Quote for the Day…
I could kill you with kindness but crushing your ego with sarcasm is more my style. – 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:
- Todd Capser
- Silence is Golden
- Yippee Ki-Yay
- Malmstrom AFB
- One More Thing
Back in May 2019, I wrote the following about Capser:
Sometimes I read something in my email from my Google Alerts and do a double-take because I can’t believe it.
That was the case when I read a Billings Gazette story about my former co-worker Todd Capser. Capser and I both worked for the late U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. He was the state director, and I was the deputy state director for Burns.
I added, “I have not spoken with Capser for over a decade, but when we worked together, I found him to be one of the most honest and hard-working people I ever met. He was like a Boy Scout.”
I have closely followed the Federal case and have read most, if not all, of the documentation.
On Thursday I was able to call in and listen to the sentencing of Capser. I took about six pages of notes during sentencing which took a little over an hour.
Capser was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken to 18 months in prison in connection with a $43 million fraud scheme. He will serve three years supervised release after that. He is to report to the Bureau of Prisons on February 15.
After the sentencing was completed, I thought about acting like a real reporter and posting a story about it. That would have been a step down from a blogger. I would have been first. I still was first when I posted the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Southern District of New York Thursday morning. The Billings Gazette has a story posted, but it is not worth reading.
As for my final thoughts, when someone breaks the law and pays the price we often forget the personal price the person and their family pay. Reporters and those who post things on social media should think about this. These are real people.
You can check out the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Southern District of New York by clicking HERE.
Follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord. I don’t disappoint.
SILENCE IS GOLDEN:
I’d like to direct you to a commentary from Darrell Ehrlick of the Daily Montanan titled, “Silence is golden: Montana politicians pay for silence and bet you won’t notice.”
In the commentary Ehrlick opens with these graphs:
So, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen will speak to disgraced, debunked pillow peddler Mike Lindell, but he won’t speak to the majority of Montana media.
Just so we’re all clear.
Knudsen is big enough to try bullying a bunch of overworked healthcare workers into handing out horse dewormer for COVID, but apparently too afraid to talk clearly about what his office is doing, fearing – we assume – that he’ll wilt under the pressure of critical questions.
And we’re the snowflakes, eh?
I think it is amazing how elected officials pick and choose who they want to talk with about the issues. Here in Montana, we have talk radio hosts masquerading as journalists but won’t ask Republicans tough questions. They are also good at defending their wife’s boss on social media without mentioning that fact.
Years ago, I held many meetings across Montana to hear concerns on behalf of U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. Everyone was invited and the meetings were publicized in the local paper the week before. People would come in for help or ask questions. You had to be on your toes and know the issues. I loved that arena.
Except for U.S. Senator Jon Tester, I don’t think any other statewide elected officials would be up to it.
As Ehrlick writes at the end, “…how much silence are you willing to tolerate from the same leaders who are gladly taking your tax dollars and not giving you much in return?”
I’m not willing to tolerate any silence.
Read his full commentary HERE.
In case you missed it, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry have paid around $200 million to buy a massive Montana working cattle ranch owned by a subsidiary of Koch Industries named Matador Cattle Co. (CNBC)
I suppose the Montana Republicans won’t say much about this outsider buying land in Montana, either. Murdoch is following in the steps of Matt Rosendale and Greg Gianforte.
Read the complete story from CNBC HERE.
“The Electric” reported that the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base has been named the Blanchard Trophy winner for the fourth consecutive time in Global Strike Challenge 2021. Global Strike Challenge 21 included about 450 competitors throughout nine wings.
Congratulations to the men and women of Malmstrom AFB – I think everyone should be given a day off!
Read the complete story from “The Electric” HERE.
ONE MORE THING:
Before you start popping that bubble wrap, remember the air in it is from China…
Of course Montana Republicans won’t say much about rich outsiders buying land in Montana. Their goal seems to be for the out-of-state very rich to buy up all the land in Montana to turn it into their own little fiefdom with private of-limits hunting reserves for all their friends. The hell with working people who grew up in the state.
The only land they ever object to anyone buying is that sought by a non-profit or the DNRC, or conservation easements, to protect the land and wildlife for the use and enjoyment of all citizens. The Repubs and the rich who own them covet that land for themselves. Kinda like how the local farmers always complain about the Hutterites buying land – they wanted that land for themselves.
Expect the next session of the MT legislature to be very hostile to public lands and public access. The Repubs dabbled their toes in it this past session, but will have their ducks in a row for next.
I like your comment up until the Hutterites. You gotta be the last guy in the state who doesn’t get it. Two or three Hutterite colonies are quaint. Colorful. Fifty, which the state currently has, is concerning. Three hundred and fifty which Canada has is overwhelming! That is why Canada has laws restricting the building of new colonies.
I,too, never had a problem with Hutterites until they decided that they are such a political force that they can destroy Great Falls, my home. I have never seen such arrogance. They have even said as much to me. One old fella said that in twenty years we’ll be running Great Falls. And they were almost right!
That is until we found out what they were up to. They had planned to build the largest slaughter plant in the country nearly within our city limits. And steal endless water out of our aquifer. And import twelve thousand foreigners to run it!
Suffice it to say we said no. As long as they stay out of our politics, we’ll get along just fine. But try to destroy our city and we’ll fight them to the finish.
I don’t quite understand why 50 Hutterite colonies arounf Montana should be “concerning”. They are far less concerning to me than the big ranches being bought up by out of state billionaires. if you hunt they’re some of the last private landowners who will regularly allow you access. Plus they are our long time neighbors and business partners, suppliers to our grocery stores and customers of our retail outlets. And as citizens of the USA and Montana, they have the right to participate in politics to whatever degree they wish.
I too am against the slaughter plant, but primarily because it would suck so much water out of the Madison aquifer and probably pollute little waterways and the local water table all the way down to the Missouri.
The large required workforce, most likely primarily immigrant because we don’t have the people here, would also transform Great Falls in numerous ways. So I can also understand local opposition to change from a town that never wants to change. I’m not even sure that I would welcome what a workforce of that size plus families would do to the local housing market. That’s a big change, real fast.
Um, Terry. You do realize that the guy behind the slaughter house is not a US citizen, right? Freisen is a Canadian. And he absolutely tried to corrupt county politics in the most underhanded way. But he got caught. That is not being a good citizen.
The Hutterites are basically out of room to expand any more in Canada. Hence they’re coming here. If we eventually get to three hundred and fifty colonies here in Montana, let me know how you like it. I prefer rich billionaires buying up the ranches because some of those guys are good stewards of the land. They are not interested in destroying it with mining. I’m not worried about a place to hunt. There’s plenty of public land. Or I can just hunt on my own land. It’s a white tail paradise. Bow only though.
Wow! 340,000 acres! And he’s 90 years old. If I was his wife I’d want that to be put in my name now!
Mary – Here’s something interesting that I just read and maybe you already know, but Murdoch’s wife is Jerry Hall. She is the actress/model who was the “long-term partner” of Mick Jagger. She is 65.