Michele Bachmann claims to be a student. (So do the Taliban.)

April 11, 2011

That’s what she told Bill O’Reilly: “I’m a student of many years. I’ve studied a number of, a wide berth of topics,” she said.

Of course, no one said she studied them well. Certainly, she could use a refresher course in Revolutionary War history. Also in the history of slavery in America. And in the 1970s swine flu outbreak. And in the relationship between global warming and breathable air. And net neutrality. And the Hawley-Smoot tariff, or as she calls it, The Hoot Smalley Act. The sad thing is, we could go on.

Perhaps the problem is her selective use of teachers with no qualifications to teach their subjects except a love of Jeebus.

LA Times thinks Bachmann owns up to her mistakes

April 10, 2011

Or anyway, they didn’t challenge her when she made that claim:

Another problem is Bachmann’s repeated gaffes. Bachmann brushes aside questions about self-discipline and calls verbal slips an inevitable result of so much speaking. She says she owns up to mistakes, often with self-deprecating humor.

A selection of examples to the contrary:
1. Bachmann originally got famous for claiming Barack Obama might have anti-American views and members of Congress should be investigated for anti-Americanism. But when someone challenged her on that, she claimed she didn’t mean it and that Chris Matthews “trapped” her.
2. MinnPost’s Eric Black explains in detail how he heard Bachmann make the outrageous claim that Iran had a plan to partition Iraq, called her for comment, got nothing and ran with it. A later statement from Bachmann said she was “sorry” if she was misconstrued.
3. Bachmann’s most recent claim to be evaluated by PolitiFact was rated as “pants on fire.” She said the president has allowed one drilling permit since he came into office; the correct number is 217 before the moratorium and 74 after. Her office did not return calls for comment.

Reporters don’t HAVE to contradict people when they brazenly lie, but they ought to at least look into it. Or else we will call them lazy. Lazy.

Tea Party pissed at Bachmann for attempting to avoid government shutdown

April 9, 2011

As citizens and reasonable human beings, we are not fans of the shutdown. If this thing goes through and active-duty military servicemembers stop getting paychecks, no Congressmember who is a party to this can ever again honestly claim to “support the troops.” Not that the claim ever had much meaning.

However, as liberals, we are blue with glee over this article about trouble for Michele Bachmann, for two different reasons. One, it’s always nice to see trouble for her, and two, it’s also nice to see the tea party cutting off its nose to spite its face. According to Politico, Mark Meckler of Tea Party Patriots says the group is unhappy with her statements about “potential compromise.” One day after Bachmann obediently voted against a continuing resolution to keep the government alive, she gave a non-statement implying that maybe there are more important things than Planned Parenthood funding.

Seriously, potential compromise is what the SAY they’re against. For a bunch of (mostly) old white people, they sure seem babyish in their approach to politics. We look forward to when they catch the flack for putting many thousands of Americans out of work. No, no — we look forward even more to hearing the great whining when they realize they’re not getting their Social Security checks.

Christopher Buckley is pissed… or maybe just got some new material.

April 5, 2011

Apparently Bachmann’s son, the one who’s working on her not-campaign for president, is a big fan of William F. Buckley. He expresses his fandom through terrible writing, as this letter to a newspaper after Buckley’s death shows:

“[M]ovement intellects such as Buckley are indelible,” Lucas Bachmann wrote. “Like the majority of conservatives, I watched and marveled at his eloquent didacticism drawn from a prolix lexicon that can only be described as Buckleyesque.”

As the Salon columnist notes, Buckley was an intellectual who would likely have disdained the crazy Christian wing of the GOP in general, and specifically the virulent anti-intellectual and reality-denying version of Christian right-wing politics that Michele Bachmann practices. Unfortunately, being dead, he can’t use wit to put these people in their place. (Which is a dairy farm collecting federal subsidies.) But his son, the satirist and columnist Christopher Buckley, might enjoy the irony. If he’s not pissed off.

Bachmann for Congress in New Hampshire!

April 4, 2011

According to Politico, she’s running ads paid for by “Bachmann for Congress” in New Hampshire papers. The objection isn’t that she doesn’t live in New Hampshire, although we suspect that about 40% of her district objects to her living in Minnesota. No, Politico says this could break federal elections law because Congressional campaign money isn’t supposed to be used on presidential campaigns.

WaPo Fact Check blog checks Bachmann’s facts…

April 3, 2011

…and guess what? They’re wrong!

Bachmann said she was the top fund-raiser in House of all time ever. With inflation, that has a fair probability of being true, but this blog puts her at #4, after Boehner, Steny Hoyer and Chuck Rangel. She gets one Pinocchio.

PolitiFact rates another Bachmann claim “Pants on Fire”

April 2, 2011

This happens so often that it’s almost yawn-worthy, except of course that it’s hard to respond with a yawn when politicians actively lie and their constituents continue to re-elect them. In this case, PolitiFact reports that Bachmann claims there’s been one new drilling permit under the Obama administration. PolitiFact asked the Department of the Interior and the correct number is 217, BEFORE the Deepwater Horizon disaster. There was a moratorium after that, so permit approval rates have dropped and something like 45 new ones have been issued since then. But Bachmann’s fans don’t actually care what’s true as long as she supports their right to force other people’s children to praise Jeebus in public schools.

BWAHAHA. The Hill covered this with a quote from a Bachmann spokeshole, who claims Bachmann was referring to a specific permit that was the first granted after the deepwater moratorium was lifted. Well, yes, there is only one of that particular permit. But that is not what she said. Spokeshole: she might address the issue differently in the future. Or you could try to get her to STFU!

Oldie but Goodie: Bachmann refuses to acknowledge or explain statement on Iraq

April 1, 2011

This is from 2008, but we’d say it’s still important because it’s a detailed explanation of the way Bachmann just claims up and redirects when confronted with requests for an explanation of ridiculous things she has said. It comes courtesy of MinnPost, where Eric Black explains something he covered while he was at the Strib. The claim:

A Bachmann critic urged me to listen to the audio of an interview that Bachmann had given to the St. Cloud Times (it was posted online). Towards the end, in describing why it was so important for America to win in Iraq, Bachmann made the fairly astonishing claim that Iran and Al Qaida had a deal to divide Iraq in two, with the Al Qaida-controlled portion to be used as a base for terrorism against Israel and others. The key section went like this:

“Iran is the trouble maker, trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And do you know why? It’s because they’ve already decided that they’re going to partition Iraq.

“And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And I’m sorry, I don’t have the official name, but it’s meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There’s already an agreement made.

“They are going to get half of Iraq and that is going to be a terrorist safe haven zone where they can go ahead and bring about more terrorist attacks in the Middle East region and then to come against the United States because we are their avowed enemy.”

Black goes on to explain how he called her office for an explanation, heard nothing, then published the story. Bachmann later claimed she had been misconstrued, which Black found disturbing because he felt he was being accused of deception, and the audio recording clearly showed that he was not lying. Of course, she never actually admitted having made a mistake.

More from the “Bachmann is difficult to work with” files

March 31, 2011

TPM says three of her former staffers are backing Tim Pawlenty instead of her. One of those staffers was her fifth chief of staff in two terms (now she’s presumably on six or higher).

Also not supporting Bachmann: former senator Norm Coleman. He told the National Journal that “I’m not saying I would be actively against [Bachmann]” — a ringing endorsement if we ever heard one.

Michele Bachmann’s 23 foster kids

March 26, 2011

WARNING: This post is pure rumor. We try to avoid posting things that aren’t well substantiated (we have the celebrity press if you like that kind of thing), but there’s nothing online that seems reliable enough to us. The joy of being a blog instead of a real newspaper is that we don’t have an editor to kill the story on this basis. Instead, you get a BIG FAT WARNING: This is unsubstantiated and you should use your judgment on the sources.

That said, Dump Bachmann’s got a post up about Bachmann’s foster kids. In essence, commenters to their site allege that the kids were used as baby-sitters for Bachmann’s five biological children. Wonkette had this allegation in 2006 as well, but anonymously. They linked to this MSP City Pages profile of Bachmann, which doesn’t really address the issue, although it has unrelated dirt about Bachmann’s unkindness to her lesbian stepsister. We’ve also seen passing references on the City Pages site suggesting that she sent the foster kids to public school but homeschooled her bio kids, presumably to protect them from independent thought.

We’d be delighted if someone in the real media could track down this story.