Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
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 Ryan Zinke and the horse, Greg Gianforte and the House, GF Police Department and Coercion, the Committee to Defend the President, the Montana Legislature and Daylight Saving Time, and much more!
Zinke & the Horse:
In case you missed it, former Montana congressman and current Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rode a horse to work on his first day on the job Thursday in Washington, D.C. It was an interesting stunt that garnered plenty of press coverage.
I hope the rest of the country knows that Montanans don’t normally ride horses to work. We have cars and trucks and SUVs. We have interstates, highways, streets, and sidewalks.
Many Montanans have indoor plumbing. Many Montanans can even read. Our mail is not delivered by pony express.
The U.S. Senate also confirmed former Texas Governor Rick Perry as energy secretary. That’s the agency he wanted to do away with when he was running for President. Look for Perry to show up to his first day on the job in a big old gas guzzler truck – like a monster truck – or maybe Perry will ride a Clydesdale horse to work just to upstage Zinke…
Gianforte & the House:
The Associated Press reported that technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte says he has commitments from enough delegates to secure the Republican nomination for Montana’s special election for the U.S. House.
That reminds me of the story about my favorite basketball player, Larry Bird. Bird won the first two NBA three-point shooting contests. In the locker room before the third competition, Bird asked the other competitors, “OK, who’s going to be second here?” Bird went out and won the competition that year, too.
Gianforte has set the stage. He has raised some money and is feeling cocky by saying he has enough delegates. Can he finish first? Time will tell.
I don’t have a vote in the nominating conventions, but I would encourage those who do to nominate a candidate who is younger and can stay in the seat long enough to gain some seniority. I like moderates – a somewhat liberal or a somewhat conservative candidate would do just fine.
It’s too bad that Montana makes it virtually impossible for an independent candidate to run for office.
GF Police Department & Coercion:
If you have ever been questioned by authorities and felt as though you needed to tell them what they wanted to hear to get out of the situation, you might find the information in this section interesting.
There are way too many child abuse cases and deaths to children in Montana due to abuse. It does not seem that anyone has the answer on how to stop it. The authorities have a difficult job when questioning suspects. It appears in one case they crossed the line.
On the other hand, it is important that the local police do their jobs properly and not coerce the suspect. In the Jasmine Eskew case, she was found guilty of aggravated assault in the death of her infant daughter. In their decision on the appeal the Montana Supreme Court said:
The Supreme Court ruled that Eskew’s confession and admissions made to Great Falls police detectives were coerced and not made voluntarily and therefore should not have been admitted as evidence in the 2014 jury trial in Cascade County District Court.
Here is a key part of the Supreme Court decision:
During a long interrogation the officers repeatedly told Eskew that proper answers to their questions were essential to ensure proper medical care for her daughter. They also told her that upon conclusion of the interrogation she would be reunited with her daughter. Eskew repeatedly denied shaking her baby or inflicting any other injury upon her, but after repeatedly being told that her answers were jeopardizing her daughter’s medical care, she told officers that she had shaken her daughter.
Eskew is doing a five-year sentence which is almost completed when you factor in the time she served before the trial. She was previously acquitted of deliberate homicide of her daughter but found guilty of a lesser offense of assault on a minor. Five years was the maximum sentence for that offense.
The Cascade County Attorney’s office could retry the case, but if they won it (and I doubt they could without the coerced answers) she would probably only do six more months, according to what the Deputy County Attorney told the Tribune.
We need to do all we can to prevent the abuse of children, but our law enforcement personnel investigating the cases must obtain confessions that stick.
Committee to Defend the President:
Although President Trump’s nomination of Neal Gorsuch to be the next Supreme Court Justice has not even had a hearing in the U.S. Senate, that has not stopped groups like the “Committee to Defend the President” from running ads urging senators to support the nomination.
This one, for some reason, features little-known Speaker of the Montana House, Austin Knudsen, urging U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to support Gorsuch. Although this is good publicity for Knudsen, most people really don’t care who Knudsen supports.
It’s an example of a state legislator thinking he/she has some sort of clout when they are really just a part-time insignificant state employee.
A few days ago U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) held a rally in at the state Capitol where many Republican state legislators spoke and showed support for Neil Gorsuch. That was a total waste of time for state legislators to be involved in this little rally. It was funny that state senators were there because they did not have time to listen to statewide office holders speak to the state senate, but they had time for this.
The state legislators should “do their job” and leave the fun and games surrounding the Gorsuch nomination to the only two people who matter on this issue in Montana: Tester and Daines.
Daylight Saving Time:
Some Montana state legislators want to exempt Montana from Daylight Saving Time. The big reason? Some people don’t want to change their clocks. The bill is Senate Bill 206.
I lived in a place that did not have Daylight Saving Time and I did not like it. I like more daylight in the evening.
I also like long walks on a beach at sunset. I also like margaritas.
James over at the Flathead Memo provided some great information about the bill. Read it HERE.
So c’mon Montana legislators keep Daylight Saving Time and work on more important issues.
One More Thing:
I do not recall speaking to or meeting any Russians during the past campaign season…