You made it to Friday – Congratulations! I’m here to help you bring it home and slide into your weekend armed with knowledge and a smile!
If this is your first time visiting The Western Word (TWW), the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning right here! Here is where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write or comment about during the week – and I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile…
BE ADVISED: Before proceeding please understand that everyone and everything is fair game…
Today I write about F-15s, Armstrong, cellphone ban, raising a child, I share some e-mails from my political inbox, I talk about party line voting, and there’s a lot more!F-15 Mission:
There’s a big disagreement in Great Falls about whether to fight to keep the F-15s or not. On one side you have the Citizens for Montana’s Military who want to keep the F-15s in Montana. On the other side, you have Central Montana Defense Alliance (a committee through the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce). Their chairman said that the Department of Defense has a “solid case for wanting to move them.”
After watching the interviews on KRTV the other night, I agree with Rod Jackson of the Citizens for Montana’s Military. Jackson is a retired military officer who actually understands the military, mission requirements, and the politics behind these moves.
The Chamber organization should get out of the way and let the Citizens for Montana’s Military take the lead. In the future if the Chamber’s military support group is not going to fight for the F-15s, they might think about disbanding and devoting their attention to something else in which they believe more strongly.
In case you missed it, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) brought formal doping charges against Lance Armstrong a few days ago. According to a story in the Washington Post if Armstrong is found guilty he could lose his seven Tour de France titles.
It was such a big news day that the CBS Evening News had the Armstrong story as their lead on Wednesday night. Ridiculous. CBS has invested a lot of time and money trying to nail Armstrong.
These allegations must be getting pretty old for Lance Armstrong – many people would tell the USADA to go to hell. Armstrong’s last Tour de France win was in 2005 – seven years ago!
Armstrong released a statement that, in part, said:
I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned. These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation. These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity.
Armstrong has never failed a test, and he has been tested over 500 times. The USADA should drop the investigation and get a life…
It looks like the City of Great Falls is actually going ahead with their ban on texting and talking on cellphones while driving. Fines could range from $100 to $500 according to an article in the Great Falls Tribune. Ouch! The City of Great Falls is in deep debt so the price for a ticket will sure help out.
The commission may schedule the public hearing on this issue close to the Independence Day holiday (July 3) – which is sure to curtail the number of folks attending – but this is probably what the commission desires. I expect the ordinance will be railroaded through with maybe one commissioner voting no.
As I mentioned back in May the whole commission meeting is like a crazy train – and now it looks like the train is leaving the station… All aboard! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!
Jack’s Political Inbox:
Every day I receive e-mails from candidates, elected officials, and/or groups promoting a cause, many just hoping they get mentioned (in a kind and gentle way) on The Western Word website! I select a few each week that “Caught My Eye” and share them with my readers. This week I picked five that I think you will enjoy…
-Mitch Staley, the campaign manager for Sandy Welch, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction (OPI), sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Candidate for OPI, Sandy Welch, to Preface Newt Gingrich Speech, Saturday” and says that Welch will use this time to “outline her campaign against Denise Juneau in front of the largest gathering of Montana Republicans in the state party’s history.”
It will be very difficult for Welch to beat Juneau, but this is good opportunity for her to get noticed by the base of the GOP.
-Preston Elliott, the Campaign Manager for Jon Tester, sent me an e-mail with the subject, “BREAKING: New Rove attack.” Elliott writes, “Wanted to make sure you’ve seen the latest salvo from Karl Rove’s attack machine: It’s another vicious smear against Jon. The attacks are piling up — more than $2.5 million already. We need your help today.”
The name “Karl Rove” has probably raised millions for the Democrats…
-The U.S. House office of Denny Rehberg sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Flag Day” (his photo was in the e-mail, too) and it contained a lot of great information about our flag plus a two question survey about the flag.
My flag flew proudly all day long…
-The Steve Bullock for Montana Governor Campaign sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Women for Bullock Reception in Great Falls on June 21st!” It’s not just any reception – they say they will be serving cocktails! I can attend as a “Guest-$35″ or a “Host – $250″ or as a “Sponsor – $630.”
The reception should be a blast…after a few cocktails.
-Erik Iverson, the Campaign Manager for Denny Rehberg, sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Check and Balance” in which he wrote, “Have you seen Denny’s new TV ad that started running on stations throughout Montana yesterday?” He then adds, “It’s a powerful reminder of Denny’s record as an independent-minded leader who brings Montana values to Washington, and consistently stands up to leaders of both parties in order to do what’s best for Montana.”
Uh…huh…maybe Erik should not read any further…
Party Line Voting:
It looks like Montanans will have to choose which political side they most like in the race between Denny Rehberg and Jon Tester for the U.S. Senate because neither candidate is in the middle or very independent. According to the Washington Post’s U.S. Congress Votes database Rehberg votes with the Republican Party 92% of the time. Tester votes with the Democratic Party 91% of the time. This data is from 112th Congress votes.
So when you hear Rehberg and Tester saying they are “independent,” it’s actually true less than 10% of the time…
Instant Runoff Elections:
Over at the Flathead Memo, James wrote an interesting article about the primary election saying:
The 2012 Montana primary was not a poster child for the blessings of a plurality wins electoral system.
Seven of ten Democratic voters wanted someone other than Kim Gillan as their nominee for Congress. Two of three Republican voters wanted someone other than Rick Hill as their nominee for governor.
I’d like to see the winner at least get 50% (plus one) of the vote in all elections or have a runoff. I’d also like to see one ballot used in the primary with the top two vote getters moving on to the General Election. Finally, I’d also like to see me win the lottery…
Raising a Child:
Some readers may remember the memorable quote from the movie, Raising Arizona:
We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter.
A new government report released this week tells us that it now costs about $235,000 to raise that critter from birth (in 2011) to age 17. You can read the press release from U.S. Department of Agriculture HERE.
According to the Debt Clock, each citizen also has about $50,000 worth of debt (for those of you keeping score at home).
One More Thing:
Don’t forget to stretch…
You can follow Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord – you might even smile more!