Brian Schweitzer, Say It Isn’t So!

photo by Alex Wong

photo by Alex Wong

It’s so sad to see former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer limping unceremoniously off the national stage, when everyone expected him to fill Max Baucus’ seat in the Senate.

Schweitzer was so good for Montana as governor – vetoing all those bills.  There was no doubt, Brian Schweitzer knew what was best for Montana, regardless of what the citizens or the legislature wanted.  His judgment was obviously superior to everybody else’s.

House Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, said they sent Schweitzer jobs-creating bills and believe the vetoes went against Montanans’ will.  “We’re hoping that he’s doing this not for political purposes or not for entertainment purposes, that it’s something that he truly believes in,” Milburn said. “But the show, whatever it was, we were figuring it was more for entertainment value.”

And you know, it’s just heartbreaking to know that the Commission of Political Practices was actually doing corrupt and despicable things while Schweitzer was in office.  Surely Brian Schweitzer would not have tolerated any hanky-panky if he had known about it, right?

According to IRS records, Council for a Sustainable America, or CSA, was formed in 2008 in Helena as a 527 political action committee to “educate voters about elected officials and candidates.” Gallik, the former commissioner of political practices, was listed as the group’s treasurer. Gallik, a Helena attorney, declined to comment on the organization, its purpose or its activities. Citing attorney-client privilege, Gallik said, “Even if I knew — and I’m not saying I do or I don’t — I can’t go there.”

We know what a loyal Democrat Brian Schweitzer was.  And obviously, all of his fellow Democrats just loved him.

The source said Tester was “sticking knives” in Schweitzer’s potential run. In the days before Schweitzer decided to drop his potential bid, a number of stories emerged about Schweitzer’s ties to “dark” and “secret money” groups.  Three sources close to Schweitzer’s campaign fingered Tester’s camp as the source of two unflattering stories that popped up in the past week — one in Politico and one in the local Great Falls Tribune. These sources singled out Tester and Tom Lopach, his chief of staff.

Brian Schweitzer was for the common man.  He was opposed to dark money in politics – umm, I mean, well, for . . . other people.

It’s just such a shame.  Brian Schweitzer was as clean as the driven snow.  He was a star on David Letterman and Bill Maher.  He had no ego at all.  Everybody loved him!  So much so, in fact, that he was being groomed to run for President some day!  And those rumors about corruption, well . . . how could they be true?

Blixseth and Flynn have repeatedly charged that Kirscher’s bankruptcy decision was fraudulently influenced in a 2009 meeting with Montana’s governor at the time, Schweitzer. The meeting resulted in a decision to allow Blixseth’s ex-wife and Sam Byrne, a Boston real estate investor with ties to the Democratic Party, to buy the Yellowstone Club at a price substantially below market value after the bankruptcy had been declared.  Flynn further alleged in a letter shared with WND, addressed to the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, that Burkle, Byrne and Schweitzer funneled more than $1.2 million through the Democratic Governor’s Association in 2008 to the Montana Democratic Party for the benefit of Schwitzer’s re-election campaign.

Well, I am just heartbroken that former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer  is being accused of all of these terrible things when we all know they could not possibly be true!  Say it isn’t so, Brian!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side
Say it isn’t so painful
To tell me that you’re dissatisfied.
Last time I asked you
I really got a lame excuse.
I know that you lied.

Say It Isn’t So – Hall and Oates

Tester / Baucus: Losers Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

A while back I blogged that we “Old Bean Counters” could fix the deficit in pretty short order.  I know, I know – things are VERY messed up and it may take more than a couple of weeks to straighten it out.

But still, it ain’t rocket science.  It’s just Dollars In, Dollars Out.  In business, in government, and in family life, you can’t spend more money than you take in – at least not for very long.  So you need to make sure that what you do spend is not wasted, and you need to help the guys who bring the dollars in.  From all indications, our current Congress has it backwards – they can’t get their spending under control, and they go out of their way to stifle success in the private sector.

Here’s another simple platitude we Old Bean Counters used to throw out regularly:  Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.

In business, planning is everything.  Successful companies analyze their markets, create an operating plan that shows how profit will be made, and then execute the plan.  Those who take it “one day at a time” and try to react to events as they occur nearly always fail.   It’s survival of the fittest, and the fittest are careful planners.

Our US Senate, including Montana’s own Max Baucus and Jon Tester, are not exactly “the fittest”.  They, their leader Harry Reid, and the rest of the Senate, have not passed a budget since April 29, 2009.  In fact Reid said, “There’s no need to have a Democratic budget, in my opinion.

This year President Obama submitted his budget proposal in February, as is his responsibility.   It failed to receive a single vote in either the House or the Senate, but hey – he did his job.

Soon after that, the House passed their own budget proposal.  It went to the Senate, where it languishes today just like every bill the House sends over.  The House continues to work on budget and spending bills, knowing there is no hope of success, but doing the work anyway.

Meanwhile, the Senate has been busy doing . . . well, nothing.  Senate Democrats have the ball, and if they can’t play their game, they are going home and taking the ball with them.  Senate Republicans – in keeping with recent tradition – threaten to filibuster any bill the other guys put up.  So the Dems just don’t bother.

So we spend, and spend, and spend – without a budget.  We make no attempt to improve the business climate (and government revenues) by reforming tax and regulation policies.  We just take it one day at a time, and let policy decisions be made according to political doctrine, without regard to economic viability.

We have failed to plan for over three years now.

The result is clear.  We have failed.  We are losers.  And Mssrs. Baucus and Tester share the blame.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Enjoy one of the best Beatle songs ever –

What have I done to deserve such a fate
I realize I have left it too late
And so it’s true, pride comes before a fall
I’m telling you so that you won’t lose all

I’m A Loser – the Beatles

Sen. Max Baucus Payback to Big Tobacco Donors – Kill Small Businesses

The “pay for play” culture of corrupt cronyism is alive and well in Washington, DC.

Sen. Max Baucus, (D) Montana

Senator Max Baucus, (D) Montana, has just taken out an entire industry, its small business owners, and their employees with the stroke of a pen.  By hiding a small amendment in the transportation bill that passed last week, Baucus ensured that every small “roll your own” tobacco company in the US will go “up in smoke”.

The roll-your-own cigarette companies sell papers and loose tobacco through retail outlets and vending machines.  The market advantage of roll-your-own cigarettes is lower price and the pureness of the tobacco – the RYO companies do not add chemicals to the product like the big guys do.

Before Baucus’ amendment, the loose tobacco companies were exempt from the big sin taxes which afflict the finished cigarette manufacturers.  His amendment eliminates this exemption, and the crushing cost of these taxes will snuff out the small companies, according to Robert Weissen, owner of nine Sin City Cigarette Factory outlets in Las Vegas.

These entrepreneurs are just trying to make an honest buck and are barely a blip on the big tobacco radar.  The additional tax revenue will certainly not make a dent in the $16 trillion debt Baucus has helped create.  Montana does not have any roll-your-own companies.  So why does Baucus care about this tiny band of entrepreneurs?  Well, among Baucus’ campaign contributors is Altria, aka Phillip Morris.  Connect the dots.

Baucus has become the prototypical corrupt, sold-out, big-money, big-government, purely partisan, inside-the-beltway, showing-off-his-new-girlfriend cartoon character at its worst.  He embodies everything a thinking citizen should abhor.  Max does NOT represent Montana and seldom even SEES our beautiful state or its people.  He has become an embarrassment to the citizens of the Big Sky state.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I got one hand in my pocket –
And the other one is flickin’ a cigarette

Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket