Caught My Eye…

It’s Friday and it’s summer – so put the beer on ice! Welcome to another almost award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye!”

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.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Today I write about Ryan Zinke & the Montana Democrats, John Lewis, Malmstrom AFB, Tester’s appropriations, the Montana Attorney General & same-sex marriage, the spider, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

Swiftboating Zinke:

The Montana Democratic Party is still attempting to bring discredit upon Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke’s military service. They are disguising their tactics as wanting more transparency, while using a retired military officer to sign their letters to the Department of Defense asking for Zinke’s military records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) route.

Good luck with that publicity stunt. There’s very little a third party can obtain in regard to a veteran’s military records without his/her written authorization.

Nonetheless, it’s a cheap shot and it’s an attempt to swiftboat Zinke. 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.

Democratic House candidate John Lewis should tell his friends at Montana Democratic Party headquarters to stop the swiftboat attacks. It’s going to backfire and cost him valuable votes.

Malmstrom Adds Personnel:

It was particularly nice to read that Malmstrom AFB will be adding about 216 personnel. According to the Great Falls Tribune, “Those positions will go into intercontinental ballistic missile operations, missile maintenance operations, security forces and operations and support for the 40th Helicopter Squadron.”

Let’s hope they study hard for their tests…

Tester’s Appropriations:

U.S. Senator Jon Tester sent a press release on Thursday about his work on the Appropriations committee for some worthwhile projects. The projects are far from being funded as they have not even made their way out of the senate yet.

I’m still young enough to remember when candidate Jon Tester said he would “fight to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington,” and when he was against earmarks period, before he voted against banning earmarks.

All those promises are long gone, and Tester is now saying he “used his influence” to provide “robust funding for Malmstrom” and he “fought” for the Montana Air National Guard (MANG).

Although it’s a little two-faced on Tester’s behalf, it’s good to see him fight for that “robust funding” since on his watch Malmstrom has lost 50 missiles and the MANG lost all their F-15s all while Tester sat around doing nothing.

Tester is now the senior member of the Montana Congressional delegation, having about 7.5 years of seniority under his belt. We should be happy with what he’s able to bring back to Big Sky Country – even if he called it pork eight years ago.

MT AG/Same-Sex Marriage:

Montana Republican Attorney General Tim Fox “asked a federal court Thursday to uphold the state’s constitutional same-sex marriage ban in response to a lawsuit that seeks to overturn it.” (Source)

Fox had to make the argument because he wants to be re-elected or run for governor or some other office down the road, and he needs the support from the Republican base.

My prediction: The same-sex marriage ban is going to be overturned, it’s just a matter of time.

Making Montana Proud:

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

From the Montana Standard in Butte: Officers first noticed Jennifer Markov, 37, when she was at a local gas station because she appeared intoxicated. She reportedly “told the officers that she was a member of the Drug Enforcement Administration.” The officers told her it’s “a crime to impersonate a law enforcement official.”

The officers started to leave and Markov was almost home free, but:

Markov, wearing a tank top and short skirt, left the van and started screaming swear words at the officers and doing what a police report described as “hip thrusts.”

She was arrested for disorderly conduct. Maybe she will appear on “So You Think You Can Dance” next season, because we could all use just a few more hip thrusts in our lives…

Itsy Bitsy Spider:

From the “don’t try this at home” file: A Seattle house was set on fire Tuesday night by a man trying to kill a spider with a makeshift blowtorch. He was using a can of spray paint and a lighter which caused about $60k in damages to the house and its contents. (Source)

One More Thing:

Don’t Forget to Stretch…


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  1. How do more jobs at Malstrom help America? I can see how they can help Montana, primarily by driving up our federal deficit so we can get that payroll in our communities. But how does that help us with the $17 trillion debt, having more personnel for weapons systems we’ll never use?

    How do “warm silos” help us other than creating more government largess?

    • Greg:

      First, it’s spelled Malmstrom.

      Second, jobs for local communities are never a reason to keep any military base open. Every military base anywhere should be based on mission needs and not because they provide jobs to some community.

      Third, actually the land-based missiles are cheaper to maintain than other weapon systems like the nukes on planes and nukes on subs and ships. It’s looking like one of the three legs of the triad will be terminated one of these days. Many say it will be the land-based nukes.

      Fourth, I have come to realize that it does not matter who is running things, the debt is here to stay. There are several things in all the federal agencies that could be cut that would help with the debt – but there are 435 House members and 100 Senate members and the White House. Each have their pet projects they want funded.

      Your comment “having more personnel and weapons systems we’ll never use” in my mind that is better than not having enough when needed.

      The fact about a “warm silo” is that it allows politicians to take credit for keeping it operational because if it’s completely closed and seeded over with grass they don’t need as many personnel. Politicians hate it when they lose jobs on their watch.


      • So we need 650 ICBMs? I thought 1 or 2 would do it, and by golly that should save the country some money too. Hell, how about just 100?

      • Greg – The answer is we need enough. “Enough” is decided by whomever is in charge. Many people would like to see no nukes in the world, including the President. That would be nice but it won’t happen. -JmB

  2. Jackie, I disagree that there is any part of a politico’s life record that is out of bounds. We are all the sum total of our experiences both good and bad. Using “veteran” status as a shield for that part of a record is a disservice to voters. Quite often, “having served” is used as a hammer against others who have no military experience. Using that leverage without allowing questions about that military record is quite unfair. IMHO, the military records of both Zinke and Walsh are fair game in the political arena especially when they both use their former status as a factor for political office. Zinke has been roundly criticized on at least one lefty blog, Intelligent Discontent. Walsh has been taken to task by former fellow serving officers including retired Colonel Dan Tarter of Missoula.

    Out of the tempering fires all we can hope for is we get great steel.

    • Craig:

      Thanks for your opinion, but I disagree. -JmB

      • Makes the world go around. One more thing, don’t forget to scratch…..

      • Haha – you bet!

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