Sunday, March 12, 2006

Thoughts on today's newspaper stories

Seems to me that the votes mentioned in today's Gazoo indicate some of the real beliefs of our Republican members of Congress such as Dumb Denny Rehberg and Sen. He-Didn't-Influence-Me Burns. Maybe Dumb Denny should be called Cheap Denny. Not only does he live on the cheap at taxpayer expense by camping out in his office, but now he's leasing an SUV (SVU as I prefer to call them, following the television show of the same name) for something like $8,000+ a year. Then he votes for a bill that would allow lower-standard federal food laws to overturn higher state laws. Would that stop our Country of Origin labeling? He also votes against exempting stricter state bio-terror laws from that bill. What's he doing? To be fair he did seem to support protecting our civil liberties from the "Patriot" act. But then that might just be another smokescreen name for a bill.

And then there's Conrad. He's talking about ethics, but then he voted against a bill that would have curtailed lobbyists access to senators in a big-time way. Oh, that's right, it was a Democrat bill and would have broadened the senate rules to let the minority party more access in legislation. Let's hope that if he's elected this fall, that he is in the minority for the rest of his career in D.C.

And, finally, there's the state Republican Party. They can't provide the schools enough money, although they will bare-faced lie about having done so, and they criticize providing money to the schools following court orders. They may be right that it isn't enough as yet, but they could have made sure it was enough while they were in power. And now they are unhappy because the State Board of Education wants to provide a standard to prevent bullying in schools. So they voted against a similar bill in the last legislative session, apparently because they are so fundamentally involved with religious ridiculosity (is that a word) that they turned away good because the bill mentioned sexual preference. Seems to me that means the baby is long gone as well as the dirty dishwater. As someone who was bullied by school teachers who made us sing from a church hymnal, I think it's long past time that their is a strong anti-bullying policy in place and enforced, no matter what the cause of the bullying. Mostly is just pecking order and power in play rather than real issues anyway.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thoughts on the opinion page

David Crisp over at the Billings Blog pointed out the other day that the Gazoo seems to have some uncertainty about certain issues it talks about on its editorial page. I agree. The other day they had quite an essay (too long for an editorial) on the Rimrock Foundation's plans to put a fourplex up in the North Park area. They pointed out the laws and the issues and came down squarely on the belief that the plans need to be looked at again. That may be seen as pro Rimrock Foundation, but they really didn't say what the editorial board believed in so many words. The content hinted at the idea that the fourplex should be approved, but in the end there was no clear cut statement as to that. Sort of a Charley Brown wishy-washyness that the Gazette has had over several years. Why bother with an opinion page if it doesn't have any opinions?

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