67 minutes

Nelson Mandela, one of the world’s great statesmen, is 94 today. In South Africa, it’s a day to spend time — 67 minutes ideally — not working for a buck, but for the common good. An interesting idea…

Pinwheel time

I talked about the political ads on the air earlier this week, and I’ve been trying to watch some more to get a perspective about where the dialog is in the race.  After substantial minutes watching 30-second spots, the phrase “eyes spinning like pinwheels” comes to mind.

I’ll pick on one ad in particular, the new one where Rick Berg gets his mom to lie for him.  She needs to break out the soap for the both of them, because saying that Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare is a lie.  A willful lie, deliberately repeated to make folks think it’s true.

Overall, the tone of the ad is defensive, and its attempt to parry Berg’s ill-defined stance on Social Security and Medicare into another untruthful attack on the Affordable Care Act is only going to resonate with those who already want to agree.

In short, the ad is not so much persuasive as it is evasive.  That’s Rick Berg in a nutshell.

Kevin Cramer develops foot-in-mouth disease

Kevin Cramer’s playing both sides of the Farm Bill debate this week, cozying up to sweet, sweet government money for farmers, while shaming the less fortunate among us who can’t feed themselves.

Cramer’s message to food stamp recipients across the nation is to come work in North Dakota.  A land of limitless opportunity to get blown up, fall 30 meters off a rig, and have your kids go to school in a FEMA trailer.

It may surprise you to learn that even in boomtime North Dakota, there’s still 59,000 people on SNAP*.  Maybe poverty is a problem that you can’t just hand-wave away, and there needs to be a resource of last resort if you don’t want people dying of starvation. Continue reading

Nastygrams

Heidi vs. Rick has easily become the filthiest campaign I can remember. In some respects this is a positive indicator — if national cash was out of the race there’d be hardly a peep from the League. Then again, I’m still one of those people that prefers policy over pandering.

Even with petro-devastation in Western North Dakota, the tone of Heidi’s anti-crime ads doesn’t make me think of the present, it just reminds me that the last time Heidi was in circulation was in the late 90s.

Heidi’s bipartisan leadership on the eminent domain issue seems like something better to run on. It happened relatively recently, appeals to the anti-gubmint types, and it at least points somewhat in the direction of a positive vision. There’s even a renewable energy tie-in to make, which would go a long way to soothing my hesitation to embrace Senator Heitkamp.