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

Chief of staff Kelly defends Trump's call to Gold Star widow

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.

He started by describing the reverent handling of America's war dead, bodies packed in ice and shipped home in the dark to Dover Air Force Base.

George W. Bush delivers sustained rebuke of Trump

Former President George W. Bush said Thursday in New York that "bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”

Former President George W. Bush condemned the "bullying" and "casual cruelty" in public discourse and denounced white supremacy two months after Trump said "both sides" were to blame at a neo-Nazi rally that turned violent in Virginia.

The Latest: Obama speaks at Virginia Democratic rally

The Latest on former President Barack Obama campaigning for Democrats running for governor in New Jersey and Virginia (all times local):

Judge won't throw out ruling explaining Arpaio's conviction

The judge in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's now-pardoned criminal case has refused the retired lawman's request to throw out all rulings in the case, including a blistering decision that explained her reasoning in finding him guilty of a crime.

Chelsea Handler says Trump presidency motivated her to leave her show for activism

Federal officials target harassment in Arizona Tribes

A scathing new report released this week by the U.S. Department of Interior casts a critical light on the Bureau of Indian Affairs response to sexual harassment complaints by Colorado River Indian Tribes workers and members involving a bureau employee.

Trump's border wall models take shape in San Diego

The last two of eight prototypes for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall took shape Thursday at a construction site in San Diego.


Lawmaker dismayed at decision to shut down 35W this weekend
The Drive

Minnesota House Transportation Finance Chairman Paul Torkelson said he is disappointed the department is carrying on with the closure when as many as 200,000 people could be making their way into downtown Minneapolis.

Rep. Paulsen to friend, housemate Scalise: "Welcome back roomie"
Hot Dish Politics

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen welcomes his friend and housemate back, three months after Rep. Steve Scalise was gunned down at a congressional baseball practice.


The Latest: Obama bemoans rise of racial politics

The Latest on former President Barack Obama campaigning for Democrats running for governor in New Jersey and Virginia (all times local):


The Latest: Senate moves provision to allow Arctic drilling

The Latest on President Trump, Congress and $4.1 trillion budget plan (all times EDT):


White nationalist Spencer drowned out by protesters

Counter demonstrators greatly outnumbered white nationalist Richard Spencer's supporters on Thursday at the University of Florida, their chants drowning Spencer out during his speech.


Bipartisan plan to curb health premiums gets strong support

A bipartisan proposal to calm churning health insurance markets gained momentum Thursday when enough lawmakers rallied behind it to give it potentially unstoppable Senate support. But its fate remained unclear as some Republicans sought changes that could threaten Democratic backing.


Obama tells Democrats to reject politics of division, fear

Former President Barack Obama called on fellow Democrats to reject politics of "division" and "fear" while rallying on Thursday at the side of his former ambassador to Germany, who's running for governor.


Chicago-area man gets maximum 15-year term in terrorism case

A federal judge scolded a former college student from suburban Chicago as he sentenced him to a maximum 15-year prison term Thursday for seeking to join terrorist-linked militants fighting Bashar Assad's regime in Syria, saying he would have given him even more time behind bars if statutes allowed it.


Pentagon faces demands for details on deadly attack in Niger

Members of Congress demanded answers Thursday two weeks after an ambush in the African nation of Niger killed four U.S. soldiers, with one top lawmaker even threatening subpoenas. The White House defended the slow pace of information, saying an investigation would eventually offer clarity about a tragedy that has morphed into a political dispute in the United States.


House panel: 15 Trump agencies yet to provide travel costs

A House committee is demanding that 15 federal agencies fully account for senior officials' travel following reports of costly plane travel by Trump Cabinet secretaries.


AdvaMed turns to White House to intervene in stent price cap dispute with India

Trade group says device price cap dispute is "existential threat."


Hennepin County starts to fine-tune its 2018 legislative wish list

Priorities are child protection, government efficiency, medical lab funding.