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We're not sure what President Barack Obama's legacy will be. But we are sure about what it should be: Presidents should not pass major, once-in-a-generation legislation without bipartisan support. When Massachusetts voters elected Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate in 2010, Obama faced a choice. A few weeks earlier, Senate Democrats had passed their version of Obamacare. They'd taken advantage of their 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority to pass the massive bill on a party-line vote.
Does "Make America Great Again" mean bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, which for decades required broadcasters to present both sides of hot issues? North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer says no. But his actions speak louder than his words, because Cramer's using his position in Congress to scold broadcast networks for their alleged bias and to pressure them into reporting in a more balanced way.
Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown seeks consensus. That's an endearing trait, and Grand Forks voters have welcomed it. In 2016, they re-elected Brown to his fifth term. But it's a new year, and we hope the mayor resolves to shape consensus in 2017—that is, to take a more assertive role. He has earned it. Brown has built up a tremendous amount of goodwill over the years. He's liked by everyone, and he's trusted as well.
Editor's note: Safer Tomorrows is a collaboration of 40 agencies in Grand Forks County to address children's exposure to all forms of violence. Starting in 2011, the effort was awarded more than $3 million in grants, the bulk of that from a competitive U.S. Department of Justice grant program.
Lloyd Omdahl's column on this page doesn't mention Fargo. But Grand Forks readers ought to see that word when they read between the lines. Omdahl's column is a terrific complement to Herald staff writer Sam Easter's story from last week, "Great debates: Grand Forks history shows division over big projects" (Page A1, Dec. 29).
He was a recruit: a high-school football star, no doubt, who was considering the University of Minnesota and was on campus to meet the football team. He likely was a guest in TCF Bank Stadium that day when the team played its first game of the season. But that night back in September, the recruit found himself at a very different crossroads: Alone in a Dinkytown apartment with his team-member host and a drunk girl. What to do? That's where the Coaching Boys into Men program comes in. Or should have come in, in the recruit's case.
So why live in the Grand Cities—or for that matter, anywhere else in this flat, frozen, seemingly desolate moonscape? Every Red River Valley resident has muttered that question, probably multiple times an hour when the temperature plummets to 20 below. And often, the answer will be some variant of this: Because it's a great place to raise kids. Now comes evidence that's worth at least a Rocky Mountain peak or an Atlantic beach or two, when it comes to boosting the region's appeal: It's true.
The national Democratic Party is looking to the wrong Minnesotan to restore the party to power. North Dakota Democrats should learn from Washington's mistake, and ask the right Minnesotan—Congressman Collin Peterson—for advice. Nationally, Democrats are considering Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., to chair the Democratic National Committee. But Ellison represents Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District. That geographically tiny district consists of Minneapolis and a few suburbs, and is "far and away the most Democratic district in the state," as Wikipedia notes.
Originally, it was a law to honor religious observance. Now, it's pure protectionism, guarding some lucky businesses against competition. And for Minnesota's law barring Sunday liquor sales, that's no longer reason enough.
Editor's note: Recently, Grand Forks civic-improvement activists C.T. Marhula and Dean Braseth visited the Herald to offer proposals on Grand Forks' library, Arbor Park and infrastructure sales tax. The following is a transcript of the conversation, edited for clarity and length. □ □ □ Q. Tell us why you're here. Marhula: We want to recognize and deal honestly with the elephants in the room.