Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Godless Money Commands a High Price

Say what you want about "In God We Trust" on US currency, but it's clear that people are paying a premium for new dollar coins that are missing this inscription. The US Mint has released some new dollar coins that were improperly struck. Intially coins were fetching upwards of $600. As word spread, more were discovered and the price has settled down to about $50 on ebay.

Read the story here

Minimum Wage is a Republican Ideal?

I think not! Once again, the Republican-controlled ND legislature has shown their true arrogant plagiaristic selfs and held a photo-op touting their "Republican" bill to raise the minimum wage. Funny, they've killed the bill the last 10 times the Democrats have brought it to the table. The real credit should go to Sen. Tim Mathern (D-Fargo) and Rep. Jasper Schneider (D-Fargo).

The Forum has more to say on the issue:

Forum Editorial: Democrats initiated wage bill
The Forum
Published Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Monday’s celebratory photo op for signing a minimum wage bill was among the more bizarre political sideshows to come out of the North Dakota legislative session. Conducted by a Republican governor and Republican lawmakers, the lead participants pretty much soft-pedaled the fact that the original minimum wage bill was a Democrat initiative. Indeed, all the majority Republicans did was amend the bill to say it would not take effect until the federal minimum wage is raised, which Congress is expected to do this year.
The efficacy of government setting wages in a diverse jobs marketplace aside (we think it’s a bad idea for North Dakota), the failure of Republicans to properly acknowledge the primary role of Democratic lawmakers in the wage bill was petty. Oh, a brief mention was made of the Democrats, but it seemed almost an afterthought. And a couple of Democratic legislators and a labor union leader were on hand, but their marginal participation came off as so much window dressing.

The original bill was written by Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, and Rep. Jasper Schneider, D-Fargo. It was given little chance of passing because the Republican majority historically has been against raising the state’s minimum wage. But Congress changed hands after the November election and the new Democratic majority said it would advance a federal minimum wage hike. President Bush went along and said he would sign a wage bill. Apparently when the Republican president said he would support a higher minimum wage, Republicans in the North Dakota Legislature began to dance to his tune.

If a minimum wage hike was anathema to Republican legislators in the past, why would they think it’s a good idea now – even if the president apparently thinks so? Why did they appropriate what clearly was – and has always been – a Democratic initiative? Free-market, conservative Republicans have no business lining up behind a wage philosophy that contradicts everything they say they believe.

And since the minimum wage hike was a Democratic bill from the start (changed minimally to reflect pending federal legislation), why snub Sen. Mathern and Rep. Schneider? That’s rude and a tad dishonest.

Sometimes politics – even in civil North Dakota – just stinks.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Republican Plagiarism in North Dakota

plagiarism |ˈplājəˌrizəm| noun
the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.

That describes the republican dominated North Dakota legislature. For years they have completely discounted the democratic minority with arrogance and disdain. The idea that ND Democrats should just be happy their ideas are becoming law even if Republicans have stolen those ideas as their own is completely idiotic. This is just plain unethical! Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. If I were to do this in my university, I would be fired for plagiarism. It's a serious ethical offense.

Read more from the Grand Forks Herald:

VIEWPOINT : Yes, the GOP stole our bills in Bismarck
By Arlo Schmidt and Dorvan Solberg,
Published Thursday, March 01, 2007, Grand Forks Herald

BISMARCK - This is a response to the comments made by Republican leadership in a recent Forum Communications Capitol bureau story, “Cross words at crossover” (Page 4B, Feb. 16).
Republicans acted as if they didn't notice that they had stolen ideas from Democrats. However, it is hard to imagine that Republicans didn't realize they were stealing our ideas. For example, we asked a Republican senator and representative to co-sponsor a bill to keep interest rates down for student loans. They told us they would not sponsor that bill, but then introduced a virtual carbon copy of the bill with several other Republican co-sponsors.

House Majority Leader Rick Berg, R-Fargo, insinuated that it was Democrats' fault for not getting the bills passed. He seemed to indicate that no bill will be passed with a Democrat sponsor because Republicans are in control of both the Senate, the House and the governor's office.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem, R-Bismarck, implied that this is just part of the legislative process. But Stenehjem needs to know that stealing ideas, hoghousing bills and dominating public policy is not part of the legislative process. It is bad politics, and it is not going unnoticed.

Berg alluded to the idea that Democrats shouldn't be upset that Republicans are stealing our ideas. He says that Democrats should just be happy to see their ideas brought forward and getting passed - as if he is doing us a favor by stealing our ideas.

We would just like to compare the situation to something Herald readers can identify with. Pretend that you came up with a great idea at your place of employment. Pretend that you go to a co-worker and ask for help in presenting this great idea to your boss.

Now, imagine the audacity that co-worker would need in order, first, to tell you to your face that he can't help you; and then second, to go to the boss and present your idea as his own.

We suspect you would not be very impressed with that co-worker. That is exactly what is happening in the state Legislature and why we are calling foul.

In the North Dakota House of Representatives, Schmidt, a Democrat from Maddock, N.D., represents District 7 and Solberg, a Democrat from Ray, N.D., represents District 2.