President Obama is in Minneapolis today to address the American Legion's national convention. White House Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy Matt Flavin told MPR News that the president will use his speech to address problems facing veterans and to outline steps his administration has already taken to help veterans.
MPR News will broadcast Obama's speech live. Coverage starts at 10:45.
Under the Dome
AP says Minnesota is using a costly credit line to make sure the state doesn't bounce checks.
The St. Cloud Times says as many as 120 school districts are planning to ask voters to approve levy referendums so schools will get more money.
Gov. Dayton rips GOP legislators who are pushing for an amendment that would require a supermajority to pass a tax increase.
The next stop on the Dayton jobs tour will be Winona. Gov. Dayton to hold a round table there on Wednesday.
The Star Tribune picks up on the elimination of the Market Value Homestead Credit.
Ex-House Speaker Phil Carruthers is a candidate for Hennepin County judge.
MnDOT says the Stillwater Bridge is still safe but needs repairs.
A September 11th Memorial is scheduled for the MN State Capitol.
President Obama selected Alan B. Krueger to lead the Council on Economic Advisers. He is known for his study of labor markets.
The Washington Post says the White House is working to finalize its jobs plan.
FEMA is shifting funds used to pay for the Midwest tornadoes to pay for the cleanup from Hurricane Irene.
The damage could top $12 billion.
President Obama's uncle was arrested on a drunken driving charge.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar was on Midday on Monday.
DFL Sen. Al Franken says American Crystal Sugar's lockout of workers could impact the protections for U.S. sugar.
GOP Rep. John Kline will hold a hearing in Nevada today.
Gov. Dayton says he's support a Vikings stadium referendum.
The parties are endorsing candidates in the two special elections that will be held next month.
Race for President
Gallup says the three day tracking poll of Obama's approval stands at 40 percent - the lowest of his presidency.
The New York Post says Mitt Romney is having trouble raising money from Jewish voters because many mistakenly believe that GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is Jewish.
The AP says Bachmann's book is coming in November.
MPR says Floridians are confused by Bachmann's statement regarding drilling in the Everglades.
Bachmann says she was joking when she said that the recent hurricane and earthquake were evidence of the fact that God is trying to "get the attention of the politicians."
The Washington Post says Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have made conflicting statements on gay marriage.
Perry is leading the GOP field in the latest CNN poll.
Perry was open to new taxes in the past.
Sarah Palin speaks in Iowa this weekend.
Catharine Richert will be doing the Digest for the rest of the week.
The Sentinel wing of Penguin Group says it will publish Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's memoir. Sentinel said the GOP presidential candidate does not yet have a title for the book, will go on sale in November.
In promoting the book, Sentinel promises it contains "untold stories" about Bachmann's life outside of politics, "including her roles as a tax attorney, a wife, a mother of five and a foster mother of 23." Sentinel also said the book with will also address Bachmann's rise in politics and her "vision for America's future."
In its news release Sentinel attributed the following statement to Bachmann:
"People are the most important ingredient in life. I love people, and I care deeply that our nation's economy turns around so they can realize their American dream. This book will help to share my enthusiasm for an energized, pro-growth economy, and the life experiences that inform my optimism for the American people and for American greatness."
According to Sentinel Bachmann will not receive an advance against royalties in compliance with House of Representatives rules.
(AP Photo/Brendan Farrington)
Posted at 10:15 AM on August 30, 2011
by Tim Nelson
The Minneapolis Convention Center is hosting two gatherings today: not only is the American Legion meeting and expecting to hear from President Barack Obama this morning, but Minnesota Muslims are meeting for their Abubakar Eid-al-Fitr prayer service.
Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center executive director Hassan Jama said as many as 15,000 people may gather at the Convention Center to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
And attendees on both ends of the hall donned their formal headwear before they headed to their respective gatherings this morning.
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will join DFL Rep. Tim Walz, DFL Rep. Keith Ellison at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs on Wednesday. The three Democrats will hold a public forum with experts on Africa and foreign aid to discuss the ongoing famine in the horn of Africa. The event will take place after Pelosi and Walz speak to the American Legion's national convention in Minneapolis.
Here are the details of the event:
What: Congressman Keith Ellison and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs will host a public forum and discussion about the ongoing famine in the horn of Africa.
Who: Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi Representatives Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Tim Walz USAID Administrator Raj Shah Hashi Shafi of the Somali Action Alliance Daniel Wordsworth of the American Refugee Committee
When: Wednesday, August 31 1:30 - 3 p.m.
Where: Cowles Auditorium Humphrey School of Public Affairs University of Minnesta 301 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
President Obama spoke this morning before the American Legion's national convention in Minneapolis. The event served as a kickoff to the administration's observance of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Throughout his speech, Obama paid tribute to the military members and their families that served their country since the attacks.
"In a decade of war, they have borne an extraordinary burden, with more than two million of our service members deploying to the warzones," Obama said. "Hundreds of thousands have deployed again and again, year after year. Never before has our nation asked so much of our all-volunteer force-that one percent of Americans who wears the uniform."
The president also used the speech to remind the group about the troop draw downs in Afghanistan and Iraq, the veterans services he's protected during his time as president and his efforts to convince private sector companies to hire more veterans.
You can listen to the full speech here: Listen
(MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)
Minnesota's U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones will take over as acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Jones, who was serving his second stint as U.S. Attorney, will take over an agency that has been receiving heavy criticism over the past few months. The former head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, was criticized for a botched sting operation that resulted in guns getting into the hands of violent criminals in Mexico.
"As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, U.S. Attorney Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a news release. "I have great confidence that he will be a strong and steady influence guiding ATF in fulfilling its mission of combating violent crime by enforcing federal criminal laws and regulations in the firearms and explosives industries."
The news release says Jones will continue to serve in the capacity of U.S. Attorney when he assumes the role of ATF acting director on Aug. 31, 2011.
GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers will staff the Minnesota House of Representatives State Fair Booth on Wednesday. It will be the first time Zellers will appear at the House of Representatives booth at this year's State Fair.
Zellers, GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton are responsible for a state budget that erased a $5 billion projected budget deficit. The plan relies on a mix of spending cuts, one-time money and a payment delay to K12 schools. They passed the budget deal after the state government was shut down for three weeks.
A spokesman for Koch says Koch will appear at the Senate's State Fair booth on Thursday but didn't give a specific time. I'll update the blog if/when a time is set.
You can see the full House schedule here.
You can see the full Senate schedule here.
Eighth district Rep. Chip Cravaack is among 24 freshman lawmakers targeted by a new direct mailing campaign sponsored by a telecommunications union.
At issue is the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that occurred earlier this summer. The Communications Workers of America says Cravaack was among Republicans who supported adding a provision to the FAA reauthorization bill that would have reverted to old rules about airline employee unionization. Critics say the old rules would make it harder for airline workers to unionize.
By insisting on the provision, CWA says the GOP held-up passage of a long-term funding bill. (Congress ultimately agreed to a short-term funding bill that ended the shutdown.)
The campaign is using targeted mailers, phone calls and other tactics to put pressure on Cravaack and other Republican lawmakers to agree to a long-term reauthorization when Congress comes back to Washington in the fall.
I contacted Cravaack's office for comment, and will update this story when I hear back.
Update: Cravaack's spokesman, Michael Bars, sent this comment
The House responsibly passed a bipartisan FAA extension on July 20th and immediately sent the bill to the Senate to avert an imminent shutdown. The Senate did nothing. Senator Reid was more concerned with Ely, NV - not tens of thousands of FAA jobs and working families throughout the country.