Wednesday’s Odds & Ends

I wasn’t born here, but I blog here. –Jackie M. (Mike) Brown @TheWesternWord

Welcome to Wednesday! It’s just about time to start my Christmas shopping – so I will see you at the stores today and tomorrow!

Today is one of those days in which there are several stories out there that I want to comment about – so it’s another “Odds & Ends” day!

Here are today’s topics:

  • Best Montana Tweets of 2015
  • Gianforte is Exploring
  • Dark Money & the Wild West
  • Daines & the Red Kettle
  • Ice Ice Baby

Best Montana Tweets of 2015:

I was super excited when I saw the Great Falls Tribune was publishing the Best Montana Tweets of 2015. I wondered how many of my snarky, funny, and thought-provoking Tweets they would use. Besides, I am a Twitter veteran – having been on Twitter since September 2008 which is longer than most folks at the Trib. I figured they would have a tough time selecting a few of my 20,120 Tweets to include in their article.

They did not pick any of my Tweets. Not even one.

I checked their list of around 100 Tweets twice, so I must have been naughty and not nice. Many Tweets were from Tribune employees, so I could see how office politics could come into play. Then there were probably close friends who made the list to keep them as friends. Maybe some advertisers were added because, you know, they have to pay the bills.

After I found out I did not make the list, I sat in front of my computer and for several minutes recited the Stuart Smalley affirmation, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”

So I won’t let this ruin my Christmas. I won’t. Anyway, you can see the list HERE. Also, you can get back at the Tribune by following me on Twitter @TheWesternWord.

“I’m officially exploratory”

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that possible Montana gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte announced that Oracle is continuing to expand their operation in Bozeman.

When asked if of he was campaigning for governor, the Chronicle reported that Gianforte’s reply was, “I’m officially exploratory.”

If he keeps bringing high-tech and good-paying jobs to Montana while he is exploring, maybe he should just keep on exploring and forget about actually running for Governor.

Dark Money:

I have not commented on the Associated Press story regarding the “Dark Money” conservative group called the Montana Growth Network. It’s interesting – so here goes.

The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl says the Montana Growth Network was required to disclose its spending and donors because of its ads supporting the winner of the 2012 state Supreme Court election, former District Judge Laurie McKinnon, and opposing the two other candidates.

I don’t like the election of any judges. Judges should not be campaigning or become politicians to be elected judges, but this is the silly system we have in many states.

These days campaign funding is a lot like the Wild West – we may never tame it. Both sides are guilty.

Daines & the Red Kettle:

I happened to catch the MTN newscast the other night and saw that U.S. Senator Steve Daines and his wife were volunteering at a Salvation Army red kettle. Good for them. The Salvation Army is a very worthy organization.

I was wondering if the Daines team called the local press to cover the “event” or the local reporter just happened to walk by the store and see Daines there.

Ice Ice Baby:

My friends at the Great Falls Tribune published an editorial called, “The Iceman cometh: Don’t slip and fall on ice” in which they were too nice to the city of Great Falls street division and to property and business owners who don’t remove snow and ice off their sidewalks quickly after a snowfall.

I think the Great Falls street department is a joke when it comes to plowing and sanding the streets. It’s terrible out there. It’s a fact that when streets are plowed the snow melts more quickly.

The city website states that snow, ice, and similar material that has accumulated during the preceding hours shall be removed from sidewalks in commercial areas before 11:00 a.m. each day and shall be removed from residential areas within twenty-four (24) hours after the snowfall.

As for homeowners, taking 24 hours to clear the snow off public sidewalks is ridiculous – and many don’t get to it by then. Many businesses are not in compliance either.

Maybe city officials should spend some of their time that they are using to ticket people using cell phones while driving, and use it for ticketing homeowners and businesses that do not comply with the city code on snow and ice removal.





  1. Maybe Greg Gionforte is to the Republican Party what Mike Kuchera was to the Democrat. Mike was a perpetual candidate for governor in the 1960’s. His campaign was always entertaining, complete with accordian polka music provided by Mike and family. Who knows if he actually wanted to be governor. But every voter understood that he did want to be the owner of the most successful furniture store in Billings.

  2. Pogie over at ID calls out Gianforte for telling the national press one thing and the Montana press another.

  3. Was crossing 15th St Bridge yesterday and was amazed at how the most of the snow from plowing these lanes winds up covering most of the pedestrian walkways. Must be some way they could clear those … if they had a mind to.

  4. The Daines’ were also on the local news the day they “rang the bells”. Steve definitely wanted the coverage. Funny, he never lets anyone know when he’s in town or where he’s going to be and then just shows up. Wondering if you noticed the owners of the building Oracle has signed a 10 year lease on? Greg, Senator Daines and his father, Clair Daines, one of Bozeman’s builders for many years. In the tv interview Greg said that Oracle would be hiring 1000 more people and all from Bozeman but by the time he did the newspaper interview he was not quite so bold with his claims. Still the building is going up….

    • Kathy – Interesting info. Thanks -JmB

  5. The Great Falls Tribune isn’t likely to point out those doing a better job on social media than it is.

    We all know the terrible job they and other state papers do with images of politicians. All we see is the forehead of those people, as you can see here:

    • Jackie,

      Heck, none of my tweets made the cut either — and I’m the editor. I’ll just have to try harder in 2016.

      Have a wonderful Christmas and a super new year.


      • Jim – Thank you. -JMB

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