Unheralded

ED MAIXNER: A Path Back To Less Partisan Supreme Court Confirmations?

With President Trump’s election eve choice of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court, another partisan fracas has ensued in the U.S. Senate. Regrettably, Trump has succeeded in casting most anything he can as partisan combat, generally with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell riding shotgun. And it’s become clear Trump will get his strictly partisan win with the Barrett confirmation …


Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — What Happens When A Sitting President Is Stricken?

We all woke up Friday to the news that the president and first lady had tested positive for COVID-19. In a year of wild and enormously disruptive events, things just got crazier. Just what the president’s health crisis will mean for the election, and for a nation fighting its way through several profound challenges, is unclear. It is too early …


CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Looking Back At Presidential Transitions And Sore Losers

We don’t know how the election of 2020 is going to play out or what the post-election interim will be like, between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021. President Trump has announced several times that he may not accept the results of the election. Whole batteries of lawyers are lining up on both sides to contest or confirm the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — We Must Work Together

To my Trump supporting friends: I am not your enemy. You know me, you know who I am and what I represent. Sure, I’ve been a political creature since about the time I could talk. I did, after all, write a letter to Richard Nixon in 1970, at the age of 5, questioning the morality of the war in VIetnam. …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Walking In The Light Of God

I hate 2020. That was my visceral Facebook post after hearing of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, shortly followed by the announcement that 200,000 people in this county have died from COVID-19. Almost immediately, someone who doesn’t share my political views chimed in, “You should not hate.” A bit later, it was followed by a far more well-meaning parishioner …

CLAY JENKINSON: Days Of Reckoning

In the next few days and weeks, we are going to learn who everyone is, who has character and who has only a ruthless drive for power. The idea of a republic is on trial in so many ways in 2020. Now the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg brings it all into perfect focus. In a republic to have power …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Red Or Blue, All Lives Matter

On Wednesday, President Trump said, regarding COVID-19 deaths, “So we’re down in this territory, and that’s despite the fact that the Blue states had had tremendous death rates. If you take the Blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at. We’re really at a very low level. But some of …

RON SCHALOW: North Dakota Trumpublicans Are Super Flexible When It Comes To Personal Responsibility

After the most recent LGBTQ embarrassment, when North Dakota Republicans unknowingly wrote the quiet part out loud, the big R’s condemned their political party’s own thoughts and directed the smart guy to remove Resolution 31 and the other 12,000 words of their platform from the NDGOP website. PSA: Resolutions are now exclusively available by request from corby@ndgop.org. Who took responsibility …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — A Lesson From Jefferson On How The Nation Can Heal

Is it possible to heal this great nation? At the moment, we are all fixated on Donald Trump — his leadership style, his desire to disrupt, his tweets — but whether he wins or loses in November, the fundamental brokenness of our political system does not cease. In fact, it is likely to worsen. However painful it is to admit, …

RON SCHALOW: He Is What He Is

It’s getting a little chippy out there. An old guy can’t even drop dead at the bowling alley without some jamoke claiming that the man’s last cough was deliberating misleading to skew coronavirus numbers in order to make Donald Trump look bad. It’s tough, I tell you. Last week, I saw two facially naked Norwegian-Americans mug an elderly masked man …

RON SCHALOW: Trump To Protect Statues After Failing With People

Disgruntled president to cut work hours and focus only on inanimate objects Donald Trump wrote early this morning on his Twitter account. “I’ve had it with you #people. Except Patriots @RiotsDoneRight. Bitch bitch bitch. It’s is all I hear. And where’s your mask? I don’t need this. I’m very Disgruntled @ohsopreciousdelicatepeople Have seen the nasty remarks they put on my …

RON SCHALOW: You Might Be A Retrumplican …

If you rationalize the abject promotion of virus spread by jamming 20,000 adoring fans into a giant tuna can to “rally” by noting that some liberal bastards aren’t denouncing the transmission of the coronavirus by demonstrators as vigorously as the ego-driven “rallies,” you might be a Retrumplican. But there is no similarity, and it’s still not self-evident to the Retrumplicans …

RON SCHALOW: Cramer Breaks With Trump On Pandemic

On Friday, June 12 — a date concocted to mark time — North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer came down hard on a critical issue, a current crisis, which will surely fracture his chummy relationship with President Donald Trump. Cramer linked to an opinion piece published by RealClearPolitics, entitled “Unnecessary Lockdowns Created Social Turmoil, Global Suffering,” on his Twitter Page. He added, …

RON SCHALOW: The Politics of Death — Taking One For Team Trump

Republicans are going to pack the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., or somewhere domed, for the 2020 Republican National Convention for four days at the end of August. Fifty thousand might show up against the advice of experts. Maybe. Trump drives a hard bargain. At any rate, some indoor stadium, maybe two, since convention business could be conducted in one …

RON SCHALOW: Dumb And Dumber

For years after 9/11, President George W. Bush would tell dozens of audiences some variation of his “ocean’s theory of complacent defense.” Like this one from 2002: “No, it’s a different kind of war than our nation has seen in the past. One thing that’s different is oceans no longer keep us safe,” he explained to the folks at the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Reaping What We Sow

“Good leadership takes all of the blame and none of the credit.” As I was sorting through papers during my daily hour of deep cleaning, I came across this quote I gave to someone who interviewed me for a paper on leadership. I believe this is the key problem that is plaguing our country today and the reason that the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Our Bonhoeffer Moment

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  — George Santayana Living as we are, in a time of extremes, it becomes  easy to fail to see the incremental steps in history.  Shortly after Donald Trump was elected, people started making comparisions to Nazi Germany and the discussion became immediately polarized. From a historical perspective, as …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — A Democracy In Shambles

We are in the midst of a full-blown constitutional crisis, as the elected leader of the country is using the Justice Department to punish his enemies and reward his defenders who committed crimes to get him into office. This is not the action of a free democracy. This is the action of an authoritarian leader and dictator. The kind of …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — The Death Of The American Republic

My friends, When the Senate of the United States voted on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, not to call John Bolton or any other witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, death rattled in the throat of the American republic. It’s over now. We will, of course, continue to be a great and powerful nation, a rich nation, with …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — A Day To Remember

Four things happened on the last day of January 2020. 1. We crossed the Rubicon: The United States was envisioned as a republic. In a republic, the protection the people have against tyranny is our system of checks and balances. The judiciary checks the legislative branch when it passes unconstitutional laws. The executive has the power to veto congressional legislation, …

RON SCHALOW: Lately In Trump Dakota

Like the humble Rob Port, who brags that his defunct blog was “part of the fabric” (Only argali wool thread for Rep. Rick Becker) of “politics in North Dakota,” the unassuming Donald Trump also can’t be steam-cleaned out of the democratic socialist manufactured couch sitting by the capitalist Coke machine in the breakroom of our socialist State Mill. That’s because …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — A Clear And Present Danger

Over the past week, we have seen highly ethical, nonpartisan and committed foreign service officers and members of the military with nothing to gain and everything but their integrity and vow to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution to lose, say essentially the same thing. Our policy toward Ukraine, which was in the best interest of our national security, was co-opted …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Watergate And The “Witch Hunt”

Public impeachment hearings began in the House this week in Washington. They weren’t just seen on the cable news networks this time. Daytime game shows and soap operas gave way to the first public testimony on the major broadcast networks as well. Some of us of a certain age recall another set of Washington hearings, the Watergate hearings. By some …

RON SCHALOW: Trump Gang Of Invertebrates Retools Messaging

“As some of you may have noticed before the formalities took the cocktail weenies right out of my mouth, I’m presently talking more like a normal person to give my jowls a rest. Do not be alarmed. It’s not easy to mimic the look of having no bones or teeth below the nose. Just lips and skin. It makes me …

RON SCHALOW: Why Won’t Kelly Armstrong Leak Testimony?

What the hell is going on? Why isn’t Congressman Kelly Armstrong patriotically leaking the great impeachment news — that the lamestream media refuses to report — that would exonerate Donald Trump of airtight charges stemming from a super successful witch hunt? The congressman is sitting right there as the “never Trumpers” testify. It’s the least he can do if he were …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — The Republic On The Brink Of Collapse

“Checks and balances, Mr. Jefferson. Checks and balances,” said John Adams. We are only a republic if each of the three branches of the national government has some capacity to check the excesses of one or both of the other two. The Founding Fathers sought to ensure that no single individual or entity would ever have unlimited, unchecked power. The …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — A Democracy At Risk

“You people with this phony Emoluments Clause.” — Donald Trump, Oct. 21, 2019 “No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” — U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8 You …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — We Deserve Better

On Monday the U.S. withdrew approximately 1,000 troops from the Syrian border, allowing Turkey to slaughter our faithful allies, the Kurds, and leaving no one to guard the ISIS soldiers, allowing them to escape. On Friday the Turks dropped bombs so close to the U.S. troops that they almost returned fire. As fellow NATO members, the Turkish Army knows where …

RON SCHALOW: Trump Leadership Turns North Dakota Into A Swing State

In the year 2000, the Supreme Court installed George W. Bush into the presidency and it blew the call in multiple ways. Bush was/is an intellectual wisp in his own family, a lazy POTUS and easily manipulated by sociopathic jamokes like Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Roger Ailes and Dick Cheney.  When the Supremes stopped the count and the bizarre chad …

RON SCHALOW: North Dakota’s Special K’s Always Have Donnie T’s Back

Well, we watched our right-wing terror network working out some frustration in El Paso, Texas, plus the American terrorists currently listed as agnostic that shot up Gilroy, Calif., Dayton, Ohio, and those coming soon to your neck of the woods. And that was on top of our regular body count. Flags were lowered. The usual suspects drew their swords in …

RON SCHALOW: Armstrong Sells Out America, Part II, ‘The Wrath Of Chuck’

Soon after his impossibly fat pitch got hit into the center-field stands by the former director of the CIA, Kelly Armstrong found himself talking to NBC’s Chuck Todd. He was near giddy. Kelly figures war hero Bob pulled a fast one with his special council report and he can’t wait to tell skeptical Chuck. Baghdad Bobby Barr isn’t even spinning …

RON SCHALOW: Kelly Armstrong Sells Out America

“This isn’t about political affiliation,” Congressman Kelly Armstrong told Chuck Todd with a straight face after A-Stro questioned Robert Mueller’s military hero grade integrity in front of a national audience. The Cult Commissioner told Kelly to “hit the old man in the face with a dead squid.” The live ones can get unruly and might swallow a cat. So he …

RON SCHALOW: Trump Is The Greatest America Hater

Hot off the press, from the president who gives racist conmen a bad name: “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country …” This is one of those big lies you hear about since nobody in this country hates America …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — How Do We Honor The Dead?

As I walked my dog by the Catholic cemetery that borders my condo Monday morning, I heard echoes of Taps ring through the air and reflected on the dead who were being honored this past Memorial Day Weekend — men and women who gave their lives in service to our country and its highest ideals. How do we honor the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Democracy At Crossroads

I know. I know. It is hard to stay actively engaged with what is happening in our country. It would be so much easier to just tune things out. It’s just so overwhelming. So exhausting. The truth is, if I stayed as outraged as the situation warranted every time a norm was obliterated, an egregious lie was told or the …

RON SCHALOW: The Fictional Senators Of North Dakota

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” — Charles E. Weller, who authored the words to be a typing exercise. Many times I hammered out that seemingly patriotic sentence on an old clacking Smith Corona during typing class in the 10th grade, not once without peeking. Currently, I couldn’t tell to you …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — Let Us Read the Mueller Report

A Jefferson Hour listener wrote me a snarky letter last week after Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of the Mueller Report, apparently clearing President Trump and his closest aides of colluding with the Russians in the 2016 election. After informing me that I have been embarrassing myself with what he called my anti-Trump rhetoric, the writer asked …

RON SCHALOW: Trump Uses Federal Reserve To Launder Money

“How did you do the laundering, Mr. President?” “You see that? Pimento loaf-face press hack just harassed me. I, Donald J,  like the word jay. Trump. It’s the most shameful thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life, and nobody knows more about shameful things than me, believe me. Tremendous high ceilings. It might be the most shameful thing ever, some …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Smirk Seen ‘Round The World

It is the smirk that haunts me. That self-satisfied, smug, arrogant look of condescension and feeling of superiority, for no reason other than the fact that he is privileged white boy wearing a red hat that claims that he wants to “Make America Great Again.” The story of Nathan Phillips, the Vietnam veteran and Omaha elder who chose to stand …

RON SCHALOW: T-bones Will Outlast Us All

It’s getting a little chippy out there in Forum letters-to-the-editor land, regarding the delicious bovine’s monster recurring donation to the greenhouse gases mix. Miracle meat or not, cows and other farm animals emit methane. The kangaroo does not, I understand. And methane is 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. So, there’s that. Hell, in North …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — Essential Reading In The National Crisis

Hello, everyone. I’m urging you to do me the following favor. Get a copy of Robert Kagan’s recent book, “The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World,” and read it over the next few weeks. It’s a short book. It’s a brilliant book. It’s an exceedingly important book. And it explains a lot of things that may seem puzzling …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — End Of The Year Quiz

I’m on an early deadline. Happy New Year, folks! Out with the old and in with the new! And that has nothing to do with cleaning my refrigerator. True story: A couple of years ago, my daughter discovered some Italian dressing with an expiration date that coincided with Obama’s inauguration. Really. Since it was basically oil and vinegar, I insisted …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — Jefferson’s Second American Revolution

Every era faces its own set of issues, and every president attempts to address the challenges and opportunities of American life and to reset the country to the extent that it is possible. It was easier to influence what Jefferson called “the course of human events” back then because we were just beginning. Decisions made then were going to percolate …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Self-Reflection

I begin today in a self-reflective state of mind at the urging of Kevin Cramer, who took umbrage over criticisms of Precedent Trump’s un-Christianlike behavior at George H. W. Bush’s funeral. Trump didn’t sing, recite the Apostles’ Creed, or offer Michelle Obama even one piece of candy. Apparently, he was fearful of violating her nutritional guidelines. Since she left Washington, …