National articles

The North Dakota State Capitol building in Bismarck. (Photo/ North Dakota Game and Fish Department)

Of Course Lawmakers Should Get Their Meals Paid For

Of Course Lawmakers Should Get Their Meals Paid For

MINOT, N.D. — Pay for public officials, as an issue, has always been a handy can of gasoline for a certain breed of obnoxious populist ninny to pour on the fires of public discord. It is fashionable among the hoi polloi to dislike those in elected office (forgetting, I suppose, the identity of the idiots

A guard stands by as inmates at the North Dakota State Penitentiary walk between cell units in Bismarck in this 2015 file photo. (Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune)

Prosecutor Sues Judge in Bizarre DUI Case Before North Dakota Supreme Court

MINOT, N.D. — Why would a state prosecutor sue a district court judge? Well, it’s complicated but in a nutshell, the prosecutor thinks North Dakota’s prisons are being too easy on repeat DUI offenders, and he’s undertaken a unique strategy to keep those offenders in county jails where they serve more time. In State of North

We Cannot Let Children Be Hurt So That Priests Can Keep Their Vows

MINOT, N.D. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Bismarck is looking to change an exemption to North Dakota’s mandatory reporter law established for clergy. Sen. Judy Lee, a Republican from Fargo, has introduced Senate Bill 2180. Co-sponsoring it are two other Republicans (though at least one, Rep. Mike Brandenburg of Edgeley, has withdrawn his support) as well as two

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to his supporters at the Save America Rally on the Ellipse on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the White House in Washington, D.C. Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Trump Must Still Be Convicted

The conviction would still matter. Many Trump apologists would have us believe that the impeachment and pending conviction vote are pointless now that Trump has left office. They’d like us to believe that these things are just exercises in the sort of petty partisan politics that have become rote in Washington, D.C. They are wrong.

Sheyenne, N.D., farmer Peter Larson carved the Biden-Harris logo in a soybean field to show support for the Democratic presidential ticket. Submitted photo

Biden Begins by Kicking Oil Country in the Teeth

Environmental activists may be cheering, but here in North Dakota, an epicenter of support for Trump in no small part because of the belligerence Democrats have shown toward the oil and gas industry, renewed hostility to pipelines means real harm for real people. Continue reading…

North Dakota Republican Rep. Jeff Delzer chairs a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee at the state Capitol on March 14, 2019. Forum News Service file photo

Lawmakers Tacitly Admit That Supreme Court Got District 8 Ruling Wrong

House Bill 1461 was introduced by House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, the bosses of the Republican legislative caucus and two of the loudest voices backing Delzer’s not-at-all democratic return to their chambers. What does the bill do? It writes the statute the Legislature claimed, in their legal

A protester pours gasoline on a fire blocking North Dakota Highway 1806 on Oct. 27, 2016, north of Cannon Ball. Protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline were attempting to keep law enforcement officers from pushing them off the road and out of their camp. Forum file photo

Let’s See Violent Pipeline Protesters the Same Way We See Violent Trump Supporters

The problem is not opposing pipelines and oil production, or believing the 2020 election was somehow stolen from Trump, though I, and I suspect many of you, find both positions to be equivalently wrong-headed. The problem is people who have concluded that their cause is so righteous they are justified in scaring and even hurting

MINOT, N.D. — There is a movement afoot in the Legislature to, by way of various bills, to end Gov. Doug Burgum's current emergency order, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and to diminish the emergency powers of the governor's office going forward. Bastiat Caucus founder and anti-masking zealot Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck) is leading the charge with proposals ranging from a relatively sane resolution terminating Burgum's current emergency declaration to a bill which create, in law, a moratorium on paying the state's top public officials -- including heads of agencies like the Department of Health and Department of Emergency Services -- if any policy like a curfew or capacity restrictions are implemented on businesses. Could these efforts be successful? I'm doubtful. Becker is an expert at drawing the spotlight to himself, but then car wrecks draw crowds too. His political clout has never been what he'd like you to believe it is. That said, we live in strange political times, and for reasons as confounding as those that drove a violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol last week, the masking issue has become a political flashpoint in our state and our country. Rhetorical bomb-throwers like Becker have been exploiting it. This brings us to Gov. Doug Burgum's announcement today that he'll be letting North Dakota's mask mandate expire at 8 a.m. Monday.

Mask Mandate Expiration Is Burgum Protecting Emergency Powers

MINOT, N.D. — There is a movement afoot in the Legislature to, by way of various bills, to end Gov. Doug Burgum’s current emergency order, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and to diminish the emergency powers of the governor’s office going forward. Bastiat Caucus founder and anti-masking zealot Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck) is leading the charge with proposals ranging from

Congressman Armstrong speaking of the unique community within and surrounding Dickinson that helps one another during and after the Oil Boom. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Hoeven, Cramer, Armstrong Are Wrong to Oppose Trump’s Impeachment and Removal From Office

MINOT, N.D. — Congressman Kelly Armstrong has already voted against impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives. In his floor speech, Armstrong referred to, but did not articulate, “serious constitutional questions about these articles.” In previous statements about impeachment, Armstrong has argued that impeaching disgraced President Donald Trump a second time is too “divisive” for a nation that needs

Rioters overturned dumpsters and threw rocks at police on First Avenue North on May 30 in downtown Fargo. Police confirmed Nicholai Westrum, who was charged in connection to the riot, was allegedly the man seen in this photo jumping up and down on a dumpster. C.S. Hagen / The Forum

Let’s Talk About ‘whataboutism’

MINOT, N.D. — Participate in a political debate long enough, and you’re bound to hear the term “whataboutism.” Or “bothsideism.” Or “false balance.” These are terms used to describe a situation when someone is trying to mitigate, in some way, something they or someone they support did by pointing out similar behavior from their opponents. It’s