Today’s UpTake: Obama to Approve START and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

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Major political news often simmers in the days leading up to Christmas, but two big stories will likely come out of Washington, D.C., today or by the end of the week. President Obama is expected to sign the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and also the START nuclear arms reduction treaty — both of which were approved by the Senate in recent days. As always, The UpTake will bring you this coverage, live.

The big news in the nation’s capital yesterday was the Federal Communications Commission’s vote on a watered-down, compromised Net Neutrality bill, which passed the commission, 3-2, but which the Net Neutrality advocacy organization Free Press, and Senator Al Franken vehemently criticized. Among other things, this measure wouldn’t protect wireless Internet service from a corporate, two-tiered system. Elsewhere in Washington, a Christmas tree was erected at the Vietnam Wall to remember Vietnam veterans.

Here in Minnesota, we brought you news of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities filing a “greenwashing” lawsuit against Minnesota GreenStar, an alleged effort to water down the state’s ambitious green building standards and eliminate third-party verification. Back in the political realm, Governor-elect Mark Dayton meet with incoming state House Majority Leader Kurt Zellers yesterday, and spoke to the media afterward. Earlier in the day, Dayton responded favorably to the news that Minnesota will retain all eight of its Congressional seats, and Dayton announced his new Agriculture Commissioner as David Frederickson, currently Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Director of Agricultural Outreach.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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