Bruce Lohof

Recent Posts

Opinion: A Tale of two statues

Statue

In Vienna, my adopted city, there is a Soviet War Memorial. It occupies 3,000 square feet in central Vienna.  It features a white marble colonnade and a 650-foot column capped by a 40-foot figure of a Red Army soldier. He is wearing a golden helmet and bears a Soviet flag and a golden Soviet coat of arms.  A plaque at the base of the column reads:  “Monument to honor the soldiers of the Soviet Army who fell while freeing Austria from Fascism.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Tax reform? How about giving Plan B a try?

Bruce Lohof

I wonder if, earlier this month, Montana’s congressional delegation was listening when Steve Bannon, disrupter-in-chief in the Trump White House, suggested raising taxes on the wealthy to defray the costs of substantial middle- and working-class tax cuts. Bannon’s balloon was quickly pricked by others in the White House: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he’d “never heard Steve mention that,” adding that, in any case, a higher top tax rate isn’t on the table. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: The unspoken crux of the health-care debate

Bruce Lohof

Seven years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and more than six months after the election of a repeal-and-replace majority in Washington, the health care quarrel remains unresolved. And now it’s leaking into Montana’s special congressional election. Here’s why. Most Montanans believe in universal health care; many of them don’t want to admit it, though, and most don’t realize that they’re already paying for it. (more…) Continue Reading →

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The irony of the Real ID

BL

Like the footfalls of a villain in a thriller movie, Montana’s Real ID imbroglio comes ever closer … and ever more ominous. Another footfall, closer and more ominous than the earlier ones, was heard on Jan. 5 when Washington declared that “Montana is not in compliance with the Real ID Act and Federal agencies will not accept driver’s licenses” issued by Helena. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: ‘Entitlement’ critics, please meet Jane Doe

Politicians, pundits and other smart alecks make me peevish whenever they bloviate about “entitlements.”

And more annoyance is just around the corner as campaign noise gives way to policy debate. How the entitlements arguments proceed is an open question. Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives and anti-entitlements smart-aleck-in-chief, favors reductions; President-elect Trump has been coy. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Salvaged ‘justice’ act will have bad consequences

Lohof

On Wednesday, the U.S. Congress overrode President Obama’s veto of the so-called “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” (JASTA). The act permits 9/11 families to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for any role that it might have played in the tragedy. Sadly, Montana Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Rep. Ryan Zinke supported the override. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Cafe’s reopening sparks memories of 10th Ave. Grocery

10th

Joanie Swords has reopened Harper & Madison. That’s a good thing. What “Yellowstone Valley Woman” (one of my favorite local publications) has called a “quaint eatery … for people of all walks looking for baked goods made in-house, coffee, lunch and camaraderie” had been closed for remodeling since Christmas Eve. Look for Harper & Madison on 10th Avenue North—sunny side of the street—between North 31st and North 32nd streets. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: The trouble with Trump’s ‘visa-tracking system’

Lohoff

In Phoenix earlier this week—as on his official website—Donald Trump promised “enhanced penalties for overstaying a visa. Millions of people come to the United States on temporary visas,” he claims, “but refuse to leave.” Trump’s solution? “Completion of a visa tracking system.”

Each year, 45 million nonimmigrant visitors come to these shores. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 1.17 percent of them overstay their visas. So, for starters, Trump’s “enhanced penalties” are a solution is search of a problem. Continue Reading →

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