Caught My Eye…

It is day 11 of the Federal government shutdown! Don’t worry, “The Western Word” does not shut down; in fact this is the 167th “Caught My Eye.”

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. By the way, I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or maybe to irritate you just a little.

Today I write about needing a third major party, firing them all, Krauthammer speaks, drunk dialing Congress, Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Nancy & the guys, missing the bus, 154 MPH, and I’ve got some winners who are Making Montana Proud!

Very Poor Job Performance:

Readers may remember that I have been an advocate for the past several years of making it easier for people to run as an independent candidate here in Montana instead of having to choose to run as either a Republican or Democrat. It’s just as hard in many other states.

Others are getting sick of the two major parties running things, too. A new poll from Gallup found “Amid the government shutdown, 60% of Americans say the Democratic and Republicans parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26% believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.”

Fire Them All:

People are so upset with Congress these days that a new poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal shows that 60% said, “If they had the chance to vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, they would.”

The key words are “including their own representative.”

NBC News reports “The 60 percent figure is the highest-ever in that question recorded in the poll.”


Krauthammer Speaks; GOP should listen:

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer recently made some interesting comments about Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee’s plan to shutdown Obamacare. He’s seen right through their little sideshow from the beginning. Politico reports:

Krauthammer, who has previously hit Cruz (R-Texas) on the strategy of shutdown to defund Obamacare, included Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in his questioning and said the two went home to “have lunch.” “I mean his sidekick, Sen. [Mike] Lee said, ‘Oh, we’re past Obamacare. We moved on.’ These are the generals who lead people into the Battle of [the] Little Bighorn and then go home and have lunch and leave the troops out there? Where are they? Where are the generals? What’s their strategy to get abolition of Obamacare?”

In the past 24 hours, the GOP has taken a big hit in many polls, and “voila,” they have come to the table to try to save face and get out of this mess.

Closed Monuments:

People have been upset about the closed monuments in the Washington, D.C. area, and some are even upset that National Parks and other lands under federal jurisdiction are closed, saying (with a whining sound), “They weren’t closed during the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns.”

People need to turn down right-wing radio and switch channels from Fox News to clear their heads. All that right-wing propaganda is doing harm to your brain.

The fact is 2013 is quite different from 1995-96. In September 11, 2001, we were attacked on our soil. There are terrorists out there who want to harm us. Having monuments open with fewer people watching over them would make for the terrorists to have an easier opportunity. Read about it HERE.

As for WWII Veterans traveling to D.C. to see their monument, they should be allowed to see what they want – they earned it – as have all veterans.

As for the politicians and right-wing radio and TV hosts exploiting these veterans to promote their agenda: get a life. Better yet, maybe you should join the military.

Can’t Get No Satisfaction:

Gallup reported Thursday afternoon “Eighteen percent of Americans are satisfied with the way the nation is being governed, down 14 percentage points from the 32% recorded last month before the partial government shutdown began. This is the lowest government satisfaction rating in Gallup’s history of asking the question dating back to 1971.”

In plain language the folks running the government suck at their jobs…

Nancy & the Guys:

A new Gallup poll was released that showed House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has a higher favorable rating (35%) than Speaker John Boehner (27%), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (22%), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (27%). She trails President Barack Obama (49%).

Having favorable ratings in the 20 and 30 percent range is not that good.

As for Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz, the poll showed as people have gotten to know him better, they like him less. Democrats should push for Cruz to run for President.

Even the Tea Party is taking a big hit during the shutdown. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed them only having a 21% favorable rating. The Republican Party is taking a big hit, too. The same poll showed them with a favorable rating of 24%.

You can bet the GOP leaders are watching these polls closely, and that is why they are coming to the table.

Drunk Dial Congress:

If you are mad at Congress over the shutdown, the website tells you to have a drink and call them. All you need to do is enter your phone number and they will connect you to a random member of Congress.

“Whether you are a furloughed worker, being forced to work for free, or just fed up at Capitol Hill, call and yell at a random member of Congress.”

There are talking points and drink recipes, like “The Sleepy Senator” and “The Bad Representative” on the website, too! Sounds like some good wholesome Friday afternoon fun.

The Shutdown Blame Game:

For all the folks who don’t understand the shutdown yet, it is easily explained by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. My favorite part is, “Don’t fart and point at the dog.” Watch it HERE.

Making Montana Proud:

This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.

-From the Billings Gazette: Carol Frances Omeara, 55, who called police and said “she was ‘just too damn drunk’ to get out of her vehicle was charged Wednesday with her fourth drunken-driving offense.”

The Gazette also reports, “She had a blood-alcohol level of 0.311 percent, nearly four times the state legal limit of 0.08.”

-From the Great Falls Tribune: This line caught my eye on Thursday, “And a request for bids is being issued to develop a smartphone application for roadkill permits.”


Missing the Bus:

On Thursday the Great Falls Tribune published a story about a tour bus that was once used by the Mission Mountain Wood Band in the 1970s, and then it was used by the Montana Band. Sadly the Montana Band died in a plane crash in 1987. After that, the bus kind of disappeared.

The Mission Mountain band got back together and decided they would like to have the bus back. The Great Falls Tribune did a story about the “missing” bus, and someone contacted the band who knew its location.

Although they do not have the bus back just yet, they are “in negotiations” with the owner. Good story.

Clocked at 154 mph:

The Associated Press reported that the Montana Highway Patrol clocked 31-year-old Samuel Ryan Curlett (a Canadian) for speeding 154 miles per hour on Interstate 90. He was driving a BMW. He was charged with felony criminal endangerment and posted a $25,000 bond.

Welcome to America…

One More Thing:

Don’t forget to stretch…