Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
I Was Not Involved at the Northtown Mall
Panic ensued at a suburban carnival this weekend when a fight broke out on a Ferris wheel and a bunch of other teens gathered around talking tough. According to police, who are very good at counting, 100 kids rushed from the Gopher State Carnival fairgrounds into the Northtown Mall through the Burlington Coat Factory in the aftermath of what many (we) are calling “the Blaine Riots.” (Given the state of indoor shopping centers these days, that’s probably the most kids who’ve been in a mall at the same time this decade.) The police ordered the teens to disperse, then waited for their parents to come pick them up. No arrests were made, no weapons were found, and only one case of minor injuries was reported so… I think we can joke about this? Too late to stop now: The events predicted in the late ’80s by both Skid Row and Sonic Youth have come to pass, and this is why nobody goes to Blaine at night anymore. Craig Finn has denied any responsibility for the incident.
MN GOP Endorses All-Crackpot Slate of Candidates
The United States has reached a grim landmark: one million deaths from Covid-19. Minnesota Republicans celebrated that achievement this weekend by endorsing Dr. Scott Jensen, a former state Senator from Chaska who’s made a nice little career for himself on the Covid disinfo circuit. Among Jensen’s greatest hits: dismissing the virus as a “mild four-day respiratory illness,” accusing hospitals and insurance companies of inflating Covid numbers to get paid more, and saying most of the folks who’ve died of Covid only had a couple years left in them anyway. The Minnesota Reformer has a useful roundup of Jensen’s Covid lies here.
The Republicans also nominated Kim Crockett for Secretary of State. Crockett, you may recall, voiced such inopportune racism against Somalis that even the Center of the American Experiment had to (temporarily) suspend her. Crockett now works for the Minnesota Voters Alliance, a group dedicated to making it as hard as possible for eligible voters to cast a ballot. She believes (or doesn’t believe but says she does—who even knows anymore) that the 2020 election was stolen. It wasn’t.
Anyway, these people are all absolute fucking cranks who keep repeating lies that have been firmly disproven. They should be laughed out of the public sphere. In a better world, the extent of their political activity would be to attend council meetings in their town and spout some nonsense as their neighbors sighed and grumbled in annoyance. Instead we’ll have have to deal with arguments about “critical race theory” and “election integrity” and all sort of bullshit buzzword/dog whistles while Jensen and his crew try to turn Minnesota into Wisconsin.
3 White Men in Dark Suits Reach Agreement
After months of debate over what to do with Minnesota’s hefty budget surplus, the state legislature has agreed, Solomon-like, to cut our fiscal baby into thirds. Gov. Tim Walz and majority leaders from both houses announced yesterday that the state will spend $4 billion, dedicate $4 billion to tax cuts, and bank $4 billion. The details are still being hashed out, but $1 billion will go each to “education and programs in the area of long term care and social services,” MPR reports, while another $450 million goes to public safety. Hmm, there’s really no way of making this story interesting. Oh well, I did my best, and that’s what’s matters.
Ships of War, Ships of Luxury Docking in Duluth
Thousands of internet gawkers, all of whom lack government healthcare, watched the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul glide into the Twin Ports on Monday for official Navy commissioning. (If Caddyshack taught us anything, that means bashing it with a champagne bottle as hijinks ensue… or maybe that’s christening—who cares!) Freedom-class littoral combat ships like USS MSP cost around $500 million to build, according to War on the Rocks, and their operational cost is “astronomical.” Again, you don’t have government healthcare. But you do have some historical context, per WCCO: This expensive warship is actually the second to be named the Minneapolis-St. Paul, following in the (figurative) wake of an attack submarine that attacked our various floating enemies from 1984 to 2008.
Speaking of shipping news! For the first time in a decade, a cruise ship will enter Duluth’s harbor when the Viking Octantis docks on May 30. As we previously reported, them cruises ain’t cheap. “We talk a lot about getting people to discover Duluth … and we’ve struggled with that,” says Dan Hartman of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. “This is one of those few exceptions, bringing primarily Americans from the East and West Coast. They’re going to have to experience our community whether they want to or not. … It’s going to put Duluth on a small map.” Beautifully put.
Wanna Buy a Metro Transit Bus?
Forget RVs or teardrop campers. This summer you can haul ass to wherever you want via a city bus—but you have to act fast, as the sale closes in 21 hours. According to the live auction page, Met Council is selling a 2006 New Flyer vehicle to the highest bidder. The condition of the 60-foot-bus is listed as “fair” and “driveable,” but this sweet ride looks pretty good to us. The auction photos show tall blue seats, an ad-free exterior, and functional electrical signage that would be a lot of fun to fuck with. Bidding started at $250, and has slowly gone up in $10 increments with the latest offer, as of publication, at $510. Meaning, you have to be willing to throw down a cool $520 if you want to get in on the action. Be forewarned, though: All sales are final, and “the State does reserve the right to reject any bids that are not in the State’s best interest.”