Opinion

Commentary from a variety of Montana citizens expressing a range of viewpoints.

Views expressed by the commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of this station.

In an unusual nexus, Donald Trump’s latest excess against “Muslims,” a religion of 1.6 billion humans -- 23% of global population, coincides with the Christian season of Advent. The nexus is that on the tube we each can see two radically different versions of America. One view can be found by watching the political news, dominated by the face of Donald Trump, while the other view can be seen by viewing a presentation of the movie classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which runs every Christmas season.

The Montana Conservation Ethic

Dec 2, 2015

The Clean Power Plan is designed to reduce Montana’s contribution to the carbon pollution now affecting our climate and every person on earth. The steady flow of scientific verification along with daily weather reports demand action and political acknowledgement of a reality that must be addressed.

Is America About Doors Or Walls, Fear Or Hope?

Dec 2, 2015

Here on Thanksgiving Day my thoughts go to my family, which is like the face of America. My Catholic father was mostly Irish with a little Scottish, Welsh and English thrown in. My mother was Jewish with ancestors from Germany, Russia, Poland, Austria and England. One of my six brothers is married to a wonderful lady from Mexico. Their daughter is married to a Moroccan. One of my daughters married an African American. One of my brothers is gay and his partner is from Mexico. Our family includes a Native American and several Asian-Americans. We include Jews, Christians and Muslims. Parents and siblings, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, we are certainly part of that great jumble of differentness that is humanity – that is America.

Dorothy Eck: Building Bridges, Not Playing Bridge

Sep 28, 2015

Bozeman’s Dorothy Eck, 91, is the Grand Dame of Montana government and politics who is being recognized and honored at a dinner September 11. Over the years I have been privileged to work with Dorothy as a leader of the Montana League of Women Voters, a Constitutional Convention delegate & officer, and a 20-year State Senator. Dorothy Eck has been a mentor for many and an inspiration to us all, testimony that one person can really make a difference.

Dan Harrington: Mensch Who Made A Difference

Sep 28, 2015

I have been siting before my computer, hands above the keyboard, trying to start one of my regular commentaries. There were so many tempting topics to choose from. The Montana GOP effort to force citizens to publicly register their political party preference. The unique combination of Cry-baby and Bully that makes up Donald Trump. The Pope telling the U.S. Congress to deal the human causes of global climate change. And more.

Opinion: History Bodes Well for Bullock Reelection

Aug 27, 2015

Analyzing historical electoral patterns may seem like an exercise for the back rooms of a university political science department.  But active practitioners in the political arena dive into history to find patterns that are indicative, if not predictive, of what might happen in current and future election cycles. 

John Whalen Remembered

Jun 17, 2015

Teachers, all teachers, but especially gifted teachers, shape lives on an individual basis, one student at a time, one day at a time.

Fatal Gaps In Montana Background Check Laws

Jun 9, 2015

We're home from the whirlwind of the 64th legislative session. Thanks to rolling up our sleeves and committing to bipartisan work, there were huge wins for the people of the State of Montana: Medicaid expansion, the water compact, and campaign finance reform. I saw the passage of seven of my own bills. However, despite legislative victories, Montanans need to urgently pay attention to a bill that didn't pass.

Montana Style: The Koch Bros. & Talking Cows

Jun 8, 2015

As I stood in the State Capitol rotunda on April 29 and watched Governor Steve Bullock sign the expansion of Medicaid, I was proud of our state and its people.  Sure, I went to watch because I had written three columns about the issue over the previous year.  I went because the signing symbolized the triumph of moderation and compromise over ideology, partisanship and extremism. 

I went because good policy for people was trumping soiled politics.  I went because I wanted to celebrate Montana saying NO once again to out-of-state moneyed interests who were trying to dictate policy to the people of Montana, but came up short.

Once again, for the third time, the Montana GOP has trotted out a plan to break and cap the Coal Tax Trust Fund that has been one of Montana’s biggest financial and policy success stories. In this attempt to steal your savings, they have demonstrated their lack of prudent money management skills and their propensity for trying to turn your savings account into their political slush fund, with no respect for the visionaries of the past who figured out how to protect our children and grandchildren's future.

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