Archive for January, 2010

More Bachmann health care lies! Whee!

January 28, 2010

Now, to be fair, the GOP is lying in unison on this one. Bachmann is just toeing the party lyin’. But according to the Minnesota Independent, Bachmann’s been saying the White House’s own Council of Economic Advisors concluded that the health care bill would kill 5.5 million jobs. Or rather, she attributed that statement to Christina Romer, chair of the council. The Minnesota Independent reported that Bachmann says this a lot.

PolitiFact, our newest favorite website, has examined this claim and reported it false! According to a post from way back in November, the Republicans get that number by plugging her research, from 2007, into a formula of their own that purports to calculate the number of job losses created by a tax increase. PolitiFact has several problems with the way the analysis works, including:
1) It pretends that tax increases planned to take place over ten years will actually happen in one year.
2) It includes the employer mandate as a “tax.”
3) It ignores the conclusions of the Romer research it used, which said that tax increases funding social programs tend to balance out.

But of course, all of this is messy and complicated and people don’t pay attention to details, which allows the GOP to continue telling bald-faced lies in order to scare people.


Bachmann lies: health care edition!

January 27, 2010

Bachmann is far from the only person lying about the health care bill, but we don’t have the time to track down every political lie in these United States. Luckily, PolitiFact does it for us! Last fall, they turned an eye on Bachmann’s claim that the House health care bill prohibits people from buying private insurance, thus forcing them to buy it from the government instead. She even cited a page number, 92:

(The goodies start around 2:22.)

The reality, according to PolitiFact and any reputable news organization, is that the clause in question allows people to keep their existing health care even if they’re eligible to use the health care exchange. So this is almost the exact opposite of what Bachmann claimed, except that there isn’t even a government option involved. In addition, the entire 2,000-page bill was written to preserve the private health insurance system. Not surprisingly, PolitiFact rated this as “Pants on Fire,” the lyingest rating they have.

Bachmann can’t possibly be this dumb, even if she does have trouble with the word “literally,” so we are forced to conclude that she was lying to her constituents for short-term political gain. Is this really someone you want representing you, Minnesota’s Sixth District? She doesn’t even respect your intelligence.

Of course, none of this addresses the issue of why you’d WANT to buy private insurance, since private insurers have a long record of dropping people as soon as they get sick. But Bachmann is entitled to her own opinion. Just not her own “facts.”

Michele Bachman: The center of Nancy Pelosi’s UNIVERSE!

January 26, 2010

Or so we might be led to believe by Bachmann’s multiple public statements. According to the Star-Tribune, she has said several things like “I am public enemy number one to Nancy Pelosi.” And “Pelosi has made me her number one target to defeat next year.” This may have led Sean Hannity to repeat the claim recently.

Now, we don’t doubt that Pelosi and Bachmann do not get along. However, the Strib fact-checked this and found it resoundingly FALSE, much like several other Bachmann statements. However, unlike the partition of Iraq comment or the Muslim clergy visiting Keith Ellison, this one is not entirely made up out of whole cloth. According to the Strib, an article from last summer in Congress Daily includes a list of Congressional seats the DCCC is targeting for competitive races this year. Bachmann’s seat is one of three “promising targets,” which are lower in priority than “pickup opportunities.” (We find this phrasing unhelpful.) So Bachmann is actually sixth to eighth on the DCCC’s target list.

The Strib goes on to pin down a Bachmann spokesperson about where Pelosi comes in, and all we get is that Pelosi is the head of House Democrats. Then he admits that there’s no directive he knows about. And of course, the DCCC is not Pelosi the person, is not run by Pelosi and takes no orders from her. Thus, the Strib concluded, “Bachmann’s statements about Pelosi personally attacking her appear grossly misleading at best.” Since we are not an officially neutral newspaper afraid of stepping on the toes of the powerful, we’ll just go ahead and call it the lie that it is. But if Bachmann is that desperate for Pelosi’s attention, we’re sure she can arrange a meeting.

Lesbians falsely imprisoned Bachmann in 2005!

January 24, 2010

Or anyway, that was her take on it. We’ll let the Minnesota Independent explain:

[P]erhaps the most celebrated instance of Michele being Michele was a bizarre 2005 incident in a little town called Scandia. At the conclusion of a heated town meeting, then-state Sen. Bachmann retreated to a bathroom, where a couple of her constituents followed to continue the argument.

In short, Michele Bachmann claimed to have been briefly kidnapped, and caused to fear for her safety, by a pair of argumentative lesbian constituents. The incident never resulted in charges, in part because Bachmann’s own account of it kept shifting.

It gets better. In short, Bachmann went to the bathroom after a heated debate at a local town hall meeting. Two women followed, and either were chatting about the meeting while leaning against the wall, or intentionally blocking Bachmann into a stall. Your choice. Bachmann believes they were part of the GLBT group, although nothing we’ve read confirms or denies this. Then Bachmann either yelled for help or wrestled the door handle away from one of her “lesbian captors” — she has claimed both. Bachmann even filed a police report, but sadly, this happened too long ago for the documents to still be kicking around. This is also why we don’t link to the Star-Tribune coverage of this “incident.”

It’s tempting to conclude that Bachmann claimed she got stalked by lesbians because she secretly WANTS to be stalked by lesbians. But we suspect it actually has to do with religious conservatives’ need to make up something scary about gay people, because they can’t find anything all that scary in reality.

Bachmann lies about terrorism to smear Muslim colleague.

January 23, 2010

Bachmann represents Minnesota’s Sixth District, which presumably is an exception to the stereotype of Minnesotans as sensible and nice. Nearby, presumably, is the Fifth District, represented by the first Muslim to get elected to Congress, Keith Ellison.

In 2006, some Muslim religious leders got taken off a plane in Minneapolis. They were praying and speaking Arabic on the plane, and somehow (we can guess how), this got them in trouble such that they were removed from the plane, questioned for five hours and released without charges. This is the background for the following Bachmann crazy, uttered on a San Francisco talk show:
“The imams, the imams, were actually attending, ah, Congressman Keith Ellison’s victory celebration, when he won as a member of Congress… They were shouting phrases, anti-Bush, anti-America, were making these statements and when they got aboard the airplane, they switched seats, they didn’t go to their proper seats, and they went in the pattern of the 9/11 terrorists.”

She fails to mention that investigators later found none of this to be true. But that wasn’t the only thing she lied about. They were in Minneapolis for a conference of North American imams that had nothing to do with Ellison. But why would facts stop Bachmann from smearing a political opponent for his membership in a minority religion for crass political gain? (Who wants to bet that she also whines, without irony, about Christians being “oppressed”?)

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Bachmann: Gay people are pedophiles (yes, again)

January 22, 2010

Last April, Bachmann and her House colleagues were asked to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This would provide extra penalties for people who commit crimes against certain protected classes of people, e.g. racial minorities. Gay people were among those classes, and if you know Bachmann, you know she won’t stand for anything that benefits gay people. (But she loves them! Really, she said that! She just doesn’t want them to get married, be protected from violent crime or exist.)

Anyway, first Bachmann conflates hate crimes legislation with “mind control” and says it will take away our freedom. Presumably, she is referring to the freedom to beat people up because you don’t like the way they look. Then she equates violent crime with speech. Then we get this:

“One thing that was mentioned by Mr. Gohmert earlier, that was brought up by Mr. King, that apparently people who are practicing pedophiles would be considered protected under this legislation, but not, I understand, veterans, not, I understand, pregnant women, not, I understand, 85-year-old grandmothers would be protected under this law. But who would be protected? A pedophile, someone who considers themselves gay, someone who considers themselves transgender, someone who considers
themselves a cross-dresser? That is who is protected.”

Veterans, grandmothers, etc. are not protected classes because they are not generally targets of hate crimes. And pedophiles are not a protected class at all. But Bachmann apparently thinks all gay people are pedophiles. Issue: MISREPRESENTED! This is good for stirring up her base, which apparently consists of religious conversatives with poor critical thinking skills.

If you read the transcript, you can see that she also literally misuses “literally.” Yes, again.

Bachmann: Proud that her constituents have to work two jobs each!

January 21, 2010

Via crooksandliars and MNPublius, we learn that Michele Bachmann thinks it’s a good thing when Minnesotans have to work long hours and extra jobs:
“I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We’re the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs, we have more women in the workforce than any other state.”

Oh, so the GOAL is to let the rich get richer while the poor and middle class work harder for the same pay. Republican economic policies finally make sense!

BTW, this was said at a press conference in support of legislation giving a 25% tax cut to corporations. You know, so they can make more profit while following this kind of employment policy.

“Interesting” swine flu coincidence!

January 20, 2010

Michele Bachmann isn’t saying that Democratic presidencies cause swine flu. Oh no! She’s just heavily implying it when she says she thinks it’s “interesting” that the last outbreak was in the 1970s under Jimmy Carter. Or anyway, that’s what she says:

However, as historians and journalists note, the 1970s swine flu outbreak was actually during the presidency of Republican Gerald Ford. This is the second instance we’ve found of Bachmann blaming something she doesn’t like on a Democratic president who actually had nothing to do with it.

Bachmann: Health care reform = abortion field trips!

January 19, 2010

Following this logic requires some effort, so bear with us. Bachmann, speaking against health care reform in September of 2009, notes that the legislation requires clinics to protect patients’ privacy and student records. This means parents won’t know what health care their kids are getting, she says. Maaaybe. She then lists the services to be offered, which include (gasp!) referrals to a specialist. By the transitive property of crazy, she then concludes that schoolkids will get instant, in-school abortions under the Democrats’ health care reform proposal. Never mind the many practicalities and state laws that make this unlikely.

BTW, we’d be interested in visiting these “sex clinics” Bachmann mentioned.

Iran planned to partition Iraq in 2007!

January 18, 2010

But only in Bachmann’s mind. Here’s how Minnesota Public Radio summarizes comments Bachmann made to a St. Cloud Times reporter in 2007:

Bachmann said Iran was causing much of the unrest in Iraq and wants to control part of the country. She said Iran is making trouble in Baghdad in order to force the U.S. to pull out of Iraq.

“You know why? Because they already decided that they are going to partition Iraq,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann said there was a name already chosen for that part of the region, but she couldn’t recall it exactly. Bachmann said Iran would use that territory as a training ground for terrorists.

“There is already agreement made,” said Bachmann. “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 attacks in the Middle East, and come against the United States.”

Bachmann did not say how she knew of the Iranian plan to partition Iraq.

According to what we’ve read, the Iraqi Shiite religious establishment is more than happy to take Iran’s money. But that’s about where the basis in reality for this idea ends.