Here are some issues that caught my attention recently:
- The Fall
- State Senate Bill 107
- U.S. Senate 2024
- Biden & Classified Documents
- Reading Assignments
Last Friday morning around 9:30 a.m. residents of Great Falls may have been startled by the shaking of the ground.
It was not an earthquake; it was just me falling on the ice on the street in front of my house (that has not been plowed for about 30 years).
I hate falling down.
I messed up my knee and went to the hospital. An x-ray showed nothing broken. I have been in a brace and on crutches since then. With the worldwide headquarters (HQ) of The Western Word being underground in a bunker, I could not navigate the stairs to access TWW HQ.
I am getting better, and I head back to the hospital on Monday to see an orthopedic specialist. Meanwhile, the Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen is working just fine.
This is the reason for this being the first post this week. I am hoping the year gets better…
STATE SENATE BILL 107:
One of my faithful readers sent me an email about State Senate Bill 107, so I checked it out.
Lee Newspapers reported that Montana bars and alcohol merchants are lining up behind the bill that would narrow the path for victims and their families of drunk driving accidents to sue taverns for over-serving customers.
From Lee Newspapers:
(State) Senate Bill 107 would broadly reform the state’s current laws that determine when an establishment is liable for the actions of a person they served alcohol to. Generally, a bar or other business that sells booze can be found liable for damages if the plaintiffs prove the person was obviously intoxicated when the establishment served them.
The bill is sponsored by State Senator Steve Fitzpatrick (R-Great Falls) who has, in my opinion, over the years been very good at checking the prevailing winds and gone with it.
Montana is usually ranked very high in drunk driving. I think some are proud of this. As a person who had a family member’s life significantly altered by a drunk driver, I am for more, not fewer, or weaker laws to help combat drunk drivers.
Many people believe the state legislature is owned by the Tavern Association – we’ll see if their lobbying has paid off if this ridiculous bill passes.
You can read the Lee Newspapers report HERE. You can view the text of State Senate Bill 107 HERE.
U.S. SENATE 2024:
Hidden deep in an article (at the end) from “The Hill” titled, “McConnell most unpopular senator in new survey” was the following piece of information:
“With a 60 percent approval rating, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is the most popular senator expected to face a competitive reelection in 2024.”
Tester has beaten the best the GOP has had to offer (Burns, Rehberg, and Rosendale) and won. The rumors are that Rosendale and Zinke may try to take on Tester. They will fail if they do.
It might be good for Montana because if they do, their seats become open.
Steve Daines is head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He is responsible for electing Republican Senators, so you can bet there will be a lot of money thrown at Tester. It won’t matter.
Yes, I am declaring Tester the winner if he runs.
Read the report from “The Hill” HERE.
BIDEN & CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS:
The Associated Press (AP) reported that President Joe Biden’s legal team has discovered additional documents containing classification markings in a second location, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The revelation comes days after an attorney for the president said Biden’s lawyers had discovered a “small number” of classified documents at his former office space in Washington.
There are reports that the second set of classified documents was found in Biden’s garage.
This should never happen. It shows a lack of attention. I handled classified material when I was in the military. If I would have left classified material unattended and not secure I would have faced court-martial.
What has been hypocritical about Biden mishandling classified documents is the Trump supporters jumping on it when they were silent or defended Donald Trump when he mishandled classified documents.
Let me be clear, both Biden and Trump were wrong. They harmed the USA with their recklessness. As I have said many times over and over, they are both too old to be President.
Read the AP report HERE.
Here are some articles you should read…
What the Funk (WTF406): The Curious Case of Jeremy Trebas’ Property Taxes
The WTF writer raises a lot of questions about his taxes…
KRTV: Agency plans to build a ‘pallet shelter’ community in Great Falls
Great idea – I hope they can find somewhere to build it as Great Falls has not been too kind to the homeless. Please donate if you can.
NY Times: How Montana Took a Hard Right Turn Toward Christian Nationalism
Pretty interesting report from the New York Times.
I’ve had few falls in my life. In younger years I would look around to see if neighbors seen me falling and be embarrassed. Now if I have a fall at 74 I hope one of my daughters didn’t see it and try to put me in the nursing home. In all seriousness falls at our age very dangerous maybe causing fractured hip. I spread ice melt out daily in winter and just try to avoid walking on ice. I was worried maybe Tester might not run but some friends of mind are hearing from party higher up he will. In my opinion I think Rosendale will be GOP candidate as Zinke barely beat out a far right candidate in primary for congress seat. Rosendale has the far right MEGA crowd in his corner. It certainly will be expensive and ugly campaign. Tester has the veteran vote tied up as done so much for them in Montana. Farmers and
ranchers will be reminded who voted to get them disaster payments and who voted against any government payments and embarrasses Montana daily. Tester is not afraid to meet all Montana voters anywhere. But as the New York Times article suggested the Montana Democrat Party needs to get their act together and get into the rural communities. Thirty years of losing string in Senate,House,State offices and legislature should wake up the State Democrat Party. Who ever what have thought all 15 races in Cascade County would go to mostly right wing radicals. I was flabbergasted the State Democrat Ex.Officer would state election results weren’t that bad to democrats, not sure what results she was reading. I lean Independent but certainly like to rid the state of the Wacko MEGA crowd running things,but the democrats need to offer us something to vote for, and no nonsense from the national party. Get well Jackie soon.
Sorry to read about your knee injury. On the bright side, if there is one, you will soon be a noted authority on the medical and insurance systems.
The NY Times story on Montana’s growing Christian Nationalism is illuminating. Particularly the statement of the one committeewoman, “If you want to live here, be a Christian.”
But apparently this new brand of Montana Republican evangelical Christianity doesn’t stand for the same things we all grew up believing Christianity embraced, including temperance and personal responsibility. Fitzpatrick’s efforts to make it easier for booze pushers to continue to serve drunks with little fear of repercussions, and drunks to get even more loaded before they drive home for the night, seem the opposite of those ideas of yesteryear. (They also seem contrary to normal evangelical Christian authoritarian impulses, particularly in contrast to how they’ve waged war against marijuana.)
Sen. Fitzpatrick should embrace some of that old fashioned temperance and personal responsibility and focus on the underlying cause of the tavern insurance increases: Montana’s low-responsibility impaired driving laws that allow for numerous DUIs before anything really bad happens. Once could be a mistake, five is a pattern.
Friends in other states are aghast at the stories out of Montana about people with 5-6-7 and more DUI convictions. So is the insurance industry. If the State is going to mostly look the other way while people drive around drunk with impunity, there’s a huge and growing liability exposure. Of course the industry is going to jack up prices.
Instead Sen Fitzpatrick chooses to try and limit the financial exposure of the booze pushers who contribute to those multiple DUIs. As you alluded, “campaign” contributions are at stake.
When this new breed of Christian gets to talking about abortion this session, remind then that it’s a little more complicated than their MAGA understanding of Jesus.
“The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for.
They never make demands of you.
They are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, the addicted, or the chronically poor.
They don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct.
Unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy.
Unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare.
Unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you hate.
They allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships.
And when they are born…you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn.
It’s almost as if, by being born, they have died to you.
You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege.
You can love the unborn, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone.
They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually hate people who breathe.
Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.
― Adapted from David Barnhart
excellent article Larry. !!!!
Sorry about your fall, I know from experience staying upright gets harder once you get a certain age.
Good Morning Jackie,
Sorry to hear about your fall. The older I get the harder it is to heal up.
I regard to your comment about limiting liability for over-serving, there is also a bill drafted to raise the level of alchohol content in beer from 14% to 19%!
I’m not sure if the Legislature is under the influence of the Tavernowners Assoc. But they sure do seem to want to get their bang for their $5.00+ for their microbrews.
Another good read to show that not everyone in Montana has fallen for the MAGA clown show. Darrel Erhlick does what state newspapers used to do forty years ago, write real editorials. And I think it’s important to understand that in spite of everything mentioned in the excellent NY. Times article, baseline Montana is still out there. We’ve just been overwhelmed with billionaires and MAGA christofascists. Gonna take a lot of work to get back to normal. If possible!
Speaking of crazy christofascists, I’m sure they’ll probably show up here, because they’re just so godly!