North Dakota

Let Europe Mind Its Own Business. It Brings Nothing To The Table Save For Mischief.
February 12, 2010

Europe is a mess. Greece is the country on the continent closest to utter wreck. (And, if not for statements yesterday by Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy, there would literally be no hope for a life raft anywhere near Athens soon. This morning's FT smothers even those wan hopes.) Spain, Portugal and Ireland are not far behind ... or under. Each of these countries has views on how Israel deals with the Palestinians, and they don't like it at all. Neither do the past and present "foreign ministers"—so to speak, but not exactly—of the European Union.

I Know What You Did Last Summer
February 09, 2010

So how would Republicans respond to President Obama's invitation to a bipartisan meeting on health care? Consider the first paragraph of this new letter from House Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor: We welcome President Obama's announcement of forthcoming bipartisan health care talks. In fact, you may remember that last May, Republicans asked President Obama to hold bipartisan discussions on health care in an attempt to find common ground, but he declined and instead chose to work with only Democrats. Yes, I do remember Republicans asking for bipartisan talks.

Murkowski's Campaign Against EPA Carbon Regs Hits A Snag
January 12, 2010

One of the big reasons a cap-and-trade bill could still pass Congress this year is the fact that the EPA is making preparations to put forward its own carbon regulations on power plants and other industrial sources. (I wrote a primer on what those rules would entail here.) That puts pressure on reluctant senators: Either they write a bill to deal with carbon emissions or else the EPA will use the clumsy tools under the Clean Air Act and do the job itself.

Dorgan! Dodd! Democrats! D'oh!
January 07, 2010

WASHINGTON -- A politically shrewd Senate Democratic staff member chatting about the future of health care negotiations stopped in midsentence late Tuesday afternoon as news flashed across his computer screen. "My God," he said. "Byron Dorgan is retiring." It was a thunderclap moment in the politics of 2010, an unfortunate twist for Democrats already looking at a difficult election year.

Dodd and Dorgan Retiring
January 06, 2010

In electoral terms, it's close to--but not quite--a wash for the Democrats. In North Dakota, the party goes from a likely win to a sure loss. In Connecticut, it goes from likely loss to likely win. Suzy Khimm wrote a terrific piece about Dodd this summer. I especially like the ending: "He was charged with no crime," Dodd has written of his father, "and broke no law. ... He always argued that he had done nothing wrong.

Carbon Tariffs Show Up In Unlikely Places
January 04, 2010

The world's first carbon border tax is on the way—and, surprisingly, it doesn't involve imports from China: To encourage the switch to clean renewable energy, Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012, to discourage the use of coal power, the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. ... Most of North Dakota’s electricity exports is generated by coal-fired power plants.

Planet Worth
December 11, 2009

Of all the different industry groups scrambling to shape climate policy in Washington--from electric utilities to Detroit automakers--one stands out as a bit unexpected: Wall Street. Financial giants like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have enlisted, all told, more than 100 lobbyists to roam the Capitol and influence the debate over how to curb greenhouse gases. There’s a reason for that: Any cap-and-trade bill that puts a limit on emissions and allows polluters to buy and sell permits will create a vast carbon market.

Stash Exclusive: Sen. Kent Conrad Discusses 2nd Stimulus
December 01, 2009

Earlier today I opined that additional aid to states was a "virtual non-starter on the Hill" even though it's one of the most efficient tools we have for preserving and creating jobs. But I stand corrected (sorta). In a telephone interview this afternoon, North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and a key figure in discussions about more stimulus, told me that additional state aid is definitely on the table.

Something's Rotten In ...bismarck?
December 11, 2008

Now this is a statistic I never would have guessed: "North Dakota Tops Analysis of Corruption" The piece in USAT was prompted by the recent excitement in Illinois. Turns out several states rank on a per capita basis as more corrupt than Blago's, including Louisiana (now there's a shocker!) and Alaska (ditto). But North Dakota? Don Morrison, executive director of the non-partisan North Dakota Center for the Public Good, suggested to USAT that corruption is just easier to root out in North Dakota, because there are so few people that everyone knows what everyone is up to.

Phantom Menace
February 13, 2008

John B. Judis: The psychology behind America's immigration hysteria.