President Obama won’t budge on the Keystone pipeline. A bunch of Senate Democrat moderates abandoned Harry Reid (but not Montana Sen. Jon Tester, at least publicly, of course). Agriculture groups see benefits to the Republican Senate majority. The NRA’s best election in over a decade. And, Tim Fox. He’s Montana’s Attorney General…and…a national heart throb? Those stories and more are in the Weekend Wrapup.
But first, while headlines like this are getting necessary attention in Great Falls, Montana this morning, here’s a headline that folks in Central Montana should really be promoting from The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard: Report- Obama urged to get more nukes, stop acting like war is ‘unthinkable’
President Obama should give up the “fallacy” that world nuclear powers won’t use their weapons and instead begin investing in new nukes to show countries like Russia, China and North Korea that the U.S. has the muscle to back up its threats, according to a new report.
The plea was included in the annual CSIS world guide, “2015 Global Forecast: Crisis and Opportunity,” and was written with a sense of urgency that Obama move soon.
While you’re at The Examiner’s site, here’s a couple more must-read news stories:
Now, back to nukes and Malmstrom.
The Great Falls Tribune: Hagel to order nuke force overhaul to fix failures
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has concluded that problems in the nation’s nuclear forces are rooted in a lack of investment, inattention by high-level leaders and sagging morale, and is ordering top-to-bottom changes, vowing to invest billions of dollars to fix the management of the world’s most deadly weapons, two senior defense officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.
From the Left, you can see that the effort to weaken America’s nuclear security continues. However; an interesting read from Mother Jones: Death Wears Bunny Slippers; Hanging out with the disgruntled guys who babysit our aging nuclear missiles—and hate every second of it. (h/t Montana Cowgirl)
Six hours earlier, I was driving through Great Falls with a former captain in the Air Force’s 341st Missile Wing. Aaron, as I’ll call him, had recently completed a four-year stint at the Alpha facility. Had President Obama ordered an attack with ICBMs, Aaron could have received a coded message, authenticated it, and been expected to turn a launch key.
We kept passing unmarked blue pickup trucks with large tool chests—missile maintenance guys. The Air Force doesn’t like to draw attention to the 150 silos dotting the surrounding countryside, and neither does Great Falls. With about 4,000 residents and civilian workers and a $219 million annual payroll, Malmstrom Air Force Base drives the local economy, but you won’t see any missile-themed bars or restaurants. “We get some people that have no idea that there’s even an Air Force base here,” one active-duty missileer told me.
Fox News First on Friday: OBAMA NOT BUDGING ON PIPELINE
Obama would not budge from the “dim” view his administration has of a legislative push on the Keystone pipeline ahead of a key House vote on the project slated for today. At a press conference in Burma, the president said he wants to let a review process – now in its sixth year – run its course. Pressed by Republican leadership to state where he stands, Obama said his administration believes the project should be judged on the basis of whether it accelerates climate change. Obama also insisted the pipeline would not be a “massive jobs bill” and would have no effect on U.S. gas prices. Senate Republicans and several moderate Democrats have pushed for the project to be approved for years. Supporters say the construction of the pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs. But the project divides Democrats, with environmentalists in opposition while some unions as well as energy-state and business-minded lawmakers support it. The Senate is expected to hold a vote on the pipeline Tuesday. Fox News has more.
CENTRIST DEMS DESERT REID
The Hill: “Democratic centrists unhappy with how the Senate has functioned under Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sought to delay a Thursday vote on keeping him as leader… The effort failed in part because no Democrat was willing to step up and take on Reid, who has served as Democratic leader since 2005… At least a half-dozen Democrats voted against him in the secret-ballot tally…[Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.,] [Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.], [Mary Landrieu, D-La.], [Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.,] and Virginia Sens. Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) all said publicly that they voted against Reid.”
The Billings Gazette: Agriculture groups see benefits to Republican Senate majority
“Potentially this will allow some cooperation between the two houses on issues that we see as valuable from a land management perspective,” said Jay Bodner, of Montana Stockgrowers Association.
The first issue up would be the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to extend its regulatory reach under the Clean Water Act. The EPA wants the authority to add seasonal wetlands and drainages to the waterways it regulates under the “waters of the United States” definition of the Clean Water Act. Farm and ranch groups bristle at the thought.
“The rule is probably the biggest property rights violation affecting farmers and ranchers in Montana that I can think of, at least in my lifetime,” said Nicole Rolf, who tracks EPA water actions for the Montana Farm Bureau Federation.
Tim Fox. He’s Montana’s Attorney General…and…a national heart throb?
— Tim Fox (@AGTimFox) November 13, 2014