The Wednesday Read

Quote for the Day…

Don’t surround yourself on the mountaintop with people who were nowhere to be found in the valley. -Unknown

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

  • Embarrassing Montana
  • Counting Prisoners
  • U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
  • The Western Word Poll


Lee Newspapers reported that the Montana chapter of White Lives Matter held a protest Saturday at a busy intersection in Helena as part of a nationwide “Day of Action” organized by the neo-Nazi hate group, officials with the Montana Human Rights Network said Tuesday. It was reported that there were roughly 10 white nationalists who participated in the protest.

It’s a shame that there’s so much hatred spewing from groups like this one in Montana. We are better than this.

Our elected officials should show some leadership and condemn this protest.

You can read the full story from Lee Newspapers HERE.


I happened to catch an article in the Daily Montanan about the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission moving forward with a plan to change how incarcerated people in the state are counted for the purposes of legislative redistricting.

A few people think it’s unfair that prisoners are counted where they are incarcerated. I am not one of those people. Here in Montana, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I guess the commission thinks it is because according to the Daily Montanan they are seeking a contractor to adjust census data for around 3,000 state inmates across seven facilities, according to the RFP, and set aside $10,000 to get it done.

No matter where the prisoners are counted, the residents and the prisoners will still use the roads, bridges, water, sewer, healthcare, and other stuff provided by the government in the town where the prison is located. Besides counting people, that’s also part of the census – to determine where pieces of the federal pie go.

I know when I worked for the U.S. Census Bureau this question about prisoners came up a few times.

Spending $10k to determine the residence of 3,000 prisoners is not a good use of taxpayer funds.

Read the full story from the Daily Montanan HERE.


The Associated Press (AP) reported that the Democrats are struggling to pick up the pieces after Sen. Joe Manchin effectively crushed President Joe Biden’s big domestic policy bill.

With the U.S. Senate split 50/50 there are a lot of “Class Presidents” who need attention. The Republicans are probably hoping Manchin does a “Jim Jeffords” and leaves the Democrats and either becomes a Republican or Independent and caucuses with them.

People may remember that Republican Senator Jeffords, back in 2001, declared himself an independent. He then joined the Democratic caucus, giving the Democrats majority control, effective June 6, 2001. (Wiki)

The Democrats will probably lose the majority in the Senate after the next election, so it does not make much sense. It’s beginning to make more sense for the Democrats to change the rules to get something done in the meantime, but then again you have 50 class presidents who may not agree on that plan.

I suggest since the Democrats are pissed at Manchin that they come up with a code to let their anger be heard. Maybe a cheer. Something like, “Let’s go, Brandon.”


This week’s poll question asks, “Do you like or dislike self-checkouts?”

The results will be released Thursday.


4 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read

  1. Well what do you know? Isn’t that a coincidence. Hillsdale College just happens to be the same place that Sheriff Jesse gets his educational material that all his employees are required to study, and then they go out and indoctrinate the children in public schools. Very strange fascistic take on history, and also very un-American. Folks in those districts where Jesse is sending his deputies really need to understand what is going on.

    This is a rather lengthy complicated article, but I believe it had tremendous relevance for education here in Montana because this is exactly what the right wing does. They test these concepts in one state and then export them throughout the country. I often wondered why they clamor for charter schools here in Montana when the idea seems totally unworkable. We’ll know I know what they’re up to. If you’re a policy wonk or an educator, you will appreciate this article.

    • I used to get the Hillsdale College monthly newsletter. Several years ago they published speeches from people and it was interesting to read. After Trump lost, they published several speeches from people who believe the election was stolen from Trump. I canceled the newsletter. Thanks, JmB

  2. With Manchin also standing against changing the rules of the Senate it’s not likely that will.get done either.

    It doesn’t really make much sense either. If the Repubs had suspended the rules of the Senate Obamacare would have been repealed. John McCain was the Joe Manchin of that case. Though I expect them to do so next chance they get especially if there is a Prez Trump 2.0.

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