Program reform in Lyon County
THUMBS UP: Numerous House and Senate candidates in the area have expressed the need for the state of Minnesota to eliminate or reform programs that provide duplicate services in order to save money, and it appears area counties are on the brink of doing just that. Lyon County commissioners on Tuesday voted in support of the formation of a joint board for a combined Southwest Health and Human Services agency, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2011. Forming a combined health and human services agency will conserve funding and resources for Lincoln Lyon and Murray Human Services and Lincoln Lyon Murray and Pipestone Public Health. Each of the current member counties still need to approve the agreement by the end of the month.
Set an example, LeBron
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: LeBron James, arguably the best player in the NBA - at least the best player in the league who doesn't have a championship ring - can make a defining statement in his young career this summer by choosing to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers - the team that drafted him. James will officially become a free agent when the season ends and there's no doubt he will have plenty of big-market suitors. He could wind up in New York and play for the Knicks. He could land in L.A. to suit up for the Lakers. Both places are attractive for any superstar athlete because of the big-city atmosphere and the money both teams can afford to throw at the King's feet. He, like so many other pro athletes of his caliber, will, of course, be grossly overpaid for his services, and it would be hard for James to turn down offers from either coast. Already a superstar, James' star would shine ever brighter in the Big Apple or at Staples Center, home to the Lakers, as well as a number of Hollywood heavyweights who attend their games. So James' loyalty to a quiet, nondescript city that has about as much limelight as a dive bar compared to other NBA cities will be tested in the coming months. James told CNN's Larry King on Tuesday that Cleveland and its fans have "given me a lot in these seven years. And, you know, for me, it's comfortable. And so it does have an edge" when it comes to James' next destination. Hopefully those words ring true and James sets an example that loyalty still has a role in pro sports. In an age of huge contracts where the line between sports and Hollywood sometimes becomes blurred, it would be nice to see the King of the NBA stay put and, in turn, stay as humble as he can.
Want help? What do you say?
THUMBS DOWN: President Barack Obama wants Republicans and Democrats to work together to help on the economy. It's a theory that seems idealistic; politicians scream for bipartisanship, it seems, on all issues, foreign and domestic. But Obama, like any Democrat or Republican, once again is going about it the wrong way. If you want dogs and cats to get along you don't criticize one or favor another. Obama on Wednesday said he is working to rebuild the economy without much help from Republicans, saying they have mostly "sat on the sidelines and shouted from the bleachers." Sounds like an insult, and that's no way to spur bipartisanship. That's just making the divide between the two parties even greater. "We already know where their ideas led us," Obama said of Republicans. "And now we have a choice as a nation. We can return to the failed economic policies of the past, or we can keep building a stronger future." Another insult. Why can't a president simply set the tone and set an example right away by not taking jabs across the aisle? Why not just swallow some pride and ask for help, for ideas? You can catch more flies with honey, right?