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I predict that there will be no ‘fix’ changing this law; the only adequate ‘fix’ is repeal.

 

No Republican candidate, many of whom are embracing the Pence legislation, will ever be elected.

 

Denver station 7 hits PRECISELY on why this legislation differs from either the federal legislation that Pence keeps referring to, and differs substantially from the other 19 states with the legislation he refers to as well.  This has ALWAYS been about LGBT discrimination.

 

First of all, the claim that this was not intended to be discriminatory is not credible.

From abc 7:

Indiana ‘religious freedom’ law is different – and here’s why
Hobby Lobby paved the way, not Clinton-era law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The backlash to Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration law is growing but the bill’s opponents are blaming the wrong Hoosier. Indiana-born Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ role is far more important than Governor Mike Pence’s, even though Pence signed the law.
Here’s why:
You probably have heard that 19 states besides Indiana already have “a” Religious Freedom Restoration law and that all those laws “are based” on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. That is true only loosely, only if the words above are in quotes.
Indiana’s RFRA law has new and different language than the other statutes and the federal law. And it has different legislative intent.
States began passing their own RFRA laws only after 1997, when the Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 federal law did not govern state laws.  States wanted to “protect” religious liberty just as the feds had (more on that later).
But all of that came before Chief Justice Roberts ruled last summer in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell.  That was the famous case that ruled that a business, Hobby Lobby, was being burdened in its free expression of religion by a provision of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare to its foes) requiring coverage for contraception. This was a revolution in defining religious freedom in this country.
The Indiana law is the first state RFRA to pass after Hobby Lobby, and it actually codifies its jurisprudence in two ways.
First, it explicitly states that for-profit businesses – and not just individuals – have a right to the free exercise of religion. As The Atlantic points out, the federal law has no such language, nor do 17 of the 19 existing state RFRA statues. In fact, Louisiana and Pennsylvania exclude businesses from being protected by RFRA.
Second, the Indiana law makes explicit that for-profit business’ free exercise of religion is a defense against discrimination claims made not just by the government but also by private parties, something that is murky in the federal law.
So the claim that Indiana’s new law is just the same as a bunch of existing laws is off base.
That claim is also disingenuous and phony in a much simpler way, and so is the claim that that RFRA laws are not being used to try to justify discrimination.

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Dear Mike Pence,

You sir, Governor Pence, are a liar and a coward, and a bigot. But mostly you are a liar.

 

Do not pretend, Pence, conservatives, that your legislation is LIKE the federal legislation.  It is not.  Federal legislation supported religious freedom for individuals when infringed by government.  This treats businesses as people — hello, anti-LGBT Romney — and it facilitates businesses discriminating in public accommodation against individuals over sexual orientation.  It is not about freedom, it is just about facilitating dumb bigotry.

 

Let’s just cut to the chase, cut through your bulls*it.  Your statement on the George Stephanopolous Sunday ‘talking head’ interview was dishonest, and it was nothing more than a clumsy tap dance trying to get around the truth.

 

It is significant that Pence is trying to tar both Bill Clinton (as a proxy for Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, both of whom support LGBT rights) in advance of a potential presidential run.

 

ABSOLUTELY, “Hoosiers engage in discrimination.” (see the video of the interview at the 10 minute mark); they not only engage in LGBT discrimination, they want it, YOU WANT IT, and they brag about doing it.  Do just give it up on having it both ways; you know this law you signed is entirely about religious anti-LGBT discrimination being given proactive and preemptive legal cover to let them do so where previously they did not have such legal advantage for discrimination.

 

The AFA was right there with you when you signed this; they pushed for it, they’re candid about what it is: a pro-discrimination bill to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination. PERIOD.

 


So quit lying about it; you’re not any of you going to get away with having it both ways, a discrimination law AND not a pro-discrimination law.  You might as well pander to the bigots, Mikey; because you aren’t fooling the rest of us.

 

From Mediaite:

The man, who only identified himself as Ryan, said that as a Christian he understands that some people have a different “lifestyle” than him, but he doesn’t want them coming into his place of business and making his customers “uncomfortable.”

The hosts did not let him off easy, asking directly if he has ever discriminated against gay people in his restaurant. “I have discriminated,” he said openly, explaining that he has pretended there was a problem with his kitchen in order to not serve them in the past.

“That makes you feel OK?” Rachel Bogle asked him. “I mean, when you get a bed at night saying, ‘I’ve discriminated against other human beings,’ you feel at ease with that?”

Ryan said he feels fine about it because he believes he should be able to do whatever he wants in his own restaurant. “We don’t want to have this in our place of business, it’s just not right,” he said. But while the caller was happy to share his story, he would not say the name of his restaurant.

Let me sort this out for you and for your bigot businessman restaurant owner. ‘Ryan’ wants to be able to tell people they can’t eat at his place of business, but he doesn’t want to risk losing the heterosexual $$$ of people who would not knowingly patronize the businesses that discriminate.

 

Let me point out Ryan, let me point out Governor Pence, that LGBT people pay taxes. Those taxes pay for the infrastructure and services that make it possible for this business owner to make money, to operate his business. Our armed forces have gay patriots serving in their ranks protecting this country, so that those businesses may operate, so that state, and all the other states and territories are safe and free.

 

So unless these businesses want to go somewhere else, outside this country, they have no damned right, no damned freedom to take all the benefits of taxation which includes the LGBT community along with the family and friends who support them being who they are as human beings who were born the way they are. There is no more right to do that, no more ethical or moral justification, no political justification to do that, than there ever was to deny service to a person of color, or a person who is of an ethnicity like being Jewish or Asian, or to deny someone service on the basis of a religion in which they were raised or chose to embrace.

 

This notion that there is some kind of religious legitimacy to discriminate is one we’ve seen before, used to try to prop up segregation of races. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. That belief creates a second class group of citizens, and then tries to smear heaps of lipstick on that pig to pretend it is nothing else.

 

There will be a severe penalty for you Governor Pence, much larger than I believe you have calculated. Not the least of those penalties, those costs will be to the people in your state who support this law and who elected you. Personally however Governor, you can kiss good bye any hope or dream you might ever have, in 2016 or any other time in the future, to sit in the office of President in our White House.

Bigots are going bye bye. And you gentlemen — all of you who contemplate and desire to enact laws like this, you damned conservative bigots, are as conservatives always are, on the wrong side of the arc of history. You consistently choose the role of the bad guy, and then you whine about it after you made the choice of your own will. Your values are flawed, your morality and ethics are dirty and ugly. YOU FAIL.

It is only a matter of when, not if, your law will be flushed down the toilet of s*itty historic legislation, where it will end up on the dung heap of human hatred.

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GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out, or my alternative version, Garbage Information, Garbage Opinion.

 

Do you remember any of the many examples of the radical right believing not in a true spiritual faith, but in foolish superstition, of the kind which denies real cause and effect, and replaces it with made up silly stuff? Here are a few, a little fun for those who are still superstitious about on Friday the 13th. Laugh at the superstition, and have a good laugh at the right wing nuts too.

 

This is one of my favorites, expressing the notion apparently that all that hard work, death and sacrifice, expense and effort to win the Civil War was unnecessary. Because the ridiculous religious right and the radical right generally believe God picks favorites; they believe HE doesn’t love all his children, at least not equally. And until Lincoln made his prayer, depending on your interpretation of God’s motives and reasoning, God was just flipping a coin as to which side of the Civil War to prefer, until Lincoln lobbied Him or bribed Him with better prayers than the other side.

 

I don’t know about you, but I find that offensive as a religious premise, I find it offensive because it is the dumbing down America by grossly misrepresenting our history. This is especially appropriate here on the day after Lincoln’s birthday; he must have been rolling in his grave at this monstrous representation of the events of his presidency. This is not history, this is right wingnuts making up rubbish, and stamping it with the false approval of God, to make it appear something else.

 

A little historical information for comparison, George Washington lost a lot of battles — most of them in fact, did not have a day of prayer, and still won the Revolutionary War. Because that’s often the way the pattern of wars goes, early losses, later wins. Another example, Napoleon won a lot of battles, lost at Waterloo, end of Napoleon, effectively. This is rubbish, this is crap history, this is crap theology, this is religion as superstition, this is a serious break with reality, and cause and effect.

 

This is FAILED reason, this is FAULTY thinking, this is WRONG WRONG WRONG, but it epitomizes the failures of the right on every topic to seriously address our important issues of the day.

 

Let me give you a few more examples of right wing insanity under the claimed authority of religion:

and this:

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How far should we indulge the anti-vaxxers?

by Dog Gone on February 3, 2015 · 0 comments

There has been so much rubbish from the right wingnuts, including Rand Paul’s totally bogus claim about severe ‘mental disorders’ caused by vaccinations, that is reminiscent of Michele Bachmann’s LIE about HPV Vx and mental retardation. Consider this in the context not only of political liars on the topic of vaccinations, who are blatantly trolling the radical right anti-vaxxers for votes, but also in the context of those who KNOW better, and genuinely do not give a flying …..FIG…..about the painful, debilitating illness or death of you, or your child, or an elderly person in your family that you love, or those with illnesses or injuries that compromise their immune system that you cherish. Here is an example of the ignorant, arrogant, selfish, foolish, and just plain callously cruel anti-vaxxer attitudes, from azfamily.com:
 

 
If someone told you to your fact that their child was ‘pure’ and they didn’t care if their child caused deafness, brain damage including retardation, sterility, or painful death to your child, you would understandably feel angry. Many people do. All the more so because what the anti-vaxxers believe is factually false, a myth, one being promoted by extremist, radical right wing religious lunatics.
 

Clearly, except for those who for legitimate medical reasons cannot be vaccinated, it IS time to make vaccinations mandatory, and to end the option of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children for reasons of ‘purity’ or debunked junk science.
 

I’d like to take it a step further: If someone does not vaccinate their child, or is an unvaccinated adult, and public health authorities trace another child or adult becoming infected with measles to that person and decision, or to someone in their family who is not vaccinated and for whom they are responsible, then I think the infected individual (or an adult acting for them) should be able to sue for damages. Also, municipalities and state and federal agencies should be able to pursue those individuals to recover increased public health costs, over and above what is already budgeted for by their taxes, because of the deliberate causation of additional expense by a few people acting intentionally.
 

These libertarians like to talk about taking responsibility for themselves and their choices; so let’s hold them to that.  When they cause damages and loss and expense with their choices — make them pay! And/or make them conform to being members of a civilized society. That is really the antithesis of Libertarianism.  But all of us, our society, economy, civilization have a vested interest in living together cooperatively and rationally. No one should be permitted to endanger other people in this way.
 

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MN-06: Newbie Emmer rebuffed, just a little

by Dan Burns on January 8, 2015 · 1 comment

emmer3Well, few of us get everything we want, in life. And I don’t suppose Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) can just sue, either.

 

The Delano Republican has additional responsibilities with his spots on the House agriculture and foreign affairs committees…
 
He hadn’t expected the foreign affairs appointment. He had initially requested assignment to committees overseeing financial services and transportation, an issue that was a cornerstone of his campaign. So over the next few weeks, he will be attending intensive briefings on foreign policy covering everything from North Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan and the battle against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
(St. Cloud Times)

If this is tickling your memory about ridiculous-looking committee assignments, Emmer’s predecessor, Michele Bachmann, was on the Select Committee on Intelligence. That one lent itself to a lot of amusing, if at times quite unkind, remarks. Crazy Michele has been talking about wanting a position with a foreign policy “think tank,” where her comprehensive expertise and insight would be invaluable. I’m not making this up. And a place that is aware of what a help her presence can be for fundraising, might well give her a job, despite the credibility hit outside of the base. Most conservative propaganda mills have zero credibility anymore outside of the base, and corporate media, anyway.
 
Image: MPR

 

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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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