Buley: Zinke doesn’t understand the Affordable Care Act

The debate between Montana’s congressional candidates happened last night in Billings. There weren’t many surprises, except Republican Ryan Zinke said something that was highly suspect. He said that the Affordable Care Act is a “sinking ship.” I don’t think the Mr. Zinke has any idea what the ACA or a sinking ship is. Far from being a sinking ship, the ACA has, in fact, been very successful in just its first year.

Of course, Zinke didn’t bother to explain what exactly he thought was sinking, but he said it should be replaced with “low cost health clinics.” This is a prime example of the shallowness of Republican thinking. Who is going to pay for these low cost health clinics? How low is low cost? The whole idea of the ACA was to get more people health insurance which it clearly has. Why does Zinke want fewer insured? How does a low cost health clinic help someone with an acute problem such as a heart attack which requires hospitalization? The questions can go on and on and it appears that Zinke has given zero thought to the issue.

Of course, our present congressman voted 50 times to repeal the ACA. It appears that Zinke is willing to continue the waste of time in a never ending pursuit to keep people from having health care.

Buley: Koch brothers “a criminal enterprise”

About a month ago I wrote about Steve Daines being a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers. But, who are the Koch brothers? They are a criminal enterprise which has become unimaginably rich by polluting our country and leaving the tax payers to subsidize their illegal behavior.

The Kochs hate regulations that make it harder for them to despoil the country. Steve Daines has run his entire campaign om getting rid of regulations that protect us from toxic criminals like the Kochs. From the above cited article:

“The volume of Koch Industries’ toxic output is staggering. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America’s air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries. Thanks in part to its 2005 purchase of paper-mill giant Georgia-Pacific, Koch Industries dumps more pollutants into the nation’s waterways than General Electric and International Paper combined. The company ranks 13th in the nation for toxic air pollution. Koch’s climate pollution, meanwhile, outpaces oil giants including Valero, Chevron and Shell. Across its businesses, Koch generates 24 million metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.”

A vote for Steve Daines, the poster boy for Koch’s PAC, is a vote for the literal destruction of the United States.

Buley: Mass shootings double

Brought to you, courtesy of the NRA, over the last 14 years mass shootings have more than doubled. In 2013 12,000 people died from guns. That’s 30 a day. That’s 4 times as many than died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. As a nation, we have spent over a trillion dollars fighting terrorism abroad. We have have spent $0.00 combating the deaths of 12,000 Americans each and every year.

Buley: Trickle down economics is a fraud

One of the recurring themes of mine is that the idea of “trickle down” economics is nothing more than a gigantic fraud. The contention that lowering taxes on the rich will increase jobs, and stimulate the economy is demonstrably false and has been throughout our history. Yet, because Republicans relentlessly repeat this lie (See: Steve Daines’ mantra, “Less government, more jobs) a lot of people, particularly middle class folks, believe the lie.

Here is one of the best articles I have seen debunking this fraud. And, it’s not from a liberal think tank, it’s from a business publication. History doesn’t lie. The unassailable FACT is that during the most productive economic period in our history the highest marginal tax rate was 91%!

Since George W. Bush, we have had the lowest tax rates on the wealthy since 1916. We have gone through the Great Recession, just like we went through the Great Depression. Inequality of wealth is now as bad as it was during the Gilded Age of the 1910s-1920s. And yet, the Republican economic policy is to keep the failed “trickle down” to continue to drag down the economy. If you vote Republican, you are voting to perpetrate a fraud while at the same time harming your own economic interests.

Buley: Colorado students, teachers don’t bow to propaganda

Optimism abounds in my heart and soul today. A conservative school board in Colorado has come up with a bright idea to review the high school curriculum to ensure that it “promote[s] citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights.” Or, as it used to be called, propaganda. The good news is that neither the teachers nor the students stood for that pogrom.  The teachers had a sick out and the students held a walk out in protest.

The idea of the school board is really the bedrock of American Conservatism. Hail authority, genuflect to the free market system, and don’t think for yourself. But, there is hope for the future, it seems like the conservatives in Colorado just made a bunch of future liberals.

Buley: GOP lemming Daines will help crash the economy again

On September 16th. the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a couple of Wall Street deregulation bills. You probably won’t see anything about these votes on our Representative’s website because the bills allow Wall Street to begin playing fast and loose with our economy again. Of course, our Representative, Steve Daines, being the Republican lemming he is, voted to overturn parts of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Regulation Act of 2010, to allow Wall Street to gamble with derivatives and mortgages again.

Daines has always campaigned about “Less government” and getting rid of regulations that inhibit job growth. However, when ever he has been questioned about specific regulations he would get rid of, he never answers. Now we know why. Of course, Daines does not want the Montana public to know that he really represents Wall Street and his biggest benefactors, the Koch brothers. Daines does not want the voters to know that he is voting to allow Wall Street to crash the economy again, because, you know, 2007 was so long ago.

My God, if there is any sector of our economy that has proven beyond any doubt that it is in need of more regulation, it is Wall Street. So, tell us Mr. Daines, how do these votes help Montanans? A vote for Steve Daines is simply a vote for Wall Street.

Is Zinke running for Congress in Texas?

Not too long ago, I wrote about Ryan Zinke bailing out of a debate in Billings. At the time, Zinke’s campaign simply stated that Zinke had another campaign function to attend, but declined to state what the function was. Today we learned that the event Zinke has to attend is one in Texas. However, “The campaign declined to say what type of event he’s attending in Texas.”

The question is; what is soooo important in Texas that Zinke had to diss the voters of Montana to attend? Why is it so embarrassing that Zinke can’t even tell us what it is? There is no mention of the event on Zinke’s website or his Facebook page. I thought Zinke was running to represent the people of Montana, not Texas. Maybe I was wrong.

Mr. Zinke, why don’t you think it is important for the voters in Montana to know why you must skulk out of the state? Are you running for Congress in Montana or Texas? Obviously, whoever you’re meeting in Texas holds much more sway over you than Montana voters, so why don’t we get to know who that is? Would your rugged pioneer grandma approve of such sneakiness? Is this how you will “represent” the people of Montana, shrugging them off to keep your Texas connections your top priority? No wonder you don’t want to face the voters.

Buley: Politics and comedy, hand in glove

Sometimes, the jokes, they just write themselves. So when Sarah Palin spouts off telling President Obama “Go big or go home” when confronting ISIS, is this what she means? It might call into question John McCain’s judgment when he blathers on during his weekly appearance on Meet the Press. Remember he’s the guy who wanted to entrust Palin with the nuclear codes.

Buley: Republicans represent corporations, not people

In a surprise to absolutely no one, Senate Republicans, on a strict party line vote, voted to kill a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizen’s United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Citizen’s United decision infamously held that corporations are people, money is speech, and therefore corporations can spend as much on elections as they want.

Of course, Citizen’s United is an extremely unpopular decision. Numerous polls show that up to 80% of Americans oppose the decision. That is a huge majority, it is almost impossible to get 80% of Americans to agree on anything. 75% of Montanans have already VOTED to overturn the decision! So, obviously, Republicans don’t represent people in the usual definition, they only represent corporate people. Why? Because that’s where the money is.

Both of Montana’s Democratic Senators voted for the Amendment and the 80%. However, one Senate seat is up for election this year. The Democratic candidate, Amanda Curtis is deeply opposed to Citizen’s United. The Republican candidate, Steve Daines loves him some Citizen’s United. Daines loves them so much, he’s actually accepted $10,000 from Citizen’s United itself this year.