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The 9 Greatest Moments of Dean Phillips’s Historic Presidential Run

Plus legalizing flying cars, Uber and Lyft don't want to pay minimum wage, and ice that sounds like 'Star Wars' in today's Flyover news roundup.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Phillips is Dunzo

After coming in third behind Biden (70%) and “Uncommitted” (18.9%) with only 8% of the vote in Minnesota’s Super Tuesday Democratic primaries, presidential hopeful Dean Phillips called it quits earlier today. "Clearly and convincingly, Democratic primary voters have opined that I'm not that guy," the multi-millionaire repping Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District told Chad Hartman on WCCO Radio this afternoon, endorsing Biden despite his advanced age.

And thus one man’s American dream comes to an end. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Phillips’s steep, winding, sometimes poorly lit campaign trail. It really had it all.

Oct. 27: Following his official announcement that he’s running for president, Rep. Phillips’s Twitter account is temporarily suspended, and The Atlantic runs a kinda hilarious piece positing that Phillips, heir to the Phillips hooch empire, is a self-made trust fund kid because... he did a good job running the Talenti gelato brand. Meanwhile, his peers are left scratching their heads over why he would run. “As far as I can tell, there’s no one in Minnesota, including in his own district, that’s excited about the prospect of him running for president,” DCCC and DFL honcho (and Phillips’s friend) Ken Martin tells Sam Brodey at the Daily Beast. “Most people having a midlife crisis would go buy a new sports car.”

Oct. 31:

Nov. 9: Ana Radelat at MinnPost points out that Phillips has missed some high-profile congressional votes lately.

Nov. 29: Phillips encourages Biden to try weed. “I think he should, because he would find it awfully hypocritical that you can drink a half-gallon of Jack Daniels at night and report to work in his White House," he says, apparently trying to help the very old president. "But if you ate a gummy and it was discovered, you’d be fired and maybe even imprisoned.” 

Dec. 4: The Daily Beast reports that Phillips received a $2,800 campaign donation in 2019 from GOP fanboy/mega-donor Harlan Crow, the dude who basically controls U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with a joystick.

Jan. 9: 

Feb. 16: Phillips announces major staff layoffs, but vows, via TikTok, to stay on the campaign trail.

Feb. 22: Phillips suggests that should he fail to secure a Democratic nomination, he’d like to run as an independent with Republican Nikki Haley as VP. “[We’d] actually doing for the first time—perhaps in our country's history—what most  Americans really want: cooperation, collaboration, participation, decency, common sense,” he tells WCCO Radio. It’s unclear if anyone ever gave Haley a heads up on this.

Feb. 23: Professional magician, conspiracy theorist, and Guinness World Record holder Paul Carpenter says he was paid by Phillips campaign operative Steve Kramer to create AI audio of Biden telling New Hampshire Democrats not to vote in the primary. “The only thing missing from the political circus is a magician and here I am,” he tells NBC News. Kramer helped Kanye West run for president in 2020, while Steve Schmidt, another clown in the Phillips 2024 car, once helmed the Republican grift org The Lincoln Project. The company you keep...

Update: Somehow, we forgot about the literal Dean.Bot—an AI-powered Phillips proxy backed by a shadowy cabal of tech bros. Racket regrets the omission.

Flying Car Bill to Become Law Before Flying Cars Exist? 

Last month, Minnesota was abuzz with talk of paying $2.5 million to research the possibility of a hyperloop that would take people from the Twin Cities to Rochester in less than 15 minutes via underground tubes. Sounds too good to be true? So far it is; despite a full-throated endorsement from the Strib’s Editorial Board, the technology remains almost entirely unproven. 

So now we’re moving on to flying cars!

"Believe it or not, the way things are going with technology, we're actually looking at flying cars coming maybe as early as 2025," Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault) testified on Monday. He’s the author of the “Jetson Bill,” which would define driving laws for "roadable aircraft." (You might remember Jasinski for arguing against the legalization of weed because drug dogs would have to be retired.)

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously passed the bill on Monday, and it will be discussed at the House this Thursday. 

Uber, Lyft Threaten to Flounce from Minneapolis

When the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance back in August requiring rideshare giants Lyft and Uber to pay their drivers minimum wage—something most businesses have to do here in Minnesota—Strong Mayor Jacob Frey vetoed it. This week, the council is voting to overturn that veto, but Frey says he will veto it again if necessary. (Got all that?) "I hope I'm wrong, but I predict the council will pass the exact same ordinance I vetoed last year,” Frey said this week. “And then I'm going to veto it. That's where it seems to be going." 

If approved, again, rideshare companies would be required to pay drivers working within Minneapolis’s city limits $15 per hour. Lyft argued in a statement that its drivers are already making great money and the bill “ignores economic reality.” Meanwhile, Uber has threatened to raise ride fees by 30%. Both Lyft and Uber say they could leave the city if the law goes into effect on April 1, a threat they (briefly) made good on in Austin, Texas, around 2016. "A ride costing $93 and just getting paid $11.49 for that ride and driving 18 miles, that’s not right," Council Member Aurin Chowdhury said before voting for the ordinance to go before the full council. Here we go again!

Sometimes, When Ice Melts, It Sounds Like a Lightsaber Battle

There’s not much more to say here, but sometimes ice does cool things. Consider this your ASMR break for the day and enjoy.

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