THUMBS DOWN: If you don't believe how hard it was for some people to deal with the demolition of the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church in Taunton, check out the Public Forum below. The author of the letter about the church said it was "like losing a family member." How true. A small-town church like the one in Taunton isn't just another building, especially to those who worshipped there long ago, it's an important piece of fabric that makes up the quilt of a community. Churches are gathering places, and places of comfort and reflection, as well as worship. Many were sad to see it go and now have only memories of the old church to cherish.
THUMBS UP: Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, the straw poll winner in Iowa in what seems like years ago, made the right call this week to exit the race for the GOP presidential nomination. This field of Republicans was once a dozen-strong, and is now down to three, some would argue four, major candidates. Bachmann made her decision following a horrible showing at Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, and Rick Perry would be wise in following suit to further thin the herd of candidates. That's what caucuses are for -?to separate the contenders from the pretenders, and it's clear Bachmann was nothing more than a pretender.
Let the games begin
SIDEWAYS?THUMB: If you think the political season doesn't begin until Jan. 24 when the 2012 legislative session convenes, think again. It's already begun. Lawyers for both parties got at it Wednesday as redistricting talks heated up. Lawyers for Democrats urged a special panel of the Minnesota Supreme Court to reject the GOP's plan and the GOP lawyers, in turn, defended the plan. Redistricting happens once every 10 years to adjust congressional and legislative districts to reflect population changes in the census. The goal is to create districts for each office with an equal number of people. Our prediction: No one will be totally satisfied with whatever the outcome is - much like no one walked away from last year's deficit resolution happy. Such is life in politics. We only hope the debate retains some air of civility and doesn't regress into petty finger pointing; we're sure to see enough of that during the regular session. The new maps will be released Feb. 21.