Thursday Numbers

The answer may not lie at the bottom of a bottle of wine, but you should at least check. – Unknown

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm, humor, and bluntness.

This week’s topics include the federal debt, Montana Senate President Scott Sales, unemployment, Montana traffic fatalities, paycheck-to-paycheck, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, top 50 websites, cancer, The Western Word, the NFL divisional playoff round, and much more!



TWW – The Teenage Years Are Upon Us

I wasn’t born here, but I blog here. –Jackie M. Brown (GF Tribune 3-3-14)

Today The Western Word (TWW) turns 13 years old!

Please, no parades. It’s too cold.

TWW blog started on January 10, 2005. It was a Monday. The first post went up about 10:04 p.m.

Ironically, the first line had the following information that seems to be the norm for Kansas City Chiefs fans:

Ah yes, since my Chiefs are done and there’s no Monday Night Football, I will pick the winners of the weekend games:

Hitting the magic 13 means that The Western Word is starting the dreaded teenage years. We all know how teenagers can be, so be prepared.

As for stats, here are a few:


Tuesday Commentary: Fees, Edwards, and Football

*I hope you like the new look for 2018. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or send me an email. This “theme” is one I used many years ago. -JmB

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Happy New Year! Today’s commentary deals with:

  • More Fees
  • What about Bob?
  • I Love Football


Taking a Moment…

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Readers:

Due to personal reasons, I will not be posting any columns for the next few days.

I hope to return soon.


Jackie M. (Mike) Brown



Published in: on July 27, 2017 at 6:15 am  Comments (1)  
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Terrific News Tuesday

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. – Benjamin Franklin

Welcome to Terrific News Tuesday (TNT)!

In case this is your first time reading TNT, this column is all about good news. I know it’s hard to believe, but I won’t be complaining or criticizing anyone or anything in this column today – just writing about some terrific news that caught my attention!

Here is some of the good stuff in this edition of TNT:

  • On the Road
  • Anniversary
  • Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
  • NFL Divisional Playoffs


Monday’s Quick Hits

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas A. Edison

Welcome to Monday – Are you ready for a great week?

Today I take a look at:

  • Montana Cowgirl Blog
  • Montana Property Taxes
  • Quote of the Weekend
  • Kansas City Chiefs


The Wednesday Read: Guns, Land, and Bloggers

Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself. – Joseph Campbell

Today the following items caught my attention:

  • Gianforte & 2nd Amendment
  • Montana Political Bloggers
  • New Denise Juneau Ad
  • New Ryan Zinke Ad


Haters Gonna Hate

I posted a column late Thursday night after learning of the death of my former boss, U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. The Great Falls Tribune picked up the whole column and it was published in their Saturday paper.

Overall, the comments to my column were pretty good. I heard from people all across the fruited plains via email. It was nice to hear from some old friends, too.

Former press secretaries for Burns, Matt Mackowiak and Derek Hunter, wrote columns about Senator Burns in the past few days. You can read Matt’s column HERE and Derek’s column HERE.

One comment posted in the Great Falls Tribune from gadfly Howard Strause brought up some things from Burns’ past, and he closed his comment with “By the way, a Burns staffer was caught deleting some of Burns statements from Wikipedia and inserting glowing comments. Wonder who that was?”

I guess I must confess; it was not me who edited the Wikipedia entry. So that leaves about 500 other suspects.

I don’t know what on God’s green earth that has to do with the death of a U.S. Senator, but if Howard Strause wants to come over to my yard,, and leave his cheap comments, he is more than welcome. School is in session.

I guess in the words of Taylor Swift, “Haters gonna hate.”

I have always thought it was in poor taste to go after people after they were dead. My parents taught me to not speak ill of the dead. I guess some folks didn’t learn that lesson. It’s been interesting to see the commentaries after the death of Burns.

Some liberal blogs had some nice posts, but some of the comments were not so nice. Over at the Intelligent Discontent blog, Pete Talbot wrote:

Burns was a down-to-earth guy and, from what I’ve heard, he provided excellent constituent services. Never underestimate the value of constituent services. Having issues with Social Security, Medicare, Veteran benefits? A call to one of Conrad’s field offices and often, the problem was solved.

It’s nice that some folks understand that Burns is no longer running for political office. Some not so much.

The Great Falls Tribune editorial board disappointed me with their editorial in Sunday’s paper.


TWW: The Best of 2015

Thanks to you, 2015 was another great year here at The Western Word (TWW)!

Special thanks to the 209 subscribers to TWW. By the way, you can be notified of new columns by subscribing – and it’s FREE. You can do that by clicking on the +Follow tab in the bottom right corner and entering your e-mail address, or by going to the subscribe box on the right side of the page and entering your e-mail address there.

It is always fun to see which columns are viewed the most and from where the columns are viewed. This past year people from 98 countries visited TWW. A special “shout-out” to the four people in China who stopped by! Besides the United States, the other top countries for visitors to TWW are Brazil and Canada.

In 2015, there were 311 new posts which bring the total archive of this blog to 2,730 posts.

Top Five Columns for 2015:


The Western Word: 10 Years!

The Western Word (TWW) is celebrating its 10th Anniversary today (January 10).

Please, no parades.

My first blog post was January 10, 2005, on Google’s Blogger. It was a big one – a 79-word column about football. Most of the columns back then were about sports due to my day job.

Later on I made the switch to WordPress and transferred the information from Google Blogger to WordPress.

This is the 2,428th post here at TWW.

Today, my “mission” is to provide independent commentary about politics, sports, the media, and current events.

My two most-read columns of all time:

Politics 2012: 10 Most Vulnerable Senators was published on November 4, 2010, to get a jump-start on the 2012 campaign season. It was updated several times and was published in several newspapers and linked on several websites.

The Killing at Poplar River was written April 8, 2008, after I watched the show on NBC about Barry Beach and just as the interest in his case was taking off.

Thanks to all the folks who read The Western Word, follow me on Twitter (@TheWesternWord), and like The Western Word Facebook page.

A special shout-out to those who are subscribers (you can subscribe by clicking on the “Follow” button at the bottom or enter your e-mail in the box on the right side of this screen under the word “Subscribe” ).

“The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.” –David B. Schlosser


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Published in: on January 10, 2015 at 10:48 am  Comments (2)  
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