Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since September 6, 2011. 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, robocalls that come to you saying he’s sorry you weren’t there to take his invitation to the tele-townhalls — but no traditional town hall.
The following article by Michael DeBonis was posted on the Washington Post website September 16, 2017:
As long as there has been a federal income tax, taxpayers have been able to deduct most of the state and local taxes they pay from earnings subject to Uncle Sam’s grasp. But that deduction — especially popular in states rich in Democratic voters — could disappear as soon as next year if President Trump and congressional Republicans succeed in their promised rewrite of the tax code.
The state and local tax deduction, or SALT, has long been a target for tax-policy wonks who see it as an unwise federal subsidy that is mainly claimed by the wealthy. But politics have always intervened: Thanks to the opposition of lawmakers in high-tax states, the deduction has survived every effort to clear out loopholes, including the last federal tax overhaul of similar ambition in 1986.
Now, Republican leaders have made clear the SALT deduction is on the table, and it has shaken up a number of blue-state GOP legislators who are warning that it could derail the ambitious tax plan Trump is now pushing. Read More
The following article by James Hohmann with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve was posted on the Washington Post website September 14, 2017:
THE BIG IDEA: West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner’s son was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and suffered traumatic brain injury.
When he finally made it home, the Republican asked his boy to tell him about his toughest day in combat.
“He had been wounded. There was a girl who had a leg blown off. They had to call in F-16s to secure their positions,” Warner recalled in an interview. “I was expecting those kinds of war stories out of him. But he said, ‘Dad, the hardest day for me, without a doubt, was election day in Afghanistan.’ It was 110 degrees. Before they went out, they put tourniquets on each of their arms and legs so, if they got hit, they could still turn the tourniquets. They found five IEDs around the one polling place that his platoon was assigned to defend.” But Afghans came out to vote any way, even at great personal risk to themselves. Read More
The following article by Ben Kamisar was posted on the Hill website September 7, 2017:
Minnesota will be a pivotal battleground in the midterm fight for the House majority, featuring five of 2018’s most contentious races.
Rep. Tim Walz’s (D) decision to run for governor has created an open seat in the 1st District, while freshman Rep. Jason Lewis (R) will try to hold on to his swing seat.
Buoyed by President Trump’s strong performance in the state, Republicans plan to go on the offensive in two seats currently held by Reps. Rick Nolan (D) and Collin Peterson (D). But Democrats have their own plans in the state, aiming to win over well-educated suburban voters who could help them oust Rep. Erik Paulsen (R). Read More
The following article by Steven Rosenfeld was posted on the AlterNet website September 6, 2017:
Six snapshots of who DACA recipients are: strivers, hard-working, responsible, honest, vetted—and more than half are women.
Within hours of President Trump announcing he would end the DACA program, some right-wingers took to the airwaves saying were fed up with being told to have sympathy for these youths and families that the federal government was poised to break up.
That was the case on CNN, when host Don Lemon had to cut off John Fredericks, a right-wing talk show host, who said that most Americans struggling to get through their days were tired of hearing about the 800,000 young people who didn’t have visas to be here. Read More
The following article by Jefferson Morley was posted on the AlterNet website September 7, 2017:
The president dumps the GOP for a fling with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
With the election of Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan made a Faustian bargain. They embraced Trump—an impulsive and ignorant man, filled with racial animus—with the hope they could ride his popularity with conservative voters to enact their agenda of tax cuts and deregulation.
Their corruption caught up with them on Wednesday. Trump humiliated the Republican leaders by siding with their Democratic counterparts Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In a White House meeting, Trump blindsided his allies and endorsed the Democrats’ proposal for hurricane relief and raising the debt ceiling. Read More
The following commentary by Marie A. Faillinger, Kendra Brodin, Mike Essien, Ben Kwan and Larissa Maldonado was posted on the Star Tribune website September 2, 2017:
Sens. Klobuchar and Franken are right to be taking their time.
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen should not have called out U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken for “obstructionism” in the nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to fill retired Judge Diana Murphy’s seat on the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (“Partisan game-playing blocks an outstanding judge,” Opinion Exchange, Aug. 25).
To call their delay “obstructionism” is to say “let’s just move along with the process.”
Paulsen calls for a rubber stamp on a judicial nomination that was anything but open and transparent and that was not one that might yield the diverse court that the public needs.
The following article was posted on the Sun-Current website August 31, 2017:
Approximately 50 demonstrators called on Third District Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Eden Prairie) on Aug. 23 to support Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 general election. (Sun Current staff photo by Sean Miner)[/caption]Approximately 50 people assembled in Eden Prairie Aug. 23, bearing signs and occasionally chanting, to call on Third District Rep. Erik Paulsen to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 general election.
Meeting near Paulsen’s office in Eden Prairie, the demonstrators mostly stood at the intersection of Prairie Center Drive and West 78th Street, near Eden Prairie Center. The protest was organized by Mound resident Denise Knights, who described protecting Mueller’s investigation as a bipartisan issue. Read More
The following commentary by Myron Orfield was posted on the Star Tribune website August 29, 2017:
The justice’s record must be evaluated. Specifically, there’s reason for concern over his views on civil-rights precedents.
In his Aug. 25 commentary “Partisan game-playing blocks an outstanding judge,” U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen criticized U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar for halting Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras’ appointment to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In my view, Klobuchar and Fran-ken are exhibiting appropriate diligence. My own work focuses on civil rights and school integration, and Stras’ previous statements have left me deeply concerned about the impact of his appointment within these areas. Indeed, there is reason to believe that Stras might frustrate ongoing voluntary school integration in Minnesota. Read More
The following article by Julian Borger was posted on the Irish Times website August 23, 2017:
Obama-era intelligence chief James Clapper questions US president’s ‘fitness for office’ after Phoenix speech
Donald Trump’s access to the nuclear codes is “pretty damn scary”, a former US intelligence chief has said, calling Trump’s rally in Arizona on Tuesday night “disturbing”.
James Clapper, director of national intelligence for seven years under Barack Obama, questioned the US president’s “fitness to be in this office” after his demagogic performance in Phoenix, and expressed anxiety about Trump’s power to launch nuclear weapons without consulting Congress or any other official.
Once a president has verified his identity with a code kept constantly on his person or nearby, the military chain of command has no power to block his launch orders. Read More