Yet another company gives up oil and gas leases on the Rocky Mountain Front

Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front seems to be the only place in the Rocky Mountains where the oil companies are not getting what they want.

That’s good news, but unfortunately the exception that proves the rule.

Energy company cedes its oil, gas leases along Front to Trout Unlimited. Kohlman Co. gives 33,411 acres to Trout Unlimited for preservation. Karl Puckett. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer

McCain makes criticism of grizzly bear population study part of his stump speech

McCain Sees Pork Where Scientists See Success. Candidate Criticizes Ambitious Bear Study. By Joel Achenbach. Washington Post Staff Writer.

In fact, if this $3-million project was a total waste and there are 1000 projects out there that are of the same cost, that’s only 3-billion dollars out of a budget of $2 ½ trillion.

McCain is hardly the first to take a minor project that might sound silly and hold it up as an example why the federal budget is so out of balance. This is a frequent tactic by both congressional Republicans and Democrats. Unfortunately, it is a sign they don’t have a plan, or are not willing to say what their plan is to deal with the out-of-control deficit.

It’s doubtful that one in hundred people have any idea what are the relative sizes of the components of the federal budget. They are military spending, social security and related programs like veterans benefits, Medicare and interest on the national debt. Any spending reduction that would make a perceptible difference has to come from these areas, and in the short run (meaning annual appropriations), only military spending and part of Medicare are available for cutting.

If cutting these areas is not acceptable, then the government has got to start taxing more. That means dropping the belief that you raise revenues by taxing less and less.

Update March 12. Editorial in the New York Times. McCain Misfires at Grizzlies