Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports One week. Lots to report. Let’s start in Montana where Denise Juneau sought out Speaker Paul Ryan and asked to meet with him. Ryan was in Montana to campaign for Juneau’s opponent, Rep. Ryan Zinke. It was an unusual request, to say the least. And Ryan’s response was  a quick no, …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It’s an understatement to say that North Dakota is making history. The rush to build a new oil pipeline from the Bakken oil fields to Patoka, Illinois, was supposed to be routine. It was designed to avoid most regulation, especially federal oversight, and get built without fanfare. But when that …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports This morning politics is crowded out by injustice. Every preposterous and painful image from North Dakota is another reminder of injustice: The massive police, military-style occupation of Standing Rock Treaty lands, the rush to protect the frantic construction schedule for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the brutal law enforcement march against …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A couple of days ago I wrote that “there is one tell that’s worth watching: Where are they?” This is better indicator than polls because it shows where the candidates themselves think they are vulnerable. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will campaign this Sunday with Rep. Ryan Zinke in Billings. …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Thirteen days and counting. And the election issue once again is the Affordable Care Act. A report by the Department of Health and Human Services details the rising costs for individual policies. So after two years of moderate premium increases (2% for 2015 and 7.5% for 2016) premiums are going up …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports We’re two weeks away from an election and most of us have the same question: Who’s winning? We look at the latest polls, check our favorite web sites often, and try to read between the lines. But there is one tell that’s worth watching: Where are they? The candidate location shows …

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Trahant Reports Two weeks and a day to go and the crazy season has begun. North Dakota’s Chase Iron Eyes was a guest on a right wing radio program where he said he faced a series of loaded, baited questions. Such as: “do you believe in abortion, even after new science developments? Should people be able …

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Trahant Reports There is always a lot of experimenting going on in this new world of media. I recently heard that something like 80 percent of the Washington Post’s distribution is through outside channels. That’s even more true for Trahant Reports. My material is used by other publications, and on good days, is posted and …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports This is it: Sixteen days until this election is over. And, as I have been reporting, this is such a significant election for Indian Country with both the quantity and the quality of Native Americans who are running for office. In Washington’s Fifth Congressional District, the campaign for Joe …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A line of trucks and commercial vehicles on North Dakota’s Highway 6 Saturday was a speeding train. One vehicle after another. Traveling too fast and too close. Then, still on track, the entire train turned left and began racing down a rural dirt road. It was clear why: This …

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