Donald Trump

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Prairie Lights: Empty charges erode trust in elections

Corey

After six months on the job, it’s about time Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton started doing his job. Among the duties of the secretary of state, surely one of the most important is to ensure that Montana elections are conducted fairly and that votes are counted accurately. A good secretary of state would do everything in his power to accomplish those goals. (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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Prairie Lights: New life drives away post-election blues

Ed

Allow me to be the last person in Montana to publicly state his views on the recent special election. I’m so tardy because I was in Sacramento, Calif., on business, business of such importance that I couldn’t bring myself to jump on Facebook first thing Friday morning to lament the election of the Bible-thumping pugilist from New Jersey. (more…) Continue Reading →

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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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