Steve supports Betsy DeVos because she shares his commitment to increasing local control of our schools with policies that originate with the parents, teachers and administrators who are closest to the classroom. Any implication otherwise is both false and an insult to the people of Montana.
I know a little something about soft money, as my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican Party. Occasionally a wayward reporter will try to make the charge that we are giving this money to get something in return, or that we must be purchasing influence in some way.That last sentence, clearly, was intended to be sarcastic. Twenty years later, critics are taking it literally.
In fact, shortly after this summer's historic budget agreement, some on the left began shopping a rumor that President Clinton was planning to line-item veto a provision that, they hypothesized, had been somehow sneaked into the agreement to benefit my family's company, the Amway Corporation.
For a moment, the Democrats got very excited, believing they had an opportunity to claim that we bought access. It was all hogwash, and upon being confronted with the facts, they had to scrap their plan.
I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence. Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return.
We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment; we expect a good and honest government. Furthermore, we expect the Republican Party to use the money to promote these policies, and yes, to win elections.
People like us must surely be stopped.
Additional snow accumulations will be possible in the southern Bitterroot range and into the Clearwater mountains of central Idaho through the day today. Very cold temperatures will linger today through Friday across the entire Northern Rockies, with any remaining blustery winds diminishing today.
The big story coming up will be the very wet Friday through Monday period expected to heavily impact backcountry conditions. Snow levels will rise from valley floors to about 6500 feet across west central Montana and central Idaho, with slightly lower snow levels existing across northwest Montana. A transition to rain or a sloppy rain/snow mix is likely up to 6500 feet as a result, particularly Saturday through Monday. The heaviest precipitation (up to 1.25 inches of water equivalent) will occur in central Idaho mountains and northward into the Kootenai/Cabinet, Whitefish/Glacier, Mission/Swan regions. More details to come in future backcountry forecasts.
Why do we have to protect water? Why are so many of our youth taking their lives? Why are there so many Native people in prison? Why is it so hard to get ahead? To earn enough to support our families? To send them off to college with no financial concerns? Why are we still asking these same questions in 2017?Another great speech was from Bree Sutherland, an activist in the trans and queer community, who helped develop the Gender Expansion Project, which serves queer and transgender people across Montana and promotes inclusiveness in health care and in human rights. She said:
Teachers are also asking why. Yet they provide consistency, understanding, compassion and a love for learning so students can grow and thrive. And so every day we teachers go to work. We mentor. We console. We nurture. We encourage. We protect our students from grizzly bears.
I have seen national actions to ensure dignity and respect for all with employment, recognition of gender identity, regardless of what a birth certificate might suggest, and I have seen marriage equality, just to name a few of the tremendous victories which I have been privileged to witness.
While the last 8 years have been a time of many triumphs, it has also been a time where I, among many in my community, have experienced loss, defeat and grief.
"Stand up and help each other rise up. Rise to action. Stand beside me and become the reason we will not be driven backwards. Together we are strong, together we are one. We are the motion of today and the movement of tomorrow."
Montana groups seek fracking chemical disclosure:
Two environmental groups and a handful of landowners filed a lawsuit earlier this week to force the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation to require oil and gas drillers to disclose the fracking chemicals they use. (Courthouse News)
Why do some trees fend off mountain pine beetles?
YouTube personality and educator Hank Green interviews bark-beetle expert Diana Six, both of Missoula, to discuss how genetically adapted trees that resist infestations could be, as Six says, “the ace in the hole for the future.” (YouTube)
Montana tribes closer to managing Bison Range:
The Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will prepare a conservation plan for the National Bison Range, accompanied by an environmental impact statement, a step forward in the effort to transfer management of the wildlife refuge to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in northwest Montana. A lawyer for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which opposes the transfer and has sued to stop it, called the move a “desperate Hail Mary pass” ahead of Trump’s inauguration. (Missoulian)
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