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When Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama back in 2012, Republicans commissioned an autopsy: the Growth and Opportunity Project, an in-depth look at demographics and the party's dynamics that resulted in a brutally honest 97-page report. "Unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future," it concluded. True, it would be unusual for a party to launch such a dissection before, rather than after, an election. But North Dakota Democrats might as well get started.
Wayne Stenehjem's victory over both Doug Burgum and Rick Becker at the GOP convention in Fargo reinforces a core truth about North Dakota politics: North Dakotans trend Republican but are not especially conservative, at least in the economic sense. Come to think of it, that's a fair statement about large numbers of voters nationwide, as the Republican Party keeps finding out.
Last week, President Barack Obama's recent visit to Cuba got a post-visit boost: Fidel Castro came out against it. Fidel's opposition helped Obama because in making his tirade, the retired Cuban leader looked less like a revolutionary and more like a crotchety reactionary—one who is standing athwart history and futilely yelling, "¡Alto!" Fidel's effort is not going to work, judging by the Cuban and American publics' favorable reactions to Obama's visit.
Now and then, a letter arrives that's worth calling attention to upon publication. Today is one of those days. For not only does John Sens' letter make a lot of...
Call it the Third C: For true College and Career readiness, think Computer science. One of the most valuable skills in the modern economy, computer science gets taught only occasionally and to only a comparative few in America's elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. Changing those situations could improve all kinds of outcomes, including math scores, college completion rates, college placement rates and even college graduates' incomes. North Dakota and Minnesota, take note.
The Red River Valley Water Supply Project has a number of disadvantages, the biggest one being cost. The proposed pipeline to carry water from the Missouri River to the Red River Valley could cost a billion dollars or more.
Add Duluth to the list of communities that are opening the door to microhousing in an effort to ease a shortage of affordable housing. Maybe Grand Forks will be next. In fact, maybe Grand Forks should be next, given the promise that microhousing has shown in Seattle, Portland, New York, Phoenix and other high-cost cities. And that's especially true because Grand Forks City Hall soon will be relaunching a community conversation about affordable housing and how the city might spur a bigger supply of it.
As Mark Hagerott says in his interview on this page, "North Dakota should think big." We couldn't agree more, and here are a few ways the North Dakota University System chancellor's idea could be used to guide UND. ▇ Thinking big may not mean boosting enrollment. In fact, boosting enrollment would be an example of "thinking small" if it simply led to a bigger but academically weaker institution.
As Williston preps for its expected move next month to ban man camps, Grand Forks should pay attention. That's because man camps likely loom in Grand Forks' future, too. If construction of a fertilizer plant gets the go-ahead and construction workers by the hundreds start to pour in, then Grand Forks should learn from Williston's policies and experiences with temporary workers over the past few years. And in our view, the key lesson is this one:
A classic retort to someone getting upset about an issue is, "Hey, you don't have to make a federal case of it." But when it comes to air ambulance passengers walking out to their mailbox after a hospital stay and finding a bill for $50,000, you do have to make a federal case of it. That's because North Dakota tried to solve the problem at the state level and was slapped down. A federal judge in Bismarck this week noted that federal law gives the U.S. government, not the states, regulatory authority over air ambulances.