MT Senate 2014: Silence

When the New York Times published the story last Wednesday (July 23) about U.S. Senator John Walsh and plagiarism, the firestorm was pretty bad. On Friday I said Walsh should try to move this off the front page/evening news quickly, and move on with his regular schedule.

If he tried that, it’s not working.

After a couple of interviews on Friday I don’t know what Walsh did. It looks like he may have taken some time off for reflection and thought. Maybe he is just holed up in a bunker waiting for the storm to pass and will start his offensive this week. Heck, maybe he took the weekend off to rewrite his paper for the Army War College.

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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by for your weekly dose of valuable knowledge!

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve tried to find a source for everything used in this column just in case a New York Times reporter reviews it seven years from now…

“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 the New York Times & John Walsh, Social Security Administration, Hot Lotto, unemployment, a big bottle of catsup, executions, a big flagpole, Obama fundraisers, Vietnam memorial, my book, cattle & lightning, football, the drinking age, and National Tequila Day.

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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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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to another (almost) award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye” coming to you from deep within a bunker somewhere Montana!

Disclaimer: Discontinue reading if nausea or dizziness occurs.

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.

Today I write about Brian Schweitzer, Steve Daines’ letter of recommendation, the Montana GOP convention, Medicaid expansion, John Walsh’s “Plywood” ad, confidence in news media, plus we have two winners who are making Montana Proud!

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MT Campaign 2014: The Debates

Since it was raining in Great Falls on Saturday, I decided to watch the U.S. Senate and U.S. House debates. About halfway through the senate debate, I checked to see if it was still raining – and it was. So like a prisoner sentenced to more hard time, I subjected myself to more punishment.

So to those reading this, you really owe me big time. Below are my observations and commentary. There are several media reports about the debate, but this one will be different – and probably with more detail and with humor.

Later in this column, I write about missed opportunities, which is kind of a pointed look at some questions that could have been asked – with a touch of sarcasm.

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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 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.

Today I write about the Montana Senate poll, Saturday’s House/Senate debate in Butte, Cascade County & Lisa Bracco, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the VA scandal, Big Sky Sampler, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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The Fourth Estate Lives!

Hooray for the Great Falls Tribune’s willingness to go to court to obtain the release of documents surrounding the firing of general manager Lisa Bracco of the Montana ExpoPark. You can read the story HERE.

It’s good to see the fourth estate has a heartbeat, at least in Great Falls, Montana.

The last ten years or so have been pretty tough on newspapers – especially those in smaller markets. Face it folks, besides a few gadflies who frequent the announced public meetings, newspaper reporters are in the best position to hold our elected officials accountable – by asking questions and demanding that their meetings be open.

It appears to be a lot like herding cats – at least in this part of the country.

The Tribune says that Cascade County (MT) government “has closed several meetings during the last two years” and the Tribune publisher says, “Since early March the public has been kept in the dark about the nature of the ongoing investigation of ExpoPark.”

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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by for your weekly dose of “Thursday Numbers!”

NOTICE: There are no secret waiting lists here at The Western Word.

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 sarcasm) just to make you smile, shake your head, or make you send me nasty e-mails.

This week I write about unemployment, veterans, cadets, Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls Deputy City Manager Jennifer Reichelt, Montana GOP convention, Maya Angelou, Montana State Parks, Affordable Care Act, CMR’s Lindsay Martinez, centrist Republicans in Montana, Montana U.S. House Debate, Electric City Rugby club’s Lady Havoc, Simms Rugby, and much more!

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Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers” which means we are one day closer to the weekend!

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) just to make you smile or to make you shake your head.

This week I write about Hyundai, Montana Cash, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the USAF and Godzilla, unemployment, Turkey, the Preakness Stakes, John Conyers, Casey Kasem, Clinton v. Rove, George Brett, Joran van der Sloot, Big Sky Sampler, and much more!

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MT Campaign 2014: Endorsements, Signs, & New Rules

Welcome to HUMP DAY!!!

There were a couple big endorsements in Montana politics recently – Rosendale and the Tea Party Express, and Walsh and the National Organization for Women. Plus, Cascade County decided they needed new regulations for Election Day. It was also a slow news day at Lee Newspapers in Montana and in Santa Barbara, California. Read on…

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