“Reasonable changes” is the phrase they use. At MPR, Tim Pugmire writes, “As much as members of the GOP frequently criticize MNsure — and promise much more scrutiny of the exchange during the session that begins in January — with a Democratic governor and Senate still in place, big changes in MNsure remain unlikely. State Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, said he’s not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, the federal law that allowed for the creation of MNsure. But Hoppe believes Minnesota is stuck with its state exchange, at least for now. In the meantime, he wants to talk with Senate Democrats about making some reasonable changes.” Can we start with getting rid of all the sick people?
Like health insurance, the stock market and nuclear fusion, there are very few people who actually know what they’re talking about. It’s kind of like that with “net neutrality,” which President Obama (finally) endorsed before heading off to Asia. In City Pages, Ben Johnson writes, “In a statement that drew nonsensical metaphors from the right and belated optimism from the left, President Obama finally publicly supported equal internet access for all [Monday]. Obama’s statement set the stage for a legal and political battle newly re-elected Sen. Al Franken has repeatedly called ‘the First Amendment Issue of our time.’ … Obama originally stated his support for net neutrality on the 2008 campaign trail, but has since steered clear of the issue. ‘I could not tell you why it took so long. It’s been a mystery. Perhaps he thinks net neutrality is too technical, or not a popular political issue, but I disagree. I think most Americans, especially young Americans, understand the importance of this,’ said Mike Wassenaar, president of Minneapolis-based Alliance for Community Media.”
In a Veteran’s Day piece WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler notes, “A new report from the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee shows veteran unemployment in Minnesota dropped significantly in the last year. It went down from 8.8 percent in 2013, to 5 percent in 2014. The number of unemployed post-9/11 vets is still high but also dropping, from 14.1 percent in 2013 to 8.8 percent in 2014.”
Where was this thing when the gummint was giving the farm away to the NFL? Mitch LeClair at the St. Cloud Times writes, “Things keep getting hotter heading into winter for a mobile app maker with a presence around Central Minnesota. The International Gaming Awards in London has named Pilot Games a top-seven finalist for Innovative App of the Year. ‘It’s a great honor for us,’ said Jon Weaver, founder and CEO. He compared the recognition for his startup to ‘a little indie film making it to the Oscars.’ Pilot’s app, which runs on mobile devices like iPads and pre-built cabinets, allows users to play various e-pull tab games at bars and other locations.”
Ok, Target. We’ll see your 6 p.m. and raise you one hour. In the Strib Kavita Kumar and Paul Walsh say, “Best Buy will open most of its stores an hour earlier than last year, at 5 p.m. on that Thursday. But then it will close its stores at 1 a.m. and reopen them at 8 a.m. on the actual Black Friday. Jeff Shelman, a company spokesman, noted that traffic slows ‘considerably’ in the overnight hours on Thanksgiving night, especially as the sales have been starting earlier. … Minneapolis-based Target said on Monday that it will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.” Boy, I know where I’m going for Mom’s pay-as-you-go phone card.
Following the reverberations from #pointergate, the Strib’s Jon Tevlin writes, “Last week, few people had heard of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC). Then a silly television story dubbed ‘Pointergate,’ in which police officers accused Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges of throwing gang signs at NOC employee Navell Gordon, hit the fan. This week the little nonprofit in the heart of West Broadway is reaping the benefits of unintentional fame. ‘We’ve been flooded support from all over the world and definitely are feeling the love,’ said Becky Dernbach, communications director for NOC. ‘We’ve received $4,000 or $5,000 in online donations. We’ve received messages of support to pass on to Navell from Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and France, among other places.’”
At The Huffington Post, Matt Sledge talks to young Mr. Gordon about his sudden fame. Says Gordon, “[KSTP reporter Jay Kolls] thought he had a big story. And now it’s really a big story. He reached out to my boss Anthony Newby, who told him to kick rocks. He said he was going to go live with this. And [Newby] warned him, ‘Do not do this, you’re going to get in very big trouble.’ … They could have put us on the news for the mayor going out and canvassing with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change — why did they put that up there?” Well, because there’s no fear factor in canvassers.
The Strib bemoans voter apathy in the most recent election. “We fear that the same forces that have eroded election participation elsewhere in previous years are belatedly taking hold in Minnesota. Negative campaign advertising has degraded respect not just for targeted candidates, but for the political process. Several generations have come of age hearing repeatedly that ‘government is the problem.’” A message sold equally be “both sides,” I’m sure they meant to add.
Have you followed the only-in-our-modern-world story of “Alex from Target,” the check-out kid who had his picture taken by some swoony girl and is now an internet sensation? in the Hollywood site The Wrap, Itay Hod writes, “ ‘Alex [Lee] From Target’ became an Internet sensation a week and a half ago and Hollywood already wants a piece of the action. He’s not the first to experience insta-fame and he probably won’t be the last. … if he wants to capitalize from the his star status, [chairman and founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations, Howard] Bragman warns Lee must strike while the iron is still hot. ‘What he needs right now is the right Hollywood insiders who understand brand-building and how to monetize on his exposure.’ He may have another thing going for him: He’s already associated with a well-established, family-friendly brand. ‘It’s obvious this kid has great appeal,’ Bragman said. ‘He’s young, good-looking, charming, and most importantly, he’s authentic. Target is going to look intently and see what they can do to capitalize on this exposure.’” Yeah, “authentic” is the first word that comes to my mind, too.