“North Dakota has a very popular public bank, but nowhere else in the U.S. does a government-run bank compete with private banking. Fortunately, President-elect Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders convened a task force to look into the creation of a public banking option, set up through the U.S. Postal Service and the Federal Reserve, for low-income and middle-income families. Biden can set parts of such a system up without any legislation, such as USPS launching their own refillable, prepaid debit cards.” – Daily Kos, 12/26/20
“The Bank of North Dakota has released final data for the four coronavirus relief programs it administered with the help of federal COVID-19 aid. ‘BND’s COVID-relief programs impacted businesses in nearly 400 business sectors across North Dakota,’ President Eric Hardmeyer said. ‘This represents a significant effort between BND and the local lenders to deliver these programs to the businesses in greatest need.’” – Bismarck Tribune, 12/16/20
“There’s money in this old town again:
No one to themselves denies; Any small town lives or dies
Somewhere in a compromise; We must learn the truth of lies.” – Chuck Suchy, Songwriter/Farmer, Mandan, ND
“A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance… I don’t mean to say, of course, that all corporate executives and stockholders are bad people. I am only saying that all of them are very seriously implicated in a bad economy…Unsurprisingly, among people who wish to preserve things other than money—for instance, every region’s native capacity to produce essential goods—there is a growing perception that the global ‘free market’ economy is inherently an enemy to the natural world, to human health and freedom, to industrial workers, and to farmers and others in the land-use economies; and…is inherently an enemy to good work and good economic practice.” – Wendell Berry, In the Presence of Fear
“Antitrust is in the news…Widespread anti-competitive practices have sapped efficiency from the U.S. economy for decades now with little response from regulatory agencies or our legal system. That tide has now turned…with cases like Facebook and Chick-fil-A,(which) teach the basics of ‘competition policy’ or what we in the U.S. call ‘antitrust’ …There is no international law against price fixing, so OPEC can meet in Vienna and its member nations can agree on target oil prices and respective output levels…Gouging the public seems (to be) regarded as a victimless crime.” – Edward Lotterman, Bismarck Tribune, 12/19/2020
(President Biden’s Executive Order, January 20, 2021, Modernizing Regulatory Review[MRR]), directs the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, housed in the OMB, to ‘provide concrete suggestions on how the regulatory review process can promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity,…future generations…If you breathe air, drink water, or buy, well, anything, there’s a pretty decent chance that what Biden just did will help you and yours stay safer and healthier-or maybe even just stay alive…Biden’s MRR…doesn’t (simply) target rules created by his immediate predecessor. Instead, the 46th president is going after a structure created by the godfather of modern conservatism in all its forms (including virulent race-baiting): Ronald Reagan.” – Ian Reifowitz, Daily Kos, 01/31/21
“Lies are the invisible shock troops and bodyguards of tyrants.” – Mr. Swamp Fox
Fascism is as fascism does; where and when it happens. There’s no such thing as a coherent “theory of fascism,” except, perhaps, for theorists who’ve never faced armed opponents. From fasces of Rome, through Mussolini’s Fascisti, to Congresswoman Greene’s (R-GA) death threats to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), fascism is based upon vague, facile and paranoid appeals to naked force, rather than concrete, painstaking, democratic procedures based upon rule of law, peaceful expression, and limits to coercion engaged in by governments or mobs. Democracy in America cannot be real unless its leadership is as multi-colored/gendered as its population. Without it, the United States is as much a “failed State” by its own standards, as was the Afghanistan that nurtured Al-Qaeda and 9/11. That is a decision reached by 81 million of our voters on November 3, 2020, a large majority. The 74 million who voted Republican haven’t made up their minds about that reality — how many of them are willing to commit domestic terror to maintain illusions of white dominance remains to be seen. But, illusions are still there, and that particular die is cast for the remainder of the Biden Presidency and beyond.
Pundit peddlers of a kneejerk “bi-partisanship” between a Republican Party which works only for the rich and powerful, and a 2021 Democratic Party which works for all of us, are completely out of touch with realities faced by farmers and ranchers in North Dakota 100 years and solved, to some extent, with State owned institutions which were of, by and for North Dakota citizens — and still are. Every State in the U.S., especially Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV), could use a Bank of North Dakota, created by the Non Partisan League (NPL) in 1918, or a USPS variant to kill off Republican Post Office privatizing rackets, exposed by the shenanigans of Louis De Joy.
Our East Coast, for example, consumes North Dakota “socialist” bagels, with nary a thought that they are produced by a taxpayer owned Grain Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks, ND, from some of the best tasting bagel flour in the country. Although ND Attorney General, Wayne Stenehjem, irrationally, signed a seditious document of treason in the Texas Electoral College law suit – rejected, 9-0, by the U.S. Supreme Court, he also sits on a three member Governing Board with North Dakota’s Governor and Agriculture Commissioner, who, rationally, run State owned enterprises that compete with and complement America’s marketplace. That’s why the Supremes in 1920 (Green vs. Frasier) threw out the private-sector-driven lawsuit against them, also by a 9-0 margin. In law, as well as policy, there is room for cooperation between progressivism and fiscal and constitutional conservatism, when men and women trust reason over fantasy.
Driven back more closely to our families by Covid-19, we are relearning the need for interdependence as did NPL families in North Dakota 100 years ago. I discussed North Dakota and other Constitutional Valentines, founded upon free speech, organizing, fair elections, and rule of law, with my KGB experts in dark arts of fascism used to defeat such democratic notions.
High Plains Reader: Hello friends! Nobody in North Dakota calls the Bank of North Dakota “socialist,” even though it is publicly owned. Isn’t that amazing!?!
Lena: 100 years ago the Bank of North Dakota was called every socialist name in the book except “AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez[D-NY]) socialism,” today’s favored target of sexist, Republican/Space Alien Conspiracy adherents, when they spot a public good that FOX News, QAnon, and other entrepreneurial right wing nuts tell them they should hate.
Señor Perro: In “socialist” North Dakota, resentment against AOC is mostly due to her Puerto Rican heritage and her presence at Standing Rock, ND in solidarity with Native Americans.
Schickelgruber: Ah yes, racism. No “standup” 2nd Amendment fascist should leave “home boy” law enforcement for the Capitol Steps without it.
HPR: I thought they called themselves freedom fighters, Proud Boys, Don’t Tread On Me advocates, etc. They look more like 18th Century mobs than 20th Century Brown Shirts.
Schickelgruber: Some make racism and Anti-Semitism obvious, but most let hate mongering gurus like Rush Limbaugh tell them lies they already believed in — that white folks, white men in particular, are superior to people of color. They don’t need Trump, except as a figurehead. They don’t need blending uniforms. Social media gives them logistics and uniformity of hatreds.
Mr. Swamp Fox: And now House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy needs them as well, so he is pretending to need Trump? What a hope for the Republican Party!
HPR: Indeed, but isn’t it dangerous to democracy that McCarthy, 139 other House Republicans and 7 Republican Senators voted on January 6, 2021 against Constitutional, Electoral College results declaring Joe Biden President, to still proclaim Trump the November 3rd, 2020 winner?
Schickelgruber: For reasonable folks, yes, but not if you believe that democracy is only for Republicans. Fascism based on race, creed or clan doesn’t seem dangerous to folks who deem themselves “chosen” by reason of being a part of the “in group;” and that the 1st and 2nd Amendments allow them to terrorize neighbors with impunity. Such failings of Ancient Greeks and Romans, as revealed in Plutarch’s Lives, inspired your Founding Fathers to put limits on all forms of power into your Constitution. In 1951, President Harry Truman relied on Plutarch for such insight, when he fired popular, but insubordinate, General Douglas Macarthur.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Some serious jail time, a life on domestic terrorist watch lists, and a taste of what real victims feel, might change some minds, such as they are. Like Trump, most of these white supremacy “elites” can’t find their ass with both hands. Their lethal stun guns extend the virtual ones used on their brains by FOX friends and fiends dominating the right wing universe and two thirds of the House Republican Caucus.
Putin: President Joe Biden, FBI Director Christopher Wray and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ain’t playin’. Nor is Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO). She called out “Femi-Semi-Nazi” Marjorie Taylor Greene for packing possible Covid germs in her loud mouth, instead of heat on her hip, a brilliant tactical move. Ms. Bush has survived thuggish police in Ferguson, MO. Crazy-ass Congresswomen like Greene may scare priggish Beltway pundits, but not her.
Jim Crow XV: Congresswoman Bush and President Biden know that it is one thing to be a prisoner of one’s own illusions of superiority, like the MAGA crowd, but quite another to be taken prisoner of other people’s illusions. Such has been the condition of black folks for 400 years, and most other peoples of color who reside in the United States. Four years of imprisonment under a madman President have convinced a critical mass of white folks and “white” money to put Democrats in power in order to throw off chains forged by Republicans.
Rasputin: Painful, but successful, victories of non-violent change in the U.S. are not lost on Russians up against Vladimir Putin. They know what you’ve pulled off better than you do.
HPR: I’m still reeling from the cynical defense of the indefensible that 45 Republican Senators put up in voting on January 26th that Trump’s 2nd Impeachment Trial is unconstitutional.
Chicago Dog: Actually, there’s method to Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) mad motion to tear up the Constitution. Trump was on trial the first time, but it’s Republicans on trial this time. GOP Senators can acquit Trump, but not themselves thereby. Not convicting him means buying his TV lawyers’ plea brief of Trump’s belief in a Biden election conspiracy. That’s an insanity plea that Republican Senators accept OR reject at their peril. They’re really, really screwed.
Mr. Swamp Fox: As his niece, Mary Trump, might put it, insane, sociopathic people like Donald Trump are actually quite logical in the way they proceed to their own destruction and the destruction of others.
Schickelgruber: Trump’s determination to burn the GOP to the ground, along with his own career, is the only area in which he can be compared to Adolf Hitler. Otherwise not. Hitler’s charisma was his own, forged in the madness of WWI. Trump’s is artificial, set in a TV studio.
Agatha Alligator: Unfortunately for the world, Hitler also was physically, recklessly brave and very competent at organizing a Terror State. Trump was neither. But, while Hitler was willing to destroy the German people once he could not rule the world, Trump is similar in his willingness to destroy the Republican Party, once he can no longer “rule” the United States.
Prudence Possum: A rueful Trump staffer, unable to find work at FOX, other wing nut outlets, or “respectable” conservative outfits frantically trying out new identities, left this in the swamp:
The Madness of “King” Donald’s Court…………………………………..……….………..Headless Horseman
The madness of “King” Donald is quite clear;
Illusions based on power and on greed.
His ev’ry moment focused on his need
To be the only one to please or fear.
Trump’s followers did heed his hateful call
To Race War; in a country where that stain
Has long infected our collective brain;
Until we face Best Angels’ mirrored wall.
Republicans who used Trump as their own
Are now dismayed; as used themselves by him.
It is their own guilt that they seek to shed;
Yet cannot shake blame, or a sad renown
As cowards, fools, and knaves. A fate quite grim.
Their reputations shot, and left for dead.