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AG Swanson cites 'significant problems' with Humana Medicare Advantage plans

Attorney General Lori Swanson’s latest target … Humana Medicare Advantage. In the Strib, Jackie Crosby says: “Swanson said Friday she is asking the federal government to investigate Humana’s Medicare Advantage policies after uncovering what she said were ‘significant problems’ reported by Minnesota patients and medical providers.     Affidavits gathered from 25 Minnesotans showed a pattern where Humana denied claims for medical services required by law, overcharged for co-payments and coinsurance, and failed to disclose the providers that are in the network. Swanson’s office also found that Humana didn’t follow procedures laid out by federal regulations for patients to appeal their cases.”

I’ve got about 10 bushels of cherries they can pick … . Julie Siple of MPR says: “Peter Martignacco is accustomed to quizzical looks. As a volunteer neighborhood coordinator for the gleaning program Fruits of the City, which collects unharvested fruit from orchards and homes that would otherwise go to waste, he drives around northwest Twin Cities suburbs hunting for fruit trees and knocking on doors. He'd been eyeing the trees for weeks, wondering if the homeowner might donate his excess fruit to people in need. … Fruits of the City is part of a growing effort in Minnesota to collect excess crops that would otherwise rot in the fields or wind up in a compost bin.”

With congressional approval falling to levels of popularity lower than psoriasis and  pedophilia, WCCO-TV’s Heather Brown went out asking how easy it would be just to throw people out of those jobs. “But it turns out it’s not that easy. U.S. senators and representatives cannot be recalled. ‘The Constitution doesn’t provide for it,’ said University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson. ‘The only way they can be removed is by a vote of 2/3 of the own chamber and that happens very rarely.’ The process is called expulsion, and it’s only happened to fifteen senators and five representatives. The vast majority of those expelled were supporters of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The most recent expulsion happened in 2002 when former Ohio Rep. James Traficant was removed after several convictions of bribery and racketeering.” I knew that. But it’s fun just to imagine sometimes.

The cops think they’ve got the I-94 bandit. Kelly Smith of the Strib says: “Police have arrested a suspect in a spree of armed robberies along Interstate 94 from St. Cloud to the Twin Cities area. Authorities, who arrested the man Thursday, have not yet filed charges or identified him. He was being sought by Maple Grove Police, Sauk Rapids Police, Big Lake Police, Central Minnesota Drug Task Force, Sartell Police, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Anoka-Hennepin Drug Task Force and the Wright County Sheriff’s Office. The latest of six holdups occurred at a Burger King in Maple Grove early Wednesday.”

What is this, Mumbai? A Strib item says: “For the second time in as many days, a facade fell from a Minneapolis building, this time involving an apartment building in Uptown. … On Thursday, part of an outer wall of a commercial building in the city’s warehouse district collapsed. No one was injured in that incident.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has a book out. Scott Bauer of the AP writes: “Walker takes GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to task in his new book, saying he failed to offer voters a bold and positive agenda, criticism that sheds light on what a Walker presidential run might look like in 2016. … Walker begins the book with an excoriation of Obama's presidency and Washington politics, saying Obama has laid out a second term agenda that ‘doubles down on the failures of his first.’ He says Wisconsin's Republican-led policies show a better way forward. ‘If we can do it in Wisconsin, we can do it anywhere — even in our nation's capital,’ Walker writes.” And you know what? He probably could do “it” in D.C.

So do we take a year off from winter, too? Mike Creger of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Pat Olson called the decision “sad” but necessary: The race director announced Thursday that January’s John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon races have been canceled. Olson said organizers need more money and a revived spirit, and they hope taking a year off can do it. … She said the Beargrease board will focus on fundraising. It takes about $50,000 to run the marathon and mid-distance races, she said. When asked what the board would do if $50,000 came in today, she said ‘game on.’ ”

The GleanThe latest shoe dropping in the Archdiocese’s sexual scandals … Madeleine Baran and Tom Scheck at MPR report: “[A] parishioner in Mahtomedi, Minn., warned a top deputy at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2004 that a priest's computer may have included inappropriate correspondence with a minor. In a letter to then-vicar general Kevin McDonough, parishioner Kate Ternus described her concerns about the contents of the Rev. Jonathan Shelley's computer. … The letter dated Sept. 17, 2004 mentions a local Catholic high school and could indicate for the first time that Shelley's behavior may have gone beyond pornography. It includes the first name of the person with whom Shelley corresponded and raised concerns that that person might be Shelley's ‘boyfriend.’ ”

Some more outside-the-local-media-market thinking on Adrian Peterson’s off-field behavior. Says Susan Reimer in the Baltimore Sun: “[I]t has come to light that the unmarried Mr. Peterson may have had as many as five children by four different women. They include a 6-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy by his current girlfriend, a 4-year-old with a dancer in a "gentleman's club" in Dallas and a 3-month-old with a waitress in Minnesota. He is said to be providing financial support to those children. All of this transpired at the conclusion of a week when the call for the Washington [team] to abandon a nickname viewed by some as offensive reached fever pitch … so far, nobody has criticized Adrian Peterson for his careless and cavalier sexual behavior. The question we should be asking is not whether Mr. Peterson should have played football Sunday. But whether he should have worn a condom when having sex. Or whether he should be having sex with waitresses and dancers at all. While the death of the boy is a horrible tragedy, that doesn't disqualify us from considering Mr. Peterson's casual approach to parenthood. Why are we so indifferent to this kind of casual, serial fatherhood?” Tragedy aside, that seems like a fair question.

Fifteen years for another Petters crony. The PiPress says: “Frank Vennes Jr., a former fundraiser for convicted Twin Cities Ponzi schemer Tom Petters, was sentenced Friday to 15 years in federal prison. The sentence was the maximum penalty allowed under the plea deal Vennes struck with prosecutors. Vennes pleaded guilty in February to one count of aiding and abetting fraud and one count of engaging in an illegal monetary transaction. Prior to that, Vennes was scheduled to go to trial with James Fry, a Minnetonka hedge fund manager also linked to the Petters scheme.”

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Comments (10)

And why do we care about Adrian Peterson's

sex life at all?

If he weren't supporting his kids I would the first to drag his name through the mud. I am not a football fan so this is not about any sort of misguided hero worship. It this really something worthy of ink? I would think a story would be why aren't fathers acknowledging their children and paying to support them?

Support is the key word

"Why are we so indifferent to this kind of casual, serial fatherhood?” Tragedy aside, that seems like a fair question."

It's a fair question only if you're the kind of person who goes around trash talking women who have children by different fathers. If you are, I suspect most of the same pejoratives would work just fine.

But since Mr. Peterson financially supports his children, I really do not see why this is any of our business.


because being a father means more than putting a check in the mail each month. Like it or not, he's a role model for some.

Role model?

I think the fact he's not linked to steroids or human growth hormones, and appears to play in a sportsmanlike manner make him quite the positive role model.

I'm pretty sure I was fully grown before I discovered my childhood sports idols were, for the most part, drunks and drug addicts. To this day I haven't a clue whether Mickey Mantle, Wilt Chamberlain or Bart Starr were good parents. I guess we didn't have very good newspapers when I was growing up.


Just what are the Federal Regulations? I had a problem with U-Care and they told me I could appeal, but couldn't be present to give my side of the story at the appeal. When they ruled against me they wouldn't tell me how to appeal to higher authority.

Love Brian's even-handed treatment

Since MinnPost collects donations based on its claim of quality journalism that implies fairness and balance, Brian's snarky asides about Republicans Scott Walker (not sure what today's dig meant) and Michele Bachman must be a little awkward for the site, as is his apparent political mission to find embarrassing stories only about Republicans.

That bias was clearly demonstrated today when there was no inclusion or snide comment on the startling Star-Tribune story about the two DFL contenders in the same Minneapolis City Council race. One, preaching municipal fiscal responsibility, had been sued by creditors four times in recent years; the other has had web sites in which he wrote about drug use, cutting himself, pornography, and purchasing explosive chemicals as well as posting photos indicative of self mutilation.

How do you ignore this story?

Blind liberals

Great observation, John. Liberal reporters believe in fair and balanced reporting only if a story involves the foibles of conservatives. That observation is confirmed every time I read MinnPost.

I am sure the Star Tribune reporter who did the article on the council candidates is now during hard time at an Iron Range "re-education" camp.

Oh yeah

Like fair and balanced Fox - deaf and blind "conservatives"

Bold and positive future.

I suspect the story about DFL candidates was not ignored but was due to the fact that MinnPost and Brian Lambert don't "publish" new stories on Saturdays and Sundays. Brian's post was published Friday, Oct. 18. Since your post is Oct. 19, I'm guessing Brian didn't know anything about the Strib story. Maybe I'm wrong.

I'm left wondering what Walker the Magnificent would have offered to this country that Romney didn't in terms of a "bold and positive vision"? Romney left it pretty clear that he thinks that 47% of the country are "moochers" and that he'd make abortion illegal again. Isn't that what the right wants? Walker could offer: making unions illegal again, eliminating the minimum wage, abolishing Obamacare, legislation that will guarantee CEO's compensation at 1,000 times what any employee makes, death penalties for abortionists, requiring teaching of creationism in public schools and suppression of science that teaches anything about climate change. Talk about a "bold and positive vision". Have I left anything out?

I think Brian was aware

To Jon Erik: Brian had the Swanson-Humana story that led his Glean, which was posted on the Star-Tribune website Friday evening almost at the same time as the council story. I received my MinnPost email at 6 a.m.Saturday with both stories.