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That Christmas look

THUMBS UP: Next week city crews will be stringing garlands of evergreen branches across Minnesota Street. The garlands, with their neon bells and stars, have been a tradition in New Ulm for many years.

How many years, you ask? According to the knowledgeable folks down at the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, the garlands have been a downtown Christmas tradition since 1925.

That’s a long, long time. We salute those who keep that tradition alive every year and make downtown beautiful for the holidays.

Bipartisan meltdown

THUMBS DOWN: In a sign of the growing dysfunction in Washington D.C., Senate Democrats on Thursday changed the filibuster rules that have stood for a century. It will now take a simple majority – 51 votes – instead of the 60-vote supermajority previously required to end a filibuster.

Republicans in the Senate are howling mad over this. The filibuster has been their main weapon against the Obama Administration and the Democratic majority in the Senate. Determined to keep the president from having his way Republicans have been blocking the presidents attempts to fill administration and judicial positions, especially the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., which is down from 11 to eight members, and is currently evenly split between Democratic and GOP appointees. The last three presidential nominations have been filibustered by Republicans determined to keep the president from packing the court.

The filibuster is intended to protect the rights of the minority party and give them an opportunity to have an impact on policy and decision making. It’s not meant to give control of government to the minority party.

We’re sure the GOP will make Democrats pay if they get the majority some day. That seems to be the reigning philosophy in politics today, to make your opponents suffer.

Seifert in the race

THUMBS UP: Former State Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall has joined the race for the Republican nomination for governor, joining Jeff Johnson, Dave Thompson, Kurt Zellers, Rob Farnsworth and Scott Honour. Seifert is an intriguing candidate, a budget-slashing, conservative on social issues kind of guy who willing to work with Democrats even as he issued colorfully critical statements about them as House Minority Leader.

This is Seifert’s second run for governor. He lost to Tom Emmer for the GOP nod last time around, in part because Emmer appealed more to the conservative elements. We think Seifert will give the GOP an electable candidate.

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