The Free Press, Mankato, MN


December 21, 2012

Our View: Gridlock in Congress has reached a low point

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To congressional gridlock over the last two years, which has resulted in “the least productive Congress in contemporary history,” according to congressional expert Thomas Mann at Washington’s Brookings Institution.

Mann said there is no question about the lack of productivity and partisanship. He sees the problem going beyond ideological polarization between Democrats and Republicans but a darker kind of abuse of the process where congressional leaders use votes and debate to further partisan politics like never before.

That’s a pretty big indictment that goes beyond business as usual. This Congress has left hanging such important laws as reauthorization of the farm bill, the defense bill that funds our troops and even disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy victims.

Add to those issues, the apparent inability to make a deal on the fiscal cliff and things like unemployment benefits, and it seems like government has reached an appalling level of dysfunction.


Maple River High School band gets plumb gig

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To the Maple River High School band for once again being invited to perform during halftime of a prestigious bowl game — this time the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans.

This is the forth big bowl game where the band has performed in recent years. It was selected after submitting an audition tape and its past performances at other bowl game also won it a spot this year.

The trip is a great opportunity for students who’ve worked hard to put together a top notch marching band and their appearance should be a source of pride for the Maple River school community and the Mankato region as a whole.


North Mankato making wise decisions

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To the North Mankato City Council for showing restraint and solid consideration for the city’s future on various decisions recently.

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