Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has vetoed almost as many bills this spring as former Gov. Brian Schweitzer did after the 2011 state Legislature. The last count I saw was 71 to 78.
Schweitzer was not circumspect about this; for some of the bills he heated up a branding iron, called the press, and burned VETO after VETO into a wooden board.
Bullock did his work with less panache, but he angered almost as many Republican legislators as his predecessor. And he may have disappointed a few more of his fellow Democrats than Schweitzer managed to do.
Most of Bullock’s vetoes focused on maintaining his goal of a $300 million budget surplus by mid-2015 (Republicans thought $180 million would be sufficient), so he cut some “spendy” bills. A few of these were backed by his fellow Democrats (although little Democratic-initiated legislation made it out of the Republican-dominated House and Senate); many more vetoed bills were backed by Republicans and were either spendy or offered tax breaks that were, in the governor’s opinion, excessive.
In regard to maintaining that $300 million surplus, Bullock said that he looked out the window of the Capitol and could see no snowpack in the mountains. He said it was prudent to save money for emergencies, such as fighting forest and range fires, which are likely to strike (in fact, they’re already happening) should our weather stay dry and hot.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:50
Big Sky Honor Flight Montana, in some measure, rights or may at least balance something of a debt that was never collected or even asked to be paid by World War II veterans owed them by their government.
If that seems too harsh, it is a fact that World War II veterans “just came home” without the flag-waving brass band parades, without the marching through streets of cheering throngs that accompanied the return of servicemen celebrating the end of World War I.
The men and women of the World War II generation willingly, unreservedly and proudly – without personal reservation – whether enlisted or drafted into America’s armed services, provided their service – their very lives – at the request of the government for as long as needed until the war’s successful conclusion and thankful ending, finally, in mid-August 1945.
That contrast between “coming home” from service and how they began their military service remains an understatement and a testament to the nobility and sacrifice of World War II veterans. From the depths of catastrophic defeats at the war’s onset to magnificent yet costly victories culminating in success, the war’s Navy, Army and Marine Corps veterans learned how to fight, won crucial, bitter and desperate battles and then just came home.
When two searing atomic bomb explosions on Japan ended a bitter, exhausting four-year campaign that forced the war’s final capitulation and surrender in August 1945 (the equally bitter and costly European Theater war against Germany had ended in early May 1945), U.S. servicemen were simply “discharged” from service on a point system. For many there was no real “official” home arrival celebration. Longer serving veterans accumulated points so that those with the most came home first and so on until the armed services – soldiers, sailors, Marines – all came home to resume life or begin careers that had been forcibly interrupted by the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:49
LAUREL – For most 15-year-olds, not to mention grown-ups, giving a speech in front of peers is a most terrifying torment.
So recently, Laurel High School sophomores received some sincere hints not from a teacher, or principal, or even a parent, but someone certainly with ample speech experience.
“And if your knees are shaking, well, then all you need to do is widen your stance,” noted the fit 66-year-old mentor matter-of-factly. “And when you can’t think straight, that’s because you’re forgetting to breathe: You’re so nervous, you’re talking too fast. You have to remember to slow down, keep breathing and get oxygen up to your brain; that why you can’t think and get confused.
“And after you are done with your speech, don’t apologize, don’t say you didn’t do this or didn’t do that. You don’t have to. You give your speech and you’re done, it’s over. And practice, practice, practice.”
Courtney Hendrickson and Jessica Howe must still march to the front of class and orate, but having Robert “Rob” Rust close by makes the ordeal, hopefully ideal, if not right away, later.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 01:19