Early Returns Show Voters in Five States Defending Abortion-Related Measures

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that returned the question of abortion limits back to the states, unofficial election results in five states show voters opted to codify abortion as a constitutional right, defend expanded access to abortion, and deny lifesaving care to infants born alive despite an abortion attempt.

More than 133,000 Vermont voters – about 72 percent – appear to have supported a ballot measure that made the state the first to enshrine abortion in its constitution. Nearly 42,000 voters, or about 22 percent, voted against the measure, while 9,000, or about 5 percent, left the ballot question blank, The Hill reported.

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Montana to Vote on Referendum That Protects Infants Who Survive Abortions

A pro-life referendum takes center stage in Montana as state residents are set to decide whether to give additional legal protections to babies who survive abortions.

Montana LR-131, also known as the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, says that infants born alive after an abortion are legal persons and that healthcare providers must take “necessary actions to preserve the life of a born-alive infant.” These “necessary actions” include “the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment.”

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Music Spotlight: Michael Shaw

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After interviewing nearly 200 artists, you think I would learn not to be surprised when I delve into someone’s “How they got to Nashville” story, but hearing country-western singer/songwriter Michael Shaw’s story even stunned me.

Michael Shaw was born in Indiana but remembers growing up in Kentucky and Michigan, and later, Ohio.

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New Study Shows Red States Handled COVID-19 Better Than Blue States

A new study by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity found that states led by Republicans did a better job than Democrat-led states at managing the coronavirus and keeping their states from slumping into an economic and social recession.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the three states that ranked the worst in mortality, economy, and schooling during the COVID pandemic were New Jersey, New York, and California, all of which had implemented some of the strictest lockdown measures in the nation. By contrast, the states that ranked the highest were Utah, Vermont, and Nebraska.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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Minnesota Gubernatorial Candidate Says He Stands with Canadian Truckers

A Minnesota gubernatorial candidate released a video statement saying that he stands with the Canadian truckers. Dr. Scott Jensen, a frontrunner in Minnesota’s 2022 gubernatorial election said, “From Minnesota, to Canada, and beyond… I stand with them.”

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Montana the Latest State to Begin Recreational Marijuana Sales

Montana became the latest state to sell legal recreational marijuana, with its law going into effect on New Year’s Day.

While Montana residents adopted the law on Election Day in 2020 with 57% of the vote, the state legislature-passed law, which came a year later, includes provisions limiting where in the state the substance can be purchased. Under the law, those in “green counties,” where a majority of residents voted in favor in 2020, are allowed to sell the drug for recreational use, while those in “red counties,” where a majority of residents voted against legalization, are not, according to the Montana Department of Revenue.

Red county vendors are not able to sell recreational marijuana, unless they put the matter up to a county-wide vote and a majority of residents support the provision, according to the department. Licenses are required for both the sale and use of the substance.

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Biden’s Head Start Vaccination Requirement Could Have Detrimental Effects on Montana’s Rural Students

President Joe Biden’s administration put a policy in place that requires all employees in a federal education program to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which program directors argue will have a detrimental effect on Montana’s programs that assist underserved communities in the state.

If enforced, the requirement will have a negative impact on Montana’s Head Start program, according to program directors and information provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation by the state’s Department of Justice (DOJ). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the White House, has mandated the vaccine for teachers and staff who work for Head Start and Early Head Start programs nationwide.

Head Start includes preschool programs for 3 and 4-year-old children, while Early Head Start programs are for infants, toddlers and pregnant women to “promote the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way,” according to its website.

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Commentary: Keep Slandering Red States, Corporate Media and We’ll Keep Winning

Donald Trump supporters

One of the delights of living in Montana under complete Republican governance is that even though your state can be mercilessly trashed by the arrogant blue state corporate media, they can’t do much to stop you or your neighbors from living your best lives.

I kept that in mind this week with the simultaneous appearance of not one, but two extended hit pieces on the poor, benighted, ignorant, awful, rednecks in Montana: one in Jeff Bezos’ propaganda fishwrap, the Washington Post, and the other in the failing New York Times.

I had low expectations before reading each, and in that sense the articles did not disappoint; but they are worthy of forensic examination, because both, in different ways, provide sterling examples of the arrogant ignorance that epitomizes our failing elite class, and the hysterical desperation they feel as both power and the narrative slip from their grasp.

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White House Says Reconciliation Bill Will Spend More on Climate Than Entire Energy Department

The Democrats’ reconciliation package will likely include more than $500 billion worth of climate provisions, more than the entire Department of Energy budget, the White House said, according to The Hill.

The budget represents an opportunity for “historic investment in climate change,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said during an event hosted by The Hill on Tuesday evening. The likely price tag for climate programs included in the bill is likely to fall somewhere between $500 billion and $555 billion, Axios previously reported.

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An Afghan Refugee Who Didn’t Have Special Immigrant Visa Status Allegedly Raped a Girl in Montana

An Afghan refugee was arrested last weekend for allegedly raping a girl he met at a bar in Missoula, Montana.

Zabihullah Mohmand, who is 19 years old, is in Montana as part of the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program, according to NBC Montana. This program is part of the federal government’s refugee resettlement program.

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Biden Gears Up for Renewed Fight Against Oil and Gas

A federal judge has ruled the Biden administration must resume allowing oil and gas leasing on federal land and waters, but the administration is saying it will not go down without a fight.

The Biden administration said it will appeal a court ruling allowing the leases, the latest development in a months-long battle between President Joe Biden and the oil and gas industry, even as gas prices continue to rise.

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Montana Attorney General Bans Critical Race Theory

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

The highest-ranking prosecutor in the state of Montana has declared Critical Race Theory to be a violation of state and federal law, and has banned the far-left theory in Montana’s schools, as reported by ABC News.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R-Mont.) made his announcement on Thursday, after he was asked for his opinion by the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Erise Arntzen (R-Mont.). His declaration bans the concept not only from Montana’s schools, but from employee training as well.

The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a statement criticizing Knudsen’s decision, falsely accusing him of attempting to “impose an alternate version of American history – one that erases the legacy of discrimination and lived experiences of black and brown people.”

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Commentary: Montana Governor Strips Mask Fanatics of Their Power

Monanta Gov. Greg Gianforte

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana delivered mask fanatics a hefty, but essential, blow last week when he signed House Bill 257 into law, stripping the few remaining left-leaning health departments in the state of their ability to use their clout and control to dominate the population through unquestioned mask enforcement. The bill declares that counties can no longer require businesses to enforce health mandates, such as mask-wearing or capacity limits and restrictions, or pursue other whimsical edicts or decrees, such as cancel farmer’s markets, prohibit school parades, ban families of spectators at high-school athletic events.

While most Montana counties and towns (including Billings, the largest city in the state with a population of approximately 110,000) removed their mask mandates several weeks, if not months, ago, the university-dominated cities of Missoula and Bozeman, as well as the small, politically mixed capital city of Helena, seemed to be only tightening the screws on chronic mask-wearing. They repeatedly hid, changed, or lied about the markers and metrics for mask mandates’ removal, inexplicably shifting from one theoretical possibility or scenario to another. In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccinations have increased to the point where testing sites and vaccination camps are virtually empty, hospitalizations have plummeted to nonexistent, and deaths from the virus have fallen to the level somewhere between venomous snake bites and automotive fatalities. Yet paradoxically, the healthier and the more strengthened the state, and the more that it has recovered from the numbing side effects of the shameful lockdowns, the further away the remaining mask-obsessed health departments have pushed the date of mask abolition.

Without House Bill 257, the remaining communities would have stayed perennially under the twisted, tight-fisted influence of a handful of marginally knowledgeable, power-intoxicated, unelected bureaucrats who were playing the “follow the Fauci” model of single-minded governance. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. In fact, it would not be hard to imagine a scenario in which one government employee with a mask fetish would continue to bully the populace, terrorizing the summer camps into outside mask-wearing through the hottest days of August or perpetuating mask requirements for children straight into the fall of 2021 or beyond.

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Census Bureau Announces States in the South, Northwest Pick up Congressional Seats

Texas and Florida are slated to gain congressional seats during the decennial redistricting process, while California and New York are set to each lose one, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the decennial state population and congressional apportionment totals Monday, outlining how many districts each state will have for the next decade. The data also determines how many Electoral College votes each state will have through 2032, and allocates how federal money is distributed to each state for schools, roads and other public projects.

The release was originally scheduled for December, but faced delays due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Trump administration’s unsuccessful effort to exclude non-citizens from the count.

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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Arizona and Montana Sue Biden Administration for Limiting Illegal Immigrant Arrests and Deportations

Arizona and Montana filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration Monday in an effort to block the limits on deportations, Fox News reported.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona, joined by Attorney General Austin Knudsen of Montana, filed a lawsuit in response to the 100-day deportation moratorium arguing that it will negatively impact their states. Brnovich said the immigration rules will cause a “humanitarian crisis,” Fox News reported.

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Commentary: The Keystone Cancellation and Biden’s Climate Cronyism

Among many executive actions signed on Inauguration Day to sweep Trump policies out the door along with the man himself, President Biden rescinded approval for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Keystone XL, according to Biden’s top climate policy adviser Gina McCarthy, “was not consistent with addressing the climate crisis to the depth and scope that we are planning to address it.”

Keystone XL has now played the role of political football for a full decade, and Americans can be forgiven for having forgotten the project’s details.

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‘Nothing Left in the Bucket’: Wildfire Resources Run Thin

Justin Silvera came off the fire lines in Northern California after a grueling 36 straight days battling wildfires and evacuating residents ahead of the flames. Before that, he and his crew had worked for 20 days, followed by a three-day break.

Silvera, a 43-year-old battalion chief with Cal Fire, California’s state firefighting agency, said he’s lost track of the blazes he’s fought this year. He and his crew have sometimes been on duty for 64 hours at a stretch, their only rest coming in 20-minute catnaps.

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Conservatives Praise Supreme Court for Ruling States Can’t Discriminate Against Religious Schools

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education in a 5-4 ruling. 

Hailed as a victory for religious freedom, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend religious schools.

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SCOTUS to Hear Montana Case on School Choice, Religious Liberty

by Derek Draplin   The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a wide-reaching Montana case dealing with school choice and the First Amendment. The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will take up the case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which is being litigated by the Institute for Justice, a…

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Joe Robertson Was Imprisoned for Digging Ponds on His Montana Land, and Now His Widow Continues the Fight

by Kevin Mooney   The name of a Navy veteran may be cleared after he was convicted, fined, and imprisoned for digging ponds in a wooded area near his Montana home, to supply water in case of fire. The Supreme Court has vacated a lower court ruling against Joe Robertson,…

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Montana Governor Steve Bullock Announces 2020 Presidential Run

by Evie Fordham   Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 and will kick off his campaign later in the day at his former high school in Helena, Montana. “I’m running for President and with your help, we will take…

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Obama-Era Judge Slams the Brakes on Trump Order to Open Fed Lands to Coal Mining

by Tim Pearce   A federal judge in Montana delayed a Trump administration attempt to open up more federal lands to coal mining Friday, The New York Times reported. U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled that the Trump administration illegally overturned a moratorium placed on coal mining on federal lands by former President…

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Trump Nominations Begin to Remake the Liberal 9th Circuit

by Fred Lucas   President Donald Trump is moving to make over the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has delivered some of the most stinging judicial setbacks to his agenda. Trump announced three nominations this week to the San Francisco-based appeals court, which covers California, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana,…

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Ranchers and Native Americans Battle at Supreme Court Over Hunting Rights

by Tim Pearce   A coalition of agricultural interests is backing the state of Wyoming in a Supreme Court Case over the hunting rights of Crow tribal members from a 150-year-old treaty. Eight agricultural groups filed a motion in support of Wyoming on Tuesday for arresting a tribal member, Clayvin Herrera, after…

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Wisconsin and New Jersey are Among the States Looking To Copy Minnesota Model Of Using Federal Funds To Lower Insurance Premiums

Minnesota capitol

by Evie Fordham   Several states including Wisconsin and New Jersey are seeking to copy Minnesota’s model of federal reinsurance program funding that contributed to a 13-percent drop in premium rates in the state from 2017 to 2018. The Minnesota legislature adopted the program, which uses mostly federal funds to…

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