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BACK when Livingston resident and actress Margot Kidder was playing Lois Lane in the movies, Superman was often coming to her rescue.
On Wednesday, when flood waters started forcing Livingston residents from their homes, Kidder got a chance to return the favor. She drove down to the city's Civic Center, where evacuees who had fled their homes had gathered. She discovered a lot of "poor, miserable people sitting with potato chips and bottled water. It was a sad-looking sight."
Kidder announced: “I’ve got some extra bedrooms if anyone wants to come over, but if you’re allergic to dogs, don’t come." A mother and two sons -- "lovely people" took her up on her offer.
Kidder continues to act, though not as much as she did in her Superman days, and is a political activist and grandmother. Her daughter, Maggie, is married to the novelist Walter Kirn, and they also live in the Livingston area.
FOR John Walsh, one of the advantages of being appointed to the US Senate is that he can parlay his new national visibility into votes when he's up for election this fall.
But one of the disadvantages of being appointed to the US Senate is that Walsh must cast votes that can be used against him in the election this fall. One vote that probably caused him heartburn came up Wednesday as senators voted on President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's civil rights division.
The nominee was Debo Adegbile, who has come under fire for supporting convicted Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. As acting director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Adegbile worked to overturn Abu-Jamal's death sentence. The sentence was eventually tossed due to technical flaws in a judge's instructions to a jury.
Critics say Adegbile wasn't just involved in the case as an attorney representing an unpopular client, but was using it to promote a political cause.
Republicans aren't the only ones opposing the nomination. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, where Abu-Jamal was convicted, said he'll oppose Adegbile's nomination.
So what will Walsh do? Will he back his party and the president? Or will he oppose the Adegbile nomination -- preventing Republicans from using the volatile case to portray him as soft on crime.
UPDATE: Normally, a Democratic senator would be an automatic "yes" vote for a Democratic president's nominee, but Walsh was one of seven Democrats who voted against the nomination. That means you won't be seeing the issue brought up by Republicans in a campaign ad later this year.
A COUPLE of recent rulings out of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals are generating national headlines. They should be of particular interest to Montanans because Sidney Thomas, a Billings attorney who was nominated to that court by Sen. Max Baucus, played a role in both of the controversial rulings. And his opinions might surprise many Montanans.
In the first case, a three-judge panel struck down San Diego County's system for issuing concealed carry permits -- a ruling seen as a blow to the national effort at gun control.
As Michael McGough reported in the Los Angeles Times, "San Diego County requires that applicants for a concealed-carry permit demonstrate that they have good cause for carrying a concealed weapon. But a generalized concern for one’s personal safety doesn’t qualify as “good cause.”
The 9th Circuit saw that as a fatal flaw. Writing for the majority, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain said that the policy abridged the right to bear arms in self-defense recognized by the Supreme Court in 2008 in District of Columbia vs. Heller."
In the Heller case, the Supreme Court said the 2nd
Amendment's language about a right to “keep and bear arms” protected people's
Judge Thomas dissented from the two-judge majority, arguing that San Diego could ban the concealed carrying of firearms.
IS University of Montana graduate Jim Messina the Democrats' Karl Rove?
Whether he is or not is really irrelevant, but clearly he made a big name for himself in managing President Obama's successful re-election campaign. And now he's moving aggressively to capitalize on his newfound fame, according to Politico, building his own "political fiefdom" and raking in he cash.
Messina, 44, has won a lot of accolades for his political savvy and work for liberal causes. But he's also stepped on toes, and some of his critics are griping that he's now going too far in recruiting new clients, some of whom have competing interests. Among other things, he's been snagging gigs where he earns as much as $50,000 speaking to big oil groups and foreign governments like the United Arab Emirate of Sharjah. At the same time, his Organizing for Action group is busy battling global warming.
"There's a freneticism" to it, one former Obama aide told Politico. "He doesn't seem to say no to anything."