Quote for the Day…
The Beastie Boys didn’t “Fight for our Right to Party” so y’all could be drinking White Claw. – Unknown
Welcome to 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:
- Virtual Meetings
- Suspended Sentence
- Federal Lawsuit
- One More Thing
The Great Falls Tribune reported this week that Great Falls City Commissioner Rick Tryon asked City-County Health Officer Trisha Gardner during her COVID-19 update about whether the CCHD currently recommended that no indoor gatherings take place.
Great Falls City Commission meetings are currently held via zoom. People can also call in to voice their opinions.
According to the Tribune, Gardner responded this way:
“With the level of transmission that we are seeing in our community right now, it is very much our recommendation that individuals mask at those indoor meetings, distancing is adhered to as much as possible, and you continue to have good hygiene and sanitation practices in place,” Gardner said. “You know if you are ill, staying home, and we do encourage everybody to offer, such as you guys are with this Zoom meeting, an alternative for people to be able to attend those gatherings, virtually.”
That’s a good response from Gardner. It’s a commonsense deal. A Great Falls City commissioner is one of five people. Thankfully most of the commissioners are highly educated, believe in science, and will rely on healthcare professionals when making decisions about in-person meetings.
I hope when the municipal elections are over, the people of Great Falls will have elected people who believe in science and who listen to healthcare professionals instead of Fox News and politicians.
Read the complete story from the Tribune HERE.
In 2015, I criticized a local state district court judge in one of my columns and was invited to visit him in his chambers to discuss my criticism about one of his cases. I doubt he thought I would have the balls to show up, but I did. In my prior work, I’ve met many influential and well-known people, so a lowly state district court judge does not peg my “impression” meter. We discussed the case and others for about 90 minutes. You can read about our meeting HERE.
Anyway, here I am again. I’ve been reading since around January 2020 about a U.S. Air Force Captain, David Scott Coon, who admitted to strangling his wife until she nearly died.
According to the Great Falls Tribune, State District Court Judge John Kutzman sentenced Coon to five years in the Montana State Prison with all five suspended and ordered him to immediately complete a batterers intervention program.
The Tribune reported that the victim suffered ruptured blood vessels in both eyes, a black eye, bruising and neuropathy on her left side that lasted several months.
I was not in the courtroom and did not hear all the evidence, but I think this is a very weak sentence from Kutzman. Coon deserved to get some time in prison for his action. The state reportedly recommended a five-year sentence with four suspended.
I left some similar comments on Facebook, and some of the Facebook lawyers disagreed. I think some were actual lawyers or maybe a relative of Coon or the judge.
How will we ever stop crime if the judge slaps them on the wrist?
Final opinion – as a former member of the U.S. Air Force and with over 12 years of working on defense and military issues for a U.S. Senator, this is a stain on the Air Force. Coon should be discharged by the end of the week.
Read the Tribune article HERE.
The Associated Press reported this week medical providers and Montana residents with compromised immune systems are challenging the only law in the U.S. that prevents employers from mandating workers get vaccinated amid a surge of COVID-19 infections.
If the federal judge hearing the case listens to the facts, this law will be quickly flushed down the toilet where it belongs.
Read the complete AP story HERE.
The Hill is reporting that former President George W. Bush is scheduled to hold a fundraiser for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) next month as the third-term congresswoman fights to keep her seat amid a campaign to oust her by former President Trump and his allies.
That did not sit well with former President Donald J. Trump:
RINO former President George “Dubya” Bush and his flunky Karl Rove are endorsing warmongering and very low polling, Liz Cheney.
If you want, you can read Trump’s full statement HERE.
You can visit (and donate) to Cheney’s campaign by visiting her campaign website HERE.
ONE MORE THING:
If you don’t get “Showtime” you can still watch the first episode of this season’s “The Circus: Inside the Craziest Political Show on Earth” by clicking HERE.
This is one of the better shows on television about politics. They cover a lot in 30 minutes.
Commissioner Tryon and some of the hard right candidates running to join him in taking the commission in a hard right direction have been making quite a stink about the virtual meetings. Apparently their constituency the usual characters who show up to blither at the commission meetings want to unleash their bile and ignorance on the commisioners in person.
Yet Tryon’s Crime Task Force has been meeting virtually on a regular basis recently, and regular as clockwork there’s Tryon dialing it in from home, instead of going downtown to join the sherriff and police chief and a couple of others around the big table.
Perceived hypocrisy? Nope, actual hypocrisy.
Now that Trump’s on the ropes and Ginaforte has been shown to be the buffoon he is, Sparky has lost his super powers! Kinda sad to see a commissioner grasping at straws and flailing to get “perceived hypocrisy” on the agenda as an agenda item! Maybe Sparky should try the vaccine. He might develop those big balls! What’s he got to lose?!
I would put Sparky’s fan club in this group, except for the ones who are just plain stupid. I actually know some educated people who are anti vax. They missed something in their education.
But I also think that some people are simply born without the ability to think critically. Can they learn it? I don’t know. I also know some barely educated folks who are great natural critical thinkers.
Terry – I’m a little worried about the slate of candidates for the GF city commission. Only a couple are moderates and many appear to toe the Trump line. – JmB
There does seem to be a coordinated effort to drive the commission far right.
A well-known local.hard right activist and confederate of Tryon filed a complaint against a moderate candidate for not getting his paperwork filed on time, yet miraculously failed to do the same against a right leaning candidate who also failed to turn in the paperwork.
The extreme right publisher of a local blog publicly endorsed Burows over Kelly, and Burows has in turn used that same blog to air some of his own personal grievances.
Joe McKenney’s work as a Republican legislator speaks for itself, and since his campaign signs generally appear right next to Burows it almost seems these two must be working in tandem.
It’s my opinion there’s a little cabal.of right wing extremists associated with commissioner Tryon attempting a far right takeover of the commission.
Terry – Good information and commentary. I know McKenney and he seemed to be more moderate when he was a legislator. That was before Trump. I have been checking out Facebook pages and other sources to see if I can find information about the candidates. As for Kelly, I don’t blame him for not answering a certain blog’s questions. They pinned Burow’s story to the top of their page. That tells a lot. -JmB
More sparks fly at a commission meeting?! Sheesh. Ol’ Sparky just can’t seem to help himself. He’s determined to root out any “perceived hypocrisy”, as if that’s what he was elected to do. But ironically, he makes the best argument as to why the bill giving county commissioners the authority over local health departments is a horrible idea. Thanks, Sparky!