Caught My Eye…

Hello July – you’re looking good!

Quote for the Day…

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. – John F. Kennedy

Caught My Eye (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:

  • Raising Taxes
  • Campus Carry
  • Montana Republican Party
  • Historic Day


On Monday I wrote about the plan for the city of Great Falls to stick it to the residents by raising our taxes.

I said in the post that it will be interesting to see how the so-called conservatives on the commission vote on this. If they vote to raise our taxes, then it will be noted here. I’m sure it will be used in their next campaign.

I added, look for long speeches and social media posts from them to explain their decision to raise our taxes.

According to a report from The Electric, City Commissioners told staff during a special budget work session on June 29 that they would support the recommended tax increases in the proposed budget.

I think this is called the old “rubber stamp” method of governing.

What is most funny is some of the ridiculous quotes some of the commissioners made in justifying their decision to raise our taxes.

According to The Electric:

  • Mayor Bob Kelly said, “I think the staff has made it pretty apparent if we don’t take the two increases we’re allowed to take…we continue to dig a deeper and deeper hole.”
  • Commissioner Susan Wolff, in her first term, said that, “if we don’t do this, we’re not going to be able to move our city forward, we’ll go backwards and we don’t want that.”
  • Commissioner Joe McKenney, also in his first term, said he spent several hours with finance staff asking questions about the budget. He said that after reviewing the budget, “I’m struck by our funding restraints. We’re operating in a straight jacket.”
  • Commissioner Rick Tryon said he’s heard from members of the public that they’re unhappy with tax increases, but that he will support the proposed increases in the budget. The first reason, Tryon said, was “I trust our city manager and I trust our department heads. I trust what they put forward as being a fiscally responsible and I think fairly conservative budget.” His second reason was that the city had gone two years without raising taxes or fees and “we can’t continue to do that.”

The commission has not voted yet, but it is apparent they will support increasing our taxes because they can’t control spending. It will be perfectly fine when they raise our taxes to thank them when you see them.

One other thing, saying you will support the tax increase because you “trust our city manager” and “trust our department heads” or gone two years without raising taxes is simple bullshit.

A commissioner is a person who can say “No” to these people when it is needed.

I guess the fiscal conservatives have left the building.

Read the complete report from The Electric HERE.


I was happy to read on the Montana Free Press website that the Montana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that state legislators infringed on authority granted to higher education officials by the state Constitution by passing a law last year allowing individuals to carry open or concealed firearms on university and college campuses.

I thought that law was ridiculous from the start. Those who supported it are morons.

Thankfully, the Montana Supreme Court has some reasonable people. The ruling was unanimous.

Read the full report from the Montana Free Press HERE.


The Montana Republican Party has turned into something many of us moderates don’t recognize. They have veered so far to the right that they are in the ditch.

They were unhappy with the Montana Supreme Court’s decision about the campus carry law, saying this:

The Montana Supreme Court yesterday ruled against Montanan’s Second Amendment right to carry a firearm on a college or university campus. However, Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ingrid Gustafson recused herself from the case. Gustafson is currently running for re-election to the Montana Supreme Court.

Montana Supreme Court races are non-partisan. I think it stinks that a political party would endorse or promote a non-partisan candidate over another. But here we are.

Gustafson does not fit the conservative mold, so the Montana Republican State Central Committee is supporting James Brown in the hope they can sway to court to the right. According to their flier, Greg Gianforte, Steve Daines, Austin Knudsen, Matt Rosendale, and the Montana Republican Party are all supporting Brown.

Montana Republican Party Chairman Don “K” Kaltschmidt released the following statement:

“Ingrid Gustafson is a liberal activist judge who is a threat to our Second Amendment rights. Her recusal on the HB 102 case is a politically motivated stunt to help her reelection campaign and hide the truth from Montanans: That she supports taking away our constitutional right to carry a firearm on a college or university campus. Thankfully, Montanans have a choice this November and they must elect James Brown to the Montana Supreme Court because he will always follow the Constitution as well as protect and defend our Second Amendment Rights.”

When the campaign season began, I was not on the side of Gustafson. Since the Republicans are attacking her, I have had to rethink who will get my vote in November. It won’t be James Brown.


Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn into the Supreme Court on Thursday, shattering a glass ceiling as the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court. The 51-year-old Jackson is the court’s 116th justice, and she took the place of the justice she once worked for. Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement was effective at noon. (AP)

Congratulations to Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.


6 thoughts on “Caught My Eye…

  1. Justice Ingrid Gustafson recused herself in the campus gun case for a perfectly valid reason. This case was appealed from Judge Mike McMahon’s District Court. McMahon and Gustafson were both running in the primary for her seat (along with Brown). The case was argued ahead of the primary election. Gustafson recused herself to avoid any conflict of interest regarding a decision by her opponent. I think that’s a measure of integrity – honest, open and ethical. Only the GOP would call it “a politically motivated stunt to … hide the truth …” The pachyderms get worse every day.

  2. Even though our “conservative” local commissioners Tryon and McKenney are scrambling to rationalize their support of tax increases it is good to know they are not totally wingnut and still sober enough to realize that the bills have to be paid and the money has to come from somewhere. Unlike the rabid MAGA opium dreamers of the national “Borrow and Spend” Republican party that thinks money grows on trees and they can slash tax revenue while ballooning spending and never have to pay the piper.

    Nearly $8 trillion of additional Federal debt in just 4 years on Republican Trump’s watch, a 39% increase from where it stood when he took office. Now that’s the party of “fiscal responsibility”.

    • Terry – I trust McKenney to do what is right. He will probably be one of the better city commissioners to hold office – right up there with Mary Jolley. I’ve known him for years.
      As for the other commissioner you mentioned, you made me Laugh Out Loud. Thanks for your comments! -JmB

      • It is pretty funny to think about that guy raving away like a madman about every single radical far right extremist talking point under the sun on social media but when push comes to shove and he’s in the crosshairs of responsibility he rolls right over and starts taxing just like a Democrat or worse yet a traitorous RINO.

        LOL indeed.

  3. I’m still amazed that the legislature actually tried to pass a guns on campus bill, for it makes absolutely no sense. Or does it? The excellent Chronicle says that among other things, guns on campus would have a “deadening effect” on enrollment. And of course it would. Who wants to send their kids to a school that allows guns when nearly every other university in the country doesn’t? Well, other MAGAs, that’s who. Other MAGAs and militia types might find that an attractive feature, a university peopled with like minded folks who hate the government and love Jesus,Trump, and guns, thereby turning our U of M into our own Hillsdale college.

    Perhaps I’m a little paranoid, but as I watch the insidious inroads the right wing is making into education, I think my theory has merit. Most of the legislators pushing this stuff are way too uneducated and unsophisticated to be on the board of regents. What’s the next best way to influence policy? Guns. Look for example at Sheriff Slaughter. He testified in Helena for HB 102. He now has started a program whereby his deputies go into local schools and teach the Hillsdale college version of the Constitution. Jesse said in a Helena interview just the other day that the federal government is communism. And hence the kids are learning some very militia type education.

    Stop and think for moment before refuting my theory. Many things the right wing does are done simply to send the message to the rest of the country that we’re nuts up here. And judging from the demographic changes, it seems to be working. Sure, HB 102 was shot down. But they knew that would happen. Let the word go forth. The white homeland of Montana beckons! Send your young’uns to college here and get a degree in gun culture!

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