Welcome to another edition of “Caught My Eye!”
Disclaimer: Do not read while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.
If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” 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 to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or both.
Today I write about Walsh/Daines, closed primaries, VA claims backlog, the NBA draft, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!
The Daines Ad:
On Monday I took a look at Steve Daines’ new ad called “Mistreated.” I said that it appears to be another attempt by Daines to smear Walsh who Daines said, “served with distinction in the Army National Guard for over 30 years.”
I’ve been saying for a long time that I don’t like it when people criticize a veteran’s military record – be it Republican or Democrat or whatever party. It should be out of bounds. I dislike it even more if those doing the attacking did not have the will to serve in the military like Steve Daines.
Lee Newspapers took a look at the ad later in the week and contacted the Montana National Guard about some of the accusations from the woman in the ad. The Guard spokesperson said, “They do not ring true.”
Daines campaign manager Brock Lowrance was quoted in the article saying the Daines campaign was “scrutinizing” Walsh’s military record. Daines did not serve in the military. I don’t think Lowrance did either.
The bottom line is that Daines is swiftboating Walsh – a person he had recommended to the President of the United States for a position on the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force a little over a year ago.
Even if Daines wins this senate race, he’s lost the respect of many military members and veterans across the state. In the coming months look for him to parade out the few veterans who still support him to try to regain that respect.
On the way to zipping up the big Republican tent just a little more and allowing the extreme members to run the show, it appears that some members of the party want the closed primary now, Now, NOW.
The Associated Press published a story on Thursday reporting that those who support a closed primary want “a federal lawsuit filed now to get the process underway.” In other words, they want a federal judge to legislate.
But the current party leaders want to focus on the November election and that has ticked off many of the extremes. So they are fighting it out in the press and on social media.
What that probably means is the “current party leaders” will probably be “former party leaders” in the not too distant future because the extremes are taking over.
Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch (D) basically summed it up best:
“I would certainly hate to lose the open primary in Montana,” she said. “We have so many Independent voters, and people change parties back and forth. I think it would eliminate voter choice.”
It’s too bad the Republicans don’t have someone with common sense like Linda McCulloch.
VA Claims Backlog:
The National Journal asks the question: “Is the VA sweeping the vast majority of its claims under the rug while proclaiming progress?”
Then they answer it:
The VA loves to talk about how it’s on track to reach its goal next year of completing all disability compensation and pension claims within 125 days—keeping them off the dreaded “backlogged” list. Frequently overlooked? The other two-thirds of VA claims—or more than 1 million requests—aren’t subject to the department’s 125-days, 98-percent accuracy goal.
I can personally confirm that nobody circles the wagons like those within the VA – especially in the hiring process. I can also personally confirm they don’t like people who hold them accountable.
There needs to be a major house cleaning and attitude adjustment in the Veterans Administration.
Making Montana Proud:
This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.
-From the Billings Gazette: Dale Ron Carpenter, age 49, was found naked in a Billings rental house on Tuesday morning. It was not his house.
According to the Gazette, once inside the house, the officers heard a noise coming from upstairs and announced their presence, ordering those in the house to show themselves. Carpenter did just that – he appeared at the top the stairs, naked. He was then handcuffed.
It was also reported that Carpenter had “numerous bench warrants for not appearing in court as ordered, including 15 warrants in 2010 alone.”
Congrats to Great Falls C.M. Russell graduate Josh Huestis who was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
One More Thing:
Don’t Forget to Stretch…
## END ##