Caught My Eye…

“It was a cold and gloomy December day…but Jack at The Western Word warmed everybody up with his latest edition of Caught My Eye – where nothing is off-limits.”

If you are just visiting, Caught My Eye is a weekly column where I take a look at some of the stories in the news that I did not have time to write about – and I often offer some (sarcastic) commentary with each.

This week’s column is big!  I take a look at new unemployment numbers, Ray-berg, Tester, Hill, defense, Tebow, the debt commission, my political inbox, dishonor and disrepute, and much more!

Unemployment:

It is now sitting at 8.6%.  Hopefully the band is not being cued up.

Before elected officials start planning on having a parade, the Associated Press reports, “Still, 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed. And a key reason the unemployment rate fell so much was because roughly 315,000 people had given up looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.”

It’s a fact that the Republicans need things in this country to stay terrible until November 2012 so they can wear the white hat and make people believe they, and only they, will rescue us.  The Democrats need to see improvement to hold on to what they have (the White House and Senate) and maybe gain some seats in the House.

By the way, I’d like to welcome those 315,000 people to my world…

Debt Commission:

It was one year ago yesterday that the “Fiscal Commission” also called, “The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” released their report about how to get the United States out of this fiscal mess.  This is the commission that was chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.

Nothing was done and that’s a crying shame…

Defense Bill:

I follow defense, military, and veterans’ issues quite a lot (smarter than the average bear) and watched the debate on the Defense Bill in the senate some yesterday.  The bill (S. 1867) was passed by the Senate last night 93-7 with my two senators voting for it.

As “The Hill” reports, there was “a long fight over how the U.S. military detains terror suspects” in the senate. That part will need to be compromised with what the U.S House has in its defense bill.  The White House has threatened to veto it.

There are lots of people voting on things in regards to our military who have no idea…

Public Policy Polling (PPP) Tester/Rehberg:

PPP released the results of their latest poll and Congressman Denny Rehberg still holds a two-point lead on incumbent first-term U.S. Senator Jon Tester.

I think I was polled for this one and the automated lady kept saying Denny RAY-Berg.

The margin of error for the survey is +/-2.4%, so it’s still a tight race just waiting for a mistake by one of the candidates…or for one of their staffers to have too many drinks and…

One of the key things I saw that was of interest to me was “Tester is still better-liked than Rehberg, and both candidates are seen more poorly by voters than when PPP last polled the race in June…”

The part “seen more poorly” means to me that even easy-going Montanans are growing sick of the partisan posturing that is going on between their two home-grown (millionaire) boys.  Nationally, members of Congress have approval ratings anywhere from 9% to 13%.

This race might get even more interesting if a strong “independent” candidate (with some money) jumped in the race because people seem to be getting sick of the political parties.

The other thing was that was interesting (to me) was that 47% disapproved of the job Rehberg is doing (Tester 42%), but 47% would vote for Rehberg over Tester.  In other words, four to almost five people (out of ten) don’t like the work that Rehberg and Tester are doing…

Why the heck do we hate Tim Tebow?

That’s the headline of the article that Jen Floyd Engel of Fox Sports wrote about Tebow and she raises some good points like “What if Tim Tebow were a Muslim?” and other players mockingly bowed toward Mecca when he was sacked.  Some players have been mocking Tebow on bended knee praying.

Engel closes her column with these two sentences, “Tebow is just a guy with the good sense to say thanks. Instead of taking his cue, we mock his faith. And that says more about us, none of it good.”

True.  Very true. 

Public Policy Polling (PPP) the Nine:

Right now it looks like clear sailing for former Congressman Rick Hill to win the Republican nomination for Montana Governor.  A PPP poll has Hill leading Ken Miller 37% to 10%.  The other seven folks are in single digits.  A lot can change between now and the June 2012 primary.

My Political Inbox:

Almost every Friday during the “Caught My Eye” column I share some of the political e-mails I received and often offer some commentary about them.  Here are some of the better ones…

Michelle Obama sent me an e-mail with the subject, “Jack, I want to meet you” in which she writes, “I’m excited for the chance to meet you and whoever you decide to bring to dinner.”  She then asks for $3 to be automatically entered for a chance to have dinner with her and Barack.

This is probably a good campaign fundraising tool, but they have not seen me eat…

-Brock Lowrance, the campaign manager for Rick Hill for Governor sent me an e-mail with the subject “Have You Seen The Latest Poll?” where he writes, “While a poll like this can be seen an indicator of success, we can’t take it for granted. There is still plenty of time left in this campaign and we can’t let up.”

I did not see a dinner invite with the e-mail…all of us unemployed folks like free meals…

Jon Tester used his official (taxpayer-funded) U.S. Senate e-mail account to tell me “Neither proposal is right for Montana” saying “This week the Senate will vote on two different proposals dealing with the Social Security payroll tax.”

That’s a lot of time and effort to explain two “No” votes…

-The Montana Republican Party sent an e-mail telling me, “Mark your calendar now for the 2012 Winter Kickoff! This is the Montana Republican Party’s premier legislative candidate training event. But that’s not all! We’ve got an exciting keynote speaker, educational breakout sessions, and all the fun you’ve come to expect from an MTGOP event.”

“All the fun you’ve come to expect…”  Oh yes….

Now it’s Normal:

According to the Associated Press in 1954 on this date, the Senate voted to condemn Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R Wis., for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute.”

Now, dishonor and disrepute happens every day in Washington…

Annoy Your Friends:

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One More Thang:

Don’t forget to stretch….