Apparently Preferred One Are Also “Tea Partiers” Who Are “Wrong For Minnesota”

Preferred One – the company chosen by about three of five people that were able to actually enroll in MNSure in the past year – is bailing out of Minnesota’s troubled health insurance exchange.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, [MNSure CEO Scott] Leitz said he is disappointed with the decision but Minnesotans will still have other options for health insurance through MNsure.

“We level the playing field for consumers. We provide options so Minnesotans can make wise choices,” he said. “We anticipated some bumps along the way, and we’re still seeing some of those bumps.”

He’s half right.  MNSure – like Obamacare – removes actual choice.

But the bumps?  Those are real.

This is a huge hit for MNSure (emphasis added):

As of Aug. 6, Preferred One had 59 percent of the individual market MNsure enrollees. Blue Cross Blue Shield was a distant second at 23 percent, with HealthPartners, Medica and UCare much further back.

Preferred One got such a large share, because they had the lowest rates of the five insurance companies in the program.

And I’m going to hazard a guess that the bulk of Preferred One’s customers were the ones who were getting the lowest subsidies – i.e. the ones that MNSure was counting on to pay the bills for the subsidized, high-risk customers.

It’s possible this could signal big rate increases to be unveiled in early October, and that could have a significant impact on the elections.

“One of the big land mines looking out over the campaign will be when MNsure announces its new rates for health insurance premiums,” University of Minnesota political expert Larry Jacobs said. “If those go up by 10 percent, some have even suggested 15 percent, then that could really shake up this election.”

So let’s get this straight:  because of Democrat/DFL medding in healthcare, you can’t keep your doctor, but your rates will skyrocket. 

Just wanna make sure we’re clear on this. 

Of course, since there are DFLers involved, “clarity” will be hard to come by:

State Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Minn., also commented in a statement saying in part, “MNsure is a marketplace where consumers can compare and shop for quality health insurance. It is no different than Target or Cub Foods in that some products will come and go. Preferred One may be leaving, but MNsure still has great products.”

Of course, that’s lunacy.  MNSure would be like “Target or Cub” if the state made it illegal to shop at Aldi, and taxed you extra for shopping at Kowalski’s.

Oh, yeah – and if the state paid low-income people to shop there, maybe:

Anyone who has PreferredOne through MNsure can still directly renew through the company, but they won’t get the government subsidy. To get the subsidy, they will have to choose a different insurance plan starting Nov. 15.

This is what the DFL hath wrought.

RELATED: Big Left squirts tears, blames capitalism, pimps single-payer.

The Democrats’ War On The First Amendment

Kevin Williamson’s conclusion:

The only thing stopping federal authorities from suffocating free speech — not only by independent groups such as the SBA List, but by individuals, trade groups, National Review, and the New York Times — is the First Amendment.

And Harry Reid wants to gut it. Figure out why that is and you’ll know everything you need to know about the Democratic party, which with each passing day functions less and less like a political party and more like a crime syndicate.

What led him to the conclusion?

Well, here’s the opener:

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent is the lowest form of crime. If you are a drone in the hive of the Left, it is possible — easy, in fact — to believe both of those things at the same time.

Just read the whole thing.

Call It A 2016 Election Dress Rehearsal…

DFL Representative Steve Simon is running for Secretary of State against GOP endorsed candidate Dan Severson. 

He’s had kind of a rough race so far; during the primaries, he came in with barely over 40% of the DFL vote, against a perennial candidate (Dick Fransen, who’s sort of a downmarket Ole Savior) and an unknown.  He’s got no name recognition to speak of (as compared to Dan Severson, who is a former state rep, SOS and Senate candidate). 

So he’s gotta get some name recognition – “popularity” – somehow, between now and November.

Now, as of last summer, Simon had a set of Twitter followers that, quite frankly, would befit a candidate who could only eke out 42% in his own party’s primary; around about a thousand or so.

Then, suddenly, BOOM: he was over 70,000 followers.

A case of Steve-mentum?

Probably not. It would seem the Simon campaign has chosen to try to buy some popularity – at least on Twitter:

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A “TwitterAudit” shows that at least 55,000 of Simon’s 70,000 followers are probably fakes.  An email from a GOP analyst explains:

This typically indicates that someone has purchased a list of fake subscribers.

Some of the earmarks of “list buyers” are:

  • Twitter accounts that are in a foreign language (paging thru his followers, it’s remarkable how many are in Russian, Asian and Arabic (yes, Arabic)
  • Twitter accounts that have no image of a real person next to them, but instead just have what is called the “Twitter egg” – again, paging thru Steve’s followers, it’s clear that a majority of his followers are “eggs”.

Check out the Twitteraudit yourself.

If this is how he runs his Twitter account, imagine what he’ll do for the voter rolls!

“But wait, Merg!  Lots of people, yourself included, have lots of spam followers on Twitter!  I mean, look at how popular you seem to be with 18 year old Filipinas!”.  Spam followers are certainly an issue on Twitter – everyone’s got ‘em – but having one’s number of overall followers multiply by almost two orders of magnitude in less time than it’s taking me to type about it is not just the sign of some staff intern getting happy fingers on the “Follow!” buttons. 

“But Merg!  Maybe Simon’s account was hacked!”.  Maybe.  Show us the evidence that a “malicious” “hack” just happened to inflate a less-than-popular candidate’s numbers into Twitterverse regional A-lister levels, and we can talk. 

I’ll wait. 

But I’m not going to hold my breath, if it’s all right with you. 

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Trulbert! Part XI – Rumor Of Warp

 - 8AM, October 28, 2015 – Behind “The Stretchy Premise Cafe”, Downtown Minneapolis

It was a chilly, clear morning – even inside a red wool blazer, like the one Jared Voorhees was wearing.  He also wore a red wool “Jets” stocking cap over his normally sculpted mop of blond hair.

t had been a rough month for the Jets – once Minneapolis’ most powerful street gang.  First, there had been the escalating series of battles against the Sharks, who came repeatedly to street fights armed with handguns and submachine guns, making short work of Jets and their switchblades and broken bottles.

Then – it was hard for Voorhees to believe it’d been just a few days – the decapitation attack against Lester Sommerfeldt and the rest of the Jets’ leadership, outside Cafe Acrimony, just a few blocks away.  Continue reading

They’re Gonna Need Another “War On Women”

Two years of “war on women” rhetoric gets the Democrats…

bupkes:

Women surveyed said they disapprove of Obama by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin — nearing an all-time low in the poll. It’s almost the reverse of the 55 percent to 44 percent breakdown for Obama among female voters in 2012, according to exit polls.

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 His approval rating among women has slipped four percentage points from a year ago and 16 points since his second inaugural in January 2013, when his approval was 60 percent among the group.

 I’d like to think it’s because women felt the Democrats were patronizing them, and that they’re smarter than that. 

I said I’d like to think it. 

Oh, yeah – and yoots are unamused:

Among younger voting-age Americans, Obama’s approval rating stood at 43 percent. That marked an 11-point drop since June among those 18 to 29 years old. Voters younger than 30 supported Obama by 60 percent to 37 percent in 2012.

I’m not one of those who thinks that the whole world needs to turn on the wishes of the under-thirty set; most of them will be changing their minds, one way or another, between 25 and 35 anyway.

More Abuse

The same prosecutor who approved a pre-trial diversion program for football player Ray Rice, a fairly routine step in New Jersey for first-time offenders (especially non-violent ones, which Rice was not alleged to be) - and the judge who ordered the diversion – is doing his best to throw the book at a 27 year old black single mother of two whose only “crime” was inadvertently driving into Camden, NJ with a handgun that was perfectly legal in Philadelphia, and for which she had valid Pennsylvania carry permit.

Shaneen Allen wants to know what makes her so different from Ray Rice.

Allen, a 27-year-old Philadelphia mother who says she mistakenly entered New Jersey with a handgun legally registered in her state, was not accepted into a pre-trial intervention program, unlike the former Baltimore Ravens running back who was caught on an elevator surveillance camera punching his then-fiancée and current wife. The disparate decisions, made by the same prosecutor and approved by the same judge, leave Allen facing more than three years in prison and Rice free, though disgraced. 

It was entirely a matter of the prosecutor’s discretion – and that of the judge confirming the decision:

Atlantic County prosecutor Jim McClain recommended Rice for the program in May, months after denying the single mother’s application. And Superior Court Judge Michael Donio, who signed off on the agreement that spared Rice jail time, denied a motion by Allen’s attorney to force McClain to reconsider.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on what happened:  Ms. Allen crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge from Philly into Camden.  Before she could turn around and get back to Philly, she got pulled over for a routine traffic stop.  When she showed the cop her license and insurance, she also showed him her carry permit and said she had a gun in her purse.  That might have been too much honesty – according to her attorney, Evan Nappen (with whom I spoke last night while sitting in with Mark Walters on “Armed American”), the judge told her she was, basically, in trouble for being honest.   It may also have not been a bad idea; if the cop had for whatever reason seen or found an unannounced gun, it could have gotten sticky.

Ms. Allen’s trial has been rescheduled, and switched to a new judge – which is probably a good thing for her.

But there’s a great question for the people of New Jersey; why are there two tiers of justice in Atlantic County?  One for former Rutgers football stars, and one for commoners?

 

NoH8!

When gay marriage activists sold the idea of same-sex marriage, their key points (other than the “if you disagree you are teh bigot!” that most of the lower-information supporters prattled endlessly) were:

  1. The idea that marriage is purely about raising children is obsolete – people who don’t intend to, or can’t, have children, are married all the time, even in churches. 
  2. With the idea of procreation left out of the equation, why, really, shouldn’t two people who love each other be able to be married?

This, of course, introduced some new questions; if, indeed, “love” is the basis for marriage, why can’t three or more people love each other enough to get married, by that same token? 

There was one other case I’ve been wondering about for the past few years; what kind of “love” do we mean, here? 

Who Wrote The Book Of Love?:  There are different kinds of love; the Bible breaks “love” down into three categories:

  • “Eros” – physical attraction
  • “Philos” – “brotherly” love, or deep friendship
  • “Agape” (pronounced:  “ogg-OPP-ay”):  unconditional love – usually associated with divinity, sometimes also of the “Greater love hath nobody that they lay down their life…” variety.

The Vapours:  With that in mind, gay groups in New Zealand are up in arms over a couple of guys – Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick, who happen to be longtime utterly heterosexual pals – who got married as part of a radio station promotion. 

They are not amused: 

 Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne, of Dunedin, said the wedding was an”insult” because marriage equality was a”hard fought” battle for gay people.

“Something like this trivialises what we fought for.” The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative,”as something outrageous that you’d never consider”, Mr Ballantyne said.

LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood said the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

“The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at …

Both of these gentlemen bring up two responses:

Yuk It Up:  In a free society, marriage – no matter who is doing it – is always worth having a laugh at.  There is no right not to be offended. 

More seriously?:  Mr. Habgood’s organization’s name, “LegalizeLove”, should give you a hint here.

Gay activists convinced a plurality of representatives that “marriageable love” didn’t just involve people who practiced “Eros” in the heteronormative manner. 

So why must marriageable love include “Eros” (to say nothing of “Eros” between just two people) at all?  By the standard we’ve been convinced/forced to accept, all love is equal.  Why not “Philos?”

(And if the “Deep brotherly love” is only “love of Rugby”, as indeed seems to be the case?  Love is love, dammit!)

Cue The Outrage Industry:  Perhaps it’s time for “Philos” activists to take to the streets to fight for Pal Marriage.  To combat the “Homonormative” hatred that is denying rights to other people whose love for each other is no less valid than that of any gay couple. 

NoH8!

The Good Guys Win Another

Gang youths try to rob a group of Milwaukeeans.

Law-abiding Milwaukee citizen with carry permits shoot back.

Citizens win:

He fatally shot one of the robbers, a 15-year-old known gang member who was already the victim of another non-fatal shooting on August 1.

The teen had previously been charged with armed robbery, auto theft, theft, and fleeing.

Innocent babes in the woods mowed down in the prime of life, unjustly?

Well, mowed down in the prime of life, sure. The rest of it?

Police have arrested another two 14-year-old males, a 16-year-old male, a 17-year-old female, and an 18-year-old male.

Police say this particular group is responsible for multiple armed robberies that have recently hit Milwaukee. Police say the group may be responsible for “dozens” of robberies over just the past three days.

“This is criminals that are running around the city creating opportunities for them to rob people all over and this was just the timing,” Alderman Jose Perez said. “This has nothing to do with the district or the neighborhood.”

Deaths are rarely a good thing.

But better the bad actors than the good ones. Sorry to say.

Costa Rica Is Español For “Romance”

A regular correspondent emails:

Just an update on this story.

Jim Golden resigned his position as State Medicaid Director [a few weeks back]. Rumor has it that April Todd-Malmlov has a new job in Washington DC.

Romance is a good thing, I guess Costa Rica is a good place for it.

[Redacted]

You may remember April Todd-Malmlov as the MNSure “director” who took a vacation in Costa Rica with Mr. Golden about the time MNSure’s website was garnering headlines as among the worst in the country.

So I guess it all works out:  guy (apparently) gets girl, girl gets newer and probably bigger and better government job, the taxpayers get…

…well, we’ll get back to you on that.

Due To NARN Control!

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is live from Gander Mountain in Lakeville, for the semiannual US Concealed Carry shooter’s event!  There’ll be a couple dozen retailers in the back at the training center – in the past including Beretta, Benelli, H&K, Remington, SIG, CZ, Smith and Wesson, Taurus, and many, many more.  You can try out pretty much any gun you want, for free (including five rounds of amno).

I’ll be talking with:

  • Mark Walter, Mike Martin, and likely some more regulars from Armed American Radio Network!.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Trulbert! Part X – Human Nature

6PM, October 25, 2015 – Dripping With Irony Coffee Shop, Minneapolis, MN

The the big-screen TV in the corner, which was usually turned down during the work day, was tuned to CNN.

At a table in front of the TV sat Dave Os, Arnie Quist and Frena Marquette.

The top of the hour commercial break ended, and the opening montage for “41 Minutes:  CNN’s Weekly Newsmagazine”, opened with an explosive swoosh.

Os, Quist and Marquette applauded, excited.

Hendrickson took a seat at a table behind them, as the show’s host, Jordyn Mendez, a former Miss Ohio, wearing a navy blazer coyly unbuttoned over a yellow silk camisole top that showed just enough cleavage to be enticing without enough to be Fox News, her long black hair draped over her shoulders, framing her geometrically-perfect face in a way that had bidden men in countless marketing focus groups to stand and cheer in raw animalistic delight, began speaking in a delivery that conveyed the confidence with the teleprompter she’d gleaned working as a morning anchor for three years in Huntsville, Alabama prior to her “discovery” at CNN.

“Good evening, and welcome to 41 Minutes, CNN’s weekly newsmagazine.  I’m Jordyn Mendez.

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When Out And About This Weekend

Don’t forget – tomorrow, I’ll be broadcasting live at Gander Mountain in Lakeville, for the semiannual shooter event (every March and September!) sponsored by the US Concealed Carry Association.

It’s a great event; stop by, bring an ID, and you can test-fire pieces from any of the  manufacturers represented.  For free!  And most of them are there; in past years we’ve seen Beretta, Taurus, H’nK, Glock, Remington, CZ (that’s Czescoslovenska Sbrojovka to insiders), Smith and Wesson, SIG (or Schweizerische Industrielle Gesellschaft, if you’re picky) , Benelli, and many, many more.  I’ll be broadcasting live from 1-3PM!

Then, Sunday night, I’ll be guesting on “Armed American Radio” from 7-10PM Central with Mark Walters.  Hope you can tune in!

In Praise Of The French

Conservatives love ripping on the French. In the aftermath of 9/11, when W was building his coalition to go to Afghanistan and then Iraq, the French were famously reticent – which bade many conservatives to start referring to The French as “cheese eating surrender monkeys”, among other things.

(As we’ve noted in the space in the past, this is also a reference – largely mistaken – to World War II. As illiterate as Liberals are about history, let it not be said that some conservatives don’t have their blind spots as well).

Conservatives who criticize the French are blinded to the key fact that the French stance was not a bug – it was a feature.

In 1986, the great military historian Edwin Luttwak wrote the classic, seminal book “The Pentagon and the Art of War”. In the book, Luttwak affixed the blame for five straight American military debacles (Vietnam, the Mayagüez incident, Desert One, Reagan’s Lebanon operation and the successful but sloppy and costly invasion of Grenada) to the fact that America had no strategy – or, rather, an underlying strategy that was entirely based on refighting a worldwide conventional war, like World War II.

In short, America’s defensive posture did not have a clear goal that related to the world we were in in the 1980s,  and our military was not built, equipped or trained to accomplish the things it did face.

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The Walker Prescription

A regular reader emails:

So I am driving home listening to MPR/NPR and hear this article below.  Essentially Camden, NJ, couldn’t afford the “work rules” negotiated by the local police union spending $180,000 per cop.  So they turned it over to the county and a new contract with new rules which brought the cost down to $90,000 per cop.  Crime is down, more cops are on the street, more community policing.
And I thought…isn’t that kind of the same thing Scott Walker did with the teacher contracts?  Hmmmmm.

Your friend,

[Redacted]

We’re seeing it all over the country; when public sector unions are stripped of their undue influence (even just by making them voluntary), costs go down and services improve.

That’s why I’m pushing Walker for President, so far.

On Remembering

Of course, today is 9/11. 

And over the years, I’ve engaged in some picking and choosing over what memories I’ll stress. 

Yes, I remember the attacks; the planes slicing into the  buildings, the people jumping, the confusion, the helplessness that so many felt in the face of what started out as anonymous burst of flaming hell from nowhere. 

And the 3,000 dead?  Yep.   I remember them – and, as always, pray for their families.  I can’t imagine the years have made anything better.  Just older. 

But no – if I’ve learned anything from a bunch of decades of life, it’s that some of the best advice you can get in life came, of all places, from Harry Dean Stanton in the original Red Dawn.  Let it turn to something else. 

So while I remember the other responses, and honor the memories of those murdered that morning, I choose to focus my reminiscence on the other half of 9/11; the response.

Not just the planes full of Green Berets that took off while the rubble was still ablaze, launching a plan that, by Christmas, would end with the toppling of the Taliban, the extinction of the training camps, the disruption of the organization that’d attacked the US so many times in the previous decade. 

And not just the people on Flight 93, who did the most American thing there is – fought back.  They died, but they fought back. 

But most of all, as we endure the detritus of a collectivist, socialist political culture that, like all such “progressive” ventures cheapens the individual for the engorgement of the collective (controlled, natch, by the political class), I remember the people of the Twin Towers. 

Because for years prior to 9/11, the assumption among the First Responder community was that civilians were mindless sheep, prone to panic or worse when the chips were down.  They assumed that buildings full of people would need to be calmed, pacified, and shepherded out of harm’s way by groups of uniformed specialists, or all hell would break loose.  Indeed, it was a cutesy, pro-law-enforcment meme that still pops up occasionally – the police are “sheepdogs”. 

The implication being that we, The People – save for the wolf-like criminals among us – are sheep.  I’ve seen well-meaning people throw that out there over the years, bit my tongue and restrained myself; it’s insulting. 

Because on that morning, virtually everyone that could get out of harm’s way – those below the impact sites in the Twin Towers – did.  They ignored the loudspeakers telling them to stay at their desks, “crowdsourced” a solution, and got themselves – wheelchair-bound and blind and handicapped co-workers and all – out of the buildings as the police and firemen were arriving.   Had everyone followed the “plan” – waited like docile sheep for people in uniform to arrive and tell them what to do – the death toll would have been double, triple what it was, maybe more. 

And yet they – regular American cubicle-drone schnooks – assessed the situation and took care of business. 

That takes nothing away from the hundreds of cops and firemen that died that day – there were many that couldn’t get out, especially those above the crash sites, and the first responders died trying anyway.  There are no words to express my admiration for this, that the Bible hasn’t already given us; truly, greater love hath no man than when he gives his life for another. 

But today?  Just as my antidote to the memory of Auschwitz is that of Israeli paratroopers at the Wailing Wall, or as I respond to the story of anyone being robbed with that of the person who shot the robber in justified self-defense, I think about the Americans that faced boundless horror and evil thirteen years ago today…

…and dealt with it. 

Just as we keep on dealing with it.

They Know What Matters

Twin Cities’ media all atwitter over over a candidate – GOP, naturally – allegedly hanky-pankying with a realtor.

It’s NEWS, dammit!

Unlike Governor Dayton’s mental health, Rep. Ryan Winkler’s racism, Senator Sandy Pappas’ support for terrorists, Rep. Phyllis Kahn’s attempts at voter suppression (no, not in DFL terms, the real one), the extremely cozy relationship between Governor Dayton and his ex-wife’s attack-PR firm, to say nothing of complicated stuff like the effect DFL tax and wage policy is having on business and jobs around Minnesota.

Nothing to see there.  Move along, peasants.

Liberal Tolerance In Action

The headline is sarcastic, of course. Saint Thomas University, a Twin Cities catholic school, has never tolerated conservative opinion or action.  Under their previous president, Father “Hanoi Dennis” Dease, they disinvited conservative speakers, harassed conservative newspapers, and – in 2000, when a Cuban national team baseball player in town to play an exhibition against Saint Thomas defected at the airport, Dease forbade any Saint  Thomas students from harboring him.

Dease is gone – he apparently retired last year – but his legacy lives on.  A Saint Thomas school mascot – some sort of rodent, I think – “wiped his rear” with Republican literature on campus:

Angie Hasek, Chairman of the Minnesota College Republicans, posted a brief description of the event on Facebook.

“Tommie Mascot just wiped his rear with some GOP lit. I wouldn’t have expected someone at UST to stoop to that level.”

“Tolerance at its finest,” Hasek said.

According to the university’s website, the Tommie Mascot Team consists of up to six undergraduate students with the goal of “foster[ing] school spirit in a positive and professional manner.”

 

Line Up That Second Peace Prize!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember when all President Obama planned to do was cure the sick, end joblessness, slow the rise of the oceans, heal the planet, end war, secure our nation’s borders and restore our nation’s image abroad?

That was nothing.

Now he’s going to “eliminate the the schism between Sunni and Shia that has been fueling so much of the violence in Syria, in Iraq.”

As Powerline asks:“Whoa! We are going to ‘eliminate the schism between Sunni and Shia?’ The schism that goes back to the 7th Century? And we are going to “eliminate the schism” through diplomacy?”

No. Not “we.” President Barack Obama, possibly assisted by Secretary of State John Kerry. After all they have promised to accomplish so far, why would you have any doubt? Nobel Committee, call your office.

Joe Doakes

In a side note, in re last night’s speech, a friend of mine texted me in re the President saying ISIS – the “Islamic State in Syria” – “wasn’t Muslim” [1]; apparently their name is…

“Innocent Separatists Impacted by Sophistry”.

Naturally.

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In Today’s Literary And Marketing News…

I thought I’d pass the word; at some point in the near future (likely in time for Christmas), “Trulbert:  A Comic Novella About The End Of The World As We Know It” will hit the virtual shelves.   I’m going to publish it as an e-book.

And while it will be substantially similar to the serial I’ve been doing for the past few months, there will be many updates (above and beyond the usual rewrite) and a whole lot of new, book-only material. 

Pass the word, and stay tuned!