Caught My Eye…

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. —Carl Bard

Welcome to the big show! If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” has been posted here every Friday morning since October 2010! 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 I write about Gallatin County Republicans and the Montana Democrats, the Missoula Gun Ordinance, Miller endorses Gianforte, Badger Guns, local TV News, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista & Royals’ Kendrys Morales, and much more!

Gallatin County Republicans:

It’s a big night in Gallatin County (MT) for the Republicans who are having their Fall Roundup this Saturday! On their website they inform readers that they are “excited and honored to announce that Best Selling Author and Filmmaker, Dinesh D’Souza is honoring his promise to come to our Fall Roundup.” You can get a ticket for $60. You can be a VIP for even more money!

As much as the Gallatin County Republicans are excited about D’Souza, the Montana Democrats are not that excited about him speaking at the event. They’ve put out a couple of press releases. It’s how they roll.

Here’s the opening paragraph from the Montana Democrats’ first press release:

This Saturday the Gallatin County GOP will host one of the most controversial and hateful speakers of modern day, Dinesh D’Souza. Aside from being a convicted felon, D’Souza has made a living authoring books that blame the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Hollywood movies like Brokeback Mountain, claiming that slavery in America wasn’t so bad, and that right-wing Americans should join forces with traditional Muslims, including those who agree with Sharia law to combat the “cultural left.”

In their second press release, they try to tie enemy number one, possible Republican governor candidate Greg Gianforte, to D’Souza.

For some reason I’m not as excited about D’Souza as the Gallatin Republicans or outraged about D’Souza speaking to them as the Montana Democrats. I bet the sun will come up on Sunday morning after the event and somewhere in Gallatin County the birds will be singing.

Missoula Gun Ordinance:

According to the Missoulian newspaper, the Missoula City Council is considering an ordinance requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales and transfers within the city.

Oh My. If I remember correctly from pro-gun handouts, this action is only a step or two away from going door to door to confiscate our guns.

Somehow this is probably Obama’s fault.

It did not take long for the top three elected Republicans (U.S. Senator Steve Daines, U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox) to tell the Missoula City Council that they should withdraw their plans for the ordinance.

The three Republicans had to do something. I imagine they were getting some pressure from the pro second amendment folks in Montana to make a statement.

The fact is that the ordinance won’t do anything to stop gun violence.

Miller endorses Gianforte:

I received an email from Ken Miller this week telling folks that he is supporting Greg Gianforte for Montana Governor. Miller is a former Montana State Senator and former chair of the Montana Republican Party. Miller also ran for governor.

In his endorsement in which he also pushed a new business venture, Miller says:

As one of the most successful businessmen in Montana we have a great candidate for Governor in Greg Gianforte. Peggy and I ask that you join us in supporting Greg for that office. With Greg as governor, I believe Montana can once again have one of the strongest economies in the nation.

It will be interesting to see which Republicans line up behind Gianforte and behind Brad Johnson, who is also running for Governor.

Badger Guns:

Just in case you missed it, the Badger Guns (Wisconsin) court case was decided in favor of two police officers who were shot with a gun purchased at store in a suburban Milwaukee gun store called Badger Guns. A jury awarded the officers about $6 million.

This case is probably far from over although it appears the officers had a very good case. The Associated Press reported that the lawsuit said the shop ignored several warning signs that the gun used to shoot the officers was being sold to a so-called straw buyer who was illegally purchasing the weapon for someone else. A story in the Great Falls Tribune detailed what happened at the store when 18-year-old Julius Burton wanted to purchase a gun:

Burton was too young at the time to buy the weapon, but obtained it with the help of 28-year-old Jacob Collins.

Surveillance tape from Badger Guns shows Burton and Collins entering the store together. Burton gestures toward the handgun of his choice, but Collins fills out the federal firearms transaction form.

Collins initially checked “no” to the question “Are you the actual buyer/transferee of the gun” — a response that would have made sale of the handgun illegal. A Badger Guns employee is then seen pointing out the answer to Collins. Store clerk Donald Flora asked Collins whether he wanted to change his answer. Collins then filled in the “yes” box to say he was buying the handgun for himself.

I got a kick out of a Great Falls gun dealer telling the Tribune that car dealerships don’t get sued if someone buys a pickup and hits you drunk driving.

I bet they would if the dealer knew the person purchasing the car was drunk at the time of purchase or not authorized to drive a car.

The AP also reported that authorities have linked Badger Guns to hundreds of firearms found at crime scenes. That shows there are so problems there, but that won’t stop the pro second amendment folks from using this case to once again say that Obama is coming after your guns and ammo.

Local TV News:

I happened to catch a Tweet from KFBB TV in Great Falls on Wednesday telling folks some information in which they were very proud:

You see it here first! The mug shot of Dwayne Ottey Jr., the man who robbed a GF bank. More on ABC 5,6,10 FOX 9.

I believe from my classes in journalism and communications that a word like “alleged” or “who is suspected of” or “who is being charged with” should maybe be placed in the Tweet. I know Montana is considered the “wild west” but we still allow folks a day in court before we find them guilty.

I have been remiss in commenting about the folks involved in the local television news, mostly because I don’t want to hurt their feelings. It’s pretty bad some nights watching the local news. Here are some quick thoughts:

  • The most important thing an anchor should be able to do is read
  • Practice makes perfect – look how well the President does reading from a teleprompter
  • Have someone spell check your on-screen graphics
  • Ask someone you can trust if the photo you are putting on the screen really is Steve Bullock or Steve Daines
  • We don’t have a weather catastrophe every week in Montana – give us the highs, lows, chance of precipitation, and forecast
  • No amount of graphics and weather terminology will make clear and 60 degrees more interesting. Most nights the weather can be done in less than a minute

Debt Limit is November 3:

This week Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress it has until Nov. 3 to raise the government’s $18.1 trillion borrowing cap. (Source)

That means they have about 10 legislative days to get it done. They need to get it done.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott:

In case you missed it, Abbott tweeted congratulations to the Houston Astros for advancing to the AL Championship Series. The funny thing was that the game was not finished and the Astros ended up losing to the Kansas City Royals.

The Astros lost the next game to the Royals, too. The Astros are now on vacation – out of the playoffs. In fact, both Texas teams (Astros and Rangers) choked in the playoffs and are now on vacation.

Unfortunately, Abbott was not a very courageous Texan. He quickly blamed a staffer for the premature tweet. (Source)

Abbott’s staffers should realize that when push comes to shove, their boss will throw them under the bus first.

Speaking of Baseball:

Jose Bautista is a right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays who will now forever be known as the player who flipped his bat after the home run in the American League Championship Series. Watch it HERE.

I thought it was pretty unprofessional. You don’t just stand there and stare at the pitcher.

Later that night Kansas City Royals player Kendrys Morales hit a three-run blast. His actions were much more professional than Bautista. Watch it HERE.

Bautista belongs to the NCAA – No Class At All – many of the Blue Jays fans who threw crap on the field when a call did not go their way belong there with him.

Go Royals!

One More Thing:

Don’t forget to stretch…


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