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Nobody asked us, but ... Here's an idea for getting to "yes" on health care reform. Make that, here's an idea for getting to "yes" on bipartisan reform, an effort that might just win significant support from lawmakers in both parties. Let's get right to it: ▇ Democrats—notably Senate Democrats, who have the filibuster—agree to let Republicans repeal Obamacare, probably over an extended period (say, five years). Now, why on Earth would Democrats do that?
Why keep Essential Air Service? Just ask Sen. John Hoeven, the most popular politician in North Dakota's recent history, and a Republican whose growing seniority is leading to more and more power in the U.S. Senate. Hoeven has been asked that question, many times. And he always gives essentially the same answer. It's the answer he gives when asked about the Farm Bill, too. And the sugar program, and the other federal efforts that spend taxpayer dollars to help rural America: Why keep Essential Air Service? Because it works.
It's now looking less likely that the Grand Forks area will get a casino, at least via the proposal in the North Dakota House. House Majority Leader Al Carlson's resolution has met with nothing but setbacks in committee, which means House passage is uncertain and Senate approval is even less likely than that. But here's the thing: If not a casino, Grand Forks still needs something. Something, that is, to reverse the weakening the city has seen in its power as a tourist draw. Something, to help keep Mayor Mike Brown's "Destination City" dream alive.
First, let's be clear. There are reasons why UND has its own police department. They're the same reasons why North Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and fully 92 percent of America's other public colleges and universities have sworn and armed campus officers. The reasons are that the officers' presence is needed, and it works. Since World War II, America's college campuses have grown in both size and importance, often becoming "cities within cities" with unique rules, cultures and law-enforcement demands.
You could choose "Monday," the day that oil could start to flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline. You could choose "protest." Or "Trump." But if we had to choose the one word that best sums up the conflict over the pipeline, it would be this one: "Lache." Never heard of it? Neither had we—until we read U.S. District Judge James Boasberg's opinion last week, in which the Obama appointee denied the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes' request to stop construction of the pipeline's last link.
We write today simply to call attention to another element on today's editorial page—namely, the letter on the Grand Forks Public Library by Dean Braseth and C.T. Marhula. The writers have a proposal to offer, and much of it makes sense. Braseth and Marhula's best idea is that Grand Forks should add an advisory question to the June 20 special election vote on Arbor Park. The question would "ask voters which of the library locations they'd prefer: midtown or downtown." Here's why Grand Forks should consider acting on that idea.
Minnesota asked a question. The answer's in North Dakota. As a newspaper on the Northern Plains, the Herald is probably not your best source of opinion on, say, modern whaling practices. But there's one policy area that our location on the North Dakota-Minnesota border makes us uniquely qualified to comment on. That's the area of policy differences between the two states. And where Sunshine Laws are concerned, here's our comment:
Five percent. One hundred percent. Those are the figures to keep in mind as we approach a big moment in UND sports history: the men's basketball team's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament. ▇ Five percent is the rough estimate of No. 15-seed UND's odds of beating its first-round foe, No. 2-seed Arizona. Sure, that makes victory look like a remote possibility. But here's the thing: Five percent is not zero. Five percent means UND has a very real chance.
Two things are clear: First, North Dakota remains a "boom and bust" state. The busts aren't pulling the state nearly as far down as they used to; North Dakota remains on an overall upward trajectory, a much healthier path than it was on as recently as the 1990s. But that welcome ascent still is going to zig-zag, thanks to commodity prices' ups and downs. So, that's one thing we now know. Here's the other: Public K-12 education has fared a lot better in this downturn than has any other government sector.
You can find Scylla and Charybdis in the Strait of Messina, the two-mile-wide gap between Italy and the island of Sicily. That's where, since ancient times, sailors have used great caution when navigating between the rocks of Scylla on one side and the whirlpools of Charybdis on the other. Or, you can find Scylla and Charybdis a lot closer to home. Specifically, in the Minnesota Senate. For there the obstacles loom, blocking the way forward for a Real ID bill, and leaving open between them only a narrow passage that's beset by currents from both sides.