Caught My Eye…

Happy Friday – we made it again!  Summer vacations are winding down and school starts soon – what a freaking bummer – but we do have about three weekends left before “the end.”

For the new folks, Caught My Eye is the (almost) award-winning weekly column where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week.  I offer some brief comments about the stories and sometimes add just a touch of sarcasm!

This week I talk about the Iowa debate, the Downpour Music Festival, I check the e-mails in my political inbox, I comment about rural air service, talk about the supercommittee and much more!  So please read on…

Downpour Music Festival:

Come to Great Falls, Montana, (starting today through Sunday) for the Downpour Music Festival.  It is a great time.  It all starts today (Friday) at 4:00 p.m.  On Saturday, it starts at 3:00 and on Sunday there’s a church service that starts at 11:00 a.m.  It’s held at Centene Stadium.

The best thing – it is FREE.  Free!  Check out who is performing by visiting the Downpour website HERE.  I’ll see you there…

Essential Air Service (EAS):

The Great Falls Tribune ran a story about air service for rural areas (like Havre, Glasgow, Lewistown, Wolf Point, Glendive, Miles City, West Yellowstone and Sidney).  The Tribune interviewed South Dakota Senator John Thune for the article.  I would love to have Thune as my senator, but wouldn’t it make more sense to interview the three elected officials (Baucus, Tester and Rehberg) from Montana?

There will probably be cuts to the EAS program and one can only wonder if Amtrak funding will be next as times are tough…

Supercommittee and Contributions:

The Associated Press “uncovered” the fact that “The 12 lawmakers appointed to a new congressional supercommittee charged with tackling the nation’s fiscal problems have received millions in contributions from special interests with a direct stake in potential cuts to federal programs…”

Imagine that – politicians getting campaign donations from special interests…

The Iowa Debate:

I did catch some of the debate last night – especially between plays of the NFL game and at halftime.  My thoughts follow.

The following people should drop out of the Presidential race as soon as possible.  Thank you throwing your hat in, but in my opinion these five people should be voted off the island:

Newt Gingrich:

He reminds me of a college professor giving a lecture, so he should be teaching American History after 1865 at a junior college somewhere.  I did agree with him about the Super Committees being worthless.

Herman Cain:

I like Cain, but he would make a great Commerce Secretary not President. I like Godfathers Pizza, too.

Ron Paul:

About every 10 times he says something, I catch myself nodding in agreement with Rep. Paul – and that scares me.  Seriously, I like him and he brings knowledge about the Constitution to this race and that is always a good thing, and he is a veteran.  But he is too far to the right for me on most things.

Rick Santorum:

He may do better in the Iowa straw poll than most folks believe, but he is missing something. Everyone is probably confused about the 10th Amendment after hearing Santorum talk about it.

Jon Huntsman:

I had to do a search to find what Huntsman’s first name is, so that about tells it all.

So, that leaves Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Michele Bachmann as the “survivors” but not winners.   With leadership from Bachmann such as the “light bulb freedom act” she did not do a lot to win me over.  Pawlenty came close to getting thrown off the island, but he survived because of the back and forth between him and Bachmann.  Romney does not excite me – I am yawning when he talks – even if he does not eat Barack Obama’s dog food…which may sound like a decent meal if things continue down this path.

The real winner of the debate is Texas Governor Rick Perry…as no candidate took a commanding lead in the GOP Presidential race – and people want someone else.

You can watch the debate highlights in this four-minute TPM video HERE.

The Political Inbox:

Just about every week I take a look at some the e-mails I get from elected officials, candidates, and political groups and also offer some commentary.  Here are a few that made the Caught My Eye column…

-Jim Messina, who runs Barack Obama’s campaign, sent me an e-mail reminding me “There’s a Republican debate” in which he wrote, “You probably weren’t planning to watch Fox News tonight. But right now, the Republicans are holding their first Iowa debate. I’m tuning in — and you should, too.”

Thanks for the reminder…

-Congressman Denny Rehberg’s office sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Rehberg Adds Distinguished Veterans Advocate to Congressional Staff” in which he announced the addition of a Veterans’ Outreach Director to his congressional staff.

I’ll have to check my spam filter because I did not catch this job opening.  I guess I knew the job was not for me when I read the word “Distinguished.” Readers may remember that I have offered “free political advice” for the last couple of years saying that the Veterans vote will be very important in the Tester/Rehberg race.  I am glad both sides have listened…they can e-mail me for the address to send the consultant checks…

- Reince Priebus, the Chairman, Republican National Committee, sent an e-mail saying, “Victory in Wisconsin is Just the Beginning” writing “The Republican Party won a great victory over the Big Union bosses and Obama Democrats Tuesday night…”

I am yawning about the Wisconsin election, yawning.

-The Montana GOP sent an e-mail with the subject, “Tester Concerned for Women — When It Benefits His Campaign” in which they write, “It has been 14 days since Senator Tester refused to apologize to Concerned Women for America for his campaign’s comments accusing the organization of lobbying Congress to weaken child pornography laws.”

I’m yawning about this e-mail.  It does not appear that this slip-up by the Tester campaign has gotten much traction…

Lynch Resigns:

It was interesting to read that Montana Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Jim Lynch “abruptly resigned Thursday.”  The Great Falls Tribune has the story HERE.

I like Lynch and think he did a fine job as the head of MDOT – I specifically liked his voiceover on the commercials about drinking and driving. 

I think he would be a viable candidate for Montana Governor or another state-wide office…

Twitter:

Since I do not have a television, radio station or newspaper to promote this website or to ask people to follow me on Twitter, I have to put in a plug for it here!  So, follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord.  Thank you and I promise to make you smile once in a while and also to make you say, “What the ….” a few times!

Last Week:

We almost set a record last week for most visitors ever!  It was the second most visited week in the history of The Western Word (since January 2005).

Thank you…

Important Reminder:

Don’t forget to stretch…

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