Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine. – Walter Cronkite
Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME) – the 331st 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 the Montana Legislature, Gianforte & the House, Obamacare Repeal, REAL ID, Missouri Legislature, Buzzfeed News & Trump, and much more!
House Speaker, Senate President, & Pettiness:
The Associated Press reported this week that Montana State House Speaker Austin Knudsen and State Senate President Scott Sales (both Republicans) are trying to keep Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl (appointed by a Democrat) from being paid. The AP also pointed out that Sales was the subject of an investigation by Motl that found he was one of nine candidates who took illegal corporate contributions in the 2010 primary elections. Sales settled that case by agreeing to pay a $500 fine.
They don’t think Motl should have been allowed to stay in his position past January 1. The funny thing is a state district court judge ruled that he could stay on the job until the court makes a decision about his term.
It’s a cheap stunt by Knudsen and Sales that is meritless. It’s petty. Maybe for an encore, they could toilet paper Motl’s house.
There are much more important issues to be dealing with in Montana.
The funny thing is when Republicans try to beat up on Motl, he ends up looking like the adult in the room. Motl had not heard about the latest stunt from Knudsen and Sales, but the AP reported that Motl said that cutting off his pay won’t cause him to quit working. I call that #Winning.
Gianforte for U.S. House?
MTN reporter Mike Dennison asks the question “Does Gianforte have GOP nomination locked up, for congressional seat?” He asks that question because there is a letter being distributed that is signed by “nearly 120 potential delegates” who back Greg Gianforte. Dennison says that appears to give Gianforte a “near-lock” on the nomination.
You can read the MTN report HERE to see more details from Dennison about the possible House race.
Maybe Gianforte had the inside track all along? Gianforte’s former campaign communications director is now working for Zinke. Gianforte would be a safe pick for the Republicans. He has the name recognition from his unsuccessful run for governor and the money to quickly mount a campaign. The only problem Gianforte has is he is too far to the right for many people.
The United States Senate took the first step in repealing Obamacare this week. Montana’s U.S. Senators split their votes; Steve Daines (R) voted to repeal it (Press Release) and Jon Tester (D) voted against repealing it (Press Release).
Some reports say it will take weeks or months or maybe years to completely repeal it. The millions of people who use Obamacare are worried and they should be. The Republicans don’t seem to have a clear roadmap on how to replace it.
If Republicans can improve Obamacare that would be great, but right now it seems to be just one more chance to go after President Obama.
I’m surprised it took them this long, but Montana’s U.S. Senators, Steve Daines (R) and Jon Tester (D), announced that they have introduced legislation repealing federal mandates for driver’s licenses included in the REAL ID Act of 2005. (Press Release)
Who knows, maybe the Trump Administration will lower our security and allow REAL ID to be repealed.
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.
Guns for Missouri Capitol Visitors:
Note: If you are a Montana legislator, please don’t read this.
The Kansas City Star reported that Missouri state legislator Rep. Nick Marshall (R) was not happy with the new security arrangements at the Missouri State Capitol which now includes metal detectors and signs at the entrance saying no firearms allowed.
So Marshall went off on Facebook writing, “this is not how citizens should be greeted when entering the people’s house, their Missouri State Capitol.” He also posted a sign on his office door in the capitol that states, “Any constituent with a CCW that was refused to carry into the Capitol may borrow a firearm from Rep. Marshall for the duration of the visit.”
Maybe Marshall could assign a staffer to work in his little armory to issue weapons and ammo.
I know the Missouri legislature pretty well, and while they are not quite the circus like the Montana legislature, it appears they are trying to catch up!
Buzzfeed News & Trump:
You may have heard about the Buzzfeed News story which cites unverified allegations about Trump having ties to Russia and that Russia has some compromising information on Trump.
I read the whole report. Trump calls it “Fake News.” Trump is the same “birther” person who led the charge about Obama’s birth certificate being a fraud and that he might not have been born in the USA.
Overall, the Trump report has some holes in it. Maybe what goes around comes around.
Thursday night CBS Evening News’ Major Garrett reported on new details about this story. Check it out HERE.
One More Thing:
Go Chiefs – beat the Steelers!