Thursday Numbers

Thanks for dropping by The Western Word for “Thursday Numbers.” Get prepared – your free dose of knowledge awaits!

In case you’re new around here, “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 sprinkled with sarcasm. Everyone and everything is fair game.

This week I write about federal employees, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Cascade County Detention Facility, the Montana VA, The Breakfast Club, the anti-bullying law vote, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jon Tester & Pinocchio, the Keystone Pipeline veto & Montana’s Congressional Delegation, gas prices, unemployment, and much more!

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Rudy…Rudy…Rudy…

Last week former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told some people at a private fundraising event for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin that he did not believe that President Obama loves America.

It kind of reminds me of Mitt Romney speaking candidly at a private event about the 47% who will vote for Obama no matter what because the government takes care of them.

Some politicians have a hard time understanding that these “private” fundraisers may not be all that private.

I have always liked Giuliani, and I even thought he was a better Presidential candidate than Mitt Romney. Giuliani’s remarks about the President were way out of bounds. At age 70, Giuliani seems to be grasping for the limelight as his life fades over the horizon. It would have been better if he would have ridden quietly into the sunset, but instead he decided to throw some firebombs to get some attention – and attention he did get!

Personally, I don’t think we’ve ever had a President who did not love our country.

Giuliani also decided that Obama should be painted as a communist. He said Obama from a young age was influenced by communists.

If Obama supporters want to say these are racist remarks, Giuliani has that covered, too, because he says the President:

“…was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”

Please.

Next up we’ll have Giuliani and Donald Trump holding a press conference on Fox News saying they have uncovered evidence that Obama was born in Kenya.

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Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers” – where knowledge is power!

In case you’re new around here, “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 sprinkled with sarcasm. Everyone and everything is fair game.

This week I write about Fifty Shades of Grey & Russell Wilson and Lolo Jones, Affordable Care Act, unemployment, Great Falls International Airport, protecting the disabled & elderly, Obama’s favorable rating, Google Street View images, hiding bottles of beer, Jeb Bush, drunk driving, our most important problems, fourth graders, and much more!

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DHS Funding: A Game of Chicken

Unless Congress acts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is due to run out of funding in about nine days (February 28).

If DHS isn’t funded, it won’t be the end of the world. There will still be people at the airport to screen passengers and at the border to welcome folks to the good ol’ USA. These people may not be smiling much, because according to several reports those folks are “essential personnel” and they get to stay on the job, but would not receive paychecks.

According to the Washington Post’s editorial board, here is the root of the problem:

The (DHS funding) bill passed by House Republicans would defund Mr. Obama’s executive order to shield several million illegal immigrants from deportation. In the kabuki theater of Congress, the bill has followed a predictable course. It has been taken up three times in the Senate, where it lacks the 60 votes needed to clear procedural hurdles, and three times it has been filibustered by Democrats, just as Mr. Boehner and every other member of Congress knew it would be.

Late Monday another issue came up thanks to a Federal judge:

President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration have been halted temporarily, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued late Monday by a federal district court judge in Texas.

The injunction does not seem to bother the Democrats, probably because they know it won’t last too long.

So, the U.S. House passed a bill, but the U.S. Senate can’t muster the 60 votes needed to pass it because the Democrats won’t go along with the House version to defund the President’s immigration policies. With all that in mind, who will get the blame if DHS shuts down?

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to Friday the 13th and another (almost) award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye.”

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

Today I write about the Commissioner of Political Practices, Ground Troops & Zinke, letters from Bullock, Daines, and Zinke, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, Ashton Carter & the Department of Defense, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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Power Plant Politics

PPL issued a statement yesterday telling folks that they “will permanently shut down the J.E. Corette power plant in Billings” in August. It is powered by low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, and it has been in operation since 1968. There are 30 full-time employees.

Back in 2012, PPL announced that the plant would be placed in a “mothball” status, but now they have discovered the cost to restart the plant would be significant, so closure is the best option.

The 2012 “mothball” announcement was an issue in the 2012 U.S. Senate race between Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg with the Rehberg camp blaming Tester and President Barack Obama for it being mothballed. Read an article about it HERE.

The goal of the Rehberg campaign was to tie Tester to Obama. That strategy failed miserably.

So here we are in 2015 and with the news of the permanent closure, the Montana GOP fired off a press release trying to blame Governor Steve Bullock (a Democrat who is up for re-election in 2016) and Obama for its closure:

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The Sunday Message

Mark 12:28-30 (NIV)

The Greatest Commandment

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

This past week the Family Research Council (FRC) sent a couple of e-mails about the National Prayer Breakfast and, in particular, President Obama’s speech.

In his Washington Update, FRC President Tony Perkins wrote:

Plenty of people left the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday with a bad taste in their mouths — and not from the food. In what must be an encore of his apology tour, President Obama chose yesterday’s breakfast to join in the condemnation — not of Islamist violence, but Christians’.

You can read President Obama’s speech to decide for yourself HERE.

Christian organizations that participate in politics are having a tough go of it these days. They could be a gigantic force in the political world. Just imagine if Evangelicals, Baptists, Catholics, Mormons, and others joined together to elect candidates all across the fruited plains.

They can’t do it, because deep down “Love Thy Neighbor” only goes so far when you’re involved in politics.

I am a Christian. I try to attend church every week, plus I try to participate in a Bible study. I also try to read my Bible daily. I am deeply disappointed in some political Christian groups who proclaim to be for family and faith and all that goes with it.

I heard someone say something like this one time, “If you were brought before a jury, would your actions even be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian.”

As for these faith and family groups, they would easily be found not guilty.

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