It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. – Henry David Thoreau
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 today include Gazette & REAL ID, Barry Beach, Montana drivers, Trump Transition, Kansas City Chiefs, and much more!
Billings Gazette & REAL ID:
Although the Billings Gazette editorial board is a little late to the “REAL ID” show they decided in an editorial this week that Montana’s congressional delegation should work with other states that have refused to comply with the 2005 law:
We call on Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke to join forces with lawmakers from those other eight sanctioned states to change federal law and maintain states’ rights to protect their residents’ privacy.
The chances of all the states working together to change the federal law are pretty slim. Remember, about the only thing they agree on in Washington these days is to spend more money and adjourn for a month or two.
There’s a better chance that the incoming Trump Administration will stop sending letters every year telling states they need to comply with REAL ID.
I’ve thought that Montana should comply with the REAL ID Act since it became law. I also said our elected officials should quit acting like cowardly lions and support REAL ID because sometimes freedom is not free.
The Malmstrom AFB (near Great Falls, MT) public affairs office says that beginning Jan. 30, 2017, individuals seeking entry to Malmstrom will need to provide a form of compliant identification to be granted access to the base. Montana drivers license are not compliant.
I was not surprised that officials in the Montana Department of Justice filed a court petition Thursday seeking to revoke Barry Beach’s suspended sentence.
In case you don’t know Beach, the Associated Press sums up his story in two sentences:
Beach is accused of violating his probation by allegedly stalking a Billings woman whom he says is the mother of his son. Beach was originally sentenced to 100 years in prison for the 1979 beating death of 17-year-old Kim Nees.
I think Beach’s release from prison and the publicity that surrounded his case angered some of the “career” folks in the Montana Department of Justice. Beach needed to walk a fine line when he was released and he appears to have messed up – but is it a big enough mistake to send him back to prison for years? That’s what a judge will decide.
Beach’s attorney Tim Baldwin told the AP that he expects his client to be exonerated. But if probation is revoked, Baldwin says a judge would decide whether Beach would go back to prison or face additional conditions for probation.
Hey fellow Montana drivers – we suck at driving!
CBS News reported that the Auto Insurance Center (AIC) just completed a study of the deadliest driving conditions by state throughout the U.S. from 2005 to 2015. The insurance news and information website used the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s fatal accident reporting system to reveal the cause of deadly crashes. They include reckless driving, road rage, drunk driving, racing the guy next to you and — finally — bad weather.
Here’s a key part about Montana:
Regarding careless and reckless driving behavior, Montana had the greatest number of fatalities due to this type of driving – 108 fatalities per 100,000 residents. A common behavior cited in crash deaths in Montana was a lack of seat belt use, in addition to speeding and alcohol consumption.
I did not see talking on a cell phone mentioned…
Montana was also the second-worst state for drunk driving, behind Wyoming.
See the full report HERE.
It’s been kind of fun to watch President-elect Donald Trump put together his cabinet; especially the picks that make the Democrats squirm. It was the same thing for those on the right about eight years ago when President-elect Barack Obama was picking his cabinet.
A couple picks that concern many folks on the left (and some in the middle) are Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. We can’t forget the pick of Linda McMahon from World Wrestling Entertainment to head the Small Business Administration.
TheHill.com has a Trump Transition tracker page that you can see HERE.
For those who are having nightmares about the Trump cabinet, go ahead and spike the eggnog a little more this holiday season. Four years will roll by in no time…
One More Thing:
How ‘bout those Kansas City Chiefs?
Chiefs 21, Raiders 13
The Chiefs are in first place in the AFC West!