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The importance of local races

by Eric Ferguson on October 15, 2014 · 5 comments

Before she was in Congress, Michele Bachmann was a state senator, and before that, pertinent to the title of this post, she was on her local school board. The fact I don’t have to explain who she is might demonstrate the importance of that one school board race.

 
It might appear at this point that the importance of local races is stopping crazy people from getting their start in elective office. Not that I’m saying everyone in local elective office is crazy. Just the Republicans. Yes, that’s an overgeneralization. Not all are Bachmann-wannabes. Local offices are, however, the primary bench for candidates for higher office. My impression, which I hope is wrong, is that Republicans are well aware of this while Democrats largely ignore local offices. I mean that in terms of turning out on election day, researching candidates prior to seeing their names on a ballot, and of course in actually running for office. It’s too late to do anything about the last one for 2014, but there’s still time for the first two. We concede these races to Republicans at our peril, as they get to build a bench of people with electoral office while us, not so much.
 
That’s without even thinking about how local officials do their jobs and affect our lives, apart from their future electoral possibilities. They don’t get national media coverage, much, but when they do, it highlights the effect they can have; the school board in Jefferson County, Colorado, for example. Think the Democrats and independents who skipped last year’s election regret it now? Know how often this happens and we never hear about it? Me neither.
 
And just to not overlook the obvious, Ferguson, MO: a mostly black and Democratic city, a mostly white and Republican city council, and really low turnout in local elections. Though not equally low across partisan and demographic groups. Think that might explain some things?
 
Then there’s the effect of the explosion of dark money. We worry about the presidency and Congress being bought, but I’m thinking we saw in 2012 that there’s a limit to how much spending in a presidential race does any good, and I’m skeptical about its benefits beyond a certain point in US Senate races too, but down the ballot is different. It takes little money to swamp a local race. I’m thinking of that referendum in Columbus, Ohio, to raise local taxes to fund the Columbus Zoo. It failed when supporters were surprised and grossly outspent by Koch brothers money, which was used to tell voters their taxes would double when the actual increase was something like 1%. The referendum failed because the Kochs, despite having no connection, just felt ideologically offended and saw a chance to beat a tax increase with a bit of money and a bit of lying, and that was in a big city. Think of the anecdotes you’ve heard of some mayor getting on getting on the bad side of some special interest, and the low spending local race is suddenly hit with massive outside money, like Richmond, CA, where the mayor has $22,000 while his opponent has $1.3 million, courtesy of Chevron:
 

We’re having a hotly contested race the two at-large school board seats in Minneapolis and it’s drawn a little national attention for the fight over, depending on how you view it, expanding charter schools or privatizing public education. It’s again the exception that proves the rule, because what was the last Minneapolis election to get any national media? There was laughter at our 2013 mayoral race because our combination of an open seat and a $20 filing fee drew in 30-something candidates, but otherwise, that’s it for attention. And that’s in a city the size of Minneapolis. The only time I can recall St. Paul’s elections being noticed was when nominally DFL Mayor Randy Kelly endorsed George Bush in 2004, so some national media were watching as he got blown out in 2005. Those are the only instances I know of for cities the size of Minneapolis and St. Paul, so how much can we count on the media telling us about our own local races?
 
The answer is “not much”.
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Last Thursday, Kris Kobach, the radical right wing extremists Secretary of State for Kansas, lost a state Supreme Court battle regarding the 2014 ballot in that state.  Kobach tried to keep the Democratic candidate from withdrawing from the election.  The state Supreme Court voted unanimously,regardless of political preference or affiliation,  that Kobach did NOT have that ‘discretion’ to treat the Democratic candidate differently from other candidates.

from the Powerline blog:

The cited statute provides:
Any person who has been nominated by any means for any national, state, county or township office who declares that they [sic] are incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected may cause such person’s name to be withdrawn from nomination by a request in writing, signed by the person and acknowledged before an officer qualified to take acknowledgments of deeds.

Taylor having made no acknowledgment of incapability to serve, Kobach ruled that Taylor would stay on the ballot as the Democratic nominee this November. This point of the whole Democratic charade being to get Taylor off the ballot and get Democrats behind Orman, Taylor followed up with an appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. Having made his withdrawal “pursuant to” the statute, Taylor argued that he incorporated the statutory requirement of incapability by reference. This week the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously agreed:

We conclude the plain meaning of “pursuant to K.S.A. 25-306b(b)” contained in Taylor’s letter effectively declares he is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected. Simply put, the phrase operates as an incorporation by reference of this particular requirement.

 

Powerline blog, a conservative site, doesn’t like the court decision, never mind that it treats all candidates alike rather than different, rather than giving preference to one political party over another.

 

What has been largely absent from the media coverage is that Kobach quietly skulked away with his tail between his legs on Saturday, and complied with federal and state law:
From Politico:

 

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has directed county election officials to start mailing ballots to voters overseas Saturday without having a Democratic nominee listed for the U.S. Senate.
The Democrat dropped out of the race against three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, pushed out by some party leaders who wanted to improve the chances that independent candidate Greg Orman would defeat Roberts.

Kobach spokeswoman Samantha Poetter confirmed Friday that the secretary of state had decided against delaying the mailing of ballots to military personnel and other U.S. citizens overseas. He had said Thursday that the deadline for starting the mailings would be pushed back to Sept. 27.

 

Why was that an attempt to cheat by Kobach and the Republicans?

 

That would be because the incumbent Republican is losing, but is losing by LESS if the vote is split three ways rather than two.

 
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It’s a fair bet we will be seeing more of this kind of press conference from Michele Bachmann, using the Sgt.Schultz defense.

 

Kent Sorenson, pled guilty last week, August 27th, in a federal plea deal relating to bribery and falsifying campaign expenditures. If you don’t know or care who Kent Sorenson is, he is a former Iowa state Senator, and he was paid for his endorsement, first of Michele Bachmann, and then Ron Paul.

 

He’s the former Iowa campaign chair for Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential run, the one where GOD told her he wanted her to be president.

 

Sorenson took money to support first Bachmann, and then Ron Paul.

From the Wa Po:

On Wednesday, Sorenson admitted in federal court what he had long adamantly denied: that he took thousands of dollars in payments from the campaigns of Bachmann and Paul in exchange for his endorsement.

The former state senator pleaded guilty to one count of causing a federal campaign committee to falsely report its expenditures and one count of obstruction of justice for giving false testimony to a state independent counsel investigating the payments.

Two sealed documents were filed in court as part of the case, a possible indication that Sorenson is cooperating with federal prosecutors as part of a broader investigation.

 

In Iowa, you can buy a Republican for upwards of $80,000.

 

Apparently, Sorenson is going to jail as part of his plea deal as well. I’m betting he’s not the only one.

 

Since Sorenson pled guilty, the chair of the Ron Paul campaign in 2011/12, Ron Paul’s granddaughter’s husband Jesse Benton, has resigned as the campaign chair of the Mitch McConnell campaign for senate re-election, while continuing to deny any wrong-doing. His alleged ‘bag man’ was Dimitri Kesari, operating a company called Hyllus. No, not the funny vaguely u-shaped bone under you mouth, inside the lower jaw. HYLLUS. Dimitri Kesari went on to be part of Team Mitch McConnell as well. And it is a fair guess that he, like Benton, could very well be facing jail time too.

 

But what about Michele Bachmann?

 

Her defense so far of any potential wrong doing was the Hogan’s Heroes character Sgt. Schultz’s defense, “I KNOW NOTHING”. So then the question will be — did the mostly knows nothing about anything factual Bachmann REALLY NOT KNOW? Or, like Schultz, is she lying through her teeth — and will Sorenson rat her out as part of his deal with the feds?

 

As noted by the Gazette’s Des Moines Bureau:

Last October, Sorenson resigned his Senate District 13 seat in Madison and Warren counties just hours after a special prosecutor found probable cause that he violated Senate rules and may have committed the offense of felonious misconduct in office by “knowingly” making false statements to the Senate’s ethics panel.

In his lengthy report, independent counsel Mark Weinhardt determined there was probable cause that the Milo Republican violated Senate rules by “accepting compensation” from entities associated with former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s campaign “in exchange for his service” during the past caucus season.

And from the Huff Po:

Andy Parrish Affidavit: Michele Bachmann ‘Knew And Approved’ Of Payments To Kent Sorenson
“Congresswoman Bachmann knew of and approved this arrangement,” Parrish said. “She, like the rest of us, understood from Senator Sorenson that it did not run afoul of any Iowa Senate ethics rules. We relied on his representations in this regard.”

Parrish added that his affidavit is “not in any way a rebuke or betrayal to Congresswoman Bachmann,” whom he considers a “personal friend.”

The affidavit included emails from Guy Short, a fundraiser for Bachmann for President, who said Sorenson could be paid by a PAC, and an email from Parrish himself saying, “We’re cool he can’t get paid from a PAC.”

Short also has attracted an Federal Election Commission inquiry because he was paid by MichelePAC while working for Bachmann’s presidential campaign.

and the Bachmann campaign denial, fro the same Huff Po article:

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m. — William McGinley, Bachmann’s campaign counsel, responded to the affidavit in a statement.

The way the media is portraying this story is wrong, reckless, and outrageous. The affidavit by a former employee in fact confirms that Congresswoman Bachmann followed all applicable laws and ethical rules and instructed those working for her to do the same. The alleged arrangement at issue was both lawful and properly reported under federal law. This dispute is between the Iowa Senate and an Iowa Senator: it has nothing whatsoever to do with Congresswoman Bachmann or her political committees. For anyone to suggest otherwise is both dishonest and reprehensible.

And from the aptly named Iowa Republican, which shows how much SHE was paying Sorenson before Ron Paul upped the ante:

Fellow Bachmann staffer Peter Waldron alleges, in a complaint filed with the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee, that Sorenson violated Senate Rule 6 by accepting payments from a presidential campaign or PAC.

In the affidavit, Parrish states that he personally recruited Sorenson to work on the campaign. Parrish notes that Sorenson allegedly told him that he could not be paid by the campaign directly, so Bachmann’s campaign fundraiser Guy Short would pay him via his company, C&M Strategies, as a consultant.

Parrish also provided several emails. One of them, apparently sent from Parrish to Sorenson, states Short agreed to hire Sorenson at a rate of $7,000 per month, plus reimbursement for phone use and purchase of a laptop computer. Parrish says the monthly fee was raised to $7,500, without the phone reimbursement.

“Congresswoman Bachmann knew of and approved this arrangement,” Parrish writes in the sworn affidavit. “She, like the rest of us, understood from Senator Sorenson that it did not run afoul of any Iowa Senate ethics rules. We relied on his representations in this regard.”

 

If bimbo Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, utterer of so many odd and factually false things, doesn’t take the fall, it is likely someone from her family, given the nepotism of her campaigns, WILL have to answer to the feds, and might have to face going to jail.

 

Would Bachmann sacrifice someone near and dear?

 

I think she would, those right wing values only go so far (apparently they include lying), and even right wing family values must have their limits. And if Bachmann throws one of her family under the bus….will they go willingly, or turn on HER?  Both her  husband and her son were key, top advisors/ top power players in her campaigns.  They had, presumably,  to be party to the payolla decisions,  but would they go to jail for wife and/or mom?  Because I do NOT envision Michele  “I didn’t get anything wrong”  Bachmann taking responsibility for anything, EVER.  I expect that if she can get out of jail by playing dumb, as opposed to BEING dumb, she will.  But that could result in someone in her family being among those who take the heat for the bribery decisions.  This is by no means a case where only the Rand Paul/Ron Paul family has kin in the game.

 

As noted almost a year ago, by the STrib, almost a year ago:

WASHINGTON – In the waning days of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign, her husband, Marcus Bachmann, allegedly wrote an e-mail describing his efforts to raise much-needed funds through an outside “super PAC.”

That e-mail is now in the hands of the U.S. Justice Department, which has subpoenaed records from the National Fiscal Conservative (NFC) Political Action Committee as part of a federal grand jury investigation into potentially illegal coordination between the PAC and Bachmann’s campaign.

The grand jury subpoena, first reported in the New York Times, represents a major escalation in the multiple federal and state inquiries that rose from alleged election law violations brought forward last January by campaign whistleblower Peter Waldron.

The grand jury subpoena, obtained by the Star Tribune, covers financial transactions involving an array of top Bachmann campaign officials, including her husband.

A copy of an e-mail purportedly written to Waldron by Marcus Bachmann describes a telephone conversation he had with PAC president Bill Hemrick to raise money for a mailing to evangelicals. Hemrick reportedly suggested that Bachmann contact GOP donor August Busch, who, according to the e-mail, agreed to give $7,000 “thru the NFC super pac.”

The e-mail ended: “Praise the Lord!!”

In his reply, Waldron warned that raising money through the super PAC could violate federal election laws that bar certain types of coordination between campaigns and outside political organizations.

As noted in the Daily Beast:

And Ron Carey, a plugged-in Minnesota GOP veteran who briefly served as Bachmann’s chief of staff, has said Marcus and son Lucas were the congresswoman’s main advisers on the full spectrum of issues. “The only person she talks to as an insider is her husband, Marcus, who’s a wonderful man, and her son Lucas,” Carey told the Star-Tribune. (Carey has been critical of his former boss, telling the Associated Press in February that she was unelectable and even so would not “be ready for the position of the president of the United States.”)

and from the Business Insider:

By most accounts, Dr. Bachmann’s campaign role is unique — he describes himself as his wife’s political “strategist” but also doubles as a personal assistant, press secretary, and confidante.

 

This HAS to up the stakes with the remarkably quiet but still open Congressional ethics inquiry into Bachmann. And we haven’t heard from the DOJ for a while, investigating improper deals with her book, her PAC and her campaign.

From CREW:

Rep. Bachmann appears to have improperly used her presidential campaign resources to promote her memoir, and the Department of Justice is investigating whether the Bachmann campaign illegally coordinated advertising with a super PAC.

 

I had a hunch last year when Bachmann announced she was not running again for Congress that something of this size and import was behind it, not the relatively piddly Heki stolen-home-school-list scandal. THIS could involve serious jail time for a lot of people, including Bachmann.

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More Flying Putti Paranoia & Propaganda

by Dog Gone on August 9, 2014 · 1 comment

‘Dangerous’ half-naked flying Putto,
with sword

OH NOOOOOOOOH!

 

It’s a bird!  It’s a PLANE!  It’s a Russian JET…… it’s a ‘putti’?

 

Putti, plural of Putto (from wikipedia):

A putto (plural putti, /ˈpʊti/ or POO-tee, puttoes)[1] is a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude and sometimes winged. Putti are commonly confused with, yet are completely unrelated to, cherubim. Putti are secular and represent a non-religious passion.

 

And here, I am using the term Putti as a nom de guerre for Puti(n) of Russia, in the larger context of fly-bys from Russian jets.

 

Russian Jet NOT violating U.S. airspace

I love to poke holes in the paranoia of the radical right, as their propaganda machines grossly misrepresent current events so as to rile up the ignorant unwashed conservatives into hysteria with emotional-appealing lies, rather than providing factual information.

 

One of the latest is misrepresenting claimed invasions of U.S. air space by Russian Jets.

 

Here is the reality, from the Alaska Dispatch News:

Much has been made of reports that Russian military aircraft have penetrated U.S. airspace 16 times over the last 10 days. But the so-called incursions aren’t actually a violation of any treaty, national border or military agreement, according to federal defense officials.

Russian military aircraft training in the Northwest Pacific Ocean near Alaska have caused North American Air Defense officials to scramble fighter jets to check them out recently. But the aircraft have not penetrated U.S. airspace, according to John Cornelio, NORAD’s deputy director of public affairs.

According to NORAD, the Russian aircraft were operating over international waters but inside the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, an area usually extending about 200 miles from the Alaska coastline. (The zone is much smaller in areas like the Bering Strait where another nation’s border is less than 200 miles away.) All aircraft entering the zone are required to submit flight plans to local air traffic control towers. Any plane spotted in the area that does not identify itself, does not have a working transponder or has not filed a flight plan is visually identified by U.S. and Canadian military aircraft.

“Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones,” said Maj. Jennifer Lovett, director of public affairs for the Alaskan Command.

“While there has been a spike in activity, we assess that these flights are in keeping with the mission of routine training and exercises, and it’s important to note that these Russian aircraft remained in international air space at all times,” Lovett said.

Lovett would not go into detail about the numbers or types of Russian aircraft contacted inside the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, or how close they got to U.S. airspace, defined as an area 12 nautical miles from the coastline. Lovett would also not comment on what happens when a NORAD military aircraft scrambles to identify an unknown plane inside the identification zone.

But NORAD was firm in its statement that the Russians have not violated American airspace.

“There have been absolutely no incursions into U.S. airspace. Zero. No violations of U.S. sovereign airspace,” Cornelio said.

Let me repeat that:

“There have been absolutely no incursions into U.S. airspace. Zero. No violations of U.S. sovereign airspace,” Cornelio said.”

 

While on the right wing nuttery echo chamber, it’s nothing but “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” interspersed with how Putti, er, Putin, is the new bogeyman that terrifies them (and whom they secretly admire for doing so).

 

From the Washington Times:
Russian bombers penetrated U.S. airspace at least 16 times in past 10 days

By Bill Gertz – Washington Free Beacon – – Thursday, August 7, 2014

Russian strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days, an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations, according to U.S. defense officials.

The numerous flight encounters by Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers prompted the scrambling of U.S. jet fighters on several occasions, and come amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine. Also, during one bomber incursion near Alaska, a Russian intelligence-gathering jet was detected along with the bombers.

 

Now while this was REPRINTED in the Washington Times, a right wing rag, it ORIGINATED in an even MORE extremist right wing more raggedy rag, the Washington Free Beacon.

 

You get more of the same hysterical headlines and factually incorrect B.S. from News Max, and from Hot Air:

Sleep tight: Russian nuclear bombers penetrated U.S. airspace 16 times in last 10 days
posted at 2:41 pm on August 8, 2014 by Noah Rothman

At a July 29 press conference, President Barack Obama assured reporters that the new conflict between the U.S. and Russia, one characterized by economic and military proxy conflict on a variety of fronts, is “not a new Cold War.” He’s right; at no point during the Cold War would the Soviets have felt comfortable engaging in the systematic testing of American defense parameters with nuclear bombers. The current leadership in the Kremlin, however, has no such qualms about employing that kind of instigation.

According to a report from the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz, U.S. defense officials are warning that Russian strategic nuclear bombers have conducted no less than 16 incursions into American airspace in just a 10-day period. Gertz characterizes this uptick in the number of times American airspace has been penetrated by Russian air assets as an “unusually sharp increase.”

 

Let me repeat what NORAD has to say:

“There have been absolutely no incursions into U.S. airspace. Zero. No violations of U.S. sovereign airspace,” Cornelio said.

 

It is fair to say, conservatives are once again running around with their hair on fire. I can only imagine a ‘putto’ with his shirt off, and the face of Vladimir Putin, hovering around in the air above them, flapping his wings, and grinning from ear to ear at their propaganda manipulation.

 

We have about as much to worry about from Putin and these NON-airspace-violations as we have from a flying Putto.  One more time, Conservatives believe things which are factually false, then get ginned up emotionally, run around in full-blown paranoia with their hair on fire — over NOTHING.

 
(And my parents used to worry that art history classes would be useless – Hah!)

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Eric Cantor has lost the Virginia Republican congressional primary.
 

He is currently on television making his thanks and giving his concession remarks.
 

Speculating on what this means for the general election, with Cantor apparently OUT – so far no mention of him running as a write-in, he sounds from the comments like he is retiring – at least for this election cycle.  He is talking about his term as majority leader in the past tense.
 

I despise the Tea Partiers, but the right wing has been the great user of wedge issues.  It backfired here in Minnesota in 2012, with the demise of the attempt to amend our state constitution.  There is a delicious irony in it that now the right wingers are now fracturing their own party with these same wedge factions like the Tea Party.
 

Virginia apparently has a ‘sore loser’ law (as I understand it), so once you lose the primary, no write-in vote, no other way of appearing on the ballot.  You lose………..you lose for the whole election cycle.
 

Cantor is still talking up his corrupt corporate owners, feigning concern for the vulnerable as he pushes to privatize more education with failed charter schools.
 

Bye bye to the slimy man who pretends to show concern for things like bringing down health care costs, and who has done so much to keep those costs high and to obstructing any real progress.
 

Buh-bye Eric Cantor.  Don’t let the screen door hit you on the rear end on your way out of the next political cycle.  David Bratt, the winner — don’t get too comfortable; odds are, given the 2012 election cycle wins for Dems, you too, Bratty, won’t be around for long – although Virginia CD7 has been somewhat Republican.
 

An interesting bit of trivia – Dave Bratt is a professor at Randolph-Macon College; his Democratic opponent, Jack Trammell, is a professor at the same college.  It should be interesting to see how many of the students at that college turn out this November – and for whom.

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DFL state convention live blog

by Eric Ferguson on June 1, 2014 · 8 comments

I’m at the DFL state convention, and I’ll be live blogging it, which means I’ll be posting updates below. The video above is an introduction similar to this, just for kicks. Feel free to subscribe to my channel. I may post video updates if opportunity arises, but I’ll generally be where people are trying to talk or people are trying to hear, so no promises, but I’ll see if I can show some of what goes on at a convention. Otherwise I’ll be posting what’s happening, maybe with an opinion since I’m allowed to do that. It’s a blog you know, and I’m not pretending to be a reporter or to be without biases. Jump to a preview of what’s going to happen.
 
Late Saturday update: The Saturday portion of this live blog got very long and made the front page a long scroll, and there are other posts worth reading. So I’m putting the “read more” below this paragraph, and the time stamped updates start on the jump. As expected, life required my presence at home, but I plan to live blog Sunday too, if I can get The Uptake’s stream working for me (quickie update: it worked). I suppose it depends on traffic, but I should have a better connection anyway. The mining resolution is expected to be the controversial part of the platform debates. Guess we’ll watch and see. Some things, like the constitution changes, might be inside baseball, but leave a question in the comments and I’ll try to answer.
 
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The chief Justice of the Alabama state Supreme Court believes terrible things – SINCERELY believes them.

 

There are times when I think we would have been better off if we let the idiots in Alabama secede; but the reality is we should just throw those who are so offensively anti-American out of the country, revoking their citizenship. These people are a danger, these people are a liability. The latest evidence for that argument comes from the deep south, from ‘Bama, where they elect their nutjobs to the State Supreme Court rather than to Congress, like we did repeatedly in MN CD-6.

 

At least, in the past, Moore was removed from office; and he seems on track to repeat that dishonor.   To provide a little context, Moore is openly a racist as well as a religious bigot and homophobe; per the SPLC:

This coming Saturday, the Foundation for Moral Law (FML) in Montgomery, Ala., will be the site of the 2010 Alabama Secession Day Commemoration, featuring speakers tied to the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that considers slavery “God-ordained” and advocates for “the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions.” The Foundation for Moral Law’s president is defrocked Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Judge Roy Moore, who is more commonly known as the “Ten Commandments judge.” In the dead of night on July 31, 2001, Moore placed a 2½-ton stone monument with the Decalogue carved on it in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building, where he then presided. Moore was thrown out of office in 2003 by Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary after refusing to remove the monument, as he was ordered to do as the result of a federal lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The event is being organized by Patricia Godwin, a racist neo-Confederate from Selma who annually holds a birthday party to honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a wealthy slave trader who became the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Godwin, who often refers in E-mails to her majority-black hometown as “Zimbabwe on de Alabamy,” has lately crusaded to block any acknowledgement on the Capitol grounds of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march. Godwin has railed at “the trash that came here in 1965,” complaining that those who honor the civil rights movement “are aiding and abetting the ultimate goal of the ONE WORLD ORDER — to BROWN AmeriKa and annihilate Anglo-Celtic-European culture!”
Another league favorite, John Eidsmoe, is on the bill. Eidsmoe is a former law school professor and close friend and one-time legal adviser to Roy Moore. A theocrat, Eidsmoe has suggested that the government “may not act contrary to God’s laws.” In 2005, Eidsmoe spoke to the national conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that routinely denigrates blacks as “genetically inferior,” complains about “Jewish power brokers,” calls homosexuals “perverted sodomites,” accuses immigrants of turning America into a “slimy brown mass of glop,” and named Lester Maddox, the now-deceased, ax handle-wielding, arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia, “Patriot of the Century.”

Like our own dippy Congresswoman Bachmann, this nutjob Judge Moore also wanted – maybe still wants – to be president, as well. Apparently GOD doesn’t want them to be, looking the outcome.  America sure doesn’t seem to want any part of either of them in the presidency.

from Raw Story

Alabama’s chief justice: Buddha didn’t create us so First Amendment only protects Christians

Speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court declared that the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us. “They didn’t bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship,” he continued. “Let’s get real, let’s go back and learn our history. Let’s stop playing games.” He then noted that he loves talking to lawyers, because he is a lawyer who went to “a secular law school,” so he knows that “in the law, [talking about God] just isn’t politically correct.” He claimed that this is why America has “lost its way,” and that he would be publishing a pamphlet “this week, maybe next” that contained copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, thereby proving that all the people “who found this nation — black, white, all people, all religions, all faiths” knew that America was “about God.”

The Founding Fathers were very articulate.

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Catching up with Michele Bachmann

by Dog Gone on April 8, 2014 · 3 comments

Michele Bachmann has been very busy lately.

 

NOT usefully or productively busy, NO. Not resolving her various legal troubles busy, either, not the Congresswoman from Minnesota. She has been more her usual useless, ridiculous, drama queen extremist busy.

Although the latest word on her various ethics and campaign violations scandals are that the campaign manager for Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell may be the next victim of that Iowa bribery scandal.  From Mother Jones:

An intriguing catfight has been brewing on the right—and it could possibly affect the reelection campaign of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Republican Senate leader. A former aide to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has asked the Federal Elections Commission to investigate whether Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign violated federal law by bribing an Iowa state senator to win his endorsement. The complaint letter, sent by ex-Bachmanner Peter Waldron, charges that senior members of Paul’s campaign—including Jesse Benton, who is now McConnell’s campaign manager—were party to the bribe or knew about it. The role of specific Ron Paul aides in the scheme is unclear, but a 2013 Iowa Senate Ethics Committee report cited by Waldron states that the Paul campaign exchanged money to purchase the endorsement.

The controversy concerns the curious actions of a prominent local politician during the 2012 Republican caucuses in the Hawkeye State. Then-GOP state Sen. Kent Sorenson was an influential figure in the social-conservative wing of the state Republican Party, and he had offered his support to Bachmann’s presidential effort early in the 2012 campaign. Sorenson and Bachmann were natural allies; both were crusaders against abortion and same-sex marriage. Sorenson served as co-chairman of Bachmann’s campaign in Iowa and was a frequent surrogate speaker for her. But less than a week before caucus day, Sorenson made a surprise appearance at a Ron Paul rally in Des Moines, where he shocked Iowa political observers by switching his endorsement to the libertarian candidate.

Bat-sh*t crazy Bachmann made the cover of the New Yoker – right – where the whole country can laugh at her, portrayed as a child, which suits her level of thoughtful opinion on Obamacare.   This image is doubly appropriate, since Michele is still making specious and factually inaccurate claims about pharmaceuticals under the ACA.  From the Raw Story:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Tuesday worried that President Barack Obama and Democrats could withhold life-saving drugs from Americans because they had mandated “killer drugs” like birth control.
Following Supreme Court arguments over whether companies could practice a religion and deny contraception to employees based on those beliefs, Bachmann and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) took to the House floor to blast the Obama administration for mandating birth control coverage in the first place.

“That is government enforced coercion on religious belief,” Bachmann complained. “And it varies at caprice and whim. That’s one thing under the rule of law that has been a pillar of American exceptionalism, the fact that under the rule of law there is certainty for the American people.”

“If you looked at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, you knew with certainty when you woke up tomorrow morning that your religious liberties were intact,” she continued. “Now, apparently today, the gentlemen was in the chamber and heard that, according to at least one Supreme Court justice, in her opinion, they aren’t so much certain anymore.”

“It is not at only the election of the court, but at the election of the unnamed bureaucrat that decides, today we will have these killer drugs that we mandate. Tomorrow, what drugs will they take off the list? Will I not get life-saving drugs that I need to get?”

Bachmann went on to suggest that “only politically-connected best friends” of President Obama’s administration would receive certain surgical procedures in the future.

(I don’t know what rock Michele has been living under, but I know how old she is; birth control has been prevalent in the U.S. her entire life.  In that sense, the nation looks the same as it always has – with women happily and safely using contraception, and without that use killing anyone.)

Michele also issued a press release, after the testimony of the CEO of MNsure before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.  No one seems to care, including Michele herself, but her knee couldn’t help jerking.  It was a very jerky think to do, and Michele is nothing, if not a great big jerk on the slightest ACA pretext – facts entirely optional, and absent.

 

 

And Michele has been busy with her assorted ill-informed, factually-deficient conspiracy theories.
For example, almost a year ago, she blamed Benghazi on GOD:

I guess she forgot that, because now she is blaming someone else; from congressional hearings on the Benghazi non-scandal –

From the Huff Po:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) added a new theory to the slew of Benghazi cover-up conspiracies on Wednesday, accusing former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell of taking “the fall” for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with conservative news site World Net Daily.

“She couldn’t have a better person to take the fall for her because Morell was involved in rewriting the talking points and was the No. 2 at CIA,” Bachmann told WND, suggesting that Morell was clearing the path for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. “So, he can come in authoritatively [and] say, ‘No, that’s not the story. The story is the fake story we tried to push.'”

Morell testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Wednesday and denied an onslaught of Republican allegations of CIA cover-ups and false messaging after the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“We did not deliberately downplay the role of terrorists in the Benghazi attack in our analysis or in the talking points,” Morell said during the hearing. …READ MORE

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Minimum wage amendment a defensible idea

by Eric Ferguson on March 30, 2014 · 3 comments

WAGE-color-3-col-1024x852Let’s just clear up at the start that the headline is definitely lukewarm. “Defenisble” is not a hearty defense. There’s a case but it’s not a slam-dunk; less than obvious; maybe 55-45 rather than 100%. But let’s think about an amendment before reflexively saying no.

 

Let’s also look past motivations. Maybe it’s really “trolling”, as Tony Petrangelo suggests. that will become obvious if the DFL Senate leaders back off a constitutional amendment when it looks like it might actually happen. Representatives, as I’ve heard some of them say, are quite conscious that they’re up for reelection and will have a tough time explaining why nothing passed. Senators, judging from their actions, seem oblivious of this fact. Maybe the tension between the houses will stop anything from happening, but let’s pretend that they really do want the best policy, and they want to help their party in the next election. Just to be clear that this isn’t a case of having to decide what’s best for the party contrasting with what’s best for the public, this is a case where the policy is best for both. That’s what drives Democrats nuts when Democratic elected officials don’t jump all over a minimum wage increase. “Good policy is good politics”, remember? It’s incredibly popular and a great necessity for our economy, so why is this even a contention between Democrats? Yet it is. So let’s think about a constitutional amendment.

 
This is the proposed amendment:
 
…READ MORE

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Minnesota Congresspeople on the environment

by Dan Burns on March 4, 2014 · 2 comments

Grasslands-mengguThe League of Conservation Voters released its annual scorecard some weeks ago.
 

Despite this reality, the U.S. House of Representatives continued its unprecedented assault on the environment and public health that began during the 112th Congress. Although Congress started 2013 with votes to provide disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it’s painfully clear that far too many members failed to heed the lessons offered by that tragic storm. Indeed, this Scorecard is a disturbing reflection of the extent to which the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives continues to be controlled by Tea Party climate change deniers with an insatiable appetite for attacks on the environment and public health.
 
For the third year in a row, there is an unusually high number of House votes included in the Scorecard, due to the breadth and depth of anti-environmental legislation brought to the House floor in 2013. The 2013 Scorecard includes 28 House votes, which is second only to the record 35 votes included in both 2011 and 2012, the most anti-environmental U.S. House of Representatives in history. Many other votes warranted inclusion and would have been included in a typical year.

 
Sen. Al Franken (D) 100%
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) 100%
Rep. Keith Ellison (D) 96%
Rep. Betty McCollum (D) 93%
Rep. Tim Walz (D) 86%
Rep. Rick Nolan (D) 86%
 
Good stuff. I don’t freak out when someone doesn’t have a perfect score, because this is reality, not terminally embittered purity-martyr fantasyland.
 
Rep. Collin Peterson (“D”) 14%
 
That’s our Collin. His lifetime score is 38%. Just going with the flow, I guess. By the way, it very much looks like he is running again.
 

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) 11%
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) 7%
Rep. John Kline (R) 0%
 
Complete, groveling surrender to far-right orthodoxy? Really that messed up in their heads? Both? Does it matter?
 

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