From The Asian Development Blog On Universal Health Care

From the Asia Development Bank. A bank devoted to improving all the economies of the world

For millions of people around the world, basic health care still remains out of reach. As global leaders gather this week in Osaka, Japan for the G20 Summit—and ahead of the United Nations’ high-level meeting on universal health coverage in New York this September—it is as important as ever to consider how countries can deliver on the global goal of reaching universal health coverage by 2030.

Investments in universal health coverage are investments in economic growth. They play a critical role in leveraging opportunities, anticipating challenges, and delivering the knowledge, expertise, and financing countries need to achieve universal health coverage.

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The Exodus of Rural Minnesota DFL Voters

By Pat Lunemann

At our Todd County DFL annual meeting held in March 2019, much of our time was spent analyzing why voters have largely abandoned the DFL party in Todd County, and also most of Greater Minnesota.  We were privileged to have John Koll, DFL chair in neighboring Douglas County, lead us in a PowerPoint presentation with statistics and ideas of what we can do to find solutions to make a comeback.  I agree with much of what John said, but believe that there is one key issue for rural Democrats that we will continue to have difficulty with, until we show separation from our urban DFL cousins.

In recent years, the urban DFL message has been driven by metro environmentalists, who are against modern farming methods, a belief that trees should not be harvested, and that mining is evil.  Those three industries happen to employ a sizeable number of us in greater Minnesota, and even if we are not directly employed, the impact on our community is sizeable.  So, an attack on those modes of business is a personal attack on the way we make a living. We have always heard about elections being about “jobs, jobs, jobs”.   If we don’t have one, or our ability to earn a living to feed our family is attacked, we just might have an opinion on the party that is behind that issue.

I believe that the historical rural Democrat has believed in responsible, environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture, forestry, and mining.  What that is may be different things to different people, and we could debate this issue for years.  But my point is that the middle of the road voter, who traditionally voted DFL in Minnesota, now believes that the DFL party is not like us in our rural communities, and only carries water for those working against our way of life.

I applaud Governor Walz for his “One Minnesota” message.  The Governor understands we have a divide, and a need to bridge that gap. For that to happen, we need to have a two way dialogue between our urban and rural cousins to help us understand each other.  Our city cousins need to understand that in order for us to thrive in greater Minnesota, we need good jobs and business opportunities based on the resources we have. We, in turn, need to be supportive of city issues while doing a better job of communicating our issues to our metro brethren.

I remember fondly two of our legislators, who unfortunately left us too early.  Senator Dallas Sams, and Representative Mary Ellen Otremba, were true rural Democrats who reflected who their constituency was, and didn’t always agree with the party line.  Dallas was truly bipartisan on agricultural issues.  Some of his best friends in the Senate were Republicans, which meant that they could have friendly internal debate.  Mary Ellen was passionate about right to life issues.  At odds with her party, personally she believed she was right, and that it was right for her district.

Last, we need to decide what we are for, rather than what we are against.  If there is a problem, we need to be the party with common sense, fiscally sound solutions, that the middle of the road voter can identify with.  Pat Lunemann

Who is the snowflake.

I got banned from a joke facebook page!

On my personal facebook I try to fairly generic and neutral. It is basically a way to see my family and friends. I also share some memes that I find funny. I belonged to a group called Funnies. It had several cartoons I like and some very tasteless ones. One common message was “It is just a joke, if you don’t like it get off”

I began notice that the majority of the tasteless ones were anti immigrant, anti liberal, call Michelle Obama a lesbian , Barack Obama a muslim terrorist etc. I decided to post a couple of graphics of Trump being manipulated by Putin.

Who’s the Snowflake? You’re the Snowflake!

As you probably know, tea partiers and extreme conservatives like to call liberals snowflakes because we are so thin skinned. The first time I posted something, it was completely ignored and not approved to the group. It never got shown. The second time I posted, I added a little note asking why these are not appropriate. I was immediately banned from the group.

Gee, I hope I didn’t melt any conservative snowflakes. Do you find these more offensive than saying immigrants are lazy and dirty?

I guess I am just a dirty old man.

Chinese-owned company qualifies for Trump’s anti-China farm bailout

From the Washington Post

A Chinese-owned pork producer is eligible for federal payments under President Trump’s $12 billion farm bailout, a program that was established to help U.S. farmers hurt by Trump’s trade war with China.

Smithfield Foods, a Virginia-based pork producer acquired in 2013 by a Chinese conglomerate now named WH Group, can apply for federal money under the bailout program created this summer, said Agriculture Department spokesman Carl E. Purvis.

JBS, a subsidiary of a Brazilian company by the same name, is also eligible to apply for the federal money. The two companies are the biggest pork producers in the United States, according to the National Pork Board, a quasi-government agency.

Read More from the Washington Post

From Alternet

rade wars are a lot harder to win than Trump promised.

Donald Trump’s plan to defeat China on trade is a complete disaster. His tariffs against China have devastated the agricultural sector, killing jobs in parts of the country that voted for him, and forcing him to implement a billion-dollar bailout of American farms.

But nothing better underscores Trump’s incompetence than a new report in the Washington Post, detailing an embarrassing oversight in the eligibility for that bailout program

Read More From Alternet

Todd County– Get Out and Vote

We approach election day on November 6th with a great sense of division in our country.  Americans have grown reluctant to discuss policy and governance out of fear of alienating or offending neighbors and friends, or have instead embraced the rhetoric of division and tribalism.  For some this translates to a sense of weariness with our national experiment of democracy, or at least the way democracy is embodied in our political system.

Todd County holds one of the lowest voting rates in Minnesota, along with a cluster of other rural counties.  This matters not just for the high profile national and state races, but also for how engaged people are in their local governance.  Many have given up on voting because of our dysfunctional discourse and a sense that the individual doesn’t matter.  Those of us working toward political solutions need to earn their trust, not just in our ideas but in the value of our democratic system.

On Election Day consider voting as something that we do for each other to live in a free society, rather than a question of whether or not our single vote shifts the balance in the final tally.  Voting is both a ceremonial recognition of our patriotism as well as a system that only works when large majorities participate.

The coming months and years will surely present us with many more discouraging moments of vitriol in our national dialogue, but for those with good faith in our country let this election be a moment to adjust course toward more civil approaches.  Set an example that you would hope to see, rather than cultivating grievances over offenses from political celebrities.  Consider discussions with those who differ from you as opportunities to explain a perspective rather than to convert the person to your view, and listen to others of good faith with your own good faith.

Vote with the passion of your convictions, but also with the joy of citizenship.

Alan Perish

Front Porch Politics

From the website Creators

If you despair that a mysterious plague of incurable political knuckleheadism has swept our country, turning previously progressive white working-class people into mindless Trump worshippers, check out “The Promise of a Progressive Populist Movement” ( This report is the work of People’s Action, a multiracial, grassroots coalition. This year, its volunteers knocked on more than 5,000 doors, had nearly 2,500 phone conversations and visited scores of local events and churches in “Trump Country” — dozens of rural counties in 10 swing states including Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin that went for the yellow-haired corporatist in 2016. The door-knockers simply had open conversations asking folks in economically distressed rural communities what mattered to them politically. The most common initial response was, “No one’s ever asked me before.”

the full page for the full article


Fraud Waste and Abuse by Sue Stine

“Fraud, waste, and abuse, fraud, waste, and abuse…”

Republicans claim “fraud, waste, and abuse” as reason to cut taxes (current GOP candidate for governor), but neither he nor they ever identify the “fraud, waste, and abuse.” They seem to accept “fraud, waste, and abuse” as a given, that “everyone” knows there’s “fraud, waste, and abuse” in state government (because they would engage in “fraud, waste, and abuse” if they worked in state government?) So, the candidate for governor wants to reduce taxes by 1%, to reduce “fraud, waste, and abuse.” He still hasn’t told us where the “fraud, waste, and abuse” is to be found in state government, he just knows it’s there. Identify this “fraud, waste, and abuse” so we can take care of it! I want to know where the fraud, waste, and abuse is so I can point it out as something to be eliminated. For the life of me, I don’t see the “fraud, waste, and abuse” in our state government that would be eliminated by reducing our taxes by 1%.

Why Immigration is Good

Aside from all the other reasons, immigration is good for Seniors. Immigration brings in younger workers into the workforce, which is required to support the Social Security System. Not only does it help support those of us that are nearing retirement, it helps the economy in general.  If places that accept immigration the economy shows marked improvement with in 2 years based on new businesses and improvement of existing businesses. Even in countries that do not accept migrants wholly, the economy grows markedly in 4 Years.

Following is some research by The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The full article is at .

Labor Markets

  • Migrants accounted for 47% of the increase in the workforce in the United States and 70% in Europe over the past ten years.
  • Migrants fill important niches both in fast-growing and declining sectors of the economy.
  • Like the native-born, young migrants are better educated than those nearing retirement.
  • Migrants contribute significantly to labour-market flexibility, notably in Europe.

The Public Purse

  • Migrants contribute more in taxes and social contributions than they receive in benefits.
  • Labour migrants have the most positive impact on the public purse.
  • Employment is the single biggest determinant of migrants’ net fiscal contribution.

Economic growth

  • Migration boosts the working-age population.
  • Migrants arrive with skills and contribute to human capital development of receiving countries.
  • Migrants also contribute to technological progress.
      Understanding these impacts is important if our societies are to usefully debate the role of migration. Such debates, in turn, are essential to designing policies in areas like education and employment that maximize the benefits of migration, especially by improving migrants’ employment situation. This policy mix will, of course, vary from country to country. But the fundamental question of how to maximize the benefits of migration, both for host countries and the migrants themselves, needs to be addressed by many OECD countries in coming decades, especially as rapid population aging increases demand for migrants to make up shortfalls in the workforce.

Improper Entry is a Misdemeaner

The following is from I do not know about you, but I do not think my children would be put in a tent city or a 20 foot kennel if I committed a misdemeanor!


Improper Entry Is a Crime

To be clear, the most common crime associated with illegal immigration is likely improper entry. Under federal criminal law, it is misdemeanor for an alien (i.e., a non-citizen) to:

  • Enter or attempt to enter the United States at any time or place other than designated by immigration officers;
  • Elude examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
  • Attempt to enter or obtain entry to the United States by willfully concealing, falsifying, or misrepresenting material facts.

The punishment under this federal law is no more than six months of incarceration and up to $250 in civil penalties for each illegal entry. These acts of improper entry — including the mythic “border jumping” — are criminal acts associated with illegally immigrating to the United States.

Like all other criminal charges in the United States, improper entry must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict.

Unlawful Presence Is Not a Crime

Some may assume that all immigrants who are in the United States without legal status must have committed improper entry. This simply isn’t the case. Many foreign nationals legally enter the country on a valid work or travel visa, but fail to exit before their visa expires for a variety of reasons.

But mere unlawful presence in the country is not a crime. It is a violation of federal immigration law to remain in the country without legal authorization, but this violation is punishable by civil penalties, not criminal. Chief among these civil penalties is deportation or removal, where an unlawful resident may be detained and removed from the country. Unlawful presence can also have negative consequences for a resident who may seek to gain re-entry into the United States, or permanent residency.