Thursday Numbers

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. – William Arthur Ward

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, Muslims United for San Bernardino, unemployment, Every Child Achieves Act, Elizabeth Quinby, college football bowl games, Golden State Warriors, the Affordable Care Act & Great Falls, Hellgate High School, Carolina Panthers, and much more!

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Caught My Eye…

I had the right to remain silent…but I didn’t have the ability. – Ron White

Welcome to the big show – the first “Caught My Eye” of November!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” has been posted here every Friday morning since October 2010! 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 I write about Denise Juneau & Ryan Zinke, Tim Fox & the PSA, Montana Television Network grows, Illegal Immigration & cartoons, Ben Carson & hip-hop & anger, House Republicans, George H.W. Bush, Whitlock returns, and much more!

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Caught My Eye…

Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance. – W. Clement Stone

Welcome to Friday and the big show I call “Caught My Eye” (CME). If you are a first-time visitor, the highly popular CME has been posted here every Friday morning since October 2010! 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 Ashley Madison & Montana, helicopters & fires, Zinke, Gianforte, & Boehner, a new campaign complaint, MTN’s new political reporter, The Western Word lives on, and Donald, Roger, & Megyn make the big show!

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Over the Top

The Montana media is going a little over the top with their coverage of the final days of the senatorial career of Max Baucus.

Get the popcorn – this week I believe the Montana Television Network (MTN) will bring viewers “a behind-the-scenes look as Baucus’ career in the Senate comes to a close.”

I wonder if they will tell the whole story.

All this coverage got me thinking about one of the first times I saw Senator Max Baucus. It was when he was giving a speech at a local hotel in Great Falls in the mid 1990s.

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Baucus Confirmation: Tough Questions?

As U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, brought the nomination hearing to a close on U.S. Senator Max Baucus of Montana to be Ambassador to China, my first thought was this is 90 minutes I will never get back.

Then I remembered the Montana Television Network (MTN) crew of Jay Kohn and Marnee Banks who had traveled from Montana to Washington, D.C., to cover the event. They wasted even more time and money for the short 90 minute hearing.

That’s a few thousand dollars you can’t get back. At least they were in town for the State of the Union speech!

It looked like only nine of the 18 senators on the committee even showed up or asked questions.

As for news reports about the hearing, Lee Newspapers reporter Mike Dennison tweeted “Baucus faces tough questions at confirm hearing, but sens say he’ll be next U.S. ambassador to China.”

“Tough questions” are what Supreme Court nominees and cabinet secretary nominees face, but not Baucus.

But I guess with Baucus, even “How you doin” can be a tough question.

Politico reported, “Several tough questions and suggestions from Republicans interrupted a mostly placid confirmation hearing for Sen. Max Baucus to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported, “Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) did not inspire a lot of confidence in his nomination to be U.S. Ambassador to China at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing.”

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MT Senate 2014: Coercion?

Montana Television Network (MTN) state political reporter Sanjay Talwani seems to have recently discovered that there’s coercion ‎in the United States military.

That news might be earth-shattering to people who never served in the military.

I guess the two-star General who told me to join the club or else, and the superiors who pressured me to donate, join, or participate to “make our (flight, squadron, group, wing, or base) look good” were wrong to do that.

By the way, I did not contact the Inspector General about it, either.

Talwani recently “broke” a story about a 2010 Army report that cites former Adjutant General John Walsh for improper private gain. A 2010 report. My calendar tells me we are two days shy of 2014. “The (2010) report says Walsh improperly solicited other Guard leaders to join a non-governmental group, the National Guard Association of the United States.” Talwani reported that subordinates said Walsh’s e-mails about joining the Association “seemed coercive” and “very threatening.”

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