The Monday Memo: MT Legislature, a Gimmick, & Tester

My words will either attract a strong mind or offend a weak one. – Unknown

Today’s independent commentary deals with these issues:

  • 2019 Montana Legislature
  • The Gimmick
  • Tester’s New Communications Director

Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

All the world’s indeed a stage
And we are merely players
Performers and portrayers
Each another’s audience
Outside the gilded cage
– Limelight (Rush)

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 Jon Tester/Steve Daines taking/getting credit, Rosendale & life, migrant children – are you kidding me, the IG & Comey, The Fourth Estate, and One More Thing!

Continue reading

Political Donations & Selective Amnesia

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour. -Benjamin Disraeli

Political parties are so darned predictable, but they are fun to watch!

At about 10:15 a.m. Monday morning I laughed out loud. Why? I received an e-mail from the Montana Republican Party with the subject, “Will Tester Return Menendez’s Tainted Money?”

In case you missed last week’s “Thursday Numbers” column, I wrote about U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) being indicted on corruption charges (14 counts). Menendez has not been found guilty of anything.

According to the Montana GOP, U.S. Senator Jon Tester “received $10,000 of Senator Menendez’s tainted money.”

After that piece of information, the Montana GOP threw in a statement to make people think they genuinely care about people: “Montanans deserve to know why Senator Tester won’t do the right thing and return the $10,000 of tainted campaign cash he received from Menendez.”

Thank you Montana GOP for telling us what we deserve to know.

The fact is that most Montanans just don’t care. It’s just a political “gotcha” game that looks silly from the sidelines.

I must stop and applaud the Montana Republican Party. They did accomplish part of their mission – and that was to get the mainstream media to do a story about their “concerns.” A reporter for the USA Today writing for the Great Falls Tribune wrote close to 400 words Monday afternoon about Tester receiving a donation from Menendez. He was even able to get a quote from an associate professor of political science who is not from Montana State University – great googly moogly!

I was actually impressed with the speed with which the USA Today reporter, Christopher Doering, was able to get this story posted. Political parties and politicians will take note of this. His inbox will fill quickly.

Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Thanks for stopping by for your Friday special, “Caught My Eye!”

This is the 190th “Caught My Eye” (No gifts please). With 190 columns under my belt, I’ve been able to make many readers either angry or smile (or maybe both). Good times.

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.

Everyone and everything is fair game!

Today I write about the Appointed One, ICBM assessment, Congressional debate, new communications director, emergency unemployment compensation, first tweet, unusual place names, plus we have TWO winners who are Making Montana Proud!

Continue reading

Baucus Confirmation: Tough Questions?

As U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, brought the nomination hearing to a close on U.S. Senator Max Baucus of Montana to be Ambassador to China, my first thought was this is 90 minutes I will never get back.

Then I remembered the Montana Television Network (MTN) crew of Jay Kohn and Marnee Banks who had traveled from Montana to Washington, D.C., to cover the event. They wasted even more time and money for the short 90 minute hearing.

That’s a few thousand dollars you can’t get back. At least they were in town for the State of the Union speech!

It looked like only nine of the 18 senators on the committee even showed up or asked questions.

As for news reports about the hearing, Lee Newspapers reporter Mike Dennison tweeted “Baucus faces tough questions at confirm hearing, but sens say he’ll be next U.S. ambassador to China.”

“Tough questions” are what Supreme Court nominees and cabinet secretary nominees face, but not Baucus.

But I guess with Baucus, even “How you doin” can be a tough question.

Politico reported, “Several tough questions and suggestions from Republicans interrupted a mostly placid confirmation hearing for Sen. Max Baucus to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported, “Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) did not inspire a lot of confidence in his nomination to be U.S. Ambassador to China at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing.”

Continue reading