Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Tom Emmer Had a Bad Weekend
Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota’s 6th District spent much of last week sparring with frothing Fox propagandist Tucker Carlson over some dumb inside baseball shit. To unwind this Sunday, our large-necked congressman went on Face the Nation and found himself challenged on several fronts. First up, he fielded a complaint about an October 26 tweet that shows Emmer blammo-ing away at an Arizona shooting range, with the unfortunate hashtag #FirePelosi. This was just two days before a man broke into Pelosi’s home and assaulted her husband Paul with a hammer. (The suspect, in his own words, was there to “bust [Nancy Pelosi’s] kneecaps,” but the disinfo warriors on the right are currently contorting themselves into Qs to advance elaborate alternative narratives.) Emmer explained that firing the gun is “something I had just done.” The Gandhi of Delano, Minnesota went on to say that “there should be no violence in society.” So presumably he does not think his fellow elected officials should be shot. Phew. Maybe say stuff like that more often.
Later in the appearance, Emmer denied that he was an election denier. However, when multiple states challenged the election results of four states (including Wisconsin) in 2020 because of how they handled absentee ballots, Emmer was among the members of Congress who signed on to an amicus brief in support. The suit itself was widely derided by election law experts as “laughable,” “utter garbage,” and “legally incoherent, factually untethered, and based on theories of remedy that fundamentally misunderstand the electoral process.”
Latest Homeless Encampment? Outside Frey’s House.
Jacob Frey had some visitors yesterday, and they were not happy with him. Protesters established a daylong camp outside the mayor’s house on E. Hennepin Ave. to object to the manner in which the city has been ransacking homeless encampments. “They’re treated like absolute trash, and everything they own is in the trash,” protester Emilie Valenti told John Reinan of the Star Tribune. In response, the mayor’s office touted a $200 million investment with Hennepin County for homelessness response, the opening of three new shelters, and increased funding for street outreach and a new City Homeless Response Coordinator team. Protesters were not impressed.
“You can’t say you’re a good guy when you’re doing aggressively militarized sweeps,” said protester Young Eagle. “I think in 2020 we all saw what the people can do. The people can take matters into their own hands. We hope that isn’t necessary.” Worth noting: Just last week, Frey vetoed two directives passed by city council seeking a review of the city’s practices of removing encampments; now that he is a Strong Mayor, Frey explained, such measures must be phrased as requests rather than orders. So yeah, pal, if you want all the power, you deserve all the headaches.
Food-Related Nonprofits: All Scams?
If somebody claims to be feeding 6,400 kids per day, you’re allowed to be skeptical, especially in the wake of the $250 million Feeding Our Future fraud scandal. The Minnesota Reformer’s Deena Winter must’ve been when she heard about Ayan Abukar, a Bloomington woman whose foundation, Action for East African People, claimed to be feeding that exact number of kids at eight meal-distribution sites around the metro. Problem is, Winter discovered, one of the listed addresses doesn’t even exist. Another site is a Bloomington apartment building that has been linked to a Feeding Our Future consultant; another is an apartment complex for seniors where, purportedly, 500 kids are fed each day. Abukar, who was named an “outstanding refugee” by the state and “notable neighbor” by Bloomington, didn’t respond to interview requests. To be clear: All of this amounts to a whole lotta smoke and no fire. Expect Winter to stay on top of it.
Local Blanket Makes NY Times List
Just in time for the coming hygge season, Wirecutter, the New York Times’ product-review division, has come up with a list of their seven favorite blankets, and notable local blanket makers Faribault Woolen Mill made the cut. The company’s “Pure & Simple Wool Blanket” was lauded for its washability, its “old-fashioned army blanket” aesthetic, and thinness that still packs a punch. Downsides? It’s a little itchy (duh, it’s wool) and smells like wet dog when you get it out of the washer (but that goes away when dry). For the list, testers spent over 500 hours trying out 44 blankets. How does one apply for the job of blanket tester? Because that sounds like an amazing gig.