Our Most Popular Posts of 2016


Despite a bit of a hiatus following the November debacle that will go down as the worst presidential election in American history, 2016 proved to be, by far, the year with the most readers in the 11-year history of our little blog. Despite taking most of November and December off, we published 308 pieces this year and saw our page views increase from 255,000 last year to what is likely to be 325, 000 this year.

We’re small fish, certainly, but appreciative of readers who have kept coming back to our site over the years.

Our top five posts this year were about the two biggest races in Montana, and all offer some degree of useful information as Montana’s Congressman Ryan Zinke faces Senate confirmation as the Secretary of the Interior and as Greg Gianforte is no doubt mulling over another attempt to buy an election.

Thanks for reading, and I suspect you’ll see some new content soon. After all, the circus is coming to town!

5. Why Doesn’t Greg Gianforte’s Petra Academy Welcome Students with Disabilities?

January 27:It’s hard to understand how a school that prides itself as being built on Christian values explicitly informs potential applicants that they may be denied admittance for having a disability, but it’s unconscionable to argue that the state and its taxpayers should actually pay for schools that have discriminatory policies written into their admissions policies.

4. The Great White Gianforte Says Indians Just Need More Respect for Free Markets

August 18: Now, Greg Gianforte didn’t have the courage to tell any actual Native people his real feelings about them and reservation life. While he talks about property rights, he refuses to take a stand on the CSKT Treaty, which restores property rights and boosts economic viability for western tribes. When Gianforte talks to Montana Indian leaders directly, he assures them that, as governor, he will boost prosperity on reservations, but the measure of a bigot is what he says when his target isn’t in the room.

3. It’s Not the Crime. It’s the Cover-Up: The Curious Case of the Snowfrog Inn

October 11: You’ll remember that exactly a week ago I published a post suggesting that Congressman Zinke no longer lives in Whitefish, and that he has moved with his family to Santa Barbara. There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that suggests my claim is true, from campaign fundraisers to the apparent absence of a home for the Zinkes in Whitefish, who own no property in their own names here in Montana.

2. The Discrimination at Greg Gianforte’s Petra Academy Is Worse Than We Thought

September 14: While groups Mr. Gianforte has funded are running around the state denigrating the work of public school teachers and laying the groundwork for privatization of Montana’s excellent schools, it certainly seems worth asking why the school he had led from its beginning has embraced a discriminatory admissions and education policy. It’s even more critical for the press to ask Mr. Gianforte to explain if he believes that all schools should be required to follow the law, and just what kind of legislation he’d sign as governor.

1. Does Congressman Zinke Even Live in Montana or is He California Dreamin’?

October 4: Independent media, Republican fundraisers, and the words of his own wife, combined with the absence of a place to live here in Montana at least raise serious questions about just where Congressman Zinke lives and, more importantly, just who he represents.

Congressman Zinke, who collected 71% of his campaign donations from outside of Montana during the 2014 election, and who has, so far collected 89% of them from outside the state during the 2016 campaign, is certainly beholden to out-of-state interests. Now the real question is whether or not he is just another of those out-of-state special interests himself.

Finally, in a category all by itself is a post from 2014 that has been the most-read piece at the site each of the past three years:

His Former Commander Exposes Ryan Zinke’s Navy SEAL Career and Defective “Moral Make-up”

May 30, 2014: No one here has questioned the value of Senator Zinke’s service to his nation in the military, but his tendency to inflate his own role and promote himself at the expense of the truth and even basic decency, has been the defining element of his political career.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • Whoa! Slinky the Barking Seal will be in good company come coronation day! Rocker Turd Nugget is tired, TIRED I tell ya, of being called what he is! A sick draft dodgin’ pedo PERVERT! Just the kinda guys ol’ Slinky the Barking Seal loves to hang with! I mean, what says Murcan values more than a guy who loves to point out that he avoided the draft by SH*TTING in his pants for a month before he showed up for his draft physical?! And a guy who claims that the parents of the under age girls he boinked had given their approval?! Yippers! He’s TRUMPIAN! Hey, Turd Nugget, come pork my under age daughter. I give her to you!!!

    Nope. It’s gonna be grand! Never was a more robust gang of perverts and criminals, and slime balls gathered in D.C. to usher in the fascist Lord Cheeto! And slinky is right in there! No wonder the Mormons don’t want to show. For they have a few working brain cells left. Can’t say that much for Slinky though. That dude would sh*t HIS pants for TWO months in order to get another gummint job so he doesn’t actually have to work for a living. HEY, he made it this far. Now, he’s poised to go even further!


    My challenge once again. Can ANYONE out there tell me when Zinkenshizer ever had a real job in his life? What? When? Where??? He luvs him some gummint money!

  • I think you’re being a little hard on Zinke Larry – being on a SEAL team he earned whatever he was paid.

    You did a stretch in the Air Force, right? I seem to remember about a decade ago somebody who knew you posted up that you spent your entire time in Vietnam kicked back in the shade, or having a cold beer in Saigon, so do you consider yourself overpaid for your service ? Just a question.

    • Really? You know what I did in Nam, Eric? Do tell. We really, really want to hear it! Too funny. Come on, Eric. Silly argument. Attack the messenger. But for the record, yes, I was in the military. I KNOW that it beats the crap outta working for a living. And lifers like Slinky sucked off Unca Sugar as long at they could. And now, he’s trying again.

      So, Eric, please accept my challenge. When, where, what real job has Slinky ever had? If you too had been in the military, you’d know what I’m talking about. Slinky got a football scholarship. Then off to the navy. Then ran for office. And now, SUCKED his way into another gummint job.

      Now, if you know something that I don’t, where, what, and when was Zinkenshizer’s real job?

      Add traitor to his other attributes. Everyone working for Drumpf is a traitor, pure and simple. Trump is simply a mentally ill traitor.


      • Jeebus. Even the Pubbies know traitors when they see them. And kinda makes ya wonder which side ol’ Zinkenshizer is really on?????

    • Eric, every time I post about guns, you like to say that I don’t have a leg to stand on because I don’t use them myself. Please enlighten us about your military experience so we can vet your judgment on this matter. How many combat missions were you on exactly?

      • Well Don – First, I was remembering a thread in David Crisps blog a long, long time ago, where Larry’s service was discussed. So if he wants to attack a decorated Navy Seal as unworthy I think it’s fair to bring it up. Myself, I enlisted in the Air Force in 1979 – and got tossed on a medical issue that was really bogus, because it never gave me any trouble.

        BTW – I have no idea what jobs Ryan Zinke has worked at – I’ve never met the man, but it seems to be agreed on the being a Navy Seal is the toughest trained and riskiest jobs in the Military, so I won’t discount it.

        If I have time I will have to look through some of the old Billings Blog threads Larry if you wish !

        • Here’s the link:


          This was 11 years ago, before Larry got banned over there. Doesn’t anything ever change -LOL

          “Hey Kralj why don’t you tell us all about how brave you were in Vietnam, where the closest danger you ever came across was walking down Tu Do street in Saigon. Where did you spend your time there anyway? The Rex? The Caravelle? The Continental Palace? The roof of the Majestic? Come on hero, tell us all about it! ”

          Normally I wouldn’t ask Larry to defend himself, but if he wants to attack Navy Seals I think it’s appropriate.

          • To the best of my recollection, Kralj was never banned from my blog. I like him and wish him well, but I do not like his commenting style and let him know that on multiple occasions. But I don’t think I ever banned him

  • Slinky’s mentor, Lord Doofus!


    Problem is, Eric, if you work for a fascist, you ARE a fascist! And regardless of what Flush Blimpaugh says, fascism is NOT freedom! I mean, my god, if the singers in the Mormon choir have more courage and intellect than Zlinke, that should tell you sumthin’! Slinky needs a gummint job, ANY gummint job so he doesn’t have to work for a living! Why do you think he teamed up with his lil’ bald headed buddy?

  • Jesus. Who would actually call this guy the best candidate for prez, and THEN, actually work for the guy? Easy answer. ONLY our lil’ Zinkenshizer! We’re flocked! At least for four years or until the Repubbies come to their senses and impeach this insane flocker. I think that they should wipe the slate clean and kick out the Zinkenshizer too!


    But what the heck. I can’t wait for the state dailies like the GF Spitoon to normalize crazy azzed fascist behavior. For fascism is the new norma. And remember, fascism will set your free! Right Zshizer?? It’s what all navy seals believe I guess!

  • Pete, a relative of yours perhaps? I think that this is probably the most important book out there that explains just how we got to this point. Fascism has always been part of our history since early on. I plan to get this book and read it. I think that if we progressives are going to successfully fight fascism, we need to fully understand what we’re up against. It’s historical roots are still influencing policy today.


    Our democracy was stolen from us, and the reasons of how and why that happened are now becoming undeniable. Now, how do we get it back? If we even can!

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