Caught My Eye…

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. – Arthur Conan Doyle

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 least popular U.S. Senators, cell phone patrols, O’Reilly & gun control, the FBI Watch List, the eighth grade graduation speech, the Kosovo Chili Cook-off, and much more!

Least Popular U.S. Senators:

The Billings Gazette posted a story this week about the 25 least popular U.S. Senators. The information was from a website called InsideGov which stated that they used data from Morning Consult to figure out which senators are the least popular among their constituents. Morning Consult performed interviews with more than 62,000 registered voters between Jan. 8, 2016, and April 17, 2016, to determine approval and disapproval ratings for senators in all 50 states.

Surprisingly, Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, came in as the eighth least popular senator. Tester has a disapproval rating of 40% and an approval rating of 48%. Another 12% had no opinion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the least popular senator on this list. His approval rating is 40% and disapproval rating is 49%.

Compared to McConnell, Tester is looking good. Tester’s next election is in 2018 – if he decides to run for a third term. As long as he keeps his approval rating close to 50%, he will be fine. Besides, the Republicans don’t have anyone in their stable who can beat Tester.

Cell Phone Patrols:

If you’ve read my columns very much then you know I think the Great Falls’ cell phone ordinance is silly. Yes, cell phones distract people when driving and people should not use them when they are driving. People are distracted when driving by a variety of things, like radios, eating, friends, pets, zombies, etc.

The city of Great Falls makes some decent money with each ticket for a first-time cell phone violation costing around $115.

Local television station KFBB reported earlier this month that the Great Falls Police Department “will be increasing cell phone patrols.” I could have a lot of fun with that headline, but I’ll let you imagine what a cell phone patrol would look like. Just imagine Lt. Dan from the movie Forrest Gump shouting to his patrol, “Get down. Shut up.”

KFBB reported, “The police department is taking this very seriously and there will be captains as well as sro’s patrolling for cell phone violations all summer.” (SRO’s are school resource officers)

Seriously? How about more “patrols” to catch drunk drivers – maybe the SROs and captains could help with that…

O’Reilly & Gun Control:

If you heard a scream from your conservative neighbor’s house Tuesday evening, they were probably watching Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly tell his viewers there needs to be some sort of gun control in the United States.

I don’t watch O’Reilly, but according to Business Insider, O’Reilly said:

“There is too much gun crime in the USA, and high-powered weaponry is too easy to get,” he said. “That’s the fact. So let’s deal with it. We all have the right to bear arms, but we don’t have the right to buy and maintain mortars. Even if you feel threatened by gangsters or a New World Order. No bazookas, no Sherman tanks, no hand grenades.”

“That’s because the Second Amendment clearly states the government has a right to regulate militias, made up of individuals,” he continued. “They have that right in the name of public safety. Therefore, Congress should debate what kind of weapons should be available for public sale. And the states, the individual states, should decide what kind of carry laws are good for their own people.”

Maybe common sense will prevail. I imagine there were a lot of broken remotes and televisions owned by conservatives when the king of cable news made those remarks – which I agree with. 

The FBI Watch List:

CBS News did a report on their evening newscast this week that was titled, “Why it was so easy for the Orlando killer to get his guns.”

They rightly point out that the Orlando shooter bought a Sig Sauer MCX assault rifle and a Glock 17 pistol legally.

CBS also reported that the Orlando shooter had been on and off the FBI watch list for suspected terrorists twice. The last time was in 2014. FBI data show that people who were on the terror watch list last year were involved in background checks 244 times, and in 223 of those cases, the firearm purchases went ahead. That’s a 91 percent approval rate.

Pro-gun members of Congress use the silly argument that some people may be on the list by mistake and be “blocked from buying protection.” CBS did a good job of slapping that argument down:

…of 323 million Americans, there are just 25,000 on the watch list and 6,400 on the no-fly list. So cases of mistaken identity would involve a small portion of the population.

The one issue CBS reported about that would need to be addressed in legislation was a concern voiced by FBI director James Comey that if a suspected terrorist is blocked from buying a weapon, it might tip him off that the FBI is on his trail.

Eighth Grade Speech:

In case you missed it, an eighth-grader named Jack Aiello gave an 8-minute graduation speech with impersonations of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

One More Thing:

For those of you in and around Great Falls, tonight is the “Kosovo Chili Cook-off” where local “celebrities” compete in a chili cook-off. There will also be silent and live auctions with the proceeds being used to help a mission team go to Kosovo this summer to help the residents there.

The event is being held at the New City Church 4114 North Park Trail in Great Falls. It starts at 6:00 p.m.

Admission is free, but donations are welcome and greatly appreciated. More information can be found by clicking HERE.


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  1. FBI Watch List: People who end up on the no fly list as just people our government have some concerns over and have yet to commit any crime. So essentially they are still considered innocent until they are proven guilty by our laws. Some people on that list shouldn’t be and a majority probably should be. What we should do is to have a NFL status that required additional information or screening, maybe even a chat with a security officer. Remember, Hillary Clinton is on the FBI Watch List and is surrounded by guns and still flies…

    • Barry – Do you have a source of the claim that Hillary is on the FBI watch list? Maybe I missed something. Just because there’s an investigation, does not mean she is on a watch list.
      Of course, Hillary is surrounded by people with guns. So are other people like Trump, Kerry, Biden, Bush, etc.
      I personally don’t care if it inconveniences people who may mistakenly be placed on the list, just as I don’t care if I have to stop for a checkpoint because police are looking for someone. It’s the price for freedom! Thanks, -JmB

      • My comment is in reference to her being under investigation, therefore she is on one of their many watch lists, just not the No Fly List. It is tough to be sarcastic in print!

      • Barry – Got it. Thanks. -JmB

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