It’s a special day here at The Western Word, so pop the cork!

This is the 2000th post/column/article/commentary on this blog. It all started way back on January 10, 2005, which is eight years, seven months, and 28 days ago.

Great googly moogly!

My first “post” was about football. My stats (I was on Google’s Blogger back then) showed that somebody actually read it. Then a few posts later somebody left a comment, and the rest is history.

My most read column of all time was the November 2010 “Politics 2012: 10 Most Vulnerable Senators” which was picked up by a few newspapers. A follow-up to that column came in second. The article about Barry Beach titled “The Killing at Poplar River” is the third most viewed column of all time.

Now several of my columns have been published in newspapers, and several people who work in the journalism world have blogs.

The Western Word has been read in over 100 countries. It is wild to think that a blog can even be read in 100 countries – just imagine the possibilities. Technology is powerful.

After all these years, my goal is to write something that makes people think a little, smile a little, and maybe wonder just a little.

Every weekend I look ahead to the upcoming week with great anticipation waiting to see what the world gives me to write about. It’s almost as much fun as Christmas morning…

Thank you,

Jackie M. (Mike) Brown



Commissioner Motl: A Dilemma

If you frequent the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices website very often like I do, you probably noticed that the new guy, Jonathan Motl, posted a sweet 525-word memo about his new job saying, “I love my job, it is the best job I have ever had.”

The first thing I thought after reading his memo was that he probably hasn’t had too many interesting jobs in his life and that he should probably get out of Helena more. That was right after I thought he should have spell-checked the memo. But nevertheless, Motl loves (or loved) his job as of June 24, 2013, and that is good news for Montanans in general and maybe for Democrats in particular. Continue reading

MT Politics: Just Being Really Nice Guys

The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, James W. Murry, ruled on the Loney versus Moore, Blewett, Jacobson, and Boland complaint yesterday. It was not a big surprise to me that Commissioner Murry ruled against Loney.

To set this up a little, Republican Cleve Loney was running for reelection in Montana State House District 25. Democrat Tom Jacobson was his opponent. When the dust settled, Jacobson beat Loney by 74 votes out of the 5,068 votes cast. By the way, I am not a voter in this district.

One part of the complaint was about a state senator (Blewett) who was not on the ballot and wore a nametag, and a candidate (Jacobson) who was on the ballot and who did not wear a nametag passing out chips, candy, and water to people who were waiting in line to vote at the Expo Park in Great Falls (MT). The commissioner’s report stated there was no evidence they talked to people about voting or who to vote for or even campaigned.

Basically they were just being really nice guys.

Let’s get real. Continue reading

The Best of 2012

2012 was the best year yet here at The Western Word (TWW) – and I’ve been doing this since January 2005! Thank you!

It is always fun to see which columns are viewed the most and from where the columns are viewed – this past year people from 75 countries visited TWW – a special “shout-out” to one person in China who stopped by!

Listed below are the top five columns that received the most views in 2012 here at The Western Word.  Continue reading

Wednesday’s Political Potpourri

Hang on – It’s Wednesday and the date is 12-12-12. Wow! The weekend is starting to come into sight!

Today several issues in the news caught my attention like the Welch recount, Outside groups, Montana Senate 2012, Boehner’s leadership, McConnell’s poll, TWW Poll Results, Daines listens, and much more!

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Secession (is) For Dummies

Back in 2008 Conservatives warned Americans that if elected Barack Obama would take our guns. It’s now 2012 and my guns are still safe and secure in my house – the same place where they have been for the past four years.

I know, I know, he’ll probably come for them now since he was re-elected – he can really do terrible stuff since he does not need to trick us for our votes.

Thankfully, I already have my underground bunker stocked and ready…

Recently in the news I’ve seen that several people from all across the fruited plains want their states to secede from the Union since Obama was re-elected. Over the weekend a faithful reader sent me a link to the Montana Petition on the “We the People” section of the White House website. It was good for a chuckle and I thought it was a joke – you know – like a state legislator asking, “to be paid in gold and silver coins.”

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Monday Morning Politics

Welcome to Monday and Monday Morning Politics! To those of you getting a day off because of Veterans Day, enjoy it. My flag was flown yesterday and it is flying today! Thank you fellow Veterans!

Today in Monday Morning Politics I take a look at Yellowstone County, a Tribune question, examining the Tester and Bullock wins, the Superintendent of Public Instruction race, Seeking a silver lining, Canceling the parade, Directions, Best Polls/Worst Polls, the Mormon vote, SNL and Romney, and a Thank you! There’s more so read on…

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Campaign 2012: Boom Goes the Dynamite!

Around 3:15 a.m. last night (this morning) I decided to take a short nap and get back up at 5:00 a.m. to continue the election night (morning after) fun. As with most election nights, there were some “happy” moments and some “not so happy” moments.

Some of the races are still not settled as of this morning. I heard some election offices had problems operating their abacuses…

Nonetheless, here are some of my thoughts and observations surrounding Election Day 2012 and, as always, I try to be brutally honest (I know you enjoy that).

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Campaign 2012: Flyers in My Mailbox 5 & Analysis

In the past few weeks I’ve written about how much campaign literature I’ve received in the mail and how it is probably helping the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

I posted a slideshow of some of the literature and since these columns were widely read, and I’ve got round five ready to go, but first let me give you a look at what I received throughout Campaign 2012:

-Total pieces of campaign literature received – 135 

-The statewide candidate about whom I received the most negative campaign literature was Democrat gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock – 16

-The statewide candidate about whom I received the second most negative campaign literature was Republican U.S. Senate candidate Denny Rehberg – 14

-The statewide candidate about whom I received the most positive campaign literature was Democrat U.S. Senator Jon Tester – 8

Note – These were pieces of literature with just the candidate’s name and not listed with other candidates.

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve scanned a few of the flyers that got my attention. Note: Just because I use a flyer does not mean that I agree with the information.

Enjoy the show!

Continue reading