Tuesday’s Quick Hits

People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. ― John C. Maxwell

Today’s quick hits deal with these important subjects:

  • Gazette & Census
  • Gallup – Confidence in Institutions
  • Reagan & Trump

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The Wednesday Read: Trump’s Exam, Approval Rating, & Greitens

Some people hear voices…some see invisible people…others have no imagination whatsoever. – Unknown

Today’s read deals with these important issues:

  • The Medical Exam
  • First Year Approval Ratings
  • Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

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Monday’s Political Odds & Ends

There’s a big, wonderful world out there for you. It belongs to you. It’s exciting and stimulating and rewarding. Don’t cheat yourselves out of this promise. – Nancy Reagan

Happy Monday! 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!

Today’s topics include:

  • Gianforte’s Lt Governor
  • Bullock & the Plane
  • Darby (MT) & Islam
  • Nancy Reagan
  • GOP Presidential Race

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Montana Politics: O’Hara v. Koopman

My favorite President, Ronald Reagan, was once quoted saying, “The person who agrees with you 80% of the time is an ally not a 20% traitor.”

Wisdom like that is missing from today’s Republican Party. In recent years a candidate like Reagan would probably face a challenge from a Tea Party candidate if he ran for public office in Montana.

Today (March 5) the Great Falls Tribune has published a couple of “Montana Soap Box” opinions, one from Republican State Rep. Jesse O’Hara and one from Republican Public Service Commission member Roger Koopman. You can read their views HERE and HERE.

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State of the Union

Maybe I’m a political nerd, but I really get excited about State of the Union speeches. One thing I don’t do is watch the so-called experts talk about the speech on cable news afterwards. I briefly checked in on the “Republican response” and then I watched other channels.

I think I watched about 30 minutes of “Smokey and the Bandit,” for some reason, which was probably better than all three responses from the right.

I almost always go back the next day and read the President’s State of the Union speech to see what I missed. With the cameras panning around and the graphics flashing on the screen, plus sending and reading Tweets, parts of the speech can be missed.

The speech was about 6,923 words, and it lasted a little over one hour and five minutes. (SOURCE)

The President started his speech with “Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.”

Since I am married to a teacher and know how hard teachers work and how much extra time they put in to help children, I was happy to see him lead off his speech praising them.

A few minutes into the speech I tweeted, “Maybe Obama should have started his speech with “we all pretty much suck at running this country.” I think many of us are tired of Washington. Even the President said, “…there are millions of Americans outside Washington who are tired of stale political arguments.”

When the President said he was going to have Vice President Biden “lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs.” After hearing he assigned the VP additional duties, I was worried the President would say, “I’m also asking the Vice President to take over the job of running our land-based nuclear forces.”

This morning after hearing what the Republicans said about the speech, I think about the only way the GOP would have hated the President’s speech more would have been if Queen Latifah had showed up and married a bunch of people.

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Gallup’s Most Admired for 2013

When Gallup published their most admired list for 2013, the first thing I thought was this will send conservatives over the edge.

Why? Gallup reports, “For the sixth consecutive year, Barack Obama ranks as the Most Admired Man among Americans, and Hillary Clinton is again the Most Admired Woman. Both won by comfortable margins.”

I think the key line is “Both won by comfortable margins.”

For as much hatred that is spewed from the right about Obama and Clinton, they are more admired than Pope Francis, former President George W. Bush, and even former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

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The Sunday Message

I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.  – President Ronald Reagan

Thank goodness that did not happen!

When I read that quote, I tried to remember all 10 of the Commandments. How many can you remember? If you are like me, maybe you can remember about half of them.

If you’ve been around for a while like me, then maybe your lasting thought about the 10 Commandments is Charlton Heston playing Moses in The Ten Commandments movie and carrying them down Mount Sinai.

Take a few minutes and read them today – they are found in Exodus 20. Click HERE.

Have a great week!



Daines: A Big Fan

And the government shutdown goes on and on and on…

Recently we learned that military death benefits are not being paid. I can only imagine how much further the backlog is for disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s a mess. Who will blink first? Take my poll about the shutdown at the end of this column and, as always, the comment section is open.

In the meantime, I happened to catch an interview conducted by the Associated Press in which Montana’s first-term Representative, Steve Daines, was quoted saying that he “ran for Congress to serve the people of Montana“ and he “ran to have the courage and leadership to address the issues facing this county.”

These are very noble and worthy causes. Nice talking points, too. Daines should feel fortunate that as a first-term House member anyone wastes their time talking to him or even asking him his point of view. He seems to be just sitting in Washington waiting for Sen. Ted Cruz to tell him what to do.

But the zinger was Daines saying “It would be irresponsible to raise the debt limit without resolving the underlying problems that led to this crisis.”  Continue reading

Shutdown: Week One

It was about this time last week when the countdown clocks were featured on all the cable news stations and everyone thought we’d probably avert a shutdown sometime during the day. It did not happen, and last Monday at midnight eastern time the “ball dropped” on the government shutdown.

The battle lines over the Government shutdown have been drawn this past week, with almost everyone having an opinion on whom to blame. Many of the main players appeared on the Sunday talk show circuit to make their case.

I happened to catch two Sunday talk shows – Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday. On Meet the Press, the Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie was hosting for David Gregory. Guthrie should probably stick with the softer side of the news that the Today Show features and stay off Meet the Press. As for Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace must have received orders from the “mothership” to attack liberals more than normal. His questioning seemed pretty one-sided to me. That’s not always the way Wallace operates.

As for me, I still blame the problem on the group of Tea Party Republicans in the U.S. House and Senator Ted Cruz. For my readers in Montana, Congressman Steve Daines has aligned himself with the Tea Party. We all know what happened to Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg when he aligned himself with the Tea Party – he became “former” Congressman.

This problem could be easily fixed if a continuing resolution (CR), without a bunch of pork attached, was voted on the in the House. It would easily pass. Speaker of the House John Boehner does not have the guts to stand up against the Tea Party. Boehner is afraid they will throw him out as Speaker. Real leaders lead and Boehner is not leading. He will easily go down in history as one of the worst Speakers. As for Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, he is up for re-election in 2014 so look for him to do what his fellow Kentucky (Tea Party) Senator, Rand Paul does.

Now it looks like the next major date on the calendar is October 17 (10 days away), which is the date the debt limit must be increased. The GOP seems to want to tie passing a continuing resolution with increasing the debt limit. Continue reading

Bob Dole & the Republicans

In April, Roy Wenzl of The Wichita Eagle wrote a story about former Senator and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. It was a fascinating look at Dole’s life and his take on politics in 2013. On Sunday, Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace conducted an interview with Dole, now 89, which received lots of play on the cable news networks.

Today’s Republican Party should be listening to Dole.

Dole was asked what he thought about the Republican Party today, and he said, “I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says closed for repairs until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas.” Continue reading