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 model, Trump, who makes window peepers look like nuns, has enacted tariffs on steel, which will crush the business he’s visiting.

The employees will be as likely to get laid off as they are to see a bump in their paycheck.

And 90 percent of North Dakota will get a share of the borrowed money, Cramer claims. This is a mealy-mouth way of saying that even if you get an extra 10 cents, you are part of the 90 percent, he boasts of in the ad.

Of course, it’s been well-documented that the tax cut scam is basically a giveaway to the wealthy. Trump and Cramer lied about that fact. North Dakota has its share of people who earn big, which is no crime, but any gains seen by those in the lower brackets will be eaten away by higher prices caused by the Trump/Cramer tariffs.

And higher gas prices, which I blame on the president, because that is the tradition. Higher prices at the pump cause more pain to the lower classes. Bye, bye, huge $5 tax break.

In the same vein, Cramer states, “our state received the largest tax reduction in the nation.” This may be true, but he’s talking about the average per taxpayer. Averages are funny. If one person gets $91, and nine of his friends each get a buck, the average for the 10 people is $10.

It sounds better the way that Kevin said it, but the wording is deceptive.

Then Cramer makes this claim.“She says she’ll revoke the tax cuts if Democrats get the chance.”

Well, I can’t find where Heitkamp said that, but the truth is, Kevin Cramer already voted to revoke the tax cuts for individuals. They disappear in 2025. The tax cuts for corporations will continue. It’s right in the bill.

“We all like Heidi,” Cramer finishes. First of all, that isn’t true. Second, he’s admitting that it’s easier to like Heidi than him. Which is true, but say something positive about yourself, since it’s your advertisement.

If Cramer wants to make an admission, he could concede that his buddy Trump is a fungus, with dozens of slimy attributes.

It’s a little surprising that a professional firm like Odney, would produce 30 seconds with so many flaws.

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — You Pray … I’ll Vote

Given the Texas church massacre that was just committed by a man named Kelley … if you use the same rhetoric as the president, then all white Irishmen should be banned from this country.

Of course, banning the Irish is an insane idea. But it’s no more insane than banning anyone else because their skin color, religion or place of origin resembles a criminal’s.

Politicians across the nation are suggesting that we turn to God and prayer to stop the violence. Meanwhile, those same people are turning to the NRA for its money and political support.

I’m not knocking the NRA for supporting its own cause. I blame the gutless elected officials at all levels of government who have more concerns about expanding gun sales than protecting the innocent lives lost by gun violence.

Earlier this year, 45’s administration eliminated the prohibition that kept mentally ill individuals from legally obtaining weapons. North Dakota politicians supported the removal of that ban, while those from Minnesota, who apparently have intact brains and concern for their fellow humans, did not.

Japan and Australia have shown the world that a general weapons ban works! Not here, though. This is America, where gunslingers rule and decent people are afraid to speak up.

What is wrong with our elected officials? How can they not see the need for regulating the type of weapons for sale and the type of person who can purchase them.

You can argue until the end of the world that gun regulation will not work. Yet I will tell you that, if you seriously believe that canard, you should remove your head from your lower extremity and come up for air.

This is not Nazi Germany. Don’t you believe the NRA line that regulation will somehow result in the government coming for your guns. No, it won’t. The NRA — Not Really Assassins — are entirely concerned with profits.

Last Sunday, the president again said, “This is not the time to talk about gun control.” Well, if not now … when? How many mass murders do we need before we finally stop talking and begin to act?

Somehow, many seem to think that murders in a church are more serious than murders in a movie theater, or a concert, or while riding down a bike path. Excuse me, but for the victims it makes no difference at all where and how they are murdered. If God were going to be involved in this, he’d surely have struck down the Texas killer for daring to enter the church. God is leaving it to Man to get his act in order.

It’s a sound idea to require background checks with no exceptions: Keeping weapons from the unstable just makes good sense. We should limit the type of weapons for sale to the public, too; weapons equivalent to those of war should be banned.

Now, I suppose the boo birds will quickly claim, “Who will protect the good guys from the bad guys with guns?” To them I say, how do the good guys tell who the bad guys are at a shooting when everyone is armed? How’d you like to be a lawman and come upon a mass shooting scene, where all are armed — then have to determine the good guys from the bad in a split second? The answer is clear. They couldn’t.

I’m not against responsible gun ownership. However, we do need some serious regulation. After all, we regulate cars and drivers with testing, licenses, insurance requirements and more.

So how do we address gun violence? Make your position clear — and do it with your vote! The one thing more powerful than money is your individual vote. The NRA can purchase political support now. You can change that with your vote. If the politicians know they will lose their jobs unless they support reasonable arms regulation, right now, the NRA loses its clout.

We can talk till the cows come home, but that will change if we start acting.

* * *

In addition to the lack of gun regulation, we have another problem with our current Congress. USA Today has detailed a list of issues within the GOP tax bill that could affect us all. Here are some to think about:

The large adoption tax credit would be eliminated. Alimony payments would no longer be deductible. Teachers could no longer write off the cost of supplies they buy. The cost of tax preparation would no longer be deductible. The costs of moving for a new job would end could not be deducted.

Employee children’s day care would no longer be deductible. Deductions for major medical expenses would be lost. Disaster losses from theft, floods, fires or tornado would be removed, with the exception of disasters given special treatment by prior acts of Congress. Employee achievement awards would no longer be deductible. And there are many more.

By the way, I hope you notice these deductions the bill would take away will hurt the average wage earner but have little or no effect on top earners.

All the GOP’s (Group Of Pansies) talk of tax relief leaves out one little caveat: “for the wealthy.” Those without wealth will continue to suffer. This is just plain dishonest and wrong.

In the good old days, the politicians usually represented the people. As years have gone by throughout my lifetime, that assumption has changed … and for the worse. We can use our votes to bring back accountability.

I care not what your political party may be. None of us can stand by and watch the degrading of our country. We must all get involved in one way or the other. If anyone dares try to tell me their vote doesn’t count, my bodyguard will knock them to their senses.

As white people, we must learn what minorities and people of color have experienced are still experience today. Bigotry and prejudice are now colorblind. All of us have to rise as one people — no color, ethnic or religious discrimination — and get involved in resurrecting the good that can be found in this country. We must rise to get rid of the hatred. It takes more than talk!

So many people still say that they don’t want to get involved because “no one will listen” — not true! If we all get involved, even the dumbest of elected officials will pay attention and start doing what is right instead of what is convenient.

* * *

By the way, a note to the drivers of the red and black pickups with ear-splitting mufflers who drive by my home after dark and stomp on the gas: I now have your vehicle license numbers!

Go ahead -— make my day and see what happens! Amen.

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — The Sanctity Of Life And Tax Cuts

I’m exhausted from winning so much. America is so great again. Stop it already. My trophy case is full.

Sure, a lot of people think the House of Representatives didn’t have the votes to pass health care reform last week, but when you factor in the Electoral Collage, it was a huge win. Yuuuge.

You should have seen everyone coming out to celebrate. It was biggly bigger than the inauguration, which had more people there than actually exist — if you factor in visitors from other planets. Most of them from Uranus. We should deport them.

Check the satellite imagery we got from the Klingons. There are bodies everywhere. Hold it, they’re not moving! We must have time-traveled to the near future to a time after the Republicans fixed health care. If the Rev. Jim Jones was alive and in Congress, he’d be heading up health care reform. (Insert your own Kool-Aid reference. Must I do everything around here?)

The point is, trillions of people showed up to celebrate health care reform. Trillions. That’s even after you deduct 10 Russians — and counting. That Vlad — doing his part for population control.

“It is a missed opportunity to save the American people from the death spiral of this very flawed law,” said North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer, deeply regretting he was unable to save 24 million Americans from being insured. Everyone knows health insurance is a death sentence, and freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

The Republicans have been offering up swing-bed foreplay for seven years: “When we get back in power, we’re going to be so good to you. It’s gonna be the best ever. Gonna rock your world, baby. Anthony Weiner’s got nothing on us.” Now, after seven years of steamy talk about co-pays, here comes the booty call and … pfffffffft! Ironically, under their plan, Viagra isn’t covered. But then again, neither is Planned Parenthood, so it’s a wash. After strutting around all this time like Mick Jagger in Spandex, it turns out the bulge was a handgun.

Meanwhile, in Bismarck, you can’t wear jeans on the Senate floor, but I think a heater is OK. Conservative priorities. They’re only temporarily pro-life. If it involves life expectancy or gun control, all bets are off — unless Al Carlson gets his casinos built. For the first time at the Capitol, being Sergeant at Arms really means something. Jesus once said, “Blessed are the marksmen.” And everyone knows God wrote the Second Commandment to the Constitution.

Janne Myrdal keeps a Glock in her chastity belt. And a Ruger. And curiously, some guy named Jake. He’s either from NRA or State Farm. I’m not sure if he does health insurance, though.

SIDEBAR: I once knew a girl from Zap, N.D., whose Mossberg got the clap. (If you’re still feeling Irish, insert limerick here.) Don’t worry, it was covered under Obamacare.  Her over-and-under was cured with antibiotics. In the future, you’ll have to rely on leeches and a prayer chain.

The point is, Sen. Myrdal is a great American. She’s got an entire arsenal in there. It’s a yuuuge chastity belt. It’s like the Grand Canyon. When you yodel, it echoes forever. There’s so much chastity in there. Don’t confuse it with the sanctimony. I think I see Jesus in the corner. He’s holding a Beretta.

I’m going to drop some 9mm cartridges in the collection plate on Easter Sunday. I think there should be a service the night before, too. A Saturday Night Special.

I’m puzzled the family-values folks couldn’t rally people around the idea of raising the cost of premiums and deductibles, cutting coverage and giving tax breaks to oppressed millionaires. Is this even America anymore? It’s sad when the Russians are more effective in our political process than Congress. Soon we’ll have a borscht stand at every casino.

Now, that we’ve won at health care reform, we’re moving on to tax reform to save the Koch Brothers from having to eat the cheap caviar. You can see millionaires on every street corner holding signs in their tattered tuxedos: “Will contribute to your campaign for tax breaks.”

Who knew health insurance could be so complicated? Oh, and being president is hard. It really messes with your golf swing. Though it’s not being reported by the lame stream, drive by, irrelevant, fake news media, it wrecks havoc on your basketball game, too. President Trump is throwing up so many bricks, he may have to join a union. The International Brotherhood of Tweeters?

Unlike the guy he subbed in for, he can’t go to his left worth a damn, and he keeps arguing with the referees. To be fair, he is a prolific dribbler, which is why Melania is sleeping alone. Who wants to sleep on the drool spot? Anyway, the president is busy spooning with Putin.

Fear not. You’re in good hands. (Does Allstate still do do health insurance?) Small hands, but good hands. The best. Believe me. Winning. We haven’t won like this since, like, ever. It’s like Charlie Sheen is president.

© Tony Bender, 2017