Daily Reformer: The sandwich content you needed

Quarantine samich recipe: Pastrami and corned beef, two slices of garlic cheddar. Coat the (in my case) gluten free bread with mayonnaise for toasting. Red cabbage. 1000 Island and hot sauce. Notice how the cast iron pan is perfectly “seasoned.” When they say you need to keep it “seasoned” by not cleaning with soap and water I take that seriously.

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Check out my sandwich making skills above. I had a whole section today on quarantine eating, but I’m feeling bashful about it now. We’ll see how you respond to my sandwich making. 

I watched a meh action movie last night called Extraction that was kinda perfect because you don’t need to pay attention to it, but I also like a Paulo Coehlo quote they used that seemed relevant to coronavirus times: “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.”

Good little story by Rilyn Eischens today on why Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport got so much more money than airports with actual passengers, like Rochester and Duluth. Rilyn found that media around the country are puzzling over similar windfalls for other small airports. The FAA is being opaque about it. We didn’t come up with a satisfactory answer, but we’re closer. 

Rilyn has your daily COVID-19 data tracker. Our senior homes are getting hit particularly hard, with the Strib reporting 13 dead at a Catholic nursing home in Minneapolis. 

An upside to the crisis might be newfound life for the workers’ rights movement. Max Nesterak was at a Caribou where demonstrators shut down the drive-thru, demanding personal protective equipment for workers. 

Ricardo Lopez reports on passage of a Senate bill (no House companion) giving the Legislature authority to spend the money coming in from the feds rather than Minnesota Management and Budget. This might be a good conciliatory gesture by Gov. Tim Walz if he were to sign it into law given all the emergency powers he’s taken for himself. 

I did a quick writeup of the ABM-commissioned poll by PPP that showed Walz at 70% approval and Trump at 40%. All the usual caveats about interest group polling apply, but PPP is a decent pollster and these numbers feel about right and are in line with previous Trump polling in Minnesota. The upshot: I’d rather not be a Minnesota Republican running on the ballot with Trump right now. 

Decision time for Walz 

Walz is touring Mayo with VP Mike Pence at noon. I get why Walz doesn’t want to mess with the feds right now but I can’t see a good reason for Pence to be doing this trip. 

Jeremy Olson in the Strib notes that Walz has a big decision to make in the coming days, as his closure of restaurants, bars and other public places is scheduled to end May 4. Car traffic tallies already indicate Minnesotans are getting restless: “Car traffic levels statewide were 28% below normal on Sunday, but had been 39% below normal on the prior Sunday, and 68% below normal on the Sunday before that.”

The reality is that people aren’t going to rush out to restaurants anyway, so he can probably let the stay-at-home order lapse and Minnesotans will police themselves. We can’t stay home until a vaccine. Much will depend on how quickly the goal of 20,000 tests per day is reached. 

Boundary Waters

Forgot to note this Monday: Federal deregulatory fervor could limit the state’s ability to protect the Boundary Waters, Jennifer Bjorhus reports. Nightmare. 

Biden problems

Easy to forget, but a presidential campaign is going on. Tara Reade, a former Joe Biden aide who says he sexually assaulted her in the 90s, has been backed up by a former neighbor who says Reade told her about the incident at the time, Business Insider reports. This makes three people who corroborate her story, two of them on the record. 

Unless they throw him overboard, Democrats are stuck with an elderly man credibly accused of sexual assault. 

Without coronavirus (or, let’s face it, if Biden were a Republican) this is all anyone would be talking about. 

Of course, President Donald Trump has also been credibly accused of sexual assault, and in his case he admitted it. (The infamous Access Hollywood tape.) 

What a mess our country is in. 

Who is really getting the bailout?

Re: State and local government bailout, which Trump tweeted about. Check page 13 of this report on balance-of-payments between the federal government and the 50 states. You’ll notice that New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts — the blue states Republicans are accusing of needing a bailout — consistently give billions more to the federal government than they get back. Which is as it should be. They’re richer. But GOP senators from Kentucky and Florida should pipe down when their states are getting heavily subsidized by those other states every year. (Minnesota is about in the middle.)

Mea culpa

I called our fine story on attendance during distance learning a “scoop” but PiPress had a good story on this subject last week. 

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Have a good day everyone! JPC