Thursday Numbers

Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. – Vince Lombardi

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.

This week’s topics include Nike & Colin Kaepernick, unemployment, NFL regular season, Orioles & Red Sox, John Kyle, Brett Kavanaugh & protestors, September 11, Donald Trump & golf, Tom Brady, Matt Rosendale & the U.S. Constitution, plus much more!



The Wednesday Read: Sweatpants, Tester, Census, & Second Amendment

You know the message you’re sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You’re telling the world, ‘I give up. I can’t compete in normal society. I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable. – Jerry Seinfeld

Today’s topics are:

  • Tester Responds in Sweatpants
  • Tester’s New Campaign Ad
  • 2020 Census & Citizenship
  • John Paul Stevens & Second Amendment


MT Politics 2016: Obama, Guns, & Independence

I am so looking forward to this year! 2016 will be a great year to be an independent blogger writing about politics.

Being independent means when I disagree with a candidate or elected official I don’t have to worry about to which party they belong, or how the Republican Party or the Democratic Party feels about my column. I won’t even have to worry if some lobbyist is ticked off at what I write, plus I won’t care of they want me fired. I can tell them (I’ll be nice since I like to keep this site rated at least PG) to take a hike.

Montana politicians worry about those things every day. Politicians from both sides of the aisle do. They are not alone in that most politicians from all across the fruited plains spend their terms in office worried that they will piss off their base of support and/or the people who spend money to get them elected. I have written many times that for the people serving in D.C. it’s all about the next election. Yesterday’s actions prove it.

Many voters in the middle are independent and if you have that independent streak in you, you need to stop by this website and my Facebook page every day – or better yet subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box on the right. You’ll get my columns delivered to you via your email address! How cool is that?

Obama, guns, and the Montana Congressional Delegation:


Mass Shootings: Stuff Happens

This past week we had another mass shooting – this time at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Next time – and there will be a next time – it may happen in your neighborhood.

Our hearts are sad and broken for those killed and wounded there just as our hearts were sad after Sandy Hook and Tucson and Aurora and our hearts will be sad and broken next time.

It’s always interesting to read what some people say are solutions to the mass shooting epidemic in the United States.

“If this place was not a gun-free zone…”
“If someone would have been carrying a concealed weapon…”
“If we had stronger gun laws…”
“If we had fewer gun laws…”
“If they would have had armed security…”


No More Names

I have to applaud the folks who rallied in Helena Tuesday in support of expanded background checks.

It’s an uphill battle because, after all, this is Montana. Gun rights are important here. Many children can recite the Second Amendment before they know their address.

It was also nice to see State Rep. Amanda Curtis, D-Butte, who some say is considering a run for the U.S. House, get involved and tell her family’s tragic story. It’s nice to see a politician do something because it’s the right thing to do although it might not be the best thing for their political career. We could use more of them!

According to reports, the event was “sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg” and “it was part of the 25-state ‘No More Names’ tour.”

No More Names is hitting 25 states in 100 days this summer. They started June 14 in Newtown, Connecticut, which was the six-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

By the way, over 7,300 Americans have been murdered since Newtown. Congress has done nothing.   (more…)

Background Checks

It’s not looking good this morning for the legislation to expand background checks for gun sales. The United States Senate is planning to vote this afternoon on the legislation. Several reports say the votes aren’t there for passage.

That is a damn shame. If it does fail, the failure will be the fault of Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

An April 4, 2013, Quinnipiac University poll found that voters “support universal gun background checks 91 – 8 percent, including 88 – 11 percent among voters in households with guns.”

It seems as though a vote for universal gun background checks would be a pretty safe vote politically.   (more…)

They Deserve a Vote

It’s unimaginable that after living through the tragedy that took the lives of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the families of the victims may not even get a vote on gun restrictions in the U.S. Senate.

They deserve a vote now.

It is being reported that several GOP Senators are planning to filibuster any new gun restrictions that are brought forth in the U.S. Senate. The 13 Senators are Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Richard Burr, Ron Johnson, Mike Enzi, Jim Risch, Mike Crapo, Dan Coats, Jerry Morgan, Pat Roberts, and Marco Rubio. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he supports a filibuster, too.

In case you are keeping score at home, these senators are far-righties.

If this is Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus’ rebranding plan for the GOP, then Democrats all across the fruited plains should be rejoicing.  (more…)

Pop-Tarts, Warfair, & Concealed Weapons

Here at The Western Word I’ve poked fun at some of the pro and con gun arguments over the years. Today I write about people’s views on guns going a little too far.

It must have been frightening for the teachers and the students when a 7-year-old Maryland boy gnawed a pop-tart into the shape of a gun and supposedly said, “Bang bang.”

I wonder if the young man chewed a chocolate or brown sugar pop-tart into bullets to use in his strawberry pop-tart gun. He was supposedly trying to chew the pop-tart into a mountain. He failed miserably.

The boy was suspended (and not for failing to chew the pop-tart into a mountain).

Maybe the principal and teachers had a little too much caffeine that momentous day when the “Pop-Tart Terrorist” strolled into the cafeteria and chewed his pop-tart into the shape of a weapon.

It gets better… (more…)

Published in: on March 25, 2013 at 8:54 am  Comments Off on Pop-Tarts, Warfair, & Concealed Weapons  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Yippee Ki-Yay

When it was announced yesterday that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was pulling the assault weapons ban from the gun bill currently being looked at in Congress, I ran outside to see if I could hear assault weapons being fired into the air around my neighborhood in celebration.

My neighborhood was pretty quiet for a Tuesday afternoon. There was no sporadic gunfire to be heard.

I did hear some elementary school children laughing and having a good time during their recess a few blocks away – an elementary school that both my children attended. My thoughts then turned to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the 20 kids who were senselessly murdered along with six adults on December 14, 2012. There are no more recesses for those children. Their parents have holes in their hearts from losing a child. I cannot imagine the pain.

For a few days (maybe a week or so) after Sandy Hook the United States seemed poised to tighten the gun laws and maybe make us just a little safer. That movement faded quickly and now we can say that the gun lobby has won, once again. (more…)

Feinstein and Guns

A faithful reader and commentator (Barry) pointed out to me that U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) made some silly remarks about veterans and gun ownership last week. So I checked it out and today’s column is about Feinstein and guns. By the way, if you have tips or ideas about columns, you can leave a comment or e-mail me at

To set this up, I am a veteran who spent almost 12 years in the military (honorably discharged). I carried an M-16 rifle for several of those years. I currently own four guns, I don’t actually think President Obama is lurking outside my home waiting to take them, the Patriot Act does not scare me, and drones do not bother me (I do love to joke about all these things).

Sometimes the intelligence of elected officials fascinates me. For example, an article in about Sen. Diane Feinstein reported, “She was especially concerned over veterans being able to acquire the weapons.”

It goes downhill quickly for Feinstein.  (more…)

Published in: on March 13, 2013 at 8:17 am  Comments Off on Feinstein and Guns  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,