"And really now in Washington, I’m a foreign correspondent in enemy lines. And I try to keep everyone back here in Minnesota know exactly the nefarious activities that are taking place in Washington." - Michele Bachmann
"I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing..." - Michele again
Before going on about the latest gossip over our divine Michele and Sarah, TPM was kind enough to print out some of the questions Michael Steele and the RNC sent out to its donor list. It's plain to see that they don't require answers, just that you get riled up enough to write that check: "Of course, the wording a survey uses can have some influence on the results. Consider how the RNC worded some of their more notable questions. (thanks to readers GB and CR for the tip)
* A recent national poll reported that nearly 25% of Americans want the government to pass more socialism. Do you agree or disagree?
* Which do you believe creates more jobs for the American economy: Government Programs and Spending or The American Free Enterprise System?
* Should Republicans unite to block new federal government bureaucracy and red tape that will crush future economic growth?
* Should we do everything we can to block Democrats who are trying to shut down conservative talk radio with the so-called "fairness doctrine"?
* Should we resist Barack Obama's proposal to spend billions of federal taxpayer dollars to pay "volunteers" who perform his chosen tasks?
* Should bureaucrats in Washington, DC be in charge of making your health care choices instead of you and your doctor?
* Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations' commanders?
These are actual questions from the survey, not paraphrases intended to make the RNC appear silly." I'm seriously considering withdrawing my registration as a Republican. I may register as a separate party, just like I put in my dinner reservations: Grumpy Old Man, Party of One...
A good example is Michele Bachmann, who considers herself a Fundamentalist Christian Republican. God told her to run for Congress. This past Wednesday, she appeared on Sean Hannity's radio show, and sharply reiterated her calls for revolution in America, warning against the imminent dangers of tyranny under Barack Obama. TPM reports: "We are headed down the lane of economic Marxism," said Bachmann. "More quickly, Sean, than anyone could have possibly imagined. It's difficult for us to even keep up with it day to day."
And then came this:
"At this point the American people - it's like Thomas Jefferson said, a revolution every now and then is a good thing. We are at the point, Sean, of revolution. And by that, what I mean, an orderly revolution -- where the people of this country wake up get up and make a decision that this is not going to happen on their watch. It won't be our children and grandchildren that are in debt. It is we who are in debt, we who will be bankrupting this country, inside of ten years, if we don't get a grip. And we can't let the Democrats achieve their ends any longer.
Bachmann also declared: "Economics works equally in any country. Where freedom is tried, the people rejoice. But where tyranny is enforced upon the people, as Barack Obama is doing, the people suffer and mourn."
So, in response, the Minnesota Democratic Party said: "Michele Bachmann must have missed the memo: The revolution already happened. The old way of doing business -- her way of doing business -- lost.
"We face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. To overcome that crisis, Americans must come together, set our differences aside, and get to work. There is plenty of room for thoughtful, respectful debate and criticism. There is no room for hatred or for demonizing those with whom you disagree. Calling one's colleagues 'enemies' and oneself a 'foreign correspondent' is not only a roadblock to results, it is the exact spirit and tone that the American people so overwhelmingly rejected."
The Political Animal's take on all of this: "Now, Bachmann simply isn't well. Were she not an elected member of the U.S. Congress, she'd probably be shouting conspiracy theories and holding cardboard signs on some sidewalk somewhere. But what I find especially interesting is that her paranoid delusions are so detached from obvious truths. If Bachmann wanted to complain that a 39.6% top rate was the epitome of Marxism, she'd be just another conservative. But she's convinced herself that the Obama administration will "move us to an international currency," due entirely to her breathtaking stupidity.
My fear, at this point, is that lunacy from deranged politicians and their media allies is going to end up getting someone hurt. Republican officials believe they should emulate the insurgency tactics of the Taliban. They see themselves as "freedom fighters" taking on the "slide toward socialism." They want a "revolution" because Americans "can't let" Democrats succeed in taking away "our very freedom."
This is obviously madness, not from some right-wing blog, but from elected federal officials. But I worry it's more than that. Incendiary rhetoric like this leads strange people to do strange things."
Her Attorney General had to resign because he had given illegal advice to the Palin family and staff when he told them they didn't have to respond to the subpoenas they received during Troopergate. Her new pick is a former head of the local NRA, and is seen as a character and gun nut rather than as someone who is interested in upholding the law (Hey, I own guns but I'm not obsessed by them). This interesting story is from an Alaskan blog called Mudflats: "Mr. Ross is easily identified by Anchorage residents as the owner of the red Hummer with the vanity plates that say “W A R”. The “War Hummer” as it is known, is usually found following immediately behind speeding ambulances.
A friend of mine broke the news to me this afternoon. “Did you hear who Palin appointed?” I could tell by the tenor of her voice that the answer was not good. “Wayne Anthony Ross!” (I’ve deleted the expletive that was found between Wayne and Anthony) The first millionth of a second I was thinking this had to be a joke.
She could not possibly choose an attorney who defended one of the members of The Corrupt Bastards’ Club while she tries to cultivate her image as an anti-corruption governor! But yes, he was the defense lawyer for former Rep. Vic Kohring, now incarcerated in sunny California.
She could not possibly choose the attorney who defended the guy charged with assault for throwing buckets of water on anti-Iraq war protesters on the highway! But yes, she did.
Ross was the co-chair of Palin’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign."
If you’re thinking that sounds nothing like what happened, you’re not the only one. Senate President Gary Stevens (R) had this to say: “That is absolutely false, absolutely false,” Stevens said emphatically. “I am sorry that the governor has put this out … To say that we cancelled the meeting to have a press conference is absolutely not true. Someone should be brought to task on that.”
My last story also comes from the Mudflats blog. Sarah has had 11 ethic code violations filed against her since she's been in office. The latest one begins here: "It all began when Governor Sarah Palin lowered the start flag at this year’s Iron Dog Snowmachine race. More than 30 teams race 1971 miles from Big Lake to Nome tracing the northern Iditarod route on “snowmobiles,” as those outside Alaska call them.
Last year’s champions? None other than Alaska’s “first dude” Todd Palin and his teammate Scott Davis as the famous Team #22. Everyone knows that. John McCain even talked about it on the campaign trail!
Palin’s sponsor? Arctic Cat - a brand of snowmachine and related gear. Arctic Cat really wanted to sponsor team Davis-Palin this year. For obvious reasons that go above and beyond Todd’s defending champion status, they knew that “Team Palin” was getting lots of attention from Alaskans, and the national media. All eyes would be on that bright green Arctic Cat logo. Turns out there was even a photo shoot and article in Sports Illustrated this year focusing on the “first dude.” That’s some nice exposure; exposure that was worth $5000 for Arctic Cat to get permission to “brand” Todd Palin and his team.
But, as anyone who has taken time to consider “conflict of interest” or anyone who has read the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (like, hopefully, our governor) knows, there’s a line that can’t be crossed. If the governor’s family benefits directly from a private sponsor, (like getting a $5000 check from them) and the governor shows up to take an official role at an official event, representing all Alaskans, it’s a big fat no-no to show up plastered like a billboard with the official “gear” and giant flaming logo of the company that’s been paying you money."
Late night jokes:
"I have a plan to end the war in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Here's what we do. We bring all our soldiers home. We send in our investment bankers. They'll screw up the place in six months. Six months!" --Jay Leno
"President Obama is everywhere, isn't he? I mean, last week, he was on our show. Sunday night, he was on '60 Minutes.' Tuesday night, he held a prime time press conference. And last night, he was on 'Lost,' trying to sell his economic plan to the people on the island.'" --Jay Leno
"President Obama held an online town hall meeting today, the first time a president has ever done that. This would allow anyone online to participate, unless, of course, you have AOL. Then you're screwed." --Jay Leno
"Anyway, he took questions from Internet users. It was interesting. Only three people wanted to know about the economy, only two people asked about Iraq, but 17,000 asked about his 'BFF.'" --Jay Leno
"There was one embarrassing moment. Someone online said to the President, 'I'd like to meet with you sometime and tell you some of my ideas.' It was Joe Biden." --Jay Leno
"A construction worker from Queens, New York, used Bernard Madoff's prison number to play the lottery and won. The guy won $1,500. Bernard Madoff, of course, is in prison for luring money from rich people in a giant scam that promised to make them richer. But don't confuse him with the state lottery, which lures money away from poor people in a giant scam that promises to make them richer." --Jay Leno
"President Obama has made his prediction for the Final Four. He made his prediction today. The only ones left standing after next week will be Citigroup, Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley." --Jay Leno
"The economy is so bad, I watched 'Iron Chef' the other night. You know what the secret ingredient was? Government cheese." --Jay Leno
"The economy is so bad, on 'Sesame Street,' they won't even talk about letters 'A,' 'I,' or 'G' anymore." --Jay Leno
"Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is writing a book about his role in the Bush administration during the economic crisis. It's weird, the book starts on Chapter 11. That's odd." --Jimmy Fallon