Re: Ostriches

1

Climate change denial is getting increasingly desperate. I like to take it as the death throes of an insane ideology, but i suspect the thrashing about will continue for quite some time. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out in the GOP primaries.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 7:53 AM
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I was in small-town Wisconsin over the weekend, in decidedly mixed company. Skated close to a number of issues, mostly not over the edge. My wife angered some people by carelessly using the term African-American, apparently a tell.

There's dissonance on climate change, I suppose resolvable by a sophisticated cyclical theory, although I didn't hear anything suggesting such. For instance, a son of someone's company has found it needs to get out of the crop insurance business. "And why was that?", I wanted to ask, but didn't.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:11 AM
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My wife angered some people by carelessly using the term African-American

???


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:14 AM
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A helpful commenter at TNC's blog once explained to me that requiring that people call them "African American" was a display of dominance --because it is so long. White people are powerless, so we only get a single-syllable.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:19 AM
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I say it "Whit-ee." Because two syllables is better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:19 AM
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Huh, I presented in a class on narrative construction of parent-child relationships (or something like that) at the community college last week and kept sort of rolling my eyes at my professor friend for saying "African-American" rather than "black," though the students were all white or Latino. And so I explained why I use the terminology I do and it was a lot of fun and I'm sort of sad that I didn't go into teaching interesting things. Although since doing that and presenting at a training for foster parents and a coming-out group at a different college are things I take off work to do rather than get paid to do, perhaps I don't have good enough business sense to get by.

Anyway, I have a Wisconsin union activist aunt whose passionate facebook posts give me some hope, but god does it seem like a nonstop clusterfuck up there.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:25 AM
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I think "ugly honky whitey face" is the same number of syllables.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:26 AM
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Racist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:28 AM
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7: Yes, but we don't have the power to demand that everyone always call us that.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:28 AM
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This convinced me that I should stick with African-American for now, even though it has the whiff of the reeducation camp about it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:28 AM
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It's fun to think about the tells the other side reads from us. I hear "thug" applied to someone who is not a violent criminal, and I know I'm dealing with a racist. "African American," "climate change," "happy holidays"...what else are we saying that unmasks us as dastardly liberals? "Torture?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:32 AM
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10: I guess I take the other tack for the same reason I didn't significantly whitewash the girls' names, because making it easier for people to keep operating on their instinctive racism is not really one of my life goals. I understand why people would choose otherwise, though.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:32 AM
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2

yeah, what? Were you supposed to say 'negro'?


The only cogent argument against the term African-American that I've heard came from all people one of my grandmothers, who argued that it implied white Americans as unhyphenated "Americans" were the default, and therefore was otherizing to POCs (not that she used the term otherizing).


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:33 AM
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6.2: How can the same state elect Scott Walker and Tammy Baldwin?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:33 AM
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This argues that we should not only use but capitalize "Black".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:34 AM
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13.1: "nigra", obviously.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:35 AM
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15 is a good point and one I've definitely thought about. Many of my friends do things that way, including a few in Wisconsin. I don't have a good rationale for not except that it felt false. I'd never capitalize white, for the reasons mentioned.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:36 AM
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As I'm pretty sure we've discussed before, Wisconsin may be the worst state in which to be black, at least by some measures.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:40 AM
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There are significant number of black people who are not African in their most recent origin, they tend to get pissed off when you call them African-American.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:41 AM
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"happy holidays"

That's one of the most inexplicable Fox News brainwashing success stories that I know of. "Happy holidays" was a totally standard expression, not to mention a classic song that's been covered by everyone from Jackie Gleason to The Carpenters.

I see otherwise normal, non-wingnutty people waxing belligerent about how they say "merry Christmas" as though this were some sort of bold transgressional move on their part and it blows my mind.

Once, because I knew the person well enough that I was pretty sure they wouldn't be offended, I asked "Have you personally ever had anyone react badly when you said 'merry Christmas'?", and the answer was, of course, no.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:44 AM
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Colton, our guy from Texas, is flying out to spend a long weekend with us tomorrow before he heads off for basic training in the Marines, and Mara is really mad that we thought about adopting him and we didn't even know about her while she was all alone in Africa. I've tried to make her believe that she knows all the people she lived with before us and they were all local, but she assured me that she knows she's African-American and sheesh, mommy, don't be so naive.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:45 AM
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For instance, a son of someone's company has found it needs to get out of the crop insurance business. "And why was that?", I wanted to ask, but didn't.

Interesting--on the other hand, Monsanto recently bought a weather insurance company for ~$1b. Although maybe that's the point, only the really big players, backed with Big Data!!@!1 can be playing in that space going forward.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:45 AM
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22 was me. I wonder--will climate change be good for ostriches? They like dry, desert-y places, right?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:49 AM
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Now I'm imagining a Mad-Max style future where a drought-ravaged California is ruled by warring ostrich-riding gangs (after the ostriches escape from OstrichLand in Solvang). It'd be like a post-apocalyptic Joust!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:52 AM
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It'll be interesting to see how it plays out in the GOP primaries.

Depressing prediction: they fall back on federalism and support a state's right to make that kind of requirement at the state level. They say that they wouldn't push for a bill requiring it at the federal level, and push for a massive program researching the mechanism of climate change, due to be completed in 2024.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:54 AM
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23: Is that my cue to rage against this slander against ostriches? Just try to charge up to an ostrich! They don't hide their heads! They kick!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:55 AM
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There are significant number of black people who are not African in their most recent origin, they tend to get pissed off when you call them African-American.

There are also significant numbers of black people who are not American.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:57 AM
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22 is pretty interesting, thanks for posting!

The place that clarified the official denial of climate change for me was local governments in the Outer Banks of NC and of Savannah, GA. Any admission that the sea levels might rise will oblige these folks to raise taxes in order to build public works. Only federal spending, please.

There's federally funded flood insurance, with a complicated reassessment schedule. I would be interested to learn more about exactly how that gets done. It's part of FEMA, which is part of DHS.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:59 AM
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25 is exactly right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:01 AM
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I think the GOP is going to rebrand climate change as a program to lower heating costs on the poor and give tax cuts for businesses that release the most CO2.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:03 AM
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I thought "climate change" was a party-approved alternative to "global warming". Have I missed the latest diktat from the high council?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:08 AM
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25 actually strikes me as excessively optimistic. Isn't outright denialism still going to be required?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:11 AM
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they fall back on federalism

On the only-federalist-when-convenient front, the Texas state legislature looks set to pass a couple of bills this session that prohibit municipalities from, respectively, banning fracking and refraining from acting as immigration police.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:15 AM
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27- As if anyone cares about them.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:23 AM
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34: Hey, people care about Lupita Nyong'o! But then she was born in North America.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:27 AM
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I once thought the carbon fee and dividend model might be an effective means of winning over the GOP on this, because its basically tax cuts for using less carbon. But, of course, the people who use the most carbon are rich, and would be paying into the system, so there is no way Republicans would bite.

Also, there is the lesson from Cap and Trade, which is that Republicans will support a Market Based Implementation of a Thing so they can been seen to be supportive of Doing Something, but they don't actually wan't to Do Something, so when you agree to do their Market Based Implementation of a Thing, they will back the fuck away from it. See also, Obamacare.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:43 AM
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And I'm locked out of the cougar thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 9:50 AM
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I observe that there are settings in which "African-American" is appropriate and settings in which "black" is appropriate. Basically, it looks to me like in formal settings where formality is being maintained, it's most productive to say "African-American" because that maintains a sort of high-bourgeois neutrality of tone. (Although I have heard people say "black" to great effect in situations where authorities were trying to massage away some racist stuff by being vague and polite.) At least around here, it seems like a lot of people prefer to say "black" to describe themselves when talking informally, and so I try to take my cues from that.

I feel like there's this "oh I don't actually know any black people socially - wait, wait are we supposed to say African-American now?" kind of undertone sometimes in conversations among white people, and in part it is this which saying "black" is intended to critique. Also that thing where white people want to convey someone's race and we lower our voices and say "black" like it's a secret or a bad word. "I was on the train with this ad excecutive today - he was black - and he said that...."


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:01 AM
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Basically, it looks to me like in formal settings where formality is being maintained, it's most productive to say "African-American" because that maintains a sort of high-bourgeois neutrality of tone.

This sounds right to me, and I think I also alternate between the terms in the same conversation, using the more formal term initially and then dropping back to the less formal.

Also that thing where white people want to convey someone's race and we lower our voices and say "black" like it's a secret or a bad word. "I was on the train with this ad excecutive today - he was black - and he said that...."

Well, right, sort of like gentile discomfort with the word "Jew". It's not a slur, it's the word Jews use to describe themselves. Unfortunately, it's also the word anti-Semites use to refer to Jews, and it makes it slightly uncomfortable to use if the context is ambiguous at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:07 AM
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I thought "climate change" was a party-approved alternative to "global warming". Have I missed the latest diktat from the high council?

I used to think that, too, because George W. Bush consistently used the phrase, just as he used "medical liability" instead of the more commonplace "malpractice". But it turns out "climate change" originated with climate scientists, not Republican spin doctors, because it more accurately describes the full panoply of physical effects of carbon pollution. Karl Rove subsequently seized on the term because he recognized its value as a euphemism.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:43 AM
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41

I'm partial to "Global Weirding."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:45 AM
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39: The analogy doesn't stretch to the point where you can use "Blackish".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:46 AM
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41: You and the Mustache of Understanding.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/opinion/17friedman.html?_r=0#


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:50 AM
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Well, thats just shameful.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:51 AM
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I honestly for real can't tell if 41 is one of those computer-generated Friedman parodies or not. Is it?


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:08 AM
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40: Right, I know there's a science backing to the term, but I thought Frank Luntz converted the party faithful to it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:08 AM
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I guess it's a real column.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:09 AM
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What got me was "In my view, the climate-science community should convene its top experts -- from places like NASA, America's national laboratories, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, the California Institute of Technology and the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre -- and produce a simple 50-page report. They could call it 'What We Know,'" and "Yes, sir, it is morning in Saudi Arabia."


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:15 AM
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WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T WE THINK OF THAT?


Posted by: OPINONATED INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:27 AM
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43 was me and that link is to a genuine Mustache of Understanding column.

I remembered it because Bob Somerby mocked it.

It's hard to be dumber than people like Friedman, though people like Friedman will try.

http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh021710.shtml


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:39 AM
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I went to a talk last week by an executive branch official (high enough that the position is Senate-confirmed) and the speaker used Black, not African-American. Of course this is also the speaker who I noted previously used the phrase, "Pulling oneself up by one's penis."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:39 AM
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51: I was sure that had to be Biden, but then I remembered he was elected not Senate-confirmed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:41 AM
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"Pulling oneself up by one's penis."

That's great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:45 AM
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That kind of implies something of a glass ceiling, no?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 11:51 AM
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That would be cold and uncomfortable.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 12:41 PM
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NMM to Percy Sledge.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 1:11 PM
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55 to 56.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 1:16 PM
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54- That was the point, that the term is bootstraps not penis therefore there shouldn't be a glass ceiling because in the ideal we say that all Americans can be self made, not just those with penises.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 1:21 PM
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The glass ceiling is actually chicken wire. The penises sail right through.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 1:47 PM
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Some of them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 1:49 PM
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The glass ceiling is actually chicken wire. The penises sail right through.

The problem is when the balls get caught. Its actually very unpleasant.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 2:09 PM
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61: OUCH!

I think I'm going to stay down here.


Posted by: peeo | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 2:29 PM
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62: just a typo -- not a pseud change.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 2:30 PM
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This sounds like a corollary to the Laffer curve.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 2:51 PM
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51 is not just great but possibly perfect.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 3:18 PM
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12 also fabulous and succinct.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 3:28 PM
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NMM to Percy Sledge.

Seriously, ladies, you have to stop.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 3:32 PM
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I thought the part of the Muscle Shoals documentary on Percy Sledge was pretty good.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 3:41 PM
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I thought the part of the Muscle Shoals documentary on Percy Sledge was pretty good.

I just watched that last weekend!

I also thought that the interview with Percy Sledge was one of the best parts. If you liked that documentary I'd recommend Respect Yourself the Stax Records story which covers a similar time period in pop music history. It isn't quite as polished as Muscle Shoals, and the last quarter, when things start to fall apart, is less interesting, but I found it very interesting.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 3:57 PM
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|| In western water news -- and I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seat for the latest from the Montana legislature -- the tea party Rep leadership tried to do the same thing with the CSKT compact that they did with Medicaid expansion. Kill it in committee, and when Dems try to get it to the floor, rule it out, and when Dems complain, send it to the rules committee which endorses the leadership. The full house has overturned it, and "blasted" the bill to the floor by a 52-48 vote. (House is 59-41, so 11 Republican defections).

This is a really big deal. The compact is the culmination of nearly 40 years work, and gives the Salish & Kootenai tribes control over their water, deals with water rights of white people on the rez, and avoids what would surely be a decade of federal court litigation. Our Rep AG is in favor of it, but the nutballs are against because (a) racism and (b) our Dem governor must have no accomplishments to tout in 2016. The thing still has to get through Congress, and 2 out of our 3 member delegation are also nutballs. We'll see.

The CSKT capital isn't but an hour away, and if I renew my bar membership (I let it lapse a few years ago) maybe I'll get some cases when they do whatever it is they do after the thing is ratified . . . |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 4:46 PM
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70: In other western water news, the Oregon DFW just proposed a rights trade that would ease the way for Nestlé to open a bottling plant near here. It's a hugely unpopular plan, and Nestlé is under fire now for its operations in California, so I can't fathom why this is happening.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 5:51 PM
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Describing unsuccessful tribal efforts to exercise water rights on the same subsidized terms as non-Indians, Joe Sax remarked to our Water Law class: "Only the Indians get rational economics."

Hope the obstructionist bastards go down in flames. Unquenched flames.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 7:57 PM
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This is the last tribal/federal compact, all the others have gone through over the years. That's 6 tribes, 2 national parks, the forest service, the national bison range, some wildlife reserves, and some smaller federal properties. (28 years ago, I was tasked with leading the compact commission on a tour of the streams flowing into and out of Yellowstone. Seems like That was a lifetime ago.)

The latest Republican move is laughably desperate. Our constitution says that the state and its subdivisions have no sovereign immunity except as enacted by a 2/3 vote of the legislature. The CSKT compact has an immunity waiver -- state and tribe both wave immunity (including 11th amendment immunity) to that the admin board set up by the thing can make decisions, and so courts can review them, but they do not waive not for claims for money damages or attorneys fees.

The GOP leadership is now claiming that the bill ratifying the Compact requires a 2/3s vote -- on a last minute motion from the TP, the Speaker said it did, and the issue has been referred to the Rules Comm which will rule that it has to be a 2/3s vote. This will be appealed to the full house, where it will probably be rejected 52-48 -- I bet the Kochs and local zillionaire Gianforte are wishing they'd bought just a couple more seats.

Your wish for unquenched flames (which I share) reminded me of that mid-80s Yellowstone tour. The leader of the cult that owned a bunch of land just north of the park was upset with me for reasons unrelated to compact negotiations, but took the opportunity to tell me that cleansing purple lightning would soon show me the error of my ways.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:28 PM
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(I've just been reading the compact. CSKT gets fairly substantial instream flow rights on rivers outside the Rez -- on the mainstem of the Clark Fork, for example, which nowhere touches the reservation -- but have given up the right to call against other than irrigation uses.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:34 PM
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(And this is way into the weeds, but take a look at what the tribes are getting on the Kootenai River. This is a pretty big deal in terms of recognition of tribal rights. Neither this river nor any of its tributaries touches the reservation, nor does the river join a river that goes to the reservation.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 8:42 PM
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71: Meanwhile, the people who want to export water from Alaska to California are at it again.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-14-15 10:10 PM
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