Lunch: beef, buffalo or elk in West Yellowstone, Montana


 The Covered Wagon dining room y’all! 

Mitt Romney apparently thinks he has black voters all figured out

After being booed at the NAACP convention yesterday, Romney scurried off to a fund-raiser in Hamilton, Montana where he decided to finally respond: “Remind them of this: If they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy, more free stuff. But don’t forget, nothing is really free.”

What Mitt lacks in a spine (or a grown man’s testicles) he more than makes up for in dog-whistling for rich, white donors in Montana.

Tommy Christopher: “This will probably help Romney with certain segments of the Republican base, but the broader electorate may well react negatively to the contemptuous attitude he displays toward people who support health care reform, who simply want the insurance that they pay for to actually cover them and their loved ones when they need it to. It will also give the press, and the former Massachusetts Governor’s opponents, a chance to remind independent voters that Mitt Romney actually does give different speeches to different audiences. To his donors, people who favor government health care reform with an individual mandate are freeloaders, while he tells the people of several years ago that government health care reform with an individual mandate eliminates the freeloader.” 

Steve Benen: “In fact, this was entirely predictable — the far-right Republican presidential candidate spoke to the NAACP and effectively proclaimed, “Vote for me and I’ll make sure 7 million African Americans lose their health insurance.” What kind of campaign pitch is that? For crying out loud, of course Romney got booed. At the risk of being overly cynical, I can’t help but wonder if Romney did this on purpose precisely so he would be booed. [...] Indeed, if I had to guess, I’d say Romney will now position himself as something of a victim — he appeared in good faith, the argument goes, but that mean ol’ NAACP audience booed him for standing by his beliefs. It’ll be nonsense, but it’s likely to become the Republican talking point.”

callmeclinton: Responses to Romney’s NAACP speech, in which he announced, “If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him.”
callmeclinton: Responses to Romney’s NAACP speech, in which he announced, “If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him.”

Mitt Romney: If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him.
Black people: what
White people: what
Mexican people: what
Asian people: what
Young children: what
My cat: what
The large rock in my backyard: what
Time: what
Space: what
Light: what
Literally the entire universe: what
via: deadcrackerstorage

Classy bunch up there in Montana

At a GOP convention in Montana this weekend (where Newt Gingrich was the featured speaker), Raw Story reports on a proud display of something labeled “Obama’s presidential library” in the parking lot of the venue: a wheeled outhouse, riddled with fake bullet holes [which] contained a fake birth certificate for Barack Obama… stamped “bullshit.” Graffiti on the outhouse read “For a Good Time,” and listed fake numbers in reference to first lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Montana Republican Party Chairman Will Deschamps said, “It’s not something I’m going to agonize over.”

The outhouse was also a Republican float in the Memorial Day parade.

Saturday morning’s 9 moderately interesting things

1) See What A Daily Show Joke Looks Like On The Senate Floor - “Barbara Boxer meanders through episodes of The Daily Show like one of your mom’s friends.” Watch:

2) Richard Cebull, the chief federal judge in Montana apologizes over racist Obama email: “Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do.” - “I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded. I accept full responsibility; I have no one to blame but myself,” Cebull wrote in a letter to the President, adding that the action will “never happen again” and that he referred his conduct to the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit. “Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do.” Josh Glasstetter, research director for People for the American Way, had some ideas. “How about resign? Or at the very least, relinquish his position as chief judge,” he told TPM in an email. “Did those possibilities “honestly” never occur to him?!”

3) Why Does Rush Limbaugh Get Away With Calling a Young Woman a ‘Slut’? - John K. Wilson, who wrote a book about Limbaugh, digs up another example of his commentary on women: “My cat comes to me when she wants to be fed. I have learned this. I accept it for what it is. Many people in my position would think my cat’s coming to me because she loves me. Well, she likes me, and she is attached, but she comes to me when she wants to be fed. And after I feed her — guess what — she’s off to wherever she wants to be in the house, until the next time she gets hungry. She’s smart enough to know she can’t feed herself. She’s actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn’t have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat’s taught me more about women than anything my whole life. But we put voices in their mouths.” I run through this history — there are more examples — so that Limbaugh apologists cannot portray these latest remarks as an aberration. They are not. This is what the man is like. He is nevertheless invited to the White House by Republican presidents, praised by conservative magazines, given honorary titles by conservative think tanks and defended by conservative bloggers.

4) Ruh roh! Game over, Mittens – A tape from Romeny’s 2002 campaign for governor, secretly shot by Democratic opponents, on which Mitt explains, “I’m a big believer in getting the money where the money is, and the money’s in Washington.” As Betty Cracker says, it’s unseemly to say the least to have Mr. Private Sector shaking his tin cup so aggressively at the feds. Not that his fellow plutocrats don’t all do it, of course. But it spoils the narrative. Watch:

source: finalellipsis

5) Maher: Liberals have to get ‘out of the bubble’ regarding Obama – Host Bill Maher ended his Friday night episode of Real Time by explaining his $1 million donation last week to the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action. “Every time I turn on the news, Christ-y-McSweater-vest [Rick Santorum] has just said something crazier than the last crazy thing he said…History shows us many times the joke candidate is the one who ends up winning. And you don’t even have to go back to that asshole Millard Filmore to verify this. Just think about the year 2000 –when gas was 12 cents a gallon and the Internet was powered by steam– George W. Bush, the town drunk of Texas, decided he should try his hand at some ‘presidentin.’ And oh, how we laughed!”  || Video at the link.

6) Pelosi: GOP Favors Government Intrusion On Individual Liberty Only When It Comes to Matters of Sex – In an interview with the Washington Post this morning, Pelosi went after the Republicans’ tendency to “favor government intrusion on individual liberty only when it comes to matters of sex.” “They don’t believe in a government role except when it comes to women exercising her conscience on an issue like that,” she said. “People who choose to marry and find comfort with each other — they decide that government should step in there. But clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — they want to end the government role.” Pelosi has vocally opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) decision to defend the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), noting that the legal team hired to uphold the statute in court has spent $1.5 million on the effort.

7) Less Than 1% of Americans Think Politicians Should Talk About Birth Control – A new poll from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows that a large majority of Americans support requiring private health insurance to cover contraception, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone except a Republican; looks like Americans aren’t eager to return to the 1800s after all. Even more interesting: less than one percent said they thought birth control was what Presidential candidates should be debating. And yet: GOP Vows to Fight on After Defeat on Birth Control.

8) Limbaugh Attacks Help Put Chevy Volt Workers Out Of A Job – Relentless attacks on the Chevy Volt from Rush Limbaugh and Republican politicians have taken their toll, as General Motors has announced a five-week suspension in production of the range-extended electric car. Conservative enemies of clean energy and the Obama administration seized on isolated reports Volts with battery fires, calling the cars “Obama-mandated death traps.” Limbaugh even said GM was a “corporation that’s trying to kill its customers.”  These conspiracy-tinged partisan attacks have now cost American jobs, with 1300 workers temporarily laid off in the face of lower than expected demand for the innovative cars, even as gas prices rise. [...] Oh, and about those attacks? After an investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the Volt is just as safe as any gasoline-powered vehicle on the road.

9) AFP: Six dead, one town ‘gone’ as tornados rip central US – At least six people were killed and one small town was “gone” as more than six dozen tornados tore across the central United States on Friday. Five other deaths were reported, but have not yet been officially confirmed. The latest wave of storms comes after a string of twisters killed 13 people earlier in the week. Homes were flattened, schools and businesses were smashed, and cars, trucks and trees were tossed aside like candy as deadly funnel clouds descended on five states. The National Weather Service had received 74 reports of tornados in seven states by Friday evening, bringing the week’s total to 126, though not all were confirmed. More could be on their way as a “particularly dangerous” tornado watch was set to continue until early Saturday in four states. Watch:

  • UPDATE 6AM CT: Tornadoes kill at least 28 in Midwest and South – Powerful tornadoes raked across a wide swath of the Midwest and South on Friday, killing at least 28 people in four states and bringing the death toll to at least 41 from a week of deadly late-winter storms.

Finally: some good news

msnbc: Ole, a Welsh Corgi, was found alive four days after he was buried in an avalanche in Billings, Montana.

Image: Natasha Baydakova / AP

Senators Nelson (D-NE) and Tester (D-MT), voted with the GOP to tell the 99percent to go f*ck themselves

SO YOU WANT TO BLAME OBAMA FOR EVERYTHING? Here’s what happened with the jobs bill last night. It needed 60 votes and it failed, 50 to 49:

At least two Democrats voted with Republican senators to continue debate, essentially killing the bill in its current form.

“I can’t support this bill because it represents billions of dollars in new spending and more taxes,” said Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., explaining his “no” vote on the motion to end debate and move to a final vote on passage of the bill.

Nelson is facing a tough re-election battle next year in a state where Obama got 42 percent of the vote in 2008.

Also facing a re-election battle in 2012 is another Democrat who voted “no,” Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, a state Obama barely lost in 2008.

APPARENTLY ONE OF THE MAIN factors the GOP says they can’t accept (as if they need a reason to vote ‘no’) is the “millionaire’s tax” to fund job initiatives:

Republicans vehemently oppose a recently added provision that would fund the measure through a 5.6% surtax on annual incomes over $1 million. GOP leaders have accused the president of engaging in so-called “class warfare” for political reasons, while Democrats have called the proposal fair and accused their opponents of taking the side of the rich over the vast majority of Americans.


First, an astounding 75% of Americans back raising taxes on individuals making more than $1 million a year, according to an October 5 Washington Post/ABC News poll. This includes 89% of Democrats, 75% of independents, 57% of Republicans and 55% of Tea Party supporters.

AREN’T THESE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES supposed to be representing what we, the people, want? Apparently the Republican party believes they can do as they like and their voting base will always be there to support them. And that’s probably true.

But a jobs bill for the unemployed, paid for by the one percent who have benefited the most over the past three decades — but especially during the financial crisis — isn’t only completely reasonable and fair, it’s supported by the 99 percent. Too bad the GOP only represents the one percent, who already got enormous bail-outs from our government.


Who will pay for the clean up of the Yellowstone River after ExxonMobile’s oil spill? You and I.

Who will pay for ExxonMobile’s oil spill in the Yellowstone? You and I — at the pump and with tax subsidies. Certainly NOT the GOP-protected oil company or its CEOs.

The Center for American Progress’s Valeri Vasquez has put out a new report titled “Exxon Mobil Dodges the Tax Man,” which finds that the effective income tax rate for the average American is higher than the effective rate for the oil giant over the past few years. The effective tax rate for the average American in 2007, the last year for which data is available, was 20.4 percent. The annual Exxon federal effective rate between 2008 and 2010, meanwhile, was 17.6 percent:

As ThinkProgress has previously documented, important services and public investments in Main Street America continue to be cut while the wealthiest among us are paying the lowest taxes in a generation. Meanwhile, a number of major corporations are going quarters and/or years without paying any federal corporate income taxes at all.

God bless America corporations and the wealthy!

See all oil spill posts »

ExxonMobile oil spill in Yellowstone River, hundreds evacuated

Want to bet the ExxonMobile CEOs will still get their bonuses this year?

Oil swirled in a flooded gravel pit in Lockwood, Mont. after an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured. Larry Mayer/The Billings Gazette, via Associated Press

LAUREL, Mont. (AP) — An ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under the Yellowstone River in Montana ruptured Saturday and leaked hundreds of barrels of oil into the waterway, causing a 25-mile plume that fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts downstream to close intakes.

The break near Billings in south-central Montana led to temporary evacuations of hundreds of residents along a 20-mile stretch.

And here’s what the governor of Montana has to say about it:

[...] “The parties responsible will restore the Yellowstone River,” Mont. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said.

I guess if Schweitzer were a Republican, he’d probably say that ‘accidents happen‘ and tell everyone to man up and to notdemonize‘ ExxonMobile.

ExxonMobil spokeswoman Pam Malek said the pipe leaked an estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels of oil for about a half-hour before it was shut down. Other Exxon officials had estimated up to 42,000 gallons of crude oil escaped.

[...] “The timing couldn’t be worse,” said Steve Knecht, chief of operations for Montana Disaster and Emergency Services, who added that the plume was measured at 25 miles near Pompeys Pillar National Monument. “With the Yellowstone running at flood stage and all the debris, it makes it dang tough to get out there to do anything.”

Brent Peters, the fire chief for the city of Laurel about 12 miles west of Billings, said the rupture in the 12-inch diameter pipe occurred late Friday about a mile south of Laurel.

He said about 140 people in the Laurel area were evacuated early Saturday due to concerns about possible explosions and the overpowering fumes. He said they were allowed to return at about 4 a.m. after fumes had decreased.

Full story…

The Republicans insist on continuing to subsidize oil companies — while some, like Rand Paul, wouldn’t even require them to be financially responsible for spills like this.

Also, too, drill here, drill now!

See all oil spill posts »

Montana GOP wants homosexual acts to be illegal

“We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.” – Montana GOP, GOP platform: “Crime” section.


I wonder why the Montana GOP won’t be honest, go full-on Old Testament and add honor killings to the “Christian” section of their platform too? Religious fundamentalism is so Election 2010 for the Republican-Tea Party crowd. Just ask the attendees of the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.


Tea Party hate: jokes about hanging gays

Joking about the murder of a gay college student is so funny, ordinarily. Is this one of the RealAmericans that Palin is constantly yammering about?

Think Progress: Up until Sunday, Tim Ravndal was the president of the The Big Sky Tea Party Association, a prominent Montana Tea Party group. He was removed from that position, however, after apparently endorsing violence against gays and citing the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard on his Facebook page.

On July 23, Ravndal declared his opposition to gay marriage in a Facebook status update. Another user replied: “I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.” Ravndal then responded: “Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?”

The post was deleted, but here is a screenshot of their exchange:


In 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was beaten and tied to a fence post. Police said Shepard was attacked because he was gay. The almost inescapable conclusion is that Ravndal and the other user were referencing that murder, especially when the other user replies to Ravndal that he should be able to find Wyoming’s “manual” in newspaper archives “a bit over ten years” ago.

Ravndal now says he “never made the connection” between the Wyoming reference and Shepard’s murder. Nevertheless, the Big Sky Tea Party Association’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to remove him.

It’s funny how in the end, this guy won’t even man up and admit what he thought was so amusing.