The Wednesday Read

The Western Word is coming to you from deep inside an underground bunker in Montana – where we’re helping to deprogram the Trump cult one column at a time…

Today’s independent commentary deals with these people/issues:

  • Chairman Jon Tester
  • Montana Legislature
  • Impeachment Trial
  • One More Thing


Congratulations to U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). It was announced that he will be the new chairman of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. This is great news for Montana.

It’s kind of funny that Tester is the only statewide elected Democrat in Montana and he has more clout than all the Montana Republicans combined. Plus, it’s even funnier to me that back in 2018 Donald Trump, Mike Pence, plus many members of the Trump family all came to Montana numerous times to try and defeat Tester. They failed and they’re gone, but Tester remains.

While I like to see veterans serve on the VA committees in the U.S. House and Senate, I will keep an open mind about Tester. He has done a good job on the committee. I have watched him closely and will continue to do so.

I do have concerns about President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Denis R. McDonough. He is not a veteran and from what I understand he would be only the second non-veteran in that position if confirmed. While he may have leadership experience in other areas, having experience dealing with the VA for healthcare and benefits is another animal altogether.

If McDonough fails, it will make Tester look bad.


MTN News is reporting that in a reversal from a day earlier, the Montana House Tuesday voted down a bill that would prohibit transgender youth from getting medical treatment or surgery related to a sex-change. House Bill 113 went down on a 49-51 vote, one day after it had passed a preliminary vote 53-47.

I’m not sure what happened, except maybe those who changed their votes understood that it was doomed to be thrown out by the courts – and defending it would cost the state some big bucks.

Nonetheless, there was a little less hatred coming out of Helena on Tuesday – and that is a good thing.


And just like that, convicting former President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate looks more and more like it will fail.

Reuters reported that Republican Senator Rand Paul made a motion on the Senate floor that would have required the chamber to vote on whether Trump’s trial in February violates the U.S. Constitution. The Democratic-led Senate blocked the motion in a 55-45 vote. But only five Republican lawmakers joined Democrats to reject the move, far short of the 17 Republicans who would need to vote to convict Trump on an impeachment charge that he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol assault that left five people dead.

The five GOP Senators who voted against dismissal were Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Since the ball is already rolling on this, maybe Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats should hurry up and get the impeachment trial behind them. They won’t win and all it will look like is political theater.

I guess Trump’s quote, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” still means something. It appears several Republican senators are still afraid of him.

The bottom line is his angry rhetoric ignited the crowd before and on January 6 and it led to five people being killed.


Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you CHOSE your life, you didn’t SETTLE for it. ― Mandy Hale

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