Monday’s Quick Hits: Man on River, Tester, and Oscar

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them. – Benjamin Franklin

Today’s quick hits deal with these issues:

  • Man on River
  • Tester: Dressed for…
  • 90th Academy Awards
  • A Final Thought

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to another edition of “Caught My Eye!”

Disclaimer: Do not read while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.

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 Walsh/Daines, closed primaries, VA claims backlog, the NBA draft, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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Thursday Numbers

When I checked my weather app this morning, it said it was minus 32 here at the world headquarters of The Western Word in Great Falls, Montana. That was not counting wind chill.

We made it to February – now if we can just make it to spring and get through this cold weather! By the way, Major League Baseball’s spring training starts soon!

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 a little sarcasm).

This week I write about ObamaCare, the winter Olympics, unemployment, Seattle Seahawks, CVS, Jason Priest & Montana DOJ, Steve Daines’ job interview, The Biggest Loser, the Montana National Guard, graduation rate, Tom Brokaw, the farm bill, Denver Broncos, barefoot driver, Montana At- Large, and much more!

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MT Senate 2014: Drip, Drip, Drip

The last month has not been too good for Lt. Governor John Walsh (D), who is running for U.S. Senate. I’d bet that Walsh and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie probably wish the drip, drip, drip, of negative information about them would stop.

Last month reporters “discovered” that Walsh improperly solicited other Guard leaders to join a non-governmental group. This information (a 2010 U.S. Army report) miraculously appeared and the press ran with it. Politics is a contact sport. The Walsh folks circled the wagons and did a pretty decent job handling it.

I wrote about it in the column titled, MT Senate 2014: Coercion? I basically made fun of the report. I like Walsh, and I really would like to see more veterans serving in Washington.

Now there’s more!

In the last few days there were reports that the “adverse 2010 Army report on U.S. Senate candidate John Walsh’s actions while head of the Montana National Guard blocked his promotion to the rank of general.”

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The Good ol’ Boys Network

Back when I served in the military (on active duty) if you had a fellow enlisted person or officer that you could not stand, you could always count on them being gone before long to another assignment somewhere else in the world. Active duty military personnel (especially officers) moved around a lot and that helped keep the favoritism and cronyism to the minimum. The institutional knowledge mostly came from the civilians who worked at the military installation.

The National Guard does not have that much turnover. The same people may stick around in a National Guard unit for decades or longer. You might see fathers and sons and mothers and daughters all serving.

It’s the good ol’ boys network at its finest.

Back in the day, active duty military folks used to make fun of the “weekend warriors” from the National Guard. A couple wars changed the views that many people had of the National Guard. They were actually fighting in a war and leaving family and friends behind like active duty folks. They were not just being called up for fires and floods, but to actually fight.

As you probably realize, the good ol’ boys network does not always work out well for those who work in it and fall from grace. That seems to be what happened in Montana.

I caught the story from the Associated Press (AP) about a Montana National Guard General who was reportedly “fired last year after he rehired a woman who was suing the state over her dismissal from the troubled agency.” That troubled agency is the Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) which in Montana falls under the Department of Military Affairs – a state agency.   Continue reading