The most expensive luxury hotel…is in Montana? Hispanics sour on Obama, as a judge in Montana bars the state from proving citizenship before offering state benefits. Attorney General Tim Fox (R-MT) talks about the real “War on Women.” Kerry talks military action in Iraq, while the VA “watchdog” ignores the whistleblowers. Schweitzer’s presidential bid “hobbled.” And, Rep. Kris Hansen (R-Havre) tells Congress to back off when it comes to hiking taxes on oil and gas production, as North Dakota’s Governor says pipeline capacity is approaching 1 million barrels per day. That and more is in this week’s Political Trough…
Great Falls Tribune- Rep Kris Hansen: Back off of energy tax hike
This push to increase energy taxes is reflected in a tax reform proposal recently released by U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp. If enacted, this proposal would be a hard hit to the energy industry by repealing tax policy that is helping to create jobs.
The Camp bill has many useful provisions. It drops tax rates to 25 percent, takes steps to simplify more arcane aspects of our code, and modifies our system of international taxation in a manner that would protect many American companies from being taxed twice on the same income as they compete overseas. Including such meaningful reforms makes the Camp bill a much better proposal than earlier proposals by former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus of Montana, or by President Barack Obama.
The energy industry is one of the most capital-intensive and highly taxed industries in the United States. A recent analysis by the New York Times shows the three largest oil companies paid the most taxes of all major corporations, and all three have an effective tax rate above the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent.
SayAnythingBlog.com- Dalrymple: North Dakota Pipeline Capacity Will Cross One Million Barrels Per Day
Governor Jack Dalrymple is hosting a pipeline summit today, and there’s some good news for those concerned about oil shipments crowding the nation’s roads and rails. According to a press release sent out by Dalrymple’s office, by the end of 2014 “the state’s capacity to ship crude oil to market by pipeline is expected to increase to 783,000 barrels per day.”
That’s up 173 percent from five years ago when the state’s capacity was at 286,000 barrels per day.
And, according to Dalrymple, “Pipeline and refinery projects that are proposed for completion by late 2016 would more than double the state’s current oil takeaway capacity to about 1.4 million barrels per day.”
The Supreme Court on Monday mostly validated the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to regulate major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions such as power plants and factories but said the agency had gone too far in interpreting its power.
The court’s bifurcated opinion on one hand criticized the agency for trying to rewrite provisions of the Clean Air Act. But it nevertheless granted the Obama administration and environmentalists a big victory by agreeing that there are other ways for the EPA to reach its goal of regulating the gases that contribute to global warming.
NorthernAg.net- MT GOP: Transfer Federal Lands to the State
At the 2014 Montana Republican Platform Convention this weekend, the GOP unanimously passed a resolution in favor of shifting public land management away from Washington DC control.
Dissatisfaction with federal bureaucracy has been brewing across the west for years, but the movement to transfer ownership and management responsibilities to the states gained serious momentum after Utah passed a Transfer of Public Lands Act in 2012. Numerous non-partisan organizations around the West and the nation, like National Association of Counties and the American Farm Bureau, have adopted resolutions supporting the transfer of public lands to willing western states.
Great Falls Tribune: Schweitzer comments hobble POTUS hopes
“Anybody with illusions that Schweitzer could be a major player in the 2016 presidential race should probably re-evaluate themselves,” wrote the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake.
Jim Messina, who was a top aide to former Sen. Max Baucus before going to work for President Barack Obama in the White House and later managing Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, tweeted: “Montanans know he’s most over-rated pol memory. Offensive comments & bolo ties don’t get u POTUS.”
Political analyst Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report said she expects Schweitzer to say and do things other politicians wouldn’t say or do, but she said the recent comments may have hobbled his presidential hopes.
Wall Street Journal: Report Claims Legitimate Whistleblowers’ Critiques Were Ignored
A Department of Veterans Affairs internal watchdog created to safeguard the medical care provided to former service members instead routinely played down the effect of treatment errors and appointment delays, a federal special counsel alleged Monday.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, U.S. Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said the VA Office of the Medical Inspector has repeatedly undermined legitimate whistleblowers by confirming their allegations of wrongdoing, but dismissing them as having no impact on patient care.
Winding up a day of crisis talks with Iraqi leaders, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the Sunni militants seizing territory in Iraq had become such a threat that the United States might not wait for Iraqi politicians to form a new government before taking military action.
“They do pose a threat,” Mr. Kerry said, referring to the fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “They cannot be given safe haven anywhere.”
Hugh Hewitt in The Washington Examiner: Al Qaeda is back in Iraq because President Obama and Hillary Clinton chose not to block them
Obama and Clinton inherited a peaceful, stable, democratic Iraq from Bush. They tossed aside that legacy for political reasons. As the whirlwind is reaped there, and perhaps here as well, that fact should be known and repeated in every story.
The return of al Qaeda to Iraq could have been prevented. Obama and Clinton chose not to do so.
Billings Gazette: Fox sees ‘war on women’ differently than Democrats do
Slavery and sex trafficking is a $32-billion-per-year industry and is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, he said. News reports estimate that nearly 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, Fox said, while some 300,000 children in the United States are trafficked for sex yearly. The average age of girls forced into sex is between 12 and 14, he said.
Fox said the real war on women is being waged by what he called “the abortion industry.”
“It’s a well-financed special interest that fights to preserve taxpayer-funded subsidies,” he said. “In the United States today, more than 3,000 children are aborted every day,” Fox said. “How many of those are girls? These children are the most vulnerable, the most defenseless among us, and they’re killed in the womb.”
A Montana judge has struck down most of a voter-approved law requiring government officials to conduct immigration checks on anybody seeking services from unemployment benefits to crime-victim assistance.
The law aims to deny services to people who are in the U.S. illegally.
Washington Examiner: Hispanics sour on Obama as young illegals surge across border
The Cantor defeat and the surge of Central American teens make it unlikely that House Republican leaders will advance much in the way of immigration legislation.
Two trends in polling also point in this direction. One is that Hispanic voters don’t seem hugely preoccupied with immigration. The Pew Research Center reports that many more focus on education, the economy and health than the one-third who say immigration is “extremely important” to them personally.
The other is that the president’s job approval among Hispanics has been falling sharply. He got 71 percent of their votes in 2012, but fewer than half approve his performance today.
Luxury-Hotels.com ranked the most expensive U.S. luxury hotels by checking prices for the most affordable rooms from May 26 through Sept. 1. The all-inclusive Ranch at Rock Creek southeast of Missoula offers guests different types of stays: a lodge and spa, cabins and glamping. It came in tops with an average nightly rate of $2,138.
Number 3: $1,847 a night: Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Mont.
“Glamping” pic courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up website