Last Best Blog

This is the weblog page of Last Best News. Here you will find some news, perhaps, but also lots of commentary, opinion and satire. Just so you know.

Recent Posts

Bozeman to host far-right ‘Red Pill Expo’

GE

We received a press release yesterday from the Montana Human Rights Network about a truly epic gathering scheduled for this weekend in Bozeman. I have been traveling way too much lately so I can’t be in Bozeman this weekend, but let’s hope the Bozeman Chronicle does as much thorough coverage as its reporters can stand. Meanwhile, it seems pointless to try condensing the network’s lengthy, well-researched press release, so we’ll just give it in full: (more…) Continue Reading →

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Missoula Current overhauls website, marks success

We are happy to report that our partners in Western Montana, the people behind Missoula Current, are announcing all kinds of good news. In a column by founding editor Martin Kidston, we learn that Missoula Current has launched “a new and enhanced webpage offering a greater variety of stories, images and video.” It was already a good website, but now it’s even better, and easier to navigate. And like the website you’re reading at the moment, it is free of the clutter and maddening distractions one has to endure to read news stories just about anywhere else. Kidston also had this to say: “Last month—in what marked a new Missoula Current milestone—more than 60,000 unique readers logged on for a combined 104,000 pageviews. Continue Reading →

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Conservation Voters score Legislature

Montana Conservation Voters didn’t get much of what it wanted in the 2017 Legislature, but it managed to avoid the worst of what it did not want. MCV released its 2017 Montana Legislative Scorecard this week, detailing its positions on 12 bills, plus two resolutions, of concern to the state’s environmental interests. Seven of the bills made it through both houses of the Legislature but were vetoed by Gov. Steve Bullock. The resolutions, both backed by MCV, failed, and none of the five bills MCV supported or the seven it opposed became law. “Special thanks should go to Governor Steve Bullock who stopped the terrible legislation that would have limited access to Montana’s public lands, put more money in the pockets of big polluters, and rolled back our clean energy economy,” Clayton Elliott, MCV’s executive director, said in a news release. Continue Reading →

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List of Montana’s priciest houses includes Red Lodge property

House

A real estate industry website, PropertyShark.com, recently compiled a list of the 10 most expensive homes for sale in Montana. The list includes properties in all the places you’d expect, including Whitefish, Flathead Lake and Big Sky. Unusually enough, the list even includes a home in Eastern Montana—if you consider Red Lodge part of Eastern Montana. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Panel to discuss ‘Civility in America’

“Civility in America,” a panel discussion with two professors, a journalist and a minister, is the next entry in the Billings Public Library’s Civil Conversation Series. The topic comes on Election Day for the U.S. House seat vacated by Ryan Zinke that will be filled either by Republican Greg Gianforte, Democrat Rob Quist or Libertarian Mark Wicks. Gianforte and Quist have bombarded the airwaves with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ads, many of them conveying negative messages about the other candidate. (more…) Continue Reading →

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On the way out, a Lee publisher blasts the home office

Rush

In my Prairie Lights column this Sunday, I wrote about the same-day endorsements of U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte in three Montana daily newspapers, all of them owned by Lee Enterprises. I said that in my many years with Lee I had never seen any “overt attempts at corporate dictation, or even of political collusion among several Lee papers.” I hope it was clear that my reference to corporate dictation referred only to matters of political endorsements and such. In other matters—those that most closely affect readers—there was never-ending corporate control, and apparently it’s only getting worse. In a remarkable good-bye column published Friday, Chris Rush announced to readers of The World, a Lee-owned newspaper in Coos Bay, Ore., that he was stepping down as publisher. Continue Reading →

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VICE reports on Whitefish ‘troll storm’

Tanya Gersh

“VICE News Tonight” has produced an eight-minute segment on the mess up in Whitefish, where a local real estate agent became the target of “troll storm” by white nationalists. We reported last month how the South Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tanya Gersh, who was subjected to a “repulsive, threatening campaign of anti-Semitic harassment” directed by Andrew Anglin, proprietor of the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website. Its own story on the lawsuit was headlined, “The Daily Stormer is being sued by Jewish terrorists. In order to survive, we need shekels.” The VICE report, with you can watch on YouTube, doesn’t add much to the story, but it includes some good interviews with Gersh, who continues to be harassed, and whose phone is still full of vile, obscene attacks on her and her Jewish heritage. Continue Reading →

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Tester, Daines disagree on firing

Jon Tester

Montana’s U.S. senators disagreed Tuesday night on the firing of FBI Director James Comey. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said in a statement: “No one is above being held accountable, not even the President of the United States. The FBI has a long history of playing a critical role in investigating matters of national security. I am deeply concerned that this decision will result in an abandonment of the FBI’s ongoing efforts and it underscores the urgent need for an independent investigation.” Tester in February called for an independent investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Continue Reading →

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State’s dino attractions saw visitor surge in 2016

The Montana Department of Commerce is reporting that dinosaurs continue to be a big draw in Montana. According to a press release from the department’s Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, the Montana Dinosaur Trail reported hosting a combined total of 333,151 visitors in 2016, an increase of 15 percent compared to 2015. More than one third of the visitors were from out of state. “People have been fascinated with dinosaurs for generations,” said Trail Coordinator Victor Bjornberg. “Montana is fortunate to be one of few places where important dinosaur discoveries have been and are being made. Continue Reading →

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