Thumbs Up/Down

Not funny, Sonny

THUMBS DOWN: The beating farmers are taking from the tariff war with China is not a laughing matter. Just ask farmers here in southern Minnesota. Perhaps Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue didn’t get that memo before making a bad joke about farmers during a Farmfest listening session with farmers this month. When faced with numerous complaints during the session, Perdue joked: “What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.” Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish said the joke was “not an appropriate thing to say” and “very insensitive.”

Israel bars Omar

THUMBS DOWN: We don’t know which is worse — President Donald Trump tweeting that it would be “a show of great weakness” for Israel to admit two U.S. congresswomen that he is feuding with, or Israel going along with him?

You may not like or agree with Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota or Rep. Radhida Tlaib of Michigan. They are two of the four “squad” of liberal congressional newcomers with a pro-Palestinian point of view. Trump had earlier suggested should “go back” to their rotten countries and fix them up before criticizing him and America. The president was meddling with Israel’s border policy by suggesting they be barred, and Israel is stepping into Trump’s political battle with “the squad” by banning them.

School already?

THUMBS UP: Springfield and Sleepy Eye students are heading back to school early next week, and other area schools won’t be far behind. It doesn’t seem like summer could be that close to ending, but after the County Fair things time seems to speed up. Well, good luck to all the teachers and students getting ready for the news school year.