The Wednesday Read: Editorials, Zinke, Trump + Putin, & Resignation

Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage. – Amy Jo Martin

Today’s topics are:

  • Editorials, the Gazette & Zinke
  • Trump + Putin
  • Pondera County Sheriff

Editorials, the Gazette & Zinke:

When I read Montana major newspapers these days, I don’t see that many editorials. I don’t think the editorial team for the Great Falls Tribune has done one in months (or longer). In years past I would turn to the Editorial/Opinion page first to see what they were saying.

Now I usually read “Dear Abby” or the comic “WuMo.”

That, my friends, is a pretty freaking sad deal.

The Billings Gazette editorial board still publishes some decent editorials. The one they published yesterday was an old-fashioned kick-in-the-pants style of an editorial:

Gazette opinion: Zinke’s looking more like D.C., less like Montana

That headline has the “ouch” factor. Read the full editorial by clicking HERE.

I am still pissed at Zinke for screwing Montana over by abandoning his seat in the U.S. House (same with Daines) and a spot on the House Armed Services Committee, in which he could have improved Montana’s military. He did this to be the Secretary of Interior – a thankless job that every day your tick off 50% of the people.

So to say I am happy to see him get the wrath of a home-state newspaper is an understatement. Even cabinet secretaries need some grounding.

The folks at the Gazette went after Zinke for this “Konnichiwa” statement, purchasing expensive doors, his travel problems, and ethics. They did it all in about 600 words!

With a scathing editorial of that length, Montana editorial boards should be able to do at least one per week!

So it was a good old-fashioned editorial – something I hope the major Montana newspapers do more of in the upcoming months.

Trump + Putin:

On Tuesday President Donald J. Trump called to congratulate President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on his re-election. Here are some reactions and my opinion.

The New York Times reported it this way:

President Trump called on Tuesday to congratulate President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on his re-election, but did not raise with him the lopsided nature of his victory, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election or Moscow’s role in a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter living in Britain.

The Washington Post put it this way:

President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.

After hearing that Trump congratulated Putin, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released this statement:

An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country’s future, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin’s regime.

We all know by now that President Trump is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. We can all hope that he listens more closely to his national security advisers when lives are on the line. Other than that, I think McCain said it best.

Pondera County Sheriff:

The Great Falls Tribune reported that two misdemeanor criminal charges filed against Pondera County Sheriff Carl Suta have been resolved without trial, bringing to an end a legal controversy that has dogged both Suta and the sheriff’s office since last July.

Suta will resign from his position as Sheriff.

The Tribune also reported that in exchange for the state’s suspension of prosecution on the two charges, Suta has agreed to resign from his position as sheriff no later than June 1, 2018, to serve 24 hours in jail or three days of house arrest, to pay a $1,000 fine and to complete a minimum of 40 hours of behavioral counseling with a specialized domestic violence intervention program.

Maybe officials and voters in Cascade County can use these actions in Pondera County as a blueprint to solve their problems with the current Sheriff, Bob Edwards.

Just sayin’