THUMBS DOWN: It is now clear that Minnesotans will have to exercise extreme patience when it comes to the state really getting back on track fiscally. The shutdown might be over, but this state is in a financial mess, and that mess probably won't be cleaned up for another six years or more. The same challenges that legislators faced entering the 2011 session will be there again in 2013, only the players in the game will no doubt have been replaced by then (with the exception of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton) and it's likely we've seen the last of the Republican, Democrat split between the Legislature and governor. Such a dynamic often leads to a stalemate in St. Paul - we saw it to the extreme this year and we saw it under Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's watch when he presided over a DFL-controlled Legislature. There's a chance, however, that the DFL will win back control of the House and Senate next year, giving the Dems complete control over Minnesota politics and lessening the chance of a shutdown. That's not good news for Republicans who survive the next election, but then again, neither would another shutdown in 2013.
Tyler's big weekend
THUMBS UP: If you are looking for something to do this weekend, you need not look any further than a trip to Tyler, which will be hosting its annual Aebleskiver Days and the Lincoln County Fair. A?scheduling quirk landed both events on the same weekend, which also just happens to come three weeks after an F2 tornado hit the city leaving behind a minefield of downed trees. This is a big weekend in Tyler, not just because there are multiple events going on, but the fact that the city is ready to go also proves how a strong community, no matter how small, can bounce back from adversity and roll out a welcome mat for thousands of visitors just weeks after the streets were littered with trees and debris. Don't be bored this weekend - head out to support the city of Tyler and see for yourself the true spirit of community.
Bachmann's migraines a non-story
THUMBS DOWN: Opponents and the media are making a big deal over the fact that presidential candidate and tea partier Michele Bachmann suffers from migraine headaches. The fact that other politicians are even bringing the issue up simply speaks to the fact that they are worried about how much steam she's gained in the last few months. She has cemented her candidacy and credibility to the point where critics are grasping for straws to slow her momentum. Truth is, her migraines shouldn't even be an issue. The country has had presidents with major health concerns before - FDR?had polio, JFK severe back problems and Thomas Jefferson, you guessed it, severe headaches. It's true migraines can be incapacitating, but you would be hard-pressed to find a past president who didn't have health concerns. Bachmann might not be the best candidate for the job, but she should be judged on her politics, values and ability to run this country, not on a health issue.