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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Mike McFadden Is NOT Good For Minnesota

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 09/29/14 19:14

by Dave Mindeman

Mike McFadden has been trying to raise his profile ahead of his debates with Al Franken. And judging by what he is putting out there, Mike McFadden is either the most naive politician Minnesota has ever had or simply unable to understand the facts.

His OP-ED, which I caught in the Duluth paper is concerning in regards to his ability to represent us in the US Senate. It is statements like these that cause that concern....

No one party is to blame for what's happening in Washington. Republicans and Democrats seem to view politics as the art of the pure when it should be seen as the art of the possible. Minnesotans deserve more; they deserve a problem-solver with practical, real-world experience who will shake up Washington and get this country back onto the path of growth and prosperity.

McFadden is a Republican and as a Republican, how can he look us in the eye and say that the GOP has not epitomized his statement..."seem to view politics as the art of the pure when it should be seen as the art of the possible."

The GOP Senators have shunned the "possible" on every occasion and defined the "art of the pure" as the art of the filibuster. Yes, Minnesotans do deserve more, but sending one more Republican to Washington to continue this policy of obstruction is not even close to an answer.

What makes anyone think that a rich, naive Republican Senator can go to Washington and problem solve in an atmosphere that only obstructs. No progress is wanted - no solutions are sought.

But McFadden thinks he is optimistic....

I am ready to head to Washington, roll up my sleeves, and work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who will help change the direction this country is headed by working to address what I like to call the "three E's" of energy, education and effective government.

Again, a naive view that is dangerous. You can't possible deal with E for Energy without adding the more important E for the Environment. Those two have to work in tandem or a temporary fix in supply will collapse in yet another round of environmental disaster. McFadden would do well to look at China in this regard. While he is accessing their cheap steel, maybe he should look at the people walking around in smog with filter masks over their mouths. China uses short cuts. They bypass regulation. But look at the result.

And as for education....despite repeated calls from Obama for changes in No Child Left Behind, Republicans, led by John Kline, block it at every turn. Special Ed is still waiting for promised fulfillment on funding increases that were promised years ago. And the GOP talks about the achievement gap only in terms of how many teachers they can blame. And McFadden adds his voice to the complainers who offer no fixes.

And when it comes to "effective government", McFadden's answer is to get rid of regulatory agencies which will lead to the same kind of oversight nightmare that brought us the bank meltdown of 2008....or the acid rain of the 60's and 70's....or the ozone layer depletion that we have finally come back to fix by restricting fluorocarbons.

And you can add McFadden's ideas on healthcare to that list. He wants to get rid of Obamacare and keep the popular aspects of it -- without any of the cost management needed to cover them. What business model could work with that?

Mike McFadden thinks he has "new" ideas. The truth is, McFadden is just a revamped version of Norm Coleman without the Kazeminy suits.
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Repeal Obamacare And Go Back To What?

Category: John Kline
Posted: 09/28/14 13:19, Edited: 09/28/14 13:21

by Dave Mindeman

It irritates me when Republicans call for the repeal of Obamacare, as if we need to go back to that "great" system of healthcare we had before.

Let me relate two stories.

About 3 or 4 years ago we had a problem that developed with our insurance. We kept getting a bill from our provider, over and over again, which our insurance carrier INSISTED had been paid. My wife called back and forth between the two for weeks - each claiming that the other was wrong, but never actually talking to each other.

Finally, my wife called the insurance company and insisted on tracking down this payment. They searched the records and told us that a check had been issued. The representative had the authorization in her hand. My wife asked them who it was made out to, but all they would say is that it had been sent to a certain address. Exasperated, my wife argued with them until they gave her the address it had been sent to.... all the while they were insisting that the check had been cashed and payment had been cleared.

Still not satisfied, my wife decided to go high tech (for us) and did a search of the address on google earth. The match ended up in Ohio. She then zoomed into the address -- closer and closer to the ground until she was looking at the building. Maneuvering around the building she found the masthead at the top of the building - and wouldn't you know it, it was the name of our insurance company.

Pushing for an explanation, my wife finally got them to admit that they had mistakenly sent the check to an Ohio subsidiary. They had cashed it without checking which account it was meant for and the money was just absorbed.

Even with the realization that there had been a mistake, it still took two months to retrieve the money back from Ohio and then resend it to our provider. I still wonder what would have happened if we hadn't been persistent about finding out what the problem was.

Second story. When I retired, I had to wait a few months for MNSure sign-ups to happen and in the meantime I had to purchase COBRA insurance from my employer. As the MNSure site imploded and we weren't sure where we were going to end up, we stayed with that COBRA policy for a couple of extra months. Finally, we figured out where we would end up via the exchange and so I called my employer and terminated the COBRA policy. I was told that my employer would get that taken care of immediately.

After about 6 months of being on the new insurance, we suddenly got a letter stating that we had duplicate coverage because the records showed that I still had coverage with my former carrier. The new insurance proceeded to reverse the payments made for 6 months of medical coverage. We panicked!

My old insurance told us that we had been terminated when I called the company, but after several phone calls with my employer, we finally figured out that they had put the wrong termination date on the final papers. How this date is stated is apparently sacred for insurance purposes.

So again, we went into the insurance bureaucracy (keep in mind that this was NOT MNSure's fault) to track all of this down and communicate the error with all the relevant parties. (I still do not uinderstand why this seemed to be our personal responsibility, but nothing got done unless we made the calls).

Again, it took months to get this fixed. And, keep in mind, that this scenario would have happened regardless of Obamacare starting, because I still had to change insurance carriers after retiring. This problem happened because the insurance companies have rigid and inflexible rules.

So when the Republican House Majority voted 54 times to repeal Obamacare....I ask you, WERE THEY PLANNING TO GO BACK TO THAT?
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"It's Boring"

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 09/28/14 12:52

by Dave Mindeman

Here is a Michele Bachmann quote at the Value Voters Summit....

"It's not an issue," before walking off and adding, "In fact, it's boring."

And what was she referring to?

Gay Marriage.

You know, I feel like I was duped by the "moralists" who repeatedly stated that same sex marriage would be the end of civilization as we know it. The endless fights and threats and constitutional amendments....all of that for what is now a "boring" topic.

Michele Bachmann was a leader in those fights. She was at the forefront in the Minnesota legislature and she forced the issue in Congress. How many states put through amendments to their constitutions to enshrine discrimination in those documents, only to now have to fight with the courts on its constitutionality.

Now, it's boring.

Bachmann is so condescending about this issue that when same sex marriage advocates are beginning to win the argument, she no longer thinks it is worth her time.

As Bachmann leaves Congress we can only hope that she will be a forgotten piece of history in the fight for the rights of individuals. All the years of bitter confrontation and false rhetoric has been a sham... and Michele Bachmann will, I am sure, offer no apologies.

Bachmann should go down in the books in the same manner as Joe McCarthy...instilling false fear into the public for personal gain.

I am glad you are retiring from Congress, Ms. Bachmann. I wish it could have been with dignity.

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