See more of the story

Good morning,

Budget talks continue in Washington, with critical deadlines looming and the nation's debt problem growing.

"About 20% of federal government funding expires on Jan. 19 and the rest is only funded through Feb. 2 — Groundhog Day, in the traditional as well as metaphorical sense, given the budget brinkmanship that continues in Congress," the Editorial Board writes today.

"This time lawmakers will be reacting to a hastily hammered-out bill between bipartisan, bicameral congressional leaders that's just the latest episode of buck (actually, big bucks) passing."

The Editorial Board turned to the University of Minnesota's Kathryn Pearson, an associate professor of political science who's an expert on Congress, for her perspective.

"Even the threat of a shutdown is very disruptive to the federal government," Pearson said. "It takes up a lot of time and energy that could be spent on legislating on Capitol Hill."

Coming this weekend: Commentary editor and columnist D.J. Tice has been busy writing (check out his Wednesday column on Civil War politics) and editing this week. Here's his preview of some of what you'll read in the coming days at Star Tribune Opinion:

"Two dispatches from political ground zero in Iowa take the lead on Opinion Exchange Sunday. Zachary Jack, a Hawkeye State historian, reflects on the diminished condition of the nation's first contest in the 2024 presidential election, with only the Republicans now beginning their nomination struggle in Iowa. Jack also reveals what's real and what's legend in the mythology of the Iowa caucuses.

"Meantime, Carl Leubsdorf of the Dalllas Morning News gives a scouting report on what remains of the GOP field, their styles and their issues. One issue sure to be prominent this year is inflation, and on Saturday an analysis from the Economist will diagnose what really happened in the surge and subsiding of price increases over recent years. Was inflation 'transistory' after all — or did central bankers tame it?"

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

The best of this morning's Star Tribune Opinion report follows: