Odds and Ends From Guns to the EPA

Aaron Flint posted on February 08, 2011 09:42 :: 1325 Views

Here’s a snapshot of what else is floating around the Internet. 

In their Capitol Report, The Montana Democratic Party defends the UN, and asks why Montana Republicans wouldn’t want to be a part of UN efforts.

Dave Skinner discusses “Otter Stupidity” in The Flathead Beacon.

Now, if Arch Coal just tossed away $86 million for nothing, what’s the message for businesses wanting to invest here?

Further, if a legal scenario unfolds in which Arch Coal sues Montana to get its money back and wins, what happens to Montana’s already-tight budget? Kaboom.

So, if existing law allows such otter foolishness, it otter be changed, eh? Last I looked, our state legislature has 17 introduced bills and 105 drafts lined up in the hopper that deal with “environmental protection” – including at least three from coal-county state Sen. Alan Olson, at least one outright MEPA repeal bill, and at least one bill for a constitutional referendum revising the “clean and healthful environment” to “clean, healthful and economically productive environment.”

Some of those will pass. Seeing which ones Schweitzer signs otter be interesting.

The Great Falls Tribune’s John Adams furloughed for one week.  When one of the state’s top reporters is furloughed, it is only more proof that the newspaper business is hurting.

I will be out of the office and unreachable next week for reasons you can read about here. Let’s just say I’m taking an involuntary vacation.

So, you won’t see my byline in the Great Falls Tribune and you won’t see posts here until I return on February 14th.

Billings Rep. Margie McDonald on Guns:

by Brittany Wooley, a University of Montana Student covering the state legislature.

A bill allowing people with concealed weapons permits and peace officers to carry their weapons places where it is currently prohibited passed committee.

Bill supporters say law abiding citizens should have the right to carry wherever… including restaurants, bars, and banks.

But, Representative  Margaret MacDonald of Billings says she won’t vote for the bill because of law enforcements’ strong opposition to it during hearing. 

Representative  Margaret MacDonald (D-Billings):”They fundamentally reject the idea that putting guns everywhere is more safe.  Gun homicides in states that are high gun states are three and a half times higher in the states that are not.”

Supporters say law-breakers will carry regardless of  the law, and restricting where people can carry only hurts the “good man.”

Politicos Morning Energy had this:

TOP TALKER – The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that EPA was the No. 1 complaint of business groups asked by House Republicans to identify the regulations that are the most burdensome. EPA rules were cited more than any other agency in more than 100 letters sent by trade groups, businesses and conservative groups to Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, reports the paper, which got an early look at the letters, expected to be released later today.

WSJ: The climate rules were listed in at least 30 letters and the groups “complained about dozens of other proposed and existing EPA regulations … including the agency’s plans to tighten limits on emissions of some pollutants from industrial boilers, ground-level ozone, mountain-top mining, cooling water intake structures, the level of nutrients in Florida waters, and pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay.”

Alan Simpson in Politico Playbook

SUNDAY BITE — ALAN SIMPSON, co-chair of President Obama’s debt commission, to Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “If you hear a politician get up and say, ‘I know we can get this done. We’re going to get rid of all earmarks; all waste, fraud and abuse; all foreign aid; Air Force One; all congressional pensions.’ That’s just sparrow belch in the midst of the typhoon. That’s about six, eight, ten percent of where we are. So, I’m waiting for the politician to get up and say, ‘There’s only one way to do this: You dig into the big four — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and defense.’ And anybody giving you anything different than that, you want to walk out the door, stick your finger down your throat, and give them the green weenie.”


Dave Skinner

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 2:11 PM

One thing you might want to pass on when Rep Margie MacDonald blathers about cops being against guns —-

Jim Smith, Mayor of Helena and lobbyist for the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Assn, which is essentially a union. That’s fine, but Smith is also a co=founder with Missoula college perfesser Bob McKelvey of an anti-gun group.

From the Independent in Missoula:
Bob[McKelvey and ]Mike[Chessin founded Montanans United to Stop Gun Violence (MU-SGV) years ago to combat what they saw as a serious problem in the state. Late this summer, they finally reached out and approached state Reps. Dick Barrett and Ron Erickson, both of Missoula, about helping the group. In November, Helena Mayor Jim Smith joined MU-SGV’s steering committee.

“I think it’s a voice that needs to be heard in the debate here in Montana over gun rights,” says Smith, who has lobbied against concealed weapons carry for 15 years. “I don’t think there’s another grassroots organization or a group of ordinary citizens who are committed to the end of gun violence and the maintenance of a civil society.”]

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