Our friends to the north
Trump has accomplished one thing: bringing Canadians together. Even anti-Justin Trudeau Canucks are rallying behind the prime minister in the wake of Trump’s G6+1 petulant rants. Canada is Montana’s largest trading partner. Big Sky Country is also a favorite destination for Canadians, bringing much appreciated tourist dollars to our state. What should Montanans and the rest of the country say to our northern neighbors about our president and his administration? How about, “sorry?” (Be sure to read retired Montana Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson’s take on Trump’s bellicose relationship with Canada in the post preceding this one.)
Man-child Trump, effective Tester, poacher Daines
In a another petty act, Trump snubs Sen. Jon Tester. Although Tester helped co-write the VA Mission Act with Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson, Tester wasn’t invited to the White House for the bill’s signing. From Politico:
Trump went on a Twitter rampage against Tester in April, saying he should “have a big price to pay” for releasing employee statements that led Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson to withdraw his nomination to be VA secretary. Jackson was accused of inappropriately prescribing drugs, drinking on duty and creating a hostile work environment while serving as White House doctor.
But Sen. Steve Daines was at the White House. Even though he had little to do with the bill itself, he did sign on as a co-sponsor. And he was more than happy to use the opportunity to promote himself on YouTube.
Get ready to die
If you have a pre-existing condition, you could lose your health care or pay a whole lot more for it. Trump’s Justice Department took the unusual step of not defending existing law, this time in the form of the Affordable Care Act. A lawsuit filed by Texas wants to scrap the ACA as being unconstitutional. From NPR:
If that argument prevails in the courts, it would render unconstitutional Obamacare provisions that ban insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions — arguably the most popular component of the 2010 health care law.
Seventy percent of Americans support the ACA’s mandate that insurance companies accept clients with pre-existing conditions at affordable rates. If folks are paying attention, this retroactive, reprehensible move to deny coverage could backfire on Republicans in November.
Bitterrooters select a con man
One primary race I had my eyes on was SD 43, which includes Hamilton and southern Ravalli County. Incumbent and somewhat moderate Republican candidate Pat Connell came in second in a three-way race. The winner was far-right magazine subscription scam artist Jason W. Ellsworth. I wrote about the race earlier here. Way to go Bitterrooters! SD 43 voters will have a chance to rectify the situation in the general election by voting for independent candidate and organic farmer Laura Garber.
Some good news
I had hoped to post additional keen political insight on the primary election results but since I’m the slowest writer in the blogosphere, others beat me to the punch with better, more concise analysis. One thing they missed, though: I’m betting we won’t have Troy Downing to kick around anymore. He spent over $1 million of his own money on the Republican Senate primary race and basically tied Al Olszewski for last place. Downing outraised Olszewski by a factor of five. Also, it would appear that Downing’s campaign chairwoman, Lolita Zinke, doesn’t have a lot of clout in Montana electoral politics.