Minnesota politics - commentary, blogs and multimedia | StarTribune.com

Dayton denounces religious bias at Muslim Day event

Gov. Mark Dayton, shown in January, mounted a defense of religious freedom on Wednesday, saying “there should be a public outcry every time” religious freedom is violated.

Seattle announces lawsuit over Trump sanctuary cities threat

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016, file photo, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, second left, speaks at a post-election event of elected officials and community leaders at City Hall in Seattle. On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, Murray announced that Seattle is suing President Donald Trump over his executive order that threatens to withhold federal funds from communities that refuse to cooperate with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally.

Seattle filed a lawsuit Wednesday over President Donald Trump's executive order that threatens to withhold federal funds from communities that refuse to cooperate with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally.

Applications for US unemployment aid fell to 258K last week

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, evidence that the U.S. job market remains healthy.

US Marshals join search for missing 91-year-old judge

The U.S. Marshals Service is looking for a 91-year-old federal judge who has been reported missing from his Pennsylvania home.

The Latest: Ryan says Congress awaiting new Russia documents

The Latest on the Senate intelligence committee's hearing on Russian interference in last year's presidential election (all times local):

Report: FBI recovers Rockwell painting taken in 1976

The FBI has reportedly recovered a 1919 Norman Rockwell painting stolen more than 40 years ago from a New Jersey home.

The Latest: EU official warns Trump over Brexit support

The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz says he's running for governor
Hot Dish Politics

The Democratic congressman, who has represented southern Minnesota since his election in 2006, told the Rochester Post-Bulletin that he's running for governor.

Franken to vote against Gorsuch nomination
Hot Dish Politics

As Democrats line up to oppose Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the Supreme Court, Sen. Al Franken is vowing to vote against Gorsuch and Sen. Amy Klobuchar appears to be leaning against him.

Distraction cited as pedestrian deaths spiked in 2016

Pedestrian deaths are climbing faster than motorist fatalities, reaching nearly 6,000 deaths last year — the highest total in more than two decades, according to an analysis of preliminary state data released Thursday.

Senate hearing to focus on Russian disinformation tactics

Some tactics Russia used to meddle in last year's presidential election would give shivers to anyone who believes in American democracy, the Senate intelligence committee's top Democrat says.

A look at latest ruling on Trump administration travel ban

A federal judge in Hawaii who temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban hours before it was set to take effect issued a longer-lasting order Wednesday.

Casino mogul Phil Ruffin among Trump's closest friends

Billionaire Las Vegas casino owner Phil Ruffin has never been to the White House. On Thursday, he'll have dinner there with his friend, Donald Trump.

Agreement to end N.C. 'bathroom bill,' but are there enough votes?

Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper say they have an agreement to end the state's so-called "bathroom bill" that they hope will drive away negative national attention and remove obstacles to expanding businesses and attracting sporting events.

For Ivanka Trump, rising profile comes with backlash

She has a West Wing office, facetime with world leaders and unrivaled access to the president. And as Ivanka Trump's White House role grows, so does the backlash.

Amid US' Afghanistan uncertainty, Russia resurrects interest

As America's 16-year war in Afghanistan drags on, Russia is resurrecting its own interest in the "graveyard of empires." The jockeying includes engaging the Taliban and leading a new diplomatic effort to tackle Afghanistan's future, all while Washington leaves the world guessing on its strategy for ending the conflict.

Trump administration drops human rights in Bahrain F-16 deal

The Trump administration has told Congress it plans to approve a multibillion-dollar sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain without the human rights conditions imposed by the State Department under President Barack Obama.

AP EXPLAINS: Could Pell Grants work year-round?

Pell Grants have been a fixture of federal financial aid since the 1970s, helping about 8 million low-income students attend college each year.

AP SPIN METER: Was Trump joking on health care?

To believe or not to believe? That is the question, when it comes to President Donald Trump's comments about what comes next on health care.