Karma’s a bitch
According to the Missoula Current, the three Republican Ravalli County Commissioners are upset over plans to privatize the Trapper Creek Job Center. They’re concerned that jobs could be lost or the center might close if a corporate owner doesn’t turn a profit.
Well, guys, you get what you vote for. Consider that in 2016 Ravalli County went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by 66-28 percent, and for Ryan Zinke over Denise Juneau 65-31 percent, and in 2014 opted for Steve Daines over Amanda Curtis 65-33 percent. I’m guessing the commissioners voted with the majority of Bitterrooters.
If one also considers that the president and Republican administration’s agenda is to roll back government programs in favor of tax cuts for the rich, this privatization move shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Distinguished writer James Lee Burke, who has slightly better writing chops than I and lives about 65 miles north of of Trapper Creek in Lolo, penned a letter to the Missoulian. Here’s an outtake:
Tell me, why would any rational person wish to destroy a program such as this? Is it possible that little piggy feet are clattering toward the trough once again? Who knows? It takes a special kind of stupidity as well as inhumanity to do this kind of damage to the only avenue out of poverty some of these young people have.
UPDATE: In the wake of severe backlash from Congress, particularly from Republicans with Job Care Centers in their states, the Trump administration has reversed course on the transfer of the centers from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Labor and then possible privatization. This is great news for both the Trapper Creek and Anaconda centers but certainly points to the capricious nature of this administration. Here’s a quote from Sen. Jon Tester:
Suddenly, without any real reason or justification, the President pulled the plug on one of the most successful initiatives in rural America … That’s why I fought so hard to reverse this decision. But too often this Administration acts without regard for the real-world consequences of their decisions — consequences overwhelmingly suffered by folks in rural America.
The best defense
If you’re a reporter, the best defense against gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte might be the fetal position. But how does the entire state of Montana defend against Gianforte?
In a new Facebook ad (you’ll have to scroll down at this link), you’ll see Gianforte’s clever slogan: “Montana is our home – Defend it.” Commenting on Facebook posts is an exercise in futility, but I couldn’t resist:
Interesting tagline, Greg, “Montana is our home – Defend it.” Actually, we need to defend it from the likes of you: an anti-science, privatize everything, macho millionaire. And how about serving more than one term in Congress? Not enough power there for a freshman representative? Too impatient to work your way up the ladder like a real statesman? Pathetic.
Not sure who or what Greg needs to defend Montana from — probably the “deep state,” “radical left-wing fringe,” “fake news media,” “Hollywood elites” and the “angry liberal mobs” that the GOP fantasizes about — but I’m sure he’ll rethink his branding after reading my scathing comment.
More red meat from Daines
On Flag Day, Sen. Steve Daines made the gratuitous gesture of offering up a flag burning amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Trump immediately jumped on the bandwagon, calling the bill “a no brainer.” Trump was right as no brains were involved in the crafting of the amendment.
Daines introduced similar amendments in 2017 and 2018. And even earlier attempts were either struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 1989 or didn’t make it out of the Senate in 2011.
Billings writer David Crisp, who had a column in the Last Best News before its unfortunate demise, posted a great piece in the Missoula Current on Daines’ frivolous proposal. Here’s a snippet:
The flag amendment won’t work because it is dishonest about its intentions. It claims to be aimed only at the physical properties of the flag, but it actually wants to protect its symbolic value. Laws can’t protect the value of symbols, because symbols have value only to the extent that people love and care about them.
The right of citizens to convey a message, whether burning a flag to express contempt for America or burning a worn-out flag to put it to an honorable and reverent rest, is exactly what the First Amendment was designed to protect.
Well said, David, and thanks for being as useful as a vestigial organ, Sen. Daines.