Monday Morning Politics

It looks like warmer weather is here (for a few days at least) and that means my faithful readers will be out and about enjoying it instead of reading my columns!  Have no fear – The Western Word (TWW) has a mobile version for you to access while you are on the go.

If you are a new visitor to TWW, “Monday Morning Politics” is where I put together several of the political stories from the past weekend all in one place for your reading pleasure.  I also offer some personal commentary…

Today I write about polygamy, a day in the life part two, Veterans, Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, the U.S. Justice Department, Orrin Hatch, Chuck Colson, Ted Nugent, Jon Huntsman, DUIs, and much more.

Schweitzer & Polygamy:

In a follow-up to what I wrote about this on Friday, there were many stories this weekend about Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer’s comments that GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s “family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico.”

Schweitzer’s comments are true. 

CBS News reported, “According to multiple accounts, including a report by the Boston Globe, Schweitzer’s description of Romney’s family history is accurate.  Romney’s father, George, was born in Mexico on a Mormon compound founded by his grandfather, Miles Park Romney, who had four wives.  But neither George Romney nor his father (Mitt’s grandfather) Gaskell Romney practiced polygamy.”

A Day in the Life (Part 2):

Last Sunday, Lee Newspapers published a story about a day in the life of Congressman Denny Rehberg and yesterday they followed it with stories about U.S. Senator Jon Tester.  You can read them HERE and HERE.

The biggest thing to come out of the story about Tester is him saying Washington is “all screwed up.”

Jon Tester is incredibly observant…

No Veterans Center for Helena:

The Helena Independent Record reported, “Advocates for a veterans center in Helena suffered a blow this month as a letter from a top Veterans Administration official suggested existing services in Helena are more than adequate for local veterans’ needs.”

That is too bad.  One would think that with U.S. Senator Jon Tester being on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, he could have used his clout to make it happen…

Veterans Hearing:

U.S. Senator Jon Tester held a Senate Veterans Hearing on Saturday in Billings.  The Associated Press reported, “People who spoke at the hearing also cited a lack of coordinated electronic medical records, difficulty getting timely appointments, long drives, and a shortage of specialty physicians.”

Maybe it’s sounding like a broken record, but veterans should be allowed to get their healthcare close to their homes through civilian clinics and hospitals…

Tester was also the keynote speaker at the Yellowstone County (Billings MT) Truman Dinner Saturday night…

Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act:

Congressman Denny Rehberg held a listening session on Saturday in Choteau (Montana) about the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act.  The Act is supported by Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester. Some reports said 300 people attended the event and about 60 people spoke.

Rehberg was able to garner some press coverage from holding this event.  I imagine there was a fundraiser somewhere near Choteau later that afternoon or evening.

Justice Department:

There were a couple stories over the weekend about the U.S. Department of Justice and the work they are doing in Montana.

The Associated Press reported, “The Justice Department has broken its long silence about last year’s crackdown on medical marijuana operations in Montana, with U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter saying more than two dozen people have been indicted so far and that prosecutions will continue.”

Hallelujah!  I will sleep better knowing this and knowing that Cotter is following the lead of other U.S. Attorneys in wasting taxpayer money…

The Great Falls Tribune published a story about a death on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation that the Government failed to investigate.  The Tribune reported, “According to the Government Accountability Office, in recent years the U.S. Attorney’s Office has resolved the violent cases it receives from reservations across the country by declining prosecution more than half of the time.  In Montana, slightly less than half of the resolved cases are declined.”

Nationally, we see the U.S. Justice Department wasting millions upon millions of our taxpayer dollars attempting to prove a baseball player lied to Congress about being poked in the butt with a needle that contained performance-enhancing drugs or they waste money on retrying Rod Blagojevich for trying to sell a senate seat. 

It would be nice if the U.S. Department of Justice focused on real crime…like what happened on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation…

Hatch Gets Primary:

The Tea Party flexed their muscles in Utah over the weekend forcing Senator Orrin Hatch to compete in a June 26 GOP primary (the first since he was elected in 1976).

I guess Orrin Hatch is not conservative enough for some GOP folks in Utah…great googly moogly…

Chuck Colson:

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Chuck Colson.  Colson was the Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973 and he was involved in the Watergate scandal and spent several months in prison.  That’s where he gave his life to God and become an Evangelical Christian leader and founder of Prison Fellowship.

I’ve read some of his books and I recommend “The Good Life.”  RIP Chuck Colson.  RIP. 

Ted Nugent:

Ted Nugent, Styx, and the greatest rock band of all time, REO Speedwagon, are teaming up and touring together this summer in a tour called, “The Midwest Rock ‘N Roll Express.”

Nugent made some controversial comments about President Obama and now he has been dropped from a planned concert at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  This explanation was posted on the Fort Knox Facebook page:  “…after learning of opening act Ted Nugent’s recent public comments about the president of the United States, Fort Knox leadership decided to cancel his performance on the installation.”

I have seen Nugent at least twice in concert and while I did not agree with his most recent comments about the President, I think it’s wrong to punish the military personnel who had plans to see him.  These folks are on the front lines fighting for our rights…rights like freedom of speech…

Jon Huntsman:

The former GOP Presidential candidate is back in the news!  Politico has the story HERE where they report that Huntsman “expressed disappointment that the Republican Party disinvited him from a Florida fundraiser in March after he publicly called for a third party.”

Huntsman was quoted saying, “This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script.”  On Monday, Huntsman talked about it again HERE.

I have to agree with Huntsman’s first statement.  I think the Republican Party has shown in the last few years that the “big tent” has zipped up its flaps to anyone who is not far enough to the right.  Ronald Reagan would have problems getting elected in the Republican Party these days…

BTW – I think I was off script a few times in that last paragraph…

Making Montana Proud:

According to this story, “A Billings man has pleaded guilty to his 11th drunken-driving offense.”  The man has “seven previous DUI convictions in Georgia and three in Montana.”

We should applaud Montana’s elected officials and judges for doing such a fantastic job in curbing DUIs in Montana…

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