Unheralded

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 …


Unheralded

ED MAIXNER: The COVID-19 Governor Factor: Wishing Y’all The Best!

Hoping to avoid COVID-19? Survive it if you get it? Who’s your state’s governor? In many states, that may matter. Our individual odds for surviving COVID-19 are emerging as somewhat of a crapshoot, dependent on countless ways we can avoid or contract the virus and, if you get it, to a large degree how healthy your heart and lungs are …


PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Paving The Road To Failure

It is possible to be a positive and encouraging leader, one who is able to weigh the balance between being honest and factual while also instilling hope. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower both embodied these characteristics, as did Winston Churchill. And many U.S. governors of both parties are displaying those characteristics each day right now. It is also …

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 …

RON SCHALOW: North Dakota First?

Were we — the state of North Dakota — seriously obligated to wait for Donald Trump to finish bungling the initial response to the Novel Coronavirus before we — the state of North Dakota — acted aggressively to combat the virus? The necessary information was public, and the experts were screaming and blowing air horns at policymakers since January. Was any state required to …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Nasty Questions

As he has done a couple of times now recently, President Trump reacted rather badly to a question put to him Friday by NBC White House Correspondent Peter Alexander. Alexander asked the president what he would say to a scared nation as the coronavirus pandemic continues on. The president called it a “nasty” question. It didn’t sound nasty to me, …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — A Health Crisis

Occasionally, I will hear from people that they don’t care about politics, that what happens in Washington doesn’t affect them. They don’t like the chaos or behavior of the current administration, but the stock market is doing well, so they can look the other way in the face of the rise in autocratic fascism that is threatening our national security …

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, …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Don’t Give Up

I’ve been quiet for a while. Not because I haven’t been paying attention but because work has been overwhelming and I haven’t had the time to digest what has been an unbelievably painful week. These are just a few of the things that happened. There was an abhorrent Mideast “peace accord” that essentially endorsed apartheid for Palestinians and a destruction …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — Trump’s Impeachment

What do you do when Republicans refuse to take seriously what they would find absolutely appalling and outrageous, criminal and treasonous, disgusting and Constitution-threatening if it were done by a liberal Democrat? We all know that if the situation were reversed and Barack Obama had reached out to Pakistan to demand that it pretend to investigate Jeb Bush or Donald …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Our Armed Forces Deserve Better

After the Iranian attack on an Iraqi air base earlier this month we were told by President Trump that there were no injuries. However, this week, it turns out what the commander in chief told the U.S. was false. The numbered of injured was confirmed Friday to be 34. Seventeen of them have returned to duty. Eight have been returned …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — A Strategy For Surviving These Trying Times

It is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I am a citizen of a country whose leader is taking rogue actions, like assassinating a foreign general — albeit an evil one — without informing, to say nothing of having the support of allies or members of Congress. In addition, President Trump has been impeached for abusing power and withholding aid from …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Explosive Theology

Sometimes it is necessary to dig deeper behind the news story to really understand what is going on. I truly believe that is what is happening with the escalation of our conflict with Iran and to be honest, it is even more terrifying than it initially appears. The missing backstory to this warmongering is the belief by many evangelical Christians …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — You Promote What You Permit

You can tell a lot about a person’s character by how they respond to adversity. Implying the spouse of someone who voted to impeach you is in hell is reprehensible at any time, but when you are at a rally where you say you are celebrating Christmas, it goes beyond any form of human decency. I truly and deeply do …

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 …

RON SCHALOW: Refugees Face Trumpish Disinformation Campaign

Me: To whom it may concern: I’m reprinting these unambiguous words I found on the Lutheran Social Services website. I found them. They were merely laying there on the internet. Anyone could have grasped them, but few of the self-appointed experts did. I have no association with LSS, but “Jebus Jay Jones,” desperate people! At least pretend to look contemptuously, …

RON SCHALOW: Trump Love Makes Armstrong Stupid

On Wednesday, North Dakota Congressman Kelly Armstrong (Cult45 —Bastiat Chapter) found his inner Kevin Cramer and spat out this chewed up olive pit: “We have the alleged victim of quid pro quo, bribery, extortion — whatever we’re dealing with now today — repeatedly and adamantly shouting from the rooftops that he never felt pressure, that he was not the victim …

RON SCHALOW: Part 2 of ‘Washington State Opts Out Of Bakken Oil Train Lotto’

A door-to-door custom news talker — one think minimum — begins his commentary: “North Dakota, North Dakota, it’s coming to me, OK, in North Dakota news, Gov. Doug Burgum — honorary chair of Donald Trump 2020 — either did something humane or made an empty gesture. More after this.” “Hey dumbass. I told you ‘no’ commercials.” “It was a PSA, man. Geez. So anyway, …

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 …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — A Discordant Melody That Refuses To Be Silenced

Today we crossed the border and entered into the reality of the struggles of those who live in Juarez, Mexico, and those who are forced to wait there as they seek asylum. It was a short trip across the river and a long journey into the depths of human pain. It was hard to comprehend that the squalor in Juarez …

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 …

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: 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: We’ll Leave If We Feel Like It

I’m even praying for this next sentence to be true. Except for the obvious exceptions, every person in the country knows that they’ve always been free to leave, and none of us need a cowardly lying racist to shoot his mouth off with reminders. And the president isn’t the arbiter of who loves this country, anyway. He can’t even choose …

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 …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Water Work

After President Trump’s slightly soggy Fourth of July “Salute to America” speech Thursday on the Washington Mall, a Facebook friend writes, “THE GREATEST SPEECH EVER MADE BY A SITTING PRESIDENT!!!” (Capitalization and exclamation points not added.) So, I guess for some “The Gettysburg Address” will ring a little flat from now on. And you know what that means, don’t you? …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — This Is Who We Have Become

Sometimes, things can be just too painful to read. I had that feeling as I was reading “Lilac Girls,” the work of historical fiction by Martha Hall Kelly that tells the real life story of New York sociality Caroline Ferriday, who championed a group of women known as “The Rabbits” who survived the horrors of Ravensbruck, a Nazi concentration camp …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — God Or Mammon?

To whom or what are you loyal? That really is the core question we are grappling with as a nation. Where do your core loyalties lie? Are you more concerned with power or loyalty to a person or are you loyal to a higher ideal? As a person of faith, I know my first loyalty is always to God, and …

RON SCHALOW: Republicans Are Working Against Our Future

A weird child tells Piers Morgan the darndest things about his just-funny-to-him meeting with Prince Charles: “I think I was yeah, we had a great conversation and it was about you would call it climate change but yeah I think we had a very very good conversation.” — Donald J. Trump We “all” call it climate change, Fonzie. Global warming is …

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 …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — The U.S. Senate: The Backbone Of A Chocolate Eclair

We have been living for a very long time with the idea of executive supremacy. Some misguided attorneys have argued, since the presidency of George W. Bush, for what they like to call the Unitary Executive. By this they mean that the power of the president is virtually unlimited not only throughout the executive branch of government but in the …

RON SCHALOW: We Can’t Put This One Behind Us

At present, I’m getting outwitted by a militant parade of drunken white walker zombie ants. Collectively they might have a comparable number of brain cells to what I’m currently sporting, but who knows? I don’t know how the wattage works between species. Anyway, there could be a googol of the nosy insects in their Casselton, N.D., colony and the “Mad …

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 …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — We Need To Refocus

You know, local newspapers and electronic media do a pretty good job of keeping us informed on local events. On national events, not so much. Take, for instance, the case of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat. He is accused of, has admitted to and then disavowed being in a picture in the 1984 yearbook of Eastern Virginia Medical School. …

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 …

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, …

RON SCHALOW: No, I’m Not Surprised

“Is anyone surprised by this?” It’s one of the most-used phrases on social media when the news pertains to Trump, It’s easy and always applicable. Would anyone be surprised by the possibility of the following?: “I got an A-plus for my handling of Hurricane Maria, but some low-energy losers blame me for people dying on Porto Recliner. A lot of …