Caught My Eye…

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. – Max Lucado

Welcome to Friday and the big show I like to call “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 snarkiness to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Today’s topics include the GOP Presidential debates, Malmstrom’s Visitors, Chester and the Chester Cheetah, Daines & Planned Parenthood, Gianforte donations, and much more so buckle up!

GOP Presidential Debates:

The 17 GOP Presidential candidates finally got a chance to debate yesterday in Cleveland. I think some of them should throw in the towel already. For others, they did well enough that they may have gained a few supporters.

In the first debate with only seven candidates, Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry stood out to me. I would give the win to Fiorina. I think Rick Perry’s time has passed.

In the second debate with 10 candidates frontrunner Donald Trump received most of the attention and the tougher questions. He also won the Drudge Report poll with over 51% of the vote and he won the poll with 46% of the vote (as of early this morning). The opening where Trump raised his hand and said he would consider running as an independent kind of set the stage for an interesting evening. Face it, Trump was the reason people watched the debate.

Some folks believe the Fox News moderators were unfair to Trump. Some were saying that it was more of an inquisition of Trump than anything. We’ll just have to see how much his polling numbers change after the debate.

As for the other candidates Ohio Governor John Kasich came across as compassionate and had some really great responses. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio did pretty well, too.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Rand Paul had some problems getting noticed. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker all but disappeared during the debate and seemed out of place at times.

There were too many people debating at one time. Candidates went several minutes between questions. It would have been great if the debate was reduced to five people debating for 90 minutes. I’d love to see Trump, Kasich, Christie, Rubio, and Fiorina debate.

Overall, Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump made headlines for their performances. For example:

CNN: Carly Fiorina shines in first GOP debate

The Hill: Trump dominates rowdy debate

Malmstrom’s Visitors:

When the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff visit a local military base, you’d think it would be big news – like big enough to be placed on the top of the fold in the newspaper or make the top story on the local newscast that evening.

I guess that’s not how the media rolls in Great Falls, Montana.

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III visited Malmstrom Air Force Base on Monday (Aug. 3, 2015). (Source1) (Source2)

It would have been nice if someone in the media would have asked them how their new plans for the nuclear bases are working out since the scandal. There are several other questions that could be asked, too. The local reporters who cover military affairs should have been there asking questions.

If the local reporters were not invited to Malmstrom, then they should raise a little hell to let Malmstrom and the Air Force know they won’t stand for it. I’m sure Montana’s Congressional delegation would help them gain an interview with these two public officials and cut through the red tape.

Chester the Cheetah Coverage:

The day after the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff visited Malmstrom AFB (August 3) with very little publicity (see story above), the only newspaper in town – the Great Falls Tribune published a story on the front page of their newspaper about a “Flamin’ Hot Scandal” which I believe involved Chester the Cheetah running for mayor in Chester, Montana.

Frankly, the scandal may not involve Chester the Cheetah running for mayor or even Chester, Montana. I’ve read the story three or four times and don’t really know what the heck it’s about. Other folks I’ve asked about the story said the same thing. It might be an inside joke at the Tribune with the residents of Chester, Montana. The story has been shared almost 700 times on Facebook and over 70 times on Twitter.

That much sharing of the story means it’s either a very important story or people are sharing it with friends/family and asking them to explain it to them…

Daines & Planned Parenthood:

Shortly before the U.S. Senate voted against advancing a Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood, U.S. Senator Steve Daines used the moment to try and raise money for his campaign.

Last week, Montana’s senior Senator, Jon Tester, did the same thing – only it was with the highway bill.

Daines sent an email from his campaign with the subject, “PETITION: Defund Planned Parenthood” in which he asked recipients to sign a petition. Then Daines adds:

After you’ve signed, please consider making a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to help me ramp up my pro-life efforts

I don’t really think that Daines needs additional money to “ramp up” his pro-life efforts – he’s using plenty of taxpayer dollars to do just that, although at sometime in his political career he should realize that more folks are now pro-choice than pro-life.

Gianforte Donations:

Troy Carter, who writes for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and runs a blog called 406 Politics, posted an interesting story about rules for children donating to political campaigns.

Carter reported that Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jon Motl said he will not propose new administrative rules for Montana that would prohibit the use of child donors.

Maybe Motl should. What Carter found in his research about child donors was very interesting:

So a necessary question becomes: Do child donors exist in Montana?

Rachel Gianforte of Bozeman was 4 years old when she contributed the maximum $400 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Natelson’s primary campaign. Her three brothers also contributed, the oldest being under 12.

Their donations were made after their parents, Greg and Susan Gianforte, had themselves given the maximum donation to Natelson, according to Montana campaign finance records. Greg Gianforte did not respond to an email offering an opportunity to comment.

Gianforte should have responded and given reasons why his very young children donated to a political campaign. I’d like to know his reasoning.

It kind of reminds me of the saying I heard during a recent city commission meeting, “There are things that are legal, and then there are things that are right.”

One More Thing:

Nothing ends, it’s just a continuation, it’s a pause in the conversation.
–Jon Stewart signing off for the last time from The Daily Show

## END ##



  1. I thought Kasich elevated himself the most but that is partially because he was so far down to start. I thought Bush did a good job and is a good speaker. I felt Rand Paul delivered the best closing. Trump, in my opinion, shot himself in the foot big time with his insulting comments about women and his childish retorts to Ms. Kelly. Cruz is crazy and has zero shot and Dr. Carson looked terribly uncomfortable.
    Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

    • Rick – Thanks for your observations. Probably Trump’s biggest mistake was going after Megyn Kelly who is the star of Fox News. -JmB

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