Daily Reformer: I’m so angry I’m gonna write a letter

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The once civil relationship between Gov. Tim Walz and state Sen. Paul Gazelka has broken down, albeit in the most passive-aggressive Minnesota way imaginable. Like neighbors who leave notes on your door when you don’t shovel your driveway, they’re engaged in a persnickety letter writing campaign. 

Gazelka wrote to Walz asking “what criteria will be used in determining when the COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration will be rescinded.” 

He recounts all the bad things that have happened like deaths in long-term care facilities and job losses, while noting the worst predictions of the COVID-19 models have not come to pass.

[Because we took emergency policy measures to prevent them?]

Then Gazelka closes with a bold statement: “There is no longer an emergency.” 

Walz had Chief of Staff Chris Schmitter do the dirty work in a reply letter. 

The Governor wants to work together across party lines to protect the health of Minnesotans, but you make that difficult when you choose not to attend critically important meetings focused on our state’s pandemic response efforts.

Schmitter then responds to the bit about the emergency: 

Although President Trump and the Governor do not agree on much, even the President agrees that we remain in a state of emergency….The President’s National Emergency remains in effect to this day….Every other governor in the country has declared and maintained their own states of emergency. It is a rare thing when the President and all 50 governors agree on something, but they agree on this, and they all disagree with you.   

Ricardo Lopez has more on the Walz/Gazelka pen pal fight

They’re meeting today at 1:30 and then Walz has a press conference to prep Minnesotans for the fall, when we’ll likely see a sharp increase in cases as everyone heads inside and goes back to school, and because we haven’t crushed the virus because some people think it’s…not an emergency. 

After a brutal summer in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and California before those states got serious about the pandemic, cases are surging in Kansas, Iowa and the Dakotas, which seem to be the next hot spots. Here’s an explainer. Case growth in South Dakota is up 200% in two weeks, for instance. Wait a couple weeks and hospitalizations will rise and then deaths.

In the Reformer, Ricardo has an exit interview with Myron Frans. Frans is a distinguished public servant. Rabbi Avi Olitzky talks about the moral imperatives of workers rights, sharing his usual wisdom. (East Side Freedom Library has a virtual event on organizing Amazon, see here.)

After a homeless encampment was cleared, people returned to the Wall of Forgotten Natives to create a new one, Max Nesterak reports: “The strip of land along Franklin and Hiawatha Avenues once held more than 200 tents until December 2018 when some 175 mostly Native people moved into a temporary shelter and the area was fenced off to prevent people from returning.” Now they’re returning, in another indication of the state’s housing crisis. 

Brilliant and devastating video mashup: What if Fox covered Trump the way they covered Obama. 

(For the record, I vote for a moratorium on the two sides calling out presidents for playing golf. They’re allowed a relaxing hobby, even if I loathe golf culture cc: Brian Bakst. It’s fine. Although in Trump’s case, he should pick a hobby — golf, binge watching cable TV or rage tweeting. Not all three.)

How bad is the electoral college tilted against Democrats? Nate Silver calculates that if Joe Biden wins the overall popular vote by 2-3%, his chance of winning the presidency is just 46%. Helpful tweet that should make you understand why it’s so important to win both Latinos in Arizona, white college grads in North Carolina and non-college whites in the upper Midwest. 

Late to this but another tear in the fragile fabric of the uneasy alliance between Twin City and Iron Range DFLers when the state party called for a moratorium on copper-nickel mining. Iron Range lawmakers sent out a statement: 

“The Iron Range delegation has always supported, promoted, and defended mining, our jobs, and our way of life. The proud history and traditions of the Iron Range run as deep as the minerals under our feet. Our commitment to fight for the men and women of labor, our businesses, and our communities will never change. There has always been a small anti-mining group that has been opposed to us. This is nothing new or unexpected. This latest effort doesn’t change the goals of the Iron Range delegation in the House or Senate.”

A Republican former official at the Department of Homeland Security says Trump is “pouring fuel on the fire” of domestic extremism. No kidding: NPR

The percentage of Americans who believe the QAnon conspiracy is “mostly true” is bonkers (one in three Republlicans?!): Daily Kos/Civiqs poll

We can’t have a civilized democracy when so many people are straight up morons. 

Conservative Never Trumper Mona Charen has a good column on how Trump’s is the “broken windows” presidency. Conservatives once embraced the idea that disorder begets disorder, but they keep allowing Trump to push further and further beyond the rule of law. 

Mashup of the Seinfeld Soup Nazi and Trump talkin’ soup is very funny. 

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Have a great day all. JPC