Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports You have to wonder why the latest Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act did not get written with one senator in mind, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Yet the bill by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is more conservative than previous approaches. It …

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Voting on a climate plan and a tax Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There are two ways to impact public policy through the ballot box. First, people can choose to run for elective office. And, second, ballot initiatives can shape public policy. The Quinault Nation in Washington is “gearing up for another strategic move to …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Bernie Sanders is expected to introduce his version of health care reform, a plan he calls “Medicare for all.” At least fifteen Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors to the single-payer plan. “This is where the country has got to go,” Sanders told The Washington Post. “Right now, if we …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country Today, a national voice for Indian Country, went dark while its owners look for a new buyer or a new business model. The “press,” even a “digital press” is the story. It’s true that most tribal leaders have been annoyed by media, including tribal media, from time to …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A memo to the publisher (either to the next owner of Indian Country or to any news operation that’s going to serve that readership now.) First question you have got to ask yourself is “Why?” Why are you doing this?” Odds are you will lose (or my word, invest) a …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Nearly every Native American journalist in the country can tell you what our national media ought to look like. We’ve all closed our eyes and dreamt the ideal news vehicle. We know what stories need to be told. And some of us have tried to make that dream so. Most …

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*** Updated to include new candidate, maps. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports I have been avoiding politics. Last year I was consumed by dozens of races across the country, building data bases, checking names, and generally being enthusiastic. Now? Well, this year, I have been absorbed by the Republican plans to rewrite the Affordable Care …

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A fundamental question about government Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The most fundamental question about government is this: Does it work? When does government — tribal, state or federal — actually make a difference in our lives? There are two ways to answer that question, data and story. Data tells what happens over time, a reference …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Senate Republicans campaigned against “Obamacare” for seven years. Yet there was never an alternative that had support from a majority of their own party. The problem is simple: Many (not all) Republicans see health care programs that help people — the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, etc. — as welfare. Others …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Today is humor day in the Senate. But at least the healthcare debate will go on and on without a conclusion. And no matter what happens today and Friday there is still a long way to go. The Senate has at least ten more hours of official debate on a House …

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