Caught My Eye…

Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul. – Douglas MacArthur

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 Sound of Freedom, Mug Shots, Pardons, O.J. Simpson, One More Thing, and much more!

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Thursday Numbers

Welcome to another thrilling edition of “Thursday Numbers!” Are you ready?

Before we get started, please take off your mask; Halloween is next Thursday!

If this is your first time reading “Thursday Numbers,” where have you been? This is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Zuckerberg, unemployment, SpongeBob, Cascade County (MT) Elections Department, Healhcare.gov, Texas high school football, legalizing marijuana, Brett Favre, Kansas City Chiefs & Denver Broncos, drunk driving, Mitt Romney’s new home, the final three F-15s, Dollar Menu, and much more!

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Caught My Eye…

Thanks for stopping by to read the first “Caught My Eye” of October!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. By the way, I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or maybe to irritate you just a little.

Today I write about Walsh for Senate, Sonju quitting, F-15 reporting, Senate opening prayer, “Carol, you’re beautiful,” the real Siri, Whitner/Hitner, Government Shutdown Pinterest Pins, plus I have two winners who are Making Montana Proud – so read on…

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Thursday Numbers

Welcome to the first “Thursday Numbers” of October – the government shutdown edition!

If this is your first time reading “Thursday Numbers,” this is where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about a new retirement cottage, healthcare website visits, the top landowner, Montana’s federal employees, rat complaints, blame, wedding anniversary, unemployment, a dog’s expensive taste, Halloween Park, 19 shots, House Republicans, F-15s, and much more!

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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by The Western Word for another great edition of “Thursday Numbers!”

If you are a new visitor, this column is where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm).

PLEASE NOTE: By reading this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Consider this your warning.

This week I write about debt, immigration reform, unemployment, Democratic and Republican Twitter followers, 564th missile squadron, Montana Democratic Party convention, Pioneer Baseball League, prescription drug use, F-15s, political party unfavorable ratings, Tony Soprano, Game 7, U.S. Army Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, and much more!

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Fresno Won

While the Montana Air National Guard (MANG) held a briefing yesterday about the first F-15 leaving Montana and heading to Fresno, California, the folks in Fresno held a celebration when the first F-15 arrived from Montana.

When you’re winning you can have a celebration, so pop the cork on that bottle of bubbly, Fresno – your leaders beat Montana’s leaders in the fight for jets.

More F-15s are on the way to Fresno with the last planes leaving Montana by October. That means Montana will not be a “fighter unit” for the first time in about 66 years – 66 years.

The local newspaper and television station have stories about the briefing and the move. You can read the Great Falls Tribune story HERE. KRTV (CBS) has a nice package that you can read/watch HERE.

As a consolation, Montana is “scheduled” to have eight C-130 cargo planes by next spring. Montana is also scheduled to lose about 80 jobs according to the Great Falls Tribune, “but not as many as originally on the table, according to spokeswomen for Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus” which is a nice way to “spin” the loss of jobs that happened on their watch. Continue reading

Losing Jets and Jobs

A few days ago the Great Falls Tribune published a story titled, “Mission change progresses for Montana Air National Guard” (MANG) in which we learned that the F-15 Eagle jets at the Montana Air National Guard are on schedule to leave Montana this summer, and C-130 cargo planes are due to arrive later in the year, possibly in the October – December timeframe.

In other words, it looks like the MANG will be without any planes for at least a few months. Montana military supporters should be nervous as we play the bureaucratic waiting game, possibly waiting for the leftovers from the Department of Defense.

When this is all completed, apparently this will be the first time the MANG will be without some variation of a Fighter jet since 1947. 1947 was the first year of Meet the Press and Howdy Doody (which to some is probably the same thing).

So, Montana is losing their J-E-T-S. Jets, jets, JETS! They are supposedly being replaced with cargo planes. Some people I’ve visited with about the loss of jets and the gain of cargo planes look like they have that gagging feeling in their throats when they say, “C-130.”   Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” I’m glad you stopped by!

If you are a new visitor, this is my weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes with a little sarcasm).

NOTICE: By reading this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers, so consider yourself warned.

This week I write about the Bush Library, Max Baucus, Brian Schweitzer, unemployment, elephant bird, National Guard job losses, Gun Owners for Reform, Approval ratings, Al Pacino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kansas City Chiefs, and much more! Continue reading

Baucus: I Think I Will Go Home Now

The Washington Post citing Democratic sources reported yesterday morning that six-term United States Senator Max Baucus of Montana was retiring. A little later Baucus released a statement affirming that he was, in fact, retiring.

Then the speculation began about who would replace Baucus. Today, among that speculation is a love feast in Montana newspapers for Baucus.

Baucus had been raising money for his reelection, but he had also started building a home near Bozeman, which raised some doubts about his running again. Baucus will be 72 in 2014 which means he may have channeled Forrest Gump after that long run when he said, “I’m pretty tired…I think I will go home now.”

So far, Baucus raised almost $5 million for his race. That money will come in handy for Montana Democrats in 2014.

Last election (2008), Baucus disposed of his competition by a 73% to 27% margin. In 2002, he beat his opponent by 31%. Baucus was a great campaigner. He and his staff would go for the jugular on his opponents. They did not lose.

This year there was a lot of talk about former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer taking on Baucus in a primary. A recent Public Policy Poll showed Schweitzer beating Baucus “54% to 35% with Democratic primary voters.” As for running for the U.S. House or U.S. Senate, Schweitzer told the Associated Press last year “I am not goofy enough to be in the House, and I’m not senile enough to be in the Senate.”  Continue reading

MT Military: Time for One United Message

After passing the Montana House by a bipartisan 74-25 vote, the Great Falls Tribune reported on Friday that HB 579, a bill to create a statewide military task force, “died in the Senate.” HB 579 is listed as “Probably Dead” on the Bill Information section of the Montana Legislature’s website.

I had written about my support for HB 579 on April 11. You can read that column HERE.

The Montana Defense Alliance (MTDA), which is a committee (that requires $300 annual membership fee) out of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce, came out against the bill. The Tribune reported that MTDA believes, “they already filled that need” of the statewide military task force.

In my opinion, that’s not entirely correct. Several people do not believe that MTDA comes close to filling “that need.”  Continue reading