Tuesday, November 30, 2010

David Lynch tries new, weirder artistry

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 10:20 AM


You know the famous Missoula native (yes, he was born here, and his family owns a cabin in Kalispell) for his movies (Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet) and television series ("Twin Peaks"). But now Lynch is apparently trying his hand at music.

According to an article in the Guardian, Lynch released yesterday two pop singles on an independent British label. What does the paper think "Good Day Today" sounds like?

Unlike his famously ambiguous and non-linear films, the song is accessible and, he readily admits, has a catchy "feel-good chorus", with undertones of angsty electro-popsters Crystal Castles or veteran dance act Underworld.

Listen to and download Lynch's music at iTunes, or hear his full Guardian interview here.

Senate passes Food Safety Act with Tester's amendment

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:58 AM

This morning the U.S. Senate passed the Food Safety Act, a sweeping overhaul of the nation's food-safety system targeting factory farms that have sent tainted eggs, spinach and peanuts to market. The legislation, which passed by a vote of 73-25, includes an amendment written by Montana Sen. Jon Tester intended to protect small farms from new Food and Drug Administration regulations.

“Today’s vote is a huge victory for all family farmers, growers and food processors, but more importantly, it’s a win for anyone who consumes food," Tester said in a statement. "This bill as amended strengthens our food safety while protecting the jobs and livelihoods of folks who put good food on our tables. Now it’s time to get this bill across the finish line and get it signed into law.”

Under Tester’s amendment, food producers with less than $500,000 in annual sales would not be subject to new federal requirements if they sell the majority of their food directly to consumers within the state, or within a 275-mile radius of where it was produced.

The U.S. House of Representatives, which passed its own version of the bill last year, must now decide whether to pass the Senate's legislation. The chamber may have to if it hopes for a food safety bill to reach President Obama's desk by the end of the session.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: Mt. Everest gets WiFi, Bristol Palin's "DWTS" appearance causes a man to pull out a shotgun (naturally), and a California fugitive living in Montana gets busted over Facebook.

Curses, Foiled Again
Parole absconder Robert Lewis Crose, 47, managed to evade California authorities for 12 years but then led them right to him when he complained on his Facebook page about the cold weather in the northern Montana town of Cut Bank. A fugitive task force in California notified Glacier County, Mont., sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Siefert, who arrested him. “He said he’d worked cutting up here, harvesting, for the last 10 years,” Siefert said.

Cincinnati police reported that when Rufus Bowman, 16, pulled a gun on a 6-foot-1, 290-pound prostitute “wearing a pink halter top and pumps,” the victim resisted. The 5-foot-7, 230-pound Bowman shot the victim in the arm and chest but couldn’t stop the prostitute from taking away the gun, grabbing him by the hair and administering what Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutor Ryan Nelson termed a “beat down.” Identifying victim Joshua Bumpus as a “a transvestite prostitute,” Nelson noted that Bowman “picked the wrong prostitute to rob.”

Continue reading »

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baucus responds to Rehberg's anti-pork pledge

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM

The current issue of the Indy tackles the topic of Rep. Denny Rehberg's hypocritical and dubious call for our state delegation to forgo earmarks. After we went to press yesterday, Sen. Max Baucus released the following letter to Rehberg, in which he basically questions whether the congressman knows what he's doing.

Full text here:

November 23, 2010

Representative Dennis Rehberg
2448 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Rep. Rehberg,

Thank you for your letter and for your work on behalf of Montana.

Like you I am concerned about our mounting federal deficit. And like you I have heard from Montanans who share this concern.

Montanans know the best way to tackle the deficit is to get folks back to work and grow our economy. The Montanans I talk to want us to support real solutions like infrastructure projects and tax cuts that will bring good-paying jobs to Montana — not political stunts from party bosses in Washington.

Montana depends on the federal dollars you have long supported. As the Montana Legislative Branch’s calculations in the chart below show, federal funds amount to 43.5 percent of Montana’s general fund in 2010 — including much-needed highway dollars, education funding, and money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In fact, Montana ranks 4th in the nation for most federal funding as a percentage of its total state budget, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers 2009.

Furthermore, according to the Montana Legislative Fiscal Division, the more than $1.3 billion in Recovery Act funds that have gone to Montana provided a 12.6 percent boost to the total state budget for the 2011 biennium. As a result, Montana has been able to balance the budget more easily than most states.

Continue reading »

Montana's creative attempt to get the elderly's attention

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 11:03 AM

So many elderly folks in Montana have been scammed into wiring money oversees that the state has distributed thousands of educational place mats to 170 senior centers in hopes that fewer will be fooled.

Continue reading »

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's "Free Will Astrology" online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Should you rely on hard facts or soft feelings? Would it be advisable to trust your tried-and-true medicine or else a potion brewed from the tongue of a snake, the feather of a crow, and a mandrake root? Can you get better results by mingling with staunch allies or with rebel upstarts who have a knack for shaking things up? Only you can decide on these matters, Aries. My opinion? You'll probably generate more interesting developments by going with the feelings, the mandrake root, and the upstarts.

Continue reading »

Monday, November 22, 2010

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: Why not to use WiFi (or drink from soda cans), fake justice and an unfortunate job interview.

Curses, Foiled Again
After Luis Del Castillo, 45, pushed Noemi Duchene, 44, in a wheelchair to a jewelry store in El Paso, Texas, security cameras caught Duchene outside the store getting out of the chair and pulling a large black trash bag with two eyeholes over her head and upper body. She went inside, showed a hunting knife and demanded “everything.” Storeowner Linda Bradley refused and trumped Duchene’s knife with a stun gun, then chased the robber around the store. “I knew I could outrun her, because she was obviously not very quick,” Bradley said, noting, “You cannot be terrified when someone cannot run and has a black bag on their head.” A customer tackled Duchene and held her until police arrived. They found Del Castillo waiting outside with the wheelchair. Investigators said the couple lives across the street from the store.

Police tracking a burglar from a home in Ladue, Mo., closed the case after finding the body of Donald Zakrzewski, 42, at the bottom of a rock quarry, having fallen 50 to 60 feet to his death. Police also found stolen jewelry in his pocket and a bag nearby containing electronic equipment from the home. “He was probably trying to escape the crime scene, running at full speed, when he ran off the edge,” police Chief Richard Wooten said.

Continue reading »

Friday, November 19, 2010

U.S. Senate finally passes Cobell settlement

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Sen. Max Baucus' office announced late this afternoon that the U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the $3.4 billion settlement in Cobell v. Salazar, the 15-year-old class action lawsuit that sought reimbursement for federal mismanagement of Individual Indian Money accounts. The case was settled early last December, but has experienced repeated hang-ups on the path to congressional approval this year. The Senate's vote today will ultimately benefit more than 300,000 Native Americans nationwide.

“For too long, our American Indian brothers and sisters have waited for a resolution to an embarrassing example of government irresponsibility,” Baucus said in his release. “Now it’s time to keep fighting for good paying jobs and investment in education in Indian Country.”

Lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe and founder of the Native American Community Development Corporation in Browning, spent much of 2010 negotiating with various congressmen in Washington, D.C., in a desperate attempt to see the settlement passed. Had the Senate not approved it in the current lame-duck session, the case would have returned to litigation in early 2011.

“I want to thank Senators Baucus and Tester for leading the fight in the Senate to provide a long-overdue conclusion to this settlement," Cobell stated in Baucus' release. "Too many Native Americans have died waiting for justice. My greatest optimism lies ahead hoping that today’s news gives way to permanent reform in the way the Departments of Interior and Treasury account for and manage Individual Indian Money accounts.”

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Dented heads, turducken, Four Loco and other alt weekly links

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM


Miami New Times launched a new blog feature called Mugshots Friday. Its debut is startling, as you can see above.

Seven Days explains turducken, complete with an easy recipe. 'Bout time someone did.

Four Loco, the controversial caffeinated malt beverage, never made it to Montana shelves. (Crazy, right? We checked with both Zip and Summit, though, and they confirmed it never hit our market.) But that doesn't mean the FDA's ban of these specialty drinks didn't scare the pants off of craftbrewers who use coffee and ginseng in their beers. Luckily, the Charleston City Paper reveals the FDA isn't targeting that kind of drink.

Willamette Week wonders why hundreds of millions of casino dollars haven't lifted Oregon tribes out of poverty.

The Boston Phoenix offers its take on how Democrats will cope with a sudden loss of power in D.C. (Hint: "Yeah, it's gonna suck for them for two years," says veteran political consultant Scott Ferson of Liberty Group in Boston.)

The Stranger's Brendan Kiley recently completed a three-part series titled, "The Mystery of the Tainted Cocaine." He explores what a drug used to deworm livestock—a drug that can obliterate your immune system—is doing in your cocaine, and, in part three, how to test your stash.

Finally, if you didn't catch it on the national news or on programs like "The Rachel Maddow Show," The Texas Observer, working with the Innocence Project, recently broke the news that new DNA evidence undermines the 2000 execution of Claude Jones.

His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene—a strand of hair—that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones.

But DNA tests completed this week at the request of the Observer and the New York-based Innocence Project show the hair didn’t belong to Jones after all. The day before his death in December 2000, Jones asked for a stay of execution so the strand of hair could be submitted for DNA testing. He was denied by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

In case you missed Colin on "Conan"

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Here's a video of former local boy Mr. Meloy and The Decemeberists playing with Gillian Welch on "Conan" last night.

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