Monday’s Quick Hits

Many are called but few get up. – Oliver Herford

Today I take a look at Montana’s gas tax, immigration raids, Stephen Miller, the Grammy Awards, and Saturday Night Live.

Montana Gas Tax:

Mike Dennison from MTN news on Friday reported that State Representative Frank Garner (R-Kalispell) said he’ll be introducing a bill to increase the state gasoline tax by 8 cents a gallon. If approved, Montana’s state gas tax would be 35 cents per gallon. That’s in addition to the 18.4 cents we pay in federal gas taxes.

The gas tax increase proposed by Garner is ridiculous. Montanans pay enough gas taxes already. I’ll be watching for this bill and publicize those in the legislature who want to increase our gas taxes.

No new taxes!

Immigration Raids:

The New York Times reported that Federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people across at least 11 states last week. There were protests and stories all across the United States about “immigration raids.”

Last week Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tweeted “ICE will remove illegal aliens convicted of felony offenses as ordered by an immigration judge” and “ICE targets convicted criminals and others who are illegally present in the United States” and “ICE immigration enforcement actions target specific individuals according to the laws passed by Congress.”

I have compassion for those who are deported and separated from families, but the bottom line is they are in the USA illegally. I don’t think we have the resources to go after those whose only crime is being here illegally, but I do believe we need to go after and remove those who have committed felonies while in this country.

Stephen Miller:

White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller was on all the Sunday talk shows and although President Trump tweeted that Miller did a “Great job” I was not impressed with him.

It appeared to me and several others that he was reading from a script or something to help him answer the questions. He was appearing on the shows from the White House briefing room.

Miller brought up the voter fraud claims again and the Washington Post gave him four Pinocchios.

Twitter was brutal. One Tweet made me laugh out loud:

Sean Spicer: “I’m tired of everyone thinking I’m the biggest idiot in Trump’s circle.”

Stephen Miller: “Hold my beer.”

Who is next up to speak for the Trump administration?

The Grammy Awards:

This was my favorite part of the Grammy Awards:


Saturday Night Live:

In case you missed it, Melissa McCarthy was back as “Spicey” – White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer:


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  1. One case in particular has emerged as a head scratcher and a tearjerker. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos is a 35-year-old woman who came to this country when she was 14 years old and lived here for over 20 years. In 2008, she was convicted of a felony for using a fake Social Security number. After her case was adjudicated in immigration court, ICE placed her under supervision, with the proviso that she report to immigration authorities annually. Each time she did so in the past seven years, she simply checked in with them and was released. Upon checking in with ICE last week, however, she was detained, and deported to Mexico.

    Why? Yes, Garcia had a felony conviction. Yes, she violated the law. Yes, there was a valid underlying deportation order that justified her removal. But was it really necessary to take her away from her husband and children in the interest of national security? And so the question remains, how many cases like Garcia’s are out there, and how will they be handled under what looks like a new era of aggressive enforcement? And are people like Garcia the type of people whom the President seeks to deport under his tough new immigration policies? What public safety and border security interest does that serve?

    The above felony was a grade 6 felony, clearly not a danger to society.

    I get it about illegal immigration, but a draconian response helps no one. It’s been going on for decades and this $10-$50 Billion dollar (estimates vary) wall isn’t going to stop it. That in and of itself is a multi-faceted topic. In the meantime, produce farmers who voted for Trump in CA thinking “he didn’t REALLY mean it” are worried about their crops rotting for lack of field workers.

    • Anon: Yes, those are tough cases. I heard about Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos and it is sad. I worked on several immigration cases in the past. Her federal elected official in her state could have probably helped her, but it takes time.

      She was probably told to leave and apply to come back or get deported and not be able to apply to come back for a long time. She figured she would never have to leave. The bottom line on her is she did commit a felony and there has to be a line that we draw as a country to enforce immigration laws.

      Thanks for your comments and information!


  2. Jackie, did you know my wife’s from Russia?

    She’s here legally, of course – we spent about $1,000 doing that, getting her all the paperwork, and that before we even came to the US. After we got here we spent a lot more money getting her a Green Card.

    It was a bit rocky that first year – she couldn’t work for half of it because the federal government shut down in 2013-14 and wouldn’t do Green Card paperwork so she could work – but we got through it and now she’s a co-owner of a small business in Missoula.

    So, Jackie, when my wife and I went through all that rigmarole to get her here legally and to ensure she can stay here legally, how do you think I feel when I read about all these illegal immigrants that are here?

    To take it further, how do you think I feel about all these sanctuary cities that allow illegal immigrants to come here and then stay?

    • Greg – I’m guessing you’re not a fan of illegal immigrants and sanctuary cities…-JmB

  3. Obviously, you never get out of your house and drive on eastern Montana roads. Some of Highway 2 in Blaine Co hasn’t been been changed since it was built. Too narrow and too many bridges. Since reconstruction was stopped by Glasgow Sen., all monies go to west of divide projects. Let the tourists pay for some of our projects.

    • Anon – Thanks for your comments. I’ve been on eastern Montana roads plenty and I agree that they are not that good.
      The projects need to be prioritized and we need to stay within our means to pay for it instead of just raising taxes. Maybe the legislative branch could cut some of their funding to pay for new roads and bridges?
      The Speaker of the Montana House is from eastern Montana, so maybe he should use some of his “clout” to fix the roads out there.
      Thanks again, -JmB

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