Archive for February, 2010

Clark and Reed campaigns give Bachmann the attention she clearly craves.

February 28, 2010

If you want to track the crazy across the country, please consider taking advantage of the Reed campaign’s new website, wheresmichele.com. The point is to show how rarely Bachmann is in her own district. Clicking on the Sixth District icon shows you where Maureen Reed is going to be or has been.

Edited to add that the Tarryl Clark campaign has a competing map! Where in the World is Michele Bachmann? If you actually want to know where she is, the big stars seem to refer to future events.

We pity the staffers whose job it is to keep track of her.

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The “lovable little fuzz ball” is also a party animal!

February 24, 2010

Thus sayeth Dump Bachmann, which has a lengthy post/Karl Bremer article up about how Bachmann spends more time in DC partying and fund-raising than she does in MN talking to her constituents. It occurred to us recently that she’s on TV more often than Al Franken, a former comedian and actor. (It’s like she’s running for something…)

By the way, kittens are lovable little fuzz balls. Michele Bachmann is an aspiring Christian theocrat.

“Bachmanndinejad”

February 23, 2010

Seen in a comment on HuffPost, liked it. That’s all. (Bear with us; she didn’t say anything at CPAC that we deemed crazy enough for the blog, although there were some offhand references to the Obama thought police. The CPAC crowd, and for that matter, the media, swallowed this with nary a critical thought about WTF she is actually referring to.)

Oldie but goodie: “We’re running out of rich people in this country!”

February 22, 2010

How did we forget this? It’s better than the light bulb thing by far. Bachmann, in an interview with a conservative radio talk show host, told him that “We’re running out of rich people in this country.” As it happens, multiple economists say the exact opposite is true — that the rich have been getting richer over the past 50 years. That article is from noted liberal rag BusinessWeek and was written in 2004 by the dean of London Business School, BTW.

This was intended as an argument against the stimulus bill. In fact, according to The Washington Monthly, it followed Bachmann’s confident statement that the stimulus bill is a Democratic conspiracy to get pork for their districts. There may be some truth to the idea that the thing was full of pork, but as the president recently noted, that hasn’t stopped Republicans from showing up to ribbon-cuttings and implicitly or explicitly taking credit.

Other goodies from the Washington Monthly piece, all excerpted from the same radio show:

* ACORN is “under federal indictment for voter fraud,” but the stimulus bill nevertheless gives ACORN “$5 billion.” (In reality, ACORN is not under federal indictment and isn’t mentioned in the stimulus bill at all.)

* many members of Congress have “a real aversion to capitalism.”

* the stimulus bill includes a measure to create a “rationing board” for health care, and after the bill becomes law, “your doctor will no longer be able to make your healthcare decisions with you.”

* the “Community-Organizer-in-Chief” is also orchestrating a conspiracy involving the Census Bureau, which the president will use to redraw congressional lines to keep Democrats in power for up to “40 years.” When the host said he was confused, noting that congressional district lines are drawn at the state level, Bachmann said Obama’s non-existent plan is an “anti-constitutional move.”

Most of the articles about Bachmann’s opposition to the census don’t even mention that last conspiracy theory, or Bachmann’s apparent inability to distinguish between levels of government.

Oldie but goodie: Bachmann is against flourescent light bulbs

February 21, 2010

This is about a year old, but among Bachmann’s incredibly important work in Congress was a (failed) bill to stop a program phasing out incandescent lightbulbs in favor of flourescent ones. Judging by this Strib article, her main objection appears to be “freedom,” to wit, we all deserve the freedom to choose what kind of bulbs we use.

“I was just outraged that Congress would want to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the American people,” she said. “It struck me as a massive Big Brother intrusion into our homes and our lives.

By this logic, it’s also anti-freedom to restrict who can purchase things like uranium and marijuana. And how dare the government tell us whether we should be allowed to drink and drive?!?!?!

She also argues that mercury used in the flourescent bulbs is a concern, even though both the lighting industry and the environmentalist mainstream disagree.

The electrical and manufacturing industries, in a rare alliance with environmentalists, portray Bachmann’s mercury concerns as overblown. They argue that fluorescent lights actually reduce mercury emissions in the long run. That’s because the new bulbs use so much less electricity, much of which is produced by burning coal, which emits greenhouse gases and mercury.

“That’s not just the industry talking,” said Mark Kohorst of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. “That’s an accepted aspect of these products, and that’s why they’ve been promoted so heavily.”

Whatever one’s views on global warming, Kohorst said, the energy savings of fluorescent lights are real. “The lamp thing has merit,” he said. “Unfortunately, [Bachmann] has lumped it in with this whole conspiracy thing.”

Environmentalists are more emphatic in downplaying the mercury hazards of fluorescent bulbs, which they say are minimal.

“There is 200 times more mercury in each filling in Congresswoman Bachmann’s teeth than there is in a compact fluorescent light bulb,” said Julia Bovey, a spokeswoman for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“It’s almost as if you have to call the haz-mat team out to your home,” Bachmann said.

With the number of kids she has/had, we’re not sure why Bachmann is so against saving energy. Turn off the lights, kids! We’re not made of money!

Michele Bachmann, corporate welfare queen

February 20, 2010

Bachmann likes to vote against and exocoriate anything involving government payments, particularly to people who had the bad taste not to be born rich. A few months ago, however, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group did some digging and found out that Bachmann is a bit of a hypocrite on this issue. As Truthdig reports, it turns out that her father-in-law’s farm in Wisconsin got a bit more than $250,000 in farm subsidies betwen 1995 and 2006. Bachmann’s personal stake in this enterprise is worth about $250,000 and has grown in profit lately. It’s unclear how much total profit from taxpayer money this translates to in real life, but its safe to say that it’s more than $0. Meanwhile, she continues to vote against things like health insurance for people who’ve been laid off because she believes in personal responsibility. Just, y’know, for other people.

She is far from the only Republican (or Democrat) who gets these subsidies, by the way. But she’s the only crazy Republican this blog is about.

Poll: Slim majority of Minnesotans find Bachmann embarrassing

February 19, 2010

The poll was commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and Credo Action, so you may wish to consider the financial backing behind the message. Still, it’s heartening to know that the majority of Minnesotans are just as sensible and nice as their reputation suggests. From the Minnesota Independent:

The Bachmann survey results, released exclusively to the Minnesota Independent, measure responses to the question, “Do you think Congresswoman Michele Bachmann does Minnesota proud in Congress or embarrasses Minnesota?” While 56 percent of respondents statewide said they were embarrassed by Bachmann, 29 percent answered that they were “proud” of the Sixth Congressional District Republican, and 15 percent were “not sure.”

Most interestingly, living in a conservative area doesn’t make you a Bachmann fan — 69% of people living in James Oberstar’s nothern MN district found her embarrassing. Even better, 62% of political independents agreed, which may help unseat her next fall.

“do-nothing,” “celebrity” Bachmann?

February 18, 2010

As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones to notice Bachmann’s weak answer to the St. Cloud Times question about what she’s done for her district. The Clark and Reed campaigns have reportedly seized it, and according to the MinnPost, plan to make it a campaign issue.

The MinnPost also took a look at what legislation Bachmann has actually passed. In her first term — remember, she’s actually on her second term, despite having told the St. Cloud Times that she’s a “freshman” — she sponsored an actual bill that passed. The Credit and Debit Card Reciept Clarification Act makes it harder to sue retail establishments for a minor violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. That page implies but does not actually say that it was uncontroversial. So far in her second term, the only thing the newspaper gives her credit for is a nonbinding resolution calling for awareness of a nasty neurological problem called hydrocephalus. Amusingly, writer and unwilling Bachmann constituent Karl Bremer wrote a piece last summer pointing out that while Bachmann is happy to sponsor resolutions, she has consistently voted against funding for the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS funds the NIH and the CDC, which do actual research into treating and curing hydrocephalus, and many other diseases. But it’s much cheaper to pass resolutions than to do anything about those diseases.

Furthering our theory that Bachmann loves attention…

February 17, 2010

…are these quotes from her speech in North Dakota.

The best bit was the unsubstantiated, paranoid bit about how taxpayer money is being used to persecute her through the media. (Someone should tell the newspaper industry that it can get taxpayer funding. Last time we checked, reporters were getting laid off in droves.)

Bachmann lashed out at Twin Cities media, including Mpls-St. Paul Magazine, and said that taxpayer funding was being funneled to “shills” to take her out of office….

“You have to know who you are and what you believe and you have to grow a titanium spine because I am here to tell you, it doesn’t even take two months,” she said. “Because they will get to you if you don’t know who you are because these people are experts they are paid to do that to wear you down.

“‘Cause they want to win, because what do they have? They have the biggest ATM in the world; your back pocket. And so all they need are shills to go and put their hand your back pocket. And they win!”

It’s unclear who exactly she’s referring to, but we personally are not experts at Bachmann Stupid Overdrive. We are rank amateurs with a WordPress blog and a dislike of crazy people in higher office (and no taxpayer subsidy — we should get on that). And frankly, we think the media criticism, if genuine and not an attempt to throw red meat to anti-intellectual conservatives, shows a rather thin skin. The Strib, for example, rarely calls her lies what they are. If you follow the Nancy Pelosi link below, you will see that they call those claims “grossly misleading at best.” If she thinks that’s bad, she should get a load of what the British press does to politicians over there.

Also:

She emphasized the importance of not flinching in the face of criticism. “I am speaker Pelosi’s high-value target this next fall. I am. I am not making this up.”

Yes, she is.

And some commentary from the Minnesota Independent:

And she reserved criticism for Twin Cities media outlets.

“I just read something last night that called me a political monster,” a reference to Steve Marsh’s recent interview with Bachmann in Mpls-St. Paul Magazine.

“‘Michele Bachmann the she-devil’ every day in the Twin Cities media,” she added. No Twin Cities media have actually called her a “she-devil.” The closest thing on search engines was Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s 1975 song called “She’s a Devil.”

Bachmann blatantly lies about the federal deficit.

February 16, 2010

We could sugarcoat this, but why? Talking Points Memo has a report up about Bachmann’s speech at a North Dakota Republican Party* event last weekend. This is not corraborated, and while we don’t think they’d lie, we also don’t think they’re the least partisan source of this news out there, so YMMV. But, TPM says Bachmann claimed the deficit increased by $400 billion under Bush, whereas it ballooned $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year alone. She claims this is four times the amount of deficit Bush created, but more importantly, that Obama created more debt than all previous presidents combined, right down to George Washington.

This is major baloney, in big ways as well as small. We will start with refuting what was said. TPM contacted the Concord Coalition, which is a nonpartisan organization advocating responsible budgeting. If it helps you pin down their politics, they support Obama’s pay-as-you-go proposal for the budget but say it’s weak sauce and has holes. We think they are true budget nerds and we applaud them for it.

Anyway, the Concord Coalition person says this is baloney. After establishing that she actually did mean the whole Bush presidency and not just its final year, they say the public debt was $3.4 trillion at the end of calendar year 2000 and $5.8 trillion at the end of 2008. So that’s an increase of $2.4 trillion, not $400 million. At the end of 2009, the public debt was $7.5 trillion, for an increase of $1.7 trillion. So Bachmann is wrong about the debt increases under both presidents, and she is wrong about the increase under Obama being the largest of all presidents combined. Where do you suppose Bachmann and her ilk were when Bush was running up the deficit to start an unnecessary war and give the rich an unpaid-for tax cut, by the way?

We also take issue with these quotes:

“And the president also wants to raise your taxes to about 40 percent this year. When your taxes are raised to 40 percent, that means government is laying claim to owning 40 percent of you, of what you earn,” said Bachmann. …”Pretty soon Uncle Sam owns more of you than you do. Is that America? And that’s government depriving you of your God-given right to the pursuit of happiness.”

We have no idea where the tax increase number comes from — possibly the same place as the $400 billion number, which is to say from Bachmann’s rear end. But also, we find it telling that Bachmann has conflated the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of money. We are happy to report that happiness and money are not the same thing in our experience. Perhaps this is the fundamental problem conservatives have with paying the taxes that fund basic government services — they think money is everything.

*With all of these national appearances, it seems like either she’s running for national office or she just really loves attention. The latter would explain a lot, actually. In fact, that means we are FEEDING HER NEED FOR INK. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!