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U.S. citizenship applications see big jump in Minnesota

Citizens!? You mean like voting and paying taxes!? Beena Raghavendran of the Strib reports, “Jubilation filled a Minneapolis courtroom earlier this week as about 50 people transformed from residents to U.S. citizens … . They’ve got plenty of company. Nationally, the number of naturalization applications shot up by 13 percent in the first few months of this year … In the Minnesota field office, where data includes North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin, applications have surged by 12 percent in that period.” If this keeps up President Trump will have to build walls all over inside the country, too.

Torn from the pages of a pulp novel. The AP version of a Mankato Free Press story goes like this: “A mother and daughter from southern Minnesota are accused of conspiring to kill the daughter’s ex-husband. Fifty-nine-year-old Linda Bloom, 59, of Cleveland and her 41-year-old daughter, Blanche Wilson of Le Sueur, were charged Friday with conspiracy to commit murder. … According to the complaint, an informant tipped off authorities and set up a meeting between Wilson, Bloom and a sheriff’s investigator who posed as a hit man Wednesday. Wilson told the detective she had applied for a loan and would use that to pay him.” Elmore Leonard would have loved that one.

Also in the vein. Paul Walsh of the Strib says, “Prosecutors in southern Minnesota aren’t saying that Long Vang provided a weapon to Jessica Haban or gave her instructions on how to kill herself. And they aren’t saying Vang supplied Haban, the mother of his two children, with an illicit drug that led to her death. But prosecutors are accusing Vang of inflicting 10 years of relentless physical and emotional abuse on Haban during their relationship until she lost her will to live and died by suicide.”

And what, you ask (or maybe didn’t), did conservative blogger John Sexton at Hot Air have to say about Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Obamacare announcement? “Will other state BCBS insurers follow Minnesota’s lead? … Meanwhile, the Obama administration is doing its best to urge state insurance regulators to limit rate increases. That serves the short term political interest of Democrats, who don’t want to face big double digit increases announced just weeks before the election, but it makes it more likely insurers will continue to suffer losses in the market next year. And that could lead to more of them deciding to pull back. That would mean less competition which in turn means less pressure to control costs. It’s not a death spiral yet but if you squint a bit you can begin to see it from here.” We’ll wait for Sexton to explain how the GOP “plan” will control costs. 

Kind of a regular thing. The AP notes, “President Barack Obama will honor the 2015 WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx on Monday. Minnesota has previously been honored by the president for past championships. In October, the Lynx captured their third championship in five seasons.” And how do you imagine President Trump will honor female athletes?

Moose watch. KMSP-TV’s Randy Meier says, “The iconic wildlife symbol of Minnesota, the moose, is in trouble, so much so that the federal government is now stepping in. The serious decline in moose numbers began about a decade ago. For the first time in a long time, the words ‘threatened’ and ‘endangered’ are being used to describe the moose population in parts of the upper Midwest. In 2012, there was still limited moose hunting in Minnesota, but now the estimated 4,000 remaining moose is less than half of what it was just ten years ago.”

The Glean

On the long-standing taboo of “snitching” Libor Jany of the Strib writes, “Several recent cases highlight the problem. The city took notice late last month when Birdell Beeks, a 58-year-old grandmother, was killed in gang crossfire in north Minneapolis, a crime so unsettling it prompted pleas from Mayor Betsy Hodges and other leaders for anyone with knowledge about the case to call police. … Anthony Hines, a former Minneapolis cop, said that others choose silence out of fear of being ‘dragged into court to testify.’”

Damn good story Sunday on Prince and his legal issues/phobias from Stribbers Jon Bream and Dan Browning. “High-profile Minneapolis litigator Robert Weinstine sensed Prince’s skepticism about barristers. ‘He had a healthy disdain for lawyers,’ said Weinstine, who represented Prince in 1996 when he was seeking an injunction against his nannies for trying to sell photos of Prince and his then-wife Mayte’s severely deformed baby. ‘At the Warner Bros. deal, they really took advantage of a 17-year-old kid. Then there were so many people down the road that wanted to get involved with him more for the recognition than doing ­service’. … In the last few years, Prince didn’t necessarily rely on a lawyer to handle his high-level negotiations but rather a veteran AFL-CIO labor leader.”

Interesting piece in the Las Vegas Journal-Review on a Minnesota man undergoing new amputee treatment. Says Pashtana Usufzy:  “[Anthony] Reff, 39, underwent the first of two scheduled surgeries June 3, becoming the second osseointegration patient of Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center Chief of Surgery Dr. Ronald Hillock. … Osseointegration, which has been practiced in Europe for decades, occurs when a bone attaches itself to an implant. The specifics of the procedure vary around the world. Hillock said his process for leg amputee osseointegration was developed after extensive research and discussions with experts on the procedure. Initially, Hillock forcefully pushes a custom titanium rod, or stem, into the femur, irritating the bone. With time, the bone grows into the stem’s textured surface in an attempt to heal, anchoring the implant in the bone. After about three months, Hillock connects an abutment to the stem, and the abutment permanently protrudes from the skin. A prosthetic is then attached directly to the metal sticking out of the leg, eliminating the need for a prosthetic socket.”

When you’ve got $137,500 for a souvenir. The AP says, “Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has purchased the Yellow Cloud electric guitar that Prince used in numerous concerts until the mid-1990s. The NFL football team owner and collector of musical instruments paid $137,500 for the guitar at an auction Saturday in Beverly Hills. Heritage Auctions, which conducted the auction, says the solid-body guitar was a favorite of the late musician from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. … Irsay also has instruments once owned by musicians Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead, John Lennon and Ringo Starr of the Beatles and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.”

Pigs fly. Sally Jo Sorensen at Bluestem Prairie and GOP Rep. Steve “The Draz” Drazkowski are on the same page. Sally Jo doesn’t much care for the high-speed rail idea to link Rochester and the Twin Cities. “This seems like a very pricey way to duplicate service that’s already provided by UPS, Fedex and other carriers using the existing roads and airports. But perhaps [North American High Speed Rail chief strategic officer Wendy] Meadley feels to have another reason to confiscate property along the line via eminent domain so her investors can prosper when developing that seized real estate. It’s not often that we agree with Rep. Steve Drazkowski. He tells [Rochester Post Bulletin reporter Heather] Carlson: Drazkowski said he remains deeply concerned about the project. One of his biggest worries is the potential for the private company to seize landowners’ property via eminent domain. ‘I struggle with the idea that a private company is going to eminent domain private property. That is very troubling and something I think we certainly need to address in law,’ he said.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/27/2016 - 05:54 am.

    Stop Snitchin’

    Inner city minority populations would do well to cooperate with law enforcement to rat out criminals. Of course, any cop that complains of this can look no further than his or her comrades, who know well what kind of back-up to expect if they rat out a dirty cop.

    Because when you point your finger at someone else, you may find three fingers pointing back at you.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/27/2016 - 07:14 am.

    Insurance company “losses”

    Are these actually “losses”, or just not as much profit as they’d prefer to see?

    As I commented in this space Friday, I question the ethics of a business model that complains about lowered earnings when that is the result of the misfortunes of others (particularly when the business of that business is ostensibly to see people through those very misfortunes).

    • Submitted by Tim Smith on 06/27/2016 - 08:11 am.

      what don’t you get?

      they are paying out $500 million more in claims over the period than premium collected? It has nothing to do with profit, do the math. What specifically would you do if in their shoes? Since the mid 90’s we have had the most regulated non profit insurance market in the country.

      • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 06/27/2016 - 10:23 am.

        Which Numbers Are Actually Included in That Math?

        Is that $500 million figure actually for claims paid out,…

        or is that the general expense figure hidden somewhere in their balance sheets,…

        a figure which likely also includes the cost of executive compensation,…

        stock buybacks,.

        lobbying expenses,…

        dividend payouts, etc..

        When the financial reporting of American Corporations is as opaque as it is,…

        i.e. they tell us whatever they want to tell us,…

        shaded in whatever ways needed to justify whatever they want to do,…

        likely for the benefit of executives and the corporate board,…

        and to the detriment of everyone else,…

        I see no reason to trust ANY financial information provided to the public,…

        by ANY American Corporation.

        Meanwhile, it looks as if Blue Cross Blue Shield will now try to go back to the OLD insurance model,…

        only insuring people who are not now,…

        and are unlikely to become sick.

        But as the boomers age, are there enough such people left for their businesses to survive while insuring only them?

        Of course there’s also the possibility of collusion on the part of insurance companies nationwide,…

        based on the belief that, if enough of them pull out of Obamacare,…

        because there’s not enough profit in it,…

        they’ll be handed a healthy dose of taxpayer money,…

        to make it worth their while,…

        and keep their executives and board members up to their eyeballs,…

        in private retreats, penthouses, yachts, limos, private jets, and off shore tax havens,…

        all at taxpayer expense.

        And why is it that we shouldn’t move to Medicare for everyone,…

        especially if we’re just going to end up handing massive amounts of taxpayer money,…

        to prop up a system with much HIGHER overhead expenses than Medicare ever dreamed of having?

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 06/27/2016 - 09:02 am.

    Things are so bad for insurers

    pretty soon their CEO’s aren’t going to be able to afford soccer teams.

    • Submitted by Tim Smith on 06/27/2016 - 10:19 am.

      try to stay with us

      we are not talking national for profit insurers, we are talking local carriers who only do business in Minnesota. UHC doesn’t and Maguire hasn’t been their CEO for like 10 years, so irrelevant to the subject.

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