Thumbs up to Mankato Brewery and the Hockey Day Minnesota organizers for coming up with the idea for special Hockey Day beer that will be sold statewide and raise money for the Hockey Day event that Mankato will host on Jan. 22.

The beer, called “Cross Czech Pilsner,” is made in the tradition of Czech pilsner with malt and yeast from the Czech Republic.

It is the first time Hockey Day has had its own beer. Mankato Hockey Day co-chairs Michelle Schooff and David Wittenberg said they were glad to partner with Tim Tupy, owner of Mankato Brewery, to bring more attention to youth hockey in the Mankato area.

Hockey Day in Mankato will feature a week or more of events and several youth hockey games. The MSU Men’s Maverick hockey team will host St. Thomas at the outdoor rink at Blakeslee Stadium 4 p.m. on Jan. 22.

Pilsner beer originated in the region of what is now Pilsen, Czech Republic, in the 1800s and is considered the first pale lager.

Cheers to Hockey Day Minnesota and Cross-Czech Pilsner.

Loyola electives

Thumbs up to Loyola Catholic School and its partners for expanding the choices of elective classes for its students.

Loyola partnered with South Central College to allow students to take “mechatronics” classes and with Mankato Makerspace so a Loyola teacher and students can do woodworking classes. Other new offerings include cooking, history of film, golf classes and more.

Loyola also received a nearly $40,000 Statewide Health Improvement Partnership grant through Blue Earth County, much of which is being used for the cooking and sports classes.

Offering a wider array of elective classes, some that also come with college credits, benefits students and the community by giving kids more experiences that will help them choose a career path they are interested in.

Kicking the can down the road

A lukewarm thumbs up to the Senate for passing Thursday a measure that delays the risk of a federal default until December.

In truth, a short-term solution is no solution. But a short-term solution is all Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his cohorts in the Republican caucus will allow.

McConnell’s chronic abuse of his ability to block, stall and delay action damages the very traditions of the chamber he claims to uphold. And in this particular case, it poses the risk of crashing the global financial system.

Now we get to go through the same process, and run the same risks, two months from now. McConnell and the Republicans should cease playing with economic dynamite. Sooner or later, it will blow up, and we will all be hurt.

Trading from power

Thumbs up to the resignation/retirements of two Federal Reserve governors who were found to be actively trading in stocks and other securities even as they were helping determine monetary policies that would affect the prices of those assets.

Robert Kaplan, whose last day as president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank was Friday, bought or sold stock last year worth more than a million dollars each in nearly two dozen companies, including Amazon, Kraft Heinz and Delta Airlines.

Eric Rosengren, who ran the Boston Federal Reserve Bank until his Sept. 30 retirement, bought or sold securities tied to real estate.

Their personal financial maneuvers were ethically challenged. They were not unique.

There have been too many in Congress who have sought to profit in the markets from the decisions they make in government, or off the information they glean from private briefings.

The Fed plans to review and tighten its ethics rules. Congress should act also. Between blind trusts and mutual funds, there are plenty of ways for policy setters to invest without putting their fingers on the scale.

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