The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion


3 March 2012

Prediction: Judge Cebull will receive reprimand, but won’t resign; nor should he

And after a decent interval, the 67-year-old jurist with a 17-year-old’s sense of humor, will retire.

Should he apologize? He did, although one wonders whether he’s genuinely remorseful or just eating a plateful to save his job. If I were Obama, I’d reject the apology but speak of second chances, the opportunity for redemption, and the possibility of amnesty.

Should he resign, as outraged Democrats are demanding? Not in my opinion. In my book, sharing a mean and witless joke with friends is not a hanging offense. I worry far less about that kind of humor than I do about men who have no sense of humor at all.

Montana’s Office of Political Practices: depressingly and hopelessly politicized

Flathead Beacon columnist Dave Skinner suspended his column and applied for the position of Commissioner of Political Practices. He survived the experience, but, figuratively speaking, needed live steam and high phosphate soap to feel clean again. Give him a read. He makes some good points.

Montana’s southern border won’t be guarded by Wyoming’s aircraft carrier

That’s because the doomsday bill failed in the Wyoming legislature. The Button Valley Bugle has the details, presented in the droll prose the story requires. The bill’s demise may be due in part to a denial of global warming. If the seas are not expected to rise to the level of Jackson Lake, Wyoming’s needs for coastal defenses are limited. Not to worry, however: Wyoming still has Warren Air Force Base.

Baucus’ political friends step over the line — way over it

Politico reported the story first. Certain Democrats are not playing beanbag. Campaign contributions to Rep. Denny Rehberg will not be forgotten when the contributors come to the Senate begging for tax breaks:

Lobbyists are getting that message from allies of powerful Democrats such as Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is closely watching support for Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). Baucus supporters fear that if Rehberg ousts Tester, Baucus could be next to face a serious Republican challenge in the state.

Then M. Storin (probably a nom de plume), an Intelligent Discontent writer who promotes bluish-dog Democrats, posted an essay, Baucus, ‘I’ve got your back, Jon,’ praising the threats to use the tax code to punish political opposition:

Whether it’s bundling money for Democratic candidates in the state or using “hardball” tactics to protect Senator Tester from a tsunami of K Street money, one thing is clear: Sen. Baucus will go to bat for Montana’s Democrats. And that should be applauded.

Hardball? Hardball’s a brushback pitch. This is back alley thuggery: a promise that beanballs and a blackjacking await he who fails to strike out looking. And now it’s the subject of a complaint to the Senate’s ethics committee.

It’s nothing to applaud.