Caught My Eye…

Congratulations!  You’ve made it to another Friday!  If this is your first time visiting The Western Word and reading “Caught My Eye,” welcome!

Caught My Eye is posted every Friday morning right here!  In this column I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to comment about during the week – often with a touch of sarcasm thrown in.

Be Advised:  Everyone and everything is fair game…

Today I write about the University of Montana, C-130s, Rehberg and the Ryan budget, the newspaper business, congressional spring break, cocaine, Bohemian Rhapsody, I open my political inbox and share, and there’s much more.  Enjoy!University of Montana:

The University of Montana announced yesterday that they fired athletic director Jim O’Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad.

And what has become sadly typical, the leadership at the University of Montana messed up the firings by not coming forward and answering questions.

In my humble opinion, a couple other people in the leadership department at the University of Montana should be given marching orders as well.  The University needs a clean slate and the sports program needs to show more discipline.

Tester on C-130s:

A press release from U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s office claims that he “secured a commitment from the U.S. Air Force to deliver eight C-130s to Great Falls by 2014.”

I was actually impressed that this commitment was secured without sending a letter.  The term “by 2014″ is a ways down the road and many things can happen between now and then but this is good news so far…

Don’t Mess with Texas’ C-130s:

According to a story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “U.S. Rep. Kay Granger told Air Force Secretary Michael Donley in a meeting Thursday that if the Air Force does not scrap its plan to move a fleet of C-130 transport aircraft from Fort Worth to Montana or provide more justification, she will work to stop its implementation legislatively.”

I’m sure that Senator Jon Tester would like to have the first C-130 arrive in Montana around the end of October (this year) to help his re-election chances…

Rehberg and the Ryan Budget:

Thursday was kind of a tough day for Congressman Denny Rehberg.  National Journal reported, “Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., was one of just ten House Republicans who voted no on the latest incarnation of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal on Thursday, repeating his 2011 decision.”

Then the reporter for National Journal screwed up when he wrote, “Why?  He’s running for the Senate without a primary challenger in a state where the senior vote could make a big difference in what’s expected to be a very close race against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.”

Rehberg does have a primary challenger…it’s Tester who does not have one.  I know reporting is tough work, but there are websites to help with the background…

In a press release, Rehberg said he had, “concerns with changes made to Medicare.”  The press release also stated that Rehberg “is also the only member of Montana’s delegation who opposed $500 billion in Medicare spending reductions in President Obama’s health care law.”

According to a story that appeared today in the Missoulian “Tester’s campaign Thursday ripped Rehberg for voting against all alternative budget proposals put forth in the House this week, saying Rehberg hasn’t offered anything that he favors.”

My big question is if Rehberg was not running for U.S. Senate, would he have supported the Ryan proposal? 

In the Wall Street Journal’s “Review & Outlook” the following was written about Rehberg’s vote:

One bad sign was a no vote from Denny Rehberg, who is running for Senate in Montana this year against Democrat Jon Tester.  Mr. Rehberg thinks he’s inoculating himself on Medicare, and he even issued a press release saying “I simply refuse to gamble with something as important as Medicare.”  The real gamble is to continue on the current path that will ruin Medicare, and Mr. Rehberg’s vote suggests he’s from the remaindered pile of the GOP’s Tom DeLay status-quo wing.

Ouch.

Jack’s Political Inbox:

Almost every week I share some of the e-mails I have received from candidates, elected officials and political groups.  Many of the e-mails this week are dealing with fundraising, as Saturday is the end of the first quarter of political fundraising for 2012, but there were several others.  Enjoy!

-Vice President Joe Biden sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Saturday night” in which he writes, “I’m not going to waste your time here: March 31st is this campaign’s most critical fundraising deadline so far.”  He then asks me to send him $3.

I actually thought Joe Biden might be asking me over to his house Saturday night, but no.  Asking for $3 is getting really close to what I can afford…

-Senator John McCain sent me an e-mail with the subject, “The Stakes are high” where he writes, “I know that every election is important and has consequences.  But there have been few times in our nation’s history when the political stakes have been higher than they are right now.”  He then writes, “your contribution of $15, $25, $50, $100 or more today is essential if we’re going to get off to a strong start in what is shaping up to be a real knock-down battle for the future or our country.”

McCain must believe I am filthy rich since he is asking for $15.  He must be seeing different financial records on me than Biden…

-The Rick Hill for Governor Campaign sent an e-mail with the subject, “Let’s Welcome Mike to the Team!” where he tells me “Just a quick note to update you on some exciting news from our campaign.  Jon and I are proud to announce that House Speaker Mike Milburn will serve as our Campaign Chairman.”

“Exciting” really does not describe my emotions.  This e-mail was almost as exciting as your two wolf management plan e-mails.  Can we really take much more excitement?

-The Jim Lynch for Governor Campaign sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Property Rights in Montana!” where he writes about protecting private property rights and says “Montana needs leadership that respects the rights of it residents.  Montana needs a governor that will work as a guardian of those rights.  I have that record, and I will be that governor.”

Private property rights – it is a big deal for a lot of people…we would not want some big bully to show up in Montana and take over our land to build a pipeline, would we?

-On Wednesday the Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) decided it was time to use the comments caught on the open microphone between President Obama and the Russian President to raise a little money, writing, “President Obama’s now-famous remarks to Russia’s President should tell you one thing.  We need new leadership in Washington.  And your gift of $25 or more to the NRSC will help us win back a Republican Majority in the Senate and protect our country.”

The NRSC and the people who work there never cease to amaze me…it’s a wonder they ever win an election…

-After the Supreme Court heard the arguments about healthcare, Brock Lowrance, who is the campaign manager for the Rick Hill for Governor Campaign, sent an e-mail with the subject, “ICYMI: Bullock a ‘potential loser” from the Health Care Debate” where he writes, “Today, National Journal’s Hotline On Call just posted a piece on the ‘Winners and Losers from Health Care Debate’ naming Democrat Steve Bullock as one of the ‘potential losers.’”

Some folks are starting to wonder if Rick Hill will be the one taking on Steve Bullock…

Newspaper Business:

I happened to catch an article in the Helena Independent Record telling readers “Several jobs were trimmed at the Independent Record this week.”

There’s no truth to the rumor that those people are now working for the Montana Democratic Party…

It’s tough for newspapers these days and several of the Lee Newspapers, like the Helena Independent Record, are nickel and diming readers to death asking us to subscribe and if we visit the website too often we go over our monthly limit of views.  Meanwhile the CEO of Lee Newspapers gets a whopping $500,000 bonus for “running” the company.

Amazing…

Spring Break:

In case you did not know, and since so much work has been accomplished, the United States House and Senate are on vacation until April 16.

It’s just one big spring break party for members of Congress…so I look forward to seeing Senator Max Baucus, Senator Jon Tester, and Congressman Denny Rehberg running around in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops…

Happy Birthday:

Rock musician Eric Clapton turns 67 years old today.

My favorite Clapton songs:  “Wonderful Tonight” and “Cocaine.”  Yes, Cocaine…

Happy Anniversary:

Answer: This game show premiered on NBC on this date in 1964.  The question is, “What is Jeopardy!”

Is this the real life?

Take a few minutes and enjoy the video of this drunk guy singing “Bohemian Rhapsody”

One More Thing:

Don’t forget to stretch…

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