Donald Trump

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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. (more…) 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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Prairie Lights: We shouldn’t forget what Trump doesn’t know

Ed

The funniest, truest thing I’ve read about what’s going on in the United States these days was written by David Brooks in a recent New York Times column: “Those who ignore history are condemned to retweet it.”

He was referring, of course, to President Donald Trump, whose knowledge of history, even of American history, would be an embarrassment in a junior high classroom, and who can say everything he knows on most subjects in no more than 140 characters. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Trump sparks women’s interest in politics

The election of President Trump has sparked an outpouring of interest by women in running for political office, a sociology professor said here this week. Speaking in the final lecture in the Frontiers of Democracy series at Montana State University Billings, Joy Honea said that enrollment in the “Getting Ready to Run” training offered by Emily’s List has increased 300 percent since the election. Emily’s List, which encourages pro-choice Democratic women to run for office, has had 10,000 calls since the election from women interested in running for office. An estimated 86 percent of members of Daily Action are women. The group, founded in December, logs some 10,000 calls a day to members of Congress seeking progressive change. Continue Reading →

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‘Lyin’ King’ featured at ‘SNL Helena’

With a tempting target in the White House and budget cuts looming, the “Saturday Night Live Helena” show took on added urgency this year. Helena thespians, singers and dancers put the show on every two years when the Montana Legislature is in session. The aim is to battle the perceived failings of state and national politics with one of the oldest of weapons: satire. This year’s show was reeled off in a snappy two hours, and if not every joke worked, no problem; another followed within seconds. Periodic news updates (Grizzly bears are reported fleeing public schools since the confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos) and parodied beer commercials for Goose Kill and Berkeley Pit IPA help held the disparate parts together. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: A house without walls

JE

Donald Trump’s presidential transition efforts, heavy on creating vacancies, light on filling them, reminds me of a friend of mine who likes to remodel houses. Well, remodel is the wrong word. He likes to tear houses apart. Room by room by room. Within the first month the kitchen would be gutted except for the appliances. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Op-ed defense of Daines aims low, falls flat

Sumner

I know my colleague David Crisp has already written about Sen. Steve Daines’ role in silencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the floor of the Senate, but David’s piece was published on Wednesday. That same day, state Rep. Jeff Essmann of Billings, chairman of the Montana Republican Party, also wrote about the Daines-Warren incident in an op-ed for the Billings Gazette. Essmann’s piece was so crowded with misstatements and misleading information that it demands a response. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Satire, though often misunderstood, will be missed

A bit over a year ago, I wrote a satirical piece for Last Best News about Donald Trump’s idea of building a wall along our border with Mexico. I suggested that what we really needed was a wall between us and Canada. At the time, Ed Kemmick and I had a conversation about whether readers might actually take this as a serious proposal. Satire isn’t always understood by everyone, as I knew from experience. Over 40 years ago, the first piece of satire I ever had published was in a Catholic family magazine. Continue Reading →

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