Republicans Aren’t Sold on Rehberg

Aside from the still-undecided Supreme Court and Democratic Attorney General races, the6437358163_5082a5de9a_m most interesting result from this evening has to be the Republican Senate race, in which Dennis Rehberg could only convince three out of four Republicans to vote for him against an unknown, unfunded candidate none of them had ever heard of.

It can’t be a good sign. Other than Governor Schweitzer and Senator Baucus, Rehberg should enjoy the highest name recognition of any politician in the state and he barely cracked 75% of the vote in an energized Republican primary.

The answer seems fairly obvious: small-government Republicans aren’t sold on Rehberg’s recent transformation, given his record and his current positions.

I think it shows a real vulnerability Rehberg faces in the general: his votes to cede operational control of Montana’s Northern border to the federal government, for the Patriot Act, for massive, irresponsible spending, and for REAL ID make him a tough sell for the growing Libertarian wing of the Republican Party.

Perhaps Republican voters are more sophisticated than I have given them credit for being. They’ve spotted the same hypocrisy from Mr. Rehberg that progressives have noted for years. The only question will be whether those same voters can overlook it in November.

117 comments
KC Whistle
KC Whistle

Thanks to Rob for standing up for common sense and the people of Bozeman.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Anyone see this article in the today's Missoulian and care to comment? http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/usfs-to-grant-tricon-timber-project-an-extension/article_110ae748-b2ab-11e1-9375-001a4bcf887a.html It's worth pointing out that just a short 16 months ago the Missoulian ran this article about this very same Tricon Timber, an article about Tricon finding a growing demand for metric lumber order in China. http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_f837c38c-30ea-11e0-b335-001cc4c002e0.html Yet today, this same Tricon Timber claims it would cease to exist if the federal government doesn’t bail it out by re-negotiating a 2003 timber sale contract? Does that seem a tad strange? Here's something else that should be clearly highlighted. According to today’s article in the Missoulian: "[T]he 2008 farm bill provided two options for relief for mills with onerous timber contracts. One is to grant contract extensions in 30-day increments to “hopefully spread the length of the contract over a longer period of time and lessen the impact they might have from a declining market.” The other is a rate re-determination, to adjust for reduced market values and increased costs to contractors in these hard economic times. Since then, the Northern Region has granted 45 contracts and reduced the values of 40 contracts by 40 percent to 70 percent." So, what this means is that while some people are going around Montana claiming that we need to start having politicians mandate more logging on Montana’s National Forests, the very simple fact is that the Forest Service in Montana and northern Idaho has reduced the values of 40 different (already signed) timber sale contracts by 40% to 70%. In other words, if the timber industry signed a contract with the federal government 3 or 5 or 9 years ago to log X amount of trees for, let's say $10,000, now the timber industry gets to log that same amount of trees for $3,000 to $6,000. Wow! If only the federal government and politicians were this generous with “Bail outs” for homeowners facing foreclosure, eh? Finally, it should be noted that Tricon Timber was one of the timber mills who last month took part in $30,000 in Ads attacking the Alliance for Wild Rockies and calling for an end to the public appeals process and exempting many Montana national forest timber sales from judicial review. http://ncfp.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/timberindustryad.pdf

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Apropos of nothing, I find it interesting that there have been several Letters to Ed in the Bozeman Comical wondering why the Federal Gubmint was willing to bail out the auto-industry and no bill to bail out timber workers. I'm certainly not arguing that there should be, but I do find that an interesting question for Montana.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Requires some thought. Give it a go. Saying it's interesting is a front, implying you have thoughts to answer your questions, for now withholdinfg answering, of course. Give it a go, oh deep one.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Apologies 'Mattie'. I didn't see this reply until today. Wow. I mean wow. That's some kinda impressive list or organizations, isn't it? Of course, I could post a list a list twice that big of organizations that are dedicated to protecting domestic dog breed rescue. Hell, I could post a list twice that big (or far bigger) of organizations devoted to Second Amendment rights. I'd bet I could post a list vastly bigger than that of American quilters organizations. You still miss my point completely, Kohler. If you want to show some political will, then tell us all, how many people are members of these organizations? Who are these people? How much money do they generate for support of whom? How many have had their agendas, the manifesto, fulfilled? What laws have they lobbied and which have they affected/changed? What elections have they influenced and for whom? Who have they 'gotten elected' to support their causes? What political will have any of those organizations actually influenced? How much money have they contributed to actually causing change, and how successful have they been? I'm not going to even sarcastically pretend you can answer any of those questions. You can't. Let's just admit it and move on, shall we? Mattie, backed into a corner, brings up a meaningless list of next to nothing.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

BTW Rob: Here's the list of the other conservation groups that endorsed the restoration principles (or manifesto, as you called it) and helped spread the word about them....just in case you wanted to also send them your critique. Thanks. 20/20 Vision, DC Appalachian Voices, NC Alabama Environmental Council, AL Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, OR Allegheny Defense Project, PA Alliance for the Wild Rockies, MT Ambience Project, MT American Lands Alliance, DC American Wildlands, MT Aspen Wilderness Workshop, CO Audubon Minnesota, MN Beausoleil Mediation Service, OR Bradford Environmental Research Institute Buckeye Forest Council, OH California Wilderness Coalition, CA Cascadia Fire Ecology Education Project, OR Cascadia Wildlands Project, OR Center for Biological Diversity, AZ Center for Environmental Economic Development, CA Center for Native Ecosystems, CO Cherokee Forest Voices, TN Chiricahua-Dragoon Conservation Alliance, AZ CLEAN (Citizens of Lee Environmental Action Network), VA Coalition for Jobs and the Environment, VA Colorado Wild, CO Committee for the High Desert, ID Defenders of Wildlife, DC Devil's Fork Trail Club, VA Dogwood Alliance, NC Environmental Protection Information Center, CA Environment Council of Rhode Island, RI The Empty Bell, MA Forest Conservation Council, NM Forest Ecology Network, ME Forest Guardians, NM Forest Stewards Guild, NM Forest Trust, NM Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, MN Friends of the Clearwater, ID Friends of Wild River, NM Georgia Forest Watch, GA Gifford Pinchot Task Force, WA Gila Regional Information Project, NM GilaWoodNet, NM Grass Lakes West Consulting, WA Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society, PA Great Basin Mine Watch, NV Habitat Education Center, WI Headwaters, OR Healing Harvest Forest Foundation, VA Heartwood, IN Hells Canyon Preservation Council, OR High Country Citizens' Alliance, CO High Uintas Preservation Council, UT Idaho Conservation League, ID Indiana Forest Alliance, IN John Muir Project, CA Kentucky Heartwood, KY Kettle Range Conservation Group, WA Klamath Forest Alliance, OR Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, OR Kalmiopsis Audubon Society, OR League Of Wilderness Defenders-Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, OR Massachusetts Audubon Society, MA Missouri Forest Alliance, MO National Catholic Rural Life Conference, IA National Forest Protection Alliance, MT Native Forest Network, MT New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, NM North Coast Restoration Jobs Initiative, CA Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, WA Olympic Forest Coalition, WA Oregon Natural Resources Council, OR Pacific Rivers Council, OR Patrick Environmental Awareness Group Pennsylvania Wildlands Recovery Project, PA Prescott National Forest Friends, AZ Quiet Use Coalition, CO Rainforest Action Network, CA Resource Stewardship Council, IN RESTORE: The North Woods, ME San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, CO Santa Fe Forest Watch, NM Selkirk Conservation Alliance, ID Serpentine Art and Nature Commons, Inc., NY Sinapu, CO Sisters Forest Planning Committee, OR Sky Island Alliance, AZ Soda Mountain Wilderness Council, OR South Carolina Forest Watch, SC Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, NC Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, NC Superior Wilderness Action Network, MN Swan View Coalition, MT Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment, VA Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, TN The Clinch Coalition, VA The Ecology Center, MT The Four Corners Institute, NM The Lands Council, WA The Larch Company, OR The Northern Appalachian Restoration Project/The Northern Forest Forum, NH Tradelocal Umpqua Watersheds, OR Dr. Peter Stacey, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, NM Upper Gila Watershed Alliance, NM Vermont Natural Resources Council, VT Vermont Forest Watch, VT Virginia Forest Watch, VA Western Colorado Congress, CO Western North Carolina Alliance, NC West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, WV Wild Alabama, AL Wildlands Project, AZ WildLaw, AL Wildlands CPR, MT Wild Watershed, NM White Mountains Conservation League, NM The Wilderness Society, DC World Wildlife Fund, DC

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Robbie, backed into a corner, tries to cleverly talk his way out.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Matthew, as usual you are personalizing my response to another way too much. I don't find that surprising, just very tiring at this point. I don't hate you; I just find you impotent, defensive and pointless. Still, I like your response. It hardly seems worth mentioning that less people know of this manifesto or yours than actually know about government spending on timber support, which you admit is very few. Funny, I'd say that's a failing on your part. It is worth mentioning that you don't discuss dollars at all, and the part about allowing unions to form in your environmentally friendly work force reads as a pandering afterthought. Hmmm. I used to write fantasy when I was a kid too. Though I and others have asked politely, rudely, snidely, curiously for you to address 'political will', you remain reluctant to do so. Personally, my opinion, I think you completely incapable of doing so. You're welcome to call that "hate", but you'd likely just miss the laughter behind it.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Rob: I'd put forth that the facts as outlined above aren't very well known. The environmental movement at one time (mid-80s to about 2000) was much better about making it a point to educate the general public about the economic and environmental impacts of the federal timber sale program. Now, at least with some conservation groups in Montana, that public education effort has largely been replaced by well-funded PR campaigns about "collaboration" and "gettin' people workin' in the woods," where any discussion or debate about the economic and environmental impacts of the federal timber sale program is considered being "off-message" and even a threat. Finally, RE: Rob's claim about us supposedly not caring "one smidgen" about workers, unions etc.... I'd encourage people to check out "A Citizen's Call for Ecological Forest Restoration: Forest Restoration Principles and Criteria" which was developed by our organization and others in cooperation with restoration practitioners (workers). These Restoration Principles were also supported by over 120 conservation organizations from around the country, but ironically, not by the Montana Wilderness Association and some of the other Tester mandated logging bill collaborators. The Principles are available here: http://wildwestinstitute.org/pdf/Restoration%20Principles.pdf Below I've snipped out the section on the Communities and Work Force section of the Restoration Principles. As I hope Rob can see, we've given more than "one smidgen" of thought to workers, unions, etc. It's all here below and all in writing. Next time, Rob, please do a little more research and fact-checking about what we're really all about before attempting to bring us down. Once again Rob, your clear hatred of myself and others is blinding you to the realities of what we advocate for. Thanks. III. Communities and Work Force—Make use of or train a highly skilled, well-compensated work force to conduct restoration 7. Community/Work Force Sustainability Principle—Effective restoration depends on strong, healthy, and diverse communities and a skilled, committed work force Sustainability Criteria Restoration and economic development must prioritize the long-term interests of communities over short-term and nonlocal economic interests. Government, interest groups, and communities should cooperate to promote policies and programs that build community capacity for ecologically sound restoration, including work force and small business development that: 1. Are based on landscape-scale assessments of restoration needs, and are scaled appropriately within the carrying capacity of the land and regional economy. 2. Have the flexibility to adapt over time to new information. 3. Directly and proactively address barriers to equal access, such as differences based on class, culture, language, and religion. 4. Provide for intergenerational exchange and other proactive strategies to engage and empower youth and elders. 5. Are designed to add maximum value to restoration byproducts at the community level. Quality Jobs Criteria • Restoration contracts should recognize and foster a multidisciplinary, high-skilled work force of trained, certified restoration technicians and applied ecologists, and provide stable, full-season employment. • Restoration workers should be compensated with a family living wage at levels commensurate with their knowledge and skills, set as a functional minimum. • Restoration must be supported by regional training and skill certification systems (for example, apprenticeship programs), with stable funding, that provide for multidisciplinary skill development to broaden career opportunities. • Employment and training systems must be equally accessible to the existing diverse work force. Restoration contracts and regional training systems must be linked by recognized skill standards and associated wage and benefit standards. • Contracting, employment, and training systems must promote the efficient and fair utilization of local, regional, and mobile workers in a way that most effectively meets ecological integrity as well as social goals. • Restoration workers at all wage and skill levels must be guaranteed the right to organize and bargain collectively.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Matthew didn't 'do my thinking'. Neither of you have any idea what I think, quite obviously. I will say this, though. If Matthew's facts were well known, then why aren't people flocking to the environmental banner, given that governmental support of Montana jobs is so dependent on the same effort that saved GM? I've written before, and have no reason to disbelieve, that 'progressives' don't care about unions unless unions share their other concerns. Yes, the Gubmint has supported timber industry with our money, and failed to actually support jobs. I see no evidence that purists like yourself, Tokarski, actually care one bit about the people who are put through the meat-grinder of 're-education' or 'Voc-rehab'. You don't care one smidgen, and you've made that quite clear. Those people grow in their spite against environmentalists. Missoula is the best example. And stupidly, you think I'm your enemy? "thatuu" "devaie". You're using iPad language again, aren't you?

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Mathew did your thinking for you down below, but thanks for asking the question, oh deep one. BTW, I'm not a purist. That's a debating tactic used by the timber industry and the Republicans, Baucus, and now Tester. The object is to paint opposition as irrational, which allows collaberators like MWA and TU, and you, appear to be the rational ones. At upper levels it's a conscious tactic, down on yours just received wisdom. and it's not so much that we're right and you're wrong. It's more thatuu haven't the moral courage to devaie within your group, so that even if you agreed with us,you'd be afraid of saying so.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

I think it's safe to say that the Montana timber industry has actually gotten a number of tax-payer funded 'bail-outs' over the past few years, both on the state and federal level. There have been a number of taxpayer funded loan programs on the state and federal level. I would also think an examination of the MT State Leg in 2011 and 2009 would reveal a number of very pro-timber industry legislation that could be classified a "bail-out" of sorts. And even things like eliminating the business equipment tax are obviously things the timber industry lobbies for, and gets. And now it appears as if the USFS is making it a practice of reducing values of existing timber sale contracts 40% to 70% to benefit the logging industry, at least in our neck of the woods. At the comments section, people in Alaska and WA and OR report the same thing. See: http://ncfp.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/fs-northern-region-reduced-values-of-40-timber-sale-contracts-40-to-70/ And don't forget about the $6.5 billion given to the pulp and paper industry a few years back. Fact is, resource extraction industries get 'bail-outs' all the timber, sometimes during bad economic times and the rest of the time just largely because that's the way the system is set up. See: Black Liquor Scorecard: Pulp & Paper Companies Take $6.5 Billion from US Taxpayers in 2009: Posted on March 17, 2010 Smurfit-Stone Container Corp took home $654 million from US Taxpayers, while their net income was only $8 million in 2009 http://cleangreensustainable.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/black-liquor-scorecard-pulp-paper-companies-take-6-5-billion-from-us-taxpayers-in-2009/ ---------------- More on Pulp Industry’s Billion Dollar Taxpayer Boondoggle. Posted on July 8, 2009 http://cleangreensustainable.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/more-on-pulp-industrys-billion-dollar-taxpayer-boondoggle/

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Tokarski, I like to be polite here in deference to the hosts, but frankly your asshat act has worn way too thin. They weren't my questions. I'm not employed in timber, and haven't been for decades. I didn't write the letters. I raise the question so that purists such as yourself might have to think beyond your own desires, which of course you won't do. So, if you don't have a response to the issue, don't demand one from me. I won't comply and you'll just look even more like an asshole.

lokywoky
lokywoky

I happen to agree with the analysis in the article - just a gut feeling. Driving around and observing yard signs I noticed a couple of things. Yards full of giant signs for most of the generally front-runner Republican candidates - and in the midst of this thicket - a small sign (that's all his campaign could afford) for Dennis Teske. So obviously the person who lived in that house was making a big statement - they really really liked all the other Republican front-runner candidates. But definitely not Rehberg. I saw this several places, not just once. As far as the difference in turnout between Dems and Reps - the battle for the governor's race explains that easily. The Rep governor's race has been quite a slugfest between the top two or three candidates, while the Dem candidate is a shoo-in for the nomination. For the US House race, the open seat for the Reps, again was more of a contest, on the Dem side while there were a bunch of candidates - one of them out-campaigned and out-raised funds by a fairly wide margin (and won handily). When you have those kinds of situations in the top tier races, people tend to stay home because the outcomes are foregone conclusions. Or because we have open primary - they vote in the other party's primary so the figures for "turnout" can be very deceiving. Republicans would do well not to count on all those "Republican" voters who turned out for them in the primaries since they may not all be theirs - having learned well from Republican dirty tricks in the past.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Don't mistake public "slugfests" with the process by which we get public policy. Things that are said in campaigns are generally said only for immediate effect, and have no substance.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Ken: So what I think you've said here is that I'm too self-centered to walk the talk in terms of reducing my consumption of electricity, water, purchased food and fuel? Are you really being serious dude? What does that even mean? I'm not to going to sit here and list all the many ways I go about reducing my carbon footprint by the personal choices I make – starting with the decision to not pro-create and add more Americans to the planet – recognizing full well that many people make personal choices to reduce consumption and also recognizing that we all have inconsistencies in such an approach. I'm glad as hell that you make personal choices that lessen your personal impact on the environment. I just remain very confused as to why you apparently think nobody who's an environmental activist or a wilderness activist – including people you've never met or observed how they live day-to-day – is smart enough or committed enough to make these same exact personal choices, perhaps even taking steps to reduce their footprints more than you even have. Thanks.

Moorcat
Moorcat

If you say so, Matt. I find most of you to be like the Christians that preach about Jesus and God on the weekend and then fill my inbox with invective about black being "evil" and gays going to hell. Most of them are hypocrits and if you are an exception, fine. I see little to lead me to believe it, though. You did acknowledge one point that (it happens to be the main point of my comment)... it is a personal choice. Most people find it easy to "take a stand" when they are sitting comfortably at home in front of their computer (or standing in front a microphone in front of Journalists) but few actually make the commitment to do so in their own lives.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Ken: Just curious, but where is your proof that almost all environmental activists and wilderness activists (especially at the grassroots and volunteer level) are such supposed hypocrits and actually don't take steps to reduce their personal consumption, grow/eat local food, drive less, bike more, recycle, live in smaller houses, etc? Honestly, this is a serious questions. Because like I already stated, I can’t think of environmental or wilderness activists who don’t understand the importance of this. I'm hardly an exception, as my observations over the years of the actual homes and day-to-day lives of hundreds and hundreds of environmental/wilderness activists confirms that yes, environmental and wilderness activists take personal steps to reduce their consumption and help the environment, while recognizing that we all have inconsistencies in such an approach. Thanks.

Moorcat
Moorcat

I will say that your decision not to have children is a valid life choice. Many have made that choice. In fact, I am old enough to remember the "zero population growth movement" (and remember how quickly it died). I chose to have kids - primarily because, in my generation, it was what you were suppose to do. You were suppose to get a job (I was in the Navy and had both rank and position), you get married, and you have 2.5 kids, a dog and buy a house. I had two kids that I am happy to say are both wonderful. Later, I had a third child that, again, I am happy to say is doing well. I married a woman that had had two children in a previous marraige. So, yes, I have had children. More importantly, I do not regret it.

Moorcat
Moorcat

I never said that all environmentalists were hypocrits. I said that in my experience the majority are. That statement is somewhat self explanitory. Sorry it was too hard for you to parse. I won't claim what your experience is. I can only go by what I see. You haven't even convinced me that you are not a hypocrit because you chose not to. That is your lookout, not mine. You don't have to convince me. I recognise that fact. What I will say is that, given my experience, I will more likely believe someone like Mark and any other ubber rapid "environmentalist" is a hypocrit until proven otherwise. Further, I never claimed to be an environmentalist or a preservationist. In fact, my desire to reduce my footprint and live a simpler life was made for much different reasons. I simply get a chuckle when I read the rantings of those that do claim to be so given that most of them I have seen are not walking the walk - especially when it involves making any kind of sacrifice for themselves.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Ken: It's interesting to me that simply because someone hasn't bothered to respond to everything you've said that you feel entitled to make these sort of wild, broad-brushed, absolutest statements against all kinds of different people. I can't think of any environmental or wilderness activists I know anywhere in this country (especially at the grassroots and volunteer level) who doesn't understand the importance of reduced consumption, demand reduction, etc and try to incorporate these values into their everyday lives through their actions. Therefore, I have a hard time understanding where this notion of yours, which you seem so absolutely certain about, comes from.

Moorcat
Moorcat

Because, Matt, you assume too much. Take Mark T for example. While he screams to the wind about environmental issues, do you think for one second that he practices what he preaches? I would be willing to bet I consume less than you do for that matter. I don't buy into your hurt and agreived comment because I don't believe you walk the talk anymore than Mark does. You are way too self centered for that. As far as being absolutely certain about reducing consumption... I am. We not only see it in our monthly bank statement, it is reasonable to assume that reducing consumption of electricity, water, purchased food, and fuel that we are reducing the load on the environment. You are welcome to disagree with it but I would have to see some pretty convincing proof to buy into your argument. Attempting to lead by example is not a "notion". It is a proven way to effect change. Try it sometime, you might even like it.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Your focus on me is appreciated - no, wait ...creepy. I think it has to do with having an IPad. Otherwise, you know nothing about me. Full speed ahead, captain.

Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

MatthewD/PW: I do believe that all Americans are equal owners of our federal public lands, even those Americans who are currently living in Colorado.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

It more likely has to do with you being in Colorado, and trying to tell Montanans what to do with their state - acting as though you alone have the eco-wisdom to save us from ourselves.

Moorcat
Moorcat

Pogie is absolutely right when he points out that conservation and stewardship of our world and environment starts at the individual level. While I have been called an "earth hater" by people like Mark T and Larry, the fact is, I know I do more to steward my personal footprint than his does and I would be willing to stack up my creds against Larry... I don't own an Ipod/Ipad - I have no use for one and can't see paying the money for one. The only reason I own a cellphone is that my wife wanted me to have a way to contact help if I get hurt while working in my shop. It is a simple (though armor plated) phone without data capability. If I need a computer, I will use my computer. My lightbulbs are all low wattage, long life bulbs, my house is naturally cooled by airflow, as soon as I can get the permits (and money...) to replace my secondary gas heater with an effecient wood stove, I will be putting one of those in. Beetle kill wood is easy and cheap to procure in this area and I figure I can save not only hundreds of dollars on fuel and electricity by using the stove, it will give me a heat source and cooking platform if we lose electricity. I have balanced food production and decorative plants around my house in such a way that I can produce about 18% of our food here. If I had a couple of acres instead of just a double city lot, I could raise that to probably 60%. Each year, I increase our capacity to produce food as well as increasing the value of the property. This year, we added a rasberry bed and we are planting four fruit trees. Next year, the plan is to increase the effeciency our of garden area, add three hotboxes for tomatos and melons, remove a decorative bush to be replaced by six blueberry/serviceberry bushes, and build a 10' X 4' hothouse in our front yard to extend our growning season. I am currently working on the plumbing of the house to make it more effecient and when I rebuild the back deck into a mudroom/studio/hotroom, I will be adding a rain cistern system to the back of the house. I do not drive at all. My wife drives a 20 year old, gas effecient van that has served us well for the 11 years we have been married. We usually manage to go two - three weeks on a tank of gas and we coordinate our trips to Bozeman/Butte/Missoula in such a way as to get what we need there in batches - reducing the number of times we have to make those trips. Moreover, we usually go to Bozeman so I can see my brother more often - almost everything we need we can get there. All of these things were/are done to reduce our expenses, live a simpler/happier life and to make ourselves more self sufficient. This is how you manage your life to reduce your footprint. It isn't the end-all/be-all of our existance, but it is our choice to live this way.

Moorcat
Moorcat

The really sad part is that while the argument continues above about environmental purism, no one (save Mark's snarky answer) has responded at all the the more realistic and doable methods we could be pursuing to better both our pocketbooks and our environment. Pseudo intellectuals posing impossible and illogical arguments about "pristine" wilderness disgust me because not one of them recognises the reality we are faced with everyday. They would rather pound their chests and scream at the sky about the "inhumanity" of it all rather than find real life solutions. Pogie, I wish you had been a teacher at my school. I would have really loved to take your classes.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

You are one amazing Kailey!

Moorcat
Moorcat

Mark, your reply not only confirms you are an idiot, it also shows that you are incapable of reading comprehension. Your snark aside, the whole point of my comment is that it is NOT amazing. There are basically two types of Americans - those that talk a game, and those that act. I like to believe that I am the latter. You are obviously the former. The point of my comment was that ANYONE can make a difference if they decide to do so. Nothing about what my wife and I have done here is "amazing". Yes, it was a lot of work and the work is ongoing. Fact is, though, that it cost me less to put in the raised box garden in the back of our house than you paid for your Ipad. Replacing the lights in the house with low wattage, long life bulbs has already paid for itself in the years we have been using them. Making small changes to our house to allow for decent airflow to cool the house in the summer was far cheaper than buying an air conditioner and paying for the electricity to run it. The bottom line here (that you completely missed in your insanity) is that if more people actually did a little work to reduce their footprint (and their monthly bills...), the problem wouldn't be as large as it is. You are a poser (not that it is news to anyone), I am not. The really funny part of the whole thing is that I am the "activist" or "environmentalist". I am just a guy that thinks I can make a difference in my life by a little hard work.

Moorcat
Moorcat

Sorry, that should have read "I am not the "activist" or "environmentalist". I am just a guy that thinks I can make a difference in my life by a little hard work.

Eric
Eric

So Polish Wolf, are you ready to predict a Tester victory ? Politics is actually a simple thing - Jon Tester is simply going to be an addition to the long list of Dems who lost their seats because of blindly following Obama/Reid.

Moorcat
Moorcat

I will not predict a winner because I never bet on the mentality of Humans in large groups. The obvious answer is Sen Tester, but whether the average person will be able to see it that way is another question. Given the money that is already flowing into this state to defeat Sen Tester, anything could happen. People are easy to manipulate in large groups and the media will make a difference. Turnout will also be a large factor. Anyone willing to bet on this race at this point is either a clarvoyent or an idiot.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

As I read it at open secrets, there is more money flowing in in support of Tester than against. But what are facts worth when you're being persecuted! Money is both out to reelect Tester and unseat him. Laugh about it shout about it when you've got to choose, anyway you look at it you lose.

Rob Kailey
Rob Kailey

Yes, but you're not, are you? What do you think your point is?

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"Not hardly. You’re mixing politics, which is a hall of mirrors, with activism, where all is real. " No, that's you who is doing that. We vote Democrat, but we realize that is not activism. We do vote for the lesser of two evils in many cases. But when the world has as many shades of gray as it does, the lesser of two evils is the best option. That's how it goes in life. Activism is another thing entirely, and I don't think anyone here disparages your activism. Go ahead, be uncompromising, be romantic, passionate in your activism. But that bringing that attitude into politics is generally unhelpful. It can achieve one goal, but really only that - the destabilization of the entire system. That's what happens when Bush gets elected because too many liberals vote for Nader, that's what happens when substantial portions of the population are politically active but fail to vote. Again, I understand the allure - if you believe elections are a sham, the parties betrayed you, why not undermine them? But when the liberal wing of the Democratic Party abandons elections for activism, you get one of two results. You get consistent rightist majorities (and if you're going to repeat that nonsense about Dems being more dangerous, look at Britain - the center-left party loses the election and you get full-blown austerity. Your other option is that the population gives up on mainstream politics, and you get a situation like Greece, where radical right and radical left are well represented, but the center has lost its power. Then you get fistfights between politicians and policy being made in street protests. Not a sustainable way to run a country, especially not one as big as ours.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

If I were Chinese, I'd fight for same there. Amazing wild lands there.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Not hardly. You're mixing politics, which is a hall of mirrors, with activism, where all is real. It seems to befuddle you that the proscription that also applies in international relations applies here: Your enemies are your friends. Divide and conquer works. It's why we argue. The other side of the coin, that your friends are your enemies, is not politics 101, 201 or 401. It is a graduate course. You don't gain entry until you realize that a friend is lying to you. You're smart. I'll wait it out. When it happens, you'll not be chastised or ridiculed. All of us over here had to learn that way. Only the smart ones make the shift. You're a graduate candidate. I'm no genius. I'm just lucky. You're smart. You'll see it some day but it takes a lie. It'll happen.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"We can produce and consume and have wild lands." As long as we get foreigners to exploit their wild lands for our sakes.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

So then, your blog is not about partisan politics? I get deep environmentalism, think it useless. In the real world we are consumers, but hopefully more. Jefferson's shopkeepers were dependent on consumers, and the whole idea that we exist in a web and produce and consume is not ideolgical. It is us. That some Chicago types took it and reconstructed it as a new road to fascism ... I'm in the headlights. You offer no help. I produce, consume. I want wild lands.,Tester does not. That is the issue. We can produce and consume and have wild lands. If Tester had not been bought, he'd see that too. But instead he calls us extremists. It reflects the attitude of paymasters. He crossed over, or he never lived n this side.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

If the LCV and MCV are proxies for resource extraction companies, why would those companies spend thousands trying to defeat their candidate? I know you fear compromise more than anything, but it's not dangerous for the reason you think it is. Compromise is dangerous for purists like you for a very simple reason - compromise acknowledges the complexity of development issues, whereas you and your colleagues are lost in a world that isn't black and white.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

No, I'm trying to help you. Haven't you been the one for years reminding us about the futility of partisan politics? I'm just hoping you'll see the next step. Individual action. Stop driving. Stop eating meat. Stop using electronics. Tolstoy, of course, said it brilliantly when he wrote "everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

We're talking politics and you're doing Church Lady.

Don Pogreba
Don Pogreba

You're losing focus here. Stop blaming other people and institutions. Question your own behavior. Your own wastefulness. Only individual action can solve the problems that plague the environment.

Mark Tokarski
Mark Tokarski

Are you sure about that? Have you ever heard the expression "political cover?" That, in my view, is the role of LCV and MCV. They give political cover, and for that reason are more dangerous than those who openly proclaim their objectives. Politics, as Max reminds us, is nothing more than perceptions. If LCV instead called themselves "a cover group to make Democrats seem like environmentalists" would you be talking about them?

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"As I read it at open secrets, there is more money flowing in in support of Tester than against. But what are facts worth when you’re being persecuted! Money is both out to reelect Tester and unseat him. Laugh about it shout about it when you’ve got to choose, anyway you look at it you lose." Now Mark, I know you're not a fan of the league of conservation voters. But are they really worse than actual mineral extraction companies? Four of Denny's top five donors are oil and gas companies. Sure, money is on both sides, but that money has very different goals.

Eric
Eric

Pogie, no matter if Denny isn't conservative enough for some Republicans, the GOP as a whole is going to pull the lever for Denny. There is a lot more enthusiasm from the GOP right now than there is from the Dems. Plus, going back through Denny's statewide races, he is very popular. He's actually won statewide races by large margins. Tester didn't even win his home county in 2006. If you believe that there are lots of Democrats who voted for Denny two years ago, instead of McDonald, and that they are going to switch their votes to Tester this time, I'd like to know who they are -

Pete Talbot
Pete Talbot

Eric writes, "Plus, going back through Denny’s statewide races, he is very popular. He’s actually won statewide races by large margins." Rehberg lost to Baucus in the 1996 U.S. Senate race by five points.

Moorcat
Moorcat

First off, any veteran or active military person actually aware of what Tester has done for them will be pulling the lever for Tester. He has done more for veterans and active duty military people than any other Senator in Montana History. Moreover, you can probably expect a large number of people in Great Falls will be pulling the lever for him given that he was able to get the flight of C-140's into Malstrom. Moreover, anyone with half a brain can see that Denny will be out of his depth. Denny won the legislative races because he never had to engage his opponents. He was able to run a stealth campaign and sit on his "laurals" (read - his incumbancy). This time, he will be forced to actually engage Sen Tester and to his extreme disadvanage, all he can do is talk about what Tester did or didn't do. He has nothing to brag about (given his do-nothing tenure as legislator) so all he can do is talk Tester, Tester, and more Tester. Tester will win if the public is made aware of the things Sen Tester has done for the people of Montana (especially vets) and likewise, the public is also made aware of the less than complimentary antics of Rehberg, like his drunken stunts and his suit against the firefighters of Billings. Turnout will make a huge difference, but it is potentially less of an issue in the Tester/Rehberg race due to the records of both men. This race has a clear answer, unlike some of the other races.

The Polish Wolf
The Polish Wolf

"If you believe that there are lots of Democrats who voted for Denny two years ago, instead of McDonald, and that they are going to switch their votes to Tester this time, I’d like to know who they are" Perhaps some of the 60,000 people who voted for Jon Tester in 2006 but didn't vote for MacDonald in 201o will vote for Tester this time. Seems logical, doesn't it? Especially given that 40,000 more votes were cast in the 2006 election than the 2010 one, though the republican candidate in both cases won about the same number of votes. See how turnout can make a difference?