MINOT, N.D.—If Democrats had been running the state over the past few years, North Dakota's budget situation would be much worse. For one thing, Democrats wanted more spending and less...
FARGO—North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani should be fired. More precisely, his contract shouldn't be renewed when it expires on June 30. That's not just a reaction to the kerfuffle over his decision to spend the equivalent of a year's worth of NDSU tuition on a nearly $7,000 luxury seat upgrade, though Chancellor Mark Hagerott was spot-on correct to call that an "embarrassment." "I flew halfway across the world with a three-star general who was going to be second in command in Afghanistan, and we flew coach," Hagerott told the Associated Press.
MINOT, N.D.—After Republican candidate Doug Burgum announced his campaign for governor, he was asked about abortion during a talk radio interview. Burgum didn't answer, saying he wanted to "pivot away from the intractable." That's unacceptable. Governors do not get to pivot. When I got a chance to interview Burgum, I made it my purpose to ask about the controversial issues. To Burgum's credit, there were no pivots.
MINOT—When President Barack Obama announced executive orders ushering in new enforcement of existing gun control policies, North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer had a provocative response. "This is not helpful. It is an overreach," he said in a press release shortly after the announcement. "Frankly, I'm concerned about the type of reaction he's going to get to it." Cramer's critics pounced on that last statement, treating it as though it were some sort of an incitement to violence, but he's got a point.
At the behest of Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the North Dakota Legislature created the Housing Incentive Fund during the 2011 session. The fund gives a dollar-for-dollar income tax credit in exchange for contributions which, in turn, are used back housing projects.
MINOT—I hate being asked to give something back this time of year. Before I explain why, let me tell you that what I like best about the holiday season is the focus on charity. There is something wonderful about a time of year when we focus on being thankful for what we have and helping those around us. Yet there is something irksome in the way we talk about charity. We're inundated with messages telling us to "give back." Pitch after pitch for charity tells us to "give something back this holiday season." Give something, sure. But give something back?
MINOT—Imagine you stand accused of stealing items from your neighbor, and the police want to search your home without a warrant. Would we not be outraged if there were a...
"It's become a Thanksgiving holiday tradition," a colleague told me recently. "We eat the turkey, and then we watch videos of people being trampled at Black Friday sales on YouTube."
MINOT—On Sept. 19, 2008, TransCanada Corp. submitted a permit request to the U.S. State Department to build a pipeline across the American/Canadian border. The name of this project was the Keystone XL pipeline. It took 2,605 days—seven years, one month and 19 days of obnoxious political dithering—for the permit to be rejected In shooting down the project, President Barack Obama said it has had "an overinflated role in our political discourse."
HBO comedian John Oliver aimed his considerable polemical skills at North Dakota recently, much to the delight of the state's critics. "Be angry," was Oliver's advice, even going so far as to put up a billboard with that message on the eastern edge of the Bakken oil fields. It's an interesting message. Oliver isn't asking North Dakotans to be thoughtful about how oil activity in the state is regulated. His was not an appeal to logic or reason. Oliver, as befits a polemicist, demands emotion. And so do the state's Democrats.