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MJ Writer’s Big Bachmann News Broken Four Months Ago by Avidor

7:03 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Image by Avidor

If you’ve been following the entwined stories of Tom Petters, Frank Vennes, and Michele Bachmann, then you almost certainly know the work of Ken Avidor and his Vennes Info blog, as well as the work of the late great Karl Bremer of Ripple in Stillwater fame.

Which is why it’s somewhat amusing to see somebody writing for a national mag, one Mariah Blake, waltz in and pretend to be the Owner of a Big Scooper-Dooper on this story:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has quietly returned campaign contributions from an ex-con who lured investors for one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in US history—and on whose behalf the tea party lawmaker sought a presidential pardon. According to campaign finance reports, last quarter Bachmann’s campaign committee paid $14,000 to a bankruptcy trustee for Frank Vennes, a former North Dakota pawnshop owner who was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for aiding and abetting fraud.

Big juicy breaking news, right? Well, except for the fact that Ken Avidor reported on the Vennes clawback four frigging months ago. June 16, to be exact. To wit:

The $14,000.00 settlement will be divided between PCI trustee ($8,600.00) and the Palm Beach Trustee ($5,400.00).

Also the Fidelis Foundation has to cough up $425,000.00 to the trustees.

Vennes Info: Where you can read today’s Mother Jones Big Stories four months ago!

UPDATE: Avidor reminds us that this isn’t the first time Blake’s acted as if she owns the Petters-Vennes-Bachmann story:

Read the rest of this entry →

Ave Atque Vale, Karl Bremer

7:03 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Last night, this tweet by Sally Jo Sorensen was rocketing around the local twittersphere: “Best investigative blogger in Minnesota. Will be missed. A friend. Stillwater journalist Karl Bremer dies … #stribpol”

When Sally Jo Sorensen says that somebody is the best investigative blogger in the state, believe her. She herself is no slouch when it comes to birddogging the truth.

Karl Bremer ran the local blog Ripple in Stillwater, focusing on the goings-on in what until recently was a key part of Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District, home to Michele Bachmann. His scoops included key parts of the Petters scandal, which the national and local corporate media has covered to a degree, and the Vennes scandal, which the national and local corporate media has comparatively ignored, leaving Karl and his friend Ken Avidor to cover this looming story. (The Vennes trial starts February 5. Representative Bachmann should find it of great interest.) He was also, as a committed environmentalist, a leading voice against the $700 million Stillwater Bridge boondoggle, which came to a climax last year right around the time he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

One way to judge people is by judging their enemies; by that standard, Karl Bremer is shown to have been golden.

Kent Kaiser, communications professor at local Fundie factory Northwestern College and senior policy fellow at the archconservative Center of the American Experiment (you know, the people who put out that laughable apologetic for voter suppression that Gustavus Adolphus professor Max Hailperin ripped to shreds?), said “Good riddance” when Tweeting the news of Bremer’s death — and was immediately taken to task by many members of the local journalistic set. Kaiser did end up apologizing, but (oddly enough) only to the ones who were most likely to be helpful to him in his career.

Furthermore, a look at the comments section of Karl’s obituary in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press finds no less a person than Eric Langness, Vice Chairman of the Republican Party in Bachmann’s district (the Sixth), posting without proof such statements as this one: “His blog was full of hate and lies about those on the political right, including myself. That is not journalism, it’s slander. I hope he is allowed to rest in peace.” When another commenter retorted like “fox news ..right?”, Langness simply responded “No, like this:” — a story of Karl’s on Langness’ having termed the domestic assault of which a fellow Republican was accused “a mild form of abuse”. Perhaps Langness was hoping that posting the link itself would be considered “proof” of his slander assertion, and that no one would actually click through to read the story — which, by the way, contains a screen shot of Langness’s Facebook entry, showing that he’d typed exactly what Karl said he did.

As Greg Stricharchuk, editor in the business news section of the Chicago Tribune, noted of Mr. Bremer: “The fact that some people who commented said he should burn in hell and not rest in peace means he must have been doing something right. -30-”

Thirty, and ave atque vale, to you, Karl Bremer. The good work you did lives on, and thank you so much for it. Here’s a favorite song of yours and mine from one of our favorite bands.

What Brings Michele Bachmann and Dean Zimmermann Together? Pods.

9:46 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Even as Green Party folks rightfully chew out Mark Dayton for his acquiescing to the Vikings’ stadium blackmail — you know, the old “If you don’t give us money we’ll leave and then you’ll be a Cold Omaha bwahahahahahaha!” routine? — at least one prominent Green Party member, former Minneapolis councilmember Dean Zimmermann, has long been in bed with Republican congresscritter Michele Bachmann on a plan that would make the stadium outlay look like chump change.

I speak, of course, of their shared love for PRT — Personal Rapid Transit, or “pods”. This is a love that has endured despite Zimmermann’s conviction in 2006 for soliciting and accepting bribes from Gary A. Carlson, a local property developer.

Read this excerpt from the new book The Madness of Michele Bachmann to find out the story of their shared love for a concept that would suck billions from legitimate transit options and whose main appeal to suburban and exurbanites is based on not having to sit next to people whose skin tones aren’t the same as theirs.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the very well done Hiawatha Line — a legitimate mass-transit system that the Pod People did their worst to kill — is doing land-office business eight years since its inauguration, saving money compared to buses and increasing the property values of real estate along its path.

Bachmann’s Iowa Campaign Chair Defects to Ron Paul

6:22 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Can I get a “Holy Shit”?

Right after he appeared with Bachmann at a 4 o’clock afternoon campaign stop in Indianola, state senator Kent Sorenson, Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chair, defects to the Ron Paul campaign.

This is fantastically good news for Ron Paul. Fan-tas-ti-cally good news.

If he can Hoover up a quarter of Bachmann’s Iowa supporters, he beats Romney easily. If he gets even a tenth of them, he pads his current lead over Romney. At the very least, he stops losing support to the Magic Underwear Guy.

Mitt’s going to have to go into fricking overdrive now — I expect to see him dump another $10 million in ads in the next few days.

Here’s the press release announcing this news: Read the rest of this entry →

Glitterati Part Deux: Gay Barbarian Flashmob Visits Marcus Bachmann’s Clinic, Has Hellava Good Time

2:24 pm in LGBT by Phoenix Woman

They’re here! They’re queer! They’re astonishingly well-choreographed!

Watch as those pesky gay barbarians and their like-minded straight friends, brought together by Nick Espinosa of ColumbusGoHome fame, show up at Marcus Bachmann’s clinic and put on a peaceable demonstration of stylishly barbarian terpsichore. They even brought along a Marcus of their own to baptize in glitter!

City Pages has more on the event, here and here.

Marcus Bachmann’s Clinic Gets Glittered

8:00 am in LGBT by Phoenix Woman

Even as Michele and Marcus Bachmann’s pal in anti-gay activity, the walking hunk of political kryptonite known as Bradlee Dean, tries to pretend for Michele Bachmanns’ political sake that he really isn’t her buddy in anti-gay activity (and despite the reams of documentation showing his long association with her), we were all given a reminder of what Michele’s hubby Marcus’ clinic does — a visual, and memorable, reminder, from some glitter-wielding gay “barbarians”.

Thanks to Robert Erickson of Columbus Go Home for the visual documentation!


video h/t Mother Jones

Busted! Bachmann Clinic Caught Doing “Ungaying” They Said They Didn’t Do

7:43 pm in banality of evil, jerks, LGBT, Politics, Republican Party, Tea Party by Phoenix Woman

The Fabulous Marcus Bachmann, courtesy Ken Avidor

Most Minnesotans who follow politics in the state figured that Bachmann and Associates, the counseling clinic run by Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus, did professionally-discouraged “ungaying” therapy even though Marcus has denied it for years. Now, thanks to the efforts of The Nation and of Truth Wins Out (h/t to Dump Bachmann), we have proof that they do indeed.

First, The Nation documents the harrowing 2004 experience of Andrew Ramirez:

In the summer of 2004, Andrew Ramirez, who was just about to enter his senior year of high school, worked up the nerve to tell his family he was gay. His mother took the news in stride, but his stepfather, a conservative Christian, was outraged. “He said it was wrong, an abomination, that it was something he would not tolerate in his house,” Ramirez recalls. A few weeks later, his parents marched him into the office of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling center in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, which is owned by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. From the outset, Ramirez says, his therapist—one of roughly twenty employed at the Lake Elmo clinic—made it clear that renouncing his sexual orientation was the only moral choice. “He basically said being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes,” Ramirez recalls. According to Ramirez, his therapist then set about trying to “cure” him. Among other things, he urged Ramirez to pray and read the Bible, particularly verses that cast homosexuality as an abomination, and referred him to a local church for people who had given up the “gay lifestyle.” He even offered to set Ramirez up with an ex-lesbian mentor.

Ramirez was not impressed. After his second appointment, he resolved not to go back, despite the turmoil it might cause in his family. “I didn’t feel it was something that I wanted to change, and I didn’t think it could be changed,” he says. “I was OK with who I was.”

That “ex-lesbian mentor”? As Dump Bachmann’s lloydletta points out, there is a longtime Bachmann associate named Janet Boynes who is billed as an “ex-lesbian” — which leads us to the second bit of evidence, that gathered by Truth Wins Out’s John M. Becker: Read the rest of this entry →

Bachmann Joins the Glitterati!

11:29 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

The hardest thing I had to do over the past twenty-four hours was keep my lips zipped about this, once I’d got the advance word from a friend of a friend:

Shortly after a speech at the RightOnline conference, pro-LGBT activist Rachel E. B. Lang approached [Republican US Representative Michele] Bachmann, threw glitter in the air, and said, “You can run, but you cannot hide! Keep your hate out of our Constitution!” — a reference to the “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide” ministry for which Bachmann has helped raise money and to a proposed ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota. The ministry, a brainchild of rabidly anti-gay Bradlee Dean, charges thousands of dollars to speak at public school assemblies and evangelize young people based on a shocking and offensive anti-gay program.

Personally, I think it would have been better if Ms. Lang had been able to really glitter up Bachmann the way Nick Espinosa glittered up Newt Gingrich, but from the way the RightOnline crowd reacted you’d think that Bachmann had been hit with holy water and was writhing in pain onstage. Even the minimal amount of glitter used did the trick — it’s drawn public (and legacy media) attention to Bachmann’s antigay record and to her palling around with Bradlee Dean, things that might please the Republican base but which she’s not going to want to have to explain to general-election voters:

After Bachmann concluded her speech at the RightOnline conference, pro-LGBT activist Rachel E. B. Lang approached her and threw glitter in the air saying, “You can run, but you cannot hide! Keep your hate out of our Constitution!”

This was a reference to the “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide” ministry for which Bachmann helped raise money for as well as a stand against the proposed ban of same sex marriage in Minnesota.

The “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide” ministry is an anti-gay ministry that charges thousands of dollars to speak at school and essentially scares students into being straight.

Ken Avidor of Dump Bachmann has more on the Bachmann-Bradlee Dean connection here.

PW Writes a Letter RE: Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann

8:46 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

(Dear MyFDL Friends: Here’s the text of a letter I sent just now to the Daily Beast. I thought you might like it. — PW)

Dear Mr. Romano and Daily Beast Staff:

As a Minnesotan, I was reading and nodding my head in agreement and recognition at most of the points made in Andrew Romano’s recent DB piece on She Who Gets Away With Everything, Michele Bachmann. (I did pause slightly when I saw the bit about her using the fake 2012 gambit as a Senate-race fundraiser: She does indeed want to use her Potemkin candidacy as a fundraising tool, but not for a Senate seat — even she realizes she couldn’t win a statewide race in Minnesota. It’s so she can be the next Tom DeLay, minus the going-to-prison part: )

But I must admit I was brought up short by the suggestion that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), was somehow an “adult” and a truthful “wonk” compared to the notorious liar Bachmann. While Ryan has never tried to French-kiss George W. Bush in public, he is in his own way every bit as much the utterly whacked-out lying nutjob that Bachmann is.

He lies about his own plans for health care rationing:

He lies about how he made the CBO lie and game its report on his “roadmap” to leave out the horrifically bad effects of his planned tax cuts on the deficit:

He lies about how his “roadmap” cuts taxes for the rich while raising them for the vast majority (95%!) of Americans:

He lies about climate change and cap-and-trade:

Hell, he pretty much lies about everything. Just go peruse most any Media Matters article with the “Paul Ryan” tag:

So why is it that most journalists uncritically swallow everything he says? Is it because their bosses want them to? Or is it because they got into journalism because while they were smart and handy with words, they are baffled by basic math — which makes them easy marks for guys like Ryan?

Sincerely yours,

Phoenix Woman

Hey, Enemies of America! John Boehner Wants You to Roll Us!

3:13 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Inviter of enemies, approaching the green. (photo: KeithAllison via Flickr)

If there was any doubt at all that the incoming House Speaker doesn’t think much at all of the House Intelligence Committee, it was erased this week:

The new members [appointed by Boehner to the committee] are Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota; Representative Joe Heck of Nevada; Representative Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey; Representative Devin Nunes of California; Representative Tom Rooney of Florida and Representative Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.

I’m glad I’m not prone to the temptations of strong drink, because if anything could get me to pound Jell-O shots at five-thirty in the morning, this would do it. The Republican contingent of the committee was already not exactly a monument to intellect or integrity, not with Mike Rogers and Pete King in it, and Bachmann and Westmoreland in particular won’t be improving the GOP’s sides average scores in those areas. If America’s enemies follow US politics as assiduously as do the NMA World Edition animators in Taiwan, they’ve got to know what an unbelievably fortuitous gift it is they’ve just been given.

In fact, it’s long been known among foreign intelligence operations that Republicans and their allies are the best friends our enemies could possibly have — the more xenophobic, the better. During World War Two, lifelong Republican and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover gave British intelligence figures headaches with his constant need to boost his own image at the expense of intelligence work; he was notorious for ordering the arrest — often with him specially brought in for the occasion with photographers in tow — of various Nazi spies, rather than leaving them in place and feeding them bad information to transmit to Berlin, as was the UK’s practice. His distrust and dislike of the British way of running spy networks led him in 1941 to ignore the evidence provided by Dusan “Dusko” Popov, a Serbian Yugoslav double agent, of a planned and imminent attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. More recently, James J. Smith, one of the FBI’s lead agents in the creation of the ginned-up “Chinagate” scandal directed by the GOP against Bill Clinton and Al Gore, was found to have been the longtime lover of California Republican Party stalwart Katrina Leung, who just happened to be a spy for the Red Chinese:  . . . Read the rest of this entry →