Community Columnists

Cyntoia Brown clemency is result of media and celebrity influence, not justice

To all the would-be murderers out there, if you behave in prison, get your GED, and take some college courses, and get a few celebrities on your side, you too can be released. That’s the gist of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s paltry statement on the commutation of Cyntoia Brown, who will be ...

North Dakota is just months away from having no full-time federal judges

This is an appropriate time, here in the middle of the longest government shutdown in American history, to talk about government dysfunction. Our political leaders can’t get their work done, and while the politicians and their surrogates are all busy throwing pies at one another over who is ...

Open letter to the democratic congress

When President Donald Trump demeaned Vietnam Hero John McCain, Republicans rolled their eyes and said nothing. Democrats demonstrated political rage. When Trump talked about sexually assaulting women, Republicans rolled their eyes and said nothing. Trump dismissed it as “locker room ...

Happy New Year!

I love the start of a new year and the opportunities it brings. I am not one for resolutions, but certainly, use this time of year to assess. We all know nothing changes if nothing changes. Financial changes require goals, family discussion, and organization. Here are a few ideas to get you ...

Using the Legacy Fund to eliminate income taxes is an idea worthy of debate

I’d very much like to live without income taxes. That’s not just a personal desire. One of the biggest challenges to stability and prosperity here are labor shortages and an economy too dependent on commodity-driven industries. Agriculture and energy are great, but it’s a challenge to ...

We need to legalize marijuana, not merely decriminalize it

Last year a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in North Dakota failed at the ballot box. Despite this outcome, many of our state’s politicians recognize there is a need, and an appetite among voters, for some further loosening of our state’s laws with regard to marijuana. Enter state ...

New farmers political almanac hits market

Beginning with this first publication in January, the New Farmers Political Almanac will bring fresh insight into political prognosticating in North Dakota. Since Dave Barry just finished a dubious review of 2018, this is an appropriate time to bring out reliable foresight. January will be ...

Madison, Hamilton predicted the future wrongly

As we engage a new year, our minds speculate about the future. In 2019, will Puerto Rico disappear and turn up next to Australia? Will earth warming hit the ice caps and cause flooding in Omaha? Will any border states petition Canada for asylum? Some questions do not even need a trained ...

Should we care if teens vape?

"No one can look at the data and say there’s no problem.” Those are the words of Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, talking about national survey data showing “12 percent of high school students and 3 percent of middle school students” had vaped within the last ...

USMCA comes through for North Dakota

North Dakotans are some of the world’s most productive and innovative people. For decades, we have excelled in agriculture innovation and energy production and are now paving the way for exciting new industries such as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). We have a commitment to growth and ...

It’s the Department of Corrections, not the Department of Commerce

Recently I wrote a post on my blog commenting on the emerging debate surrounding Governor Doug Burgum’s proposed transition of the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center out of New England and to the Missouri River Correctional Center in Bismarck. The men currently at the ...

Heitkamp’s angry goodbye

This week Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said farewell with an address on the floor of the Senate. The timing was less than ideal. Delayed a week because of the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, Heitkamp ended up delivering her goodbye while her fellow Democrat, Senate Minority Leader ...

Forget about impeaching President Trump

From the political rhetoric dominating public circles today, it seems that the Democrats are trying to convince themselves that they ought to impeach President Trump with their new muscle in the House of Representatives. That is not a good idea. We have had enough polarized politics. An ...

Good farm policy benefits every American, every day

We have the highest quality, lowest cost food supply thanks to the hard work of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. That’s why, as a member of the farm bill conference committee, I worked to ensure that the final 2018 Farm Bill provides our producers with the tools they need to succeed. Good ...

Burgum’s proposed pension bailout must be tied to real reforms

It’s not the sexiest political topic, so you might be forgiven if you’re unaware of North Dakota’s chronic problems with underfunded pensions. But the problems are real, and while Gov. Doug Burgum proposes addressing the issue with a cash infusion from the state’s reserves, that bailout ...

Higher Ed: More boards, fewer students

After 11 months of study, the 15-member task force on higher education proposed the addition of two new boards to the present system. At the same time, NDSU Economics Professor Beth Ingrim is pointing to the oncoming drought of high school graduates. In an article circulating in North Dakota ...

ADHD, August birthdays and why I’m a conservative

Ideology takes a back seat in modern politics, and that’s not a good thing. People identifying themselves as “conservative” or “progressive” are associating themselves less with a school of thought than with the avatars representing those terms in our national political war. I’m ...

Hate is up; love is down. Sell!

Hate stock is going up. If you have anything like a “personal relationships” portfolio, it’s time to dump the “love stock” and “buy hate.” Hate is on the way up. The FBI announced recently that reported hate crimes were up 17 percent last year. However many hates are not ...