What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. – The Captain (Cool Hand Luke)
Today I provide independent commentary about the following items for this edition of The Wednesday Read:
- Trump & Flynn
- Zinke’s Confirmation Vote
- Montana Legislature
Trump & Flynn:
With National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation (firing) Monday night and with the White House throwing him under the bus the next day, it’s another botched issue by the White House.
The first thing that crossed my mind was the Trump administration looks like the gang that could not shoot straight.
Trump and his inner circle on his White House staff need to get it together. There appears to be a lack of communication inside the west wing. There are too many people giving different answers and that is quickly sinking this administration. They should coordinate their responses and show some unity.
Plus, we have the drip, drip, drip of ties to Russia. The New York Times is reporting:
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.
After all that has gone on in the Trump Administration, Monday will mark the end of the first month.
Zinke’s Confirmation Vote:
MTN reported this week that it looks like the U.S. Senate vote to confirm Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke as U.S. Interior secretary probably won’t occur until the end of this month or next month. (MTN)
Meanwhile, Montana is getting screwed.
Zinke has missed many votes in the U.S. House this congress. According to the website GovTrack.us, as of this morning, Zinke has missed 73 of 92 votes in the U.S. House or about 79%.
He’s still being well-paid to do the job as Montana’s U.S. Representative, too.
Something is wrong with this process.
When Zinke is finally confirmed he will resign from the U.S. House and the Governor will call for a special election sometime between 85-100 days later. So if Zinke is not confirmed until the first part of March, that special election may not happen until June.
It will be as if Montana has been without representation in the U.S. House for a whole six months – and that’s not fair to Montana. After the special election, Montana will, once again, be near the bottom of the House for seniority.
I had a hard time today deciding which of the following bills were sillier. Here’s a brief description of each:
- The Montana House has given initial approval to a measure that would require the governor to pay for use of the state airplane to travel to campaign events. (AP)
- Lawmakers in the Montana House endorsed a measure Monday to get rid of the independent office that regulates their election campaigns and investigates ethics complaints filed against them. (AP)
- A Montana legislator says schools would be safer if school employees with concealed weapons permits were allowed to bring their weapons to campus. (AP)
- The bill allowing legislators to carry a concealed weapon in the Capitol and on other state property — which is not allowed now — was endorsed by the House Tuesday on a 53-47 vote. (MTN)
I think it’s a tie between getting rid of the independent office that regulates election campaigns and school employees carrying concealed weapons.
Legislators’ being able to carry concealed weapons is silly but should be fun to watch if approved. Who will be the first legislator to discharge their weapon either by accident or in anger inside the Capitol?
As for the governor’s plane, I think the Montana Republicans have decided that a Republican will never be governor again, so that is the reason for the bill. I don’t have a problem with it. This bill wastes time on something that does not matter to most people.
Getting rid of the Political Practices office and allowing the secretary of state and the attorney general to run it is, as they say, batshit crazy. It automatically makes it partisan. If Republican legislators are so pissed at that office, then come up with a better idea.
If they want the office to be partisan, then let the Democrats, Republicans, and other major political parties (plus independents) nominate one person each for commissioner and put the names on the ballot during presidential election year. Then let “we the people” vote for one of the nominees for one eight-year term. The candidates would be forbidden from campaigning.
In regard to a school employee carrying a concealed weapon, that’s just silly. I’ve known a few people who had concealed carry permits, and I would not want to be around them if they were carrying. Maybe next session someone can introduce a bill to let school children carry.
Nonetheless, the circus is alive and well in Helena!