Quote for the Day…
More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them. ― Harold J. Smith
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:
- Ryan Zinke
- Benefis Healthcare
- COVID Update
- Donald Trump + 2
- One More Thing
I enjoyed the responses to the articles about Ryan Zinke breaking ethics rules during his time as Interior Secretary.
You can read some of the stories HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Those on the left saw an opening. Those on the far right saw an opening. So, they both pounced.
I was not going to comment about Zinke until I saw some comments in Politico from a left-winger named Barrett Kaiser:
The report’s findings that Zinke violated ethics rules to pursue a personal project could come to haunt Zinke as he runs for Congress, said Barrett Kaiser, partner in Hilltop Public Solutions, a campaign management firm that generally backs Democrats. Even if Zinke pulls through the Republican primary in June, the report findings could fuel another wave of opposition ads just in time for the November general election, Kaiser said.
“That’s exactly what brought Conrad Burns down,” said Kaiser, who is based in Montana, said in an interview, speaking of public corruption scandals while referring to the Montana Republican senator who lost his bid for a fourth term after being linked to scandal-plagued lobbyist Jack Abramoff. “Montanas (sic) by and large are sick and tired of politicians abusing their offices. It’s one of the things that Montanans bristle about the most.”
Most of those two paragraphs (above) are wishful thinking. The Montana Democrats have failed miserably in the state and are now down to one statewide officeholder. They are desperate like they were when they and the local Montana media spread lies about Burns.
If we are pointing fingers and talking about abusing the office, the thing I remember most about Kaiser’s former boss, Max Baucus, was his screwing up the opening of Malmstrom’s runway (Source). He also recommended his staffer/girlfriend for the U.S. Attorney’s job (Source). I also remember Baucus getting several thousand dollars from Abramoff (Source).
Those are just a few of many issues that dirtied the insignificant career of Baucus.
But back to Zinke – I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it: Zinke can’t be beaten by the current field of candidates for Congress. Yes, I am talking about the candidates from the Democratic Party and from the Republican Party.
Although I don’t live in that District, it will be nice to have an actual veteran representing Montana in Congress again.
The Great Falls Tribune reported this week that Benefis Health System announced this week that 37 of its 3,300 employees, or about 1%, concluded their employment due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services vaccine mandate, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in January.
It was also reported that 4.4% of Benefis employees were granted medical or religious exemptions. Of those, 29% are medical deferrals and 71% are religious deferrals.
I don’t have any sympathy for the 37 employees who lost their jobs. It was probably for the best.
You can read the full report from the Tribune HERE.
Thanks to all those who wished me well after I tested positive for COVID on my birthday. To those who wished me death, nice try. It did not happen.
I am doing fine and did not miss writing a column.
You can read my initial entry about testing positive for COVID HERE. It is in the section titled, “Best Birthday Ever?”
DONALD TRUMP + 2:
The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that former President Donald Trump must answer questions under oath in New York state’s civil investigation into his business practices, a judge ruled Thursday. Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., to comply with subpoenas issued in December by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
This is a good thing. Even former Presidents are not above the law.
You can read the AP article HERE.
ONE MORE THING:
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Robust discussion. Anyone who supported Trump does not deserve a vote. D.V.F.T.P.
john – Of course, they have a right to vote. But, taking a page from their own playbook – – – only if they vote the right way! Otherwise, they can only vote in person, at a poll 38 miles from their home, between the hours of 1:00AM to 5:00AM, no coffee allowed, and they have to bring their own pen!
I’ve been thinkin’ it would make a nice photo op for Zinke since he loves Christmas cards with rifles. Maybe a bunch of kids from the jr. Militia showing off their jr. AR’s, and Zinke with his knife in his teeth. Can’t get much more pro gun than arming jr. high kids with assault rifles. Is this a sick country or what?
I think that Dr. Al would be a disaster, but I’ll grant him this. He’s as sharp as a whip. He’ll spank Zinke all the way to the finish line. And poor Zinke. He played too much football without a helmet while Dr. Al was busy in med school!
Larry – Thanks for staying on subject for three straight posts. -JmB
Ha ha ha
I was looking for the “like” to click on.
It’s true. I do occasionally like to color outside the lines. And you are very generous to allow me to do so. But I’ve found it makes a blog more colorful, kinda like modern art. Picassoesque if you will. I, too, appreciate the fact that you allow competing points of view. That doesn’t happen very often now days.
“it will be nice to have an actual veteran representing Montana in Congress again.”
Yes, that would be nice. Too bad Zinke is trying to pretend he fits that role. His superiors routinely shuffled him away from any assignment that he might find a way to corrupt, and his subordinates almost unanimously despised his lack of character and integrity and made sure he knew that. Zinke was fortunate in two respects in his military career. He has the hide of a rhinoceros (or a trump for that matter), and he didn’t serve in combat in Viet Nam. With lives on the line, combat troops were prone to find ways to neutralize people of his sort. It was called “fragging’.
Fred – Thanks for your comments. I don’t agree with them, but unlike other blogs and media sources, I approved them.
Zinke served his country in the military honorably. I’ve seen his discharge paperwork. He should be treated with the respect for his service. -JmB
I understand your view, although I don’t agree with it. I also served in the military, ’69-’71. My discharge paperwork includes an ACM, along with the usual minutiae. That, plus a $5 bill, might get me a cup of coffee. I would add that Trumpsky’s paperwork includes ridiculous medical exemptions from military service, and college transcripts that he has never allowed even a glimpse at, listing courses he hired others to take for him.
I would probably be a little (very little) more tolerant of Zinke’s brazen misconduct throughout his life if I thought there was even a hint of ideological rigor behind it. But, what we’ve seen in every aspect of his life (including in the military) has been nothing more than naked greed and egregious grifting for strictly personal benefit.
Thanks, by the way, for being open and willing to acknowledge differing opinions. It’s why I subscribe.
I must say that I’m surprised that rather than highlight the lies against Senator Burns by the media that you resorted to “whataboutism”.
Rick – I have over the years called out the lies by the Montana and national Democrats and their friends in the media – even by name. It is all in this blog.
Kaiser mentions public corruption scandals, so I thought I’d mention a few that’s his boss had. I never mentioned several others.
I have kept pretty quiet over the past few years about Burns. He has passed, but I won’t let bullshit from partisans in politics and the media about a person I respect go unanswered.
Zinke’s sins and character will matter not to Republican voters, no matter what he has done. Donald Trump proved that. The former party of “Character Matters” has become the party of “Character? Eh.”
Seems like ages ago when Montanans expected Dem candidate Walsh to drop out for plagiarism. Now voters will excuse anything. At least anything with an R after its name. Burns’ sins would be laughed off. That’s just how much Trump changed the political landscape.
Terry – In party politics character only matters for the other person, not your candidate.
Montana should make it easier for independents to get on the ballot. Thanks, JmB
Probably most of country would be ecstatic if it was easier for independent or 3rd or 4th party candidates to get on the ballot. Both major parties have been hijacked by extremists. But the majors have enacted laws to protect their monopolies, and the Supreme Court made it impossible for anyone else to compete monetarily thanks to Citizens United.
At least here in Montana we could ostensibly pass a referendum to change the laws about what it takes to get on the ballot. In theory at least we could, if the legislature didn’t quash it first with their new referendum pre-approval process, and then afterwards didn’t override/ignore the expressed will of the voters like they just did repealing the previously passed nuclear energy referendum. Because you don’t want to risk your hold on power and the economic interests of your cronies by allowing anything resembling actual government by the people and of the people and for the people.
Zinke, voice of the working man, except that he’s never had a real job. College on a football scholarship, then into the Navy, then into state government, then elected to the House, then appointed to Interior Secretary, then right into lobbying. And how many working men can use their jobs to enrich themselves unethically? Now, when Zinke gets low on cash, back to the hog trough.
But you’re right. He’ll probably win easily because Montanans just aren’t real bright sometimes.
As far as being a vet, even his fellow SEALs said he was unfit for office. I’m a vet, and don’t want him representing me.
Larry – I think over 20 years in Navy as a SEAL qualifies as a real job.
Since he was an officer, I’m sure some subordinates have negative feelings toward him.
We’ll see if the Dems can come together enough to mount opposition toward him. I have my doubts.
It wasn’t his subordinates. It was a superior officer if I remember correctly. I will search for the letter he wrote to state dailies. Zinke had ethics problems even in the military.
Larry – no matter. He was still elected after all the shit was thrown at him.
I too remember Barrett Kaiser. He called members (not yet federally recognized then) of the Great Falls Little She’ll Tribe “phony Indians” when they voiced their support for Mike Taylor for Senate against Baucus.
Mary – do you have a source/link for that quote? Thanks, JmB
No it was a TV, local station, interview. There was an all Montanan tribes pow wow organized by local Little Shells at the fair grounds. They were supporting Mike Taylor because of the way Sen. Baucus had treated their elders very rudely. To the point they were crying. The Little She’ll were able to sit for a TV interview to refute Kaiser’s very insulting description. I was employed by the Taylor campaign then. My memory is correct.
Mary – Thanks. -JmB