Montana Montana Follows Vermont's Lead on Path to State-Level Single-Payer Health Care, and More

In today's On the News segment: Montana follows Vermont's lead on path to state-level single-payer system, Republican attacks on reproductive rights continue in a new request for 12 years of Planned Parenthood's financial disclosures, new evidence surfaces that the conflict in Afghanistan is worsening, and more.

Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this. The stage is set for a Supreme Court showdown. The Department of Justice called on the Supreme Court yesterday to rule on

the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature health reform law – making it extremely likely the high court will hear the case sometime around the summer of next

year – right smack dab in the middle of the election season. The DOJ is calling on the court to reverse a decision made by a lower appeals court in Atlanta that struck down the

entire law earlier this

year. In a state

ment released yesterday – the DOJ made it clear that it was confident Obamacare would be upheld saying, “Throughout history, there have been similar challenges to other landmark legislation, such as the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, and all of those challenges failed.” According to the Center for American Progress – if all 9 Supreme Court justices remain consistent in their previous rulings – then there are at least 7 votes on the high court in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Then again, they will rule during an election – and given that this is one of the most politicized Supreme Courts in our nation’s history – anything can happen – just look at Citizens United.

The racial wealth inequality in our nation is getting worse. For the first time in history – a minority group – Hispanics – have the most children living in poverty in America. Up until this year – there’s
always been more white children living in poverty than black or Hispanic children – simply because there are so many more white children in this country. But according to a new report released by Pew – 6.1 million Hispanic children now live in poverty – compared to 5 million white children – and 4.4 million black children. That’s despite the fact that Hispanics make up only about 1/6 of the nation’s population. The reports notes that minorities have been hit the hardest by the Bush recession over the last 3 years. And while this racial inequality is troubling – what’s even more troubling is that ANY child is living in poverty in the United States – the wealthiest nation on the planet. Currently, one out of every five children in America – regardless of race – lives in poverty. This is a national crisis, and the R

epublicans want to make it worse.

In the best of

the rest of the news…

First it was Vermont – now it’s Montana. Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana said he plans to ask the federal government to exempt his state from requirements in the Affordable Care Act – so that he can set up a universal, single-payer system like in Canada. Earlier this year – the state of Vermont started moving in the same direction too. Governor Schweitzer said he wants to create a system modeled after the Canadian province of Saskatchewan – where less is spent on healthcare – but there are better results and people live longer. Today – Canada has a nationwide single-payer system – but it started with one province – Saskatchewan – and spread across the rest of the nation. Let's hope we see the same thing sweep across America.

 

 

While the Republican base might applaud state-sanctioned executions – one former Supreme Court justice doesn’t. Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, echoing former Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell years ago, said one of his major regrets from his time on the court – was his vote in 1976 to reinstate the death penalty. Stevens said, “Maybe one believes, and certainly a lot of people sincerely do, that it is an effective deterrent to crime and will in the long run will do more harm than good. I don’t happen to share that view. But…being hard on crime...always is politically popular, let’s put it that way.” Stevens' comments come a week after our nation executed Troy Davis in Georgia – a man that in all likelihood was innocent. Let’s not forget this tragedy of justice – let’s end state-sanctioned murder in
America.

There’s now more evidence that the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. According to a new United Nations report – violence has increased in Afghanistan 39% since last year – with more and more armed clashes and homemade bomb attacks being carried out by Taliban insurgents. In just three months – June through August – of this year – 971 civilians were killed and another 1,400 hundred injured in the ongoing war. But it’s not just insurgents killing civilians – it’s our own airstrikes. As the UN report notes – in the month of July – 38 civilians were killed by US airstrikes. It’s been nearly a decade since this war started – and that’s a decade too long. Time to end the wars.

In case we all forgot – Republicans reminded us this week that their war on women is still ongoing. The Republican-led House Energy Committee sent a letter to Planned Parenthood requesting 12 years of financial disclosures to determine if the organization is misusing federal funds – in particular for abortion services. The ranking Democrat on the Committee – Rep. Henry Waxman – called the investigation into Planned Parenthood, “part of a Republican vendetta against an organization that provides family planning and other medical care to low-income women and men." I guess with the economy in full meltdown – with growing civil unrest about the high crimes on Wall Street – and with two endless wars – Republicans in Congress think taxpayers dollars are best used to go after Planned Parenthood – and women’s reproductive health and rights. It makes you wonder...what planet are these guys living on?

And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, September 29th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.


blog comments powered by Disqus

States - Montana

Montana News

Prev Next Page:

Baucus to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014, strategists say

Baucus to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014, strategists say

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is retiring rather than seek re-election in 2014, according to two senior Democratic strategists familiar with his plans. First elected in 1978, Baucus has been the top Democrat on the powerful committee since 2001. The likely Democratic candidate to succeed him would be former governor Brian Schweitzer, sources said. First elected in 1978, Baucus has been the top Democrat on the powerful tax-writing committee for more than a dozen years. At times infuriating his Democratic colleagues, he worked with Republicans to co-write the Bush-era tax...

Paul Kane | Washington Post 23 Apr 2013 Hits:1562 Montana

Read more

Tax Lobby Builds Ties to Chairman of Finance Panel

Tax Lobby Builds Ties to Chairman of Finance Panel

Restaurant chains like McDonald’s want to keep their lucrative tax credit for hiring veterans. Altria, the tobacco giant, wants to cut the corporate tax rate. And Sapphire Energy, a small alternative energy company, is determined to protect a tax incentive it believes could turn algae into a popular motor fuel. To make their case as Congress prepares to debate a rewrite of the nation’s tax code, this diverse set of businesses has at least one strategy in common: they have retained firms that employ lobbyists who are former aides to Max...

Eric Lipton | The New York Times 14 Apr 2013 Hits:552 Montana

Read more

Schweitzer vs. Baucus? Montana ex-governor posts poll

Schweitzer vs. Baucus? Montana ex-governor posts poll

Without comment, former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer has posted a poll on his Facebook page that suggests he would beat Sen. Max Baucus in a 2014 Democratic primary. The survey, from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, finds that Schweitzer would be a stronger candidate in both the Senate primary and a general election. “This was a really odd thing to post,” one commenter says. “I’m all for Schweitzer, but for the social media team to post polling data showing the former governor leading primary polls against another Democrat is just strange.” Another responds,...

Rachel Wiener | Washington Post 20 Feb 2013 Hits:618 Montana

Read more

In Montana, Dark Money Helped Democrats Hold a Key Senate Seat

In Montana, Dark Money Helped Democrats Hold a Key Senate Seat

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, left, Libertarian Dan Cox, center, and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg participate in a senate debate at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Mont., on Oct. 14, 2012. With control of the Senate at stake, liberals hit the streets and bought ads for libertarian candidate Cox, who likely siphoned crucial votes away from Republican challenger Rehberg. (Flathead Beacon, Lido Vizzutti/AP Photo) The 2012 U.S. Senate contest reveals why secret outside money became the biggest political trend of 2012. In the waning days of...

Kim Barker | Pro Publica 28 Dec 2012 Hits:612 Montana

Read more

Supreme Court's Plutocratic Political Hacks Rule Against the People in Montana

Supreme Court's Plutocratic Political Hacks Rule Against the People in Montana

The Citizens United 5: Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Sam Alito "Two wrongs don't make a right," as my old Texas momma used to instruct my brothers and me. But apparently, five of the justices on our Supreme Court didn't have mommas with such ethical sensibilities — or perhaps they're just ignoring their mommas' wisdom now in order to impose their extremist political agenda on you and me. That agenda became startlingly clear in 2010, when the black-robed cabal of Clarence Thomas, Anthony...

Jim Hightower | 05 Jul 2012 Hits:727 Montana

Read more

Birthers Erect ‘Obama Outhouse’ At Montana GOP Convention

Birthers Erect ‘Obama Outhouse’ At Montana GOP Convention

A shotgun, an outhouse, and a birth certificate stamped “bullshit” all made appearances at Montana’s GOP convention over the weekend. At Saturday’s convention in Missoula, Montana, a few convention-goers set up outside with an outhouse labeled “Obama’s Presidential Library.” But that wasn’t the most outrageous part. According to the Missoulian, the outhouse was also decorated in sexism, birtherism, and implicit threats: The outhouse was painted to look as though it had been riddled by bullets. Inside, a fake birth certificate for Barack Hussein Obama made reference to the disproven controversy over...

Annie-Rose Strasser | Think Progress 18 Jun 2012 Hits:710 Montana

Read more

Judge indicates Montana campaign law on judicial races may fall

Judge indicates Montana campaign law on judicial races may fall

HELENA — A federal judge Friday indicated he may strike down a long-standing Montana campaign law that bans political parties from spending money on or endorsing nonpartisan judicial candidates. But U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell of Helena declined to suspend the law before Montana’s primary election next Tuesday, saying the issue needs a wider hearing before taking such action. “I think this is a very serious issue and the plaintiffs have a sound and authoritative basis for their position,” Lovell said. “But I do agree...

Mike Dennison | Gazette State Bureau 04 Jun 2012 Hits:664 Montana

Read more

22 states, DC back Montana in Supreme Court corporate spending fight

22 states, DC back Montana in Supreme Court corporate spending fight

HELENA, Mont. — Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are backing Montana in its fight to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending. The states led by New York are asking the high court to preserve Montana’s state-level regulations on corporate political expenditures, according to a copy of a brief written by New York’s attorney general’s office and obtained by The Associated Press. The brief will be publicly released...

Associated Press | The Washington Post 23 May 2012 Hits:1052 Montana

Read more

Rally at Capitol Saturday champions women’s cause

Rally at Capitol Saturday champions women’s cause

Dylan Brown Independent Record - Margarita McLarty holds up a sign at the Unite Against the War on Women rally in front of the Capitol building Saturday. About 200 people showed up at the event. About 200 men, women and children from throughout Montana gathered in front of the Capitol building in Helena Saturday to voice their outrage at efforts around the county and within the state that they believe are anti-women measures. “Legislation is being introduced in states that is a full-blown effort to strip...

Eve Byron | Helena Independent Record 29 Apr 2012 Hits:623 Montana

Read more

Democratic Rep. Franke Wilmer officially files for U.S. House seat

Democratic Rep. Franke Wilmer officially files for U.S. House seat

HELENA - Democratic state Rep. Franke Wilmer of Bozeman filed for the U.S. House seat Wednesday with a commitment to fight for giving people a fair chance to achieve the American dream. Wilmer, 61, is a three-term legislator, a political science professor at Montana State University and one of seven candidates seeking the Democratic primary nomination for the open U.S. House seat. "I think we've got a lot of work to do," she said. "I think we need someone in Congress who understands that we're all in this together. We have to...

Charles S. Johnson | Missoula State Bureau 31 Mar 2012 Hits:826 Montana

Read more

Three congressional challengers very worth supporting

Three congressional challengers very worth supporting

Norman Solomon, Franke Wilmer and Cecil Bothwell For those devoted to watching the 2012 election, the presidential horse race eats up the vast bulk of attention (which is why I’m not one of those devoted to watching it), but throughout the year there are also party primaries for Congressional seats. Most Congressional contests are boring and largely inconsequential; the vast bulk features certain victory by unnotable incumbents or open-seat races between Party-approved, script-reading, poll-driven, cookie-cutter challengers. But there are a few new candidates for...

Glenn Greenwald | Salon.com 31 Mar 2012 Hits:1005 Montana

Read more

Saying No to Corruption: Why Montana Is Fighting The U.S. Supreme Court

Saying No to Corruption: Why Montana Is Fighting The U.S. Supreme Court

"Campaigns were conducted by simply the opening of a barrel, and sowing the state from one end to the other with corporation money—the largest barrel winning in the end. This extravagant campaigning prevented the election of any but the wealthy or those supported by special interests." --from the Terry (Montana) Tribune, February 1910. There’s no end to the colorful stories of corporate corruption in Montana during the years preceding passage of our now-endangered Corrupt Practices Act, which banned direct corporate electioneering. Montana has the dubious honor of...

Jeff Milchen | AlterNet 11 Mar 2012 Hits:755 Montana

Read more

Supreme Court blocks Montana campaign finance ruling

Supreme Court blocks Montana campaign finance ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a Montana Supeme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of that state's ban on independent expenditures by corporations in state and local political campaigns. In a unanimous order issued late Friday afternoon (and posted here), the high court's justices stayed the Montana court's decision. The move clears the way for independent expenditures in Montana, at least until the U.S. Supreme Court takes final action in the case. Critics of the Montana court's 7-2 decision issued Dec. 30 said it flew directly in...

Josh Gerstein | Politico 19 Feb 2012 Hits:1089 Montana

Read more

Montana Ban On Corporate Campaigning Heading To U.S. Supreme Court

Montana Ban On Corporate Campaigning Heading To U.S. Supreme Court

A late 2011 decision by Montana's state Supreme Court upholding its century-old ban on corporate campaign spending is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court, as activist Republican lawyers have filed papers asking the high court to stay--or freeze--that ban in the upcoming 2012 election season, arguing that the Montana Supreme Court cannot ignore the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United ruling. The brief filed by James Bopp, who heads a political law firm that has targeted state and federal laws limiting campaign spending...

Steven Rosenfeld | Sourced from AlterNet 10 Feb 2012 Hits:715 Montana

Read more

Why I Occupy

Why I Occupy

I’m participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement as part of Occupy Helena because it was Wall Street and corporate millionaires and their greed that led to the financial meltdown of September 2008 that has left our nation with 24-25 million people still unemployed or underemployed, with millions of Americans losing not only their jobs but also their homes and savings. While the Wall Street corporate 1% are experiencing record profits and bonuses, the number of people living in poverty and hunger in the United States is at levels not seen...

Frank Kromkowski | Occupy Helena 26 Jan 2012 Hits:540 Montana

Read more

PDA In Your State

PDA Radio - Upcoming Show

Listen "Live" Wednesday, 9/3/2014 @ 8pm
RevYearwood

Rev. Lennox Yearwood

Call In Number 347-202-0385

Upcoming Shows on 9/10 and 9/17

 

Sign the Petition

Button-DetroitWater

 

PDA Issues

PDA is organized around several core issues. These issues include:

Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.

Montana Leadership

For support in organizing within your state, contact:

       
     

 

State Leadership
Frank Kromkowski

Email us at: montana@pdamerica.org

Chapters

Want to bring progressive change to Montana? Start a PDA chapter; send us an email and we'll get you started.

BlueDonate2

 

MT Legislators with ALEC Ties

House of Representatives

Senate

Information from Sourcewatch:

PR Rank