Caught My Eye…

Oh yes…we made it to Friday, so congratulations!

Thanks for stopping by The Western Word for the first “Caught My Eye” of 2012.  If this is your first time visiting, Caught My Eye is my weekly column where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week.  I sometimes offer my personal commentary, too.

This week I cover a lot!  I write about recess appointments, unemployment, campaign money, travels, I peek inside my political inbox, and I write about twins.  Enjoy!Recess Appointments:

President Obama issued four recess appointments on Wednesday and the righties went wild saying the U.S. Senate was not really on “recess.”

Since the Senate is responsible for the confirmation vote on Presidential nominations, maybe an “enthusiastic reporter” will ask Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester (both Democrats) their thoughts on the President sidestepping them and their constitutional authority…if the senate was really not on recess.

The Federal Government is broken…so these appointments are just a minor thing…

December Unemployment:

The unemployment rate for December fell to 8.5% (from 8.6% last month) and about 200,000 jobs were added.

We’ll see if this rate holds when the January report is released in early February since many jobs added this past month were seasonal.  So don’t plan a parade just yet…

Campaign Finance Reports:

“Money, it’s a gas. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.” – “Money” by Pink Floyd.

The candidates for statewide office in Montana filed their campaign finance reports for the final three months of 2011 and it was interesting.   The Associated Press has the story HERE.

Democratic governor candidate Steve Bullock has taken the overall lead in fundraising – racking up about $550,000.  Double Ka-ching.  Republican Jeff Essmann took in more money in the past three months, but Rick Hill maintains an overall lead on the GOP side of the Governor’s race.  Ka-ching.

01/06/12 Note: The Associated Press on Friday corrected their story and reported that Corey Stapleton’s “total was $101,650, making him the top GOP fundraiser for the quarter.”

With all this money being raised, the candidates should be hiring and doing their part to stimulate the economy…

Leverage:

According to this story, “A Dallas teenager who has been missing for two years was mistakenly deported to Colombia by authorities after she was arrested for theft, according to a Dallas-area news outlet.”

Now you can tell your teenager you’ll have them deported to Colombia if they don’t straighten up.

State Director Travels:

When I read about Senator Max Baucus’ state director, John Lewis, visiting all 56 counties a few things came to mind:

First, I thought it would be nice if the Senator was actually the one doing this.

Secondly, I bet it was fun driving around beautiful Montana on taxpayer’s money (eating free food and staying in nice hotels, too).

Third, (and you might as well face it) when someone mentions Baucus and his state director

Too Far:

According to this Real Clear Politics video, ‘Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson doesn’t think voters will be “down” with how Rick Santorum and his wife mourned their stillborn child.’

I think the pundits are going a little too far when they criticize candidates for how they acted when they had a stillborn child…

Political Inbox:

Almost every week I share some of the political e-mails I’ve received and offer some commentary about them.  Here are four from this week that Caught My Eye.  Enjoy!

Jim Messina, Campaign Manager for Barack Obama, sent me an e-mail with the subject, “This is not a joke” where he writes, “These Republican candidates spent in some cases more than a year — in Mitt Romney’s case seven years — campaigning in Iowa to be the next president. But tonight, GOP voters there couldn’t decisively get behind anyone.”

Conservatives just can’t get behind Romney…

-The Montana GOP sent me an e-mail with the subject, “MTGOP on Bullock’s Violations: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” where they write about Montana Commissioner of Political Practices “two-year delay in adjudicating their complaints against illegal campaign financing by Steve Bullock.”

Maybe it’s time for the Montana GOP (and all voters in Montana) to realize that the Montana Political Practices office is a total freaking joke – no matter who is serving as commissioner. 

-The Jon Tester for Senate Campaign sent me an e-mail with the subject “Grateful” where he writes, “Our grassroots team is really something special. Supporter after supporter stepped up and gave generously to our campaign in the final hours of 2011, and we made our goal.”

I have never received a political e-mail saying “We did not make our fundraising goal…”

-The Jon Huntsman for President Campaign sent an e-mail with the subject, “Breaking: Major Endorsement” in which they told me, “We have breaking news that couldn’t wait until morning.  Our campaign is very pleased to announce that Governor Huntsman has received the influential endorsement of New England’s largest newspaper The Boston Globe.”

Huntsman is betting on a strong showing in New Hampshire – I like Huntsman better than Romney…

Double the Fun:

Reuters reports that, “The number of twins born in the United States has doubled in the last three decades…”

This means that Wrigley’s may have to make some more “Double Mint gum” commercials featuring twins…

Final Note:

Don’t forget to stretch…

Jack is on Twitter!  Follow him @TheWesternWord.