A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

19 January 2018 — 1443 mst

Kalispell Women’s March & Friday roundup

Progressive women are assembling in Kalispell tomorrow to rally for democracy and diversity. Cliven Bundy is speaking in Paradise. And Congress, by not doing its job, is doing a job on democracy.

Kalispell Women’s March

The rally, one of many around Montana and the nation, celebrates “equality, diversity and democracy.” It begins at noon tomorrow in Kalisell’s Depot Park, and concludes two hours later. The speechifying begins at 1230. Among the speakers are:

Jennifer Allen, Hilary Hutcheson, Kedryn McElderry, Susan Cahill, Helen Weems, Hilary Shaw, Connie Behe, Kwen Shirley, and Mona Charles.

Thus far, according to the event’s Facebook Page, 339 are going, and 691 are interested. The organizers have done an outstanding job of promoting the rally, and I expect several hundred will attend.

Men and children are welcome, but Fido is not. Positive signs with a nonpartisan theme are welcome. There will be a table for making signs, tables bearing literature, and a food truck or two.

Beginning at 1600 this afternoon, volunteers will stomp down the snow in Depot Park.

Sponsoring organizations include Big Sky Rising and Indivisible Flathead, the Flathead County Democratic Women, Love Lives Here in the Flathead Valley, and the Flathead Democrats.

Bundy entering Paradise without paying his grazing fees

Nevada’s Cliven Bundy, out of jail and not currently charged with a crime, speaks tomorrow at the Old Paradise School in Paradise, Montana. One of his co-speakers will be Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder (R-Thompson Falls), who ought to be more careful about the company she keeps. Tristan Scott at the Flathead Beacon has more details, and Don Pogreba at the Montana Post published an interesting article on the event.

Bundy still owes the federal government approximately one million dollars in grazing fees. He claims, and will claim tomorrow, that the federal government cannot own land, and thus cannot charge him for grazing his cattle on publicly owned land. That’s legal hogwash, but to Bundy and the likeminded it’s a sweet theory that lets them see themselves as oppressed patriots instead of ornery scofflaws.

There are plenty of rich right wingers — the Koch brothers, for example — who could easily pay Bundy’s grazing fees for him. That he’s not the beneficiary of such largesse is a measure of the esteem in which the mainstream far right holds his ideas and conduct.

A government shutdown is a failure of democracy

At this point, Congress and the President have not, and apparently cannot, reach an agreement on the budget. Therefore, much of the federal government may shut down at midnight. Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, but because of the filibuster, they cannot get a bill through the Senate without Democratic votes.

A responsible Republican Party would cut a deal with the Democrats, agreeing to reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program and to protecting young people whose parents brought them here illegally in childhood and have grown up here, in exchange for some funding for Trump’s great wall along the Mexican border. But there’s no responsible Republican Party anymore. People who don’t approve of the shutdown, should it occur, should keep that in mind when they go to the polls in November.