It is wise to direct your anger towards problems – not people; to focus your energies on answers – not excuses. – William Arthur Ward
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 Tester wants answers, new fees and taxes, the Senate health care bill, 60 pounds of stuff, and one more thing!
Tester – “All I want are some damn answers”
U.S. Senator Jon Tester received some publicity from the media this week for his questioning of Acting Indian Health Service Director Michael Weahkee during a Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. The hearing was about President Trump’s proposed budget and its impact on the Indian Health Services’ workforce.
Tester asked Weahkee seven times if the President’s proposed budget increased or decreased the funding for health care workforce recruitment and retention at Indian Health Service facilities. Weahkee refused to answer Tester’s question.
Tester said he would back Weahkee until his “guts cave” if the administration comes after him. He still did not get an answer.
Tester then used the line “All I want are some damn answers” which is not as great as the Joe Biden line, “This is a big *&%$# deal,” or Tom Cruise saying, “I want the truth,” but it might win him a few votes.
This outburst is good for Tester’s reelection effort. It will also make a good campaign commercial.
The two worst-run agencies in the Federal government are the Indian Health Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Tester has been on committees that oversee these agencies for most of his time in the Senate.
$25 Million in New Vehicle Fees:
If you’re wondering why gas has not dropped under $2 per gallon this summer in Montana, thank the Republican-controlled state legislature and Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat, for raising gas taxes 4.5 cents per gallon.
MTN News reports that as of this month, everyone gassing up in Montana is paying higher fuel taxes – but Montana drivers also face $25 million in higher vehicle-related fees over the next two years.
The Republicans and Democrats love the word “fee.” They raise fees all the time and then tell folks they did not raise taxes. This past session, they actually did both.
Remind me once again which party is for lower taxes and smaller government…
New Senate Health Care Bill:
The Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate unveiled their latest health care bill on Thursday. It is 172 pages and can be viewed HERE.
Maybe after they find out this bill won’t pass, members of Congress will work together to make health care better for all.
60 Pounds of Stuff:
The Washington Examiner reports that President Trump said he wants his proposed border wall with Mexico to be see-through so that border agents don’t get hit with “large sacks of drugs” being thrown over the wall.
As an example, Trump said:
As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over.
Maybe they could just put a sign on the wall that says, “Before throwing drugs over the fence, please yell ‘Heads-up’ so you won’t injure someone.”
One More Thing:
Did you hear the one about a man trapped inside an ATM and writing notes on the transaction receipts to customers to try and get help?
It happened at an ATM in Corpus Christi, Texas. Read about it HERE.
I guess things really are bigger in Texas…