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Jim

Montana Viewpoint: The heroes of our state

The most memorable speech I ever heard was also the shortest.

It was given in 1989 by former Gov. Ted Schwinden, and the occasion was the 100th anniversary of Montana’s statehood. I was lucky enough or canny enough to be standing behind the speakers on the Capitol steps, and I had come to listen, not to Schwinden, but to former U.S. Sen. Mike Mansfield, who was one of my political heroes.

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Painter blends animals, surrealism, medieval imagery

Red Birds

When Jennifer French was in first grade, she drew a horse. And after looking at the similar drawings of the other kids, she realized her horse looked a lot more like a horse. From that moment forward, Jennifer knew exactly what she wanted to do. When people asked her as a child, she told them straight up, “I want to be an artist and a part-time waitress.”

So even then, French had a notion that being an artist might represent a conflict between the creative and the practical. French’s father worked for Conoco, and because of his job, they moved every three years or so. Continue Reading →

Sailing on the good, but sinking, ship ‘Healthcare’

DC

Nothing summarizes the emptiness of Montana’s special election for the U.S. House better than the candidates’ stances on what may be the second-most important issue to come before Congress in the next two years: healthcare.

Those 30-second TV ads leave little time to flesh out plans for reforming healthcare. But the candidates’ websites, with virtually unlimited and cheap space, aren’t much better. Continue Reading →