Montana Politics 2014: Judges

Be advised that today (July 23, 2014) is National Hot Dog Day – so throw down a couple dogs today in celebration!

In my mind judges and the term “hot dog” seem to go together. That is a good thing because judges are in the spotlight today at The Western Word. Today I write about Lawrence VanDyke who wants to be a judge and current judge G. Todd Baugh who, in my opinion, should not be a judge any longer.

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MT Senate 2014: Plus 10

Mondays in the summer are not supposed to be too exciting, but with a new poll showing a dramatic change in Montana’s U.S. Senate race between Sen. John Walsh and Rep. Steve Daines, yesterday had to be pretty exciting for the Walsh campaign. That’s probably not the case in the Daines camp.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the results of a new Montana Senate poll yesterday morning showing Senator John Walsh has gained 10 points on Steve Daines since their last poll in November. Walsh now trails Daines by just seven points 46-39.

Some headlines told it this way:

Poll: Walsh closing on Daines in U.S. Senate raceThe Bozeman Daily Chronicle

New poll shows Montana U.S. Senate race tighteningKBZK Bozeman

Poll shows Montana’s U.S. Senate race is tighteningKXLH Helena

Here are some things that caught my attention in the latest poll.

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MT Senate 2014: The Make-Up Ad

Happy Monday! We’re in the dog days of summer and there’s no sign of letting up in the senate campaign ad wars between U.S. Senator John Walsh (D) and Congressman Steve Daines (R).

Except for a few diehards, most folks are not watching television that much – they are outside enjoying Montana. Most people will start getting interested in politics again after Labor Day.

That has not stopped the Walsh and Daines campaigns from rolling out new ads. Today I take a look a new ad from the Daines campaign called “Injustice.”

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The Sunday Message

There are reports that of the 298 people who died in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash this week, 80 were children.

It’s really hard for me to understand tragedies like this. There are no words to really describe it. As I have gotten older tragedies like this affect me in two ways: first I am mad that it happened and second, I am sad that it happened.

Every person on that flight had someone somewhere who loved them. Those people are struggling for answers now. Those who believe in God are probably wondering why God allowed this happen. I wonder that, too. They are hurting and they need our prayers and not our preaching.

So here is my prayer:

God I don’t understand all that happens in this world, but I trust in you. Although I don’t know any of those 298 people who died on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, I thank you for the time they had here on earth. I ask that you comfort those who did know them and draw them closer to you during this time of sorrow. Fill their hearts and minds with happy memories of their friends and family. Help them and all of us to come to you with our needs. Thank you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

I have told you these things so you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!John 16:33 (NLV)


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Caught My Eye…

It’s Friday and it’s summer – so put the beer on ice! Welcome to another almost award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye!”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or both.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Today I write about Ryan Zinke & the Montana Democrats, John Lewis, Malmstrom AFB, Tester’s appropriations, the Montana Attorney General & same-sex marriage, the spider, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by for your weekly helping of knowledge!

“Thursday Numbers” is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with sarcasm) just to make you smile, shake your head, or make you send me nasty e-mails or Tweets.

This week I write about veterans, Lewis & Zinke, Walsh & Daines, unemployment, unaccounted for military personnel, Affordable Care Act & Montana, pingpong balls, gay marriage, Hillary Clinton, cheerleading, Congressional approval ratings, drunk drivers, horse racing, and much more!

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Montana: Drunk Driving Epidemic

Many years ago when I was a child living in the Midwest, my dad was working away from home on road construction one summer, so it was just me, my mom, and my 16 year old sister living at home. My sister was out late with her friends one night, so mom and I went to bed. Around 1:00 a.m. there was a very loud knock on our door. A family friend was at the door and told my mom that he was driving home and came upon a wreck – a wreck that involved my sister and her friends.

I heard my mom ask, “What happened?” The friend said a man was driving drunk and hit the car that my sister and her two friends were riding in head-on.

Just about every time I hear about a drunk driver having a wreck or getting arrested for DUI, I remember my sister and what she went through and what my mom and dad went through.

It seems that just about every day we read or hear about someone driving drunk and getting arrested or about a wreck that “speed and alcohol were both factors in the crash.” If you think DUIs are on the increase here in Montana, apparently they are.

Great Falls television station KRTV (CBS) aired a story on Tuesday about driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and fatalities increasing not only in Great Falls, but across Montana:

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