Caught My Eye…

I pointed to two old drunks sitting across the bar from us and told my friend, “That’s us in 10 years.” He said, “That’s a mirror, dummy!” – 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:

  • Stapleton vs Bullock
  • Cascade County Pay Raise
  • Robert Mueller Speaks
  • Mitch McConnell
  • One More Thing

Stapleton vs Bullock:

There’s a pissing match brewing between Secretary of State and candidate for Governor Cory Stapleton (R) and Governor and Presidential Candidate Steve Bullock (D) over whether a bill was correctly vetoed by the Governor.

MTN News is reporting that Stapleton contends the bill (House Bill 132) that redefines “wild bison” in Montana, was not vetoed by Bullock because it missed a deadline in getting to his office. Bullock stands by his veto.

Read the whole story from MTN News HERE.

So it looks like the Courts in Montana will decide this one. That means the Montana Supreme Court will ultimately make the decision.

I did a review of the issue, and I think Stapleton will lose. I used common sense as a guide in making my ruling, which is something that is lacking in Helena.

It seems to me to be a waste of time and money, but after looking at Stapleton’s record it appears wasting time and money is the norm.

Cascade County Pay Raise:

The Great Falls Tribune is reporting that elected officials in Cascade County (Great Falls) will be getting a 2.4% pay increase if the County Commissioners (who will get the raise) approves the recommendation of the 10-member Compensation Board. The Compensation Board includes seven members who voted for raises.

According to the Tribune, the County Commissioners will vote on it June 25 and if it passes, the raises will go into effect July 1 – just in time for that summer vacation!

I think the whole process is effed up.

Before you think I’m against raises, I think most of the elected officials in Cascade County are underpaid and probably deserve a raise.

Here are two simple ideas:

First, Cascade County should revamp their “compensation” rules and if they vote themselves a pay raise, make the effective date after their next election. Then if voters are pissed they can vote them out.

Second, they can put the pay raise question on the next Presidential election year ballot and ask the voters to approve or disapprove it.

You can read the whole article from the Tribune HERE. The Tribune lists the members and their compensation.

Robert Mueller Speaks:

Like many of you, I listened to Special Counsel Robert Mueller speak about the allegations of interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

After he was done speaking I found the transcript of this speech and read it.

My first thought was Mueller sure sees things differently than the Trump Administration and Attorney General William Barr.

Here are some key points from Mueller’s statement:

  • As set forth in our report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.
  • We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. The introduction to volume two of our report explains that decision.
  • It explains that under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view – that too is prohibited.
  • …the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.

Trump and his people hit Mueller hard for what he said. It’s important to remember that Trump nominated Rod Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice in February 2017. Rosenstein was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2017. Following the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to do this investigation.

So in short, Trump’s people were doing this investigation.

I’d like to ask Mueller a few things like many others would. I don’t know if they will get the chance.

I think that if Trump were not the President, he would have been indicted.

I’m not sure there’s enough to start impeachment proceedings against Trump. I would advise the Democrats to investigate him and if they find something on Trump that they think is impeachable, make sure it will stick.

One thing for sure, this case is not closed no matter how much the Republicans want it to be.

Mitch McConnell:

If you read The Western Word very much then you know that I don’t care for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at all.

The Associated Press caught my eye this week when they reported that McConnell said:

The Senate majority leader says if there’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court during next year’s election cycle, the Republican-controlled Senate would likely confirm a nominee selected by President Donald Trump.

The AP also reported:

McConnell’s comments appeared to mark a reversal from his stance three years ago, during President Barack Obama’s final year in office, when he orchestrated a blockade of Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

After hearing this, Democrats called McConnell a “hypocrite” and “a shameless individual” and that was just what they said in public!

I think McConnell is a prick, but until the Senate is controlled by the Democrats, McConnell can basically do what he wants in regard to federal judges – and he is.

McConnell, like Nancy Pelosi, plays the game of politics well. (I’m independent and I can say things like that)

Elections have consequences. Maybe the Democrats will keep that in mind as we approach 2020.

One More Thing:

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I promise to keep it interesting…



5 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. Pingback: The Monday Memo | The Western Word

  2. Jackie,I would like all your blog readers to keep in mind and say a little prayer for one of your fellow long time Montana Bloggers James Conner of Flathead Memo. James is a friend of mine and a private man that does not ever complain about anything regarding himself. But today in his post he went public with his health issues which are very serious. May we all wish him well as he enters this new health battle.

    • Dennis – I just read his post a few minutes ago. Prayers going out to James. Thanks, JmB

  3. There is a House-passed bill that does a lot to make our voting systems and elections more secure from tampering by Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea awaiting consideration, and passage, in the Senate. Mitch McConnell will not submit it to the Senate because he doesn’t want to keep America safe. He would rather win tainted GOP races.

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