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George W. Bush To Hold Fundraiser for Cheney; 2022 Election Is Showdown For Opposing Wings Of Wyoming GOP

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

If you get the feeling that Wyoming’s congressional race will be the center of the political universe in 2022, you’re probably on to something.

It looks like it might become a showdown for the opposing wings of Wyoming’s Republican Party, in fact.

Is the ideology of the GOP more in line with former President Donald Trump or does the party line-up with former President George W. Bush?

Whatever the answer is, both former presidents have chosen sides in Wyoming. 

Trump is going with Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman and Bush, as it was revealed today, is lining up with incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Bush’s first campaign event for the 2022 midterm elections will be to support Cheney at a fundraiser in his home state of Texas.

None of this should come as any surprise to anyone who knows about the connection of the Bush and Cheney families and the acrimony between Bush and Trump.

No one knows how active Bush will be on Cheney’s behalf in the coming year — whether he will continue his work in her support until the August primary or whether the fundraiser will be merely a one-off.

If it’s the latter, it’s still significant and the news was welcomed by former Natrona County GOP Chair Dr. Joe McGinley.

“It is great to see former President Bush lead by example and support a long time conservative such as Representative Cheney,” McGinley told Cowboy State Daily. “The Republican Party is an organization based on conservative values and principles, not hate, anger, vendettas, misleading statements and conspiracy theories.”

McGinley’s views have made him a target of the current state Republican Party leadership.

In a harshly worded letter sent last April, the Wyoming Republican Party called McGinley a “loser,” “dishonest” and prone to “public tantrums.” Hageman signed that letter alongside current state Republican Party Chair Frank Eathorne.

But McGinley does not stand alone. Former Wyoming legislator and former state GOP Chair Diemer True, arguably the most influential Republican in party politics for decades, isn’t a fan of the current direction of the Republican Party.

“The anger that is currently being exhibited within the structure of Wyoming Republican Party is not who the Wyoming Republican Party really is,” True told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.

“It is a very small group of zealots and it is hard to exaggerate the damage they are doing to civil discourse and the opportunity to truly investigate different ideas which is what representative Democracy supposed to be,” he said.

In that vein, True called the obscene and violent email sent by a Park County GOP official to state Sen. Tara Nethercott “disgusting” and representative of the current state of affairs within the State Party.

“The way Republican politics should work in Wyoming is people have every right to express an opinion and they can express it with great eagerness and passion and then we shake hands and go have lunch together. But that’s not the way it is now,” he said.

“That email is sort of representative of what the [current Wyoming] Republican leadership is doing,” True said.

True said the 2022 election shouldn’t be about Trump and Bush, but should be about Wyoming people and Wyoming politics.

Bush’s fundraising event is scheduled for Oct. 18 and will be co-hosted by many of the Bush administration’s alumni including Karl Rove, former Bush White House Counsel Harriett Miers and former White House counselor Karen Hughes. Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is listed as a co-sponsor as well.

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Scott Meier: Wyoming Families’ Personal Wealth is Under Attack by Biden Plan

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By Scott W. Meier, Wyoming Bankers Association (WBA)

Few things are more private than your household finances.  In his American Families Plan, President Biden unveiled a tax compliance initiative aimed at closing the gap between taxes that are owed and what are paid.  

Most of the anticipated revenue, which the Administration estimated at $460 billion over 10 years, would come from requiring financial institutions to report account information that Treasury says would be similar to W-2 reporting for wages and other income reporting.

The proposal, if enacted, would require banks and other financial institutions to report to the IRS detailed information on the inflows and outflows of every customer account above $600. 

Under the guise of closing the “tax gap,” the Biden administration and congressional allies are trying to push through a new, partisan reporting scheme in which financial institutions report customer transactions to the Internal Revenue Service. 

This proposal would turn every American’s local bank, credit union and payment provider into an IRS agent, monitoring and reporting on deposits and withdrawals made in private accounts — at a threshold of as little as $600.

This surveillance dragnet will capture every single American — from all income levels — with a bank, credit union, brokerage or financial account. 

This includes both individual and business accounts, including Main Street businesses of all types.  This indiscriminate data collection would subject law-abiding Americans to further IRS scrutiny and exacerbate privacy concerns. 

The IRS already holds troves of private data on Americans, including taxable income, charitable contributions, retirement savings, health care expenses, addresses, personal contact information and more.

Not only is this proposal a huge violation of privacy, but it is also an egregious abuse of Americans’ right to due process by inferring that all U.S. taxpayers are guilty of evading taxes until proven otherwise. 

Suppose you transfer $15,000 from your savings to your checking account to make a large purchase you have spent years saving for, like a wedding, car or home down payment.  

Your financial institution would be required to report the withdrawal and deposit to the IRS, possibly triggering an audit — despite the fact you have done nothing improper or illegal.  Any ensuing IRS activity would presume you guilty until proven innocent.

Beyond privacy concerns or the dangerous practice of assuming all Americans are rich tax cheats until proven otherwise, the IRS has a history of violating constitutional due process rights.  

According to a report by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division for years regularly violated, skirted or ignored taxpayers’ legal and due process rights when investigating taxpayers’ currency transaction reporting compliance.  

Fewer than 10% of investigations uncovered legal violations.  Every American should be wary of giving the IRS more power and more tentacles into private financial transactions.

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Jimmy Orr: Bear Obliterates Truck. I Mean REALLY Obliterates Truck

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Jimmy Orr on bear destruction
Jimmy Orr writes: If there was a bear Hall of Fame, this one should get inducted.
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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Locking the car doors may seem like a simple task to many of us, but to others it’s an insurmountable burden. A Sisyphean job so onerous that it can’t be done.

That’s why there are so many reminders from the police that hitting that daunting button after exiting a vehicle is a good strategy.

Wildlife officials issue that same call endlessly.

But some dopes individuals don’t get it.

Vehicles are stolen, goods inside vehicles are stolen and bears sometimes turn into Tasmanian Devils and destroy cars.

Happened again on Monday.

A bear opened up a door of a truck in South Park, Colorado, and absolutely obliterated the truck’s interior.

If there was a Hall of Fame for destruction caused by bears, this is a sure-fire nominee.

Now, the animal looked quite content with its surroundings in the first photo shared by Colorado Park & Wildlife (below).

Sure, the rear view mirror was dangling from the ceiling. But outside of that, it looked like he was in the driver’s seat just hanging out. Perhaps smoking a doobie (it is Colorado) and listening to Classic Vinyl on Sirius-XM.

Maybe “Wooden Ships” by Crosby, Stills, & Nash is just fading and that’s when he realizes he can’t get out. Or there’s no beer in the vehicle. Making it much less desirable than the truck in Larkspur, Colorado, that was broken into in June by a bear that drank the beer inside it before stumbling away.

Regardless, bears seem to break in just fine. Exiting? That’s a struggle.

So what to do?

Rip the crap out of the car.

And it did.

In the second photo, the truck isn’t even recognizable.

It looks like a living room on the TV show Hoarders.

Door panel ruined. Cushions ripped to shreds. Things dangling which aren’t meant to dangle. Absolute annihilation.

Holy cow! We want video.

But there is good news. The bear was released and happily bounded away (photo below).

And the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department was left to issue that same old warning:

  1. Remove anything with a scent from your vehicle.
  2. Make sure to always keep your car doors locked.

See you next time.

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Dave Simpson: Want The Lowdown? Ask A Smoker!

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By Dave Simpson, Cowboy State Daily

At first, I couldn’t figure out what I liked about the bar a mile down the road from our house.

Every week or two I would stop in for an ice-cold glass of Coors. The friendly bartender always remembered what I wanted. The same group of cowboy-hat-wearing regulars were in session down at the end of the bar, and there was free popcorn, but you had to go get it yourself. Nice place.

At first I thought it was the western ambiance – rodeo art and big taxidermy – but I finally figured out what it was that was different, and it will shock and maybe appall you:

The place smelled like the bars of my college days, because they let folks smoke cigarettes.

Now, I don’t smoke. I haven’t for 45 years.  And I’m turned off like everyone else by thick cigarette smoke. But the cold beer and the subtle aroma of someone’s cigarette down at the end of the bar was a blast from the past, a memory from early adulthood, enjoying a cold one, an opportunity to take stock, uninterrupted.

Our sense of smell is key in sparking memories. The first office I worked in was a fascinating combination of the cigarettes smoked by the editor and my fellow reporter, the oil used to keep the ever-clacking United Press International teletypes lubricated, and the ink and solvent they used on the press down in the basement.

I can smell it as I write this, and I lament the day smoking was banished and hard-core newsrooms started to smell no more interesting than government offices or insurance agencies. (Sadly, that first newsroom I worked in is now a commercial laundry. I couldn’t go back and smell the place if I wanted, or see my old Royal typewriter with the missing backspace key.)

Pungent memories.

At my father’s funeral 25 years ago, one of my older brothers told a story about building a boat with our dad down in our basement. The two of them would accomplish a task – fashioning the keel, a rib, or the transom – and then they would take a break, and my father would smoke a Camel cigarette as he contemplated the next step.

Years later he would give up smoking with the aid of cinnamon-flavored toothpicks. My guess is he missed those smoke breaks, and the pause to gather his thoughts.

(At that funeral, my brother told another story. The time came to paint the underside of the deck of the boat – a pretty impossible place to maneuver. “Nobody would know if we left it unpainted,” my brother said. “But, WE would know,” my father replied. And the underside of the deck got painted.)

One last story about smoking.

Long after lighting up a cigarette in a newsroom became a firing offense, and newsrooms started smelling like every other boring office in town, the smokers still found refuge out behind the building, rain or shine, hot or cold, gathered in a little group, enjoying their smoke-break and conversation.

At one paper, there was a picnic table by the back door, where our smokers would convene, greeting folks as they made their way to or from the parking lot.

It ultimately occurred to me that the inter-departmental communication that went on at that picnic table, or out on the loading dock at another paper, was far more effective than any department head meeting, or all-staff meeting I ever attended.

From then on, if I really wanted to know what was going on – who was mad at whom, who was about to quit, what caused that new dent in the company van, and the very juiciest gossip – I would ask a smoker. They usually had the answer, and would roll their eyes that the boss was always the last to know.

I’m sure the smokers still gather out behind those offices – one of the last things to survive from our rough-and-tumble “Front Page” past, sharing the latest gossip.

Our world is no doubt more healthy since our smoking days went up in smoke.

But, that whiff of smoke from the other end of the bar sure sparks a lot of memories.

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Bill Sniffin: Don’t Let Worry About Crowds Keep You From Yellowstone – It’s Wonderful!

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

In Yellowstone, the voices of authority are young gals with bullhorns telling people to move along. We ran into them on three occasions during our 11-hour drive through the park Friday, Sept. 17.

The first two times, these rangers had gotten the traffic moving by the time we got to the offending place.  The third time, we stopped and rolled down our window, and asked: “What’s going on?”

“There’s nothing here. Get out of here!” said the seemingly pleasant looking but serious traffic mover.  OK, OK.  And away we went.

We have been going to Yellowstone for 51 years and it is my favorite place on earth.  We love going in the fall as a way to avoid the summer tourist rush.

Alas, this year mid-September felt like July 4.  If you are going you better be patient.  And congratulations to the park service for hiring those traffic-movers with the bullhorns as they were effective in moving traffic along.

We spent two nights at the Blair-owned Holiday Inn in Cody, thanks to some scheduling help from Tim O’Leary, that company’s CFO. He is an outstanding photographer. Cowboy State Daily ran a photo of his featuring two bear cubs last Friday morning. The cubs’ mom had been hit and killed by a car west of Cody.

Using Cody as a base, we left early and took the spectacular Chief Joseph Highway to connect with the Beartooth Highway and enter the Yellowstone’s northeast gate.  Traffic was moderate and the smoky haze was gone. It was a nice day that  topped out at 66 degrees in the park.

It was chilly in the morning. An old boy in Cooke City, Montana, said they had freezing temperatures early that morning.  It was still too early to see much color in the trees. But it will be happening soon. The next two weeks will be golden in the park.

At Tower Junction, the road south was closed for the season as it was getting a major repair.  We headed on over to Mammoth hoping to see some elk roaming the streets. 

Parking spaces were hard to find. It was a busy place. We had to wait in line and wear masks to get into the Horace Albright Information Center.  The poor park service gal, who was in charge of enforcing the mask rule and maintaining proper social distancing, was not having a great day. One of the most unpleasant jobs in the park, I would assume. She was standing outside wearing her mask while everyone around her was not.

Xanterra is the outfit in charge of running just about everything in the park as its concessionaire.  It is the best in the business.  But this year has been tough.  Like just about everyone in the hospitality business, the company has had a struggle hiring staff.  

Lately, Xanterra has also had trouble getting food into the park.  One of their staff people strongly suggested that we pack in our own food, which we did. Thus, I have no idea about how service was, although there appeared to be lines everywhere.

I assume a lot of the company’s staff are college students who had to quit and go back to school.  It put them in to an impossible position.

Yellowstone is projected to see 4.8 million visits this year, smashing the all-time record of 4.2 million set last year.  The place is busy, even in mid-September.

Is it worth going?  Are you kidding!   I love the place. It is my favorite place. Just go prepared to be surprised at the large number of fellow tourists there with you this time of year.

Yellowstone is the world’s first national park. It is one of our country’s best ideas.  Next year, it celebrates its 150th anniversary. There will be a big party in Cody.  We attended the 100th anniversary party in 1972, also in Cody. Did I say I have had a long relationship with this wonderful place?  Yes I have. But I digress.

From Mammoth we headed south through the Golden Gate, which is an amazing road cut through a huge canyon where the road extends out over the gorge.

Much of this road is newly-paved and was wonderful.  At one point, traffic stopped for 20 minutes. No reason why.  Cars, trucks, campers, and motorcycles were stopped for five miles.  Finally, we started going but there was no indication of why we stopped. No bears. No accidents.

Oh well.  We still had most of the park to cover on this trip.

(End of Part 1. Part 2 will be about geysers, lakes, canyons and more and will appear next week.)

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Dennis Sun: Support The Beef Checkoff Program – It Is Good For Wyoming

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By Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Roundup

As fall shipping is underway, cattle producers will be writing checks to the Beef Checkoff. For every cow sold, the Beef Checkoff will collect $1, and of this dollar, up to half remains in Wyoming for local beef promotion, research and education programming administered by the Wyoming Beef Council. The other half goes to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) for the same reasons. Both entities are made up of cattle producers.

            The Beef Checkoff was created under the 1985 Farm Bill. At the time, consumers were starting to replace beef on the dinner table with chicken and pork. Chicken and pork products were being marketed and beef was not, thus, cattle producers and processors had to come up with a marketing plan to promote beef.

            In today’s world, beef products are no different from any other consumer products. In order to be competitive and sell their product, producers have to make their product visible to consumers, promote the positives of their product and be willing to adapt to consumers’ wants and needs.

            “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” was a Beef Checkoff campaign introduced almost 31 years ago, and today it is still recognized by 88 percent of the public – now that is marketing.

            The Beef Checkoff has strict guidelines and regulations in program management. Each state’s Beef Council, the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board and all of the contractors are audited annually ensuring compliance with the Beef Promotion Act and Order.

All contractors who receive contracts for checkoff work are established, national nonprofit, industry-governed organizations and are under oversight by the CBB, both statewide and nationally. The contractors operate on a cost-recovery basis, meaning they must pay all program costs first and are then only reimbursed after all the above checks have been conducted.  Contractors never receive money up front. CBB’s and the state Beef Council’s own operations are overseen by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which must approve all budgets, board activities and contractor work.

This transparency and oversight adds creditability to the program. Our nation’s cattle producers, beef processors and beef importers all gain from the promotion of the programs. A lot of producers are not happy to have beef importers involved, but this is the way the program was set up, and each part of the industry pays their fair share.

            According to a Wyoming beef producer attitude survey, over 70 percent of Wyoming’s beef producers support the Beef Checkoff. National support is comparable.

            Consumers like the Beef Checkoff, too, as the checkoff provides consumers information on how to select cuts of meat, how to cook beef and explores health benefits of eating beef. Everyone likes ground beef and it is easy to cook in many ways. But, to have the consumer try other cuts of beef and have the confidence to cook different cuts, is the success of the Beef Checkoff.

            Over the years, the Beef Checkoff has been challenged, but their creditability has stood tall. One industry organization is currently challenging the checkoff, and I have never understood their reasoning.

This organization has never shown interest in becoming a contractor to help promote beef, as they should, because their members are beef producers. Is it because they don’t have the money, people and resources to pay up front or can’t stand up to the transparency and oversight required to be a part of the Beef Checkoff? Or, do they dislike organizations, such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a prime contractor with the CBB to promote the beef industry and use checkoff funds, and does so with the transparency and oversight required?

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup is a weekly agriculture newspaper available in print and online. To subscribe, visit wylr.net or call 1-800-967-1647.

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Rod Miller: Wyoming’s “No Mas” Politicians and the Code of the West

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By Rod Miller, columnist

Eight rounds into Roberto Duran’s 1980 rematch with middleweight Sugar Ray Leonard, he quit the fight saying “No mas”. It was one of history’s great chokes. And regardless of what Duran accomplished before or after that moment, his name will forever be associated with “No mas”.

We are seeing several declared candidates for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat quit the race because a former president endorsed someone else. These “no mas” politicians have choked as ignominiously as Roberto Duran.

Each of these quitters began their campaigns with promises of better representation for Wyoming voters, roto-rooting the “D.C. Swamp”, protecting our rights and the usual litany of campaign rhetoric.

Along the way, they attracted supporters who believed in them and their message, and would help with money and labor during the long campaign. Money was raised. Support was pledged. People began to trust in these campaigns.

They developed campaign logos and catchy slogans that proclaimed their deep and abiding adherence to Wyoming values.

They each tried to differentiate themselves from the rest of the field in order to convince the voting public that they were what Wyoming is all about, and should be sent to Congress to clean things up.

They bent themselves into pretzels to demonstrate how much they revered and honored Wyoming’s official code of ethics – The Code of the West.

And then they quit. Because someone in New Jersey told them to quit.

Their choking under pressure should signal the end of their political careers in the Cowboy State. Wyoming was not built by quitters, and we shouldn’t trust our future to them either. We should invest our trust in those who choose to represent us for the right reasons, not for political opportunism.

We need to save our confidence and trust for those candidates who don’t just give lip service to The Code of the West, but who actually live it.

Here’s a reminder of what The Code of the West says:

8-3-123. State code. 10 11

(a) The code of the west, as derived from the book,

Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen, and summarized as follows,

(i) Live each day with courage;

(ii) Take pride in your work;

(iii) Always finish what you start;

(iv) Do what has to be done;

(v) Be tough, but fair;

(vi) When you make a promise, keep it;

(vii) Ride for the brand;

(viii) Talk less, say more;

(ix) Remember that some things are not for sale;

(x) Know where to draw the line.

Wyoming’s “No Mas” politicians should take particular note of (iii), (vi) and (ix) because those are the areas you really need to work on. Hell pay attention to the whole damn thing if you want to run for political office in Wyoming.

And from here on out, any Wyoming politician who quits a race, after claiming to be one of us, just because someone outside our borders leans on them deserves the forever nick-name, “No Mas”.

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Dave Simpson: Still Think 2021 Has To Be Better?

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

Confession is good for the soul, so I guess it’s time to ‘fess up.

About a year ago I wrote that I couldn’t imagine Americans putting the presidency in the hands of the political party that was making such a galloping mess of things in violence and riot-torn cities like Portland, Ore., Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Washington – the list is long.

But – unless you believe the election was stolen, and I’m not walking into that brier patch, even though I question where the questions went – I was wrong. Ding-dong wrong.

Americans, according to the election results, apparently preferred the party that has made such a goat rodeo of things in our major cities, and embraced a candidate who consistently devolves into indecipherable word salad whenever he wanders off script, over a brash, often rude, boasting guy who often made us say, “Gosh, I wish he hadn’t said that.”

The results of the first eight months of the Biden presidency demonstrate that the word salad guy couldn’t organize a trip to the grocery store (prices are up, Joe), much less a withdrawal from Afghanistan. And he’s opened our southern border to, well, pretty much anyone who shows up. All he’s good at is undoing everything the rude, boasting guy did, giving away money we don’t have, and promising to give away trillions more.

The rude, boasting guy was no great shakes on spending money we don’t have either, but the southern border was far more secure, and I believe heads would be rolling if he botched the withdrawal from Afghanistan as badly as the word salad guy.

So I’ve learned my lesson well. We prefer doddering, incomprehensible incompetence over mean tweets. Jot that down.

That said, I was RIGHT, however, in a column I wrote at the beginning of this year doubting the commonly-held belief that 2021 simply had to be better than 2020.

Maybe I hung around newsrooms for too many years, with journalists who sometimes boiled over from skepticism to full-bore cynicism, but I asked this question early this year:

What makes you think 2021 will be better than 2020? Maybe it will be worse. Ever think of that?

Turns out I was right, sadly prescient,  and it was only six days into the new year when a hoard of idiots, lunatics, rubes, stump-jumpers and a guy wearing body paint and buffalo horns stormed the Capitol to kick off what would become a Boone-and-Crockett grade rotten year. It even turned Liz Cheney into the darling of the democrats, someone we hardly recognize anymore.

The democrats and the media – I can hardly tell them apart – blame it all on the rude boasting guy who called on demonstrators to protest (this is a direct quote) “peacefully.”

Later that month, the boasting guy was too busy licking his wounds to save two Senate seats in Georgia, and handed the Senate over to the massive spending (even more massive than our guys), government-loving socialism fans of the left.

“Oh yeah,” I thought, “this sure doesn’t look like an improvement over 2020. And it’s only January!”

Then the governor of New York had to resign and give his Emmy back because he couldn’t keep his paws off the help, and lied about the great job he did fighting COVID. President Word Salad fired up his commission to pack the Supreme Court. And the price of gas rose by over $1 a gallon, as we hilariously asked OPEC to boost production while we did everything possible to torpedo production here. (Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.)

Then a new and improved model of COVID burst on the scene, and the messaging from Washington  was just more confusing, contradictory word salad.

When I figured things couldn’t possibly get worse, President Biden royally screwed up the withdrawal from Afghanistan. A high school kid could have told you to pull out the folks with the weapons last, not first, to protect Americans, and the Afghans who helped us for 20 years.

Remember when we were told these people would be the “adults in the room?”

Some adults.

Still think 2021 will be better than 2020?

I rest my case, Your Honor.

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Rod Miller: George “Doc” Frison, and Wyoming Heroes and Heroines

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By Rod Miller, columnist

Let’s talk about Wyoming heroes. And not the jocks, either.

This isn’t about guys with Cowboy street cred who invented the jump-shot, or started for the Packers in Super Bowl I, or pitched a perfect game in the majors. Although that all happened, and very proud of them we all are, this isn’t about the jocks.

Nor are we talking about the titans of business who have Wyoming roots and went on to found a department store chain, or serve as Henry Ford’s confidante and body guard, or own the Lakers and the Forum in L.A. We give them their due, of course, but this isn’t about them.

And I don’t mean Wyoming politicians, either. Maybe they had distinguished careers in Cheyenne, or Congress or the White House but I won’t include them here. If it rankles you that I don’t include the men and women of Wyoming politics as heroes and heroines, then please bear with me.

All of the above are worthy of our attention, but this ain’t about them

I want us to tip our collective Stetsons to the thinkers that Wyoming has produced, those heroes who invested their sagebrush intellect in answering questions about ourselves, our world, and how we behave in it.

We give way too little credit to the brainpower that this state has produced.

Men like W. Edwards Deming, who grew up in Powell, and whose career is internationally celebrated for initiating quality management programs for industry that changed the world of manufacturing.

There’s a very coveted prize, named for Deming, and awarded to the Japanese company that best exemplifies total quality management. Why Japan? Because Deming and his philosophy rebuilt Japan after WWII.

And Dave Love, the Wyoming geologist that John McPhee wrote about in “Rising From the Plains”. In the closing segment of Ken Burns’ documentary, “The West”, Dave’s family’s roots are eloquently described.

Love was the first ever recipient of the “Legendary Geoscientist” award from the American Geological Institute. He located the first uranium discovery in Wyoming in 1951, and knew more about how Wyoming was formed geologically than anyone on the planet.

Add a couple of intellectual heroines to this list. Like Grace Hebard, Wyoming historian, and suffragette who was elected Vice President of the National Society of Women Lawyers. And Lynne Cheney who is a prolific author, and served as head of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

And finally, George “Doc” Frison who grew up in the rugged Nowood country on the west flank of the Bighorn Mountains. He spent his youth cowboying, hunting and picking up fossils and arrowheads, like so many ranch kids in Wyoming.

In later years, when he settled on a career in archaeology, Doc’s curiosity about the earliest inhabitants of the Cowboy State and how they interacted with their world led him into a life of research that culminated in his being the first and only Wyomingite elected as a Fellow to the National Academy of Science.

Frison became head of the new Department of Anthropology at U.W., and was selected as Wyoming’s first State Archaeologist. Throughout his life, Frison passed along his curiosity and intellectual rigor to a new generation of archaeologists. We know much more about our collective past because of him.

Doc was a close family friend and mentor to my younger brother, Mark, who succeeded him as State Archaeologist. Betty Rose and Frank Miller owe Doc a great debt of gratitude for guiding the younger, smarter brother into a life of academic inquiry, rather than the dissolute path of pool halls and seedy bars that tempted the older, much better looking brother.

Doc Frison’s life and distinguished career will be celebrated in Laramie on September 24 at the Hilton Garden Inn. I think the shindig will go from 3 til 5 p.m. I’m writing this column to let you know about Doc and this event.

It’s high time that we in Wyoming celebrate our fellow citizens who bring attention to our state because of the life of the mind. We need to honor the fact that our heritage is so much more than money, touchdowns or political power.

As Longfellow wrote in “Psalm of Life”

Lives of great men all remind us

we can make our lives sublime

and departing, leave behind us

footprints on the sands of time.

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Bill Sniffin: Liz Vs Harriet Could Be A Big-Time Heavyweight Boxing Match

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Donald Trump made a big Cowboy State splash this past week when he anointed Harriet Hageman as his choice to run for Wyoming’s lone Congressional seat against three-termer Liz Cheney.

Cheney and the former president have been feuding all year and this brings their dispute to a head-to-head fight.  Hageman’s name is on the ballot but it might as well be Trump versus Cheney.

Trump and Cheney are competing to see who can be feistier. Trump calls Liz names. Liz never tires of criticizing the former president. When the news came about his endorsement of Harriet, she replied: “Bring it.”

Over the years, I have gotten to know both Liz and Harriet. This is shaping up to be a heavyweight title bout between two very smart and well-funded Wyoming woman candidates.

Of course, this is all based on whether Liz even decides to stay in the race. I have predicted she will drop out and move on to the national stage, where she has already carved out a huge presence. 

Liz used to be a force in the U. S. Congress because of her political position. Much of her influence in that arena is gone now.

While losing influence in Congress, her influence has grown across the county. She has become a major force in national politics because of her eloquent and dogged criticism of Trump and his policies. She has become a darling of the liberal national media.

As for the primary race itself, other Congressional candidates like attorney Darin Smith of Cheyenne have  bowed out but State Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) and State Rep. Chuck Gray (R-Casper) are hanging in there as I write this Sept. 10. 

Even without Trump’s endorsement, Hageman could have been predicted to defeat Bouchard and Gray.  She would have a more difficult time with Smith, but for now, Smith has done what he originally said he would do — drop out in favor of Trump’s choice against Liz Cheney.  But if Cheney drops out, Smith retains the right to retract that decision and get back in the race. 

From past experience with Cheney and Hageman, I would compare their campaigns as follows: Liz likes retail campaigning with lots of big budget ad campaigns and small local intimate gatherings of supporters.  

Harriet likes wholesale campaigning, which I would describe as mixing it up with the voters and even with the other candidates.  Harriet is a bulldog and if you are going to fight with her, you better come to the fight prepared for a battle. Although massively outspent by her opponents Mark Gordon, Foster Friess, and Sam Galeotos in the 2018 governor’s race, she did well finishing third.

Liz Cheney chatted with reporters Friday, including Editor Jimmy Orr of the Cowboy State Daily. Here are some of those excerpts: 

It was on the topic of the Constitution where Cheney drew a big difference between herself and Hageman, a Wyoming attorney. She said both she and Hageman had taken oaths. Her oath when she became a member of Congress. Hageman’s when she became a member of the Wyoming Bar.

Only she herself has adhered to their respective oaths, Cheney said.

“She [Hageman] is now abandoning that principle, sacrificing her oath, abandoning her duty to the people of Wyoming — in order to pledge loyalty to Donald Trump,” Cheney said.

“She seems to be stepping into the shoes of people like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, two attorneys who recently have been sanctioned by the courts for lying about the election,” she said.

Cheney said it was “tragic to see that kind of opportunism” and was “inconsistent with Wyoming values.”

In that vein, she also expressed concern with the chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party, Frank Eathorne, for also putting loyalty to the former president above the Constitution mentioning that he expressed support for secession following the Capitol riots of January 6.

“I think that’s really dangerous, anti-conservative, and frankly, a move away from the Constitution,” Cheney said.

“We don’t take an oath to any individual person,” she said.  “We swear an oath under God to the Constitution.”

As for Trump’s endorsement of Hageman, Cheney called the whole process of interviewing with the former president in hopes of receiving an endorsement “sad.”

“The notion that candidates have felt that they needed to go to New Jersey to pledge their allegiance to Donald Trump, rather than to the people of Wyoming and the Constitution is really sad to see,” she said.

Hageman, meanwhile, appeared on Fox News and explained that she used to support Cheney, but that “Cheney had changed.”  

“If I knew what she was going to turn into, I would never had answered that first phone call.”

Coincidentally, Hageman had supported Cheney during her first two campaigns for U. S. Congress. 

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