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WDAY 6: Sen. Al Franken Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland

WDAY 6: Sen. Al Franken Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland

Senator Al Franken, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court Wednesday morning.

The meeting with Judge Merrick Garland comes as a sea of Republican leaders say they refuse to meet with him.

Huffington Post: The Republicans’ Big Health Care ‘Idea’ Is Complete Nonsense

Huffington Post: The Republicans’ Big Health Care ‘Idea’ Is Complete Nonsense

If you watched the Republican debate on Thursday, you probably noticed the candidates agreeing that insurance companies should be allowed to sell policies across state lines.

“We have to get rid of the lines around the states,” said Donald Trump, making vigorous circles with his hands for emphasis, “so that there’s serious, serious competition.” It would, he promised, “be a beautiful thing.”

This is often presented as the Republicans’ Big Idea on health care — in fact, as with Trump, it’s often the only idea they can come up with. But it isn’t a serious plan for improving our nation’s health care system. In fact, it’s absolute nonsense.

Newsweek: 18 VIPS Invited to Watch the State of the Union

President Barack Obama will come before a joint session of Congress tonight to deliver his last State of the Union address. And it’s the hottest ticket in Washington.

Lawmakers, Supreme Court justices and other government officials will pack the chamber of the House of Representatives to listen to the speech. In addition, dignitaries and honorees from around the country and the world will attend.

Traditionally, congressmen and senators receive one guest ticket to the event from the sergeant at arms of the House. Some invite friends, while others choose to highlight a praiseworthy constituent from their congressional district or state.

Here are 18 of the most interesting VIPs who will be in the audience for Obama’s final State of the Union address:

Star Tribune: Finally, Congress is set to adopt replacement for No Child Left Behind

By year’s end, the controversial No Child Left Behind federal education law likely will be history. Last week, the U.S. House approved an NCLB replacement, and the Senate is expected to pass the companion bill this week. President Obama is expected to sign the measure soon after.

Two Minnesota lawmakers, Republican Rep. John Kline and Democratic Sen. Al Franken, deserve credit for working out details of the long-awaited rewrite in conference committee. As committee chairman, Kline led the negotiations on the finishing touches, building on the bipartisan work of other lawmakers. The compromise attempts to strike a balance between the Democrats’ emphasis on the academic issues of poor and minority students, and the Republican focus on less federal and more state control of public schools.