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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.

New York Times: End the Gun Epidemic in America

It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.

All decent people feel sorrow and righteous fury about the latest slaughter of innocents, in California. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are searching for motivations, including the vital question of how the murderers might have been connected to international terrorism. That is right and proper.

Huffpost Politics: Provision Killing Net Neutrality Threatens Must-Pass Spending Bill

Republicans have tucked an anti-net neutrality rider into a government spending bill that would block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing its open Internet rules.

The provision is just one of many riders in the financial services appropriations bill currently being hashed out by House and Senate negotiators. But as dozens of these unrelated policy measures are dropped, this one is sticking around — a fact that is especially troubling to net neutrality advocates, who worry it may make its way into a final must-pass spending bill, known as an omnibus.

The federal government is currently running on a stopgap funding measure, which will run out on Dec. 11. If Congress doesn’t reach a new agreement, the government will shut down.

We cannot turn our backs

The terrorist attacks in Paris were senseless and barbaric, perpetrated against innocent people who were simply living their lives. Countries all over the world, including our own, have come together to stand in solidarity with France and redouble our efforts to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups around the world. And as we remember the […]

Post Bulletin: Sen. Al Franken: Remembering our veterans is a way of honoring service

As a senator, I’ve taken a number of trips to Walter Reed Medical Center near Washington, D.C., to visit wounded veterans who know, firsthand, the stark realities of war. These are the servicemembers who have returned from battle with both visible and invisible wounds, but who — despite their own sacrifices — often care more about their fellow servicemembers, especially those who didn’t make it home.

President Ronald Reagan may have said it best on Veterans Day in 1985, when he described four Marines killed while serving their country. He said, “they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.”

Those are powerful words. With those we’ve lost, all we can do is remember. But with those who came back, we can do more. We can — and we must — act. We must do everything in our power to help them live that second life — the one they should be able to enjoy when they come home.

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