Happy Friday! Here are some of the issues that caught my eye this week:
- MT House Bill 234
- Commissioner of Political Practices
- Montana Freedom Caucus
- Biden & Classified Documents
- NFL Divisional Playoffs
MT HOUSE BILL 234:
Apparently, the MAGA folks in the Montana Legislature won’t be happy until all the libraries in the state are closed.
Lee Newspapers reports that the bill, heard on Thursday, would open public schools, libraries, museums and their employees to criminal liability for displaying or disseminating to minors material deemed “obscene.”
The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay.
The bill amends Section 45-8-206, MCA to read:
Public display or dissemination of obscene material to minors. (1) A person having custody, control, or supervision of any commercial establishment or newsstand may not knowingly or purposely:
(a) display obscene material to minors in such a way that minors, as a part of the invited public, will be able to view the material.
The Daily Montanan reports that the measure would open public library, museum and public school employees to criminal charges, potential fines up to $500 and six months of jail time under Montana’s obscenity law.
I guess the parents have no responsibility to supervise what their children are reading or checking out from the library. Plus, what may be obscene to one person is not obscene to another.
Watch out MAGA folks – you may end up banning the Holy Bible.
Read the Lee Newspapers report HERE and the Daily Montanan report HERE.
NEW COMMISSIONER OF POLITICAL PRACTICES:
I read in the Missoulian that Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) announced Thursday that he appointed Helena attorney Chris Gallus as the new Commissioner of Political Practices.
The part of the article that made me laugh was this part:
The Commissioner of Political Practices is a nonpartisan, appointed position that oversees an office responsible for enforcing Montana’s campaign, ethics and lobbying laws.
It’s far from “nonpartisan” as politicians pick the candidates, the elected governor makes the appointment, and the state senate confirms the nominee.
Right now, there’s a complaint pending against Gianforte’s Lt. Governor. That was probably awkward during the interview process…
Of course, the political party that did not get their pick bitches and complains for the next few years about the pick. I’m not sure why anyone would want the job as it pays very little and it’s like herding cats.
In short, there has to be a better way of policing campaigns.
Read the Lee Newspapers article HERE.
MONTANA FREEDOM CAUCUS:
It was reported by MTN news that the Montana Freedom Caucus held an event in Helena Thursday.
Basically, I think the Montana Freedom Caucus is the cream of the MAGA crowd – the nuttiest nutjobs of the MAGA crowd.
MTN says that State Senator Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton chairs the group.
One part of the article stood out to me:
Manzella said the caucus has other members, but they aren’t publicly releasing their names.
Are these members too chicken to let their names be associated with this fringe group?
The MTN article can be read HERE.
BIDEN & CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS:
After being peppered with questions over and over, the Associated Press (AP) reported that President Joe Biden finally spoke about the discovery of classified documents and official records at his home and former office.
The AP reported that Biden said:
“We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden said to reporters who questioned him during a tour of the damage from storms in California. “We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department.”
Biden said he was “fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly.”
“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there,” he said. “There’s no there there.”
Biden had to answer questions, but I’m not sure his “There’s no there there” is the best answer he could give.
The fact is there is some there there, Mr. President. You kept classified documents in an unsecure location. Most people would be fired or court-martialed for this lack of attention.
This is more serious than the White House and Biden want to admit, and that’s a shame.
NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS:
The final eight NFL teams will be cut to the final four by Sunday night.
The Jaguars visit my Chiefs Saturday afternoon. The game starts at 2:30 pm here in Montana. It is televised on NBC.
Then the Giants take on the Eagles Saturday night at 6:15 pm Montana time on FOX.
On Sunday, the Bengals take on the Bills at 1:00 pm Montana time on CBS, and the Cowboys and 49ers square off at 4:30 pm Montana time on FOX.
Check out the schedule HERE.
Let’s go CHIEFS!!!!
And, this is your brain on MAGA! We’ve got’em to, and it’s ugly. (Very interesting article)
From the Lee story about the obscenity bill:
“In closing on his bill, Phalen said he was inspired by his grandchildren and “I want them to grow up in a society that allows them to be children,” adding, “If the libraries don’t have this type of materials, they have nothing to worry about.”
Brilliant thinking, Bob. There’s zero difference between library books and the materials on the smut rack behind the convenience store counter. Your bill to remove the Catcher in the Ryes and Tropic of Cancers from public bookshelves would tooooooootally prevent your grandchildren from ever accessing or being exposed to any materials you in your personal infinite wisdom might deem obscene.
It’s 1952 again. There is no Internet. There’s no social media and phone texting where kids can send each other images. No video games. Television hardly even exists, much less streaming services. No music videos either, and all broadcast and recorded music is pure and clean as Les Paul and Mary Ford.
If we could just pass this one little bill! They could be carefree kids again, running whooping around the neighborhood unsupervised in their Lone Ranger cowboy outfits and Davy Crockett coonskin hats shooting cap guns at each other (all while being semi-terrorized by scary neighborhood dogs running loose). Perhaps for the less adventurous child, stay home and play with Lincoln logs, hula hoops and Barbie dolls. If only we could do away with those damn books.
And, as added bonuses, Phalen’s bill would advance the overall conservative campaign to demonize, discourage, and chase off ever more existing teachers, administrators, and librarians, as well as reinforcing to more college kids that the majority party of Montana public officials and those who elected them hate teachers, so better major in something other than education. It’s not the good old days of 1952 anymore, when professions like teacher and librarian and scientist were respected and admired. Now anyone associated with learning is the Enemy of the People, despised by the GOP.
Win win win win win.
I have traveled the state from corner to corner a couple of times, and I’ll be danged if I knew where Lindsay, Mt. is, where Mr. Obscenity Guy Bob Phalen is from. Poor Bob is not the sharpest knife in the drawer as we discovered when Derf Johnson had to give him an instant tutorial on climate change. Hilarious by the way. Easy to see that Bob’s intellectual curiosity never strayed too far beyond the confines of Lindsay, which is basically a gas station twenty some miles from Glendive out in the prairie. The ONLY way to access porno for Bob would be UPS. Or pony express! I hardly think Bob is the guy to dictate morality and obscenity to the rest of the state when he probably censors the Sears Roebuck catalogs before his grandkids come over!
But thing about the article that really cheered my soul where the various pastors that spoke in opposition to this nonsense. It’s about time they started to fight back against the MAGA christofascists who have hijacked religion for their own hateful purposes. And they must find the courage to continue speaking out. It’s OK to bash other so called religious people if they’re pervert the words of Christ.
“ Jack Longbine, a city trustee for the Livingston-Park County Public Library board, said he’s a conservative Baptist minister who fears the bill could ban the Bible from libraries.
“The definition is too obscure, and the problem is different people have different definitions of it,” he told the committee.
He and other opponents talked about multiple passages from the book containing elicit descriptions of rape, dismemberment, false idols and more that could potentially be construed as obscene. Longbine said attempts of this nature also restrict his ability to communicate with younger people about religion.
“If they say, ‘Hey, you and people like you are trying to censor everything. If you won’t read things we want, why should we read the Bible?’” he said. “It creates a real problem for me, and they have a legitimate point.”
Sheila Elwin, another Livingston library board member, said she is a conservative fundamentalist evangelical who believes libraries already do a fine job of dividing their collections into age-appropriate sections. She, too, worried the Bible could be banned — either as obscene or by future “secular” legislatures as restricted religious literature.
Stephen Underwood, the pastor at Central Christian Church in Great Falls, said Montana families are capable of keeping their children educated, informed and safe. He called the bill “an empty political gesture capitalizing on divisive culture war rhetoric.”
The mayor of Lindsay, Mt. explaining to Bob Phalen where the incident took place. The residents are still traumatized to this day. Hence Bob’s bill.
Still want to ban books, Bob?