Letter: Right-wing propagandists attack pope’s encyclical

Are Buddhists in favor of abortion and making the marriage sacrament available to homosexuals as well?  

Letter: Right-wing propagandists attack pope’s encyclical

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U.S. Sen. Heitkamp to have hip replaced

What will her out-of-pocket costs for this be?

BISMARCK – U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp will undergo hip replacement surgery next month, she said Wednesday.

“I’ve been hobbling around, so people probably wonder what’s wrong,” the North Dakota Democrat said in an interview.

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Letter: More police not answer to nation’s endemic racism

Cindy sounds like she wants to try “the great society” again. How did that work out the first time? 



Letter: More police not answer to nation’s endemic racism

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Welcome To Fargo, Leave Your Money………

………..but no fun is allowed!

LEAFY SPURGE: To a renewed campaign to sell alcohol at North Dakota State University Bison football games. The initial proposal is to permit alcohol only in the Fargodome’s suites. The idea is not new, but thus far the university has opposed it. There is some suggestion that the university might not be opposed this time. Further complicating the push for booze is that there has been agitation among students to end the booze drought. Candidates for student body officers ran on that plank in their platform, but tellingly, lost. Go slow. Maybe the OK for alcohol limited to the suites is acceptable. But the other fans in the dome are families with children, mature couples and individuals, and others who value the fan experience at Bison games without alcohol and the boorish behavior alcohol can cause. Think this one through.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

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Forum editorial: New city concert hall doable

State media loves to spend other people’s money for their own self-aggrandizement. Who is the mayor of Fargo’s fine arts “community?” 


A consultant has confirmed what many in Fargo’s fine arts community already knew: The market here will support a new performance hall. JLG Architects told city commissioners this week that the city needs a performance space that seats about 2,400, and should be appointed to not only host performances but also corporate events.

The report on the viability of such a venue is good news. The next step is to determine the shape and location. The findings suggest modification of the 1,300-seat Civic Auditorium is one option. The consultant did not go into detail about the possibility of a new building, but that possibility had been on the table in the past.

The gap in performance spaces drove the study. The Fargo Theatre, for example, seats 900. Scheels Arena seats 5,000. The Civic has served as a venue for performances, but promoters of concerts say its 1,300 seats are not sufficient to attract more events. For some events the capacity at Scheels Arena is too big. That 2,000 to 2,500 range is key, and that’s where the gap is in Fargo.

Among the consultant’s more interesting findings is that demand is high in Fargo for more performance-type events. The city’s market for such entertainment is stronger than in similar cities in the Midwest, the consultant said. “This conclusion,” he said, “is consistent with historical spending patterns.”

That’s all good news for the likelihood of building a mid-range capacity performance center in Fargo. Whether it takes the form of a remodeled Civic or a free-standing new structure is yet to be determined. But the consultant’s report confirms demand is there and the market can support a top-tier performance hall. Let’s get it done.

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Felton man says he was playing with gun before 22-month-old baby was shot

This is a surprise; Fernando looks like an upright citizen.

FELTON, Minn. – A Felton man is accused of shooting his own 22-month-old baby daughter in the leg after cleaning his gun in dim lighting after drinking 12 beers.

Fernando Rocha, 24, was charged Thursday in Clay County District Court with one count of child endangerment, a felony.

Court documents say Clay County deputies received a report that a 22-month-old child was being treated Friday at Sanford Hospital for a gunshot wound.

At the hospital, Rocha told detectives he’d been sitting on the floor near the bed cleaning his handgun by the light of a portable lamp at about 4:30 a.m. when it went off as he was putting it away, hitting the child who was asleep in the bed with his wife.

He admitted to drinking about 12 beers in the course of the evening, court documents allege.

Three days later, in another law enforcement interview, Rocha told detectives he would not have been impaired by the alcohol he’d consumed.

He admitted he’d been sitting on the bed and playing with the gun when it went off and hit the baby, court documents say.

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Three in 10 Americans Have No Savings, Says Survey

Not to worry; if they need money, they can just get it from Obama’s “stash.” 

Almost three in 10 Americans say they have no emergency savings, according to a survey just released by Bankrate.com.

That’s the highest number since Bankrate began tracking savings five years ago, and the culprit is a lag in income growth, which has failed to increase even as stocks and home prices have recovered.

“The missing link in the economic recovery over the last few years has been the lack of growth in household income,” said Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride. “That makes it very difficult for people to ramp up their savings.”

And every time the car dies, an appliance breaks down or an unexpected medical expense crops up, families’ funds dwindle without being replaced.

“When you combine tight household budgets with the inevitability of unexpected expenses… they’ve wiped it out completely, or they have less than what they had a few years ago,” McBride said.

The implications are potentially serious, since the alternatives to paying for an unexpected expense are generally much more expensive, McBride said. “Without enough emergency savings, you don’t have an adequate buffer between you and high-interest debt.”

Bankrate, which conducted its survey earlier this month, found that in addition to the 29 percent of Americans who have no savings, another 21 percent have less than three months worth of expenses saved, for a combined 50 percent. Last month, the Federal Reserve’s own, separate survey of savings in its Report on the Economic Well-Being found that in 2014, 55 percent of respondents had less than three months of expenses saved. The Fed, however, found that the savings rate had improved since 2013, when 61 percent of respondents said they had three months or less of expenses saved.

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Pope Francis: Those who invest in, manufacture weapons can’t call themselves Christians

What do his security guards use to protect him? 

TURIN, Italy – People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

“If you trust only men you have lost,” he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.

“It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.

He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another.”

Francis also built on comments he has made in the past about events during the first and second world wars.

He spoke of the “tragedy of the Shoah,” using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

“The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?”

Discussing World War One, he spoke of “the great tragedy of Armenia” but did not use the word “genocide.”

Francis sparked a diplomatic row in April calling the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago “the first genocide of the 20th century,” prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican.

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14,000 North Dakotans could be at risk of losing health insurance subsidies

What about those of us who have to pay the full price for health insurance; don’t we matter? 

FARGO – An advocacy group for health consumers said Thursday that 14,000 North Dakotans are at risk of losing their health insurance subsidies if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.

Families USA said the King v. Burwell case, which challenges the legality of granting subsidies to residents in 34 states that didn’t set up their own insurance exchange, could be decided next week.

The average monthly premium for an individual with subsidized insurance is $141 compared to $369 without a subsidy, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services figures cited Thursday by Families USA.

If those premium subsidies are removed, most people would find their health insurance premiums unaffordable, said Ron Pollock, executive director of Families USA. The group released a map showing how the states that deferred setting up an insurance exchange to the federal government, including North Dakota, would fare if the subsidies are declared illegal.

“We put this map together to show the very real pain that will be inflicted on huge numbers of families in North Dakota if the subsidies are struck down by the Supreme Court,” Pollock said. He called upon the justices to uphold the premium tax subsidies in every state.

Minnesota is one of 16 states that established their own insurance exchanges, and so will not be affected by the ruling.

Families USA’s figures were slightly lower than figures released earlier by the Obama administration, which said 14,115 North Dakotans who otherwise could not afford health insurance have purchased coverage through premium subsidies. That figure represents 2.3 percent of the population under the age of 65.

About 10,000 of the 14,115 North Dakota residents who receive insurance subsidies are covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

When cost-reduction subsidies for people with very low incomes are included, the support per eligible person is an average of $3,160 per year, said Tim Huckle, the North Dakota Blues’ chief executive officer.

That adds up to $122 million, he said. “It’s a big number,” Huckle added. “When you take that amount of support away from people, the concern is can they continue to afford coverage?”

If the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies, Huckle said he hopes Congress can agree on a way to reinstate the subsidies to maintain coverage.

“From a Blue Cross Blue Shield perspective, it’s our hope that somehow they find a solution,” including a temporary “bridge solution” to allow time for a permanent fix.

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Doctors, nurses among 243 arrested in $712 million Medicare fraud

This will amount to chump change once Obamacare gets into full gear!

The government charged 243 people for Medicarefraud totaling $712 million in false billings. That is according to an announcement made on Thursday by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

The charges came following a nationwide sweep led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 17 districts. The charges include 46 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, “for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings.”

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