Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since August 3, 2010. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele- town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school — but no traditional town hall.
2017 Legislative Session
Gaining steam, move to end Sunday alcohol sale ban heads to Senate, Star Tribune
Minnesota House votes to undo Sunday liquor sales ban, Washington Post
Sunday liquor sales passes Minnesota House, Fox9
Sparks focusing on a budget, Albert Lea Tribune
2017 Municipal Elections
Minneapolis DFL expects to move citywide convention to July 8, Star Tribune (more…)
The following article by Paul Farhl was posted on the Washington Post website February 21, 2017:
Milo Yiannopoulos, the incendiary writer and commentator who helped make Breitbart News a leading organ of the “alt-right,” resigned from the news organization Tuesday after a video of him endorsing pedophilia resurfaced online over the weekend.
Yiannopoulos — known simply as MILO in Breitbart’s own coverage of him — has been a flame-throwing provocateur whose writing has offended women, Muslims, blacks and gay people ever since former Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon hired him as a senior editor in 2014. (more…)
The following article by Jefferson Morley was posted on the Alternet website February 16, 2017:
Michael Glennon on the dilemmas of Trump and the Deep State.
Ah, listen to that ominous phrase, the “Deep State.”
You hear the words hissing from the fur-lined rat hole of Breitbart. They ring from the pulpit of Greenwald. They sound in the silos of Salon and The Atlantic and Foreign Policy. And over on Twitter, the white nationalists are Jew-baiting the hapless Bill Kristol because he prefers the Deep State to the Trump State. (more…)
The following article by Jean Hopfensperger was posted on the Star Tribune website February 20, 2017:
Mark Stipakov went to grade school with Russian President Vladimir Putin and consulted with him in the 1990s when Putin worked in the St. Petersburg’s mayor’s office. Watching the barrage of news about his old classmate’s possible influence on the Trump administration, Stipakov worries.
Yes, Putin is a former top spy, he said, but he’s also not a guy who would jeopardize relations with a superpower. (more…)
The following article by Jennifer Van Hook and Barrett Lee was posted on the Conversation website February 20, 2017:
In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, racially and ethnically diverse metropolitan areas were more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton. Whiter metro and rural areas supported Donald Trump. This pattern reinforced the stereotype of “white rural” versus “minority urban” areas.
However, our research shows that the populations of communities throughout the nation are being transformed. The share of racial and ethnic minorities is increasing rapidly and irreversibly. These changes will have major impacts on the economy, social cohesion, education and other important parts of American life. (more…)
The following commentary from the Editorial Board at the Washington Post was posted February 20, 2017:
The president is correct that his Cabinet nominees have run into flak from Democrats in the Senate; nine of 15 department secretaries have been confirmed. The situation is much worse when you include those below Cabinet level. Of 549 key appointments, the White House has yet to name 515, according to a tracker by The Post and Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. Only 14 have been confirmed, and 20 are waiting. These key positions are among the roughly 1,200 total that require Senate confirmation and about 4,100 overall that the new administration must fill. (more…)
The following article by Nate Cohn was posted on the New York Times website February 17, 2017:
Donald J. Trump won the presidential election as the least popular candidate in the polling era. He assumed the presidency with the lowest approval rating of any incoming president.
And his ratings have continued to fall. The question isn’t whether it’s bad for Mr. Trump and the Republicans, but how bad.
Usually, presidents ride high at the start of their terms. After one month, presidents average around a 60 percent approval rating. Even re-elected presidents with considerable baggage, like Barack Obama or George W. Bush, still had approval ratings around or over 50 percent.
The worst data for Mr. Trump comes from live interview telephone surveys like Pew Research and Gallup, which pin his approval rating among adults around 40 percent.
The most recent Gallup survey, the first conducted entirely after the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, has Mr. Trump’s approval rating down to 38 percent, with 56 percent disapproving (a differential of minus 18).
Mr. Trump’s ratings aren’t just bad for an incoming president. They’re bad for a president at any point in a term.
Here’s what it took for past presidents to reach an approval rating differential of minus 15 or worse: (more…)
The following article by Rick Noack was posted on the Washington Post website February 20, 2017:
President Trump caused confusion during a Saturday rally in Florida when he said: “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” Trump then mentioned the French cities of Nice and Paris and the Belgian capital, Brussels. The three European cities were attacked by terrorists over the past two years.
Although Trump did not explicitly say it, his remarks were widely perceived in the United States and abroad as suggesting that an attack had occurred Friday night in Sweden. (more…)