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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Bachmann Take On The War On Poverty

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 01/09/14 20:24

by Dave Mindeman

Michele Bachmann couldn't let the anniversary of the LBJ War on Poverty speech go by without lecturing us on "government abuses".

Today, the poverty rate is only slightly below where it was in 1964, and it came with a $20 trillion price tag. What's more, a record 47 million Americans are now receiving food stamps, which is about 13 million more than when the President Obama took office.

One of the saddest results of these last fifty years has been the decay of the American family, as the percentage of children born out of wedlock has risen from 6% to 41%. When government has policies that induce people to either not get married or to bear a child out of wedlock, poverty persists.

The poverty rate in 1964 was 19% - today it is 15%. Although I think all of us would consider that still too high, it is still somewhat better. While some of the programs that were used to combat American poverty failed, there were also some successes. Unfortunately, Bachmann and her colleagues have tried to gut and eliminate all of them.

During the 1960's, one of the greatest concerns regarding poverty was the high number of senior citizens with substandard living conditions. Because of Social Security, the poverty rate for those 65 and older is now about 9%. Without Social Security it would be over 40%. Yet, Rep. Bachmann has supported the Paul Ryan budget answer of gutting Social Security into privatization.

And the Bachmann answer to the high rate of food stamp use is to simply cut the program and put those recipients into the bread lines.

During the first decade of the "War on Poverty", government intervention dropped that 19% rate down to 11% in the mid-70's. But after 12 years of Republican administrations (Reagan and Bush I) from 1980 to 1992 and the call to dismantle the government safety net, poverty was on the rise.

Sadly, Bachmann's only suggestion in her analysis is that we do something about out of wedlock births. A societal item that government can do very little about, but something for which Bachmann never hesitates to give government the blame.

Yes, we still have a poverty problem to fight, but it is fortunate that in the next Congress we won't have Bachmann around to marginalize the effort.
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Michele Bachmann Can Still Live In Her Own World - We Won't Mind

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 06/26/13 13:16, Edited: 06/26/13 15:19

by Dave Mindeman

Michele Bachmann is not happy.

"Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted. For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to join the trend, despite the clear will of the people's representatives through DOMA. What the Court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States."

Bachmann has been unable to separate her religious views from her day to day life views.

There is nothing preventing her from believing her marriage and the marriage of other heterosexual couples is God instituted...and that gay marriages are not. The problem is that she expects EVERYONE ELSE to believe it the same way.

DOMA was struck down today. That does not change anything about her marriage to Marcus. No difference. Same as yesterday.

What the churches believe about marriage also stays the same. They can sanctify any marriage they want. They can also not recognize a gay marriage. Same today as it was yesterday.

The only difference, and I mean the only one, is that gay people can now have the same legal rights and opportunities that were denied to them yesterday. But the "important" thing is there are no changes to Michele's personal life. None whatsoever.

I agree that the Supreme Court is not God. They proved that yesterday with a ridiculous ruling on the Voting Rights Act. But the legal standard of marriage is not a religious definition either. At least not when it comes to the laws of the United States.

We don't and cannot use religious viewpoints as any kind of standard when it comes to the law. Religious viewpoints and morality certainly have an effect - and even can be used as a standard at times - but they are not an absolute criteria for legality.

That is why DOMA was so wrong. There was never a good reason for denying gay couples the legal rights of marriage. It took us years to do the right thing in that regard - to simply get this right.

Really, Michele, if gay marriage bothers you so much, try just ignoring it - pretend those marriages don't exist. Out of sight - out of mind. You have a very vivid imagination, use it. And now that you are living in this "no gay marriage world", just stay there. Your world doesn't have to be affected by the ruling today.

The rest of the world will simply move on.

(oh, and by the way - Who Cares?)

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Bachmann Retires - Great For Minnesota -Not So Much For Graves

Category: Michele Bachmann
Posted: 05/29/13 17:02, Edited: 05/31/13 13:03

by Dave Mindeman

Imagine a political world without Michele Bachmann.

We can?

Well, yes we can....for now.

The good Congresswoman is going to call it a career at 4 terms. The only people happier about this than Minnesota Democrats are probably the national Republicans.

She has been a thorn in the side of everybody.

However, before we pop the corks on the champagne, we may have a problem. Although DFLer Jim Graves is up and running for the 6th District Seat, his road to victory just got complicated.

The 6th District is a GOP stronghold. And of all the districts in the state, the 6th is about the only one with truly viable and effective candidates in the pipeline.

Minnpost's Devin Henry came up with a list he gleaned from his contacts:

State Rep. Tim Sanders
Rep. Matt Dean
Rep. David FitzSimmons
Rep. Peggy Scott
State Sen. Michelle Fischbach
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis
Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah
Former Rep. Phil Krinkie
Former Rep. Jim Knoblach
Former Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer
Former U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hegseth

Of that group, I think there are three candidates that could give Graves some real trouble....

Rep. Matt Dean - He has been in GOP leadership and has kept up his conservative credentials. I'm not sure how the Liberty caucus feels about him, but he has a pretty good background to woo the GOP delegates. His fundraising ability might be the question mark.

Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer - Kiffmeyer is truly Bachmanesque. She is a flaming social conservative and has the voter ID wing clearly in hand. I'm not sure she has the ability to appeal to the suburban portion of the district, but if she gets the nomination, they will fall in line. Fundraising potential is more viable because social conservatives open their wallets for one of their own.

Pete Hegseth - Hegseth is a favorite of the GOP establishment network. He may have to take on a harder core conservative makeover to move through the process, but he showed signs of that during his brief run at the US Senate seat of Klobuchar. He will have to mend fences with the Paulites.

The rest of the list looks iffy. Emmer has worn out his welcome. Krinkie has GOP fiscal credentials, but has been out of the game a long time. Fischbach and Scott are solid social conservatives, but loose cannons (althouth that never stopped anyone in the 6th before, but they may be a bit wary of that now). Sanders, Fitzsimmons and Sivarajah are not ready. Knoblach has the same problem as Krinkie. And Kleis just doesn't fit the current construct of the party.

But as you can see, the 6th has a deeper bench than any of the other Congressional Districts and that poses problems for Graves. Bachmann wasn't just running against Graves...she was also running against her own baggage. And the suitcases just got too full for her to carry anymore.

A new GOP Congressional candidate won't have that problem and the District will be more receptive to a new Republican than a recurring Democrat.

I guess we will just have to bask in the Bachmannless moment for now.
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