So I still hope, as you write your stories, and I appeal to America, that let’s not let this maybe last thing that’s held sacred in our society — a young man, young woman going out and giving his or her life for our country — let’s try to somehow keep that sacred. – Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, (USMC retired) (10/19/17)
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 about today include Chief of Staff John Kelly, U.S. Senate & the Budget, Crowd Sizes, Tapper vs O’Reilly, Dumpster Dozing, and One More Thing!
Chief of Staff John Kelly:
During the White House Press Briefing yesterday, the Chief of Staff, John Kelly, came out and answered questions about military casualty notifications. Kelly is a retired Marine Corps General and his son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
The briefing from Kelly was very somber and moving. You can read the whole briefing word for word HERE.
My take is that the President probably did not use the proper words when calling the families. He was advised not to call them by Kelly, but he did. I actually do believe the account from the family and the Congresswoman is pretty much correct.
Kelly did make this observation that stuck with me about the Congresswoman listening to the call from the President to the widow of Sergeant La David T. Johnson. Kelly thought that conversation should be private and sacred:
You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.
Kelly closed his briefing by saying this:
So I still hope, as you write your stories, and I appeal to America, that let’s not let this maybe last thing that’s held sacred in our society — a young man, young woman going out and giving his or her life for our country — let’s try to somehow keep that sacred. But it eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress.
Amen to that, General Kelly. Amen to that.
U.S. Senate & the Budget:
In case you missed it, by a 51-49 vote the U.S. Senate passed the fiscal 2018 budget. According to The Hill, the spending blueprint is key to Republicans’ efforts to pass tax reform because it includes instructions that will allow the plan to avoid a Democratic filibuster.
All the Senate Democrats, and Independents Bernie Sanders and Angus King, plus Republican Rand Paul voted against the bill.
They just can’t work together for the good of the country. People are noticing. Gallup Polling recently reported that Americans’ approval of Congress ebbed further in October, to 13%, and it is now at its lowest point since July of 2016. This is a few percentage points higher than the historic low of 9% recorded in 2013.
I am betting by the end of the year, they reach or exceed a historic low. Members of Congress are not “Team America,” instead they are “Team Democrat” and “Team Republican.”
It was kind of funny that only eight people showed up for a campaign event in Bozeman for Republican U.S. Senate candidate and recently retired judge Russell Fagg.
Then Fagg reportedly asked the Chronicle reporter to gently phrase that not many people came out to his event.
I’ve been involved in a few campaign and other events with politicians over the years, and if you can’t get more than eight people to attend an event, your team is doing something wrong. Maybe you’re not the right candidate for the job.
When you do have a few more than eight people attending an event, you can sometimes get the media to report a higher number by playing some games. They are members of the media, not mathematicians (if you know what I mean).
I would count the people in attendance and let’s say I actually counted 85. I would tell another staffer to tell me in front of the media that they counted 100-110 and I would say 95-100. We would then discuss it front of the media and settle on 100. More often than not, the media would report our 100 and not waste their time counting.
Of course, you have to have a few more than eight people attend. Some in the media start having problems counting when they run out of fingers and toes…
Tapper vs O’Reilly:
Former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly tweeted about how great Sean Hannity’s ratings were in his new time slot, but then made the error of going after CNN’s Jake Tapper:
Sean Hannity kicking serious butt in the ratings. Tapper on CNN as low as you can go.
Tapper responded back on Twitter with:
“Low” would be sexually harassing staffers and then getting fired for it — humiliated in front of the world. Now THAT would be low.
Game, set, match goes to Tapper.
The Helena Independent Record reported that a man who was sleeping in a dumpster in Helena Tuesday morning was picked up and dumped into the back of a city collection truck.
No injuries were reported.
Talk about being unlucky – as if getting picked up and dumped in the garbage truck was not enough, the police responded and found out the man had two warrants. He was arrested.
One More Thing:
In what will probably be called an instant classic, the Oakland Raiders beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-30 in Oakland Thursday night. (KC Star)
There were fights. There was an ejection. There was terrible officiating that hurt both teams. There were also some great plays.
After two untimed plays at the end of the game due to penalties on the Chiefs with no time left, the Raiders scored a touchdown (after the wide receiver pushed off to get open) to tie the game. The extra point gave the Raiders the victory.
Since I have been a Chiefs fan forever, I am not shocked by the loss. It’s become the norm. The Chiefs have let me and their fans down often over the years. They give us something to believe in (like this year’s 5-0 start) and then lose games they should win or lose in the playoffs.
The Chiefs have about 11 days to think about things. Then they take the field on Monday Night Football (Oct. 30) to take on the Broncos. The game is at Arrowhead.
Is 11 days enough time to find a defense?