Caught My Eye…

Am I doing okay? I’m President. Hey, I’m President. Can you believe it? Right? – President Donald J. Trump (May 4, 2017)

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics that I am providing commentary on today include the House Vote to Repeal Obamacare, Tester and Healthcare, Fox Farm Zoning Issue, Executive Order on Religious Liberty, and much more!

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Politics 2016: The President’s Supreme Court Nominee

Here are some of my thoughts on President Barack Obama nominating Federal Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court should get an up or down vote. The Republican-controlled Senate should allow this. It is also up to the President to nominate someone who can get the required votes in that Republican-controlled Senate to be confirmed.

Whether Republicans like it or not their argument that Americans need a say in this process is hogwash. Americans did speak – they elected Barack Obama (twice).

As of today, there are 310 days left in the President’s term. By nominating Merrick Garland, the President has done his constitutional duties. Garland was confirmed before (1997) to the Federal Court (76-23) with 32 Republicans voting for him.

The Republicans in the Senate should do their constitutional duty.

For a Republican U.S. Senator (or a Democrat Senator if the tables were turned) to come out and say they will oppose any hearing or votes for the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court is one of the reasons people are mad as hell at the Federal government. It’s also one of the reasons the job approval rating for Congress is around 13%.

There are very few statesmen and stateswomen left in Washington, let alone adults.

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A Budget Deal for Cowards

Late Monday evening, I happened to catch the story from The Hill about senior White House officials and congressional leaders striking a deal to raise the debt limit and set the federal budget for the next two years.

We’ll see how this “deal” works out. These are not really “deals.” What they do is give everyone enough stuff they want so they can get enough votes to pass it. Then it’s out of sight so they can work on what’s most important: The next election.

It will also give them more time to impeach the head of the IRS – because who doesn’t want to stick it to the IRS – it’s a good way to raise money and get more votes!

The “next” election is where they promise to stop doing things like they just did if we send enough of their like-minded people to Washington to fight.

That’s the big lie.

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Published in: on October 28, 2015 at 6:36 am  Comments (3)  
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Caught My Eye…

Note to readers: Please take a moment today to pray for the folks around Roseburg, Oregon, where a shooting occurred at a local community college.

Also, a U.S. Air Force C-130J transport plane crashed overnight at an air base in eastern Afghanistan, killing six American airmen and 5 civilians, so please pray for these brave people and their families.

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” has been posted here every Friday morning since October 2010! This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of snarkiness to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both. Since I’m independent, I don’t have to worry about who gets ticked off.

Today I write about MilCon & VA Approps, Obama’s remarks about Oregon shooting, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and much more!

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Gallup: Confidence in Military, Small Business Rank Highest

It’s pretty quiet out there. The months of June, July, and August are normally pretty quiet on the blogging front with readers playing outside and enjoying summer instead of checking their favorite blogs for new posts. As a long-time blogger, my historic numbers show this year after year.

Here at The Western Word, I will continue to post columns six days a week – God willing.

There’s some big news on the horizon with the U.S. Supreme Court due to release their decisions this month on same-sex marriage and Obamacare. Presidential politics are on the radar as well as state political conventions. Announcements for state-wide office should be trickling in over the summer and into the fall.

Today a new poll from Gallup caught my attention. It was their annual “confidence in major U.S. institutions poll.” U.S. institutions include things like public schools, congress, presidency, small business, newspapers, television news, church or organized religion, banks, big business, organized labor, the police, medical system, military, U.S. Supreme Court, and the criminal justice system.

Gallup named each of these U.S. institutions and 1,527 people were asked how much confidence they have in each one. The answers could be a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little. The margin of error is +/-3%.

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Wednesday’s Political Potpourri

Congrats on making it to Wednesday – Hump Day! It’s time for Wednesday’s Political Potpourri!

When there are several political stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into a “potpourri” column.

Today I provide that valuable independent commentary you’ve come to love from The Western Word. Today’s subjects include:

-Department of Homeland Security funding & reaction
-Netanyahu’s speech & reaction
-Republicans & private fundraisers
-Hillary’s e-mail issue
-Obamacare & the Supremes
-David Petraeus & his mistress

There’s a lot more, so read on…

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The Netanyahu Speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress today (Tuesday) at 9:00 a.m. Mountain time. I’ll be watching because I don’t have a life.

The speech is supposed to be about nuclear weapons and Iran, but it’s about more than just that.

Netanyahu was invited to give the speech by Speaker of the House John Boehner and then Boehner told the White House something like, “Hey, look who accepted my invitation.” There’s such a dislike for President Barack Obama by Boehner, this really isn’t all that absurd.

According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, “Nearly half of American voters — 48 percent — say that congressional Republicans should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Tuesday without first notifying President Barack Obama. (Source)

As of this morning, The Hill is reporting that “at least 55 Democrats — eight senators and 47 House members — are vowing to skip the speech.”

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Lead, Follow, or…

Congress argued until about two hours before the deadline Friday night to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It was fun to watch if you enjoy politics. If you don’t enjoy politics, then you would probably compare it to a root canal.

The approved funding is only good for one week, so the soap opera may play out again later this week.  Keep your Friday evening open…

Overall, it was not a good showing by the Republicans. They have the majorities in the House and Senate, but are so divided that they could not pass a three-week extension. They played a game of chicken with the Democrats, and lost.

The problem with the DHS bill is that Republicans wanted to attach language to the bill that would defund the President’s “executive order to shield several million illegal immigrants from deportation.” The Senate could not pass the bill with the executive order language in it; the House did pass it.

A federal district court judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction on the executive actions which gave the Republicans some momentum, but that still did not stop them from messing it up.

The Democrats had their own problem with this little victory. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent an e-mail early Saturday morning saying, “Republicans forced a shutdown of Homeland Security. It started at MIDNIGHT last night.”

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Published in: on March 2, 2015 at 7:12 am  Comments Off on Lead, Follow, or…  
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DHS Funding: A Game of Chicken

Unless Congress acts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is due to run out of funding in about nine days (February 28).

If DHS isn’t funded, it won’t be the end of the world. There will still be people at the airport to screen passengers and at the border to welcome folks to the good ol’ USA. These people may not be smiling much, because according to several reports those folks are “essential personnel” and they get to stay on the job, but would not receive paychecks.

According to the Washington Post’s editorial board, here is the root of the problem:

The (DHS funding) bill passed by House Republicans would defund Mr. Obama’s executive order to shield several million illegal immigrants from deportation. In the kabuki theater of Congress, the bill has followed a predictable course. It has been taken up three times in the Senate, where it lacks the 60 votes needed to clear procedural hurdles, and three times it has been filibustered by Democrats, just as Mr. Boehner and every other member of Congress knew it would be.

Late Monday another issue came up thanks to a Federal judge:

President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration have been halted temporarily, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued late Monday by a federal district court judge in Texas.

The injunction does not seem to bother the Democrats, probably because they know it won’t last too long.

So, the U.S. House passed a bill, but the U.S. Senate can’t muster the 60 votes needed to pass it because the Democrats won’t go along with the House version to defund the President’s immigration policies. With all that in mind, who will get the blame if DHS shuts down?

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Published in: on February 18, 2015 at 7:48 am  Comments Off on DHS Funding: A Game of Chicken  
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American Government: Current Events

I remember back to one of my favorite classes in college, “American Government.” It was a weekly class that met on Wednesday nights for three hours at a time. My political science professor would use the first 15-30 minutes of each class to have a discussion about current events. We were free to discuss all the issues: abortion, religion, war, freedom of the press, etc. The professor would keep the discussion moving by asking questions. He always remained neutral. I never did figure out which way he leaned politically, which I admire about him to this day.

This is a pretty good time for students of all ages to be studying American Government – let’s hope that government teachers/professors take some time to teach about current government events happening in Montana and in Washington, D.C.

It’s also a good time to be a lawyer – especially if you specialize in constitutional law.

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Published in: on November 24, 2014 at 7:08 am  Comments Off on American Government: Current Events  
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