Jesse Ventura is back in the news, which is always good for a few quotes. He’s been pitching a show for a while now called “Conspiracy Theory,” which will come as no surprise to anybody who has followed the former governor’s public appearances for the past few years, such as this one from 2008 in which Ventura articulated his suspicions about the attack on the Twin Towers before a crowd that chanted “9/11 was an inside job” in response.
This is Ventura’s second show after something called “Jesse Ventura’s America,” which aired in 2003, and if an interview with Scott Collins of the Los Angeles Times is any indication, didn’t go well. “I was basically silenced,” Ventura complains to the Times. Well, perhaps “complain” is the wrong word. After what Ventura describes as “weird phone calls” questioning Ventura’s support for the Iraq war came into MSNBC, the show was canceled, but Ventura remained under contract, keeping him from developing any new shows. Every cloud having a silver lining, Ventura has this to say: “When you live in Mexico, your houses all have names. I almost named my house Casa MSNBC because they bought it. I was paid like a professional athlete, and I got very wealthy. For doing nothing.“
Now, the truth is, you can’t really silence Jesse Ventura, and he’s been a favorite on Larry King’s show for a while, where he’s told the bespectacled and besuspendered host that he would waterboard Dick Cheney, called Sarah Palin a quitter and called for revolution against the Democratic and Republican parties. During his most recent appearance Monday, he called for a return of the draft, saying “These guys are on their fifth or sixth tours over there. I used to be advocate for a professional military. I’m not anymore. It’s too easy for these people to take our young men and women to war and not account for it.” That’s a fair case, but it wouldn’t be Jesse Ventura if his rhetoric didn’t get a bit more heated: “And let’s pass one more law, Larry. The next time the government votes to go to war, I think every congressman and senator should be required to predesignate someone in their family begins immediate military service.”
One wonders who Ventura would have Obama send, as his daughters are a bit young to be donning combat fatigues; as you’ve probably heard, the president is expected to announce that 30,000 more troops will be headed into Afghanistan, which has already garnered a skeptical reaction from Minnesota DFL U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, as reported by Toni Randolph of the Star Tribune, who quotes Oberstar as saying “I am very skeptical of the Afghanistan engagement and concerned that the cost of entry into Afghanistan will detract from our ability to continue investing in economic recovery and bring our economy back and create jobs at home.”
It’s no wonder Oberstar is concerned. Despite hints of an economic turnaround, the signs of the recession are still everywhere, especially in the Midwest. For instance, there is November’s Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a survey that its website describes as “a leading economic indicator from a survey of supply managers in a nine-state area.” As the Associated Press reports, it’s suggesting that there may be more recession yet to come.
And there is the continuing foreclosure crisis, which is disproportionately affecting Minnesota’s 6th District, represented by Michele Bachmann. Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent breaks down the details: In the 3rd quarter of 2009, the 6th District experienced 1,097 foreclosures. Birkey also reminds us that Bachmann “voted against every major piece of foreclosure-relief legislation brought before the House,” and that ACORN, the organization that Bachmann has taken particular pains to condemn and defund, was involved in efforts to prevent “foreclosures in low and middle income neighborhoods.”
While we’re on the topic of Bachmann, Andy Birkey offers another story on the congresswoman, looking at a forthcoming issue of the Christian Examiner in which Bachmann credits a woman named Beverly LaHaye for her success in politics. Who is Beverly LaHaye? She’s the founder of Concerned Women for America, which Wikipedia describes as a “conservative Christian political action group,” and sums up much of the six planks of the group, which includes opposition to gay marriage, opposition to abortion, opposition to pornography, and opposition to the United Nations. Birkey quotes LaHaye on the intersection of religion and politics: “Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.”
But back to the economy: Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan is planning to trim about $5 million from his budget, and David Chanen from the Star Tribune explains what the department will lose: “26 civilian positions, 21 crime prevention specialists, the mounted patrol and the police activity league.” Additionally, Dolan must address a $3 million deficit in his department, which he hopes attrition will resolve; this would require two dozen employees to leave in two years. Failing that, layoffs might be necessary.
Speaking of police: Paul Walsh of the Star Tribune tells the tale of Winona officers’ encounter with a vandal in Target on Saturday. The man had a hammer and, apparently, was just smashing televisions. The police tried to subdue him with pepper spray, which seemed to have no effect, and so they tased him. The Associated Press version of the story has more, and weirder, details, quoting the police as saying the man had “glazed eyes” and was “walking like Frankenstein.” And the final puzzling detail comes from the FOX9 report, which quotes a witness as saying the man spoke in a monotone as he smashed the televisions. What was he saying? “Hammer, hammer.” Failing any reasonable explanation for this, we at the Daily Glean are just going to assume the zombie invasion has finally begun.
In sports, a Minnesotan has set a world record, as reported by KARE11: University of Minnesota sophomore Mallory Weggemann, who lost all feeling in her legs after “an epidural she got almost two years ago to relieve pain never wore off,” just set the world record in the Women’s 400 Meter Freestyle at the International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships in Rio de Janeiro. KARE11 quotes the swimmer: “As for the race itself … It was absolutely great … I not only broke the 400m Free world record but also the 50m Free, 100m Free, and the 200m Free. I broke four World Records in one race!“