Has anyone noticed that Montana’s congressional delegation is looking more and more like The Three Stooges these days? Either that or they’re buying into the mythic Montana image of the free-wheelin’, ramblin’ cowboy who throws caution to the wind. Whatever it is, Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg and Senator Max Baucus seem to have entered into an unannounced Montana Survivor contest. Rehberg unofficially declared the contest open when he fell off a horse during his visit to Kazakhstan with Montana’s Republican Senator Conrad Burns in May. Rehberg bruised two ribs and broke a third. Instead of sympathy, however, Rehberg was treated to scrutiny, as an anonymous e-mail from the U.S. embassy in the Russian nation claimed that Rehberg and Burns were basically drunk as skunks throughout the trip, and that it was Rehberg’s tipsiness that caused his awkward dismount. The Republican Party then blamed that claim on staff members from Democratic Max Baucus’ office, though there wasn’t much in the way of evidence to accompany the charge.

But not to be outdone by a Republican congressman (particularly one who might be vying for his Senate seat next election, according to some folks down at the rumor mill), Baucus pulled a riding stunt of his own near Lincoln on Sat., July 3. Suited up in leathers and riding his Harley Davidson “Screaming Eagle” to a family picnic, Baucus lost control on a patch of gravel and swerved into a guardrail to avoid hitting a car. The accident broke no ribs, but generated plenty of cuts and bruises. And this from a guy who’s recently had surgery on his heart and his brain.

Meanwhile, Conrad Burns remains uninjured, playing the role of straight man in this slapstick episode, and prompting some political strategists (okay, fine, it’s just us non-extreme sports at the Indy) to propose a new Burns re-election slogan: “Conrad Burns: When he gets on something that moves, he stays on.”


Last time we checked in with Mountain Home, Missoula’s residence for teenage mothers, the home staff and its board were attempting to extricate the non-profit from financial straits. They had put on some “creative” fundraisers that involved teaching those donors inclined to throw money at the Home how to create the crust of a crème brulee. Lingerie, because “it rhymed” with crème brulee, was also part of the philanthropic package. At the time, in late February, the desserts and lacey panties didn’t really do the trick, and Mountain Home Executive Director Gypsy Ray told the Indy that turnout, at 30, had been “a bummer.” Just maybe that’s because the association of skimpy nighties, browned sugar and teen mothers was, well, let’s just call it unfortunate.

And it gets unfortunater. The previous year, Moulin Rouge Cabaret—we are not making this up—sponsored its own charity event for Mountain Home. When we spoke with Ray in February, she wasn’t sure whether the Moulin Rouge fundraiser would become an annual event or not, but now it’s scheduled for year two. The event is called 9 Hole Golf Scramble and it’s coming up, ready or not, on Friday, July 16.

Now teen women—especially teens with kids—surely need all the help they can get, but is an establishment that makes its money by putting women—teen, child-rearing or otherwise—on display really the best resource? What’s wrong with a good, old-fashioned bake sale?

Anyway, if Mountain Home insists on working with the strip club, we have a better idea: Why not have Moulin Rouge hire the teen mothers and train them to dance? The girls would probably rake in enough cash to rent their own places and move out of the home. It’s just an idea, but with registration fees for the fundraiser running $300 per foursome—that’s four golfers, we think—it’s an idea worth considering.

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