Editorials

Farm bill a long time coming

It is two years overdue, but Congress has finally produced a farm bill. The new bill, replacing the old one that expired last month and left the nation's farmers in a state of uncertainty, was cobbled together by the House-Senate conference committee last week. It passed the House on Wednesday ...

State of the Union – stalled

Strip away all the hopeful, feel-good stories and the introductions of this average American and that average American who did great or admirable things, and the annual State of the Union address would be a lot shorter. The address President Barack Obama gave on Tuesday, when boiled down, ...

Be aware of season’s dangers

The bitter cold, blowing snow and high winds made this weekend a dangerous one in Minnesota.Despite several days of dire forecasts and winter storm warnings, there were still a lot of people out on the roads Sunday getting stuck in the drifts, running off the road or into each other in whiteout ...

Keeping warm getting expensive

Another wave of arctic-cold weather is set to hit the area. Minnesotans are used to this. It is kind of amusing, sometimes, to watch the national reporters or news channels in the southern states making a big deal out of weather that, for us, is par for the course.What is unusual this year is ...

Do we trust Iran or not?

On Monday, U.S. officials announced some economic sanctions against Iran are being eased because that country says it is complying with an agreement not to build nuclear weapons.Also on Monday, other U.S. officials announced the United Nations should rescind an invitation for Iran to ...

Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

Upon further review, MNsure stinksTHUMBS DOWN: An outside review of MNsure, the Minnesota health insurance exchange that's supposed to help people get health insurance before the March 31 federal government deadline, was released this week. In the opinion of UnitedHealth Group's Optum Division, ...

What a fine example

Americans have gone from a White House with a "just say no" attitude toward illegal drugs to one recommending, in effect, "just say maybe.""Just say no," the slogan coined by former first lady Nancy Reagan during the 1980s, was a firm reaction to the dangers of illegal drugs, including ...

An international crime

Hackers who could be sitting at a computer anywhere in the world hacked into the Target Corporation system during the holiday shopping season, stealing credit card and debit card information from millions of shoppers. They used a program developed by a teen-aged computer expert in Russia. Two ...

Weeds: The nest gets a little emptier

The '96 Sable was packed full, all Abby's stuff that fit, including her pet hedgehog. Our daughter graduated from the University of Minnesota in December. Now she was moving to Seattle, preparing to drive the 1,613 miles there (according to Mapquest).The moment came for leave-taking. Abby's mom ...

What if MLK had lived to lead?

What if MLK had lived to lead?Today the nation celebrates the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the great civil rights leader of the 1960s who's life was tragically cut short on April 4, 1968 by an assassin's bullet.In November, as the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination ...

Botched execution should give pause

In 1906, the state of Minnesota held its last execution of a murderer. William Williams was hanged in the Ramsey County Courthouse basement, in the middle of the night. It was a botched job - the sheriff overestimated the amount of rope needed, Williams hit the floor without breaking his neck, ...

Bullying law needs revision

One of the issues sure to come up before the Minnesota Legislature is the state anti-bullying law. Minnesota's current 32-word law is considered one of the weakest in the nation, and efforts were taken last session to pass a stronger version. It passed the House but not the Senate, and is sure ...

Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

Helget honorTHUMBS UP: Brown County Auditor-Treasurer has been around a long time at the County Courthouse. He was elected County Auditor in 1986, and became Auditor-Treasurer when the two positions were combined in 1989. It's easy to take someone for granted after all this time, but Helget was ...

Governor’s wish list

Governor Mark Dayton issued his bonding bill proposal, a wish list of nearly $1 billion in projects he says will create tens of thousands of jobs in the state. Like a letter to Santa Claus, it contains a lot of really neat stuff, but stuff that Santa (or Mom and Dad) probably can't afford.It's ...

Senate doesn’t need $67 million palace

Late in the final hours of the last Minnesota legislative session, a measure was shoehorned into the tax bill to build a new office building for the state Senate, along with a parking ramp. The office building that is envisioned will cost the state $67 million, with $23 million more for the ...

Recycling ‘problem’

Minnesota apparently has a recycling "problem" - apparently we don't recycle plastic bottles at the rate the Legislature thinks we should.So the Legislature is considering a bottle deposit bill - tacking a 10-cent deposit on plastic bottles that can be redeemed when you take them to a recycling ...

Profiting from failure

Take the money and run. That may well be the motto of officials at CGI Federal, the company that botched the rollout of the Obamacare website - www.healthcare.gov - last fall.Government officials announced last week they are not renewing CGI's contract to handle the website. Another ...

Protecting our financial data

Target Corp. has upped its estimate of the size of its customer data breach. Target originally said information had been hacked from 40 million customers. Now it estimates 110 million people had lost data. Data thieves not only took credit and debit card information, but names, addresses and ...

Out of touch on MNsure

Gov. Mark Dayton admitted on Friday to being sadly out of touch on the issue of the MNsure project. In a press conference he said he was unaware for at least six months of contract changes with its lead contractor, Maximus Inc. in which the state took over responsibility for constructing ...

Bullying bill an unfunded mandate that won’t fix bullying problem

Next session, it's expected that the Democrats will take up the "Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act," better known as the bullying bill. The bill passed the House last session, but was never passed by the Senate.Statistically, cases of bullying in our schools have dropped precipitously ...