Daily Reformer: Good news for people who love bad news


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Who caught the headline reference? That’s Modest Mouse’s 2004 album featuring such hits as “The World at Large.” Saw them live in Columbus, Ohio, in 2005. Fun show, boring city. 

Gov. Tim Walz will cancel the remainder of the school year, according to a source familiar with the plan. With new hotspots popping up and 2,000 Americans dying daily, governors are confronting awful choices. Many children will be fine; their parents are involved and can supervise them while working at home. Many children will not be fine, especially the ones who were already being poorly served by our disparity-laden education system. 

Pat Kessler live tweeting from Wednesday’s briefing: 

We’ve been told If you need a test you can get a test.  Who should Minnesotans hold accountable if that doesn’t happen?

Walz: “Me.”

Ricardo Lopez reports on the state’s agreement with the U and Mayo to begin testing 20,000 Minnesotans per day, both diagnostic and for antibodies to discover who has had it and recovered.

Max Nesterak scoops that a slew of northern Minnesota counties have passed or are considering “reopen the economy” resolutions that urge Walz to open her up. 

Not helpful. 

Rilyn Eischens with your COVID-19 daily data tracker.

Mines on the Range are shutting down left and right. In his usual graceful prose, Aaron Brown explains the boom and bust of the mining economy and the doleful future of his region without change

A combination of our medical prowess and the poor circulatory health of so many Americans has clued in doctors to a new and scary feature of COVID-19: a mysterious blood clotting problem, Washington Post reports. It helps explain the sudden deterioration of patients with even mild symptoms. It also offers some hope that as we remain largely in the dark about the virus, we are learning. 

The Star Tribune reports 12 dead at a nursing home in New Hope.

What a surprise! The biggest banks made sure to get their best (meaning wealthiest) customers the government’s small business loans, while most others were left out in the cold, the Times reports.

At Chase, the nation’s largest bank, nearly all private and commercial banking clients who applied for a small-business loan got one, whereas only one out of every 15 retail banking customers who sought loans was successful.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren call your office. 

The Wall Street Journal has a brutal piece on Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who theoretically should be managing the crisis — his agency oversees both FDA and CDC, for instance. 

Many factors muddled the administration’s early response to the coronavirus as officials debated the severity of the threat, including comments from Mr. Trump that minimized the risk. But interviews with more than two dozen administration officials and others involved in the government’s coronavirus effort show that Mr. Azar waited for weeks to brief the president on the threat, oversold his agency’s progress in the early days and didn’t coordinate effectively across the health-care divisions under his purview.

A Reuters exposé offers this embarrassing detail that ranks up there with Hurricane Katrina and then FEMA Director Michael Brown’s experience as a lobbyist for the horse breeding industry. 

Azar tapped a trusted aide with minimal public health experience to lead the agency’s day-to-day response to COVID-19. The aide, Brian Harrison, had joined the department after running a dog-breeding business for six years. Five sources say some officials in the White House derisively called him “the dog breeder.”

Regarding Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, whose interview with Anderson Cooper was instantly infamous. She said she wants Las Vegas to be a “control group,” meaning let’s open up and see how bad the virus gets there. Then after using those very words she haughtily told Cooper to stop putting words in her mouth. Then she said Vegas could be like the group that gets the placebo. After being shown a diagram of how the virus spread in a restaurant in China, she said, well, this is Las Vegas, not China. As if the virus cares. 

I used to live in Las Vegas, and our politics reporter Ricardo Lopez is from there. So this is heartbreaking. A few things, however: Vegas has both a weak mayor system, and the majority of the Las Vegas Valley is not actually in the city proper, including the famous Las Vegas Strip. So her comments are meaningless. She’s always been a bit of a dope, and her husband the mob lawyer and then Mayor Oscar Goodman was just as bad. Vegas and people of the Vegas like Goodman are prone to insularity and the comforting belief that the sheer lunacy of the place is totally normal and above board.

Here’s the thing: She said out loud what many others around the country — including here in Minnesota — are saying quietly, or in a more polite, civilized fashion. It’s time for the workers to get back to work!   

Ok, let’s end well: This is a funny Twitter feed wherein they rate the interior design qualities of the rooms of the people being interviewed on Skype. 

More pandemic comic relief: This guy @mattsurelee makes really funny graphics and charts on Instagram and you will enjoy killing some time with his stuff.

Correspond: [email protected] 

Have a great day all. JPC