Friday 15 July 2011

Michele Bachmann: the next president of the WTH!?!

First Sarah Palin. Now Michele Bachmann. Two women. Two members of the Tea Party. Two right wing conservatives. In the last Democratic run-up, the country nearly had a female candidate who could have been the first female president but the country ended up with another first, the first black president. Will 2012 be another first?

Anybody can be first. Not everyone can be good. Campaigning and elections have a great deal to do with looking good, saying the right buzz words and being in the right place at the right time. It is personality; it is personal charm; it is charisma. However once in office, it's truly show time. It's pedal to the metal. It's now that you bring home the bacon. You have to be good. You can't just look good; you have to be good. Anybody who vies to be president of the world's last superpower, the largest economy on the planet, has got to be delusionally self-confident. It's cockiness personified. The mysteries of government and of getting everyone to pull in the same direction at the same time is quite nicely summed up in this warning to any who strive for the Oval Office: If it was that easy, it would be done by now.

Michele Bachmann moves into centre stage and the spotlight is on her, her ideas and everything she says. She kicks off her run for the Republican presidential nomination by comparing herself to John Wayne of Waterloo, Iowa. Sounds good except John Wayne the actor was from Winterset, Iowa and it was John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer, who lived in Waterloo for some time. (Washington Post) I know as well as anybody that when giving a speech, mistakes do happen but when things happen consistently, the audience starts to wonder. (see Sarah Palin: Refudiate this!)

Ms. Bachmann has now signed a pledge (Washington Post) written by a socially-conservative advocacy group in Iowa called the Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats, an unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial candidate and evangelical Christian leader in Iowa. The pledge “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family” endorses the view that homosexuality is a choice rather than a biological trait. It condemns adultery, “quickie divorce,” infidelity, pornography, cohabitation and Islamic sharia law. It also suggests that more African-American children are born out of wedlock now than they were under slavery. By signing this document, Ms. Bachmann is certainly declaring to the world her stance on a number of issues.

ABC News - July 11/2011
Whoopi Blasts Michele Bachmann's Pledge
"The View" co-host gets heated over "marriage vow" signed by conservatives.

(Sorry, I can't get this to embed so you'll have to click on the link to go to the ABC News page.)

Joy Behar: They also want to ban pornography. That means a lot of married women are going to have to start sleeping with their husbands again.

Uploaded by spqr1052 on Jul 14, 2011
Bachmann reparative therapy
The folks over at "Nightline" presented an excellent expose spotlighting Bachmann and Associates the principal business of Republican Presidential aspirant Michelle Bachmann and her husband Marcus Bachmann of Minnesota. The fact that the Christian themed mental health and counseling clinic received nearly $173,000 dollars from the federal faith-based programs, our tax-dollars, irritates the hell out of us. We cannot decide which is worse the fleecing of federal funds or the fact that Michelle and Marcus are operating this sham business operation featuring ''reparative therapy.'' Michele Bachmann and her husband are darlings of the religious right and the Republican tea Party extremist so none of this bigotry and intolerance is that surprising. In the attached "Nightline" diffusion a gay activists association goes undercover to capture a counselor supporting the ''reparative therapy'' which the American Medical Association does not endorse this questionable practice. We find it disturbing that Dr Marcus Bachmann deems homosexuals as barbarians who require discipline and education.

Light Bulbs
Back in 2008, there was this little incident over light bulbs. (Wikipedia)
Bachmann introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which would require a GAO report show that a change to fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) would have "clear economic, health and environmental benefits" prior to enforcement of lighting efficiency regulations that effectively ban conventional light bulbs. Bachmann argued, "Each light bulb contains between 3–6 milligrams of mercury. There's a question about how that mercury will fill up our landfills, and also if you break one in your home, you'll have mercury that instantaneously vaporizes in your home. That poses a very real threat to children, disabled people, pets, senior citizens. And I just think it's very important that Americans have the choice to decide, would they like an incandescent or a (CFL)?" Bob Collins of Minnesota Public Radio commented on the debate, noting a Popular Mechanics article which concluded that over the average life span of a CFL, an incandescent bulb could result in the emission of more mercury than an equivalent CFL, even if the CFL was broken, assuming power was generated by "a coal-fired power plant" (which produce about half the electricity the US consumes). However, Collins also noted there is evidence that "[for] some people, CFLs are a health risk" and that the environmental risks of CFLs deserve consideration.

MPR News - March 27/2008
What's left to say about CFLs? Plenty. by Bob Collins
Most of Bachmann's arguments against CFL light bulbs are moot. Most of what she's asking for in the way of research and studies was already readily available. But there are two areas where her points -- oh, geez, I can hear the blogs now -- have merit.
1- There is an environmental concern with CFLs to at least consider.
2- For some people, CFLs are a health risk.

Yes, there is mercury in CFLs and, no, it can't be disregarded out of hand. According to the EPA, there are 5 milligrams of mercury in every CFL. According to a story last month by National Public Radio, General Electric says it could be a problem if the CFLs are used on a wide scale, even though manufacturers have reduced mercury content by 87 percent, according to one trade group.

For the record, mercury is also in your car's HID lamps, streetlights, and the computer monitor on which you're reading this.

Still, if the concern over the coming phase-out is really the mercury involved in light bulbs, then the CFL still wins out. Popular Mechanics got at this issue in an article last year, which tends to turn the mercury anti-CFL argument on its head.

Popular Mechanics - June 11/2007
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs and Mercury: Reality Check By Julianne Pepitone
About 50 percent of the electricity produced in the U.S. is generated by coal-fired power plants. When coal burns to produce electricity, mercury naturally contained in the coal releases into the air. In 2006, coal-fired power plants produced 1,971 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity, emitting 50.7 tons of mercury into the air—the equivalent amount of mercury contained in more than 9 billion CFLs (the bulbs emit zero mercury when in use or being handled).

Approximately 0.0234 mg of mercury—plus carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide—releases into the air per 1 kwh of electricity that a coal-fired power plant generates. Over the 7500-hour average range of one CFL, then, a plant will emit 13.16 mg of mercury to sustain a 75-watt incandescent bulb but only 3.51 mg of mercury to sustain a 20-watt CFL (the lightning equivalent of a 75-watt traditional bulb). Even if the mercury contained in a CFL was directly released into the atmosphere, an incandescent would still contribute 4.65 more milligrams of mercury into the environment over its lifetime.

Uploaded on Oct 19, 2011 by sanemannews
Michele Bachmann Says The Stupidest #%&!
Meet congresswoman Michele Bachmann. If you weren't already acquainted with the outspoken Minnesota Republican then prepare yourself for this soundbite machine's divinely inspired run for the presidency in 2012.

Final Word
I read the news articles; I watch the video clips and I realize I don't have to say anything. Michele Bachmann speaks for herself. I used to think Sarah Palin was a one off, a unique event on the American political landscape. I now know Sarah has a twin. Both of them look great; they have a certain presence and somewhere there is the hope this is the person from whom one could expect big things. Then they open their mouths. In a coincidence, I end up with my mouth open too, slack-jawed at what I hear coming out of their mouths. I look around. I look at the person on my left. I look at the person on my right. Is it just me? Do I understand what these women are saying? Is this some kind of joke? At some point I'm thinking they are going to stop, slap their knee then chuckle before saying, "Ha! Did I have you guys fooled. Okay, now let's move on to the real speech." *I shake my head* It never comes. That never happens. No, wait! They're serious!?!

The light bulb incident above may seem like a trivial thing but it is this sort of spurious rationale that makes me doubt an individual's ability to lead. Common sense seems to say that buying bulbs with mercury in them is a bad thing but a thorough investigation shows that incandescent bulbs use more electricity thus requiring more power generation which means even more mercury emissions getting into the environment. Yes it may seem counter-intuitive but it is that kind of thinking which leads to the right decision. The myopic view is me; I don't buy bulbs with mercury. The big picture view is all of us collectively end up releasing more mercury. That is visionary thinking. No, actually it's just right thinking. (see: 3.8 Trillion Reasons to Think of Sarah)

Bachmann has signed a pledge which is against homosexuality while condemning adultery, “quickie divorce,” infidelity, pornography, cohabitation and Islamic sharia law. (For crying out loud, will you people stop with this sharia law hysteria!?! see Dearborn, Michigan: Watch out for extremists!) I'm sorry, this is so right wing, fundamentalist and - dare I say it? - non inclusive, just how many people would President Bachmann alienate across the political landscape? Life is not Leave It To Beaver. The United States is not Leave It To Beaver. Bob Vander Plaats and his ilk group are dreaming in techno-colour if they think they can transform the current culture into Leave It To Beaver. Leave It To Beaver was a television show; it never existed in reality!

If Sarah or Michele end up in the Oval Office come 2012, I am moving to Mars.

The Daily Show - July 13, 2011
Interviewer: What do you say when your teenager says she's gay.
Marcus Bachmann: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined

In the United States
In Canada


Wikipedia: Michele Bachmann
Michele Marie Bachmann (née Amble; born April 6, 1956) is a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Minnesota's 6th congressional district, and a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. She previously served in the Minnesota State Senate and is the first Republican woman to represent the state in Congress. Bachmann is a supporter of the Tea Party movement and a founder of the House Tea Party Caucus.

Sexual Intelligence - July 13, 2011
Is Michelle Bachman Obsessed With Sex? It Depends On The Day by Dr. Marty Klein
Now it seems that Bachmann’s husband Marcus is a psychologist, and that together they own and operate a counseling clinic in Minnesota. Let’s overlook the extraordinary hypocrisy that they’ve collected over $100,000 in government subsidies for the clinic-—while Michelle is making her career by damning all government spending on anything except the military and the defense of heterosexual marriage.

Instead, let’s look at the investigative report aired on ABC News, detailing what goes on in the Bachmann Clinic. It seems that this state-licensed clinic, operated by Michelle’s state-licensed husband, is enthusiastically offering to “cure” gays of their homosexuality—-through faith-healing.

Sexual Intelligence - July 11, 2011
GOP Nominees Asked to Pledge Marital Fidelity…And More by Dr. Marty Klein
The Pledge is a bizarre combination of 1950s sexual conservatism and Cold War-style doomsday-ism (it opposes “infanticide” and the “enslavement” of military wives), which it blends into an obsession with marriage and morality. It claims, with an absolutely straight face, that “candidates’ positions on core values, such as marriage, correlate directly to their moral stances on energy issues, sound budgeting, national defense, and economic policies.”

Apparently, these people either don’t realize that George W. Bush was a devout Christian, or they don’t notice that he personally directed the rape of America’s environment, destruction of its budget surplus, or invasion of a country that posed no threat to us whatsoever.

Business Insider - July 11/2011
Whoopi Goldberg Goes Ballistic Over Michele Bachmann's Slave Petition (VIDEO)

Wikipedia: Bob Vander Plaats
Robert L. "Bob" Vander Plaats (born April 12, 1963) is a failed candidate for the 2010 Republican gubernatorial nomination in Iowa. He is a former high school principal, non-profit CEO, and currently the president and CEO of MVP Leadership in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Family Leader
The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family

The Family Leader - July 7, 2011
The Presidential Candidate Pledge document

my blog: Dearborn, Michigan: Watch out for extremists!

my blog: 3.8 Trillion Reasons to Think of Sarah

my blog: Sarah Palin: Refudiate this!

Al Jazeera - July 10/2011
Reagan mythology is leading US off a cliff
Entirely forgetting the real history of how Franklin D Roosevelt used activist government to save American capitalism from itself, the entire US political establishment is instead hypnotised by the false history woven around its most over-hyped president of all time: Ronald Reagan. Idolatry of Reagan's supposed tax-cutting wonders propels the now widespread economic belief that up is down, that cutting government spending is the way out of - rather than into - a severe recession. At the same time, idolatry of Reagan's supposed political wonders propels GOP extremists to ignore all other considerations.


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1 comment:

A Political Junkie said...


You might want to check Jon Stewart's take on the Bachmann family business here: