One fun thing about the collapse of western civilization is that all our old favorites are coming back. New Robocop movie? Hell yeah! Return of rompers and bomber jackets? Yes please. Sudden ubiquity of retro celebrities such as Kardashians and Donald Trump? Um…okay, I guess. Crass materialism that gives way to old-time bigotry and increasingly anti-democratic struggle for control of the security state? Wait, stop—that’s too retro for me. Oh, you set everything in motion decades ago, and now we must numbly watch it all play out as the events of the path frog-march us into a terrifying future? Well, okay, since you worked on it. Today is Friday, and it’s hard to be nostalgic for a past that won’t leave. Won’t you greet the old favorites with me?
In August, Judge James Haynes denied a request for postponement in the trial of Casey Allen, the 21 year-old Ravalli County woman charged with felony endangerment after failing a drug test while pregnant. According to court transcripts reported by Keila Szpaller of the Missoulian, Haynes said Allen’s pregnancy was not the court’s responsibility. Quote:
I don’t know why I should have to scurry around, change my trial schedule. We have this woman who has managed to impregnate herself, plus she’s got these criminal charges. Her decision to have a child in the middle of this is her decision. It’s not society’s responsibility to take up the cause.
In keeping with his argument that Allen’s unborn child is not society’s responsibility, Haynes
dismissed the child endangerment charge against her remained immune to irony. Brief discussion of where babies come from after the jump.
The Montana Cowgirl Blog has linked to this image of an email exchange between Ravalli County Republican Central Committee secretary Sue Pyron and various GOP candidates, in which she notes that the committee has unanimously voted “to fund only candidates who agree to sign to support the Republican platform.” That dissenting voice at the top is Pat Connell (R–Hamilton.) He does not believe that signing a kind of ideological loyalty oath should be a condition for reimbursement of his travel expenses and describes the demand as “a rather unseemly quid pro quo.” I bet Rep. Connell and I disagree about a few things, but I’m right with him on that one. Also—and this may shock you—the Montana Republican Party Platform is a little kooky.
It seems the litigator has become the litigated: the Ravalli County Commission has sued
embattled suspended hilarious treasurer Valerie Stamey for $29,000, citing 58 instances of neglected duties at $500 a pop. This news follows last Friday’s meeting, in which commissioners offered Stamey the chance to resign rather than be suspended without pay. Stamey did not attend that meeting, saying it would violate her right to due process. At the same event, independent auditor Jim Woy said “there is absolutely no doubt” Stamey failed to perform the duties of her office. You may remember Woy from Stamey’s plan to sue him for libel, which her attorney promised would be the “first of many” lawsuits. As of press time, the legal counterassault seems to have stalled.
Maybe I’m biased, but Montana politics seem to produce a better story-to-population ratio than any local politics I have seen. Case in point: Missoula and Ravalli counties held their primary elections yesterday, and they produced not one, nor two, but three interesting stories—four if you count the sheriff’s race. TJ McDermott beat his two Democratic opponents to become the Missoula County Sheriff—there are no Republican candidates in the general—shortly after county Democrats amended their bylaws to endorse him, and also after he sued the Sheriff’s Department. That’s not even the best story from yesterday, though.