not the most contemplative response, it’s easy to interpret as a warning that our atmosphere could get pretty nasty.

The far right jumped on this quote as meaning “climate change skeptics should commit suicide.” While I’m not completely opposed to that notion, it does twist Quist’s statement in an unimaginable way.

I’d forgotten what an ugly, pandering website Breitbart News is. Here’s its take on the climate change quote, and Montana’s congressional race in general. If you need to upchuck your digestive tract, read the comments that follow.

Gianforte needs more money

Speaking of over-the-top language, I get a funding request everyday from the Gianforte campaign. Here’s a sample:

Wealthy liberal donors from New York and California are trying to buy this seat. They know my opponent is a gun-grabbing, job-killing radical Democrat who will impede Donald Trump and his agenda to “Make America Great Again” at every turn.

Besides the above quote having some syntax issues, the “buy this seat” line is particularly noteworthy. GOP PACs have already spent over $2.2 million on Quist attack ads, which rather dwarfs the $600,000 pledged by Democratic Party PACs.

Where’s Schweitzer?

I’ve seen this question asked, a lot, on social media. While I’d like to see our Democratic statewide elected officials stumping more for Quist, I realize that Gov. Steve Bullock and Sen. Jon Tester have other jobs to do. But where’s Brian Schweitzer?

It was the popular, former governor’s early endorsement that helped legitimize Quist’s campaign and earned him a number of voting delegates at the nominating convention. It’s time to follow up, Brian. How about a week on the road with Rob? It’s going to take a grassroots, person-to-person effort to beat back the big money Gianforte campaign, and your help would be most welcome.

Fox being eclipsed by Sinclair

It happened a couple of weeks ago in Montana. Sinclair Broadcast Group, the conservative media company, picked up TV stations in Missoula, Kalispell and the Butte/Bozeman viewing area.

Sinclair is the largest owner of local television stations in the U.S. It’s currently locked in a battle with Fox News to purchase Tribune Media, the second largest owner of local stations. The New York Times has some background on Sinclair. Here’s a quote from the story:

While much of the station’s local news broadcasts are filled with local news, Sinclair also provides commentary and syndicated reports from its Washington bureau that have generally taken stances critical of Democrats and laudatory of Republicans.

Great. At least the independently-owned Fox affiliates have autonomy from the Fox News cable channel — you know, the network of serial harassers Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes — but whatever company ends up owning Tribune, it’s a lot of concentrated media in the hands of a few.

And with Ajit Pai being elevated to chairman of the Federal Communications Commission by Donald Trump, things are only going to get worse.



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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.


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  • Pete, your memory is going – almost every Dem candidate that Gov. BS appeared with lost their race.

    He’s kind of like Obama, in which he did well for himself personally, but left the party in shambles.

    If you recall, he actually gave an unadvertised State job to a GOP lawmaker in exchange for switching sides because he couldn’t muster a majority.

    Keeping him off the campaign trail has been a good thing for Quist.

    • I don’t agree, Eric. Schweitzer could help the Quist campaign, especially among Independents. It wasn’t Schweitzer’s appearance with some of the losing Dem. candidates, it was who those candidates were going up against — established, incumbent Republicans like Denny Rehberg.

      And I remember Schweitzer at a number of events for Tester and Baucus — both winners.

      What’s the “unadvertised State job” you’re referring to? That I don’t remember.

    • Thanks for the link, Eric, especially since it’s from 2007. It confirms everything about the Montana Republican Party this past decade. Moderates are shunned in favor of the far right, which refuses to compromise on anything: infrastructure and education, medicaid and public lands … things that are important to Montanans.

      Keep up the good work.

  • Where is Waldo? (Bernie Sanders) So is Quist racist since he told Tom Perez not to come to Montana? Oh, that’s right he is not Republican. I wonder what Quist’s logic was for this decision. He wants to ensure he never get on a committee?

    • Since Quist is reaching out to Independents for votes, his campaign thought it wise not to invite a mainstream Democrat to Montana. Racist? That’s one of your stupider questions, Bill, and with your comment history, that’s saying a lot.

  • Brian Schweitzer would be a big liability for the Quist campaign. The Unions and Union members of Montana remember what BS did to the Stillwater miners a few years back. While Stillwater was profitable B.S. slashed wages, fired miners, later broke the Steelworkers Union strike, retaliated against the workers, then gave the CEO a $5 million bonus. B.S. greedily destroyed many families just so his mine would look even better on paper. B.S. then sold Stillwater to a out-of-country mining company and now enjoys his great wealth and living in his retirement home in Arizona. Even though it was B.S. who recruited Quist to run it is wise for the campaign to keep him at arms length.

    • You make a point, Kevin, but since I wasn’t aware of a lot of what you say, most Montanans won’t be either. Many of the mainstream party officials probably aren’t missing Schweitzer’s presence as he can muddy the waters, but he’s still popular with Dem. voters, and Independents.

      • “The Unions and Union members of Montana remember what BS did to the Stillwater miners a few years back. While Stillwater was profitable B.S. slashed wages, fired miners, later broke the Steelworkers Union strike, retaliated against the workers, then gave the CEO a $5 million bonus.”

        I have more friends that are pro-union than union neutral.
        I have progressive friends that rejected Brian Schweitzer because of his incompetent reasoning about clean coal in Montana’s future.

        Now VP Pence is coming to M stump for DJT. Pence who was warned by Elijah Cummings about General Misha Flyyn, the unregistered foreign agent.
        Now it’s reported the $400 K+ Flynn took from Turkey, may have originated with Putin Agents.

        Waiting for soemone other than a swamp creature to stump for Mr. Gianforte!

  • Tester beat Rehberg in 2012 because tea party Republicans voted Libertarian “because Rehberg was not good enough for them.” These are the same Republicans who nominated Gianforte for Congress in the absence of a primary election.

    The race between Quist and Gianforte will be decided by the “Independents” who voted for Trump but not for Gianforte in 2016. So far, both Quist and Gianforte seem to be catering to their choirs instead of gathering support from the these Independents. Can’t predict the outcome of this race because no way to predict the turnout for each side.

    Agree that Gianforte should not be asking me for money every 3 days. Especially when he headlines his request as a response to a “disaster.” That negative marketing approach will lose voters as well as supporters. Trump did well because he was willing to put his own money where his mouth is.

    The climate question? Well, that is really a science issue and it cannot be decided by politics. The general public understands climate physics like they understand brain surgery. As a physicist, I argue that human emissions have very little effect on atmospheric CO2 because nature overpowers human emissions. That science debate is on my website

    • Edwin, because you are in the under five three percent of the climate-science community that doesn’t believe human activity is responsible for climate change, I’m not sure I can take your other observations seriously. And, yes, it is a “science issue” but also very much a political issue.

      • Hi Pete, good article. Maybe you are referring to the completely invalid claim that 97 percent of scientists believe our CO2 emissions cause global warming. Many articles have proven that claim is a myth. Data show that opinions are about 50-50. But the point is science does progress according to votes. It progresses according to the quality of the scientific argument.

        No one should believe what I say just because I say it. Also, no one should believe what Al Gore or Steve Running says just because they say it. I can show very easily how Gore and Running’s arguments fail. But people treat their politics like a religion. They believe what they want to believe.

        Indeed, people, religions, and governments have made climate science political. That does not mean these people are correct. Compare the history of Lysenkoism that set back Russian biological science some 30 years. It is not good for governments to force a belief in science. In fact, history shows that governments, like religions, that attempt to force a belief contrary to science are usually wrong.

    • Mr. Berry i will politely disagree with you on man caused climate change, my science knowledge is in the biological areas not climate physics. So with that said how do you as a scientist reconcile the fact that Gianforte puts very little credence into proven sciences while at the same time forcing his religious views upon the rest of us. This country has lead the world in innovations from science and engineering for the past 100+ years and here we have a man who does not believe in funding for them. And for the record Evolution is a proven science with parts of it still being theory, the same as physics.

      • Hi 48, no one should agree with me just because I tell you what I think about a problem in physics. That is not how physics works. Physicists debate things as a part of their job. So long as we keep open minds and agree to search for truth, then we are really on the same side.

        However, I have put the details on my argument for debate on my website and there are over 200 comments in the discussions. So far, no scientist from either side can show that my argument is wrong. Some well-known scientists who claim our CO2 is causing the rise in atmospheric CO2 have not been able to defend their positions. Al Gore made simplistic assumptions about global warming that are right up there with the quality of medical science 500 years ago.

        I agree with you that biology, anthropology, etc, have put together a very good picture of evolution. Physics has put together a very good picture of the evolution of our earth and universe. As I have written on my website, the idea that the earth and universe is only 6000 years old is a joke. Anyone who believes in the 6000-year myth not only does not understand science but purposely rejects science.

        At the same time, I bet you cannot produce a valid argument that human emissions control atmospheric CO2. You may believe you are correct but you cannot as a scientist defend your belief with a valid argument.

        • In one minute, watch historical CO2 emissions with your own eyes, up to 2014, on this link.

          Do search for such as:
          time lapse video CO2 emissions colored RED!

          Then select displayed thumbnail link 1 minute video:
          NASA a Year in the life of Earth’s CO2.

          Then reconsider how CO2 has poisoned oceans.
          How damn quick El Nino may return.

          Anthro caused CO2 is OLD LANGUAGE OLD SUBJECT OLD MEDIA

          Our ethical responsibility to reduce CO2 is prime basis of ongoing real subject.

          Search/view time lapse video Arctic Ice,
          where RED COLORED CO2 SWIRLS and congregates on CO2 time lapse videos you already looked at.

          Then you get the big picture!

          Edwin, given very small window box for List of Comments,
          please show some restraint.

          • Dear Bob, I will try to make this very simple. Your problem is your data do not prove our CO2 is the cause and temperature is the effect.

            On the contrary, the data show that atmospheric CO2 follows temperature, not vice-versa. That means temperature is the cause and atmospheric CO2 is the effect.

            In addition, nature’s CO2 emissions far exceed and overwhelm human CO2 emissions, both in quantity and in effect. Nature, not our emissions, controls atmospheric CO2. Therefore, climate change is not our fault.

            Of course, you can believe human CO2 emissions cause climate change. But if you chose that path then your belief is no more valid than Gianforte’s belief that our earth and universe are 6000 years old.

            In the political picture, I understand you who want to help Quist beat Gianforte. That’s politics. My message to you is you have enough issues you can use without adding the climate issue. If you try to use the climate issue to help Quist, you will end up helping Gianforte.

            • Check out route to CO2 simplicity. Carbon emissions minus carbon sinks yield atmospheric carbon.
              Industrial Revolution overwhelmed natural emissions/ sink balancing.
              Acidified oceans and deforestation decrease CO2 sink into oceans and land.
              Atmospheric CO2 ppm trends upwards while measured CO2 sinks trend downwards = fossil fuel CO2 emissions swirl and congregate over Arctic.
              And not much CO2 vegetation sink in Arctic.
              Starting to get the big picture Dr. Berry?
              Knowledge must be presented as simple as possible.
              But not too simple.
              Sounds like you focused only on Temp and CO2 emissions, so of course you make a simplistic claim that CO2 emissions follow Temperature.
              Sounds like you assumed I’m more ignorant than I am so you had to
              Oh well, that negates my thoughts, from the get go.
              How clever of you.
              That’s as clever as trying to relate the interactions of the four great forces, but ignoring electromagnetism.
              Or more apropo, ignoring the electrical-chemical (and weak) forces that draw CO2 into photsynthesis.

              How not clever of you to ignore what millions accept.
              Urgent global need and succesful global accomplishments to reduce fossil fuel GHG EMISSIONS;
              While switching to distributed renewable energy independence and workforces.
              Was this too harsh?
              Search for CO2 emissions and sinks. View this video.

              • Dear Pete and Bob, especially Bob,

                As I wrote before, the general public understands climate physics like they understand brain surgery. While I appreciate your references, they do not address the relevant points about climate that it takes to support your climate belief.

                All the arguments you presented have been proven to be invalid. All the claims about urgency, or numbers of believers, or consequences, do not prove human emissions are the cause or that stopping all human emissions will stop change climate.

                The fact that you believe your references prove your point shows you do not understand physics or the scientific method.

                Your attempt to support your climate belief with your references, is comparable to Gianforte’s attempt to support his 6000-years-old Earth belief with Bible quotations. You are both wrong. Both your arguments fail.

                You can find climate truth in the two major climate email groups. These worldwide groups include thousands of climate scientists with PhDs in physics or equivalent. Virtually all of these scientists will tell you what I have told you.

                Bob, your argument mixes levels with flows. Therefore, your carbon sink argument fails. Physics requires us to look at the flows of CO2 in and out of the atmosphere. You have not done that. That is only one of your mistakes.

                If you want to debate climate intelligently, buy and read the recent textbook: “Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate” by Murry Salby. If you read it carefully, you will understand how we know that temperature, not human emissions, causes the changes in atmospheric CO2.

                If you want to learn more about climate, study the debate on the CO2 issue on Several scientists on your side participated in the debate. The debate was fair. Their arguments were far better than your arguments. Still, their arguments failed. The scientists on my side clearly won the open debate.

  • “Tchotchkes” – uh oh, am I back in the Bronx?
    As for BS – I’m new enough here so that I’m convinced that Quist would never have gotten nominated if it hadn’t been for Schweitzer’s endorsement. I’d never heard his name before. Of course, I want him to win, and believe his heart is in the right place, agrees with me and my end of the spectrum on just about everything.

    • Dear Don,

      Do you argue that all peer-reviewed journal publications are scientifically valid and all peer-reviewed blog publications are not? Today, scientific debates begin on blogs and later progress to professional journals.

      Were I to ask you for a reference to any peer-reviewed publication that proves human emissions caused most of the increase in atmospheric CO2, you would have a problem because all such publications have now been proven to be wrong.

      The scientific method says we can prove a theory wrong but we cannot prove a theory right. A theory is wrong if it makes only one false prediction. All theories that claim humans emissions cause dangerous climate change have made false predictions. Therefore, these theories are wrong.

      Just last month, Hermann Harde pubished a professional peer-reviewed paper that reinforces my paper. Harde concludes, as do I, that human emissions play a minor roll in the increase in atmospheric CO2. Harde’s paper is here:

      Harde, Hermann (2017): Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere. Global and Planetary Change 152 (2017) 19-26.

      Harde concludes:

      “These results indicate that almost all of the observed change of CO2 during the Industrial Era followed, not from anthropogenic emission, but from changes of natural emission. The results are consistent with the observed lag of CO2 changes behind temperature changes (Humlum et al., 2013; Salby, 2013), a signature of cause and effect.”

      My online paper is here:

      My paper has these values: (a) It is easier to read than Harde’s paper, (b) uses simple physics to make its case, and (c) it has survived intense scientific review and critique.

      My paper references 20 other scientific papers that agree with my conclusion. Most notable are Salby’s book and lectures.

      In summary, no scientist has presented a valid argument that shows human emissions caused most of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2. And on the flip side, no scientist has produced a valid argument that shows Harde, Salby, me, and the others I reference are wrong on this issue.

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