Archive for July, 2010

Oops!

July 24, 2010

Bachmann apparently didn’t tell GOP leadership she was starting a tea party caucus. Not surprisingly, they are displeased. We suspect this is an “easier to ask forgiveness than permission” situation, and we DO hope she is smacked down financially by the national GOP machine.

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The British notice how Bachmann is crazy

July 23, 2010

We thought the British appetite for the minutiae of American politics was nonexistent, but the Guardian has proven us wrong. An item in that publication from Sunday looked at Bachmann’s recent career. It starts out by suggesting that she’s out to shatter Minnesotans’ reputation for being nice — ouch. It also says she’s “replacing” Sarah Palin, which we think is understating Bachmann’s pre-2008 career, but maybe that’s how it looks from across the pond.

The author explains that Bachmann is considered “extreme” and cites examples that probably seem pretty extreme to British people. But in our opinion, he only scratched the surface of the crazy. He briefly mentions the “investigating members of Congress” thing without mentioning that Obama was the target of that statement, but leaves out her statements that:
1. The U.S. Census is a threat to your freedom and may possibly put you in an internment camp.
2. Americorps is a reeducation camp. (One that her son later joined.)
3. The British national health system kills people.
4. Carbon dioxide is a “harmless gas,” thus global warming is not a threat.
5. Gay people are out to harm your children.

Perhaps this fellow didn’t have the time, or maybe he was protecting Minnesotans from embarrassment, but we think that stuff is just getting buried. This blog exists in part to keep that information alive. (Which is why we should really do some categorizing, um, but never mind that.) Voters deserve to know when public servants appear to be insane and/or scaremongering.

From your mouth to God’s ears, sir.

July 22, 2010

Bachmann is starting a Tea Party Caucus, and E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post thinks this will benefit Democrats. His logic is that Republicans will then be forced to declare their allegiance, which they don’t want to do because some of the tea partiers are batshit and will make them look bad.

We don’t think the “tea partiers are batshit” problem will directly affect Bachmann, since batshit is already kind of her thing. In fact, this move can probably be read as great from a self-serving standpoint.

Strib fact-checks Bachmann’s deficit claim

July 21, 2010

One thing we didn’t mention in our post about Bachmann’s speech at the Colorado crazy conservative convention is that she repeated a false claim about the deficit: that it rose from $5.8 trillion to $13 trillion after Obama took office. (In fact, she has made similar claims before and we’ve written about it, but we’re too lazy to go back and look it up so we can cite it.) This is untrue in terms of both actual numbers and what they represent, as the Star-Tribune points out. The actual national debt was $10.6 trillion on Inauguration Day and is now about $13.2 trillion. The debt held by the public, which is a different number and a subset of the national debt as a whole, was $5.8 trillion at the end of 2008 and is now $8.6 trillion. So it looks like she might have taken the start number for the debt held by the public and the end number for total national debt, incorrectly making it look like like there’s been more than a 100% increase. We will leave the reader to decide whether this was a mistake or an intentional bid to scare people.

Bachmann Repeats Tired Lies About BP Compensation Fund

July 20, 2010

She went on WCCO and, in a later tweet, claims that she “clear[ed] up my opponents [sic] lies” about her statements on BP. Now, Clark never had to lie about what Bachmann said, because she just repeated her statements verbatim. But never mind that. While on this show, Bachmann repeated her claim that Obama extracted a $20 billion “political slush fund” from BP under duress. “This is the first time we have ever taken oil spill money and given it to the president so that he can personally give it out to whichever victim he wants.”

This is not true for multiple reasons. Of course, Obama doesn’t even have time to go through Gulf claims individually. No one person does, because there will be too many. (Maybe this is an easy thing to overlook when you haven’t spared a single thought for the victims.) Nor is the president in charge of distributing it. Via City Pages, The Hill explains that the guy in charge of this fund is the same guy who handled the 9/11 victims compensation fund and executive pay at bailed-out corporations. Finally, as City Pages notes, there are multiple precedents for this kind of fund, including the Exxon-Valdez disaster.

The City Pages also has some stuff on Bachmann repeating her lies about the “death panels” that health care reform will supposedly create. We could repeat the extensive debunking of this claim, but why? It’s absurd on its face. If it were even remotely supported by facts, Canadians would be streaming over the border, begging for asylum.

MN Indy picks up the fake charity story

July 19, 2010

But you read it at Dump Bachmann first! Or anyway, we did.

The organization in question is called the United States Navy Veterans Association, and it’s a one-man organization. That man, Bobby Thompson, has disappeared. MNIndy thinks it might have something to do with the fact that USNVA is being investigated for fraud in six states, not including Minnesota. Ohio AG Richard Cordray, who is clearly preparing to run for higher office, has already shut it down and issued a public statement. Apparently his office has found very little evidence that USNVA has helped veterans and their families, but a lot of evidence that Thompson gives money to politicians. Of the $35,000 donated in Minnesota, Bachmann got $10,000 as recently as this year. Other recipients are of course also Republican candidates or organizations.

Taking this guy’s money doesn’t necessarily mean she knew he was a crook, of course, but we’d be delighted to discover evidence that she did know. We’d also enjoy seeing Thompson turned over to a group of recent veterans who spend a lot of time at the gym.

Not strictly a Bachmann thing…

July 18, 2010

…but we thought it was about time that someone compared dishonest GOP claims about various reform bills being “socialist” to the platforms of actual socialists. The Nation to the rescue! The piece does specifically mention that Bachmann claims financial reform will create a “pay czar” who will dictate what bank tellers in Peoria will be paid. It is unclear what provision of the bill she’s referring to there, or even if she’s referring to bill at all rather than pulling claims out of her butt and seeing what people will believe. We happen to read about this bill a lot and have never seen the phrase “pay czar” used.

Bachmann compares financial reform to slavery

July 17, 2010

In fact, she made Ed Schultz’s Psycho Talk for:
1) Decrying a recess appointment Obama made as someone “who loves the United Kingdom death system of socialized medicine.” The British may be surprised to learn that National Health is actually killing them. She then repeats the thoroughly debunked claim that health care reform will lead to death panels, which PolitiFact called 2009’s Lie of the Year. She can get away with this because she was talking to the Western Conservative Summit, a conservative convention with a creepy loyalty/groupthink oath.
2) Saying America under Obama is a “nation of slaves.” Descendants of actual slaves would be justified in being offended by this, which is perhaps why almost none of them vote for Republicans. The Clark campaign has noticed.

Lots more crazy shit (and we use that word advisedly), including extensive debunking of outright lies, available thanks to the Colorado Independent. We particularly liked her use of a C.S. Lewis quote decrying “moral busybodies,” which was apparently said to a room full of evangelical conservatives without irony.

Bachmann staff revolving door swings again…

July 16, 2010

…leaving her without a chief of staff or a finance director. The article doesn’t give any reason for leaving for the chief of staff, Ron Carey, and vague “pursuing other opportunities” from fundraiser Zandra Wolcott. However, this is the fifth chief of staff to leave since she was elected in 2006. Let’s be generous and shave off a month to account for only partial months this month and in November of 2006. That’s five chiefs in 44 months, or an average of 8.8 months per chief. When there’s lots of turnover at a job, we personally think twice about applying.

As for Wolcott, she’s not leaving because her job has been unsuccessful — Bachmann has a record haul of campaign cash. We would simply conclude that working there is unpleasant, but Dump Bachmann has an alternative theory involving donations from a sham veterans’ charity.