TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — With Friends Like This …

With friends like U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, you don’t need enemies. The man is a political coward.

While Sen. John McCain was alive, Graham could do nothing but sing his praises. But he did not criticize the president for his ill-conceived, illegitimate, lying comments about the late senator.

The Coward in Chief was so petty that he originally would not keep the White House flag at half-mast until the last funeral service for Sen. McCain, as is customarily done. Then, when veterans groups pointedly told the president that he was flat-out wrong — and as he usually does when faced with opposition — he grudgingly had the flag lowered again as per accepted protocol.

It’s obvious Graham is angling for some political appointment. Why else would he accept the president’s attack on his purported best friend, a true American icon? If I had been Graham (thank God I am not!) and had the president demeaned my friend in life, much less in death, the president would have needed a new bunker to hide in. But just as the majority members of Congress have not the guts to honor their oath of office to uphold the Constitution, Graham sat back and let 45 fire away.

I continue to fire away at Congress for their inaction and cowardly behavior … not because they are Republican or Democrat, but because though they are Americans, they are acting like the Russian governing elite.

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I have watched Rob Port’s articles in The Forum with some interest. He sucks up to Kevin Cramer like Cramer sucks up to the president. Remember, Cozy Kevin says he will support the president 100 percent of the time. That comment alone ought to give you a valid reason to vote for Sen. Heitkamp. Goodness me, Cramer and Port are all over the place these days complaining about Sen. Heidi appearing on her brother Joel Heitkamp’s radio program on KFGO. Imagine that! Heidi and Joel have a good personal — and media — relationship!

When the two Heitkamps are on air together, I am reminded that there are still families that get along very well. These two personify that. KFGO is No.1 in talk radio for a good reason. It allows all sides of political issues and lets the audience drive the discussion.

I have no ax to grind with Port, but his obsession with Sen. Heidi is just too obvious. After bad-mouthing her with every Cramer breath in his body, he complains because she isn’t too interested in appearing on his talk radio show.

Now, if you haven’t noticed, I like Heidi. I’ve never personally met her, but I admire her devotion to this state and to the people she serves. She is honest and decent and has one of the best smiles in Congress, matched only by her sparkling blue eyes. No, I am not smitten by her, but I sure do admire her candor and honesty.

To be clear, Joel has sparkly blue eyes and a great smile, too, and shares his sister’s intelligence and sense of humor. I love listening to them on air because they are such real people I can relate to.

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This brings me to another subject that causes me much sadness and not a little anger: the hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Whether you support him or not, we can all admit they’ve turned into a circus.

I’m not sure how offensive, unruly behavior translates into the right to free speech, but I do know that those protesting at the hearings in Congress belong in a zoo. By their unhinged and offensive screaming, yelling and disruptive behavior, they bring nothing to the table and look and sound like the fools they are.

It’s time long past due that we restore civility to our political proceedings. The Congress of the United States should be the place where thoughtful exchange of ideas and thought take place. It’s time for Americans to stand up and restore civility to congressional hearings. One can object without being objectionable and disagree without being disagreeable. Name-calling and temper tantrums have no place in politics.

I know. Yes, I call people names, too, but I do it in my articles for effect, humor and to make a point. I respect the work of Congress but have no respect for those who cannot stand up to members of their own party when they know the party position is wrong.

I’d bet that in private, President Trump has little, if any, congressional support except from those who will do anything to be loved by their leader. Conversely, they know if they oppose him, he will attack. That’s the kind of scenario I’d embrace because I learned from my Dad long ago: Never engage in a urinating contest with a skunk!

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On the local scene, congratulations to Prairie Public Broadcasting and Block 9 upon reaching a tentative agreement for relocating the public TV station’s tower. Their signal would have been blocked by the proposed 19-story high rise, had not an agreement been reached.

Also on the local scene, residents of the Roosevelt School neighborhood have it right when it comes to the huge apartment complex that’s part of the Newman Center-Roers Construction expansion project directly southeast of the North Dakota State University campus. Roers is pimping “housing for students” as if it meant something. It doesn’t! Look at Ponyland a little farther north on University Drive. That should have become a residential housing project. But the developer talked about “student housing needs,” and, of course, the City Planning Commission rubberstamped his proposal. Now you have a big, empty student apartment project on the Ponyland site. Then drive down past NDSU on University Drive, and you can see more new, empty buildings looking for student occupants. What the hell are the planners using for brains?

Let the Newman Center expansion proceed without developer involvement that will kill off another residential neighborhood. Developers are buying and building (for “students,” heh, heh) all over the North Side. Maybe before the city’s planners approve projects, they ought to determine how many new apartment buildings already exist and what their occupancy rates are.

Of course, I may be wrong. When I drive by all the projects and see all the vacancy signs, maybe the developers are just fooling! But I think not. It’s time to protect the local neighborhood. The same developer won at Ponyland, but he should sure as hell take it in the shorts in this proposed Roosevelt development.

Tony Bender won’t give me the plans for his bomb shelter, so now I’m going back to the basement to pile up kitty litter boxes. Amen.

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