Wednesday’s Quick Hits

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson

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

  • Hillary’s Emails
  • A Capitol Fourth
  • Unsecured Nukes & Tester/Daines
  • Benefis & Allegiance

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary:

In the past year or so when Hillary Clinton talked about her private server and using private email to do her job as Secretary of State she always said that no classified material was sent or received.

That was a key point for me. When I served my country in the military, I handled millions of pieces of classified material. I saw people mess up and lose stripes or not be recommended for promotion. For officers, it was pretty much a career ender to lose or compromise classified material.

Yesterday FBI Director James Comey announced that he was recommending no criminal charges be filed against Hillary Clinton, but he did say that 110 emails contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight email chains contained Top Secret information.

Comey said that Clinton and her staff “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” (AP)

That may be the understatement of the year.

I think a lot of people like me find it troubling that the FBI recommended that no charges should be filed.

Comey’s remarks did give the Republicans a lot of information to use in attack ads against Clinton. Unfortunately, the alternative is Donald Trump.

A Capitol Fourth:

I watched part of the PBS show, “A Capitol Fourth” Monday night. I thought I was watching a live show, but later on I saw this Tweet from @July4thPBS:

“We showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do.”

Now, I’m left wondering if we actually landed on the moon. Maybe that was “the patriotic thing to do” also.

I’m also re-thinking my views on chemtrails/contrails. I’m having second thoughts about Obama’s birth certificate. Maybe he actually is coming to take my guns…

Unsecured Nukes:

Back in early May, U.S. Senator Steve Daines fired off a press release about the Malmstrom Air Force Base helicopters which contained a quote or two that showed Daines was lacking when it comes to knowledge about Malmstrom AFB. I wrote that Daines’ lack of knowledge probably caused harm to our nation.

Daines was quoted in his own press release saying:

“We have an obligation to secure our nuclear weapons at Malmstrom,” Daines stated. “Right now, our world’s most powerful weapons are sitting unsecured in Americans’ backyards. We need a strategy to secure our nuclear arsenal.”

Fortunately, U.S. Senator Jon Tester understands nuclear security a little better than Daines. According to the Great Falls Tribune, Tester addressed the “unsecured” nuclear weapons talk from Daines and others telling the Tribune that “absolutely, unequivocally confident” that the sites are secure.

You can read the Tribune story HERE.

Tester is correct. Daines and others should retract their alarming statements about the missiles being unsecure.

Benefis Health System & Allegiance:

You may not have seen this because of the holiday, but the Great Falls Tribune reported:

…the state of Montana’s third party health insurance administrator, Allegiance, negotiated contracts with the 10 largest health care providers in Montana to set reimbursement rates using Medicare rates as a reference point. Nine providers, including the Great Falls Clinic, entered into contracts. Benefis Health System did not.

I read the article and found the comments from Benefis CEO John Goodnow pretty cold and condescending:

“It came down to a simple principle, you give your best discount to your biggest customers and ours is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana,” Goodnow said. “Allegiance wanted a bigger discount than what we give to Blue Cross Blue Shield. We got close, but in the end it was business for them, and it was business for us.”

Unfortunately, his “business for them, and it was business for us” line refers to real people. I think Goodnow may have forgotten that his company deals with real people. Maybe it’s hard to see those real people from his ivory tower.

People may have also forgotten that Goodnow, as CEO of Benefis, probably does not really have to personally worry about his healthcare costs. Back in 2010, it was reported that Goodnow made a cool $1.9 million. (Missoulian)

Things are probably a lot greener on the Goodnow side of the fence…

 

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