Quote for the day…
It is much better to walk alone, in the right direction, than to follow the herd, walking in the wrong direction. – Unknown
Welcome to another exciting edition of Caught My Eye (CME)!
CME is the once-a-week column that is posted every Friday morning. This is when I look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week.
Here are some of the things that “Caught My Eye” this week:
- Montana Judicial-Appointment Law
- Montana PSC
- Harris & Stone-Manning
- Ellsworth AFB
- Dumbass of the Week
MONTANA JUDICIAL-APPOINTMENT LAW:
Lee Newspapers and others are reporting that the Montana Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of a new law eliminating the judicial vetting panel and granting expanded judicial appointment powers to the governor.
The Montana Democrats are probably thinking, why didn’t we do this when we had a Democratic governor for the past 16 years! Right now, and probably for the next seven or so years, Republican Greg Gianforte will be the Governor and pick the judges.
I still don’t like state District Court Judges and the State Supreme Court justices running for office in Montana. It brings them down to the level of a common politician – prostituting themselves for votes and campaign donations.
Read the Lee Newspaper article HERE.
The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) is a freaking mess. Late last month Lee Newspapers reported that citing falsified documentation and lax spending practices at the Montana Public Service Commission, state legislative auditors say there isn’t enough credible information to assess the department’s finances.
That’s our money they are mishandling.
In case you don’t know much about the PSC, Lee Newspapers explains it this way:
The Public Service Commission is an elected, five-member, quasi-judicial regulator of monopoly utilities. The all-Republican commission sets the electricity rates for more than 400,000 utility customers in Montana. In cases where customers are captive, meaning they must rely on one business for services like electricity, garbage or water, the commission is supposed to balance customers’ right to a reasonable price and reliable service with a utility’s right to a rate of return. The job pays $109,000 a year.
With an all-Republican commission, the PSC has come close to imploding a few times due to fighting amongst the commissioners. It’s become nothing but a clown show. It’s an embarrassment – and it appears they are wasting valuable taxpayer money.
The state legislature should examine ways of doing away with the PSC altogether or making them more accountable. There must be a better way.
Read the Lee Newspaper article HERE.
HARRIS & STONE-MANNING:
I figured that wherever Vice President Kamala Harris went on her first overseas trip, the haters on the right would attack her. I was right.
They are after her because she has not been to the U.S.-Mexico border recently. Her last job was that of a Senator on a border state. Before that, she was the Attorney General for a border state. She knows more than most about the border.
The Republicans have three goals: Win the majority in the Senate in the midterms. Win the majority in the House in the midterms. Do everything they can to cripple the Biden administration, so they won’t get a second term.
It was also a sure bet that Republicans in the U.S. Senate would attack Tracy Stone-Manning who is nominated to head the Bureau of Land Management. (BLM)
The Republicans went after Stone-Manning for a loan she received while working as a staffer in the U.S. Senate. Even Fox News covered it. The only reason the Republicans knew of the loan was because Stone-Manning disclosed it. That’s what honest people do.
Republicans can’t stand strong women – they like it better when women are their subordinates – the type who gets them coffee, runs errands for them, and never disagrees. They think most women are inferior to them.
The haters were out in full force this week attacking these two strong women. My bet is on Harris and Stone-Manning.
The Air Force Times is reporting that Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota will be the home of the next-generation nuclear bomber, the B-21 Raider, the U.S. Air Force indicated Wednesday. The Air Force plans to build and eventually operate over 100 of the stealth bombers, which are capable of launching nuclear strikes around the globe.
One of the main reasons the U.S. Air Force picked Ellsworth is because of U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD). He is a fighter for his military.
Thune was a catalyst in getting the Powder River Training Complex expanded which allows crews to train closer to home. Over the years, Montana’s congressional delegation was against the expansion and basically told the defense and military world Montana’s skies are closed. Montana lost its jets and was given a consolation prize of a few cargo planes.
Now, and probably due to Thune’s strong support, Ellsworth will get a new plane. the B-21 Raider.
If you want to learn more about the Powder River Training Complex, I started writing about it in 2008. Type “Powder River Training Complex” in the search box to see all my columns.
DUMBASS OF THE WEEK:
This week’s “Dumbass(es) of the Week” are the people who refuse to get the COVID -19 vaccine and spread false information about it to family and friends.
In Montana, only 44% of the eligible people are fully vaccinated (Source). In Missouri, only 35% of the population is fully vaccinated (Source).
The people who are not getting the COVID-19 vaccine (and are eligible) are hereby awarded The Western Word’s “Dumbass of the Week” award.
Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You by clicking HERE.
Seen this? https://www.rawstory.com/trump-supporters-bozeman-montana/
Thanks, Larry. Crazy stuff. -JmB
I’ve had conversations a few times regarding masks and vaccination. I’ve explained that it’s not really about the politics or the Gohmert-style ranting. It’s not really even about the medical situation. It’s an IQ test. For some reason, the conversation seems to stall out there.
Fred – Haha. I bet it does! Thanks, JmB
All that opposition to the expanded Training Complex to somehow protect Keystone XL and Canadian oil companies, and now poof, TC Energy finally pulls the plug on Keystone XL.
I’ll bet all those outta work Keystone XL ditch diggers and pipefitters in eastern Montana are really cheering Gov. Gianforte’s cancellation of the extra Federal pandemic unemployment benefits right about now.
Terry – good points. One other reason for the delegation being against Powder River, I believe, are the wealthy ranchers in the area. Thanks, JmB
Regarding the PSC > https://mooreonmontana.com/2021/06/10/the-auditmobile/
Funny. Thanks, JmB
I’m thinking people will get a Covid shot, one shot, when they get the flu shot. Yes there are strong anti vaccine folks but I think there’s an unknown number who just don’t like being nagged. They really don’t feel personally vulnerable. They’re as concerned about Covid as they are about Global Climate Change, not at all.
Mary – Thanks. Sadly there are those who are against the vaccine because of politics. They also post false information about the vaccines. These people are, in my opinion, worthy of being TWW’s Dumbass of the Week. -JmB