David Crisp

Recent Posts

Arts, humanities funds on chopping block

DC

In all of the post-election chaos, it’s easy to overlook the minor casualties. Some of them may be in Montana. The Trump administration, eager to ramp up spending on the military, border control and infrastructure, all while cutting taxes and shoring up Social Security and healthcare, is desperate to find spending cuts. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Daines shows weakness in Warren debacle

DC

Steve Daines, the freshman U.S. senator from Montana who sits on the back-benchers’ back bench, got a rare taste of notoriety last week. He posted a video of his 15 seconds of fame on his Facebook page, so he must have been proud of it, but the episode showed Daines’ political weakness, not his strength. Daines was presiding over the Senate when, in concert with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he blocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren from finishing a speech against Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general. He and McConnell convicted Warren of violating Rule 19, which says that “no Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

At last, government starts paying me back

DC

Last month I received my very first Social Security check from the United States government. At long last, I am officially on the dole. I’ve already learned one thing: All of those conservative politicians were right when they said government checks discourage hard work. I haven’t felt like doing a darn thing all month. The world owes me a living, after all of these years, and I intend to cash in. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

House race tests conservative principles

DC

Greg Gianforte, the failed gubernatorial candidate now seeking the U.S. House seat that Ryan Zinke presumably will soon vacate to become secretary of the Interior, is all on board with President Trump’s agenda. “He’s draining the swamp, nominating outsiders that will dramatically change how Washington operates, and working everyday to Make America Great Again,” Gianforte said in an email on Wednesday. He asks email recipients to answer a one-click poll question: “Should the Senate confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch?” (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Journalists stymied in modern Age of Lies

DC

Just about the first friend I ever had shared a school bus with me to first grade. The friendship didn’t last. I figured out pretty soon that nearly everything he told me was an out-and-out lie. By the time he made his most outlandish claim of all—that he couldn’t do his homework because a steamroller had run over his textbook—I was so inured to his tall tales that I remained skeptical even after he showed me the book, which looked a lot like a steamroller had run over it. (more…) Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

When was America great? Let’s try 1927

DC

Weary of waiting for America to become great again, I went searching for a time when America already was great. What drove me back in time may have been yet another letter to the editor admonishing no-Trumpers to give it up and admit the election is over. Fair enough, if the letters did not support the election of a man who took more than seven years to acknowledge that his predecessor was legally elected. If he gets seven years, don’t we get seven weeks? Angrily, I climbed aboard my time machine and headed to 1927. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Montana government’s mythical spending spree

Austin Knudsen

Two prominent Republican legislators published an op-ed in Wednesday’s Billings Gazette calling for an end to “irresponsible spending” in Helena. House Speaker Austin Knudsen, R-Culbertson, and House Majority Leader Ron Ehli, R-Hamilton, say they want to be “a check on the governor’s spending and expanding government.” They also say that Montana faces a tight budget this year because of falling prices for oil and agricultural commodities and a “non-existent timber industry.”

Because of “poor management and excessive regulations,” they say, revenues are too low to meet basic costs. They don’t explain how poor management and regulations made oil and food cheaper, and they don’t explain how a nonexistent timber industry managed to bring in $296 million in labor income in Montana as recently as 2013. They do say that state government has added “well over 1,000 new state employees” in the last 12 years. Why 12 years? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,