Woohoo – we made it to Friday!
Coming to you from The Western Word world headquarters deep inside a bunker somewhere in Montana, this is “Caught My Eye!” This column is posted right here 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. Basically, nothing is off-limit – nothing!
Today I write about Lt. Governor John Walsh, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Steve Daines, Max Baucus, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Secretary of Defense, Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, and Minot, Global Strike Command, Mike “libido” Huckabee, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, Bloggers’ rights, birthdays, plus we have two people who are making Montana proud!
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is looking for Montana Lt. Governor and senate candidate John Walsh (D) since he did not attend a Yellowstone County Democratic dinner in Billings this week. Those crazy kids at the NRSC composed a cute message about Walsh, asking, “Where’s Walsh-O?” It bordered on middle school-level humor, so it made me smile.
I do believe I know Walsh’s whereabouts! He’s been too busy writing and sending press releases to do anything else – I’ve received about 25 press releases from the Walsh for Senate campaign this month.
Walsh and Montana Democrats can take comfort in knowing that NRSC-backed candidates have not won in Montana in well over a decade. The NRSC can take almost certain victory and turn it into a loss almost overnight.
Republican senate candidate Steve Daines should send the kids at NRSC a super-secret coded message (because we all know it’s against the rules for candidates and third-party groups to coordinate) and tell them to stay far far away from the 2014 Montana Senate race.
Baucus Nomination Hearing:
Montana’s retiring senior senator, Max Baucus, was nominated by President Obama to be the U.S. Ambassador to China. His nomination hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will take place Tuesday, January 28. It starts at 8:00 a.m. (Montana time). It will be streamed live and you can watch it HERE.
I don’t think Baucus should be confirmed. His personal and professional life has brought shame to Montana – and shows China he is weak. I wrote about it HERE.
Maybe one or some of the GOP members of the committee will ask Baucus some tough questions that will show he is not qualified to be an ambassador. The ranking member (Republican) of the committee is Bob Corker. The other Republican members are James E. Risch, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Jeff Flake, John McCain, John Barrasso, and Rand Paul.
They are all welcome to use my comments as talking points during the hearing.
AF Secretary visits Montana…
…and North Dakota and Wyoming and Louisiana.
Last December Deborah Lee James was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the Secretary of the Air Force by a vote of 79-6 (I guess 15 senators took the day off). The Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota senators where nuclear bases Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, and Minot are located all voted for James.
James is pretty much devoid of any knowledge of missile bases. She never served in the military, but she did land a civilian job at the Pentagon. There are literally thousands of people more qualified for this position than Deborah Lee James.
Her number one job for this little business trip was to reassure locals that their base is important, and the nuclear missiles that are placed all across the fruited plains of Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota are safe and secure. She used the same talking points at all three bases. Apparently she was not asked any tough questions at any press conferences.
James ended her trip by visiting Global Strike Command Headquarters in Barksdale, Louisiana, which oversees Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, and Minot. I imagine she told the folks there to make sure the leaders at their three nuclear bases get their %^$# together very quickly or else.
On Thursday after visiting with James, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel “summoned senior military leaders to discuss serious personnel problems and other missteps” and he “ordered an independent review of the nuclear force.” (Source)
No matter how reassuring the Secretary of the Air Force was during her trip, missile base supporters should be on pins and needles until this “independent review” is completed.
Now there are five candidates from Montana’s 2010 election season who have been accused of illegal coordination with a secretive conservative group. More rulings are still to come according to the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices.
It’s hard to tell if anything will actually come from the rulings, but the publicity has not been good for these folks. Other candidates are probably a little nervous.
Mike “libido” Huckabee:
In case you missed it, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spoke at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Washington this week. During his speech he said,
If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it — let us take that discussion all across America.
And with that remark, Huckabee’s 2016 Presidential aspirations ended. I wonder if he dined with Todd Akin before his speech.
Hey Bloggers – You Have Rights!
The Associated Press reported “A federal appeals court ruled Friday that bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation: If the issue is of public concern, plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages.”
So take that…
Making Montana Proud:
This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.
-From the Billings Gazette: “Prosecutors charged a mother and daughter in court Tuesday with breaking into a home, stealing numerous items and then beating the woman who lived there with a hammer. Cheri Danielle Schiedel, 31, and her mother, Kimberly June Paulk, 54, each face a count of felony aggravated burglary.”
Nice. The mother/daughter hit squad looks pretty mean.
Maybe one of those silly judges in Billings will make them sing, “If I had a hammer…”
Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is 73, comedian Yakov Smirnoff is 63, and Olympic gold-medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton is 46.
One More Thing:
Don’t forget to stretch…
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