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Plain Talk With Rob Port

News & Politics Podcasts

Plain Talk is a podcast hosted by blogger and columnist Rob Port focusing on political news and current events in North Dakota. Host Rob Port writes SayAnythingBlog.com, North Dakota’s most popular and influential political blog, and is a columnist for the Forum News Service published in papers including the Fargo Forum, Grand Forks Herald, Jamestown Sun, Minot Daily News, and the Dickinson Press.

Plain Talk is a podcast hosted by blogger and columnist Rob Port focusing on political news and current events in North Dakota. Host Rob Port writes SayAnythingBlog.com, North Dakota’s most popular and influential political blog, and is a columnist for the Forum News Service published in papers including the Fargo Forum, Grand Forks Herald, Jamestown Sun, Minot Daily News, and the Dickinson Press.

Location:

United States

Description:

Plain Talk is a podcast hosted by blogger and columnist Rob Port focusing on political news and current events in North Dakota. Host Rob Port writes SayAnythingBlog.com, North Dakota’s most popular and influential political blog, and is a columnist for the Forum News Service published in papers including the Fargo Forum, Grand Forks Herald, Jamestown Sun, Minot Daily News, and the Dickinson Press.

Twitter:

@robport

Language:

English

Contact:

7012144517


Episodes

203: Lawmaker fundraising on harassment accusations a "slap in the face"

3/2/2021
Supporters of Rep. Luke Simons, an embattled Bastiat Caucus lawmaker from Dickinson who has been accused of harassing behavior by numerous women who work in and around the Legislature, have begun raising money for his legal defense. Simons currently faces no criminal or civil charges, though House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and other Republican leaders have called on Simons to resign and have said they'll consider expelling him from the chamber if he doesn't. How does one of the women...

Duration:00:19:55

Jay Thomas Show 03-01-21

3/1/2021
Rob and Jay talk about the scandal surrounding Rep. Luke Simons, as well as the problems with wind energy.

Duration:00:42:55

202: Bill would hide North Dakota's presidential vote counts

2/24/2021
The fighting over close national elections can be vicious. We saw that last year in the heated battle between Joe Biden and Donald Trump where many of the latter's supporters made claims of vote fraud. But it's not a recent phenomenon. Turn back the clock and you find Democrats in the George W. Bush-era hatching conspiracy theories about Diebold voting machines. Given the reality of that sort of turbulence, does it make any sense to make the election process less transparent? Less open to...

Duration:00:20:25

201: "If you want a three-minute Fox hit, it's a great place to be"

2/23/2021
"The policies surrounding renewable energies was a huge part of this problem," Congressman Kelly Armstrong said on this episode of Plain Talk. The "problem" in question are the power outages that have recently plagued Texas and a vast swath of the middle of America. For Armstrong, it illustrates not just the absurdity of the government promoting intermittent forms of energy like wind and solar to the degree it has, but also the need for a renewed commitment to energy infrastructure. It's...

Duration:00:51:19

Jay Thomas Show 02-22-21

2/22/2021
Rob and Jay talk about summer school and insulin prices.

Duration:00:42:38

200: Sen. Cramer on wind power, the electrical grid, Ted Cruz, and Rush Limbaugh

2/19/2021
Power outages touched millions of Americans this week, including North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer. "I actually had a 45-minute blackout," he said on this the 200th episode of Plain Talk. What can be done to prevent these sort of blackouts in the future? A lot of energy policy gets made at the state level, for a lot of excellent reasons, but from the federal perspective Cramer sees a two-pronged approach. One, the lavish production tax credit for wind energy, which provides some perverse...

Duration:00:48:47

199: Could North Dakota get longer school years?

2/18/2021
"We have a bit of a crisis in K-12 education right now," North Dakota Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said on this episode of Plain Talk. At issue is the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it's had on the state's schools. While some of the testing and other measurements of academic progress vary from district to district, Baesler said her office estimates that as many as 25 to 28 percent of students currently aren't performing at grade level. The "chaos" of the pandemic "has had an impact on...

Duration:00:28:50

198: "We can't afford to shut down any more coal plants"

2/16/2021
State Rep. Dave Nehring is a Republican from District 8, an area which covers what might fairly be described as the heart of North Dakota's coal industry. This gives Nehring an interesting perspective on the recent energy shortages that are turning off lights here in North Dakota and across the nation. "We can't afford to shut down any more coal plants," Nehring said on this episode of Plain Talk. Coal Creek Station, the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota, is located in...

Duration:00:27:48

Jay Thomas Show 02/15/21

2/15/2021
Rob and Jay talk about the arctic weather and what it's doing to the power grid.

Duration:00:44:41

197: Can North Dakota break the Apple/Google app store monpoly?

2/10/2021
In the late 19th century hundreds of small, short-line railroads were being bought up and consolidated into larger companies. Our nation's burgeoning economy was (and still is, in many ways) dependent on those railroad lines which, increasingly, were under the control of a shrinking number of people. Those people began using their monopoly over the transportation of goods to price gouge and manipulate markets. "If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king...

Duration:00:30:44

196: "We have to protect businesses from lawsuits"

2/9/2021
During the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners and policymakers have had to walk a balancing act between acknowledging the very real dangers of the coronavirus outbreak and the terrible economic realities attendant to shutting down or restricting businesses. Keeping businesses open during the pandemic - a necessity because people still needed many of those businesses, and those businesses needed to survive - was a health risk for business owners, the employees, and the customers. How much...

Duration:00:16:50

Jay Thomas Show 02-08-21

2/8/2021
Rob and Jay talk Super Bowl, social media outrage, and an update on what's going on at the Legislature in Bismarck.

Duration:00:50:49

195: "There's no defending the things she's said"

2/5/2021
"She didn't violate a rule in Congress," Congressman Kelly Armstrong said, referring to Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene has come under fire for numerous comments she's made on social media and elsewhere supporting conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks and school shootings. "There's no defending the things she's said," Armstrong said on this episode of Plain Talk, but argued that it's up to the voters in Georgia, not the majority party in the U.S. House, to hold...

Duration:00:41:34

194: 'Scrap the current platform'

2/2/2021
Shelley Lenz and Cesar Alvarez are two Democratic-NPL candidates who have lost previously on the ballot but think they have ideas that can help Democratic candidates start to win in North Dakota. "Scrap the current platform," Lenz said on this episode of Plain Talk. "It's not resonating." Lenz and Alvarez want to be chair and vice-chair of the Democratic-NPL, and they want to organize the party around a platform of a half-dozen or so policy proposals. The party needs to "simplify our...

Duration:00:32:59

Jay Thomas Show 02-01-21

2/1/2021
Should North Dakotans be allowed to open and patronize cigar bars? Rob and Jay talk about it, also legislation aimed at seat belts.

Duration:00:44:40

193: Sen. Cramer talks Trump impeachment, Game Stop craziness, and more

1/29/2021
"Even markets can be irrational," Senator Kevin Cramer said on this episode of Plain Talk. He was talking about activist investing which has ballooned stock prices for companies like video game retailer Game Stop and movie theater chain AMC, hitting bear investors who had placed bets on those prices declining right in the pocketbooks. What should be done about it? Nothing, says Cramer. At least not right now. He says he's waiting to see how things play out. Cramer also spoke about the...

Duration:00:48:08

192: Is it imprudent to invest in North Dakota?

1/28/2021
"This bill changes the legal guidelines." That's what former North Dakota Treasurer Kelly Schmidt had to say of a proposal, currently before the Legislature in Bismarck, which would invest 20 percent of the billions in the state's Legacy Fund in North Dakota businesses and infrastructure. Private entrepreneurs could access that capital to start up or expand their businesses. Also, local communities could access the money to finance infrastructure projects cheaper and quicker than they are...

Duration:00:31:21

191: Native Americans are the "most regulated people in America"

1/26/2021
President Joe Biden's brand new administration has already taken swift action, by way of an executive order, on all manner of policy fronts. One notable area is energy, where Biden has already withdrawn an already-issued permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Now he's expected to sign a new order halting new oil and gas development on federal lands. What could this mean for tribal lands? "It's not good," North Dakota Indian Affairs Commissioner Scott Davis said on this episode of Plain...

Duration:00:23:54

Jay Thomas Show 01-25-21

1/25/2021
Rob and Jay talk about a bizarre DUI case before the North Dakota Supreme Court as well as a bill that would reimburse lawmakers for meals.

Duration:00:22:42

190: Investing the Legacy Fund in North Dakota

1/20/2021
North Dakota's Legacy Fund, since it was created by the Legislature and approved by voters in 2010, has turned a slice of the state's oil tax revenues into a nearly $8 billion balance. That balance is invested in stocks and bonds across the nation, and the world, including in some ways that, as a moral matter, we shouldn't be happy about. Almost none of it is invested in North Dakota. Rep. Mike Nathe wants to change that. Or, at least, the part where practically none of these North...

Duration:00:34:34