Thursday, August 21, 2014

Trahant: ACA gives states too much power over tribal health care

Happy 58th Birthday to Montana Senator Jon Tester!

Mark Trahant believes as this blog does that tribes are already the 51st State. He writes at indianz and at Indian Country Today:
In Montana $194 million returns $2.1 billion in Medicaid and $1.1 billion in hospital reimbursements. Oklahoma could invest $689 million and see a return of $8.6 billion in Medicaid and $4.1 billion in hospital reimbursements. And, in South Dakota, $157 million buys $2.1 billion in Medicaid funding and $.8 billion in hospital reimbursements. In all three of those states much of that extra cash would show up and benefit the Indian health system. The Affordable Care Act gives states too much power over the Indian health system. If a facility is located in a Medicaid expansion state, then opportunity unfolds. But if not, well, the disparity in funding for Indian health will get worse. [Trahant, The Nuts, Bolts and Billions in Medicaid That Could Improve Healthcare]
The Republican candidate for US Senate in South Dakota has blown off an opportunity to address tribal nations trapped in the state while Rick Weiland is actively campaigning in Indian Country. So is Amanda Curtis, the Democratic Senate hopeful in Montana.

A quote or some version of it is making the twitter rounds: "Not voting is not rebellion; it's surrender."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Amanda Curtis for US Senate from Montana

Is it just me or is Steve Daines one of the ugliest men in Montana.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis won't be able to jump-start her campaign using money left in Sen. John Walsh's bank account from his defunct campaign. Walsh, who dropped out of the race earlier this month, can only give the legal limit of $2,000 to his replacement candidate's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission rules. Walsh's campaign already has donated a combined $150,000 to the state Democratic Party and its committee to elect state lawmakers, and plans to donate the maximum allowed to federal and state Democratic candidates. [Montana Standard]
Here is Rep. Curtis' first US Senate campaign video:

Monday, August 18, 2014

National Review: Ferguson, 'War on Drugs' linked

It was difficult to sleep last night after watching live coverage of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
Much of what creates the poisonous, vicious-cycle relationship between young black men and the police is that the War on Drugs brings cops into black neighborhoods to patrol for drug possession and sale. Without that policy—which would include that no one could make a living selling drugs—the entire structure supporting the notion of young black men as criminals would fall apart. White men with guns would encounter young black men much less often, and meanwhile society would offer young black men less opportunity to drift into embodying the stereotype in the first place. [John McWhorter, National Review]
But, Americans already know this, right?

Listen to part of the basis for what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow at WYNC's On the Media:
Lee Atwater became one of the most complicated and successful Republican political operatives in history by employing a triple threat: spin when you can, change the subject when you can’t, and if all else fails, appeal to the voters’ resentment and fear, usually of African-Americans. In this conversation from 2008, Brooke talks to Stefan Forbes, director of "Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story", about the dark legacy of Atwater’s Southern strategy.
Just wow.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Images of Rickstock feature Madvillians

Gorgeous day for a splendid event in a verdant canyon north of Rapid City! Just click on any image to make it bigger.

Democratic US Senate candidate, Rick Weiland front man for the Take It Back Band

Cory Allen Heidelberger, author of Madville Times

Bret Clanton, Harding County rancher, KXL opponent and frequent Madville Times commenter

Brendan, cameraman for KEVN teevee

Michael Reardon and band

Doc McDonald

Legendary fiddle player, Kenny Putnam joins the band

Madvillians holding court

Kenny Putnam and Michael Johnson

Bill Fleming sitting among other silverbacks in middle with granddaughter

Peak attendance was about 250 but many more came through to gather even if just for a few minutes.

Other notables in the throng included Bill Walsh, Sam Hurst, several tribal members and many, many young people.

Huge thanks to Dr. Kevin Weiland and his patient family for hosting the event!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Grizzly Gulch tailings impoundment breach would be catastrophic

Logging out the basin for the Grizzly Gulch Tailings Disposal Project above Pluma and Deadwood in 1977 helped to launch this blogger's love of the Black Hills.

Homestake Mining Company that also operated the sawmill near Spearfish, hired a local contractor who gave a farm boy and School of Mines dropout a skidder job. Future neighbor, Jim Whitlock wrote the proposal for an upgrade to the project.
Last Monday, a dam holding waste from the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in the remote Cariboo region of British Columbia broke, spilling 2.6 billion gallons of potentially toxic liquid and 1.3 billion gallons of definitely toxic sludge out into pristine lakes and streams. That’s about 6,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water and waste containing things like arsenic, mercury, and sulphur. Those substances are now mixed into the water that 300 people rely on for tap, hundreds from First Nations tribes rely on for hunting and fishing, and many others rely on for the tourism business. And thanks to lax government regulation in the US, an estimated 39 percent of tailings-pond dam failures happen in the states — a rate higher than anywhere in the world. Just six months ago, a pipe at a coal slurry pond in North Carolina opened, leaching 1.1 billion gallons of sludge into a river. [Tailings Ponds are the Biggest Environmental Disaster You've Never Heard Of]
Former Rapid City Journal reporter, Bill Harlan, became public relations representative for the underground lab built into the former Homestake/Barrick property. He writes:
Our water treatment plant removes iron from water pumped from underground. Under an agreement with Homestake Mining Co., we also treat water from the company’s Grizzly Gulch tailings impoundment, which contains trace amounts of ammonia. [press release]
Harlan wrote in March, 2004:
Erosion and flooding after big fires pose threats to people, property and the environment. The Galena Fire did cause flooding and erosion in Custer State Park. For example, in 2002, mud ran down the streets of Deadwood after the Grizzly Gulch Fire. [Fire boosts creek flow]
The issue is a perpetual threat:
The problem in Canada, the US, and elsewhere is that no one knows exactly what to do with these ponds. Much of the sludge they contain is too toxic to remediate and let back into the environment. As of now, the plan is to just let them sit there and hope they don’t fail.
Cook Lake Recreation Area in the Wyoming Black Hills has been closed due to landslide activity.

The GOP-owned South Dakota Department of Ecocide and Nepotism Resources says the Grizzly Gulch impoundment, a bird killer for most of its history, is good to go until 2035.

Unless it's not.