Replace Obamacare? Look to Minnesota

As hungry hounds get ready to rip apart Obamacare, all Americans should start looking to Minnesota for answers on how to replace it.

In 1992, Republican Gov. Arne Carlson and bipartisan legislators created what’s called MinnesotaCare, a state-operated health-insurance program. Thanks to that program, close to 110,000 Minnesotans now have affordable health coverage, based on income levels. And, as Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently noted, the program runs with less than 3 percent in annual overhead costs, which is vastly more efficient than other kinds of plans.

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So-happy ice fishing can turn tragic

“Why are you fishing in the minnow bucket? You need to put your line in the ice hole to catch a big one.” That was the response from my daughter’s father when I sent him a picture of the palm-sized perch I caught two weekends ago on Julia Lake near Clear Lake. It was the only fish I caught after two full days of ice-fishing. I should have kept it as a friend to my eight-inch goldfish at home.

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It can’t happen here … or can it?

Sauk Centre-born Sinclair Lewis wrote a 1935 dystopian novel entitled It Can’t Happen Here. A big seller in its day, it faded to near oblivion. Now it’s suddenly back again, its sales increasing, along with performances across the nation of a 1936 play based on that book.

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So what can the president do?

With the recent inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump, the issue of presidential power is on the minds of many. During the last few weeks, the president has issued several executive orders, some concerning heated topics. One of these orders, which included an immigration ban on seven countries, was recently stayed by a federal judge. So the question is, what powers does the president have on his own, and what goes too far or is outside the limits?

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Tyler Moore’s legacy: sidesplitting laughter

There were three TV comediennes of indisputable genius in the 20th century: Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Mary Tyler Moore.

Thankfully, Burnett, at 83, is still with us. Ball died in 1989. Sadly, Tyler Moore is now gone, too.

One of the weekly pleasures of the early to mid-1960s was gathering with friends and neighbors to watch The Dick Van Dyke Show, starring Van Dyke and Tyler Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie. Their dual chemistry was comic magic. Week after week, we would stop what we were doing to tune in.

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VFW great for veterans, great for country

I would like to make a special shout-out to an organization I have come to learn so much about and admire during the last few months. That organization is the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW has thousands of chapters around the country and counts more than a million veterans in its membership. It also does youth outreach, with essay contests and other programs. When I first heard about these, I was very intrigued. Their Patriot’s Pen essay contest is for grades six through eight, and the Voice of Democracy contest is for high-school students grades nine through 12.

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Global warming? Then why so cold?

During that brutal cold snap of a few weeks ago, several people who know I believe global warming is a scientific fact asked me, “Dennis, if global warming is happening, then how come it’s so cold?!”

One morning, when the temp nosedived well below zero, I started my car, and it groaned like a wheezing asthmatic as it tried to start, then finally did. As I let it warm up, I fiddled with the radio, hitting accidentally upon an alt-right-wing station with the voice of some guy scoffing sarcastically at global warming.

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Inauguration Day – a tradition to be proud of

Last week, the nation witnessed a powerful but often ill-appreciated part of our country’s history. A new president was inaugurated to lead the United States of America for the next four years. Regardless of our politics, the tradition of inaugurations is remarkable and outstanding, compared to historical transfers of power throughout history. It’s part of what makes our nation and its democracy so special.

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