Author Archives: Rob Port

Would four-day work weeks … work?

Would four-day work weeks … work?

MINOT, N.D. — “I think there’s lots of opportunity for it.” That’s what Dusty Hillebrand, a North Dakota Job Service employee in Grand Forks, had to say about the potential for a four-day work week. I’m dubious. I should note, here, that I’m a workaholic. I have been continuously employed since I began a paper route in the

When politicians take taxpayer dollars for themselves, they have to answer questions about it

MINOT, N.D. — When is a question an attack? When the politician it’s asked of doesn’t want to answer it. So it goes with Rep. Rick Becker, a self-described “rising national star of the freedom movement” (stop laughing) who took a quarter-million in taxpayer-backed Paycheck Protection Program loans and now doesn’t want to talk about them. Yesterday I wrote about

Rep. Rick Becker, critic of big government, won’t answer questions about his government loans

MINOT, N.D. — Rep. Rick Becker, a Republican from Bismarck, is the strident ideological martinet who founded the Bastiat Caucus, a rump caucus of inveterate reactionaries whose governing agenda is whatever is being ranted about on the Fox News primetime lineup in a given news cycle. Becker and his acolytes are fond of attacking other Republicans for

‘Badass Grandmas’ doth protest too much

MINOT, N.D. — The ballot measure which created North Dakota’s ethics commission was pushed by a front group for national left-wing interests called, ironically enough, North Dakotans for Public Integrity. The two women who were the face of this campaign, Dina Butcher and Ellen Chaffee, are rank partisans (the latter contributed financial support to the man who took an ax

Friday Mailbag: A Christmas tradition, defending Agatha Christie, common ground on EV, and our shifting political landscape

MINOT, N.D. — Decorating for Christmas might be my favorite family tradition. In my family, it’s a very specific tradition. Right after Thanksgiving we go and buy a tree (we’re a real tree family). Then we order Pizza Hut (it has to be that specific restaurant, which we don’t patronize any other time of the

University system didn’t provide sufficient oversight on problematic Dickinson State procurement

At best, we have a university president who leaned a bit too heavily on some personal relationships while supervising a sloppy procurement. At worst, we have a significant contract that was deliberately steered toward some friends of the president. Even worse, when asked to provide oversight, the NDUS issued some superficial findings completely out of