Caught My Eye…

Veterans know who their champions are, and Jon Tester is one of them. – Former Secretary of Defense and former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)

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 about today include Trump vs Tester, my two cents about Tester & Veterans, GOP U.S. Senate debate, residency problems, Trump & Stormy & Cosby, and one more thing!

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MT Senate 2014: Department of Defense

Yesterday the Associated Press (AP) reported that the Department of Defense (DOD) would be “overseeing a plagiarism investigation being conducted by the U.S. Army War College against Sen. John Walsh because the Montana Democrat is a member of Congress.”

The AP said the move was “unusual” which means the conspiracy theory people will be out in force. Of course, the Walsh haters and Rep. Steve Daines’ (Walsh’s opponent) supporters were also out in force. It was pure silliness and good for a laugh or two.

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to Friday the 13th and another (almost) award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye!”

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted right here 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. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – or both.

Today I write about the Montana Senate poll, Saturday’s House/Senate debate in Butte, Cascade County & Lisa Bracco, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the VA scandal, Big Sky Sampler, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for stopping by for your weekly fix of “Thursday Numbers.” The weekend is in sight!

If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” 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 sarcasm) just to make you smile, shake your head, or make you send me nasty e-mails or Tweets.

This week I write about unemployment, Missoula County, Rep. Eric Cantor, Healthy Montana Initiative, Montana GOP Convention sponsor packages, President Ronald Reagan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Charter Cable, Barry Beach, AG Tim Fox, Rep. Steve Daines, Sen. John Walsh, President George H.W. Bush, veterans, DUI, and much more!

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Pentagon Budget: Remain Calm

Don’t plan the parade because your military base or defense project wasn’t mentioned as something the Secretary of Defense planned to cut or curtail in his Fiscal Year 2015 Defense budget. On the other hand, don’t start drinking if your pet project or base or weapon system was mentioned by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during his press conference on Monday.

Most of it probably won’t happen – it was only a proposal:

pro·pos·al [pruh-poh-zuhl]
the act of offering or suggesting something for acceptance, adoption, or performance.
a plan or scheme proposed.

The proposal put forth has to be approved by Congress – you remember the 535 class presidents who have bases and contractors in their states and districts? Those folks will have a big say in what stays in the defense budget and what goes.

A lot of people are up in arms (pun intended) after Hagel announced his budget. Some folks were already reporting the nuclear triad would stay intact. Some groups sent press releases via e-mail saying retirees would have benefits reduced. A lot of words were written and a lot of time was spent yesterday on the DOD’s proposed budget.

Even current Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines (R-Mont.) sent a *statement to the Great Falls Tribune (I could not find it on-line) saying, “[H]e is strongly committed to ensuring that our military is fully equipped to protect our country…”

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Back during my time in the military, one summer I volunteered to be a tour guide for several U.S. Air Force Academy cadets who were visiting Whiteman AFB, Missouri.

It was hard to keep their attention because at that time Whiteman had no planes. It was a nuclear missile base. I took groups of five or so cadets on the tour, and then would drop them off and take five more. During the tour I asked each group, “What are you going to do after your graduate?” Almost 100% of the group replied with “I’m going to fly jets.”

Finally toward the end of the day, I had grown tired of their answers, so I set the record straight by saying, “There are not enough ^%&$ jets in the military for everyone to fly one – some of you will be a supply officer or a missile launch officer – so get used to it.”

It was like I told them their dog had just died.

Being a missile launch officer is not as “sexy” as flying jets. It’s not as “sexy” as flying a C-130 cargo plane, either.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is searching for the root causes of recent Air Force missteps but also for ways to make the nuclear warrior’s job more attractive at a time when the military has turned its attention away from such weapons.” He has ordered a review of the nuclear forces.

Missile folks are jealous over the publicity and status that pilots have. The commanders of these folks are jealous, too.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., supports the review of nuclear forces proposed by Hagel. Tester is correct in doing that. Tester was visiting the Cascade County Commissioners last week. His visit was reported by the Great Falls Tribune.

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Ted Cruz: Time to Beam Him Up…

Following in the footsteps of another 2016 Presidential hopeful (Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to the senate floor on Tuesday to talk. But his talk was not like that of his fellow Tea Party member. Paul actually filibustered, whereas Cruz just talked and talked and talked about defunding Obamacare.

He also read a couple Dr. Seuss books, which is way more interesting than hearing him speak about Obamacare.

Realistically, it did not matter what Cruz talked about – Tea Party supporters will love him and others will hate him. It was silliness and shows just how insane Washington, D.C., has become.

Cruz worked out a deal with the enemy (Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid) that allowed him to speak. He won’t delay a vote or anything like a real filibuster would. It was pure theater and to gain him some publicity for a presidential run.

On his personal road to the White House, Cruz has many problems to overcome. He acts like a snob for one and comes across as just a little better than most of us commoners. It looks as though most everyone else in the Senate (even many Republicans) don’t like Cruz, even referring to him as a “wacko bird.”

Add me to the list.

While Rand Paul is Tea Party, Ted Cruz is Tea Party X-Treme – “the next great conservative hope” for the GOP. He kind of reminds me of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in cowboy boots – “black ostrich-skin cowboy boots” which is his “favorite footwear” according to an article from GQ.  Continue reading

“We are ready to go.”

It looks as though we’re going to attack Syria, probably with air strikes, and probably sooner rather than later. I’m thinking it will happen later this week. After the air strikes, nobody knows what we will do and that is what bothers me.

If we use our military to attack Syria, then we have inserted ourselves into their civil war.

Some reports say the Obama Administration is giving some of the leaders in Congress a heads-up (not asking, but telling) that the attack is coming. Some members don’t like that.

Hopefully nothing will interfere with congressional vacations.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has told people, “We are ready to go.” In other words, we are ready to go kick some ass. The Administration’s wartime cheerleaders (Hagel, Kerry, Biden) seem to be out in force. People may start thinking that “W” is in charge again.

But do we really want to do this?  Continue reading

DOD: 26,000 Sexual Assaults in 2012

As a former member of the United States Air Force, I was shocked to read that the head of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention unit was arrested for sexual assault. It was also somewhat shocking (to me) that the head of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention unit was only a Lt. Colonel (his name is Jeffrey Krusinski). It seems that the leadership of the Air Force did not believe sexual assault was an important enough issue to put someone in charge of it with at least a star or two (Brigadier or Major General) on his/her shoulder.

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier probably said it best (Pg. H2443) on the floor of the U.S. House yesterday when she asked (while standing next to a mug shot of Krusinski), “The best and the brightest the Air Force has to offer to run this office, and he’s a sexual predator?”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

Welcome to the last Thursday Numbers of February! Hang on – Sequester Day is tomorrow!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, “Thursday Numbers” is my weekly column where I take a look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm.

Please note that if you read this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Then again, when they find out that you spend your time reading blogs they may not be too impressed…

This week I write about constituent accounts, Grantsdale Elementary School, Jack Lew, well-being index, Chuck Hagel, B-52s, sequestration, Bobby Brown, minimum wage, Kansas City Chiefs, unemployment, Mount Everest, beer in the NBA, and much more!

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