Boehner: Take this Job…

In case you missed the big political news Friday morning, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio announced that he is resigning as Speaker of the House. He’s also quitting Congress altogether.

It was a ‘drop the mic and walk off the stage’ moment.

Basically Boehner grew tired of fighting with the far-right wing conservatives in his party. The far-right conservatives grew tired of Boehner and his leadership. They seemed to think he was not fighting hard enough.

I guess those 50-60 votes to repeal Obamacare in the past four years and shutting down the government were not enough.

The chances of anyone doing anything better than Boehner are slim. Who would want the job? When you have different parties controlling the Executive and Legislative branches of the government, you must compromise for the good of the country.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

I’m not a fan of Boehner and never have been. Senator Republican leader Mitch McConnell could also step down as far as I am concerned. They need someone to tell the far-righties in the GOP party to shove it.

Continue reading

Tea Party: “Cause if you like it…”

You knew it was bound to happen. The Republican Party invited Tea Party members into their club and it was fun – kind of like a summer fling. The GOP used the Tea Party members’ votes and excitement to get candidates elected. It was an adult relationship with both sides using each other for their own needs.

But now the Tea Party wants to do things their way. They are all grown up and Ted Cruz and Rand Paul speak for them. This is not like the Christian Coalition takeover of the GOP in the early 90s.

Frankly, the GOP is probably getting a little worried about their Tea Party cousins because now they want to do things like defund Obamacare. Regular Republicans want to defund it, too, but they won’t shut down the government to do it. They know how shutting down the government worked out last time.

This is kind of like the cousin who is down on his luck and moves in with you. At first it’s fun, but then he takes over the TV remote and he drinks all the milk and leaves the empty carton in the fridge. That last piece of cake is gobbled up by him before you can eat it.

Now you’re ticked off and don’t know where to turn – he does buy pizza and beer on Friday nights – and he and his friends are fun to hang out with. They are so energetic in getting things done, but you like the steady and quiet leadership of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, while your “cousin” worships Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.  Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Oh man – just a few hours until we make it to another summer weekend!  Congrats!

Your reward is another edition of the (almost) award-winning column “Caught My Eye.”  Caught My Eye is the column where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week – and offer some commentary (as well as some sarcasm).

It’s the column that the “political junkies” from around the country visit to see if their candidate made “The Political Inbox” section, or if they even received a mention in Caught My Eye…

This week we take a look at Little League baseball, a goodwill trip, treatment of the media, nude fishing, what the New York Times says about the Rehberg/Tester race, abandoning veterans, and what showed up in my political inbox.

So grab a cup of your favorite drink, sit back and relax, and enjoy the read… Continue reading

Monday Morning Politics

The next couple of days will be very hot across Montana, but that will be nothing compared to how heated the political races will get between now and November 2012.

The Western Word (TWW) will be with you to enjoy the ride – and we’re here to provide some independent commentary about these races – and to be your destination for political information!

This week we take a look at U.S. Senate and House fundraising, a subpoena, a hearing, redistricting, partisanship and more!  Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

The Western Word marks a milestone today – this is the 52nd straight week of “Caught My Eye!”  That’s a year in some countries!  Thanks to all of my faithful readers for making this happen…and there was just a small tear in the corner of my eye right then…

By the way, there will be cake and punch in the break room after this column is posted (note to staff – don’t get frosting on your keyboard).

It’s Friday and you deserve to take a break from work and relax for a few minutes and read The Western Word’s (TWW) Caught My Eye column.  It’s OK, your boss probably reads TWW, too!

If you are a new visitor, Caught My Eye is a weekly column (posted on Friday mornings) where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week.  Sometimes I add just a touch of sarcasm to my commentary.

This week I take a look at polling, generic candidates, an invite, visiting New York, job interviews and of course I take a look at what popped up in my political inbox.  There’s a lot more, so read on! Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Happy First of July and welcome to the snap, crackle, and pop edition of Caught My Eye!

By the way, I can always tell it’s getting close to July as my favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals, have moved into their normal spot (last place) in the American League Central.

If you are a first-time visitor, Caught my Eye is my weekly column devoted to the stories that I did not have time to write about during the week – and sometimes I use just a little sarcasm when writing about the stories!

This week I take a look at a wedding, Skype, the Pope, squirting, the big family in Helena, sex offenders, no recess, a couple departures, plus Jack’s Political Inbox – and there is a lot more!   Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Congratulations on making it to another wonderful Friday! Thanks for stopping by!

I wanted to call this the “Judgment Day” issue of Caught My Eye (CME), but I don’t think the Rapture is coming on Saturday, just as I don’t believe it will rain enough today to cause me to build an ark. In case you are wondering what this is all about, please take a moment to read one of my most-read columns “May 21, 2011 – Are you ready?” It can be read by clicking HERE.

CME is published on Friday mornings and it is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week – and I sometimes add a little sarcasm in my commentary.

This week I take a look at eating, flying, marriage, Lance Armstrong, my political inbox and lots more! Since it is raining today (in many places) grab a cup of something warm, sit back, relax and enjoy this week’s edition of Caught My Eye… Continue reading

The President’s Budget

It’s an annual event held each February. The President submits a budget to Congress. Congress says they don’t like it. Special interest groups cry foul when they read it because their programs are not getting enough funding. The groups that do get funding love it.

The media covers the release of the President’s budget like it’s a car chase in Los Angeles. We witness the same thing year after year after year.

The fact is that the President’s budget is just a recommendation. Congress has the final say – and if there’s enough compromise, they might just get one done. Continue reading

Colorado GOP Chair: “Tired of the Nuts…”

Being someone who surfs the web for news and has about 50 Google Alerts sending me news throughout the day, I happened to catch the story coming out of Colorado yesterday that GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams has decided not to run for re-election.

Of course, I have to offer some commentary.

Wadhams was quoted saying he was, “tired of the nuts who have no grasp of what the state party’s role is.”

Amen to that.

Wadhams went on to say in this memo:

“I have tired of those who are obsessed with seeing conspiracies around every corner and who have terribly misguided notions of what the role of the state party is while saying “uniting conservatives” is all that is needed to win competitive races across the state.” Continue reading

Politics: Winners and Losers

With the defeat of the massive Omnibus bill (is it really dead or was it all just a dream?), many Americans breathed a sigh of relief.

Of course, Congress has not adjourned for the year so we really don’t know what is going to happen, but there still are winners and losers.

Here in Montana, we witnessed the back and forth between Congressman Denny Rehberg (R) and Senator Jon Tester (D) about Tester being allowed to insert his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act language into the bill.

We also witnessed some of the Montana media trying to decipher the back and forth and understand how a bill becomes a law. Some, in my humble opinion, seemed to side with Tester in their blogs – like a love affair…

We soon found out it was not the same language from the original bill, but “very similar to the version he introduced a year and a half ago” according to Tester’s website.

That was one of several problems Tester had with the bill. Other issues were that his original bill never received a vote – not in committee or on the Senate floor. It never made it to the House for debate – and that made his “very similar” bill seem even that much more wrong.

It looks like the first-term senator bit off more than even he could chew with his forest/wilderness bill, but we won’t know for sure until the House and Senate adjourns for this Congress.

If it were easy, Senator Max Baucus would have done it years ago. Forests, wilderness, logging, and recreation are some of the most contentious issues in the West.

Rehberg hammered away at Tester’s “backroom” deal and held an emergency tele-town hall meeting where 5,500 Montanans called in to ask questions and hear from Rehberg. It’s pretty impressive when you can get 5,500 Montanans to do anything, but Rehberg did.

It was great political theater and Rehberg, with less staff and resources than Tester, won this one. Tester lost credibility and harmed his re-election bid. Some folks hope the back and forth between Rehberg and Tester will be decided in November 2012.

The (supposedly) final blow to the Omnibus bill did not happen because of Tester’s forest/wilderness bill or Rehberg hammering him. It was about nine GOP senators who thought twice about voting for the bill that would have given the Senate Democrats a victory. The spending was freakishly massive. The earmarks (from both sides) were a rallying point although they were just a small percentage of the overall bill. These GOP senators bailed on Majority Leader Harry Reid and he had to pull the Omnibus bill from consideration.

The American people are winners. Some money was saved. But we are also losers because Congress is still broken.