A quick look at some of the most interesting and best writing about Montana and the region from the past week.
Matt Rosendale Shows He Would Make a Great Postman, Maybe Talks Health Care, and Gawks at GOP ‘Celebs’–Doing his best Newman from Seinfeld impression Matt Rosendale saved himself the 49 cents for a stamp and hand delivered a letter to Senator Tester today. I don’t know who paid for this trip whether it was Mr. Rosendale’s campaign committee or the Montana taxpayer but I do know for certain that the USPS is pretty darn reliable and for a fiscal conservative, this trip seemed like a bit of a waste of money. mtcowgirl.com
Firearms: An Increasingly Resilient Investment–Despite pledges of some gun enthusiasts that we must invest more in mental health services and counselling in exchange for resisting the temptation to impose additional restrictions and requirements to purchase and own a firearm, the fact the United States has done nothing to address mass shootings reflects an remarkable, unmistakable indifference. www.logicosity.com
Sanders pushes religious liberty limits–Alexis de Tocqueville, when he visited America in the 19th century, concluded that religion in America was strong precisely because it was so thoroughly separated from the government. When he asked members of the clergy why they did not seek political office, he wrote, “I found that most of them seemed voluntarily to steer clear of power and to take a sort of professional pride in claiming that it was no concern of theirs.” lastbestnews.com
Sign of Our Times? – Flathead Beacon–Broad minded, thoughtfully balanced representation by Greg Gianforte would send a positive signal from a congressman elected by only 50.2 percent of the vote, and with something to prove. But if Gianforte identifies with the renegade and divisive “Freedom Caucus,” that will send another signal. Time won’t be long in telling. Flathead Beacon
Pressure Daines & GG by pressuring hospital boards & executives–Daines and Gianforte are rich men who won’t listen to the 95 percent, but they will listen to their social peers, and near peers, who administer Montana’s hospitals and who sit on the boards of those hospitals. Bringing public and private pressure on these people will stiffen their spines and put them in a stronger position to insist that health care for the many should not be sacrificed on the altar of lower taxes for the few. www.flatheadmemo.com
Gianforte avoids jail time for assaulting reporter, now supports free press – Combat!–Never forget that Rep. Gianforte’s endgame was to get elected based on false information. He lied to voters and stonewalled the press. There is no reason to believe he thinks we are all in this together against the fake news. He is the fake news. Combat!
SNAP Improves Outcomes for Montana’s Kids | Montana Budget and Policy Center–Research increasingly shows that SNAP can protect children against the long-term effects of experiencing poverty and food insecurity, events that take a toll not only on immediate well-being but can impact children’s economic and social mobility into adulthood. Nearly 20% of Montana’s kids live in poverty and just over 18% live in food insecure households, putting them at risk of poorer health outcomes, reduced nutrition, lower academic achievement, and increased behavioral issues. www.montanabudget.org
Frustrated by policy makers, Missoula high-school students launch action on climate future–There’s a growing sense of frustration among a group of Missoula students who have come to believe that without money, they have no political voice, and without that voice, they have little influence on the future of their planet.What’s more, they agree, their concerns over climate change and the world they stand to inherit have gone largely unheard by the nation’s elder lawmakers. Missoula Current
Interior Secretary Zinke Caught Lying About Tribal Support for his Bears Ears Plan–In a call with reporters, he claimed that “talking to the tribes, they’re very happy,” later reiterating that “overall, in talking to tribal leadership… they’re pretty happy and willing to work with us.” In the hours since the press conference call, it has become overwhelmingly clear that could not be further from the truth. Medium
Gianforte seeks to avoid mug shot, fingerprints for assault conviction–Attorneys for Greg Gianforte filed a motion Friday seeking to prevent the Congressman-elect from having to have his mug shot and fingerprints taken at the Gallatin County jail.Defense attorneys Bill Mercer of Billings and Todd Whipple of Bozeman argued that Montana law does not provide courts the authority to require a defendant like Gianforte, who was charged and convicted of a misdemeanor but not arrested on the offense, to be fingerprinted or photographed. Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Guest opinion: Montanans must fight for our health care–Congress is moving full speed ahead to pass legislation that will increase health-care costs for hard-working Montanans and their families, cut coverage for seniors and kids, and gut protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions – all behind closed doors.Yes, you read that right. The Billings Gazette
Zinke discounts Native voices–As Secretary Ryan Zinke concludes touring the Bear's Ears, he seems set on committing an adamant political massacre of an ignorance similar to Custer's vainglorious annihilation at the Little Bighorn — by discounting Native American voices. missoulian.com
Guest opinion: Empty words won’t protect Billings’ LGBTQ community–Billings Mayor Tom Hanel recently issued a proclamation welcoming Big Sky Pride, which is in Billings today through Sunday.Unfortunately, this proclamation is full of empty words. It never uses the words "LGBTQ", "queer", or "gay", instead relying on trite phrases like “belief in diversity”, “acceptance of all persons” and “support of civility and tolerance." The Billings Gazette
Browning Voters Faced Long Waits During Special Election–Before the election there were concerns that counties wouldn’t have the resources they needed to conduct it smoothly. There were few complaints about voting overall, but some voters in Browning had to wait 30 to 60 minutes — sometimes out in the cold rain — before casting their ballots. mtpr.org