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Proving Hitchcock Right, Bird Attacks Are Turning Violent This Summer

Red-winged blackbirds and other species are stepping up divebombing attacks on humans.

Fleming Smith reports: Stephen Vedder used to enjoy peaceful lakeside runs near his Marlborough, Mass., home. This spring, after years of coexisting with an ornery neighbor, those tranquil outings came to an end.

The culprit was a red-winged blackbird.

More than 250 million of the birds live across North and Central America, and this summer some are feeling extra aggressive toward human neighbors—driving them to change walking routes, wear protective headgear or furiously wave arms above their heads as they jog.

“You talk to people about being attacked by birds, and they look at you like you’re crazy,” says Mr. Vedder, a 60-year-old programmer. “This is ‘The Birds’ all over again, but it’s real!”

Many people who have long lived in harmony with the birds have noticed an uptick in their aerial assaults this season. Bird-on-human attacks are growing more common as people encroach on their habitats, says Lori Naumann, information officer at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two MORE Women Accuse Senator Al Franken Of Opportunistic Ass-Grabbing

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One woman told HuffPost that Franken had grabbed her backside ass at an event honoring women.

Jenavieve Hatch and Zachary Roth report: Two more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week. Leeann Tweeden, a radio host, wrote last week that Franken had kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour. On Monday, Lindsay Menz accused Franken of groping her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

“My story is eerily similar to Lindsay Menz’s story. He grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”

The two additional women, who said they were not familiar with each others’ stories, both spoke on condition of anonymity. But their stories, which describe events during Franken’s first campaign for the Senate, are remarkably similar — and both women have been telling them privately for years.

“My immediate reaction was disgust. But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”

In a statement to HuffPost, Franken said, “It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.”

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The first woman, who spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity because she’s worried she’ll be harassed online for making the allegation, said Franken groped her when they posed for a photo after a June 25, 2007, event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in Minneapolis.

“My mother loves Al Franken. She listened to Air America every day,” the first woman said. ”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other … and down his hand went.”

“My story is eerily similar to Lindsay Menz’s story,” the first woman said. “He grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”

The second woman told HuffPost that Franken cupped her butt with his hand at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis, then suggested the two visit the bathroom together. She spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear that the allegation could affect her position at work.

“My immediate reaction was disgust,” the second woman said. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”

The first woman, a 38-year-old book editor who was living in Minneapolis at the time, told HuffPost that she had just finished performing with a feminist choir at the Women’s Political Caucus event, which Franken and his wife, Franni Bryson, attended. After the ceremony, she and other members of the choir approached him for photos. Read the rest of this entry »


ICYMI: 50,000 Somalis Settled in the United States Under Obama

refugees-2009

Paul Bedard reports: The Obama administration resettled 9,000 Somali refugees in the United States in 2014, and a total of 50,000 during Obama’s eight years, a huge number that is now raising concerns after a Somali refugee led a one-man attack spree on the campus of Ohio State.

“We have no way of vetting people from any of the failed states of the Islamic world, whether Somalia or Libya or Yemen or Afghanistan or Iraq.”

Like Syrian refugees, there is no adequate way to check the backgrounds of the Somalis, according to the head of the Center for Immigration Studies.

obama-G20-summit

In a review of the numbers he reissued after Monday’s attack, CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian said:

“We have no way of vetting people from any of the failed states of the Islamic world, whether Somalia or Libya or Yemen or Afghanistan or Iraq.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Senator Amy Klobuchar: ‘Power Panstuit Nation Day’ at Minnesota Polls 

Expressing her confidence that Hillary Clinton would do well, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar declared it “Power Pantsuit Nation Day” in Minnesota. It is unclear whether this less-than-scientific method of predicting voting results will prove accurate, but Klobuchar appears to be trying to give progressive feminists another slogan to use in the event of a Clinton victory. Or not use, one could hope.

Hillary-Clinton-Pantsuit-Rainbow

 

 


Ex Top Cop: We Need a New Model of Policing 

The horrific deaths of Philando Castillo in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, give us an updated and up-close glimpse of police encounters gone bad—but they are rooted in decades of problematic policing in America. “Historically in this country, the police have never really been the friends of the black community,” says Neill Franklin, a former officer with the Baltimore Police Department and current executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P).

LA-cop-car

Franklin talked with Reason TV Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie at this year’s Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Nevada, pointing out that slavery may have ended officially in the late 1800s, but a lot of policing was born out of that era and the one that followed, when police deliberately enforced laws in ways that targeted black citizens. Even today, police are tasked with enforcing laws—from driving without a license to missing a court date—that tend to target poor communities and communities of color.

“You know a $250 fine doesn’t mean much to people who have money,” says Franklin. “But when you enforce these policies in poor communities, a hundred dollar fine can devastate a family.” Read the rest of this entry »


The Formerly Alive Artist Formerly Known as Prince is Dead

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Legendary musician Prince has died at the age of 57

The artist known as Prince has died … TMZ has learned. He was 57.

Prince’s body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota early Thursday morning.

Multiple sources connected to the singer confirmed he had passed.

The singer — full name Prince Rogers Nelson — had a medical emergency on April 15th that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois. But heappeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay. His people told TMZ he was battling the flu. Read the rest of this entry »


Academic Freedom Update: Student and Faculty Rights Bill Coming in Washington State

The bill is crucial to preserve academic freedom and the ability of faculty members to blow the whistle when they observe wrongdoing.

 reports: 2016 is right around the corner, and it promises to bring good news to college students and faculty members in Washington state. When the Washington State Legislature reconvenes in January, State Representative Matthew Manweller plans to introduce HB 3055, a bill that includes items on FIRE’s wish list.

“The bill’s wide-ranging scope includes a provision that would prevent campus administrators from forcing faculty members to affix “trigger warnings” on class syllabi that caution students that certain topics might be unsettling.” 

Included in the bill’s meritorious provisions is the Campus Free Expression Act (CAFE Act), similar to a new law in Missouri, which would prevent public institutions of higher education from limiting expressive activity in the open outdoor areas of campus to tiny, misleadingly labeled “free speech zones.”

“The legislation also forbids institutions from punishing students or faculty for so-called ‘microaggressions’—defined by proponents as ‘everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.’”

Another important part of Representative Manweller’s legislation is a provision aimed at ensuring faculty at the state’s public colleges have the freedom to speak out on institutional policy and matters of public concern without fear of reprisal. The bill is crucial to preserve academic freedom and the ability of faculty members to blow the whistle when they observe wrongdoing.

“Due process protections are also front and center in Representative Manweller’s comprehensive bill. Like legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier this year in North Dakota, the bill would provide students accused of non-academic offenses that could result in lengthy suspensions or expulsions with the right to hire lawyers to represent them and fully participate in the campus process.” 

The bill’s wide-ranging scope includes a provision that would prevent campus administrators from forcing faculty members to affix “trigger warnings” on class syllabi that caution students that certain topics might be unsettling. Under the legislation, individual faculty members would decide if and when they want to include such warnings. The legislation also forbids institutions from punishing students or faculty for so-called “microaggressions”—defined by proponents as “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” Read the rest of this entry »


FAIL: Minnesota Police Rout Black Lives Matter Protesters at Mall of America, Airport 

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Lee Stranahan reports: At the Mall, police shut down stores in the East Rotunda prior to the protest and set up a perimeter that kept protesters isolated from shoppers. Then after numerous warnings to leave, they slowly walked in further isolated the protesters.

Last year’s protests had an estimated 3,000 attendees, but this year’s protest over the shooting of a convicted criminal named Jamar Clark failed to bring out anywhere near that number. From video and social media, it appears that only a hundred showed up.

As Breitbart News reported yesterday, a judge ruled that any protests at the Mall of America would be illegal and placed a restraining order on three Black Lives Matter leaders.

Activists from Unicorn Riot live streamed the actions and provided overdramatic narratation to their viewers, claiming the police were “pushing” protesters–but the videos shows they never were touched.

As another example of media bias towards the protesters, NBC claimed the protesters “marched out of” the Mall, even though they were clearly forced out by police…something at least one protester freely admitted on social media….(read more)

Source: Breitbart


$1 Million Reward Offered for Stolen Judy Garland Slippers

RUBYSLIPPERS

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — An anonymous donor has offered a $1 million reward for credible information leading to the pair of Judy Garland‘s sequined, ruby red slippers stolen from a museum in her Minnesota hometown.

460xThe late actress wore the slippers in “The Wizard of Oz.” Three other pairs still exist, including one on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, says the donor is from Arizona and is a huge fan of Garland and the 1939 movie.

The reward offer requires the exact location of the slippers and the perpetrator’s name.

Priceless Hollywood memorabilia including CHARLIE CHAPLIN's bowler hat, JUDY GARLAND's ruby slippers from THE WIZARD OF OZ, and a dress worn by MARILYN MONROE in the infamous "flashing" scene from THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH are to go up for auction this month (Jun11). Veteran actress Debbie Reynolds has built up an enormous collection of iconic artefacts worth millions of dollars and is selling the haul after plans to set up a movie museum fell through. Other incredible pieces in the auction are Audrey Hepburn's frock from My Fair Lady - which is expected to fetch up to 00,000 (£187,500) - the sweater worn by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (0,000/£37,500), and Cleopatra's crown famously sported by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 epic. Monroe's shimmering, red sequined dress from Gentleman Prefer Blondes is expected to raise up to 00,000 (£187,500), Barbra Streisand's Hello, Dolly! gown is valued at 0,000 (£50,000), Chaplin's hat is worth 0,000 (£18,750), and the ruby slippers are 50,000 (£93,750). But the star attraction of the sale is the white pleated frock worn by Monroe in the iconic New York "subway" scene in The Seven Year Itch - it's expected to sell for a cool  million (£1.25 million). The auction will be held in Beverly Hills on 18 June (11). (ZN/WN)  The Wizard of Oz (1939) Directed by Victor Fleming Shown: Judy Garland (as Dorothy Gale), wearing the ruby slippers This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, and do not, nor are they intended to, convey to the user any ownership of Copyright or License in the material. By publishing this material, the user expressly agrees to indemnify and to hold WENN harmless from any claims, demands, or causes of action arising out of or connected in any way with user's publication of the material. Supplied by WENN.com  When: 13 May 1939 Credit: WENN

The 10-year anniversary of the theft is in August. The slippers were insured for $1 million. Kelsch says they could be worth $2 million to $3 million now.

[AP]


Scientist Missing For Over 20 years Found Living Inside Secret LSD Drug Lab Hidden in Basement

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A Couple from Cottage Grove, Minnesota discovers a man living inside a secret laboratory inside their basement.  On Tuesday, officers with the Warrington County Sheriffs Office went to the
LSD-vialMorgan family’s home after receiving a call of a possible break in.  When the officers pulled up they saw the Morgan Family standing by the road.

“He had clearly been living down there for a long time and had suffered severe psychological trauma probably from not socializing with anyone for a while. I don’t know if he had been living down there since the 80’s but I wouldn’t doubt it.”

“They ran up to use and said they heard a man shouting inside their basement and that’s when they called it in to 911.” Said Captain Bruce Normans with the Warrington County Sheriff’’s Office.

Officers say they could hear the man yelling in the basement the moment they entered the Morgan’s home.  But when they moved cautiously into the basement they saw nothing but could hear banging sounds coming from behind the northern wall of the Morgan family’s basement, specifically echoing from behind a large storage cabinet.

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“It was a very odd situation. We assumed the possibility that a vagrant may have been trapped behind the cabinet and needed help.” Officer Jim Catelli told Channel 6 news.STAMP-panic-red

[Read the full text here, at Paranormal]

When the Officers moved the large metal cabinet they uncovered an entry way to a large basement room that was full of various science equipment along with a terrified, elderly man.  The 83 year old man was identified as Dr. Winston Corrigan, a chemistry professor from the University of Minnesota who went missing in the fall of 1984 and was a previous resident of the home. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Three Men Arrested After Allegedly Attempting to Join ISIS from U.S.

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NEW YORK — The FBI has arrested three men who allegedly attempted to fly from New York to Turkey in hopes of eventually joining ISIS in Syria, according to a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday.

The suspects — identified as Abdurasul Jaraboev, 24; Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19; and Abror Habibov, 30 — face charges that include providing material support for terrorists, authorities said.

The men allegedly discussed staging attacks in the United States, according to court papers. Read the rest of this entry »


The Probe That Launched a Thousand Shirts

Space scientist Matt Taylor apologized for the shirt he wore during live coverage of the Rosetta mission to land a probe on a comet. VPC

Better not to land a spaceship on a comet than let men wear sexist clothing.

Glenn Reynolds writes: So how are things going for feminism? Well, last week, some feminists took one of the great achievements of human history — landing a probe from Earth on a comet hundreds of millions of miles away — and made it all about the clothes.mt

“…what should have been the greatest day in a man’s life — accomplishing something never before done in the history of humanity — was instead derailed by people with their own axes to grind. “

Yes, that’s right. After years of effort, the European Space Agency’s lander Philae landed on a comet  300 million miles away. At first, people were excited. Then some women noticed that one of the space scientists, Matt Taylor, was wearing a shirt, made for him by a female “close pal,” featuring comic-book depictions of semi-naked women. And suddenly, the triumph of the comet landing was drowned out by shouts of feminist outrage about … what people were wearing. It was one small shirt for a man, one giant leap backward for womankind.

“Whatever feminists say, their true priorities are revealed in what they do, and what they do is, mostly,  man-bashing and special pleading”

The Atlantic’s Rose Eveleth tweeted, “No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt.” Astrophysicist Katie Mack commented: “I don’t care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn’t appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM.” And from there, the online feminist lynch mob took off until Taylor was forced to deliver new-schoola tearful apology on camera.

[Glenn Reynolds‘ book “The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself is available at Amazon]

It seems to me that if you care about women in STEM, maybe you shouldn’t want to communicate the notion that they’re so delicate that they can’t handle pictures of comic-book women. Will we stock our Mars spacecraft with fainting couches?

Not everyone was so censorious. Read the rest of this entry »


Al Franken: People Don’t Like Me?

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

From NRO‘s Morning Jolt:

Here’s the headline from a new poll of Minnesota likely voters commissioned by American Encore and conducted by Magellan Strategies:

Only 41 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Sen. Franken, while 45 percent had an unfavorable view of him. Only 44 percent approve of the job he is doing.

• 54% of respondents disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, and only 38% approve.

• Only 40% of respondents think Al Franken deserves re-election.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Awkward silence Falls upon Dem Lawmakers when Constituents Ask about Obamacare, Laughter Ensues…

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From Red Alert Politics reports:  Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz must have forgotten to share her talking points with a trio of Minnesota Democrats asked about the Obamacare train wreck, as their only response to constituents about the failing law was awkward silence.

Members of Minnesota’s delegation, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) and Reps. Tim Walz (D) and Collin Peterson (D), gathered for an agricultural symposium at South Central College in North Mankato, Minn. Though the trio addressed issues surrounding the recently passed farm bill, they also fielded questions about the Affordable Care Act. And one left the Democrats speechless. Watch:

“I thought the Affordable Healthcare Act would save $2,500 per family,” an attendee asked. “What happened?”

A silence quickly fell over the room as Klobuchar and Walz exchanged nervous glances. The audience then burst out laughing…

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] CHILL: Festival Snuffs Pro-Fracking Documentary; Will Present Films Critical of Industry Instead

Speaking of controversial documentaries… The Washington Times‘ Valerie Richardson  reports:  A Minnesota film festival is being accused of pushing a political agenda by yanking a pro-fracking documentary from its lineup while keeping two anti-fracking films on the program.

Organizers of the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, Minn., decided last week to cut “FrackNation,” a widely discussed 2013 documentary about hydraulic fracturing, reportedly citing concerns about the film’s financial links to the oil and gas industry and the filmmakers’ inability to attend the screening.

1_232014_ap2478773859938201_mugshot_four_by_three_s310x233The decision represents the first time the festival has pulled a film in its nine-year history. Instead, the festival plans to fill Sunday’s slot with a forum discussion, “Documentaries Today: My Fact Your Fiction?”

Filmmaker Phelim McAleer, who produced the “FrackNation” with Ann McIlhenney, said he wasn’t buying the festival organizers’ explanation.

“It’s a cover story,” said Mr. McAleer. “They’re under pressure from environmental elites not to show this film.”

He noted that while “FrackNation” was pulled, the festival is still showing “Gasland2,” a follow-up to the intensely anti-fracking 2011 documentary “Gasland,” and “Dear Governor Cuomo,” a documentary about anti-fracking protests in New York.

Read the rest of this entry »


Photo: Ambitious Minnesota Brothers Sculpt a Fearsome 16-Foot ‘Snow Shark’

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Ezra Dulis reports:  Extreme winter weather like the storms across the United States’ midwest and northeastern regions bring danger, inconvenience, and a huge mess for adults who have to commute to work.

However, for kids, it means no school—and plenty of time to play in the snow.

For this trio of Minnesota brothers, the week’s snowstorms have become a massive and quite impressive wintry art project.

Read the rest of this entry »


Police: Mark Andrew Beaten After Getting iPhone Stolen At Mall of America Starbucks

andrew-beating-pic-graphicMINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The runner-up in the Minneapolis mayoral election is recovering after being robbed and brutally beaten Thursday night at the Mall of America.

Mark Andrew, 63, was at a Starbucks inside the mall at around 7 p.m. Thursday when a man grabbed his phone off his table and ran off.

When Andrew went after him, he was tackled by two teenage girls – aged 18 and 17 — one of which began beating him with a billy club. During the attack, they told Andrew, “We’re going to kill you,” police say.

Andrew was left with a large gash on his head that required nine stitches. He has since been released from the hospital.

Read the rest of this entry »


National Lampoon’s ObamaCare Vacation

John Podesta Associated Press

John Podesta Associated Press

State exchange chiefs skip town, while Obama hires a hit man

President Obama has responded to the ObamaCare debacle by bringing in Beltway liberal mastermind John Podesta as a senior West Wing hand, and he promptly announced his arrival by likening House Republicans to “a cult worthy of Jonestown” in an interview with Politico. The states running their own insurance exchanges are exacting more accountability for their ObamaCare failures.

Enrollment and technical dysfunctions and security breaches akin to the 36 federal exchanges continue to beset Minnesota’s operation, called MNsure. On Tuesday, April Todd-Malmlov, the exchange’s executive director since 2011, resigned under political duress.

The state’s problems are severe—4,478 have selected a plan so far—but were not severe enough to disrupt her two-week vacation in Costa Rica late last month with her partner, James Golden, who runs the state’s Medicaid program. Amid a political uproar, upon Ms. Todd-Malmlov’s return she was forced out by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton.

[VIDEO] Mutliple State Exchanges Vulnerable to Wi-Fi Attack

This, from NRO. Boldly-featured on Drudge right now, too, here’s video:

Multiple state-run health-care exchanges are vulnerable to a type of Wi-Fi attack that can allow hackers to intercept usernames and passwords, KSTP, a Minnesota ABC affiliate, reports.

According to Mark Lanterman, the CEO and chief technology officer of Computer Forensic Services who ran the simulated attack for KSTP, state-run exchanges in Minnesota, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are vulnerable to it.

Lanterman tested at least a dozen of the state-run exchanges to determine if they had the vulnerability. Kentucky, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and California did not. HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange, also is not vulnerable to the attack.

Read the rest of this entry »


House Democrat’s Low Fundraising Sparks Retirement Rumors (Again)

Peterson posted weak fundraising again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Peterson posted weak fundraising again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Emily Cahn reports: Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., raised about $83,000 in the third quarter, according to his third-quarter fundraising report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Peterson’s fundraising haul is $10,000 less than last quarter’s fundraising total — both considered to be paltry sums for a long-time member of Congress. He reported $227,000 in the bank.
Such a small haul raises questions about Peterson’s plans for 2014 because weak fundraising can signal that a member is looking to retire. On Tuesday, Peterson’s campaign said in a statement that the congressman is still considering his plans for 2014.

“It’s premature to read too much into Congressman Peterson’s report this fundraising quarter given that he does not yet have an opponent, he is still considering whether he will run again, and the amount raised is similar to what he’s raised previously in off-year quarters,” the campaign said in the statement. “At this time, he remains focused on getting the farm bill completed.”
Republicans publicly pushed Peterson to retire earlier this year, knowing that Minnesota’s 7th District would be more competitive if he was not on the ballot.
GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried Peterson’s district with a 10-point margin in 2012.
There are no Republicans currently challenging Peterson this cycle. However businessman Scott Van Binsbergen has been eyeing a bid, and moved closer to making a decision last month, he told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview. Minnesota’s 7th District is rated a Democrat Favored contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call


The Future of Health Care

Obamacare security breach leaks data of 2,400 customers

oopsSarah Hurtubise reports: An employee of Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange, MNsure, sent an unencrypted file to the wrong person and left 2,400 people’s private information at the mercy of a nearby insurance agent.

One exchange staffer’s simple mistake gave insurance broker Jim Koester access to an Excel document of Social Security numbers, names, addresses and other personal data for whole a list of insurance agents. Luckily for the 2,400, Koester was cooperative — and unnerved.

“The more I thought about it, the more troubled I was,” Koester told the Minnesota Star Tribune. “What if this had fallen into the wrong hands? It’s scary. If this is happening now, how can clients of MNsure be confident their data is safe?” Read the rest of this entry »


Everyday Heroes: Dairy Queen employee’s honorable actions praised online

Joey Prusak (photo: Joey Prusak)

Joey Prusak (photo: Joey Prusak)

When a visually impaired customer accidentally dropped a $20 bill at a Hopkins, Minn., Dairy Queen, employee Joey Prusak said he was shocked by what happened next.

“The lady behind him just picked it up and put it in her purse,” he told Yahoo News. “As if no one saw it.”

What Prusak did inspired another customer to write an email to the store manager praising the 19-year-old for his calm and kindness. The email went to Reddit, was picked up by the Daily Mail and quickly turned Prusak into a nominee for the Nice Guy Hall of Fame (if only such a place existed).

Prusak, who has been working at Dairy Queen since he was 14, told Yahoo News that he recognized the visually impaired customer. “He’s a regular and he always pays with a debit card,” he said. “He doesn’t use a wallet, so when he pulled out his card, the cash fell to the ground.” Read the rest of this entry »


RIP, Vince Flynn

BY 

The terrible news came yesterday:

Best-selling author Vince Flynn, who wrote the Mitch Rapp counterterrorism thriller series and sold more than 15 million books in the U.S. alone, died Wednesday in Minnesota after a more than two-year battle with prostate cancer, according to friends and his publisher. He was 47. Flynn was supporting himself by bartending when he self-published his first novel, “Term Limits,” in 1997 after getting more than 60 rejection letters. After it became a local best-seller, Pocket Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint, signed him to a two-book deal — and “Term Limits” became a New York Times best-seller in paperback. The St. Paul-based author also sold millions of books in the international market and averaged about a book a year, most of them focused on Rapp, a CIA counterterrorism operative. His 14th novel, “The Last Man,” was published last year…Flynn died at a hospital in St. Paul, surrounded by about 35 relatives and friends who prayed the Rosary, said longtime family friend Kathy Schneeman. She said his deep Catholic faith was an important part of his character. “That’s what he would have liked. He talks about his faith just as much as he would talk about politics and current events with our group of friends,” Schneeman said…Flynn is survived by his wife, Lysa Flynn, and three children.

A remarkable American success story cut tragically short.  On last night’s Hugh Hewitt Show,Mary Katharine and I interviewed Flynn’s fellow thriller novelist, Brad Thor, who offered an upbeat yet moving tribute to his departed friend.  An excerpt:

GB: Brad, talk about your relationship with Vince. How did you get to know him? And how did you two interact as sort of friendly rivals?

BT: Well, Vince was fantastic. When I wrote my first book, Vince was the first blurb that I got. I mean, not only that, but when I was looking for my agent, I had been introduced to Vince through a friend in the publishing industry, and Vince said you know what? Why don’t you talk to my agent? I mean, people are so protective of their turf, and yet here’s a guy who said yeah, we’ll throw the doors wide open. You know, you’re starting out. I remember what it was like when I was starting, and if I can help you, let me do it. So I mean, just generous to a fault, this guy. But you never saw a frown on his face, always very, very happy, very funny guy. You know, the last time I can remember seeing him on TV is he was doing press for The Last Man, his last book. And I remember seeing him on Imus. And Imus said you look fantastic, and he says well, I’m not going through chemo, I’m going through radiation. You know, people expect you to look terrible, and he looked great. And he was so positive that he was going to beat this. And it’s just, it’s stunning to hear this.

MKH: Yeah, such a sad loss, and really, I’m learning a few things I didn’t know before. I had known his name and of his books, but learning about a pretty amazing way to start in the fiction writing business, which is just to say I’m going to give this a shot, and when I get rejected a bunch of times, I’m going to self-publish. That’s a pretty cool way to go about doing things, sort of an inspiring story of breaking into the business.

BT: And May Katharine, that’s before you had all the self-publishing people that you do now.

MKH: Right.

BT: I mean, this guy…

MKH: ‘97

BT: Yes, it’s like the Grisham story of going from bookstore to bookstore to bookstore in his own hometown saying will you take this book? Will you stock it? But that’s the kind of guy he was. I mean, this is a true American success story, because he’d wanted to be a Marine, and he couldn’t do it because he got medically DQ’d, and so here’s this fantastic guy that says I’m going to go after my dream, and I’m going to get it, and he did. God bless him. If this is what was in the cards, and if this was God’s plan for Vince, how fortunate is he to have captured his dream and to have gone after it as opposed to being 47 years old in a job he hated saying boy, I wish I’d only tried to write a book? How much better are we, the people who love his writing, and the people he touched because of his successful career, that he went after his dream?

The full transcript is available here.  RIP.

via The Greenroom.

 


Ellison: ‘Really Disappointing’ That Apple Doesn’t Want to Pay More Taxes

By  Andrew Johnson

 

Representative Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) just can’t wrap his head around why Apple wouldn’t “step up” to pay more in taxes.

“It seems to me they ought to want to help to pay the expenses of this country, so that everybody can have a fair shot,” Ellison said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show over the weekend.

”I don’t think they’ve got warm blood, I really don’t.”

Ellison found it “really disappointing” that Apple wasn’t willing to pay higher taxes, arguing that it “wouldn’t be a multi-billion-dollar corporation but for the fact that the United States of America made it possible for them to be that successful.”

“Taxes are not a punishment,” he explained, “taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook testified before a Senate subcommittee last week over the company’s tax-avoidance practices. Schultz later questioned whether what Apple was engaging in was “morally right,” concluding ”I don’t think they’ve got warm blood, I really don’t.”

 

via Ellison:  National Review Online.


Election Shave Challenge Update: Ed Asner, Janeane Garofalo, Join Axelrod’s Mustache-Shaving Wager

Adding an unexpected dose of humor, and a welcome, long-overdue pledge of personal hygiene, two outspoken celebrities are including themselves in Axelrod’s courageous mustache-shaving wager.

Beloved television actor and outspoken socialist Ed Asner, and activist/actress Janeane Garofalo announced this week that they’re willing to part with treasured follicular adornments, in response to the shave challenge started by Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, who promised to shave his mustache of 40 years on national television if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania on Election Day.

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“I will come on Morning Joe and I will shave off my mustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states”

 

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“If Obama fails to win Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania, I will go on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on election day, and shave my legs”

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“If Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania to Romney next Tuesday, I’ll go on the Johnny Carson show, and shave my ear hair”

We assume Ed meant to say the Jay Leno show. Stay tuned for more celebrities volunteering to join David Axelrod in shaving on national TV, in support of Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.