Tuesday Commentary: Stitt, The Zinkes, & Driving

The problem with pity parties is very few people come, and those who do don’t bring presents. – Zig Ziglar

Today’s commentary deals with:

  • Bob Stitt
  • The Zinkes
  • Highway Deaths


On Saturday I asked on Twitter during the Montana State/Montana football game:

Wondering which coach, Bob Stitt #Griz or Jeff Choate #Bobcats, will be fired first. Supporters expect playoffs.

The “winner” is Bob Stitt. Montana’s athletic director Kent Haslam fired him. Or, in nicer terms, Haslam decided not to renew Stitt’s contract.

Stitt had been at Montana for three seasons. He is 21-14 during that time. He did not make the playoffs the past two seasons. He also lost to Montana State twice in three seasons.

Who knows what the Stitt firing means down the road in Bozeman, where Jeff Choate just finished his second season – which was his second losing season leading the Montana State Bobcats.

I have doubts about Choate leading the Bobcats out of loserville. I imagine he’ll have one more season to get the job done.

The Zinkes:

I guess once you’re in the political crosshairs, it’s hard to get out of it. So far Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has been accused of many things – from travel issues to a flag issue. Now according to the Associated Press (AP), his wife’s travel is being scrutinized by “watchdog” groups.

Woof, woof.

The AP reported that the Interior Department said Lolita Zinke pays her own way when she accompanies her husband on trips, and the travel is approved by ethics officials in advance.

Probably the best quote in the whole AP story came from Zinke’s spokeswoman:

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said the department “incurred no expenses due to Mrs. Zinke’s presence” at the meal with Walker, and she called the Western Values Project “a partisan hatchet group run by Democratic campaign staffers.”

I’m not here to defend Zinke, but throwing accusation after accusation at him with little or no merit is making me yawn.

Highway Deaths:

This morning the Billings Gazette editorial folks informed us that so far this year, 167 people have died from crashes on Montana roads. They also report that the causes of death break down this way:

  • 57 deaths involved alcohol
  • 50 deaths involved other drugs
  • 61 deaths involved speed
  • 76 deaths involved lack of seat belt use

Montana is usually near the top of the list for drunk driving. The leaders in the state do not really seem that interested in fighting drunk drivers. Instead, we concentrate on “distracted” driving so local city governments can rake in the money.

Not wearing a seatbelt is a really dumb move. Do me a favor, tell your friends and family to “wear your damned seatbelts” when they are in a vehicle.

Be safe this Thanksgiving weekend.