Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Welcome to the big show to end the week – “Caught My Eye” (CME).
If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right 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. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.
Topics that caught my eye this week include Montana Robocalls, Montana Governor Poll, Montana Marijuana, FBI & the iPhone, VA Inspector General, GOP Presidential Debate, and much more!
I got quite a chuckle out of a column posted this week on the Montana Cowgirl blog that was written by Justin Robbins. It was about GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte supposedly making prerecorded telephone calls, also called robocalls. Robbins correctly pointed out they are illegal in Montana. Read his column HERE.
I started laughing because both sides do it. The first time I remember hearing about it was about 10 years ago. Then-State Auditor John Morrison and then-State Senate President Jon Tester, who were running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, admitted to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that they were soliciting donations for their respective campaigns through prerecorded telephone messages. Read the story HERE.
Tester and Morrison did not really care that they were breaking Montana law. Other politicians feel the same way, and nobody does anything to stop it.
Face it folks, Montana has not had an Attorney General (Mike McGrath, Steve Bullock, or Tim Fox) who had the courage to go after candidates who make robocalls. In other words, they lack the balls to go after someone in their political party who breaks the law. McGrath is now running for a second term as Chief Justice on Montana Supreme Court – how effed up is that? Bullock is running for his second term as Montana Governor and Fox is running for his second term as Attorney General.
In my humble opinion, McGrath, Bullock, and Fox were all horrible Attorney Generals for Montana. Not enforcing the robocall law is another reason why law enforcement officials and judges should not be politicians and run for elected office.
So when McGrath, Bullock, and Fox show up at your event to campaign this election season to ask for your vote, ask them if they will ever get the balls to enforce the robocall law.
Montana Governor Poll:
Take The Western Word poll – Tell your friends to vote via Twitter and Facebook!
I was one of the Montana voters who voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2004. I did not agree with the restrictions imposed on medical marijuana by the clowns in the state legislature in 2011. So it’s no surprise that I don’t agree with yesterday’s ruling by the Montana Supreme Court that upheld most of the restrictions imposed by the 2011 law.(AP)
I would gladly vote for full recreational use of marijuana if it makes the ballot. It’s coming folks and Montana should be ahead of the game.
FBI & the iPhone:
If you’ve read my columns enough then you know I am not too worried about big brother, black helicopters, drones, the United Nations, Agenda 21, chemtrails, or even the Patriot Act. In fact, I like to make fun of folks who are afraid of the above-mentioned things. Of course, I make fun of these people from a bunker in an undisclosed location deep in the heart of Montana where I stockpile ammo and cans of Vienna sausages.
I took some time to read and study the arguments about the FBI wanting access to San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5C, and Apple not wanting to unlock the phone and access its data.
In case you forgot about Farook, he and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, massacred 14 people at a holiday party last December in San Bernardino, California. Around 22 more were injured. Farook and Malik were terminated after the attack while trying to escape.
The head of Apple, Tom Cook, has said no to the request from the FBI even though the court has ordered him to comply.
After all the back and forth, I have come to a conclusion: The FBI should be given the contents of Farook’s iPhone 5C. He’s a dead terrorist. I read that the phone did not even belong to Farook – it belonged to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health – which is a government agency. That’s even more of a reason why the FBI should be allowed access to the contents of the phone.
There are probably many government employees who have government phones and laptops who think they are protected. They should not be protected. I once supervised a person who used their government email address and cell phone as their contact info on a dating site. Farook’s phone belongs to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. It should be examined by the FBI and the FBI should not be given any information on how the information was accessed, just the information on the phone.
Maybe the folks at Apple are afraid the FBI might terminate Siri while they are accessing the iPhone 5C…
VA Inspector General:
I have come to the conclusion after several decades working in and around the Federal government that most Inspector General sections in federal government agencies are worthless.
The Inspectors General are supposed to work separately and be independent of the agency, but it seems more and more that they are there to cover for the agency. Many folks who work in the IG office don’t want to tick off the leaders in the agency because they may want a job later on. The agency head normally supervises the IG.
There really needs to be a new system in place to monitor and investigate federal agencies.
A recent report from USA Today found the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General (IG) office had withheld from the public the results of 140 health-care investigations, including cases in which veterans were harmed or died.
The VA IG has also failed to release the results of the scheduling issues within the VA from two years ago.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is the most screwed up agency in the Federal government. No matter how much politicians pat themselves on the back about the great things they are doing for veterans, nothing much has changed over the past few years.
GOP Presidential Debate:
Just about all you need to know about the 10th GOP Presidential debate is this quote from Donald Trump about Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz:
This guy’s a choke artist, this guy’s a liar.
Rubio did better in this debate, and he and Cruz went after Trump pretty hard. Trump held his own pretty well. The Drudge Report website has Trump winning the debate with 59% of the vote. I checked a Republican (NRSC) poll this morning and it shows Trump winning the debate 52% to Rubio’s 22%.
One More Thing:
Click HERE to see the 33 funniest Twitter reactions to last night’s GOP Presidential Debate.