Stillwater native and Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was the carrier of the latest, strongest message by the administration on Israel. Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere reported late Monday: “White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made clear in a speech to a left-leaning Israel advocacy group that President Barack Obama isn’t letting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off the hook for his dismissal of a two-state solution. … ‘An occupation that has lasted more than 50 years must end,’ McDonough said, one of several times he brought the crowd to its feet.”
The week’s most hotly anticipated press conference: Minnesota GOP leaders unveiled their budget targets for the 2016–17 biennium. The Star Tribune’s Patrick Condon summarizes:
Republican leaders in the Minnesota House proposed $40 billion in total state spending over the next two years, including $2 billion in unspecified tax relief.
The GOP spending plan, outlined Tuesday, is about $3 billion less than DFL Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed $43 billion budget plan for 2016-17. Dayton wants considerably less in tax relief, proposing a total of about $200 million in tax credits for child care, working families and school supply purchases.
Democrats objected to excessive cuts in the plan. The Tea Party also objected, but for the opposite reason.
The mining industry versus wild rice — wonder who’s going win this one? According to MPR’s Tom Scheck, Gov. Mark Dayton is pulling for U.S. Steel: “In an interview with MPR News, Dayton said the existing sulfate standard aimed at protecting wild rice is out of date, and pushing it could be catastrophic for northeastern Minnesota. … ‘Some people will say, “you’re going to abandon the standard,” ’ Dayton said. ‘But if the standard is obsolete and it’s not validated by current science and information, then to stick with it and close down an industry isn’t really well advised.’ ”
If you define “dreariness” as a combination of lots of precipitation, and many wet and cloudy days, as meteorologist Brian Brettschneider does, Minnesota isn’t so bad — and we’ve got it much better than those suckers in Seattle and Portland. So there. [City Lab]
The 2015 James Beard Awards nominees have been announced. Among the Minnesota finalists:
- Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” for Television Program, on location
- Jason DeRusha’s “DeRusha Eats” on WCCO for Television Segment
- The Perennial Plate: Africa and the Americas by Mirra Fine and Daniel Klein for Video Webcast, on Location
- Shea, Inc. for Restaurant Design (Spoon and Stable)
- Spoon and Stable for Best New Restaurant
- The Bachelor Farmer’s Paul Berglund, Salty Tart’s Michelle Gayer and Heartland’s Lenny Russo for Best Chef: Midwest
In other news…
Things are really going downhill across the border: “Report: Wisconsin worst in nation on shrinking middle class” [The Cap Times]
Kevin Garnett will throw out the Opening Day first pitch at Target Field [Star Tribune]