Archive for May, 2010

O RLY?

May 24, 2010

We love this! Orly Taitz refuses to go away, despite possibly being in the process of getting sanctioned by the California state bar. (No word on her dental license, but then again, she’s not abusing her access to dental tools.) She’s the naturalized Modovan-Israeli nutbag who thinks Obama was born in Kenya and keeps suing the wrong people to “prove” it. For a great, sarcastic archive on her, please see the OC Weekly’s Navelgazing blog.

Anyway, if Obama can be indicted for being friends with people who were radicals in the sixties, surely Bachmann can be indicted for “paling around” with people who are currently radical, as well as deranged. Talking Points Memo claims this is an actual quote from Taitz about the event where they met:

“Michelle Bachmann spoke at the lunch, however she did not talk about eligibility, but rather general status of economy, politics and elections,” Taitz says. “I spoke at the lunch, however I did not speak about ongoing legal actions involving Obama’s use of ss number 042-68-4425, which was assigned to another individual, I also did not talk about Obama’s refusal to unseal his original birth certificate, currently sealed in HI or any other issues of Obama’ illegitimacy to presidency which are raised in the pleadings. I talked only about my candidacy for the position of the Secretary of State of CA.”

If it was another person, we’d suspect TPM is lying. But Taitz appears to be the kind of person who would actually say that.

Marcus Bachmann’s Christian clinic takes in thousands in state aid

May 23, 2010

What to criticize first, the church-state mingling issue or the fact that Bachmann’s husband has taken nearly $30,000 from the state government while she’s out criticizing government handouts? Remember, kids, this is a clinic that “de-gays” people through Jaysus.

It’s not the only instance of Marcus Bachmann taking government dough; his family farm has taken in nearly ten times that amount in federal farm subsidies. Paying Marcus Bachmann to not produce corn and dairy? Oh, that’s just fine. But health care for poor children? ABHORRENT! This is the face of evanglical Christianity. Hope they’re proud.

We spoke too soon; Bachmann still a terrible human being.

May 22, 2010

Bachmann appears to be on the side of the racists in Arizona after all. In this video, taken during her Old People and Republicans Tour of Southern California, she comes out in favor of the racial profiling law. Among the arguments: 73% of Americans are for it. 73% of Americans may very well have been for lynchings 100 years ago, but we think she’ll agree that lynching was wrong then as well as now. Or would she?

Also amusing: Bachmann’s insistence on plugging her website and then her suggestion to the reporter to “take a picture.” Is self-aggrandizement in the Ten Commandments?

Quelle surprise: Bachmann bails on Newsweek reporter who failed to kiss her ass sufficiently

May 21, 2010

Remember Andrew Romano, the Twitterer from last week? It turns out Bachmann doesn’t like criticism, so she canceled an interview he had scheduled with her. This in turn killed the print piece he had been assigned, but it didn’t kill his ability to blog, so he did. Most of his story is actually a meta-piece about Twitter journalism and worth a read if you’re interested in new journalistic frontiers. But the Bachmann-cancels stuff is at the end, and we’re reproducing all of it here:

But ultimately, the most important aspect of this experiment wasn’t what I wrote or discovered on Twitter. It was how Bachmann behaved because of it. In physics there’s something called the observer effect, which refers “to changes that the act of observation will make on the phenomenon being observed.” Typically, reporters keep their observations to themselves until the profile is published. With Twitter, I was publishing every observation as I made it. This had an effect. Around 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon—an hour or two before I was scheduled to fly from Minneapolis to Washington, where Bachmann had agreed to sit for an interview the following morning—I received an e-mail from the congresswoman’s office saying that she no longer had any time for me. I offered to come by Wednesday afternoon, or Thursday, or to speak by phone. Sorry, her people said. She’s just too busy.

Call me a cynic, but I’m not buying it. I’ve yet to meet a legislator who’s so burdened by the demands of a normal workweek that he or she is forced to renege on a 20-minute interview with a national magazine at the last minute. Politicians tend to find time for publicity—especially Bachmann, who by one estimate appears on national cable every nine days. My guess is that her staff read my tweets and decided that it wasn’t in Bachmann’s best interest to talk to me. And that says as much about Bachmann as anything I observed on the road. Given her mastery of the provocative soundbite and her recent ranking as the most influential Twitterer in the House, I’d initially believed that Bachmann, love her or hate her, was emblematic of a new, niche-media breed of politician. But it turns out that she’s just a louder-mouthed version of the old model: happy to attack her opponents from afar, happy to play the victim, but unwilling to engage, mano a mano, with anyone she deems insufficiently friendly. What Twitter revealed about Bachmann is that she’s not democratic enough for Twitter—or the new era it embodies.

Without the interview, my editors killed the print piece. Which is fine with me. For my next Twitter project, I’d prefer to profile someone who doesn’t prescreen her town-hall questions or try to prevent me from attending all but the most scripted of events. In other words, someone who’s comfortable with the new medium, not suspicious of it.

Now that would be exciting.

Bachmann: Financial reform is just like Italian fascism!

May 20, 2010

Bachmann can get away with anything before an audience of devoted admirers, and she takes full advantage of it. According to the Minnesota Independent, she got away with telling some Tea Party group last week that financial reform is like fascism in 1930s Italy.

Let’s remember really what this is. This has a lot in common with Italy in the 1930s and they way Italy dealt with economics,” she said. “It still continues private ownership of business but government is in control.”

“It’s a very deliberate move by this administration to centralize power and have the government own or control the means of production,” said Bachmann.

Note how she backpedaled a bit there, acknowledging that a 60-something% ownership stake in GM stock is not technically socializing the company. But it looks a bit like it, so BOO! BEWARE! FASCISTS IN THE TREES!

Let’s start with the obvious: Setting up a watchdog for the derivatives market, so that financial companies aren’t acting against their clients’ best interests, doesn’t remotely resemble fascism. Fascism is defined by sane people as a political philosophy espousing a strong central government, nationalism and severe social stratification with zero dissent allowed. Regulating the derivatives market isn’t even the government takeover of private business that Bachmann’s saying it is, any more than seat belt laws allow the state government to drive your car. In addition, the Wikipedia page the MNIndy links to is also edifying for others reasons. Historians aren’t clear on whether Italian fascists had an economic plan. If it did, it started with a resource-starved postwar country that doesn’t much resemble ours. So the comparison isn’t terribly apt anyway.

But this is assuming that Bachmann has done even that much research, which we doubt. She just wants to get votes from people who don’t think very hard. FASCISTS!! BOO! BE AFRAID AND GIVE REPUBLICANS YOUR MONEY!

NOOOOOOOES!

May 19, 2010

The crown has been stolen! Thus sayeth Gawker Media, which has crowned Steve King of Iowa eight times crazier than Michele Bachmann. (What do they put in all that fresh Midwestern milk?) They reach this conclusion by analyzing how many times Congresscritters have said certain cultural hot-button words, including “socialist,” “ACORN” and “white.” For example:

King also has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY one saying “NAMBLA.”

Not exactly a criticism, just odd.

May 19, 2010

Bachmann appears to have brought California’s fashion sensibilities home with her. Check out the footwear, from a pic in the Quad Community Press:

As longtime Bachmann observers know, high heels make her want to sit in the bushes outside a GLBT rights rally. So maybe thong sandals are a prudent choice.

How did we miss this?

May 18, 2010

OK, this YouTube video juxtaposes Bachmann’s fierce advocacy of drilling for oil with the results — the Gulf oil spill. That’s fair, though it’s nothing that can’t be said about most Republicans. But what caught our ears was that during her speech, Bachmann says “we are the Saudia Arabia of oil.”

Um, Saudia Arabia is the Saudia Arabia of oil.

“In MN, we use real butter.”

May 12, 2010

Because we don’t actually USE Twitter, we didn’t think to dig up Andrew Romano’s Twitter feed. We apologize and are here to rectify the problem. Interesting Bachmann-related tweets:

# MB says “it won’t be 1 quarter b4 economy is up.” But as Chait notes, cutting taxes AND spending is “magical thinking” http://bit.ly/9Df0Zv about 3 hours ago via Twitterrific

# Re Jesus+public funds http://bit.ly/9ouEuY. Not that it stopped MB from mentioning God today @ secular PACT Charter. I counted 16 shout outs about 12 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

# MB, Ramsey: “God put it in our hearts to start a charter school” like this one in 93. Result: she was ousted 4 mixing Jesus & public funds. about 12 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

# Howard Beale lives! After a day of written q’s for Bachmann, a man shouts out in Hugo 1) “This isnt a town hall! You arent listening to us!” about 14 hours ago via web

# #Bachmann in Hugo: Fed govt plans to take over 74% of economy (51% now + 8% via cap-n-trade + 15% via FinReg). Um: http://bit.ly/9aKaSh about 15 hours ago via web

#Bachmann “Everyone should run a profitable biz 4 3 yrs b4 running 4 office.” Does nabbing tax cheats 4 the IRS count? http://bit.ly/9ouEuY 3:08 PM May 10th via Twitterrific

MB’s economist says if the top tax rate was cut to 25% last year, we’d have 2.2 million more jobs. Crowd nods knowingly. #epistemicclosure 12:15 PM May 10th via Twitter for BlackBerry®

# The problem, according to Beach? “We didn’t have the courage to cut taxes during a recession.” But actually, Obama did: http://bit.ly/biQCIP 9:38 AM May 10th via web

# First slide: “Jobs Plan of Congress Not Working.” Really? What about this: http://bit.ly/biQCIP 9:29 AM May 10th via web [EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, he put the same link twice. Sorry. We don’t know what he was referring to.]

MB: “Congress wants to decide who gets a credit card and who doesnt. If youre politically connected youll get credit. If not you wont.” ??? 9:13 AM May 10th via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Thanks, mainstream media! We know it’s a pain in the rear to follow Bachmann around 24 hours a day, but you may have actually doubled the available information about how much she stretches the truth (while invoking Jesus out of the other side of her mouth).

Professional journalist follows Bachmann around, fact-checks her!

May 11, 2010

Finally, a good use for Twitter! According to the City Pages, Andrew Romano of Newsweek is following Michele Bachmann around District 6 until at least Wednesday, and may have the dubious honor of following her to her speaking engagements in California. (Note to Bachmann: Palm Springs is full of old people, but also has lots of TEH GAYZ! Some of the old people ARE TEH GAYZ! BEWARE!)

Romano is making heavy use of his Twitter account, the City Pages says. From some kind of gathering in St. Cloud, possibly her jobs forum:

“Bachmann asks “Why did the govt bailout GM but not Ford?” Well, because, Ford didn’t need–or want–a bailout. …”MB intros sidekick Bill Beach of the “independent” Heritage Foundation. Geez. Even Heritage calls itself conservative.”…

“#Bachmann “Nothing like being armed w/ knowledge so we can make the best possible decisions” #irony?”

#bachmannfreude!