Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. – Ann Landers
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 the special session, Zinke’s travel, Al Franken, House tax plan, and One More Thing!
MT Legislature Special Session:
The Associated Press (AP) story probably had the best headline, “Legislature reaches budget fix without raising taxes.’
The AP went on to explain that Montana lawmakers have agreed to a plan to address the state’s projected $227 million budget deficit without raising taxes in a complicated mix of interconnected bills that make it nearly impossible for the governor to reject any part of the plan without further cuts.
In short, we really don’t know what the hell they did. We’ll have to wait and see the details. That could take months. Remember, mistakes are made when bills are rushed.
Governor Steve Bullock announced Thursday that he planned to veto legislation that proposed furloughing state employees in the executive branch to raise at least $15 million in the biennium. (Lee Newspapers)
There was just a little stupid stuff that went on (anti-trans bill that failed), but overall it seemed pretty mild.
Zinke & Travel:
The Washington Post reported this week that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has failed to keep complete records — and in some cases, kept none at all — of his travel since taking office, the agency’s watchdog (Inspector General) told department officials this week, saying that management of Zinke’s travel was “deficient” and lacked oversight.
The Post also reported that the inspector general is also scrutinizing the travel of Zinke’s wife, Lolita, who often accompanied him on official trips. Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall wrote that the department’s documentation was so lacking that investigators cannot determine “the full extent” of her travel and how it was paid for.
One would think that out of the 70,000 people employed by the Department of Interior, someone could keep track of Zinke’s travel and file the appropriate documentation.
Zinke’s travel problem will probably not end well for him.
Leeann Tweeden accused Al Franken of groping her and kissing her without consent in 2006. That was before he was a senator. Franken has apologized. (CNN)
There are also reports that a second woman is accusing Franken of harassment.
Then, of course, we had fellow senators turn on Franken. Especially those up for re-election in 2018. Montana’s Jon Tester donated the $25,000 his campaign received from Franken to the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Missouri’s Claire McCaskill will donate $30,000 her campaign received to a Missouri-based charity.
Ironically, President Donald Trump chimed in about Franken’s situation via Twitter.
For those keeping score at home, I think the count is Roy Moore with nine accusers and Al Franken with two. The numbers can change quickly. Watch your favorite cable news network for the latest count.
It’s been interesting to see this sexual harassment issue snowball over the past year.
Although politics is playing a part in all this, the disclosures have been a good thing. We need to know who the scumbags are.
House Tax Plan:
The Republican members of the U.S. House passed their tax plan by a vote of 227-205. Montana’s only member of the U.S. House, Republican Greg Gianforte, voted with the majority.
After the vote, GOP members held a press conference where they made speeches and spiked the ball.
I’m not too worried about the House bill. The GOP has the majorities in the House and Senate and a Republican President. They have not passed any significant legislation and with the Senate Republicans wanting to kill the individual mandate on Obamacare in their tax bill, I doubt we see it pass. It was going to be tough before they added the individual mandate.
So stay tuned…
One More Thing:
President Donald Trump gave a long and somewhat boring speech about his Asian trip this week. Several minutes into the speech, I felt like I was being made to watch a relative’s home movie from a recent vacation.
The most interesting part was when the President needed a drink of water. He was thirsty. Last year, he made fun of Marco Rubio for taking a drink of water during a speech.
Trump drank from a bottle of Fiji water. Twitter went wild. Click HERE for a chuckle.
One of my favorite Tweets:
Trump pulls a Marco Rubio & slurps down water during his speech. But it’s worse than Rubio. Trump holds the bottle with two hands like it’s a baby bottle.
Have a great weekend!