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Minnesota native wins tennis gold in Rio

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Gold medalist Bethanie Mattek-Sands shown during the victory ceremony on Sunday.

Minnesota gold. The AP story says, “[Rochester native and Phoenix resident] Bethanie Mattek-Sands figures she’ll retire the stars and stripes socks and frame them with her gold medal. In an all-American mixed doubles final Sunday, Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock won the title as first-time Olympians. And they did it against an opponent who has won as many medals — and as many golds — as any tennis player in history. Mattek-Sands and Sock beat Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram to deny Williams a record fifth gold.

Be the first on the McMullin bandwagon. For The Hill, Jessie Hellman says, “The Independence Party of Minnesota has selected Evan McMullin as its 2016 presidential nominee, his campaign said in a statement. McMullin, a little-known former CIA officer and House GOP official, announced his long-shot White House bid last Monday as an alternative to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. … The campaign has said getting on ballots in 15 states with deadlines on or after Aug. 15 is a top priority. So far, McMullin is only on Colorado’s ballot.” But he may already have as much organization as Mr. Trump.

Mastery of the obvious. The Strib editorial board says, “Many people who were in the state’s high-risk health insurance pool because they were rejected by insurers are now among the roughly 5 percent of Minnesotans who buy plans on their own. The result: unacceptable year-over-year premium increases, which are expected again this fall. … In response to an editorial writer, Gov. Mark Dayton expressed welcome interest Friday in convening a task force this fall. But the work should begin now to aid consumers.

In other task force news, Libor Jany of the Strib says, “When the Police Conduct Oversight Commission released a study last week detailing serious problems in the way complaints against Minneapolis police officers are handled, there were immediate calls for a revamping of the complaint process. … Whether the police department will act on the group’s proposals is another matter, said PCOC Commissioner Adriana Cerrillo.” Maybe they should write editorials instead.

Apparently not a castle doctrine episode. Mara Gottfried of the PiPress writes: A woman in her 60s was found fatally shot in a Northfield home Sunday morning, and police took a woman in her 70s into custody before releasing her later in the day. … Responding officers found the woman who had made the report and a shooting victim, who was treated by officers and paramedics but pronounced dead at the scene. Despite the initial report about an intruder, police said that did not appear to be the case. The women, whose names were not released Sunday, were both residents of the home … .”

In the business section of the Strib, Jim Spencer gets into an interesting angle. “At a cattle conference last week in Alberta, Canada, Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap fielded the same question over and over: How did international trade become such a bad thing in the United States? … As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes sacking two of the country’s biggest free-trade agreements a part of his economic plan, Minnesota’s business community finds itself at odds with the top candidate of a political party that once was a reliable supporter of open markets.”

Bye bye Ricky? Kit Bernal at Yibada writes, “The Minnesota Timberwolves could swap point guard Ricky Rubio to the Sacramento Kings for Rudy Gay, one of the few names available in the trade market. It is no secret that the Kings are looking to deal Gay this offseason after the 29-year-old forward expressed his frustrations over Sacramento’s unclear direction. … According to Nick Agar-Johnson of Hashtag Basketball, one possible destination for Gay is the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that would see Ricky Rubio joining the Kings.” What, you haven’t bookmarked Hashtag Basketball?

You gotta pity KARE. The station is still taking flak for … just slightly … undercounting the number of games in an NFL season. At Sportsnaut, Jesse Reed piles on, saying, “NBC affiliate, KARE 11 in Minneapolis, Minn., had us spitting our coffee out this morning with an epic fail on a Minnesota Vikings poll. Apparently, the people running the poll still think we’re back in the 1950s. As pointed out by Timothy Burke of Deadspin, they asked fans how many of the 12 games this season the Vikings would win.” How much were tickets at The Met? Did we pay to tailgate?

Well, their hair is kinda the same color. In The Atlantic, Michelle Cottle alerts the world to our “mini-Trump.” “With Donald Trump scorching the land like a political Agent Orange, it’s easy to forget about all the juicy House races also underway. Among the most competitive: the battle for Minnesota’s 2nd, a swingy sort of district in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities. … . So how have Minnesota Republicans responded to the challenge? By nominating Jason Lewis, a hard-right radio provocateur turned internet activist famous for racist, misogynistic, and generally from-the-fringe rants that make Donald Trump sound like Mitt Romney. Hard to believe, I know.” And Lewis is one of the “reasonable” ones.

Dairy farming has always been tough work. For MPR, Mark Steil says, “The U.S. agriculture department predicted another record harvest this fall on Friday, raising the prospect of yet more financial pain in farm country. Crop, livestock and dairy farms are all suffering. Some are filing for bankruptcy, among them John Quaal, who runs a dairy farm near Fergus Falls. It’s nearly impossible to break even producing milk, he said. ‘For almost two years now we’ve been going backwards,’ said Quaal. ‘You’ve got to learn to deal with it I guess. It’s just the way it is.’”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/15/2016 - 12:45 pm.

    Barking up the wrong result tree

    Unacceptable year-over-year premium increases — which were as bad or worse for decades before the ACA — are not the result of people who need more intensive health care than those lucky enough to not need it . . . They are the result of our country’s unique approach to health care delivery (American exceptionalism) in which health care and insurance providers charge whatever they choose to charge, regardless of actual cost (plus a “reasonable” profit).

    As has been said countless times by countless people, that unique approach has led to Americans paying TWO TO THREE TIMES as much as any other people in the industrialized world in exchange for health care results that are the worst in the industrialized world.

    It would be refreshing to see “mainstream media” pay 1/10th as much attention to THAT aspect of things as it does reporting on what things look like in the house of smoke and mirrors those who benefit (substantially) from that unique approach keep leading them into.

    I would strongly recommend more reporters, journalists, media people in general (editors, publishers, boards of directors, etc.) take a look at Steven Brill’s work (for one), think about it a little and then maybe pick up the phone and call a hospital administrator or two.

    Ask them why their organization charges three times as much for anything as their counterparts in Great Britain.

    Then give a couple insurance CEOs a call and ask them what value they add to health care and what their industry’s doing in the health care business in the first place.

    See what their answers make you think and wonder and then maybe just kind of of go from there . . . You never know. It might be kind of fun and it MIGHT be more interesting than talking endlessly about unacceptable year-over-year premium increases and why they’re always sick people’s and the government’s fault.

    And remember: “the work should begin now to aid consumers” (of health care insurance AND your media product).

    And speaking of American exceptionalism and, as Donald Trump might suspect, yet another rigged system, in what other American industry (or universe) can you have a good as year as possible and have the result be bankruptcy? Farming is tough enough to do without having to try to figure out how to avoid bumper crops and pay the bills at the same time . . . That would be like the pharmaceutical industry having record-breaking sales of Oxycodone and all their other products and having that unfortunate turn of events run them out of business.

    Note to journalists #2: Check the price of a box of cereal. Check the per-bushel price of the grain its made of (oats in Cheerios, for example). Figure out how many one-pound boxes of cereal can be made from that bushel. Do the arithmetic. Call whoever’s running General Mills these days and ask them why they think farmer’s are going broke growing bumper crops.

    • Submitted by Jan Arnold on 08/15/2016 - 06:45 pm.

      Medical/Prescription Cost

      I agree. I am a diabetic that uses insulin. I paid $879.25 today at Walgreen’s for two of the three insulin I use. One for a three week supply, the other for a month supply. I had enough of the third one that I did not need to refill that one at this time.

      In June I started Medicare and have Part D through Humana (and hit the “donut hole” in July). Before that I had Preferred One at $1125.per month ($750 deductible). I choose the “platinum” level so I knew what my monthly cost would be. When I was covered by employer provided insurance I was never quite sure what my pays at the pharmacy would be (and I was covered by what was considered a “Cadillac” plan) or what my share of office/medical would be. Learned to budget half of my take home for health care.

      I don’t have anything against a business making a reasonable profit. But I considered the healthcare/pharmaceuticals industry to be price gouging. From several highly publicized incidents this year alone the set point for pricing was the highest price that market would bear and that is what CEOs testified. The cereal example also applies to prescription prices. How much are the pharmaceutical companies making on the millions of diabetics alone? What about other widely prescribed drugs?

      In high school and college I wore hard contact lenses (which were the latest and greatest thing out there). A pair cost about $30 or so. I found out the cost to make the lenses was about 20 cents. This has been going on for a long time.

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