Tuesday’s Quick Hits

Quote for the day…

Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown. Blame yourself for going to the circus.. -Unknown

In today’s column, I take a quick look at these people/issues:

  • 2020 Census
  • Recreational Marijuana
  • The Western Word Poll

2020 CENSUS:

I worked as a Partnership Specialist in the 2010 Census where my staff and I traveled across Montana visiting with government officials and urging them to tell their constituents to fill out their census forms because it was very important.

The results of the 2020 Census were released and Montana is scheduled to get a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. That shows how important filling out those damned forms are to the state. I read that New York missed keeping a seat in the U.S. House by 89 people. How crazy is that?

It’s crazy because many of the people celebrating the additional seat in the U.S. House are the ones who complained about the census and not wanting to fill out the 10 questions on the form. Many are from the conservative side of the fence.

It might be time to cue up the song, “How Do You Like Me Now” by Toby Keith.

I found out in the 18 months I worked for the U.S. Census Bureau the ones who wanted to ensure a complete count were mostly from the progressive side. The conservatives were assholes most of the time – and I had just finished 12 years working for the most powerful Republican in the state, Conrad Burns.

Before the news was hardly out, the politicians were out in force saying shit like, “Despite our excitement, we also know our opposition will do everything in their power to minimize our voices at the ballot box by rigging the system for political benefit.”

That was from the Montana Republican Party.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester had the best response about the additional seat:

“This is great news for all Montanans, who will once again have two voices representing the Last Best Place in the U.S. House of Representatives. Now we must make sure that the nonpartisan Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission is allowed to do its job, drawing districts fairly and objectively without interference from politicians.”

There were comments from leaders of the Montana Legislature, but here at The Western Word, I don’t have respect for them so their comments will go unreported.

There was talk from some goofballs about people filing for office because the election for that new seat will be in 2022. All I have to say to that is “Stay in your lane, bro.”
We don’t know where the lines for the districts will be drawn. Anyone considering running may not even reside in that district.

Many of the right-wing Montanans are against federal government interference in their lives. I don’t think they realize that with Montana getting a second congressional district that means more feds in the state watching over them and their daily activities. It could be a ploy to take their guns!

Soon it will be up to the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission to draw the lines that decide the districts. Here is their mission statement:

“The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission is an independent five-member commission authorized by the Montana Constitution to draw the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts every 10 years using population data from the most recent U.S. Census.”

As for “independent” I have my doubts. Four of the five members are appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the State Senate and State House. If they can’t pick a chair, the Montana Supreme Court does, which seems to be the norm. It’s purely political.

It looks as though the progressives have the upper hand in the 2020 Commission because the Montana Republican Party complained about the chair. We’ll see.

You can keep up with the commission by clicking HERE. Be sure to keep their inboxes filled with your comments.


It was a clown show Monday in the Montana House of Representatives regarding House Bill 701, the legislation to implement recreational marijuana.

After debating, which yours truly watched via the internet, the House voted 47-53 against the bill. I think I said “dumbasses” a few times after that vote.

In this session of the Montana Legislature where nothing is ever dead (See Colstrip), and after some arm-twisting, the bill was brought back to life for further consideration on a 56-43 vote.

Lee Newspapers reported this interesting detail late Monday:

“The quandary for Republicans is consequential. If HB 701 fails, the language from Initiative 190 remains in state law, meaning marijuana would be legalized without Republican-approved sideboards on how it’s sold. If HB 701 passes, Republicans will have lost several priorities in marijuana legalization despite a majority in both chambers.”

As normal, the Republicans have the majority but seem to be forming a circular firing squad to beat themselves.

Why are these clowns in charge?

It might be best for us who support recreational marijuana for I-190 to be the law of the land. The Republicans deserve this for being such assholes to the voters for Montana.


Don’t forget to participate in this week’s poll that asks, “What Grade Will You Give President Joe Biden for His First 100 Days?”

Click HERE to participate. The results will be posted Thursday.


4 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Quick Hits

  1. Mike, there is nothing very recreational about cannabis usage unless you are some high-school kid wanting to smoke a little pot before soccer practice. Can I convince you to call it (as it inevitably proliferates) for what it is. Adult-use (hopefully, ha, ha) or personal-use, or most importantly NON-criminal-use. Take your pick. Recreational is simply not accurate and morphs into a pejorative.

    • John – Thanks. I took a class in college called recreational physical education. We learned about fly fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, and spent two days floating the Smith River. That’s recreational! I’ll try. Thanks, JmB

  2. It’s hard to fathom the Montana House and its Republican majority. Home grow was not present in Hopkins’ original HB 701 but was added to reflect the will of the voters fairly early on. When the House then couldn’t get its act together, punted on their responsibilities, and sent three different marijuana bills to the Senate to sort out, home grow was present in HB 701 with four plants permitted, either recreational or medicinal. Now the bill comes back from the Senate, with just two recreational palnts permitted, and at least according to the Helena IR story some of them are upset that “the individual home grow provision also returned”?

    You took one for the team and listened to this session. Who was complaining about that provision?

    The version of the bill the House originally sent the Senate is here. Page 52 has the relevant language.

    Click to access HB0701_1.pdf

Comments are closed.