MT Senate 2014: A Primary Debate for Some

Congratulations to the Great Falls (MT) Tribune for hosting a candidate debate between the Democrats running for U.S. Senate. Senator John Walsh, former Lt. Governor John Bohlinger, and rancher Dirk Adams have agreed to participate. I applaud them for taking part in the debate.

The debate is scheduled for Saturday May 3 at the Benefis East Campus Cameron Auditorium. It starts at 1:00 p.m.

On the other side of the aisle, it’s disappointing that two of the three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate either did not respond to the invitation or declined. Missoula state Rep. Champ Edmunds agreed to participate. The Tribune reported that Congressman Steve Daines “declined to participate” and newcomer Susan Cundiff “did not respond” to an invitation.

It was good to see that the Tribune allowed Edmunds a chance to respond to Daines’ declining to debate him.  Edmunds said:

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The Bundy Ranch

Many readers have probably heard about the issue in Nevada regarding a rancher named Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. The argument has been going on for about 20 years which involves grazing fees on federal land, which Bundy has refused to pay. It’s reported that he owes a little over a million dollars to the federal government in grazing fees.

By the way, Bundy supposedly does not recognize the authority of the federal government. I enjoy reading about people who for different reasons don’t believe the federal government has authority over them. I wonder if they vote for U.S. Senators, or U.S. Representatives, or President. I wonder if they pay taxes or visit national parks or even use interstates for travel! Many of these people I’ve met or read about over the years have ended up in prison – ironically they are sent to federal prison.

Bundy’s lost all the federal court cases along the way starting in November 1998 when he was told by a federal court to stop letting his cows graze on federal land.

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The Sunday Message

So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.”Genesis 6:13-14

Last month I wrote about the movie “Noah” being released, and I embedded the movie trailer in the post. I have not seen the movie yet not because I don’t want to, it’s because I don’t go to theaters. I will rent it when it comes out on DVD for sure.

Let’s just say that Noah is doing pretty well at the box office. It was the number one movie for a week, and it’s grossed $77,421,635 going into this weekend (April 12/13).

After the release, there were “mixed reactions” from religious groups about the movie.

The Guardian reported:

The official Vatican newspaper, L’Avennire, has labelled Darren Aronofsky’s Noah a “missed opportunity” which ignores God, but stopped short of calling for a boycott of the controversial biblical epic.

Let’s get real…

If you and I read the story of Noah in Genesis 5:32-10:1 and discussed it, we would probably have different opinions about what it means to us. It’s the same with any verse in the Bible – it would probably be the same if you or I decided to make a movie about it.

The big thing to remember is that NOAH IS A MOVIE!


Even when my pastor reads something from the Bible and talks about it, I don’t always agree with him.

Christians, especially evangelical Christians (I am one) need to calm down some. Stop acting snobbish, and stop acting like you alone have all the facts about God, Jesus, the Bible, and even Noah.

It turns people off.

God speaks to people in many different ways. God shows us things in different ways. So relax.

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. -Daniel Patrick Moynihan


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Caught My Eye…

Thanks for stopping by “Caught My Eye” which is coming to you from The Western Word world headquarters deep inside a bunker in Montana…

Just kiddin’ about the bunker – I’m actually in my basement.

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.

Today I write about the Ryan budget, the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, Barry Beach, Obama & Keystone, Rep. Vance McAllister, Kathleen Sebelius, a new app, plus we have TWO winners who are Making Montana Proud!

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Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Medicare payments to doctors, John Walsh, unemployment, Montana State Fair, Champ Edmunds, Titanic, ESPN’s Bracket Challenge, stolen explosives, armed agents from the BLM and FBI, quality of education, Minuteman III missiles, Archie Andrews RIP, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tax Day, approval ratings for congress, election performance rankings, UConn women, seven astronauts, and much more!

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MT Congressional Delegation: Epic Failure

Once again Montana’s congressional delegation failed to protect another military mission in the state. It was announced on Tuesday that the three Minuteman missile bases (Malmstrom in Montana, F.E. Warren in Wyoming, and Minot in North Dakota) will lose a total of 50 missiles.

Malmstrom already had 50 missiles removed in 2007 under the watch of Jon Tester, Max Baucus, and Denny Rehberg. Just recently the delegation allowed F-15 fighter jets to be removed from the Montana Air National Guard and replaced with a few cargo planes. Jets had been part of the Montana Air National Guard for over 50 years. The delegation has been against the expansion of the Powder River Training Complex in southeast Montana, basically telling the Department of Defense (DoD) and aerospace companies that Montana’s skies are closed. Now, the DoD will remove more missiles.

So when Senator Jon Tester, Senator John Walsh, and Congressman Steve Daines tout their support for Montana’s military, it’s pretty hard to see.

It would be nice if at least one of three acted just a little irate at more cuts, but instead we see a press release trying to spin it as a victory with, “Tester, Walsh praise decision to keep Malmstrom’s ICBM silos operational.” Tester was quoted in the joint press release saying this was a “big win.”

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U.S. House: Pass Unemployment Extension

Back on January 13 I wrote, “It’s really a no-brainer – the U.S. Senate and U.S. House should extend unemployment benefits. They should get it done this week.”

I was writing about the unemployment compensation that expired on December 28, 2013. It’s now been over three months since these folks (some two million people) last received a check.

The U.S. Senate finally passed an unemployment extension bill yesterday (April 7) by a 59-38 vote. For those keeping score in Montana, Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh voted for the bill. I applaud Tester and Walsh for their votes.

According to several reports, Speaker of the House John Boehner doesn’t like the senate bill so it may not even get a vote. Boehner has not brought forth his own bill.

This whole situation shows just how cold-hearted many who serve in Congress are – most have probably never had to count on an unemployment check to make ends meet.

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