Thursday, December 31, 2009

Former Rep. Foley goes after "drunk" Baucus on Facebook

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Cat fight! Emily Miller from Politics Daily has an interesting follow-up on the Max Baucus "drunk" video. She notes that former Florida Rep. Mark Foley posted comments about Baucus on his Facebook page.

From Miller:

On Sunday night, Foley posted the Baucus video on his Facebook wall along with the comment: "breathalyser for members of congress." Five minutes later, Foley posted to his wall: "This is the senator that hired his staffer and then took her on trips...and divorced his wife....and they had me run out of town"

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By Tuesday, Foley (that's his Facebook photo above) apologized and said his post was inappropriate. But Miller notes that Foley's new note misspelled Baucus as "Bacchus."

Writes Miller:

"It is unclear whether or not Foley, who himself went to rehab for alcoholism, deliberately misspelled the senator's name, Baucus, as Bacchus, which was the Roman god of wine."

Miller followed up with Foley via email to ask if he thought Baucus had a drinking problem, in which the former representative (who, by the way, stepped down in the wake of a sex scandal) offered this odd answer: "I am in no position to judge the senators [sic] drinking habits, but it is clearly not advisable to take to the Senate floor for a major debate on health policy if you have been consuming alcoholic beverages to the degree it impairs your speech..."

Tester taken to task

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 12:30 PM

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"Wild" Bill Schneider at NewWest.net recently posted a scathing lecture aimed directly at Sen. Jon Tester and his actions during the recent subcommittee hearing on the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.

Here's what makes Schneider's column worth reading: He largely supports the bill. But Schneider can't stand for Tester taking the low road during the public hearing, attempting to belittle and marginalize an outspoken critic of the bill. Matthew Koehler, the subject of Tester's testy remarks, can be a polarizing figure. But he was invited to speak at the hearing to represent those who were left out of the bill's secretive creation, and to speak about some of the bill's more troubling components. Schneider, who has never met Koehler in person, puts Tester's reaction to Koehler's testimony in perfect context and suggests, at the very least, that the senator publicly apologize for his behavior.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Retrospective mania!

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Every media outlet in the world — including us — is doing some sort of look back at the decade and/or year, so we thought it'd be appropriate to do a look back at all the Montana-specific look backs. Got that? Prepare to have your head explode with nostalgia.

The Associated Press lists its top 10 Montana stories. (Summary: the Hardin jail fiasco gets top billing.)

The Flathead Beacon looks back at the year in business news (summary: mostly crappy), as well as the year in photos (summary: always cool lighting from Vito).

NewWest.net's David Frey wraps up a "roller-coaster" ride of a decade in the West. (Summary: Lots of booms and busts.)

Continue reading »

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Tuesday, two days before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): One of my favorite landscape painters makes a livable wage from selling her art. She has had many gallery showings and has garnered much critical acclaim. That's the good news. The bad news is that she feels obligated to keep churning out more landscape paintings—even when her muse nudges her to take a detour into, say, abstract expressionism or surrealistic portraits. Galleries don't want anything from her except the stuff that has made her semi-famous. "Sometimes I fantasize about creating a series of 'Sock Puppet Monkeys Playing Poker,'" she told me. If she were an Aries, I'd advise her to do what I think you should do in 2010: Listen to what your version of the sock puppet monkeys are urging you to do.

Continue reading »

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blogs go batty over "drunk" Baucus video

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 2:20 PM

In case you haven't seen it yet, Sen. Max Baucus stumbled and slurred through a recent health care speech on the Senate floor. While some Montanans may have simply chalked it up to the usual Baucus bumbling (he's not exactly Barack Obama at the podium), many more have pounced on Montana's senior senator and wonder if he was drunk.

Maybe the word "many" doesn't accurately get across how Max is getting dragged through the blogosphere. Just search "Baucus drunk" on Google. The video above has been seen more than 175,000 times in four days. It's the lead story on the Drudge Report. Politico is asking Baucus' staff for a response. And YouTube also has its share of video responses to Baucus, including this awful thing:

We're happy to poke Baucus when he deserves it, but this seems silly.

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Your weekly online installment of In Other News begins now.

Curses, Foiled Again
Two masked men armed with a shotgun tried to rob a bagel shop in Orlando, Fla., but fled empty handed when one of the employees pushed a bagel cart at them.

Shoe Business
A man who robbed a shoe store in Knoxville, Tenn., made off with four or five left-foot shoes from the storeroom. Police Lt. Bob Woodbridge told the Knoxville Sentinel the robber didn’t get matching pairs because the right-foot shoes were being used for displays. The following day, employees spotted the suspect in the shoe-store parking lot and called police. They arrested Vincent E. Salters, 46, who the Sentinel said was shoeless at the time.

Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, was discussing his experience at a news conference in Paris, when someone in the audience threw a shoe at him. Al-Zeidi ducked, and the shoe hit the wall behind him. The Associated Press reported that al-Zeidi’s brother, Maithan, chased the unidentified attacker and hit him with a shoe as he left the room.

Continue reading »

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy happy, merry merry, etc.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 24, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Well, we're actually working today, but that doesn't mean we're not in the holiday spirit. For you, dear readers, we offer up this video that's been keeping the Christmas cheer inside the newsroom for most of the morning.

The Week in Review: Health care, Hauck and some holiday thing

Posted By on Thu, Dec 24, 2009 at 11:30 AM

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The Senate finally passed its health care bill today with an early morning vote along party lines. The Washington Post quoted Sen. Max Baucus in its story, saying, "We stand here at the finish line . . . with millions of American families who have been forced into bankruptcy over the cost of health care . . . on behalf of 45,000 Americans who die each year simply because they don't have health insurance . . .Today, we make history for them and every American who has fallen victim to our broken health-care system."

Now the Senate and House will wrestle over the particulars of their respective bills. It'll be interesting to see if Baucus' Libby provision makes the final cut.

UM lost its head coach this week when UNLV hired Bobby Hauck. We'll miss him tons, obviously. But the Las Vegas Review-Journal has a nice anecdote at the top of its story on Hauck's introductory press conference. Also in the Vegas media, Missoulian beat writer Fritz Neighbor offers up a piece about Hauck for the Las Vegas Sun. Here's an interesting part:

Bobby Hauck can also be childish and stubborn, among other things. But in the business of winning football games, you take the bad with the good, and there’s a lot more good than bad with Hauck.

Meanwhile, the search is on for Hauck's replacement, and while we know it won't be Joe Glenn (sigh), eGriz — the best place for breaking Griz news — is full of rumors, hopes and tips.

Among the Montana blogs this week, we found the following ...

- Red Tape reports that John Hendrickson has interviewed to be the next MBIA liason.
- 4&20's J-girl sums up her feelings on the disappointing Otter Creek decision.
- Courtesy of Electric City Weblog, we see a profile of UM law professor Rob Natelson written by former Indy staffer Jesse Froehling that appeared in something called Vision magazine.
- Also from Electric City, some succinct thoughts on Gov. Brian Schweitzer's appointment of Mike Wheat to the Supreme Court.
- Jay Stevens looks at Obama's first year as president at Left in the West.

From the world of alternative weeklies, here are your top three stories:
1. A Willamette Week editorial on the spirit of the season — and Jesus.
2. The Stranger's review of Avatar made us laugh — and pee our pants a little bit.
3. The New Haven Advocate found that a bunch of nonprofit honchos received huge bonuses just before the bottom dropped out last year.

Lastly, if you're in the market for some last-minute gift ideas, we suggest heading downtown. We know for a fact that most local shops are open this afternoon and also know, unfortunately, due to a need for diapers last night, that the scene in the big box stores is a cross between one of those Montana Meth Project commercials and Dawn of the Dead.

**Illustration by John Overmyer

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Tuesday, two days before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): What influences do you really, really need to say goodbye to? The next six months will provide you with ample motivation and opportunity to finally bid those farewells. What long-term cycle really, really needs to be drawn to a close, no more hemming and hawing, all loose ends tied up and all mixed signals clarified? Again, the time between now and the middle of June will bring you the necessary inspiration to make it happen. But it'll take deep thought and sustained work and an expanded sense of humor, so get started soon.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): According to astronomer Mark Whittle, the Big Bang began in silence. Soon it crescendoed into a majestic major third chord 50 octaves below middle A. Then it transformed, over the course of a million years, into a wistful minor third chord. In my vision of the first two-thirds of 2010, the music of your life will have a similar pattern: It begins with silence. Next, it progresses into a lush major feel, with spirited and complex contrapuntal themes. Then in June, it evolves into a dreamy, contemplative phase. By late September, however—unlike the Big Bang—you will move into a third act, in which the music of your life returns to the lively mood it had at the start, only now with the gravitas that the reflective phase has instilled.

Continue reading »

Monday, December 21, 2009

Land Board approves Otter Creek

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Just in from Indy columnist George Ochenski: The Land Board voted 4-1 to approve Otter Creek coal leases, with School Superintendent Denise Juneau the only one voting no.

That means Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Attorney General Steve Bullock, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch and State Auditor Monica Lindeen — all Democrats — voted for the controversial plan. Expect more from Ochenski in this week's issue, but you can check here and here for his past commentary on the issue.

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