Two fun ballot initiatives for the 2014 Montana elections met untimely ends last week. The Healthy Montana Initiative, which would have accepted federal funds for Medicaid expansion after the state legislature refused them, fell just short of the required 25,000 signatures after a series of legal challenges. Meanwhile, Charter Communications’ I-172—which would have reclassified the telecommunications outfit as a cable company, reducing by approximately half the $34 million they owed in back property taxes—was withdrawn after Charter settled with the state. These two initiatives dropped out of contention before balloting season even began: one to reverse legislators’ decision to refuse to implement federal Medicaid expansion, and one to reverse a court’s decision to make the cable company pay its taxes. It was a classic David and Goliath story, and you can read all about it in my column for the Missoula Independent. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must watch the United States thwart Germany on the field of international contest, again. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.