Unheralded

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. …


Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Ginsburg, Trump And Midnight Appointments To The Supreme Court

First, the hard facts. An individual is president of the United States from the moment she or he takes the oath of office in the January after the election and remains president until the next person takes that oath, except in cases of assassination or successful impeachment. The sitting president has an unquestionable right to do all the things a …


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: 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 …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Deliver Us From Evil

This whole situation with the U.S. Postal Service baffles me. We have a U.S. Postal Service for the same reason we have a National Defense, an Interstate Highway System or the TSA. It is part of the mechanics of running a country. There is a charge for the services we receive when we mail packages or post a letter, but …

RON SCHALOW: Wes Belter Smears Jim Shaw To Discredit Black Lives Matter

It was a feeble attempt at a rhetorical bank shot. Former majority leader and speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives Wes Belter — a big deal — went on a Trumpist rager under a false premise to reiterate Donald Trump’s sermon on the mount for those who didn’t get the racist message. Belter’s entire op-ed was exceedingly consistent in dishonesty …

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 …

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 …