Editorials

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Bavarian BlastTHUMBS UP: It's Bavarian Blast time again. The festival survived some rocky financial patches the last couple of years with a solid attendance last year, and is back again at the Brown County fairgrounds. The weather promises to be a bit nicer this weekend, which should help ...

New Mexico owes us a ‘thank you’

When it comes to dollars flowing to the federal government, and federal dollars coming back to the state, Minnesota is not doing very well.A study published this week in The Economist shows that over the last 20 years, Minnesota ranks second only to Delaware in the gap between the federal taxes ...

National debt falls on students as well

Predictions of looming disaster for millions of college students have some of them convinced the sky is falling over federal student loan rates. It is not.But a genuine disaster involving the national debt is not far off. Already it is affecting all Americans, including students whose economics ...

Zimmerman verdict not about race, guns

=The killing of Trayvon Martin last year sparked a nationwide debate over some large issues that really had not that much to do with this case. It was considered an example of abuse of the right to bear arms, an example of racial profiling run amok, an example of how poorly the justice system ...

Obama’s Egyptian summer wears on

The so-called "Arab spring" has turned into a long, hot summer in Egypt - but for now, the hottest seat is in the Oval Office at the White House. There, President Barack Obama and his advisers are wrestling, ineptly as usual, with an issue that need not be difficult to solve.Earlier this year, ...

POW/MIA program failings outrageous

Beside and just below the American flag at many places in West Virginia and Ohio can be seen the black and white POW/MIA banner. It is a sign that many local residents view it as a duty to find out what happened to the thousands of Americans still listed as missing in action or as prisoners of ...

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Real farm bill neededTHUMBS DOWN: House Republicans may consider it a victory that the House passed a stripped down version of the U.S. Farm Bill, one that separates the Food Stamp program out of the legislation. But the chances of this version of the Farm Bill getting through the House/Senate ...

State’s surplus good news for schools

The report that Minnesota finished the latest budget year, ending June 30, with $463 million more than had been forecast, put a lot of state government leaders in danger of dislocating their shoulders from patting themselves on the back.Governor Mark Dayton was happy that the money could be ...

Give average citizen the same break

"Obamacare," the White House version of socialized medicine for Americans, always was a train wreck about to happen. Already the law has jumped the tracks.President Barack Obama's administration announced last week it will delay, for one year, a requirement that businesses provide health care ...

MnDOT 20-Year Plan: Speak out for Highway 14!

The draft 20-year State Highway Investment Plan (MnSHIP) recently released by MnDOT lacks vision and does not reflect public input. It stings that Highway 14 - a project that is an overwhelming priority of the citizens - is still not a priority of MnDOT.The only four-lane expansion project of ...

Will businesses wait until state acts?

One of the poorer pieces of legislation passed in the 2013 Legislative session is the new sales tax on warehousing and storage services. Since the bill was signed by Gov. Dayton, Minnesota-based businesses have complained about the tax, which is scheduled to take effect in April 2014.Warehouse ...

Weeds: A word from the confused middle

Early in June, I drove our Toyota Sienna 600 miles roundtrip on a baseball trip with some buddies. Last week, our family drove 700 miles to vacation on Madeline Island. My wife drives to New Ulm to work four or five times a week. In our family, we're up to five drivers and six vehicles. Middle ...

Fill the Inspector General gap

Among the true heroes of public service are men and women serving in government inspector generals' offices. They root out waste and wrongdoing, bringing it to taxpayers' attention. Without them, heaven only knows how much of our money would be flushed down ratholes in Washington and state ...

NRC transparency

Transparency will be the hallmark of her administration of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Allison MacFarlane assured U.S. senators before they voted a few days ago to confirm her for a five-year term as NRC chairwoman.Let's hope so. Pledges of transparency by politicians - and make no ...

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Cigarette tax reactionTHUMBS UP: The reaction of smokers to the new, higher cigarette tax was about what we would have expected. Smokers stocked up over the weekend in anticipation of the $1.60 per pack hike in the tax on cigarettes.Sooner or later, however, cigarette smokers are going to face ...

Putin makes a joke

It is a measure of the contempt in which Russian leader Vladimir Putin holds U.S. officials that he made the announcement he did on Monday. Throughout the world, Putin's comment must have had professional spies shaking uncontrollably with laughter.Here in the U.S., however, Edward Snowden is no ...

The First Minnesota

As we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence on Thursday, we should take a moment today to remember an important anniversary in Minnesota history.This year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and with it the action in battle that has forever emblazoned the name of the ...

Let’s focus on the cost of college

The average U.S. college student walks off campus with about $26,500 in student loan debt, much of it in government-subsidized low-interest loans. Typically, students have 10 years to pay off the debt.Members of Congress now are under fire because interest rates on new Stafford loans have ...

No evidence of wrongdoing?

Among the most upsetting aspects of the Internal Revenue Service scandal is that participants in harassing organizations based on their political ideals do not seem to recognize they did anything wrong.Last week, acting IRS head Danny Werfel conceded his agency discriminated against more ...

A July 3rd to remember

July 3rd, 2013 should become a day to remember - to call to mind the sacrifices of our forebears as the struggle to preserve our Union became ever more costly and bloody. The program that is scheduled at Riverside Park begins with a 3:30 p.m. gathering at the refreshment and food stands. At ...

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