Coronavirus in one state (132)

Featured image Governor Walz took over Monday’s regularly scheduled Department of Health press briefing yesterday. He advertised it as a “deep dive” on the data that is now to become a feature of Monday briefings with Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, who performed the “deep dive” with slides that mostly do not appear in the video I have embedded below. (The cited data are accessible at the MDH Situation Update, »

Mic drop on Jon Tevlin

Featured image Jon Tevlin worked as a Star Tribune reporter and columnist for 20 years, retiring in January 2018. He perfectly represents the low average and high self-regard of the reporters and editors at the paper. Like just about everyone at the Star Tribune, Tevlin conceives of himself as a high-minded man of the world, but he is a benighted twit. In his last column for the newspaper Tevlin unburdened himself: I »

Kevin Roche: Don’t blame us

Featured image My law school classmate Kevin Roche wrote the column DON’T BLAME MINNESOTANS FOR GOVERNMENT INCOMPETENCE for the opinion pages of the Star Tribune. For whatever reason, it wasn’t accepted for publication. The column makes important points of general applicability to the epidemic as it has manifested in current hotspots including the Upper Midwest. Kevin is the former general counsel of UnitedHealth Group and former chief executive officer of its Ingenix »

Science, Minnesota Style

Featured image My friend Mitch Berg posted this on Twitter: Science, Minnesota style: crowds at the Eagan outlet mall (a clump of big box National outlets), versus Jensen‘s restaurant right across the street (local standalone joint). Remember – we’re all in it together. pic.twitter.com/8WtN8vmtuN — Mitch "The Wałęsa Project" Berg (@mitchpberg) November 28, 2020 The shutdown regime here in Minnesota is idiotic: bars and restaurants, which account for 1.7% of infections according »

Havens Garden Defies Shutdown Order

Featured image I wrote here about Larvita McFarquhar, a single mother who owns a bar and restaurant called Havens Garden in Lynd, Minnesota, a town of 448 in the southwestern part of the state. McFarquhar announced on Facebook that her establishment would be open for business with music and food service from 9 to 11 last night, despite last week’s order from Minnesota’s governor purporting to close all bars and restaurants and »

Crime In My Old Neighborhood [Updated]

Featured image The city of Minneapolis has become a lawless place, and the crime wave now extends to the city’s more prosperous neighborhoods. I lived in Tangletown, a part of South Minneapolis where the streets are a spaghetti-like maze, for some years. Yesterday morning a carjacking was photographed in progress in my old neighborhood: Picture sent from a page follower reportedly from the carjacking in Tangletown area of south Mpls this morning. »

Go Ahead and Celebrate Thanksgiving

Featured image Minnesota is one of a number of states that are living under what amounts to martial law. Our proto-fascist dictator Tim Walz, in his latest edict, purports to ban traditional Thanksgiving get-togethers: Saturday, Nov. 21 through Friday, Dec. 18, Executive Order 20-99 requires all Minnesotans to: * Limit social gatherings to one household. * Not gather outside of your household. * Postpone all celebrations, events, receptions, and parties, including any »

Coronavirus in one state (131)

Featured image Governor Walz has preempted the regular Department of Health press briefings over the past 10 days. Yesterday’s briefing (audio below) was the first since November 13, covered in part 125 of this series. The catastrophe that has befallen our nursing homes due to the epidemic was addressed only indirectly, in terms of staffing, but the Star Tribune’s Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt cover it in a manner that is entirely »

Coronavirus in one state (130)

Featured image Governor Walz convened yet another COVID-19 press conference yesterday afternoon (video below). The verbiage flowed in the usual torrent. His performance made me wonder if the Emmy Foundation gave Walz a fair shot before it chose to recognize New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with an Emmy for his press conferences. Like Cuomo, Walz deserves some kind of recognition for what he has wrought in his press conferences. Indeed, Walz’s failure »

Shutdown Blues [Updated]

Featured image Today the latest shutdown order by Governor Tim Walz took effect in Minnesota. COVID cases have been rising across the Upper Midwest, so our “emergency” continues. This time, the shutdown applies to restaurants, bars, gyms and youth sports. Of course, that COVID cases are rising is no mystery, even apart from the fact that vastly expanded testing naturally generates more cases. COVID is a seasonal flu bug. When it declined »

Coronavirus in one state (129)

Featured image Governor Walz’s most recent shutdown order became effective overnight. He seized control of the public relations this week by taking over each of the press briefings usually run by the Minnesota Department of Health. He concluded with a bang yesterday, convening a briefing on mental health issues exacerbated by the shutdown and related restrictions. He also hosted several guests from mental health services along with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and »

Coronavirus in one state (128)

Featured image Governor Walz convened yet another press conference this afternoon to present Minnesota health care providers and executives speaking up on his behalf in support of his lockdown order. Walz opened with reference to the 72 new deaths attributed to the epidemic today. It is another record. Fifty-one of the 72 were residents of long-term care facilities (he didn’t mention that). The median age of decedents remains 83, according to the »

Coronavirus in one state (127)

Featured image Governor Walz announced a new set of lockdown measures in a televised 26-minute torrent of verbiage last night (video below). The authorities attributed 67 new deaths to COVID-19 in the data released yesterday morning. Fifty-one of these deaths occurred among residents of long-term care facilities. Yet nowhere in his announcement or the following press conference (audio at the bottom) did this subject come up. Pulitzer Prize-winning Star Tribune health care »

Talking media access

Featured image My friends at Justice and Drew on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130 invited me to discuss the resolution of my First Amendment press access lawsuit against Minnesota Department of Health officials this morning. Drew Lee kindly clipped the audio at my request (below). I would like to note the comments of unqualified support by Fluence Media’s Blois Olson and the Minnesota Reformer‘s Patrick Coolican on the resolution of the »

Media access in one state: Finale

Featured image I brought a section 1983 lawsuit against Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and MDH Communications Director Michael Schommer for excluding me from the MDH press briefings on and after April 27. I alleged that they excluded me on political grounds in violation of the First Amendment. They moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the ground that I failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. I moved »

Coronavirus in one state (126)

Featured image “Cases,” hospitalizations, and deaths continue to surge in Minnesota as they do across the Upper Midwest. Elderly residents of long-term care facilities and others with significant underlying conditions are at particular risk, although the authorities do not flag the data for reasons that cynics probably understand best. Ninety-four percent of all those whose deaths are attributed to the epidemic had significant underlying conditions; two percent lacked them. I hope all »

Rudy Boschwitz at 90

Featured image Former Minnesota Rep. Vin Weber helped put together a 90th birthday tribute to former Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz via Zoom yesterday afternoon. Rudy turned 90 on November 7. I was grateful to be on the invitation list for the Zoom celebration. Getting to know Rudy over the past 25 years has been a personal highlight. He is an extraordinary man and walking testimony to the power of the American dream. »