Sunday morning’s talking heads label Montana a “red” state to be taken for granted by Republican presidential candidates. They were spot on: Mitt Romney received 267,924 Montana votes vs. Barack Obama’s 201,813, a 67,000 vote spread.
Montana voters then morphed into independent Montanans and lockstep Republicans ended up confused and therefore angry. Obama got fewer votes than any partisan candidate for Montana’s top offices. Even the clerk of Supreme Court, Ed Smith, a Democrat, won re-election with 42,000 more votes than Obama.
Top vote getter was Romney with 268,000, then Congressman-elect Steve Daines (R) with 255,000 votes and Attorney General-elect Tim Fox (R) with 253,000 votes. State Auditor Monica Lindeen (D) won re-election with 248,000 votes and Linda McCullough (D) remains our secretary of state because 245,000 Montana voters said so.
Sen. Jon Tester, challenger Denny Rehberg and gubernatorial candidates Steven Bullock and Rick Hill were ignored by tens of thousands of voters. Tester earned only 236,000 votes in a multimillion dollar bilge-throwing contest with Denny Rehberg (R), and Kim Gillan (D) got a measly 205,000 against Steve Daines, whose flagship ad had him telling spooky political stories around a family campfire.
At the Yellowstone Valley Pachyderm Club, (every Friday noon at the Elks Lodge on Lewis Ave; the public is invited) gathered pontificators were outraged at the outcome of the presidential, U.S. Senate and Montana governor’s races. Solutions ranged from discouraging primaries so capital can be conserved for final victory to the widely held, “Those damn Libertarians gave it to the Dems. How could they not be smart enough to vote for the lesser of two evils? Didn’t they know that Republicans stand for family values, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution?”
Last Updated on Saturday, 08 December 2012 10:59
It is time to leave politics behind, to advance beyond the silly Red State/Blue State maps, to forget about finding solutions from people vying for office who, to remain electable, ignored the real threats facing our nation and the world. It is time to educate and empower ourselves and push the politicians rather than let them push us.
Consider their response to just one major threat: climate change. Instead of planning for disaster, they wished away or, at best, minimized the contradiction between our inordinate burning of fossil fuels and the fact that such burning threatens our long-term survival.
Surely, we have better institutions than politics for seeing us through such crises. Religion and science come to mind, and I suggest that the two are not as naturally at odds as one might think.
Like many conservatives today, Mr. Romney ridiculed the very idea of “healing the planet.” But this is clearly not the approach that Brigham Young, the great nineteenth century leader of Mr. Romney’s own church, would have taken. Young, in fact, sought to live in harmony with all creatures: “But if we have provisions enough to last us another year, we can say to the grasshoppers—these creatures of God—you are welcome. I have never yet had a feeling to drive them from one plant in my garden; but I look upon them as the armies of the Lord.” Similarly, staunch evangelical scholar Francis Schaeffer maintained that, “Christians, of all people, should not be the destroyers. We should treat nature with an overwhelming respect.”
It isn’t necessary to be an adherent of either faith to understand that for both of these leaders, religion could be enlisted to effect a change of outlook and provide a spiritual basis for sustainable living.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 10:28
The economic consequence of making a product that costs more to produce than its market value is universally accepted, except for “green energy” products. The success or failure of renewable energy companies is determined by their success at lobbying government and campaign donations. It is a working business model, but it is best to have an exit plan.
Like all European Union members, Spain is mandated to produce 20 percent of its energy from “green” sources (Montana has a 15 percent mandate, thanks to Sen. Jon Tester). The good news is that Spain generated 23 percent of its electricity from wind and solar in 2010.
Spain can actually generate half of its peak energy needs with wind and solar. The bad news is that this capacity bankrupted Spain. Spain needs only 44 gigawatts of power but theoretically can produce 99 gigawatts.
Why not export the excess and make a profit? The “capacity” to produce 99 gigawatts does not mean it will be produced when needed. Wind produces 40 percent of the time, often at night when there is no market. Solar is non-existent at night and disrupted by passing clouds.
It is tough to sell a product when you cannot promise delivery. Spain subsidizes solar at 444 Euros per megawatt while coal- or gas-fired generation sells for 39 Euros per megawatt. Without a gun to their head, who would buy the surplus electricity?
Last Updated on Saturday, 24 November 2012 13:21
Four years ago candidate Barack Obama promised cheering crowds that coloring America’s energy delivery system shades of green would be painful.
The promise was half kept. It has been painful.
No one discussed a green energy transformation on the campaign trail in other than a passing manner. In their race for the U.S. Senate, Denny Rehberg and Jon Tester both promised support for extension of the Production Tax Credit (each time a wind blade rotates, the national debt is increased) but other than that not much on the subject.
Sure, a few ads ran about Tester voting for Obama’s “job killing energy tax,” but no one knows it was the Cap and Trade Bill they are talking about so “job killing” is the operative part. In true Republican tradition, the effect on a family’s cost of living is ignored and anonymity on Renewable Theology is maintained.
The rest of the world has moved on. This spring in Quebec, during the World Forum of Energy Regulators, Christopher Frei, secretary general of the World Energy Council, boldly opened with, “The honeymoon with renewables is over.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 17:06
By SHARIE PYKE
For The Outpost
Tenth-graders 40 years ago stumbled their way through a long section of Edward Gibbon’s "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (Volume 1 was published in 1776). Teachers assured their students that this would guarantee that the United States never suffered a similar fate.
Rome started out as a city republic. However, just wars, fought to victory, gave the Romans a belief in their own infallibility.
Last Updated on Sunday, 16 September 2012 11:55