Sometimes in the morning while sipping my coffee, I think about all the people I’m going to piss off today…and I smile. – @RebelCircus
Welcome to the big column 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:
- Montana – A Drunk Driver’s Paradise
- Little Shell Chippewa Tribe
- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
- Government Shutdown
- Three Final Things
Montana: Drunk Driver’s Paradise:
Montana has the reputation of a bunch of drunks driving around the state in their big pickups with a gun rack full of high-powered rifles.
These folks get very little punishment when caught and if it’s a repeat offense, the punishment is lacking even more. Montana is a drunk driver’s paradise.
I am waiting for the Montana tourism folks to come up with a handy phrase to promote it like, “Get Drunk in Montana.”
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle recently pointed this out:
One of the most troubling state rankings for Montana is that of the rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Depending on the year, this state is nearly always in the top two or three. In 2016, there were 8.2 such deaths per 100,000 people in Montana – tops in the nation. The average was 3.3 per 100,000 average for all states.
Those numbers are not lost on DUI activists who consistently say Montana’s DUI laws are among the most lax.
Hopefully, other Montana newspapers will do editorials about Montana’s serious drunk driving problem. I’m looking at you Tribune, Missoulian, and Gazette.
The Chronicle also reported that even the folks at Montana’s own Department of Justice say they are “trying to change a culture that seems to accept DUI.”
Maybe those DOJ folks should get off their asses and try a little harder. Your boss, Tim Fox, might just get elected governor if he takes the lead on this issue.
With the clowns in the legislature meeting next month for the 90-day circus, now would be a great time to email your State Representative and State Senator and tell them to support stricter drunk driving laws.
Click HERE for information about communicating with your Legislators during the session and when they are not in session.
You just might catch them between meetings, cocktails, and dinners with lobbyists…
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe:
U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is a Prick. Yes, with a capital “P.”
Anyone who has followed his career knows this. I’ve not cared for Lee since he defeated a good senator and statesman, Republican senator Bob Bennett, back in 2010. Some ultra-conservatives thought that Bennett was not conservative enough.
On Thursday Lee blocked the bill that would give federal recognition to the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe. The Great Falls Tribune has the story HERE.
The bill to give the Little Shell federal recognition passed the U.S. House by voice vote earlier this year. Montana’s U.S. Representative, Greg Gianforte, did his job.
For more than 10 years there has been a bill introduced to give them federal recognition. Never has its passing been this close. There will be another one next year.
Lee is a partisan – he endorsed Matt Rosendale for U.S. Senate over Democrat Jon Tester. Maybe he holds a grudge.
The bottom line is that I place much of the blame for the Senate bill not passing on U.S. Senator Steve Daines for not being able to convince Lee (who is from his side of the aisle) to support the bill. Daines is up for reelection in 2020 and the Native American vote will be important. This is not a good start to his reelection cycle.
Meanwhile, Mike Lee is still a Prick.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis:
After I posted the story about U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis quitting, someone added the comment, “All the adults have left the building.”
Sadly, that is true. Trump has said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me” so I am sure he felt a retired four-star Marine General like Mattis should not be giving him advice.
Maybe the final straw for Mattis was Trump announcing he was pulling troops from Syria or from Afghanistan. Maybe it was the military parade or maybe the Space Command. Maybe Mattis was just tired of Trump pulling bullshit all the time.
I’m actually worried for our country. Two good men, Jim Mattis and John Kelly (Chief of Staff), will be departing. We need people like them serving our country. They have the knowledge. Trump does not and he does not understand that.
We’re in trouble.
Just about everyone (me included) thought the federal government shutdown was being averted and Trump would not get his wall.
Then conservatives started reminding Trump that he promised to build a wall. So Trump said he would not sign the bill passed by the Senate. The House added $5.7 billion for the wall and passed it. The Senate must do the same before midnight Friday or there will be a partial government shutdown.
The bill will need 60 votes and minority leader Chuck Schumer says it won’t pass. Republican U.S. Senator Steve Daines of Montana, who is always looking for publicity, has floated the idea of using the nuclear option that would change the rules to need only 51 votes.
It should be interesting to see this play out…
Three Final Things:
Today is December 21 – the first day of winter.
Today is also my dad’s birthday. He died in 1996 and today would be his 93rd birthday. Happy birthday, dad – I still think about you every day. Love you!
Finally, there will be light posting here at The Western Word from here until the New Year. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading!