Editorials

Getting serious about the river

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is getting serious about the water quality in the Minnesota River and its tributaries. The MPCA is finalising plans to address a number of problems along the river. It held a session in Mankato Wednesday to go over its report and plans. The problems ...

Something good from Washington

Sometimes good things can happen in Washington. One did this week when the Senate approved a common-sense bill to help veterans of military service. The measure is the Veteran STEM Scholarship Improvement Act, S 2011. It was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Co-sponsors were Sent. Ted ...

So many questions, so little time

CNN’s second round of Democratic presidential candidate debates began last night with 10 of the 20 invited candidates. The other 10 will debate tonight, similar to the last debate. This is a cumbersome, unwieldy debate format, giving such a large number of debaters a mere 60 seconds to ...

What should U.S. do avert election meddling

U.S. senators were told last week that the federal government should have a bigger role in protecting states’ election systems from computer hackers such as those working for Russia. A report submitted to the Senate, on Russian efforts to interfere with U.S. elections, suggests Moscow is ...

Stronger pills raise new opioid issue

We have known for some time that even as the danger of prescription pain pills containing opioids was becoming clear, drug companies were shipping out hundreds of millions of them. Some — not all — doctors continued to write prescriptions for them despite warnings that might not be best for ...

Lowering drug costs

The rising cost of prescription drugs has been a big part of the health care debate in the past few years. Users of life-saving drugs like insulin, epinephrine, people dependent on drugs for cancer treatment, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of other debilitating diseases, have seen the price of ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Relay for Life THUMBS UP: The Brown County Relay for Life was held last night at the Brown County Fairgrounds. It is always a special celebration, featuring fun and good times, always with a serious purpose. This is the 21st year of the Brown County Relay for Life, and since its beginning it ...

Franken will have to live with regret

Former Democratic Sen. Al Franken was the subject of a profile in the New Yorker magazine this week. In it, Franken reflected on the accusations that led him to resign from his Senate seat in December 2017. He said he “absolutely” regrets resigning when he did. Franken, you recall, had ...

Mueller testimony covered old territory

The much-anticipated Congressional testimony by Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday turned up little new ground. As he had warned House leaders, Mueller did not discuss matters that were not part of his final report, he did not embellish or expand on his findings and he did not ...

Too much bad rhetoric all the way around on race

President Trump needs to do better. His recent call for four Democrats in the U.S. House to “go back” to where they came from does not even make sense. Three come from the United States. The fourth is a naturalized citizen, who happens to represent Minnesota in Congress. Trump is trying to ...

Vets deserve help to get into farming

Sen. Tina Smith on Thursday announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making up to $16 million available to eligible groups and organizations to fund efforts to get veterans and non-traditional farmers in Minnesota and across the country to get into agriculture. In the release, ...

Keep reaching for the stars

For some Americans, the 1960s was a time when it was easy to worry about both our individual futures and that of our nation. A bloody war in Vietnam dominated headlines. The young president who inspired us to ask what we could do for our country had been assassinated. We watched in horror as ...

Why wait? Release opioid information

In 2012, after the addictive properties of opioid pain pills were known, drug companies shipped 12.6 billion of them to U.S. pharmacies. That works out to about 38 each for every man, woman and child in this country. No wonder drug companies involved in lawsuits over marketing of opioid ...

Thumbs Up/Down

A man on the moon THUMBS UP: Fifty years ago today Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. It was the culmination of eight hectic years of technological research and development by 400,000 people in NASA to respond to President John F. Kennedy’s challenge. It was a stunning achievement, and an ...

What’s going on at DHS?

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is the state’s second biggest department, behind only Education, with a budget of $18 billion and 6,800 employees. It is complex, covering a wide range of services from medical assistance to day cares to child care assistance. It is, according ...

How did Epstein get away with it so long?

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is among the sleaziest of perverts, if federal authorities are to be believed. Given his 2008 guilty plea to charges he had sex with minors in Florida, there is no reason to discount charges he faces now in New York. Outrage already has been expressed over the ...

Banish intolerance, not disagreement

It has been pointed out that President Donald Trump’s racist attack on four Democratic congresswomen may have been calculated for political reasons. That is, Trump may have hoped outrage over his tweet would show his base that moderate Democrats have more in common with their party’s ...

The marvel of Apollo 11

Fifty years ago today, millions of people around the world watched as the Apollo 11 mission blasted off from Cape Kennedy in Florida, carrying the first men who would walk on the moon. The marvel of that accomplishment, carried out only eight years since President John F. Kennedy had proposed ...

Trump’s racist tweet

President Donald Trump has exhibited racists tendencies since he first announced his candidacy for president by denouncing the “rapists and murderers” who were crossing the southern border from Mexico. If there was any doubt about his feelings towards other races and cultures, he made it ...

Ross Perot had big impact on nation

H. Ross Perot died last week. The 89-year-old self-made Texas billionaire is best known for his 1992 run as an independent candidate for president. With a grassroots organization, a big collection of pie charts, a talent for folksy expressions like “That giant sucking sound you hear is jobs ...