Caught My Eye…

Welcome to Friday and to the 236th edition of “Caught My Eye.”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted 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. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile, or to irritate you just a little. Maybe both!

Today I write about Brian Schweitzer, the Cascade County Detention Center, Bill O’Reilly, Major League Baseball, Daytona 500, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud.

Schweitzer Speaks:

Brian Schweitzer has provided Montanans and the rest of the country with good entertainment over the years. Back in 2008, I had this to say about him:

Schweitzer kind of reminds me of George C. Scott, who played Mordecai Jones in the 1967 movie, “The Flim-Flam Man.” The synopsis tells us that Mordecai was the master of back-stabbing, cork-screwing and dirty-dealing-dealing.

Every so often Schweitzer says something that makes sense. The former Montana Governor has an opinion piece hitting Montana newspapers about Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Brothers, and Medicaid expansion. In it, Schweitzer writes:

The Koch brothers didn’t question health care provided to seniors, veterans or to Medicaid in other states representing two-thirds of the U.S. population. Nope, the Koch brothers have decided that the No. 1 place to start saving money is right here in Montana, with the health of our poorest people.

Last week in “Caught My Eye,” I wrote about U.S. Senator Steve Daines and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke asking their leaders in Washington to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. I said since they were asking for that Federal money, maybe they could get their friends in the Montana Legislature to approve Medicaid expansion which is also Federal dollars.

Schweitzer closed out this opinion piece with this paragraph:

Meanwhile, responsible Republicans should stand up to the far right and use the federal Medicaid health dollars in Montana in the same way they support federal dollars for Medicare, highway contractors, farmers, ranchers, veterans, the National Guard, Malmstrom and our universities. We pay federal income tax like folks in the other 50 states. Why allow our share to go to health care in other states?

Schweitzer has been pretty quiet since his “gaydar” comments, so it’s nice to see him get back in the game.

Cascade County Detention Center:

The Cascade County Detention Center (Great Falls, MT) received a “scathing review” from the Montana ACLU. According to the Great Falls Tribune, “Cascade County scored average or lower than average on almost every inmate response.”

Yes, inmates graded the facility and, SURPRISE, Detention Center officials did not agree with their grades!

Psst – Detention Center officials probably won’t like this commentary, either.

You can read the Tribune story, watch a short video, and read the 74-page ACLU report HERE.

In short, Detention Center officials overreacted to the report. It seemed to bother them a lot. In fact, I thought their reaction was pretty funny.

Detention Center Commander Dan O’Fallon said, “It was based off of a very, very small number of inmate opinions and opinion only. Thus I know, there is no value to that report — in my opinion.”

If it would have been a great review, would he feel the same way?

Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards chimed in with these wise words:

Do we have some unsatisfied customers? Of course we do,” Edwards said. “It’s jail, and frankly people do not want to be here. We are not running a five-star bed and breakfast here.”

I imagine the “customers” who found the conditions bad enough that they committed *suicide would probably agree that it’s not a “five-star bed and breakfast.” To be quite blunt, these “customers” for some reason decided death was better alternative than staying another minute in the Cascade County Detention Center.

*If you did not read the story, it was reported, “six prisoners committed suicide at the Cascade County Detention Center between 2003 and 2011.”

Edwards and O’Fallon should have taken a deep breath before commenting and presented a more professional response.

Bill O’Reilly:

According to an article posted on MotherJones.com, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly “has his own Brian Williams problem.” David Corn and Daniel Schulman write that O’Reilly claims he was in a “war zone” that apparently no American correspondent reached.

The article is over 2,500 words and well worth the read. According to Mother Jones, Fox News and O’Reilly did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Update:  Bill O’Reilly responded to the Mother Jones story on his show Friday night.  Click HERE to read his Talking Points Memo. 

Making Montana Proud:

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

-From the Billings Gazette: A Billings man, Vidal Not Afraid Sr., 60, was charged Thursday in Yellowstone County District Court with his 12th drunken driving charge. He is suspected of rolling a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer into Mountview Cemetery.

It’s amazing that someone with 11 previous drunken driving convictions is even free to roam the streets – SMH. 

Baseball:

Spring cannot be too far away – Major League players reported for Spring Training this week! Their first Spring Training games are scheduled during the first week of March.

The first regular season (Opening Night) game is April 5 (Cardinals-Cubs). Opening Day is April 6.

Daytona 500:

I don’t watch very many NASCAR races mostly because they are always changing the rules, and it’s become more like watching professional wrestling than a car race. I do watch part of races like the Daytona 500 because there will probably be a big wreck, and after the wreck there might be fight like you would see during a pro wrestling show.

I do wish politicians had to wear suits/uniforms like the drivers with patches to show their “sponsors.”

So the Daytona 500 is this Sunday. It starts around 11:00 a.m. here in the Mountain Time zone. Buckle up.

One More Thing:

Better days are coming; they are called Saturday and Sunday…

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