Welcome to July! This month just seemed to sneak up on me this year. Soon we’ll be celebrating Independence Day by watching sweaty politicians march in parades. We’ll also be fighting those pesky kids for the candy thrown into the crowds during the parade. Since it looks like it will be hot, we’ll be hoping that the fire trucks spray us with water!
Oh yes…it is now JULY!
If this is your first time dropping by, “Monday Morning Politics” is where I put together several of the political stories from the past weekend all in one place for your reading pleasure. I also offer some commentary about these stories sometimes laced with just a little snarkiness…
Today I talk about a big freaking fundraiser, The Outhouse, Medicaid and Obamacare, healthcare facts, healthcare polls, healthcare politics, jobless veterans, Malmstrom AFB, F-15s, and much more!
Romney Fundraiser in Montana:
On Friday, KTVQ in Billings reported that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney will be in Montana for a fundraiser on July 11 at the Daly Mansion in Hamilton. It will cost “$25,000 to meet and get a picture with him. Meanwhile the dinner with Romney costs $50,000 per couple and is limited to just 30 couples.”
This story gives credence to people believing that Romney is so rich that he is out of touch with regular people…
Just when you thought it was quietly fading away, the Obama Outhouse story is in the news again – you know the one that showed up at the Montana GOP Convention a couple weeks ago in Missoula.
This time Ed Kemmick writes about it in his “City Lights” column for the Billings Gazette. You can read it HERE. He closes his column with the perfect question, “Can the adults around here please grow up and stop embarrassing our children?”
It’s the story that keeps on giving…
Medicaid & Obamacare:
Mike Dennison of Lee Newspapers writes about “Medicaid part of health care ruling not a win for Obama” in a column on Sunday.
Dennison interviewed the Montana Governor candidates about the possibility of expanding Medicaid. Republican Rick Hill said, “I’m not going to support the Medicaid expansion if it puts Montana taxpayers at risk and increases the cost of health care in Montana.” As for Democrat Steve Bullock, Dennison wrote, “Bullock basically ducked the question, declining to say whether he supports or opposes the Medicaid expansion for Montana.”
Healthcare, Healthcare, Healthcare, Healthcare:
I don’t feel any differently since the healthcare law was mostly upheld last Thursday, how about you? I still have the same aches and pains I had on Wednesday…
The Associated Press takes a look at some of the statements made about healthcare from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and lets us know if they are factual or not! It can also be used to check what other candidates are saying. Check it out HERE.
On the Sunday talk shows there were several discussions about whether the mandate in the healthcare law is a “penalty” or a “tax.” The GOP wants to say it’s a tax because it sells better with voters and also because in the Senate it would be easier to overturn the law (with only 51 votes instead of 60).
If you want to check for yourself to get an idea what the U.S. Supreme Court actually said, go to the opinion from the Supreme Court and search for the word “Tax” and the word “Penalty.”
Gallup conducted a poll after the ruling and found, “Americans are sharply divided over Thursday’s Supreme Court decision on the 2010 healthcare law, with 46% agreeing and 46% disagreeing with the high court’s ruling that the law is constitutional. Democrats widely hail the ruling, most Republicans pan it, and independents are closely divided.”
Since many races will be decided by the independents, candidates will need to pay particular attention to those voters. In this poll they agreed with the ruling 45% to 42%.
The Associated Press reported, “The U.S. Health and Human Services Department says about 25,000 Montana residents will receive an average rebate from insurance companies of $194 by Aug. 1 due to the health reform law.”
U.S. Senator Max Baucus said, “This is cold hard cash in the hands of working Montanans, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” which in one way is saying, “Vote for the Democrat” and we’ll keep the checks coming…
On Friday, Congressman (and U.S. Senate Candidate) Denny Rehberg posted a one minute and 31 second video on YouTube called, “Promises” which shows Jon Tester and Barack Obama talking about the healthcare law. You can watch the video HERE.
USA Today reported, “The cost of unemployment compensation for troops leaving the military without jobs approached a billion dollars last year…”
There are also millions of people (including veterans) who are not counted because they have stopped looking for work and no longer receive unemployment benefits…
The Great Falls Tribune reported that one of the roads leading to Malmstrom AFB (near Great Falls) will be getting a major facelift this summer.
October 2012 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis and the first missile going online at Malmstrom – the “ace in the hole.”
This “facelift” is much-needed so I applaud the move. The County Commissioners should also ensure the area leading to the base does not fall back into an eyesore once the celebration ends. Since Malmstrom does not have an active runway, VIPS arrive through the front gate. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression…
Schweitzer & F-15s:
The Great Falls Tribune reported, “Gov. Brian Schweitzer has asked a federal court to delay his lawsuit against the federal government to see if the Defense Department and Congress follow through on pledges to block the shift of flying units for the next 15 months, including the F-15 jets at the Montana Air National Guard in Great Falls.”
I hope the next Governor continues to fight for the F-15s (and other jets) and does not roll over for the Department of Defense…
If you are traveling this week, please be careful on the roads and don’t drink and drive!
Follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord…