Here We Go Again

Michell Bachman, once again, has cemented her position as resident crazy-woman in congress:

Once again, Bachmann is trying to drum up some sort of media attention to blast her into a place in the overall political theater. She’s concerned because the only people who seem to talk about her are those of us who want to get her out of office. We’re all aware of what a poor politician she is, even Esquire has noticed. This whole thing makes her look as if she’s latching herself onto the McCain/Palin campaign in preparation to vote consistently with their desires as she has with George Bush.

Here is a response on the same show from Katrina vanden Heuvel, comparing Bachmann to McCarthy:

Here is a recent article from KSTP:

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) – Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann – who has never been shy when it comes to praising President George W. Bush – used a debate on Thursday to distance herself from the unpopular president.

Bachmann even tried to link her Democratic challenger, former state transportation chief Elwyn Tinklenberg, to the GOP president.

“He is more in line with President Bush’s policies than I am,” said Bachmann, ticking off issues where she has disagreed with Bush, including the $700 billion financial services bailout. Bachmann voted against the bill twice. Tinklenberg has said he would have voted for it.

“I’ve been willing to be a strong reformer in Washington, D.C., and take on my own party, including the bailout,” Bachmann said.

Asked about her statements after the forum at the St. Cloud Public Library, Bachmann denied that she was distancing herself from Bush. She said she has “taken on the president” before and since being elected to Congress two years ago.

It was the second debate in Minnesota’s 6th District, the most Republican in the state. But the race has heated up recently, with Tinklenberg outraising Bachmann in the latest fundraising period and the national parties buying television ad time. Bachmann still has nearly four times as much money in the bank as her challenger.

She has been building a national profile as she seeks a second term, appearing frequently on talk shows including “Larry King Live” to promote Republican positions on energy and other topics. Earlier in her term, Bachmann was best known for grabbing Bush’s shoulder after his 2007 State of the Union address and holding on until he kissed her.

That moment is now featured in an attack ad.

Tinklenberg on Thursday was also eager to link Bachmann to Bush and his low approval ratings at the debate sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce. About 100 people attended.

“It’s amazing to me when the public gives the Bush administration an 87 percent disapproval rating – 87 percent say the country is dramatically going in the wrong direction, how tenaciously, how passionately Representative Bachmann continues to embrace this president and his policies and the failed strategies of the past,” he said.

Bachmann said her positions have been “quite different” from Bush’s.”

“If the presidency would somehow go to Barack Obama, I would welcome him to the 6th District as well,” she said after the debate. “As a matter of fact, I would put my hand on his shoulder and give him a kiss if he wanted to.”

The 6th District wraps around the northern half of the Twin Cities and stretches west past St. Cloud. It has an unpredictable streak despite its conservative voting record – the district put former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura over the top in the governor’s race a decade ago.

Scary. That’s all I can say. I’ve been seeing her signs all around her district, which frightens me even more. The thought that people are actually lining up behind this woman for a second term is baffling. If you live in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional district, or care about ousting Bachmann for someone with a better head on their shoulders, visit Elwyn Tinklenberg’s website and consider volunteering or donating to the campaign. There’s not much time left.

Edit 18 October 2008, 10:18 am CST:

I guess this appearance is helping Tinklenberg. From Huffington Post:

What makes the incident even more bizarre is that Bachmann is in a close congressional race and just this past week offered warm words to the Illinois Democrat. “If the presidency would somehow go to Barack Obama, I would welcome him to the 6th District as well,” she said after a debate. “As a matter of fact, I would put my hand on his shoulder and give him a kiss if he wanted to.”

A Democratic campaign official emailed that Bachmann’s Democratic opponent has raised at least $23,000 online since the Hardball segment aired.

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Who Are We Raising?

Here’s the news, from Kare 11:

A mentally disabled man from Lakeville is recovering after being severely beaten last weekend. According to the victim’s mother, Carolyn Hamilton, the 24-year-old victim is terrified and scarred emotionally and physically. Justin Hamilton cannot see color in one of his eyes as a result of the injuries he suffered. “He’s thinking someone is going to find where he is and come and beat him up and take him,” said Hamilton. The victim also has bruises, two broken ribs and a branding from a heated credit card. Hamilton says he was also dragged by a motorcycle — although police have not yet included that detail in their reports. “You can see he’s been burned, cut, dragged… it’s a burn mark from being dragged,” said Hamilton. Hamilton also told KARE 11 that the victim, who is adopted, suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. “They’ve taken someone that trusted everybody, with a big smile on his face, the whole world can be your friend, to ‘something really bad happened, mom,'” said Hamiton. Four men were charged Tuesday with luring the victim to a secluded area and severely beating him on two occasions last weekend. On Wednesday, prosecutors charged them again with more serious crimes. Glen Richard Ries, 33, Jonathon Michael Diepold, 21, John Maxwell Maniglia, 19, and Timothy John Ketterling, 21, were each charged with assault and false imprisonment. Diepold, Maniglia and Ries now also face kidnapping charges. Prosecutors have also charged 16-year-old Natasha Dahn in connection with the beating. According to court documents, Dahn told the other suspects Hamilton had assaulted her. Prosecutors say her allegation — was a lie. Ries, Diepold and Maniglia are from Northfield; Ketterling is from Prior Lake. According to court documents, the four men lured the victim from his Lakeville home on Friday and drove him to a secluded area in Waterford Township in southern Dakota County where they kicked him and struck him with tree branches. They then drove him back to his home but forced him to give them his Xbox video games, authorities said. Everyone but Ries has been charged with theft. Then on Saturday, the suspects allegedly lured the victim from Northfield to the same location. According to court documents, the suspets tied the victim to a tree, severely beat him again and burned his skin with lighters and a heated credit card. “There’s bruising all over his body, burn marks. His face has been pummeled,” said Chief Deputy David Bellows of the Dakota County Sheriff’s office, after reviewing photos of the victim. “It’s just incomprehensible to think that you can do this to someone who is challenged to begin with.” Hamilton’s family have issued a statement thanking the public. “We wish to express our gratitude for all of the cards, letters, emails and well wishes for Justin’s recovery. It has been a shock to think that anyone could harm another human being, one so trusting and innocent as our son and brother Justin. We hope you can understand our need to allow him to heal in private and in his own way, process what has happened to regain his self-sufficiency.” A trust fund has been set up for Hamilton to help in his recovery. Wells Fargo Bank For the benefit of Justin Charles Hamilton 16817 Duluth Avenue SE Prior Lake, MN 55372.

I am seriously hoping the four involved in the actual violent acts get a good deal of the rest of their lives in prison. This is simply attacking someone because they are different from you. I’ve known a good deal of developmentally disabled adults and kids over the years, as both of my parents worked in direct care and clerical positions for companies that provide housing, care, and work for these people. I know how good natured and sweet they can be. These young men took advantage of Hamilton’s good and trusting nature to drag him out to the middle of nowhere and beat him severely, scar and burn him. I am disgusted to think that they come from my home state. I hope that the courts consider the nature of this crime, the vulnerability of Hamilton, and the sort of mental disturbance this indicates in these men and throw the book at them. Give them the maximum sentence and do not be lenient.

Olbermann’s Special Comment

Keith Olbermann really has some interesting points I think you should hear.


Also, take a good look at who’s the most recent candidate involved with ACORN. It would be McCain in 2006.

More Michelle Bachmann News

Esquire released its list of the 10 Worst Lawmakers in Congress recently:

Whittling down a list of the 10 worst lawmakers was tougher, the magainze suggests. Those getting the unwanted nod included Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and John Murtha (D-Pa.).

From The Hill’s Blog

Apparently the magazine said this of Bachmann, “One gets the impression that if, in the name of ‘traditional values,’ Bachmann could rescind the vote for women, she would. Her vacant, wild eyes recall a doomsday prophet, or one of Charlie Manson’s girls. Equal parts religious hack and party hack, she’s got spunk and not much else.”

Al Franken, Unions, and the Truth

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, “an ad-hoc alliance of industry groups opposed to federal legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize (NPR),” continues to put more ads on television tearing into democratic candidates, including Al Franken in Minnesota. This video, above, from WCCO points out the inaccuracies of the advetisement. Here’s a bit more info about CDW:

CDW is a front group for business associations, industry lobbying groups, and right-wing policy centers who are against workers getting a fair shake in this economy. Its financial backers include some of the most virulent anti-worker and anti-union organizations in the country, including:

  • the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s most powerful business lobbying organization,
  • the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a group whose biggest member is Wal-Mart, the poster child for low wages,
  • and the Associated Builders and Contractors, an association of anti-union contractors who fight against workers having unions to improve their wages and safety on the job.

CDW is doing the dirty work for CEOs and corporate special interests. Too ashamed to be fighting publicly against policies that would provide workers with real economic opportunities, these companies instead use their deep pockets and powerful influence to fund CDW’s dishonest PR and lobbying campaign.

The CEOs and multimillion dollar business industry groups backing CDW don’t care about democracy or privacy. They’re distorting the truth because they want to stop workers from having a better standard of living, access to health care, job security, and the rest of the benefits that accompany union membership. These same groups oppose everything from paid sick days to fair pay and even the hugely popular Family and Medical Leave Act. It’s unbelievable that business interests would suddenly care about privacy now, when corporations increasingly monitor employees’ every move – including e-mail, phone calls, personal belongings, and even interactions outside of the workplace.

CDW spreads misinformation. Contrary to the lies and distortions displayed in CDW’s new TV ad and on its website, the Employee Free Choice Act does not take secret ballots away from workers. The legislation instead offers employees an alternative to the current, broken system that is slanted heavily in favor of management against workers. In fact, the bill would ensure that workers can choose their own union formation process, either through majority sign-up or a National Labor Relations Board election.

CDW’s own data and research is flawed. Instead of using well-respected academic research and public opinion surveys to test the merits and support for the Employee Free Choice Act, CDW released a poll in April 2008 claiming widespread opposition to the bill. However, even the most conservative political scientists and pundits could easily review the poll’s loaded questions and determine that it in no way accurately tested the public’s perceptions on the issue.

From American Rights at Work

The new ad, in the style of television show 24, was not to be found on the internet. It suggests the same things as this ad discussed on WCCO news. Again, I point out, make sure you research information concerning your candidates before you make your decision. False advertising like this is all over the TV, the internet, and newspapers. Be informed.

**Edit: 15 October 2008, 6:29 am CST

Found the video I was searching for, and it turns out it is not from CDW, but instead from NFIB Safe Trust.

And, apparently I’ve been called out about my resources, although I still stand by them. For those who are interested, I’m posting the actual wording of the Employee Free Choice Act:

Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 (Placed on Calendar in Senate)

HR 800 PCS

Calendar No. 66 110th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 800

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 1, 2007

Received and read the first time

March 2, 2007

Read the second time and placed on the calendar


AN ACT

To amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Employee Free Choice Act of 2007′.

SEC. 2. STREAMLINING UNION CERTIFICATION.

    (a) In General- Section 9(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 159(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a petition shall have been filed by an employee or group of employees or any individual or labor organization acting in their behalf alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining wish to be represented by an individual or labor organization for such purposes, the Board shall investigate the petition. If the Board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations designating the individual or labor organization specified in the petition as their bargaining representative and that no other individual or labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit, the Board shall not direct an election but shall certify the individual or labor organization as the representative described in subsection (a).
    `(7) The Board shall develop guidelines and procedures for the designation by employees of a bargaining representative in the manner described in paragraph (6). Such guidelines and procedures shall include–
    • `(A) model collective bargaining authorization language that may be used for purposes of making the designations described in paragraph (6); and
    • `(B) procedures to be used by the Board to establish the validity of signed authorizations designating bargaining representatives.’.
    (b) Conforming Amendments-
    • (1) NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD- Section 3(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 153(b)) is amended, in the second sentence–
      • (A) by striking `and to’ and inserting `to’; and
      • (B) by striking `and certify the results thereof,’ and inserting `, and to issue certifications as provided for in that section,’.
    • (2) UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES- Section 8(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158(b)) is amended–
      • (A) in paragraph (7)(B) by striking `, or’ and inserting `or a petition has been filed under section 9(c)(6), or’; and
      • (B) in paragraph (7)(C) by striking `when such a petition has been filed’ and inserting `when such a petition other than a petition under section 9(c)(6) has been filed’.

SEC. 3. FACILITATING INITIAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS.

    Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 158) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(h) Whenever collective bargaining is for the purpose of establishing an initial agreement following certification or recognition, the provisions of subsection (d) shall be modified as follows:
    • `(1) Not later than 10 days after receiving a written request for collective bargaining from an individual or labor organization that has been newly organized or certified as a representative as defined in section 9(a), or within such further period as the parties agree upon, the parties shall meet and commence to bargain collectively and shall make every reasonable effort to conclude and sign a collective bargaining agreement.
    • `(2) If after the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which bargaining is commenced, or such additional period as the parties may agree upon, the parties have failed to reach an agreement, either party may notify the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service of the existence of a dispute and request mediation. Whenever such a request is received, it shall be the duty of the Service promptly to put itself in communication with the parties and to use its best efforts, by mediation and conciliation, to bring them to agreement.
    • `(3) If after the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the request for mediation is made under paragraph (2), or such additional period as the parties may agree upon, the Service is not able to bring the parties to agreement by conciliation, the Service shall refer the dispute to an arbitration board established in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Service. The arbitration panel shall render a decision settling the dispute and such decision shall be binding upon the parties for a period of 2 years, unless amended during such period by written consent of the parties.’.

SEC. 4. STRENGTHENING ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) Injunctions Against Unfair Labor Practices During Organizing Drives-
    • (1) IN GENERAL- Section 10(l) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 160(l)) is amended–
      • (A) in the second sentence, by striking `If, after such’ and inserting the following:
    `(2) If, after such’; and
      • (B) by striking the first sentence and inserting the following:
    `(1) Whenever it is charged–
    • `(A) that any employer–
      • `(i) discharged or otherwise discriminated against an employee in violation of subsection (a)(3) of section 8;
      • `(ii) threatened to discharge or to otherwise discriminate against an employee in violation of subsection (a)(1) of section 8; or
      • `(iii) engaged in any other unfair labor practice within the meaning of subsection (a)(1) that significantly interferes with, restrains, or coerces employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7;
    • while employees of that employer were seeking representation by a labor organization or during the period after a labor organization was recognized as a representative defined in section 9(a) until the first collective bargaining contract is entered into between the employer and the representative; or
    • `(B) that any person has engaged in an unfair labor practice within the meaning of subparagraph (A), (B) or (C) of section 8(b)(4), section 8(e), or section 8(b)(7);
    the preliminary investigation of such charge shall be made forthwith and given priority over all other cases except cases of like character in the office where it is filed or to which it is referred.’.
    • (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 10(m) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 160(m)) is amended by inserting `under circumstances not subject to section 10(l)’ after `section 8′.
    (b) Remedies for Violations-
    • (1) BACKPAY- Section 10(c) of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 160(c)) is amended by striking `And provided further,‘ and inserting `Provided further, That if the Board finds that an employer has discriminated against an employee in violation of subsection (a)(3) of section 8 while employees of the employer were seeking representation by a labor organization, or during the period after a labor organization was recognized as a representative defined in subsection (a) of section 9 until the first collective bargaining contract was entered into between the employer and the representative, the Board in such order shall award the employee back pay and, in addition, 2 times that amount as liquidated damages: Provided further,‘.
    • (2) CIVIL PENALTIES- Section 12 of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 162) is amended–
      • (A) by striking `Any’ and inserting `(a) Any’; and
      • (B) by adding at the end the following:
    `(b) Any employer who willfully or repeatedly commits any unfair labor practice within the meaning of subsections (a)(1) or (a)(3) of section 8 while employees of the employer are seeking representation by a labor organization or during the period after a labor organization has been recognized as a representative defined in subsection (a) of section 9 until the first collective bargaining contract is entered into between the employer and the representative shall, in addition to any make-whole remedy ordered, be subject to a civil penalty of not to exceed $20,000 for each violation. In determining the amount of any penalty under this section, the Board shall consider the gravity of the unfair labor practice and the impact of the unfair labor practice on the charging party, on other persons seeking to exercise rights guaranteed by this Act, or on the public interest.’.

Passed the House of Representatives March 1, 2007.

Attest:

LORRAINE C. MILLER,

Clerk.

Calendar No. 66

110th CONGRESS 1st SessionH. R. 800

AN ACT

To amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.

A Nod to John McCain

Although I dislike the man and am frightened at the aspect of him becoming president, I must say that I respect his recent comments. At a recent rally in Minnesota, he quelled the angry and frightened words of a couple supporters:

Obama has built a lead of between five and 10 percentage points in recent public opinion polls.  McCain was booed at a rally in (the North Central state of) Minnesota on Friday, when he tried to reassure one man about Obama’s character.

Man: “We are scared.  We are scared of an Obama presidency.”
McCain: “I want to be President of the United States, and obviously, I do not want Senator Obama to be.  But, I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as President of the United States.”

At the same rally, McCain took the microphone away from a woman who had implied that Obama was un-American.

Woman: “I cannot trust Obama.  I have read about him, and….he is an Arab.”
McCain: “No, ma’am.  No, ma’am.  He is a decent family man (and) citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”

From VOA News

This is a good thing, because there are people out there who believe all the tabloid news and internet and word-of-mouth rumor, such as the second person who thought that Obama was an Arab. Although, I have to imagine that a good deal of this is due to the backlash the McCain/Palin campaign is receiving because of the angry words and racial epithets concerning Obama thrown about at recent rallies. Obama responded to McCain at a rally in Pennsylvania:

“I appreciated his reminder that we can disagree while still being respectful of each other.”

From NY Daily News

It’s good to know that there can still remain a modicum of civility in this crazy campaign.

Sarah Palin’s Own, Personal World

The findings of the ‘Troopergate’ investigation are out, and here’s a summary:

FINDING ONE

Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. That states: “Each public officer holds office as a public trust and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest though official action is a violation of that trust.”

  • The most damaging finding. Stephen Branchflower, the investigator appointed by Alaska legislators, concluded that the Governor abused her power by conducting a campaign to have her former brother-in-law Mike Wooten fired as a state trooper, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so. He deemed this an effort to secure “a personal interest” under the Ethics Act, through her position.

FINDING TWO

Public safety commissioner Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Wooten was not the only reason Mrs Palin dismissed him, but was “likely a contributing factor”. Nonetheless, the Governor has authority to sack executive branch department heads, and acted within that.

  • Technically a plus for Mrs Palin, but reveals she bears grudges. Mrs Palin can hire and fire her department chiefs as she wishes, so long as she acts “in good faith”. She said she dismissed Mr Monegan because of a budget dispute but he said he believed he was sacked because he resisted pressure to oust Trooper Wooten.

FINDING THREE

A worker compensation claim by Mr Wooten was correctly handled and he received the benefits to which he was entitled.

  • An all clear for Mrs Palin. Her husband, Todd, had circulated pictures of the trooper driving a snowmobile while he was supposed to be on sick leave and receiving benefits for a bad back sustained at work – implying he was feigning the condition. The Palins denied interfering in his benefit claim and the inquiry did not disagree.

FINDING FOUR

Alaska’s Attorney General, who was the conduit for requests for information from the executive branch, failed “to substantially comply” with the investigator’s request to Mrs Palin to answer by email questions from the inquiry.

  • An implicit criticism of her refusal to cooperate. Gov Palin initially welcomed the investigation, saying she and her staff would co-operate fully and had nothing to hide in her dismissal of Mr Monegan. But after she was chosen as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, she withdrew her co-operation, saying the investigation had become a partisan witchhunt. The legislature authorised subpoenas on several of her aides to force them to testify but did not issue one against Mrs Palin. Investigator Stephen Branchflower offered to travel anywhere in the US to meet Mrs Palin or to accept answers from her by email, but the suggestion was ignored.

From Telegraph

So some unethical behavior has been determined. But this is how Sarah Palin responded:

”I don’t micromanage my commissioners and ask them to hire or fire anyone,” Palin told reporters outside a service station in Altoona. “And thankfully the truth was revealed there in that report that showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part.”

From Miami Herald

So, I’m wondering, what world does she live in that the findings that say that she violated the Ethics Act in Alaska prove that no unethical activity was performed by her? Just wondering.