Thursday Numbers

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them. – Mark Twain

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 just a little bit of sarcasm.

This week’s topics include the national debt, unemployment, former Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson, congressional trips, the 100 Years of Women in Congress Act, the visit to Cuba, confidence in state government, Supreme Court spin, Daytona 500, Saint Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Ted Cruz and Canada, and much more!

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Wednesday’s Political Odds & Ends

Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There’s nothing to do but to stand there and take it. – Lyndon B. Johnson

Welcome to Wednesday! Today is another one of those days in which there are several major stories out there that I want to comment about – so it’s another “Political Odds & Ends” day!

Here are today’s topics:

  • Ravalli County Commissioners
  • University of Montana & Jordan Johnson
  • Fundraiser for Steve Bullock
  • Fundraiser for Ryan Zinke
  • Scalia Conspiracy

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The Best of 2013

Happy New Year! Thanks to you, 2013 was a great year here at The Western Word (TWW) world headquarters in Great Falls, Montana.

TWW has been an active blog since January 2005. By the way, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

A special thanks to the 124 subscribers to TWW. By the way, you can be notified of new columns by subscribing. 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 (under the Twitter feed box) 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 95 countries visited TWW. A special “shout-out” to one person in China who was able to stop by!

In 2013, there were 317 new posts, growing the total archive of TWW to 2,097 posts.

Listed below are the top five columns that received the most views in 2012 on TWW:

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Johnson Trial: Playing Monday Morning Quarterback

When Emily Adamson, the NBC Montana reporter at KECI TV in Missoula, tweeted “Not guilty #JohnsonTrial” at 3:53 p.m. on Friday, she was the first one on my Twitter Feed to deliver the breaking news that had many Montanan’s attention. Adamson was followed by the Missoulian Newspaper’s tweet a few seconds later.

This sure was an exciting time for a Friday afternoon in Montana.

Then the Monday morning quarterbacking started. That is what this column is about – my commentary about the trial as an interested far-away observer – or Monday morning quarterbacking.

To set the record straight, I feel for both people and their families.  I do not know either person.  I do have a son and daughter around their ages.  I do know that rape is a terrible crime and must be punished and that “no” is “no.” The accuser felt she was raped. The court was brought in to make the legal decision. Johnson was found not guilty.

I am not a lawyer (So I won’t insert a lawyer joke here) and I don’t even play one on television, but I did follow the Johnson trial in the news and via Twitter. What that means is with my undergraduate degree and by watching just one more season of Law & Order or a half season of Law & Order SVU, I should be able to prosecute cases as well as some current prosecutors. Or, maybe I would decide not to prosecute if the evidence was just not there – no matter how intense the outside pressure is.

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to Friday and to those of you who get a three-day weekend – Congrats! To those of you serving as U.S. Senators and Representatives, enjoy your week off…

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, the “Caught My Eye” column is where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week – and I often throw in some sarcasm just to make you smile. So get ready to head into your weekend armed with knowledge and a smile.

Today I write about Tester’s Committee Assignments, Electric City Weblog, Dark Money, Johnson trial, the Hagel filibuster, the cruise, the meteor, and much more!

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Thugs and Thuggery

Former Congressman Pat Williams spent nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Montana from 1979-1997. Most folks would find it hard to remember anything remarkable about Williams’ career in the U.S. House. Maybe readers can refresh my memory…

So Pat Williams’ claim to fame might be a February 2013 quote in the New York Times about the trial beginning for Jordan Johnson, the former starting quarterback at the University of Montana. Williams said, “The university has recruited thugs for its football team, and this thuggery has got to stop.” Just before that sentence, Williams said, “We’ve had sex assaults, vandalism, beatings by football players.”

Williams is currently serving as a Montana University System Regent (his term expires in 2019). He also attended the University of Montana.

And I thought University Regents and alumni were supposed to promote their university…

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