Unheralded

RON SCHALOW: Kevin The Debate Smirker

The congressman stood behind the podium talking in circles, grinning like a meerkat pup that just got the better of his first scorpion, and the crunchy bugger would make a fine breakfast burrito. Then, the smug miniature mongoose of the desert smirked, smarmed and sniggered for 60 minutes after the meal, as is the custom of his holy family. That …


Unheralded

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Pre-Election Quiz

I don’t know if you’ve been following along but there’s this thing 58 percent of Americans do the first Tuesday of November. And no, it’s not check the mailbox for a welfare check as some might have you believe. It’s called it an election, although some people refer to them as train wrecks. The last election should have been sponsored …


TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Interrogation Gone Wrong?

Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate. President Trump told America that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia “forcefully denies the killing.” President Trump then went on to say there may have been “rogue killers” involved and said he was waiting for information. That’s another presidential lie, since Turkey has made clear it shared …

RON SCHALOW: Congressman Changes Name To Kevin Kanye Trump IX

“Where are the Cool Ranch Doritos?” barks Donald Trump. “This is the worst disaster in the history of disasters. Maybe ever.” “Bottom left drawer.” “Oh, thanks, Eyebrow. I wonder what other presidents used this drawer for? Probably alcohol and cocaine powder. This country is a mess. Obama must have been one lubed up skinny Kenyan from shithole Africa, believe me. …

RON SCHALOW: But Kevin, What If It Was Your Daughter?

Based on his related comments, it’s hard not to imagine a Kevin Cramer conversation with a sexual assault survivor that doesn’t go something like this. A Cramer-related female rushes in the front door, and yells, “Father, er, sir, I’ve been attacked.” Cramer doesn’t look up. “Who are you?” He continues smiling down on a photo of him trying to give …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — This Is My Country, And I’ll Vote

At the risk of losing her Senate seat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., cast a true and heartfelt “NO” vote on the nomination of Brent Kavanaugh to a lifetime position on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is an attorney, has served as North Dakota attorney general, has dealt with Native American issues and sex trafficking and has broad, solid legal experience. …

RON SCHALOW: All Of The Things I Don’t Remember

Caution: Some meandering ahead. I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford because I can see, hear and comprehend sincerity. It isn’t a tough call. As for this Brett Kavanaugh character, he has a disposition that would embarrass a Rottweiler. All that snarling would get irritating after about 10 minutes. I’ve seen his type before, and they usually screwed me out of …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Move Over, Dorian Gray

I spent more time on my fantasy football picks than the Senate has on Brett Kavanaugh. No matter how it turns out, I’ll have another chance next year. But the Supreme Court is for keeps. If the 53-year-old nominee serves to the age of 90 like Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr. did, he’ll reign until 2055. Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — As A Survivor, I Stand With Her

This has been a tough week for survivors of sexual assault. And today, it just got worse. Donald Trump, who prior to this morning had used uncharacteristic restraint, tweeted, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her …

RON SCHALOW: The Old Men And The Sea

Saltwater. So abundant. For decades, child global cartographers have gone bonkers when the blue crayon became a nub before ever even getting to the Tropic of Capricorn. Some wannabes outside the map colorization community have suggested that we might be dealing with multicolored gulfs, epicontinental seas and fjords. Purists consider this train of thought to be pure madness. The oceans …

RON SCHALOW: Puffy Prairie Portweasel Flip Flops On Pea-Brained POTUS

When you’re the most influential political blogger in North Dakota — just ask him — a columnist for the mighty Forum Communications Company, reigning Miss Congeniality of the Sam Adams Alliance awards and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence, you’re always under tremendous pressure to come up with new and thought provoking ways to stick a …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Do You Know Your News?

I’ve been thinking about the poor sap who will have to document recent events in future history textbooks — assuming, of course, that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos doesn’t strike history from the curriculum or make Speaking in Tongues the official language by then. The chapter may start something like this: “In 2016, Vladimir Putin managed to slip acid …

DANIEL HAGLUND: Just The Facts, Man — Native Son In Blood, Not In Deed

Chief Amatoya Kanagaota Moytoy was a powerful 17th century Cherokee leader, born and died in what is now Tennessee. In translation, he was referred to as “emperor.” Moytoy married Quatsy of Tellico, a full-blooded Cherokee of the Holy Clan. She was also referred to as Nancy in other records. It is a common tome of myriad Native nations that the …

RON SCHALOW: Legendary Liar Returns To Trumpsylvania

Donald Trump has been to North Dakota more often than Kevin Cramer has held an in-person town hall in Fargo, the frightening land of several liberals. Or, as Rob Port, Cramer’s stress ball, would describe these lib%$#@’s; they are all Heidi Heitkamp operatives. Very sinister. The status of these libs is so secret, even they don’t know they are on …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — A Tale Of Two Queens

I don’t want to be an alarmist, but there will be rioting in the streets, the stock market will crash, and we will all be very poor if they decide to impeach Cara Mund. The current Miss America and former Miss North Dakota is embroiled in a catfight with ex-Fox News Queen Gretchen Carlson. Catfight? Isn’t that term sexist or …

RON SCHALOW: Citizens Changing Wills At Rapid Pace

Attorneys across America are reporting a brisk uptick in business as clients rush to request the absence of Donald J. Trump at their funerals. Most are insisting that all caps be used in the codicil. The trend is the same at LegalZoom\ and other do-it-yourself websites for wills and other documents. John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom said, “Our Last Will …

RON SCHALOW: Cramer Goes Into Full Trump Racist Mode

Aristotle wasn’t privy to modern science, but he contended that people from nations outside of Greece were inferior in a number of ways to the native Greeks. Many of the outsiders ended up as slaves, so I doubt their opinions were taken into much consideration. And don’t get me started on the whole mess with the Moors, Sephardic Jews and …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — ‘Paul Manafort Is A Good Man’

All during Paul Manafort’s criminal trial, including while the jury was deliberating, the president of the United States did everything but call the jury members, espousing what an honest, good and decent man Manafort is. Even after the jury convicted him on numerous counts, the president continued his rant. That old cliché that “water seeks its own level” surely applies …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Back-To-School Quiz

Hello class, it’s that time of year. The wheat harvest is on, the leaves will be turning soon, and NFL players are beginning to kneel. It’s time for the Tony Bender Back to School Super Brain Quiz. 1. Why won’t Kevin Cramer agree to more debates? A. Stall Ball always works out so well. B. How many ways can you …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — How Dare You, Donald Trump?

This is a hard time to be a true American. As I write this, a very large military appropriations bill was passed by Congress. The president of the United States signed the bill into law and held a press conference acknowledging some lawmakers in attendance. What the president did not do is to acknowledge Sen. John McCain, for whom the …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — GOP Needs To Change Mascots

Gov. Doug Burgum joined 30 other governors last week in support of Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice, which is — if you’re a Republican — about as shocking as going to a midsummer tent revival and proclaiming your love for Jesus. Even if you’re only there to pick up sweaty Baptist chicks. Burgum, Sen. John Hoeven and Senate …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Russia Is No Ally And No Friend To The USA

My first independent post on the Fish — whoopee! No more advertisers squawking about me picking on poor Donald Trump. I get to say what I think, not what others think and not softened to avoid stepping on advertisers’ toes. I used to think that good advertising meant that the advertiser wanted to make its products known, not to control …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — The Inadvertent Surrender

It can happen to the best of us — to the worst of us, even. You say one thing, but you meant something completely different. Like that time Churchill meant, “We shall always surrender!” President Trump, fresh off of his triumphant Surrender Summit in Helsinki, says what he meant to say when asked whether Russia had undermined the 2016 election …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Campaigning On The City’s Nickel

What is $104,000 to you? Recently, the president of the United States visited Fargo to support a political candidate. That’s approximately what his stop here cost to the city. Mayor Tim Mahoney had raised the question of the cost of presidential visits. When the total for the frankly political visit was revealed, Commissioners Dave Piepkorn and John Strand raised serious …

RON SCHALOW: The Traitor, Tariffs And Toddlers

“SHUT UP, Stan, or I’ll do something drastic, you meathead” screams Orville. “Another one, bartender.” Stan stands by a stool for a minute, to let his eyes adjust to the low bar lighting. He sits and says, “I like where your head’s at, Orv. Preventative attacks never turn out bad. I’ll take your spasm under advisement. How many quarts of …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Survival In Turbulent Times

It’s hard not to be depressed these days. Images of babies screaming as they are ripped away from their mothers breasts and 3-year-olds brought into court alone to face charges haunt my dreams, along with the cries of children who are lost, confused and alone. Social media posts from young men I knew in a kinder, gentler time, whose worst …

RON SCHALOW: Fargo Heat Strokes, Lies And Videotape

Prior to President Trump’s visit to Fargo, I took a shot at guessing what he might say at the rally for Kevin Cramer, who got three minutes of mic time and an awkward bro hug. My predictions; followed by the real deals. “Heidi? Where’s Heidi. What the hell are we doing here, if she doesn’t even show up! Who?” “Isn’t …

CLAY JENKINSON: Pivotal Moments In History

Clay Jenkinson wrote this June 11, the day President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jon Un in Singapore. I am glued to the coverage of the summit between Donald Trump and Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. We can have no idea what this will mean six months from now or six years from now. But it …

RON SCHALOW: The Land With Two Brains

If Donald Trump had walked into a Minot working man’s bar before he became a fancy pants, popular stream of consciousness screamer, he would have ended up in the dumpster, with appropriate discoloration, in under 30 minutes. No self-respecting patron of the bar arts in the Magic City, would suffer a loudmouth, self-aggrandizing, lying dick for very long. Experienced drinkers …

RON SCHALOW: The Congressman With The Chain-Link Head

When I was a youngster, chain-link fencing started to pop up on a few yards on south hill in Minot. I remember thinking, “Gosh, I hope no kids get trapped in there.” Then I saw the gate. They all had gates. What a relief. Easy egress. These were a noncage fences. Now, when I was at the zoo in Roosevelt …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — God Bless America

Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan each in his own time spoke at the Berlin Wall. Kennedy asked that the wall be removed because, as he put it, it separated parents from children, husbands from wives, families from friends. Reagan again asked for the wall to come down more than 25 years later. At his urging, it did. Each …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — And The Winner Is …

There was an election last week and Democracy lost. Just 19.66 percent of eligible North Dakotans voted — 114,340. Meanwhile, the winner, Apathy, recorded 467,301 yawns. The only place with lower turnout was North Korea. Isn’t it obvious now that we need more undocumented immigrants to do the voting Americans just won’t do? Even more disconcerting was the revelation that …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Rules Of Engagement

As a blogger and Facebook presence, I use my forum to give my opinions but have always steered away from engaging in debate with others online, especially people I don’t know … until now. Perhaps it is because my posts and blogs are shared a lot and I get tagged in them, but in the past week, I have been …

RON SCHALOW: Cramer’s Caging Of The Lambs & Silence Of The Trump Cult

That rumble of keystrokes you hear on horizon is the sound of every North Dakota GOP official pounding out a condemnation of President Trump’s new barbaric policy of taking children from their parents and securing the tykes in cages. You won’t see that use in the chain-link fence catalog. Wait, nope. It’s just that stupid building climbing raccoon. Gawd. I …

RON SCHALOW: American Horror Circus Arrival Imminent

So,  the well endowed Mar-a-Lago mermaid is coming to Fargo to scare the immigrants. That’s just perfect. Personally, I can feel an orange gelatin evil in the Force. And I’m not even one of those little green dudes. I’m just happy to know that Mark Hamill has enough cash to get by. Anyway, the Mar-a-Lago manatee will be in town …

RON SCHALOW: Of Course, He Did

Well, at least he didn’t kiss the brutal dictator on the lips and/or grab him by his small organ. That’s something, I suppose. He didn’t sniff Kim’s butt, as far as we know. The action is tough to translate. Instead, our president just slobbered up a storm and beamed radiantly like a teen dork picking up his best girl. This …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Travels With Tony

Our first Uber driver was a former journalist, so the midnight conversation from Pittsburgh International Airport turned to the unprecedented attacks on the press by the president. Wearied by weather delays, airport sprints and the uncertainty of our travels, India and I were content to let him deliver a treatise I knew by rote — the preposterous notion journalists intentionally …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Hold On A Minute There, Al, The Peeping Tom Just Got 54,000 Votes

Just 24 days ago, Will Gardner, the Republican Party’s nominee for North Dakota secretary of state, announced he was dropping out of the race after news stories surfaced about him being arrested (and convicted) for peeking in windows at women’s dormitories at North Dakota State University. You might have been a bit hasty there, Will. Republicans apparently don’t care about …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — We’re On The Path To Isolationism

Webster defines isolationism as “a policy of national isolation by abstention from alliances and other international political and economic relation.” This definition may be rather limited, but it describes what is happening in this country right now. Webster also defines a dictator as “a person granted absolute emergency power … one holding complete autocratic control: a person with unlimited governmental …

RON SCHALOW: When Comes The Last Straw?

Personally, I am unable to speak to very many people, from the moral ground. I won’t put a percentage to it. It might be in the teens. I can usually spot my few lessers, if they still go out in public. I’m like Trump in that respect. As he said,“I think within the first minute, I’ll know. Just, my touch, …

RON SCHALOW: Cramer Says Farmers ‘Don’t Have A Very High Pain Threshold’

Gutsy move. “North Dakota farmers looking for answers amid tariff uncertainty,” is the title of an article posted  Thursday afternoon by GrayDC. Google the title to see the entire story and video. The bad news “Worst case scenario, you could see farmers losing their farms,” said Jeff Mertz, president of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association. Mertz is in Washington …

RON SCHALOW: Kevin Stands by Tractors

Recently, the Kevin Cramer for Senate campaign released what they named the Tax Cut ad. He voted for Donald Trump’s tax cut scam, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp did not. This situation requires a new blue-collar shirt and a pair of campaign dungarees. So, we see Kevin strolling through a farm equipment manufacturing plant. That was his first mistake. Cramer’s role …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — All Must (Not) Hail The King

When I watched MSNBC’s special Sunday on Robert F. Kennedy, I candidly admit my tear ducts flowed. Chris Matthews hosted the documentary, which included footage of Kennedy’s visiting Appalachia and the poorest of the poor. I was reminded that here was a wealthy man who concentrated on assisting those in the greatest need. A member of a large family himself, …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — What Makes America Great

In the interest of differing viewpoints, Bocephus M. Snodgrass is filling in for Tony J Bender this week.     Hey folks, Bocephus M. Snodgrass here. The M stands for ‘Murica, just like me. You know what makes ‘Murica great? ‘Muricans. I’ll tell you one thing, my great-great-great grandpappy didn’t come here from halfway ’round the world just to have …