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Posts tagged: Montana

Newcomer faces uphill campaign

For Montana Democratic state Rep. Amanda Curtis, victory this November in her state’s U.S. Senate race will be a difficult task.

The first-term state lawmaker from the mountain town of Butte was selected Saturday by state Democrats as the party’s nominee in a special convention hastily assembled after U.S. Sen. John Walsh bowed out of the race this month in the wake of plagiarism allegations.

With little money or statewide name recognition, Curtis is thought to have an uphill climb to beat GOP nominee Rep. Steve Daines in a midterm election that is less than three months away.

Thoughts?

Edit: Crass Judge Should Resign

District Judge G. Todd Baugh has said he’s sorry about the crass comments he made regarding a 14-year-old rape victim who later committed suicide, but that’s hardly enough. In handing down the sentence for former Billings Senior High School teacher Stacey Rambold last month, Baugh said the teenage victim was “older than her chronological age” and had “as much control of the situation” as the teacher who raped her. He then proceeded to suspend all but 31 days of a 15-year sentence for the teacher. The outrage against Judge Baugh was immediate, and he was profuse in his apologies. In an Associated Press story, Baugh said he was “fumbling around” in court trying to explain his sentence and “made some really stupid remarks”/Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Mont) Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Should District Judge G. Todd Baugh resign?

Official ‘Likes’ Breast Page By Mistake

Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh, who is seen as a possible Senate candidate in 2014, reportedly suffered from a Facebook snafu after “liking” a page devoted to women's breasts. A Republican operative captured a screenshot of Walsh indicating that he gave a thumbs up, or “like,” on the Facebook profile of “Breasts.Proof men can multitask2” on Aug. 19, according to BuzzFeed. The “like” was subsequently deleted from Walsh's Facebook page. BuzzFeed quotes a “senior Montana Democrat close to Walsh” as saying Walsh “liked” the cleavage page by mistake/Judy Kurtz, The Hill. More here.

Question: Are you careful re: what you “like” on your Facebook page?

Re-Sentencing Of Rapist Blocked

Montana’s Supreme Court on Friday blocked a judge from re-sentencing a former teacher who got just 30 days in prison for raping a 14-year-old student, a sentence that was widely criticized after the judge said the victim was “older than her chronological age.” Justices said Judge G. Todd Baugh (shown in AP photo) lacks authority to reconsider the sentence he gave former Billings teacher Stacey Rambold, 54. An appeal of the case already was pending, but Baugh had been seeking to possibly undo the sentence that was panned after his remarks. Baugh also commented that victim Cherice Moralez was “as much in control of the situation as was the defendant.” The girl committed suicide in 2010 while Rambold’s trial was pending/Matthew Brown, AP. More here.

Thoughts?

Montana Patriot Challenges Pastors

On his Ridenbaugh Press site, Randy Stapilus discusses Montana pastor Chuck Baldwin, an author, chaplain for the Oathkeepers group and a speaker at the recent survivalist confab at Farragut Park:

Baldwin’s speech, available on YouTube, exemplified some of this, but it also featured a challenge aimed more at other stripes of conservative than at liberals. “It’ll come as a shock to many of you,” he said, that “government is not God.” Lots and lots of people maintain that it is, he said. (Specifics, naturally, were lacking.) That point in place, he then took aim at fellow pastors, a whole lot of whom, he argued, may be well-meaning but tell their congregations that government should be strictly obeyed “no matter what.” (Again, no names were specified.) He told the audience they need to “find a patriot pastor who will tell you the truth.” He helpfully pointed to an online list. Complete post here.

Question: Should pastors of conservative churches in Kootenai County/North Idaho become politically involved?

Cutline Contest — 6.3.13

Time 2 vote …

A bull fighter braces himself after slipping while protecting a fallen rider during the Dusty Gliko Bull Riding Challenge in Belt, Mont., on Saturday evening. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune, Rion Sanders)

TGIF Cutline Winner — KCres2: “After her divorce, Ms Klum has progressed from Seal with a kiss to Steel with a kiss.” You can see TGIF photo and read all 5 cutline entries here.

Montana’s Porcupine Ambassador

Sasha the porcupine is shown at Montana Wild, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Park's education and conservation center in Helena, Mont. WP is a firm advocate of not interfering with or humanizing wild animals, and they've rehabbed and released other porcupines. But Sasha's story is somewhat unique and she's become an ambassador animal for FWP, along with the raptors and other birds housed at the center. Story of Sasha: Montana's porcupine ambassador here. (AP Photo/The Independent Record, Dylan Brown)

Question: Have you or one of your pets ever gotten to close to a porcupine?

Judge To Retire After Racist Prez Joke

Montana’s chief federal judge will retire following an investigation into an email he forwarded that included a racist joke involving President Barack Obama. U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull had previously announced he would step down as chief circuit judge and take a reduced caseload, but he informed the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that he now intends to fully retire May 3. The appellate court posted a statement by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski on its website Tuesday announcing Cebull had submitted the retirement letter/Matt Volz, Associated Press. More here.

Thoughts?

Montana Guv Laments Indian Bias

“All over Montana, you can walk into a bar, a café or even a school or a courthouse and just listen for a while as people talk to each other,” Schweitzer explained, shortly after noting 93 percent of his state’s population is classified as Caucasian. “And you will hear somebody, before very long, say something outrageously racist about the people who’ve lived in Montana for 10,000 years” — Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer at Ohio Democratic Party annual dinner.

Just the other day, Politico said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s rhetorical prowess is a valuable asset and a dangerous liability for his future political ambitions. Case in point: Less than two weeks ago, Schweitzer delivered the keynote address at the Ohio Democratic Party’s annual dinner. In the speech, he told a gripping tale of his grandmother immigrating to the United States to start a new life. Riveting. In the same address, Schweitzer dipped into darker rhetoric to blast Caucasian Montanans as racist toward American Indians/Dustin Hurst, Watchdog.org. More here.

Question: Is there a bias against Native Americans in Idaho?

Marc: Corporations ARE Really People

While the nation holds its collective breath over the fate of Obamacare (hint, it’s going down) the conservative judicial activists on the U.S. Supreme Court have affirmed their original controversial decision that its just fine to have unlimited and often undisclosed corporate money flow into our political system. At issue in the case summarily disposed of Monday was a Montana Supreme Court decision that attempted to uphold the Treasure State’s 100-year plus ban on corporate money in state elections. The Court’s five man majority reversed the Montana court decision and reminded all of us of the essence of its earlier ruling in the now infamous Citizens United case.  “Political speech does not lose First Amendment protection simply because its source is a corporation,” the majority said in an unsigned, one-page ruling/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Do you think corporations are people (or just Soylent Green)?

Montanan Clocked At 134mph Nabbed

A Montana man faces a felony charge of driving under the influence after authorities say a state trooper clocked him driving 134 mph in a 50 mph zone. The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/KCdsRz ) 32-year-old Shaun Kachina Bell of Billings made an initial appearance in Justice Court Monday on the DUI charge, along with felony criminal endangerment and misdemeanor counts of speeding and driving without a license or proof of insurance. His bail was set at $15,000. Prosecutors allege Bell was speeding in a Dodge Magnum late Sunday on Highway 312 outside Billings/Associated Press. More here.

Question: How fast is the fastest you've ever driven? Where? Why?

AM Headlines — 6.12.12

This undated photo by provided by the Roosevelt County Sheriff''s Department in Billing, Mt., shows 52-year-old Lloyd Christopher Danielson from Washington state who is charged with felony assault with a weapon in a seemingly-random weekend shooting that injured a man from West Virginia. The victim told authorities he was working on a memoir about kindness. Story here. (AP Photo/Roosevelt County Sheriff''s Department)

Dustin Hurst Makes Waves In Montana

Looks like our old Idaho Reporter friend Dustin Hurst has encountered some turbulence in his new in Montana. A blog called Montana Cowgirl penned an article titled, “Pro-Rehberg blogger fled Idaho under a cloud.” It begins: “Dustin Hurst is a right-wing blogger that recently arrived in Helena from Idaho, and has written stories defending Congressman Dennis Rehberg and the Montana GOP, and attacking Democrats.  He calls himself a “reporter.”  His “articles” are trash with no connection to facts or truth.  Last week, for example, he wrote a story saying that Schweitzer is “happy with high unemployment.”  He also claimed that Rob Stutz had called for a pre-emptive strike against Iran, as this video explains.  Intelligent Discontent did a write up of the factual problems with some of the other blog posts Hurst was responsible for. Hurst works for the Montana Watchdog, a somewhat absurd website that is a subsidiary of the right-wing Montana Policy Institute.” More here. (Photo from Dustin Hurst Facebook page)

Thoughts?

FBI Finds Possible Body Of Teacher

FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the Salt Lake City Division and Chief of Police Frank DiFonzo of the Sidney, Montana Police Department announce a development in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Sherry Arnold. On March 20, 2012, special agents assigned to the FBI Evidence Response Team began efforts to recover human remains in the vicinity of Williston, North Dakota. During this operation, the FBI received support and assistance from several Montana and North Dakota law enforcement agencies to include the Sidney Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Williams County Sheriff’s Office, Williston Police Department, and the North Dakota Highway Patrol. By the early morning hours of March 21, 2012, special agents had recovered the physical remains of a female. While a positive identification has not been made at this time, it is believed the remains are those of Sherry Arnold of Sidney, Montana/FBI, Salt Lake Division, news release. More here.

Loading Up On Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Bailey Zundel, 10, stacks boxes of Girl Scout cookies for Troop 2132 in the back of a moving truck as they pick up their order of 4900 boxes Tuesday. According to Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, Girl Scouts have sold 157,000 boxes of cookies in Yellowstone County, Mont. They will be delivered over the next couple of weeks. Booth sales by troops start this weekend, and continue through the end of April. (AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Casey Page)

Question: Which kind of Girl Scout cookie is your favorite — Samoas/Caramel deLites, Savannah Smiles, Shout Outs, Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks-A-Lot (Animal Treasures or All Abouts), Thank U Berry Much, Thin Mints, or Trefoils?

Owner Of Butte’s Last Brothel Dies

The woman who ran the last brothel in Butte when it closed in 1982 has died at the age of 94. Ruby Garrett died March 17 at Crest Nursing Home in Butte. Garrett lived a colorful life that included a six-month prison term for tax evasion and an acquittal by a jury on charges that she shot and killed her husband in June 1959 while he was playing cards at a Butte bar. She owned and ran the Dumas Brothel for years until 1982, when her federal tax evasion conviction forced Garrett to close it. But people who knew Garrett in her later years recalled a kind woman who looked out for the women who worked in the brothel and was involved in the community/Nick Gevock, Butte Standard. More here. (AP/Butte Standard photo, of Ruby Garrett)

Question: Anyone remember the brothels in Wallace? (I won't ask whether or not you remember them fondly)

AM: ‘Angry Birds’ Helps Man Survive

David Heatherly holds “Cujo” in West Virginia. Heatherly, who recently was stranded for three days on a snowy mountain road in Montana after his SUV became stuck in the snow, attributed his survival to God, a rationed supply of beef jerky and the video game “Angry Birds” that he played on his cellphone to keep his wits. Story here. (AP Photo/David Heatherly)

KKK Group Wants Montana Homeland

Montana state legislators this week received a newsletter from a white supremacist group tied to the Ku Klux Klan that wants to turn the Northwest into “the future homeland of the white race from people all over the world.” The newsletter came from the Northwest Knights, whose national headquarters is based in Harrison, Ark., and whose website, www.KKK.com, is that of the Ku Klux Klan. It mentions that the Montana First Committee was formed in 2011 as an umbrella group for “white racialists in Montana, who want to create a white homeland in the Northwest.” The Northwest Knights, the newsletter said, is a “fraternal organization that is dedicated towards white civil rights in the Northwest”/Charles S. Johnson, Missoulian State Bureau. More here. (AP photo of late Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler during 1999 rally in Coeur d'Alene)

Question: Sound familiar?

Judge Admits Anti-Obama Email

Montana’s chief federal judge apologized Wednesday for forwarding an email that contained a joke involving bestiality and President Barack Obama’s mother, saying he did so because he dislikes the president and not because he’s racist. Judge Richard Cebull, of Billings, forwarded the email from his chambers to six other people on Feb. 20, the Great Falls Tribune reported. Cebull said that his brother sent him the email, which he forwarded to six “old buddies” and acquaintances. The text of the forwarded email says: “Normally I don’t send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine/AP. More here. (AP file photo of Judge Cebull making speech during Naturalization proceedings last summer)

Question: What do you do when you receive ujsolicited emails from friends or acquaintances containing racial, sexual, or other inappropriate content?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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