Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The November election seems far off. It’s almost a year away, right? Sorry. Elections are a series of steps that lead to that moment when ballots are actually counted.  And for the #NativeVote18 candidates some of those early steps are real tests. And in Minnesota one of those critical test …

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The state of democratic institutions Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports I skipped watching the State of the Union last night. That was the first time in, well, a couple of decades. There was really no reason to watch. I figured President Donald J. Trump would set out to be presidential in tone, but his words …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country needs a canon of stories. A collection of Memory that every child knows growing up. A reference guide to our shared history — as well as a reminder about what the fight is all about. I can think of so many stories that belong in our historical catalog: The …

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Updated Sunday. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The government is in its official shut down mode. And it’s a fight that has been brewing for a long time. It’s complicated because there are several different congressional factions, think of them as mini-political parties, that have different goals. Remember this: The Republicans are in charge. This process …

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** Updated Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Gavin Clarkson is clear: He supports President Donald J. Trump. And he’s running for Congress because “the swamp is deep, the alligators, bite, and the taxpayers are getting ripped off every day.” He wants less regulation and more oil and gas development. And don’t get him started on …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump administration, and its allies in Congress, are fighting a losing war. They continue to press forward for the development of oil, gas, coal, when the rest of the world understands the implication of that folly. Global warming is the most pressing issue for our time. Period. The thing is …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports What qualifications are needed to manage (and possibly reform?) the Indian health system? It’s Indian Country’s largest employer with more than 15,000 on the payroll and many, many more people who work in health care for tribes, non-profits and other related agencies. The IHS budget is $6.1 billion. Yet it’s …

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Correction: The chart I originally published was misleading. The CBO score for the tax bill (and most of the other measures) looks at the cost over ten years. Appropriations are made in a single year. So that made the tax bill appear more costly in visual form. I am working on a new version now, …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The first year of the Trump era has been challenging: The administration and the Congress sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act and radically redesign one of the nation’s best public health insurance programs, Medicaid. That plan failed.  And I’ll come back to that point shortly. But first: Congress …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Paulette Jordan is running for governor of Idaho. This is a big deal in so many ways. First, there have been very few Native Americans who have ever run at that level (Alaska’s Byron Mallott, Idaho’s Larry EchoHawk, and Peggy Flanagan in Minnesota).  Second, she’s the first Native woman who …

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