Political Trough: The Fan Dancing Billionaires on the Left

Who voted no on the CSKT Water Compact in the Montana State Senate?  The answer below.

Did you hear that someone in the Legislature is trying to use veterans to pass a marijuana legalization-style measure?  Well, you may also be interested in knowing what Chris Kyle’s killer was allegedly smoking the day of the attacks.  That story is also below. 

Plus, here’s another story as the NY Times finds out once again that, yes, Saddam did have WMD’s after all. And, a Montana lawmaker takes a stand against Sharia law.

Those stories and much more (like bills dealing with Common Core, cyclists, and the militarization of law enforcement) are included in this week’s Political Trough.         

But first, the Flathead’s Dave Skinner writes this for The Hill: Fan dancing

On January 22, Washington Post Plum Line blogger Greg Sargent reported that “preeminent liberal think tank” Center for American Progress would be “revealing its major 2014 donors” – in what turned out to be typical Beltway fan dancing.

Well, let’s look at one — Hansjorg Wyss, a Swiss citizen who joined CAP’s board of directors in 2004, its second year. Perhaps the reclusive Wyss was invited to sit on CAP’s board because he’s “progressive” — but another reason might be Wyss’ $11 billion net worth. Wyss recently sold his interest in Synthes, a medical device manufacturer acquired by Johnson and Johnson.

So – why is a Swiss billionaire funding the Center for American Progress? What about the other two anonymous members of CAP’s millionaire honor roll?

Does that name sound familiar?  Well, you may recall this post of mine from back in May of 2013:  The Billionaires Battling Ranchers in Montana

Here’s some more quick hits…

Watchdog.org: Ohio Obamacare expansion 33 percent over budget in first year

Enrollment in Ohio’s expanded Medicaid program was 485,462 in December, 33 percent higher than expected.

Gov. John Kasich’s Obamacare expansion took effect in January 2014, and it has been over budget ever since. Enrollment was at 492,121 last month, 34 percent higher than the Republican governor’s initial projection for this coming July.

TheBlaze.com: When They Have to Pay, ‘Liberal’ College Students Suddenly Revolt Against Obamacare-Like Health Fees


Both The Billings Gazette and Missoulian editorial boards have now gone after the VA. 

MISSOULIAN EDITORIAL: Veterans are speaking; VA isn’t listening

Gazette opinion: Montana veterans deserve better than VA delivers

The Hill’s Sunday Show Wrap-up-

VA chief: Employees being held ‘accountable’  “Nine-hundred people have been fired since I became secretary,” Robert McDonald said.  http://ow.ly/J5t5s

NY Times: Veterans in Congress Bring Rare Perspective to Authorizing War

Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now serving in Congress have emerged as some of the most important voices in the debate over whether to give President Obama a broad authorization for a military campaign against the Islamic State or something much more limiting.

Indeed, many Republicans with military service expressed their greatest anxiety about the language in the war authorization that would prohibit the use of “enduring offensive ground forces.”

“When we go to war, we want to give our troops every advantage on the battlefield,” said Representative Ryan Zinke, Republican of Montana and a retired commander at SEAL Team Six. “We don’t want to have another Benghazi, where you call and all of a sudden no one is answering on the other line.”

Post by Fox News.


The Daily Caller- Levin: Obama ‘A Patsy For Islamic Terrorism The Way Chamberlain Was A Patsy For Third Reich’

Earlier this week on Politico’s Playbook:

BREAKING at 12:22 a.m. – “Judge halts Obama’s immigration action: The president lacks the legal authority to carry out his orders, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen ruled,” by Josh Gerstein: “Obama’s latest and boldest attempt to use his executive powers to grant quasi-legal status to illegal immigrants ran into a major road block late Monday as a [Bush-appointed] federal judge in [Brownsville] Texas barred the administration from going forward with plans for a major expansion of that drive. The White House said [in a 2:47 a.m. statement] that the Justice Department will appeal … [Hanen acted] on a lawsuit brought by 26 states.” http://politi.co/1FmIiNk

HOUNDING AMTRAK – “Lawmakers push for Amtrak to allow small pets on trains,” by AP’s Kevin Freking: “Lily, a 15-pound … French bulldog, … and her owner, Rep. Jeff Denham [R] of [Modesto] … tried to [board] Amtrak, … [but] only service dogs were allowed … It’s a policy he’s been trying to change, … and he appears to be gaining momentum. Denham, … who chairs a House subcommittee overseeing the agencies that regulate the … railroad industry, … … persuad[ed] Amtrak to conduct a test run for pets along two routes in Illinois. … He has filed a bill that would require Amtrak to come up with a pet policy for passengers traveling less than 750 miles.” http://apne.ws/1L5UKj8

Wrapping it up…

10Th Amendment Center Blog: Bill to Reject Federal Militarization of Local Police Passes Montana Committee, 20-1

A bill that would reject federal programs to arm and equip local police like a military forcs was passed by an important state House Committee today. The vote was 20-1.

Introduced by Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer (R-Superior) House Bill 330 (HB330), the bill would place limits on the types of military equipment a local or state police department can purchase or receive from federal programs, audit the current inventory, and require oversight of allowed military grade equipment.

The legislation prohibits state or local law enforcement agencies from obtaining armored or weaponized drones, combat aircraft, grenades or other explosives (including grenade-launchers and flash-bangs), silencers, long-range acoustic devices, and tanks.

AP: Updates to Montana Bicycle Laws Proposed in Senate

The proposal would allow cars to pass bicyclists using the left side of a road in no-passing zones

KBZK-TV: Legislature to consider bills opposing Common Core

Governor Steve Bullock, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and the MEA-MFT all support Common Core.

Nationwide, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee and teachers unions in New York and Chicago take Lamm’s view, and oppose Common Core.

Did Chris Kyle’s killer smoke weed the morning of killings?  This, as a bill trying to use veterans to promote marijuana is being heard in the state legislature.

From People.com:  

As Eddie Routh’s uncle, James Watson, took the stand in Routh’s murder trial on Friday, assistant district attorney Jane Starnes asked, “You’re not exactly excited about being here, are you?”

“No, ma’am,” he replied.

The two men are close; in fact, on Feb. 2, 2013 – the day Routh allegedly shot and killed Kyle and Littlefield – Routh spent time with his uncle both before and after the murders. Watson’s testimony included a couple of revelations: Watson raced to Routh’s house the morning of the shootings after Routh’s girlfriend, Jennifer Weed, called for help due to an argument between the couple. Weed had left the house, but Routh said the two smoked marijuana, and Routh testified the two got high before Routh left for the gun range.

NY Times: C.I.A. Is Said to Have Bought and Destroyed Iraqi Chemical Weapons

The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.

The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

American Thinker: NY Times discovers that Saddam did have WMDs after all

Note that despite the firestorm of slander the Bush administration endured over its “lies” on WMD, the president never acted to declassify the information on the CIA buyback program, and as a result today it is an article of faith on the left that he lied us into war.

The CIA’s program appears to have put at risk soldiers who were not warned of the risks they faced in handling these potent weapons

WesternJournaism.com: This Montana Lawmaker Has Just Taken A Bold Step To Protect American Justice 

Senate Bill 199 — “The Primacy of Montana Law” — would prohibit the use of foreign laws and religious customs in Montana courts. Introduced by Republican state Sen. Janna Taylor, the measure is reportedly modeled on similar “anti-Sharia” legislation that has passed in Louisiana, Kansas, and Tennessee.

The website Freedom Outpost says that Taylor’s bill “would nullify any ‘court, arbitration or administrative agency ruling’ that relies on any foreign law contrary to rights guaranteed to Montanans by the state or U.S. constitutions.”

The Christian Action Network hails the bill whose sponsor claims “would particularly protect the rights of women and children, who do not necessarily receive the same protections under other legal systems that they do in the United States.”

For those who missed it…great show from Glasgow, Montana on Thursday

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