The Wednesday Read

Quote for the Day…

I heard the government is putting chips inside of people. I hope I get Doritos. – Unknown

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

  • Asking for a Friend
  • Montana AG Austin Knudsen
  • 2021’s Safest States in America
  • The Western Word Poll


Here’s an interesting question sent to me by a reader…

If a Facebook page based in Montana is spending money for Facebook ads that are either for or against candidates, does the administrator of that Facebook page need to report the expenditures to the Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP)?

The ads this friend has seen are reposts of stories that are negative or positive depending on if they support or don’t support the candidate.

By the way and in case you were wondering, I do not advertise The Western Word Facebook page.


The Montana Free Press (MTFP) has a story posted that explains what will happen with the investigation of Republican Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

Check it out by clicking HERE.


The personal finance website WalletHub has released a report on 2021’s Safest States in America. Here is what they had to say:

With June being National Safety Month and 375,000 Americans having died from COVID-19 in 2020, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Safest States in America, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.
In order to determine the most secure states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 55 key metrics. The data set ranges from the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated to assaults per capita and the unemployment rate.

Montana was ranked as one of the least safe states coming in at #45. My birth state of Missouri was a little better, coming in at #42.

Check out the full report from WalletHub by clicking HERE.


The 2021 World Series started Tuesday night with the Atlanta Braves taking on the Houston Astros. All games will be televised on FOX. More information about the series can be found HERE.

This week’s poll question asks, “Which team will win the 2021 World Series?”

The results will be posted later this week.


21 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read

  1. I don’t know if everyone has had a chance to read this article, but it’s an excellent summation of the Lone Deranger invades St. Pete’s affair. Pay particular attention to what Knudey believes his jurisdiction is. He’s kooky, and the other law officers in the state are ready to take him down a peg.

    “ Knudsen said that if people are surprised to see the attorney general getting involved in local prosecutorial actions, that’s probably because they are used to “do-nothing attorney generals.”

    “I think people probably aren’t used to seeing the attorney general in the state of Montana actually taking some action and doing anything,” Knudsen said. “And you know, if that’s the reputation that I have, I’m OK with that. I’m absolutely more active. I’m absolutely more hands-on and certainly probably more aggressive than anybody has seen.”

    • Such a stroke of luck for the City of Great Falls to have an activist AG like Knudsen in office. No more need to worry about a special levy to add local police positions and salaries, just have every citizen or business owner call up the assistant AG directly like the caller in this story and let Austie know of an “allegation that there [is] criminal activity going on” somewhere. Then “when it reache[s] me and I, you know, I’m not going to sit around and worry about who, politically, do I need to check the box on?” Gosh dang it, there’s an allegation of criminal activity and someone must act! Now! And that’s Austie because he’s active, he’s aggressive! And as a bonus he’ll have all the rest of the taxpayers of Montana foot the bill via the highway patrol.

      • Terry – It’s like Knudsen is Underdog, “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” -JmB

      • We should all 1 million of us Montanans immediately start exercising our new special direct access to our activist AG and call up to report every instance of possible criminal activity we see.

        “Uh … listen. Uh … I saw some kids down at the skate park with beers, and they didn’t look any 21 to me. Okay? Could you send a state trooper right over to investigate this alleged criminal activity, immediately? Damn kids.”

        (406) 444-2026

      • Terry – I imagine being a donor or member of the GOP would help with the request! -JmB

  2. “Here’s an entire New York Times story about a genuinely bad, malevolent person. It’s not framed that way, of course, because Neutrality, but the Times tossed a reporter in the direction of Great Falls, Montana, to give us another report from the Trumpian underbelly of America and once again, it’s a paranoid, conspiracy-obsessed, strategically dishonest sh-tshow that explains a lot about why the True Americans nesting comfortably in Trumpism have steadily been gravitating toward fascism as a matter of natural course.

    The Times story is a long explainer about Rae Grulkowski and her quest to keep local civic-minded Montana residents from getting a token amount of federal funds by designating a chunk of the state a “national heritage area.”

    • The source Times article was an eye opener into the dishonesty of the local extremist right, including the local nutjob blog that has campaigned relentlessly against the proposed heritage area. At least they did us all a favor in publishing a few commission candidate opinions on the subject, so we know that both Burow and Copeland either don’t do their homework into actual facts or are willing adherents to far-right conspiracy theories. Makes my final decision on commission candidates a no-brainer – not Copeland.

  3. Ads are only reportable to the COPP if they run within 90 days of an election. So if the ads being seen are for a candidate or ballot issue running this November, yes they are reportable. If they are for an election next year, they are free speech.

  4. Political ads even on Facebook:

    It appears no doubt they must at least be clearly attributed.

    As for reporting to the COPP, I’m not a licensed lawyer but since Knudsen has shown us it isn’t necessary to be licensed to practice anything, I’ll take a stab at what appears to be the governing law on the subject and say yes, according to the very end sections of the law .

    Section 7.(8) Reporting independent expenditures if the person buying the ads is an individual and also Section 6 if there’s two or more people involved who spend $250 or more making them an “incidental committee”.

    There’s another law that says if someone is making such expenditures real close to an election they’re supposed to be filing within two days of buying the ad.

  5. My vet said, “She’s circling the drain” when she saw my cat.
    “That’s why we’re here I said. “

  6. After reading how the AG investigation is to be conducted, I’m convinced it will achieve nothing except to allow the trumpistas to tee off on the health care industry. Activist doctors trampling the rights of patriots. Unacceptable and Un-American. The Lone Deranger will have to once again put on his white hat and ride to the defense of helpless grannies deprived of their God given right to kill themselves with a horse paste enema! USA! USA! USA!

    Better check the green cards of those attending physicians. Prolly furriners.

    • I got exactly the same impression Larry. The end result will probably be a special session to create authoritarian laws to the effect that no professional or business owner can ever deny a Patriot for any reason, and also specifically expand Knudsen’s powers to clarify that’s he’s okay getting involved as an advocate for individuals, at least of a Republican persuasion, because he kind of overstepped his bounds on this one.

      This story has additional details of who was involved and how, in the process naming names of public officials who may have been leaning on the docs, as well as the patient’s name and her apparent connection to Republican Women’s organizations. Reeks of pay-to-play special access for political support/donations – Can you imagine Knudsen’s office giving a regular Joe even the time of day if Joe called?

      • I tired like hell to find this particular diagnosis “circling the drain” in all my wife’s medical journals, but had no luck. But if it’s good enough for Manzella and Knudey, the docs should run with it.

        “ Republican state Sen. Theresa Manzella also said she reached out to the hospital last week using an online form but said she had not threatened anyone.”

        “If someone is at death’s door and they’re circling the drain, why wouldn’t you allow them their wishes?” Manzella told The Daily Beast, insisting that hospitals were allowed to prescribe ivermectin but weren’t giving it out. “If I as an adult of sound mind want to take responsibility for my own healthcare if I get this terrible virus, I think I should have that opportunity as a free American adult.”

        Freedumb personified!, but I have a problem with the sound mind part!

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