A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good just because it’s accepted by a majority. -Rick Warren
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:
- Colstrip 4 & Northwestern Energy
- Ellsworth Air Force Base
- Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
- Affordable Care Act/Obamacare
- Adam Schiff
- One More Thing
Colstrip 4 & Northwestern Energy:
MTN News reported this week that a bill touted by supporters as a savior for the Colstrip 4 power plant — and a benefit for NorthWestern Energy electric customers — won endorsement Wednesday by the Montana Senate, on a mostly party-line vote with Republicans in favor. Senate Bill 331, sponsored by Sen. Tom Richmond, R-Billings, would guarantee that NorthWestern can charge ratepayers $75 million over 10 years for the costs of operating a newly acquired, 150-megawatt chunk of the coal-fired plant — if the company is able to buy that share from an unidentified co-owner for $1.
Sometimes I read stories and watch the actions of the Montana Legislature and go “WTF?”
This bill (SB 331) is the one that the Montana Free Press reported about and revealed the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) voted to support. The bill would scale back the commission’s regulatory authority over NorthWestern Energy’s operation at Colstrip. It was also reported that the PSC’s staff had advised commissioners to oppose the proposal.
In most cases, the PSC staffers have more knowledge about these issues than the commissioners.
I hope if this bill gets to Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s desk, he vetoes it. Maybe he could burn a copy of the bill using natural gas…
Ellsworth Air Force Base:
U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) wanted the new B-21 bomber to be stationed at Malmstrom AFB, near Great Falls.
He failed to deliver.
U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) delivered the B-21 bomber for his state of South Dakota. Thune saved Ellsworth from closure several years ago and has worked hard to increase the missions there.
Daines and members of the Montana delegation did not want the expansion of the Powder River Training Complex that allows planes to conduct aerial training over southeastern Montana, and parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Most of the concerns were about some cattle and sheep getting spooked – and probably some campaign donations. The actions of the Montana delegation pissed off the Air Force and basically told the defense community that Montana’s skies were closed.
People forget that “Freedom is not free.”
Thune and other members of the very supportive South Dakota delegation announced that U.S. Air Force selected Ellsworth Air Force Base to receive the new B-21 training and operational squadron, which means it will be the first of three bases nationwide to host the B-21 bomber in its fleet. Infrastructure spending will begin in fiscal year 2021.
Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, a B-2 Spirit base, and Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, another B-1B base, “will receive B-21 Raiders as they become available.” (Military.com)
Congrats to South Dakota, Missouri, and Texas.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos:
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stepped in it this week when she was questioned about her department wanting to eliminate funding for Special Olympics. (NY Times)
I think Special Olympics is a great program. I don’t think that DeVos should be the Secretary of Education, but she is.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way…
Special Olympics is a non-federal private organization. I’d bet many people did not know the Federal Government was even funding it.
According to DeVos, Special Olympics raises more than $100 million a year from donations and she was quick to point out that she donates to it.
Will Special Olympics be defunded by Congress? No way in hell. There’s an election coming up. President Trump got wind of what his cabinet secretary was doing and told reporters on Thursday afternoon that Special Olympics would be funded.
Nevertheless, watch for the Democrats to parade out the children and make points with voters on the Trump Administration wanting to eliminate the funding for Special Olympics.
The truth is that when a private organization like Special Olympics can probably make it just fine with fewer federal dollars, they should.
Affordable Care Act/Obamacare:
All of a sudden President Trump wants to continue the fight to repeal Obamacare before the 2020 elections.(NPR)
I wonder if Trump and Republicans really think voters will see that they are only bringing this up to shore up their base of voters.
The fact is the Republicans had the first two years of the Trump presidency, when they had majorities in the House and Senate, to repeal and replace Obamacare. They failed to do it.
Now with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats controlling the House, how much do Republicans think they can do?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not need to be repealed. Some parts of it need to be fixed so it is better. Someday maybe Democrats and Republicans will sit down and work together to make the ACA better for all.
President Donald Trump is using the four-page Barr summary of the over 300-page Mueller report as a victory report and going after those who went after him during the investigation. I think Trump better hope the whole report is never released.
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is now a target of Trump:
Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!
Even the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee must have been briefed on the plan to go after Democrats who are critical of Trump. Nine members of the Committee called on Schiff to resign.
At least they are not picking on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez this week!
It’s all politics designed to score points with voters. Schiff won’t resign, nor should he. The Democrats would be doing the same thing if the tables were turned.
Asked about the sudden push by Republicans for him to step aside, Schiff told CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe Wednesday, “I’m used to attacks from the president and his allies in Congress. This is really nothing new and nothing unexpected.” (CBS News)
Good for him.
In conducting research for this story, I discovered that Adam Schiff wife’s name is Eve. (Adam and Eve) How cool is that?
One More Thing:
Do you need more positive news? Check out my friend’s new blog called “Just Positivity” and read some good positive news.
Just Positivity says they are a group of writers, designers, and entrepreneurs — committed to delivering things that make us (and hopefully you, too) feel good. We’re not political and we’re not controversial. We’re not interested in “hot takes” or divisiveness. What we are interested in, though, is the relentless promotion of positivity.
Click HERE to go to “Just Positivity.” Thanks!