Caught My Eye…

Welcome to the last Friday of June and to another exciting edition of “Caught My Eye.”

If you are a first-time visitor, this is my weekly column where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in some sarcasm and poke fun at people just to make you smile.

Today I write about Daines sending a letter, a hoedown with Max, Jon, and Steve, Medicaid, airport parking, Wendy Davis, Senate immigration bill, and lots more – plus I have three winners on this week’s Making Montana Proud list!

Send a Letter, Tell the Press, Get Publicity:

In a tried and true method often used by Montana’s U.S. Senators, Montana Congressman Steve Daines joined 43 other members of the U.S. House and signed a letter being sent to President Barack Obama. Then he told the press what he did. Daines reward? An almost 950 word story placed above the fold on the front page of the Great Falls Tribune – complete with his photo!


According to the Tribune, the letter to Obama urged “him to reconsider any unilateral reduction in the United States’ nuclear arsenal and submit any proposed international agreement for reductions to the Senate for review.”

The Tribune erroneously reported (once again), “The 564th Missile Squadron was deactivated in 2006…” The fact is the 564th Missile Squadron started “deactivation” in July 2007 and it was “inactivated” in August 2008.

The Hoedown:

One has to wonder if Montanans might see the end of the “Sieben Ranch Barbecue and Hoedown” when Senator Max Baucus retires. This summer there’s one scheduled for August 10 to benefit the Montana Democratic Party. You can get in for $50. The hosts are Baucus, Sen. Jon Tester, and Governor Steve Bullock.

“Children under 12 attend free” which I think means Baucus, Tester, and Bullock will watch your kids for free…

Medicaid Expansion:

The last Montana Legislature (known as “The Circus” here at The Western Word) failed to expand Medicaid in Montana. Now a group has “formed a ballot committee called Healthy Montana Initiative to lead the effort to write and qualify an initiative for the ballot” that would expand Medicaid.”

Good for them. Many members of the last Montana Legislature were out of touch with Montanans on this issue.

Airport Parking:

I happened to go to the Great Falls International Airport this past week to pick up some relatives, and I parked in the short term parking area. I happened to see a sign that proudly stated the airport was giving me 15 minutes of free parking.

“What a ——- deal,” I quietly thought to myself (since my daughter was with me).

While I appreciate the Airport going way way out on a financial limb to give 15 minutes of free parking, forget about “helping” me. They should provide one hour of short-term parking free to all military personnel and their dependents who frequent the airport.

Wendy Davis:

Here at The Western Word, I like to pull for the underdog. So I applaud Texas State Senator Wendy Davis for her 11 hour filibuster. According to CBS News, “Davis managed to stop Republican state senators from passing sweeping abortion restrictions. If passed, the legislation would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and would have closed nearly every abortion clinic in Texas.”

Sadly, Texas Governor Rick Perry “took a jab” at Davis for her filibuster saying, “It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.” Davis was a single mother at 19, and she had to care for her three siblings at the age of 14 for her single mother.

Perry showed the country that he does not have the right stuff during the last Presidential election season. He seems to be continuing that path…

Senate Immigration Bill:

The U.S. Senate did something good on Thursday. They passed an immigration reform bill by a 68-32 margin. Fourteen Republicans voted for the bill (along with all the Democrats), which probably makes them enemies of the Tea Party.

The House needs to pass their version and then have a conference committee iron out the differences and pass real immigration reform this year.

Making Montana Proud:

This is the section where I mention people whose asinine actions embarrass Montana. Fortunately, they did not injure anyone except maybe themselves. Enjoy…

-The Associated Press picked up this story from the Montana Standard. James S. Richards Sr., age 47, of Butte “is charged with impersonating a public servant, driving under the influence and reckless driving after witnesses reported he forced them to pull off Interstate 90 and told them he was a member of a drug task force.”

As punishment I think the judge should sentence Richards to impersonate an IRS employee and make him attend a Tea Party convention…

-The Missoulian reported this week that Angie Dobson, 38, was “arrested for driving drunk and high with four children in her Explorer appeared Friday in Missoula County Justice Court on felony charges: one count of driving under the influence and four counts of criminal child endangerment.” She was supposedly stopped when “an officer noticed her Ford Explorer had a license plate for a Honda Civic stolen in Lake County.” It was also reported, “her driving privileges have been suspended by the State of Arizona.”

“Angie, Angie, when will those clouds all disappear? Angie, Angie, where will it lead us from here?”  

Those last two lines are from a Rolling Stones song in case you were wondering…

-The Billings Gazette published the story about Anna Lee Gress, 35, who “was accused Tuesday of driving while on methamphetamine with her twin children in the car.” She was reportedly acting “jerky” when she was being interviewed and later “told the officer that she’d smoked one or two ‘rocks’ earlier in the day.”

Maybe a few years of breaking big rocks into little rocks would prevent her from acting “jerky.”

One More Thing:

Don’t forget to stretch…



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