Barry Beach: A Light…

It looks like convicted murderer Barry Beach has at least two more chances to be freed from prison. Beach is serving a 100-year prison sentence for the 1979 murder of Kimberly Nees near Poplar, Montana.

Beach’s case came to light back in 2008 when a show on Dateline NBC called “The Killing at Poplar River” aired. Beach contends he was coerced into a confession. His case has bounced around the justice system in Montana, and for about 18 months he was even freed from prison.

He has an appeal pending before the Montana Supreme Court. Just this week a bill was signed by the Montana governor that, according to the Associated Press, will allow the governor to grant clemency to prisoners even if the state parole board recommends against it. The governor can also waive fines, lessen a sentence, or issue a pardon.

The law takes effect Oct. 1, 2015.

I’ve probably written about Barry Beach more than most. It all started back in April 2008, and this will be the 30th column in which I mention Beach. You can read them all by going to “categories” on the right side of the screen and selecting “Barry Beach” from the dropdown menu.

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Caught My Eye…

It’s Friday and the first day of spring – congratulations!

By the way, my NCAA bracket is busted, too.

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 Montana Legislature and their budget, Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Judge Richard Cebull’s emails, CQ Roll Call’s 50 State Project, Chainsaws in Big Sandy, the best Montana Legislature band names, and much more!

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Montana Republicans: Unite to Win

Although I did not attend the Statewide Lincoln Reagan Dinner in Helena this past weekend, I do believe that in the several reports I read about the event, one line from Congressman Ryan Zinke quoted in this Associated Press story should be framed and placed on every Republican’s wall in the state.

It was this line:

“If we continue as a party to be divided, we will not win the next presidency nor will we win the governor’s office.”

Amen to that.

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Thursday Numbers

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Here you go – 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.

This week I write about food stamps, unemployment, the treason petition, Hillary’s deleted emails, tickets for Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, the Montana GOP Statewide Lincoln Reagan Dinner, letter to Iran & Steve Daines, firearm owners, government is the problem, guns on campuses & keggers, preschool programs, and much more!

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Tuesday’s Political Potpourri

When there are several political stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column.

Today I provide valuable independent commentary about the plane & the governor, Food Stamps & limits, transfer of federal land, Montana veterans, and a twenty percent approval rating! There’s a lot more, so read on!

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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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