You know you’re all grown up when you actually pick up the ice cube instead of kicking it under the fridge. – Unknown
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 independent commentary so be warned!
Here are the topics that “Caught My Eye” this week:
- Wheat Ridge/Malmstrom AFB
- Daines is Safe
- Paul Manafort
- One More Thing
Wheat Ridge/Malmstrom AFB:
The Electric reported this week that the Great Falls City Commissioners voted 5-0 on Tuesday to deny annexation of 21.1 acres on the eastern edge of the city for the proposed Wheat Ridge residential subdivision. The denial was based on concerns over public safety resources, stormwater management, and compatibility with operations at Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB).
Every time someone wants to build near the flight path of Malmstrom AFB, the backers of Malmstrom come out in force to say it could hinder the base getting a new flying mission. Currently, only helicopters use the base flight line. The runway has been closed since 1996.
I was one of the biggest promoters and advocates for Malmstrom AFB and for the re-opening of the runway when I worked for U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. I was also on active duty and assigned to Malmstrom AFB in the late 80s and early 90s.
Over the years, I think there are three things that kept the runway from reopening.
One was in 2005 when U.S. Senator Max Baucus quietly placed language in the highway bill to reopen the runway, but could not wait until the bill passed both chambers before announcing to the press that it was a “done deal.” He had to pull the language.
The second reason has been the Congressional delegation (after Burns left the Senate) not wanting to expand the Powder River Air Training Complex that is over southeastern Montana. When the Montana delegation came out against the expansion, they basically said Montana’s skies were closed. Actions like that were noticed by people in the Department of Defense and by defense contractors.
The third reason is the missile people running the base. The missile folks are top dogs at Malmstrom. They don’t like to share in the glory and would play second fiddle if a flying mission came back to the base. The base is run by missile folks and they have not been very accommodating over the years when people inquire and visit about the runway.
The runway has been closed for over 20 years. In the next 10, 20, 30 years when someone wants to build something near the flight path, someone will say it will get in the way of the base getting a new flying mission. In all actuality, the fate of Malmstrom’s runway was sealed many years ago.
Daines is Safe:
Early on in the last election cycle when U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D) was running for reelection, I announced that he would win. I was right.
I’m just about ready to do the same thing for U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R). Just about, but not quite.
The Montana Democrats sent out a couple of anti-Daines emails this week. I guess they want to soften him up while they try to find a challenger.
One email had this information:
We want to tell you about Republican Senator Steve Daines — who’s up for reelection in 2020.
In his five years as a senator, Daines has done little to nothing that Mitch McConnell hasn’t told him to do.
Plain and simple: Senator Daines is a Trump-McConnell rubber stamp who voted to take away health care from millions of Americans, voted for the Trump Tax Scam, and constantly votes to harm our environment.
We need to make this first term his last. Add your name to join our One-Term Senator Club!
Another email later in the week basically said the same thing. I’m sure the subjects in the emails have been tested and scored high with focus groups.
Daines is looking pretty safe right now. The only chance the Montana Democrats have to defeat him is if Steve Bullock runs.
Other than that, Daines will pretty much skate to victory in 2020. You heard it here first!
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced on Thursday by a U.S. judge to less than four years in prison – far shy of federal sentencing guidelines – for financial crimes uncovered during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election. (Reuters)
I figured he would receive at least 20 years – many others felt the same way, but he received a 47-month sentence. He has been in jail since June 2018, and that time counts toward the 47-month sentence.
Manafort is 69 years old, and he will be sentenced in another case next week where he could receive up to 10 years.
He could receive a Presidential pardon and many are betting he will.
Manafort was supposedly one of the “big fish” in the Mueller investigation. If this is all Mueller has, then many on the left will be in for a big disappointment when Mueller sends in his report.
A few words about impeaching President Trump…
The House Democrats are probing and there’s talk of impeaching President Donald Trump. This talk is silly. It’s stupid.
If the Democrats are planning on impeaching Trump for being an ass, then they better check the rule book – the U.S. Constitution. Most believe he is an ass, but that’s not an impeachable offense.
The Democrats need to find and prove that Trump committed some sort of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Nancy Pelosi seems to have lost control of her fellow Democrats. They need to keep their powder dry and act like they have been in charge before. If they act like they are college kids on spring break, their tenure as the majority in the House will be short-lived.
One More Thing:
In all forms of leadership, whether you are a coach, a CEO, or a parent, there are four words that, when said, can bring out the best in your team, your employees, and your family.
“I believe in you.”
– Mike Krzyzewski