National articles

Senators Durbin, Alexander, Heitkamp, And Enzi Speak On The Marketplace Fairness Act

North Dakota Democrats Shifting To The Right On Trade?

North Dakota Democrats Shifting To The Right On Trade?

Last night the U.S. Senate passed a trade bill that gives the executive branch a “fast track” process to bringing trade agreements before Congress. This is a generally positive development. The easier trade is, the better off we all are. But among the surprising votes for the agreement was Senator Heidi Heitkamp. You can see


Three Affiliated Tribes Crying Wolf Over Oil Tax Changes

During the closing weeks of the 2015 legislative session lawmakers went to battle over a contentious reform to the state’s oil tax laws. With the possibility looming of a tax exemption triggered by low oil prices wiping out the 5 percent oil extraction tax entirely and blowing a multi-billion dollar hole in state tax revenues,

Social Media Justice Is No Justice At All

There is no question in my mind that the democratization of the media brought about by blogs, and the enhancements to communications brought by platforms like Facebook and Twitter, have been a net benefit to society. But there is an element to social media, in particular, that’s grown disturbing. Specifically, the rise of online mob


Can North Dakota Democrats Win By Focusing On The Legislature?

Earlier this year I had a conversation with one of my Democrat friends, and he told me his party’s focus in the 2016 election cycle was going to be the Legislature. The newly-elected chairwoman of the North Dakota Democrats, state Rep. Kylie Oversen, also said recently in a Forum Communications profile that she intends to


Dalrymple Is A Poor Leader On Higher Education

Governor Jack Dalrymple can be a frustrating person when it comes to higher education. For one thing, he’s rarely visible taking a leadership role on the issue despite one scandal after another which has diminished the public’s trust in the institutions. For another, Dalrymple seems intent on enabling the status quo at the universities. A


North Dakota Proves You Can’t Blame Tuition Hikes On State Funding

I woke up this morning to multiple emails from state lawmakers and SAB readers linking me to this Vox article about the relationship between state appropriations for higher education and tuition costs. According to Vox, tuition hikes are a product of budget cuts for universities. “One reason student debt has skyrocketed is that public colleges


Dalrymple Veto Protects Golden Parachutes For University System

After former North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani was sent packing after a group of university presidents all but declared war on him he was given a cushy golden parachute package to go away. In fact, Shirvani is still on the state’s payroll until June 30 2015. He was first relieved of his duty in


Should State Tax Dollars Go Towards Ducks Unlimited Employees?

About a week ago I wrote about an on-going controversy over three Ducks Unlimited employees who work for the federal government’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Many people – including this observer – see that as inappropriate given that Ducks Unlimited is an organization with a very real political agenda (they spent millions trying to pass Measure

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Here’s Hundreds Of Domains The University Of North Dakota Has Registered For Nickname Transition

As I wrote earlier today the University of North Dakota has been giving myself and a SAB reader the run-around on disclosing which internet domains the university has registered ahead of the much-anticipated transition to a new nickname. UND has been making a big deal about how transparent they’ve been in this process, even going