Caught My Eye…

It’s Friday – please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop!

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 – or maybe both.

Today I provide valuable independent commentary about the Montana Legislature and Senate Bill 405, the Montana VA, Zinke’s Campaign Mailer & Zinke’s new offices, Pro-tips from The Western Word, the tree specialist, and much more!

MT Senate Bill 405:

Senate Bill 405 (Medicaid expansion proposal) passed the second reading in the Montana House of Representatives Thursday afternoon by a 54-46 margin. (Source)

I am in favor of Medicaid expansion. I think we need to show compassion for the most needy in our state.

The debate of Senate Bill 405 was like watching a circus with a lot of acts showing off for the crowd. I’m just glad they finished the debate before Jeopardy. The Republicans tried to pass several amendments to derail the bill, but they failed. I can see why there’s so much dislike for Rep. Art Wittich.

I did learn a lot about my state rep. in HD 23, Republican Wendy McKamey. She voted against Senate Bill 405 and voted for all the silly amendments that failed. Earlier, she voted for an Agenda 21 bill and even voted to adjourn Wednesday so she would not have to vote. I think the cheese has slid off her cracker.

It’s too bad it’s so hard for an independent candidate to get on the ballot in Montana, or her days as a legislator would be numbered. I hope the Democrats recruit well in this district for 2016. A moderate Republican running against her in the primary might be the answer.

By the way, and I know this is difficult for some to fathom, but I made a mistake on Twitter yesterday. In one tweet I typed Medicare instead of Medicaid. I appreciate those who pointed it out so quickly, and yes, I do know the difference.

I will strive to be perfect from here on…

The Montana VA:

Thanks to the Associated Press, Montana veterans found out:

One in 20 patients at the Fort Harrison VA hospital in Helena must wait a month or longer to receive care — nearly twice the national rate. Long waits have continued despite pledges by senior officials to cut down on delays and a huge infusion of cash from Congress to help tackle the nationwide problem.

As I wrote before, the Montana VA should follow what Malmstrom AFB did during the cheating scandal – and that is to get rid of most of the higher level managers and bring in new blood.

There’s a serious problem at the Fort Harrison VA hospital. Throwing more money at it won’t help. There needs to be a major shakeup – and a major attitude adjustment for those who are left.

Zinke’s Campaign Mailer:

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are in year-round campaign mode because they serve two-year terms. Just about the time they are done with one election, they have to start raising money for the next one. It’s especially important for the members who are first-termers, like Montana’s lone Congressman Ryan Zinke, because they are most vulnerable.

I was not surprised when I received a fundraising mailer from Zinke, because that’s what elected officials have to do. I was surprised that he sent seven pages. Yes, seven pages (counting the front & back). The campaign consultant who believes seven pages are needed to raise money is living in the past and taking the freshman Congressman for a ride. Nobody reads this stuff. Keep it at one page (front and back). The other troubling part is the Zinke for Congress address to send the dough is listed as P.O. Box 17477 in Washington, DC 20041.

Zinke April 2015 Mailer

I’m sure the Post Office boxes in Montana can hold all the money…

Zinke’s Offices:

Congressman Ryan Zinke announced this week that he is opening a District office in Missoula. The office will be located at 1008 South Ave. W., Suite 2, in Missoula.

Apparently Zinke has taken my advice.  I said since he was on the House Armed Services Committee that he should have a presence near Montana’s only active duty military base in Great Falls. Zinke announced in the press release about the Missoula office that he will be opening an office in Great Falls “in the coming weeks” so that is good news for Great Falls.

Hopefully Zinke will hire an Air Force veteran for that slot.

Pro-Tips:

Here at The Western Word (TWW) I love to receive press releases from the left, right, and middle! While I don’t have a newspaper, television, or radio station to promote my Twitter or Facebook account or my (almost) award-winning blog, I manage to hold my own. I am seldom last when posting major information about politics, sports, the media, or current events.

What makes Tweeting or posting your information to TWW’s Facebook page or blog much easier is if there’s a link to a web version included with the emailed press release, or if it’s posted on your website where I can quickly find the link.

That makes getting your information to my wonderful followers much easier as well as better for you. I’m sure others in this business would agree.

The Western Word can be found on:

The Tree Specialist:

Now there’s another thing to worry about when driving: You might tick off a guy with a chainsaw, and he may scare the heck out of you and your kids with it.

The guy who was ticked off was a “tree specialist” so he had his own chainsaw.

Check out the video HERE.

One More Thing:

Live as though it were your last day on earth. Some day you will be right. – Robert Anthony

 

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