SIDEWAYS THUMBS: While we weren't thrilled to see Gov. Mark Dayton hitting the road this week as opposed to working face-to-face with GOP leaders in St. Paul to solve the state's budget problem and put an end to the two-week-old shutdown, we applaud the governor for making concessions Thursday on the budget in an effort to end the stalemate between himself and the GOP and put the state back to work again. Many Minnesotans were at the point where they didn't care how the problem got solved, as long as they could go back to work, see the return of important public services, or go camping in a state park again. We can't, however, give the governor, nor the Legislature, a true thumbs up because they're the reason the state is in this jam in the first place. Republicans might claim victory this week and remind voters of their "success" next year, but in reality, there are no winners in this battle, only losers - the residents of Minnesota who were victims of a partisan government that failed to get their work done on time.
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THUMBS DOWN: Can't get enough political finger-pointing here at home? Fear not. The same thing is happening at the federal level as Democrats and Republicans are fighting over the best way to reach a debt-limit deal to avoid a national default. House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday likened working with President Barack Obama and the White House to "dealing with Jell-O." We're not sure what that means but it's definitely not flattering, or productive. Should we expect anything less than partisan politics at the national level when that's all we've been getting here in Minnesota for the last six-plus months?
THUMBS UP: We commend the city of Marshall for its response to the July 1 first storm that literally changed the landscape of almost every city block. Officials might have known a potentially big storm was on its way, but weather is unpredictable and there's no way to know how bad a storm's aftermath will be. Turns out, it was bad, not just in Marshall, but in cities around Marshall and at hundreds of farmplaces in southwest Minnesota. In Marshall, power was knocked out shortly after the storm began, but within an hour the lights were back on in most areas of the city. Tree and debris removal started immediately once the storm blew over. Residents of Marshall, too, should be commended for helping out their neighbors as much as they did after the skies cleared.