With Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency declaration renewed, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s objection to that declaration is again in the news (“Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz calls Legislature back — again,” StarTribune.com, Sept. 9). But his objection is misplaced. In a nutshell, his position is that legislative decisions ought to be made by the Legislature rather than the governor. But unless the senator believes the correct course of action is no action at all, then his objection is not to the governor’s actions but to the Legislature’s inaction. The governor has not vetoed bills presented by the Legislature. Nor was it he who adjourned each of their special sessions so quickly.
If the senator’s wish is for legislation to flow from the Legislature, then it is time for him to negotiate with his peers. The governor’s action is no excuse for his own inaction.
Max Hailperin, Minneapolis
• • •
Miss the games of skill at the State Fair? Fear not, the mighty Midway game of knocking over milk bottles lives on in Minnesota’s Republican-controlled Senate. This version of the game is to remove commissioners of state agencies in a desperate attempt to snub Gov. Walz’s administration and his use of executive power in combating the COVID-19 pandemic (“GOP may oust more of Walz’s top brass,” front page, Sept. 8).
How sad to read Republican Majority Leader Gazelka’s defense: “This is the one tool of accountability that we have.”
Truly senator, this is your best effort? Knocking over leadership at the Commerce Department, Pollution Control Agency, etc., as a response to mandatory masks? Seems like you are more interested in playing games.
Paul Hager, Northfield, Minn.
‘LOSERS’ AND ‘SUCKERS’
What did Obama do? Quite a bit.
“I find it amazing how quickly people believe the article in the Atlantic about [President Donald] Trump and comments about our troops,” stated a Wednesday letter writer. He closed his letter in the Star Tribune by saying, “Wake up, people!”
It is my hope that the writer takes his own advice and thoroughly researches the plethora of evidence that supports the reality that our current president has disparaged the military, taken credit for actions taken by prior administrations and encouraged divisiveness.
I will address just the issue of support for the active military and veterans.
In his letter, the writer continues, “What did Barack Obama do ... ?” Allow me to enlighten you, sir.
The Veterans Choice Program, which allows some veterans to see doctors outside the government-run VA system at taxpayer expense, was first passed in 2014 under Obama. Reacting to extensive wait times at VA medical centers, Obama implemented changes in the system that resulted in a reduction in wait times at VA facilities from an average of 22.5 days to 17.7 days, becoming less than the average wait time in private-sector facilities. His administration also implemented same-day mental health services. Between 2014 and 2017 patient satisfaction at VA facilities increased.
It is true that the Trump administration expanded the choice program, but it was President Barack Obama’s administration that initiated and implemented the choice program. Wake up.
Susan L. Nicholas, Roseville
• • •
I can vividly recall the day my parents were notified by the Marine Corps of my brother’s combat death in Vietnam. Our family has been grieving his loss for more than 50 years. While we have always understood the political debate regarding that war, until recently, no one has ever suggested that he was either a loser or sucker for having served. It is unimaginable that anyone, let alone the president of the United States, could be so insensitive and disrespectful to our military veterans and their families.
Words cannot express. Perhaps voting can.
William Pederson, Minneapolis
What happened to digging deeper?
Add journalism to the list of things destroyed in the unrest of 2020. “Who,” “what,” “when” and “why” have now been replaced with, “This is how you should think, act and vote.” Print and electronic media have joined in lockstep to the Black Lives Matter agenda and abandoned all pretense of serious reporting to become advocates instead of journalists. Even the sports page has joined in.
The Star Tribune, along with other media outlets, incessantly points out the statistical disparity in police use of force against African Americans but makes no effort to dig deeper to explain it. True journalists would be asking, Why do African Americans represent 13% of the U.S. population, but a much higher percentage of murder suspects? (Hint: It’s not because of the police.) Where do deaths from police rank in African American death rates? (Hint: Not even close to the top.) How often do police really use deadly force as a percentage of arrests? (Hint: Way less than the average reader would think from reading the paper). How much money has Black Lives Matter raised since 2014? Who are the major BLM donors? How is that money being spent? (No hints on these — BLM refused to provide answers to such questions, according to a June 14 New York Times article).
While the United States has unfinished business to complete on issues of social justice, the discussion needs facts and not just emotions.
Kent Therkelsen, Fort Meyers, Fla.
The writer is a retired Eagan police chief.
Trump just doesn’t care
So now journalist Bob Woodward has confirmed that President Donald Trump knew, and has known, all along how deadly COVID-19 is. He’s known all along that it’s not just the flu and isn’t going to just disappear. And what has he done? Nothing ... because he doesn’t care.
In Trump’s world, No Lives Matter.
Erika Christensen, Lake Elmo
What fun! (Even the virtual version.)
Thank you so much for the wonderful virtual State Fair experiences! I just loved tuning in every day to see the talent contest and the fabulous performances at the mini-Grandstand. I’ve watched them over and over again. On the last day, Monday, I relished browsing through the website, learning tidbits from the “Fair Minute,” watching how to carve butter and craft a seed art treasure. Fabulous!
What a gift you’ve given all of us. I really appreciate the effort you’ve put in to keep our enthusiasm for our great state get-together and keep up the spirit of celebration. Bravo!
A loyal fan to the paper and the fair,
Cynthia Hechter Rollins, Minneapolis
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