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Enjoy 4 News Stories (Slightly) More Interesting Than ‘It Will Be Cold This Weekend’

The latest on President Dean Phillips, the fate of Paul Wellstone's bus, a Wolves superfan returns to 'Jeopardy!' and a handy burger map in today's Flyover newsletter.

5:26 PM CST on January 12, 2024

House.gov; Wikimedia Commons; Twitter; amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash|

A burger, a bus, a future president, and Rep. Dean Phillips

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Dean's Wild Week

Future U.S. President Dean Phillips has been up to some strange things lately, and I don’t just mean the “running for national office when no one has ever heard of you” kind of strange. Yesterday the soon-to-be leader of the free world (who’d gone semi-viral earlier this week for a lonesome campaign snap) appeared on Honestly, the podcast of perpetually debunked supposed “cancel culture” survivor Bari Weiss. The topic of the discussion was “Can Dean Phillips Pull Off the Impossible: Defeat Joe Biden?“ proving Betteridge’s law yet undefeated. In addition to addressing Biden’s age, their talk produced this curiously phrased quote from Phillips: “Am I, as a defender of Israel, but also a believer in self-determination for Palestinians—if I love Israel, does that mean I am an Islamophobe? No. If someone doesn't like Israel and somehow favors Palestinians, does that make them an antisemite? I know that's part of the discussion right now. I think, sometimes yes." Not sure I agree with you a 100% on your police work there, Dean.

Today on CNBC, billionaire-who-simply-cannot-stop-posting Bill Ackman, in a discussion about Biden’s age, stated that he met with Phillips and was "impressed." Ackman, you may be unfortunate enough to know, has been defending his wife Neri Oxman against plagiarism allegations all week, perhaps as a way to distract people from discussing Oxman’s association with Jeffrey Epstein. (If you don’t know any of this, save yourself and refrain from following those links.) Phillips also participated in a kind of fan-fiction Democratic debate with Marianne Williamson this week, and claimed in Politico that he has to go where he can because Team Biden has “black-balled.” “Right media has been more than invitational,” he added. (Hm, can’t imagine why.) The Politico story went on to say: “Asked about the accusation, Biden campaign spokesperson TJ Ducklo offered a three-letter response: ‘LOL.’”

Gotta wonder who will Dean meet with next? Or maybe the question is, who won’t Dean meet with? You ever hear the old saying about being so open-minded that your brains fall out? Might be time to resurrect that one. 

Where's the Wellstone Bus?

Maybe because we’re both curious and Minnesotan, we’re fans of the Strib’s Curious Minnesota series, and Briana Bierschbach has a good one today: She went in search of the green school bus that Paul Wellstone campaigned out of when he won his long-shot U.S. Senate race in 1990. “The campaign vehicle is enduring the elements in a private wooded area of southeastern Minnesota,” Bierschbach reports. “It remains filled with artifacts from the campaign trail—a time capsule of a bygone era in Minnesota politics.” The bus had been on loan to the Northfield Historical Society, but when the organization no longer wanted to pay to maintain the vehicle, it was moved to a nearby barn. Now Wellstone’s son Dave hopes to turn it into a “healing retreat.” "Imagine it being redone with video loops of what my dad did—good work, nonpolitical, the kind of healing stuff," he said. "People come to this healing retreat, and part of it is to see what politics used to be."

Hot Wolves-Lovin’ MN Cat Owner Returns to Jeopardy

Minneapolis hand model Anji Nyquist (what an incredible only-in-Minnesota name) made headlines when she appeared on Jeopardy! last year for owning a cat named NAZ REID (in all caps, like MF DOOM) and, well, for being physically attractive. She says she receives DMs from randos calling her “the hottest Jeopardy contestant ever” and that, during a Reddit AMA, was asked if she’d start an OnlyFans account. (She would not.) But enough about her looks, here's the cat:

Why are we mentioning Nyquist now, when to be perfectly honest we missed her whole Jeopardy! moment before? Well now the vocal Wolves fan is back in L.A. and back on the quiz show. "Your girl was lucky enough to be invited back for a play-in game and a chance at a spot in the [Jeopardy!] Second Chance tournament! No spoilers tho!" she tweeted yesterday.

Minnesota Puts Burgers on the Map

Where are the best burgers in the Twin Cities? No, we're not asking “Who has the best burgers?” but “Where, geographically are the best burgers?” And food writer/Racket contributor J.D. Hovland is on the case. A member of the MSP Burgers Facebook group (which we've profiled), Hovland has plotted the non-chain burgers that other members have recommended recently. He cautions that the map is not definitive ("Please don’t message me that I missed spots/comment that I missed spots"), but if you're looking to jumpstart your local burger quest, let this be your guide. 

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