Welcome to the first “Caught My Eye” of 2014! Have you broken your New Year’s resolutions yet?
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. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little.
Today I write about Rehberg 2014, the Missoula County Attorney, New York Times & Edward Snowden, Rocky Mountain High, plus we have a winner who is making Montana proud! There’s more, so read on!
Former Congressman Denny Rehberg told right-wing radio host Aaron Flint that he is “seriously looking” at running for the U.S. House. Check out Flint’s blog post HERE. This morning Rehberg’s news is in almost every daily paper across Montana.
Rehberg’s announcement kind of reminds me of Ron Burgundy announcing there would be an Anchorman 2.
Seriously, I do like Rehberg better than the current Congressman Steve Daines, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Rehberg needs to distance himself from the Tea Party to be taken seriously in my humble opinion. I doubt he would do that.
His name recognition would put him ahead of other Republicans who have announced they are running for the seat. If Rehberg does decide to run and wins the primary, Democrats, like John Lewis, can use Jon Tester’s “playbook” to take him on in the general election.
With Senator Max Baucus leaving the senate and Tester just in his second term, Rehberg, if elected, would give Montana some much needed clout having six terms under his belt. Those six terms will count toward seniority and committee assignments in the House.
Missoula County attorney Fred Van Valkenburg does not think the U.S. Department of Justice has the authority to investigate “the way his office handles sexual assault cases.” Valkenburg said, “For whatever reason we have been kind of picked on by the DOJ…”
I’m not a criminal investigator, and this is just a hunch, but maybe the “reason” is the “80 rape reports in the past three years” that many feel were not investigated properly by authorities in Missoula County.
Valkenburg should stop whining and cooperate with the DOJ. He’s harming Missoula and Montana.
New York Times – Edward Snowden:
On Wednesday the New York Times editorial board wrote “It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.”
I’m sure the “United States” will get right on it. Don’t laugh – stranger things have happened.
Snowden broke the law – he has to be punished for that. He supposedly has classified information that was not released. I can see giving him a deal to prevent that information from being released, but the bottom line is he broke the law and has to be held accountable for that.
Rocky Mountain High:
As of January 1, recreational marijuana can be legally purchased in Colorado for those who are 21 and older.
While it’s legal under state law, it’s illegal under federal law – and that is silly.
Our Federal justice system is broken. The Department of Justice will literally spend millions going after an athlete who shoots himself in the butt with performance-enhancing drugs and they spend time and resources on people who use and grow marijuana. Congress should step in and fix the problem with federal pot laws as more and more states will be legalizing it.
Meanwhile, convenience stores in Colorado should stock up on munchies.
Making Montana Proud:
This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.
From the Billings Gazette: “Prosecutors filed charges against a man (Joshua Adam Breding, 26) Tuesday who they say broke windows out of a Billings church using a machete and rocks.”
The Gazette also reported, “After his arrest, Breding told police he went to the church, started ‘acting crazy’ and used a machete and rocks to break the church’s windows.”
I bet it was the devil…
Maybe he will appear in front of Judge G. Todd Baugh and the judge will have him write, “I will not throw rocks” 5000 times. Or, maybe Baugh will make him attend that church for five years…
On This Date:
Alaska became the 49th state in 1959, Eli Manning turns 33, Danica McKellar of “The Wonder Years” fame turns 39, Mel Gibson turns 58, and in 2006 “Lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion and agreed to cooperate in investigations of corruption in Congress.” (Source)
One More Thing:
Don’t forget to stretch…
## Happy New Year ##