The Irony Of Rehberg’s Labor Day Column

…is not lost on Mr Pogreba:

Contrary to what subdivision ranchers in Congress might think, Labor Day is not the culmination of a month-long taxpayer funded vacation, but a celebration of the importance of the union movement and workers in this country. As the Department of Labor notes, the day is “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

And that’s what makes printing Rehberg’s pablum today so absurd and so offensive. Throughout his career in government, Rehberg has been hostile to the unions and workers today is meant to celebrate.

And, oh, so much more…. For some fun facts, statistics and scathing analysis, read the rest here.

Off To The Rodeo

It’s not 40 below, but I do have a heater in the Bofus, so I’m off to the Rodeo- once known as the Montana Legislature, to speak in opposition to HB 516 (see previous post).

There are a lot of reasons to oppose this bill. Don Pogreba gives us more to think about from Intelligent Discontent:

One of the elements of Western movies that always puzzled me was the frequent assertion that no one in the West cared where a person had come from; all that mattered was the person they were in their new community. Growing up in relatively small towns like Shelby and Laurel, it seemed that the exact opposite was true. When someone new came to town, we wanted to know everything about him or her and we pried like hell to find out whatever we could. But the other half of the story was true: once that person arrived, all we cared about was that the new person did her job, treated her neighbors well, and shoveled her walk in the winter.

Once you became part of our town, your private life was your private life, and it wasn’t anybody’s business who you loved and/or slept with.

People like Harris Himes and and Dallas Erickson never seemed to learn that, though. For reasons that perhaps only a trained psychiatrist could explain, they seem obsessed with who someone sleeps with, and quite uncomfortably, how they do it. They hate people who are gay, lesbian, or transgender so much that they’ll lie about them, spew vicious invective at them, and even suggest that the death penalty would be appropriate for the crime of loving someone of the same sex.

Perfect. Read the rest here.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out his piece on Montana Education. Excellent points, all.

Press Resulting From/Covering Yesterday’s Human Rights Testimony

I wasn’t prepared for the press covering the GOP’s hijacking of the rights of Montanans to speak in favor of, or against, legislation- I thought it would just be added to the pile of neglected issues stocked in the backrooms of Montana newspapers.

I was wrong.

To quote Dirty Dancing (which is what I’m calling the GOP’s shenanigans): “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong” (which is more than they’ll ever do).
From Lee Newspapers:

Social conservatives supported a bill Friday to nullify Missoula’s ordinance that protects residents from discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender, while human rights advocates lined up against it….Some Democrats also objected to a decision by committee chairman, Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings, to not allow people unable to testify because of time constraints to at least stand and say their names. However, they figured out a way around it by having more than 50 opponents stand as Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, read their each of their names from the sign-up list.

From The Associated Press:

Gay rights advocates were pushing to expand discrimination protection statewide — while conservative religious groups were backing a bill that aims to repeal a Missoula ordinance extending discrimination protection in that city based on sexual orientation.

The contentious nature of the issue and very short hearings on the two bills frayed nerves, as many who drove from out of town to testify were told there wasn’t enough time due to the House committee’s workload.

Next, the blogosphere. The most comprehensive I’ve seen so far is from Towleroad– which also has excellent links, including one to the Montana Public Radio coverage:

Testimony at Montana’s legislature got ugly yesterday over a proposed bill that would kill Missoula’s anti-discrimination ordinance and prevent local municipalities in the state from enacting similar ordinances, instead forcing them to recognize state laws, which currently don’t recognize LGBTs.

Intelligent Discontent provides an excellent roundup of Montana Blog coverage of the issue- I’m proud to stand with these folks. I won’t repeat it- just go have a look.

…and I hope it just strengthens your resolve to stand firm in the face of this bullshit.