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President Obama spoke at the memorial service today for 12 men and women gunned down at the Navy Yard.

There is nothing normal about our children being gunned down in their classrooms. There is nothing normal about children dying in our streets from stray bullets.

No other advanced nation endures this kind of violence -- none. Here in America, the murder rate is three times what it is in other developed nations. The murder rate with guns is ten times what it is in other developed nations. And there is nothing inevitable about it. It comes about because of decisions we make or fail to make. And it falls upon us to make it different.

Full transcript after the jump
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President Obama makes a direct connection between the "oppose everything Obama wants" attitude of Republicans and the consequences of denying health care to 30 million people.

It's the health care, stupid.

Transcript after the jump

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Obama says "common sense" will prevail and Republicans won't shut down the government over health care.

46%23 votes
53%26 votes

| 49 votes | Vote | Results

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Ranked Choice Voting will play a huge role in the Minneapolis mayoral race since the local Democratic party failed to endorse any of the six Democrats running. Watch the video to see what Democrats think of that.

All of the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) party candidates along with several others will be on the ballot for this fall's election. There will be no primary. Voters will be able to vote for  their top three candidates and rank them 1, 2 and 3.

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Do you think Ranked Choice Voting should be used for Congressional and Presidential elections?

65%21 votes
25%8 votes
9%3 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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Failed Minnesota Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer announced Wednesday that he will run for the Sixth District congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Emmer lost to Governor Mark Dayton by a few thousand votes in 2010 — a year of many Republican wins in Minnesota. His candidacy was damaged by a remark about waiters making $100,000 a year and his opposition to gay and lesbian rights.  Emmer's opposition to gay rights gained media attention when activists boycotted Target Corp. for donating to a fund that backed Emmer.  

Prior to running for governor, Emmer served in the Minnesota Legislature. He now co-hosts a morning AM radio talk show on a conservative Twin Cities talk station. He and his co-host, Bob Davis, have been caught up in controversies about inflammatory remarks the pair have made on several occasions, including a recent outburst in which Davis told the families of the Sandy Hook School shooting to "go to hell" because of their campaign for gun-safety measures in the wake of the massacre of 26 first graders and their teachers.

Bachmann announced last week that she will not seek election to a fifth term.

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If Emmer Replaces Bachmann in Congress:

0%0 votes
34%10 votes
65%19 votes

| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Minnesota State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (R), known for his outrageous statements  about homosexual genetics and welfare as a government scheme to pay black men to impregnate women, has added another notch to his legacy of misinformation.

Citing reliable sources such as CPAC, Gruenhagen outlines how alternative energy is a "disaster" and global warming/climate change is a "lie" and a "conspiracy."

Gruenhagen made these statements Wednesday night on the floor of the Minnesota House:

Ultimately the underlying philosophy that supports all this is the so-called man-made global warming or climate change theory. And the fact is, members, there's more and more evidence coming in that it's just a complete United Nations fraud and lie, okay? The latest facts from CPAC show that in the last 16 years, there's been no global warming. The last 16 years, members...

So members, I'd recommend that you keep breathing, okay? Because, you know, man-made global warming believes that exhaling causes global warming. I mean, the more you study it the more utter nonsense you see it is...

The fact is, members, we're driving up our energy costs. Now, is alternative energy wrong? Not necessarily. How do you know when you're doing it right? When alternative energy brings down the cost of electricity, then you know you're doing it right. Guess what? When the technology is there to bring electricity costs [down], you're not going to have to pass a government mandate. The private market will bring it to the econony, and we'll see lower energy costs and alternative energy...

Every time government get involved in the private sector you can expect two results -- the price of everything goes up and it becomes very inefficient and wasteful.

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Tuesday, Minnesota will become the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage and the first in the midwest to do it legislatively (Iowa was by court order).  Monday, the Minnesota Senate approved a same-sex marriage bill.  Governor Dayton will sign the bill Tuesday at 5pm. More coverage on The UpTake.

Video of the debate and vote:

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Joani Whiting is the mother of Stephanie who was diagnosed with skin cancer.  Joani opposed doctors who wanted to help her daughter with medical marijuana.  Other members of her family finally moved Stephanie out of Joani's care so she could be treated with medical marijuana. Joani tells the story how that changed her mind about marijuana and why she is now supporting a bill to legalize it for treating a limited number of diseases in Minnesota.

The bill was introduced today, but will not be voted on until 2014.

The full video of the news conference on this proposed law can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/...

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In the dark of night, Hennepin County Sheriff’s officers raided a foreclosed Minneapolis home that is being “defended” by Occupy Minnesota according to the group.
Occupy says five people were arrested, but the a crowd of fifty people prevented the officers from evicting them from the house.

This is the Hennepin County Sheriff’s second attempt in 48 hours to evict people from the home. 100 protesters repelled sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday.

PNC Bank originally owned the house (though lender Freddie Mac holds the title now) and Occupy Homes claims that the Pittsburgh-based bank has shown signs of willingness to negotiate a new mortgage with the Alejandra and David Cruz family. Occupy believes that only PNC Bank, and not Freddie Mac, can renegotiate the mortgage terms.

More video and outrage after the jump

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In the dark of night when public TV was no longer broadcasting the Minnesota House session, a Republican tries to revive the anti-union “right to work” constitutional amendment.  However, The UpTake was there livestreaming and recording so you can see what happened.

Just after 2 AM Friday morning, Representative Mark Buesgens (R-Savage) asks to move the bill to the Rules Committee where it might get a more favorable hearing and “jump start” its passage.

Fellow Republican Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa immediately moves to table the attempt. Buesgen’s motion is tabled by an overwhelming margin.

This is the second attempt to revive the bill since it stalled in Commerce Committee. The previous attempt from Representative Doug Wardlow (R-Eagan) failed after Wardlow didn’t speak to his motion.

While Minnesota Republicans have been vocal in their support for the anti-union constitutional amendment, it appears they are shying away from taking a vote on it since they fear what it could mean for them in this fall’s election.

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If Minnesota is going to require a photo ID to vote, perhaps it should consider requiring a photo ID for some of our other rights such as going to church suggests Democratic State Representative John Lesch.

How about showing a photo ID so you can have a gun in your house (as opposed to walking around with outside which you need to have a permit) or a photo ID to prevent unreasonable search and seizure or to peacefully assemble?

Representative Lesch’s point is that those rights don’t require a photo ID and never should. He says that voting which is a more highly protected constitutional right should not be subject to the same standards as buying cigarettes and cashing a check.

What do you think? Watch and read Representative Lesch’s comments and vote in our poll.

Poll

Should a photo ID be required to vote or exercise any of the other constitutional rights Representative Lesch mentions?

11%5 votes
69%30 votes
16%7 votes
2%1 votes

| 43 votes | Vote | Results

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By Jacob Wheeler/ The UpTake
Two Minneapolis homeowners facing foreclosure are apparently getting very different treatments from U.S. Bank. Both have incomes that can pay a mortgage and are being supported by the Occupy Homes movement.

He is white and lives in South Minneapolis. She is black and lives in North Minneapolis. U.S Bank says he keeps his home, but she is about to be evicted.

Bobby Hull — the ex-Marine and embattled South Minneapolis homeowner, around whom Minneapolis Occupy Homes activists have rallied for three months — has reportedly beaten U.S. Bank. Occupy Homes and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) announced this weekend that Hull's lender has agreed to renegotiate his mortgage so that he and his family can stay in their home at 3712 Columbus Ave. South. The activists will publicly declare victory with a press conference at noon on Monday.

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"Mean spirited" and "humiliating" to poor people is how Ebony Harris describes a Minnesota proposed law requiring 60-days residency to qualify for welfare benefits.
She says people are not moving from Chicago for welfare benefits. "I don't see anyone moving here (for money). I met women in shelters that were getting away from abusive situations. That's why they had to come here. But by making them wait 30 to 60 days, that could be somebody's life."

A life-long Minnesota resident, Harris has been unemployed for almost a year and lives off of $77 a week. Her unemployment runs out soon.

"I'm shocked that this is my home state. That we're becoming just tyrants and picking on poor people."

"I hope you guys find some conscience somewhere. That's why we put you here." she told Minnesota lawmakers holding a hearing on welfare.

"What kind of state are we becoming? This bill is not Minnesota nice," Harris said as she waived the welfare reform bill at lawmakers. "You are playing with people's lives. It's a class war and it has to stop. Do not pass this bill."

Republican lawmakers did not heed Harris' warning. All of them on the Senate Health and Human Services committee voted to pass the restrictions on welfare.

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