Caught My Eye…

Welcome to the Big Show – which is also called “Caught My Eye!”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning. This column is where 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 provide independent commentary about 348 jobs, Copper Commando & Montana Cowgirl, getting ready for 2016, tax relief bills, Jim Messina, Cleveland Cavaliers, the Worst Mother Selfies, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

348 Jobs:

It was quite a shock when I read the breaking news on the Great Falls Tribune’s website about the fourth largest private employer in Great Falls, the Asurion call center (formerly called N.E.W.), closing in August.

I happened to catch a message from Brett Doney who is the President/CEO of the Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA). Doney was in a “rah-rah” mood, telling folks:

As we did when we lost the 564th Missile Squadron, Team Great Falls will rally together to work to turn this sad news into future opportunity.

We already know the Montana Congressional delegation let the 564th Missile Squadron close without a fight. Many in the community did not put up a fight, either. I hope that Doney and his people tried to at least put up a little fight to convince Asurion officials that they should stay in Great Falls.

One commentator named Rick Tryon probably echoed the thoughts of many in this community with his comments on the Tribune’s website regarding the Asurion story:

Okay, I’ll just say it: we need some fresh leadership in Great Falls who will make jobs and economic development Job1, Job2, and Job3. Someone with a plan of action, clearly defined and benchmarked.

I agree with those comments. People do get stale in their jobs – even the so-called economic development experts…

Copper Commando & Montana Cowgirl:

The Copper Commando blog is one of several blogs that I read along with the Montana Cowgirl. On April 28, “Marcus” from the Copper Commando posted a column entitled “The Story, and Identity, of Montana Cowgirl.”

Maybe “column” is not the best word to describe it. It’s more of a treatise – it comes in at around 7,600 words.

In short, the Copper Commando asserts that the Montana Cowgirl blog author is not really a “girl” but Eric Stern:

Interestingly enough, almost everyone I’ve asked about this subject names Eric Stern as the author of Cowgirl, although several authors believe he has help.

I checked my email archives here at The Western Word (TWW) and all the way back in 2010 people were wondering about the identity of the Montana Cowgirl. The Associated Press even did a story about the Montana Cowgirl.

An anonymous tipster sent TWW an e-mail back in 2010 telling me that the identity of the Montana Cowgirl…drum roll please…was Eric Stern. I did not care that much then; I still don’t care that much today.

TWW has been around since 2005, and I was anonymous for a few years. After awhile so many people knew who I was and then “there I was” ticking people off on both sides of the fence, so I decided to “out” myself before someone else did. You can read my bio at the top of the page.

The Montana Cowgirl is the premier blog in Montana. The Copper Commando did a great job in laying out a case about who the Cowgirl actually is, so it’s worth the read.

Are You Ready for 2016?

Here are five things you should do to get ready for the 2016 election season:

  • Buy my book, “Preparing for the Race…” on sale HERE
  • Follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord
  • Like The Western Word’s Facebook Page HERE
  • Subscribe to this blog (Upper right side)
  • Tell your friends and family to do the same!

“He’s Dead, Jim!”

And just like that, three Republican tax relief bills have died at the pen of Governor Steve Bullock, who is a Democrat. (Source)

I like Bullock, but I also like tax cuts. I think the best tax cuts are those that taxpayers can actually see – like when a check arrives in my mailbox or an electronic deposit is deposited in my bank account due to a tax refund.

Maybe the boys and girls in the legislature and the governor will work a little harder next session to give us some meaningful tax cuts.

You may say I’m a dreamer…

Jim Messina:

Former Max Baucus Chief of Staff and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina took his skills across the pond to help Prime Minister David Cameron. Messina was a campaign advisor to the Cameron’s British Conservative Party that trounced the Labour Party in Britain’s Parliamentary elections. (Source)

Messina was interviewed on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” early this morning and although he helped the Conservative Party in Britain, he said he was clearly supporting Hillary Clinton here in the United States.

Making Montana Proud:

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

-From the Billings Gazette: Vidal Not Afraid Sr., 60, entered no contest pleas to six felony charges including his ninth drunken driving offense. Prior reports indicate that he could have as many as 12 DUI offenses.

The plea deal calls for a sentence of 12½ total years in the Montana State Prison as a persistent felony offender. State District Court Judge Rod Souza will either accept or reject the plea deal. Sentencing is set for May 18.

It is freaking ridiculous that anyone with nine (or twelve) drunk driving convictions would even be considered for a plea deal. Shame on the Yellowstone County prosecutor for agreeing to this plea deal, and shame on Judge Souza if he accepts it.

Making plea deals like this one is an embarrassment to Montana.

Cleveland Cavaliers Promo Video:

It was all fun and games with music from the movie “Dirty Dancing” until the guy, who has a Cleveland Cavaliers t-shirt on, threw his girlfriend, who has a Chicago Bulls t-shirt on, across the room. Then there were apologies and an attempt to remove the video from the internet.

Psst… Cleveland and Chicago are playing each other in the NBA playoffs.

You can see the video HERE. You can read the story about it HERE.

Worst Mother Selfies of All-Time:

Happy Mother’s Day! Some of these “selfies” are rated “R” so be advised. Click HERE to view.

One More Thing:

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe


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