Posted at 6:39 AM on May 6, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The Minnesota House takes up its redistricting plan today for the state's 201 legislative districts. The plan was introduced on Monday night.
Tidbit: GOP Sen. Geoff Michel now says he won't release their plan for congressional districts this week. Expect the map to be released next week.
Gov. Dayton is emphasizing that GOP lawmakers who think he'll give in and agree to an all cuts budget are underestimating his resolve.
Republicans, who haven't passed a budget yet, are trying to pin a possible special session on Dayton.
MPR caught up with GOP Sen. David Hann in Washington D.C. as he pursued a global waiver for health care. He didn't talk to anyone in Washington D.C. that would actually approve the waiver.
The Racino bill got its first look in a House Committee. The proposal, however, faces an uncertain future.
On Thursday, the Minnesota House passed the Voter ID bill.
Tidbit: The bill's author says she'll "reluctantly' pursue a constitutional amendment if Gov. Dayton vetoes the bill.
An interesting part of the Voter ID debate occurred when Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, said some election judges are already asking for photo IDs at the polls. Drazkowski would not tell MPR News where it occurred.
DFL Rep. Steve Simon's speech against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage has gone viral.
Data gathered from the compound where Osama Bin Laden was killed show that there were plans to attack a railroad in the U.S.
President Obama visited Ground Zero yesterday.
Some lawmakers are pursuing a new timeline in Afghanistan as a result of Bin Laden's death.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Sen. Al Franken are proposing to end ethanol subsidies.
USA Today says the U.S. has the lowest level tax burden since 1958.
Race for President
Tim Pawlenty appeared in a GOP debate of presidential hopefuls. He scored some points but also faced high expectations since none of the other perceived front-runners were there.
Politico says foreign policy dominated the debate.
Tidbit: Most of the rapid responses from the DNC focused on Pawlenty.
Politico notes that Pawlenty and Mitt Romney both won the debate because Pawlenty failed to criticize Romney "because he isn't here to defend himself."
The National Journal says Pawlenty was lackluster in the debate.
The New York Times says the nation's highest ranking Republican, GOP House Speaker John Boehner didn't even watch the debate. ""There's more time for people to get in," Mr. Boehner told a reporter for CBS News who asked why he was not watching."
Tidbit: A Fox News focus group says businessman Herman Cain won the debate.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann didn't participate in the debate. Bloomberg News has a profile of her.
Apple's Steve Jobs and Google's Eric Schmidt won't be sitting at the witness table next week, but both companies are sending high-level representatives to DFL Sen. Al Franken's highly-publicized hearings on privacy issues surround smartphones.
Franken released the witness list today and it includes Guy "Bud" Tribble, Apple's Vice President of Software Technology and Alan Davidson, Google's Director of Public Policy. In a letter several weeks ago, Franken had specifically called on both companies to testify at the upcoming hearings.
The hearings, which take place next Tuesday morning, are the first for the newly-constituted Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, which Franken leads.
These hearings were already in the planning stage when security researchers revealed a hidden file on Apple's iOS devices (which include iPhones and iPads) that tracks users' locations. After the existence of the tracking file came to light, Franken called on Apple and Google, which together control the two most dynamic smartphone platforms, to explain how both companies use their customers' data.
Other witnesses include Jessica Rich, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Federal Trade Commission and Jason Weinstein, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice. Security professionals and trade group representatives will also testify.(2 Comments)
During the first Republican presidential debate of the 2012 campaign, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty reminded viewers that President Barack Obama was against a requirement that everyone buy health insurance before he was for it.
Just a few years ago, Obama "promised the nation he would do health care reform focused on cost containment, he opposed the individual mandate," Pawlenty said on
May 5, 2011.
Pawlenty got this one right.
While campaigning for the White House, then-Sen. Barack Obama wanted everyone in the country to have health care - he just didn't want to require people to buy it.
In fact, Obama and former Sen. Hillary Clinton frequently traded barbs over the issue: Clinton highlighted the so-called individual mandate in her plan, claiming her strategy would cover more Americans than Obama's would. Obama would counter that not everyone could afford health insurance.
"If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house," he told CNN in 2008. "The reason they don't have a house is because they don't have the money."
In 2009, just as debate over the health care bill was starting to heat up, a CBS News interviewer asked Obama, "Do you believe that each individual American should be required to have health insurance?"
"I have come to that conclusion," Obama responded. "During the campaign I was opposed to this idea because my general attitude was the reason people don't have health insurance is not because they don't want it, it's because they can't afford it."
Ultimately, the individual mandate became a focal point in the health care debate. The final law requires that everyone have health insurance by 2014. Those who don't will pay a fine.
It's true that Obama once opposed the individual mandate. Pawlenty's claim is accurate.
Fox News, Republican Presidential Debate, May 5, 2011
PolitiFact.com, Obama flip-flops on requiring people to buy health care, by Angie Drobnic Holan, July 20, 2009
FactCheck.org, They've Got You Covered?, by Lori Robertson and Jess Henig, February 14, 2008
CBS News, The Future of Health Care Reform, July 15, 2009
The New York Times, transcript of the Democratic debate in South Carolina, Jan. 21, 2008
The Cato Institute, Obama Flip-Flops on the Individual Mandate (Again), by Michael Cannon, July 19, 2010
The Kaiser Family Foundation, Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, April 14, 2011
The Humphrey School
The Minnesota House Redistricting Committee has scheduled a Tuesday hearing on their plan to redraw the state's redistricting maps. The hearing will be held on Tuesday morning at 10:15. The House has a 24 hour rule so the plan will be released sometime Monday morning.