Montana’s Three Stooges

When I was young, I remember my dad and I watching the Three Stooges on a black and white TV. We’d laugh so hard we almost cried watching their shenanigans.

The stooges “soitenly” did silly things that made us shake our heads.

I was thinking of the Three Stooges the other day, and I think we may have the Three Stooges currently serving in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House representing Montana – I’m talking about U.S. Senators Jon Tester (Moe) and Steve Daines (Larry), and the new kid, U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (Curly).

All three are funny and frustrating in a Three Stooges sort of way.

The stooges have come out against the expansion of the Powder River Training Complex (PRTC) which, in case you have not heard, would extend into southeastern Montana an air training area that would be used by B-1 and B-52 airplanes from Minot and Ellsworth Air Force Bases in North and South Dakota. It would expand to about 28,000 square miles from the current 8,300 square miles that is used for training.

The PRTC has been in the planning stages with officials holding several open meetings and comment periods for the better part of the last decade. On Friday the U.S. Air Force approved it which was like an open-handed Three-Stooges-type slap across the face of the delegation, and then a pull on the nose! This was after several sessions listening to whining and whimpering of Tester and Daines and, before that, former Senator Max Baucus and former Rep. Denny Rehberg. None of those four ever served in the military.

Then along came Zinke – a highly-decorated retired Navy SEAL who based his whole campaign on his military service. Being a fellow veteran, I had high hopes for Zinke.

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