Tuesday’s Political Potpourri

Welcome to Tuesday – and Tuesday’s Political Potpourri!

When there are several political stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column.

Today I provide valuable independent commentary about Agenda 21, nutjobs, private school funding, death penalty, Montana Legislature, the VA Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, and much more!

Agenda 21:

Several times I have mentioned that there must be a “stupid fountain” somewhere down a dark hallway in the capitol that some Montana legislators drink from, and then they do really stupid things. This fountain is used by both Republicans and Democrats.

The latest indication that I am correct about the fountain is House Bill (HB) 583 which is sponsored by Republican State Representative Randall Pinocci of Sun River.

The bill deals with Agenda 21 which according to an article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (BDC) “is a U.N. plan to abolish private property rights, force urbanization and indoctrinate children in support of a totalitarian regime.” The BDC also reported that Pinocci claims Agenda 21 policies have made it impossible to build on his land.

Proving that the nutjobs have taken over the House Judiciary committee, the bill was voted out of the committee 11-10. See who the eleven nutjobs are by clicking HERE.

Private School Funding:

The Associated Press yesterday reported “A Republican lawmaker on Friday revived a proposal to provide tax credits for private education that narrowly failed the 2013 Montana Legislature.”

People supporting the bill said “the bill’s intention is to put competition between educational institutions on a level playing field and allow low-income students the ability choose private school.”

Shame on Committee Chair Sarah Laszloffy for allowing opponents just 15 minutes to testify.

One opponent said that, “financially needy families could not afford up-front costs to attend private schools, even if they’d later be reimbursed by the state.”

This is just another attempt to use taxpayer money for private schools. Even if it makes it through the House and Senate, the Governor will probably veto it and that is a good thing.

If the GOP really wants to help the poor, they should allow the expansion of Medicaid.

Even-numbered Years:

The Associated Press reported, “A Bozeman lawmaker proposes moving Montana’s legislative sessions to even-numbered years to give newly elected lawmakers more time to learn the system, hold committee meetings and propose more thoughtful legislation.”

Yes! One thing Montana needs is “more thoughtful legislation.”

We could also use more intelligent legislators.

Death Penalty:

The headline from the Associated Press made me giggle: “Montana House kills bill to repeal the death penalty on tie vote.”

Why did I giggle? I guess it was the “kills” and “death” part, and the “kills bill” part. “Kill Bill” is a movie…

Seriously though, I am in favor of the death penalty. I always have been and probably always will be in favor of it. I just want to ensure those who receive death as a sentence are given a chance to appeal, and there is no chance that they are not guilty. If there’s any doubt, then there should be no death sentence.

VA Secretary:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald “has apologized for making false claims about having served in the U.S. military’s elite special operations forces.” (Source)

When I read about this, I lost a lot of respect for McDonald. I don’t know how he can recover. How can veterans believe anything he says now?

That VA is so screwed up, and the one person I thought might make significant changes is a liar.

Department of Homeland Security:

The Hill reported, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took steps Monday to prevent a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by splitting off legislation attacking President Obama’s immigration actions from the funding fight.”

It looks like McConnell may lose the first battle of the new Congress.

The Republicans are going to get the blame if DHS shuts down. When DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson went on the Sunday talk shows and warned people going to malls to “be careful,” it probably sealed the deal to pass a clean bill.

It’s early though – they still have until Saturday to fight about it.