Today’s UpTake: Battles in Egypt, Budgets in MN

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Rally for Egyptian people at Minnesota State Capitol

Rally for Egyptian people at Minnesota State Capitol

Rally for Egyptian people at Minnesota State Capitol

Follow The UpTake today and this week as we broadcast news of budget battles here in Minnesota and the battle for democracy on the streets of Egypt.

As we have all month, we’ll continue to provide livestreams of legislative turf wars between the Republican-controlled State House and Senate, and Governor Dayton’s office. Late last week the Minnesota House GOP tried to preempt the Governor with $1 billion in budget cuts, and also pushed to rescind The Next Generation Act, which would re-open the door for coal plants. But Dayton pulled no punches, himself, ripping former Governor Tim Pawlenty for the state’s current economic hole.

In other state political news, the Democratic-Farm-Labor party has endorsed Carly Melin for the House seat vacated by a Dayton appointee. Over in the senior chamber, several state senators are seeking an ethics hearing regarding Sen. Scott Newman. The State Senate held two committee hearings at Hibbing Community College on Friday over the Polymet mine and what environmental dangers it may pose. On the progressive front, TakeAction Minnesota held its annual convention in Eagan yesterday, and Congressman Keith Ellison and MN House Minority Leader Paul Thissen both spoke.

Of course, the big news is coming out of Egypt, where a week of demonstrations may soon succeed in toppling Hosni Mubarek’s autocratic regime. Words from the White House have slowly escalated since last week, beginning with calls for change from Mubarek, to Obama’s words of support for the Egyptian people. The TV station Al Jazeera has provided perhaps the best coverage of the story unfolding in Cairo and other cities, and through the Creative Commons license, we’ve embedded some of their work. Meanwhile, in the Twin Cities and in urban areas all over the United States, Egyptian and Arab immigrants have called for democracy in Egypt. Follow our coverage as the dramatic story unfolds this week.

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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