Daily Digest: Sparing the surplus

Good morning. Here it is Thursday already. No election results today, but there are some other interesting items in the news.

1. The House passed a jobs budget bill that increases spending by $12 million. Because House Republicans want to use the entire $900 million budget surplus for tax cuts and road projects, the bill cuts some state programs, including incentives to lure filmmakers to the state. Democrats say it shortchanges rural broadband and efforts to reduce racial economic disparities. (MPR News)

2. A Transportation Security Administration manager told a congressional committee he was instructed by supervisors to profile imams and other Somalis in Minnesota. A TSA spokesperson denied that the agency tolerates racial profiling. (MPR News)

3. The Republicans competing to be the candidate to succeed John Kline in representing Minnesota’s 2nd District in Congress have released their first quarter fundraising reports. They show a wide-open race. Here’s an analysis of how the race to take on DFL Candidate Angie Craig is shaping up.  (MinnPost)

4. A federal judge called the former speaker of the U.S. House a “serial child molester” before sentencing Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison.  The statute of limitations has expired on the abuse allegations, but Hastert was sentenced for violating banking laws. (NPR)

5. Donald Trump gave a speech about foreign policy Wednesday. He didn’t provide a lot of specifics, but said “America First” would be focus of his administration. His speech included criticism of Hillary Clinton and President Obama and some familiar themes from his campaign speeches. He said American would have a coherent foreign policy under a Trump administration but also called for the U.S. to be more unpredictable. (New York Times)

  • wjc

    #5: So under a Trump administration, American foreign policy would be both coherent and more unpredictable. What does that look like exactly?

    He is going to draw lines in the sand and enforce them, but aggression is not his first instinct. So where are these lines going to be drawn?

    “America First” but we want to support our allies and friends, apparently as long as they want what we want.

    Coherence is not off to a good start.

  • wjc

    #1: Why do I get the feeling that the end of the session will come and the House and Senate will just turn the lights off and go home? They don’t have to pass a budget. There is no shutdown threat. They don’t even have to pass a bonding bill, if they can’t agree. This session might not accomplish much, if anything at all.

  • tiffiny vanvorken

    I like Trump’s thinking. No more “chicken” Obama and dealing from weakness,

    • wjc

      Assuming the nations of the world are like the kids in a neighborhood, Trump wants to be a bully telling all of his “friends” what to do (“America First”). That is not the way to get to a stable, prosperous situation. It turns your friends into hangers-on who have no real motivation to help you, since you care nothing about them. It encourages your enemies to take potshots at you and your “friends”, just because they can.

      Trump’s world view is a losing proposition.

  • Chuck Beardsley

    Is there any consideration given to use state surplus to aid the business and other entities economically devestated by the Mille Lacs Lake fishing issue, ie, open to only catch and release for walleyes because of dnr mismanagement and native american netting?