The Wednesday Read: Zinke v. Tester, Hamlett & Taxes, & Sulu

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. – Dave Barry

It’s the last day of November and these items caught my attention for this edition of The Wednesday Read:

  • Zinke v. Tester
  • The Taxman Cometh
  • George Takei

Zinke v. Tester:

The Associated Press reported that U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke suggested in an interview that he could run against Democrat Jon Tester in Montana’s 2018 U.S. Senate race if the two-term incumbent does not work effectively with Republicans.

I think Zinke has an ego the size of Montana, so if I was a betting man I’d bet he’s running against Tester.

Zinke would probably get his ass kicked by Tester in the 4-6 point range, too. Zinke is no Denny Rehberg or Conrad Burns.

I wrote about this issue long before the “Montana political reporters” had recovered from the November 8 election:

I don’t want Zinke to run against Tester. I want someone from Montana to stay in the freakin’ U.S. House of Representatives long enough so the people at the door to the House chambers know their name. Dennis Rehberg ticked me off when he decided to run for U.S. Senate as a member of the House just as he was just getting some clout built up. Steve Daines ticked me off when he did the same thing, only he did it successfully. They did not get my vote. Zinke won’t either.

As for me and for many Montanans I have spoken with, we’re tired of politicians wanting to put the next notch on their belts instead of focusing on the job for which they were elected. Zinke needs to stay in the U.S. House and gain some seniority/clout and help Montana instead of himself.

The Taxman Cometh:

The taxman cometh in the 2017 state legislature and his name appears to be Bradley Hamlett.

The Associated Press reported that Montana lawmakers will be asked to consider placing a tax on the sale of medical marijuana. Rep. Bradley Hamlett, D-Great Falls, is proposing legislation that would add a 21 percent tax to help pay for drug addiction programs and another 3 percent to subsidize the cost of medical marijuana for low-income patients.

Holy cow, a 24 percent tax!

Why does Senator (Representative-elect) Hamlett want to pick on the sick people in Montana?

Hamlett is moving from the state senate to the state house. He won the election in my House District (HD 23), by just a few votes so this is a ballsy move that I will remember in two years. It is not a safe district for him – even a blogger could beat him.

If Hamlett wants to raise some revenue maybe he should introduce a bill to make recreational marijuana legal – and tax that. I’m not against taxing it, but 24% is too much no matter how you say it will be spent.

All this may be moot after January 20 if President Donald Trump tells his uptight Attorney General designee Sen. Jeff Sessions to go after the marijuana industry.

George Takei:

Most folks may remember George Takei for his role as Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He’s also an activist and he recently lent his name to a fundraising letter for the Democratic National Committee. Here is what he wrote:

Just a few weeks after my fifth birthday, in the spring of 1942, my parents got my younger brother, my baby sister, and me up very early, hurriedly dressed us, and quickly started to pack.

When my brother and I looked out the window of our living room, we saw two soldiers marching up the driveway, bayonets fixed to their rifles. They banged on our front door and ordered us out of the house. We could take only what we could carry with us.

We were loaded on to train cars with other Japanese-American families, with guards stationed at both ends of each car as though we were criminals, and sent two-thirds of the way across the country to an internment camp in the swamps of Arkansas.

For nearly three years, barbed wire, sentry towers, and armed guards marked home. Mass showers, lousy meals in crowded mess halls, and a searchlight following me as I ran from our barracks to the latrine in the middle of the night — in case I was trying to escape — became normal.

So when I hear Donald Trump’s transition advisors talk about building a registry of Muslims and his surrogates using the internment of Japanese-Americans as their model, I am outraged — because I remember the tears streaming down my mother’s face as we were torn away from our home. And I am resolved to raise my voice and say, loudly and clearly, that this is not who we are.

My mother was born in Sacramento, my father grew up in San Francisco, and my siblings and I were born in Los Angeles. We were American citizens, as proud of our country as we were of our Japanese heritage. But in the fear and mass hysteria of wartime, none of that mattered. When our government allowed hatred and racism to overtake our values, nothing else mattered.

We cannot allow our country to be led down that dark path ever again.

Amen to that.


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1 thought on “The Wednesday Read: Zinke v. Tester, Hamlett & Taxes, & Sulu

  1. Thankfully we have a GOP-controlled legislature that’s promised not to raise a single tax. I’ll look forward to seeing Hamlett defeated in 2018 – his ideas are terrible.

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