The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived. – Soren Kierkegaard
Welcome to Wednesday – It’s June 1 and we’re less than a week away from Primary Election day in Montana!
Today is another one of those days in which there are several stories out there that I want to comment about – so it’s another “Odds & Ends” day!
Today’s topics include:
- Political Fundraising on Memorial Day
- Memorial Day & Elected Officials
- Popeyes & Rehberg
- Circular Firing Squad
- Veterans Administration
- Trump & the Media
Political Fundraising on Memorial Day:
It would be nice if candidates and political groups would take a day off for Memorial Day, but they have no shame. Most of the people working in the organizations (listed below) never served and probably don’t care about the sacrifices made by people serving in our armed forces.
At last count, I received 17 emails asking for money or to sell me something, or to volunteer, on Memorial Day.
Here are the groups and candidates who do not respect Memorial Day, with how many times they emailed me on Memorial Day in parenthesis:
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (6)
National Republican Senatorial Committee (6)
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (2)
Bernie Sanders (1)
Hillary Clinton (1)
Organizing for Action (1)
Memorial Day & Elected Officials:
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox had a bright idea, but it was a little confusing: Wait until Memorial Day was about over to send an email.
At 11:24 p.m. Memorial Day night, Fox sent a campaign email with the subject “tomorrow.” He stated, “We need to remember the price that has been paid for our liberties not only today, but tomorrow, and each day that we are able to enjoy the freedoms that came at such a high cost.”
It would have been also a perfect email, except at the top of the email he had a link titled “Support Tim at FoxForAG.com.”
U.S. Senator Steve Daines spent a grand total of one minute and 47 seconds delivering a Memorial Day message via YouTube. It was not very good. Daines needs to learn how to speak from the heart even about subjects he knows little about. Daines reminds me of former Senator Max Baucus trying to deliver a speech.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester issued a 50-word statement about Memorial Day. He also played “Taps” at the Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls, which always gets him some publicity from Montana’s gullible press.
Popeyes & Rehberg:
I’d like to see a Popeyes restaurant in Great Falls. Red Lobster, too. I’d also like to win the lottery, lose some weight, travel, and write a best-selling book.
The Great Falls Tribune recently reported that former Congressman Denny Rehberg announced that his plans to build a Popeyes on the west side of Great Falls fell through and that Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has effectively blocked him from building a Popeyes on 10th Avenue South on the east side of the Missouri River.
Well blow me down…A-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah!
In case you did not know, there’s a Popeyes on Malmstrom Air Force Base and AAFES and Popeyes want to see it succeed. Very few people in the Great Falls area have access to Malmstrom AFB and to the Popeyes restaurant there.
The folks at AAFES kind of disagreed with Rehberg’s assertion. The Tribune reported that a spokesperson for AAFES called Rehberg’s comments “inaccurate.”
So plans for a Popeyes in Great Falls are on hold, but Rehberg did tell the Tribune that he “would buy the former Hoagieville site tomorrow” if AAFES officials assured him it would not seek an economic impact statement that could end up blocking his use of the site for a Popeyes restaurant and also require him to pick up the $6,000 cost of the study. The former Hoagieville property is on 10th Avenue South – which is in a prime location.
AAFES should allow a Popeyes in Great Falls and quit acting like mean old Bluto.
Circular Firing Squad:
The circular firing squad continues in the Great Falls area with the Republicans filing complaints against one another. The Great Falls Tribune has the latest embarrassing story about the shenanigans of Wendy McKamey, Randall Pinocci, J.C. Kantorowicz, and Steven Fitzpatrick.
About the only one I have respect for is Fitzpatrick. The other three couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel.
USA Today reported that a Senate investigation of poor health care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis., found systemic failures in a VA inspector general’s review of the facility that raise questions about the internal watchdog’s ability to ensure adequate health care for veterans nationwide.
The Inspector General system in the Federal Government is a joke. Back in February I wrote:
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.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is a mess.
Trump & the Media:
You know, it’s kind of fun to watch Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump battle the media. The Associated Press (AP) reported that Trump’s heated war with the media reached new heights as he turned the brag-worthy feat of raising $5.6 million for veterans’ charities into a sparring match with reporters pressing him on the issue.
The AP also reported:
While Trump has frequently made the media a punching bag, calling out reporters during his signature rallies, the taunts Tuesday were intense, even for him. The billionaire mogul interrupted his recitation of the list of groups receiving portions of the money to complain about the way reporters had called up charities to try to verify his contributions. He called the political press “disgusting” and dismissed one ABC News reporter as “a sleaze.”
While I appreciate the work that members of the media do, I also believe that many reporters are far from neutral in their reporting.