Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment. – Thomas Carlyle
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 this week include The Plane, the Plane, that Damned Plane, SCOTUS & Montana Republicans, Cascade County Republicans & the Tribune, Daines’ New Office, Trump vs. Cruz, Hold My Beer & Watch This, and much more!
The Plane, the Plane, that Damned Plane:
Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) has been backed into a corner by the Montana Republicans with what the Associated Press (AP) reported were costs of using a government-owned airplane to get to campaign events that coincide with state business.
I said yesterday in “Thursday Numbers” that if there’s an official event and a campaign event afterward there’s no problem, but Bullock tried to be nice and now it’s bitten him in the ass. This will be an issue for the remainder of the campaign because Bullock’s team let it be an issue and the Republicans pounced on it.
Republicans now say that the $2,672 Bullock is reimbursing the state is “not good enough” and I can see the drip, drip, drip of this issue until November. Then if Bullock wins reelection, the Republicans in the state legislature will make it an issue in January 2017 when the circus arrives in Helena.
Then Team Bullock made another stupid mistake. The AP reported that Bullock’s office has declined to release the governor’s schedule in its entirety, including campaign events. His campaign has also refused to disclose the information.
Now Bullock just gave another issue for his opponents to use against him. People have to be wondering if the three stooges are running his campaign.
About the brightest thing said in the whole AP story about “Plane-Gate” came from University of Montana political scientist Robert Saldin who said there are legitimate questions to raise, but too many “people are bent out of shape” over the governor’s plane use. Saldin also said, “There are gray areas about where state business begins and where it ends, and when campaign business begins and where it ends. Those lines aren’t crystal clear.”
The problem with that is the train has already left the station…or maybe a better way of saying it is the plane has left the hangar.
Bullock needs to pull back all the shades and let the sunlight in.
SCOTUS & Montana Republicans:
After the Montana Republicans’ request to close their primary to voters was shot down and rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), the lyrics to the Bon Jovi song, “You Give Love A Bad Name” entered my mind. There were a few minor changes, though, so I went with: “You Give Politics A Bad Name”
Several members of the Republican Party in Montana believe that moderates and independents should not be able to vote in Republicans primaries. I consider myself a moderate and independent and several years ago I became fed up with the knuckleheads who run the Montana Republican Party. There are some wacko Republicans roaming the state – and I’ve written about many of them on this website. They have ruined the party.
Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame, Republicans
You give politics a bad name – a bad name.
Cascade County Republicans & the Tribune:
Some of my friends have been emailing me about some comments I left on the Great Falls Tribune’s story “Cascade Republican candidates meet at primary forum in Vaughn” asking me if I was going crazy or something for writing the following note through The Western Word’s Facebook account:
The article mentions a candidate in HD 20 named “Fred Thompson.” Fred Thompson is a former U.S. Senator from Tennessee and actor from “Law and Order.” He’s also dead. The Republican running in HD 20 is Fred Anderson.
The mistake is no longer there because an editor corrected the mistake, but the editor did not feel the need to leave a note on the web version telling readers something like, “A prior version of this story misidentified Fred Anderson as Fred Thompson. The Tribune regrets the errors.”
In other words, for being nice and mentioning the error, they didn’t even say thanks on the Facebook post or leave a note at the end of web story. After they corrected something I was nice enough to point out, they hung me out to dry. The hardcopy listed the proper name because it was published a day later.
Never fear faithful readers, I am not going crazy. When I leave comments about a story that needs correction, I copy the mistake for proof:
I think there’s some rule in journalism about how to address corrections on web versions of a story. I know as a blogger I would have at least acknowledged the error in the comments section and thanked my faithful reader for pointing it out.
Daines’ New Office:
This is Daines’ sixth state office. His counterpart, U.S. Senator Jon Tester, has eight. Former Senator Conrad Burns had eight offices. Former Senator Max Baucus had seven offices for many years, and then toward the end of his time in the senate he added an eighth office.
More good news is that Daines’ Sidney office is being staffed by an Air Force veteran. Everyone knows that veterans, especially Air Force veterans, are the best at accomplishing the mission and their professionalism and dedication is second to none.
When will Daines open other offices to properly serve his constituents?
Trump vs. Cruz:
It’s getting down and dirty between Republican Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Now they are fighting over their wives.
I think it started when a Political Action Committee (PAC) named Make America Awesome ran a digital ad in Utah that was aimed “to drive up Mormon turnout” showing Trump’s wife laying naked with a caption, ““Meet Melania Trump. Your next First Lady.” (BuzzFeed)
Trump went after Cruz and Cruz responded that the ad was done by a PAC and legally he could not coordinate with the PAC about the ad. Cruz also acted like he was being picked on by a bully. He even used the word “hell” in one response. He may have broken a pencil in anger, too.
In my experience, when candidates and campaigns use the line that something was done by PAC and they can’t legally coordinate with them, they are mostly lying. It’s hard to prove, but it happens all the time in politics.
If I was coordinating the anti-Cruz ads, I would run ads tying him to Canada and ask why he waited so long to pick the USA as his country (Cruz was born in Canada). I would also play “Oh Canada” in the background during each ad. While Cruz might be legally qualified to be President of the United States, we don’t have to like him. Since Cruz and his wife borrowed money for his campaign, she is also fair game – even more than Trump’s current wife.
Hold My Beer & Watch This:
A Georgia man who was videotaped last week shooting at a lawn mower packed with explosives lost his leg in the resulting explosion, authorities say. (USA Today)
Someone once said, “Ignorance can be educated and crazy can be medicated but there’s no cure for stupid.”
One More Thing:
Happy Easter – and don’t forget to stretch!