Caught My Eye…

Today is another chance to get better. – Unknown

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, welcome! CME is the once a week column that is posted 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. There may be some sarcasm and pointed commentary so be warned!

Here are the topics that “Caught My Eye” this week:

  • Kudos – Billings Gazette
  • Faith Leaders & I-186
  • Trump & Pence Visits
  • Zinke in Trouble?
  • Deadly Force
  • One More Thing

Kudos – Billings Gazette:

It seems that the Billings Gazette and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle are the only two newspapers in the state of Montana that still have some balls to publish editorials regularly.

The Gazette published one on Thursday that caught my eye. It is titled, ‘We’ve seen the enemy… and it’s not us.”

Basically, the Gazette contends that “the amped up rhetoric about the press being the enemy has already gotten working journalists in America hurt — in some cases, killed or threatened.”

That is a fact – and something that Trump and his supporters don’t care about.

The best part of the editorial is where the Gazette goes after Montana’s junior U.S. Senator, Steve Daines, and Montana’s only U.S. House member, Greg Gianforte, (both Republicans) for not standing up against the President’s attacks on journalists.

Although Daines issued a statement about an incident at KTVQ in Billings, the Gazette says:

Until Daines has enough of a spine and voice to decry the president’s constant attack, his statement is nothing more than crocodile tears in an email. 

All it really was is Daines politicking. He knew he could get his name in the story and he succeeded. We know he will use anything he can for political purposes, even his family and daughter’s wedding, to get some publicity.

As for Gianforte, the Gazette says:

The same is true for Greg Gianforte who has twice accepted the praise of Trump for being a fighter and assaulting a reporter. Gianforte refuses to denounce the president’s praise, even though he plead guilty to assault. By accepting those moments of praise, Gianforte has tacitly given his approval to the notion that it’s heroic or patriotic to beat up reporters. 

I think Gianforte is a thug.

In my view, Daines and Gianforte are both cowards for not standing up to Trump. Neither qualify for statesmen. Daines screwed over Montana by leaving the House for the Senate. Rumors out there say that Gianforte wants to be Governor. They are only looking for the next seat to conquer.

They have both showed the Republican Party is no longer interested in the middle and lower class, but are represented by rich white guys who know very little about the bottom 98% of the country.

You can read the full Gazette article HERE.

Faith Leaders support I-186:

A letter has been making the rounds in Montana Newspapers from faith leaders in the state stating that they support for Initiative I-186.

I-186 is called “Yes for Responsible Mining.”

When I heard about the letter, I was thinking the story was a mistake, but soon found the letter on the opinion page of the Havre Daily News.

So why would several “faith leaders” get involved in an issue about mining? In their letter they say:

As members of multiple spiritual and faith perspectives, we all have a call and responsibility to be caretakers and stewards of the earth, the landscape we inhabit, and all of the living plants and creatures that are part of it.

They close their letter with:

We urge all people of Montana to vote yes on I-186 as an expression of faith and to be responsible stewards of the land we live in and of the clean water that gives life to all things.

Of all the things on the ballot this year, I’m the most undecided about I-186. The letter from faith leaders does not sway me one way or the other, although I think “faith leaders” should stay out of politics, except to urge people to vote and to pray for our elected officials from the local government all the way to the President.

I’m praying that one of my readers can convince me which way to vote on I-186.

Trump & Pence:

When we close the books on this election cycle in Montana Tuesday night, reports will show that Montana was visited by President Donald Trump to campaign against U.S. Senator Jon Tester four times and that Vice President Mike Pence campaigned here three times against Tester. (AP)

The President’s son has also spent many hours in Montana campaigning for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale.

For their final curtain call, the President will be at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport on Saturday to campaign. The Vice President will be campaigning in Kalispell on Monday at the Glacier Park International Airport.

Tuesday night we’ll see how much these visits helped Matt Rosendale.

As of this morning, the blog FiveThirtyEight.com shows Matt Rosendale with a 12.6% chance of winning. Tester has an 87.4% chance of winning.

Zinke in Trouble?

This headline caught my attention, “Trump concerned Zinke broke rules amid DOJ referral: report.”

Ryan Zinke is currently the Secretary of the Interior for President Trump. He was formally a U.S. Representative for Montana.

The Hill reports that the referral reportedly relates to a development deal near Zinke’s property in Whitefish, Montana. They are also investigating whether Zinke used his official office to aid the development project in any way, and the Washington Post reports that Zinke met with several top figures involved in the deal at his Washington office last year.

Zinke contends the investigation is “politically motivated” and that he follows all the rules.

We’ll see if that holds true for Mr. Zinke.

Deadly Force:

President Donald Trump said this week that military personnel sent to the southern border would fight back if rocks were thrown at them. (Politico)

Trump was quoted as saying:

I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like what they did to the Mexican military and police I say consider it a rifle.

The President does not understand the rules of engagement used by the military or when military personnel are authorized to use deadly force.

Patriots who served their country in the military and carried a weapon every day understand these rules.

One More Thing:

If you are like me, then you probably have friends and maybe even family who are bat-shit crazy in love with President Donald Trump.

These Trump supporters feel that “The Donald” can do no wrong. It’s kind of like they are in love for the first time. We all know that love is sometimes blind. They don’t see (or care) about Trump’s lies.

I feel your pain brother and sister! As citizens, it’s important that we point out the lies and inaccuracies from Trump, his supporters, and from all politicians.

After Tuesday’s election, the next major election will have Trump at the top of the ticket!

So we need to spread the truth and counter some of the nonsense these Trump supporters spew on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe we can penetrate their tinfoil hats with some facts!

A few websites that “fact check” politicians and groups are:

Keep the faith – I’ll be here for you.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Hey Mike,
    Re: I 186
    Here are some things to consider when discussing mining. Hard Rock mining is still under the basic guidance if the 1872 Mining Law. Anything that prompts discussion of a update is good….Coal Mining is under the Surface Mine Reclamation Act which is more recent, but took quite a fight to establish. Very little voluntary good has happened when it comes to environmental controls. Understandably so as these things cost money and if one mine owner does so they are at a financial disadvantage. This is one area where Federal Law seems to make sense because state laws are generally toothless and easily changed.
    I agree with Doug. I-186 is a good start even if it doesn’t pass.
    Thanks for having such a objective blog

    • Brad – Thank you! -JmB

  2. Anything that makes it more difficult for extractive industries to privatize the profits and re-distribute the costs to the taxpayers in perpetuity is a good thing, in my book. I voted yes on 186.

    we have to think of the quality of life of future generations of Montanans and those downstream and downwind of us.

    • Doug – Good points. Thank you. – JmB


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