You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. – Winston Churchill
Welcome to the big show! This, dear friends, is the 275th Caught My Eye!
If you are a first-time visitor, Caught My Eye is posted every Friday. 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. Everything is fair game because I’m independent.
Today I write about VA claims pilot program, Daines & Paris & Syria & Fundraising, the Paranoia Vote, Greg the Explorer, Great Falls International Airport, and much more!
VA Claims Program:
The Great Falls Tribune reported this week that Montana has been selected to conduct a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that is intended to speed the processing of veterans’ claims for benefits.
Anything that speeds up the claims process is helpful.
When the pilot program is finalized in November, the Montana Veterans Affairs Division will be able to submit veteran benefit claims directly into the VA’s claims processing system.
There are some outstanding performers in the Montana Veterans Affairs Division. Hopefully the Federal VA folks will help and not hinder the new program.
Now about those VA claims appeals…
Daines & Paris & Syria & Fundraising:
Never miss a chance to raise a buck or two on a tragedy must be U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ motto this week. I received an email from the Daines campaign team. In part, Daines said:
In the wake of the murderous Islamic terrorist violence in Paris – and vows by ISIS to repeat the deadly carnage in America – why are we allowing additional Syrian refugees to come to the United States?
Well, Senator, the process to allow those refugees into the USA takes 18-24 months, but that little fact is not good for fundraising. I guess it’s important to make your audience think the Syrian refugees are coming through Montana on Interstate 90 this week.
Daines continues with the key reason for his email:
I’m leading the fight on Capitol Hill to make our citizens our top priority, but I need your support now. So if you agree, please add your name to our “No More Syrian Refugees” call to action right away. And after you’ve signed, please include a generous contribution of $25, $50, $75, or even $100 or more to help me distribute my call to action as widely as possible.
I don’t think Daines has ever led the fight on anything.
After thinking about his request, I think I’ll donate – to a refugee relief agency…
The Paranoia Vote:
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 289-137 for a bill that requires new screening requirements on refugees from Syria and Iraq before they can enter the United States.
According to The Hill, the legislation would prevent any refugees from Syria or Iraq from entering the United States until the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence certify that none of them are dangerous.
I hope they do that already.
Righties and many from the religious right are frightened by the refugees. I’m not too concerned about this bill. It was voted for by conservatives to appease their base and by vulnerable democrats who want to win reelection.
Those on the right and their supporters are just a little too paranoid these days.
According to the White House, since 2011 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has interviewed 7,014 Syrian refugees and 2,034 have been admitted to the U.S. None of those 2,034 refugees have been arrested or removed on terrorism charges.
It’s also been reported that all of the attackers from last Friday’s massacre in Paris so far have been identified as European Union nationals and not Syrian refugees.That is according to a top European Union (EU) official.
Greg the Explorer:
Republican Greg Gianforte is still an exploratory candidate for Governor of Montana. This seems to be annoying the Montana Democrats quite a bit.
Psst – I have a hunch that Gianforte is running for Governor. Another hunch I have is that I will not be asked to be his Lt. Governor.
The exploring being conducted by Gianforte is starting to draw comparisons to other epic explorations: Columbus, Lewis & Clark, Apollo 11, finding the perfect steak, bottle of wine, etc.
GF International Airport Parking:
The Great Falls International Airport has upgraded their parking. Whoopee! They are even having a holiday sale for…parkers. I did not see if they were offering any free parking for military personnel. They should. I’ve written about that for years. The airport should support the military personnel in the area better.
I was yawning some when reading the article in the Great Falls Tribune in which Airport Director John Faulkner went on and on about the upgrades. Then I read this paragraph:
Because of those two improvements for short-term airport users, airport security soon could start enforcing Transportation Security Administration rules more strictly that ban motorists from leaving unaccompanied vehicles in front of the terminal building, Faulkner said.
The line “airport security soon could start enforcing Transportation Security Administration rules more strictly” is absurd. They should be enforcing the rules all the time and never allow anyone to leave an unaccompanied vehicle or luggage in the front of the terminal building.
Come on Faulkner, take charge.
One More Thing:
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. – Daniel Patrick Moynihan