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Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson: Old Retired Guys Wrestling With Pots

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By Dave Simpson, Cowboy State Daily columnist

There’s some swagger involved in being the “Pot Wrassler.”

Unless you’re really bad at it, folks don’t mess with you. Because, sure as God made little green apples, they don’t want to do it.

A Pot Wrassler was a chuck wagon cook and dishwasher out on the range. The job often fell to cowboys who were too old and beat up to do the rough stuff younger cowboys do.

The late cowboy poet Curley Fletcher wrote in the poem “Pot Wrassler,” “I got the rheumatics and my hands is all burned. My joints is all stiff and my belly is churned. Now I’m a pot wrassler, yure a hearing me shout. So come on and get it, fore I throws it out.”

When I retired I took over most of the cooking at our house. Seemed like the least I could do. For all those years I spent working, the chore of cooking fell on my wife. And it plum wore the old gal out. (She’s a lot older than I am – 24 days.)

It’s not hard to understand. She had been cooking since “home ec” in junior high – when I was busy making a curio shelf in “shop.” Coming up with “something for dinner” had long ago lost its allure, and she always said she’d eat road kill, or squirrel brains, if someone else would just cook it.

For me, however, after a career of listening to people complain about a wet newspaper, or with a bone to pick over an editorial, cooking dinner seemed like a day in the park. A little project every afternoon, with the payoff at dinner. Piece of cake.

I think a lot of retired guys are doing the cooking these days, guys like me with “the rheumatics” and stiff joints and churned bellies.

I see them at the grocery store, confused looks on their faces, wandering around, looking in vain for the Kitchen Bouquet (a teenager stocking shelves told me to go look in Floral), or trying to find the “broccolini” that TV star Joanna Gaines specifies in her baked chicken recipe. (Good luck finding broccolini in Flyover Country. I’ve looked high and low.)

The women in my family laugh that I even looked. “Leave it out of the recipe!” they say. “Are you crazy? Who cares?” But the retired guys I know want to be precise, as if they’re rebuilding a carburetor. We actually care if the salt is “sea salt,” or “kosher salt.” The wrong salt could mess everything up. The dinner could run rough.

Old guys who spent years reading “Popular Mechanics” and looking up to Bob Vila and Norm Abram are suddenly studying the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, and watching “The Pioneer Woman” on TV.  Tom Silva can rebuild your Victorian porch, but Ree Drummond makes a killer Green Bean Casserole. Times change, Pal. Better change with ’em.

We’re up to it. An old friend told me not long ago that he too does most of the cooking at his house. (That guy bakes a loaf of rye bread that will blow your hat in the creek.)

A young guy I know did such a good job on the Magnolia Table Classic Cheesecake that I had to give it a try myself. (Figuring out what a “springform pan” is, and trying to find one, burned up an afternoon.

I ultimately bailed, resorting to one of those preformed graham cracker crust pans. It was my maiden voyage baking in a “water bath.” Nobody drowned.)

My mother-in-law makes the best fried chicken in the world. During one visit, she got crosswise with my black Lab. “She says either the dog goes, or she goes,” my wife said. And I said, “I’m sure going to miss that fried chicken.” (Things calmed down and neither the dog nor my mother-in-law had to go.)

I’m working on my fried chicken, but it can’t match hers. I can go toe-to-toe with her, though, when it comes to green chili.

This pot wrassler deal is kind of fun. The family comes and gets it, “fore I throws it out.”

As Curley Fletcher wrote:

“So do yure old riding, you wild galoots. And I’ll wrassle pots, you can just bet your boots.”

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: Rush Limbaugh, A 32-Year Habit Comes To An End

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

It was September of 1988 when I first started listening, which makes me a “lifer.”

It was at a riverfront park in Pekin, Illinois, and the voice I heard on an FM radio station from Morton, Illinois, was something new and different – a conservative.

For the next 32 years I would tune in to the Rush Limbaugh Show just about every weekday. Finally, someone was saying things I believed. Finally, there was another viewpoint being voiced than those of Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings.

In all the years I’ve been listening, I have never written in this column that I was a regular listener to Rush Limbaugh. I was making enough enemies on my own with my newspaper columns without running off the folks who couldn’t stand Rush. So I never mentioned it.

There were good reasons. There have only been two people during my lifetime who could set folks off pretty much instantaneously – Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh.

Years ago, an old friend told me he would never listen to Limbaugh, and he couldn’t stand him. I wondered how he knew he couldn’t stand him if he had never listened to him. But that’s the way it was. Saying you listened to Rush Limbaugh was all some folks needed to hear, and any regard for you went right out the window.

In the early 1990s, when Limbaugh came to Peoria on his “Rush to Excellence Tour,” my wife,  two friends from work, and I were in attendance at the crowded venue. Stories in the regional paper about Limbaugh coming to town were not kind, hinting that those who attended were an odd, unsophisticated bunch.

Afterward, we went out to a restaurant in Peoria, and got into an ugly debate over abortion, a topic the pro-life Limbaugh had talked about earlier. That was the last time I ever debated abortion with anyone.

Come to think of it, discussing abortion is kind of like mentioning Limbaugh or Trump – an instant conversation stopper, or argument starter. And nobody changes their mind.

I’m not a “ditto head,” or a “mind-numbed robot,” as listeners were often called. I didn’t always agree with Rush. And he admitted that, like every one of us, there were things he would have done differently, if given the chance to do them over. His stumbles along the way were meticulously recounted by a media that was pretty uniformly hostile.

But, he was always interesting to listen to, and millions of us did.

Some people didn’t like his showman bluster about having “talent on loan from God,” and being able to debate issues “with one half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair.” Others saw red when he made fun of liberals and the failure of programs and policies they hold dear. His unabashed patriotism and enthusiasm for this country no doubt enraged those who think we’re everything that’s wrong with the world.

I noticed over the years that I would often hear stories in the news that were talked about a week or more earlier on the Limbaugh show.

There are many folks in this country – at least 20 million who listened to Rush, 74 million who voted for Trump – who are wondering today why it is so controversial to want a government that isn’t running up catastrophic debt, to want a government that controls its borders, that lives up to the promises of freedom of speech and religion, that won’t confiscate our guns, that does its best to foster an economy in which everyone can succeed, and believes that government governs best when it governs least.

What’s so hateful about those things?

Rush Limbaugh died last week from complications related to lung cancer. Who will take his place? I don’t think anyone can, But we have to remain as optimistic about the future of this great country as Rush was.

So there you have it. I was a devout Rush fan. The haters can say what they please. They always do.

I never met Rush Limbaugh, but I will say here what I have heard many say in the last week:

l feel like I’ve lost one of my best friends.

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Dave Simpson: Like An Incredibly Tough Old Truck

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By Dave Simpson, Cowboy State Daily columnist

If you need proof that “they don’t make ’em like they used to,” look no further than the venerable American B-52 bomber.

When I hitched a ride on one way back in 1981, they were already considered old and near the end of their useful lifetimes. The plane I flew on was built not long after some members of the six-person crew were born. New, more modern bombers were in development.

And yet, a 60-year-old B-52 flew over disputed airspace 100 miles off the coast of China in February of 2020, making the point that it was “a United States military aircraft conducting lawful military activities in international airspace.”

Similar flights of the eight-engine bomber – designed in 1948 with slide rules instead of computers – projected American power last August over the Ukrainian coast, and last month over the Persian Gulf.

Last month the Wall Street Journal reported on the latest role of the B-52. It reported that the newer B-1B bomber developed problems with its adjustable wings after missions over Afghanistan and the  Mideast.

And the stealth B-2 bomber was scaled back to 21 aircraft from a projected 132 due to its $2 billion cost per plane.

Both will soon be phased out. A new B-21 is expected by 2025, joining the old reliable B-52s, which will be retrofitted and are expected to fly until 2050 – an incredible 90 years after the first models were built.

“It is like an old truck that was built when they actually built them tough,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the Air Force chief of staff, told the Wall Street Journal.

I flew on a B-52 on October 28, 1981, after spotting a news release warning private pilots in Wyoming that low-level training missions would be flown over the state, at around 500 feet of altitude at a rate of about six miles per minute.

Through our congressman at the time – a guy named Dick Cheney – I arranged to go along on one of those training flights out of Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D., with “the Black Hills Bandits.”

(I wore cowboy boots at the time, so they had to outfit me with regular air crew footwear, so I wouldn’t look like Slim Pickins in “Dr. Strangelove.”)

Before we took off, the pilot explained that they have two kinds of emergencies – a “controlled emergency,” in which I would be directed to bail out of the belly of the plane, and an “uncontrolled emergency,” in which case, “you will suddenly be all alone on the plane,” the six-man crew having ejected. He strongly urged me to bail out if that occurred – there would be plenty of openings.

We did airborne refueling as we headed west over the Wyoming/Colorado line. Flying that close to another aircraft was sobering, and I remember seeing the face of a crewman aboard the tanker, who directed the refueling vane down to our plane. With a clunk, we took on fuel.

We took a right turn around the Wyoming/Utah line, flew up toward Yellowstone, then angled back across Wyoming to South Dakota, where we did a sharp U-turn and dropped down to enter the low-level portion of the flight.

At 300 to 800 feet, and with eight engines roaring on a plane bigger than a Boeing 707, you could pick out people on the ground, their mouths agape as we blasted overhead.

The fall foliage, up close, was spectacular.

We did simulated bomb drops on targets near Douglas and Powell, Wyoming.

When we got back to Ellsworth, after a long day aloft, there was a delay in landing, as a light that was supposed to indicate that the landing gear was down failed to come on. It took a while, but the light ultimately came on, and we landed.

On the ground, the pilot said, “Let me show you something.” In the area in front of one set of wheels, there was red hydraulic fluid sprayed all over the compartment. “That’s why it took us a while to land.”

Hard to believe that those planes are still flying, projecting American power almost 40 years after my flight, a testament to American design and durability.

I’m betting they got that landing gear problem fixed.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: I Looked Hard, And Finally Found It

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

Couple weeks ago, a fellow columnist asked his friends to come up with some good news.

I’ve been scratching my head ever since.

And now, after some painstaking effort, I’ve finally come up with some good news.

There’s a definite sense of release, bordering on relief, to see the end of a pitched, angry, no-holds-barred political battle that raged for the last five years. No team can be on defense for five years, fending off withering attack after attack, without being plum exhausted. It’s enough to wear a guy out.

I wake up in the morning these days without that sense of dread I had for the last five years, wondering what the guy I voted for said, posted or tweeted while I was asleep.

I liked the impressive results the guy I voted for achieved (a booming stock market, record low pre-Covid unemployment, cutting regulations, spurring development of multiple vaccines in record time, and more), but I wasn’t on board with everything he said.

He couldn’t resist walking into at least one screaming buzz saw of controversy a day, sometimes two. If I listened to him talk for any length of time, I’d come up with multiple things I wished he had said differently. I knew what his mortal enemies on the left and in the news media would do with the verbal ammunition he served up to them.

Folks either loved the guy or hated him. There wasn’t much middle ground. Something about him served as a catalyst that made a sizable percentage of Americans erupt like Vesuvius at the mere mention of his name.

It’s nice, these days, waking up without that dread. When I see this new president of ours speaking, I can’t understand much of what he says when he’s wearing two masks, and not much more when he isn’t. But hey, if he makes some boneheaded comment, I don’t have to defend it. Not my problem. No skin off my, well, head.

It’s very refreshing.

Likewise, it’s good news that my liberal friends don’t have to be hysterical anymore.

It can’t be easy maintaining that level of Chicken Little hysteria for five years, but they went above and beyond the call of duty.

Who wouldn’t need a long vacation after believing for so long that Beelzebub was our president, that he would never leave office, and that he was Putin’s twin, separated at birth?

The poor dears need a rest.

It’s also good news, I guess, that for some reason the government keeps sending us money. My wife and I are on Social Security, and we always saved for our retirement years.

But money from the government keeps showing up in our checking account. First there was $1,200 for each of us. Then $600 for each of us. And now it looks like we’ll be getting another $1,400 each, even though we wouldn’t miss any meals without it.

Nobody ever asked if we needed it. If they had, we would have told them to give that $1,200, then $600, and now maybe $1,400 to people who really need it, who have lost jobs, who are hungry, or who have been forced to close their businesses.

Our government isn’t smart enough to figure out who needs money and who doesn’t. So they just give (borrowed) money to everyone.

Turns out, many Americans are simply saving the money, instead of stimulating the economy by spending it. Proving they have a lot more common sense than their government.

One bit of good news was easy to come up with – the birth of a brand new grand daughter in late November, who I’m hoping won’t someday get stuck with the bill for the $1,200, then $600, and now maybe $1,400 deposits her grandma and grandpa found in their checking account.

She’s perfect in every way, a little diary with no writing on any of the pages yet, and great parents who will make sure those pages are filled with all the right stuff as she grows up.

Maybe she, or some member of her fresh new generation, can do a better job running this joint than we have.

Now that would be some good news to report.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: It’s a Goose/Gander Kind of Deal

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

Not long ago, I wrote that we should show our new president all the courtesy, respect, good will and benefit of the doubt that was afforded to Donald J. Trump four years ago.

“Every. Stinking. Bit.”

Let’s get started:

– Last week, President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone. According to news reports, they talked about arms control and the arrest of a politician who has challenged Putin, and almost died when he was poisoned.

I’m waiting for the leaked transcript of that call to appear in the news. Surely some back-stabbing, traitorous scoundrel in the federal bureaucracy will leak the transcript to the Washington Post or the New York Times, as was done four years ago with newly-elected President Donald Trump’s phone conversations with the presidents of Mexico and Australia.

Surely those who betrayed Trump will see that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and do all they can to humiliate and demean Biden as well. It’s only fair. To do less would suggest that the status quo in Washington (sometimes called the “Deep State” by those more conspiracy minded than I) treats Democrats better than Republicans.

Of course, the Biden-adoring press probably wouldn’t run the purloined transcript anyway. Too busy talking about his socks, his favorite ice cream, and his all-around gosh darned wonderfulness.

Likewise, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has no doubt authorized the tapping of phone conversations of Biden staff members, ferreting out cock and bull stories like that whopper about Trump and those frisky prostitutes in Moscow.

If they’re not wire tapping Biden, where’s the “equity” (the Democrats’ new favorite word) in this picture? Surely our longtime pubic servants in Washington, and the media, would not treat one president more shabbily than another. Would they?

The U.S. Senate is considering a long list of Biden nominees who require Senate confirmation.

You’ll recall that Democrats dragged their feet whenever possible in confirming Trump’s nominees in 2017. A story in the April 22, 2017 Washington Post reported, “Democrats have tried to slow the process, invoking arcane parliamentary procedures to force delays, and boycotting committee meetings to prevent votes.”

This time around, the Washington Times reported on January 26, 2021, that Democrat Senator Charles “Schumer praises (Republican) McConnell for confirmation pace.” Schumer said, “We’re off to a decent pace.” 

So, the Dudley Do Right Republicans, fans of the Golden Rule, are treating Democrats the way they would like to be treated, even though Democrats sure didn’t treat them the way they wanted to be treated four years ago.

The late Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s pollster and a noted pundit, said in 2014 that the Democrats are “the corrupt party,” and Republicans are “the stupid party.” Hard to argue.

The Senate is also gearing up for The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump, the Sequel, set to start next week. You have to wonder what everyday, working class folks who don’t live in Washington think about 100 senators, each making at least $174,000 a year, wasting time throwing a guy out of a job who has already been (so we are required to believe) thrown out of his job.

I wonder what your average Flyover Country working stiff thinks about firing a guy who doesn’t work here anymore. 

Probably not much.

President Biden, irked at reporter Peter Doocy for asking a question that wasn’t about ice cream or his socks, called Doocy a “one-horse pony” as he left a news conference.  He was clearly attempting to call Doocy a “one-trick pony” (we know these things out here in Wyoming), but couldn’t get the right words out of his mouth.

He once called a woman a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier,” to the bewilderment of just about everyone. I wouldn’t hold these episodes against a fellow old guy, except for the glee that was expressed when Trump mistakenly typed “confefe” instead of  “coverage” in a 2017 Tweet. Joe and Mika on “Morning Joe” just about split a gut laughing.

Are Biden’s mistakes a horse of a different color? No.

Enough for now. I’ll end with this friendly reminder:

Whatever you do, don’t make America great again. We’re not into that anymore.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: Who You Calling a Proud Boy?

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

I wouldn’t know a “Proud Boy” if he was sitting across the breakfast table from me.

I’ve never met one. Never seen one in my town.

I’m a Republican, since way back in the 1980s, and suddenly folks on the far left seem to think we’re all Proud Boys.

Apparently the Proud Boys are some kind of nutty response to nuts on the other end of the political spectrum. But one pack of nuts isn’t any better than another pack of nuts. And as soon as someone smashes a window with a skate board, sets a fire, or drives a car into a crowd of people, someone needs to go to jail.

The media – where I earned a living for 40 years – has trouble with this. One group of nuts is deemed “peaceful protesters” in the news, while the other group is seen as “traitors,” guilty of “sedition.”

The way I see it, if you broke into the U.S. Capitol building out of some crazy notion of furthering the beliefs of conservatives like me, you’re no better than the lunatics that have been tearing up jack in Portland for months now.

I want nothing to do with either group. And I’d remind the Proud Boys that pride goeth before a fall.

Likewise, I wouldn’t know a “Qanon” member if he was sitting beside the Proud Boy at my breakfast table. I’ve never met a Qanon. Never seen one in my town.

So our far left friends should stop painting all Republicans with the tarry scum at the bottom of our barrel. Is that too much to ask? You’ve got a barrel with scum at the bottom, too. I have not accused all Democrats of breaking windows in Portland, shooting fireworks at cops, and setting fires. Likewise, I was  not within 1,000 miles of the the bare-chested lunatic with the face paint, the buffalo horns, and the Davy Crockett coonskin cap in the Capitol.

That clown doesn’t represent me in any way.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Some organized crime figures bought homes in the suburbs. My brother was friends with the son of one such organized crime suspect. The father’s nickname, as I recall, was “Screwy.” (Now there’s a name we never considered for our kids.)

One day, Screwy gave this advice to my brother:

“Never join a gang.”

Later, my father said, “Now THERE’S a guy who knows what he’s talking about.”

Bottom line: Most of us belong to groups about as controversial as the Rotary Club or Kiwanis. A Weed and Pest Control District. Meals on Wheels. Or a quilting league. Only the tiniest of sad minorities are Proud Boys, Qanon, or white supremacists.

Me? A Proud Boy? Are you kidding?

For the record, I’ve never broken into any building, public or private. Never worn face paint. Never stolen the lectern from the House of Representatives, put my feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, or slugged a cop. I’ve never touched a cop. If I assaulted one, I would expect to be billy clubbed into submission. And I’d deserve it.

We keep hearing about “deprogramming” people like us. What crazy ideas do they want to exorcise from Republicans like me? What’s the deprogramming agenda?

Should we be put in modern-day gulags for wanting state and federal governments that don’t spend wildly beyond their means? Should we be kept in custody until we no longer see a problem with $27 trillion in debt, and have no problem with adding much more?

Is it evidence of mental illness if we don’t see socialism – a system that can’t seem to keep food and toilet paper on grocery store shelves in Venezuela – as the answer to our problems? Should we be in treatment until we see the virtue of turning every doctor into a government employee, with all the mindless bureaucracy and delays that entails?

I’m not a Proud Boy. Heck, I’m not even a Rotarian anymore.

And if you plan to “deprogram” me into thinking vast government control and even higher federal debt are good things, then I’ve got a line from the movie “Jaws” for you.

You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: One Fascinating Day in Jackson

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

An old swivel chair in a famous lawyer’s office came to mind last week when I read an obituary in our local paper.

The obituary was for Edward Moriarity, 79, for years a partner of famed Wyoming lawyer Gerry Spence. Moriarity died of pancreatic cancer January 4 in Missoula, Montana.

Spence and Moriarity were front-page news back in the 1980s and ’90s, winning jury verdicts for the family of Karen Silkwood against energy giant Kerr-McGee, for Wyoming coed Kim Pring against Penthouse Magazine, and successfully defending Ruby Ridge standoff survivor Randy Weaver against the U.S. government.

They also served as special prosecutors in the 1977 bombing deaths of Evanston attorney Vincent Vehar, his wife Beverly, and son John, and the 1979 torture killing of informant Jeffrey Green near Rock Springs. Thirty sticks of dynamite demolished the Vehar home. And Green’s body had 140 burn marks on it, a burned out eye, “T” burned repeatedly in it for “traitor,” and a bullet wound to the neck.

Spence and Moriarity were asked to investigate and prosecute the case by Vehar’s son Tony, who survived the blast, and District Judge C. Stuart Brown of Kemmerer.

Mark Hopkinson was found guilty in 1979 of arranging all four deaths. He received consecutive life prison terms for the Vehar deaths, and the death penalty for Jeffrey Green’s killing.

Hopkinson was on Death Row when an editor and columnist for the Casper Star-Tribune, Bob Messenger, interviewed him in 1981, and wrote columns in which Hopkinson professed his innocence. The paper was then contacted by Spence, suggesting that Messenger come to his office in Jackson Hole to hear the complete story.

I was an assistant city editor at the Star-Tribune at the time, and they sent me along with Messenger, to have another set of eyes and ears in the room.

We arrived about noon, and had to be buzzed in through a security door. We were told the windows were bulletproof glass. Hopkinson, after all, had been convicted of ordering the death of Jeffrey Green from a California prison, so strict precautions were necessary.

Making the point that “a dog won’t eat with dogs it doesn’t trust,” Spence had sandwiches ready for us when we arrived. (Avocado sandwiches, a first for me, but I figured folks in Jackson ate like that all the time.) Spence had a Near Beer with his lunch, taking care to point out that it was non-alcohol beer. He had given up drinking years before.

Spence seated Messenger in an old swivel chair in his office. The chair, he told us, was formerly the courtroom chair of District Judge H.R. Christmas, who presided over the first case Spence argued in court. And that chair, Spence told us, was the only payment he received for investigating the Vehar and Green murders and prosecuting Hopkinson – two years of work for his firm.

The first time Messenger leaned back in that old swivel chair, it tipped backwards like a catapult. Bob’s arms went up and his legs shot out to keep from falling over backwards.

“That’s the same thing that used to happen to the judge!” Spence said, with what looked to me like glee in his eyes.

From then on, Messenger sat on the very front of the swivel chair, like a school kid paying close attention, trying to keep from tipping backwards.

After lunch, Spence said he wanted his partner “Eddie,” Ed Moriarity, to join us, because he had a thorough, up-to-date knowledge of the details of the case, and the subsequent appeal.

One of the most fascinating afternoons of my years as a newsman followed, with Messenger posing questions about Hopkinson’s claims of innocence, and Moriarity batting each one down for a variety of reasons, citing sworn testimony and evidence presented at the trial.

He had what looked like a photographic memory. Spence chimed in when a point needed to be emphasized, but “Eddie” did most of the talking, and he was stunningly prepared and persuasive. In his book “Gunning for Justice,” Spence called Moriarity, who grew up in the tough mining town of Butte, Montana, “a diamond in the rough.”

Folks back then said Spence was so successful in court because he “mesmerized” juries. We asked him about that, and he said the main reason for his success was the exhaustive preparation done long before any case went to trial. That afternoon in Jackson, the key role Moriarity played in their success could not have been more obvious.

As I recall, the fire went out of Bob Messenger’s Death Row columns with Mark Hopkinson after that. Hopkinson was executed by lethal injection on January 22, 1992, at the penitentiary in Rawlins, proclaiming his innocence to the end.

One last point about that old swivel chair in Gerry Spence’s office.

No one will ever convince me that Spence – the master of meticulous preparation – didn’t loosen the spring adjustment underneath that swivel chair to keep Bob on edge all afternoon.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: Stay Away From DC? No Problem!

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By Dave Simpson, Columnist

So much news popping up all around us.

Let’s touch some bases:

– As we enter this new era of Total Democrat Control (TDC) in Washington, we Republicans are going to have to get better at name calling.

We’re what the kids call “weak sauce” when it comes to thinking up really snappy names for Democrats. Oh, sure, President Trump liked to call Joe Biden “Sleepy Joe.” And you hear them called “dumocrats,” and “the dims” from time to time. And I’ve called them “spendthrifts pounding hard-earned dollars down every rat hole they can find.”

But, to quote Peggy Lee, is that all there is?

As our new Great Leader would say, “C’mon man!” This is small-caliber stuff.

Compare that to the inspired work of our friends on the left. In recent days, I’ve been called a “treason weasel” and a “traitor.” (The penalty for treason in times of war? Death by firing squad. No weak sauce there.)

Fellow conservatives are called “MAGA-billies” “degraded specimens,” and “10-tooth rubes.” We’ve been called “a basket of deplorables,” and rustics clinging to our “guns and Bibles.”

Clearly, Democrats have the upper hand when it comes to fresh thinking and creativity in name calling.

Time to up our game.

– If Joe Biden really wants to unite us, like he says, why did he compare two Republican senators – Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley – to Third Reich propaganda minister Joseph Goebbles last week, comparing their questioning election results to the Nazi “Big Lie” strategy?

Was that helpful? I think not.

A good rule of thumb: Whoever calls someone a Nazi first, or mentions Hitler, loses the argument.

I’m not feeling very united yet.

– Did you hear that CNN host Anderson Cooper referred to pro-Trump demonstrators in Washington, D.C. as the kind of people who stay at Holiday Inn and Marriott Garden hotels and eat at Olive Garden restaurants?

Just what we need: Advice on where to eat and sleep from a Vanderbilt.

Cooper has no doubt seen the troubles normal people have seen – from his limousine.

My wife and I don’t get around much anymore, but when we do go out to dinner, the Olive Garden in town is a pretty good choice. But the sophisticated bi-coastal folks – who once had to ask what a “Hobby Lobby” was when it was involved in a Supreme Court case – look down their noses at the Olive Garden.

(As my father once said, “Highbrows tend to have pointy heads.”)

My days of staying at the Motel 6 aren’t that far behind me. Marriott and Holiday Inn Express hotels seem kind of pricey, to our way of thinking. (As the saying goes, we’re so thrifty that we crawl under doors to save wear and tear on the hinges.)

– Speaking of travel, I am heeding Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plea to stay away from her city this week, as large portions of the city are locked down for the inauguration. It’s a sacrifice, not being on hand to celebrate Total Democrat Control of our government, but I’m a trouper.

According to the news, there are 25,000 troops at the ready in Washington, in case of trouble.

(Remember when deploying troops in Portland was opposed because they would look like “storm troopers?” Funny how things change.)

I’m happy to oblige Mayor Bowser. Don’t look for this treason weasel to darken her door. Or, for that matter, the doors of Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Chicago, New York City – the list is long.

I’ll be staying home. Maybe splurging and having dinner at the Olive Garden.

– Has anyone else noticed that after rioters rampaged through the U.S. Capitol, causing the death of five people and untold damage, that we’re not hearing calls to de-fund the Capitol Police?

If the police are the cause of our problems in cities like Minneapolis and Portland, and the answer is to cut their budgets, I’m surprised we aren’t hearing the same de-fund the police arguments in Washington D.C.

Apparently they aren’t for putting unarmed social workers out at the Capitol barricades to fend off rioters.

My bet is the Capitol Police get a lot MORE funding.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: Still Thinking 2021 Will Be Better?

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By Dave Simpson, columnist

How much damage can hordes of rioters swarming into the U.S. Capitol cause?

Untold damage.

Damage that will last for years.

And the damage of lending a full head of steam to the liberals who will soon be in control of both houses of Congress and the White House.

We sure didn’t need this.

So much damage, in fact, that the day after the rampage, the lead story on the front page of the Wall Street Journal wasn’t Democrats taking over control of the U.S. Senate, the result of two special elections in Georgia. No, that seismic story appeared “below the fold.”

On top: Hordes of rioters running through the halls of Congress, causing the loss of five lives, taking pictures of themselves acting like fools in the presiding officer’s chair in the Senate and at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, trashing offices, attacking Capitol police, and dishonoring the tens of millions of voters who supported Donald Trump and the things he did to make this country better.

And Trump? No less than the Wall Street Journal called on him to resign last week, because he told supporters at a huge White House rally to head to the Capitol and demonstrate, though he said “peacefully.”

Not realizing, I want to believe, that in any gathering of that size (hundreds of thousands), there will be some members of the lunatic fringe, prone to violence.

For that mistake alone there is little forgiveness for the president we supported through five years of withering, relentless attack from the left. Any thoughts of him one day returning to the White House, or remaining a power in conservative thought, are likely gone forever.

In an instant, the notion of asking questions about the conduct of the 2020 presidential election vanished.

You wondered why they stopped counting votes on election night in Georgia? That was a question that occurred to many of us before the attack on the Capitol.

Now, you’re a tin-foil-hat nut if you want to know what happened. Senators who had questions – Cruz, Hawley, others, and our new senator here in Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis –  are being accused of sedition for wanting to know. A letter to the editor in our local paper called for Lummis to resign.

You wondered about the effects of massive mail-in voting rushed through due to the Covid-19 pandemic? What, are you, crazy? You must be one of those nuts rampaging through the halls of Congress.

Those people who signed affidavits alleging voting irregularities? They all might as well be liars in the crazy aftermath of the assault on Congress. Nice job, rioting hordes. (The FBI is tracking them down, and handcuffs and prison time are richly deserved.)

Were there other groups, perhaps leftists, infiltrating the disastrous assault? We’ll probably never know, and even if there is an answer, the liberal media won’t report it and big tech will censor it.

What a gift to the liberals. All summer we heard that, no matter how much mayhem we witnessed, the mobs in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Washington and Kenosha were “largely peaceful demonstrators.”

The benefit of the doubt, in our vastly-liberal media, was bestowed on gatherings in which people died, buildings were torched, cars were burned, businesses were looted, and police officers were attacked with rocks, frozen water bottles, and industrial-grade fireworks.

And yet, have you heard the media describe the vast majority of those on hand to support Trump last week described as peaceful demonstrators? I haven’t.

These, remember, are the people who for the last five years left rally venues cleaner than they found them. These are people who, except for a crazy few, wouldn’t dream of smashing windows at the Capitol,  breaking into offices, assaulting officers, and behaving like lunatics. The rioters aren’t us.

What a horrible turn of events. Terrible damage was done to the interests of those who simply want a less-intrusive government, less debt, fewer regulations, reasonable taxes, and a country our grand kids can grow up in that bears any resemblance at all to the country we inherited.

How’s that “2021 has got to be better than 2020” deal working out for you?

Looks to me like 2021 might be even worse.

Heaven help us.

Dave Simpson can be contacted at

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Dave Simpson: One Last-Gasp Effort To Get Answers

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By Dave Simpson, weekly columnist

I’m glad our new U.S. Senator, Cynthia Lummis, won’t be “going along to get along” when the Electoral College vote arrives this week in the Senate.

It takes guts to stand up to this crowd.

Question anything about the election and you’re branded a nut, a conspiracy theorist, or un-American by Democrats, many weak-kneed Republicans, and the vastly-liberal news media. Missing, in all the insistence that this was “the most secure election in history,” are answers to some nagging questions.

The challenge from 140 members of the House and 13 members of the Senate may be our last chance to get some answers.

Some lefty friends from my newsroom days can’t believe I question the election results. Having doubts, they figure, is tin-foil-hat conspiracy stuff, lunacy, Crazy Town. Maybe even a coup attempt.

One liberal friend sends emails questioning my mental state if I suggest that Trump isn’t Beelzebub reincarnate. When I disagree, he is mystified. His most recent response (a direct quote): “Wow.”

I told that friend of almost 40 years to quit sending me links to the “New York Times” and the “Washington Post,” which both did everything they could to undermine, demean and ridicule the president. The tradition of covering both sides, fairly, is lost in the fog of vociferous Trump hatred. (My local paper depicted President Trump as a pig on Saturday’s editorial page. Nice.)

Have you noticed that when someone is insistent about you believing something, that that something almost always becomes more questionable? It’s what they call a “tell.” It’s what they frantically want you to believe. If you don’t, they get the vapors.

A normal person, however, might respond, “Why do I have to believe this? Can’t I ask the questions I usually ask? Isn’t that OK? Are you the boss of me? And why do you get so upset about simple questions?”

I have questions about the November election. I’m not saying I can never accept a verdict that Joe Biden won. But, the more angry people get over questions, the more suspicious I get.

Maybe someone with facts (not some judge dodging a hot potato) can answer some questions:

Why did they stop counting votes late in the evening of November 3rd in Georgia? Is it true they told the people charged with watching the vote counting to go home? And is it true that after the observers left, they resumed counting votes? And what about those bins of ballots stored under that skirted table, seen on video? What’s the deal with that?

Why did Biden get so many votes – enough to take the lead – in the wee hours of the night, in several battleground states?

Why did they put cardboard over windows at that ballot counting venue in Detroit, so that observers couldn’t observe? What good are observers who can’t observe? Is there a no-looky provision in Michigan election law?

Is it true that thousands of ballots were counted with only Joe Biden’s name checked and no others?  Who votes for just one person on a ballot? And how do you explain Biden doing so much better in five battleground states than in other Democrat strongholds? So much better than liberal icon Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012?

Seventy four million of us smell a rat.

Isn’t this really about opening the flood gates of loosy-goosy mail-in voting, counting ballots with no postmarks, no signatures, and with the corresponding envelopes destroyed?

Is it true that voters who had left states were sent ballots they didn’t request?

How about all those people who filed sworn affidavits about irregularities? Are they all liars?  And what about that truck full of ballots that reportedly disappeared in Pennsylvania?

Have they found that truck yet?

One would think that if our Democrat friends really wanted to “bring the nation together,” they would answer these questions. But they don’t. They just tell us we’re un-American if we ask.

When I was a kid, they held up the results in Cook County until Mayor Daley figured out how many votes John Kennedy needed to win.

Don’t tell me it’s impossible.

Good for our new senator telling the Washington elites, “Not so fast, boys!”

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