Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
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 that I am providing commentary on this week include Tschida vs. Motl, Bozeman Daily Chronicle & pay raises, Veterans Affairs & Whistleblowers & Tester, Montana’s suicide prevention program, Brawl of the Wild, and much more!
Tschida vs. Motl:
The headline on the web version of the Great Falls Tribune caught my eye yesterday, “Rep. Tschida seeks restraining order against Motl.”
After reading the story, I honestly believe the circus is starting early in Helena this season.
The Great Falls Tribune reported:
Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Missoula, is seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Jonathan Motl, the commissioner of political practices, saying he faces “a credible threat of penalties” from his actions.
I would like to thank Rep. Tschida for giving bloggers something to write about during the time after the election when blogging is kind of slow!
I am hoping that the upcoming state legislature will once again have little or no adult supervision so that they can provide us with some wonderful material (bloggers must make a living some way).
Bozeman Daily Chronicle Editorial:
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle (BDC) Editorial Board has decided that Montana Legislators deserve an 82% pay increase.
I’m not kidding, either.
Here at The Western Word, I asked my readers if Montana Legislators deserved a pay raise and 64% of those participating voted NO. Some people sent me emails saying put it on the ballot in two years and let “we the people” decide.
One reason the BDC said Montana Legislators needed a raise is so more people might serve.
That’s silly. If they want more people to serve in the Montana Legislature, make it easier for independent candidates to get on the ballot. People are tired of the Democrats and Republicans making asses out of themselves (and Montana) every two years.
Does any legislator have the guts to introduce a bill to make it easier for independent candidates to run for office in Montana? Email me!
The BDC Board also says the work the legislators do warrants at least a decent wage. They said the raise would give them a wage that is “more than fast food workers…”
Today and for the last few sessions, I trust a teenager flipping burgers to get that right more than I trust Montana Legislators to do their jobs correctly.
I’ve been saying for a long time that the VA has many problems and some of those problems stem from the fact that hardly anyone at the top has been fired for wrongdoing. They need fresh leadership – not continually promoting from within because the leaders within are the problem. Each regional headquarters and the Integrated Service Networks are in their own little kingdoms.
Recently it was reported that one of the VA whistleblowers was forced to resign because of retaliation. The Associated Press reported that he was reassigned to an office with no computer access, no significant duties, and no social contact. After that, he resigned.
The VA should promote him.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) sent a press release telling folks that in the next Congress he will be the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs:
After spending the last 10 years fighting for Montana’s veterans as the state’s only member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Jon Tester has doubled-down on his commitment to our service men and women by becoming Ranking Member of the Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee.
Congratulations to Tester. Now do something. There’s more to being the ranking member of the Senate VA committee than getting a few friends to give your press folks a quote to say how incredibly wonderful it is (which is not that big a deal).
I did not agree with President-elect Donald Trump on much, but one thing I did agree with is they need to “Drain the Swamp” in Washington. The “Swamp Draining” needs to include the Department of Veterans Affairs.
If Tester wants to be known as a difference maker, he should lead the way.
State Administration & Veterans Affairs Committee:
The Associated Press reported Thursday that the interim Montana State Administration and Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday suggested appropriating $500,000 for the state’s suicide prevention program and another $500,000 for grants for suicide prevention programs for military veterans. The funding amounts could be changed as the bills move through the appropriations process during the 2017 Legislature.
The AP also reported that there were 555 suicides reported in Montana between January 2014 and March 1, 2016, including 121 among military veterans.
Although that is a nice start, if Montana legislators want to really help people, especially veterans, they should add more money for suicide prevention.
Every Montana veteran should be sent information on where to go for help if they have bouts of depression or suicidal thoughts.
Brawl of the Wild:
This Saturday (tomorrow) at noon the Montana State Bobcats and the Montana Grizzlies tangle in the “Brawl of the Wild” football game that started in 1897. Saturday’s game is in Missoula.
The Bobcats are 3-7 and the Grizzlies are 6-4.
On Monday I said that both teams have played so poorly this year that I’ve heard a rumor that they are thinking of changing the team names to the “Kittens” and “Teddy Bears.” That’s probably because their offense and defense are so soft and cuddly.
Just kiddin…no matter the records it should be fun to watch.
One More Thing:
You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. – On the Waterfront (1954 Movie)