Jon Tester

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Opinion: Answers needed on Tester’s prescription-drug vote

Bill

A public servant’s worth is directly proportional to his willingness to seek advice from his constituents. On this score, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester earns high marks for his visit to Billings on a frigid Saturday morning to learn about how repeal of the Affordable Care Act would affect Montanans. Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Ryan Zinke could take a lesson from Tester.  (more…) Continue Reading →

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Tester seeks input on Obamacare

Jon Tester

Has the Affordable Care Act made your life better? If so, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., wants to know. Tester has set up a website to gather input from Montanans about what the ACA, better known as Obamacare, has done for them. The goal is to thwart plans by Republicans to repeal the law once Donald Trump takes office as president. “I know our healthcare system isn’t perfect,” Tester said in a news release. Continue Reading →

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A duty well done: Book tells story of Yellowstone National Cemetery

Sentinels: Yellowstone National Cemetery, by Ed Saunders, self-published, 2016. 128 pages, $17.95. It is difficult not to be impressed with the enthusiasm Ed Saunders shows for his subject, the creation of the Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: ‘Entitlement’ critics, please meet Jane Doe

Consider the case of 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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TPM: Zinke serving in ‘Snow Job Caucus’

Ryan Zinke

U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., has been placed in the “Snow Job Caucus” by Talking Points Memo. The caucus, according to TPM, consists of members of Congress who have used “Word Salad to Avoid Giving a Position” on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with some sort of private insurance and voucher system. Zinke “told a TPM reader that there was no plan to phase out Medicare, therefore he does not support a plan to phase out Medicare,” the liberal web site reported. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., was placed on the “We’ll Get Back to You:” list of those “whose offices were caught unaware, or claimed they would pass on constituents’ concerns.”

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., was listed as opposing the Medicare changes. TPM disputed Zinke’s claim that there is no plan to replace Medicare: “What Zinke’s office says isn’t true. 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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For Crow Nation, many other tribes, clean water is scarce

Strife

Editor’s Note: This story is part of “Sacred Water,” an ongoing investigation by Environmental Health News into Native American struggles—and successes—to protect culturally significant water sources on and off the reservation. CROW RESERVATION—Cutting south through the western border of the Crow Nation’s vast reservation, the history is as dense as the land is sparse. There are no billboards, stoplights, gas stations or cell service. “But there’s a lot out there,” says Emery Three Irons, a Crow tribal member, driving through an early-spring snow. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Obamacare update: the good, bad and ugly

steve daines

I got a “Dear David” email from U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., on Friday that began, “I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news … .”

Actually, it sounded like he was delighted to be the bearer of bad news. Proposed healthcare premiums under Obamacare are soaring next year, the email said, proving once again that “Obamacare is failing Montanans,” and allowing him to echo what has been a Republican mantra ever since the bill passed. Unfortunately, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., wasn’t much more helpful. In a statement on Friday, he said, “It is outrageous that a major corporation is trying to raise insurance rates on Montanans as they hand out lavish bonuses to their executives.”

Neither senator wastes the precious time of his constituents by delving into the actual facts. A quick check of the website of the state insurance commissioner, Monica Lindeen, bore out the bad news. Continue Reading →

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Obfuscation, ignorance help keep voters in dark

Crisp

Few stories I have written have been so dispiriting as my June 9 article on cable TV ads criticizing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It wasn’t that I was unable to come up with the source of the ads, which were placed by a shadowy group called Protect America’s Consumers. Reporters who have tried harder than I did to find out just who this group is also failed. What bugged me was that there seems to be no way to determine the source. In today’s political world, anything goes. Continue Reading →

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