Franken to Obama: Knock Off Your Wall Street Love Affair

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John Taylor, via Creative Commons
Franken is fed up with Obama filling his cabinet with Wall Street alums

A growing faction of big-name Democrats, including Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, are lining up to block President Obama from appointing another Wall Street guy to a gig within the Treasury Department.

On Wednesday Franken issued a statement opposing the nomination of Antonio Weiss for Under Secretary for Domestic Finance. Interestingly enough, Weiss works for the same finance company (Lazard Middle Market) Mike McFadden, Franken's opponent in the last election, used to work for.

See also:
Al Franken Grills Uber Over Privacy Policy


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Local Progressives Rejoice After Obama Finally Backs Net Neutrality

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Blais Alleyne
Upcoming political and legal battles will determine the internet's future

In a statement that drew nonsensical metaphors from the right and belated optimism from the left, President Obama finally publicly supported equal internet access for all yesterday.

Obama's statement set the stage for a legal and political battle newly re-elected Sen. Al Franken has repeatedly called "the First Amendment Issue of our time."

See also: The Fall of Net Neutrality: Cable's Plot to Destroy the Internet


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Obama's Minnesota visit was far less "loose" than it seemed, PiPress photog says [PHOTOS]

Categories: Media, Obama
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Photos by Ben Garvin and used with his permission.
Just like regular people, Obama enjoys ice cream outings.
Not too long after he arrived in town last Thursday, President Barack Obama said he was feeling "super loose." The implication was that he's just a guy who happened to be in the Twin Cities on a pleasant summer night, playing it by ear, looking for a good time.

But that was far from the case, says Ben Garvin, a Pioneer Press photographer who was one of just two local photographers to be granted access as part of the president's "traveling pool."

See also:
Ben Garvin, PiPress photographer, posts amazing 'Magic Beard' video


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Obama stayed at Bloomington Sheraton, employee at neighboring business tells us

Categories: Obama
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Obama pic by Steve Cohen for City Pages
-- Update and more photos at bottom --

April Clark McDonald, an employee at Lifetouch photography, was reminded about where President Obama was staying during his overnight trip to the Twin Cities the hard way yesterday morning.

Driving to work, McDonald was stopped at a makeshift barricade by a Bloomington cop. "Where are you going?" he asked.

See also:
"Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment" is a thing in Minnesota [VIDEO]


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Where should Obama go while he's in Minneapolis?

Categories: Minneapolis, Obama
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Obama speaks in north Minneapolis in February 2013.
Today, President Obama comes to Minneapolis for an overnight trip. It's his second journey to the Land of 10,000 Lakes this year. (Check out our humorous post about the first here.)

He'll be at a private fundraiser hosted by Sam and Sylvia Kaplan tonight, and tomorrow, the president will deliver a speech at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. But assuming Barack has a bit of free time in between, what should he do with it? Below are some ideas.

See also:
MNGOP Sen. Dan Hall destroyed on Twitter for making fun of mental illness during SOTU


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Obama's Union Depot speech: Top tweets [VIDEO]

Categories: Obama, St. Paul
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Twitter
Not the Onion: This is a real quote.
President Barack Obama outlined his ambitious transportation agenda during a speech this afternoon at St. Paul's Union Depot, and full video of his remarks are available on page three of this post.

But you'll have to read about what he actually said elsewhere. Instead, for your browsing pleasure, we bring you the ten most entertaining tweets we saw about Obama's Minnesota cameo:

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Al Franken denies he's ducking Obama's St. Paul speech because of president's unpopularity [UPDATE]

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Image by Tatiana Craine
Republicans think Obama is more of a curse than a blessing for local Dems these days.
:::: Al Franken missed Obama's speech for Harold Ramis's funeral ::::

:::: UPDATE III :::: This morning (February 26), we're told plans have changed again and Franken won't be in Minnesota today.

Franken's press secretary, Michael Dale-Stein, told us "Senator Franken was planning to travel to Minnesota for the President's event. But a close friend died, the funeral is today, and he decided he needed to hop on an early flight to be there. So he won't be able to make it to Minnesota for the President's visit."

:::: UPDATE II :::: Turns out Franken might be in St. Paul for Obama's speech after all.

Late this afternoon, Franken's press secretary, Michael Dale-Stein, got in touch to let us know that "Senator Franken is planning to join the President in Minnesota tomorrow so long as he is certain that the Senate will not be voting on the veterans' benefits bill that he's cosponsored."

:::: UPDATE :::: Klobuchar's office got in touch with us this afternoon to shed some more light on why she can't be at Obama's speech tomorrow.

"Tomorrow the senator is chairing a hearing on cell phone competition, including cell phone theft issues, which she cannot cancel," spokesperson Brigit Helgen told us. "That is why she will not be able to be in St. Paul for the event. Otherwise she would be with the President as she was just last month in Michigan for the Farm Bill signing.
"

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Here's how to get free tickets to President Obama's speech at Union Depot on Wednesday

Categories: Obama, St. Paul
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President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at St. Paul's Union Depot around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon "to announce a new competition encouraging investments to create jobs and restore infrastructure as part of the President's Year of Action," a White House statement says.

SEE ALSO: Obama in Mpls: "Law enforcement officers should never be outgunned on the streets"

POTUS's speech is free and open to the public, and you can get tickets this morning.

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MNGOP Sen. Dan Hall destroyed on Twitter for making fun of mental illness during SOTU

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Sometimes, you should just step away from the keyboard.
Sen. Dan Hall -- a second-term MNGOPer representing parts of Bloomington, Savage, and Burnsville -- is no stranger to Twitter controversy. But he may have outdone himself with his live-tweeting of last night's State of the Union speech.

SEE ALSO: MNGOP Sen. Dan Hall suggests gay marriage supporters are unpatriotic

Hall savaged President Obama throughout this speech, at times making fun of him in ways most everyone found offensive. For his effort, the Twitter mentions filled up with a level of disgust we haven't seen since this incident went down last summer.

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Barack Obama disagrees with Sheriff Stanek about the dangers of pot

Categories: Drugs, Obama, Police
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Obama and Stanek don't see eye to eye when it comes to pot.
President Barack Obama takes issue with folks like Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek who contend that smoking pot leads to violent behavior. In fact, POTUS doesn't think smoking marijuana is more dangerous than drinking beer.

SEE ALSO: R.T. Rybak says he smoked his share of pot in high school, but it left him depressed

Obama made those remarkable comments during a recent interview with The New Yorker, telling David Remnick, "I don't think [pot] is more dangerous than alcohol." In terms of how each of the substances impacts users, Obama went on to say he believes pot is actually less damaging "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer."

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