Caught My Eye…

You know you’re all grown up when you actually pick up the ice cube instead of kicking it under the fridge. – Unknown

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

If you are a first-time visitor, welcome! CME is the once a week column that is posted 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. There may be some sarcasm and pointed independent commentary so be warned!

Here are the topics that “Caught My Eye” this week:

  • Wheat Ridge/Malmstrom AFB
  • Daines is Safe
  • Paul Manafort
  • Impeachment
  • One More Thing

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Caught My Eye…

Freedom, well, that’s just some people talking. Your prison is walking through this world all alone. – Glenn Frey/Don Henley “Desperado”

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 Republicans smelling blood in Senate race, The Western Word Poll, the “Too Many Years” hypocrisy, Sean Hannity, and One More Thing!

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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!

(more…)

The Sunday Message – September 11

If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate. —Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, in Shanksville, Pa., in 2002

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The following column has been slightly edited from a previous column…

Today we take a moment to remember September 11, 2001. It seems just yesterday that our country was attacked – but it has been 15 years.

On that day I remember staring at the television in shock. When the second plane hit the World Trade Center, I hoped and prayed that it was a replay of the first plane hitting it. It wasn’t. I hoped like many folks that the whole thing was just a dream. It wasn’t.

At that time I worked for U.S. Senator Conrad Burns in Great Falls, Montana, and I was scheduled to attend a meeting the morning of September 11 at Malmstrom Air Force Base. As I showed my ID to at the base gate, a breaking news alert came on my car radio saying a plane had hit the Pentagon – my Pentagon – our Pentagon. My thoughts shifted to friends and former colleagues who worked there.

As a former security specialist with the Air Force, when I departed the meeting an hour or so later to head back to my office I saw a change in security procedures at the base that I had never seen before – and I knew that our country had changed. We had been attacked and we were now on our highest alert.

Many things have changed since those horrific attacks. Our country came together and united in the fight against terrorism. I remember our elected officials – Republicans and Democrats – in Washington standing on the Capitol steps that evening and singing, “God Bless America.” We stood in defiance against terrorism. Americans were united. We found heroes in the first responders and those who performed acts of bravery on that day.

Yes, it’s been 15 years and our memories are somewhat faded now. As a Nation, we must always remember the events of September 11, 2001.

God Bless America…

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Published in: on September 11, 2016 at 2:00 am  Comments Off on The Sunday Message – September 11  
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Terrific News Tuesday

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside. – Denis Waitley

Hey kids – welcome to another edition of Terrific News Tuesday (TNT)!

In case this is your first time reading TNT, this column is all about good news. I know it’s hard to believe, but I won’t be complaining or criticizing anyone or anything in this column today – just writing about some terrific news that caught my attention!

Here is some of the good stuff in this edition of TNT:

  • KFBB/KRTV
  • Montana Democrats
  • Senate Resolution 457
  • Invictus Games 2016
  • On the Road

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Published in: on May 10, 2016 at 5:55 am  Comments Off on Terrific News Tuesday  
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Thursday Numbers

If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been. – Robert H. Schuller

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with just a little bit of sarcasm.

This week’s topics include the Powerball jackpot, an interesting business proposal, Greg Gianforte, Steve Bullock, TWW poll, unemployment, privately funded congressional trips, a big concert, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Facebook shares, veterans, Cleveland Cavaliers, Pittsburgh Penguins/Washington Capitals, sleep, and much more!

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Haters Gonna Hate

I posted a column late Thursday night after learning of the death of my former boss, U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. The Great Falls Tribune picked up the whole column and it was published in their Saturday paper.

Overall, the comments to my column were pretty good. I heard from people all across the fruited plains via email. It was nice to hear from some old friends, too.

Former press secretaries for Burns, Matt Mackowiak and Derek Hunter, wrote columns about Senator Burns in the past few days. You can read Matt’s column HERE and Derek’s column HERE.

One comment posted in the Great Falls Tribune from gadfly Howard Strause brought up some things from Burns’ past, and he closed his comment with “By the way, a Burns staffer was caught deleting some of Burns statements from Wikipedia and inserting glowing comments. Wonder who that was?”

I guess I must confess; it was not me who edited the Wikipedia entry. So that leaves about 500 other suspects.

I don’t know what on God’s green earth that has to do with the death of a U.S. Senator, but if Howard Strause wants to come over to my yard, TheWesternWord.com, and leave his cheap comments, he is more than welcome. School is in session.

I guess in the words of Taylor Swift, “Haters gonna hate.”

I have always thought it was in poor taste to go after people after they were dead. My parents taught me to not speak ill of the dead. I guess some folks didn’t learn that lesson. It’s been interesting to see the commentaries after the death of Burns.

Some liberal blogs had some nice posts, but some of the comments were not so nice. Over at the Intelligent Discontent blog, Pete Talbot wrote:

Burns was a down-to-earth guy and, from what I’ve heard, he provided excellent constituent services. Never underestimate the value of constituent services. Having issues with Social Security, Medicare, Veteran benefits? A call to one of Conrad’s field offices and often, the problem was solved.

It’s nice that some folks understand that Burns is no longer running for political office. Some not so much.

The Great Falls Tribune editorial board disappointed me with their editorial in Sunday’s paper.

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The Sunday Message

No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather. ― Michael Prichard

The first time I heard part of that quote was from former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. Conrad passed away this week, so he has been in my thoughts.

I can’t remember which senator Conrad said he was talking to (it may have been Robert Byrd). The other senator was complaining in private to Conrad that he was pretty much hated by members of his own party because of some tough votes he made or because of some appropriation requests that he turned down. The other senator said that he was so disliked that probably nobody would even come to his funeral if he died today. Conrad told him he shouldn’t worry about that because the size of his funeral would pretty much depend on the weather.

That is probably pretty true – at least from my experience with funerals.

During one of my parent’s funerals, the weather was terrible. It was one of those days in Missouri when the freezing rain basically stopped everything. Luckily the service was held at the same location as the cemetery where my mother or father was to be buried.

The pellets of snow and freezing rain bounced off the umbrellas as the final words were said. People were shivering and when the short final prayer ended, people quickly left.

When my sister died, the services were held at the same cemetery. It was so hot – almost 100 degrees that we kind of moved away from the gravesite so we could stand in the shade of a nearby tree to get out of the sweltering sun. It was also a short service.

As I grow older I think of funerals and things like that. Especially after someone I know dies.

I told my wife that I did not want a funeral because probably nobody would attend. I also wanted to be cremated and my ashes scattered in Montana and, if possible, near my boyhood home of Mill Grove, Missouri (Google it).

She told me that she would consider it, but I would be dead. She said she would do what she wanted. I think she was joking…

I do know that when my time is up that I am going to Heaven. Are you?

Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours. – Yogi Berra

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Published in: on May 1, 2016 at 2:00 am  Comments (2)  
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Caught My Eye…

Note: I received word yesterday that former United States Senator Conrad Burns died. He was 81.

As many of you know, I had the honor of working for Conrad for about 12 years on his U.S. Senate staff. You can read my commentary about Burns and a few stories about my time with him by clicking HERE.

My condolences go to his family and friends.

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Welcome to the big show to end the week – “Caught My Eye” (CME). It’s also the last CME of April!

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 this week include Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, KRTV’s Expert, Tongue River Railroad, Columnist, and much more.

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Caught My Eye…

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life

-“Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince
(June 7, 1958-April 21, 2016) RIP

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 this week include State Rep. Randy Pinocci & Fairfield Sun Times, the conspiracy, Armed Forces Reserve Center, Gianforte & Facebook, Drunk Driving, the Governor’s Plane, Curt Schilling, Earth Day, and much more!

(more…)