Caught My Eye…

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. – Rabindranath Tagore

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 new Montana Governor ads, the Great Falls GOP Field Office Manager, Zinke & Veterans & Montana Democrats, Montana Motor Vehicle Services, That Payment to Iran, thoughts on the Rio Olympics, and much more!

Buckle up…

MT Gov – Two New Ads:

In case you missed it the candidates for Governor, Republican Greg Gianforte and Democrat Steve Bullock, both released new 30-second television ads this week.

Gianforte’s ad is called “Serving.” Here is the script:

I’m Greg Gianforte and I’ve spent my life serving Montana
My wife and I started a business in our home that created over 500 Montana jobs.
We started Bootstrap Montana that provides zero interest loans to rural entrepreneurs.
And we support local charities and scholarships, to make it a better place to live
My wife and I believe that to whom much is given, much is expected
We serve Montana because it’s our home
And we plan on leaving this place better than we found it.

You can watch Gianforte’s ad HERE.

Bullock’s new ad is called “Landmark.” Here is the script:

When wealthy landowners tried to block access here, Steve Bullock fought back and won a landmark victory for public access rights.

“As Attorney General, Bullock took a courageous stand for our Second Amendment rights. As Governor, he worked with Republicans and Democrats to balance the budget every year, with a Rainy Day Fund and no new taxes.

“For his family and every family across Montana: Steve Bullock, Governor.”

You can watch Bullock’s ad HERE.

Both ads are good, but not great. Here are my thoughts:

Gianforte’s ad brings up the creation of 500 jobs in Montana which is the most important thing he wants voters to know about him. I’ve talked to others and they feel as I do that Gianforte comes across as too hard-nosed in his ads. It’s kind of like he is talking at or down to us instead of trying to be friendly and get our votes.

I do like that he tells us that he is a giving and caring person, but it’s not delivered well. It’s probably more a writer’s problem than Gianforte’s.

I give the Gianforte ad a seven out of ten (7/10).

As for the Bullock ad, it was his second ad and Bullock seems to be trying to tell us that he is a hard-working public servant. He brings up guns to tell Montanans that he likes guns. He brings up that he worked with Republicans and Democrats to balance the budget every year. It’s true that he worked with Republicans and Democrats and that is one of his strongest points because people are tired of partisan politics.

As for “balance the budget” that is true, but it’s because it’s required to be balanced in Montana. That’s no big deal. The governor and the legislature have to balance the budget.

Bullock’s ad shows some beautiful scenery (hopefully from Montana) and not just a GMC truck parked by a windmill like Gianforte’s.

I give the Bullock ad an eight out of ten (8/10).

GOP Field Office Manager:

I happened to catch the story in the Great Falls Tribune about Samantha Yates being hired as the local field office manager for the Montana Republican Party. The field office is located at 1520 River Drive N.

The first thing I thought was what did Yates do to tick off the Montana Republicans enough that she was deployed to the political war-torn area of Great Falls where Republicans eat their own.

But then it became clear. According to the article, Yates studied psychology at Brigham Young University and plans to pursue a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.

Having experience in psychology will probably come in handy when dealing with some of the wackos in the local Republican Party. After a few months of herding the Republican cats in Great Falls, she should have enough practical experience for her master’s degree.

Good luck to Yates…

Zinke & Veterans:

The headline from the story in the Great Falls Tribune “Vets call on Zinke to disavow Trump” caught my attention. I am a veteran.

Then I read that it was only four veterans saying that Republican U.S. House member Ryan Zinke should disavow Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

There are about 100,000 veterans in Montana. Think about that.

Plus, (and this is the kick in the pants part) it was reported that the event was organized by the Montana Democratic Party. Great googly moogly!

The Tribune’s reporter devoted almost 600 words to the “event” which was published on page M-3, with a photo.

In the world of political gamesmanship, the Montana Democrats won. They received some press coverage about nothing. It was a classic move. #Winning

Montana Motor Vehicle Services:

I’d like to take a moment to welcome the Motor Vehicle Services Division of the Montana Department of Justice to the 21st century!

Several sources are reporting that they will soon accept debit and credit cards for in-person transactions! It’s amazing how services improve during an election year.

Congrats on providing a valuable service to the citizens of Montana. I doubt they see this message because I’m not sure they have internet access yet…

That Payment to Iran…

Well, what do you know – the Obama Administration now says the $400 million sent to Iran “was contingent on the release of a group of American prisoners.” (AP)

The State Department says the money was used as “leverage” to get the prisoners freed.

Call it anything you want, but it’s clear it was a ransom payment.

One More Thing:

Here are a few things I learned from watching the Rio Olympics:

  • I learned a lot of people participating in the Olympics paint their fingernails.
  • I learned what a “libero” is (it’s not a person who wore the wrong uniform to the volleyball match)
  • I learned that “live” to NBC is not necessarily “live” to me
  • I learned that there are a lot of Brazilian flags in Brazil
  • Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky were the stars of the first part of the Olympics
  • Usain Bolt was the star of the second part of the Olympics
  • As for Ryan Lochte? I think he needs to memorize the quote from Mark Twain, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”


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  1. Since the money Iran received was Iran’s money to begin with, and it was part of the nuke negotiation, and that the hostage negotiations were done separately, it’s hard for me to look at it as a ransom payment. If anything, Iran paid a 3 hostage ransom to get their money back. Looks like a semantic battle between dueling sticks and carrots. I’m just glad at least three improperly held Americans aren’t in Iran anymore.

    BTW, have you noticed that for all of his talk about America never winning anymore T Rump has said not. one. thing. about the 100 and counting medals the US athletes have won at the Olympics so far?

    I saw an ad for Giantfart with a string of newspapers plopping down onto a table and one of them said Montana is missing one billion dollars. Where did that assertion come form? I’d note that Bullock seems to be going positive while the Giantfart campaign is focused on going negative, IMO.

  2. Good post today.

    • Greg- Thank you. – JmB

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