Thursday Numbers

The funny thing about getting older, your eyesight may weaken yet you can see through people much better. -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 federal government spending, Mega Millions jackpot, duck boat crash, unemployment, Global Peace Index rankings, St. Louis Blues & the Stanley Cup, best/worst records in MLB, a Florida man, U.S. women’s national team, Montana Democrats & Senator Daines, plus much more!

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Caught My Eye…

I always knew I’d get old. How fast it happened was a bit of a surprise, though. -Unknown

Welcome to the big column to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, welcome! CME is the once a week column that is posted here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. There may be some sarcasm and pointed commentary so be warned!

Here are the topics that “Caught My Eye” this week:

  • Corey, Corey, Corey
  • Montana Green Party
  • That Damned Wall
  • NFL Playoffs
  • One More Thing

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Terrific News Tuesday

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside. – Denis Waitley

Hey kids – welcome to another edition of 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:

  • Montana Democrats
  • Senate Resolution 457
  • Invictus Games 2016
  • On the Road

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Caught My Eye…

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein

Welcome to Friday and “Caught My Eye” (CME). If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted here every Friday morning. This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of snarkiness to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Today I write about Boehner & Gianforte, Montana State AFL-CIO, Montana Democrats, McLaughlin Research Institute, toenails, Hillary’s server, Tom Brady, Jimmy Carter, and much more!

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MT Gov 2016: Attack…Attack…

Just as most people believed, Republican Greg Gianforte is inching closer to running for Montana Governor.

Gianforte has not officially announced anything, but the Associated Press reported that he filed a candidate statement on Monday with the Commissioner of Political Practices for an exploratory campaign. It is not a declaration of candidacy, but the filing will allow Gianforte to start raising money.

Gianforte filing paperwork made me wonder about two things. First, I wonder if his children will donate to his campaign. Second, for someone as rich as Gianforte, I wonder if being the Governor of Montana would be a lot like having a minimum wage job.

Overall I did not see that much excitement about this step for Gianforte, but the Montana Democrats seem to be very worried about him becoming a candidate. Very worried.

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Caught My Eye…

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way. ― Ernest Hemingway

Welcome to the Big Show which is called “Caught My Eye!”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning. This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Today’s topics include:

  • The Western Word Milestone
  • Montana Democrats & Montana Republicans
  • The Knudsen Tweet
  • Lee Newspapers
  • Fair Cops

The Western Word Milestone:

This is column/post number 2,550 here at The Western Word (TWW). It all started January 10, 2005.

Where it stops nobody knows…

Rest assured there’s still a burning desire each morning between 4:00-6:00 a.m. to write something that’s on my mind. This usually means I am writing about politics, sports, the media, or current events.

Often I am writing about something that has ticked me off, which is somewhat therapeutic.

One negative side to this, besides the pay, is with 2,550 columns under my (rather large) belt, I think I have managed to tick off just about everyone on the right-left-middle at one time or the other. At least readers know they will get an independent view of the issue that is not tainted by my employer (I am self-employed) or with whom I associate (I don’t have many friends) or political party (I don’t belong to any).

I started giving many of my opinions/commentaries on the issues because I was finding that most editorial boards were lacking the courage to call people out or take sides on an issue – at least very often. I remember the days when the Sunday editorial pages were the most talked about part of the paper – and talked about most of the week. That’s not the case today. Many small and medium-sized towns’ editorial boards are so engrained in the community (like many reporters) and are afraid they might tick off an advertiser or run into the subject of their editorial at church or in line at the grocery store. So they squelch their opinions and reporting.

You might not always get the greatest writing sprinkled with flowery $20 words here at TWW, but what you will get is my honest opinion about the issues that I (and hopefully you) care about.

Thanks for reading. Now buckle up…

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Caught My Eye…

Hey faithful readers – it’s Friday – so stay classy!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning! This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or maybe both.

Today I provide valuable independent commentary about Steve Daines & Federal Lands, Jon Tester & Media Trackers, the Montana Legislature & spring break, Iran & Nukes & Framework, State Liquor stores, plus Making Montana Proud is back!

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MT House 2014: All Hands on Deck

Besides putting together the Special Nominating Convention” to find a U.S. Senate candidate to run against Republican Steve Daines and Libertarian Roger Roots, the Montana Democrats continue to go after Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke about his military service.

It’s all hands on deck as the Democrats have probably surmised that they will lose the Senate seat and defeating Zinke is their best bet. Now a few Montana blogs are chiming in about Zinke and his military service.

They are starting to look a little desperate.

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MT Senate 2014: Money Talks…

Tailored suits, chauffeured cars
Fine hotels and big cigars
Up for grabs, up for a price
-AC/DC – Money Talks

It’s enjoyable to watch the Republicans and Democrats go after each other’s candidates for being out of touch with Montana – all because of where they are getting their political donations.

It all started with Lee Newspapers running stories about Montana’s U.S. Senate race and where U.S. Representative and U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and U.S. Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) are getting their campaign donations.

Lee Newspapers reported that Daines is getting money from out of state and raised about 42% from Montanans. They reported that:

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines has many Montana donors to his 2014 campaign for Montana’s U.S. Senate, but he also got a big boost late last year from a new group organized by a New York hedge fund manager.

Lee Newspapers did a separate story on Walsh, reporting:

As much as 60 percent of Sen. John Walsh’s initial campaign funds have come from two sources largely outside Montana, an analysis of his first finance report shows: Out-of-state individuals and funds set up by fellow Democratic U.S. senators.

Then the spin started!

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Secret Revealed

In what was one of the worst-kept secrets of the 2012 political season (tying Denny Rehberg’s announcement that he was running for U.S. Senate) Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock will announce his intention to run for Governor today (Wednesday).

The Associated Press reported in an AP News Break on Tuesday that two people close to Bullock let the secret out that he was running for Montana Governor.  If you follow me on Twitter, you received that information yesterday through @TheWesternWord.

Early Wednesday morning (today) I received an e-mail from the Bullock campaign with the subject “Big News” in which he writes, “Later today, with my family by my side, I will announce that I am running for Governor of the State of Montana. Since we can’t all be in Billings for this announcement, I wanted you to hear first.” Continue reading