Greg Gianforte Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Quick Takes: Gianforte and Zinke Just Lack the Judgment Montana Needs

I absolutely loved the Bozeman Daily Chronicle endorsement for the US Congress race, and not simply because they chose the candidate I know will be best for Montana. What the Chronicle so accurately captured is not just that Denise Juneau has the experience and temperament to represent the state, but that Ryan Zinke’s deficiencies in judgment make it clear we should not send him back to Washington.

We are also concerned by his continued endorsement of Donald Trump, despite Trump’s jabs at our military and his recorded boasting about sexually assaulting women. Rep. Zinke says he can’t bring himself to vote for Hillary Clinton. That’s fine, but his full-throated endorsement a man who says John McCain is not a hero, who criticizes a Gold Star family and who questions the effects of post-traumatic stress in our soldiers makes little sense for a man with Zinke’s considerable military background.

And Zinke has welcomed suggestions that he be considered for the office of speaker of the House and the vice presidential nominee for Trump. Frankly, we don’t see how that ambition better serves Montanans.

I also think a couple of hard-hitting ads from Good Jobs Montana deserve your attention. While the GOP is desperately trying to spin Mr. Gianforte’s past practices of outsourcing and support for a sales tax, these ads make it clear he can’t shake his own record and words.


If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • I couldn’t understand how the Chonic could not endorse a Pubbie until I read who was on their ed board. Seems that Nick Ehli has left the Gazoo where he wrote many fine and insightful editorials, and he’s now managing editor of the Chronic. Bozeman got lucky. Billings lost out. Nick is a really good guy and a great journalist.

    That was a fine endorsement the likes of which we haven’t seen in this state for a long time, for it has been standard practice for our corporate state dailies to endorse every Pubbie in office, even one as awful as Slinky. It’s what the Chamber Pot of Commerce wanted. Can’t offend the Chamber Pot, especially if you’re a newspaper!

    Oh sure, the dailies did a couple of gag endorsements like that famous one the Gazoo did for Sen. Corndog Buns. But that didn’t go over too well with the powers that be. Hopefully, Nick can bring some sanity to the insanity of the Tealiban down there. We’ll see. That’s a pretty tall order!

  • Hi. I’m Mrs. Lola Slinky the Barking Seal, and I approve this message. Trump will keep us safe. He will grab ISIS right where it hurts!

      • I’m Mrs. Lola Slinky and I do NOT approve this message! Grabbing a woman’s know what is just you know what. LOCKER talk! No big deal for a seal! Won’t make me squeal. Kinda how I feel. Let’s get reel. Don slipped on banana peel. But now, he’s steel! The man of steel. Build a wall he will. Beaners he’ll repeal. To all the fascists he’ll appeal. The whole thing seems surreal. But Trump our country will heal!

        • Hi. I’m Lola Slinky, and I do NOT approve this message either! Commie bastard! My hubby and I LUV us some Drumpf! For he tells it like it is…………GRABSOMEPUSSY!

          And we don’t see nuthin’ wrong with that. It’s human nature at its finest. And thank you, Drumpf, for FINALLY allowing us to say pussy in polite company! Pussy. Pussy. PUSSY! FREE THE PUSSY WORD! Yes, the Donald finally liberated the pussy! He’s the new George Carlin! The KKK Karlin!

  • Like I said, Denise Juneau with her experience will be about as functional in the Senate as a pogo stick in quicksand. I won’t go on about corrupt Bullock. Hope you have many loving Syrians, especially when their food stamps run out, in your neighborhood. Have fun at the malls.

  • Pogo stick in quicksand?
    That would be “Bill”,
    Deep in his cut and paste misogyny, deep to
    his eyeballs unable to see any of the realities of Coalstrip 3 & 4.
    Unable to see that Dennise Junneau is running to serve to Represent all of Montana in the House of the People. The House of Representatives.

  • The Gov of Texas is presenting a bill that will allow Governors to have the right to reject refugees, including Syrians and any high risk nation. What will Block and Co. do?

    • Texas already got laughed out of Federal Court on this. Immigration is solely a Federal matter. It’s in the Constitution you think you know so well.

      • Not if H.R.4032 – States’ Right of Refugee Refusal Act of 2015 passes. Plus, this may be a good deal in case some crazy ass president wants to flood your state with refugees and Governor deems the state can not afford the impact on their care health system, schools, welfare, food stamps, etc. But we know that would never happen.

  • Seniors Brace For Smallest Social Security Increase on Record.

    Who are you going to vote for?

    Where is the money going?

    Is it going to entitlement programs to buy votes?

    Do you need to worry because you are not getting social security? Yes, because you are one dollar or more behind and probably never will catch up! Also, Montana is one of only 13 states that tax social security. We are Number 8, yes, we made the Top 10 of the higher taxing for social security. I bet that really entices retirees to move here or even stay here.

    Let’s start with the good news. For the more than 60 million people who receive Social Security benefits, they will get a cost-of-living increase in 2017. This is positive considering there was no increase in 2016. Here is the bad news. The increase is expected to be around 0.3 percent, the smallest increase on record.

    Breaking Even
    “For the average Social Security beneficiary, that equates to basically $2 to $6 a month, so it’s very small,” says Max Gulker, a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. He expects the cost-of-living increase for 2017 to come in between 0.2 percent to 0.5 percent when the government releases its number on Tuesday.

    While Social Security benefits increase, Medicare Part B premiums will rise too. Medicare Part B covers doctor visits, lab tests and outpatient medical treatments. About 70 percent of people enrolled in Medicare are protected by the hold-harmless provision which prevents Medicare Part B premiums from rising more than the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits. For the majority of seniors, this means the hike in premiums will not be more than the cost-of-living increase but it could eat up any increase in benefits. In other words, most Social Security recipients will probably see the increase in their payment go towards Medicare costs so they are not likely to see a big change in their monthly checks.

    Medicare Part B premiums have been climbing as healthcare costs soar. Back in 1970, the monthly Part B premium was $5.30. This year, the standard monthly premium is $121.80. Meantime, average benefit costs per Part B beneficiary have shot up from about $8 per month in 1970 to more than $460 per month in 2016 according to the Congressional Research Service.

    The majority of people enrolled in Medicare are protected by the hold-harmless provision but some are not. One group that does not qualify for the provision are those seniors with higher-incomes, making more than $85,000 per person or $170,000 per couple. More than three million of these higher-income beneficiaries could face a big hike in Medicare premium costs next year.

    Big Hike in Premiums
    “For the three-quarters of people who are under hold-harmless, there is going to be very little increase possible in their Part B premiums so that often spells bad news for the folks who are not under hold-harmless because whatever sort of cost increase in the system has to be made up from that smaller group,” Gulker says.

  • Jesus. I am about ready to just flocking give up! As the Drumpf signs appear everywhere around my beloved Great Falls, I get even more depressed daily, for that indicates a YUUUGE number of inbreds from outta state moving to Montana to make it their great white homeland. Oro ya plata y deplorables! MUCHOS! Yeah. That’s it. Our new motto. Una Cesta de Deporables!

    And then, though I knew I shouldn’t, I decided tonight to take one last look at the Spitoon before moving on to a book or comedy for the evening.

    Then, I saw this sh*t. Come ON, dickard ecke! Is THIS really something that should be printed in our Spitoon? WTF?

    And then we wonder why Drumpf and fascism is ruling the day. It’s because little worms like Ecke at the Spitoon aid and abet it! That weasely little worthless wormfilled sputum sack!

    Yes, because Jesus LOVED Him some fascist ahooles!

    I give up. Good night and good luck!

    • Best tweet of the night pretty much sums up Slinky the Barking Seal too! Slinky and the Donald, two pees in the trees!

      Antonio French
      Trump’s foreign policy answers sound like a book report from a teenager who hasn’t read the book. “Oh, the grapes! They had so much wrath!”
      8:23 PM – 19 Oct 2016 · St Louis, MO, United States

      That’s our boy Slinky!

  • Here is a one female friend of mine in another state not voting the Dem Ticket.

    While on the subject of whats WRONG in America I’d like all my friends to know my health insurance coverage was cancelled again for the fourth time within the four years Obamacare has been the law/TAX of the land. OBAMA has his own insurance while mine cancels me every year and raise the rates while lowering the coverage each time. NO agents in the Quad Cities has been willing to sell me an individual policy this year because these policies are cancelled regularly and not worth the effort. My only hope to avoid finical risk and being taxed for non coverage is to navigate the official website and pray they don’t lose my application. We no longer have the luxury of a personal insurance agent who can insure and reassure me I am properly covered. SO, Obama and the Democrats in Washington won that war. They successfully forced us into a one payer system while they themselves have their own special coverage that will never cancel them. How nice for the political elite! Washington needs an enema and we need to get rid of Obamacare and the Special Coverage given to politicians. This socialistic form of government is not what our founding fathers envisioned for us and it’s not acceptable to me. AND…I was a poll watcher in the last two elections and saw the corrupt tricks and illegal actions of some of the Democrats running the polling places. One attorney involved laughed sat me when I complained saying “by the time they figure it out the election will be over. LOL” Obama knows our system is corrupt because he is part of it! For Obama to malign Trump for saying it is corrupt is a joke. That is the Dem way, to say it often enough to make people believe it is true. If this isn’t enough to put the fear of God in you consider this. If Hillary wins she will tax inheritance 60%. My son xxx xxxxx said “someone has to pay for it” meaning insurance for everyone. I told him HE would pay for it in the end..and Hillary’s tax policies prove I was right. If he inherits $1 million from he will pay Hillary and the Democrats $600K first. That is double taxation because I pay taxes on it too. Today that may not matter but when he is 60 it might. A vote for anyone but Trump will insure Hillary is elected. A jerk is better than a crook any day.

    • Bill, I never thought you’d be a whiner, dude. I wanna let you in on a leetle secret. My ancestors, ALL coal miners, NEVER had any sort of health insurance! And they all lived well past ninety!

      Bill, you’re a whiner. “Life is an experiment of one”, said my friend George Sheehan. Either you’re tough enough to survive, or you die. It’s that simple. Take charge of your life by taking charge of your health! For you see, billy, if you can’t do it yourself, you really don’t deserve to be here!

      If you’re a fat, overweight Walmart shoppin’ slob, there really ain’t enough health care that we can provide you! I suggest you go into the woods for awhile and live on nuts and berries. THEN, maybe you’ll figure out how to survive!

        • Come on, Bill. Don’t be a wimp. Grab a nut and suck it up!, as my old football coach used to say. Look, do like everybody else does. Tough it out ’til 65 and get on Medicaire, that hated socialist commie program that works so damn well! That’s what I did. Got no worries now! Anything else is just whining. You Trump dudes are supposed to be made of sterner stuff! Now you’re beginning to sound just like them welfare queens!

          Hey, there you go! You DO have options! Go out and find you a welfare queen with about ten kids and MARRY her! That’s the American way, right?

          We’re all in the same boat, billy boy. But SOME us just double down and learn how to survive on our own initiative! That’s the working man’s way!

          Life ain’t fair, dude. Deal with it! For whining is really unbecoming! Now you sound like Drumpf!

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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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