Missoula, Mont. – After months of speculation regarding her sudden disappearance and numerous missed county commission meetings, rumored Lieutenant Governor Candidate Lesley Robinson was spotted in the same room as her supposed running mate, Greg Gianforte.

Since pulling Robinsen’s name out of a hat after a string of rejections by other prominent Republicans in the state, Gianforte has avoided appearing next to or speaking about Robinson until today.

Montana’s largest scientific denier and his sometimes accessory were stumping in Missoula with Rick Perry, a former Governor of Texas who was taking some time to “just be with himself” after his largest attack on women’s reproductive rights was laughed out of the United States Supreme Court by a rather smug Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

robinsonPerry spoke about the importance of bringing business to Montana and touted Gianforte’s strong stance against the LGBT community as a key initiative in building Montana into a successful state like North Carolina. He also applauded Richardson’s achievements as he shook a woman’s hand.*

“It’s so good to see Lindsey on the campaign trail,” said Gianforte campaign manager Amy Lunde, adjusting her wig and sunglasses. “Her contributions this campaign are really going to make a difference someday.”

The day was not without incident as Planned Parenthood protesters gathered outside the historic Florence building in downtown Missoula to criticize Gianforte and Roberts stance on women’s issues, including abortion and birth control access.

Protesters chanted, held signs, and wore costumes depicting birth control packets as they chastised Gianforte and Robbins for campaigning with a former Gov. Perry, the man at the head of a crusade against their organization.

Things got awkward when, upon arrival, protesters tried to hand the Lieutenant Governor candidate a sign, assuming she was there to protest with them. “I felt kind of bad,” explained the volunteer who had approached Robertson. “I mean, I knew Gianforte was running for governor, but I hadn’t heard he had anyone else on the ticket.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Gianforte was not available for questions to the press or demonstrators as he and former Gov. Perry were whisked away in a motorcade to Great Falls. Attempts to ask questions of Commissioner Rogers about her candidacy and thoughts on the long campaign were cut short by the arrival of her Uber.

* This story has been updated to reflect that the woman Perry introduced was not Phillips County Commissioner Robbers, but simply the only other woman in the room.

The Gianforte

Given that Greg Gianforte can’t tell the truth, we’ve decided to ask the dear people at the bars and distilleries to add this to their drink menu:

gianforteThe Gianforte: this disgusting, caustic, distasteful shot costs $100,000 each, and is marketed in the style of the ignominious gubernatorial candidate as being “pure unadulterated, 6,000 year old Montana hooch”, it’s age being related to the time he believes the planet has existed. If you’re fool enough to try one, and we hope many are not, that’s fine, but be aware that all that’s in it is water from Flint Michigan.

Expect The Spanish Inquisition


Many of the elected imbeciles in the Montana Legislature have taken to playing martyr in the hopes that acting like they are dying on the cross will be enough to erase the egregious sinning they’ve accomplished over the remainder of their rather boring and completely uninteresting lives. Representative Carl Glimm is taking the lead on this, as he is quite sure that members of the LGBT community, by the disaster of their very existence, have undermined his ability to please his god, and therefore needs the full-force of a new state law to help him praise his allah.

Whilst it may seem odd to mix god and allah, the truth is, Glimm could easily be a devotee of Zeus or even Andromeda, Jupiter, Buddha, or any other of the innumerable deities that mankind has managed to worship, with varying degrees of bloodshed and hate, since we first walked upright. We just don’t care which god Glimm bows his head to, it doesn’t matter to us.

However, it seems that it matters to him which god we choose to uphold, and heaven forbid we choose no god and instead just choose to uphold good ethics and morals, two traits that seem to have completely been missed by the members of the TEA Party, as that would make their heads combust with an explosion not even seen before or behind the cameras at Top Gear.

Glimm’s glum outlook is that he’s not able to express his religion in a way that satisfies his god. To be clear, Glimm’s god hates fags. One is wryly amused that someone would act in a way consistent with the Westboro Baptist Cabal, but one also knows that if asked, Glimm would puff up like a pheasant and proclaim that he’s not “one of those”, whatever his actions.

The truth is, Glimm originates from a part of the state saturated with white supremacists and neo-nazis who’ve managed, on a rather regular basis, to bring disgrace and shame on the state they purport to love. Gaze into Glimm’s arian features and his disingenuous smile, and it’s easy to see that it might not all be on the up-and-up with this man.

But after reading the text of HB615, it’s painfully obvious that not only are they trying to instill Christian supremacy as the law of the land, they are doing it in such a way that will allow for any deeply held belief to qualify as a tool to ignore the law. And just a few laws, any law. Unthinkable it may seem to have a church with a competition in the name of their god that is fought to the death of one of the participants, that’s exactly the sort of thing this law would allow.

Put simply, this law is the text of the end times that these religious morons are prattling on about all the time. The first time one of them feels that the only way to please their god is to put a bullet into the head of someone LGBT, we’ll have to face the fact that we let the mads run the statehouse, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

It’s more than enough to make us drink. We suggest a Montana take on the Spanish Inquisition:

  • 2 oz. High Ore Vodka
  • 3/4 oz. Lime
  • 3/4 oz. pomegranate liqueur
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic bitters
  • Fever Tree Club Soda
  • smoked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Jigger all but soda into mixing glass. Hard shake. Double strain into Collins glass rimmed with smoked sea salt and cracked black pepper with fresh ice and top with Fever Tree Club Soda.

—E.C. Bourbon

Slaughtered Amendments


When watching this week’s GOP tirade against the poor, one is almost comforted by the fact that eventually even these hard-line monstrosities will one day need help, and small comfort that they won’t be ignored by decent people and shall, at the very least, receive some. Although one does wonder if the un-Ballanced and Wit-less-tichs of the Montana Legislature would even know to ask for help. We aren’t accusing them of being self-aware enough to realize their own hypocrisy; we honestly believe they might be completely allergic to the idea of helping anyone for less than piles of cash, even if that someone were themselves.

For nearly sixteen hours, over two days, of disheartening House floor session, nearly one hundred amendments to the budget were offered up by the House Democrats. Their attempt to restore a truly balanced budget, one that actually used our taxes in the service of all Montanans, is to be applauded. Sisyphean though it ultimately proved, as every single amendment was voted down along party lines, the Democrats at least fought.

The Republican majority finds itself lost at sea, with about as much control over their actual direction as an iceberg. Floundering would be immeasurably preferred to this unguided mob of incendiaries. It has gone so wrong that someone today referred to Nancy Ballance as “Montana’s Iron Lady”, which we would agree is ideal if she’d been left out in the winter to rust. Sadly, she and her cohorts have just decided that running this jewel of a state into the ground, or perhaps letting burn to the ground, is preferable to having actual people living here.

It’s the only possible explanation for their actions. Whilst anchored in Helena this week, we’ve decided to take up residence at, newly opened, The Hawthorn Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, for several glasses of delicious red wine. After all, if we must see this much red in our day, some of it should be pleasing.

—E.C. Bourbon

Medicaid Expansion Drinking Game


Today found the members of the House Health & Human Services committee finally decided to hear testimony on HB249, the Healthy Montana bill. Before starting, the committee chair was completely confounded by the electronic controls that would allow him to limit testimony to three minutes or less. As his befuddlement continued to the point of pain, the rest of the committee either rolled their eyes or prayed for a miracle that would give him guidance to the timing switch.

That miracle did not happen. Most miracles don’t, as you know.

An inauspicious start to the hearing is almost expected, given the staggering amount of idiocy and animosity that has, so far, prevailed over this discussion. It will be interesting to see what the opponents come up with this time. Our drinking game with the following rules:

  • Paperwork – 1 shot
  • Death Panel – 2 shots
  • Substandard care – 1 shot
  • Obamacare – 3 shots
  • Too Expensive – 1 shot

We could easily add in so many more but our livers, while nearly super-human in ability, may have limits even if we’ve never managed to reach them before. We feel we might tonight.

We’ll be drinking a fine Whistling Andy Four Grain Bourbon, neat. Join us, won’t you?

—E.C. Bourbon

Raise a Toast to Civility


As transmittal rests its gentle head against the rolling mountainside that is Helena, we are once again blessed with a calm, a whisper, a breath of fresh air.

Yet a whiff of the stench from the legislature remains and when you catch wind of it, your gag reflex does its very best impression of ceremonial cannon. Always fun.

However today we get to celebrate, not only the absence which makes the heart grow fonder of the foolishness that imbues the Capitol, but also because a bill to catch Montana up to the other forty-nine states has managed to get through the killing fields known as the House. That House Bill 284 has finally been transmitted is a massive achievement, one that we simply must celebrate.

Representative Kimberly Dudik has skillfully navigated through the major gauntlet of the House Education committee, which, need I remind you, is headed by someone with a degree from an institution of higher learning that teaches, and yes, I’m serious, resurrection of the dead. You cannot make up this level of madness.

Then, with the very welcome support of many democrats and several right-thinking republicans, the bill, which I would point out has had its attempts at passing in each of the last eight legislative sessions,finally made it through the full House, with a vote of 75 to 25.

The votes against this bill were by the following, all of whom are in desperate need of a mental health check by their home counties. As most of these are also the fools fighting against expanding Medicaid, one would guess that they are ready and willing to pay the expense of that check and not access their own government funded healthcare. (One shouldn’t hold one’s breath, however.)

  • Ballance, Nancy
  • Bennett, Gerald (Jerry)
  • Berglee, Seth
  • Berry, Tom
  • Brodehl, Randy
  • Brown, Bob
  • Burnett, Tom
  • Cuffe, Mike
  • Doane, Alan
  • Glimm, Carl
  • Hess, Stephanie
  • Miller, Mike
  • Moore, David (Doc)
  • Mortensen, Dale
  • Noland, Mark
  • Olszewski, Albert
  • Osmundson, Ryan
  • Pinocci, Randall
  • Regier, Keith
  • Schwaderer, Nicholas
  • Tschida, Brad
  • Wagoner, Kirk
  • White, Kerry
  • Wittich, Art
  • Zolnikov, Daniel

Yet, it’s a win, and hopefully the Senate holds its own crazy in-check and manages to just pass this bill without turning into a magnificent pile of Montana’s finest manure.

To celebrate, we raise a toast, today with a French 75 with Montana’s own Whyte Laydie Gin for good measure. One could certainly do worse, as evidenced by the legislative votes above. Cheers.

—E.C. Bourbon

Tinfoil Trilby


As astute viewers of the Montana Legislature, we find that certain thematic choices seem to have been made well prior to the elections, and which now are bearing their poisoned fruits. Today was no exception as, bright and early this morning, Misrepresentative Randall Pinocci took the stand to proclaim, once and for all, that the United States is a sovereign country that will brook no nonsense from anything related to the United Nations, or the EU, Russia, The Ottoman Empire, Constantinople’s Ghost or those pesky kids. No sir, it shall not stand. Yea, we are pestered with the madness that is “Agenda 21” and the fear-mongering mongrels that spout about it feel the need to prove their own insanity whilst wasting the tax-payers precious time. Pinocci’s Mentally Unbalanced HB583 aims to cut off the Agenda before it can while its way into our very soil. Because it’s like a worm.

On Arrakis.

The Spice must flow.

As if that wasn’t enough, this small minded imbecile is also attempting to update Landlord-Tenant law, because some retaliation has happened against some landlord, some where, and the current law only covers retaliation by a landlord, not retaliation against a landlord by a tenant.

Which isn’t true, because the only thing a tenant could do is break a lease or damage the property, both of which are already covered. This bill would give landlords another tool to attack tenants, which, as anyone who’s ever been in an unbalanced power-struggle will attest, the party with the most power always needs more tools.

This bill, being both redundant and ignorant, at least shares those qualities with Mr. Pinocci. And we tip our hats in his general direction, mostly to cover our smirks at the shiny foil adorning his pate.

If we must celebrate nuts, we choose to do so not by giving credence to these morons, but instead by tippling quite possibly more than is advisable of Whistling Andy’s Coconut Hibiscus Rum.

What can we say? It’s already been that sort of week.

—E.C. Bourbon

That Rocky Mountain High

When reviewing the staggering compost pile of insanity that has been put forth by the Tea Partiers of the Montana Legislature, one could easily be confused as to their actual end goal. One imagines them snorting powdered lines of small government off the backs of Koch-provided hookers as they concoct the unbelievable tragedies that the legislative staff is then force to organize into the bills that are, as of today, still breathing. As when finding a rabid wombat in your knicker drawer, putting these drafts out of their misery would be best for all concerned.

1880 WhiskeyFollowed immediately by a shot of 1889 Whiskey from the fine folks Bozeman Distillery. Maybe three.

Particularly disturbing is how much of this crazy is centered in one senator, Jennifer Fielder. Her disturbing list of bills, which includes attempts at making an agent of the state take primacy over a federal agent, attempts to overrule federal law, attempts to take federal lands into state control (and no matter what she thinks, that’s the first step in making those same federal lands available to sale to her overlords and masters),  attempts to require the state to intervene in federal matters, and the list goes on and on and on. Her particular crazy is unmuffled and unmitigated by her supposed bonfires or her ability to teach people of all ages to ski.

While leaving no doubt that she left both Washington and Colorado barely in front of the pitchfork-and-torch-weilding mobs, we have come to the only viable conclusion about Senator Fielder: she’s being presented by the GOP as a distraction-slash-comparison, so that the rest of their psychopathy appears normal and acceptable.

She’s doing a spectacular job of it. Brava to you, Senator Fielder.

—E.C. Bourbon

Civics Lesson for the Family Foundation


Today saw a lot of action at the legislature, most of which is interesting if, ultimately, a posturing pustule of insanity promoted by those anti-government elected officials. One would presume that being anti-government would preclude you from running for office, yet there are so many in office in Montana, it appears to be a prerequisite for filing in some counties. Off point, but interesting nonetheless.

The land grabs attempted today were both literal, with several bills attempting to remove federal lands within Montana’s borders to the care and maintenance of the state—because we have so much extra money idling about we need to own the land—to the metaphorical attempts to create new power structures in the state that, at a glance, are not only ill-advised, they are patently unconstitutional.

Hate Puppet Representative Debra Lamm has put forth several education bills promoted by the unfortunately-named Montana Family Foundation, the most egregious of which attempts to strip the power of running the schools from the school boards and from the Office of Public Instruction, and specifically stops the state from adopting anything of common core.

It seems we have yet another fool who the education system failed that has somehow landed in a position of power attempting to dismantle a system that she doesn’t understand, and certainly holds in contempt. One cannot guess how spectacular Ms. Lamm’s failures in academia were, but one guesses that the fireworks shows celebrating our disassociation from The Crown would pale in comparison.

HB376 attempts to create a new state-wide school board made up of members of the legislative education committees, and gives that board the power of yea or nay to any and all curricula attempted to be taught in the various schools around the state.

Shuttling aside the audacity of a member of the “less government” movement essentially tying the hands of the local boards on every matter to the whims and mysticisms of the members of the legislature, taking such action would effectively destroy education in the state of Montana as everything that is taught must first be approved by this new master board. Everything. Additionally, the entire business of the Office of Public Instruction would be subverted to actions of this committee, which is both a violation of the separation of powers, it’s also a destruction of the checks-and-balances that help to keep our government running. If you’re in need of a civics lesson to explain how the government structures are to work, you should not be an elected official representing anyone in the state of Montana. If Ms. Lamm is representing you, and you are not upset by that disgrace, might we suggest you abdicate any future voting. It would be best for all concerned.

Should Ms. Lamm’s calamitous bill be passed into law, the educational foundation afforded to all Montana’s children would be eradicated by the ideology espoused by the Tea Party currently holding power over the GOP.

Science? While that may continue as the name of the course, the opening of the class would have the teacher saying “turn to page 161 in your bible” instead of accessing any sort of scientific writings at all.

Sex Educaton & Health? This would be a one hour class per day where students would be told to pray away the feelings and should they fail that, they are getting what they deserve, be it AIDS or a child. Or both.

Fine Art? Cancelled completely due to nudity, demagoguery and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Whilst our mokery could easily continue forever with each point made we’d have to take another shot of aquavit, and we might very well pass on, given the amount of aquavit that would require, yet today we still recommend a single finger, middle or otherwise, of Skadi Aquavit from the Montgomery Distillery to help wash away the distasteful derangement of HB376.

We urge the legislature to back off the insanity and vote down these bills, but we aren’t holding our breath. One fervently hopes that Governor Bullock is already stocking up on red pens to save our state from this ignorance.

—E.C. Bourbon

Winning for Losing

dirtyThis Presidents’ Day saw a massive influx of citizenry swarm the capitol as they attempted to communicate their stance on several issues to the hardest of hearing legislature in our grand country. One would think that these people, having elected the very legislators they were reaching out to, would feel that their voices were heard, but one is not so optimistic after the actions on the floors of both the House and Senate had passed.

HB282 and SB179 are about equality, and both had hearings in their relative committees, and both were unceremoniously tabled along party lines. Several progressive organizations pulled together and brought in busloads of people working every day on these issues, to be at the capitol, to lobby their representatives and senators, and to see the system in action. Senator Christine Kaufmann attempted a blast motion to get her bill to the floor of the senate, and it failed along party lines. Representative Bryce Bennett attempted the same thing in the House, and it, too, failed, although there are a couple fair-minded GOP in the House, which might have been the biggest shock of the day.

While these attempts failed, they had unintended consequences. The people who arrived were prepared for a fight, and prepared to lose, and knew full-well that was the most likely result. The optimistic youth that thought they couldn’t lose, however, received a very rude awakening to the fact this fight is not over and won’t be over for a while. Marriage was just one part of it, and not even the most important.

It’s quite disgusting to realize that bigotry and hatred not only exist, but infect the halls of power in our lives. Finding that truth in the actions of the elders of the legislature is disheartening, but ultimately sets us up to win in the long run – a run that gets shorter by the day.

Oh, and Senator Rosendale, we especially raise our dirty martini in a toast to your caustic smirk and self-serving, dismissive waggle of your fingers as the supporters of equality left the Senate balcony was not only observed, it was commented on and you have made yourself a bigger target of our quest to rid the legislature of bigots and idiots. Congrats to you and yours for all that you’ve done on the wrong side of history. May it never be forgotten.