Welcome to Caught My Eye – come on in and sit around the fire and warm up!
If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a 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 maybe both.
Today I write about Ryan Zinke’s plans, DSCC chair Jon Tester, 69 days, John Thune, Rob O’Neill, Judy Martz, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!
It’s an exciting time for U.S. Representative-elect Ryan Zinke as he prepares to become Montana’s only U.S. Representative. Zinke has recently disclosed some of his plans for his staff and offices in Montana.
One plan gets a thumbs-up, while one plan needs adjusting.
He said he plans to hire veterans, indicating that a lot of his staff would veterans. That is a good thing, and maybe he can convince Senator Jon Tester and Senator-elect Daines to do the same.
Zinke told Lee Newspapers that he “expects to have four congressional offices around Montana, with the main office in Billings, one in Helena and probably one in Flathead County. He [sic] trying to settle whether to locate the fourth office in Bozeman, Great Falls or Missoula.”
It would be a mistake for Zinke not to have an office in Great Falls near the only active duty military base in Montana and near the Montana Air National Guard- especially if Zinke gets a seat on the House Armed Services Committee. With the loss of missiles, jets, and jobs over the past few years from the failed leadership of Max Baucus, Jon Tester, Denny Rehberg, and Steve Daines, Montana’s military supporters need Zinke’s full attention on Malmstrom and the Air National Guard. That can only happen if Zinke has someone on the ground in Great Falls interacting with local supporters and military officials on a daily basis.
Congrats to U.S. Senator Jon Tester who was appointed chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for the 2016 cycle. According to Roll Call, “In 2016, Republicans must defend 24 seats to just 10 for Democrats. Democrats will likely only have a couple competitive seats to defend: Colorado and Nevada.”
The Nevada seat belongs to Harry Reid.
It will be a busy time for Tester, as he will be traveling a lot more. He’s been able to knock off a couple big names in Montana, so I am sure his party is hoping he can use that experience to help them win back the senate in 2016.
All I am hoping for is that Tester will use his clout to convince the DSCC “experts” that sending 15 fundraising e-mails in one day is a little over the top.
It’s hard to imagine waiting 69 days for your first medical appointment, but that is what the Associated Press (AP) is reporting that new patients at the Veterans Medical Center at Fort Harrison must do.
When the VA scandal was uncovered earlier this year, the wait time at Fort Harrison was 48 days. So, the service is getting worse instead of better. Acting Director Johnny Ginnity does his best to make excuses for the poor performance, but excuses are getting old. Where do they get these directors?
The Montana Congressional delegation should be livid about this latest failure.
U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota is, by far, my favorite Republican Senator. It was good to see him re-elected to a leadership spot for the next Congress. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, “Thune will continue to oversee the Senate Republican Conference, a panel responsible for helping lawmakers communicate their priorities to the American people.”
If the U.S. Senate had more people like Thune, it would be a much better place.
The Flint Report/Rob O’Neill:
In case you missed the story this week on Fox News, Aaron Flint over at The Flint Report blog has the story of Butte native and former Navy Seal Rob O’Neill who shot and killed Osama bin Laden. Check out videos HERE.
The Fox News story was amazing and done very well.
Former Gov. Judy Martz:
Please join me in praying for former Montana Governor Judy Martz who has been diagnosed with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer. More information and an address to send cards and best wishes can be found HERE.
Get well soon Gov. Martz!
Making Montana Proud:
This section is where I mention people or groups whose actions embarrass Montana in some way.
-From the Billings Gazette: This week a judge declared 43-year-old Ericka Ann Platt a persistent felony offender and gave her a five-year sentence for driving while high and causing two crashes within minutes of each other last December.
In one crash, a man was putting a five year-old in the car when Platt struck the open door.
Ericka Ann Platt is an embarrassment to Montana.
One More Thing:
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” ― Robert H. Schuller
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