Commentary: The U.S. Post-Trump Era

These are only the opening days of what is supposedly the post-Trump era, and whether the country has really seen the last politically of Donald Trump is a matter that depends upon Donald Trump. The principal Trump-hate outlets are still pleased to refer to him as “the disgraced former president” but, of course, he has not been disgraced and there is no indication that he will be.

All of the Democrats and about a third of Republican officeholders are engaged in an elaborate and strictly observed pretense that Trump was a freakish and horrifying interruption of the normal, serene, bipartisan devolution of events in Washington. Like a dreadful meteor, he came and he went, pushed into the instantly forgotten past by a united effort of civilized Americans.

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Minnesota Cities’ Police Settlements Ranged from $50,000 to $24.3 Million from 2018-20

Freedom of Information Act research conducted by The Center Square reveals Minnesota cities relied on taxpayers to foot police-settlement payouts ranging from $50,000 to more than $24 million between 2018 and 2020.

Police settlements compensate the public for violated rights and also avoid clogging the court system.

Still, over the past few decades, taxpayers are being left with more significant bills.

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Minimum Wage Increase Disallowed from Biden Rescue Plan, Senate Rules Official Says

Democrats aren’t allowed to attach a provision increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour to their coronavirus relief package, a top Senate official ruled, according to reports.

Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who oversees the interpretation of the chamber’s rules and precedents, decided Thursday evening that the proposed minimum wage hike couldn’t be included in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan under budget reconciliation, CNBC reported. MacDonough had held private meetings over the last week with Democrats and Republicans, hearing their arguments for or against keeping the measure.

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Opposition Grows Against Neera Tanden, Jeopardizing Her Path to Confirmation

Senate confirmation for Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, is becoming increasingly unlikely after one Democrat and key Republicans announced that they would vote against her.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey all said that they would vote against Tanden’s confirmation, joining West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin who announced his opposition Sunday. Without Manchin, Tanden would fall one vote short of confirmation, assuming that every Republican votes against her.

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Biden Pick for Interior Secretary Likely to Face Rocky Confirmation Hearing

U.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states.

GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will hold the Tuesday hearing, and both have already raised objections that Haaland holds “radical” views. Daines vowed to block her progress in the Senate unless she addresses several issues that concern him.

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New York Legislature ‘Inching Toward’ Impeachment Probe of Cuomo, Democratic Assemblyman Says

A Democratic state assemblyman in New York says that lawmakers are “inching toward” opening an impeachment probe of Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his handling of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.

In an interview on the “Skullduggery” podcast, Ronald Kim, a Queens assemblyman, also said he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators in an ongoing probe of the Cuomo administration.

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DFL Introduces Adult-Use Cannabis Bill Opposed by Senate Leader

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, has introduced adult-use cannabis legislation that a Senate Republican leader opposes.

The bill is derived from conversations in 15 communities statewide.

“The tide is shifting,” Winkler said in a press conference about the 15 states that’ve legalized marijuana so far.

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New House Rules Carve-Out for ‘Climate Change’ Bills Exempted from Requiring Projected Price Tag

House Democrats blocked a Republican attempt on Monday to require any proposed climate change legislation to also include its projected cost.

Under the Pay As You Go (PAYGO) rule, any additional government spending proposed must be accompanied by tax increases or separate cuts. After a push from several lawmakers in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, however, the rules package for the 117th Congress states PAYGO will not apply to legislation relating to the necessary economic recovery or U.S. efforts to combat climate change.

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US Legislatures Slow to Pass Laws Limiting Use of Force

A wave of police killings of young black men in 2014 prompted 24 states to quickly pass some type of law enforcement reform, but many declined to address the most glaring issue: police use of force. Six years later, only about a third of states have passed laws on the question.

The issue is at the heart of nationwide protests set off by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he pleaded for air.

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Gov. Haslam Signs Legislation to Restrict Opioid Access, Punish Trafficking, Provide Treatment Help

Bill Haslam

The state of Tennessee is adding restrictions to opioid prescriptions and measures to track and punish unlawful distribution of the powerful pain medications. Gov. Bill Haslam signed two bills and issued an executive order last Friday to support TN Together, the latest effort to fight the opioid crisis, WBIR reported,…

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