Wednesday’s Quick Hits

It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative. – John Burroughs

Welcome to Wednesday! Here are some of “Wednesday’s Quick Hits” about these important issues:

  • The Senate Gun Votes
  • An Energy Plan
  • Privatize VA Care?
  • Columbus Day

The Senate Gun Votes:

On Monday the U.S. Senate failed to compromise on any of the four gun measures brought before them, proving once again that our system is broken.

Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame. No wonder the favorable rating for Congress hovers in the low teens – they suck at their jobs.

Shame on Montana’s U.S. Senators, Democrat Jon Tester and Republican Steve Daines. Their press releases trying to justify their votes were pitiful. Tester and Daines lack backbone. Don’t believe the headline, “Tester breaks with Democrats on gun vote in Senate” as proof he tried to do something. That’s hogwash. He knew that vote would fail.

Everything done in Washington, D.C. is geared toward the next election – and that’s the problem.

One would think that after the 20 children were killed at Sandy Hook and 49 people were killed in Orlando that at least a few elected officials would pull a chair up to the table and try to work out a compromise to make America safer.

America is asking, “What will it take?”

An Energy Plan:

Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) released his “blueprint” for Montana’s energy future that he will try to implement if he is reelected in November. He got a little press coverage out of it and his supporters loved it.

As for the supporters of his opponent, Republican Greg Gianforte, they did not like it so much.

Hey candidates – we’re yawning here. I need more “energy” to really enjoy this Governor’s race.

In Bullock we have someone whom I think attended the Baucus school of public speaking and I often think when I see him if he is coordinated enough to throw and catch a ball. I also wonder if he was the last one picked for the team.

In Gianforte, we have someone who thinks talking down to everyone from his ivory tower will win votes – who may not be able to throw or catch a ball, but he can buy the whole freaking baseball team and have someone throw and catch the balls for him.

Stay tuned – I’ll throw out more cold-hearted comparisons as the campaign season heats up. Maybe that will make it more exciting…

Privatize VA Care:

The Great Falls Tribune published a story on Tuesday about a protest in Helena against privatizing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.

I am in favor of privatizing a lot of the VA health care services. The Tribune asked readers, “Do you think health care through the Veterans Affairs system should be privatized” and 54% of those who answered said, “Yes.”

I am especially in favor of privatizing the health care that is non-service related. For example, I am enrolled in the VA health care system, but I don’t have any service-related health problems (injuries while in the military) so I use my wife’s insurance and use a private medical provider. By using private healthcare that opens up a slot for another veteran. I may use VA health care in the future.

If you’re a veteran and are using the VA just because you are getting old and your ailments are not from your military service, you should be able to be seen by any medical professional. You should be given a VA medical ID card and been seen in the private sector – and the VA should pay for it.

By privatizing some of the health care, this would allow the VA health care professionals to concentrate on the veterans who have service-related injuries – like those who have suffered injuries during combat or while in the military. The VA would be their primary caregiver.

The VA system for health care and benefits is probably more screwed up than at any time I can remember. It’s a bureaucracy run amok. It needs to be re-tooled to provide the services that were promised and within a timely manner.

Older veterans and many service organizations may not like it, but privatization of some services would be a step in the right direction.

Columbus Day:

The Associated Press this week reported that Montana State Representative Bridget Smith (D-Wolf Point) is proposing that in the next session of the Montana Legislature they rename Columbus day with a name that celebrates Native Americans.

I don’t have a problem with changing the name. What about you? Take The Western Word poll:


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2 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Quick Hits

  1. I voted “no”. My thinking is that it is a traditional day that celebrates a man who changed the world with his accidental discoveries. Did it change life for the Indian people who were here to greet him and the eventual “invaders” who soon followed the Columbus path to the “new” world. Yes!!!

    Many of my ancestral people were part of this world which they regarded as theirs and it was “old” in their eyes. The fact that this eventually became a more blended continent cannot be blamed on one man; it was only a matter to time when it would happen. Yes, this continent became more European by the Columbus path. What would this country be if China or the Middle East had set sail?

    I think that we have greater problems to solve than those little trinkets designed to make a few feel better. Politics is business not therapy!

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