Unheralded

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids —Democracy Depends On Unity

This morning, I watched with horror more videos of the violent insurrection, which was minutes away from a massacre. As awful as it was, it could have been so much worse had the rioters fulfilled their intent to kill the vice president and members of Congress. Many of the rank-and-file members of the Capitol Police, whose leadership was horrible, fulfilled …


Unheralded

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — The Truth Will Set Us Free

My social media presence is fairly deliberate and intentional. I try to vary it between vignettes from my day to day life, spiritual reflections and my commentary on what is transpiring in the world around me. I have worked hard to not be the person who only rants about politics, although depending on what is going on, I will occasionally …


JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Stenehjem Investigation Under Way; Does Our Attorney General Have Blood On His Hands?

I think that as you are reading this, an investigation is under way by the North Dakota Office of Disciplinary Counsel into whether our Attorney General, Wayne Stenehjem, acted unethically, and possibly illegally, using state resources for political purposes, when he joined one of the many frivolous lawsuits to try to overturn Joe Biden’s election as President of the United …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — The Bill Of Rights, Federalism And The Struggles Of A United America

David French is a senior editor of The Dispatch, a conservative online political magazine. A graduate of Harvard Law School, an Iraq War veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star, French’s most recent book, “Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation,” was reviewed by Governing in October. In the book, French warns how hardening ideological …

CLAY JENKINSON: This Is Not Bush V. Gore

Elections matter. The pathetic political stunt a dozen U.S. senators and more than 100 U.S. representatives are planning for today is a direct attack on democracy. We have a system. Primaries, general election, followed by state certification, followed by the vote of the Electoral College, followed by the tallying of the Electoral College vote by the U.S. Congress, followed by …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Uphold The Constitution

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski: “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and that is what I will do Jan. 6 — just as I strive to do every day as I serve the people of Alaska. I will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election.” Joe Biden won the presidential election over President …

CLAY JENKINSON: Trump Is A LOSER!

December 14, 2020 — a great day for American democracy. The Electoral College confirmed the election of Joe Biden on Monday. But it is not about Joe Biden or about the Democrats. It is about the capacity of our Constitution to withstand the dishonorable attempt by a dis-elected president to overturn the results of a national election. And so this …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Did Stenehjem Misuse State Funds? Investigation Sought

Earlier this week, North Dakota’s attorney general, Wayne Stenehjem, joined 17 other Republican attorneys general from across the country, all members of the Republican Attorneys General Association, an organization that in its various incarnations, has provided Stenehjem with at least $160,000 in campaign funds, in supporting a lawsuit filed by his counterpart in Texas, Republican Ken Paxton. Paxton, who it …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Public Lands Under Attack In Trump’s Final Days

In their agony, deep in the death throes of the Trump administration, America’s public lands managers are scrambling to put their final stamp on the worst conservation, environmental and public lands record in our country’s history. At risk are millions of acres of wildlife habitat and pristine recreational areas across America’s West, including the last remaining undeveloped roadless areas in …

CLAY JENKINSON: John Adams’ Words Ring Hollow

John Adams wrote, “May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” Adams was speaking of the White House, where his words are enshrined in a plaque. The current president cannot be called honest by any honest human being, and wise eludes him, too. If “wisdom is calling things by the right name,” President Trump fails the …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — When Alexander Hamilton Tried To Steal The Election Of 1800

Some Trump supporters and advisers have suggested that if the certification of the 2020 election can be delayed beyond Dec. 8, Republican-controlled state legislatures could step in to name their own set of presidential electors who would cast their Electoral College votes for Donald Trump, not the individual who appears to have won the election in those swing states. Others …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Wanted: Responsible Leaders

Joe Biden won the popular vote for president by nearly 6 million votes and his electoral college total of 306 is identical to President Trump’s in 2016, though his winning margins in close states is significantly higher. The election was considered the most secure in history, as stated by Trump appointee Chris Krebs, who was fired for doing his job …

RON SCHALOW: What Rigged North Dakota Election?

Rudolph Giuliani is a flamboyant liar and wanted for first-degree hassling in Ukraine. That’s what Igor told Lev after they leaned on President Zelensky on behalf of the usually straight-laced Donald Trump. That checks out. Giuliani made his dubious proclamation in front of the A&W in Mitchell, S.D., after skulking around Sisseton for several days looking for a guy named …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — I Think The Rodeo’s Over

Four years ago, a couple of days after the 2016 presidential election, when the results had sunk in and America realized what it had just done, I wrote: “Here’s what I think of the election. We got all dressed up to go to the ball, and we ended up at a rodeo.” Boy, was I right. I’ve been to a …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Amy Coney Barrett Is In An Impossible Position; So Are We

In 1958, President Dwight David Eisenhower is reported to have said, “I made two mistakes and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court.” The story may be apocryphal, but it continues to be widely quoted because it so perfectly expresses presidential exasperation with the behavior of U.S. Supreme Court appointees once they are confirmed by the U.S. Senate. …

ED MAIXNER: A Path Back To Less Partisan Supreme Court Confirmations?

With President Trump’s election eve choice of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court, another partisan fracas has ensued in the U.S. Senate. Regrettably, Trump has succeeded in casting most anything he can as partisan combat, generally with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell riding shotgun. And it’s become clear Trump will get his strictly partisan win with the Barrett confirmation …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — What Happens When A Sitting President Is Stricken?

We all woke up Friday to the news that the president and first lady had tested positive for COVID-19. In a year of wild and enormously disruptive events, things just got crazier. Just what the president’s health crisis will mean for the election, and for a nation fighting its way through several profound challenges, is unclear. It is too early …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Looking Back At Presidential Transitions And Sore Losers

We don’t know how the election of 2020 is going to play out or what the post-election interim will be like, between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021. President Trump has announced several times that he may not accept the results of the election. Whole batteries of lawyers are lining up on both sides to contest or confirm the …

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. …

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 …